Home Blog Page 3

Blogging Strategies: How to Effectively Sell on your Blog

0

Just some thoughts on sales and blogging…

The saleswoman and the blogger share a common bond, and it’s a pretty easy one if you think about it. Have you got it?

They are both marketers.

Think about what a salesperson does. They verbally speak to you about a product. They sell you on the features and value of their product and promote their idea.

A blogger in written language speaks to you about their product, which in most cases is themselves. They market themselves along with the knowledge that they have and can speak about as they promote their ideas.

I’ve found out lately that it’s tough to be a saleswoman and a blogger. You are constantly juggling back and forth communicating verbally and nonverbally, projecting outward while at the same time reflecting inwards, communicating in two different ways to the outside world.

At times it can be overwhelming.

A sales person and a blogger have a few things in common though.

Advice for Bloggers and Sales People That Are The Same

Get Personal

You ever talk to a sales person? They start telling you about their life story, and before you know it you are buying their product.

Getting personal with your clients is a good way to gain trust. A blogger dives into a personal problem that the client experiences, and they solve the problem in their blog post.

Blog posts resonate with the reader more when the writer tells a personal story on how they were impacted by the topic.

Just like the sales person, a blogger has an audience they must relate to to be relevant.

Think about how you relate to your audience. What can you do to further relate to them?

 

Stay Consistent

In any type of sales staying consistent is key. You must stay consistent with your sales in order to see results. Like the blogger must stay consistent with their posting, a sales person stays consistent with their sales.

How do you stay consistent as a blogger? 

Are you being productive on your blog every day? Are you consistently putting out effective and engaging blog posts?  Do you keep up with your readers, their birthdays, anniversaries, products they are purchasing?

As a blogger you should stay consistent with several things.

  • posting blog posts
  • analyzing what works and what doesn’t
  • checking your stats on traffic
  • speaking with your readers over email and contributing to you email autoresponder

Staying consistent with these things will allow you to become trustworthy in the blogging world and also optimize areas that are becoming more successful than others.

selling on your blog

 

Let’s look a bit closer into how sales and blogging go hand in hand.

Law of Averages is the Name of the Game

Blogs aren’t just for telling your far flung family members about your recent trip anymore, they are used more and more as a way to drive highly targeted website visitors to your site with the intent of making a sale.

The reason blogs are becoming the mainstream for internet marketers is due in large part to the way search engines work, for that reason you need to have some basic understandings of the ins and outs of blogging, and that’s where this blogging guide can help.

I mentioned search engines and the way they work as the driving force behind the increasing popularity of blogs as a business website. Well, all search engines love to give their customers, anyone who uses that search engine to find things online, quality results. Very often quality results and fresh content go hand in hand. For this reason the search engines love fresh content.

When you put up a ‘regular’ static website the content doesn’t change very often… if ever. With a blog, on the other hand, the content changes often which keeps that site fresh which keeps the search engines happy and they will reward the blog owner by giving them a higher page rank.

Law of Averages – the more people your blog gets in front of the more chance you have of being liked and supported.

When your blog gets a high page rank you will get a lot of free, targeted traffic and that is the name of the game. There is one thing that all online businesses have in common, they all need a constant supply of targeted visitors to their website. Any tool or technique that can help a website owner get more traffic, especially for free, is a welcome addition.

Here are a few ways that you can get traffic to your blog.

  • Build an email list so you have return visitors
  • Promote posts via social media sites
  • Create posts that are SEO friendly

 

The next thing you’ll want to keep in mind when starting your blog is that if you want to build a business around it you need to be willing to invest a little money. You don’t want to stick with the free WordPress or Blogger platforms because you don’t actually own anything.

If you buy your own domain name and you have that domain hosted (only $3.95/mo with Bluehost through this link) you will actually own that little piece of internet real estate. You can do whatever you want with your domain, including sell it.

You also want to think carefully about what the topic of your blog will be, this is really important if you plan on making money with your blog. Careful choice of the niche market you’re going to build your business in is something that is too often overlooked. If you take some time to pick a good niche market, the rest of your business building will be much easier. Picking the right niche is about 90% of the battle.

Using the information in this blogging guide can really help you set off on your new blogging career on the right foot. Just be willing to invest some time to learn new concepts, then put into practice what you’ve learned, and you’ll be amazed at how much money you can make online, and how much fun you can have making it!

 

Selling Yourself

selling on your blog

The best part about having a blog is that you get to talk about yourself and the methods or advice you have for others. You don’t really need to do anything but be yourself. But of course there is also a professionalism that must be there in the blog so it is not completely just rambling.

If you know about things that people want to know about and you are able to type about them, then now you have an advantage on being able to blog a lot easier.

If you have something to say to the world or some knowledge to share, blogging give you the opportunity to put it out there for others to know. Your About Me page is an important part of your blog as it tells others who the person behind the brand is.

It’s that online presence, an idea of yourself on the web.

Most companies don’t have the personalization. They are just a brand with no idea of a single person behind the brand. A blog is different because you are the known creator of your blog and your words are a direct reflection of you.

Your blog is your brand.

Write a strong about me or about us page. Having a strong about page is crucial as it lets your readers clearly know who they are dealing with and what they have to offer.

Tell a positive personal story sometimes. It’s okay to open up about what you have gone through, especially if it relates to the topic at hand.

Keep up with your emails. As with any relationship, it can go stale if you don’t nurture it. It is the same for your email list. Even if there is only 3 people on your email list, make sure you reach out to them with some personal advice or a personal story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credibility

Being credible is another important part of starting a business. Credit is an important thing. It means that you have an established reputation. Good credit can take you far as the more you are known for good work, the more people will want to shop with you.

Begin to build credibility by asking people who have had good experiences with you to let others know about their experience. Word of mouth is the strongest most easiest and cheapest (free!) way to market your product or services.

  1. Ask you audience to comment below
  2. Ask your buyers to write a review for you
  3. Ask your readers to refer you

That is how to gain credibility. Credibility goes hand in hand with traffic.

 

I hope I have provided you some insight on some strategies that work for salesmen and saleswomen that can also be applied to blogging and the selling we do to others on the internet as a functional online business.

If you like what I have to say, please join my email newsletter or follow me on Pinterest.

 

Any other similarities between bloggers and salespeople or any helpful tips on how to sell yourself on your blog, please comment below.

 

 

My Deep Fear That Prevented Me From Getting Blog Traffic

8

When you are first starting a blog, there are many things that can trip you up. Most of the time it is knowledge on what to do next. Or maybe it is writer’s block and you can’t seem to create content. But what if it is something more. Something that doesn’t have an easy fix or a learning curve.

What held me back in my blogging journey was harder than ever to get through. It may sound silly, but I had a deep fear of putting myself out there on the internet.

 

You see, I grew up in the 90’s. The internet had just reached homes when I was in middle school. My mom didn’t trust the internet and had us follow some simple rules.

  1. Don’t use your real name
  2. Don’t use anything that can be tied to you (birthday numbers, age, house number, etc…)
  3. Don’t put your location

 

Back when I was a kid, these seemed like reasonable requests. I created a screen name that had nothing to do with myself and it stuck up until college.

Now that I’m older, my kid screen name is well…a little naive.

It’s not something I would want to use for business or other online endeavors. So I had to create a new online identity.

 

The Reality of Branding Myself

The internet seems to have changed so much from the 90’s. I remember blogging on LiveJournal,  creating my page on MySpace, and making webpages on Angelfire. Come to think of it, I put myself out there on the internet without a care in the world.

Today it is different. First, I’m already known on Facebook as my real name. If people wanted to find out about me I’m sure they could. For every social media account, I have a different handle.

The beauty of the internet is you can be one person and you can be a hundred people.

More and more people are using their real name, a stage name, or a business name to brand themselves online. Branding yourself online is a combination of your values and what you support. It is what you are known for in the online community. 

In order to gain trust in the online community, you have to tell people about yourself, about your life, and your location if relevant. If you don’t feel like a real person, then it is hard to gain the trust of others in online communities. I realized that I was afraid of putting myself out there and telling others about my life.

It’s my life, it’s private to me. But how can I compete with others who are putting themselves out there?

I have considered several options:

  • Create a business brand instead of a personal brand
  • Making a new identity, a stage name if you will

 

Small fears sprout up in my mind. Will people take me seriously? What makes me stand out as unique? Do I have quality content?

I realized I need to stop being afraid of what I don’t know. I don’t know if people will like me, follow me, want to read my posts. The fear has paralyzed me from taking action. I know I can’t be the only one with this fear either. Anyone who is older than 28 today is most likely not that keen on putting their information online, nor do they feel good about creating a completely new identity.

We see the internet as this big environment of learning new things and catching up with friends. I never saw it as a place to meet new people because that was always discouraged. 

 

Generation Y Advantage

In a way, I feel like my generation has an advantage. We are growing up with the advantage that we could really create an online presence. We could promote ourselves, we could get internet famous with one funny video. We could have our 15 minutes of fame on the internet, or we could stay in the limelight.

From an introvert to another introvert, why would I want all eyes on me?

When you get traffic, people visiting your site, you have more of a chance of people liking you. They in turn follow you or give you their email address so you can update them on your life. These people support you. You can market to these people and perhaps develop an income online.

I see now more people that make claims of internet success and profit. Many people live off the internet and make great incomes blogging or creating webpages or doing internet marketing. Many people have a personal brand and they are not afraid to promote it.

These people are making part time or full time incomes online, just for putting themselves out there.

Since Generation Y or Millennials are getting increasingly familiar with digital technologies, it is becoming more common to see entrepreneurs  out of this generation. Yet the Generation Z’s are catching up. They have a comfort with technology that we will never have. The majority of their socializing is on social media instead of interacting with people in person.

It’s really quite interesting.

 

Share What You Know

It seems like what the internet did was make knowledge a lot more accessible. Of course, no one is going to know everything, but everyone knows something. The internet has now become a tool to share your expertise. It is literally built from the information that people know or perceive.  It is also built on the reactions of other people and they keep the conversation evolving.

Don’t be ashamed of what you have to share. It doesn’t have to be in a Top Ten Ways list or a How to post, your knowledge can be shared however you would like it to be.

When you show what you know and your expertise, you automatically create your brand. You create something that you stand for and that is important to you. There are millions of people on the internet and no one is going to get stuck on your 15 minutes of fame. We can all help each other get there and keep the conversation going.

Check out this post if you are interested in discovering ways you can brand yourself

 

What I Stand For

This post would not be complete without a realization on what I discovered about myself. It is only natural that when I talk about sharing your views and branding, that I share what I have learned about myself and what I have to share.

This is me being transparent.

I remember back to my days of LiveJournal and the random blogging I did on my frustrations with classmates or the crush I had on a boy. I had always been an advocate of telling it like it is. That is one value I will not stray from. I will always try to be honest and upfront.

As well, I will always strive to make my audience think. I will give them a different view, something that they maybe haven’t thought of.

Lastly, I hope to share what I know. I’ve been blogging for some time now and I would love to share what I have learned about blogging and how to get started blogging. Your blog should have it’s own unique personality and should give your audience your expertise on a topic.

The more you learn, the more expertise you possess.

Here are some take-aways that I will impart on you before I finish…

  • Keep learning and growing.
  • Don’t be afraid to share what you know.
  • Get involved in the community.
  • Help others and they will help you.
  • Give yourself a brand name and stick to your values.

 

I’d love to know what you think, keep the conversation going by commenting below.

 

 

 

 

How to Create Your Own Pinterest Images Using Canva

0

So you just started your blog. Or maybe you have had a blog for a while, but you are dying to find out how you create your own Pinterest images so you can start getting a bigger social media presence for you blog. Either way this post is for you.

I believe that one of the most important things to starting a blog, if your use Pinterest for your traffic strategy, is having Pinable images. If you are just starting out blogging, then that is even better because you can make Pinable images as you post instead of having to redo the images in your blog posts.

How do you create your own Pinterest images?

I use a program called Canva. Canva has a an easy to use interface and allows you to give your Pinterest images personality.

Here is a quick tutorial on Canva…

What type of Pinterest image are you trying to create?

There are 2 different types of Pinterest images:

Blog Post Image – Blog Post Image will be the featured image on your blog post.

Infographic – Infograhics tell all the information on that one image. It may be a number of ways or steps, but it is like fitting an entire blog post on one small image.

Typically these types of Pins don’t get a lot of traffic to your blog site. Since I am talking about getting traffic to your blog, I will just talk about the Blog Post Image is this post.

Creating a Blog Post Pinterest Image

Choosing a Size for your Pinterest Image

Using Canva, you have the option of creating your own custom sized image or choosing from popular image sizes.

Choose a longer size. They do have a default Pinterest image template but I usually make mine a little bit longer to fit the structure of the Pinterest platform. Pinterest’s platform is basically designed to feed the urge to scroll. So it makes sense that the longer the image the longer someone would look at it.

Some common Pinterest image sizes according to Authormedia.com are…

  • Profile images: 165 x 165 pixels.
  • Pins in feed: 238 pixels x adjusted to height.
  • Expanded pin size: 735 pixels x adjusted to height.
  • Pin boards complete size: 238 x 284 pixels.
  • Cover image: 217 x 146 pixels.
  • Tiny thumbnails: 51 x 51 pixels.

If you chose to use Canva, you can create a custom size by clicking the button at the top right hand side labeled “Custom Dimensions”. You can also choose their common Pinterest image size which is 735px X 1022px. Having an image this large will help the resolution of the image so it shows up clear and not pixelated.

Choosing a Color Scheme for your Pinterest Image

Have a uniform color scheme. The color scheme is an important part of your Pinterest image. Whatever color scheme you choose, you can make sure it is uniform for all the posts in your blog.

If you decide to use the same color scheme for every blog post, it will give a more professional look to your blog. If it does not have a uniform color scheme then you should make sure that something else on the image is uniform such as the font.

Having your own color scheme will also brand you as a blogger. Letting your personality shine through by creating a color scheme that fits your brand will help people to recognize your work.

Choosing a Font for your Pinterest Image

Fonts show branding. It gives your blog personality and makes it your own. Your Pinterest image should use similar fonts to your blog.

Here are some fonts I use for my Pins…

Image result for fonts playlist

Image result for fonts abril fatface

Related image

I go to Google Fonts to help me find a font that works for my blog and my pins.

I would recommend picking out 3-4 fonts for your Pinterest images. These should be the same 3-4 fonts that your website has. By using the same fonts on your blog and your Pinterest images, you seem more organized and it gives your blog a uniform feel if all your Pinterest images have the same font. People begin to notice your style and begin recognizing it as your signature.

Getting Photos for your Pinterest Image

You can get your Pinterest photos in two different ways:

Going to royalty-free sites to get photos – I list some of my favorite sites to get free photos on my resource page.

If you take your own photos – I will have some recommendations shortly...

*(find something associated with your blog post), take photo at a good angle (how to take awesome photos with your Iphone), put it on a white background, find something contrasting)

You can get someone on Fiverr to make you photo that relates to the theme of your post.

Photos don’t have to complicated. You can use some of the free stock images on Canva. I really like that Canva has premium photos for only a $1 or some that your can access using only your premium Canva membership which is only $12.95/mo.

I also like the premium membership on Canva because it allows you to resize your images so you can use the same image for a blog post title and a Pinterest Pin without having to redo it. This is the number one reason that I use the service as it saves so much time and effort.

Find a Template

Many of the graphics in Canva’s Pinterest section comes with templates. You can either make your own or use one of these. If you use one that is already made, make sure you change up the colors and fonts to make it your own.

If you create your own, make sure it is aesthetically pleasing. Balance the blocks and shapes and make sure the text is big enough to read.

Play around with the look of the pin until you like it.

Make Several Pins for each Post

It is always good to make several pins for each post. Change up the structure of them or the colors to see which ones convert the best. Once you have pinned your images you can see what are the best performing ones and keep those.

Market your post

You are all done! Now upload your image and post it on Pinterest. If you don’t know how to upload your image and attach your blog post to it on Pinterest, follow this quick tutorial.

If you want to post to Pinterest at the ideal times, setting up a service such as Tailwind can be a great way to Pin at optimal times. Using Tailwind, schedule your Pins to be posted periodically.

Recent Posts

Customizable themes beautiful

6 Websites for Beautiful Customizable Themes

One crucial part of designing your blog is to make sure that you have a fully functional, easy to navigate, stylish, and customizable theme....

How to Create Your Own Pinterest Images Using Canva

So you just started your blog. Or maybe you have had a blog for a while, but you are dying to find out how...
Shiny object syndrome

Blogging Tasks You Can Do on your Smartphone

With such a busy schedule it is extremely hard for me to sit down and get a blog post typed up. I need to...

Top Ways Blogging Beginners can Improve Their Blog Right Now (and make money!)

So you got a blog and now you want to improve it?  I've asked myself that same question now and again. There has been a...

9 Questions to Help You Discover Your Blog’s Purpose

To be honest, I struggled for a long time when I first started my blog. It was obvious that I wanted to use my...