Hello again, so you’ve come back for the next amazing installment of blog tips by Dani Mezza! The following are designed for those who know their stats, understand and relate to their demographic, have all of their social networks active and now hope to supplement their household income just like their blog idols. If this is not you, if you don’t feel you’re quite at that stage yet, then go back and read my “10 Ways to Increase Beginner Bloggers Traffic” guest post. Be inspired, put some tips into action then come back and we’ll see how I can help you grow your traffic even more… plus maybe even put a few pennies in your purse!
Today I’m going to be sharing a few things (in no particular order) I’ve learnt which have really helped me grow my blog into a business. Just please remember that everyone is different, we all have a different way of doing things and we all have our own paths to success… you just have to be comfortable within yourself to go for it!
- Schedule, schedule and then schedule some more because otherwise you won’t have a real life with your family or get time outside in the sunshine. I created a weekly game called “Polly Dolly” which goes up every Thursday and I often create those posts (several at once) weeks in advance and schedule them, essentially giving me an extra day off each week. You could do the same with a number of different MeMe’s (blog games) out there that you can play ahead of time, as most don’t have set themes.
- Publish at the same time, every time. People tend to be creatures of habit, we like knowing when something is coming the same thing goes for your posts. I publish at 0600hrs (scheduled of course, I can’t function before 9am) as I know I get traffic from those commuting to work (or mums up at the crack of dawn) and they know everyday they’ll have something to read on the couch/train so they keep coming back. Know your audience, analyze your stats and pick a time that suits your readers, not you. Remember to take into account differing timezones, especially if the majority of your readership doesn’t live in the same country as you do.
- Know your audience. I’m saying it again because it’s important, if you haven’t set up analytics or some kind of stat reader DO IT NOW. If you don’t have all that info you’re basically walking into this whole idea blind and you will just get frustrated and either do a piss-poor effort or throw in the towel altogether. To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. This step is vital if you want to start working with PR companies because all they see are numbers.
- Set up a newsletter service like Mail Chimp and start collecting those email accounts, they don’t seem like much but they’re gold and really do boost the worth of your blog’s assets in the long run, not to mention yet another opportunity to reach out and connect with people which is what blogging is all about. This is also a great tool if you’ve started to get inundated with emails as you can send them a quick response and explain you will go into more detail in your newsletter and that they should subscribe for inside gossip. This works for almost every kind of genre. Just remember to make your newsletter interesting and fun, but not too long otherwise you’ll have them clicking the unsubscribe button in no time.
- Actually start using ALL your social media platforms. Eventually you’ll get into a flow: Publish Post > Publish post link on your blog’s Facebook page> Facebook sends update to Twitter> Share post in Tumblr> Paste snippet of blog into word doc. to be added to your e-newsletter later on. Don’t forget to finish editing that video blog post (check out DanimezzaTV) which should be no more than 3 minutes in length or you’ll bore everyone to tears, or worse, they’ll never come back to read your awesome blog again! I’ll go into more detail in the future about how to maximize each of your social network accounts so keep an eye out.
- Set up a media kit and/or PR emailing templates. This will save you a lot of time. I’ve chosen to stick to emailing and depending on who I’m contacting I have a few different templates I use which I individually alter each time, so my words come across on a more personal level. Everybody is different, some wait for PR reps to come to them, others like me take the bull by the horns and seek out companies I’d like to represent and promote. It’s entirely up to you and what you feel comfortable doing. Here’s a quick list of the kind of template themes I have: “I want to review your product, blog about it and share on my networks because I think it’s awesome”, “I want you to send me free product so I can give it away to my blog readers and I want you to pay me for my time, talent and network”, “I’d really love to work with you in no matter which way, shape or form” and “Please send me samples because your product/service rocks and I’d like to include it in the exclusive goodie bags at events I host”. Be bold as it never hurts to try in my experience.
- Start thinking about branding your blog’s image, read a few marketing books or online articles for ideas. Keep your blog uncluttered. Just like your home, your blog over time, fills with junk. It’s important to keep your blog looking fresh and regularly maintained. Get rid of unnecessary links and buttons in your sidebar. Remember the blog’s main goal is to assist your readers in navigating your site with ease, helping them find the most important part, your content. Not confident with html but know your freebie template can’t go the distance or do you want a new look but don’t have the time? Think about outsourcing the job to someone with mad skills like I did with Sharnee from SuckMyLolly.com.
- Host a meet. Sure it’s daunting and you may have nightmares the night before, dreaming you’ve arrived with no clothes on but trust me, it will be worth it. My first one was a complete flop, one person rocked up but that’s not to say we didn’t have an awesome time! Since then I’ve had the courage to arrange more meets, not only in Sydney but also in Brisbane and Melbourne too. For those who missed out on the first one, you can see my post about the recent Sydney Nuffnang Blog Meet at the Lindt Cafe I hosted with Danielle from HelloOwl.blogspot.com, who coincidently posted “5 Blog Meet Tips” yesterday on her own blog giving readers some guidelines on how to make the most of a blog meet.
- FREE STUFF!!! Hosting a competition on your blog is a really popular way to attract attention and lure in new readers and it works every single time. Rather than giveaway the ugly knitted jumper nana gave you last Christmas, why not team up with a small business who has a lot of facebook followers and do a joint promotion and giveaway one or some of their wares. You promote them, they promote you, your readers of happy and grateful, it’s a win-win-win situation! Small businesses are always looking for marketing opportunities that are of little cost to them. When contacting businesses be sure to include your blog stats to entice them and let them know you mean business. When people enter your giveaway it’s a good idea to make them comment, like your facebook page and follow you on twitter for their entry to be valid, make them work for it… hence the exclusion of the ugly jumper.
- The most important tip I can leave you with is this: Create original, eye catching, thought provoking blog content and the rest will happen naturally.
I hope you found this very small list of tips helpful and if you have any questions at all you can write them in the comments section below or you can email me directly at danimezzablog(at)gmail.com. You can also subscribe to my newsletter, blog inspiration sent straight to your inbox every month to help keep you on your toes and also in the loop with all things going on at Danimezza.com. Hate waiting? Then follow Danimezza on Twitter and Facebook for instant brain-picking access and to stay instantly updated with all my new posts as they go live… see, you’ll be doing all this yourself in no time ;)
On a final note, I’ll leave you with something to ponder: If you don’t believe inyour own worth, why would anyone else?