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Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes?

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While the pathway to blogging is different for everybody, and you could argue there’s no “wrong” way, in today’s ProBlogger podcast I discuss some of the mistakes I made when first starting out, and the most typical mistakes I see newer bloggers making. I wonder if any of you recognize yourselves in these behaviours that could very well hold you back?

I talk about everything from before people even start their blogs, to they way they market them, how they drive traffic, how they monetise, site design, and even the chosen niche. But all is not lost if you do find yourself taking these wrong turns – I also give options about how to avoid the pitfalls I see so many falling into.

You can find episode 46 of the ProBlogger podcast: Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes? here, along with the show notes.

I’d love to hear of the mistakes you made or the ones you see others making – which ones were the hardest to overcome?

Further Reading:

7 Habits of Lucky Entrepreneurs

7 Habits of Lucky Entrepreneurs on ProBlogger.netIn today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I’m talking about all things luck. How important is it in business and blogging? How much of luck is really just hard work? Do you need to be lucky to successful.

My first steps along this journey into blogging really were lucky, I feel. It all started from a random email one day sent to my Hotmail from my mate Steve – and it changed the trajectory of my life. As I look back over the years since there have been many lucky moments along the way, chance encouncers, meeting the right people at the right time, being in the right place at the right time sort of thing but there has also been hard work and strategy.

I’ve talked to plenty of successful people and I often ask them if their success is due to serendipity or strategy, and today I share I’ve learned from them, the seven lessons we can really take on board to increase the chances of lucky things happening to us.

I share what I know about learning, curiosity, problems, positivity, experimentation, creation, daydreaming, reflection, knowing your place in space, reactions, pivoting, small change, and mindset – and almost none of them are personality traits, they’re learned behaviours.

I also provide some questions designed to get you thinking about how you make your decisions and deal with setbacks.

You can hear episode 45 of the ProBlogger podcast: 7 Habits of Lucky Entrepreneurs here.

Further Reading:

How to Use Blab Live Streaming to Grow Your Blog

 

NewImage.pngIn today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I am talking about a new tool for bloggers and content creators that I’ve really taken to: Blab. It’s kind of like the lovechild of Google Hangouts and Periscope, and I’ve been experimenting with it a lot lately.

When I first heard of Blab I was sceptical, but over the next few days I noticed quite a few people I respect were using it, so I checked it out properly. It was broadcasting the speaker, much like other apps, but I quickly realised it solved a problem that I’d been having with Periscope – it was too much centred on me, and Blab meant I could have greater interaction with the people watching and listening, which was a much more two-way conversation.

In episode 44, I describe how Blab not only has been useful for me, but also how I think it can be useful to you to help grow your blog – from deepening relationships with your audience, getting ideas from chat and Q&A sessions, the ease of sharing Blab content, replays, continuation of videos, repurposing blog posts or posts you’ve written elsewhere, to the benefits of being able to interact in real time, whether it’s a keynote-style presentation or a more relaxed conversation.

I talk about how I use Blab, the basics of getting started, how I learned best practice, and tips to help you on your live streaming journey.

You can find episode 44 of the ProBlogger podcast: How to Use Blab Live Streaming to Grow Your Blog here, along with show notes and extra links.

You can also follow me on Blab here, and be notified of future broadcasts.

Are you on Blab? Leave a link to your profile in the comments.

Further Reading:

How To Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 2

How To Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 2

Episode 43 of the ProBlogger podcast is part two of the Q&A series I’ve been doing on how to create great content for your blog (episode one is here). In it, I answer your most recent questions from the callout I put on the ProBlogger Facebook page about:

  • What are my three best blog posts ever and why they worked
  • What type of content I find most resonates with my audience, and whether I think video or the written word is more important and why
  • When I first started taking on paid writers, how I recruited them and how I added them to the schedule
  • What I think the pros and cons of outsourcing blog content are
  • Whether or not I believe there an optimal length or word count for a blog

I hope the answers are useful to you – I cover the post I almost didn’t publish but garnered more than 700,000 views, posts that get high traffic and how I keep them going across social media over time, my thoughts on video and audio content (especially in terms of audience and SEO), how I feel incorporating writers both brings value and dilutes your brand, the system we use for hiring new writers and editors, and the length of posts we’ve been publishing that make the most impact on our readership.

You can find episode 43 and the show notes at ProBlogger.com – would love to get your feedback.

Further Reading:

Behind the Scenes of our Latest Six Figure Product Launch

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In today’s episode of the ProBlogger Podcast, I discuss the behind-the-scenes view of our latest product launch, which made $US120,000.

On my main blog, Digital Photography School, we have more than 30 products, and the Lightroom Presets Pack was our most recent. Today I go through the complete life cycle of the product, from how we came up with the idea, how we marketed it, how we launched it, and how it went.

I also describe how I learned about great marketing and launch strategies, and also what kind of things my audience would respond to by first promoting someone else’s product as an affiliate. Not only do you get to see for yourself the strategies other people are using to sell a similar product, but you can also gauge the reaction of your own readers to things like price points, email frequency, and interest in the product.

 

Today I discuss:

  • how long our Lightroom Presets Pack took to produce (and how we go about deciding what to produce in general),
  • our marketing system, how it works (and how this particular system was slightly different),
  • how we launch,
  • how we priced the product,
  • the discount we gave and why,
  • the competition we incorporated into the launch,
  • what kind of email campaign we usually run, and how we deal with it if the campaign isn’t working well, or if it is successful and needs extra time,
  • how often we send emails,
  • what was in the emails

I also talk about how we promoted this sale outside our email list – on the blog, on social media, etc , and how well that worked.

 

Of course it’s not always enough to retire on the launch success alone, so I also include our plans to continue sales after this initial run, how we incentivise affiliates to sell, what happens when affiliate sales aren’t as strong as we hoped, and what percentage they each make per sale.

 

I would love to hear your feedback on this process – what do you differently? what do you similarly? what kind of products do you have in development at the moment? feel free to leave a comment here, on the show notes, or on Twitter – I’m @problogger.

Further Reading:

How to Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 1

How to Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 1

Today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast is a melting pot of your inquiries – really diverse topics, such as:

  • Should I share personal posts on my business blog?
  • How often should I be posting on my blog?
  • How do you develop compelling content?
  • What days of week/time of day are best to post?
  • How did you come to have the great writing skills that you use to blog? Did you ever get any formal training?
  • What have been your most effective techniques for engaging readers? What types of posts have generated lots of authentic comments from your readers?
  • Where do you get your ideas for content? Do you have any techniques/tips to share?

I’m sure these questions are ones that more than one person has, so I’ve given quite extensive answers to each.

You can find episode 41 of the ProBlogger Podcast “How to Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A” at problogger.com, along with show notes and extra reading.

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I’m also planning on doing a part two to this series of Q&A podcasts, so feel free to head to the Facebook page and submit your question here.

Further Reading:

7 Productivity Tips for Bloggers

7 Productivity Tips for Bloggers on ProBlogger.net

If you’ve been listening to recent ProBlogger podcasts, you’ll know the last two episodes featured questions I asked listeners: how are you? (as part of the biggest lesson I’ve learned in blogging in 2015), and what is your why?

In today’s episode, I ask a third question: how are you using your time?

Knowing your why gets you started on the road to success, but how you you use your time is how you’re going to get to your destination. Over the years, I’ve realised I need to do some analysis on how I spend my time and come up with some strategies to use my time more effectively.

Today’s podcast is all about the 7 productivity tips I’ve used, particularly over the last year, to help harness my time and stop wasting it.

From getting an overview of your working habits initially, to what I’ve learned about how I spend my time, the tools I’ve used to track my online habits, and how I’ve figured out what the best use of my time actually is, these 7 tips should get you on the right track to your destination. I also share my new, revised weekly schedule, how I devised it, and give you ideas about how you can create your own.

We also discuss the workflows, systems and routines that help me automate small, achievable steps. I’m less overwhelmed, I’ve eliminated decision fatigue, and I’ve learned to delegate or outsource where necessary.

You can find episode 40 of the ProBlogger Podcast “7 Productivity Tips for Bloggers” here.

Further Reading:

20 Tips on Writing Building a Great Blog [Watch the Blab Replay]

Live streaming technologies seem to be everywhere at the moment with the release of tools like Meerkat, Periscope and Facebook Live.

While other tools – like Google Hangouts and older tools like Ustream have been around for years it seems that these new tools are getting easier to use and have better and better features. More importantly they’re working better and better on mobile.

One of the new tools that I’ve started using in the last week is Blab – a tool that enables you and three other people to live stream at the same time on the same page and to have an interactive conversation while potentially hundreds or even thousands of others watch on and interact with you in streaming comments. It’s like the lovechild of Google Hangouts and Periscope.

Blab is still in beta but I’m almost overwhelmed with the possibilities of this tool for bloggers and have run a few blabs of my own to test it.

The biggest of these was this morning in a blab where I presented 20 tips for building great blogs.

The blab only finished a few minutes ago but Blab have already emailed me an audio and video file of the session and sent me the embed code which I’ll paste here.

At present the embed code doesn’t show you any of the comments from the chat but you can head to this page to see the replay, the last 200 comments and to see how the tool looks (there were many hundreds if not thousands of others).

While you’re there if you sign up for an account (it uses Twitter to set up your account) please do follow me here and you’ll be notified of future blabs that I do (I’ve got more planned as it’s been so good so far). You’ll also see my previous blab replays listed on my profile page if you want to check those out.

PBEVENT 2015: A Roundup of Tips and Advice Shared at the ProBlogger Training Event Sessions

A roundup of tips shared during the sessions at PBEVENT 2015

credit: Mick Russell

On August 14 and 15, more than 700 bloggers and online creatives descended upon the RACV Royal Pines on Australia’s Gold Coast for two days of learning and networking at the ProBlogger Training Event.

We had wonderful speakers – Pamela Wilson from Big Brand System and Copyblogger, Heather B. Armstrong from Dooce, and Jadah Sellner from Simple Green Smoothies were a few of the international contingent, and there was a strong representation of speakers from all levels of Australian blogging. The topics ranged from how to cultivate your blogging voice, to how to run your blog like a small business, and everything in between.

One of the key themes of the event was to make small changes. In my opening keynote I talked about how small changes were needed in your health and wellness too, as these factors will impact your blogging and online endeavours. I also shared my tips for productivity and encouraged attendees to think about their “why” – what was the purpose of their blog that drove them? Only when you know and work in accordance with that will you be successful.

This post focuses on some of the main ideas and recommended action steps that came out of the training weekend. We’ve linked to further resources where possible.

Look at your life

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Credit: Mick Russell

Self Care:

It’s so important to get the foundations of any business right, and the foundation of everything is you. How are you? No, really? Are you eating right? Getting enough sleep? Exercising? Paying attention to relationships? All of these things and more (including knowing your purpose) impacts on every aspect of your business.

  • Start tracking your movement
  • Take a daily walk in the sunshine

I have provided more tips on living a good life at Feel Gooder.

Productivity

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  • Monitor how much time you are spending responding VS how much are your spending creating. Many people recommended Rescue Time to help them discover where their online time went.
  • Action: write down three tasks you can batch process. I wrote How Batch Processing Made Me 10 Times More Productive in 2008.
  • Know your best hours to work. First thing in the morning? Lunch time? Afternoon? Evening? Read: How To Figure Out Your Most Productive Time Of Day
  • Find an accountability partner. Some attendees are creating groups to help support them
  • You don’t need official mentors. Action step: find someone whose work you love and get to know more about their work and personality
  • Look at your goal list. Can you change it to have bigger goals with smaller supporting goals?

Blogging Basics:

Google Analytics

Community Management:

  • What small actions can you take to love and delight your community?
  • Make a list of ways you can pay it forward
  • Action step: list the simple actions people can take to move people closer to their transformation. What is the gateway problem you can solve? Don’t overwhelm with the value: What is one simple thing your audience can do?

Content Marketing:

Planning content:

  • Identify and create a profile for your dream reader. Use Pinterest and Instagram to help figure out who you want to serve.
  • The best content are posts/resources that are insanely useful. Create a list of posts you can write that will make life easier for your readers. Look at speaker Pamela Wilson’s resources page for a brilliant example of the type of posts to write.
  • Commit to critically assessing your blog posts before you press publish. Is there a payoff for the reader? Am I communicating more than one idea? Am I making it hard for the reader to act?
  • Look at the images you are posting on each platform. Are the images native to that platform? Look at using the recently launched Canva at Work to easily resize them
  • Plan out your next month of content in advance.The article How to Build a Content Calendar can help you with this.
  • Write down 100 ideas for blog posts. Need inspiration? Check out The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas
  • Check out your draft posts. Could you use any of these ideas to come up with a list of 100? Thanks to Tonya Grant from our Facebook community for that idea.
  • Invite people from your email list to an informal focus group on the phone. You can incentivize them with free or cheap access to a product, or offer a free coaching question in exchange. Amy Porterfield offers advice about this process in How to Create a Survey to Find Your Target Market

Email Marketing

    • Brainstorm ideas for a challenge. Create a Facebook group to test the idea and build initial momentum. You can check out my original Challenge, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and the updated podcast version. This started via blog posts but is a great way to learn.
    • Look in your blog community for people who have created challenges as part of the opt-in process. Analyze the content. What are they doing right? What could they do better?
    • Link your social media profiles to your email unsubscribe. They may not want to communicate with you via email but would be interested in content on a different platform. Want more ideas to integrate social media and email? Check out Buffers post 6 Creative Ways to Combine Social Media and Email
    • Tailor the content to user site behaviour or a specific registration/landing page
    • re-engagement campaigns can improve list health. If they don’t connect with your campaign, you can drop the subscribers. You can learn more about email engagement campaigns via this great course at Hubspot.
    • Uncover the needs of those you want to serve in a welcome email ask who are you, your hopes and dreams what’s getting in the way?

Content events:

Pamela Wilson delivered a great presentation on Content Events. These events are designed to build your list and make your audience love you. You can learn more about this concept in Pamelas fabulous post on the subject at Copyblogger.

The following action steps apply to those that are interesting in developing a content event.

  • Give your a content event a name that makes people want to attend. Promise a solution, create curiosity and promise a benefit
  • Create a graphic around your event.
  • Give those that are attending for the first time a separate email to stay in contact.
  • new first time attendees give them a separate email to stay in contact
  • Create a thank you page for those signed up to attend your event. It really builds goodwill and makes people feel special
  • Create a special offer for an older product after your content event. This can increase sales.
  • Find ways to continue the conversation after the event. Send resources like a checklist, transcript, replay or resource list.

Need an example of content events? Check out out Pamelas example at Big Brand Webinars.

Video:

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Credit: Mick Russell

Video was mentioned during a number of sessions. A lot of the advice was about practical skills that you could immediately apply

  • Look at Vimeo pro. It was recommended for hosting videos that you only want certain people to see. They work on every device and puts controls around who sees the videos
  • Watch Australian story to see how they put together their stories for inspiration for your video.
  • Sign up for Bloggers Video School (if allowed.)

Social Media

Facebook:

  • Experiment with scheduling. Post at different times of the day and see what response you get.
  • Try out Co-Schedule to see if it works for you.
  • Decide on specific times each day when you will interact with your fans on Facebook. You can experiment with different times, but stick to the original time limit.
  • Ask relevant friends to share your Facebook page. This is a good way to create an initial audience on Facebook
  • Asking prescheduled questions on Facebook can reduce the overwhelm. Watch this video from Amy Porterfield to learn how to ask the questions that get your Fans talking.

Instagram

  • Ask yourself: why do I want to be on Instagram? You shouldn’t be on there because you think you should. You need a compelling reason. If you lack a good reason, consider not using the platform.
  • Look at your brands Instagram account. Are you posting a lot of personal images? If so, look at creating a separate account. If you want a great example, look at the Instagram profile for Interiors Addict.
  • Optimize your Instagram bio. Look at How to Write Instagram Bios for Businesses.
  • Create a hashtag strategy for Instagram that makes it easy for people to find your photos. Read How to Identify Relevant Hashtags for Your Business for tips.
  • Hire a friend that is a really good photographer to take photos for you. This is more authentic then stock photos. If you can’t afford this, offer to barter services.
  • Think right now: who are 3 people in similar fields to you who may have a similar dream client? Can you cross promote with them?
  • Use Iconosquare to learn about the key metrics about your Instagram account.
  • If you are a lifestyle brand, look at showing a ‘day in the life’ of the lifestyle product. Example: one day of a cleanse
  • Create keyboard shortcuts so you don’t have to copy and paste all your hashtags from notepad. This video from Dotti Media shows you how to do this.
  • Seek out Feature Instagram Accounts. These are posts that curate photos from the Instagram community according to them. Use the relevant hashtag in your photos to catch the curators attention.You can learn more about them at Instagram 101: What Are “Feature” Accounts?

Pinterest

Ruth Soukup, From Living Well Spending Less, spoke on ways we could improve our Pinterest presence. She dropped a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time.

Monetization

Selling products:

  • Do you have more than two products? Ask yourself: Can I integrate others into the sales process?
  • Ask around in your community for find your design team. You can ask people publicly via social media or ask your peers privately
  • Looking an information product designer? Look at the people who designed products you are in love with
  • Idea: Create a manual for your affiliates. Walk them through the technical process step by step. This will prevent many of the support queries you can get. You can also include ideas on how to increase conversions.

Landing pages:

These action steps are primarily for those who have finished, or need to improve, their current landing page.

  • Once you have finished your sales page, take a break. Walk around reading it out load viewing on your tablet. You will be able to pick up many errors this way.
  • Add a urgent call to action to your landing page, such as a special price or the product only being available for a period of time. Make sure this is genuine though.
  • Test your landing page. Does it load quickly? Work on mobile? Work with images off?

Need more ideas? Check out 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips from Unbounce

Working with brands:

  • Make a list of the brands you like to work with.
  • Look at the list of brands that you like. What are their social media channels?
  • Think about ways you can naturally include them in social media conversations to get on their radar.
  • Research the names of brand managers. They are the people you should be talking to
  • Look at your media kit. Does it need to be updated? If so, do it

If you’re interested in attending the ProBlogger Training Event for 2016, you can register your details here.