@ProBlogger http://www.problogger.net Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging - ProBlogger Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:11:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Copyright © ProBlogger Blog Tips 2010 darrenrowse@gmail.com (@ProBlogger) darrenrowse@gmail.com (@ProBlogger) 1440 http://www.problogger.net/wp-content/plugins/podpress/images/powered_by_podpress.jpg @ProBlogger http://www.problogger.net 144 144 Make Money Online @ProBlogger @ProBlogger darrenrowse@gmail.com no no 31DBBB Day One: What Makes a Great Elevator Pitch? http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/07/01/31dbbb-day-one-makes-great-elevator-pitch/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/07/01/31dbbb-day-one-makes-great-elevator-pitch/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:09:12 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39795 Welcome to day one of building a better blog! The ProBlogger podcast is off and running with a new episode every day this month with a theme designed to help boost your blogging skills and todays podcast episode is now live for you to listen to. The original 31 Days to Build a Better Blog [...]

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Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

31DBBB Day One: What Makes a Great Elevator Pitch?

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Welcome to day one of building a better blog! The ProBlogger podcast is off and running with a new episode every day this month with a theme designed to help boost your blogging skills and todays podcast episode is now live for you to listen to.

The original 31 Days to Build a Better Blog helped so many people both when it was released, and across the years since then, and it’s exciting to be able to change it up with updated information, new challenges and a supporting podcast.

Day one is all about encapsulating the purpose and spirit of your blog.

What is it about? Who is it for? Why should people read it? In the podcast we go through the reasons to have an elevator pitch, what type of elevator pitch might be best for you, and, of course – how to create one.

There’s also a challenge at the end to take you straight from knowing to doing. As a bonus it doesn’t even take long, but will have a lasting impact on how you make decisions about your blog, and how you come across to others. Having an elevator pitch is invaluable.

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Head here to listen to the first day and stay tuned throughout July for more tips to help you build a better blog!

Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher to get future updates.

Further Reading on Elevator Pitches:

Michael Hyatt goes through the basics of why you need an elevator pitch, and how to create one. He also has a video that helps to explain.

The 9 Cs of Elevator Pitches 

This infographic from HubSpot has information with a wider reach (think businesses with a product), but will visually help you break down the steps you need to take to sum up yourself and your business.

And a Pinterest board dedicated to Elevator Pitch information.

Also: If you’re interested, you might want to check out this post from someone who did the original 31DBBB challenge, and their tips for getting the most out of the month.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

31DBBB Day One: What Makes a Great Elevator Pitch?

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The ProBlogger Podcast Is Live and We’re Kicking Off with a Challenge! http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/29/the-problogger-podcast-is-live-and-were-kicking-off-with-a-challenge/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/29/the-problogger-podcast-is-live-and-were-kicking-off-with-a-challenge/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:13:31 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=40053 Today I have great pleasure in introducing you to the brand new ProBlogger Podcast and the next incarnation of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Over the last couple of years I’ve lost count of the number of people who have said ‘Darren you really should start a podcast’. I’d always nodded my head [...]

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Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

The ProBlogger Podcast Is Live and We’re Kicking Off with a Challenge!

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ProBlogger Podcast AvatarToday I have great pleasure in introducing you to the brand new ProBlogger Podcast and the next incarnation of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

Over the last couple of years I’ve lost count of the number of people who have said ‘Darren you really should start a podcast’.

I’d always nodded my head but quietly list in my mind a long list of excuses not to including ‘I don’t know how…’ to ‘I’m so busy…’ to ‘what if nobody listens…’

But earlier this year something changed when people suggested I start a podcast.

I’m not going to tell you exactly why I changed because I tell you that in the first episode (that went live on iTunes over the weekend) – but it was like a switch got flicked somewhere in my mind and I found myself starting to dream about starting one of my own (and as I did my list of excuses began to dissolve).

I decided while on a month long break in the US in April to create a ProBlogger podcast and in my presentation at Chris Ducker’s conference in May I announced I was going to create it and after one of the attendees (I’m looking at you Lane) pressured me to put a date on when I’d do it I impulsively said it would be launched within 2 months!

Little did I know how much of a job I had in front of me because rather than start off with a steady weekly show I decided that my first month of podcasting would be a daily show based upon the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook!

Episode 0 is Live

Today Episode 0 of the podcast went live on iTunes and day 1 of the 31 Days to Build a Better blog series will kick off on Wednesday (1 July)! You can find show notes and listen to the podcast on our podcast site here.

In the first episode:

  • I share why I decided to start podcasting
  • I talk about 2 traits of successful blogs that inform how the podcast will work
  • I share my plan for the first action oriented 31 days of short sharp podcasts based around 31DBBB

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Having run this month long challenge numerous times before I know the potential it has to help bloggers bring about transformation on their blogs.

Tens of thousands of bloggers have taken the challenge (and many have completed it numerous times) so I’m excited to be doing it again and would love to have you along on the journey.

Don’t feel you need to do it daily (it’s designed to do at your own pace) but please do subscribe to the podcast here on iTunes.

Please Help Us with a Quick Review and Rating on iTunes

Once you’ve listened to the first podcast (it’s only 16 minutes) please take a moment to give us a rating (hint… 5 starts is good) and a review – it helps us get the word out about the challenge and the more on it the better for everyone!

A Note about the 31DBBB WorkBook

This podcast series is based upon the 31 Days to Build a Better blog workbook and follows the same 31 days in it – however you do not need a copy to follow along.

While there’s definitely more material in the eBook (in fact there’s a bonus 7 days includes in that) you will give value from the podcast without it.

However if you do want to have your own copy of the 31 days of material (plus the 7 extras) to use on an ongoing basis please use the coupon code PODCAST50 during the checkout from the sales page to get 50% off the workbook for the next month.

No pressure though – as I say you can get a lot of value out of the podcast alone if you choose to do so.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

The ProBlogger Podcast Is Live and We’re Kicking Off with a Challenge!

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10 PBEVENT Speakers Tell How They Stay Motivated http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/26/10-pbevent-speakers-tell-how-they-stay-motivated/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/26/10-pbevent-speakers-tell-how-they-stay-motivated/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:00:27 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39460 All secrets are being revealed on ProBlogger this week! We’ve had the morning routines of superstar bloggers and online entrepreneurs, and also their number one life hack (especially for time management). Today, they share how they keep going when the going gets tough. HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce One, I am the sole [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

10 PBEVENT Speakers Tell How They Stay Motivated

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10 ProBlogger Training Event speakers tell about how they stay motivated in their current work. Inspiring stuff!

All secrets are being revealed on ProBlogger this week! We’ve had the morning routines of superstar bloggers and online entrepreneurs, and also their number one life hack (especially for time management). Today, they share how they keep going when the going gets tough.

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200One, I am the sole provider for my children. Keeping them housed, clothed, fed and happy is the highest priority in my life. Two, I love where I am in my life and cherish the experiences that have brought me here to do what I do. I stay motivated so that I can create even bigger and broader experiences.

 

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200

 

Because I have the best job in the world and I want to keep it.

 

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong
 

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Seeing people learn new things and exploring new ideas keeps me motivated. When you see things ‘click’ for someone it’s extremely rewarding. I also love it when I hear how the work and training we do at Loves Data has helped someone – it’s an incredible feeling to receive a card, an email, or a chocogram, from someone saying how much they appreciate what we do.

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200Habit. I’m very good at negotiating with myself and can talk myself out of doing anything so relying on motivation to overcome this just makes life too hard. Instead, I’ve created habits around the things that are important to me/just need to be done. For example: writing and exercise are super-important to me but it would be so easy to de-prioritise them in amongst everything else going on in my day. So being in the habit of getting up early and doing them as the first order of the day every single day … it means I never have to go looking for motivation.

Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

RUTH SOUKUP: Founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200Honestly, I don’t have to try very hard to stay motivated—I LOVE what I do! I can’t think of a job that I would enjoy more, or that would allow me to combine all the things I love. I get bored easily, but the blogging world is always changing. I enjoy strategizing & the process of trying to get ahead of the curve. My biggest problem is not getting motivated, but trying to find the time to implement all my ideas. This year my husband made me promise to take Sundays off, which I have, but I often find myself wandering around the house wishing I could work on my latest project!

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200If you are fully aligned to your vision, living and breathing it, it all falls into place without too much effort. It’s so important to fully integrate yourself in your message and what you do. The rest then will simply follow and flow. With this in mind, I don’t need to stay motivated, I’m generally always motivated.

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

 

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200Simple (sort of)… I live my life using a bit of Steve Jobs’ philosophy – if I find that I am not enjoying something in life and know that I can do something better, I will make the switch or adjust my life accordingly. By always doing what I want, I will always be motivated to do what I do.

Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas
 
 

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200I really, really love what I do. My full-time job is Vice President of Educational Content at Copyblogger. I am running the day-to-day operations of the Copyblogger blog, which is an honor and a wonderful challenge, too.

Along with Editor-in-Chief Stefanie Flaxman and Chief Content Writer Demian Farnworth, we set the tone and editorial direction of the Copyblogger blog, and plan how we’ll complement the written information with editorial images that help tell the story of each post.

In addition to that, I’m overseeing the educational content offered at Copyblogger Media, and there’s a lot of it!

I’m a teacher at heart, so both of these jobs make me feel like I’m contributing to help people make progress in their businesses and their lives.

That’s all the motivation I need. :-)

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200I work on what I love and what inspires me at the time so who wouldn’t be motivated to do that? I do lose focus a little bit sometimes so I have a few things that pull me back into line like chatting with other entrepreneurs, listening to podcasts and speaking at and attending conferences.

 

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200I think about my old life waking up every morning to an alarm to go to a job I hated and my first words uttered were “Oh F***!”. That memory makes a 15 hour day working on my blog easy to do. I also have a very engaged email communication relationship (which I’ll share more about in my session). Each week, I read stories about my reader’s lives, fears, hopes and dreams and I’m so so inspired to continue working to help them. I seriously would have quit if it were not for those emails.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.

PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

10 PBEVENT Speakers Tell How They Stay Motivated

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/25/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/25/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39635 I’ve seen so much good content lately on the subject of blogging – I always love a downloadable schedule that someone else has taken the time to create, and sneaking a peek into how others make money is such an eye-opener! I’ve curated a couple of links you might find helpful as we try to [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

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Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

I’ve seen so much good content lately on the subject of blogging – I always love a downloadable schedule that someone else has taken the time to create, and sneaking a peek into how others make money is such an eye-opener! I’ve curated a couple of links you might find helpful as we try to kick ass on the internet this week.

6 Social Media Templates to Save You Hours of Work // Hootsuite

There’s everything from a template to help you create a social media strategy to guide you in your daily online activities, to audit checklists, content calendars, and image size cheat sheets for download to streamline your workflow.

Facebook Rolling out Significant Upgrades to Ads Manager and Power Editor // Marketing Land

They say big improvements are coming that will increase the congruity of ad creation and editing with data and metrics as well as the usability and searchability within an account. Get excited!

6 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience // Social Media Examiner

Practical tips on the subjects of blog promotion, consistent scheduling, offering subscription points, expanding your content, and finding content through readers. You can also listen to an audio recording of the article.

How I Made $132,339 Last Month Blogging // StartupCamp

Dale Partridge gives an income report for April, broken down into each revenue stream, and colour-coded to signify whether it was higher or lower than last year. He also includes some links you might find helpful to grow your readership like he has.

Why Link Building is NOT the Future of SEO // Quicksprout

Neil Patel lays down the law for SEO enthusiasts. Been focusing on link building? You might want to think again!

 

Have you read something awesome lately? I’d love to see a link and have a chat in the comments.

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

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10 PBEVENT Speakers Reveal their #1 Life Hack http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/24/10-pbevent-speakers-reveal-their-1-life-hack/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/24/10-pbevent-speakers-reveal-their-1-life-hack/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39458 Following on from the earlier post about what our speakers get up to in the mornings, we also asked them to give us their number-one time management or life hack – how DO they get everything done?! HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce Delegating. I used to have the hardest time asking for help, [...]

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Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

10 PBEVENT Speakers Reveal their #1 Life Hack

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10 PBEvent speakers share their #1 Life Hack for getting stuff done! problogger.netFollowing on from the earlier post about what our speakers get up to in the mornings, we also asked them to give us their number-one time management or life hack – how DO they get everything done?!

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200Delegating. I used to have the hardest time asking for help, but now it’s a basic part of survival. One example: I have a babysitter for two hours in the afternoon so that I can get in a full work day, and if I’m running behind on anything in the house she lends a helping hand.

 

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200I reward myself for a good days work by lying on the couch from 2-3pm and yell at the political hi-jinks on Question Time. That, or catch up with my Kardashians.

 

 

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Honestly, I’m not the greatest at time management, but simple and short to-do lists help keep me focused. I also keep my work email turned off on my phone (unless I’m traveling) to stay sane – there’s always more emails to look at and more work to do, so this is one technique I use to help preserve some balance.

 

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200The one minute rule. If there’s something to be done (wash a dish, send an email, file a letter) that will take less than one minute, I just do it. Otherwise the bloody thing will sit there for weeks and that’s ridiculous!
Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

 

 

Ruth Soukup: Founder of Living Well Spending Less

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200I’m a big fan of the book, “Eat That Frog,” by Brian Tracy. I read it years ago, and it completely changed the way I structured my day. I try to be very vigilant about doing the big things first—eating my frogs first thing in the morning. I save the easier, fun things, like meetings, phone calls, & editing photos for the afternoon, when I am not quite as motivated.

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200I’m an all or nothing kind of girl – so as far as time management goes, if I know I’m ‘off’ I don’t even bother. For me it’s so about quality over quantity, so tuning into this has been such a life saver for me. What it means is if I’m having an off day, I don’t even bother, it’s counterproductive.

If I had to say there was one ‘app’ or thing that saves me time and time again – it’s my google calendar. It means that everything is in the once place, the whole team (and family) has access and it makes life one heck of a lot easier!

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200You asked the wrong person because I am late for everything :) But seriously, I will usually do my best to avoid any type of meeting as they are usually boring, unproductive and the same information can be exchanged faster via a phone call. Of course meetings are sometimes necessary and it will depend on each persons individual situation…
Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200My favorite time management hack is to try not to tackle more than three projects in a day.

That doesn’t mean I only do three things every day! It means that in terms of projects that will take me more than 30 minutes of work, I try to keep three on my list, and no more.

I’ve found that when I reduce my list to three main projects, I’m able to get them done. And I don’t suffer from feeling guilty about “not doing enough with my day.”

Instead, I’ll often finish them with time to spare. When that happens, I look ahead to other projects on my main to-do list, and pick something to get ahead on.

That’s a completely different feeling than the “look at all I didn’t get to” routine I used to put myself through at the end of every day. Doing this has transformed the way I approach my time.

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200The only time management hack I employ is I ensure that I automate or delegate most of my jobs. Definitely the ones I don’t like and aren’t good at but even the ones I do like and am good at, at least the critical business ones. That way I spend 100% of my time (or very close to it) doing only what inspires me on that day and time becomes much less of an issue than it is for most people.

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200Meditation. It helps bring clarity of thought and a grounded sense of calm. That helps you tap more into flow and when you’re in flow time doesn’t exist. I truly believe that mediation has been the most powerful life hack for me for productivity + so many other things.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

 

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.
PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

10 PBEVENT Speakers Reveal their #1 Life Hack

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10 PBEVENT Speakers Share their Morning Routine http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/22/10-pbevent-speakers-share-their-morning-routine/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/22/10-pbevent-speakers-share-their-morning-routine/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 14:04:21 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39456 There’s a real buzz in the air now that the ProBlogger Training Event schedule has been released. Everywhere, people are chatting about where they’re going to be when, sessions are being highlighted, and bloggers are stalking the guest list, wondering who they’re going to meet. We have some exceptional speakers this year, presenting on some [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

10 PBEVENT Speakers Share their Morning Routine

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MORNING ROUTINE

There’s a real buzz in the air now that the ProBlogger Training Event schedule has been released. Everywhere, people are chatting about where they’re going to be when, sessions are being highlighted, and bloggers are stalking the guest list, wondering who they’re going to meet.

We have some exceptional speakers this year, presenting on some of the most sought-after and useful topics. We grilled them about some of their habits and practices to let you peek behind the scenes of how they do it all. Keep an eye out for the other posts in the series that detail their secrets to productivity, and how they stay motivated.

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, which is 30 minutes prior to the time my girls need to be up, because I am in love with the snooze button (anyone who travels or rooms with me must hate me for this because I could hit snooze for three hours and love every minute of sleep in between each snooze).

At 7 AM I go into my 5-yr-old’s room, wake her up, carry her into her older sister’s room and we linger there for a few minutes while everyone yawns. Then we all head downstairs, and I continue to the basement where my dogs sleep. I let them out of their crates, feed them breakfast, and let them out for the morning making sure to change the older dog’s diaper in the process.

My kids eat breakfast while I prepare their lunches, then we head back upstairs where I help them get dressed and brush their hair and teeth. That leaves me with about 20 minutes to throw on my workout clothes, put on a little mascara and take a deep breath in consideration of what lies ahead of me that day. After I sign homework and help them check off everything they need in their backpacks, we head out the door.

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200I wake up and reluctantly get out of bed. Make sure the kids are out of bed and make two coffees. One for immediate consumption and one so I don’t have to make another one in 5 minutes. I spend a fair bit of time saying any one of the following over and over again:

  • Where is your jumper?
  • Where is your lunchbox?
  • Get off your brother!
  • Have you cleaned your teeth?
  • Do you have normal uniform or sport uniform today?
  • No, I have not seen your uniform

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. I log on when the kids are ready for school which is such a lie. I log on after my first coffee. First I check the site is working, skim emails, make sure I the site has not been invaded by spambots. I check all the news sites for inspiration. I check the notes on my phone and recent photos I have taken before I decide on the topic of the day. Then I spend about 20 minutes banging it out, press publish before I go for a 5KM run, another lie.

I spend the rest of the morning working on various writing projects.

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Most mornings I grab my phone and open Google News. It’s a great little app and it lets me quickly check the weather while also scanning the news headlines. After that, I open Digg or Google Play Newsstand to scan through articles. Then it’s time to get out of bed (yes … I was still in bed scanning my news!) and get the day started.

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200I wake up at 4.10am and scroll through Facebook while drinking two massive glasses of water. From 4.30am-5.30/6am I write (that’s the main reason I get up so early, it’s the only way I get any kind of quality writing time/time to myself!)

Then 6-6.40am I go for a run or go to CrossFit. Once home from that it’s shower > get kids up > send husband and 2yo off to work/daycare > take 6yo to school … and by 9.30am, I finally get to sit down at my desk and start my working day :)

Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

RUTH SOUKUP: Founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200I am a morning person so I am usually up very early—around 4am. I know that sounds crazy, but it is when I get the most work done and when my brain works best! I try to go for a very quick 15-minute run, just to get my blood pumping. I usually listen to a podcast while I am running, and then spend a few minutes lifting weights and stretching when I am done.

Then I get dressed, grab my stuff, and ride my bike (technically it is an adult tricycle) to my office, which is only a mile away. I try to get there no later than 5 or 5:30 am so that I can get a good 3 or 4 hours of quiet, dedicated writing time in before anyone else arrives. I have a kitchen there & I also keep a spare set of toiletries, so that I can just GO and get my coffee, eat breakfast, and put on makeup later.

My first priority is always to work on creating amazing content for my readers, whether that be books, courses, blog posts, an e-newsletter, etc I think the more you write, the better you get, so I spend a lot of time writing every day.

By 9am most of my team has arrived to the office, at which point I switch into “manager” mode—planning social meda, working on projects, discussing marketing ideas, responding to emails, etc.

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200With two small children, there is no such thing as a morning routine!

I do however follow more a night time routine. I enjoy some downtime of an evening, I like the ritual of writing/journalling, taking a shower, a cup of tea, I like to set my intention for the next day and have myself organised. It’s all about the small things especially once kids are in the picture!

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200I’m a bit odd… Routine for me is having a lack of routine… It varies each day and seems to change every month. Probably because I don’t really plan much in my life in general. Currently, I will wake up some time between 10am and 3pm, grab my laptop from under my bed and reply to emails whilst still in bed for a few hours (yes, I do have a ‘horror story’ of unintentionally having a video call with the CEO of an international gaming company and about a dozen other people when I was in bed without a shirt on not so long ago).

After that, I’ll sometimes make a few phone calls, take my foster dog [as of time of writing] for a walk (I sneakily let her jump on people when we walk and if they react positively, I tell them that the dog is available for adoption – how’s that for marketing?) and then the rest of the day varies. It can include creating or modifying an app specification document (it’s as fun as it sounds), reviewing and testing apps, providing information to people wanting to make an app, creating animated videos and speaking with clients. I sometimes also speak at events and other times I have random meetings (but not often).

On other days, I might wake up at about 6am to work for the whole day looking after dogs at dog day care at my local vet. Then at nighttime I do my app work. It’s nice to balance what I do and I ironically recently got another job to give me a break from my app work although I still usually work on about 6 apps at once…
I don’t usually follow weekends or public holidays with my work as each day blends into the next for me.

Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200One of the most wonderful perks about my current life is I can wake up with no alarm. Despite this, my eyes pop open like clockwork every morning (weekends included) sometime between 6-6:30 am.
I drink warm water and lemon, followed by a cup of tea or coffee. Then I check email to make sure nothing urgent has happened overnight.

In the first part of the day I review the list I set up for myself the night before. And I visit 750words.com to get my first 750 words of the day written.

This site has helped me adopt a regular writing habit. Oftentimes I repurpose what I write there for blog posts or email newsletters. And sometimes I just use it as a place to sort through my thoughts.

I try to do a bit of exercise first thing before my day gets too busy. That may be a walk, some Qigong, yoga, or a bit of time on an elliptical machine.

I do love the mornings! It’s a great time to be productive.

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200Assuming I don’t have the kids I wake up either from the sun rising over the beach or the sound of the ocean. I then look out my window to see what the surf is doing. If there’s waves I head out for a surf. If not I (don’t tell anyone) grab my phone and get on Instagram and Facebook oops! Then I walk up to the coffee shop, take my kindle and have a coffee and read a book.

I walk back along the beach, maybe listen to a podcast on the way and think about what I’m doing that day. I either work from home or head into co-working to work from there.

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200I spend the first 20 – 60 mins meditating. I then read an inspiring positive message, for the day currently from Marianne Williamson’s, “A Year of Miracles” The rest of my routine varies in order depending on the day, but the routine involves the following: sometimes I may write in my journal. I’ll fit in exercise somehow, either yoga or boot camp. I wake up my inner body with a morning tonic tea. I then spend the morning with the girls, preparing them for school, while I have a green smoothie. Once the girls are in school, it’s time to start work with a green tea.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.

PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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10 PBEVENT Speakers Share their Morning Routine

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How to Build Your Blog’s Audience with Long Form Evergreen Content http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/19/how-to-build-your-blogs-audience-with-long-form-evergreen-content/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/19/how-to-build-your-blogs-audience-with-long-form-evergreen-content/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 14:13:55 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39553 Who wants to grow their blog’s audience? I’m yet to meet a blogger who doesn’t, so I’m picturing in my mind a room full bloggers with their hands in the air! If you’re one of them, I would highly recommend you spend a few minutes today listening to the first 20 or so minutes of [...]

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How to Build Your Blog’s Audience with Long Form Evergreen Content

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Who wants to grow their blog’s audience?

I’m yet to meet a blogger who doesn’t, so I’m picturing in my mind a room full bloggers with their hands in the air!

If you’re one of them, I would highly recommend you spend a few minutes today listening to the first 20 or so minutes of this podcast by Tim Ferris who outlines how he’d build his audience if he were starting from scratch today (note: the rest of the podcast answers other questions which are good but less relevant for bloggers).

There’s some great ideas in his answer that in essence are similar to what I’ve written and spoken about previously on:

  • identifying who you are trying to reach
  • asking where those readers are gathering and/or focusing their attention
  • and then trying to work out how to build a presence in those places

But one of the other key messages in Tim’s podcast that really stood out to me was this statement that he made:

‘The most labor-efficient way to build readership over time is long-form evergreen content.’

There is so much wisdom in this statement and I’d highly recommend bloggers ponder two parts of it.

Long Form Content

There has definitely been a trend over the last few years for many bloggers to move toward shorter form content. I’m not sure if this has been the result of the short for nature of social media, an assumption that people’s attention spans are short, the pressure to publish more posts or something else – but I’ve heard it taught from the stage at conferences and have definitely noticed more and more bloggers creating shorter posts in recent years.

My experience has been similar to Tim’s. I’ve noticed that it’s my longer and more in-depth posts that tend to get the most shares, the most links and the most traffic – both when they’re launched and over their long tail life.

There are definitely exceptions but today as I look through the top 10 most read posts here on ProBlogger over the last 12 months the shortest one is 714 words and the longest is over 7000. Their average is 2491.

I recently spoke about some of the benefits (and some of the costs) of creating long form vs short form content here so won’t go on too long about it except to say that at the very least longer form content is worth weaving into the mix of content on your blog.

I’m not arguing that every post needs to be longer form – it takes a lot of effort to create and there is a definitely place for shorter content – but the effort you put into longer posts can be a great investment to make into your blogging.

Further Reading: read Search Engine Journal’s article Why You Need to Start Creating Long, Evergreen Content Today.

Evergreen Content

Note for those not familiar with the term ‘Evergreen Content’: Evergreen posts are ones that don’t lose their relevancy over time. You write them today and they will be as helpful to readers in a few months (or even years) time.

I know that not every blog topic/niche naturally lends itself to the creation of evergreen content (for example ‘news’ and ‘reviews’ sites can sometimes struggle with it) but most blogs should be able to find a way to create at least some content that doesn’t date quickly.

As I look through the most read posts on both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School over the last 12 months every single post is what I’d consider to be evergreen content.

Of course part of the reason for this is that it’s the main focus of what I do – but we do cover ‘newsy’ type posts from time to time on dPS and apart from a spike in traffic shortly after it is published it rarely ever gets more than a trickle of traffic ever again.

To illustrate the case for Evergreen Content

Let me give you a couple of case studies. Here’s how a time sensitive post announcing the launch of the New Adobe Lightroom that we published on dPS recently performed in terms of traffic.

Screen Shot 2015 06 17 at 10 51 48 am

You can see the initial burst of traffic as it went live and as our readers excitedly gobbled up the hot news (and it was fairly significant news in the photography niche).

But in the month after it’s had little traffic and I suspect will never see more than a handful of visitors coming to it in a given day again.

Contrast this with an evergreen post I published back in January of 2007 on the topic of ISO Settings.

Screen Shot 2015 06 17 at 11 00 27 am

The post had it’s own little spike in traffic in the first days (although I had hardly any readers at that point) but to this day it continues to get traffic (for example yesterday it had over 1100 visitors).

The beauty of evergreen content is that it not only gets the same initial spike of traffic to it when you publish but it also is much more likely to be searched for and found in search engines in the years to come.

The other benefit of the evergreen content is that you (and others) are able to keep sharing it on social for years to come also! It is this evergreen content that I’ve built my whole social media workflow around.

Take a look at this daily traffic graph of the same post on ISO where you’ll see some bigger daily spikes periodically on the days I retire it on social media.

Screen Shot 2015 06 17 at 11 03 39 am

I have given that post a refresh occasionally over the years but it’s largely the same content that I published in 2007 and despite being 8 years old still gets a great reaction every time I share it on social.

Note: worth noting here is that this example is not what I’d consider to be ‘long form content’. It’s around 700 words in length which isn’t short – but it shows you that there’s a place for ‘mid sized’ form content too.

The most compelling case for investing time into Evergreen Content…

As I look at the two examples of posts I’ve just shown you what strikes me most is the investment that was put into those two posts was similar.

From memory I probably spent an hour or two writing the post on ISO. I’m not sure how long the author who wrote the Lightroom announcement post spent on it but looking at it he put at least that much time into researching and writing it.

Considering that investment of time – I’d say the case for evergreen content is pretty clear.

The quote I started with from Tim Ferris was all about labor efficient ways to build readership. It’s not the only way but I’d have to say that I think he identified one approach that really resonates with my own.

Further Reading: Check out Ali Luke’s post Your Ultimate Guide to Creating Amazing Content that Draws Readers Into Your Blog.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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How to Prevent Black Hat SEO Techniques Against Your Vulnerable Website http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/15/how-to-prevent-black-hat-seo-techniques-against-your-vulnerable-website/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/15/how-to-prevent-black-hat-seo-techniques-against-your-vulnerable-website/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 14:10:12 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38500 This is a guest contribution from Dennis Rundle. Black Hat SEO practices have been going on for years without any signs of slowing down. Regardless of the efforts Google makes with the purpose to stop black hatters from attacking vulnerable websites, these tactics haven’t become obsolete. Black Hat SEO practices are usually performed with the [...]

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How to Prevent Black Hat SEO Techniques Against Your Vulnerable Website

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door-green-closed-lock

This is a guest contribution from Dennis Rundle.

Black Hat SEO practices have been going on for years without any signs of slowing down.

Regardless of the efforts Google makes with the purpose to stop black hatters from attacking vulnerable websites, these tactics haven’t become obsolete. Black Hat SEO practices are usually performed with the purpose to trick search engines. Some of these strategies include doorway pages, keyword stuffing, and invisible text.

Doorway Pages as a Threat to Your Website

Doorway, also known as a bridge page, entry page or jump page, is a page that black hatters design for the purpose of gaining top positions in Google’s search results. This page seems relevant to the search engine because it contains the right keywords. It usually includes hidden text, which is stuffed with keywords and phrases that would rank it in the search results.

Who would be interested to attack your website with a doorway strategy? That would only rank you higher, right?

Wrong!

First of all, let’s clarify one thing: doorway pages are a black hat SEO strategy that won’t help your site on the long run.

When a hacker compromises your website, he will incorporate hidden spammy links that will redirect visitors from the search engine (which is listing this page) to illegal or malicious sites that steal credit card numbers, sell pirated software, offer fake luxury goods, prescription drugs, beauty products and slimming pills, or promote adult/gambling content. As an example, here is the comparison of the regular website of Hope is Life against the page that appears when you follow the link from Google search results:

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 12.08.13 pm

The techniques that hackers usually use for such purpose include creation of rogue files and directories, modification of existing files, or adding URL rewrite rules to server configuration files. If the webmaster isn’t diligent enough, these changes may remain active for a very long time. Since the hacker can place the rogue content outside of the host site’s file system, you won’t notice anything suspicious when checking the integrity of your website’s files.

Here is an example of a Google search that contains a link to a redirecting doorway page:

Untitled1

As you can see, some of these results are hosted illegally on servers that have nothing to do with the keyword in question. The most common keywords that hackers include in such cases include target words such as price, buy, discount, prescription drugs, porn, casino, payday loan, bargain, cheap, free, review, cheap luxury, along with a branded keyword, such as zanax, cialis, viagra, Chanel, etc.

If you conduct a Google search for buy cialis or buy viagra, for example, you will see many doorways on hacked sites that won’t lead to their actual pages.

How to Check if Your Website Has Been Hacked

Cyber criminals have compromised a huge number of websites with the purpose to put their doorways to top search results on Google. In most cases, the hacked websites link to several doorway pages, so the black hatters increase the chances that the search engine will choose at least one of them to display on the first page of the results. This strategy is also useful if Google or the webmaster removes some of these doorways.

This situation puts your website under risk, since it can be a subject to a Google penalty, leading to loss of traffic and a lot of work to fix the damage. Since it can be tricky to determine whether or not your site has been a hacker’s target, you have to be more diligent than usual.

Here are few of the things you can do in order to detect a black hatter’s attack:

  1. You can find useful information on the Webmaster Central Help Forum. You will probably find the answers before even asking the question, but you can also ask for help from other webmasters if you don’t find a solution.
  2. Rely on Google Webmaster Tools, which enable you to set email alerts in case Google suspects that your website has been compromised. Keep in mind that the search engine may take a while before detecting suspicious actions against your site, so rely on this option only as a backup strategy. The Fetch as Google tool is very useful, since it enables you to find out what the search engine sees when indexing your site.
  3. You can (and should) set up a Google alert for the words site:domain.com. With this strategy, you can reveal suspicious titles and page descriptions of your web pages. Google will instantly notify you about any new content the search engine indexes. If something seems shady, you can take action without delays. You can set up such alerts on the Google Alerts.
  4. Try to locate new pages with unusual content or 404-error; they indicate that the search results probably direct to suspicious websites.
  5. Pay close attention to GWT alarms. Check the malware status of your website.
  6. Check the search results your website is listed in. Compare the pages you enter through Google with those you get with direct entrance in the browser.

How to Prevent Black Hatters’ Attacks

Prevention is always better than treatment. The best way to avoid unpleasant scenarios caused by a hacker is to make your website really difficult to compromise. These are the things you can do for such purpose:

  1. Use strong usernames and passwords

You simply cannot be negligent when it comes to your website’s security. Only your system administrator should have the permission to maintain the site. Never use default names for application administrators, since they make your website an easy target.

  1. Secure all administrative files

You need to use a website firewall in order to provide strong protection for your website. Firewall technology has come a long way since its beginnings, so you can finally find effective, but affordable options that will protect your website.

You can also use an integrity tool that will notify you about changes in the file system. If you are aware of all changes that are being made, you will immediately spot an attack. Also you could also ask for an advice from our professionals http://webmastersafeguards.blogspot.co.uk/

Remember: You need an efficient remedy

No matter how hard you try to protect your website against hackers, it may still become a target at any moment. If a hacker managed to achieve sneaky redirection, you are in danger of greater damage. This means that you need to have a backup plan just in case. If you perform daily backups of your website, you will avoid losing valuable files in case of attack.

Dennis Rundle is CEO of “Webmastersafeguards”, an internet geek, and security enthusiast. His goal is to promote fair and square rules for all websites and to eradicate malware.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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3 Steps to Saving Time by Writing Social Media Updates in Batches http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/12/3-steps-to-saving-time-by-writing-social-media-updates-in-batches/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/12/3-steps-to-saving-time-by-writing-social-media-updates-in-batches/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 14:00:18 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38494 This is a guest contribution from Tom Van Buren. Scheduling updates in advance solves a number of social media’s most frustrating problems. It gives your routine newfound flexibility, and it can even make you a better blogger. But there’s one hurdle that scheduling alone doesn’t take care of for you: those updates still have to [...]

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3 Steps to Saving Time by Writing Social Media Updates in Batches

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fashion-man-person-handThis is a guest contribution from Tom Van Buren.

Scheduling updates in advance solves a number of social media’s most frustrating problems. It gives your routine newfound flexibility, and it can even make you a better blogger. But there’s one hurdle that scheduling alone doesn’t take care of for you: those updates still have to come from somewhere, and that means you have to write them.

Part of the appeal of scheduling is that it stops social media from interrupting your life every time you want to post an update, but without a sound strategy for actually writing those updates, you might just be trading one type of frustration for another. This post will show you how to write social media updates by the batch, so you can more easily grow your fanbase and drive more reliable traffic to your blog.

Think about more than just your own traffic

Social media is an invaluable resource for driving traffic to your own website, but getting carried away can do more harm than good. Forty-five percent of users cite excessive self-promotion as a reason why they would unfollow a brand on social, which means your strategy has to be a lot more refined than just sharing your own links.

Break down your typical updates into categories by type, so there’s variety to the content you share. In addition to posting links to your own blog posts, for example, you might also use social media for posting tips, linking to useful content on other websites, sharing inspirational or funny quotes, and so on. (Quotes and tips in particular are useful for getting shares, which can help you grow your audience.) These categories will guide you through the next step of the batching process: actually writing your updates.

Save time by writing in blocks

If you regularly schedule your social media updates, you might already be writing them in batches – just very small ones. For example, you might set aside time every morning to write and schedule your updates for that day. While this works in theory, it prevents you from developing a big-picture strategy, and it isn’t saving you as much time as it could.

Use the categories you defined to write as many updates you can within a certain time frame (much like the longstanding Pomodoro Technique suggests). Take 20 minutes to write as many updates as you can promoting your various blog posts, then another 20 for tips, and so on. Writing as much as you can within a certain time period gives you the ammunition with which to load your schedule, and it helps you build and maintain creative momentum as you go.

Writing bigger batches like this may seem like a major time commitment, but think of it like making a weekly trip to the grocery store instead of going every day. It may feel like you’re spending more time at the store, but for as long as the groceries last, you’re not wasting time on things like planning meals, making your list, driving back and forth, unloading the car, and so on. Once the work is done, it’s done.

The amount of time these updates last will vary depending on how often you post, but there’s one final step you should take to make sure that you get as much out of them as possible.

Save your work and re-use your updates

Without the right plan, social media marketing can feel like a neverending zero-sum game – you work hard writing updates, but once you post them, they’re gone, and you start again from square one every time you run out.

This cycle of always starting over from nothing is a major waste of time and your work. If you’re posting to Facebook and Twitter five times a day each, you might be writing as many as 310 brand new updates every single month – more than 75 per week. That’s a lot of effort to put into a task that doesn’t add up to anything.

Instead, maintain a document that saves your status updates. (Spreadsheets are particularly useful, because they allow you to organize your updates by category.) Every time you write a new batch of updates, add it to your document, so that over time, you build up a library of updates from which you can choose ones to schedule. Eventually, you’ll be able to write batches less and less frequently, because you can choose from the updates you’ve already written.

Why post the same update more than once? In addition to saving time, there are two big reasons:

Most of your followers don’t see any given update

Every time you post an update to social media, you’re trying to hit a moving target – and no matter what network you’re posting on, that target is pretty small. Consider these statistics:

  • Most Twitter users don’t log on even once a day (and 40% log on less than once a week)
  • The average organic reach for a Facebook page is about 7%
  • 87% of LinkedIn users log on once a week or less

Only a very small segment of your audience is likely to see any given update you post on social media, so if you share the same thing more than once over time, it’s unlikely anyone will notice – and you never have to feel like you wasted time writing and scheduling a post that didn’t get any traction.

Evergreen blog content drives more traffic

New social media followers always have something in common: they’ve probably seen very few of your updates from before they started following you (if they’ve seen any at all). If they’re new to your blog audience, then they’ve probably been exposed to very little of your blog’s older content, too.

Your evergreen blog posts are literally as good as new to anyone who hasn’t seen them before. If you’re not continually promoting those posts on social media, they’re gathering dust in your archives and going to waste.

This is why it helps to categorize your updates and save them over time. Maintaining a growing stockpile means you never have to go back and write new updates promoting old posts – you can simply keep your existing updates that promote evergreen posts in rotation, so they’ll continue to drive new traffic. Neither your social updates nor your blog posts go to waste, and the work you put into writing both generates cumulative results over time.
If you schedule your social updates in advance, how often do you set aside time to write them? And if you haven’t tried scheduling before, what’s stopping you?

Tom VanBuren is the content and social media manager for MeetEdgar.com, where he writes about social media and online marketing.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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How to Make 2x More Money as a Writer http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/10/how-to-make-2x-more-money-as-a-writer/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/10/how-to-make-2x-more-money-as-a-writer/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 14:00:28 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38480 This is a guest contribution from Puranjay Singh. Around six months ago, I quit my job to make a living as a writer. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my work; it was just that I wanted to travel and needed the freedom of freelancing. I didn’t know a lot about writing, but I knew [...]

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How to Make 2x More Money as a Writer

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boss-fight-stock-images-photos-free-old-typewriterThis is a guest contribution from Puranjay Singh.

Around six months ago, I quit my job to make a living as a writer. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my work; it was just that I wanted to travel and needed the freedom of freelancing. I didn’t know a lot about writing, but I knew I could turn a phrase or two.

Besides, how hard could it be?

The answer: very hard. Freelance writing is a hyper-competitive industry where you are fighting against thousands of writers for the same jobs. Sheer writing skills count for nothing, degrees for even less. Add writers willing to underbid you, and you have a recipe for total disaster.

To succeed, I had to go against a lot of conventional advice. I had to change the way I approached my writing. I also had to bring in all my years of marketing knowledge to get the jobs I wanted.

In the process, I ended up making 2x more money as a writer.

Here’s how you can do the same.

Think Like a Business Owner

I started my freelance writing career like most others – I found gigs online, wrote long cover letters highlighting my education, then waited patiently for a response.

I won a grand total of two jobs this way. My proposal to job conversion rate was an abysmal 4%. Clearly, this was no way to replace a full-time income.

It took weeks of despair and error before I realized my approach was completely wrong. I was thinking like a writer, not like a business owner.

I took a couple of days off and thought hard about why businesses wanted to hire me in the first place. Obviously, it wasn’t because I had read all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets or knew five different synonyms for ‘tempest’. No, they wanted to hire me because they had a business problem and needed a solution.

Ultimately, this problem boils down to two things:

  • Businesses need high quality marketing content to sell their products and services.
  • Businesses don’t have the time or expertise to create this content on their own.

When you sell yourself as a writer, you are only solving half of the problem (creating quality content). A business will still have to invest time and effort into training and monitoring your writing in order to meet its business goals.

To the business owner, thus, a writer is a cost center, not a revenue center.

Top marketers and consultants know this. This is why they always sell themselves as solutions, not as mere skills. Instead of talking about their education or their experience, they talk about how they can help a business make more money and have more free time.

In other words, you must be more than a writer. You must provide solutions.

This is the bedrock of a successful freelance career. Once you adopt this thinking, you will see opportunities where none existed before. You will become an asset to every business you work with, not just a replaceable writer.

Once you’ve adopted this strategy, you can work on some tactics to get better paying clients.

5 Ways to Get Better Writing Jobs

These are my top five tactics to increase freelance writing income:

1. Position yourself as a premium provider

When I started my freelancing career, I was convinced no one would ever pay me over $10/article. It wasn’t that I was bad writer; it was just that I hung out on internet marketing forums where this was the going market rate.

I then learned about top content marketers charging big brands $150+/hour to create content. You couldn’t tell my $10/hour article from the $150/hour blog post. The only difference was in the way we had positioned ourselves.

“Positioning” is marketing speak for how a brand projects its solutions with respect to competitors. This is why Rolexes start at $20,000 and why Apple can charge twice the going price for a laptop.

Positioning is also crucial for freelancers. When you sell your services for cheap, you attract cheap clients. By marketing yourself as a premium service provider, you can often charge 2-5x more for the same work.

A few of my favorite positioning tactics are:

  • Increase rates. Just as people naturally assume more expensive items on a menu are better, they also assume more expensive freelancers know more.
  • A carefully crafted, well-designed brand presence can give your service a ‘premium’ perception.
  • Selective clients. Showcase your best clients on your website/portfolio. This can also be websites you’ve been featured/mentioned in. Recognizable brand names have a multiplying effect on your own brand.
  • Function like a business. Register as a LLC, use professional billing tools, have a standardized onboarding process (more on this below).
  • Professional imagery. Use professionally portrait shots on all your social media profiles. It just makes you come across as more savvy and serious about your work.

2. Don’t market yourself as a writer

Writers occupy the bottommost rung in the content marketing ladder. Sure, they are important, but unless they work themselves into an editorial/managerial role, their responsibilities are as limited as their earnings.

This is why I market myself as a content marketer, not a writer.

As a content marketer, I have a lot more responsibilities – I have to come up with a content plan, create content, then help marketing distribute it. But because it requires more skills and knowledge, it also pays way more.

You don’t have to sell yourself as a content marketer, of course. You can be a blogger who runs a startup’s entire blog independently. You can also be a copywriter who helps businesses sell more with conversion-oriented copywriting.

Your main objective is to get off the bottommost content marketing rung. Once you do that, your income will go up automatically.

3. Operate as a business, not as an individual

I understand this is something many of you will be uncomfortable with, but branding yourself as a business, not just an individual, is the true secret to unlocked 2x higher rates.

Why?

Because businesses hire individuals, but work with other businesses.

I’m not saying that you should get an office and hire employees. I’m saying that you should operate with the rigor and professionalism of a business.

For example, every time I get a new client, I invite them to Basecamp. This serves as our project management tool throughout the duration of the engagement. Besides streamlining our communication, it also tells them that I am serious about the success of their project.

There are a lot of ways you can show off your professionalism, such as:

  • Registering as a business. LLC registrations cost as little as $149.
  • Using branded templates for content plans.
  • Onboarding new clients with a branded ‘welcome’ guide.
  • White labeling software, such as WordPress theme backend.
  • Sending professional invoices through tools like FreshDesk.

When you do all this, you tell the customer that you are a professional, experienced veteran, not just a dabbler who started a few months ago.

4. Be a specialist, not a generalist

There is a simple rule in business: you get paid more for knowing a lot about one topic, than knowing a little about a lot of topics.

Readers of ProBlogger should understand this better than anyone else. Darren has made a habit of talking about the importance of niche selection. If all things are equal, a niche blog will become far more successful than one targeting a broad topic.

You must approach writing the same way. Don’t pitch your ability to write about “any topic under the sun”. Instead, pitch your expertise in writing about “marketing, SEO and social media” or “DIY and home décor”.

You can also target specific clients, such as small businesses only or startups (like I do).

Sure, this constricts your market, but you also get access to far better paying gigs.

5. Choose higher paying writing work

Author James Patterson made $94M through book sales in 2014.

Screenwriter Shane Black netted $4M for writing the script for The Long Kiss Goodnight.

David Ogilvy wrote copy for much of his life. The company he founded today does billions of dollars in annual revenue.

The point is: writing is a vast industry. It includes everyone from the $2 article rewriter, to the author earning a $1M advance.

The key to unlocking higher earnings is to target higher value work.

For example, few businesses will pay over $100 for a blog post. However, the going rate for a whitepaper is easily over $1,000, for the same number of words.

In business, the perceived value of any content is directly proportional to its impact on customer acquisition. While blog posts are good for traffic, they seldom directly lead to sale. Whitepapers, on the other hand, are typically offered only to a handful of qualified leads

Thus, there is a higher chance of converting a prospect into a customer after she reads a whitepaper. This is why whitepaper creators tend to get paid more than blog writers.

It’s the same with website copy. Good copy has a direct and immediate impact on conversion rates. Copywriters, hence, can often get away with charging businesses upwards of $200/hour.

This is the easiest way to increase your earnings as a writer: write more whitepapers, eBooks and website copy, fewer blog posts and articles.

Your Turn

Building a freelance career doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to be underpaying. It takes a few shifts in thinking and approach to get the kind of jobs you truly deserve.

It’s now your turn to adopt these strategies to get the results you want. Start by thinking like a business owner, targeting the right kind of jobs and branding yourself as a premium service provider.

Then share your results and queries in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help as much as I can.

Puranjay Singh is a writer and content marketing consultant. He is passionate about helping small businesses run result-oriented content marketing campaigns. Drop him an email at puranjay@growthpub.com.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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How to Make 2x More Money as a Writer

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How to Tell if Your Idea for an eBook or Course Is a Profitable One http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/08/how-to-tell-if-your-idea-for-an-ebook-or-course-is-a-profitable-one/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/08/how-to-tell-if-your-idea-for-an-ebook-or-course-is-a-profitable-one/#comments Sun, 07 Jun 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39203 The old saying that ‘everybody has a book inside them’ may be true – but for bloggers I’ve found it is probably more accurate to say that ‘every blogger has at least 10 ideas for eBooks inside them’. I was at a mastermind event recently and a blogger shared her list of ideas for eBooks [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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How to Tell if Your Idea for an eBook or Course Is a Profitable One

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You've got a ton of ideas, but Darren's written about How to Tell if Your Idea for an eBook or Course Is a Profitable One on ProBlogger.netThe old saying that ‘everybody has a book inside them’ may be true – but for bloggers I’ve found it is probably more accurate to say that ‘every blogger has at least 10 ideas for eBooks inside them’.

I was at a mastermind event recently and a blogger shared her list of ideas for eBooks and courses and then looked at me quizzically and asked – “but which one is the most profitable idea?”

To truly answer the question my blogger friend would need to create and launch all of the products – but it got me wondering if there might be some ways to test her ideas before creating the products to see which might work best as a product.

What follows are some questions to ask and some techniques to try to do just this.

Just keep in mind that a there’s much more to profitable products than great ‘ideas’. Success will be dependant upon many factors including the quality of what you create, the size of your audience (here are some ways to build it before launch) and the marketing strategies that you use to launch your product.

1. Is the Idea Important and Meaningful to You?

Let’s start with a question that won’t guarantee profit in any way shape or form but which has definitely become the first question I ask any time that I create a product – is it something important to me?

I ask this question for a number of reasons.

Firstly, if the idea is important to me there’s a good chance it’ll be important to others.

Secondly, if the idea is important to me (and others involved in the creation and selling of it) I’m going to produce a much higher quality product and be able to market it much much more effectively.

Perhaps the best example I can give you of this is 31 Days to Build a Better Blog which meant so much to me as I created it and which was so easy for me to enthusiastically promote after.

In fact 31DBBB was created with no intent of it ever becoming a product (it was written initially as a free series of blog posts) and purely because I thought it would help people – it’s no wonder it went on to become my biggest selling product.

2. Does it have a Tangible Benefit?

Having being a part of creating and launching close to 40 eBooks, printables, kits and courses in the last six years, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is around making sure your idea has tangible benefits to those who will buy it.

It might sound obvious but it’s a lesson we learned the hard way (more than once) but producing eBook that we thought were on ‘important’ topics but which didn’t have tangible benefits.

31 Days to Build a Better Blog is another great example of this – there’s a benefit in the title that seemed to grab people.

The other example I’ve spoken about in presentations I’ve given over the years is the story of our photography eBooks at dPS.

Both eBooks were by the same author and were written, designed, priced and marketed in extremely similar ways. Sales on the other hand couldn’t have been much more different.

The first eBookTranscending Travel: A Guide to Captivating Travel Photography had a very tangible benefit. You’ll take better photos when you travel!

Not only does this have a tangible benefit – it’s in an area that most people have had a painful experience of (getting home from a trip and being disappointed with the images).

The second eBookCaptivating Color: A Guide to Dramatic Color Photography was on a topic we thought was of real importance to photography but in hindsight didn’t have as specific or tangible a benefit.

To this day I think both eBooks are as good as one another (in fact I think the Color Photography one is still more important for photographers to get a handle on) but Travel has always outsold Color (to this day it’s sold double).

Some topics can be tweaked to be more tangible in their benefits while others are much trickier on this front. I’d be leaning to those with obvious benefits in areas that people have a felt need on.

Is There Evidence of People Paying for This Type of Information?

An exercise that is most beneficial to undertake when setting out on this journey to create a product is to do some analysis of the marketplace to see what else has been produced on the topic.

There are numerous benefits of doing this but one of the key ones for me is that it shows whether people pay for that type of information and to see what kind formats of products seem to be doing well.

It shouldn’t take you too long to get an idea of this. Head to your local news stand and see what magazines there are on the topic, head to Amazon and look at the books that relate (and try to get a feeling for how well they’ve sold by looking at their rankings and numbers of reviews), look online to see if other eBooks, courses, membership sites or other products have already been created.

If there are a lot of products on your topic you have some proof of concept but you also might well have a challenge on your hands too as the market might be cluttered. If this is the case it might be worth doing some deeper analysis of the competition.

  • What do they do well?
  • What formats seem to have worked well and what have not?
  • Are there any gaps in the market?
  • What marketing techniques do they use?

The more research you do into these questions the better positioned you’ll be in to tap into what is working for others but also create something that stands out from the rest.

Test the Idea

As bloggers we have a real advantage over many other publishers of online products – we have a great way (or a number of great ways) to test our ideas to see how they resonate with people before we even begin producing our products.

For almost every eBook, course or other kind of product I’ve created I’ve first gone to my audience in some way to test the idea. By putting it ‘out there’ some some way I see whether it gives my readers energy but also quite often get feedback that makes the product better or that gives me hints as how to market it more effectively.

It’s never quite the same but usually involves some combination of the following ideas.

Blog Posts

The most simple thing to do as a blogger is to create a blog post (or a series of them) to test your idea. These could take a couple of forms including:

  • discussion posts – simply putting up a post that is a ‘discussion’ related post designed to get your readers to talk about the topic, their needs, their questions etc. You need not say it’s research for a product if you don’t want to reveal that – but you could even go to them with a ‘tell me what you want to include’ approach which gives your readers a sense of being involved.
  • writing your product as posts – I’ve seen many bloggers create their products in public on their blogs over the years. You might not choose to put the whole eBook/course on your blog for free but it putting your initial ideas onto your blog and then turning that into part of your product can work well. In essence this is what I did with 31DBBB – although I didn’t realise it at the time.

The key with both approaches is to watch the reaction of others to your posts. Are they being read? Are people excited by them? Do the posts actually bring about some kind of benefit to your readers? If there are sparks of energy being created you should follow that energy and keep working.

If there are not – you might want to keep working on the idea.

Note: Of course it takes having some readers to your blog to get these kinds of reactions. If you have a small readership you might want to try some of the other methods below.

Podcasts

Another way to start creating content for a course might be to start a podcast on your topic. You need not to commit to running it indefinitely, rather set out to do a short ‘season’ of episodes to see how people respond to the idea.

Again the benefits of this are:

  1. You’re testing your idea to see if it is of interest to people
  2. You’re creating content that you might be able to repurpose and include in your product
  3. You’re developing an audience that you might be able to sell your product to

Webinars

Similarly you might like to run a webinar (or series of them) on your idea. This potentially has the same benefits as the three mentioned in the podcasts section above but has the added bonus of opening up potential for a live interaction and feedback from those listening in.

The questions and responses you get during a webinar are often incredibly insightful and open up areas that you could develop in your product as well as helping you to see how people react against your ideas (which could be stumbling blocks for the to buy your product).

The other benefit of doing webinars before you create your product is that you get your audience used to attending them which can be useful when it comes time to launch your product. Live webinars often work really well as a selling tool during a launch.

Social Media

Social media is another of my favorite places for testing ideas. In fact it’s often the first step for me as it’s so easy to put an idea out there and get pretty quick reactions.

My first testing ground is usually Twitter where I’ll ask a question, put up a hypothesis or even bluntly ask a ‘would you be interested in….’ question.

The beauty of Twitter is that you don’t tend to get people seeing and being influenced by other people’s responses (unless you dig for them). Having said that – sometimes you want a more communal response so I’d then be heading to Facebook where I have often done exactly the same kinds of updates (asking questions, starting discussions etc).

Of course social is a place you should be sharing the blog posts we’ve already talked about writing – get the ideas in front as many people as you can!

Boost Your Social Posts

One of the challenges of not having an established readership or following on social media is that you can ask questions and start as many discussions as you like but get no response whatsoever.

If this is the case you may wish to try boosting/advertising your social media updates to get more response.

I know not everyone feels comfortable with boosting posts on Facebook but for a relatively small outlay it is a decent way to ensure your posts are seen by exactly the type of people you’re trying to reach. You can specify for your post to be shown to people in certain locations, genders, age groups and with certain interests (and much more) all for just a few dollars.

Set Up a ‘Group’

Another idea that is related to social media that you might like to try is setting up a Facebook Group (or a group on a platform like LinkedIn) on the topic of the product you’re thinking of creating.

I’ve recently been playing with Facebook Groups on a number of fronts (including the FeelGooder group) and it strikes me that a group would be a brilliant place to help you test and develop your idea.

While this isn’t my current goal with the FeeGooder group it wouldn’t be hard to take your idea for a product to such a group to ask them for feedback and even to get their contribution to creating it. The benefits of doing so is that you not only get to test and refine the idea but you could also have your first highly engaged customers and advocates for it!

Surveys/Polls

I love using surveys to test ideas for products. We have used them in two main ways:

  • Long Run Surveys – I’ve written about the main survey that we use on dPS previously. It collects feedback from readers everyday via our autoresponder series. The benefit of this is that we have a steady stream of ideas, questions and interests coming in from our readers which informs what products we create. We also have a question in the survey that specifically asks them what topics they’d buy products on that tests the ideas we have for future products.
  • Product Specific Surveys/Polls – The other type of survey we’ve run a few times is in the lead up to launching a specific product. For example if I were creating an eBook on travel photography I could do a survey that asks readers about the gear they use, the places they travel, the problems and challenges they’ve had, the questions they have etc. These kinds of surveys can also test other things like price points, formats, titles etc depending upon where you’re at with the production of your product. I find this type of survey not only gives you ideas for making the product better but can often highlight potential blocks that people might have in buying which will inform your marketing.

One ore tip with surveys – always be on the look out for a good stat that you can use in your marketing. For example – we ran a survey in the lead up to launching our Photo Nuts and Bolts eBook which revealed ‘73% of digital camera owners wish they had more control over their camera‘. That became the headline for the sales page of that eBook.

Pre Sell Your Product

This is the only technique in this post that I’ve never done but I know of bloggers who have used it with great effect. In essence they create a sales page for their product before they create it and ‘pre-sell’ it to their audience.

In some ways this was almost like a crowd-funding type approach.

In each case I’m thinking of the blogger was upfront in telling their audience that the product was not yet complete and they gave those who pre-bought it a discount for putting their money up.

By pre-selling their product they had proof of concept before or during the product creation. It also gave them more incentive/accountability to actually finish the product (as people had already paid).

In one case the blogger discovered by putting their product up for pre-sale that there was not enough interest for the product and so refunded the few people who bought it and abandoned the idea.

Another blogger involved those who bought the pre-launched product in the creation of it by inviting then to a private VIP Facebook group to discuss what they wanted included and to build some community among buyers. He also gave the access to the product in stages (it was a course so he could release lessons regularly over the weeks after they made the purchase.

The only warning I’d give on pre-selling products is that you need to really be able to follow through and deliver. You could easily destroy your reputation and potentially end up in legal trouble by taking money for a product you didn’t deliver.

How Would You Test Your Product Idea to Assess its profitability?

I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences with this topic.

Have you tried any of the above ideas? Have you got other ideas to add?

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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Follow These Six Steps to Make Plenty of Time to Write (and Enjoy it Too) http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/05/follow-these-six-steps-to-make-plenty-of-time-to-write-and-enjoy-it-too/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/05/follow-these-six-steps-to-make-plenty-of-time-to-write-and-enjoy-it-too/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 14:02:31 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38329 This is a guest contribution from Ali Luke. Here’s a safe bet: You’re struggling to find enough time to write. Virtually every blogger and entrepreneur has the same problem. Maybe you want to write great content to build your business – but there are so many other things you have to do too. I know [...]

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Follow These Six Steps to Make Plenty of Time to Write (and Enjoy it Too)

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Six Steps to Make Plenty of Time to Write (and Enjoy it Too)  problogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Ali Luke.

Here’s a safe bet:

You’re struggling to find enough time to write.

Virtually every blogger and entrepreneur has the same problem.

Maybe you want to write great content to build your business – but there are so many other things you have to do too.

I know first-hand how much of a challenge this can be. I started out writing around a full-time day job; today, I juggle work around my two year old daughter and baby son.

I don’t know your personal situation. But I can take some guesses:

  • You have a lot on your plate – sometimes you feel overwhelmed.
  • Big writing projects get shunted to the end of your to-do list.
  • When you do have some time to write, you never seem to get far.

Sound familiar?

Here’s how to turn things around, in six straightforward steps:

Step #1: Come Up With a Bunch of Ideas for Your Blog

Since you’re reading ProBlogger, it’s a pretty safe bet that you have a blog (or you’re about to start one). Do you ever find it hard to come up with enough ideas for it? Maybe you’re managing to keep up a regularly posting schedule – but you know you should be doing some guest posting, and you never seem to get round to it.

The easiest way to make faster progress on any writing project is to set aside dedicated brainstorming (or, if you like, daydreaming) time.

Grab a notebook or a bit of scrap paper, and jot down as many ideas as you can in fifteen minutes. Don’t judge your ideas, just write everything down.

Try This:

Schedule 15 minutes, once per week, for brainstorming. You’ll soon have a stockpile of ideas that you can turn to whenever you need one.

Further Reading:

How to Consistently Come Up With Great Post Ideas for Your Blog, Stacey Roberts, ProBlogger

Step #2: Create a Clear Plan Before You Start Writing

When you don’t have much time to write, you don’t want to waste a single minute.

If you find yourself getting stuck and giving up part-way, or if you often have to scrap huge chunks of your blog posts because you went off on a long tangent, then you need to get to grips with planning.

Your plan doesn’t need to be complicated. A few bullet points jotted on the back of an envelope is fine. For maximum effect, though, set aside dedicated time to plan out several posts at once.

Your plan helps you spot any problems before you spend hours writing, and it helps you shape your material into a logical structure: easier for you to write, and easier for your audience to read.

It’s also a great way to blast through any blank page wobbles at the start of a writing session. If you’ve got a plan, you can just copy or type it into your document … and you’re already part-way there.

Try This:

Give different planning methods a go – you don’t have to stick with a linear outline each time. Maybe a mindmap, a set of ideas on index cards, or even a spreadsheet would suit your project better.

Further Reading:

A 5-Step Plan to Improve Every Blog Post You Write, Ali Luke, Copyblogger

Step #3: Use the First Hour of Your Day for Your Main Writing Project

Sometimes, the real problem with finding time to write isn’t that there’s no time at all – it’s that our writing time is scheduled for the wrong part of the day.

If your aim is to “finish the ten things on this list then work on the ebook” … it’s all too easy to let those ten things fill your day. Even if you have a little time left at the end of the day, you’ll probably be creatively frazzled.

The best solution I’ve found is to put writing first. Ideally, set aside an hour – but if that’s just not practical, 15 minutes is fine.

Putting writing first could mean:

  • You use the first hour of your work day for your project … trust me, Twitter and Facebook can wait for an hour.
  • You get up an hour earlier (not my favorite solution – but I did it for eight months when I had a day job, and it let me build my career to the point where I could quit and write full time).
  • You shuffle around some other activities: if you currently head to the gym at 6am, could you go at lunchtime or in the evening instead?

Try This:

For this week only, commit to spending the first 15 minutes of your day (either when you get up or when you start work) on your current writing project. Put a check on the calendar each day you manage it. Next week, aim for 20 minutes per day, and/or more checks.

Further Reading:

Why You Should Get Serious About Your Writing Schedule, Kari, Men with Pens

Step #4: Cut Out or Cut Back

Your time is full already, but at least some of your activities could go in a pinch. This is always going to be a personal decision – something that I might consider essential could be on your list for ditching when life gets hectic, and vice versa.

Here are just a few ideas you might want to consider.

Cut out…

  • Voluntary commitments you don’t enjoy and wish you’d never signed up for. Resign in writing, and don’t leave any room for ambiguity or argument.
  • Time-wasting activities that don’t add much to your life – do you really need to take another Buzzfeed quiz? Try RescueTime to track your computer activity.

Cut down…

  • TV watching. Of course, keep up any must-sees (mine are Game of Thrones and Doctor Who) … but if you’re binging on whole seasons of shows on Netflix, cut back to an hour every evening.
  • Even if money’s tight, can you get a maid service once or twice a month? If that’s not an option, can you delegate to your spouse or kids?

Try This:

Look at your non-writing activities and save some time there too:

  • 10 minutes per day on Twitter and Facebook, instead of 30, could well get you the same results.
  • Template emails will save you time answering common questions, dealing with routine enquiries, and so on.

Further Reading:

Why You Should Flush 90% of Your To-Do List Down the Toilet, Michael Hyatt, MichaelHyatt.com

Step #5: Keep a Time Log

If you’re still struggling, keep a time diary for a week to find out exactly where your time goes.

(If you’ve ever kept a food diary while on a diet, or a spending diary while getting out of debt, you’ll have some idea of how powerful this can be.)

You could use a spreadsheet, a physical notebook, or an app like Toggl. While entering data manually can be a pain, it does make you very aware of how you’re using your time.

Try This:

Be prepared for your time log to throw up some negative emotions – maybe you’re not working as efficiently as you thought. Go easy on yourself, and look for ways to win back just 5 or 10 minutes of productive time each day.

Further Reading:

Why You Really Don’t Have a Time Management Problem, Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing

Step #6: When You’re Writing, Write!

If you’ve set aside 30 minutes to work on a post for your blog, you need to actually write.

That means not stopping after five minutes to check if anything new’s happening on Facebook. It means jotting down any distracting thoughts like “Email John” rather than stopping writing to do them straight away.

When you’re writing (or engaged in any creative activity), you can get into a state of “flow” – you might describe it as “being on a roll” or even “losing track of time”. This is what you’re aiming for, and constantly interrupting yourself will stop you getting there.

Try This:

Work in short bursts. I find that 20 – 45 minutes is about right. If you know you only have to write for another 15 minutes, not for another hour, it’s easier to push yourself to keep going.

Further Reading:

How to Maintain Focus when Writing, Mary Jaksch, Write to Done

You won’t miraculously “find” a few spare hours to write.

You need to make that time – by finding more efficient ways to work and by restructuring other elements of your life to allow your writing to be a priority.

So here’s your first step again: find fifteen minutes, either today or tomorrow, to brainstorm some ideas for one of your current projects.

Get up early, use the ad breaks on TV, write in your notebook on the bus, or whatever it takes. Drop a comment below to tell us what you’ll be doing, and when.

Ali Luke runs Writers’ Huddle, a community / teaching site for all bloggers and writers, with monthly seminars, in-depth ecourses, supportive forums, and more. It’s only open for new members until Friday June 12th, and we’re about to start a new Summer Challenge for accountability (and prizes)! If you think you might be interested, check it out now.

 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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8 Ways to Stop Your Blog Crashing as Soon as it Gets Popular http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/03/8-ways-to-stop-your-blog-crashing-as-soon-as-it-gets-popular/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/03/8-ways-to-stop-your-blog-crashing-as-soon-as-it-gets-popular/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38467 In this guest post, Andrew Maybin, managing director of web hosting and digital infrastructure company Tibus, gives tips on how to avoid the hosting pitfalls associated with high-traffic blogs. It’s the nightmare scenario for any blogger. All the hours and effort you’ve invested in writing, promoting and developing your site, only for it to go [...]

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8 Ways to Stop Your Blog Crashing as Soon as it Gets Popular

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person-apple-laptop-notebookIn this guest post, Andrew Maybin, managing director of web hosting and digital infrastructure company Tibus, gives tips on how to avoid the hosting pitfalls associated with high-traffic blogs.

It’s the nightmare scenario for any blogger. All the hours and effort you’ve invested in writing, promoting and developing your site, only for it to go down as soon as you hit the jackpot.

An article that goes viral, a retweet from a high-profile influencer or a link from a top-tier website: it’s what you’ve been working towards, but is your blog ready to cope with the resulting traffic?

If you’re yet to find out the hard way, your web hosting and server setup can play a hugely important role in making your blog a success.

Pieces of content – in the form of blog posts and social media output – are often described in terms of being building blocks. Your hosting is the foundations on which your content is built. Get that wrong and it all comes tumbling down pretty quickly.

How important is it that your blog is available?

That is the first – and perhaps the most important – question to ask yourself. It is something you need to repeatedly come back to when making decisions about your hosting arrangements.

National broadcasters, popular tech websites and high-traffic niche blogs are make up a huge portion of web hosting clients. Even within that relatively close demographic, people have different budgets, hosting requirements and answers to that all-important question.

In the ‘jackpot’ examples we mentioned, how much would it cost you – or maybe pain you – for your website to crash? Act according to your answer when weighing up which of these hosting tips for high-traffic blogs is right for your website.

1. Choose the right hosting package

The most fundamental aspect of website hosting is getting the right sort of package to begin with. As with anything in life, you tend to get what you pay for so don’t expect an entry level package to serve enterprise ambition. Be realistic and choose a package with enough CPU and RAM to give the raw power your website needs.

As a rule of thumb, websites that attract flashes of traffic, like blogs, are well-suited to private cloud hosting supported by a content delivery network (CDN). This option gives the efficiency and scalability of the cloud, but with extra control and security. The CDN takes the strain off the main server by hosting photos and other static assets that might otherwise drain your resources.

2. Pick something scalable

As alluded to in the previous point, the way to deal with surges of traffic without breaking the bank is to opt for a hosting package that’s flexible enough to scale-up when the crowds arrive and scale back down to something that’s a bit more affordable when they’ve gone.

3. Use web server caching

A cache takes pages or assets within your blog and creates static versions of them which load much more quickly. This can result in 20x better performance from exactly the same server.

The impact on user experience is limited and the improvement in site speed dramatic. We tend to use caching tools such as NGINX and Varnish. Any blog that uses WordPress will benefit hugely from caching. In fact it’s a must for maintaining decent performance levels.

4. Use servers close to your readers

Where is your traffic coming from? It is a good idea to have versions of your website hosted in data centres close to your main geographic hot-spots.So, if you’re big in Brazil, hot in Hungary or in-demand in India, move your content closer to the audience. The result will be a better user experience and a more efficient use of your resources.

5. Tune your database

A tidy database can go a long way towards stopping your website crashing during busy periods. Slow queries, inefficient calls and multiple table joins – all of which can occur naturally as your website evolves over time – can cause slow performance on high-traffic websites

6. Use a database cache

Database queries are very often the cause of performance problems for high traffic websites, even if you’ve tuned your database as outlined above. Using a tool like Memcache or Redis will improve performance when large numbers of visitors are concurrently dipping in and out of articles, photos and other pieces of content.

7. Use lateral scaling and load balancing

Even the most powerful servers and their software have a ‘hard limit’ at which point their resources hit a wall. You can circumvent this by using more than one server and balancing the load across them.

This is the web hosting embodiment of the old adage, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. It can achieve greater capacity and better performance while retaining cost-effectiveness.

8. Pay attention to your network

This starts at home by making sure you’ve got the basics right. In the past we’ve seen people tick the wrong box with usage limits or firewall settings and inadvertently limit their server resources.

Further afield, your hosting company will be using internet exchanges as part of their network. Check that there are no bottlenecks with their infrastructure and that sufficient bandwidth is being made available to your website.

The tips in this guest post have been kept as simple as possible. You can find a bit more technical detail at tibus.com.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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How to Use Quizzes and Facebook to Build Your List… Fast http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/01/how-to-use-quizzes-and-facebook-to-build-your-list-fast/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/06/01/how-to-use-quizzes-and-facebook-to-build-your-list-fast/#comments Sun, 31 May 2015 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38025 This is a guest contribution from Luke Moulton. If you’ve spent even a small about of time in the blogging world, you’ll be aware of the power of building an email list. Email is still one of the cheapest and effective forms of online marketing so as a blogger it should be high on your priority [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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How to Use Quizzes and Facebook to Build Your List… Fast

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This is a guest contribution from Luke Moulton.

If you’ve spent even a small about of time in the blogging world, you’ll be aware of the power of building an email list. Email is still one of the cheapest and effective forms of online marketing so as a blogger it should be high on your priority list.

But how do we build a list quickly if we aren’t getting a whole lot of traffic to our blog? How do we incentivise people to hand over their email address once they get there?

Sure, we can use the good old “Sign up to our Newsletter” or give something of value away for free. But these don’t always work for fresh visitors who haven’t seen your content before.

I’d like to introduce you to another list building option: quizzes.

You’ve probably seen them in your social media feed, you may have even taken a “Which Sex and the City Character Are You?” style personality test. They’ve been made popular by the likes of Buzzfeed and Mashable, but that’s not to say humble bloggers like you and I can’t use them to build a list.

The Technique: Facebook Ads + Quiz

The case study I’m about to show you combines traffic from Facebook Ads with a quiz. Yes folks, we’re actually going to be spending some money, hope I haven’t lost you yet… stay with me.

1-facebook-quizz-campaign-summary

The results above are from a Facebook Ads campaign I used to drive traffic to a quiz. The campaign lasted 13 days on a budget of $30 per day and from this I was able to build a list of 571 people. Yes, I know, it says 560 in the screenshot above but I also had some viral traffic, so ended up with more leads. This means my cost per conversion, or the cost to acquire an email address, equaled $0.66.

To some, this cost per conversion will seem expensive, to others it’s cheap; all depends what niche you’re operating in. If you know you can generate $1 from every email address you collect, then you’ll be making 50% on your investment… better than any investment I’ve come across recently.

Let’s dive in and build the campaign.

Building the Quiz

Choosing the topic for your quiz is the most important step; obviously it needs to relate to the overall content on your blog, and it also need to appeal to a specific social media audience.

For this particular example, I’m going to pretend I have a fashion/beauty/cosmetics blog. The topic for my quiz: “Would You Qualify to be a Makeup Artist?”.

I used Sit the Test Builder to build a 10 question, multiple choice test. Sit the Test requires people to enter their email address before taking a test (or quiz). As the test creator I can then export these email addresses to my favourite email marketing platform.

2-sit-the-test-screen

While I know nothing about being a makeup artist, Google does, so make sure you research your topic thoroughly and build a quiz with legitimate questions. You see the example of my quiz here.

With my test written and published, it’s time to build the Facebook campaign.

Creating the Facebook Campaign

To begin, I created three ads to “split test”. I say split test in quotation marks because Facebook automatically favors the better-performing ad after a period and I’m not convinced they wait for statistical significance, but I digress.

3-facebook-ads

The only difference between the three ads above is the image used. It’s important to only test one aspect of your ad at a time.

Ads created, it’s time for the build the audience that I’m going to target.

For this particular campaign I targeted women between the ages of 18 and 24, interest in cosmetics and living with 25 miles of Australia’s two largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney.

4-facebook-ad-sets

I did experiment with a couple of other Ad Sets, but the Sydney and Melbourne campaigns were the best performing. I also made sure I had Facebook conversion tracking setup so I could closely track the performance of my campaign without having to continuously check to see how many people had taken my quiz.

Launching the campaign, after a day or two you will usually start to see one Ad performing better than the others.

5-Facebook_Ad_Set_Summary

If you’ve chosen your topic and target audience well, you should be rewarded with a healthy click through rate. In this case the best performing ad generated a click through rate of 2.29%.

After a day or two I usually pause the two poorer performing ads. If none are performing well, try changing the messaging and the image.

The Quiz Results

So how did our participants fare? For this particular test, I set a pass rate of 70%. On average, participants scored 64%. 571 people started taking the quiz, and 521 people completed it. Because we collect the email address at the start, it doesn’t matter if people don’t complete the quiz – although we hope they do!

6-test-results

What’s Next

So I’ve built my list of 570 odd – what do I do with it now? That’s really up to you and what you have to offer your audience. But here are some suggestions:
Segment out the people who failed and offer them some cosmetics training
Segment out the people who passed and offer offer them accredited training courses
Send them regular email updates from your blog

If you don’t have your own products, there are plenty of beauty, fashion and cosmetics affiliate offers you can present to your audience, just make sure you’re adding when you email the list you’ve build… use it for good not evil and you’ll be rewarded.

Luke Moulton is a digital marketer based in Melbourne Australia, working with Sit the Test, a startup helping people create multiple choice tests and quizzes.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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Anchorman-Inspired Tips to Help you Blog Your Way to the Top http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/29/anchorman-inspired-tips-to-help-you-blog-your-way-to-the-top/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/29/anchorman-inspired-tips-to-help-you-blog-your-way-to-the-top/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 14:00:28 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38043 This is a guest contribution from Kirsty Sharman. There are a million and one articles online that talk about how to earn money blogging. They all have the same tips, talk about the same things and usually just teach us things we already know. The truth is: people like you and me (I’m assuming you’re [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Anchorman-Inspired Tips to Help you Blog Your Way to the Top

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anchorman

This is a guest contribution from Kirsty Sharman.

There are a million and one articles online that talk about how to earn money blogging. They all have the same tips, talk about the same things and usually just teach us things we already know.

The truth is: people like you and me (I’m assuming you’re a blogger if you’re reading this) didn’t start blogging because we wanted to be bac link experts, banner ad salesmen or tech gurus. We had a passion for a topic, and we wanted to talk about it. A lot.

All the articles online educate us to become masters of everything in order to succeed as a blogger, and successfully monetize our audience. I don’t really agree with that thinking. My thinking aligns more with being the best you can be within your niche – and partnering with others to help you monetize your audience.

If you want to be the best, and in turn earn an income from your passion, you need to be the guy that everyone wants to be friends with.

You need to be kind of a big deal.

As ridiculous as Ron Burgundy is, he mimics many traits of an internet celebrity. As influential bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers and Instagrammers, we need to stand out from the digital crowd. We need to be to the internet what Ron Burgundy is to the News Network of America.

Below are five Anchorman inspired tips to help you blog your way to the top:

Start to think of yourself as an influencer

Brands want to work with people who can influence consumers within their target market. In order to be an influencer you need to work towards being an authority in your chosen blog category (or niche).

Partner with the right people

The same way that Ron Burgundy relies on Brick Tamland to deliver the weather, and Champ Kind to announce the sports results – is the same way you need to think of your blogging network. Partner with people to do the things you don’t specialize in – like monetizing your audience for example. Or managing your video editing. Trade exchanges are a good idea if possible.

Say what’s on your mind – even if it creates a stir

If you’re going to be a thought leader in your niche, it’s important that you speak up. If you’re a tech blogger and you think a new phone is terrible, say so. In the long run, being authentic is more important than pleasing the brands around you. Creating a stir has Ron Burgundy written all over it!

PR yourself

If you work hard, write great content and consider yourself a credible source within your niche – then it’s ok to let others know that you’re kind of a big deal.

Stay in shape

Ron Burgundy takes his personal fitness extremely seriously, you should take your online fitness just as seriously. Know who the other bloggers are, know where the best information comes from, research and write weekly. Stay in shape, on the internet!

Kirsty Sharman is • Crazy about all things digital • Bulldog owner • Toy collector • Runs @Webfluenti_al by day and @GeeksDoingStuff by night • One of the girls behind Girl Geek Dinners Johannesburg •

 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old Content http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/27/googles-mobilegeddon-the-best-excuse-to-repurpose-old-content/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/27/googles-mobilegeddon-the-best-excuse-to-repurpose-old-content/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 14:00:34 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=37757 This is a guest contribution from Mike Canarelli. For bloggers looking to refresh or repurpose old content, after the April 21 release of Google’s “mobile-friendly” update comes at the perfect time and offers tremendous benefits. Gloomier prognosticators have nicknamed the update “MOBILEGEDDON” (yes, typically in all caps) because of its potential to disrupt 40% of all [...]

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Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old Content

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Google’s Mobilegeddon: The Best Excuse to Repurpose Old ContentThis is a guest contribution from Mike Canarelli.

For bloggers looking to refresh or repurpose old content, after the April 21 release of Google’s “mobile-friendly” update comes at the perfect time and offers tremendous benefits.

Gloomier prognosticators have nicknamed the update “MOBILEGEDDON” (yes, typically in all caps) because of its potential to disrupt 40% of all online searches—specifically those queried from mobile devices.

What these doom-and-gloomers have forgotten to consider, however, is that because the update applies to individual web pages, as opposed to entire websites, bloggers with mobile sites now have the chance to showcase stale or outdated content by refreshing their posts with new or updated tweaks. For bloggers still working on becoming mobile compliant, the update will allow them the opportunity to build a content refresh right into their website redesign plans.

Let’s face it: not only is high quality content time-consuming and costly to produce, none of it remains relevant forever. When Google says it’s going to highlight some of the best content you’ve produced by re-indexing it for mobile, it would be foolish to waste the opportunity and not update it.

Breathe New Life into Old Content

Above all, when creating content the first time around, try to image how you might repurpose it at a later date. With that in mind, here are some important things to consider when refreshing and repurposing existing content:

Updates

Simply providing new insights on original posts can allow you to reuse blog content and articles. For example, if you wrote an article on the five most important weapons to have during the zombie apocalypse, you could just break each of those five weapons down into five different in-depth writes-ups on each item. This is an easy way to score big points with the Googlebot, which is constantly looking for new, properly formatted pages that are relevant to your site’s general theme.

Presentations

Take information from a post, turn it into a presentation and post your slides to social sites like SlideShare, Issuu, and Docstoc for additional amplification. Google loves presentations, and if you include links to your mobile site in these repurposed slides, you’ll benefit from additional optimization. One word of caution, though: Google does not index presentations stored in its own Google Docs platform, so even if your presentation is stored there and marked “public,” the search giant won’t include it in search results. No biggie: just be sure to publish your presentations to a third party site (like those referenced above), and you’ll be good to go.

Repost

If your content is timeless and consequently doesn’t need much tweaking or refreshing, you might want to consider sharing it across your social media channels a second time. Surprisingly, research suggests that reposting a piece of content can earn up to 75% of the engagement of the original post. Be careful, though: only repost LINKS to your content. Reposting an entire blog to a social media site like LinkedIn and/or a social journalism site like Medium can actually earn you a duplication penalty from Google, which will kill your traffic.

eBooks

Create one ore more eBooks out of a series of blog posts. eBooks can be sold, given away, or gated behind forms to capture visitor contact info. Google actually has a partner program called Google Books that will index your eBook and make it searchable. Best of all, you can control how much of your eBook people can browse, so you’re not giving the whole thing away without some return benefits.

Multimedia

Freshen it up and create a podcast or video series. Webinars are also becoming increasingly popular, so check out your old content to see if there is anything you can use as a webinar. You can also create a podcast and video from the same piece of content, thus earning the indexing benefit of all three (audio, video and your original post). Don’t be overzealous, though: The Googlebot creates a written transcript of the video for its search index, so if you have one, too, it could get you penalized for duplicate content. 

Know When to Let Go

Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to hold on to content. If it’s no longer timely, or new information has made it incorrect or no longer applicable, it might be time to say goodbye. If you can incorporate into other content you’ll have the benefit of removing dated work from your site while also updating and refreshing content with staying power.

Whatever method you choose to repurpose or refresh your content, the Mobilegeddon update should be top of mind. People on the go are the ones who are consuming the most content, and they’re consuming it on their mobile devices. Imagine your readers, viewers or listeners where they actually are—at airports, waiting in line, or scrolling around at their leisure. If you do this, taking advantage of Google’s new update will go hand in hand with refreshing your content.

Mike Canarelli is the CEO and Co-Founder of Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that delivers exceptional results to clients. 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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Four Blogging Tools to Make your Content Go Further http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/25/four-blogging-tools-to-make-your-content-go-further/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/25/four-blogging-tools-to-make-your-content-go-further/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=37743 This is a guest contribution from Chris Crawfurd of sovrn. You put in countless hours to create the highest quality content possible week after week. Maybe you even spend money on hiring a graphic designer to make your work look even better. But what good is a solid piece of content if it’s not being put [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Four Blogging Tools to Make your Content Go Further

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This is a guest contribution from Chris Crawfurd of sovrn.

You put in countless hours to create the highest quality content possible week after week. Maybe you even spend money on hiring a graphic designer to make your work look even better. But what good is a solid piece of content if it’s not being put in front of the right audience?

These four blogger tools are must-haves for any publisher looking to increase the reach of their online content:

1. Use Visual.ly to increase your content distribution

Visual.ly is the world’s marketplace for visual content. Whether it’s an infographic, video, interactive, or presentation, their streamlined process makes it easy to distribute your content and get it in front of the right audience. Visual.ly is sort-of like a social network for infographic and visualization sharing (talk about niche markets). You can explore, share and, in the near future, even create your own. When you open up the home page, you are greeted by a continuous scrolling of some of the best infographics currently on the website, and signing up takes a minute via the link on the top-right of the page (sign-up is free).

Let’s say we are searching for a particular infographic about, say, Digital Advertising. All you have to do is type Digital Advertising into the search box, hit Enter, and Visual.ly will bring up a list of visualizations tagged with the keyword Digital Advertising. While searching for visualizations, you can organize your results in a number of different ways, for example, by visualizations that are currently trending or by most commented or most viewed visualizations. You can also change the layout of your search results – the most useful view shows a description of the graphic so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.47.06 pm

Next Steps:

  1. Register for a free account onVisual.ly
  2. Upload your content
  3. Enjoy the sudden flux of digital eyeballs and link love

2. Use BuzzSumo to gain insights into what your competition is blogging about

BuzzSumo provides insights into the most popular online content and the influencers behind it. The next time you’re brainstorming blog topics for your upcoming content cycle, try researching the topic you’re interested in via the BuzzSumo platform to see what other bloggers and content influencers have to say about it. It might help steer you in the right direction.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.48.22 pm

Here’s a breakdown of what BuzzSumo actually does:

  • Allows you to search for content that has been widely shared within social media sites
  • Gather metrics around content and segment it by content format
  • Quickly find guest posts, contests, videos, interviews and infographics
  • Find out who the influential content curators/aggregators are within any niche
  • Gather statistics on industry influencers and their associated websites
  • Export all of the intelligence into Excel spreadsheets

The real meat of BuzzSumo is in its “Pro” version. Through BuzzSumo Pro you can access its Content Analysis Reports. Think of these as regular BuzzSumo reports on steroids.

For data nerds (and I know there’s a few of you out there), this level of reporting will keep you up at night.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.53.17 pm

From this dashboard, you can see just about everything there is to know about a specific topic. In this example, “AdWords” is the content area of interest. In addition to tons of other cool graphs, you can also see, at a glance, which domains are just killing it in your industry. 

3. Use Hootsuite to manage and distribute your social media

Manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the Hootsuite dashboard. Hootsuite is a third-party tool or application that is designed to collate all of your social media account streams into one handy dashboard. You can write, send, schedule and track posts from its simple interface across multiple networks and multiple accounts. It is therefore a good option for those people or businesses that have either multiple accounts on one social media network or accounts across multiple networks – for example Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Hootsuite is web-based and does not require any software download. You can also add team members (and implement work-flow) as well as monitor analytics and performance.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.54.59 pm

The primary use of Hootsuite is a social media dashboard (or social media management system) that provides a view of all your social media activity across all your accounts and allows you to post to all of them from one place. It gives you access to up to five of your top social media streams for free – including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, WordPress, Mixi, Instagram, Google+ among others, which can be much easier than trying to manage all of these accounts directly from a browser. Not only can you track your posts, but you can also reply directly within Hootsuite as well as post updates on every network from the one place.

What do you get with Hootsuite?

  • Manage multiple Twitter, Facebook (profiles, events, groups and pages), LinkedIn (Profiles, Pages and Groups), WordPress, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace (does this even still exist?), Vimeo, Instagram, ping.fm and more accounts from one place
  • Schedule your social media updates
  • Collaborate as a team – including ability to assign replies, mark as done, track messages etc.
  • Manage it all through mobile applications
  • Customized analytics, included automated scheduled reports (though this can be costly)
  • RSS integration
  • Customer support

4. Use meridian to harness the value of your data and grow your influence 

meridian is a new publisher platform built and designed by sovrn Holdings. meridian acts as a conduit between publishers and advertisers by providing publishers with unique data insights that allow publishers to create better, more targeted and lucrative content. Through meridian, publishers can: manage their ad tags; view unique revenue metrics paired with targeted audience segments; see how their site compares to other sites within their vertical; gain access to an expanding library of publisher tools and third-party integrations.

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meridian features detailed, individual advertising performance metrics on a site-by-site, and zone-by-zone basis along with clear trending information. Inside the platform publishers will see detailed audience segmentation detailing the advertiser-driven values and characteristics of readers visiting their sites. In addition to advertising management and optimization, sovrn’s meridian boasts easy to understand reporting and user-friendly data visualization. Publishers see their earnings in real-time. Payments to publishers happen faster than any other system, in virtually every currency, and in every major payment mechanism.

Here are more specifics on what exactly you’ll see in meridian:

  • Fresh, user-friendly interface with real-time data visualizations
  • Improved ad management tools and performance metrics
  • Vertical comparisons for benchmarking performance
  • Audience demographics and reader insights
  • Integrated content from sovrn’s Publisher Resource Center
  • Personalized support from the sovrn Publisher Advocate Team

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Pretty cool, right? Here’s what you need to do to gain access to meridian:

  1. Sign up for a sovrn account on meridian
  2. Create ad tags, install the audience analytics beacon and search widget
  3. Sit back and reap the rewards of your hard-earned data.

Well, what did you think? Were these tools helpful? If you have any other tools you’ve found useful in your blogging/content creating endeavors, contact me a ccrawfurd@sovrn.com or leave us a comment below!

Chris Crawfurd is VP of Publisher Services at sovrn Holdings, responsible for growing and managing sovrn’s 20,000+ publisher relationships. Contact him: ccrawfurd@sovrn.com

 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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Four Blogging Tools to Make your Content Go Further

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5 Basics to Having Your Post go Viral http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/22/5-basics-to-having-your-post-go-viral/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/22/5-basics-to-having-your-post-go-viral/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 14:00:02 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38289 The longer I blog, the more I hear of bloggers trying to go viral. I’m sure on top of posting consistently, using social media strategically, and generally providing interesting, useful, and inspiring content on the internet, it would be a little help if that content was seen by as many people as possible. Even better [...]

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5 Basics to Having Your Post go Viral

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5 basics to having your post go viral - the foundations of shareable content on ProBlogger.net

The longer I blog, the more I hear of bloggers trying to go viral.

I’m sure on top of posting consistently, using social media strategically, and generally providing interesting, useful, and inspiring content on the internet, it would be a little help if that content was seen by as many people as possible. Even better if those people hang around and provide ongoing traffic. Going viral wouldn’t hurt, right?

While it won’t happen to everyone, and it’s almost impossible to force, there’s no doubt going viral can be useful when you can get it. Viral posts usually have similar threads in common, so you’re bound to give your post a little push if you can ensure it contains this combination of essentials:

1. Reach out and touch somebody

The one aspect that always appears in viral content is its ability to invoke an emotion in the reader.

No emotion? No sharing!

In addition to that, the most shared content is said to be content that evokes a strong positive emotional response. So yeah anger and indignation will get people sharing (outrage is also good!), apparently what works best is the warm and fuzzies. A 2010 study of the New York Times “most emailed” list found the articles that were shared often tended to fall into one of four categories: awe-inspiring, emotional, positive, or surprising.

Recently, two professors studying the motivations of virality came to the conclusion that while content is shared for ultimately many reasons, it’s emotional reactions that tend to drive the most shares. In addition to that, content that makes your heart race is more likely to go viral. Written anything that powerful yet?!

In the article, they say “Content that makes readers or viewers feel a positive emotion like awe or wonder is more likely to take off online than content that makes people feel sad or angry, though causing some emotion is far better than inspiring none at all.”

Have a think about how you can get your message across. Is there a personal story you can share? Is there a humanist spin you can put on it? How can you really create your post with “resonating with the reader” in mind?

Viral content is compelling, interesting, funny, moving, and if you’ve really hit the jackpot – the next item on our list!

2. Be useful

Everybody loves a life hack. I’ve been eating apples wrong all this time? Chinese Takeout? Slicing grapes? Mind blown, must share.

When you think about creating content that people can’t help but share, thing about how you can be useful. How you can add value, find their pain points and solve them. Have they got questions? Answer them? Be inspiring, be emotive, heck, maybe even be a little controversial. But useful content is king – you’re starting off on the right foot if you’ve got that down pat.

3. It’s all about the reader

Apparently people will share content when it says something about who they are. It might make them seem intelligent, it might show how much they care for the less fortunate, or it might just show they’ve an excellent sense of humour. They’ll share reflections of their personalities, and you’re going to give them the content to do just that. The article says sharable content is “often a statement about what you believe in, what causes or values you align yourself with, and what, in particular, you love and identify with”, so make sure your content fills one of those needs.

Aaaaaaand I googled the term “extreme selfies” after reading that article. Buzzfeed, you’ve done it again!

4. Get a Head Start

If you want your content out there, being seen by the max amount of eyeballs possible, then begin by putting it there. Don’t just publish and hold your breath. We all know Facebook is making it difficult to be seen in newsfeeds, and evidence is showing Twitter doesn’t drive traffic like it once did – so think outside the box. I’m sure you’ve got an RSS or email post mailout sorted, but you can also upload to Slideshare, LinkedIn, YouTube, have something in your email signatures, forum signatures, you can submit to Digg and Reddit if you can, even StumbleUpon if you think that might help.

Don’t discount Google+, there’s still a few going strong over there! Some blog commenting systems (particularly WordPress style ones) have the option to link to a post – choose that one when you’re commenting. Post it to Pinterest – several times. Does it have a Pinterest-worthy image? Get on that!

Have you sorted the SEO? Is it keyword-rich (but natural, because nobody’s gonna read a robot)? Have you provided keywords for images, and in the alt-text? Have you checked the metadata?

You can ask people to share, if you think it will help. Email influential people (if relevant) and ask them to share if they feel it will benefit their readers. Ask people to retweet. Invite them to share at the bottom of your posts. Mention sharing in your Facebook update. Ask your friends and family to share if they can/want to. Sometimes all it takes is a little prompt.

It also doesn’t hurt to jump on a news story or trend when it’s reaching its peak. Does it have an angle you can cover on your blog? What is capturing the internet’s attention that you can build on, or provide an alternative opinion to? Do you have further information, something themed that will resonate, or have you covered this issue before? Ride that wave!

5. Make it easy

You really can’t expect people to share if you haven’t made it easy for them to begin with [tweet that!]. Have clear social sharing icons displayed prominently (wherever works for you – a scrolling set on the side, at the bottom of your post, at the top, etc), and ensure you’ve configured them to show the top five or six platforms you think will be most useful or that people are likely to share on.

Provide tweetable quotes, like I have above. Two clicks and they’re done! Have a Facebook-sized image somewhere in your post that people can use. Lead that horse as close as you can to the water, and they just might drink!

Have you ever had a post go viral? Did it fit the criteria here? Do you remember the viral posts that have caught your attention? What was it about them that compelled you to share? I’d love to chat!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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5 Basics to Having Your Post go Viral

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Hey Bloggers! Is it Time to Focus a little Less on Your Blog and A Little More on YOU? http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/20/hey-bloggers-is-it-time-to-focus-a-little-less-on-your-blog-and-a-little-more-on-you/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/20/hey-bloggers-is-it-time-to-focus-a-little-less-on-your-blog-and-a-little-more-on-you/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 23:48:11 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38334 Blogging has been very good to me over the last twelve and a half years, but it’s come at a personal cost that I’m sure many can relate to. Gradually over that time I’ve allowed myself to become more and more inactive. Gradually over time I became less and less fit and gained more and [...]

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Hey Bloggers! Is it Time to Focus a little Less on Your Blog and A Little More on YOU?

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Blogging has been very good to me over the last twelve and a half years, but it’s come at a personal cost that I’m sure many can relate to.

Gradually over that time I’ve allowed myself to become more and more inactive. Gradually over time I became less and less fit and gained more and more weight.

Along with the weight gain and loss of fitness came a loss of energy and mental alertness. If I’m honest it also began to impact my mental health which in turn impacted numerous other areas of my life from relationships to my personal confidence and even through into my blogging.

Four months ago I had a bit of a wake up call after my annual doctors checkup, when I was presented with a list of areas I needed to do some work on. None of the things on the list were super-urgent or life-threatening but the fact that it was a list was enough to grab my attention and sparked a few changes in my life.

I recently wrote about my ‘slow decline’ and the changes I made in a post over on LinkedIn titled My New Project: Project Me.

In short I began to walk each day and made some significant changes to my diet (you can read the specifics in the post). The impact was pretty immediate.

  • Most importantly I’m feeling so much better within myself.
  • I have more energy than I remember having for a decade.
  • I’m thinking clearer and have more mental alertness and stamina.
  • My confidence has improved so much!
  • I’ve lost 13 kilograms (almost 29 pounds) and am in desperate need to go shopping to buy some smaller clothes!
  • My blood pressure is down!
  • I’m no longer out of breath when I play with my kids.
  • I’m getting more productive and the quality of my work is improving.
  • My mood and outlook has improved and I’m finding myself smiling a whole heap more

It’s Infectious

One of the other impacts that I had not expected of this journey is that as I’ve shared my story (with the above post) and in conversation I’ve noticed that it’s sparked others around me to make changes.

I was at a conference last week when three people told me that they’d started their own ‘Project Me’ campaigns. Each was doing it their own way and focusing upon a different areas of their life but each was sick of the ‘gradual slides’ that had happened in their lives and was doing something about it.

Join Us?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last few weeks and have been wondering if there’s some way we could support each other more as a community in this area.

I’ll declare up front that I’m no expert in any of this. I’m four months into this journey and have been learning a lot but still have a long way to go. But I do know that I’m much more likely to have success if I’m doing this in community and have a little accountability from those around me.

As a result yesterday on the spur of the moment and without any planning or forethought, I decided to start a little group on Facebook for those who want to work on improving their health.

I’ve set the group up under the name of Feelgooder (the name of an old blog I used to have that I’ve never done much with) with the goal of it being alive for three months. On 19 August we’ll reassess whether the group is being of use to people and I’ll decide if we continue it or not.

The group is a closed group but you’re very very welcome to join it.

The objective is not to prescribe, teach or share any one way to get healthy. Rather it’s a place for support, share, be vulnerable and have a little accountability.

So far we’ve got 230+ people who’ve joined. People seem to be at all stages of the journey with their fitness, diet and other areas of well being. There’s also people from all parts of the world and different age groups.

So far the group is largely made up of bloggers or online entrepreneurs. There’s no rule on this but it’s who seems to be joining so I thought I’d open the invitation up to the wider ProBlogger community.

Whether this evolves beyond the group or ends up just being a temporary community I don’t know but I’m loving the first couple of days and hope that those of you who feel moved to do so might consider joining us.

Is it Time to Focus a little Less on Your Blog and A Little More on YOU?

I’d love to see you over on the Feelgooder Group on Facebook.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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Hey Bloggers! Is it Time to Focus a little Less on Your Blog and A Little More on YOU?

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5 Unmissable Fiverr Gigs that Will Make Your Life Easy as a Busy Blogger http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/20/5-unmissable-fiverr-gigs-that-will-make-your-life-easy-as-a-busy-blogger/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/05/20/5-unmissable-fiverr-gigs-that-will-make-your-life-easy-as-a-busy-blogger/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 14:04:36 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=37935 This is a guest contribution from Pooja Lohana. Ever get mad at yourself? Because your blog is not going the way you’d like it to? You come to your desk, stare at the computer and realize there’s so much to be done. You’re tired before you’ve begun your day. But blogging is supposed to be fun. [...]

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5 Unmissable Fiverr Gigs that Will Make Your Life Easy as a Busy Blogger

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This is a guest contribution from Pooja Lohana.

Ever get mad at yourself?

Because your blog is not going the way you’d like it to?

You come to your desk, stare at the computer and realize there’s so much to be done. You’re tired before you’ve begun your day.

But blogging is supposed to be fun. At least that’s what you were told, right?

Thankfully, you can prevent that feeling of dread and overwhelm from the bulk of everyday tasks in business.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Fiverr. It’s a marketplace where users sell and buy various services starting at five bucks.

You heard it right – be it a prank call, drawing a caricature or a song dedicated to your significant other – you can get it all on Fiverr.

Some of these gigs are practical, super-creative and even bizarre things you may never dare but these providers will.

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On a serious note, I assume you’re reading this because you’re a blogger and like to get a lot of things done during a day.

If that’s you, there are tons of time-saving gigs on Fiverr.

Here’s a sample of what you get:

  • I will write an EXPERT Press Release for $5
  • I will fix you WordPress problems for $5
  • I will design a killer Landing Page for $5
  • I will do a 15 second commercial for $5

You get the drift.

Business comes with a lot of work and you may not always have the right skill set, inclination or time to accomplish everything. So without further ado, here are 5 unmissable Fiverr gigs proven to be super-helpful for serious bloggers:

Ebook Covers

If you’re ever to write a Kindle book or an ebook (and you should), you can safely forget the saying “Never judge a book by its cover”.

Because buyers are going to judge it that way. A catchy cover can make all the difference between your ebook turning out to be a best-seller or a dud.

Most of the times, you can’t just use a print cover as its ebook counterpart. You need to consider if the typography reads well in the thumbnail version (60 x 90 pixels on Amazon) and how well the design uses available real-estate, among other things. This is where a professional designer can make your life easier.

Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur.com recommends that when looking for an ebook cover designer, you go after the one who is just starting out on Fiverr. “You want the one who has a good portfolio, but is new enough that your positive review is life or death to their Fiverr business. You’ll get a lot more out of them this way than just going after the others.”

But regardless, there are plenty of Fiverr fish in the sea and new ones sprout up every day.

There are many good designers on Fiverr who use their own image library to create stellar, unique results. To make your job easy, I’ve listed two of the top providers below.

Providers to consider:

  1. Pro_ebookcovers
  2. Ravsingh

Video Marketing

Since a majority of people in the world are visual learners (40—65%), what better way to introduce your brand than using a video?

An intro video, or a logo intro as they call it, is a great way to engage your reader’s visual senses. It’s best to keep it super-short, like a teaser of about 30 seconds.

But if you want a longer video of about a few minutes, you can get it for a few extra $5 gigs.

Or, if you want to explain a concept, try one of Fiverr’s “whiteboard drawing videos” which feature a hand drawing little figures on a whiteboard animation.

Providers to consider:

  1. Ydrawing
  2. Studio 4

Transcription

If you do a lot of interviews and publish case-studies on your blog, you’ll need to transcribe your audios and videos.

Your readers might prefer readable PDFs to listening to an audio file. Transcripts come handy to create blog posts, feature stories and content for your website, or when you want to throw in a freebie with a video course.

Thankfully, Fiverr offers gigs for grammatically accurate and well-formatted deliveries that you might as well use with little or no editing.

Providers to consider:

  1. Transexpert
  2. Adnanjilani90

Mobile Apps and Websites

Recently, Google announced they will be using information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for users who have the app installed and logged into it.

What does that mean? Search engine page results will take into consideration indexed apps more prominently.

As an estimate, there will be 4 billion Android and iOS users by the end of 2015. The human population is about 7 billion at the moment, so it’s obvious that a majority will be using these devices.

If you offer a product, creating a mobile app sounds only logical. Fiverr lists some cool app creation gigs. However, remember a complete app will cost you more than $5. So it’s always better to contact a provider before buying a gig.

That said, sometimes you just need a mobile-friendly website, not an app. Apps are applications that you can download on your handheld device, versus being rendered in a browser. If you’re offering something specific like a game, an app is your best bet. But if you want to share your blog posts over a wider range of audiences, start with a mobile website.

Providers to consider:

  1. Iphone_ipad
  2. It_service
  3. Seoparam

Create Something Different

How many times have you been told that? If you want to succeed at your marketing, be different.

Yeah right, but how?

A gig I found on Fiverr can help you through that block. This guy will go underwater and hold his breath to deliver your message.

Pretty interesting, right?

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Or, take this lady who will write a short message on the froth of a cappuccino.

More such gigs are waiting if you really like to experiment and zig when others zag!

How to Get the Most Out of Fiverr

Before you start using Fiverr for business, here are some tips to remember:

  1. Make sure you check the “Positive Rating” of the provider you’re considering. I like to shortlist providers by pressing the “Favorite” button at the top of each profile so I can compare a few in one go.
  2. Look at the number and type of reviews at the top of the profile.
  3. Check how many orders are in queue. Usually, a lot of awaiting orders should point to good quality results.
  4. Look at the average response time. If I need something fairly quick, and the response time of a provider is in days, I would look elsewhere.
  5. Always contact the provider before buying a gig. Most sellers encourage this. Tell them exactly what you need, how much it will cost (sometimes you will have to buy an “upgrade” or extra gigs) and what’s the turnaround. Make sure they are the right person for your job.

How do you use Fiverr for your business? Share your expriences in the comments below!

Pooja Lohana is a freelance writer, ghost writer and online marketing mentor featured on Problogger, Firepole, JeffBullas, MarketingProfs, Hongkiat and more. If you’re an aspiring writer and want to become self-employed, create wealth and live a better life by launching your online writing biz, steal her free mini-course to make your first $1000 (and more) writing at home.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

5 Unmissable Fiverr Gigs that Will Make Your Life Easy as a Busy Blogger

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