@ProBlogger http://www.problogger.net Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging - ProBlogger Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:01:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 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 Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/28/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-5/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/28/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-5/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:01:00 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43561 Coming to you live from the depths of Melbourne winter – while the rest of the country (almost) is springing into spring, we’re still freezing our butts off. Fingers crossed we’ll start to see the sun soon! Here’s what I found interesting lately around the web: How to use a $5 Twitter ad To Redefine [...]

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

Coming to you live from the depths of Melbourne winter – while the rest of the country (almost) is springing into spring, we’re still freezing our butts off. Fingers crossed we’ll start to see the sun soon!

Here’s what I found interesting lately around the web:

How to use a $5 Twitter ad To Redefine Your Digital Strategy //  Jon Loomer

The Facebook Advertising guy changes tack with a cheap but effective way of getting audience insights on Twitter that you just can’t get anywhere else – advertising gold.

13 Lessons on Viral Content that got 36,177 Shares in One Year // CoSchedule

With great traffic comes great responsibility.

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog, Attracting Readers, and Making Money // The Penny Hoarder

A very humorous (and useful!) description of those foundational things you really need to get your blog running as fast as you can – but also a few tips for us old fogeys like great places to find images, finding readers, SEO and more.

15 Useful Tips for Attending an Event Alone (and Actually Enjoying It) // Hubspot

There were a few nervous newbies at PBEVENT a few weeks ago – it IS daunting to go to events on your lonesome. Hopefully these tips will help for next time.

How to Tell Stories with Instagram and Facebook Carousel Ads // Social Media Examiner

I have seen some very clever versions of this lately, and I’m left wondering how I could make it work for my own blog. Some are incredibly creative!

 

What news have you read lately?

Stacey Roberts 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.

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10 Ways To Stay Productive as a Work-at-Home Blogger http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/27/10-ways-to-stay-productive-as-a-work-at-home-blogger/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/27/10-ways-to-stay-productive-as-a-work-at-home-blogger/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:04:58 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39029 This is a guest contribution from Larry Alton. Working from home sounds like a pretty cushy job. You can wear whatever you like, eat as often as you want, text your friends, run errands, and be at home with your family, all while being employed. However, that list of things can often make it difficult [...]

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10 ways to stay productive as a work-at-home blogger - don't tell me you don't need these tips! On ProBlogger.net.This is a guest contribution from Larry Alton.

Working from home sounds like a pretty cushy job. You can wear whatever you like, eat as often as you want, text your friends, run errands, and be at home with your family, all while being employed. However, that list of things can often make it difficult to accomplish your work.

If you’re struggling to find a productive schedule as a freelance blogger, consider these tips.

Find Your Groove

Everyone has a groove that spurs productivity. Maybe you need to sit in your office chair with the lights off, blinds shut, and a fuzzy blanket on your lap. Or maybe you need to have a clear view of the sunshine and wear your lucky socks. Maybe your groove requires waking up and going straight to work without eating or showering. Everyone has a different groove, and if you find yours, you’ll find your most productive hours.

Dress Up

It’s pretty cool that you can go to work in your pajamas and fuzzy slippers, wrapped up in your Snuggie. However, that comfort zone may be your downfall. Wearing clothes that are too comfortable can often lead to a stronger desire to relax rather than work. Dressing up in your business professional clothing can help working at home feel more like working in an office, and you might find your productivity spike.

Manage Projects

Stay organized by managing your projects. Whether you write just one blog or you ghost write for 20, there are several tools you can use to stay organized both on the computer and off.

For example, there are software tools and apps that make invoicing, scheduling, and emailing extremely easy. Or if your projects aren’t very complex, you can use a simple white board to keep track of your daily tasks and mark them off as you go. Either way, stay organized to help you stay on track.

Remove Distractions

Email, cell phones, kids, roommates, pets, food, television—all of these are some of the most tempting distractions for freelance writers, and if you want to find productivity, you’ll get them out of the way. Go somewhere to work where you won’t be distracted by your surroundings, and set aside separate time to check your phone and email so that you’re not doing it during your most productive time.

Set Specific Work Hours

Scheduling your time is extremely important for having a constructive day if you make a schedule that works specifically for you. Choosing your own schedule is one of the better perks of working at home, after all.

When are your most productive hours? When do you work most slowly? Some bloggers have their most productive hours between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Others have it from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Whatever time works best for you, make sure you build your schedule around that.

Make Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals

Both short and long-term goals do wonders for inspiring creativity and helping you stay productive. If you’re a work at home blogger, you’re probably goal oriented and deadline driven. Each day, write out your goals for your desired progress and tack it to your office wall. Similarly, define weekly and monthly goals that you’re constantly striving to achieve.

Log Out of Social Media

Social media is incredibly useful for promoting your writing and networking with others. However, when you’re supposed to be writing, it’s basically the antithesis of productivity. During your scheduled work hours, log out of social media. Better yet, block your favorite networks on your computer until a certain time or ask a trusted friend to change the password for you until you’ve finished your work for the day.

Make Time for Exercise

Sitting at your desk chair all day long not only contributes to lost muscle mass and definition, but it also makes you feel less alert and can contribute to lost productivity. When you stay stationary all day long, it can make you feel sleepier and fog your thoughts. Setting aside time for exercise on a daily basis can boost your efficiency by making you more alert and motivated, all while leading to a healthier lifestyle.

Eat Healthy Meals

Another thing that contributes to fatigue and lack of motivation is sugary, unhealthy food. These make it so that you don’t feel 100 percent, which makes it difficult to work efficiently. Healthy meals and reduced snacking on sugary treats can make you feel more alert and healthy, which enhances your abilities to perform your daily tasks.

Prepare the Day Before

As a work at home blogger, your schedule can fluctuate from day to day, but you can still benefit from preparing for your workload a day in advance. Write out all of the tasks you need to complete the next day and even a tentative schedule for completing them.

Furthermore, prepare yourself and your office space. You might set out your clothes or prepare your lunch. You might also clean up your office and pull out any resources you might need for the next day’s tasks. A cleaner, more prepared office makes it easy to go straight to work without worrying about a mess.

Further Reading: 5 Ways to Make Your Blogging Life Easier.

Productive blogging takes practice and a series of trial and error, but once you figure it out, the freer lifestyle is worthwhile.

How do you stay productive when goofing off is a more appealing option?

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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How One Couple Drastically Changed Their Life by Blogging http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/26/how-one-couple-drastically-changed-their-life-by-blogging/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/26/how-one-couple-drastically-changed-their-life-by-blogging/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:00:57 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39035 This is a guest contribution from Gina Horkey. Two years ago, my husband and I were just like any other American couple. We were both working in Corporate America, had a one and a half year old and another on the way. Our work schedules and commutes weren’t bad, we just weren’t doing work that [...]

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How blogging changed one average American couple's life / problogger.net.This is a guest contribution from Gina Horkey.

Two years ago, my husband and I were just like any other American couple.

We were both working in Corporate America, had a one and a half year old and another on the way. Our work schedules and commutes weren’t bad, we just weren’t doing work that we were passionate about.

Someone else was also raising our child. It could have been much worse – our son was maybe in daycare for 30 hours per week. And the provider was great! It just wasn’t what we wanted. Plus, with another on the way, daycare was about to get real expensive!

Since I’m not one to sit back and accept less-than-ideal circumstances, we decided to make some changes. Here’s our story of going from a dual income, Corporate America household, to a single earning one dependent on just my freelancing income. Buckle up!

Finding a Better Solution

Even though I was a financial advisor, we never thought it’d be possible for one of us to quit work and stay at home with our growing family. After a couple failed nanny attempts and the end of my pregnancy looming, we got desperate and finally entertained the idea.

My husband had always expressed interest in becoming a SAHD and my career was more promising at the time, so we set out to see if it was possible for him, the carrier of all benefits to quit.

By significantly cutting our expenses (cutting cable, reducing our dining out, raising our insurance deductibles, stopping our retirement savings, etc) we were just able to make it work!

Thank goodness we had the good sense to pay-off most of our debt the year or two before.

Fast Forward a Year

Our second child was going on a year old and Wade was enjoying staying at home. All should be well then, right?

Wrong. It should have been.

But I couldn’t help to acknowledge the growing discontent I was experiencing with my work. My clients were great and so were my colleagues. I just didn’t really enjoy talking and reading about investing, tax law or compliance all day long.

I tried to throw myself further into my career by enrolling in an accredited program and pitching a plan to buy into the larger practice. I began studying and we began talks to make it happen.

But then I realized it wasn’t what I really wanted. And I actually listened to myself for once.

Starting a Freelance Writing Side Hustle

So, I did what any other “normal” person did and turned to the world wide internet!

I explored my passions, my available options and started freelance writing on the side a little over a year ago. I secured an unpaid contributorship with The Huffington Post, got some samples by guest posting elsewhere and started my own blog.

I would get up every weekday morning at 4:30 and write for an hour or two before my family woke up and I had to get ready for work. I also had a four-day workweek at the time, so I used Fridays to work on my writing business as well.

I even hired a babysitter from time to time on the weekend to give Wade a break and get some time-sensitive client work done. It was fun, I saw the potential and I was committed to taking charge of my own career future.

All of my hard work and perseverance started to pay off. My income grew month-over-month and I figured out I really enjoyed this world of freelance. I had blogged socially for years, but this was the first time I was treating blogging like a business and reaping the financial rewards.

Putting In My Notice

Eventually things came to a head at work. I opened up about my freelance success and that I had changed my mind about what I wanted for my career future.

I was super nervous about it, but the conversation went better than I had expected. I had been an advisor for almost a decade at this point and with this particular practice for six years. We had a great relationship and I considered them almost like family. But it was hard to disappoint a father-figure!

Due to our great mutual respect, we worked out a plan for them to buy my small practice, for us to find my replacement (for the support duties I performed for the office) and that I’d have a long transition schedule to both train in said replacement and continue to build up my freelance career into a viable business that would support my family.

Becoming a Full-time Freelancer

Right around Christmas, 2014 I had my last day of work. I was now officially a full-time freelancer!

It was exhilarating and a bit frightening all at once. But now, six months later, I can happily say that I made the right decision.

I may work more than ever, but it’s work that I’m passionate about (I write, am a virtual assistant, coach newbie freelance writers and have a course to help aspiring writers for the web launch their own business in as little as 30 days). We also own our schedule, our time and choose how we get to spend it.

Better yet, we choose WHO we get to spend it with.

In Conclusion

Blogging changed our life.

We now decide our schedule, rather than our Corporate America jobs dictating it.

For us, it’s not about being rich or continuing to earn more money – it’s about defining and living out our own priorities, which just so happens to include spending as much time as we can raising our own children.

Want to know my favorite part of each workday now? Coming in for lunch with my family and laying my two toddlers down for their naps. I never would have been able to do that a year ago!

How would your life look different if you felt empowered to make big changes?
Gina Horkey is a writer for hire, with a background in personal finance. She also offers coaching services and really enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time. Please stop by Horkey HandBook and say hello and download a free copy of 8 Tips to Start Your Freelance Career off on the Right Foot!

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How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Through Your Archived Material on Facebook http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/24/how-to-drive-traffic-to-your-blog-through-your-archived-material-on-facebook/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/24/how-to-drive-traffic-to-your-blog-through-your-archived-material-on-facebook/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2015 14:25:12 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39051 This is a guest contribution from Jonathan Goodman. I love discovering systems that work in the background so you can focus on your blog. What I’m going to detail is like the concept of compound interest. At the beginning, the effects will be small  – but over time, as the system continues to work and [...]

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How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Through Your Archived Material on Facebook

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This is a guest contribution from Jonathan Goodman.

I love discovering systems that work in the background so you can focus on your blog.

What I’m going to detail is like the concept of compound interest.

At the beginning, the effects will be small  – but over time, as the system continues to work and you keep adding into it small bits, it becomes a monster.

It involves Facebook. And while much has been said about Facebook’s diminishing reach, it still stands as the best platform to find and gather a purposeful audience and promote a blog.

What I want to share with you isn’t how to spam. It’s not how to copy and paste a quote onto a pretty picture and hope that it somehow goes viral. And it’s definitely not how to steal somebody else’s video and upload it as your own. I want to share an intelligent way to generate a perpetual promotion engine.

A couple screenshots taken on a random day to show that I’m not some guy who just talks about this stuff. I use it to build my own site.

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But don’t get me wrong, this is not about vanity metrics like Facebook likes. It’s about email list growth.

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A good string of days for email growth, admittedly, but it does happen. 150-350 email leads per day, much of it from Facebook, is where the site sits at right now and each week those numbers continue to inch up.

So what is this magical system?

First, it’s nothing magical.

This is about embedding videos from your Facebook page on your blog. After showing you how to do it, I’ll describe the power with it for promoting your blog and gaining leads. Beyond that there’s a few details to generate more traction both on your videos on your blog.

First, the tech stuff

In order for the embed to render on a WordPress site, you’ll likely have to embed some code into your site. I’m technologically illiterate but sent this post from Facebook to my web guy.

From there, it’s easy. Here’s a walk through:

Step 1: Upload a video to Facebook (sharing a YouTube link won’t work. You’ll have to upload the video manually)

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Step 2: Navigate to the videos permalink page by clicking on the date just under the video’s name.

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Step 3: Click the “embed video” link on the bottom right side.

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Step 4: Copy the embed code that pops up.

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Step 5: Paste the embed code into the HTML editor of a blog post wherever you want the video to appear.

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On the top is the technical mumbo-jumbo and beneath it is how the video renders on your site. The above is from an article that serves as a good example of this system teaching how to fix butt wink in the squat.

Note: You can take any video from any page on Facebook and embed it into your blog the same as you’d embed a YouTube video. Not a bad idea but you miss the real value of these embeds.

Now that you know how to embed videos, let’s look at all the components of the video once it renders on your site:

The video will show two ways: One if it’s not currently being played, and one if it is.

If the video isn’t being played there’s three places to click other than the play button:

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Along with the clickable parts, the existing video views on the bottom left adds a level of social proof.

The video name – takes the user to the video’s permalink page hosted on your Facebook page.

Your Facebook page name – takes the user to your Facebook page.

The Facebook logo – takes the user to the video’s permalink page hosted on your Facebook page.

Note: All links open in a new window so don’t worry about it navigating the user away from your blog post.

If the video is currently being played there are five places to click other than the regular video navigation buttons:

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The video name – takes the user to the video’s permalink page hosted on your Facebook page.

Your Facebook page name – takes the user to your Facebook page.

A Facebook “like” button – The user can “like” the video right from your blog.

A Facebook “share” button – The user can share the video right from your blog.

The Facebook logo – takes the user to the video’s permalink page hosted on your Facebook page.

Now comes the ninja stuff

Facebook’s putting a big push on video. They autoplay all over your feed and spammy videos stolen by unscrupulous page owners are everywhere.

Before going further – don’t steal videos! I’m sure that you see other disrespectful page owners doing it. Not only is it illegal but you’ll also get shut down. It’s simply a matter of time. I’ll show you the different ways to get videos to use in a bit.

The first benefit to using video on Facebook is that it has a high organic reach.

You can then embed that same video into as many blog posts as possible. As you’ve seen above, each video embed has a number of different options to generate traffic for your Facebook page but also share and/or like your video directly from your blog.

Having a video embedded into your blog will also increase the average time a user spends on your site decreasing “bounce time.”

Facebook views your page as more valuable if users click a link from your page and stay there for longer. It’s also an important determinant for search engine visibility.

That’s not the fun part – this is:

In August of 2013, Facebook announced a change to its algorhithm called “story bumping.” Facebook’s old formula, while not completely known, was largely determined by something they called “time decay” — if your status update was more than a few hours old, there’s not much chance it would ever be seen again.

Story bumping changed things. If an old status update (i.e., a video) is getting new interaction, Facebook will selectively “bump” this story to the top of the news feed for people who haven’t seen it.

Both users of your page who didn’t see it the first time and new users who might be highly relevant to you based off friends of theirs who “like” your page.

The result is that old, archived (video) status updates that are getting new interaction can and do get “bumped” to new viewers. The result, well, looks something like this every time that you log in when you do it right:

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Two random screenshots of my notifications list for the page. In the second one you see 11 different things being shared within a 12-hour period.

And this process compounds upon itself. I can’t login to Facebook after leaving for a few hours without at least 40 new notifications (that’s 40 different things happening when I was gone. 100 people sharing one status update counts as one).

I should also note that all shares and interaction are not equal. Aim to share high-value materials and include a call-to-action to join your email list on almost every one.

Interaction is the name of the game. What I’m about to describe will get you interaction perpetually on old status updates. Archived materials go to work for you while you sleep finding you new readers and email subscribers.

Here’s why: Embedding videos into blog posts allows them to sit forever on your blog. A user who sifts through your archives and “likes” a video embed from a year ago could cause that video status update to “bump” in Facebook, thereby showing it to new users who then bump it more and give it new life.

Apart from hoping that old blog posts rank in search engines or users sifting through your archives, we also re-share old articles periodically on our page. An old article share with three Facebook embeds is like sharing four status updates at once.

Let’s say all get interaction and all have a call to action for a squeeze page at the bottom. Now you’ve got four status update sharing to four different audiences, all promoting your email opt-in.

How to Generate Videos to Use?

To share videos you’ve got to have ones that you own or have permission to use, obviously, but too often people scrape videos and upload them as their own without permission. Here are three ways to get videos to use:

Scrape your own YouTube channel: If you’ve got an existing archive of videos on YouTube, start systematically uploading them to Facebook one at a time. We do 6-10/week now. YouTube is Google property and Facebook will look at them as unique content.

Ask for permission: I never did much with YouTube, so asked a few dozen fitness coaches who had great channels to repurpose their videos at my discretion on my Facebook page. I’ve got access to over 2500 videos to use. In the video description I give full attribution with links to the owner’s materials and make sure to note whom the video belongs to and that it’s used with permission.

Film your own: For every article that you write, film a 1-2 minute video highlighting the benefits of the main points. Upload this video to Facebook first and embed it into the blog post.

After you’ve started to upload some videos, you can organize them into playlists on your video page as well.

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Some notes on the small details to get more out of your videos

Generally videos lasting 1-2 minutes work best. That said, I’ve had 10-minute videos that have done well, but they’ve got to be good.

The title and video description is where most miss the mark. A video simply uploaded to Facebook won’t drive a lot of email opt-ins or generate a lot of videos if you don’t do it right.

Write the video meta-data the same as you’d write a sales letter:

Title – Give the video a short, descriptive and punchy title.

Lede – Use 1-2 short sentences to hook the reader and expound upon the benefits that he/she will gain from the video.

Steps to solving (optional) – I’m not sold on the importance on this yet. We’ve got to do more research, but it doesn’t seem to hurt. Add a paragraph or bullet list summarizing the actionable steps gone over in the video to achieve the benefits in the title/lede.

Call to action – Tell them what to do next. I use a short line to first identify them as a personal trainer and then entice them to come to the PTDC’s about page (that we use as an email opt-in).

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“Set it and forget it” systems that work for you and get better with time are fun to discover. Facebook video embeds aren’t being used but can explode views on your website, generate a perpetual audience to your old material, and grow your email list.

I hope it works as well for you as it has for us.

Jonathan Goodman likes to think and experiment with better ways to “do” new media and live a fun, successful, and fulfilling life. He’s been called “Sun Tzu” buried under 40 layers of fun. If you want to know more about high-potency Facebook promotion, click here to claim a free guide to improve the reach of your status updates.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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The Biggest Lesson I Learned About Building a Profitable Blog in 2015 http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/21/the-biggest-lesson-i-learned-about-building-a-profitable-blog-in-2015/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/21/the-biggest-lesson-i-learned-about-building-a-profitable-blog-in-2015/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:52:22 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43541 Episode 38 of the ProBlogger podcast is focused on something I’ve learned in the course of the past year that I think has the potential to transform not only your blogging, but many areas of your life. Today’s episode is personal – my personal journey of the last nine months. I talked about it at [...]

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healthy-person-woman-sport-medium

Episode 38 of the ProBlogger podcast is focused on something I’ve learned in the course of the past year that I think has the potential to transform not only your blogging, but many areas of your life.

Today’s episode is personal – my personal journey of the last nine months. I talked about it at the ProBlogger event a few weeks ago now in my opening keynote – an unexpected topic perhaps, but one that I think is so useful as the foundation of everything, including building a profitable blog.

The question I want to ask you today is the question we get asked all the time: “how are you?”. Not your blog, not your business, but you?

Not just answering “good”, or “busy”, but finding out how are you really? Don’t gloss over the question – really ponder the answer.

The biggest lesson in blogging I’ve learned this year, is that if I want my blog to shine, I need to move beyond the minutiae of monetising, finding readers, creating content – I need to work on making myself shine. The wellbeing of my blogs is directly linked to the wellbeing of me, and I had been letting myself go.

Late last year I went to the doctor for my annual health checkup, and what he told me changed the trajectory of not only my life, but my blogs as well. He gave me a list of things to work on to get my health back up to speed – a whole list. It was stuff I already knew but had never really done anything about. Seeing it there, in list form, was confronting.

I left that doctor’s office feeling pretty low. I didn’t sleep well that night, as I thought about all the things I needed to change in my life. I even pondered the stuff that the doctor didn’t know, but that I knew was an issue.

The story I want to tell you today is how that day was a pivot point for me, and how putting my health and wellbeing first has made such an impact on my blogs and my work ever since.

I hope it inspires you to examine the parts of your life that need changing, to inspire you to take your health seriously and to stop forgetting to exercise, forgetting to eat well, forgetting to get your priorities in order as we churn on through the hamster wheel of work. I hope it helps you set a solid foundation from which your blogs and online endeavours can grow.

Click here to listen to episode 38 of the ProBlogger Podcast: The Biggest Lesson I Learned About Building a Profitable Blog in 2015.

I’d also love to hear your feedback on today’s episode, either here or at ProBlogger.com, and your answer to the question: “how are you?”.

Further Reading:

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Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/21/grow-traffic-to-your-blog-through-guest-posting-and-creating-content-for-other-blogs-forums-media-and-events/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/21/grow-traffic-to-your-blog-through-guest-posting-and-creating-content-for-other-blogs-forums-media-and-events/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:49:58 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43539 Today’s episode is the fifth in this series we’ve been exploring on the ProBlogger Podcast about finding readers. To get you up to speed, you can find the first four here: Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events

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Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events on ProBlogger (the podcast)

Today’s episode is the fifth in this series we’ve been exploring on the ProBlogger Podcast about finding readers.

To get you up to speed, you can find the first four here:

So once you’ve started creating great content, and you’ve found your readers where they’re already hanging out, you can take the next step: creating content or guest posting for other, larger sites to help build your profile and drive traffic.

One of the best ways that you can showcase the kind of value that you’re able to deliver to people on your blog is to create that kind of content for other destinations on the web. But of course, the first thing you need to discern is what we discuss in episode 33: who are you trying to reach? And where are they? That will help you determine who to guest post for, or where to have your content published.

In this episode I will help you find where your ideal readers are, and also what kinds of content you could create to best show your skill and style in places other than your blog. In future episodes, we’ll drill down into each of the strategies I suggest, but for today it’s great to get an overview of how and where you can expand your reach.

Your goal should be to create your best content for these channels you choose in order to demonstrate credibility and authority and that you provide high value in all places, including your own blog.

We discuss:

  • How to add value
  • Building a portfolio of this valuable content elsewhere
  • Pitching ideas
  • What makes it more likely that you’ll be accepted
  • How to promote that content to your own networks
  • Multiple pitches
  • Short term burst strategy, featuring on more than one place at once
  • How to drive traffic without being spammy

So head over to ProBlogger.com for episode 37: Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events, show notes, and to leave a comment, or a review.

Further Reading

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

Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/21/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-4/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/21/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-4/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 14:00:46 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43489 Here we are again! Fridays come around so fast, it seems… which is good, and bad. There are heads full of knowledge and excitement and ideas after last week‘s ProBlogger Training Event, and it’s thrilling to see people starting to put their dreams into practise. Such a surge of energy and hustle! If you missed out [...]

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

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

Here we are again! Fridays come around so fast, it seems… which is good, and bad.

There are heads full of knowledge and excitement and ideas after last week‘s ProBlogger Training Event, and it’s thrilling to see people starting to put their dreams into practise. Such a surge of energy and hustle! If you missed out and would love to keep updated about future events, feel free to join the Facebook group to keep in touch, and also connect with the attendees who have formed a wonderfully supportive and informative community.

For now though, let’s check out blog news:

Three Reasons Why You Should Take Snapchat Seriously // Hootsuite

I’m the first to admit I let Snapchat fall by the wayside years ago. But I’ve noticed a resurgence of late and I reinstalled the app. This is just the beginning, they say…

Facebook Now Drives More Traffic to Media Sites than Google // Fortune

And will blogs be next? I know Facebook is the number-one referrer for a lot of blogs – what lessons can we learn from it?

How to Optimise your Tweets for Search // Social Media Examiner

I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THIS! Especially seeing as Twitter accounts are showing up in Google search results.

A Brief History of Internet “Joke Aggregator” The Fat Jew // Mashable

When curating your content, for goodness’ sake, attribute your sources! Goes for images on Instagram and elsewhere, “image via Pinterest” is not enough.

How to Use Evernote at a Conference // Veggie Mama

I know I wrote it, but it’s useful! How you can keep all the notes, audio, and images you take at each session in neat files, and what to do with all those business cards you accumulate through networking. You won’t know what you ever did without Evernote at conferences before!

So what did you learn this week? Care to share? Gonna revive that Snapchat account?!

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.

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9 Habits of Bloggers Who Have Huge Audiences http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/19/9-habits-of-bloggers-who-have-huge-audiences/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/19/9-habits-of-bloggers-who-have-huge-audiences/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39071 This is a guest contribution from Jeff Foster. If you’re just starting out as a blogger, you’re probably wondering how to grow your audience. The good news is that there’s a lot you can learn from bloggers who have already built an enormous following – no matter what they blog about, great bloggers share a [...]

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9 Habits of Bloggers Who Have Huge Audiences

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9 Habits of Bloggers Who Have Huge AudiencesThis is a guest contribution from Jeff Foster.

If you’re just starting out as a blogger, you’re probably wondering how to grow your audience.

The good news is that there’s a lot you can learn from bloggers who have already built an enormous following – no matter what they blog about, great bloggers share a number of habits that make them successful. If you’re diligent about developing these habits yourself, you too can build an army of loyal supporters.

Let’s look at why highly successful bloggers truly connect with their audience:

1. They are Passionate About Their Subject

When you’re truly excited, it comes across in your writing – it arouses your audience and makes them feel that you have something worth saying. Don’t pick a blog niche just because there are lots of potential readers, write about something you truly care about, and readers will come flocking. In any case, if you’re not deeply passionate about your subject, chances are you’ll get bored and abandon your blog very quickly.

2. They Take the Time to Make Themselves Experts

People read blogs because they want unique insights and interesting points of view. If you just repeat what other bloggers are saying, then you’re not adding any value.

You need to take the time to become a true expert. If you’re passionate about your subject, this should be a labor of love – not a burden. Read widely and keep up with the latest news so that you have your finger on the pulse of your subject.

Engage in social media – not just your own blog – to build your knowledge and have meaningful discussions. By making learning a lifelong process, you’ll give your readers something that they just can’t get anywhere else.

3. They Create Incredibly Useful Content

Not only are top bloggers experts, they also give their readers genuinely helpful information.

Don’t just focus on expressing your own views – think about what your audience wants to know, and then give them this information.

For example, if you blog about cooking, ask kitchen equipment manufacturers for product samples. Then try these samples out, and tell your readers what you think. On the other hand, if you’re a fashion blogger, make the effort to go to real fashion shows and give your followers a first-hand account of what went on.

4. They’re Prolific

To grow a huge audience for your blog, you need to keep your readers coming back. Sure, it’s important to add new readers all the time, but if your existing audience is drifting away, then you’re fighting an uphill battle.

The way to build a loyal following is to produce lots of fresh content – every day if possible. This doesn’t mean you should write for the sake of writing – fuzz and fluff are useless. You have to deliver concise, insightful material on a regular basis – it’s tough to do this, but the more you try, the easier it gets.

5. They’re Motivated Self-Starters

The great thing about blogging is that you don’t have a boss telling you what to do – it’s also one of the biggest challenges.

No one is going to force you to sit down and write that next blog post, or tell you to go out and interview industry experts. What you do has to come from within yourself. Unless you can get up each morning and tear into life with a fresh appetite, you’re going to struggle. That’s why it’s so important to be passionate about your subject – if you believe in what you’re doing, then staying motivated is much easier.

6. They Know How to Manage Their Time

As a blogger, it’s so easy to waste time. There are countless ways to pretend to yourself that you’re getting useful work done. For instance, you may find it fun to play around with the latest plug-ins for your blog – but you need to ask yourself whether this is the best use of your time.

Successful bloggers look at their time as a precious resource – they plan ahead, schedule activities, and then do what they say they’re going to do. Everything in their plan is there for a reason. If something isn’t in the plan, it isn’t a priority.

7. They Persist

Even the most successful bloggers have setbacks. Not all of your blog posts will hit the mark, and you’re going to get turned down again and again by people you want to interview.

It’s easy to get discouraged, but to succeed you need to carry on. Talent isn’t enough – there are lots of skilled bloggers who don’t succeed because they can’t keep going when the going gets tough. The best bloggers are determined and won’t take no for an answer – if something doesn’t work, they just move on to their next great idea.

8. They Engage in Meaningful Dialogs With Their Readers

A blog isn’t a lecture. The best bloggers listen to their readers and create a dynamic community.

By responding positively to what their readers say, answering their questions, and engaging in meaningful conversations, they make their readers feel like they belong. This in turn creates a deep bond and a sense of trust – turning readers into impassioned supporters.

9. They Build Strong Relationships With Other Bloggers

Blogging isn’t a competition.

Great bloggers take the time to build relationships with other bloggers. They leave thoughtful comments, share other bloggers’ posts and even get in contact with them directly. If you do this, you’ll get amazing insights that you can share with your own blog readers. Equally important, connecting with other bloggers gives you exposure and helps you to build your audience. When you build a relationship with other successful bloggers, they’ll be the first to talk about what you do. Just make sure that you’re completely genuine. You have to truly care about what other bloggers are saying – otherwise you’ll just come across as engaging in cynical promotion, and they’ll spot you a mile away.

Jeff Foster is co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/18/find-readers-for-your-blog-through-commenting-and-relationships/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/18/find-readers-for-your-blog-through-commenting-and-relationships/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:04:00 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43423 In the last episode of the ProBlogger podcast we talked about how to build a sticky blog to keep readers on your site. Today, we’re going to talk about how to find them in the first place by building community, strengthening relationships, and commenting on other blogs. It’s important that not only you build great content [...]

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Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships

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Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships on ProBlogger.net

In the last episode of the ProBlogger podcast we talked about how to build a sticky blog to keep readers on your site. Today, we’re going to talk about how to find them in the first place by building community, strengthening relationships, and commenting on other blogs.

It’s important that not only you build great content that hooks the reader in, makes them want to read more, and makes them want to share it, but it’s also important to find readers for that content.

Before we get started on today’s episode, I want you to recall what we discussed in episode 29 about identifying where online your ideal readers are. It’s all very well and good to promote your content, but what if you’re promoting it to the wrong people? So if you did the exercises in that episode, you should have a list of places your ideal reader is hanging out: blogs, forums, social networks, who they’re following, the podcasts they listen to, etc – this will be the basis of where you will look for places to be useful and build your profile.

Today I want to focus on two things: prolific usefulness through commenting, and networking/relational growth.

The first idea, prolific commenting, is definitely a low-level strategy that won’t bring heaps of traffic, but it will help you gain confidence and get the lay of the land. It’s also useful for getting your name out there, as people begin to see it and remember you. I talk about this strategy more in episodes 9 and 20, but it’s a really good place to start. I do give extra tips in today’s episode about how to do this well on Twitter and even in YouTube comments.

The second strategy revolves around strategic networking and building relationships with others in your niche that can help to grow your profile. There are quite a few ways to do this, from informal online networking to pitching influencers, and I list the options available to you, and the best ways of making them work.

To listen to today’s episode and to view the show notes, head to ProBlogger Podcast Episode 36 Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships

Further Reading

 

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Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships

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3 Growth Hacking Strategies for Bloggers to Quadruple Their Blog Traffic without SEO http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/17/3-growth-hacking-strategies-for-bloggers-to-quadruple-their-blog-traffic-without-seo/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/17/3-growth-hacking-strategies-for-bloggers-to-quadruple-their-blog-traffic-without-seo/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 14:06:43 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=38512 This is a guest contribution from Anil Agarwal. Who else wants more blog traffic? Hands down, everyone wants it. Unfortunately getting traffic to a blog is not easy. Every single visitor counts. One of the hardest things for most bloggers is boosting their blog traffic. If you have a fairly new blog, it’s definitely a [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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3 Growth Hacking Strategies for Bloggers to Quadruple Their Blog Traffic without SEO

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This is a guest contribution from Anil Agarwal.

Who else wants more blog traffic?

Hands down, everyone wants it.

Unfortunately getting traffic to a blog is not easy. Every single visitor counts.

One of the hardest things for most bloggers is boosting their blog traffic. If you have a fairly new blog, it’s definitely a daunting task.

The #1 reason most bloggers quit is because they don’t see any growth in their traffic.

If you’re one among them, this article is for you! We’ll discuss a few growth-hacking tips to grow your blog traffic without actually doing any SEO. Are you ready?

What is growth hacking all about?

Growth hacking is the trending keyword phrase these days. It was first introduced by startup marketer Sean Ellis to redefine the startup marketing role.

Growth hacking is a method of achieving incredible growth by using non-traditional strategies.

In simple terms, growth hacking means driving measurable results by focusing on what WORKS! It is similar to 80-20 rule, identifying the 20% of your activities that will result in 80% of the gain. When you apply growth hacking, you’ll get more results in less time by focusing on the things that matter.

So how can you use growth hacking techniques to increase your overall traffic?

1. Reverse engineer your content creation

The simplest way to increase your blog traffic is to create more content, right?

Wrong.

Posting articles daily is simply not going to help. You need to write content that attracts more links, shares and comments from others. How can you do that?

You simply need to reverse engineer your content creation strategy. Instead of writing posts without thinking twice, it’s better to create content that is proven to work.

This is also known as skyscraper technique, it was the term coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko. And it is one of the most effective ways to increase your overall blog traffic.

Skyscraper technique involves in three steps:

  1. Finding link-worthy content
  2. Making it even better than the competition
  3. Reaching to the right people to get more buzz

Let’s discuss these three steps now.

Step 1: Find top performing content in your niche

I know that finding profitable keywords isn’t easy. But you can use tools like Buzzsumo for finding share-worthy content in your industry. Whether you know it or not, Buzzsumo is one of the best tools out there to help you come up with amazing content ideas. You can discover a lot of high-performing blog posts, videos, Infographics, etc using Buzzsumo.

Head over to Buzzsumo and enter the keyword phrases you want.

For instance, my favorite blog topic is “SEO marketing” and here it how to use Buzzsumo to find content that gets more shares and links.

seo

Instantly after entering your keyword you’re not only provided with lots of articles, but it also shows you the total number of shares including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

In the above scenario, we’re came up with excellent post ideas like “17 SEO Myths”, “15 SEO Best Practices” etc. All of these are great blog post ideas and you can definitely improve them by providing more data, creating Infographics, or doing expert roundups, etc.

On the left side, it also has some filters to help you find what type of content form you want (including articles, Infographics, videos etc).

Buzzsumo is not only free (although it has premium version) but it is amazing way to find high quality content in your industry.

Step 2: Make it even better (create timeless content around it)

Once you have a list of great content ideas that are proven to bring you results, you now need to make it even better.

One of the simplest ways to get more backlinks, shares and comments on your blog posts is to making your content a “one-stop source”. How can you do that?

If you’re posting textual format of contents on your blog, write detailed posts.

In one of his blog posts, Neil Patel discovered an “average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words.”

seo1

Similarly, if you’re creating videos or Infographics, make them better by creating an appealing design. In summary, add something extra to the high performing content in your niche and make it epic.

Step 3: Outreach to the right people to get more buzz

Once you have epic content on your blog, it’s now time to reaching out to the right people in your niche.

How can you find out the people who are interested in promoting your content?

You can again use Buzzsumo. Here’s how. When you enter a keyword on Buzzsumo, it shows you who linked to the top content including the social sharers.

seo2

Now, reach out to them. Connect them on twitter, find out their emails and start creating more buzz. You can also use tools like Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer, ahrefs etc to find all of the links pointing to your competitor’s content. And when you reach out to them after creating a link worthy post, you’ll have more chances of getting links to your sites too by asking them without being pushy.

#2. Using content upgrades to boost your email list

Whether you agree it or not, email list is golden. Having a list of hungry email subscribers is an asset for every blogger.

Having an email list will not only increase your blog traffic but it will also boost your sales and trust with the readers. Email list is the second biggest traffic source for Neil Patel’s QuickSprout blog. And for most bloggers the same is true – email list is their top traffic source!

So why not invest your time wisely on building an email list instead of focusing on SEO? Instead of trying all the list building strategies under the sun, it’s better to go for one crazy idea that increases your list. Content upgrade is one such list building strategy that helps your boost your subscribers quickly.

What is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is an extra bonus that is extremely relevant to your post topic.

For instance, if you’ve a popular blog post titled “10 ways to supercharge your SEO”, you could create something like “on-page SEO checklist” to use as a content upgrade to boost your email list.

A content upgrade looks something like this:

seo3

How using content upgrades can triple your email list?

Content upgrades are usually given away for free to the blog visitors in exchange of their emails.

Content upgrades are extremely specific. Hence, they convert really well. If you want to convert normal website visitors into subscribers, start using content upgrades.

Do they work? Yes, they do.

Brian Dean gives away a post-specific resource on one of his most popular posts.

Did you know that he got a whopping 785% increase in conversions (compared to the previous month).

seo4

That’s A LOT, right? That’s the reason why you need to start focusing on creating content upgrades for your top performing posts or pages.

So how to create content upgrades to increase your overall email list and traffic?

First off, find out five top-performing posts on your blog.

Create a list of posts that got more comments and shares. Also use Google Analytics to find out the top pages that are sending you more traffic from search engines.

Once you’ve the list of popular contents on your blog, you now need to create content upgrades. You can create a bonus, checklist, video or anything that adds more value to the current post.

And you can use tools like LeadPages, SumoMe etc to create content upgrades on your blog posts or pages to grab more email subscribers.

#3. Create an “after post” checklist to get more visibility

Did you know that you’ll get better results when you spend most of your time on promoting your content rather than creating it? Blog post promotion is to get more visibility on your blog posts.

If you’ve creating a great blog post, instead of sitting back and waiting for someone to find your content – it’s way better to create a content promoting routine.

After you publish a blog post, make sure to do the following:

Promoting on social media: Social media is the new SEO. If you want to boost your overall website traffic, be active on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ etc. Almost every blogger on earth use these social media networks, so you’ll get more exposure for your blog posts if they have attention grabbing headlines.

Posting to forums: Find out the relevant forums in your niche and connect with the other bloggers. Share and comment on their links, and whenever you have posted something on your blog, make sure to submit your links. And ask for a feedback from other bloggers. This is the surefire way to get more visibility on your posts.

Submit to social bookmarking sites: Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious – all are social bookmarking sites that have huge readers. If your post does well on these sites, take it for granted that your overall search traffic will also increase overtime.

Leave comments on other blogs: Want to get more comments on your blog posts? Then, start leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs that are similar to your blog’s topic. Use their names while leaving comments and ask intelligent questions to spread your name across the blogosphere.

Here’s a great blog post checklist written by Pat Flynn, although it was written a couple of years ago – but it’s still worth following.

Spend 2/3 time on promoting “others” stuff and spend the remaining 1/3rd time on promoting your stuff. Why?

Everyone wants more shares, likes, tweets and comments. But most people don’t spend much time on promoting others. What happens if you spend most of your time on promoting others stuff instead of yours? Bang!!

You’ll get more attention from the bloggers. You’re also helping the community by promoting quality stuff on your networks like Facebook and twitter. Eventually, you’ll get more visibility, followers and shares on your own posts too.

So where do you go next?

Then see the results and watch your website traffic grow. Increasing traffic to a blog or website is not a rocket science. By following what works, you can dramatically boost traffic to your blog posts.

Check out the growth hack techniques mentioned above, pick anyone of them and start implementing.

The best part about using growth hacking to your content marketing strategy is this: you’ll get results really fast. They don’t take months to see the results. You’ll see the rewards within days or weeks.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and apply growth hacking techniques to improve your blog traffic.

Do you have any more strategies that will increase website traffic without doing any SEO? Let me know if you’ve any more insightful growth hacking tips in the comments.

Anil Agarwal is the guy behind Bloggers Passion blog where he is helping readers in building their first professional blog and at the same time, helping them build high quality traffic to their blogs.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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3 Growth Hacking Strategies for Bloggers to Quadruple Their Blog Traffic without SEO

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ProBlogger Podcast: Turn Blog Surfers into Loyal Readers by Building a Sticky Blog http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/14/problogger-podcast-turn-blog-surfers-into-loyal-readers-by-building-a-sticky-blog/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/14/problogger-podcast-turn-blog-surfers-into-loyal-readers-by-building-a-sticky-blog/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 05:30:09 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43267 When someone lands on your blog for the first time, you want them to stay as long as possible. In he last two ProBlogger Podcast episodes, I’ve shared some tactics for finding readers by first asking yourselves some really important questions, and by discussing two types of content that you need. In today’s episode, I talk about [...]

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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ProBlogger Podcast: Turn Blog Surfers into Loyal Readers by Building a Sticky Blog

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How to get blog readers to keep coming back for more: ProBlogger.net

When someone lands on your blog for the first time, you want them to stay as long as possible.

In he last two ProBlogger Podcast episodes, I’ve shared some tactics for finding readers by first asking yourselves some really important questions, and by discussing two types of content that you need. In today’s episode, I talk about how you keep those readers there by building a sticky blog. What I mean by that is having your blog set up so there is something that motivates readers to explore it further, making the decision to return and keep connected in some way, which I think is a fundamental component of any successful blog.

I always say it’s much better to find a new reader and hook them into becoming a regular than it is to have to find fresh readers every day. This is really how readership grows over time.

In the podcast, I discuss the ways you can make your blog completely irresistible to first-time viewers. From first impressions to subscription options, I go through all the things I believe a blog needs in order to be sticky. How can you build anticipation? What kind of content works for recurrent traffic? How can you drive interaction from your audience? What are their incentives to stick around?

Click here to listen to the episode 35 of the ProBlogger Podcast and view the show notes, and as always, I’d love to get your feedback on this episode.

Further Reading

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ProBlogger Podcast: Turn Blog Surfers into Loyal Readers by Building a Sticky Blog

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/14/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-3/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/14/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-3/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 00:21:55 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43256 Greetings from sunny Queensland, where we are hosting the sixth annual ProBlogger Training Event! We kicked off the two days of learning and connecting with our fellow bloggers with some inspiring words from Darren himself, despite a few sore heads in the crowd after a solid night at the Welcome Networking Event last night!. Tonight is [...]

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

Greetings from sunny Queensland, where we are hosting the sixth annual ProBlogger Training Event! We kicked off the two days of learning and connecting with our fellow bloggers with some inspiring words from Darren himself, despite a few sore heads in the crowd after a solid night at the Welcome Networking Event last night!. Tonight is our poolside party, which promises to be even bigger. The theme is “shine” and I hear Darren’s got something extremely eye-catching up his sleeve to wear – make sure you’re following the #PBEVENT hashtag on social media to see for yourself!

Read on for this week’s round up of what’s making news in blogging.

Why Slack is Exploding as a Community-Building Platform // Hootsuite

We are using Slack at PBEVENT for all our team communication and while it’s taking some of us a while to get our heads round it, it’s proving to be a popular choice for community-building in general. Read why Hootsuite think it’s an “email killer”.

Is Google Experimenting with Bringing Twitter Into Desktop Search Results? // Search Engine Land

It might be time to dust off that old Twitter account. When was the last time you actively used it? Could be worth reviving…

Want More Blog Traffic? Focus on Growing Subscribers // Hubspot

The email list. The one everyone tells you to have because it’s so important for reaching your readers no matter what social network they’re on. It’s still the biggest tip. Hubspot tells you how to make it a priority.

Periscope Now has 10 Million Accounts – Time for Your Brand to Start Live-Streaming? // Social Media Today

Live Streaming is still the buzzword of the moment. This article explains why you should be jumping on that trend.

How to Optimize Your Facebook Posts with Facebook Audience Insights // Social Media Examiner

We’ve said it all along – the key to Facebook success is knowing your particular audience. Delve into the insights to help you figure out a content strategy that works.

 

So what’s news with you? What article or tip have you found useful lately?

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.

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20 Tips for Better Business Blogging: How to Use Blogging to Generate Leads http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/13/20-tips-for-better-business-blogging-how-to-use-blogging-to-generate-leads/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/13/20-tips-for-better-business-blogging-how-to-use-blogging-to-generate-leads/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:00:19 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39049 This is a guest contribution from Zoe Uwem. Blogging can be an effective lead generation strategy, if done correctly. The majority of companies that hope to use content marketing to grow their businesses all understand that blogging is one of the most effective ways to go about it. Big corporations, start-ups and even smaller companies [...]

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20 Tips for Better Business Blogging: How to Use Blogging to Generate Leads

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Lead Blogging

This is a guest contribution from Zoe Uwem.

Blogging can be an effective lead generation strategy, if done correctly.

The majority of companies that hope to use content marketing to grow their businesses all understand that blogging is one of the most effective ways to go about it.

Big corporations, start-ups and even smaller companies are buying into it. Internet marketers, freelancers and agencies all use blogging as a means of generating qualified leads for their businesses.

Recent statistics show that B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not. In addition, marketers who give precedence to blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

In another report published on the Huffington Post, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) went from agreeing that blogging has great value to listing out 12 benefits of business blogging.

Whether you’re running a sole venture or managing a big corporation, a business blog can work for you in generating leads, even when you’re sleeping or while on vacation in Zurich. There’s no paying for ad space, no paying of affiliate commission, and no offline networking which obviously takes more time and resources.

Not only can a blog serve as an evangelism tool for generating leads for your business, you can also use it to creatively position yourself as an expert in your field.

What’s more, with a blog you can:

  • Reach more customers through strategic content marketing
  • Get the word out about your offering
  • Boost company visibility or even ameliorate your brand image
  • Target a global audience
  • Expose your products and services
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build loyalty

Blogging is also a great medium for encouraging customer interaction and enhancing engagement.

But, how do you make blogging work for your business? What are the things to do to bring all these benefits of blogging to bear on your business?

If you’d like to build a following for your brand, generate quality leads, and ultimately grow your business through blogging, here are 20 things you can do to pull that off successfully:

1. Start with a Plan

Business blogging, unlike regular blogging, is blogging with a purpose. You’re not blogging just for fun (or as a hobby) but, you’re blogging because there’s a particular goal you want to achieve—to generate leads and grow your business.

With that in mind, if you want to see results, then you need a solid plan in place.

A solid plan here implies setting SMART goals and devising doable strategies. It involves knowing what you want, who you want to attract (the kind of leads you want to generate), where you’re going and how you’ll get there.

Before even writing your first blog post, develop a blueprint with which you’ll meet your business blogging objectives.

There are a lot of factors that can affect your blog business plan, some of which include your target market, your niche, your business size and even your business goals.

So, when making a plan, remember to consider all of these in order to make your goals truly SMART.

Further Reading: Setting Blogging Goals: Why You Need Them, and How to Write Them

2. Blog from Your Business Website

For effectiveness, let your blog be an extension of your business website; this can be a subdomain or a subdirectory of your main business domain.

Subdirectory and Subdomain

Blogging from a separate domain may not produce much results because most site visitors coming from traffic sources like search engines and social media will first land on your blog. It’ll take extra work to get them to go over to your business website where your products and services are displayed.

On the other hand, blogging from your business website helps drive traffic to your product/service page, convert the traffic into leads, and ultimately drive long-term results.

3. Develop a Blogging Culture

By blogging culture, I mean a set of strictly followed practices that are well-thought out and tailored to help you meet your blogging goals.

I love to call this kind of practice “systematized blogging” because it entails following a set system consistently to achieve results.

This involves practices such as following a publishing schedule, planning an editorial calendar, concentrating on the same topic and so on.

Developing your own blogging culture will help you remain focused and help you meet your blogging goals fast.

You might want to follow general rules and tips spread across the blogosphere, but it’s always better to come up with your own rules to see what works for you and what doesn’t, well because all businesses are not the same.

Further Reading: 3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger

4. Think Long Term

Even though you can get near-quick results from business blogging, it’s vital that you don’t lose focus on the long-term aspect of things.

Can the content you’re creating today still show up in search results five years from now? Or, are you putting up a subnormal body of words that Google will kick out in five months’ time?

Truth is, it’s always better to create evergreen content. It’s always better to think long-term because that’s how to get results that are worth your effort, time and investment.

Evergreen content can drive steady traffic, generate consistent leads and produce regular conversion for a long time.

hubspot quote

Create something that adds value, something that helps people, something that both humans and search engines love. This might even mean investing in great content (see our next point below).

Here are some quick do’s and don’ts of evergreen content by 60 Second Marketer:

Evergreen content

Related: How to Write Great Blog Content

5. Invest in Killer Content that Provides Value and Truly Helps People

Running a blog is primarily about helping people, providing them with valuable information, and answering their questions.

To do this effectively, you need good content; content that provides value. More or less, the quality of your blog posts reflects the quality of leads you generate from your blog.

Successful content marketing now depends on the content quality. To get this right, let your focus be on providing value rather than on selling something.

There are a handful of ways you can provide value to readers. One of such is by helping them solve simple problems that are related to your industry.

For instance, if you operate a marketplace for developers to sell their apps, see about providing the developers (your target customers) with content that can help them improve on their app marketing skills; see about helping them make more money through their sales by offering them tips on how to market their products effectively.

Invest your time, money and resources in truly valuable content. I recommend you hire a professional writer if you don’t have the time or aptitude to create such content yourself.

6. Market your Blog Like it’s the Only Thing that Matters

That’s because the success of your blog (and that of your lead generation campaign) largely depends on how many people know that your blog exists in the first place.

You may have the best content ever, but if nobody knows that the content is there on your blog, of course nobody will go there to read it.

Imagine standing in front of an empty classroom to deliver the best lecture ever. You’d be wasting all that time talking your socks off, right? And worse, nobody is listening.

That’s a bummer and that’s the same way it is when you publish the best content on a virtually empty blog, traffic wise.

This does not rule out having truly quality content on your blog. While having quality content on your blog is vital, it’s even more vital that you get the right people to come to your blog, regularly.

The number of people who visit your blog can determine the number of leads you generate, but not necessarily the quality.

There’re a whole lot of ways you can market your blog, but you have to be tactical and invest your time smartly by focusing only on those strategies that are worth your time and resources.

Guest blogging, advertising, social media marketing and blogger outreach campaigns are some of the strategies you might want to consider.

Growing blog traffic

It’s all about going for targeted traffic, driving them to your blog and getting them to become interested in what you have to offer. Period!

Further Reading: How to Find Readers For Your Blog

7. Practice “Diversified Blogging”

Just because written content is the most widely accepted type of content doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try out other types. Add some fuel to your blog with the help of images, videos, slideshares, infographics and the like.

Publishing diverse kinds of content broadens not only your audience, but also your reach because people will want to share your content on a variety of platforms other than on the traditional bookmarking sites.

Again, you may find that there might be people who prefer other forms of content to written content.

For instance, the chart below shows an increased demand for infographics:

Search demand for infographics

8. Have a Solid Conversion Strategy

As leads begin to verge on your blog, don’t let your blogging effort be in vain by letting them go without purchasing from you or at least leaving their details.

Have a solid conversion channel set up on your blog, for converting ordinary visitors into regular visitors and then into loyal readers and ultimately to purchasing customers.

Some of the best ways to do this are:

  1. Strategically placing well-written calls to action on your blog and website
  2. Collecting visitors details through a well-configured email optin box.
  3. Using every opportunity you have to link to your sales page/landing page from your blog
  4. Systematically integrating your services into your blog articles

To make this even more effective, offer an incentive. It could be a free trial or a truly useful resource that can help them in any way.

Whatever it is, just ensure that it’s attractive enough to reel them in.

A reliable conversion strategy is the tipping point between an ordinary visitor becoming interested in what you sell.

Conversion

Without a solid conversion strategy in place, your whole “blogging for leads” endeavor may not produce as much result as you’d expect, thus the importance of getting this step right.

9. Take Your Blog Seriously and Be Consistent

Want to generate serious leads from your blog without being serious? You can’t be serious!

It’s not all about setting up a blog and creating a solid business blogging plan, you’d have to sit up and be serious with your blog; you’d have to follow your plans and goals seriously in order to turn your blog into a lead-gen machine.

In my escapade as a professional freelance blog writer, I have come across dozens of abandoned business blogs. And, whenever I asked to know the reasons those blogs were abandoned, the blog owners, in general, would blame it on lack of time, no one to create content on a regular basis and all that excuses.

But the truth really is, those who abandon their blogs are not serious about blogging.

For a blog to produce results, you need to take it seriously.

Also, as one blogging to generate leads and attract clients, you have to be consistent, not just in your publishing frequency, but also in your blog topic.

You really shouldn’t be writing about catfish farming this week, and switching to writing about how you partied in an airplane last month.

Maintaining an considerable level of consistency not only show that you know what you’re doing but also show that you’re serious about it and so every other person should be serious with you, too.

No one will probably be serious and consistent in visiting and reading your blog if you aren’t serious and consistent with it yourself.

Further Reading: How to Get Serious About Blogging and Make It Work for Your Business

10. Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines

This is especially important if you’re looking to build a magnetic system that attracts leads to your business on auto-pilot.

One sure way to show up in search results is by regularly updating your blog with epic content. By continually publishing informative and actionable posts that are search engine optimized, your content will rank high on search engines thereby bringing more people to your website, which will ultimately earn you more leads, sales and revenue.

Statistics show that over 70% of buyers use search engines at the beginning of their purchase process.

SEO

Organic search traffic is of extreme importance. If you can build this system, then you will have a sort of always-on-duty marketing tool that’s available 24/7 to bring you quality leads.

11. Be Approachable, Helpful, and Friendly

Sometimes, it’s not all about providing great content. If you really want to create impact that can translate into leads and sales, you may have to condescend and relate with your audience at their level.

For instance, if a reader reaches out to you for help, maybe to ask a question, be kind enough to respond. I would even recommend you sometimes reach to some of them and bring them to the spotlight. This can be done by mentioning a reader in your post or even posting an intelligent question one of them might have asked and answering it there for the rest to benefit from.

One question to answer is, if one of your readers meets you sitting at McDonald’s, can they come up to you freely, without feeling fettered?

Be approachable; be sociable and you’ll find that you can gain more instead of being inimical.

12. Gather Feedback and Encourage Interaction

You want your business to be better than it was yesterday, right? You want to be able to provide your audience with exactly what they need, uh?

The best way to do that is to gather feedback, and there’s only one person that can provide you with genuine, practical feedback— your blog reader.

Continually improving on your approach, strategy and offering is important for remaining indispensable in the hearts of people, especially in today’s fast-changing world of advanced technology.

Gathering customer information and assimilating the same helps you to actually improve.

There are a number of ways through which you can gather customer information. For instance, you can conduct surveys, host live sessions, use in-product request forms, or even encourage them to send in their thoughts via email.

Beyond gathering feedback, you should also encourage interaction. One benefit of interacting with your audience is that it opens doors for opportunities and also gives you the chance to learn from them the things that really matter to them.

Interaction can be achieved through the comment sections of your blog and through social media.

13. Know Your Audience and Know What You’re Doing

Imagine blogging to generate leads without actually knowing the people that are following you. That’s not cool , right?

Sure!

Successful business blogging demands that you not only know the people that are following you but actually care about them.

Do you care about your audience? (Or more honestly, how well do you care about them?) Do you care about the way they respond to your articles? Do you care about the kind of information you pass across to them?

Yet more, do you know their demography? Do you know what they want, where they hang out at (good for promoting your content), what they like, the keywords they use when searching for your kind of product/service, their preferred method of receiving information etc.?

Or, are you just blogging blindly?

Having at least an appreciable knowledge of your audience is vitally important for successfully blogging for leads.

Know your audience plus

Beyond knowing your audience, get to know your stuff; know what you’re doing. Analyze your blog often and make improvement where necessary.

14. Make Your Blog the Hub, But Don’t Be Self-Centered

Your blog should focus on helping your customers (both current and potential) solve problems related to your industry/product. But unfortunately, too many business blogs have been turned into some kind of repository for press releases, company news, and other natters.

News about your company may be interesting to you and your team, but it’s not what will ultimately exert a pull on leads and keep them engaged.

Posting what they care about should be primary. Making announcements can come in second.

However, when it comes to publishing your company news, make your blog the hub.

For instance, if you have any announcement to make, don’t go over to Twitter and rant about it without first talking about it on your blog.

The information should actually emanate from your blog to other sources and not the other way round.

This forces people to visit your blog, encourages link-building which further promotes your blog.

15. Promote Your Product/Service

While sharing helpful and interesting information with your readers, remember the purpose of doing that—to generate leads.

So, in the midst of the valuable information you’re giving out, also strategically promote your business.

You can do this by:

  • Tactically integrating your services/product in some helpful blog posts
  • Displaying some of your important web pages prominently on your blog
  • Linking to your product page or landing page from epic blog posts that receive massive traffic
  • Advertising your services, products, events etc., on your blog sidebar
  • Regularly sending well-crafted marketing emails to your blog subscribers, or by at least remembering to end every email you send with a signature showing your name and company.

Promoting your product/service doesn’t mean asking for the sale, but mildly and continuously keeping your offering in front of people who may likely buy them.

16. Be Professional, But Add a Bit of Personality

It’s important to keep your blog professional, but did you know that readers are equally interested in knowing you as a person?

Don’t be that faceless, robot-like being behind the computer that’s always posting. You have a name, right? So why keep the default “Admin” as the publisher? Maybe a picture of you and your team will do over on a well-written Team Members page.

I know you’ve got awesomely actionable tips but, blog posts with a sense of personal touch tend to do great as well. So, once in a while share a little beautiful story about yourself to inspire and endear your readers to you. That way, they’re likely going to buy from you or at least become loyal visitors which is all good.

Emotional stories work pretty well at this. The charts will help you choose the right emotions to target:

Popular emotions

And another one:

emotions

17. Establish and Portray Yourself as an Authority

That’s because without being or presenting yourself as an expert, nobody may really listen to what you have to say.

Except your mom. And maybe your cat, too.

So, get your skates on, do epic content, talk like you invented that niche, guest blog on some top sites, get interviewed and they’ll listen to you.

Why is it important that people listen to you? Well, it’s because you can only get their attention when they’re listening, and getting their attention is essential for conversion.

Good news is, with a blog, you can set yourself apart, establish & portray yourself as an expert, and grab people’s attention through authoritative posts.

18. Encourage Your Readers to Share your Content

You don’t have to do the work alone; this is why you have to create viral content and have social sharing buttons on every blog post you publish.

When your readers share your content, other people in their network will see the content and head over to your blog, resulting in increased reach and more leads.

Social media and blogs generate real customers

To get readers to share your content, create content that resonate with them, kit out your blog with easy-to-use social sharing buttons, lead the way by sharing first, and openly ask them to share the content if they love it.

Related: 10 Quick Tips for Going Viral

19. Demonstrate Positive Results of Your Product/Service

Use your blog as a medium to demonstrate how remarkably awesome and result-oriented your product and/or service is.

This will egg people on to purchase from you.

You can do this by quickly sharing, in a blog post, a success story of how your product helped a person solve a problem. Case study articles are good for this, too.

Even more, you can interview some of your clients and publish the interview on your blog. You can also invite some of them to share their positive experience through guest posting.

People are more likely to buy from you when they see the positive results your product is producing.

20. Remember to Sell

A lot of businesses that blog to attract customers may end up selling nothing, not because the visitors were never interested in buying from them but because they never sold.

Unlike promoting your product/service mildly but continuously, here, you’re bold to ask for the deal. This shouldn’t be done every time but once in a while, lest you bug your readers.

Wrapping Up

Running a blog for your business holds many benefits especially when following business blogging best practices and the right steps to successful content marketing– developing your goals, building your audience, publishing creative content and so on.

business blogging

Beyond generating leads, you can nurture those leads and eventually convert them into buying customers.

This list of business blogging best practices is far from exhaustive, but if you’d be diligent enough to apply them, you’d be on your way to generating quality leads with a business blog.

Zoe Uwem is an entrepreneur, a successful freelance blog writer, copywriter, and a content marketing expert who is passionate about helping businesses generate quality leads, reach more customers and make more sales. Zoe writes for and helps companies spread the word about their businesses. You can hire him to write for you, too. Find Zoe on his website, ZoeUwem.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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2 Incredibly Innovative Ways to Draft a Spectacular Blog Post http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/12/2-incredibly-innovative-ways-to-draft-a-spectacular-blog-post/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/12/2-incredibly-innovative-ways-to-draft-a-spectacular-blog-post/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 14:38:25 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=39038 This is a guest contribution from Lorraine Reguly. “Damn. It’s not perfect, but it’ll have to do.” “Shit. I wanted it to be better than that.” Have you ever felt that way before hitting the “schedule” or “publish” button? I bet you have, during at least one point in your blogging career. Writing is difficult for [...]

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typing hands

This is a guest contribution from Lorraine Reguly.

“Damn. It’s not perfect, but it’ll have to do.”

“Shit. I wanted it to be better than that.”

Have you ever felt that way before hitting the “schedule” or “publish” button?

I bet you have, during at least one point in your blogging career.

Writing is difficult for many people, and bloggers are no exception. Creating a stellar blog post is the goal, but drafting a blog post often takes a lot of time and frustration. Many bloggers know what they want to say, but just can’t seem to follow an outline or compose a post in a logical order on their first try.

Perfectionists, especially, suffer from this. I know this to be a fact, because I am the mother of all perfectionists! Not only am I a blogger, but I’m a writer AND an editor, too.

As such, I have pretty high standards, and I tend to edit as I write. Most of the time, it drives me crazy. I can’t stand making mistakes, and I hate typos with a passion. When I’m writing with a pen, the paper ends up looking like something a six-year-old might write, full of scribbles. When I’m writing on my laptop, the “backspace” key gets hit more than any other!

To tame my perfectionistic ways and combat overuse of that key, I’ve learned to approach writing by creating drafts first, using two incredibly innovative methods.

The first method is by using stream-of-consciousness writing. The second is by blindfolding myself.

Sometimes I even use the two together!

Innovative Method #1: Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

By definition, stream-of-consciousness writing involves writing down whatever comes to mind, ignoring typos, omitting periods, and basically separating the writing from the editing process. Stream-of-consciousness writing does not have to be logical or follow an order. Instead, rules can be broken and complete freedom from writing conventions should be had.

Psst. Let me tell you a secret. I don’t usually swear online. It’s a bit unprofessional, and the vulgarity of cursing often turns people off.

But guess what?

Swearing can attract people, too. Many people curse, and if they see you doing it, they’ll know you’re a real person, too.

Are you the same person online as off?

Do you “pretend” to be a little bit better, a little bit nicer, and end up being – or feeling – just a little bit phony instead?

With stream-of-consciousness writing, the best thing you can do is to be yourself, your TRUE self. Swear as often as you want. You can delete the curse words later. After all, that is what the editing process is for!

When writing this post, I thought of a few different opening lines.

Here’s an example of how I originally wanted to begin this article:

“Here we go again. More f@!*in’ advice from a damn guest poster.”

“Shee-iiit. She’d better deliver the goods.”

That is SO NOT ME!

But you have to admit, it IS kind of interesting. It also probably would have caused you to continue reading, right?

Either that, or it would have caused you to immediately move on to another post.

As you can see, I wasn’t willing to take that risk. Alternatively, for demonstration purposes, I included it in the body of the post. I wanted to show you that you can move things around when you are finished writing. Again, that’s what the editing process is for, and why posts such as how to edit your own blog posts have been written already!

Benefits of Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

1. You will not be burdened by the constricts of grammar and punctuation.

2. You will feel freer once you get into it.

3. You will appreciate and understand the difference between the writing process, the editing and the formatting process.

4. You can drop the F-bomb… as often as you like!

5. You won’t be judged on what you initially write.

6. You will get addicted to the freedom stream-of-consciousness writing affords you, and you will become more productive as a result.

7. The quality of your blog posts will improve! (Well, hopefully, they will!)

Innovative Method #2: Writing While Blindfolded

This is a great option for you if you tend to write and edit simultaneously – like I do!

To write while blindfolded, you would obviously have to be working at a computer in order to create a draft this way. I don’t know anyone who can write with a pen on paper while blindfolded!

To achieve the blindfolded state, there are many things you could do. You could simply take a scarf or a mask of some sort and cover your eyes, or create one using this template.

Closing your eyes isn’t enough; the temptation to peek is too great! By physically covering your eyes, you will be more conscious of the fact that you have to keep them covered in order to achieve your writing goal.

There are many other ways for you to “blindfold” yourself. You could take an old pair of sunglasses and paint them with nail polish so that you cannot see through them. You could tape paper over them. You could use a cut-up tea towel or pillowcase or some other soft material. If you have access to a dental or surgeon’s mask, you could cover your eyes instead of your mouth and nose with that. Get innovative. Make this exercise fun! Blindfolds come in many shapes and sizes!

4 Benefits of Writing While Blindfolded

1. You might feel a bit ridiculous wearing a blindfold, but the benefits that you will reap will be worth it.

2. You will have a better focus on your content, and won’t be distracted by any typos you see.

3. You’ll train yourself to write faster. Of course, you can improve your writing skills by learning how to type faster, too. ;)

4. You’ll have a greater appreciation for the various stages of editing and formatting a blog post.

Relevant links and images can be added when the bulk of your post has been written.

You can re-order the points of your post, fix the typos, and correct your grammar and punctuation then, too. For the third time, that’s what the editing process is for!

(If you need assistance editing your blog posts, you could always ask me for help. I’ve received recognition for my editing services from BookVetter, from a few authors, and from bloggers, and am rapidly building a plethora of testimonials from others for the quality of my services.)

Innovation Is Key

Innovation when writing can help you create better blog posts.

What other things have you discovered that have helped you write better?

Let’s discuss them in the comments.

Lorraine Reguly is an English teacher-turned-blogger who offers both writing and editing services to anyone in need. She has been a guest blogger on various websites, is an author, and is currently giving away a free blogging ebook. She can also help you turn your ebook into a print book! Visit Wording Well for more details.

Opening image of typing hands courtesy of Naypong and FreeDigitalPhotos.net, although altered with text by guest post author.

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2 Incredibly Innovative Ways to Draft a Spectacular Blog Post

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ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/11/problogger-podcast-two-types-of-content-to-help-you-find-readers-for-your-blog/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/11/problogger-podcast-two-types-of-content-to-help-you-find-readers-for-your-blog/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 00:14:15 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=43071 Today’s episode of the ProBlogger Podcast is part two of a mini Finding Readers series (you can find out more about part one here in the Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog), and it’s all about what you’re writing when it comes to getting traffic. After you’ve asked yourself those [...]

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ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

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ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

Today’s episode of the ProBlogger Podcast is part two of a mini Finding Readers series (you can find out more about part one here in the Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog), and it’s all about what you’re writing when it comes to getting traffic.

After you’ve asked yourself those two very important questions in the previous podcast, you can move on to fulfilling that brief on your blog with today’s.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the journey I’ve taken in blogging, and as I look back I can see that the strategies and techniques I used to drive traffic weren’t as important as the content on my blog. I’ll talk about what I mean in a few episodes’ time (as you may find those techniques useful yourself), but today it’s all about what you’re serving to your readers.

In this episode I go over the two things I think you should provide to your community which will both help you grow that community and find new readers, and also keep the current ones sticking around. It’s really important, particularly if you are at the start of your blogging journey. I would recommend that if that is you, that you focus on today’s topic 100%, before you worry about anything else. It’s real foundation stuff that will not only help you now, but will reap you the benefits in years to come.

As always you can find the podcast at ProBlogger.com/podcast, and today’s episode and show notes here.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this topic, so feel free to chat here or in the comments on the show notes.

Further Reading

How to Build Your Blog’s Audience with Long Form Evergreen Content
Top Takeaways from ProBlogger Perth Training Event: Content, Blog Design, Social Media, Productivity, and Monetization
Most Popular Posts on ProBlogger 2014: Creating Content
The Nine Ingredients that Make Great Content: Kissmetrics
How to Write a Blog Post –  Your Five-Point Checklist to Rock a Perfect Blog Post: CoSchedule

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ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

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4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/10/4-ways-pinterest-can-help-drive-traffic-to-your-blog/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/10/4-ways-pinterest-can-help-drive-traffic-to-your-blog/#comments Sun, 09 Aug 2015 14:00:43 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=41959 This is a guest contribution from Marie-Eve Vallieres. Nobody puts Pinterest in a corner. With 73 million users (85% of which are females), an expanding presence outside the United States and upcoming buyable pins, this social media platform/search engine is now more powerful and sophisticated than ever. After months of pinning diligently and engaging with my [...]

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4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

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4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog - tried and tested tips to boost your traffic with some simple changes. On ProBlogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Marie-Eve Vallieres.

Nobody puts Pinterest in a corner. With 73 million users (85% of which are females), an expanding presence outside the United States and upcoming buyable pins, this social media platform/search engine is now more powerful and sophisticated than ever.

After months of pinning diligently and engaging with my subscribers, my analytics exploded, figuratively speaking – Pinterest has become the #1 referral for my blog, bringing a steady flow of high-quality visitors (that stay on my site for more than a microsecond and comment on/share the content) every day.

And that’s the beauty of Pinterest right there: their algorithm is not aggressive in the way Facebook’s is. People are either following your boards or they are not. There is no such thing as playing the Pinterest game or paying for advertisement in the hopes that an infinitely small slice of your subscribers will get to see your post in their feed. Pinterest popularity is entirely a question of how your subscribers engage with you and how easy you make it for them to share your content.

Here a few tested and tried tips that helped me reach over 160,000 followers on Pinterest.

Create bespoke pins

4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

Millions of pins are being shared every minute. Your subscribers are constantly being thrown new information. How could they possibly know that your content is more relevant than the rest?

Think about it: by creating custom-made pins, you will immediately stand out on your subscriber’s home feed because you will present something they’ve never seen before. You want to create something that will, 1: catch their attention, and 2: that will make them want to click through. Spend an hour or two in Photoshop to create a memorable template that you will adapt for each new pin and that your subscribers, in time, will come to recognize and associate with your brand.

There are four “rules” you should follow when it comes to creating bespoke pins:

  • Always opt for vertical images. Pinterest automatically resizes pins to the same exact width. Play around with your image’s length in order to create something big enough to be noticed.
  • Don’t shy away from bright and bold colors. You do want to catch your readers’ attention, don’t you?
  • Clearly state what the pin is about. Opt for concise yet engaging wording that reflects the content of your blog post.
  • Stay in line with your blog’s visual identity. Use the same fonts or color scheme if you have one.

Find out what blog posts are already being pinned

The first custom pins you will want to create are for blog posts that are already being shared on the platform; enhance the appearance of your own popular content in order to make it even more shareable.

In order to find out which posts are attracting the attention of other users, simply follow the URL www.pinterest.com/source/YourBlog.com/ and see what comes up. These are the posts you want to make as Pinterest-friendly as possible.

4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

Be loyal to your online persona

Nobody likes a spammer; don’t be that person who only shares his or her own content. Strengthen your brand’s identity by pinning things that are relevant to your niche or personality that you haven’t created. Identify lacks in your competitor’s strategy and enforce them on your own boards. Engage with the influencers in your community. Participate in collaborative boards. This will ensure that you won’t bore or annoy your subscribers, and that your brand’s presence on Pinterest will be as organic as possible.

Make your blog Pinterest-friendly

It’s one thing to improve your Pinterest interventions directly on the platform; it’s another to fine-tune your blog in order to make it inherently more pin-able. There are two ways to encourage your readers to pin your content (I strongly encourage you use both and not just one of the two).

First is by adding Pinterest buttons to your social sharing plugin – this method will allow your readers to share the post straight to their boards, as the featured image and title will generate automatically.

The second and most effective option is by adding a “Pin It” plugin for your images – this, on the other hand, will enable your readers to pin whatever image they like in the post (a hover Pin It button will appear when they mouse over your images) and create their personalized caption. This technique works particularly well if you use lots of vertical images on your site.

Marie-Eve Vallieres is a professional travel blogger at ToEuropeAndBeyond.com and social media strategist from Montreal. She has been to more than 20 countries, lived abroad in both France and the U.K., and is always on the lookout for authentic experiences wherever she travels – as long as she has WiFi.

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4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

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ProBlogger Podcast: Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/07/problogger-podcast-two-questions-to-ask-to-help-you-find-readers-for-your-blog/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/07/problogger-podcast-two-questions-to-ask-to-help-you-find-readers-for-your-blog/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 02:13:09 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=42797 In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I want to dial back to the basics before we get into more strategic reader-finding missions in future epsiodes. Today I just want you to ask yourself two simple questions that will get you in the right headspace for further efforts. I also talk about how I damaged [...]

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ProBlogger Podcast: Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

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2 Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I want to dial back to the basics before we get into more strategic reader-finding missions in future epsiodes.

Today I just want you to ask yourself two simple questions that will get you in the right headspace for further efforts.

I also talk about how I damaged my blog by focusing only on traffic and not on community, the secret ingredients of blogs that can change people’s lives, and my favourite exercised to help you focus on the right reader, not just numbers on a screen.

I promise, it makes all the difference in the world.

Pop over to listen, grab the show notes, and complete today’s challenge. Good luck!

 

Further Reading

Finding Readers: Strategies for Building Your Audience in 2015
Top Three Takeaways from Finding Readers Week: What Can You Do Today to Create Community?
Recording of ‘Finding Readers for Your Blog’ Webinar
Who are You Talking To? How to Create an Ideal Reader Profile for Your Blog: By Regina
Who’s Your Ideal Reader?: Successful Blogging

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ProBlogger Podcast: Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/07/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-2/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/07/reading-roundup-whats-new-in-blogging-lately-2/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:13:42 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=42297 How did you all go with the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog podcast? Got a to-do list a mile long now?! I also hope you liked the stories of Megan, Nicole, and Heather about how they both dealt very differently with quitting their blogs. I know I learned a lot from hearing them [...]

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

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

How did you all go with the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog podcast? Got a to-do list a mile long now?!

I also hope you liked the stories of Megan, Nicole, and Heather about how they both dealt very differently with quitting their blogs. I know I learned a lot from hearing them share their experiences.

This week has thrown up some interesting reading – I hope you find a useful nugget in there somewhere.

How to manage your Instagram in 20 minutes a day // Hootsuite

Are you falling victim to being on Instagram all day every day? These are simple tips, but they bear repeating because they work. It’s time for you to take charge and slot in some time to get Instagram marketing under control.

Case Study: How Film4 grew their followers to 600k in one year // Pinterest

Pinterest is still an amazing traffic referrer, if you know how to use it right. See how Film4 capitalised on current pop culture issues to grow their followers to such a crazy amount.

Facebook now makes 76% of ad revenue from smartphones and tablets // Mashable Australia

If you haven’t already, it’s time to ensure your Facebook ads are mobile-friendly! You can have a look at the series we did on Facebook advertising last year, and the hot tips we shared for big returns.

Watch out Meerkat and Periscope, Facebook Announces Live Streaming // Social Media Today

Never one to leave a good internet craze behind, Facebook now says it’s getting on the live-streaming bandwagon in its efforts to be the online leader of video content. It’s only for people with verified accounts at the moment, though.

You Can Now Schedule Instagram Posts in Hootsuite – But There’s a Catch // Entrepreneur.com

Always the way! But if you’re into scheduling things in advance (I’m a fan), this might save you some time. Don’t put down your phone, though…

 

What are your thoughts? Excited to live stream on FB or schedule your Instagram?

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.

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? What Dooce Did Next http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/06/thinking-of-quitting-blogging-what-dooce-did-next/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/06/thinking-of-quitting-blogging-what-dooce-did-next/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=42244 When Heather Armstrong from Dooce decided to wind back blogging after 14 years, it became headline news – New York Magazine even ran a piece called “Dooce Talks Life After Mommyblogging“, which gave us a glimpse into how someone so successful could leave that life behind. Heather needs little introduction – she’s a Trivial Pursuit answer, Queen [...]

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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? What Dooce Did Next

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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here's what Heather of Dooce did next, on ProBlogger.net

When Heather Armstrong from Dooce decided to wind back blogging after 14 years, it became headline news – New York Magazine even ran a piece called “Dooce Talks Life After Mommyblogging“, which gave us a glimpse into how someone so successful could leave that life behind.

Heather needs little introduction – she’s a Trivial Pursuit answer, Queen of the Mommy Bloggers, an author, a speaker, a consultant, and a gal who’s come a long way from that day in 2002 when she was fired for what she wrote on her blog about her workplace.

Since 2004 Heather has worked full-time on the site, which garners up to two million pageviews a month. In April this year, she announced she was getting back to her roots: writing for the love of it, sharing stories, being honest about the unInstagrammable moments of which every day is made. Instead, she would be earning an income elsewhere, by speaking, writing and consulting, and the blog would be just that – a blog.

“Many friends who know about all the changes in my life have asked, “So, what will happen to dooce®?! Will you shut it down? What is your last post going to say?” And I always stand there and shake my head. I have no intention of shutting this space down. There are too many memories in these pages, and frankly, I still like to write stories. I still have a few contracts that I need to see to completion, and I will continue posting here. But eventually I’d like to get back to the reason I started “living online” in the first place: writing for the love of it, writing when the story inside is begging to be told.”

I chatted on the phone to her a little while ago to find out what life was like when you take the “must” and the monetization out of blogging, and just blog for the pure joy of it (tweet that!). What is it like to wind down a commercial machine and broaden your income horizons elsewhere? Is this the new normal?

I think you’ll like what she had to say…

Did you ever have a feeling one day your blog would end or slow down, or did you just blog without the future in mind?

I didn’t think of an end date in the early days, I just thought it was going to be a hobby. I was just going to write stories until forever. That was my scrapbook – I didn’t think about the possibility it was going to turn into the seven-headed monster that it has become.

Lots of people start blogs about their life musings, but why do you think yours was one of the ones that stood the test of time?

I was very lucky in the sense that I got on very early, I was one of the first ones. I think the reason it caught on and has been so successful is because I was very true to myself in the first place. People are drawn to my irreverence, they think it’s raw. My blog is not is not fine reading, it’s not high thought, its conversational, day-to-day how you would talk to your girlfriends. It at least makes people think, to a large degree. I am opening the heart of who I am and how I feel and that that has carried me through the ups and downs and valleys and peaks.

I assume writing and chronicling your life has become such a part of you – How do you walk away from your entire adult life published on the internet?

No actually, I never really did it. A big part of mormon culture is journaling. I kinda failed at that. One of the few points of mormonism I failed at, as I excelled at every other point!

In college I found myself excelling at writing. I knew I kinda liked to write. There was an underground newspaper I found out about, and I wrote several articles for this newspaper, and I realised people thought it was funny. I went to England in my senior year of college and I used to write letters back to roommate that would make her laugh.

I really just write with the idea: “how can I get my girlfriends to laugh on a Friday night?”

When did you know it was time to move on?

How do I even sum that up?

There’s been a huge shift in the industry since 2011. Nowadays you just cannot make a living off of banner advertising, you have to do sponsored posts. That kind of writing and selling alone with stories of your family will definitely take a toll on anyone who writes about their family for a living.

I don’t want to involve myself any more, and stage an event that I then have to write about later. That’s when I started looking for an exit strategy.

How does it feel to be the only person filling your publishing schedule – what kind of a toll does that take on you?

There has been dissatisfaction for about three years, but only since my ex-husband moved to New York has my publishing schedule changed. Once it was just me at home with the children, I no longer could keep up with the schedule I had in place before he left. I was the only one to take care of it. I often had to stop blogging when my kids were sick or needed me, so my publishing went down by about 30% because I had kids to take care of. It’s very difficult to be a single parent and a business owner.

With a personal blog, you just can’t delegate yourself to someone else. I always say if you want to make money from blogging, get into fashion or DIY blogging – They can have a team of people working on them, but I cannot delegate my persona, my tone, my conversational writing, I can’t have someone else take on many of the tasks that need to be done.

People noticed when I published less often, and and complained, but I was like: “what do you want me to do? My kid is sick, and this is the third day in a row I have to take off. There’s only so much I can do with a laptop while I’m sitting with my feverish daughter on my lap”.

It meant that I was panicking to come up with content – what can I do? What can I write about this week?

How much do you think the pressure of publishing schedules has contributed to lots of bloggers either burning out or giving up in favour of something less relentless?

I would say from the conversations I’ve had with other people in my situation, the publishing schedule has been 85% of it. Bloggers are on a hamster wheel which is going faster and faster and faster.

I don’t know a single blogger who even enjoys it any more. There was a time when we loved every minute of it, we would gush and say oh my god, we love it. Now we say there’s times when we still love parts of it, but nobody sits down at the end of the day and pours a drink and says “Oh I had the most glorious day”. There are only now parts of it we still enjoy but there’s not that enthusiasm for the whole thing any more.

Do you think too the move away from storytelling and into more curated posts have been a part of that? Where once we could write without wondering if we were being useful or if we could be attractive to brands?

Storytelling is much harder than what’s going on now. It’s so much harder than an outfit post with a couple of links and “here, make your affiliate money”. It’s easy because brands know you’re not going to cuss or bring in a racist angle or anything that will cause trouble. It’s so vanilla. What it’s became now is just – it’s flatlined. I mean, I love Instagram as much as anyone else, but it’s homogenised, curated – no-one shows any of the dirty, no-one shows any of the real. Like, if I see one more latte art, a meal on the table taken from overhead… it’s just so tiring that way for someone who consumes this kind of media, and I do consume this kind of media. But I do love a bigger story.

I think what it’s done its that Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook has killed blogging. It put a knife into it and let it bleed out. With a story on a blog, you have to get past the first two or three sentences, and people are like “I’m out”.

What about things like having to ensure our headlines show up in search results, and crafting intros that hook the reader in, that sort of blog post creation?

That’s not blogging, that is journalism. That’s not the heart of blogging, it is not about that at all. This has all turned into something we never intended it to be. Those of us who were writing at the start, we never intended it to look like this at all. Did we ride the wave of this success? Absolutely, but now we’re on the other side having to worry about SEO and “is my headline going to get picked up”?

Now, how do you disconnect now from that constant feeling that you need to be online, chronicling everything?

I have spent the last 18 months of my life in an absolute panic. Sunday evening would come around and I’d be on a voxxer conversation with colleagues and we’d have our weekly panic meeting, all of us having no clue about what they’re going to post this week. “My child has this and this and this all week, and I have this meeting and now I have to publish in between all that”. I hate this.

It’s not like just walking into a job every day, it’s so different.  I was talking to someone recently, and they asked if there was a segment of the population that are ridiculous in terms of their criticism of what you do – and there is. It’s people with no kids who go to an office job.

I used to do that. I’d get in a car and drive 45 minutes to an office and I would browse the internet, and I would design things and I’d do that for 9-10 hours. Then I would go home and I’d have a weekend off, and I’d take a vacation. That’s not the reality of blogging, that’ doesn’t look like what we do.

Our work is everywhere. As I’m putting my child to bed and reading a book, my mind would wander off to what I’m going to publish, you know, like “oh this time I’m going to think of something different”.

I realised I can’t let it infiltrate my bedtime routine. I could walk away.

What advice do you have for people who are feeling the pressure and may one day walk away from it all if they don’t have more of a balance? How do you keep in check the raging beast that is a blog?

You’re gonna burn out, it’s gonna happen. Sooner or later, it’s gonna happen. I’ve been doing this for 14 years and I talk to people who are burning out after three – it’s happening. Now you have to do Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter, and each one of those audiences is very different. Taking care of each audience takes up its own time. This is what the Facebook audience wants, that sort of thing. Everything is at an accelerated rate because basically you have to take care of seven blogs.

I guess it all depends on whether you want to make money. If you do, you can get into a niche that is sustainable. Start a fashion or DIY blog and hire a team of people.

In 2004-5, I was the first personal website to take advertising. Now it’s why you start one. If you’re doing it for fun there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re looking to make an income, this is not a good way.

Explain how this massive change has had an impact on your days now. How do you feel?

I’m not there yet, I’m in the middle of transitioning. My specific situation is probably different to most, but I’m the only person who brings in money, I’m it. It’s me. I have to be hustling non-stop. I thought I was going to be able to take two or three weeks where I could not look at my laptop, but it’s not a reality for me. If you’ve got a partner with a good income, please do take that time for yourself. But the transition out for me is all about the hustle, it probably has increased my workload about 40%, but at least I’m not worried about “what pic of my dog am I going to post today?”. My audience wants to see my dog photos but I’ve taken every photo of my dog, ever.

What I’m thinking about is email – it’s still hustle, but in a different direction now, and I’m loving this new hustle. If l wasn’t travelling as much as I am right now, I’d be dancing with headphones on because [the changes] have been so amazing, I’m loving this.

One of the most important things I can do for myself, and the most feminist thing I can do for myself, and I can ask myself this as a white woman in America – is ask: “am I happy doing what I’m doing?”. I wanted to do something different. It’s terrifying but at the same time, I really need to be: “Heather, are you happy? what face are showing to your children? As their mother and as their feminist? What do you want to do to your children? What do you want them to learn about this?”

When you thought about moving on, did you know what you wanted to focus more on or did you mostly just want to move away from straight-up blogging, and find the answer later?

I wanted and do want to do much more speaking, that has always been a passion of mine. Here I have how many years of experience, and an untapped audience who have no idea who I am, but I have all these stories to tell. I mean, I still plan to write a story on the blog when the stories need to be told, but I can tell them in different formats now.

A lot of my blogging has been service-oriented on purpose – I’ve blogged about depression, I’ve blogged about maternal health, I’ve blogged about cancer. I say “I’ve encountered this, this is what is was like, and if there is anyone out there who feels this, I will advocate for you. Go do these things that I recommend, and feel free to reference this post if you go see your doctor”.

But with speaking… I gave a very small version of an upcoming talk to the audience at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. I got up on stage and I don’t know… something happened. Maybe prayers to mom’s Lord kicked in, but I realized that the room wanted to hear what I had to say. I didn’t want the 20 minutes to end.

I was going to be ok.

 


So what do you think? Are you disillusioned with the turn blogging has taken? Or are you enjoying the new road? I’d love to hear!

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.

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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/05/thinking-of-quitting-blogging-heres-how-one-blogger-turned-it-around/ http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/08/05/thinking-of-quitting-blogging-heres-how-one-blogger-turned-it-around/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.problogger.net/?p=41954 You would have read yesterday about the growing discontentment with blogging and what to do next, and how Megan Tietz finally realized it was time to walk away. Liberating, eh? Today we chat to Nicole Avery from Planning With Kids, who was dangerously close to burnout at the end of 2014. She knew if she [...]

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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around

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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here's How One Blogger Turned it Around, on ProBlogger.net.

You would have read yesterday about the growing discontentment with blogging and what to do next, and how Megan Tietz finally realized it was time to walk away. Liberating, eh?

Today we chat to Nicole Avery from Planning With Kids, who was dangerously close to burnout at the end of 2014. She knew if she didn’t change her approach to blogging, she was going to ditch the whole thing entirely. Her ideas of how to pull back, recalibrate and start again with a new focus is super-inspirational, and I am sure that those of you who are looking for fresh ways to do an old thing will find Nicole’s tips incredibly useful.

 

5 tips to get you back on track when you feel like quitting blogging

Towards the end of last year I reached my lowest point with blogging. I was tired, overwhelmed and feeling completely over blogging. I felt like quitting.

Blogging brings along amazing opportunities but it is possible to take on too many. Blogging is a wonderful medium to share, but it is no longer just about blogging, there are newsletters to write, social media channels to grow and products to make. Blogging is a fabulous medium to start an online business but with tens of thousands of blogs started every day, keeping up can feel like you are continually running a super fast race struggling to keep up.

My love of blogging though won out and I continued blogging, managing to turn around how I was feeling in the space of three months. While I did more than what is listed below, here are 5 key things I did to get me back on track.

1. Take a break

Each year I usually take two full breaks from the blog, one in the summer school holidays and then the second in the winter school holidays. Due to family circumstances, I never had the break in July and never seemed to find the time to take it later in the year.

Taking a break from the blog is essential to maintaining my enthusiasm and love of what I do. So at the end of December, I took a break (I had planned to take time off in late January). Usually to take a break I work super hard in the lead up to schedule blog posts and social media posts. This time I just took almost a week off and didn’t post. I gave my weekly newsletter a rest for the whole of January and I pared back my social media activity, for example I went from four posts a day on facebook to one.

2. Analyse your time

It was in my break that I came across the Pareto principle. If you are not familiar with it, it can defined as follows:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.[1] {source}

If I was to apply the 80/20 rule to my blogging it meant that 80% of the time I was spending on blogging was only creating 20% of my results. Effectively most of my time was being spent activities that were not adding value.

To understand this better and see if it was indeed true, I used RescueTime to see exactly how I was spending my time. RescueTIme focuses on measuring exclusively active computer time and detects when your computer is idle. My initial analysis showed me very clearly that the vast majority of my time was spent on activities that contributed very little to results, way too much time on email and social media. On my least productive activities I was spending only 26% of my time on design and composition. A huge wake up call and a stark reminder that if you are spending your time on the wrong activities, no matter how well you manage your time, you will not achieve the productivity you are after.

3. Set a goal

I came across and interview with Jay Papasan on a podcast called a Dose of Leadership and it helped me greatly. Jay Papasan is the author of the book The One Thing. Listening to him speak helped me realise something I think I knew all along. My many and varied goals needed to become a goal clear and concise goal.

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. Russian proverb

So I created one goal for my work life and one goal for my personal life. It has made a huge difference to how I operate on a daily basis. It has given me clear purpose for 2015 and has aided me in making better decisions. My goal is in the forefront of my mind every time I make a decision – will it help me achieve my goal for the year? If not then I have no choice but to say no. Having one goal makes this process so much easier.

4. Create a work schedule

Creating a work schedule helped me get back on track for two key reasons:

  • It scheduled in the activities that will help me achieve my goal for the year. We are all aware if you don’t plan it is unlikely to happen.
  • It prevented decision fatigue – work is just one part of my life. There is always a great deal going on at home and by creating a work schedule it is effectively telling me what to when. Not having to think about what to do means I can just get started on my work each day and not lose time procrastinating over where to start.

5. Practice daily gratitude

This one is a little out there I know, but I have found my attitude to the task at hand plays a huge part in how I approach it and the results it creates. Practicing gratitude does wonders for improving your attitude – we do really have so much to be grateful for if we take the time to think about it.

I began using the 5 minute journal app which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have always thought practicing gratitude would just add to the list of things I have to do and become a burden. This app however allows me to practice intentional gratitude in 5 minutes each morning and evening.

Instead of bemoaning the pressures that come from running a small online business, I would very frequently list it as something I was grateful for. For example:

  • I was grateful I could easily help out in my son’s class at short notice.
  • I was grateful picking up a sick child from school was not stressful and could be done in minutes.
  • I am grateful I can choose to clear my calendar and not take on additional work to free up more time when family life gets busy.
  • I am very grateful blogging allows me travel overseas each year.
  • I am so grateful I receive the most amazing feedback from readers who read my posts and take action.

Have you ever felt like quitting blogging? What did you do to turn things around?

Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids aged 16 to 6. Nicole is slightly addicted to spreadsheets, tea, running and CrossFit. Family is the most important thing in her life and her goal for 2015 is to be a planned, patient and present mother to her beautiful kids.

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

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around

The post Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around appeared first on @ProBlogger.

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