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Here you will find resources to help you design, create, grow, and monetize your blog and social media platforms. Download the original presentation here.
Before you think about the visual aspects of your brand, it’s important to think about your audience and the message you want to send with them. Get very specific about WHO you are writing for.
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their challenges?
- What do they enjoy?
- What life stage are they in?
- How much money do they make?
- Do they work?
- Where do they hang out/shop etc.?
Once you have a clear picture of who you are writing to, you can then craft your messaging and elevator pitch. This is so important to have down on paper (especially as you go to pitch brands and monetize). Here is my elevator pitch:
Ever feel overwhelmed with adulting? Miranda Schroeder is a lifestyle blog that helps women design a home, life and business they love. I’ve found that some of us just need a little inspiration, motivation, and education when it comes to designing our everyday. From decorating on a budget to strengthening your marriage, there is a post to help you live an intentional life in your 20’s. I would love for you to check it out!
Before you design your blog website and start developing content, make sure you have a solid visual brand including a logo, color pallet, and font pairings. I worked with Brightly Branded to re-brand my blog early 2019 and she was amazing at bringing my vision to life.
You need to make sure that your website is self-hosted. I highly recommend bluehost and you can sign up here. I brought my website over to a self-hosted WordPress website from Squarespace in 2019 during my rebrand and haven’t looked back since.
Next, I highly recommend asking 7-10 people to provide feedback on your current blog before making design changes. Ask them if they can easily find information, what the love about the blog and what they would suggest changing. My annual end of survey made it very clear that readers come for my images!
You need a clean, simple and highly functional blog design to keep readers on your website. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a custom coded website, but you do need to make sure you have a clean layout and design. I purchased a simple, affordable design from Code + Coconut and I get tons of compliments on it. It was super easy to implement, too!
Once you have branded your blog and made updates to your design, it’s time to create content. Use these prompts to help you create 10 extremely detailed, valuable posts for your audience. These 10 posts will make up the core content on your blog and drive traffic for years to come.
Make sure you write these posts so they are evergreen, meaning if someone was to look at it 6 months down the line it would still make sense. Each post needs to have one clear, defined topic. Stick to ONE topic in every post. For example, I had a post called, “Diet vs. Lifestyle + My Favorite Smoothie Recipes.” That should be two posts on two different topics.
Another simple copy tip is to write to ONE person, not a group of people. For example, instead of saying “Guys” say “you.” You want to talk to the person reading your blog and make them feel like the content was written exactly for them!
I highly recommend checking out this blog post on getting ahead of content creation. It walks you through my planning process and gives you two amazing tools to help you plan out an entire year of content.
Pinterest is the number traffic generator for many bloggers! Pinterest is basically a Google for blogs. I mean, think about it… You want to cook a delicious meal for dinner, but you are short on time, Opens Pinterest app on phone. Searches for, “15-minute dinner recipes.” Ta-da! You are presented with a million quick dinner recipes all likely linking to someone’s blog post.
Most of us spend time repining other people’s content instead of uploading our own. In fact, before I started getting serious about my blog, I never uploaded my own content to Pinterest, but that has changed!
I walk you through step by step what I have implemented to get from 100K monthly Pinterest viewers to 5 million monthly Pinterest viewers. Just head to this blog post and dive in!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for every blogger under the sun! These simple changes can help you blog start surfacing in search engines like Google and Bing.
Email marketing is here to stay. It’s one of the highest converting digital marketing channels. Let that sink in for a moment… YET, I bet you spend 10 times the amount of time scrolling through your social media feeds than you do strategizing and executing your Email marketing.
We use ActiveCampaign as our email marketing platform. You can sign up for a free trial here. I love this software because it also allows us to easily create forms and pop-ups for the blog website.
Sponsored post are a great way to make money from your blog and social media. Basically, a brand will pay you in exchange for sharing about their product on your blog and/or social media. Every brand will have their own requirements and expectations for sponsored posts. Make sure you only work with brands that you trust and that are relevant to your audience.
There are a few different ways to find brands to work with. For me, I haven’t really focused on sponsored posts, so the only brands I’ve worked with are ones that have reached out to me.
That said, this is definitely something I need to do more of and I have signed up for tons of platforms out there that help connect influencers with brands. You sign up, create a profile, and then either apply for sponsorship opportunities or wait for brands to contact you depending on how that specific platform works.
- AspireIQ (REALLY LOVE THIS ONE!)
- Social Native
- Influencerher Collective (Fashion/Beauty Bloggers)
- Octoly (only free product)
- Social Fabric
- CleverGirls Network
- Collective Bias
- Pollinate Media Group
- POPSUGAR Select
Another approach is emailing brands directly. This allows you full control over who you work with and what products you promote! I can’t say I have tried this yet, but when approaching brands, make sure you are coming from a place of serving them! What unique value can you provide to them?
Look for their email on their Instagram profile and if you can’t find it there, see if there is a contact page on their website. If you come up short, send them a genuine direct message via Instagram and ask for their email address! Including a compliment never hurts!
Affiliate marketing is essentially you selling other people’s products and/or services for a commission. Think of yourself as their sales force (except you get to be your own boss)! Its a convenient and profitable way to make money as a blogger because you don’t have to actually manage inventory or ship orders! You are simply the referrer to the product or service.
Once you are an affiliate, you will have access to affiliate links. When you share these links and your audience clicks on them and makes a purchase, a cookie tracks that purchase back to your digital platform and you earn commission. A cookie is simply a bit of data stored on a users Internet browser (yes, people can turn off cookies, but the majority of users don’t).
Ads are a very common way to make money blogging. Basically, companies pay you to place ads on your website. Popular ad platforms include:
You might get paid by the number of people who view the ad OR the number of people who actually click on the add, pay-per-click (PPC).
I don’t like bogging my website down with ads, so I place them very strategically to not interfere with the user experience. For example, I have an ad running at the bottom of my page & in my blog sidebar.
Digital products are SO much work to create, but if you have expertise to offer in an area related to you blog, creating a digital product like an online course or an eBook that can provide extreme value to others is a win-win!
- Online courses
- Email challenges
We help entrepreneurs untangle their digital marketing, create a solid strategy, and execute it across all digital platforms. Our goal is to get all of your digital channels singing in harmony so you can generate more leads, close more sales, and fuel your dreams. From planning to execution, working with us is like having a complete marketing team in your back pocket.