4 Tips For Working As A Full Time Blogger

4 Tips For Working As A Full Time Blogger

You may have been blogging for a while and have decided that you want to now turn your hobby into a full-time job. Or perhaps you are new to this whole blogging world but are determined that it is for you and want to make a go of it professionally. Whatever your current situation and stage of your journey, we are going to share with you 4 tips for working as a full-time blogger.

Be professional at all times
If this is going to now be your full-time job, you will need to treat it as such. 

Always be friendly and professional both online and in real life. Ensure that when you are working with brands and businesses that you communicate clearly and effectively and always meet agreed deadlines. 

If you are working on a project with a brand, ensure that you thoroughly read through any contracts, terms and briefs before agreeing to collaborate, and then make sure that you do deliver on all counts for them. 

Keep on top of the admin side
There is quite a lot of administrative tasks that come with being a blogger, which might well take you by surprise. 

You will need to be precise in your bookkeeping and you will need to submit your own tax returns. You might like to work with an accountant and over time you might want to invest in some digital VAT software and accounting programs. 

There will also be plenty of emails. This is, of course, a good thing and you will want a busy inbox, but keeping on top of all of them can be time-consuming. It is worth filtering out the opportunities that you wish to reply to and taking your time over those, and then sending polite messages to those that are not suitable for you. 

Learn some of the technical aspects
If you are not that tech-savvy, it is worth investing some time into learning a few blogging basics. 

You might want to improve your blog’s SEO and work on your Google rankings, or you might want to dabble in the design and features of your blog. Think about the areas that you most often run into difficulties and focus on those as your priorities to learn. 

Make connections
You will want to make connections within your industry. This could mean other bloggers in your area or in your niche, so take the time to interact with their blogs and their social media accounts. This might mean people who work in the industries that your blog focuses on, for example, publishers and authors for book bloggers. And then there are the PR companies and brands that you might want to work with. Work on curating long-term relationships with all of these people as they will be key to your success and longevity. 

Social media is an entire area that you will need to focus on, and you will need to master several platforms. Many brands will want their content featured on certain social media sites so take a look at the ones that most bloggers seem to spend most of their time. Work on building up your genuine following on all of these and share updates and content regularly, whilst interacting and engaging with others.

This is a contributed post.

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5 ways to get your content to your audience

5 ways to get your content to your audience

Okay, so you’ve been working hard on your web content, religiously sharing updates to your social media pages, and keeping everything visually pleasing, accurate, and informative. No matter how hard you try, though, you never seem to see much growth. You might start wondering, is my audience even getting my content?

There are endless techniques and means to grab your audience’s attention. Just like different topics attract different results, different methods of approach draw different people. You know your content needs to have value, remain relevant, and be easy to access in order for your audience to care, but do you know all of the distinct ways you can get their attention in the first place?

If you think that blogs, YouTube videos, and Facebook status updates are the only way to reach your audience, then it’s time to think again.

Here are five ways to get your content to your audience:

1. Email Marketing

Email marketing is often forgotten in the face of new, ever-evolving marketing methods. But if you don’t have regular email correspondence with your client base, then now is the time to consider it! By utilizing your email list and connecting with them regularly, you’ll be in direct contact with your most targeted audience. These are people that already care about your brand and want more information from you. You won’t find this anywhere else. Not to mention, it’s practically free to implement. You don’t have to worry about printing costs, postage fees, or beating algorithms and SEO strategies. Just be sure the emails you’re sending are quality and full of value and be careful not to spam your list.

2. Webinars

Hosting a webinar can sound intimidating, but there are so many benefits that they should definitely be in your repertoire! Not only will they give you and your brand more credibility as you present yourself as an expert in your field, but you’ll be able to reach many different kinds of people—other experts, potential customers, and plenty of like-minded individuals interested in all the same things you are. The more engaging your webinar, the more attention it will grab, the more people you will reach, and the more your brand will grow. Plus, you can re-purpose all of your webinar footage into beneficial web content later!

3. Speaking Events

If you have a fear of public speaking, it might be time to join a toastmasters club, because one of the best ways to get yourself and your brand in front of your target audience is to speak at events and conferences. Start by researching events where your target audience usually attends and then pitch yourself to the conference organizer. Explain your area of expertise, what topic you have in mind to discuss, and how you will add value to their event. Not only will you have the chance to speak in front of tons of potential customers, but you’ll also be able to build a relationship with the organization hosting the event—which won’t hurt your brand awareness.

4. Engage On Social Media

Now, if you’re thinking that you already post on your Facebook page with semi-regularity and so this point doesn’t apply to you, think again. Engaging on social media and posting on social media are two completely different things. Your target market is very likely to already be active on social media, but they might not be active on your business page. That means that you might have to go find them or help them find you! Add social media buttons to your website, add links to your business cards, flyers, and emails, talk to people about your social media and ask them to follow you, respond to comments and reviews, participate in groups, start conversations, ask questions, and more. Don’t expect them to start engaging first. You must take the first step.

5. Network, Network, Network!

Nothing quite influences your brand like meeting new people, talking about what you do, and creating strong, lasting relationships. Go to local chamber of commerce meetings, leave your business card places, invite people to lunch. Don’t be afraid to love what you do, tell people about it, and ask them to tag along!


If you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your content, then sign up to join my 7 day Content Repurposing Challenge! Learn how to grow your audience in less time and less work.

Have an awesome day!

Robyn

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10 Ways to Establish a Relationship with Customers

10 Ways to Establish a Relationship with Customers

***Contributing Post***

Establishing a relationship with your customers is vital for businesses in this day and age. However, thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to get to know your customers. Whether it’s email, social media, blogs or more, your customers can see your every move. But, a relationship that stands the test of time can be difficult to hold on to. So, how do you create a lasting relationship?

Ask Your Customers 

One of the best ways to find out how to create a lasting relationship with your customers is to ask them how they would prefer to be contacted. Many people feel like phone calls are a hassle and would prefer to be texted. Some are more responsive to social media messages than emails. Creating a survey and asking your customers to take part is a great way to get the feedback you need. Not only can you figure out your customers needs via a survey, but you can also attract prospective customers to the business. 

Blogs 

In recent years, blogging has become ever more popular. For businesses, a blog is essential when it comes to connecting with customers. If your blog is relevant to your audience, it should be able to grasp their interest. Your customers engaging and responding to your blog is a great way to build a connection. How often you post and how long your posts are is entirely up to you and generally depends on the type of industry you’re in. For example, a photographer may want to keep posts to no more than a page in length, but a plastic surgery may need to go into more detail for their audience. 

Newsletters 

Newsletters have been a tried and tested method for bonding with customers for decades. From paper newsletters sent through the post to email newsletters that customers can subscribe to. Unfortunately, many people go through their emails and automatically delete them if they don’t instantly seem of interest. So, to grab the attention of your customers, your newsletter has to be worth reading. The title of the newsletter should be punchy and your articles should be intriguing. You should also be able to separate your target audience into categories so you can create something that will be of interest to each person reading. 

Email Response 

More than ever, people are looking for fast response and convenience. Customers want their queries answered at the drop of a hat, which is why so many businesses are investing in chat boxes on their websites. When customers receive a fast response, it goes a long way to impressing them. Impressed customers continue to buy products and refer friends and family to the business too. If you haven’t got time for this kind of response, you may want to invest in customer success software to give you insights instead.

Personalised Thank You 

It’s important to let your customers know they are valued. When customers feel like a statistic or unappreciated, there’s nothing stopping them from visiting your competitor. Sending a personalised thank you is a great way to let your customers know they are appreciated. Whether it’s a thank you discount via email or a personalised thank you card via snail mail, it’s always the thought that counts. As a customer, knowing that your thought about is all you need to continue using the business. 

Active Social Media 

Social media is one of the top chosen methods for customers to contact businesses. Without an active social media, it’s easy for customers to think you aren’t trustworthy or professional. It’s also one of the easiest ways to connect with your customers. You can keep the conversation going when you’re using social media, so gaining feedback or suggestions should be a constant. You can also use social media as a form of customer service, responding to good reviews or complaints quickly. It’s important to respond to any criticism so potential customers visiting the page know you’re willing to resolve problems.

 

Instagram 

Although Instagram falls under the category of social media, it’s a world of its own when it comes to connecting with customers. Many people haven’t got the time to read lengthy social media posts or blogs that businesses create. However, studies have shown that people sit up and take notice of images. So, posting images of new products, customers using products and offers, or discounts is the best way to grab your customers attention. You could even use images to go behind the scenes and show customers how your business is run and what you stand for. 

Webinars 

You may be putting all your effort into writing blog posts that just aren’t being picked up by the numbers you want. That may not be because your audience isn’t interested; it could just be they haven’t got the time or energy to put into reading a post. Hosting a webinar once a month is an ideal way to keep your audience engaged without them having to make too much effort. You could even invite a speaker well-known in your industry to make an appearance and talk to your audience on a particular subject. 

Train Your Staff 

Most business owners rely on their staff when it comes to making a lasting connection with customers. After all, it’s the staff that have the most contact with them. If your staff aren’t equipped with the right knowledge or haven’t got the answers to customers questions, it could mean a loss in sales. You have to empower your staff to make the connections with your audience. Whether it’s a social media manager or a sales person on the shop floor of a retail business, knowledge is power. 

Don’t Ignore Mobiles 

The majority of people have their phones within reach and sight all day, every day. Not making use of that statistic would be foolish. Make sure your emails are mobile friendly and you use text services to connect with your customers. Creating an app is also an ideal way to stay connected. 

Making sure your customers are happy is making sure you stay in business.

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Are you confused about SEO and how to use it in your business?

Are you confused about SEO and how to use it in your business?

For most seasoned website administrators, SEO remains the holy grail of any viable marketing strategy. It’s the key to Google’s treasured vault of 1.52 billion search engine users and by extension the definite trail to unlocking leads and creating conversions.

For you, a small business owner; however, it probably is just ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ the only route you know to reaching a bigger audience.  And if you look at it pragmatically, there’s really no need for it to get more complex than this.

While SEO can indeed become the anchor of a broader marketing strategy or the cornerstone on which a whole brand is built, for a small business without a mega marketing team and deep pockets, it’s usually better off being just a means to meet a clearly defined and simplified end.

If your goal, for starters, is to get things up and running with your website, and reaching a wider audience is your primal target, here’s how to get SEO to do just that for you.

Google (and your users) remember fast websites

A few decades ago a page load time of say 5 seconds was by no means out of the ordinary. In fact, a handful of major news publishing websites had load times that averaged more than 5 seconds. It wasn’t a big deal, and search engines weren’t making a fuss about it.

Today, however, on the backdrop of an internet space predominated by ‘impatient’ users, speed and faster page load times matter, a lot! Per eConsultancy, no less than 40% of visitors abandon a website with a page load time of more than three seconds. 80% of these visitors won’t return to that site, ever again. It comes as no surprise then when search engines blacklist slow websites, placing them foot side of organic search engine rankings in preference for better performing websites. Google implemented the protocol to do this way back in 2010.

The key takeaway for you as a small business owner is that fast websites are a must, not a negotiable luxury. Assess your site, make sure its returning content to users in lighting fast speed. If this is not the case, make conscious efforts to optimize it for better performance

Quality content is still king, forget what anyone says

When developing content for your site, it’s easy to get caught up in a keyword and content optimizing frenzy that borders on intentionally fine-tuning everything for web scripts and Google crawl bots. While this approach was at one time effective, SEO has long gone past that phase. We’re in an era where quality content, the kind that attracts real-life users and drives engagement rules over that created to essentially tick all the checkboxes of Google bots.

Don’t get me wrong, keywords still matter. But rather than base the content of your website on emphasizing a specific tranche of keywords, it’s usually a better strategy to develop content that appeals to users. Search engines have a way of compounding several metrics to see if the content on your site is actually value-creating as opposed to merely keyword-harvesting.
The first step to developing quality content is understanding the needs of your target audience (consumers). Will they love visual cues more than text-based material? Are you better off writing in a professional, friendly or conversational tone? What topics in your niche pulls the crowd? These are the sort of questions you need to start answering.

Inbound linking is still the undisputed Queen

Inbound links, i.e. links of your website on other websites remain one of the most surefire ways to gain accelerated visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). And no, we’re not encouraging you to go on a link farming spree, that’s black hat SEO, and even though it might deliver some results in the first instance, it’s almost always tailgated by a backlash of punitive measures from search engines.

Instead practice link building the right way, the way it was intended to be practiced. Focus on creating high-quality content that engages the audience and attracts other content curators. If you don’t relent in this game of churning out killer content, other sites will in time start incorporating bits of your work, before invariably proceeding to give you credit by way of inbound links.

The best part is this process is more of a positive feedback mechanism – the more quality inbound links, the better your reputation and authority; and the more other sites feel inclined to link more web pages to your site.

Make use of all the tools you can lay your hands on

One good thing about SEO today is that unlike in the past, it’s no longer a game of hide and seek. You can proactively monitor, track and micromanage every aspect of your SEO drive with a growing selection of SEO tools.

Need to know how your site is performing on Google search, Google Search Console, Google Analytics and a slew of other analytics software are just a click of the button away. Confused on what keywords need to be integrated into your content, take your pick from apps like SEMrush, Google planner and Google AdWords. If you need to know what visitors are doing on your website when they come online; there are apps for that too.

One app we’d certainly recommend over and above is Yoast SEO. It’s a lightweight and intuitive content moderation solution that keeps you on top of your SEO game, content-wise. Yoast SEO allows you to specify everything from your Meta description, slug, title and alt SEO text with consummate ease and in line with current industry best practices. Best of all there’s a free version for users who are on a budget.

Don’t underestimate social media and other traffic sources

With a heightened (and justifiable) focus on search engine traffic, it’s easy for small business owners to sideline other valuable traffic sources. Don’t place all your eggs in one basket. Cultivate a social media following and improve your brand image – together these two work to deliver a steady supply of both new and old visitors to your site.

It, however, goes past just ushering in new web visitors, aside from guaranteeing more predictable and less volatile traffic volume, social signals - the way people interact (likes, pins, shares, views, votes and everything else) with your social media content - play a big role in your overall search engine performance. It’s on the record that SEO experts Moz.com moved to the top of SERPs for the key phrase ‘Beginner’s guide’ only after their guide was tweeted out by The Smashing Magazine.

Finally, if you don’t have a Google My Business account, now is the best time to get one

How do you easily outrank the so-called authority websites for broad, established and competitive search queries? I’ll give you a hint; the answer is not related to link building, onsite SEO optimization, fast webpages or quality content. Yes, you guessed it right, it’s the rather simple easy-to-effectuate solution you’ve been ignoring for too long – your Google Business Account.

In its last few search engine updates, Google has increasingly placed a heightened emphasis on local businesses. By virtue of this, registered businesses have a higher SERP priority especially in local searches for keywords related to the service they offer. Simply register your business and get a part of the SERP juice you deserve.

I hope these tips have helped you understand how to better use SEO in your small online business.

If you’re looking for more great resources for your business click here and access my subscriber hub

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Exploring Your Digital Marketing Options

Exploring Your Digital Marketing Options

***Contributed Post***

The time has come for you to start advertising online, but you’re not sure where to start. You have so many options available to you that it seems almost impossible to know which one is best for you. Exploring those options and conducting your own research is the key to unlocking the full potential on the digital marketing world and allowing your business to fully prosper online. So, let’s take a look at some of the options available to you as you start your campaign. 

Firstly, we are going to discuss social media. If there was ever an example of too many options when it comes to online marketing, then this is the one. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram and so on. There are so many social media websites that knowing where to start is going to be nigh on impossible without doing your research and understanding the USP of each one. 

For example, younger users use Twitter to access their news while older internet users are the driving force behind Facebook’s continued growth. Understanding your own abilities is going to be key with social media as well. If you don’t know how to create video content, why would you spend time on a YouTube channel now? When you’re starting a digital plan, you want to make sure that you’re targeting what is useful for you.

 

Moving away from social media and looking at the alternatives. Search engines and email marketing are two tried and tested ways of advertising directly to your target market. For starters, you should be exploring Search Engine Optimisation. This is the art of improving your website’s online visibility so that it yields better responses in unpaid searches. This is a good way of saving some money on paid marketing while also getting your website up to speed. 

Email marketing should be familiar to anyone who has shopped somewhere in the last ten years. Targeted campaigns will be sent to your customer’s inbox and you base that on their shopping habits or to encourage repeat business. Getting the timing and content of these emails right is vital to their success because the last thing you want is for it to look like junk mail and be discarded without consideration. 

The options available to you might seem too many to comprehend and actually make you struggle on where to start. That is why there are companies out there with the aim to help you with your decision making. Comparison websites like Growth Supermarket, for example, look at all the digital marketing opportunities available to you so that you can make an informed decision. After all, information is crucial to getting the most out of your advertising budget. 

Looking into your options can seem a little daunting when you first embark on a digital marketing campaign, but it doesn’t have to be. Research will get you where you need to be with a little bit of trial and error to carry you over the line.

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