Author: Darren Rowse

10 Tips to Help You Land a Job as a Freelance Blogger

The post 10 Tips to Help You Land a Job as a Freelance Blogger appeared first on ProBlogger.

10 tips to help you land a job as a freelance blogger

This post is based on Episode 185 of the ProBlogger podcast.

Whether you’re looking to become a full-time blogger, want to supplement your blogging income, or simply want to make a bit of money to support your own blog as it grows, finding a paid blogging job can help you go further, faster.

Back in 2006 I started the ProBlogger job board. Since then we’ve had well over 10,000 jobs listed on that board. Typically there’s at least one new job each day, and often as many as five or six. Most of them are writing-related, but there are also jobs aimed at editors and other types of content creators.

Featured jobs appear at the top of the board (where advertisers have paid a little extra), and the other jobs appear beneath them with the most recent at the top. There are usually three or four pages of active jobs at any given time.

I even use the job board myself. Several times a year I advertise for writers for Digital Photography School. But while we get a lot of applications (often 60 or more), a lot of those applying don’t do themselves any favours.

So today I’ll be sharing ten tips for applying for a job on the ProBlogger job board (or any other job board) in a way that will help you stand out for the crowd.

Tip #1: If You See a Job You’d Like, Act Quickly!

Advertisers sometimes remove a job within 24 hours of posting it because they managed to fill the position. Obviously you don’t want to send a rushed, half-complete application. But you should get it in fairly promptly.

Here are a few ways to find out about the jobs as soon as they’re advertised:

  • Use the jobs board RSS feed of all jobs.
  • Set up an email alert on the jobs board. (Look in the sidebar, or scroll down if you’re using a mobile.) You can enter a keyword to get only jobs that use that keyword, or leave it blank to get a daily email with all the new jobs.
  • Follow the ProBlogger Twitter account, where we tweet each new job once.

By default, jobs stay on the board for 30 days. We encourage advertisers to close their jobs once they’re filled, but not everyone does this. If you see an older job that looks like a great fit for you, it’s fine to email the advertiser and check whether the job is still open before applying.

Tip #2: Follow the Instructions in the Job Listing

Different advertisers will want you to apply in different ways. And they often tell you exactly what they want from you.

When advertising for Digital Photography School writers we’ve asked for specific things, such as examples of their work. We’ve also told applicants not to send in a full resume. But if you looked through the applications we get you’d be amazed how many people clearly didn’t read the instructions.

If you apply for a job and don’t follow the instructions, it’s a signal to the advertiser that you don’t pay attention to detail. So make sure you read the job listing carefully and do everything you’re asked to do.

Tip #3: Be Willing to “Sell Yourself”

So many people applying for DPS jobs sell themselves short. I know it can be hard to write confidently about your skills and abilities. But you need to put your best foot forward and give people a reason to hire you.

Talk about your previous experience, your knowledge, and your passion for the topic. Emphasise skills such as working with others or whatever else you can bring to the job. It’s not about selling yourself as something you’re not. It’s about making the most of everything you have.

Tip #4: Write Your Application Well

I’m always amazed at people who don’t proofread their applications. When you’re applying for a blogging job – which inevitably involves a lot of writing – your written application gives the advertiser an idea of how good you’ll be.

If you send an application that’s well written, well structured, spell-checked, and grammatically correct, you’ll put yourself ahead of your competition. Proofread your application and, if you can, get someone else to proofread it for you too.

Tip #5: Give Examples of Your Previous Work

Most of the jobs on our jobs board ask for examples of posts you’ve written previously.

Sometimes they’ll ask for links to articles you’ve had published somewhere else. (Ideally these will be on someone else’s site, but articles on your own site is often fine too.) Sometimes they’ll ask for a document or PDF file with a sample of your writing. Look at what they’re asking for, and make sure you send your samples in their preferred format.

When you’re deciding which pieces to use, think about:

  • Including a link to your own blog (if you’re already a blogger). This will help demonstrate your experience.
  • Choosing pieces relevant to the job (e.g. a post about travel for a travel writing blog). If you don’t have anything, you may even want to write a post for your own blog you can link to.
  • Choosing pieces that match the style the advertiser is looking for. Take a look at their blog and find out what type of content they produce. Is it conversational or formal? Is it short and concise or more detailed?
  • Offering a range of different types of content to show your versatility (unless they’re only advertising for a particular type of content, such as list posts). For instance, you may want to show them:
    • a list post
    • a “how to” post
    • a more humorous post
    • a story-driven post.

Tip #6: Be Concise and Don’t Overwhelm the Advertiser

When I talk to advertisers who post jobs on the ProBlogger job board, they often tell me they’re getting a lot of applications. If they receive a long application, it can take them quite a while just to read and process it.

So while you should include everything they ask for in your application, you should also be concise. This isn’t the place to tell them your life story. Don’t overwhelm the advertiser with tons of detail. Instead, select the most important information.

Tip #7: Demonstrate a Knowledge of Blogging Itself

As well as showing you know the topic area well (which I’ll get to in a moment), you need to show you understand the technical side of blogging.

For instance, if you regularly share content on a blog, and you’re familiar with WordPress or another blogging tool, make sure you let the advertiser know. Give them a link to your blog, or tell them how long you’ve been using WordPress.

These tell the advertiser that you’re serious about blogging and already have the skills you need. They’ll know they won’t have to invest time teaching you how to create a blog post in WordPress or how to add an image to a post.

If you don’t already got a blog of your own, get one going. We have an entire free course to help you.

Tip #8: Demonstrate Knowledge of the Topic

I’m sure this is obvious, but people won’t employ you to write for their blog if you don’t have a good understanding of the topic.

Ideally you’ll have already written about that topic. But you may be able to show your understanding of the topic in other ways. You may have had some training on it through work, or delivered workshops. Or maybe it’s a hobby you engage in extensively.

Demonstrating you know their topic well and you’re up to date with the latest trends within it will add a lot to your application.

Tip #9: Only Apply to Jobs That Are a Good Fit for You

In the past few years I’ve found that some people apply for every job that appears on the job board. And it inevitably comes across in the applications, where are pretty much copied and pasted from one job to the next.

Don’t give an advertiser the impression you’re desperate for any job. They want to know you’re a great fit for their job. Tailor your application to what they need, and make sure you have the skills they’re looking for.

Tip #10: Demonstrate You’re Willing to Go Beyond Just Writing

While it’s crucial to show advertisers you have the writing experience and abilities they’re looking for, you can also offer them something more.

For instance, if you have experience in design, search engine optimisation, editing, creating video or anything like that, list it at the bottom of your application. It will show the advertiser they’re not just getting a writer. They’re also getting someone who can help with search engine optimisation, or create new types of content for their blog.

You can also include links to your social network profiles, and tell advertisers you’re willing to promote the content you write on your social networks. This can be an added bonus for an advertiser, as it will help bring traffic to their site.

If you follow even half of these tip you’ll immediately put yourself ahead of a lot of other people applying. Follow them all, and you’ll really stand out from the crowd.

Check out the ProBlogger jobs board and see if there are jobs you’d like to apply for.

Good luck with your hunt.

Image credit: Grovemade

The post 10 Tips to Help You Land a Job as a Freelance Blogger appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months

The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Uses Pinterest to Boost His Following

Welcome to the final episode of our Blogger Breakthroughs series. Today we share a story from Rowan Sims, Digital Photography School writer and ProBlogger podcast listener.

How Rowan Sims grew his Pinterest following to 300,000 in two months

 

Rowan’s also a landscape and travel photographer who uses his blog to teach readers how to improve their photography, as well as share his photo adventures and location guides.

The biggest challenges he faced with blogging were being inconsistent and not attracting the right audience.

So he switched his blog’s focus from just sharing photography to teaching it as well.

He’s also written some guest posts. Don’t underestimate the power of guest blogging. It’s about more than just link building.

Another breakthrough for Rowan was discovering the power of Pinterest. It’s become Rowan’s largest source of referral traffic.

Rowan has used various tools and social media sites to promote his photography, but Pinterest needed a different approach and was a steep learning curve.

No matter what your niche is, Rowan has suggestions on how to optimize Pinterest for best results:

  • Set up a Pinterest business account and review your Pinterest insights/analytics to know what’s working and help identify your target audience
  • Create attractive pins
  • Use Tailwind to drip feed pins and create tribes

Pinterest is one option, but experiment with different platforms to figure out what works best for you.

Rowan’s blogging breakthroughs have not only helped increase his traffic, but has brought him the right traffic. People are genuinely interested in what he has to say and share.

Links and Resources for How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Darren: Hey there and welcome to episode 269 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the founder of ProBlogger which started out as a blog with lots of blog tips and has become a blog, a podcast, ebooks, courses, and a job board as well to help bloggers to find jobs. There’s a lot on ProBlogger. You can check it all out at problogger.com where we really are about trying to help bloggers to monetize their blogs.

Today is the final episode in our blogger breakthrough series. We may do this again in the future because I’ve had a lot of really great feedback on the stories that we’ve been featuring. I’m going to get back to a noble flow of things next week. But today, I want to share with you a story from Rowan Sims. Rowan actually is a writer over on Digital Photography School. I didn’t realize he was also a listener of this podcast. You hear at the end, he worked his way back through all of the archives of the podcast—all 269 episodes. He may be up there as one of the most avid listeners of the podcast.

He submitted his story of how he grew his blog. He took his blog from fairly inconsistent blogging, he switched his focus, and he shares two strategies that he used to help grow his traffic particularly Pinterest. He gives some good tips on driving traffic with Pinterest as well. He actually submitted a short 4 ½-minute story and then I asked him to submit a few more tips so you will a bit of a change in the audio—that’s kind of part two coming in halfway along where he gets to be a bit more practical about Pinterest.

Before I introduce you or put Rowan onto you, I do want to mention a little personal project that I’ve been playing around with, and that is a new podcast. This is not just a podcast with me, it’s actually a podcast with Vanessa, my wife, and my three boys. We’ve been talking for a while now about having a family podcast and also, we’re not completely sure how it’s going to roll out completely. We don’t even know what the name will be down the track. We’re calling it the Rowse Report at the moment. It is, at this moment, a one pilot show. It’s about what we’re reading, what we’re watching, what we’re listening to, what we’re playing.

We each have a little segment where we talk about the books, the podcast, what we’re watching on Netflix, what movies we enjoy, what games we might be playing. I’ve got plans for a few episodes. We’re just putting it out there at the moment. If you’d like to have a listen to that, there’s not actually a website for it yet, but you will be able to find the latest episode linked to either on my Facebook page—facebook.com/problogger or I will link to it in today’s show. We are hosting it on the Anchor platform and it should go up in iTunes as well in the next week or two. You might want to do a search there for Rowse Report.

Anyway, you can find it all on today’s show notes. The show notes also will have transcription of today’s story as well as some links that Rowan mentions in the show. He mentions a couple of tools that you might want to check out and then an article that he has written as well. I’m going to hand over to Rowan and I’m going to come back at the end just to wrap things up and give a few thoughts of my own and suggest a couple of things that you might want to do as a result of what you hear. Here’s Rowan.

Rowan: Hi guys. My name is Rowan and I’m a blogger and photographer from New Zealand. My blog name is Rowan Sims Photography and you can find me at rowansims.com. I started my blog back in 2010 so it’s been about eight years. I’m a landscape and travel photographer, so I use my blog to teach my readers how to improve their photography. I also use it to share my photo adventures and location guides.

My audience is mainly beginner to intermediate photographers. As I said, I’ve been blogging for about eight years, but really inconsistently. I’ve seen some small success with a few posts getting some serious traffic. In the past, I use my blog mainly to share my travel and landscape photography with a little monetization from some affiliate products.

My biggest challenge is with being consistent and tracking the right audience. There have been periods of every year when I didn’t blog at all. The little audience I did have completely forgot about me. I also found that the search traffic that was coming to my blog was basically just leaving. Visitors weren’t interested in subscribing or following me on social media once they have found what they were looking for. I’ve built up a small email list and social media following but not enough to drive traffic to my blog.

I’ve had a couple of big breakthroughs this year. At the end of 2007, my girlfriend and I decided to spend some time in Australia after living in Canada for a couple of years. She’s also a travel blogger and have had some similar struggles to me, so we decided to make the most of the fresh start and really focus on our blogs in 2018. I also decided to shift the focus of my blog from just sharing my photography to teaching others as well.

One of the things I decided to work on was guest posting. I’ve written a couple of guest post in the past, but never really pushed it. To start with, I approached Digital Photography School which I’m sure you’ve heard Darren talk about on this podcast. They were happy to have me write for them, so I submitted an article. That first post was really well received which was a huge encouragement for me.

The second breakthrough I’ve had this year was discovering the power of Pinterest for driving traffic. I’ve used Pinterest inconsistently for a few years and it’s a personal use. I’ve never really seen it as a tool for promoting my photography or my blog. I thought it was really just for moms sharing recipes. I decided to take another look at it this year, so I switched to a business account and I’ve a whole another profile. I really had no idea how powerful Pinterest could be for bloggers. Pinterest has become my largest source of referral traffic in just a few months.

Learning how to use Pinterest for business was a pretty steep learning curve. It’s such a unique platform. I’ve used many tools and social media sites to promote my photography over the years, but Pinterest required a very different approach. Fortunately, as a blogger, I’ve had a ton of visual content which Pinterest is all about. This meant that I was able to hit the ground running with a decent amount of content that I could optimize for Pinterest and experiment with.

There are a few things that I did which I think set me up well on a path to seeing results from Pinterest. Every blogger is going to use it differently, but I think these things are going to be useful no matter what your niche.

The first thing I’d recommend is setting up a business account, as I mentioned. This may sound obvious, but I didn’t realize the value of it until I did it myself. There aren’t a ton of differences between a regular account and a business account but the biggest one for me has been Pinterest Insights. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time looking at your analytics. I probably spend way too much time in there, but it pays off if you know what to look for.  Pinterest Insights are incredibly powerful, and they can help you in a couple of ways. Firstly, you’ll see what’s working and also, you’ll see where your target audience is. It’s pretty different than Google Analytics, so don’t expect to be able to understand it straight away. But give it sometime and I’m pretty sure you’ll see the value in it for sure.

The second thing that really helped me was to create really attractive pins. Again, this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many pins I see everyday that have had virtually no thought going to them at all. It’s a visual platform so learning to create beautiful pins is an absolute must. I’m not a designer by any means so my pins are pretty basic. I’ve created templates in photoshop to make it easy to create new pins for each post. I switch up the photos and text and it’s done in just a few minutes. If that sounds way over your head, there are free tools like Canva that make it super simple. This was a process of experimentation and it still is. Some of my templates get a lot of engagement and the ones that get little just gets scrapped. I regularly try new fonts and overlays to see what works best. I’m a prolific experimenter and that’s served me really well, so I encourage you to do the same.

The third thing that’s really made a big difference in growing my Pinterest account is actually another tool called Tailwind. You may have heard of it. It’s a tool that makes scheduling and repining really simple. One of the unique things about Pinterest is that you need to be very active to see results. But bombarding your followers with a ton of pins each time you visit doesn’t work. Tailwind allows you to drip feed your pins over the day so they’re more likely to be seen by your followers. It also has a fantastic feature called Tribes which encourages members to re-pin other member’s content. It’s really effective and it’s been super helpful for me especially considering I have a relatively small following.

I actually wrote a whole post about how I grew my account from about 1000 views a month to over 300,000 in only about two months. It’s written for photographers, but the principles are valid no matter what niche you’re in.

The biggest advantage of these two breakthroughs is that I’m not only getting a lot more traffic, it’s the right kind of traffic. People who are visiting my blog because they’re genuinely interested in what I have to say, they’re sticking around longer, and are subscribing.

In the last six months, I’ve more than doubled the email list that I’ve built over the last four years. I’ve also been given a few opportunities as a result of writing for other photography blogs. I’m getting in front of a much larger audience and building a larger profile as a result. Getting to where my target audience and guest posting there has been one of the best things I could have ever done for my blog.

What I want to say to listeners is don’t underestimate the power of guest posting. It’s about so much more than just link building. If you can write for blogs that have a bigger audience than your own, some of their audience will inevitably become some of your audience. The second thing I would say is keep experimenting with various tools and platforms. It might be something you’ve tried in the past and decided isn’t for you. Test out new stuff but be careful about dismissing the old stuff. You never really know what might work for you.

That’s it. Before I go, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Darren. I spent the last few months listening to the entire back catalog of the ProBlogger podcast. It’s been insanely helpful. Every time I listen, I get inspired. I’ve learned so much. I’m sure I probably would’ve given up by now if it wasn’t for you sharing your knowledge and passion. Both of your blogs, ProBlogger and Digital Photography School had been hugely helpful for me, so thank you very much.

Darren: Thanks so much to Rowan for sharing his story today. You can find his site at rowansims.com. I have a link to the article that he mentioned on his advice on Pinterest in the show notes today as well. You can find that show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269.

I love this story for a couple of reasons. One, Rowan has found for himself the reality that guest posting isn’t dead. Guest posting was huge five or so years ago now. Most people were using it to build their search engine traffic, getting links from other sites, but Google cracked down on this and so those links aren’t as valuable as they used to be than what really valuable at all. As a result, a lot of people gave up on guest posting.

I’ve long argued that there was more to guest posting than just the links. Certainly, the links were helpful but getting in front of other people’s audiences is something that is well worth doing, particularly, if it’s the right type of traffic, the right type of audience. Rowan talked there about how he targeted where his audience was, and he focused on those places to build profile. He did that through Digital Photography School which is the perfect audience for him if he wants to teach people how to do photography. We’ve heard time and time again from our writers that it’s a benefit for them to do that purely for the traffic that they get and that the profile, the expertise that they’re able to build on their particular topic.

Guest posting isn’t dead, I’m going to link in the show notes today to a previous episode on guest posting if you want to check that one out. It’s one the early episode that I did right towards the beginning of this podcast, back in episode 37. If you want to dig back and have a listen to that, it’s on iTunes. Some of those early episodes, I should say, on iTunes have probably disappeared at some point because I think there’s a limit of 300 episodes that I can show you at a time, and we are approaching that point. We’re at 269, so in another 31 episodes, the first episodes will disappear. You might want to go back and listen to those early episodes if you haven’t already. That’s just a little side.

The other thing that I love that Rowan found for himself is that Pinterest is a great way of driving traffic. Every time I meet bloggers, I meet people who are using Pinterest in really interesting ways as well. They always tell that they’re surprised about how their topic works on Pinterest. Photography is a topic that works on Pinterest. I’ve seen topics like motorbikes, gardening, fashion. I’ve seen technology boards do really well. There really isn’t a limit since some of those stereotypical niches that you might think do well on Pinterest certainly do work, but it’s a lot broader than you might think. Great tips there from Rowan.

I do plan on doing an episode in the coming months hopefully before the end of the year on Pinterest as well because I’ve met some good people on that particular topic. Do get into that article that Rowan mentioned. I will link to it in the show notes today. Also, check out those tools that he mentioned. I’ll link to those in the show notes too. There’s Canva which you’ll find at canva.com and tailwindapp.com. That’s the tool that enables you to schedule into Pinterest your pins. Check out Pinterest. I think Pinterest is a great one because Pinterest really does rely upon content.

A lot of bloggers have found the hard way that Facebook has changed their algorithms a lot and that’s because they don’t really need content on Facebook. Facebook’s much more than people sharing links, it’s about people having conversations, and people watching video, and people engaging in communities, so it’s not really in Facebook’s best interest to allow us to share links that lead people off Facebook.

The whole point of Pinterest is that people go there to find content. They actually reward people who create great content. I do think it is a platform that is well worth checking out if you haven’t already. As Rowan says, it’s well worth revisiting. We actually are in the process of probably having a full look at Pinterest for Digital Photography School in particular. We’ve never quite cracked it but based on some of the advice that I received over the last few months, we’re going to give it another go. That’s high on our agenda for 2019. I’m interested to see if we can replicate some of the results that Rowan got being in a similar niche to him.

Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. Again, you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269. You’ll find the link there to out family podcast as well, if you do want to have a listen to that. It’s called the Rowse Report. Anchor is slowly adding it all in the different podcasting app.

At the point I’m recording this, it’s not on iTunes yet, but is on Anchor and I think also on Pocket Casts. But hopefully, it will all be added in the coming days and weeks as well. Just search for Rowse Report or check out the show notes. I would love to know what you think about it and we would love any suggestions you’ve got for a name for that podcast as well. Have a listen and see what you think. I do think that the stars of the show will be my kids though, so you might want to have a listen to that. It’s kind of funny seeing your seven-year-old talk about a book that he’s reading. Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. You can check that one out. I’ll chat with you next week where we’re coming back to our normal schedule called Podcasting at ProBlogger. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months

The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Uses Pinterest to Boost His Following

Welcome to the final episode of our Blogger Breakthroughs series. Today we share a story from Rowan Sims, Digital Photography School writer and ProBlogger podcast listener.

How Rowan Sims grew his Pinterest following to 300,000 in two months

 

Rowan’s also a landscape and travel photographer who uses his blog to teach readers how to improve their photography, as well as share his photo adventures and location guides.

The biggest challenges he faced with blogging were being inconsistent and not attracting the right audience.

So he switched his blog’s focus from just sharing photography to teaching it as well.

He’s also written some guest posts. Don’t underestimate the power of guest blogging. It’s about more than just link building.

Another breakthrough for Rowan was discovering the power of Pinterest. It’s become Rowan’s largest source of referral traffic.

Rowan has used various tools and social media sites to promote his photography, but Pinterest needed a different approach and was a steep learning curve.

No matter what your niche is, Rowan has suggestions on how to optimize Pinterest for best results:

  • Set up a Pinterest business account and review your Pinterest insights/analytics to know what’s working and help identify your target audience
  • Create attractive pins
  • Use Tailwind to drip feed pins and create tribes

Pinterest is one option, but experiment with different platforms to figure out what works best for you.

Rowan’s blogging breakthroughs have not only helped increase his traffic, but has brought him the right traffic. People are genuinely interested in what he has to say and share.

Links and Resources for How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Darren: Hey there and welcome to episode 269 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the founder of ProBlogger which started out as a blog with lots of blog tips and has become a blog, a podcast, ebooks, courses, and a job board as well to help bloggers to find jobs. There’s a lot on ProBlogger. You can check it all out at problogger.com where we really are about trying to help bloggers to monetize their blogs.

Today is the final episode in our blogger breakthrough series. We may do this again in the future because I’ve had a lot of really great feedback on the stories that we’ve been featuring. I’m going to get back to a noble flow of things next week. But today, I want to share with you a story from Rowan Sims. Rowan actually is a writer over on Digital Photography School. I didn’t realize he was also a listener of this podcast. You hear at the end, he worked his way back through all of the archives of the podcast—all 269 episodes. He may be up there as one of the most avid listeners of the podcast.

He submitted his story of how he grew his blog. He took his blog from fairly inconsistent blogging, he switched his focus, and he shares two strategies that he used to help grow his traffic particularly Pinterest. He gives some good tips on driving traffic with Pinterest as well. He actually submitted a short 4 ½-minute story and then I asked him to submit a few more tips so you will a bit of a change in the audio—that’s kind of part two coming in halfway along where he gets to be a bit more practical about Pinterest.

Before I introduce you or put Rowan onto you, I do want to mention a little personal project that I’ve been playing around with, and that is a new podcast. This is not just a podcast with me, it’s actually a podcast with Vanessa, my wife, and my three boys. We’ve been talking for a while now about having a family podcast and also, we’re not completely sure how it’s going to roll out completely. We don’t even know what the name will be down the track. We’re calling it the Rowse Report at the moment. It is, at this moment, a one pilot show. It’s about what we’re reading, what we’re watching, what we’re listening to, what we’re playing.

We each have a little segment where we talk about the books, the podcast, what we’re watching on Netflix, what movies we enjoy, what games we might be playing. I’ve got plans for a few episodes. We’re just putting it out there at the moment. If you’d like to have a listen to that, there’s not actually a website for it yet, but you will be able to find the latest episode linked to either on my Facebook page—facebook.com/problogger or I will link to it in today’s show. We are hosting it on the Anchor platform and it should go up in iTunes as well in the next week or two. You might want to do a search there for Rowse Report.

Anyway, you can find it all on today’s show notes. The show notes also will have transcription of today’s story as well as some links that Rowan mentions in the show. He mentions a couple of tools that you might want to check out and then an article that he has written as well. I’m going to hand over to Rowan and I’m going to come back at the end just to wrap things up and give a few thoughts of my own and suggest a couple of things that you might want to do as a result of what you hear. Here’s Rowan.

Rowan: Hi guys. My name is Rowan and I’m a blogger and photographer from New Zealand. My blog name is Rowan Sims Photography and you can find me at rowansims.com. I started my blog back in 2010 so it’s been about eight years. I’m a landscape and travel photographer, so I use my blog to teach my readers how to improve their photography. I also use it to share my photo adventures and location guides.

My audience is mainly beginner to intermediate photographers. As I said, I’ve been blogging for about eight years, but really inconsistently. I’ve seen some small success with a few posts getting some serious traffic. In the past, I use my blog mainly to share my travel and landscape photography with a little monetization from some affiliate products.

My biggest challenge is with being consistent and tracking the right audience. There have been periods of every year when I didn’t blog at all. The little audience I did have completely forgot about me. I also found that the search traffic that was coming to my blog was basically just leaving. Visitors weren’t interested in subscribing or following me on social media once they have found what they were looking for. I’ve built up a small email list and social media following but not enough to drive traffic to my blog.

I’ve had a couple of big breakthroughs this year. At the end of 2007, my girlfriend and I decided to spend some time in Australia after living in Canada for a couple of years. She’s also a travel blogger and have had some similar struggles to me, so we decided to make the most of the fresh start and really focus on our blogs in 2018. I also decided to shift the focus of my blog from just sharing my photography to teaching others as well.

One of the things I decided to work on was guest posting. I’ve written a couple of guest post in the past, but never really pushed it. To start with, I approached Digital Photography School which I’m sure you’ve heard Darren talk about on this podcast. They were happy to have me write for them, so I submitted an article. That first post was really well received which was a huge encouragement for me.

The second breakthrough I’ve had this year was discovering the power of Pinterest for driving traffic. I’ve used Pinterest inconsistently for a few years and it’s a personal use. I’ve never really seen it as a tool for promoting my photography or my blog. I thought it was really just for moms sharing recipes. I decided to take another look at it this year, so I switched to a business account and I’ve a whole another profile. I really had no idea how powerful Pinterest could be for bloggers. Pinterest has become my largest source of referral traffic in just a few months.

Learning how to use Pinterest for business was a pretty steep learning curve. It’s such a unique platform. I’ve used many tools and social media sites to promote my photography over the years, but Pinterest required a very different approach. Fortunately, as a blogger, I’ve had a ton of visual content which Pinterest is all about. This meant that I was able to hit the ground running with a decent amount of content that I could optimize for Pinterest and experiment with.

There are a few things that I did which I think set me up well on a path to seeing results from Pinterest. Every blogger is going to use it differently, but I think these things are going to be useful no matter what your niche.

The first thing I’d recommend is setting up a business account, as I mentioned. This may sound obvious, but I didn’t realize the value of it until I did it myself. There aren’t a ton of differences between a regular account and a business account but the biggest one for me has been Pinterest Insights. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time looking at your analytics. I probably spend way too much time in there, but it pays off if you know what to look for.  Pinterest Insights are incredibly powerful, and they can help you in a couple of ways. Firstly, you’ll see what’s working and also, you’ll see where your target audience is. It’s pretty different than Google Analytics, so don’t expect to be able to understand it straight away. But give it sometime and I’m pretty sure you’ll see the value in it for sure.

The second thing that really helped me was to create really attractive pins. Again, this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many pins I see everyday that have had virtually no thought going to them at all. It’s a visual platform so learning to create beautiful pins is an absolute must. I’m not a designer by any means so my pins are pretty basic. I’ve created templates in photoshop to make it easy to create new pins for each post. I switch up the photos and text and it’s done in just a few minutes. If that sounds way over your head, there are free tools like Canva that make it super simple. This was a process of experimentation and it still is. Some of my templates get a lot of engagement and the ones that get little just gets scrapped. I regularly try new fonts and overlays to see what works best. I’m a prolific experimenter and that’s served me really well, so I encourage you to do the same.

The third thing that’s really made a big difference in growing my Pinterest account is actually another tool called Tailwind. You may have heard of it. It’s a tool that makes scheduling and repining really simple. One of the unique things about Pinterest is that you need to be very active to see results. But bombarding your followers with a ton of pins each time you visit doesn’t work. Tailwind allows you to drip feed your pins over the day so they’re more likely to be seen by your followers. It also has a fantastic feature called Tribes which encourages members to re-pin other member’s content. It’s really effective and it’s been super helpful for me especially considering I have a relatively small following.

I actually wrote a whole post about how I grew my account from about 1000 views a month to over 300,000 in only about two months. It’s written for photographers, but the principles are valid no matter what niche you’re in.

The biggest advantage of these two breakthroughs is that I’m not only getting a lot more traffic, it’s the right kind of traffic. People who are visiting my blog because they’re genuinely interested in what I have to say, they’re sticking around longer, and are subscribing.

In the last six months, I’ve more than doubled the email list that I’ve built over the last four years. I’ve also been given a few opportunities as a result of writing for other photography blogs. I’m getting in front of a much larger audience and building a larger profile as a result. Getting to where my target audience and guest posting there has been one of the best things I could have ever done for my blog.

What I want to say to listeners is don’t underestimate the power of guest posting. It’s about so much more than just link building. If you can write for blogs that have a bigger audience than your own, some of their audience will inevitably become some of your audience. The second thing I would say is keep experimenting with various tools and platforms. It might be something you’ve tried in the past and decided isn’t for you. Test out new stuff but be careful about dismissing the old stuff. You never really know what might work for you.

That’s it. Before I go, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Darren. I spent the last few months listening to the entire back catalog of the ProBlogger podcast. It’s been insanely helpful. Every time I listen, I get inspired. I’ve learned so much. I’m sure I probably would’ve given up by now if it wasn’t for you sharing your knowledge and passion. Both of your blogs, ProBlogger and Digital Photography School had been hugely helpful for me, so thank you very much.

Darren: Thanks so much to Rowan for sharing his story today. You can find his site at rowansims.com. I have a link to the article that he mentioned on his advice on Pinterest in the show notes today as well. You can find that show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269.

I love this story for a couple of reasons. One, Rowan has found for himself the reality that guest posting isn’t dead. Guest posting was huge five or so years ago now. Most people were using it to build their search engine traffic, getting links from other sites, but Google cracked down on this and so those links aren’t as valuable as they used to be than what really valuable at all. As a result, a lot of people gave up on guest posting.

I’ve long argued that there was more to guest posting than just the links. Certainly, the links were helpful but getting in front of other people’s audiences is something that is well worth doing, particularly, if it’s the right type of traffic, the right type of audience. Rowan talked there about how he targeted where his audience was, and he focused on those places to build profile. He did that through Digital Photography School which is the perfect audience for him if he wants to teach people how to do photography. We’ve heard time and time again from our writers that it’s a benefit for them to do that purely for the traffic that they get and that the profile, the expertise that they’re able to build on their particular topic.

Guest posting isn’t dead, I’m going to link in the show notes today to a previous episode on guest posting if you want to check that one out. It’s one the early episode that I did right towards the beginning of this podcast, back in episode 37. If you want to dig back and have a listen to that, it’s on iTunes. Some of those early episodes, I should say, on iTunes have probably disappeared at some point because I think there’s a limit of 300 episodes that I can show you at a time, and we are approaching that point. We’re at 269, so in another 31 episodes, the first episodes will disappear. You might want to go back and listen to those early episodes if you haven’t already. That’s just a little side.

The other thing that I love that Rowan found for himself is that Pinterest is a great way of driving traffic. Every time I meet bloggers, I meet people who are using Pinterest in really interesting ways as well. They always tell that they’re surprised about how their topic works on Pinterest. Photography is a topic that works on Pinterest. I’ve seen topics like motorbikes, gardening, fashion. I’ve seen technology boards do really well. There really isn’t a limit since some of those stereotypical niches that you might think do well on Pinterest certainly do work, but it’s a lot broader than you might think. Great tips there from Rowan.

I do plan on doing an episode in the coming months hopefully before the end of the year on Pinterest as well because I’ve met some good people on that particular topic. Do get into that article that Rowan mentioned. I will link to it in the show notes today. Also, check out those tools that he mentioned. I’ll link to those in the show notes too. There’s Canva which you’ll find at canva.com and tailwindapp.com. That’s the tool that enables you to schedule into Pinterest your pins. Check out Pinterest. I think Pinterest is a great one because Pinterest really does rely upon content.

A lot of bloggers have found the hard way that Facebook has changed their algorithms a lot and that’s because they don’t really need content on Facebook. Facebook’s much more than people sharing links, it’s about people having conversations, and people watching video, and people engaging in communities, so it’s not really in Facebook’s best interest to allow us to share links that lead people off Facebook.

The whole point of Pinterest is that people go there to find content. They actually reward people who create great content. I do think it is a platform that is well worth checking out if you haven’t already. As Rowan says, it’s well worth revisiting. We actually are in the process of probably having a full look at Pinterest for Digital Photography School in particular. We’ve never quite cracked it but based on some of the advice that I received over the last few months, we’re going to give it another go. That’s high on our agenda for 2019. I’m interested to see if we can replicate some of the results that Rowan got being in a similar niche to him.

Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. Again, you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269. You’ll find the link there to out family podcast as well, if you do want to have a listen to that. It’s called the Rowse Report. Anchor is slowly adding it all in the different podcasting app.

At the point I’m recording this, it’s not on iTunes yet, but is on Anchor and I think also on Pocket Casts. But hopefully, it will all be added in the coming days and weeks as well. Just search for Rowse Report or check out the show notes. I would love to know what you think about it and we would love any suggestions you’ve got for a name for that podcast as well. Have a listen and see what you think. I do think that the stars of the show will be my kids though, so you might want to have a listen to that. It’s kind of funny seeing your seven-year-old talk about a book that he’s reading. Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. You can check that one out. I’ll chat with you next week where we’re coming back to our normal schedule called Podcasting at ProBlogger. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

How to Approach Influencers in Your Niche: Twelve Crucial Tips

The post How to Approach Influencers in Your Niche: Twelve Crucial Tips appeared first on ProBlogger.

How to approach influencers in your niche

Do you want to connect with influencers in your niche?

Most bloggers do. But many of them go about it the wrong way.

Forming relationships with influencers is something you really want to get right. Done well, it’s one of the best ways to grow your audience and brand. And hopefully you’ll end up with some new friends too.

But if you approach influencers the wrong way, you won’t get the results you want. In fact, you may even harm your blog and your brand.

Before I dig into specific tips for connecting with influencers, let’s get clear about what not to do.

The Wrong Way to Approach Influencers

Getting to know influencers is never about using a ‘system’ or ‘formula’ to make connections.

Tools are available that let you set up a sequence of emails to influencers, which are then triggered automatically depending on whether or not the influencer opens your emails. And of course they all promise to save you time or give you great results.

If your own blog is reasonably large, you may well have been on the receiving end of some of these yourself. I get ten or so of these every day, and some influencers I’ve talked to get more than 100 a day.

Don’t use these tools. They often cost a lot, and influencers at all levels will have seen the boilerplate emails from these tools time and time again (often with their name misspelt or omitted).

No prizes for guessing what happens to these emails. They’re usually ignored and deleted. And I’m sure you can understand why.

The sad thing is, most people who use these expensive tools to send their emails have good intentions. They’re good people. But they’re potentially hurting their brand.

So let me share some tips for reaching out to influencer that will give you much better results.

Tip #1: Don’t Get Upset if They Don’t Respond

Even if you do everything right, some influencers still won’t respond. As you can imagine, they get a lot of approaches and have a lot of interactions each day. They may have hundreds of thousands (or even million) of social media connections, which means they can’t respond to everyone.

Don’t let that put you off. Make the approach anyway and try to build a relationship. Just make sure you have realistic expectations, and don’t be upset if someone doesn’t get back to you. (Never attack them or call them out on social media for not replying. That’s a fast way to kill any chance of a relationship.)

Tip #2: Don’t be a Stalker

Everything I’m sharing in this post is about being useful: helping influencers achieve what they want, and looking for a win-win situation. So be enthusiastic and reach out, but don’t overstep boundaries.

This is particularly important when it comes to offline interaction. For instance, sending someone a gift might be a lovely, welcome gesture. But don’t choose something expensive, too personal or potentially offensive.

A movie star I follow mentioned they were starting a blog, so I sent them a copy of my book. They really appreciated that I noticed they were starting a blog when most other people hadn’t.

Tip #3: Be Someone Worth Knowing

When you reach out to someone, chances are they’ll dig into who you are before they respond. They might check out your blog, or glance at your social media accounts.

You want your online presence to show you’re genuine and credible. Showcase your expertise if possible. But even if you don’t have any expertise or many followers or readers yet, there’s still a lot you can do.

For instance, do you complain all the time on Twitter? Or do you talk about topics that influencers in your niche will be interested in? Even if you don’t have many followers yet, tweet as if you do. The same goes for your blog or website. Make sure it looks reasonably professional and complete.

Tip #4: Find Out Where Best to Contact Them

Some influencers will tell you the best way to get in touch with them on their contact page. But with others you may need to do a bit more digging.

For instance, they might have lots of social media accounts, but only one or two they actively use. I have a lot of social media accounts, but there are some I don’t use a lot (such as Instagram). I interact more on Facebook, and so that’s a good place to strike up a connection with me.

But that’s just me. Other influencers might be farmore active on Instagram or Twitter. So it’s well worth looking at their accounts and seeing where they tend to be responsive.

Tip #5: Help Create Engagement with Their Content

Most online influencers want engagement leading to some kind of conversion, such as a reader buying a product from them. Most of them are also actively creating content.

You can help them get the engagement they’re after. For instance, if they write blog posts or publish videos, you could comment on those. Don’t just say “Nice post”. Be constructive and add something to what they’ve done. If they’ve asked a specific question, answer it.

Tip #6: Help Build Their Community

As well as leaving comments for to the blogger, reply to other people’s comments. This applies not only to their blog, but also to the social networks they use.

For instance, in a Facebook group you might welcome new members who’ve posted for the first time to introduce themselves. If it’s a Twitter chat, you might make an effort to ask questions and respond to other people who are chatting. (The people you connect with through comments may also become friends or helpful contacts for you.)

But be careful you don’t go too far. You don’t people thinking you’re trying to take over the community. If you have the time and inclination to help out a lot, contact the influencer and ask if you can help them as a volunteer. You could offer to welcome new members of a Facebook group, or help prepare questions for a Twitter chat.

Tip #7: Help Them Grow Their Audience

Even if your own audience is quite small, you can still help out influencers. You could share their blog posts, retweet their tweets (if they’re relevant to your audience), and even link to their posts from your blog.

You could also ask if they’re interested in being interviewed on your blog. If they don’t have the time, you might consider running a case study on them instead.

Another great way to help is when you guest post on a larger blog, link to the influencer from that post. A few years ago now, a blogger I’d never heard of before wrote an article for a large business publication that sent me a huge amount of traffic. It definitely got them on my radar.

Don’t discount the offline world either. If you’re giving a talk or presentation, you could mention the influencer. People may well tweet them to let them know.

You could even approach the mainstream media. Back when I’d just started Digital Photography School, a reader who liked the blog emailed the New York Times, who then asked to interview me.

Tip #8: Help Them Sell More Products

If the influencer has something for sale (and most will), look for ways to help them sell more of it. That might mean becoming an affiliate, reviewing their product (or service), or recommending it on social media.

A great way to go further is to send them a testimonial. This is really valuable to them, as they can use it on their sales page. (If they have a podcast, send them a audio testimonial. And if they use video, create a video testimonial for them.)

Tip #9: Help Them Create Content

Most influencers are creating some sort of content. And you can help them with that. Perhaps you have an idea for a blog post they could write. You might even come up with a title and some key points they could cover. Or you could send them a list of questions you’d love to see them write about.

If they have a podcast, perhaps they welcome recorded questions or comments. If you’re good at design, you could create a graphic they could share to promote one of their posts. There are lots of options, so think about what they might find useful and how you could help.

Another possibility here is to help with research. Let them know about a new study or some data they might find useful. You can also help with editing. Drop them a polite, private email if you spot an error in their content, a spelling mistake, a broken link or similar. (But never call them out on these in public.)

Tip #10: Look for Specific Times When You Can Help

There are times when influencers will want something concrete and time sensitive, perhaps in the next week or month. For instance, are they launching a new book, product or service? Are they supporting a not-for-profit project? Are they exploring a new social media network where they want to get more traction (e.g launching a YouTube account)?

When influencers are starting new things or promoting something specific, they’re busier than usual. But don’t let that put you off contacting them, because they’re often open to being approached if you can help them achieve the outcome they’re going for.

Tip #11: Engage With Them on a Human Level

Influencers are ordinary people (honest). Just like you, they have good days and bad days. They also have questions and problems of their own. If they’re asking for help with a particular question or problem see if you can help, even if it’s just by sending them a word of encouragement.

If they’re hanging out on Twitter or blowing off steam, sharing some light-hearted banter, a well-timed pun or a funny GIF or meme can go a long way to connect on a personal level.

Tip #12: Build These Relationships Before You Need Them

I get a lot of requests out of the blue from people I’ve never heard of before. While I’m open to responding and even working with them regardless, the reality is I’m much more likely to want to connect with and help someone I feel I already know.

It’s not a good idea to start your relationship by asking for a favour. Be genuine about wanting to help and connect with the influencer, and don’t get too hung up on where you expect things to go. Many times I’ve approached people with one thing in mind, and something else entirely has come out of the interaction.

Make your approach genuine and personal. And if an influencer doesn’t respond, don’t take it personally. You can politely follow up, or just move on to someone else who might have more time to form a connection.

I’d love to hear your own tips for getting to know influencers in your niche. What have you tried that’s worked? What are you planning to do next, or do differently? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credit: Adam Solomon

The post How to Approach Influencers in Your Niche: Twelve Crucial Tips appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views

The post 268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Expanded Her Income Streams and Engaged Readers in a New Way

As a blogger, do you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel? Do you need to continually feed the machine to keep your blog generating traffic and income?

We continue our Blogger Breakthroughs series with Anita Joyce, who experienced the same problem with her Cedar Hill Farmhouse blog.

Anita was working non-stop on her blog. She didn’t even have time to go to the grocery store or relax with her family.

But the income from her blog was tied to page views, so she needed a breakthrough.

Anita shares what she did to diversify her income streams and engage her readers in a new way. She started a podcast that turns listeners into friends, and a store that provides relevant products and valuable content for her audience.

Anita has some tips to share with you:

  • Survey your audience to find out what they want from you and what you want to give them
  • Partner with others to gain expertise in areas you need covered
  • Don’t give up if you fail. Focus on your failures and learn from your mistakes

When something isn’t working with your blog, try something new to diversify traffic sources and income streams. That way, if something does go wrong it increases your income and puts you in a better position to survive.

Links and Resources for How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views:

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Darren: Hello there friends. Welcome to episode 268 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger. A blog that’s dedicated to really helping you to start an amazing blog, to grow the traffic of that blog, to grow an income from that blog, and to help your readers in some way as well.

You can find more about ProBlogger and what we do at problogger.com. You might also, while you’re there, check out our two free course. I have one free course, How to Start a Blog, and our other paid course, 31 Days to Build A Better Blog. Particularly check out that Start a Blog course if you are looking to get going with blogging.

Now today, we’re continuing our series all of blogger breakthrough stories and we’ve got Anita Joyce from cedarhillfarmhouse.com. She’s got a great story that I think is going to really connect with many of you because she shares a problem that many bloggers have–that feeling of being on the hamster wheel with your blog.

Have you ever felt like you’ve built a blog and you may have built some traffic, you may have built some income, but to keep generating that income, you need to keep feeding the machine? This is something that Anita talks about to her realized that her blog was very dependent upon page views and shares a story of what she did about that to diversify her income streams and to engage with her readers in a new way.

So really some really practical things. I want to come back at the end of what Anita talks about to really share some of my own story with these as well and to give you a little bit of further reading because Anita’s story is going to relate really well to some of you, but there are some ways that you can apply what she’s talking about in different ways and I want to highlight some of those at the end of the show.

Now you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/268. I’ve got some further reading and some further listening for you today. I’ll mention those things at the end of Anita’s story. So thanks Anita for sharing. Again, you can find her at cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

Anita: Hi, I’m Anita Joyce from Houston, Texas. My blog is called Cedar Hill Farmhouse named after our farm in Round Top, Texas. You can find it at www.cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

I started my blog in March of 2011 and it’s about country French interior design. Before my breakthrough, I was working nonstop on my blog. I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store or spend time with my family. It felt like a big hamster wheel to produce the content, and then promote my blog. My traffic was about 250,000 page views a month which you know, it’s not a large number, but it really was enough for me to work with, and it was providing me with good opportunities and good income.

It was opening doors for me so I did get a book deal and my book is actually in its second edition now. My blog has definitely been working for me. I’ve been in over 25 national magazines mostly in the US, but also in Italy and France, and I was one of the winners of the Dash and Albert rug design challenge last year. I got to design a rug with them that will be released later this year and that’s an opportunity that I would have never gotten without my blog.

The problem with my blog was that I was working nonstop and my income was so tied to page views. As you probably know, page views for so many blogs are going down and so this is a real issue if your income is tied to page views. I felt like I was needing a new source of income so that I wasn’t so dependent on page views. Basically, I wanted off the hamster wheel and this is why I decided I felt like I needed a breakthrough.

My breakthrough came in two different ways. The first thing I did was I started a podcast on decorating called, Decorating Tips and Tricks with my friends Kelly Wilkniss and Yvonne Pratt and you can find that on iTunes or at our website www.decoratingtipsandtricks.com. The podcast really helped us connect on a much deeper level with listeners and readers. They often tell us they feel like they’re hanging out with us or they feel like they’re hanging out with friends over coffee when they listen to their podcast. I hope they feel like I’m their friend because I feel like I am.

We get about 140,000 downloads a month right now. What I’m seeing is every month, we get more and more downloads. So as podcasts are gaining, it seems like blogs are losing readers. I think it’s really kind of a nice place to be looking if you haven’t looked at podcasts. I think it’s really worth your time. The second breakthrough happened when Kelly and I—my podcast host and I—opened an online home decor store this year called Bespoke Decor and you can find that at www.bespoke.store.

We wanted to provide a product or service for listeners that would really be of value. Not just something that would provide us with income, but something that we knew they would love and something that would make their lives better. I knew from a reader survey that I had done, that over 90% of my listeners and readers, people who responded to my survey were saying they were interested in buying home decor products from me. I had a much smaller number say that they were interested in purchasing a decorating course from us. So that really told us where to start and we may do some decorating courses later, but I felt like the products was really the place for us to start.

So breakthrough one was starting a podcast, breakthrough two starting an online store–these were two pretty big things that we’ve done recently. How things have changed since the breakthrough is that my income stream has changed in a big way. So now a big chunk of my income source is from our store. We still have sponsors, I still have sponsors from my podcast, from the blog and there’s an ad income, but this is a whole new source and it’s not so dependent on page views, and really, you develop this core group of customers and they often are repeat customers.

The first month of business for our store, we sold about 700 pillows. We were so excited. It’s a great start and we really see so much opportunity for this business to grow over time. Although the shop is really time consuming, I feel like I’ll be able to delegate some things pretty soon. With blogging, I really didn’t feel like I could delegate much because my readers could really sense when I wasn’t there and when other people were filling in for me. I think that’s normal with a personal blog but with the store, I don’t feel like it’s so necessary for me to be involved in every little aspect.

The other thing is I now have a business partner for the shop, Kelly, and so it’s wonderful that she does so much of the work and helps out so much. So I’m not doing everything myself like I am with my blog. This fall, we are really taking Darren’s advice. He said in a previous podcast episode of ProBlogger that, “Rather than spending so much time with other bloggers, we should spend time with potential readers or listeners.” Tomorrow, I’m headed out with Kelly of Bespoke Decor and we’re going to the Round Top Antique Show.

This is a huge event in Texas. There’s about 100,000 people that show up for every and there’s two shows a year. We’re so excited to be going there and we’re really hoping to meet a bunch of new people and hopefully, kind of find out what they’re looking for, get to know them, get to talk to them and I’m hoping that we’ll get some people signed up for our newsletter for the shop and subscribe to the podcast. So it’s an exciting time for us. Thanks Darren, what a great tip. We’re really looking forward to it.

I have two tips that I want to share with you. One is to survey your readers or listeners and find out what they want from you in the way of products or services. And at the same time, really think about what you want to provide for them, and then wherever those to intersect, that is going to be your sweet spot. That’s where you can really provide something that your readers want and something that you want to provide.

The second tip is to partner with others if you don’t have expertise in an area that you need covered. Kelly and I really can’t be selling all of these pillows and the bedding and everything. It’s just far too much for us to do and it’s not although I sew, it’s very different sewing the kind of volume that we need. We partnered with a great company to do the manufacturing of our pillows and bedding. We do the designing, selling, photography and marketing and we really let them do what they’re best at, sewing our textile products like our pillows and are bedding. I feel like it’s important not to spend too much time trying to improve on areas where you know you don’t excel and I think that really can waste your time. So stick with your strengths and hire the rest out.

One more thing I’d like to share with you is not to give up if you fail and not to even think it’s a bad thing when you fail. I feel like that is so important for learning. That’s where we learn is when we’re making mistakes and I feel like it’s so important to really spend time thinking about when you’ve made a mistake what is it that you can improve.

I know I submitted my home to the magazine on the first time, my first try to a magazine I got a very polite, “Thanks, but no thanks.” and it was clear that they had no interest in my photography or my decorating. I really spent a lot of time thinking about, “What’s wrong with this picture? Why did they not want it?” I looked at their magazine, I looked at my picture, and I really had to admit that my picture really stunk. It really was helpful for me to take an honest look at my work and say, “I need to improve.”

After that experience, I really focused on improving my photography, improving my decorating skills and it paid off. All of that hard work, all that focus on improving paid off. Like I said, I’ve been in over 25 magazines and had five covers. I think it’s important to really focus on your failures and seeing how you can improve. Remember, I mean it’s a good thing to do. I think this is where you’re learning.

And not only have I been featured in magazines, I also have a column on interior design in the Round Top Register and our podcast actually has a column on decorating in the Country Sampler seasonal magazines. I hope that that gives you some encouragement to keep trying, don’t give up, and don’t even think that failure is a bad thing. Enjoy your blog, enjoy the ride and thanks so much for listening, and thanks Darren for having me on ProBlogger. I appreciate it so much. Take care.

Darren: Thanks so much Anita for sharing your story today. As I said at the top of the show, I think this is something that many of us can relate to. I certainly could as I heard Anita talking. Now for Anita, she felt kind of trapped, I guess, by the model that she was using of monetizing her blog, very reliant upon advertising, sponsorship which particularly when you’re doing it with advertising networks as I was in nearly days is very dependent upon page views.

There are some things that you can do to grow your income without increasing your page views particularly in the early days of using advertising. For example, you can put more ads on your page or you can position the ads on your page differently. But once you get that optimization of your ads dialed in, the only real wide to grow your income is to get more page views. This presents a real challenge both because there’s a ceiling I guess for many of us in how many page views we can get and many bloggers kind of run into that issue but is also a danger if you can’t maintain your page views.

This is something I ran into early on in my blogging. Just after I went full time with my blogging, I was relying upon Google to send me most of my traffic, and I was relying upon AdSense to monetize my blog. When one day my search traffic disappeared overnight, my traffic plummeted, but also my income did as well. I realized that I was too dependent upon this one single source of traffic but also this one single source of income.

This is something that many bloggers run into whether it be a disappearing traffic from search or whether it be from another source, maybe Facebook has been decreasing the amount of traffic it sends to you as it has for most bloggers. How are you going to maintain that income that you might have been generating if you’re so dependent upon page views? What do you do in that situation? Really, Anita has given you a couple of really great keys here.

She’s done it in quite a specific why and what I want to say, as I kind of mentioned at the top of the show, is that you can take the same principles that Anita did, and you can apply them in different ways for you. Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t want to start a podcast. I don’t want to start an online store.” Well, there’s other ways that you can apply these. What do you need to do? You need to do something new and that’s the key for me. You need to diversify in different ways.

I actually wrote a mini series of blog posts back a few years ago now and I’ll link to them in the show notes where I tell my own journey with this and I talk about that experience of losing all my traffic overnight and what I did about it. What I did about it was two things: firstly, I diversified my traffic sources, and secondly, I diversified my income streams. I tell how I do those things in these articles which I’ll link to in the show notes.

In some ways, it’s exactly what Anita did too. Anita started a new podcast which increased her numbers. Now she has page views and downloads. She’s got increased numbers and this allows her to monetize in the same model that she was already using with advertising and sponsorships in a new way by increasing her numbers. This is great, it enables her to continue to grow that advertising income but also as she mentions by starting a podcast has deepened her relationship with her existing audience.

The audience now feel like they’re spending time with her and this has been my experience too with this very podcast every time I meet ProBlogger readers and listeners now, it’s the listeners of the podcast who feel a deeper connection with me. We’re actually going to do an episode in a couple episodes time with the guys at PodcastMotor to talk about podcasting if that’s something that you want to get into as well. Podcasting is just one way of increasing your numbers.

There’s a variety of other ways that you can increase your pageviews, your reader numbers, your reach, I guess. It might be starting a video channel, it might be by doing more on live video, it might be looking at new traffic sources like Pinterest or Instagram, or reaching your audience in a new way. I talked about some of those in the article in the show notes today.

The second thing that Anita did was that she diversified her income streams. This is again what I did as well. I didn’t start an online store where I sold physical products like Anita did. She did it that way because that related to her audience.

I did it by creating eBooks, by starting to work with partners as an affiliate for their products. Again, you can read more about how I did it. But the key is to realize that there are more ways to monetize your blog than just with the model that you are currently using. For Anita, it was expanding beyond advertising and sponsorships and adding these are new income stream is again another way of diversifying what she has done.

Now, it’s worth noting that Anita mentioned she still has her advertising revenue. It’s not about switching tracks completely from one revenue source to another, it’s by building a second income stream and this strengthens her business. This puts her in a better position to survive if something goes wrong with that first income stream. For example, if traffic drops, if the bottom falls out in the advertising revenue that she has, if that one stream of income is impacted by seasonal ups and downs, by adding a second, by adding a third or even a fourth income stream, it sets you up with a stronger business to see it through those ups and downs in business.

Again for me, I added new income streams. For me it was about not just relying upon AdSense, but working directly with sponsors, building my own products, running events, adding a job board. Today, I’ve got 11 or 12 different income streams. It didn’t happen overnight, but by adding in gradually over time new income streams, I have built a stronger business. I still do run AdSense on my first blog. I didn’t get rid of it, but I’ve added new things into it as well.

Great tips there from Anita. I really do appreciate those things. The other things that she mentioned there was to get to know you readers. She did surveys, she’s gone to events to meet her readers, to spend time with them. This understanding of your readers enables you to monetize better. It enables you to drive traffic in different ways. It enables you to make decisions about whether you should start a store or sell courses or do both, this is so important.

The other tip that she mentions there is to partner with others. She did that in a couple of ways in the story. She partnered with Kelly I think it was to do a podcast and to create that online store. But also she partnered with another organization who could create some of the products that she sold. You don’t have to do it all. Again, this is something I’ve learned over the years as well. I would create all the products that I’ve created in eBooks and courses because I’ve partnered with other people to create those products with them.

All the eBooks that we sell on Digital Photography School were written by other people and we designed them. We put them in our store and we share the revenue of those things. I didn’t have to create 30 different courses and eBooks. I was able to partner with other people to grow does new income streams.

Lastly, that last piece of advice is just so good, “Don’t worry when you fail. Don’t give up when you fail. Learn from it. Tweak your approach moving forward, improve, keep going forward.” Part of the process of diversifying means that you’re definitely going to try some things that aren’t going to work. You’re going to try some you traffic sources, you might try new medium, you might try new income stream. It may not work or it may not work perfectly when you first started, that’s okay. What did you learn? How could you evolve what you tried and what else could you try?

There’s so many different things that you can learn from trying new things. Some of those things will work really well, I’m sure of it. There’s been times where I’ve tried new things and they’ve worked literally overnight. I remember adding a new ad network at one point and that was called Chitika. It literally doubled my income overnight for my advertising revenue and it was amazing. But there were other times where I tried new ad networks and they didn’t work. In fact, they negatively impacted some of the things I was already doing. You’re going to learn some things, track what you’re trying, see what works and evolve your approach.

Again, you can find Anita’s site at cedarhillfarmhouse.com. There’s a link to her site in the show notes as well. I’ve got some further reading in the show notes today. The show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/268.

There’s three articles there. The first one is where I talk about my disappearing traffic. If you want to hear a little bit more about how I just completely dropped out of Google in the early days of my blogging. The second article in that series is about how I diversified my traffic as a result of that experience. The third article is about how I diversified my income streams. If you prefer to listen, go and listen to episodes 153 and 154. Thanks for listening to this episode today.

We’ve got one more blogger breakthrough coming next week and then we get back into some other kinds of episodes as well including that interview with Craig over at PodcastMotor. If you are interested in podcasting check at PodcastMotor. They’ve got some great resources for new podcasters, they also offer some services around producing your podcast, editing your podcast as well which is exactly how we use PodcastMotor as well, so check them out. Check out the show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/268 where you will find a full transcript of today’s show. Thanks for listening, chat with you next week.

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The post 268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views appeared first on ProBlogger.

268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views

The post 268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Expanded Her Income Streams and Engaged Readers in a New Way

As a blogger, do you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel? Do you need to continually feed the machine to keep your blog generating traffic and income?

We continue our Blogger Breakthroughs series with Anita Joyce, who experienced the same problem with her Cedar Hill Farmhouse blog.

Anita was working non-stop on her blog. She didn’t even have time to go to the grocery store or relax with her family.

But the income from her blog was tied to page views, so she needed a breakthrough.

Anita shares what she did to diversify her income streams and engage her readers in a new way. She started a podcast that turns listeners into friends, and a store that provides relevant products and valuable content for her audience.

Anita has some tips to share with you:

  • Survey your audience to find out what they want from you and what you want to give them
  • Partner with others to gain expertise in areas you need covered
  • Don’t give up if you fail. Focus on your failures and learn from your mistakes

When something isn’t working with your blog, try something new to diversify traffic sources and income streams. That way, if something does go wrong it increases your income and puts you in a better position to survive.

Links and Resources for How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views:

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Darren: Hello there friends. Welcome to episode 268 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger. A blog that’s dedicated to really helping you to start an amazing blog, to grow the traffic of that blog, to grow an income from that blog, and to help your readers in some way as well.

You can find more about ProBlogger and what we do at problogger.com. You might also, while you’re there, check out our two free course. I have one free course, How to Start a Blog, and our other paid course, 31 Days to Build A Better Blog. Particularly check out that Start a Blog course if you are looking to get going with blogging.

Now today, we’re continuing our series all of blogger breakthrough stories and we’ve got Anita Joyce from cedarhillfarmhouse.com. She’s got a great story that I think is going to really connect with many of you because she shares a problem that many bloggers have–that feeling of being on the hamster wheel with your blog.

Have you ever felt like you’ve built a blog and you may have built some traffic, you may have built some income, but to keep generating that income, you need to keep feeding the machine? This is something that Anita talks about to her realized that her blog was very dependent upon page views and shares a story of what she did about that to diversify her income streams and to engage with her readers in a new way.

So really some really practical things. I want to come back at the end of what Anita talks about to really share some of my own story with these as well and to give you a little bit of further reading because Anita’s story is going to relate really well to some of you, but there are some ways that you can apply what she’s talking about in different ways and I want to highlight some of those at the end of the show.

Now you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/268. I’ve got some further reading and some further listening for you today. I’ll mention those things at the end of Anita’s story. So thanks Anita for sharing. Again, you can find her at cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

Anita: Hi, I’m Anita Joyce from Houston, Texas. My blog is called Cedar Hill Farmhouse named after our farm in Round Top, Texas. You can find it at www.cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

I started my blog in March of 2011 and it’s about country French interior design. Before my breakthrough, I was working nonstop on my blog. I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store or spend time with my family. It felt like a big hamster wheel to produce the content, and then promote my blog. My traffic was about 250,000 page views a month which you know, it’s not a large number, but it really was enough for me to work with, and it was providing me with good opportunities and good income.

It was opening doors for me so I did get a book deal and my book is actually in its second edition now. My blog has definitely been working for me. I’ve been in over 25 national magazines mostly in the US, but also in Italy and France, and I was one of the winners of the Dash and Albert rug design challenge last year. I got to design a rug with them that will be released later this year and that’s an opportunity that I would have never gotten without my blog.

The problem with my blog was that I was working nonstop and my income was so tied to page views. As you probably know, page views for so many blogs are going down and so this is a real issue if your income is tied to page views. I felt like I was needing a new source of income so that I wasn’t so dependent on page views. Basically, I wanted off the hamster wheel and this is why I decided I felt like I needed a breakthrough.

My breakthrough came in two different ways. The first thing I did was I started a podcast on decorating called, Decorating Tips and Tricks with my friends Kelly Wilkniss and Yvonne Pratt and you can find that on iTunes or at our website www.decoratingtipsandtricks.com. The podcast really helped us connect on a much deeper level with listeners and readers. They often tell us they feel like they’re hanging out with us or they feel like they’re hanging out with friends over coffee when they listen to their podcast. I hope they feel like I’m their friend because I feel like I am.

We get about 140,000 downloads a month right now. What I’m seeing is every month, we get more and more downloads. So as podcasts are gaining, it seems like blogs are losing readers. I think it’s really kind of a nice place to be looking if you haven’t looked at podcasts. I think it’s really worth your time. The second breakthrough happened when Kelly and I—my podcast host and I—opened an online home decor store this year called Bespoke Decor and you can find that at www.bespoke.store.

We wanted to provide a product or service for listeners that would really be of value. Not just something that would provide us with income, but something that we knew they would love and something that would make their lives better. I knew from a reader survey that I had done, that over 90% of my listeners and readers, people who responded to my survey were saying they were interested in buying home decor products from me. I had a much smaller number say that they were interested in purchasing a decorating course from us. So that really told us where to start and we may do some decorating courses later, but I felt like the products was really the place for us to start.

So breakthrough one was starting a podcast, breakthrough two starting an online store–these were two pretty big things that we’ve done recently. How things have changed since the breakthrough is that my income stream has changed in a big way. So now a big chunk of my income source is from our store. We still have sponsors, I still have sponsors from my podcast, from the blog and there’s an ad income, but this is a whole new source and it’s not so dependent on page views, and really, you develop this core group of customers and they often are repeat customers.

The first month of business for our store, we sold about 700 pillows. We were so excited. It’s a great start and we really see so much opportunity for this business to grow over time. Although the shop is really time consuming, I feel like I’ll be able to delegate some things pretty soon. With blogging, I really didn’t feel like I could delegate much because my readers could really sense when I wasn’t there and when other people were filling in for me. I think that’s normal with a personal blog but with the store, I don’t feel like it’s so necessary for me to be involved in every little aspect.

The other thing is I now have a business partner for the shop, Kelly, and so it’s wonderful that she does so much of the work and helps out so much. So I’m not doing everything myself like I am with my blog. This fall, we are really taking Darren’s advice. He said in a previous podcast episode of ProBlogger that, “Rather than spending so much time with other bloggers, we should spend time with potential readers or listeners.” Tomorrow, I’m headed out with Kelly of Bespoke Decor and we’re going to the Round Top Antique Show.

This is a huge event in Texas. There’s about 100,000 people that show up for every and there’s two shows a year. We’re so excited to be going there and we’re really hoping to meet a bunch of new people and hopefully, kind of find out what they’re looking for, get to know them, get to talk to them and I’m hoping that we’ll get some people signed up for our newsletter for the shop and subscribe to the podcast. So it’s an exciting time for us. Thanks Darren, what a great tip. We’re really looking forward to it.

I have two tips that I want to share with you. One is to survey your readers or listeners and find out what they want from you in the way of products or services. And at the same time, really think about what you want to provide for them, and then wherever those to intersect, that is going to be your sweet spot. That’s where you can really provide something that your readers want and something that you want to provide.

The second tip is to partner with others if you don’t have expertise in an area that you need covered. Kelly and I really can’t be selling all of these pillows and the bedding and everything. It’s just far too much for us to do and it’s not although I sew, it’s very different sewing the kind of volume that we need. We partnered with a great company to do the manufacturing of our pillows and bedding. We do the designing, selling, photography and marketing and we really let them do what they’re best at, sewing our textile products like our pillows and are bedding. I feel like it’s important not to spend too much time trying to improve on areas where you know you don’t excel and I think that really can waste your time. So stick with your strengths and hire the rest out.

One more thing I’d like to share with you is not to give up if you fail and not to even think it’s a bad thing when you fail. I feel like that is so important for learning. That’s where we learn is when we’re making mistakes and I feel like it’s so important to really spend time thinking about when you’ve made a mistake what is it that you can improve.

I know I submitted my home to the magazine on the first time, my first try to a magazine I got a very polite, “Thanks, but no thanks.” and it was clear that they had no interest in my photography or my decorating. I really spent a lot of time thinking about, “What’s wrong with this picture? Why did they not want it?” I looked at their magazine, I looked at my picture, and I really had to admit that my picture really stunk. It really was helpful for me to take an honest look at my work and say, “I need to improve.”

After that experience, I really focused on improving my photography, improving my decorating skills and it paid off. All of that hard work, all that focus on improving paid off. Like I said, I’ve been in over 25 magazines and had five covers. I think it’s important to really focus on your failures and seeing how you can improve. Remember, I mean it’s a good thing to do. I think this is where you’re learning.

And not only have I been featured in magazines, I also have a column on interior design in the Round Top Register and our podcast actually has a column on decorating in the Country Sampler seasonal magazines. I hope that that gives you some encouragement to keep trying, don’t give up, and don’t even think that failure is a bad thing. Enjoy your blog, enjoy the ride and thanks so much for listening, and thanks Darren for having me on ProBlogger. I appreciate it so much. Take care.

Darren: Thanks so much Anita for sharing your story today. As I said at the top of the show, I think this is something that many of us can relate to. I certainly could as I heard Anita talking. Now for Anita, she felt kind of trapped, I guess, by the model that she was using of monetizing her blog, very reliant upon advertising, sponsorship which particularly when you’re doing it with advertising networks as I was in nearly days is very dependent upon page views.

There are some things that you can do to grow your income without increasing your page views particularly in the early days of using advertising. For example, you can put more ads on your page or you can position the ads on your page differently. But once you get that optimization of your ads dialed in, the only real wide to grow your income is to get more page views. This presents a real challenge both because there’s a ceiling I guess for many of us in how many page views we can get and many bloggers kind of run into that issue but is also a danger if you can’t maintain your page views.

This is something I ran into early on in my blogging. Just after I went full time with my blogging, I was relying upon Google to send me most of my traffic, and I was relying upon AdSense to monetize my blog. When one day my search traffic disappeared overnight, my traffic plummeted, but also my income did as well. I realized that I was too dependent upon this one single source of traffic but also this one single source of income.

This is something that many bloggers run into whether it be a disappearing traffic from search or whether it be from another source, maybe Facebook has been decreasing the amount of traffic it sends to you as it has for most bloggers. How are you going to maintain that income that you might have been generating if you’re so dependent upon page views? What do you do in that situation? Really, Anita has given you a couple of really great keys here.

She’s done it in quite a specific why and what I want to say, as I kind of mentioned at the top of the show, is that you can take the same principles that Anita did, and you can apply them in different ways for you. Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t want to start a podcast. I don’t want to start an online store.” Well, there’s other ways that you can apply these. What do you need to do? You need to do something new and that’s the key for me. You need to diversify in different ways.

I actually wrote a mini series of blog posts back a few years ago now and I’ll link to them in the show notes where I tell my own journey with this and I talk about that experience of losing all my traffic overnight and what I did about it. What I did about it was two things: firstly, I diversified my traffic sources, and secondly, I diversified my income streams. I tell how I do those things in these articles which I’ll link to in the show notes.

In some ways, it’s exactly what Anita did too. Anita started a new podcast which increased her numbers. Now she has page views and downloads. She’s got increased numbers and this allows her to monetize in the same model that she was already using with advertising and sponsorships in a new way by increasing her numbers. This is great, it enables her to continue to grow that advertising income but also as she mentions by starting a podcast has deepened her relationship with her existing audience.

The audience now feel like they’re spending time with her and this has been my experience too with this very podcast every time I meet ProBlogger readers and listeners now, it’s the listeners of the podcast who feel a deeper connection with me. We’re actually going to do an episode in a couple episodes time with the guys at PodcastMotor to talk about podcasting if that’s something that you want to get into as well. Podcasting is just one way of increasing your numbers.

There’s a variety of other ways that you can increase your pageviews, your reader numbers, your reach, I guess. It might be starting a video channel, it might be by doing more on live video, it might be looking at new traffic sources like Pinterest or Instagram, or reaching your audience in a new way. I talked about some of those in the article in the show notes today.

The second thing that Anita did was that she diversified her income streams. This is again what I did as well. I didn’t start an online store where I sold physical products like Anita did. She did it that way because that related to her audience.

I did it by creating eBooks, by starting to work with partners as an affiliate for their products. Again, you can read more about how I did it. But the key is to realize that there are more ways to monetize your blog than just with the model that you are currently using. For Anita, it was expanding beyond advertising and sponsorships and adding these are new income stream is again another way of diversifying what she has done.

Now, it’s worth noting that Anita mentioned she still has her advertising revenue. It’s not about switching tracks completely from one revenue source to another, it’s by building a second income stream and this strengthens her business. This puts her in a better position to survive if something goes wrong with that first income stream. For example, if traffic drops, if the bottom falls out in the advertising revenue that she has, if that one stream of income is impacted by seasonal ups and downs, by adding a second, by adding a third or even a fourth income stream, it sets you up with a stronger business to see it through those ups and downs in business.

Again for me, I added new income streams. For me it was about not just relying upon AdSense, but working directly with sponsors, building my own products, running events, adding a job board. Today, I’ve got 11 or 12 different income streams. It didn’t happen overnight, but by adding in gradually over time new income streams, I have built a stronger business. I still do run AdSense on my first blog. I didn’t get rid of it, but I’ve added new things into it as well.

Great tips there from Anita. I really do appreciate those things. The other things that she mentioned there was to get to know you readers. She did surveys, she’s gone to events to meet her readers, to spend time with them. This understanding of your readers enables you to monetize better. It enables you to drive traffic in different ways. It enables you to make decisions about whether you should start a store or sell courses or do both, this is so important.

The other tip that she mentions there is to partner with others. She did that in a couple of ways in the story. She partnered with Kelly I think it was to do a podcast and to create that online store. But also she partnered with another organization who could create some of the products that she sold. You don’t have to do it all. Again, this is something I’ve learned over the years as well. I would create all the products that I’ve created in eBooks and courses because I’ve partnered with other people to create those products with them.

All the eBooks that we sell on Digital Photography School were written by other people and we designed them. We put them in our store and we share the revenue of those things. I didn’t have to create 30 different courses and eBooks. I was able to partner with other people to grow does new income streams.

Lastly, that last piece of advice is just so good, “Don’t worry when you fail. Don’t give up when you fail. Learn from it. Tweak your approach moving forward, improve, keep going forward.” Part of the process of diversifying means that you’re definitely going to try some things that aren’t going to work. You’re going to try some you traffic sources, you might try new medium, you might try new income stream. It may not work or it may not work perfectly when you first started, that’s okay. What did you learn? How could you evolve what you tried and what else could you try?

There’s so many different things that you can learn from trying new things. Some of those things will work really well, I’m sure of it. There’s been times where I’ve tried new things and they’ve worked literally overnight. I remember adding a new ad network at one point and that was called Chitika. It literally doubled my income overnight for my advertising revenue and it was amazing. But there were other times where I tried new ad networks and they didn’t work. In fact, they negatively impacted some of the things I was already doing. You’re going to learn some things, track what you’re trying, see what works and evolve your approach.

Again, you can find Anita’s site at cedarhillfarmhouse.com. There’s a link to her site in the show notes as well. I’ve got some further reading in the show notes today. The show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/268.

There’s three articles there. The first one is where I talk about my disappearing traffic. If you want to hear a little bit more about how I just completely dropped out of Google in the early days of my blogging. The second article in that series is about how I diversified my traffic as a result of that experience. The third article is about how I diversified my income streams. If you prefer to listen, go and listen to episodes 153 and 154. Thanks for listening to this episode today.

We’ve got one more blogger breakthrough coming next week and then we get back into some other kinds of episodes as well including that interview with Craig over at PodcastMotor. If you are interested in podcasting check at PodcastMotor. They’ve got some great resources for new podcasters, they also offer some services around producing your podcast, editing your podcast as well which is exactly how we use PodcastMotor as well, so check them out. Check out the show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/268 where you will find a full transcript of today’s show. Thanks for listening, chat with you next week.

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267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging

The post 267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger Pushed Through Her Fear

We continue our Blogging Breakthroughs series with Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui, who has a blog called A Life in Progress.

Krista knew nothing about setting up a social platform. But she overcame procrastination and fear to show up regularly.

Krista O'Reilly-Davi-Digui, who overcame fear and procrastination in her blogging

Krista shares how her first viral post “What If I All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” made a major impact, resonating with people across the world

She’s been invited by others to share her story. Through collaboration and connections, her number of followers grew from 1,000 to 35,000.

Her work brings her joy and has given her a voice. She is just like everyone else – not perfect. She affects others by giving them a chance to be seen and heard as well.

Take imperfect action, and remember to enjoy each step of your journey. The world is incredibly noisy. We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.

Don’t be afraid to be you – raw and real. Krista’s always found a way to love herself through the freedom that telling the truth offers.  

Bearing your soul and becoming an entrepreneur makes you grow.

Links and Resources for How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey, there, friends. Welcome to episode 267 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. If this is your first time with us, welcome to you especially. ProBlogger is a space dedicated to helping you set up a blog that will be a profitable blog and also make a difference in the world that you live in and the topics that you’re writing about. You can learn more about ProBlogger, particularly, our courses, our free Start A Blog course, and our 31 days to Build a Better Blog course over at problogger.com. Just look for the courses tab in the menu.

Today, we’re continuing our blogger breakthrough series with a story from Krista who comes to us from Canada. She has a blog called A Life in Progress, it’s alifeinprogress.ca. She’s going to tell us a story—a beautiful story, really, of her first experience of a viral post. It’s actually a post that went viral a number of times and the impact that it had upon her blog. A bit of a theme because last week was about viral content as well but this is a very different story. I love this story because it talks about how Krista went from procrastination fear to showing up regularly and pushing through that. It is a beautiful story and I encourage you to listen to the end. I’m going to come back at the end of the story and just pull out some of the nuggets of gold that Krista mentions in this story because it is a beautiful one.

I’m going to head over to Krista. Again, her blog is at alifeinprogress.ca and you can find the full transcript of today’s show notes, as well as links to her blog over at problogger.com/podcast/267.

Krista: Hello, I am Krista from Central Alberta, Canada. I write at alifeinprogress.ca. I help other messy humans like me show up through comparison, perfectionism, and fear so they can show up fully in their imperfect and beautiful lives. Again, you can find me at alifeinprogress.ca.

I started vlogging three years ago. I had been showing up weekly to my blog for about 4 ½ months, when a post of mine went viral for the first time. I say for the first time because initially I was contacted by the BBC London about my post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? and after they shared it, my post spread throughout Europe.

About a year later, some minimalist bloggers in the United States picked it up, and the post took off again for a second time. Having recently emerged from a time of crisis in my life when I wrote that mediocre life post, I was just practicing showing up myself through perfectionism, comparison, and fear to take imperfect action. I was super clear on my mission or my why. But I actually, knew absolutely nothing, about building an online platform or business. Good thing, I’m a very curious and stubborn person.

I did step out and begin to offer my work as a holistic health and joyful living educator in my small community. I was super hungry to write and connect online as well. Facebook has always been a perfect fit for me. I started a Facebook page and began to offer incredibly imperfect live videos just to serve and share my working heart.  Time was really limited because I was actually homeschooling my youngest at that time still. Also, I had been a master procrastinator for most of my life.

My goal wasn’t actually to make anything in particular happen but to just have fun and practice showing up through fear. I needed to learn to take baby steps and honor my wiring. By that, I mean I’m a very strong introvert. I need a lot of time to potter, think, and breathe. I opted out of hustle from day one.

That particular post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?, I actually wrote that one day in tears. For most of my life, I wrestled with feelings of never being good enough. I had come far. My 40s we’re certainly a healing time in my life. But on that day, I was struggling and I wrote it in tears just super honestly and I never expected anybody besides my 12 siblings to actually read it. It was a reminder to myself that who I am is enough. I’ve always found freedom in truth telling. One of the ways that I practice loving myself is actually just telling the truth. I know that it opens up space for other people to tell the truth.

When that senior journalist from the BBC London contacted me, I was rather surprised, and that is an understatement. I live in a very small town in Central Alberta and I certainly, wasn’t expecting something like that. We had a really good chat. I did an interview with her that became part of a series that BBC created.

Following that, I received countless requests to reprint my article in multiple languages. This very simple honest post had hit a chord with people across the globe. Although, people closer to home had no idea who I was or what I was up to.

The first year after launching A Life in Progress, my business and my blog, my Facebook page just slowly, slowly grew to about 1,000 followers. and that first thousand is hard to achieve. But after some minimalist bloggers in the States shared my post, so thank you, no sidebar and becoming minimalist, it quickly grew to about 12,000.

In my second year of blogging, I received many opportunities to guest post or write for other people including for Maria Shriver’s, The Sunday Paper, which was fun. I just kept plodding along, slow and steady, and walking up my values.

I just have entered my fourth year. I just hit my three-year mark at the end of August of blogging. I’m very clear that my growth has only come because of collaboration or connecting with other people including those who initially shared my work. I’ve made beautiful friends online, gleaned from others, offered encouragement of my own. I’m filled with gratitude for the privilege of sharing my mission online to a growing and quite engaged community. I sometimes feel discouraged or not enough still, but when I pull myself back to my mission and just show up, I find joy in my work and amazing door of opportunities continue to open up to me.

This year, I think I’m going to work more closer to full time. But the past three years, I’ve only worked part-time. I’ve opted out of hassle. But I do have fairly steady client work.

Having one post go viral, even twice, didn’t alone or in it of itself, drastically changed my life or income, but showing up consistently did. Nonetheless, having that one post go viral did give me a voice I may not have otherwise had. It enlarged my circle of impact. Last year, I think my Facebook page grew to about around 35,000. I launched another page and grew that really rapidly. It helped people get to know the real me—a messy human just like them—and helped thousands of people feel heard and seen, and that’s very powerful, I think.

If I was to offer another, say newer blogger any tips, this would be it: I think this world is incredibly noisy. I do not think that we need more people trying to look, act or be the same, we need honesty. While there are many moving parts to building an online business or community and the work never ends, I encourage you to do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision as this will be what sustains you when things go hard, or when people are mean, or you get a little stuck in the mire comparison and fear, it happens. Just show up slow and steady, take imperfect action and remember to enjoy each step of the journey. Sounds cliche, but I actually believe in that. Look for opportunities to build meaningful connection online and serve your community well whatever the size. Also, don’t be afraid to shift course as you go. I really think that we find our path by getting our hands dirty. Don’t be afraid to just be you–raw and real. Finally, I would encourage you to loosen your grip on a particular or precise outcome so you can open up to joyful possibility–that’s definitely one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past three years is this gift of opening up to joyful possibility.

I set goals and track them. I time block to make space for my deep work. But I never could’ve envisioned some of the opportunities that have opened up to me simply because I showed up. There are definitely, days I wished that I would write something else that people would get super excited about.

Some days, I do feel frustrated or in some seasons with algorithm changes or periods of stagnating growth. There are days that the best thing I can do is to just shut it all down and take a break. I do try to build a life and business that permits that. Baring your soul and becoming an entrepreneur calls you to growth. It definitely, does. But every single day, I’m grateful that I had the courage to sit down that day—2 ½ years ago—to pen that very honest, simple, truthful, blog post.

Darren: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Krista. Beautiful theme going on, unintentionally, in the podcast over the last few months. Back in episode 263, Mim talked in her story about being vulnerable and in episode 255, I talked about vulnerability as well. It’s certainly a theme today from Krista. I love how honestly Krista shared today both in this episode but also on her blog.

The story will resonate with a lot of us because many of us do have issues with procrastination which she mentioned and fear. I just love this as a story of showing up with that fear. I’ve talked in previous episodes about having wobbly courage. You don’t ever really overcome the fear, but showing up with that fear is wobbly courage. I also love that she talks about being a bit of an introvert there and needing space to think, breathe, and potter because I can relate to that as well.

Let’s just pull out some of the tips. I did take a few notes as I listened to Krista’s story. I listened to it two or three times because there was so much in that last few minutes that I think will help many people.

Keep persisting. “Walking out my values,” was something Krista talked about doing. I love the fact that she really did blog from understanding who she was and not feeling like she had to show up and be someone else. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty,” I think was the line. That’s a great quote—one that I’m going to add to my little quotes. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.”

“Do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision. Show up slow and steady.” These are the lines I wrote down. I just think we need to really ponder if you are someone who is struggling with procrastination, if you’re someone who struggles with fear, these are great lessons. “Take imperfect action,” something that I first heard Jadah Sellner talk about. Taking that imperfect action is better than no action at all. “Building meaningful connection online,” and being open to shift course as you go. “Don’t be afraid to shift course, to loosen your grip on a precise outcome and be open to joyful possibility.”

These are just great words of advice and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these things, there is some encouragement for those of you who do struggle with those issues of fear and procrastination. There’s hope. There’s hope for all of us who do struggle with these things.

I want to commend it to you, bookmark this episode, and listen to it again if you ask someone who does struggle with those things. If you know someone who struggles with fear and procrastination as a blogger or in some other area, I encourage you to share this episode, Krista’s story, with them as well.

“Show up, take imperfect action, and don’t be afraid to be you. Be raw and real and be honest.” Great advice there. Thank you, Krista, so much for sharing with us today.

Again, you can find Krista at alifeinprogress.ca. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/267. Next week, we’re going to take a little pause in this blogger breakthroughs series because I’ve got a great interview with Craig who is from Podcast Motor. Podcast Motor produced our podcast for us and they’ve got some exciting things coming up.

We’re going to do a podcast next week on Podcasting for Bloggers. I’m going to interview Craig and give you some tips on that topic. Then we will come back and do two more episodes of this series before we resume our regular podcasting.

Thank you so much for listening today. I’m going to pop a few links in the show notes today too. Some of those other episodes that you might want to listen to on the topic of vulnerability, episode 263 and episode 255. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week as we talk about podcasting.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

How did you go with today’s episode?

Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts.

The post 267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging appeared first on ProBlogger.

267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging

The post 267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger Pushed Through Her Fear

We continue our Blogging Breakthroughs series with Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui, who has a blog called A Life in Progress.

Krista knew nothing about setting up a social platform. But she overcame procrastination and fear to show up regularly.

Krista O'Reilly-Davi-Digui, who overcame fear and procrastination in her blogging

Krista shares how her first viral post “What If I All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” made a major impact, resonating with people across the world

She’s been invited by others to share her story. Through collaboration and connections, her number of followers grew from 1,000 to 35,000.

Her work brings her joy and has given her a voice. She is just like everyone else – not perfect. She affects others by giving them a chance to be seen and heard as well.

Take imperfect action, and remember to enjoy each step of your journey. The world is incredibly noisy. We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.

Don’t be afraid to be you – raw and real. Krista’s always found a way to love herself through the freedom that telling the truth offers.  

Bearing your soul and becoming an entrepreneur makes you grow.

Links and Resources for How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey, there, friends. Welcome to episode 267 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. If this is your first time with us, welcome to you especially. ProBlogger is a space dedicated to helping you set up a blog that will be a profitable blog and also make a difference in the world that you live in and the topics that you’re writing about. You can learn more about ProBlogger, particularly, our courses, our free Start A Blog course, and our 31 days to Build a Better Blog course over at problogger.com. Just look for the courses tab in the menu.

Today, we’re continuing our blogger breakthrough series with a story from Krista who comes to us from Canada. She has a blog called A Life in Progress, it’s alifeinprogress.ca. She’s going to tell us a story—a beautiful story, really, of her first experience of a viral post. It’s actually a post that went viral a number of times and the impact that it had upon her blog. A bit of a theme because last week was about viral content as well but this is a very different story. I love this story because it talks about how Krista went from procrastination fear to showing up regularly and pushing through that. It is a beautiful story and I encourage you to listen to the end. I’m going to come back at the end of the story and just pull out some of the nuggets of gold that Krista mentions in this story because it is a beautiful one.

I’m going to head over to Krista. Again, her blog is at alifeinprogress.ca and you can find the full transcript of today’s show notes, as well as links to her blog over at problogger.com/podcast/267.

Krista: Hello, I am Krista from Central Alberta, Canada. I write at alifeinprogress.ca. I help other messy humans like me show up through comparison, perfectionism, and fear so they can show up fully in their imperfect and beautiful lives. Again, you can find me at alifeinprogress.ca.

I started vlogging three years ago. I had been showing up weekly to my blog for about 4 ½ months, when a post of mine went viral for the first time. I say for the first time because initially I was contacted by the BBC London about my post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? and after they shared it, my post spread throughout Europe.

About a year later, some minimalist bloggers in the United States picked it up, and the post took off again for a second time. Having recently emerged from a time of crisis in my life when I wrote that mediocre life post, I was just practicing showing up myself through perfectionism, comparison, and fear to take imperfect action. I was super clear on my mission or my why. But I actually, knew absolutely nothing, about building an online platform or business. Good thing, I’m a very curious and stubborn person.

I did step out and begin to offer my work as a holistic health and joyful living educator in my small community. I was super hungry to write and connect online as well. Facebook has always been a perfect fit for me. I started a Facebook page and began to offer incredibly imperfect live videos just to serve and share my working heart.  Time was really limited because I was actually homeschooling my youngest at that time still. Also, I had been a master procrastinator for most of my life.

My goal wasn’t actually to make anything in particular happen but to just have fun and practice showing up through fear. I needed to learn to take baby steps and honor my wiring. By that, I mean I’m a very strong introvert. I need a lot of time to potter, think, and breathe. I opted out of hustle from day one.

That particular post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?, I actually wrote that one day in tears. For most of my life, I wrestled with feelings of never being good enough. I had come far. My 40s we’re certainly a healing time in my life. But on that day, I was struggling and I wrote it in tears just super honestly and I never expected anybody besides my 12 siblings to actually read it. It was a reminder to myself that who I am is enough. I’ve always found freedom in truth telling. One of the ways that I practice loving myself is actually just telling the truth. I know that it opens up space for other people to tell the truth.

When that senior journalist from the BBC London contacted me, I was rather surprised, and that is an understatement. I live in a very small town in Central Alberta and I certainly, wasn’t expecting something like that. We had a really good chat. I did an interview with her that became part of a series that BBC created.

Following that, I received countless requests to reprint my article in multiple languages. This very simple honest post had hit a chord with people across the globe. Although, people closer to home had no idea who I was or what I was up to.

The first year after launching A Life in Progress, my business and my blog, my Facebook page just slowly, slowly grew to about 1,000 followers. and that first thousand is hard to achieve. But after some minimalist bloggers in the States shared my post, so thank you, no sidebar and becoming minimalist, it quickly grew to about 12,000.

In my second year of blogging, I received many opportunities to guest post or write for other people including for Maria Shriver’s, The Sunday Paper, which was fun. I just kept plodding along, slow and steady, and walking up my values.

I just have entered my fourth year. I just hit my three-year mark at the end of August of blogging. I’m very clear that my growth has only come because of collaboration or connecting with other people including those who initially shared my work. I’ve made beautiful friends online, gleaned from others, offered encouragement of my own. I’m filled with gratitude for the privilege of sharing my mission online to a growing and quite engaged community. I sometimes feel discouraged or not enough still, but when I pull myself back to my mission and just show up, I find joy in my work and amazing door of opportunities continue to open up to me.

This year, I think I’m going to work more closer to full time. But the past three years, I’ve only worked part-time. I’ve opted out of hassle. But I do have fairly steady client work.

Having one post go viral, even twice, didn’t alone or in it of itself, drastically changed my life or income, but showing up consistently did. Nonetheless, having that one post go viral did give me a voice I may not have otherwise had. It enlarged my circle of impact. Last year, I think my Facebook page grew to about around 35,000. I launched another page and grew that really rapidly. It helped people get to know the real me—a messy human just like them—and helped thousands of people feel heard and seen, and that’s very powerful, I think.

If I was to offer another, say newer blogger any tips, this would be it: I think this world is incredibly noisy. I do not think that we need more people trying to look, act or be the same, we need honesty. While there are many moving parts to building an online business or community and the work never ends, I encourage you to do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision as this will be what sustains you when things go hard, or when people are mean, or you get a little stuck in the mire comparison and fear, it happens. Just show up slow and steady, take imperfect action and remember to enjoy each step of the journey. Sounds cliche, but I actually believe in that. Look for opportunities to build meaningful connection online and serve your community well whatever the size. Also, don’t be afraid to shift course as you go. I really think that we find our path by getting our hands dirty. Don’t be afraid to just be you–raw and real. Finally, I would encourage you to loosen your grip on a particular or precise outcome so you can open up to joyful possibility–that’s definitely one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past three years is this gift of opening up to joyful possibility.

I set goals and track them. I time block to make space for my deep work. But I never could’ve envisioned some of the opportunities that have opened up to me simply because I showed up. There are definitely, days I wished that I would write something else that people would get super excited about.

Some days, I do feel frustrated or in some seasons with algorithm changes or periods of stagnating growth. There are days that the best thing I can do is to just shut it all down and take a break. I do try to build a life and business that permits that. Baring your soul and becoming an entrepreneur calls you to growth. It definitely, does. But every single day, I’m grateful that I had the courage to sit down that day—2 ½ years ago—to pen that very honest, simple, truthful, blog post.

Darren: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Krista. Beautiful theme going on, unintentionally, in the podcast over the last few months. Back in episode 263, Mim talked in her story about being vulnerable and in episode 255, I talked about vulnerability as well. It’s certainly a theme today from Krista. I love how honestly Krista shared today both in this episode but also on her blog.

The story will resonate with a lot of us because many of us do have issues with procrastination which she mentioned and fear. I just love this as a story of showing up with that fear. I’ve talked in previous episodes about having wobbly courage. You don’t ever really overcome the fear, but showing up with that fear is wobbly courage. I also love that she talks about being a bit of an introvert there and needing space to think, breathe, and potter because I can relate to that as well.

Let’s just pull out some of the tips. I did take a few notes as I listened to Krista’s story. I listened to it two or three times because there was so much in that last few minutes that I think will help many people.

Keep persisting. “Walking out my values,” was something Krista talked about doing. I love the fact that she really did blog from understanding who she was and not feeling like she had to show up and be someone else. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty,” I think was the line. That’s a great quote—one that I’m going to add to my little quotes. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.”

“Do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision. Show up slow and steady.” These are the lines I wrote down. I just think we need to really ponder if you are someone who is struggling with procrastination, if you’re someone who struggles with fear, these are great lessons. “Take imperfect action,” something that I first heard Jadah Sellner talk about. Taking that imperfect action is better than no action at all. “Building meaningful connection online,” and being open to shift course as you go. “Don’t be afraid to shift course, to loosen your grip on a precise outcome and be open to joyful possibility.”

These are just great words of advice and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these things, there is some encouragement for those of you who do struggle with those issues of fear and procrastination. There’s hope. There’s hope for all of us who do struggle with these things.

I want to commend it to you, bookmark this episode, and listen to it again if you ask someone who does struggle with those things. If you know someone who struggles with fear and procrastination as a blogger or in some other area, I encourage you to share this episode, Krista’s story, with them as well.

“Show up, take imperfect action, and don’t be afraid to be you. Be raw and real and be honest.” Great advice there. Thank you, Krista, so much for sharing with us today.

Again, you can find Krista at alifeinprogress.ca. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/267. Next week, we’re going to take a little pause in this blogger breakthroughs series because I’ve got a great interview with Craig who is from Podcast Motor. Podcast Motor produced our podcast for us and they’ve got some exciting things coming up.

We’re going to do a podcast next week on Podcasting for Bloggers. I’m going to interview Craig and give you some tips on that topic. Then we will come back and do two more episodes of this series before we resume our regular podcasting.

Thank you so much for listening today. I’m going to pop a few links in the show notes today too. Some of those other episodes that you might want to listen to on the topic of vulnerability, episode 263 and episode 255. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week as we talk about podcasting.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

How did you go with today’s episode?

Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts.

The post 267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging appeared first on ProBlogger.

What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Content

The post What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Content appeared first on ProBlogger.

What to do when someone steals your blog content

This post is based on Episode 108 of the ProBlogger podcast.

One day, you come across someone else’s blog online that has surprisingly familiar content.

Very familiar content. Yours, in fact!

In most cases, they’ll have taken entire posts for your blog – images, links and all – by “scraping” your blog’s RSS feed.

Occasionally, it might be a little different. Perhaps someone has copied your whole post onto their brand-new blog because they really don’t know any better. They may even think they’re doing you a favour.

Whatever the exact situation, though, it’s never pleasant to realise that someone has effectively stolen your hard work. It’s even worse if they’re passing it off as their own.

So, you’re probably wanting to know what to do when someone steals your blog content.

In this post, I’ll be outlining the steps you can take to get that content taken down from their website – but first, it’s worth considering whether you want to take any action at all.

Should You Bother Fighting Content Thieves at All?

Let’s be clear: I know you’ll probably feel angry to find that someone is ripping off your content. But if their site doesn’t rank at all highly in Google and is covered in ads … chances are, no-one’s reading it anyway.

Years ago, I all but gave up chasing down sites that steal my content. There are so many that I could spend a couple of hours every single day just dealing with it. I decided, instead, I’d rather spend my time creating more content that serves my readers.

Before that, I’d tried to tackle the problem because, back then, bloggers felt that Google would penalise sites with duplicate content. So if someone else copied my post onto their site, I worried that I would be the one penalised.

Since then, Google has become increasingly smart about working out who’s the original source of the content.

If you find that a piece of your content has been used without your permission:

  1. Google a sentence or two (in quotation marks) from your post.
  2. See which site ranks more highly: yours, or theirs.

If your site is ranking more highly … it’s not worth your time doing anything at all. If their site ranks more highly than yours, though, it’s probably worth taking action.

How to Reduce the Impact of Content Scraping

“Scraping” is when someone steals your blog content directly from your RSS feed. They’re probably using some sort of tool to automate their theft, so in almost every case, they’ll simply publish your post exactly as it appeared on your blog … including all the links in it.

That means that it’s a great idea to:

  • Include at least one link in each post to another post on your blog. Hopefully you’re already doing this, as it’s a great way to encourage readers to stick around for longer! If readers come across the stolen content, they may well follow these links back to your blog.
  • Use a tool like the Yoast SEO plugin to include a link to your blog, and to the original blog post, in the footer of your RSS feed. If someone is scraping your RSS feed, they’ll probably publish that footer too. You can put in any text you want – e.g. “This article was originally published at….” or “The original source of this article is…” which can help clue Google in about which version of the content to prioritise in searches! (And if you’re not already using Yoast, I strongly recommend it for its many other SEO benefits too.)

When You Probably Will Want to Take Action … and How to Do So

While most content theft is the automated type I’ve described above, some is different.

I will take action if people use my content without acknowledging the source. They might strip out any links to my sites, and they might even publish it under their own name.

This only happens rarely, in my experience – but every year or so, I find someone doing this. Sometimes it’s just with one post, but often, it’s with a whole bunch of posts.

I’ve come across a number of bloggers who’ve taken over a hundred posts from ProBlogger or Digital Photography School, put their own names and images into those posts, maybe rewritten the first couple of paragraphs, and published it as their own.

This does make me angry! I put a lot of time into the content, or if it’s been created by a paid writer for dPS, they’ve put a lot of time in (and I’ve paid for it)!

I have a process I follow to take action – rather than just calling them out on Twitter straight away, which is always a bit of a temptation.

Step #1: Contact the Site That’s Taken Your Content

The first port of call should always be to contact the blogger in question. This can be tricky, as there may not be any contact details on their site. If you can get in touch with them, though, tell them clearly that they’re violating your copyright.

At this stage, you’ll probably want to be polite (if not exactly warm and friendly). It’s worth giving people the benefit of the doubt. More often than not, they’ll know exactly what they’re doing and why it’s wrong, but sometimes they may be genuinely clueless, or they’ve been duped themselves.

In one case, for instance, a blogger had hired someone to write content – and that person had ripped them off by stealing a whole heap of content from my site, and also from other bloggers’ sites.

I normally ask people to remove the content within 24 hours. If they’ve done something really bad (e.g. they’ve stolen a lot of content to pass off as their own), I’d also ask them to issue a public apology.

Step #2: Contact the Host of the Site That’s Taken Your Content

If you can’t get a response from the blogger, the next step is to contact their webhost. You can normally track down the site’s host through whois.net: type in the URL of the site and you’ll see a list of details. Look at the “name server” to see where the site is hosted.

(This can also be a way to get contact details for the blogger, if you can’t find those on their site.)

Hosting companies can get into serious legal trouble if they host a site that is violating copyright laws, so it’s in their interests to quickly take down any stolen content.

Many hosts have a process you can follow to issue them with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice against the site in question.

The DMCA notice is a legal document that you’ll need to sign (so do make sure the blog really has stolen your content before issuing it – don’t take someone else’s word for it, but check into the facts yourself).

You can issue the DMCA notice to the blogger or directly to their webhost. Most hosts will take down copyrighted content very quickly after receiving a DMCA notice.

If the blog is on Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, or any other large blogging platform, look in the Terms and Conditions or the Frequently Asked Questions to find out how to issue the DMCA notice.

So that the host can investigate, you’ll need to provide:

  • A link to where your content was originally published online.
  • Information about when you published it.

I’ve only had to go as far as issuing a DMCA notice five or six times in ten years, so hopefully you won’t need to get to this stage.

If you’re in contact with the blogger, simply telling them “my next step is to issue a DMCA takedown notice” will often be enough to prompt them to take swift action.

Step #3: Bring More Pressure Onto the Blogger

If you can’t issue the DMCA notice, or if the process ends up delayed, you might decide you want to go further.

A couple of ways to do this are to:

Contact the Blogger’s Advertisers

If the site has ads all over it (and most of the sites that steal content do!), then contact their advertisers and explain that their ads are on a site that’s stolen your work. The advertisers may will withdraw, or threaten to withdraw, their ads – and you may well find that a blogger who had no ethical qualms about stealing your content will suddenly take it down when their money is on the line.

Publicly Shame the Blogger

I’ve  done this a few times – sometimes, perhaps, a bit earlier than I should have! I’m lucky enough to have a fairly large social profile, so my readers’ outrage probably helped a little. Even if you don’t have a large Twitter following or Facebook page, though, calling out a blogger on social media can prompt them to take swift action.

Hopefully, by this point, you’ve succeeded in getting your content taken down. If not, you have a couple of more drastic options:

  • Filing to get the site banned from Google and other search engines, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
  • Taking legal action. This can be a very expensive route to go down, so it’s definitely best viewed as a last resort.

In most cases, though, I’ve found that I don’t need to go beyond step one – sending the blogger an email. They’ll probably make some kind of excuse (I’ve never had anyone actually admit to knowingly stealing my content) – but they most likely will take that content down.

With any case of contact theft, it’s worth asking yourself: do I want to spend my time fighting this, or can I use my time in a more constructive way?

Only you can answer that – you’ll want to consider things like whether the site is outranking yours, and whether they at least link back to you as the source.

If you do decide to take action, I hope the steps above help you. Feel free to share your own experience, tips and suggestions in the comments.

 

Image credit: Markus Spiske

The post What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Content appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’

The post 266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’ appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Used Viral Content to Grow Her Income Enough to Cover Her Mortgage Payments

Rachel Miller is back on ProBlogger for our Blogging Breakthroughs series, which features bloggers’ stories about traffic, income, and other parts of blogging.

Blogging has transformed Rachel’s life, and made a difference in the lives of others.

Rachel Miller uses viral content to earn a six-figure income

Rachel shares various breakthroughs that helped her generate a blogging income that went from paying for her groceries and mortgage to building a six-figure business.

How’d she do it? By harnessing the power of her audience and going viral.

Virals aren’t just about people seeing your content. They can also help you grow your bank account.

Every time you love on your audience by creating content that engages and resonates with them, it takes your brand to the next level.

Rachel went from affiliates to dropshipping and fulfillment through Amazon. She went from making pennies on each product to a decent percentage.

She always puts a product on a viral. Don’t create a viral just for the sake of traffic. Add a monetization stream to it. Rachel also drives traffic to her eProducts to make sales.

Blogging has given Rachel a debt-free lifestyle. Her audience benefits from it, too.

Build your audience for the purpose of getting ad revenue and making a difference in their lives by selling them a product.

What product can you create to celebrate an audience and what they love?

Links and Resources for How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey there, friends. It’s Darren from ProBlogger. Welcome to episode 266 of the ProBlogger Show. So today, I want to introduce you or re-introduce you to Rachel Miller. Many of you will know her from her previous episode where I interviewed her about Facebook strategies. It was titled “Five Actionable Tips For Better Results On Your Facebook Page.” It was back in episode 208 and it’s been one of our most popular episode and so I decided to invite Rachel to be a part of our blogger breakthrough series that we’re currently running where we hand the podcast over to bloggers and other online entrepreneurs to talk to us about some of the breakthroughs that they’ve had in their blogging and online entrepreneurial journey.

Rachel has been doing this for years now. I think it’s about 11 years that she’s been blogging and working particularly on Facebook where she’s renowned that’s why I interviewed her on that topic last time. Today she’s going to share her story with a series of breakthroughs that have helped her to move from blogging income that paid for her groceries and paid for a modest mortgage through advertising revenue to building a business that’s in high six figures per year some years. And has literally transformed her life and the life all of others as well. I’ll let her tell you a little bit more about that result later.

It’s one that is really impressive and I find quite inspirational because it’s not just about buying things for her, it’s actually about making a difference in the lives of others as well. I will mention that last time Rachel was on in that previous episode, she had some free downloadable cheat sheets to help you with your Facebook marketing and they’re particularly going to help you with a story that she shares today around getting viral content. She’s going to tell a story about how she got viral content to her blog. One of the cheat sheets is how to get viral titles or how to craft viral titles. I will link to that in today’s show notes and you can grab that as well as a couple of other downloads that she has for you as well.

Rachel also has an amazing Facebook group which I’ll link too in the show notes too which is all about Facebook marketing. It’s the group I always recommend to people who want to know more about how to do Facebook with the latest strategies with all the algorithms. I always say go to this Facebook group. So I’ll link to all of that in today’s show notes. So you might want to open them up as you listen to her story where I’ll also link to all her other things. She’s got numerous sites. You can find the show notes today @problogger.com/podcast/266.

That’s 266 if you look for the latest podcast, it will be there and I will mention that Rachel also has a course that I think is opening on the day this podcast goes live. So I’ll pop a link into that as well for you to check out. It’s all about Facebook marketing. Okay, there’s lots of things there but you can find all those links on the show notes today. I’m going to hand it over to Rachel and then I want to pull things back at the end of the show today just pull out some of the things that I heard her talking about that I think we can apply as bloggers today. Here’s Rachel.

Rachel: Hi, it’s Rachel Miller here. My story with blogging is interesting. I have a couple of URLs. I started with the website quirkymomma.com. And I’m going to spell that so it’s Q-U-I-R-K-Y-M-O-M-M-A no one spells it that way but that’s a story in itself. So Quirky Momma was my first website and I sold that website and then I went on to create the websites 1Crazy House, Crazy Cat Lady and One Pot Crockpot as well as the website and the brand moolah.life.

My journey through blogging and my breakthrough from blogging and my breakthrough to becoming a multiple even high six figures some years blogger is really harnessing the power of your audience. Okay so I’m going to take you guys back about five years ago. Do you guys remember when these loom bracelets were a thing? My daughter was about seven and she came home with these rubbery bracelets and she was so excited about the thing she was making, all of her friends, they were swapping them and they were making them for each other. She was so excited by these and I knew that if my daughter was excited about these bracelets, there are probably dozens of other kids out there excited about these bracelets too.

So I went online and I went through a lot of different tutorials to find ways to make these bracelets even cooler for my daughter. I realize that there weren’t a lot of tutorials. So what I did is I created basically a how-to guide on how to make these loom bracelets for kids. I knew it will do well I didn’t expect it to go viral and I didn’t expect it to sell like a mad sauce. When it went viral, the fact that we had put affiliate links on there and that we have monetized the post really well, it was the first time that I saw what happens when you combine a huge surge of traffic with an affiliate product and kind of the magic that that brings.

We got 1.9 million page views to that post and then we saw our revenue just skyrocket that month. that was a huge breakthrough for me because I realized that virals aren’t just about getting people to see your content, virals are helping your bank account see like a big growth because every time you have a post that gets a lot of engagement, every time you love on your audience and you create content for that audience that your audience relates to and resonates with, it takes your whole audience takes your whole exposure of your brand to another level.

Every time you make a new post that goes to that next level, you have a new I guess baseline took to grow from. So yes, I made $4,000 that month in affiliate sales. That gave me a baseline to say, hey, wait a second. What if I tweaked these little things in this post and next time I create a viral, next time I have a post that goes bonkers, and yes I’ve had more than, I think I’ve had 29 posts on that site go to over a million.

I’ve had other sites that I have, they all had posts that had gone to over a million. Next time I have a viral, what will I do to take the next viral to an even bigger level. So it makes me more than $4,000, it makes me a new amount of money. My next breakthrough after that was okay, so we’ve done affiliates and I’ve got a viral post that create these pieces of content to get massive engagement and organic and given that I’m not paying for. I created that content, I market it on Facebook and through different channels to get eyeballs to it.

I have affiliates on it. now what can I do instead of an affiliate because with an affiliate, I may be making 8% if it’s a really good affiliate or maybe I’m only making 2% or 3%, what if I sourced that product myself? Then I went from affiliates to dropshipping and that was a really cool job because I went from making pennies on the product to making 30% of the product. After dropshipping then it was fulfillment through Amazon. So it was really fun to see that breakthrough and that breakthrough for me happened the first time I got a product to go just bonkers and that was those affiliate product that I got to go bonkers was those loomband bracelets.

How long have I been blogging? I have been blogging for 11 years now and it was it was really cool to see what happens when you can mix engagement with a product. What was the impact of my breakthrough. My breakthrough, I don’t know how to say it. It kind of changed my life because before this point, I saw blogging as something that paid for my mortgage or paid for my mortgage and the groceries.

At that time guys, put this in perspective. My mortgage was $550 a month so I wasn’t asking a lot out of my blog when I was getting hundreds of thousands of views and millions of views a month to be able to pay for my mortgage. When I saw what happens with affiliates and products when you can get attention on that product and how it brought in a surge of revenue, why can’t I have that revenue every month? Why can’t I have that traffic every month? So instead of having one viral with one affiliate product, we scaled it. We made 29 virals with 29 products and so now I have 29 posts that have each brought more than a million. Some of them two million three million each.

It was so exciting to see, that’s 3 million page views guys, that’s people that clicked over to my website. I don’t know if I got to three, I think I got to 3 million one time. Most of them I got 2 million the 29ers and a couple 1.9 million to two million and then we’ve got one that’s almost 3 million. It was really cool to see what happens but we want to always whenever I have a viral now, I want to always put a product on that viral.

So you don’t want to just have a viral for the sake of traffic, you want to have a way to monetize that traffic. Before this breakthrough I just was monetizing with just ads which is great but you can do so much more. What if you had ad traffic, ad revenue from AdSense or Ad Network and an affiliate product or and your own product that you’re selling. That was my breakthrough through blogging and then my next breakthrough, so I had that transition from not selling products and just doing ads into now having products that are affiliate and then from affiliate into drop shipping and then into my own physical products and I was creating product lines.

Then my next scale from that after that is bringing into eproducts. What I mean by eproducts is online or digital. Something where you’re not having to keep a physical product in stock because it’s super scalable. You can just drive more traffic to it and make more sales. So yeah so that was my transition of sales using traffic and building an engaged audience to building a lifestyle business. Today guys, I look at my websites and I am amazed at the gift that they have been to me and the gift that they’ve been to my family.

I’ve paid for my adoptions. We adopted two of our children and our adoption was paid for almost entirely through blog money. Could you believe it guys? Could you believe it? Debt free blog money. From there, we went on and we’ve built the websites, it’s paid for our new house, it bought my husband’s car. I could not have had that happen if I didn’t have the transition of realizing I’m building this audience for a purpose. That purpose that I’m building that audience for is to, yes, get ad revenue and yes, to make a difference in their lives but make a difference in their lives by selling them a product.

So think about yourself and myself, what says that something’s important to us, it’s either our time or our money. For us to make a difference in our reader’s lives, we kind of need to have them make an investment of time or money into something. Yeah I’m just so thrilled that my blog got to make investment in people’s lives and make a difference in their lives and make people smile with loom bracelets, with vacuum cleaners, with cat food, with meal plans and more recently with a course that helps people learn how to grow audiences too.

What tip would I give you guys so you can have a similar breakthrough? I want you to think of a product that you can create an audience for. So is it loom bracelets? What kind of people enjoy loom bracelets? Parents of kids right? Because they’re the ones crafting and kneading these little bracelets together. It could be cat t-shirts, crazy cat lady t-shirts. What kind of audience buys a crazy cat lady t-shirts? Crazy cat ladies. So let’s make an audience celebrating those people and the things that they love. Darren, thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate you and I hope you have a great day.

Darren: Rachel is one of the most enthusiastic speakers I’ve ever heard. We had her at our Success Incubator event last year and she knows what she’s talking about with Facebook. One of the challenges we Facebook is that things are constantly changing. What’s working today in a Facebook page, or on a group, or with live video isn’t always going to be working tomorrow and Rachel’s probably the person that I go to when I want to find out what the latest changes have been.

So do check out her Facebook group, I’ll link it in the show notes. Do check out the downloadable cheat sheets that I’ll also link in the show notes today. If you want to invest in learning more about Facebook, check out her course which goes live today. It’s October 2018 if you’re listening to this in replay, I think she always has a white list for her courses as well. So I’ll pop a link to all that in the show notes today.

Let’s just recap a couple of things that I heard Rachel talking about today. I love that she has evolved her monetization and this is something that I’ve talked about numerous times on the podcast before. Many bloggers get into blogging thinking they’re going to monetize in one way and it can work. Rachel talked about how she was able to fund her groceries and her mortgage using advertising, using AdSense or other ad networks and that’s brilliant.

A lot of bloggers, that changes their life but they don’t know that there could be more. Many bloggers stop at that point. I was very similar. AdSense income was amazing for me. It delivered more income than I thought I would ever get online but once I began to experiment with other income streams and for me it was other types of affiliate marketing and my own products very similar transition and evolution to what Rachel talked about, that literally changed my life.

Today, AdSense is great. I could live off my AdSense earnings but it’s about a tenth of what I make and I would never have been able to unlock all of these other income streams if I hadn’t pushed enough, I hadn’t experimented with different income streams. Many of you have seen the money map that we talked about with the different ways that you can monetize blogging. I came up with about 40 different ways you can monetize a blog and Rachel talked about three or four of them in her session. I’ve experimented with probably about 20 of them and have said about five or six today.

There’s lots out there. Not all of them are going to work for you. You may find ads work for you, you may find affiliate works for you, you may find a physical product as Rachel did. It works for you or you may find in eproduct works for you as well, or you may find selling your services or something else works better for you. Keep pushing, keep evolving the way that you drive the income. The other great thing that I really love about what Rachel talks about is the purpose of viral traffic.

A lot of bloggers want viral traffic but they don’t actually have any way of capitalizing upon that apart from a few extra dollars from advertising revenue or AdSense revenue. I love that Rachel is thinking as she’s creating the content about what product she will promote as a result of that piece of content. Now I’m sure she creates more than just the 29 pieces of content that have gone viral. I’m sure she’s probably created hundreds of pieces of content and not all of them have gone viral but to have a product there that she can promote off the back of that viral content before she even creates it, before she even publishes that I think is a very smart move.

As you are thinking about your content, always be asking yourself the question, how is this post going to make money if it takes off? What can you promote off the back of it? What sponsorship or partnership could you arrange before it goes off? What affiliate product could you promote as a result of that post going viral or what how could I capture email addresses from that? At the very least, do something that’s going to enable you to promote something else later on for people. So think about that content before you hit publish particularly if you think it’s the type of content that will be popular with your readers.

Rachel is brilliant with this. You’ll learn a lot more about it if you go and check out her Facebook group. Again, links in the show notes to all of these things. The viral titles downloadable that she’s created is great. I think it’s 25 different types of titles that can work for you and these work on Facebook. I’ve tried them and they do really work very well but they also work as blog post titles as well. So check out those downloadables. They’re in the show notes. Today’s show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266 and check out the Facebook group and check out her course as well.

I did the course I think it was a year and a half ago now and it really changed my Facebook strategy at that time. I probably need to do her course again though because things have changed in the last year or so and I need a bit of a refresher on some of that. Lastly, I just love the fact that Rachel is using her income to do something that’s not just about buying her a house or new car, she’s actually doing something that’s changing the lives of her readers by creating value for them but also to use that money to be involved in adoption.

I know she’s a big supporter of other not for profits that I won’t enlist here but I know she’s someone who has been very generous with her influence and with the income that she’s able to generate as well. Thanks Rachel for sharing generously today. There’s a lot more she could have said but I did limit the time that she could talk today to 10 minutes as I have with all of our stories so check her out. Her resources are all linked on the show notes today. Thanks for listening. Again, the show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266.

I should also say, I’m an affiliate for Rachel’s course so I want to say that right upfront. I do get a small commission when you buy that and if you buy that. But check it out, she has a money back guarantee on it as well. So if it’s not for you, I’m sure she doesn’t mind refunding and money and I certainly don’t mind missing out on the commission if you do go that option as well. For me, it’s kind of pointless to recommend something if it’s not actually going to help you and if I haven’t done it myself. So check out what she’s got to offer. Thanks again Rachel and I will chat to you next week in this blogger breakthrough series.

We got I think two or three left in the series and then we’re going to get into some interviews and a couple of other things that I’ve got lined up for you as well. Thanks for listening and one last little thank you to PodcastMotor who put together this podcast. They produce it for me, edit it for me, you can check out them and I’ll link them in the show notes as well.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

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The post 266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’ appeared first on ProBlogger.