Tag Archives: Start a Blog

265: How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content

The post 265: How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content appeared first on ProBlogger.

One Blogger’s Experience of Growing Traffic Without Producing New Content

If you’ve been blogging for a while you’ll relate to Todd Tresidder’s story in this episode of our Blogger Breakthroughs series.

A blog that’s been around for a year or more ends up looking messy, and gives readers an inconsistent user experience. Content is old and repeated. Links are broken. Content comes in different styles and voices. Graphics look dated.

One blogger's experience of growing traffic without producing any new content

A blog can become a house with many extensions that hasn’t been architecturally designed with any clear thought or plan.

So what should you do? Scrap the blog completely? Or is it worth giving it a major overhaul? That can take time – sometimes years – but the rewards come quickly.

What Todd did:

  • New code base
  • New theme
  • New redesign
  • New internal linking
  • New navigation structure
  • Deleted junk, irrelevant and out-of-date content
  • Redirected deleted content to other posts
  • Rewrote, combined and updated remaining content
  • Branded image and social media policy

Todd stopped creating new content and started updating old content instead. And Google started rewarding his efforts.

It’s not about more content. It’s about better content. Quality is the new SEO.

Links and Resources for How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

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

Darren: Hey, there. Welcome to episode 265 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger, a blog that is designed to help you start and grow a successful, profitable blog.

Now, today you’re going to hear from Todd Tresidder who has a remarkable story to share with you. I first came across Todd a number of years ago now at a conference. In fact, I heard about him before I met him. I kept bumping into bloggers who said, “You’ve got to talk to Todd. You’ve got to hear his story about how he completely updated his whole blog, which had been around for years, and gave it a real overhaul that just drove so much traffic and good things.”

Today, Todd is going to share his story of how he did that. He grew his traffic tenfold without producing hardly any new content on his blog. In fact, he deleted content on his blog and he’s going to talk to you about how he did that.

I think you’re going to love today’s episode, particularly if you’ve been blogging for a couple of years. This is one that is particularly relevant for anyone who’s got an archive of content already. This is something that you can do. It’s not going to be something that you can do quickly. It’s a big job but it can have amazing benefits for your blog.

So, hold on. This story doesn’t go too long but it is one that I’m sure you’ll get some real value out and you’ll probably have some questions. We may have to get Todd back on the podcast to answer them. So, hold on. Here’s Todd Tresidder.

Todd: Hi. This is Todd Tresidder from Reno, Nevada, United States. My site is called Financial Mentor and you can find it at https://financialmentor.com. I teach advanced investment strategy and advanced retirement planning to build wealth. It’s an educational site that offers books, courses, the Financial Mentor Podcast, and one of the largest collections of free financial calculators anywhere on the internet.

I started Financial Mentor back in 1998, basically prehistoric times for the internet. Back then, all I had was a brochure where static website, built-in frames that modelled every mistake you shouldn’t do building a website. It was a showcase for worst web practices. Then I started using WordPress to run the site around 2008, which is where this breakthrough story I’m going to share with you picks up.

I quickly ran into a problem building the site in WordPress. It’s going to sound all too familiar to anyone who has been blogging for a couple of years or more. You start your site by writing your first blog post, then you write another, and another, and another, in a linear fashion until your site starts to take form. I followed the same linear build-as-you-go process, but also got sidetracked into detours as my business plans and goals changed over the years. Plus, I had no training on how to do this right.

I learned everything on the fly by doing and by picking up tips and tricks here and there. What I did was the equivalent of the guy with no previous construction experience suddenly deciding he’s going to build a house by picking up a board and driving a nail into it.

In my case, it was even worse because I was building the first room board by board. Then when my goals changed, I would start hammering away on the next room, and so on. The result was a hodgepodge mess of a site that had a little of this and a little of that but lack a clear focus and delivered an inconsistent user experience.

My writing style changed dramatically over the years, but none of the old posts have been updated to reflect my new writing style. I had no consistent publishing plans, so posts had widely varying topics and quality. There’s no consistent in internal linking. I had legacy problems like inline HTML because coding standards hadn’t been established when I started. There’s no proper use of social media or images because Pinterest and other outlets didn’t exist back then. The list of problems went on and on and on.

I realized I had a serious problem when every time I hatched a new plan to take the business to the next level, I would think, “Yeah, but I need to fix X and Y, and three other things before I can implement that strategy.” The site was so broken that I literally couldn’t build on it anymore. I either needed to scrap the business entirely or had to completely overhaul my site from top to bottom, set everything work right and provide a solid content marketing platform that I could build on.

I was actually leaning towards scrapping the entire business because reworking the entire site from top to bottom seemed overwhelming. But eventually, I figured out a step-by-step logical process to get it done one chunk at a time over a period of a couple of years, so I decided to go for it.

Now, before I explain exactly what that process was, please keep in mind that back then, content audits were unknown thing like they are today. Nobody was doing them or talking about them. I totally fumbled into this simply because my site was way more broken then most, so I had to get it fixed.

What I since learned is anyone who’s been building their site for two or more years faces the same situation I faced. The degree of the problem varies from site to site but we all confront this issue because their sites evolved naturally over the years that we develop them. It’s no different than writing a book. You start with chapter one and you write the book, page by page until it’s done. No author would ever publish that first draft because it has to go through several rounds of edits before the manuscript delivers a tight, cohesive reading experience.

Well, it’s the same exact thing with your website. You built it article by article, except most people never go back and edit it to create a tight, cohesive visitor experience. Instead, their published site is the equivalent of a first draft for a book.

My site audit checklist included the following; a new code base, new theme, new site redesign, upgraded internal linking, new navigation structure. I deleted a third of my content that was junkie, out of date, or irrelevant to the brand. I rewrote, edited, and combined what content remained to improve the quality. I then created a brand and image policy and social media promotion policy, and the list goes on and on.

When the audit was done, the site was entirely new, but with old articles. I literally stopped producing new content for years so I could dedicate all that writing time to improving the quality of what was already there. The counter-intuitive result was that the site grew faster than it ever had before.

Surprisingly, Google rewarded this effort almost immediately. It took exactly one week. However, that one week was harrowing because the first thing I did was delete and 301 redirected about a third of my post that were low quality. Google responded the very next day by practically removing my site from the search engine. For example, keywords that I’ve ranked on page one for years got pushed back to page 12. I was completely freaking out because I thought I’ve done the right thing but Google clearly wasn’t happy.

I held my breath for exactly one week as the loss of rankings and traffic continued. Then suddenly, everything reversed again and my rankings were better than they’d ever been. Keywords where I’d ranked on page two or three for years were suddenly on page one and keywords where I was on the bottom half of page one were now on the top half.

It was a huge change and this was just in the first few weeks with just the first step of deleting and redirecting junk content. But the content audit process I outlined was much more involved so the whole thing took me roughly two years to complete. During that time, my traffic to the site tripled with almost no new content added. In fact, the amount of my content was reduced by 30%. It was all about quality improvement, not quantity of content. Fast-forward to today and my traffic has grown roughly 10X with very few additions to content, but continual improvements to quality.

This nearly 10X breakthrough growth in traffic, while simultaneously reducing the amount of my content by a third, taught me a valuable lesson–quality is the new SEO. Growing your site is not about more. It’s about better. Google has always stated they want to return the highest quality result for any search query and they get smarter every year figuring out exactly how to do that. Don’t try to game the search engines and don’t be a slave to producing new content. Instead, align what you produce with what the search engines want to deliver. If you focused first on quality above all else, Google will figure it out and eventually they’ll reward you.

Darren: Wow. Thank you so much, Todd, for sharing your story today. You can find Todd’s site at financialmentor.com. It is a great site to have look around. He’s put a lot of work into not only the content audit that he talked about and the design of his site, but also you pick up a lot of tips just by looking at how he’s calling his rate is to action, how he’s getting them to subscribe to his newsletter and lots of other things as well. Lots of good tips just by looking over at that particular site.

There’s so much in this particular story that we could pull out now. I particularly related to the first part of Todd’s story and I’m sure many of you have related to that feeling of looking at your site after a couple of years of blogging and thinking, “My goodness, it’s a mess.” Content that’s dated, links and code that might be broken, plugins that kind of have broken, different styles of writing, different voices, different mediums, dated-looking content, the graphics that you’re using may outdated. Categories that perhaps you don’t even blog about anymore or content that’s replicated in different topics, different points in different posts, and inconsistencies with design and quality.

I’m describing my own sites here as I’ve looked at them over the years. We’ve done a lot of work over the last couple of years to do similar types of things as Todd. Although for us, it’s still a work in progress. I guess one of the things that I want to encourage you with a few can relate to that story is that it is a massive job to fix it, but it’s the type of thing that you need to just break down and do bit, by bit, by bit. You’re not going to do this overnight. There are parts of it that maybe you’ll do overnight like deleting old content and redirecting as Todd did, but for most of us, this is an ongoing process.

One of the things that I’ve notice amongst a lot of bloggers is that they’re spending a lot of time now updating their archives, spending as much time updating their archives as they do writing new content. Now, if you are in the early days of your blog, you probably want to spend a lot of time creating your archives, creating new content. But as soon as you hit that one, two, three-year mark of a blog, you also need to be paying regular attention to your archives. At that point, you might just want to pull back a little on how much new content you’re creating and start to pay more attention to those archives. If you were publishing five posts a week, for example, I would encourage you maybe post three new posts a week and do two old ones. Go back and update those as well.

Now, Todd gave a lot of new information very quickly there on what he did to fix his site. I just want to go through that list of things that he said again. I’ve written them down. You better find them in the transcript of today’s show in the show notes, which are at problogger.com/podcast/265, but here are the things that he listed off very quickly.

He said he rewrote his code base. There will probably be more important for those of you who maybe have changed platforms along the way but it’s some that you might want to seek the advice of a web developer or designer. He added a new theme, a new redesign. He did a new internal linking kind of setup. He went through old links and fixed some old links and really thought about how to, I guess, link and how his readers could navigate his site. He thought about a new navigation structure. This is so important for bloggers. You have a lot of categories in your archives that you maybe no longer write on any more or maybe you’ve chosen words to name those categories that aren’t really clickable. You might want to rethink your menu and navigation.

He deleted a third of his content; junkie, irrelevant, out-of-date content. This is something I know a lot of bloggers are going to be really nervous about doing because we’ve got in their minds that more is more. But as he said, quality is more. If you’ve got junky, out-of-date content, you need to either update it or you need to delete it and redirect it. That’s an important step there. Don’t just delete your old post. You want to work out how to redirect that with a 301 redirect. There’s plenty of good advice around the web on how to do that. There’s some plugins that can help you with that as well. But a 301 redirect tells Google that that post is no longer there, but you want to point anyone coming to that old page to a new page and that can help with your search engine optimization.

He rewrote, combined, and updated on the content that remained. This is probably the part that took two years. You heard him say that this whole process took two years. He would have gone through all that old content and updated it. He would have combined two post together, deleted one of them, and 301 redirected the one he deleted and overall improved the quality of the content.

This is what I’m saying a lot of bloggers spending a lot of time on there saying, “How can I write the best post ever on this topic?” that may have been written about 10 times before. How can you combine all of that information and create a new article that is the highest quality possible? This is what Google is rewarding. Then just having that one post on your site that is the go-to place, rather than having the same kind of article written and rewritten over and over again. He also did a branded image and social media policy. That’s certainly an important thing that consistency in your images and the calls to action to share is really important as well.

They’re the main things that Todd mentioned that he worked through. He also stopped creating new content at least for a year or so. He said that he has created a little bit of new content but from what I see, he’s probably spent more time on that old content. That’s because he’s been blogging since 1998 I think he said. He’s got a lot of content there and he’s able to do that for many of you.

You might want to be having one post, new post a week or maybe two new post a week to get some new stuff up there but also working on the old stuff. I would suspect, and I don’t know this for sure because he didn’t mention it that he would have been resharing that old content as he updated it. Again, once he did a complete rewrite of old content, I’m sure it would have been shared to his readers and they would have seen new content coming up because it was new to them, but in his mind, it was updated content.

Let me just re-emphasize what he said. “Quality is the new SEO.” it’s such an important thing. “It’s not about more, it’s about better.” These are Todd’s words; I’m quoting him here. He said, “Don’t be a slave to producing new content.” Now, again this really depends upon the stage of blogging that you’re at. If you’re in those first year or two, you do need to produce new content. But once you go and get past that, your site is going to suffer in terms of quality and ranking in Google if you don’t pay attention to quality as well.

I encourage you to spend some time in your archives this week. I do have a previous podcast that was recorded on a similar topic to this. It was episode 238. I told my story there about treating your archives as an asset. Talked about how your archives are depreciating over time and gave you some strategies on how to do some of what Todd talked about as well. If this is something you do want to dig into more, I do encourage you to go back to episode 238—not that long ago—and have a listen to that episode as well, it’ll give you some practical things that you can do. I wish you well in your updating of your content in your content audit.

If you got any questions for Todd or for me on this, I would love it if you would head over to our show notes today. As I mentioned at the top of this show, I think this is probably a topic we need to kind of dig even deeper into. We need to get Todd back on to do more an interview-style podcast. I haven’t asked him that yet, but if you’ve got any questions you would like me to ask Todd, I would love it if you would leave a comment on our show notes. That’s probably the best place to do it. The show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/265. I will collate those questions together and attempt to get Todd to answer them in some way or another, whether that be an interview or me. I’ll just ask him to leave some comments on that show notes as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today and the breakthrough story. We’ve got a few more in this series still to come and then we’ll get back into a more regular style of ProBlogger podcast. I hope you’re enjoying the series so far. I look forward to chatting with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 265: How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content appeared first on ProBlogger.

265: How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content

The post 265: How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content appeared first on ProBlogger.

One Blogger’s Experience of Growing Traffic Without Producing New Content

If you’ve been blogging for a while you’ll relate to Todd Tresidder’s story in this episode of our Blogger Breakthroughs series.

A blog that’s been around for a year or more ends up looking messy, and gives readers an inconsistent user experience. Content is old and repeated. Links are broken. Content comes in different styles and voices. Graphics look dated.

One blogger's experience of growing traffic without producing any new content

A blog can become a house with many extensions that hasn’t been architecturally designed with any clear thought or plan.

So what should you do? Scrap the blog completely? Or is it worth giving it a major overhaul? That can take time – sometimes years – but the rewards come quickly.

What Todd did:

  • New code base
  • New theme
  • New redesign
  • New internal linking
  • New navigation structure
  • Deleted junk, irrelevant and out-of-date content
  • Redirected deleted content to other posts
  • Rewrote, combined and updated remaining content
  • Branded image and social media policy

Todd stopped creating new content and started updating old content instead. And Google started rewarding his efforts.

It’s not about more content. It’s about better content. Quality is the new SEO.

Links and Resources for How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

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

Darren: Hey, there. Welcome to episode 265 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger, a blog that is designed to help you start and grow a successful, profitable blog.

Now, today you’re going to hear from Todd Tresidder who has a remarkable story to share with you. I first came across Todd a number of years ago now at a conference. In fact, I heard about him before I met him. I kept bumping into bloggers who said, “You’ve got to talk to Todd. You’ve got to hear his story about how he completely updated his whole blog, which had been around for years, and gave it a real overhaul that just drove so much traffic and good things.”

Today, Todd is going to share his story of how he did that. He grew his traffic tenfold without producing hardly any new content on his blog. In fact, he deleted content on his blog and he’s going to talk to you about how he did that.

I think you’re going to love today’s episode, particularly if you’ve been blogging for a couple of years. This is one that is particularly relevant for anyone who’s got an archive of content already. This is something that you can do. It’s not going to be something that you can do quickly. It’s a big job but it can have amazing benefits for your blog.

So, hold on. This story doesn’t go too long but it is one that I’m sure you’ll get some real value out and you’ll probably have some questions. We may have to get Todd back on the podcast to answer them. So, hold on. Here’s Todd Tresidder.

Todd: Hi. This is Todd Tresidder from Reno, Nevada, United States. My site is called Financial Mentor and you can find it at https://financialmentor.com. I teach advanced investment strategy and advanced retirement planning to build wealth. It’s an educational site that offers books, courses, the Financial Mentor Podcast, and one of the largest collections of free financial calculators anywhere on the internet.

I started Financial Mentor back in 1998, basically prehistoric times for the internet. Back then, all I had was a brochure where static website, built-in frames that modelled every mistake you shouldn’t do building a website. It was a showcase for worst web practices. Then I started using WordPress to run the site around 2008, which is where this breakthrough story I’m going to share with you picks up.

I quickly ran into a problem building the site in WordPress. It’s going to sound all too familiar to anyone who has been blogging for a couple of years or more. You start your site by writing your first blog post, then you write another, and another, and another, in a linear fashion until your site starts to take form. I followed the same linear build-as-you-go process, but also got sidetracked into detours as my business plans and goals changed over the years. Plus, I had no training on how to do this right.

I learned everything on the fly by doing and by picking up tips and tricks here and there. What I did was the equivalent of the guy with no previous construction experience suddenly deciding he’s going to build a house by picking up a board and driving a nail into it.

In my case, it was even worse because I was building the first room board by board. Then when my goals changed, I would start hammering away on the next room, and so on. The result was a hodgepodge mess of a site that had a little of this and a little of that but lack a clear focus and delivered an inconsistent user experience.

My writing style changed dramatically over the years, but none of the old posts have been updated to reflect my new writing style. I had no consistent publishing plans, so posts had widely varying topics and quality. There’s no consistent in internal linking. I had legacy problems like inline HTML because coding standards hadn’t been established when I started. There’s no proper use of social media or images because Pinterest and other outlets didn’t exist back then. The list of problems went on and on and on.

I realized I had a serious problem when every time I hatched a new plan to take the business to the next level, I would think, “Yeah, but I need to fix X and Y, and three other things before I can implement that strategy.” The site was so broken that I literally couldn’t build on it anymore. I either needed to scrap the business entirely or had to completely overhaul my site from top to bottom, set everything work right and provide a solid content marketing platform that I could build on.

I was actually leaning towards scrapping the entire business because reworking the entire site from top to bottom seemed overwhelming. But eventually, I figured out a step-by-step logical process to get it done one chunk at a time over a period of a couple of years, so I decided to go for it.

Now, before I explain exactly what that process was, please keep in mind that back then, content audits were unknown thing like they are today. Nobody was doing them or talking about them. I totally fumbled into this simply because my site was way more broken then most, so I had to get it fixed.

What I since learned is anyone who’s been building their site for two or more years faces the same situation I faced. The degree of the problem varies from site to site but we all confront this issue because their sites evolved naturally over the years that we develop them. It’s no different than writing a book. You start with chapter one and you write the book, page by page until it’s done. No author would ever publish that first draft because it has to go through several rounds of edits before the manuscript delivers a tight, cohesive reading experience.

Well, it’s the same exact thing with your website. You built it article by article, except most people never go back and edit it to create a tight, cohesive visitor experience. Instead, their published site is the equivalent of a first draft for a book.

My site audit checklist included the following; a new code base, new theme, new site redesign, upgraded internal linking, new navigation structure. I deleted a third of my content that was junkie, out of date, or irrelevant to the brand. I rewrote, edited, and combined what content remained to improve the quality. I then created a brand and image policy and social media promotion policy, and the list goes on and on.

When the audit was done, the site was entirely new, but with old articles. I literally stopped producing new content for years so I could dedicate all that writing time to improving the quality of what was already there. The counter-intuitive result was that the site grew faster than it ever had before.

Surprisingly, Google rewarded this effort almost immediately. It took exactly one week. However, that one week was harrowing because the first thing I did was delete and 301 redirected about a third of my post that were low quality. Google responded the very next day by practically removing my site from the search engine. For example, keywords that I’ve ranked on page one for years got pushed back to page 12. I was completely freaking out because I thought I’ve done the right thing but Google clearly wasn’t happy.

I held my breath for exactly one week as the loss of rankings and traffic continued. Then suddenly, everything reversed again and my rankings were better than they’d ever been. Keywords where I’d ranked on page two or three for years were suddenly on page one and keywords where I was on the bottom half of page one were now on the top half.

It was a huge change and this was just in the first few weeks with just the first step of deleting and redirecting junk content. But the content audit process I outlined was much more involved so the whole thing took me roughly two years to complete. During that time, my traffic to the site tripled with almost no new content added. In fact, the amount of my content was reduced by 30%. It was all about quality improvement, not quantity of content. Fast-forward to today and my traffic has grown roughly 10X with very few additions to content, but continual improvements to quality.

This nearly 10X breakthrough growth in traffic, while simultaneously reducing the amount of my content by a third, taught me a valuable lesson–quality is the new SEO. Growing your site is not about more. It’s about better. Google has always stated they want to return the highest quality result for any search query and they get smarter every year figuring out exactly how to do that. Don’t try to game the search engines and don’t be a slave to producing new content. Instead, align what you produce with what the search engines want to deliver. If you focused first on quality above all else, Google will figure it out and eventually they’ll reward you.

Darren: Wow. Thank you so much, Todd, for sharing your story today. You can find Todd’s site at financialmentor.com. It is a great site to have look around. He’s put a lot of work into not only the content audit that he talked about and the design of his site, but also you pick up a lot of tips just by looking at how he’s calling his rate is to action, how he’s getting them to subscribe to his newsletter and lots of other things as well. Lots of good tips just by looking over at that particular site.

There’s so much in this particular story that we could pull out now. I particularly related to the first part of Todd’s story and I’m sure many of you have related to that feeling of looking at your site after a couple of years of blogging and thinking, “My goodness, it’s a mess.” Content that’s dated, links and code that might be broken, plugins that kind of have broken, different styles of writing, different voices, different mediums, dated-looking content, the graphics that you’re using may outdated. Categories that perhaps you don’t even blog about anymore or content that’s replicated in different topics, different points in different posts, and inconsistencies with design and quality.

I’m describing my own sites here as I’ve looked at them over the years. We’ve done a lot of work over the last couple of years to do similar types of things as Todd. Although for us, it’s still a work in progress. I guess one of the things that I want to encourage you with a few can relate to that story is that it is a massive job to fix it, but it’s the type of thing that you need to just break down and do bit, by bit, by bit. You’re not going to do this overnight. There are parts of it that maybe you’ll do overnight like deleting old content and redirecting as Todd did, but for most of us, this is an ongoing process.

One of the things that I’ve notice amongst a lot of bloggers is that they’re spending a lot of time now updating their archives, spending as much time updating their archives as they do writing new content. Now, if you are in the early days of your blog, you probably want to spend a lot of time creating your archives, creating new content. But as soon as you hit that one, two, three-year mark of a blog, you also need to be paying regular attention to your archives. At that point, you might just want to pull back a little on how much new content you’re creating and start to pay more attention to those archives. If you were publishing five posts a week, for example, I would encourage you maybe post three new posts a week and do two old ones. Go back and update those as well.

Now, Todd gave a lot of new information very quickly there on what he did to fix his site. I just want to go through that list of things that he said again. I’ve written them down. You better find them in the transcript of today’s show in the show notes, which are at problogger.com/podcast/265, but here are the things that he listed off very quickly.

He said he rewrote his code base. There will probably be more important for those of you who maybe have changed platforms along the way but it’s some that you might want to seek the advice of a web developer or designer. He added a new theme, a new redesign. He did a new internal linking kind of setup. He went through old links and fixed some old links and really thought about how to, I guess, link and how his readers could navigate his site. He thought about a new navigation structure. This is so important for bloggers. You have a lot of categories in your archives that you maybe no longer write on any more or maybe you’ve chosen words to name those categories that aren’t really clickable. You might want to rethink your menu and navigation.

He deleted a third of his content; junkie, irrelevant, out-of-date content. This is something I know a lot of bloggers are going to be really nervous about doing because we’ve got in their minds that more is more. But as he said, quality is more. If you’ve got junky, out-of-date content, you need to either update it or you need to delete it and redirect it. That’s an important step there. Don’t just delete your old post. You want to work out how to redirect that with a 301 redirect. There’s plenty of good advice around the web on how to do that. There’s some plugins that can help you with that as well. But a 301 redirect tells Google that that post is no longer there, but you want to point anyone coming to that old page to a new page and that can help with your search engine optimization.

He rewrote, combined, and updated on the content that remained. This is probably the part that took two years. You heard him say that this whole process took two years. He would have gone through all that old content and updated it. He would have combined two post together, deleted one of them, and 301 redirected the one he deleted and overall improved the quality of the content.

This is what I’m saying a lot of bloggers spending a lot of time on there saying, “How can I write the best post ever on this topic?” that may have been written about 10 times before. How can you combine all of that information and create a new article that is the highest quality possible? This is what Google is rewarding. Then just having that one post on your site that is the go-to place, rather than having the same kind of article written and rewritten over and over again. He also did a branded image and social media policy. That’s certainly an important thing that consistency in your images and the calls to action to share is really important as well.

They’re the main things that Todd mentioned that he worked through. He also stopped creating new content at least for a year or so. He said that he has created a little bit of new content but from what I see, he’s probably spent more time on that old content. That’s because he’s been blogging since 1998 I think he said. He’s got a lot of content there and he’s able to do that for many of you.

You might want to be having one post, new post a week or maybe two new post a week to get some new stuff up there but also working on the old stuff. I would suspect, and I don’t know this for sure because he didn’t mention it that he would have been resharing that old content as he updated it. Again, once he did a complete rewrite of old content, I’m sure it would have been shared to his readers and they would have seen new content coming up because it was new to them, but in his mind, it was updated content.

Let me just re-emphasize what he said. “Quality is the new SEO.” it’s such an important thing. “It’s not about more, it’s about better.” These are Todd’s words; I’m quoting him here. He said, “Don’t be a slave to producing new content.” Now, again this really depends upon the stage of blogging that you’re at. If you’re in those first year or two, you do need to produce new content. But once you go and get past that, your site is going to suffer in terms of quality and ranking in Google if you don’t pay attention to quality as well.

I encourage you to spend some time in your archives this week. I do have a previous podcast that was recorded on a similar topic to this. It was episode 238. I told my story there about treating your archives as an asset. Talked about how your archives are depreciating over time and gave you some strategies on how to do some of what Todd talked about as well. If this is something you do want to dig into more, I do encourage you to go back to episode 238—not that long ago—and have a listen to that episode as well, it’ll give you some practical things that you can do. I wish you well in your updating of your content in your content audit.

If you got any questions for Todd or for me on this, I would love it if you would head over to our show notes today. As I mentioned at the top of this show, I think this is probably a topic we need to kind of dig even deeper into. We need to get Todd back on to do more an interview-style podcast. I haven’t asked him that yet, but if you’ve got any questions you would like me to ask Todd, I would love it if you would leave a comment on our show notes. That’s probably the best place to do it. The show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/265. I will collate those questions together and attempt to get Todd to answer them in some way or another, whether that be an interview or me. I’ll just ask him to leave some comments on that show notes as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today and the breakthrough story. We’ve got a few more in this series still to come and then we’ll get back into a more regular style of ProBlogger podcast. I hope you’re enjoying the series so far. I look forward to chatting with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 265: How One Blogger Grew His Traffic Tenfold Without Producing New Content appeared first on ProBlogger.

264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events

The post 264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger is Using Online Events to Build Engagement and Make a Difference

We continue our Blogger Breakthroughs series with a story from Trixi Symonds, whose Coloured Buttons blog teaches kids how to sew. She also created Sew a Softie Day.

Trixi Symonds uses her blog to build engagement and make a difference

Trixi started her blog in 2009 to post kids craft projects. After a few years, she started posting more hand-sewn, well-designed and simple projects that kids could do.

She soon discovered that kids love to sew. They feel empowered when they can make their own bag, cushion or soft toy. So Trixi decided to teach kids all over the world to sew.

The goal behind Sew a Softie Day was to have a day where people all over the world would teach a friend, neighbor, or anyone how to sew a simple softie (a soft toy).

July 16, 2016 became Sew a Softie Day. And Trixi knew she had to promote it. She contacted anyone and everyone for help – bloggers, friends, influencers and magazines. People were happy to help.

Sew a Softie Day was so successful that it turned into Sew a Softie Month in July 2018. Each day, bloggers post a simple-to-sew softie tutorial. And kid ambassadors from around the world have taught a friend how to sew or held a Sew a Softie party.

Anything you can do to get your readers to participate, gather together, and work on something collectively can be very powerful.

A day or event gives your readers focus and purpose. It creates anticipation and excitement. It’s something you could do for any number of topics.

If you need help promoting a day or event, ask for help. You’ll be amazed and overwhelmed with the positive response.

Asking for help is such a valuable but hard lesson for many of us to learn. It might take you out of your comfort zone. But put yourself out there and network. You never know what will happen. You could make a real difference in the lives of your readers.

Links and Resources for PB 264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events:

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey, there! Welcome to episode 264 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the blogger behind problogger.com which is all about helping you start a great blog that’s going to change the world in some way, that’s going to make the lives of your readers better, but also be profitable for you. You can learn more about ProBlogger and all we do particularly our courses and ebooks over at problogger.com.

Today, we’re continuing our series of blogger breakthrough stories with a story of Trixi Symonds, a fellow Aussie who I think has been to some of our events, at least she’s networked with a number of people who have because she comes highly recommended. She has a great little blog called Coloured Buttons. You can find it at colouredbuttons.com. She’s also got another really interesting project which she’s going to tell us about in today’s story called Sew a Softie.

Now, Trixi teaches kids how to sew. That’s what her Coloured Buttons blog is about. It’s got a lot of amazing tutorials that help people to do that, but she started this day, Sew a Softie Day. Now, I had to actually look up what a softie was. A softie is a soft toy and she teaches kids how to make their own softie. She started this day to have kids around the world join in on this project. She’s going to tell us the story about why she started that and how it’s gone for her.

I wanted to feature this today because it’s not directly a way to monetize your blog, although you could possibly monetize this type of thing, but it is something that makes a difference in the lives of your readers. It’s something that I think people will grab ahold of. It’s also the type of thing that could build engagement with your readers as well. While Trixi doesn’t monetize, necessarily, she is using it to make a difference and build her blog a little larger as well. I think it could be applied in many different ways, in many different niches.

I’m going to let Trixi tell the story of her day. You can find the transcription of her story at problogger.com/podcast/264. I’ll come back at the end just to bring out a few thoughts that stand out to me from Trixi’s story. Here’s Trixi.

Trixi: Hi. My name is Trixi Symonds. I live in Sydney, Australia. My blog is Coloured Buttons. You can find me at www.colouredbuttons.com and that’s coloured spelled with a U because I’m an Aussie and it’s how we spell coloured in Australia.

I started my blog in 2009 and I was posting kids craft projects. At the time, I was teaching after school craft classes and I thought this would be a really nice way to share my projects with people all over the world. I was never really interested in monetizing my blog and it still isn’t the focus of my blog.

After a few years, I changed the direction of my blog slightly. I started posting more hand sewn projects that kids could do. I noticed there was a gap in the market for well-designed, simple projects. I could also see how much the kids in my classes loved sewing. I think they just feel empowered when they realize they could sew and make their own bag or cushion or soft toy, so I thought, “This will be just a great direction to go into.” and at the same time I started thinking, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could teach kids all over the world to sew?” But I have absolutely no idea how I can do that.

That’s when my breakthrough came through, and that was Uppercase Magazine had a call out for submissions for the 2016 calendar. They just asked if you wanted to submit some sort of graphic for any day of the year, so I thought, “Okay, this is my chance.” I got one of my daughters design a little logo for me. I decided I would call my day, Sew a Softie Day.

The idea was on that day, people all over the world would teach a friend or a neighbor or anyone really to sew a simple softie. The graphic was submitted and accepted. July 16 in 2016 became Sew a Softie Day. Then I sort of realized, “Okay, I’ve got to promote my Sew a Softie Day, but how am I going to do this?” I asked a few blogger friends who were happy to help promote the day. But I realized I just needed something a little bit more, so I decided I would just contact anyone, any blogger or influencer, or magazine, or anyone who’s really connected with kids or craft or sewing and see what would happen.

I sent out emails to magazines, and like I said, to bloggers and influencers, and was quite overwhelmed by the response. It was all so positive and so amazing. People were just so happy to help. I had interviews and articles posted in magazines like Homespun, Handmade, Casa Creativa, Simply Sewing. I had companies like Aurifil and National Nonwovens who were also happy to promote the event and give me supplies or prices for the event.

July 16, in that year, was Sew a Softie Day. This year, 2018, Sew a Softie Day is actually changed to Sew a Softie Month. The whole of July was Sew a Softie Month. We have bloggers each day of the month posting a simple to sew softie tutorial. Also, had over 30 kid ambassadors all over the world who taught a friend how to Sew a Softie or held a Sew a Softie party, and looking forward to 2019 to see how Sew a Softie develops and changes.

My tip is, if you have something that you want to promote or do, just ask anyone and just email. Just ask. The worst they can say is no or not reply. I sent out a lot of emails. I actually didn’t send out group emails. I sent out individual emails to different people and magazines. I actually tried to look at the person’s blog and see if there was some sort of connection, some reason why they might want to join in to Sew a Softie and promote Sew a Softie. I always was really, really polite and I gave them a way, I said, “Look, I understand if you can’t join in or it’s not good for you to promote, that’s fine.” But as I said, the positive response was so overwhelming, was so lovely.

Now, I know that if I wanted to do something, I’m always happy just to ask absolutely anybody. That’s my advice to you is just ask anybody and just see how you go. Take a big breath and just do it.

Darren: Thanks so much for sharing your story, Trixi. I do appreciate it. I love the fact that you’re using your blog for something that’s beyond monetizing. You’re actually doing something that you’re passionate about and something that’s making a bit of a difference in the world as well. That’s something we could all be doing with our blogs.

Now, a few of the things that stand out in Trixi’s story for me is, I guess the idea here that she’s created something for people to participate in. It’s getting her readers and their families active, working together in something bigger than themselves. This is something that I’ve seen a number of times in many, many cases that have been a tipping point for bloggers to grow their blogs and to find a new purpose for their blogs, I guess, in different ways.

It’s this idea of a day or an event at which the readers do something together. This can be done in many different ways. Of course, we talked about challenges on the ProBlogger podcast before. I’ll link an episode that we did on that topic in the show notes today. But anything you can do to get your readers participating and gathering together, working on something collectively, even if they’re working on individual things at the same time, it can be very powerful thing. We certainly saw this was true early of this year when we had Start A Blog day. I think it was in February, we did that.

In the month before that, we gathered new bloggers or bloggers who wanted to start to get a blog together in a Facebook group, to walk them through a course of starting a blog. Having an actual day, having an actual event was a really powerful thing. It gave a focus and it gave a purpose for it. It created anticipation and excitement amongst our readers. I think this is something that you could really do in any number of topics. Whether it would it be a how-to topic or something else.

Vanessa, my wife, has done daily style challenges with her readers over the years. This has been a week-long challenge where everyday for a week she’s nominated a color or a texture for her readers to go away and where, and then photograph themselves, and post them on Instagram with a hashtag.

These types of events, whether it’s a day, a week, a month, are really powerful ways of engaging with your readers, getting them active, getting them participating, getting them feeling like they are not the only one reading your blog–very powerful thing. It builds community and it can make a difference particularly if you are doing a challenge like Trixi’s way. She’s actually teaching kids a new skill which is a powerful thing.

The second thing I love about what Trixi says here is to ask. Such a powerful lesson, and it’s a hard lesson for many of us to learn. To actually pitch, to actually put out idea in front of another person and ask them to support is something that takes us out of our comfort zone–is something that doesn’t come naturally for me. But over the years, I’ve seen, time and time again, where I’ve asked, I’ve pitched, I’ve put an idea forward for others, and it’s amazing how many people will say, yes, they will support. Particularly if it’s something that you’re asking it’s going to have a benefit for them and your readers as well. So, ask, put yourself out there, network, and you never know what will happen as a result of that.

Lastly, do something with your blog that makes a difference. Really, this is the thing that I talk about a lot is, make a difference in your readers lives, change their life in some way, is satisfying for you but it’s also something that people will grab ahold of. They will support, they’ll share with other people, and they’ll keep coming back to as well.

Thanks again, Trixi for sharing your story. You can find Trixi’s project at colouredbuttons.com and sewasoftie.com. Really, beautifully designed sites, really practical. I love digging around on them today. You can find today’s show notes also at problogger.com/podcast/264 where I’ll also put some links to further listening and reading on running challenges for your blog, if you want to learn a little bit more about those. Thanks for listening, chat with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events appeared first on ProBlogger.

264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events

The post 264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger is Using Online Events to Build Engagement and Make a Difference

We continue our Blogger Breakthroughs series with a story from Trixi Symonds, whose Coloured Buttons blog teaches kids how to sew. She also created Sew a Softie Day.

Trixi Symonds uses her blog to build engagement and make a difference

Trixi started her blog in 2009 to post kids craft projects. After a few years, she started posting more hand-sewn, well-designed and simple projects that kids could do.

She soon discovered that kids love to sew. They feel empowered when they can make their own bag, cushion or soft toy. So Trixi decided to teach kids all over the world to sew.

The goal behind Sew a Softie Day was to have a day where people all over the world would teach a friend, neighbor, or anyone how to sew a simple softie (a soft toy).

July 16, 2016 became Sew a Softie Day. And Trixi knew she had to promote it. She contacted anyone and everyone for help – bloggers, friends, influencers and magazines. People were happy to help.

Sew a Softie Day was so successful that it turned into Sew a Softie Month in July 2018. Each day, bloggers post a simple-to-sew softie tutorial. And kid ambassadors from around the world have taught a friend how to sew or held a Sew a Softie party.

Anything you can do to get your readers to participate, gather together, and work on something collectively can be very powerful.

A day or event gives your readers focus and purpose. It creates anticipation and excitement. It’s something you could do for any number of topics.

If you need help promoting a day or event, ask for help. You’ll be amazed and overwhelmed with the positive response.

Asking for help is such a valuable but hard lesson for many of us to learn. It might take you out of your comfort zone. But put yourself out there and network. You never know what will happen. You could make a real difference in the lives of your readers.

Links and Resources for PB 264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events:

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey, there! Welcome to episode 264 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the blogger behind problogger.com which is all about helping you start a great blog that’s going to change the world in some way, that’s going to make the lives of your readers better, but also be profitable for you. You can learn more about ProBlogger and all we do particularly our courses and ebooks over at problogger.com.

Today, we’re continuing our series of blogger breakthrough stories with a story of Trixi Symonds, a fellow Aussie who I think has been to some of our events, at least she’s networked with a number of people who have because she comes highly recommended. She has a great little blog called Coloured Buttons. You can find it at colouredbuttons.com. She’s also got another really interesting project which she’s going to tell us about in today’s story called Sew a Softie.

Now, Trixi teaches kids how to sew. That’s what her Coloured Buttons blog is about. It’s got a lot of amazing tutorials that help people to do that, but she started this day, Sew a Softie Day. Now, I had to actually look up what a softie was. A softie is a soft toy and she teaches kids how to make their own softie. She started this day to have kids around the world join in on this project. She’s going to tell us the story about why she started that and how it’s gone for her.

I wanted to feature this today because it’s not directly a way to monetize your blog, although you could possibly monetize this type of thing, but it is something that makes a difference in the lives of your readers. It’s something that I think people will grab ahold of. It’s also the type of thing that could build engagement with your readers as well. While Trixi doesn’t monetize, necessarily, she is using it to make a difference and build her blog a little larger as well. I think it could be applied in many different ways, in many different niches.

I’m going to let Trixi tell the story of her day. You can find the transcription of her story at problogger.com/podcast/264. I’ll come back at the end just to bring out a few thoughts that stand out to me from Trixi’s story. Here’s Trixi.

Trixi: Hi. My name is Trixi Symonds. I live in Sydney, Australia. My blog is Coloured Buttons. You can find me at www.colouredbuttons.com and that’s coloured spelled with a U because I’m an Aussie and it’s how we spell coloured in Australia.

I started my blog in 2009 and I was posting kids craft projects. At the time, I was teaching after school craft classes and I thought this would be a really nice way to share my projects with people all over the world. I was never really interested in monetizing my blog and it still isn’t the focus of my blog.

After a few years, I changed the direction of my blog slightly. I started posting more hand sewn projects that kids could do. I noticed there was a gap in the market for well-designed, simple projects. I could also see how much the kids in my classes loved sewing. I think they just feel empowered when they realize they could sew and make their own bag or cushion or soft toy, so I thought, “This will be just a great direction to go into.” and at the same time I started thinking, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could teach kids all over the world to sew?” But I have absolutely no idea how I can do that.

That’s when my breakthrough came through, and that was Uppercase Magazine had a call out for submissions for the 2016 calendar. They just asked if you wanted to submit some sort of graphic for any day of the year, so I thought, “Okay, this is my chance.” I got one of my daughters design a little logo for me. I decided I would call my day, Sew a Softie Day.

The idea was on that day, people all over the world would teach a friend or a neighbor or anyone really to sew a simple softie. The graphic was submitted and accepted. July 16 in 2016 became Sew a Softie Day. Then I sort of realized, “Okay, I’ve got to promote my Sew a Softie Day, but how am I going to do this?” I asked a few blogger friends who were happy to help promote the day. But I realized I just needed something a little bit more, so I decided I would just contact anyone, any blogger or influencer, or magazine, or anyone who’s really connected with kids or craft or sewing and see what would happen.

I sent out emails to magazines, and like I said, to bloggers and influencers, and was quite overwhelmed by the response. It was all so positive and so amazing. People were just so happy to help. I had interviews and articles posted in magazines like Homespun, Handmade, Casa Creativa, Simply Sewing. I had companies like Aurifil and National Nonwovens who were also happy to promote the event and give me supplies or prices for the event.

July 16, in that year, was Sew a Softie Day. This year, 2018, Sew a Softie Day is actually changed to Sew a Softie Month. The whole of July was Sew a Softie Month. We have bloggers each day of the month posting a simple to sew softie tutorial. Also, had over 30 kid ambassadors all over the world who taught a friend how to Sew a Softie or held a Sew a Softie party, and looking forward to 2019 to see how Sew a Softie develops and changes.

My tip is, if you have something that you want to promote or do, just ask anyone and just email. Just ask. The worst they can say is no or not reply. I sent out a lot of emails. I actually didn’t send out group emails. I sent out individual emails to different people and magazines. I actually tried to look at the person’s blog and see if there was some sort of connection, some reason why they might want to join in to Sew a Softie and promote Sew a Softie. I always was really, really polite and I gave them a way, I said, “Look, I understand if you can’t join in or it’s not good for you to promote, that’s fine.” But as I said, the positive response was so overwhelming, was so lovely.

Now, I know that if I wanted to do something, I’m always happy just to ask absolutely anybody. That’s my advice to you is just ask anybody and just see how you go. Take a big breath and just do it.

Darren: Thanks so much for sharing your story, Trixi. I do appreciate it. I love the fact that you’re using your blog for something that’s beyond monetizing. You’re actually doing something that you’re passionate about and something that’s making a bit of a difference in the world as well. That’s something we could all be doing with our blogs.

Now, a few of the things that stand out in Trixi’s story for me is, I guess the idea here that she’s created something for people to participate in. It’s getting her readers and their families active, working together in something bigger than themselves. This is something that I’ve seen a number of times in many, many cases that have been a tipping point for bloggers to grow their blogs and to find a new purpose for their blogs, I guess, in different ways.

It’s this idea of a day or an event at which the readers do something together. This can be done in many different ways. Of course, we talked about challenges on the ProBlogger podcast before. I’ll link an episode that we did on that topic in the show notes today. But anything you can do to get your readers participating and gathering together, working on something collectively, even if they’re working on individual things at the same time, it can be very powerful thing. We certainly saw this was true early of this year when we had Start A Blog day. I think it was in February, we did that.

In the month before that, we gathered new bloggers or bloggers who wanted to start to get a blog together in a Facebook group, to walk them through a course of starting a blog. Having an actual day, having an actual event was a really powerful thing. It gave a focus and it gave a purpose for it. It created anticipation and excitement amongst our readers. I think this is something that you could really do in any number of topics. Whether it would it be a how-to topic or something else.

Vanessa, my wife, has done daily style challenges with her readers over the years. This has been a week-long challenge where everyday for a week she’s nominated a color or a texture for her readers to go away and where, and then photograph themselves, and post them on Instagram with a hashtag.

These types of events, whether it’s a day, a week, a month, are really powerful ways of engaging with your readers, getting them active, getting them participating, getting them feeling like they are not the only one reading your blog–very powerful thing. It builds community and it can make a difference particularly if you are doing a challenge like Trixi’s way. She’s actually teaching kids a new skill which is a powerful thing.

The second thing I love about what Trixi says here is to ask. Such a powerful lesson, and it’s a hard lesson for many of us to learn. To actually pitch, to actually put out idea in front of another person and ask them to support is something that takes us out of our comfort zone–is something that doesn’t come naturally for me. But over the years, I’ve seen, time and time again, where I’ve asked, I’ve pitched, I’ve put an idea forward for others, and it’s amazing how many people will say, yes, they will support. Particularly if it’s something that you’re asking it’s going to have a benefit for them and your readers as well. So, ask, put yourself out there, network, and you never know what will happen as a result of that.

Lastly, do something with your blog that makes a difference. Really, this is the thing that I talk about a lot is, make a difference in your readers lives, change their life in some way, is satisfying for you but it’s also something that people will grab ahold of. They will support, they’ll share with other people, and they’ll keep coming back to as well.

Thanks again, Trixi for sharing your story. You can find Trixi’s project at colouredbuttons.com and sewasoftie.com. Really, beautifully designed sites, really practical. I love digging around on them today. You can find today’s show notes also at problogger.com/podcast/264 where I’ll also put some links to further listening and reading on running challenges for your blog, if you want to learn a little bit more about those. Thanks for listening, chat with you next week.

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 264: How One Blogger Builds Engagement and Makes a Difference with Online Community Events appeared first on ProBlogger.

5 Blogging Lessons You Can Learn from a Small Country Town

The post 5 Blogging Lessons You Can Learn from a Small Country Town appeared first on ProBlogger.

Blogging lessons you can learn from a small country townLooking for the fast lane to blogging success? Want to join the upper echelons of blogging stardom at the top end of town, and be dazzled by the bright lights of the big city?

If you’re exhausted from chasing all the shiny things and trying to keep up with the Kardashians, I’d like you to consider getting out of the blogging rat race for a while. Take a break from trying  to network with all the flashy influencers in your niche, and check out your small town country cousin bloggers instead. You’ll be surprised at the benefits.

Don’t believe me? Here are five blogging lessons you can learn from a small country town.

Everyone says hello to you in the street

It can take a long time to run errands in a small town because you’re constantly bumping into people you know. Whether it’s a short conversation, a hello, the tip of the hat or a raise of the eyebrows (it’s a Kiwi thing), people acknowledge each other in small towns.

So next time you ‘bump’ into another blogger commenting on someone’s blog or social media post, say hello. Don’t just comment back to the host. Start a conversation with the other people at the party. It builds a wonderful feeling of community. And people love being acknowledged.

Everyone knows everyone else’s business

Not only does everyone know everyone else in a small town, they usually know their business too. Now I’m not suggesting you become the town gossip. Instead, think about a local business owner and how important it is for them to know their customers. During the off-season, when there’s a  limited amount of foot traffic, they survive or die by local customer loyalty. So they get to know you and anticipate your needs.

As a blogger, make an effort to get to know your readers. Survey them. Have conversations with them in the comments. If they’re also a blogger, go and see what’s going on in their patch of town. The better you know your audience, the more you can engage them and build a feeling of community.

Support other businesses

Similarly, small-town businesses need local support. And so the businesses all support each other. Some of the strongest business associations and Chambers of Commerce are in small towns. They collaborate to create opportunities and events for their town. In fact, one of my first jobs was to create and manage a festival for my small home town to encourage more visitors in the shoulder season.

What does this look like for you as a blogger? Support other bloggers. Visit their blogs. Read and comment on their posts. Share opportunities with them. And invite them to events or recommend them to brands you know would suit them.

As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. So find a group of like-minded bloggers and grow together. Whether it’s in a mastermind, a Facebook group or a regular meet up, help each other survive and thrive.

Serve only what the town needs

A small population is a tough crowd for a small business. You have to be careful about what you offer, or your business will end up one of those boarded-over shopfronts at the daggy end of town. In the past few days I’ve driven through countless small towns in the rural back blocks of three Australian states. It’s not BMW or Tesla Dealerships taking up real estate. It’s tractors (for the farmers) and motorhomes (for the retired farmers).

Find your niche and serve it well – especially if your niche is a demographic rather than a topic. It’s a balancing act between being a population of one (you as your ideal audience) and trying to please everyone.

A sense of town pride and identity

Australia seems to be obsessed with attaching town identity to ‘Big’ things – The Big Banana, The Big Pineapple, The Big (and quite frankly, scary) Koala. I even drove through a small town that prided itself on being the home of The Dish, a big radio telescope.

My point is that small towns take pride in themselves and establish their identity. And you can do the same with your blog. It may still be one small blog in a sea of other small blogs. But you can take pride in how your blog looks, and use your branding to make it stand out.

My first blog was a black and yellow beacon in a flood of pretty pastel sites. Sure, I would have liked a pretty blog too. But my blog was about being a ‘crash test mummy’, and so black and yellow it was. And did people remember my blog? Yes, they did.

That’s just five blogging lessons you can learn from small country towns. And there are bound to be plenty more. For example, what’s the blogging equivalent of knocking on the new neighbour’s door with a welcome basket?

Image credit: Jinen Shah

The post 5 Blogging Lessons You Can Learn from a Small Country Town appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

263: How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six-Figure Blog

The post 263: How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six-Figure Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger’s Vulnerability Resulted in Growing Her Blog

In this episode of our Blogging Breakthroughs series we feature Mim Jenkinson and her blog Love From Mim.

Mim started blogging for one reason, but ended up blogging for a different reason altogether.

Blogging with vulnerability

On her blog Mim shares tips on how she stays organized as a busy mom and juggles time for work, home, and herself.

But when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she used her blog to share her story. It became a kind of therapeutic outlet for her, and made her feel better.

And by showing her vulnerability she also grew her audience.

Remember: readers are interested in your content because of you and the topic you’re writing about.

Mim now earns a six-figure income through multiple streams from her blog.

She shares a few tips to help take your blog to the next level and monetize it:

  • If you want it to be a job, treat it like one
  • Set goals
  • Create a structure
  • Plan each week
  • Work hard and be professional

Mim stays true to herself and remains ethical when it comes to her blog. She is also brand ambassador and generous with other bloggers by sharing and working together.

She finds blogging joyful, and has found her identity through it. She enjoys sharing things to help others.

“I love my job,” she says. “There aren’t enough hours in the day for all the ideas I have.”

Links and Resources for How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six Figure Blog:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

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

Hello there and welcome to Episode 263 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name’s Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, events, job board, series of e-books and courses all designed to help you have a profitable blog.

Now, today, we’re continuing our series on blogger breakthroughs, where we’ve got listeners of the podcast pitching their stories to us to share with you. We’ve chosen a few of them from many that were submitted in to share with you.

We tried to choose a variety of bloggers from different parts of the world with different accents, with different niches and different experiences of blogging. Today, we’ve got Mim Jenkinson who has a blog called Love from Mim at lovefrommim.com. Now, Mim started out blogging for one reason and ended up blogging for another. I’ll let her share that transition of her blog. She’s got a story that I’m sure many of you will relate to but also find quite inspiring as well. It’s got some real little nuggets in there, golden nuggets of advice that I want to pull out at the end so stay tuned until the end of her story. Again, you could check out her blog at lovefrommim.com and you can check out today’s show notes where I will have links to her blog and also a full transcription of her story at problogger.com/podcast/263. Now, here’s Mim.

Creating great content, finding an audience, building engagement, monetizing your blog. This is ProBlogger.

Mim: I’m Mim Jenkinson and my blog is Love from Mim. You can find ir at lovefrommim.com. I started blogging in 2013 in June and my blog is about how I stay organized as a busy mom of two small kids and how I work from home. I’d like to share my tips on how I try to stay organized and how I juggle my family time, work time and time for myself as well. Before my breakthrough, my blog was just a hobby blog so I would share everything about my life as a mom, a little bit about the kids and the things that we use to love the products and services, the things we got up to, and I made a small income occasionally from selling a few sponsored posts, but very small.

In November 2015, I was actually diagnosed with breast cancer and I just started quite a well-paid job in consulting so I had to leave that because the particular chemo and radiation regime that I started was quite a tough one and there was just no possible way I could continue to work. What I did was use my blog as an outlet so I shared the journey of my breast cancer diagnosis from the day after I was diagnosed and then I started to treat it like therapy, really, sharing everything I was going through.

It became a diary and it made me feel better to share my story and to connect with other women and, really, to get so much support from my audience, which grew quite quickly around that time. I got up every day, sat at my desk and I worked from 8:00 until 4:00 on my blog. Mainly, it was sharing my story but also writing articles that I’ve done so before about my life as a mom. I wrote about my cancer, wrote about myself and my family. I had already worked with a few brands on sponsored content before, as I said, but then I started to proactively pitch to them.

I had an idea for an article and thought of a brand that would be aligned with it. I contacted them to see if they’ll be interested in sponsoring it and, because of the personal nature of my posts, I think the amount I shared and the feedback I got from other brands appealed to new brands and most of them said yes. As my audience grew, I was able to charge more for sponsored campaigns as well and, soon, it became more lucrative as well as having this outlet as therapy also became a much bigger earner.

You can imagine the medical bills that we had a time, and it really helped. My income increased month from month and then, as my treatment ended, I didn’t want to go back to working for somebody else. I was just really enjoying the freedom and flexibility and just the opportunity that blogging and being a professional blogger had given to me. I spoke with my husband and I set myself a challenge that if I could earn as much as I was earning before when I was working for somebody else in three to six months that I would continue to blog full-time as my full-time job.

Then, of course, pitching became a much bigger part of my time and I really, really love pitching. I’ve come from a background in sales and marketing and events and I just find pitching really easy and fun. Mainly, with blogging, I pitch over email but I really do love to speak to people in person and present, also to speak to brands on the phone. Pitching was successful for me and I’m now earning six figures and the income’s made up of sponsored work, affiliate marketing, consulting as a content creator and also as just a marketing consultant, generally.

I used to work with a few brands. I now only work with one because the income that I’m making on my own blog is sufficient enough for me to make the majority of my working time in the week. Now, life as a professional blogger is really busy but it’s so joyful. I’ve really found my identity and I feel like I know now what I’m supposed to be doing. Although I really enjoyed my career and the jobs that I’ve had before, nothing compares to this. I find such a lot of joy in writing and my blog is still a real outlet for me so I still share really personal things about my life, not so much about the kids now.

Now, it’s more about me so I’ll share the journey with breast cancer, still, nearly three years on, the mental health struggles that I have, how I worked from home as well and how I do that, how I set up my day, how I plan my week, how I make an income. I like to really share things to help other people who might be interested in doing a similar thing themselves. I know how hard it is when you’re working in a full-time or even a part time job but you’re very reliant on that income so I know how hard it is when you really want to start your own business but you’re not sure how to start or you’re nervous about if it’s going to be successful or not and that dip in income, which there generally is a dip for most people while they’re ramping up things and starting their own business.

I left my job and there’s not enough hours in a day for all of the ideas I have. I’m having to work myself on setting some more identifiable goals and prioritizing because, every day–and I’m sure most bloggers will relate to this–every day and every night, so many ideas come into my head and it feels like an amazing idea that’s going to be super successful or rewarding and you want to do everything, but we just don’t have the time to do everything, unfortunately.

My next goal is to be in a position where I will let go of some of my control and actually hire a VA to help me because I know that will free up my time to be much more creative and to bring to fruition some of these other ideas that I’m having. I have a couple of tips to anyone else who’s looking to take their blog to the next level and monetize it. Perhaps you’re monetizing a little bit now or you never have done before, but what I would say is if you want your blog to be your job, then treat it like one even before you’ve earned anything at all.

Turn up to work, set goals, create a structure, plan your week and work hard and be professional. I always did that from the beginning, from the day that I wanted to start earning. Even before I had earned anything, I acted as if it was my business. My next tip would be to always stay very true to yourself and to stay ethical. I work on so many sponsored campaigns and I feel so accountable when a brand invests their time and money into collaborating with me. Don’t just take your brand’s money and run; be very clear on the deliverables they’re looking for in the campaign and be sure that you can give them a return on their investment.

Be as sure as you can. It might not always happen and you can learn from them, and there have been a couple of occasions where the outcome of a sponsored campaign I’ve worked on hasn’t delivered the results that I thought it would. You learn from that. You learn to know what your audience relates to, what they want, what they’re really going to buy into and what they won’t. You obviously do more or deliver more of what they want and less of what they don’t, obviously.

I work with a few brands now but numerous times a year so I’m lucky enough to be a brand ambassador for some really amazing Australian brands. The brands I work with, they know me and they trust me as much as I do them as well. I’m trying to continue to earn from my blog but I really work with brands who I absolutely love, trust and can wholeheartedly recommend to the people who follow me into my audience and leadership. I think that that comes through because the brands I work with, I’m so happy to rave about because they have changed my life in many ways with the products and services they offer.

I think it’s very easy to spot fake notions when you’re talking about brands, products and services. It’s very easy for your readers to see whether you truly do rate and recommend them or not so be ethical. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself and I’ve always been really entrepreneurial. I’m so delighted that I found my dream job. For years and years, I knew that I would be my own boss one day. I just didn’t know how that was going to look or turn out but life as a professional blogger can be a bit lonely and isolating. I’m sure some of you will relate to that as well.

To make the most of the amazing blogging community that’s out there–and it took some time for me to actually realize there was such a huge community out there, especially for moms who blog like me. Go to events, network, find blogging buddies, find mentors, go to the ProBlogger events. They’re amazing, just completely life-changing and transformational for me and my blog. Share ideas, share wins and challenges and be really generous as well with your time and with the things that you’ve learned.

I’ve tried to be really generous with my advice and I recommend that you do so as well. When you can, share your time. Help other bloggers. They’re not your competition; they’re your peers and they’re your potential clients and that’s the way that I see the blogging community. Yes, they might be doing things that you want to do but you can do similar things. Put your own spin on it because your readers are interested in your content because of you. It took me a little while to work that out truly and I still struggle now with imposter syndrome and with comparison.

I still struggle with those two things but I’m really trying to make a big effort not to because I have readers who turn up to see me and to read about me and my opinion on things. Have some confidence. Be yourself. Thank you so much to Darren and ProBlogger for letting me on the show today. I’ve been a huge fan of ProBlogger for so many years and I’m just so delighted to be a part of it as well. Thank you very much to the team for your generosity and continuing to share all the wonderful tips and advice that you do because, as I’ve said before, it’s completely changed my blog, especially where monetization is concerned so thank you.

Darren: You’re listening to ProBlogger.

Thanks so much to Mim for sharing her story today. I really did appreciate it, and there were a few things that really jumped out at me in her story. Firstly, the power of vulnerability has been of a bit of theme of this podcast of late, and we’ve heard a number of bloggers in this series talk about different aspects of this. I talked about my own vulnerability in a post recently a few episodes ago as well, and it’s something that continues to be something that I thought a lot about of late.

It’s not something that comes easy sometimes, getting out there and sharing your story, sharing about issues of health or mental health, all those types of things, but it is a very powerful thing. It connects with your readers. It’s something that gets noticed. It’s something that rallies the support of others and gets engagement as well. Now, you want to do it authentically, of course, but it’s certainly something to consider as you create content.

The second thing on a completely different topic that jumped out–it’s almost in passing. Mim said that she had multiple income streams. This is something I really do want to emphasize for bloggers who are looking to make that leap from part-time income into full-time income. Almost every blogger that I’ve talked to who’s made that list has done so by having not just one income stream but multiple income streams. Mim talked about having sponsored content that she does sponsored posts but also affiliate marketing, doing some commission work, consulting, marketing consulting and also content consulting.

There’s three or four different income streams there as well. If you are right at that point of wanting to make that leap, one way that you can grow your income is to add a new income stream rather than just get more traffic or charge more for your content. Then, the last thing–and, again, this is just something that Mim mentioned in passing but I really want to emphasize. Right at the end of her story, she talked about imposter syndrome and feeling like everyone’s already blogged about everything there is to say on your topic and other people blog perhaps better than you.

This is something that a lot of bloggers do struggle with, but I really love the advice that she gave there. Your readers are interested in your content because of you, not just the topic, and this is something that’s really important to grasp. People don’t want just another blog about whatever their topic is; they want you. They want to know what you think about your topic. They want to hear your story as it relates to that particular topic. If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, please be encouraged.

The people who are following you want more of you and so they wouldn’t really even mind what you talk about half the time as long as you are being authentic, as long as you’re being true and bringing your personality to the topic and your experience to the topic as well. I hope Mim’s story has been encouraging to you. You can check out more from Mim at lovefrommim.com, and I’ll link to that in today’s show notes which you can find at problogger.com/podcast/263.

Before I go this week, I’ll let you know about two other episodes that do relate to a couple of things that I just spoke about: firstly, 121 where I give you seven strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome for those of you who are grappling with that one; and Episode 236 which has five areas to focus on if you do want to grow your blogging income. One of those things is adding new income streams into your blog as well, as well as four other things that you might want to consider if you are at that phase of making that leap into full-time income.

Again, that was Episode 121 for imposter syndrome and 236 for growing your blog’s income. Again, I’ll link to them in today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/263.

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 @problogger, find us at facebook.com/problogger, or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

This episode of the ProBlogger podcast was edited by the team at Podcast Motor who offer a great range of services, including helping you to set up and launch your podcast as well as ongoing editing and production of the podcast that you produced. You can check them out at podcastmotor.com.

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The post 263: How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six-Figure Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

263: How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six-Figure Blog

The post 263: How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six-Figure Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger’s Vulnerability Resulted in Growing Her Blog

In this episode of our Blogging Breakthroughs series we feature Mim Jenkinson and her blog Love From Mim.

Mim started blogging for one reason, but ended up blogging for a different reason altogether.

Blogging with vulnerability

On her blog Mim shares tips on how she stays organized as a busy mom and juggles time for work, home, and herself.

But when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she used her blog to share her story. It became a kind of therapeutic outlet for her, and made her feel better.

And by showing her vulnerability she also grew her audience.

Remember: readers are interested in your content because of you and the topic you’re writing about.

Mim now earns a six-figure income through multiple streams from her blog.

She shares a few tips to help take your blog to the next level and monetize it:

  • If you want it to be a job, treat it like one
  • Set goals
  • Create a structure
  • Plan each week
  • Work hard and be professional

Mim stays true to herself and remains ethical when it comes to her blog. She is also brand ambassador and generous with other bloggers by sharing and working together.

She finds blogging joyful, and has found her identity through it. She enjoys sharing things to help others.

“I love my job,” she says. “There aren’t enough hours in the day for all the ideas I have.”

Links and Resources for How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six Figure Blog:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

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

Hello there and welcome to Episode 263 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name’s Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, events, job board, series of e-books and courses all designed to help you have a profitable blog.

Now, today, we’re continuing our series on blogger breakthroughs, where we’ve got listeners of the podcast pitching their stories to us to share with you. We’ve chosen a few of them from many that were submitted in to share with you.

We tried to choose a variety of bloggers from different parts of the world with different accents, with different niches and different experiences of blogging. Today, we’ve got Mim Jenkinson who has a blog called Love from Mim at lovefrommim.com. Now, Mim started out blogging for one reason and ended up blogging for another. I’ll let her share that transition of her blog. She’s got a story that I’m sure many of you will relate to but also find quite inspiring as well. It’s got some real little nuggets in there, golden nuggets of advice that I want to pull out at the end so stay tuned until the end of her story. Again, you could check out her blog at lovefrommim.com and you can check out today’s show notes where I will have links to her blog and also a full transcription of her story at problogger.com/podcast/263. Now, here’s Mim.

Creating great content, finding an audience, building engagement, monetizing your blog. This is ProBlogger.

Mim: I’m Mim Jenkinson and my blog is Love from Mim. You can find ir at lovefrommim.com. I started blogging in 2013 in June and my blog is about how I stay organized as a busy mom of two small kids and how I work from home. I’d like to share my tips on how I try to stay organized and how I juggle my family time, work time and time for myself as well. Before my breakthrough, my blog was just a hobby blog so I would share everything about my life as a mom, a little bit about the kids and the things that we use to love the products and services, the things we got up to, and I made a small income occasionally from selling a few sponsored posts, but very small.

In November 2015, I was actually diagnosed with breast cancer and I just started quite a well-paid job in consulting so I had to leave that because the particular chemo and radiation regime that I started was quite a tough one and there was just no possible way I could continue to work. What I did was use my blog as an outlet so I shared the journey of my breast cancer diagnosis from the day after I was diagnosed and then I started to treat it like therapy, really, sharing everything I was going through.

It became a diary and it made me feel better to share my story and to connect with other women and, really, to get so much support from my audience, which grew quite quickly around that time. I got up every day, sat at my desk and I worked from 8:00 until 4:00 on my blog. Mainly, it was sharing my story but also writing articles that I’ve done so before about my life as a mom. I wrote about my cancer, wrote about myself and my family. I had already worked with a few brands on sponsored content before, as I said, but then I started to proactively pitch to them.

I had an idea for an article and thought of a brand that would be aligned with it. I contacted them to see if they’ll be interested in sponsoring it and, because of the personal nature of my posts, I think the amount I shared and the feedback I got from other brands appealed to new brands and most of them said yes. As my audience grew, I was able to charge more for sponsored campaigns as well and, soon, it became more lucrative as well as having this outlet as therapy also became a much bigger earner.

You can imagine the medical bills that we had a time, and it really helped. My income increased month from month and then, as my treatment ended, I didn’t want to go back to working for somebody else. I was just really enjoying the freedom and flexibility and just the opportunity that blogging and being a professional blogger had given to me. I spoke with my husband and I set myself a challenge that if I could earn as much as I was earning before when I was working for somebody else in three to six months that I would continue to blog full-time as my full-time job.

Then, of course, pitching became a much bigger part of my time and I really, really love pitching. I’ve come from a background in sales and marketing and events and I just find pitching really easy and fun. Mainly, with blogging, I pitch over email but I really do love to speak to people in person and present, also to speak to brands on the phone. Pitching was successful for me and I’m now earning six figures and the income’s made up of sponsored work, affiliate marketing, consulting as a content creator and also as just a marketing consultant, generally.

I used to work with a few brands. I now only work with one because the income that I’m making on my own blog is sufficient enough for me to make the majority of my working time in the week. Now, life as a professional blogger is really busy but it’s so joyful. I’ve really found my identity and I feel like I know now what I’m supposed to be doing. Although I really enjoyed my career and the jobs that I’ve had before, nothing compares to this. I find such a lot of joy in writing and my blog is still a real outlet for me so I still share really personal things about my life, not so much about the kids now.

Now, it’s more about me so I’ll share the journey with breast cancer, still, nearly three years on, the mental health struggles that I have, how I worked from home as well and how I do that, how I set up my day, how I plan my week, how I make an income. I like to really share things to help other people who might be interested in doing a similar thing themselves. I know how hard it is when you’re working in a full-time or even a part time job but you’re very reliant on that income so I know how hard it is when you really want to start your own business but you’re not sure how to start or you’re nervous about if it’s going to be successful or not and that dip in income, which there generally is a dip for most people while they’re ramping up things and starting their own business.

I left my job and there’s not enough hours in a day for all of the ideas I have. I’m having to work myself on setting some more identifiable goals and prioritizing because, every day–and I’m sure most bloggers will relate to this–every day and every night, so many ideas come into my head and it feels like an amazing idea that’s going to be super successful or rewarding and you want to do everything, but we just don’t have the time to do everything, unfortunately.

My next goal is to be in a position where I will let go of some of my control and actually hire a VA to help me because I know that will free up my time to be much more creative and to bring to fruition some of these other ideas that I’m having. I have a couple of tips to anyone else who’s looking to take their blog to the next level and monetize it. Perhaps you’re monetizing a little bit now or you never have done before, but what I would say is if you want your blog to be your job, then treat it like one even before you’ve earned anything at all.

Turn up to work, set goals, create a structure, plan your week and work hard and be professional. I always did that from the beginning, from the day that I wanted to start earning. Even before I had earned anything, I acted as if it was my business. My next tip would be to always stay very true to yourself and to stay ethical. I work on so many sponsored campaigns and I feel so accountable when a brand invests their time and money into collaborating with me. Don’t just take your brand’s money and run; be very clear on the deliverables they’re looking for in the campaign and be sure that you can give them a return on their investment.

Be as sure as you can. It might not always happen and you can learn from them, and there have been a couple of occasions where the outcome of a sponsored campaign I’ve worked on hasn’t delivered the results that I thought it would. You learn from that. You learn to know what your audience relates to, what they want, what they’re really going to buy into and what they won’t. You obviously do more or deliver more of what they want and less of what they don’t, obviously.

I work with a few brands now but numerous times a year so I’m lucky enough to be a brand ambassador for some really amazing Australian brands. The brands I work with, they know me and they trust me as much as I do them as well. I’m trying to continue to earn from my blog but I really work with brands who I absolutely love, trust and can wholeheartedly recommend to the people who follow me into my audience and leadership. I think that that comes through because the brands I work with, I’m so happy to rave about because they have changed my life in many ways with the products and services they offer.

I think it’s very easy to spot fake notions when you’re talking about brands, products and services. It’s very easy for your readers to see whether you truly do rate and recommend them or not so be ethical. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself and I’ve always been really entrepreneurial. I’m so delighted that I found my dream job. For years and years, I knew that I would be my own boss one day. I just didn’t know how that was going to look or turn out but life as a professional blogger can be a bit lonely and isolating. I’m sure some of you will relate to that as well.

To make the most of the amazing blogging community that’s out there–and it took some time for me to actually realize there was such a huge community out there, especially for moms who blog like me. Go to events, network, find blogging buddies, find mentors, go to the ProBlogger events. They’re amazing, just completely life-changing and transformational for me and my blog. Share ideas, share wins and challenges and be really generous as well with your time and with the things that you’ve learned.

I’ve tried to be really generous with my advice and I recommend that you do so as well. When you can, share your time. Help other bloggers. They’re not your competition; they’re your peers and they’re your potential clients and that’s the way that I see the blogging community. Yes, they might be doing things that you want to do but you can do similar things. Put your own spin on it because your readers are interested in your content because of you. It took me a little while to work that out truly and I still struggle now with imposter syndrome and with comparison.

I still struggle with those two things but I’m really trying to make a big effort not to because I have readers who turn up to see me and to read about me and my opinion on things. Have some confidence. Be yourself. Thank you so much to Darren and ProBlogger for letting me on the show today. I’ve been a huge fan of ProBlogger for so many years and I’m just so delighted to be a part of it as well. Thank you very much to the team for your generosity and continuing to share all the wonderful tips and advice that you do because, as I’ve said before, it’s completely changed my blog, especially where monetization is concerned so thank you.

Darren: You’re listening to ProBlogger.

Thanks so much to Mim for sharing her story today. I really did appreciate it, and there were a few things that really jumped out at me in her story. Firstly, the power of vulnerability has been of a bit of theme of this podcast of late, and we’ve heard a number of bloggers in this series talk about different aspects of this. I talked about my own vulnerability in a post recently a few episodes ago as well, and it’s something that continues to be something that I thought a lot about of late.

It’s not something that comes easy sometimes, getting out there and sharing your story, sharing about issues of health or mental health, all those types of things, but it is a very powerful thing. It connects with your readers. It’s something that gets noticed. It’s something that rallies the support of others and gets engagement as well. Now, you want to do it authentically, of course, but it’s certainly something to consider as you create content.

The second thing on a completely different topic that jumped out–it’s almost in passing. Mim said that she had multiple income streams. This is something I really do want to emphasize for bloggers who are looking to make that leap from part-time income into full-time income. Almost every blogger that I’ve talked to who’s made that list has done so by having not just one income stream but multiple income streams. Mim talked about having sponsored content that she does sponsored posts but also affiliate marketing, doing some commission work, consulting, marketing consulting and also content consulting.

There’s three or four different income streams there as well. If you are right at that point of wanting to make that leap, one way that you can grow your income is to add a new income stream rather than just get more traffic or charge more for your content. Then, the last thing–and, again, this is just something that Mim mentioned in passing but I really want to emphasize. Right at the end of her story, she talked about imposter syndrome and feeling like everyone’s already blogged about everything there is to say on your topic and other people blog perhaps better than you.

This is something that a lot of bloggers do struggle with, but I really love the advice that she gave there. Your readers are interested in your content because of you, not just the topic, and this is something that’s really important to grasp. People don’t want just another blog about whatever their topic is; they want you. They want to know what you think about your topic. They want to hear your story as it relates to that particular topic. If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, please be encouraged.

The people who are following you want more of you and so they wouldn’t really even mind what you talk about half the time as long as you are being authentic, as long as you’re being true and bringing your personality to the topic and your experience to the topic as well. I hope Mim’s story has been encouraging to you. You can check out more from Mim at lovefrommim.com, and I’ll link to that in today’s show notes which you can find at problogger.com/podcast/263.

Before I go this week, I’ll let you know about two other episodes that do relate to a couple of things that I just spoke about: firstly, 121 where I give you seven strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome for those of you who are grappling with that one; and Episode 236 which has five areas to focus on if you do want to grow your blogging income. One of those things is adding new income streams into your blog as well, as well as four other things that you might want to consider if you are at that phase of making that leap into full-time income.

Again, that was Episode 121 for imposter syndrome and 236 for growing your blog’s income. Again, I’ll link to them in today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/263.

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 @problogger, find us at facebook.com/problogger, or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

This episode of the ProBlogger podcast was edited by the team at Podcast Motor who offer a great range of services, including helping you to set up and launch your podcast as well as ongoing editing and production of the podcast that you produced. You can check them out at podcastmotor.com.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 263: How Mim Blogged Vulnerably to Grow a Six-Figure Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

262: How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog

The post 262: How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger Created a Directory that Attracts Readers

We continue our Blogging Breakthroughs series with Carolyn Edlund, whose Artsy Shark blog focuses on the business of art.

Carolyn shares the story of how she created a directory to attract readers to her blog instead of having to chase after them. It revolutionized her blog, and helped her build a successful business around it.

Carolyn Edlund created a directory to attract readers to her blog.

Carolyn understands the importance of building strong business relationships and creating win-win situations through collaboration.

Her directory identifies places artists can sell their art online. It also provides solid business information and helps artists gain exposure.

To attract readers for your blog, ask yourself:

  • What do your readers want?
  • What problem can you solve for your readers?
  • What issue can you help your readers overcome?

Based on tips from Carolyn, what kind of magnet do you plan on creating to draw readers to your blog?

Links and Resources for PB 262 – How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog:

Courses

Join our Facebook group

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

Darren: Hi there, friends! Welcome to episode 262 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name’s Darren Rowse, and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog podcast, events, series of ebooks, and courses, all to help you start an amazing blog that’s going to change the world in some way, make people’s lives better, but also hopefully be profitable for you. You can learn more about ProBlogger and all that we do at problogger.com.

Now this week, I’m actually in Orlando. As this episode goes live, I will be at our Success Incubator Event, and I know some of you will be at that event, I’m looking forward to seeing some of you. And while I’m away, we’re continuing our blogger breakthrough series of content, where we’re featuring stories from listeners of this podcast, and we’re talking about their breakthrough moments.

Now, today’s listener is Carolyn Edlund, who has a great blog called Artsy Shark. You can find it at arstyshark.com. Her blog is about the business of art, and she’s going to tell us a story today that I think will be interesting to many of you. It’s a way of drawing readers into your blog that’s going to stop you from having to chase your readers, but hopefully attract them to your blog, and this has revolutionized her blog and has helped her to build a really successful business around the blog that she has.

You can find show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/262, where you’ll find links to Carolyn’s blog, and also the directory that she’s about to talk about as well, and a book that she mentions, too. At the end of her story, I’ll come back and pull out a few of the golden nuggets that I heard her share, okay? Now, over to Carolyn.

Carolyn: My name is Carolyn Edlund, and I’m the founder of Artsy Shark, which is the blog about the business of art. Before I ever became a blogger, I was a self-employed artist for more than twenty years, with a successful production studio, and subsequently, I was a sales representative for an art publishing company. I had a lot of experience marketing and selling art, and I also led a business networking group where I learned a lot about the importance of building strong business relationships and creating win-win situations where both parties can benefit by collaborating with each other.

I got into blogging sheerly by accident back in 2009, after I took a free course held at a local community college. At that time, I had no idea what I was doing, and I wasn’t quite sure what would happen. I got started by writing some business articles for my blog, based on my experience on marketing and selling. And then, I stumbled on a book called Inbound Marketing, that was written by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. That book explained how online businesses could attract readers, and attract customers by offering really useful content that would act as a magnet for website traffic.

I also found ProBlogger at that time, where I could see Darren Rowse uses a lot of these strategies and that they really work. So I decided straight away, I needed a way to offer real value to my potential readers, and I also started publishing individual artist features. These are portfolio articles that allowed visual artists to tell their story in their own words and share their artwork with the world.

To this day, I publish artist features regularly on my blog. It’s worked really well because the truth is that, although artists do want to learn how to market and sell their work, what they would really like is to have someone else do it for them. So my business model was built on providing solid business information, but also taking action to help artists gain exposure through my own site. As a blogger, I’m a member of the press, and people love press. I run a call for artists several times every year, attracting submissions from artists all over the world who’d like to be featured on my site, and this has allowed me to publish a blog that presents an amazing variety of art, as well as art business information, and of course, they go hand in hand.

Now, the breakthrough that really exploded my blog traffic happened in 2013. I realized that artists were looking for information on how to sell their art online, but they weren’t sure how or where to do this. And that allowed me to create another magnet on my website to draw traffic. I spent several months researching and compiling a directory of my website of hundreds of places where artists can sell their work online with full descriptions and lengths and so forth, which is a super useful directory, and it’s completely free to use. That directory is a magnet that draws tons of traffic through search, bringing artists who want to learn to market and sell right to my website, which helps them market and sell.

I’ve been able to build a really thriving business using this model by offering e-courses on the business of art, personalized business consulting for artists, and speaking at in-person professional development training events, in collaboration with the Clark Hulings’ Fund for Visual Artists, which is a business partnership that I developed through my network. One of the things that I love best about this method, is that it attracts readers rather than chasing them. From my experience working as a salesperson, I know how challenging it can be to prospect for customers, seeking their attention, trying to get their interest, continuously following up. And by turning that around, and creating magnets for customers, you can pull them in without all of that chase. I’ve been really inspired by seeing how ProBlogger uses this model successfully, and I’m really honored that I’ve been invited to share my story with you here.

Darren: Thanks so much, Carolyn, for sharing your story. You can check out Carolyn’s blog at artsyshark.com, and I have, in today’s show notes, links to the directory that she talks about, and also the inbound marketing book, which I have heard from many of you as ProBlogger listeners have enjoyed that book as well. Couple of things that I love about this story, firstly, that Carolyn is practicing something that I’ve preached many times over about giving your readers exposure on your site, and making your readers famous, actually helping your readers to get profile.

This is something that we’ve done on ProBlogger many times. In fact, this whole series really is about showcasing the listeners of this podcast. I love doing this because it helps your listener, your reader to achieve their goals. And many of your readers will be wanting to showcase what they do in some way, but also enables you, particularly if you do it smartly, to achieve your goals, as well. My goal at ProBlogger is to teach people how to blog better, and so my hope is that by sharing these stories, you’re getting ideas, as well as us serving the person who is actually creating the content as well.

And so, featuring your readers in these creative ways can be really useful. On digital photography school, we allow our readers to post their pictures in comments, and we actually use their comments and pictures from time to time in content, as well. So all of these things can be really great ways of helping your readers to get their profile, but creating really useful content as well.

I also loved the idea of creating magnets on your site, things that will draw and attract readers to your site, rather than you having to go out there and chase readers down. It’s a great concept, and I guess some questions around that, you know, what are your readers wanting? What are they trying to achieve? What problems do they have? How can you help them in some way, by overcoming a need that they have, you know. Creating a directory that is going to solve those problems is one way of doing that. And I’ve seen a number of bloggers create directories for their readers that have done really well.

Now, I don’t know if Carolyn actually charges people to be in her directory, but I have seen bloggers do that, as well. Like, put this directory up, their readers cannot access at all, but I might sell, you know, featured listings, or just charge people to being their directory as well. That might be a creative way of monetizing your blog as well, but even if it’s free, for those to be in it, and those to be reading it, it’s creating a way of drawing people into your site.

In some ways, on ProBlogger, having a job board has been a similar kind of magnet. We know that when people are searching for writing jobs or blogger jobs, that we come up in the search results as a result of having a job board. And some of those people come back across into the rest of ProBlogger. For some of our readers, that’s their first ever experience of ProBlogger, and they get on our list, and they become buyers of our courses, and attending our events, and those types of things as well. How to start a blog course is a magnet, it’s something that we know people are searching the internet “How do I start a blog?” and sometimes we’re on the end of their search results as well. What are people searching for that you can help them with, that is going to attract them into your blog, that is going to solve a problem for them but also get their attention, and hopefully, get them into a process of a relationship with you as well.

Great tips there from Carolyn. Again, check out her blog at artsyshark,com, you can check out some of the artist features that she does, and also you’ll find a link on our show notes today directly into her online directory. So you can check that out and see what it’s like. It’s actually not that hard to create, it’s essentially just a page on her site where she’s created a list of places that people can sell their art. Not that hard, it’s not something that you would need to put a massive amount of investment into, apart from the time to get those resources. Hopefully that provides you with some inspiration today, I’m expecting lots of you to have directories by the end of next week, of those types of things, and if you do, leave us a comment in our Facebook group or in the comments of these show notes as well, today, and I’d love to check out what you do as a result of hearing this story.

Thanks for listening, and check out the show notes at problogger.com/podcast/262 and I’ll chat with you next week when I’ll be, I think, almost back from Orlando. I’ll be back on the day after this podcast goes live, but we’ll have another story for you next week from another one of our listeners that I’m really looking forward to sharing with you.

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 262: How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

262: How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog

The post 262: How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger Created a Directory that Attracts Readers

We continue our Blogging Breakthroughs series with Carolyn Edlund, whose Artsy Shark blog focuses on the business of art.

Carolyn shares the story of how she created a directory to attract readers to her blog instead of having to chase after them. It revolutionized her blog, and helped her build a successful business around it.

Carolyn Edlund created a directory to attract readers to her blog.

Carolyn understands the importance of building strong business relationships and creating win-win situations through collaboration.

Her directory identifies places artists can sell their art online. It also provides solid business information and helps artists gain exposure.

To attract readers for your blog, ask yourself:

  • What do your readers want?
  • What problem can you solve for your readers?
  • What issue can you help your readers overcome?

Based on tips from Carolyn, what kind of magnet do you plan on creating to draw readers to your blog?

Links and Resources for PB 262 – How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog:

Courses

Join our Facebook group

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

Darren: Hi there, friends! Welcome to episode 262 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name’s Darren Rowse, and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog podcast, events, series of ebooks, and courses, all to help you start an amazing blog that’s going to change the world in some way, make people’s lives better, but also hopefully be profitable for you. You can learn more about ProBlogger and all that we do at problogger.com.

Now this week, I’m actually in Orlando. As this episode goes live, I will be at our Success Incubator Event, and I know some of you will be at that event, I’m looking forward to seeing some of you. And while I’m away, we’re continuing our blogger breakthrough series of content, where we’re featuring stories from listeners of this podcast, and we’re talking about their breakthrough moments.

Now, today’s listener is Carolyn Edlund, who has a great blog called Artsy Shark. You can find it at arstyshark.com. Her blog is about the business of art, and she’s going to tell us a story today that I think will be interesting to many of you. It’s a way of drawing readers into your blog that’s going to stop you from having to chase your readers, but hopefully attract them to your blog, and this has revolutionized her blog and has helped her to build a really successful business around the blog that she has.

You can find show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/262, where you’ll find links to Carolyn’s blog, and also the directory that she’s about to talk about as well, and a book that she mentions, too. At the end of her story, I’ll come back and pull out a few of the golden nuggets that I heard her share, okay? Now, over to Carolyn.

Carolyn: My name is Carolyn Edlund, and I’m the founder of Artsy Shark, which is the blog about the business of art. Before I ever became a blogger, I was a self-employed artist for more than twenty years, with a successful production studio, and subsequently, I was a sales representative for an art publishing company. I had a lot of experience marketing and selling art, and I also led a business networking group where I learned a lot about the importance of building strong business relationships and creating win-win situations where both parties can benefit by collaborating with each other.

I got into blogging sheerly by accident back in 2009, after I took a free course held at a local community college. At that time, I had no idea what I was doing, and I wasn’t quite sure what would happen. I got started by writing some business articles for my blog, based on my experience on marketing and selling. And then, I stumbled on a book called Inbound Marketing, that was written by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. That book explained how online businesses could attract readers, and attract customers by offering really useful content that would act as a magnet for website traffic.

I also found ProBlogger at that time, where I could see Darren Rowse uses a lot of these strategies and that they really work. So I decided straight away, I needed a way to offer real value to my potential readers, and I also started publishing individual artist features. These are portfolio articles that allowed visual artists to tell their story in their own words and share their artwork with the world.

To this day, I publish artist features regularly on my blog. It’s worked really well because the truth is that, although artists do want to learn how to market and sell their work, what they would really like is to have someone else do it for them. So my business model was built on providing solid business information, but also taking action to help artists gain exposure through my own site. As a blogger, I’m a member of the press, and people love press. I run a call for artists several times every year, attracting submissions from artists all over the world who’d like to be featured on my site, and this has allowed me to publish a blog that presents an amazing variety of art, as well as art business information, and of course, they go hand in hand.

Now, the breakthrough that really exploded my blog traffic happened in 2013. I realized that artists were looking for information on how to sell their art online, but they weren’t sure how or where to do this. And that allowed me to create another magnet on my website to draw traffic. I spent several months researching and compiling a directory of my website of hundreds of places where artists can sell their work online with full descriptions and lengths and so forth, which is a super useful directory, and it’s completely free to use. That directory is a magnet that draws tons of traffic through search, bringing artists who want to learn to market and sell right to my website, which helps them market and sell.

I’ve been able to build a really thriving business using this model by offering e-courses on the business of art, personalized business consulting for artists, and speaking at in-person professional development training events, in collaboration with the Clark Hulings’ Fund for Visual Artists, which is a business partnership that I developed through my network. One of the things that I love best about this method, is that it attracts readers rather than chasing them. From my experience working as a salesperson, I know how challenging it can be to prospect for customers, seeking their attention, trying to get their interest, continuously following up. And by turning that around, and creating magnets for customers, you can pull them in without all of that chase. I’ve been really inspired by seeing how ProBlogger uses this model successfully, and I’m really honored that I’ve been invited to share my story with you here.

Darren: Thanks so much, Carolyn, for sharing your story. You can check out Carolyn’s blog at artsyshark.com, and I have, in today’s show notes, links to the directory that she talks about, and also the inbound marketing book, which I have heard from many of you as ProBlogger listeners have enjoyed that book as well. Couple of things that I love about this story, firstly, that Carolyn is practicing something that I’ve preached many times over about giving your readers exposure on your site, and making your readers famous, actually helping your readers to get profile.

This is something that we’ve done on ProBlogger many times. In fact, this whole series really is about showcasing the listeners of this podcast. I love doing this because it helps your listener, your reader to achieve their goals. And many of your readers will be wanting to showcase what they do in some way, but also enables you, particularly if you do it smartly, to achieve your goals, as well. My goal at ProBlogger is to teach people how to blog better, and so my hope is that by sharing these stories, you’re getting ideas, as well as us serving the person who is actually creating the content as well.

And so, featuring your readers in these creative ways can be really useful. On digital photography school, we allow our readers to post their pictures in comments, and we actually use their comments and pictures from time to time in content, as well. So all of these things can be really great ways of helping your readers to get their profile, but creating really useful content as well.

I also loved the idea of creating magnets on your site, things that will draw and attract readers to your site, rather than you having to go out there and chase readers down. It’s a great concept, and I guess some questions around that, you know, what are your readers wanting? What are they trying to achieve? What problems do they have? How can you help them in some way, by overcoming a need that they have, you know. Creating a directory that is going to solve those problems is one way of doing that. And I’ve seen a number of bloggers create directories for their readers that have done really well.

Now, I don’t know if Carolyn actually charges people to be in her directory, but I have seen bloggers do that, as well. Like, put this directory up, their readers cannot access at all, but I might sell, you know, featured listings, or just charge people to being their directory as well. That might be a creative way of monetizing your blog as well, but even if it’s free, for those to be in it, and those to be reading it, it’s creating a way of drawing people into your site.

In some ways, on ProBlogger, having a job board has been a similar kind of magnet. We know that when people are searching for writing jobs or blogger jobs, that we come up in the search results as a result of having a job board. And some of those people come back across into the rest of ProBlogger. For some of our readers, that’s their first ever experience of ProBlogger, and they get on our list, and they become buyers of our courses, and attending our events, and those types of things as well. How to start a blog course is a magnet, it’s something that we know people are searching the internet “How do I start a blog?” and sometimes we’re on the end of their search results as well. What are people searching for that you can help them with, that is going to attract them into your blog, that is going to solve a problem for them but also get their attention, and hopefully, get them into a process of a relationship with you as well.

Great tips there from Carolyn. Again, check out her blog at artsyshark,com, you can check out some of the artist features that she does, and also you’ll find a link on our show notes today directly into her online directory. So you can check that out and see what it’s like. It’s actually not that hard to create, it’s essentially just a page on her site where she’s created a list of places that people can sell their art. Not that hard, it’s not something that you would need to put a massive amount of investment into, apart from the time to get those resources. Hopefully that provides you with some inspiration today, I’m expecting lots of you to have directories by the end of next week, of those types of things, and if you do, leave us a comment in our Facebook group or in the comments of these show notes as well, today, and I’d love to check out what you do as a result of hearing this story.

Thanks for listening, and check out the show notes at problogger.com/podcast/262 and I’ll chat with you next week when I’ll be, I think, almost back from Orlando. I’ll be back on the day after this podcast goes live, but we’ll have another story for you next week from another one of our listeners that I’m really looking forward to sharing with you.

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 262: How Carolyn Started a Directory to Attract Readers to Her Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

8 Important Admin Tasks to Do When Launching a New Blog

The post 8 Important Admin Tasks to Do When Launching a New Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

Admin tasks to do when launching a new blog

When you launch a new blog (especially if it’s your first), there’s so much to do it can feel overwhelming.

Having spent so much time and effort selecting your themepre-writing posts, and maybe even setting up your email list, you probably just want to make it live as soon as possible so you can tell everyone you know about it.

But hold up just a minute. You may have missed a few small but crucial administrative tasks that may seem nitpicky but can make a big difference to how your blog is perceived by first-time readers.

For instance, if you still have a default “About” page up there your blog won’t look completely finished. And a lot of established blogs still have the “meta” widget in the sidebar, despite it offering no value to readers whatsoever.

While there’s nothing wrong with being a new blogger (we all were at some point), you probably don’t want to look like a complete beginner. Readers who’ve experienced other newly launched blogs might be wary of investing time and energy in yours if it looks half complete. They might think you won’t stick with it for long.

So here are the eight steps you should take when launching a blog (or soon afterwards). And while these are focused on WordPress blogs, many will apply to other platforms too.

(Don’t worry if you launched a while ago and haven’t done some of these yet. It’s great that you got your blog out there and online. Just tackle them as soon as you can.)

#1: Remove the “Hello World” Post

You’ve probably already done this. But just in case you haven’t, make sure you remove the default “Hello World” post from your blog.

You can do this by either:

  • editing the existing post to give it a different title, permalink and text
  • deleting the entire post from your blog under Posts > All Posts in your dashboard.

If you decide to keep and edit the original post, make sure you delete the associated comment, which you can find under Comments in your dashboard.

Even if you’ve published several of your own posts and the “Hello World” post doesn’t appear on your front page any more, it’s still a good idea to completely delete it. Otherwise it’ll show up in archives and could be found when searching your blog.

#2: Delete the Default “Sample” Page

WordPress comes with a default “Sample Page” that looks something like this:

Sample page example

You don’t want to leave that sample page in place. Even if there’s no link to it in your navigation, it can still be found by searching your blog. And it doesn’t create a good impression.

You can either delete it or, if you prefer, edit it and create an “About” page or similar as WordPress recommends. (Just make sure you change the permalink to something other than sample-page.)

#3: Remove the “Meta” Widget from Your Sidebar

By default, WordPress places certain widgets in your sidebar. Don’t think you need to keep these. You can easily remove them under Appearance > Widgets (just drag and drop).

While you may want some of the default widgets, you can definitely dispense with the “Meta” widget, which looks like this:

Meta widget

Note: If you’re logged into your site, you’ll see the links “Site Admin” and “Log out” instead of “Log in”.

You don’t need the “Log in” link. You can access your WordPress dashboard by going to www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin and logging in (if necessary).

And chances are your readers won’t need the “Entries RSS” link. These days most readers t subscribe by email instead, and readers who do want to use RSS can just enter your blog’s name/URL in their feed reader. (I doubt they’ll want to subscribe to an RSS feed of all the comments, either.)

Leaving the meta widget in your sidebar adds unnecessary clutter, and marks you as a new blogger.

#4: Check (and Maybe Change) Your Permalinks

When you install WordPress, your permalinks will default to ‘Day and name’, which looks like this:

problogger.com/2018/09/12/sample-post

You might be perfectly happy with this. But it’s not the only option you have. For instance, you may want to have shorter permalinks that don’t include the date, like this:

problogger.com/sample-post

Ideally you should change your permalink structure early in the life of your blog so your post URLs are consistent. You’ll also avoid the risk of broken links on both own your blog and other blogs linking to yours. (Selecting a new structure updates the permalinks across your entire blog, not just on posts you publish in the future.)

You can change your permalinks under Settings > Permalinks.

#5: Fill Out Your Social Media Links

Many blog themes come with icons for your social media accounts, often in the footer or header.

A surprising number of blogs (even long-established ones)don’t have these set correctly, so the icon either isn’t clickable or leads to the homepage of Facebook, Twitter, etc. – not the blogger’s own profile or page.

Normally there’s a setting somewhere in your theme where you can include the actual URL of your Facebook page, Twitter profile, and so on. If you can’t find it, Google for the name of your theme plus “Facebook icon” or similar.

While it takes only a few minutes to set them up, they can make a huge difference to the number of followers you gain on social media. But if someone clicks a button that doesn’t work, you may miss out on a connection that becomes a long-term reader or even a paying customer.

#6: Make Sure Your Contact Form Works

One issue even well-established bloggers sometimes come across is contact forms that don’t always work correctly. While it may be frustrating for your readers (they’ll never hear back from you), it could also raise serious problems for you.

What if you miss a message from a customer asking for a refund on your ebook (as per your guarantee), and they end up raising a PayPal dispute? Or what if you never see the message from someone who wants to give you a free product or pay for advertising on your blog?

Even if your form appears to work and tells you a message was sent, it may not be reaching your inbox. It could be a delivery problem (they don’t reach you at all). They might reach you, but then end up in your spam folder. Or something may have gone awry with the plugin.

Before you launch, triple-check your contact form to make sure it actually works. Try it out yourself and, if possible, ask a couple of friends to test it as well. Make sure the emails all reach your inbox successfully.

(It’s also worth re-checking your contact form every so often. WordPress updates or plugin updates may mean it suddenly stops working, even if it’s been working fine for months.)

#7: Set Up Google Analytics and Google Search Console

I can understand why many bloggers launch without these in place. By the time you’ve set up a domain name and hosting, and installed a WordPress theme, the idea of doing anything else techy might seem just too much.

However, it really helps to have Google Analytics in place from the day you launch. That way, you can see exactly which posts and pages are popular, how people navigate through your site, whether they arrived through search, social media, or a backlink, and much more.

Google Search Console is slightly different. You can use it to set up your sitemap, find out what links Google had difficulty crawling, check whether your website has any security issues, see what search terms people are using to find your blog, and much more.

The good news is that both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are actually quite straightforward to set up. You’ll need to create a Google account (if you don’t already have one) and for both you’ll need to link them to your blog.

We cover how to do that with Google Analytics in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog course. And here’s where you can find out more about Google Search Console.

#8: Install (or Activate) the Akismet Plugin

Akismet is a WordPress plugin that detects and removes spam comments before they ever appear on your blog. It will significantly reduce the amount of spam you have to deal with, which means you won’t have spam comments hanging around on your blog waiting to be deleted.

All blogs get hit with spam comments. But if a lot of them are getting through, it doesn’t give readers a great impression. A comments section riddled with spam makes your blog look unattended and uninviting. And it may well be promoting or linking to things you don’t want associated with you and your blog.

Depending on your host, your WordPress installation may come with the Akismet plugin already in place. If not, you can install it from your WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins > Add New and typing “Akismet” in the search box.

You’ll need to click the “Activate” button to get Akismet working, and you’ll then be taken to the Akismet site where you can sign up.

Akismet’s site implies that you need to pay, but you can use it for free. Just click the “Personal” plan and slide the payment slider all the way to the left.

Akismet slider

Note: This license is only intended for non-commercial sites (i.e. sites without advertising, business information, products for sale, etc.)

I realise there’s quite a bit to take in here, especially if you’ve already spent a lot of time writing posts and choosing a theme for your blog. But if you tackle these one at a time, you’ll soon get them all done.

If you get stuck, take a look at our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog course (which covers a lot of these areas) or search Google for instructions.

Good luck with your blog launch.

Image credit: Jazmin Quaynor

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