Here’s the 13th installment of the Blog & Traffic Report. Wow!
Think of it as a Cliffs Notes for blogging. Be sure to sign up for the Blogging, Business + Balance newsletter where I share tips and blogging news, in addition to finding out when the latest income and progress reports are live. Sign up here:
I write these as a way to collect information that I’m learning and I’ve decided that it’s too good not to share! So, you get the benefit of everything I find in a month … all right here. Plus, I share things that worked on my site.
A new tool I learned about this week is one that helps create your persona. I’m taking Elite Blog Academy right now and one of the first assignments is to create your avatar (your perfect target audience.) You are to specifically define who you write for. This is a great tool to help with it, if you haven’t done it already.
This month I’ve been pinning live on Saturday and especially on Sundays. I have a laptop that I keep in the living room so that when I have some downtime I can pop it open and pin a few things. I’ve read multiple times that Sunday is the best day for pins so I’m just trying to get a few more things on my boards when others are more likely to see them.
Facebook live is available from the desktop. Big news, although I’m not sure it’s going to make a difference for those who aren’t already doing Facebook Live. I think it’s so easy to use with the phone … I just wish people would turn their phone HORITONATALLY!!
I did a blog progress report from my Private Facebook group this month with good reaction. I’m planning on more of them.
GREAT info from Helene In Between on different ways you can “style” your Insta feed to gain followers. She breaks down several people’s feeds into topics and tells you why they’re successful. Story, location, color, angle … all viable ways to succeed on Instagram.
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING
Planoly – an Instagram scheduling tool. Haven’t used it, but need to know more.
Social share buttons.
I’ve been participating in more social share days through a variety of Facebook groups and have seen a few bad things that I thought it would be helpful to mention here. This is what I’ve noticed and learned:
• Some people don’t have social share buttons on their blog posts. You need to have a plugin that is obvious to remind your readers to share your content.
• Some social plugins are too small! Make them loud and proud people!
• Put the share buttons near the content. One blogger has hers on the right side of her blog – they couldn’t be farther away from her content. Her blog posts are flush left, then she has an ad rail on the right, and THEN she has her social icons. One blogger said she couldn’t share her content because she didn’t see any social sharing buttons. If another blogger can’t find them, then a regular reader won’t see them either!
• Too many buttons.
• Too few buttons. One blogger only put Facebook and Twitter. Not enough. I need to easily be able to Pin too. My minimum recommendation would be, in this order: Facebook, Pinterest, Yumly (if you have recipes), Twitter, StumbleUpon.
Had an unexpected email list audit (i.e. my account was frozen until they verified a few things) from a sweet young man at Constant Contact (which I use at the office.) This happens to everyone at some point he told me, but it was a tad stressful! Here are a few reminders that I learned:
• Make subject lines 45 characters or less
• Do NOT use caps in subject lines (oops, I did this for emphasis)
• Do NOT use words like free in subject lines (this triggers spam. Oops again, I’ve done this. It’s so easy to forget)
• Monitor your spam complaints. Accounts can be triggered for audits if your spam complaints are more than 1 per 1,000 emails sent
More about emails (this from Ruth Soukup):
DON’T MAKE THEM ABOUT YOU
The best email subject lines are the ones that get into your avatar’s head and speak directly to a need or problem they have. Those needs and problems are ALWAYS about them, never about you.
The more you can make the subject line of your email about your reader, the more likely they’ll be to open it.
This was some feedback on a Facebook group that I participate in, when a blogger asked for feedback about what kind of freebie converts. She stated that she has a freebie, but her generic newsletter opt-in at the top of her blog converts better.
Someone else chimed in and reminded everyone to be sure to be solve your avatar’s problem.
People always want to know how to create an ebook to give as a freebie or to sell.
Here’s what I do:
I love Canva for graphics and covers, but think it’s terrible for content like a book. It’s not built for text manipulation. Indesign is great, but there is a learning curve. The simple way is to use word or a regular software you use for writing/editing, exporting as a PDF and adding a cover from a graphics program
I finished a new ebook and have it on the site: Chocolate Dessert Recipes. These are my most popular recipes with big, bold pics in an easy format for download. I’m in love with it and hope my readers enjoy it. You can get it here.
Great article about the elements of a sales funnel. You need a “tripwire.” This is a low-cost item that gets people to buy from you. It turns them into a warm client. Warm clients are more likely to buy from you again in the future — and you can get them to buy something more expensive.
There was a topic of conversation in a Facebook group I’m in (can’t recall which one) where we debated the “list posts.” You know, the ones with 50 crock pot recipes, or 50 ways to do X. There was overall consensus that 50 is too much. I agree! I hate reading that many, and actually WON’T read a post with that many items on it.
I want the writer to condense the list to the BEST items. The best recipes. The best tips. Give me just a few.
At my day job at a radio station, I was reminded of this concept in a brainstorming meeting. Our program director said when you have a list, choose the top 3.
Copy Writing Tip
Got this from Robin Geuens in the Online Business BFFS Facebook group. What do you think about it? “Whenever you’re talking about a bad personality trait, say “we.” Whenever you’re talking about a good personality trait, say “you.”
Here’s an example:
“Sometimes, we’re lazy and we can’t seem to get anything done. But other times, you hit your stride and you get everything done in an hour.”
When we’re talking about wasting time and not getting any work done, we talk about a group of people so the person reading the copy doesn’t feel like they’re being judged.
But when we’re talking about something positive, like becoming successful or getting a lot of work done, we want to make them feel like they did it themselves.
It’s a subtle difference, but it works. Nobody wants to feel like they’re doing something bad, but everyone wants to feel like they’re doing something good.”
Learning how to use Camtasia for movie editing. I’m a big Mac fan and have tried to learn iMovie but think it’s not super easy like other mac things are.
I joined Caitlin Batcher’s new Facebook group for Facebook groups. I know, sounds kind of odd, but it’s a 5 day challenge to help you get more engagement from your private Facebook group. She posted something asking people what one word they want people to FEEL in their FB group. Great question. My word is: empowered or educated. I want to teach women they can make a living with their own business. This is a great thing to ask yourself about your blog too! So,
What’s one word that you want your readers to FEEL when they read your blog?
Learned this in a brainstorming meeting today and I think it can help some of you:
When you get a complaint … it’s one person’s take on one thing. Think it’s 1 representing 1.
When you get a compliment …. It’s 1 person representing many!
Found an interesting source to ease Amazon roundups. Called, Roundups.io. I haven’t used it, but thought it was interesting.
Applied for Amazon CPM ads – and I was accepted!!! WOOT! So excited to add these ads to my site. I’m going to work on adding one ad in the middle of my blog posts, after the 3rd paragraph.
Traffic is down 27% this month from February. This is quite the disappointment after February’s high. It’s typical this time of year so I’m moving forward because traffic is up 295% from last March.
INVESTMENT IN BLOG
Stopped my Facebook like campaign. The likes were getting less and less each day. I think it’s time to try a different target.
Promoted my Instant Pot chicken noodle soup PIN. Spent $5.00/day for XX days. Goal was to get the pin to 1,000 repins. I receive over 500 repins. But, I fell short of the 1,000 goal.
Hired designer to rework my logo to make the message of my site clean upon entering the home page.
GOALS FOR APRIL
Hire a Virtual Assistant (VA). For three months I’ve kept a list at the end of the month of what’s not working. This seems negative, but it’s been a great way for me to realize what I need help with. It’s the turning point for realizing what I can get a VA to do so that I can get more content up.
Join our Facebook group for bloggers and entrepreneurs, that includes a Wednesday share day