Fear and Loathing in Las Blogas

Fear and Loathing in Las Blogas

For those of you, who like me, are new to the world of blogging, you might also feel like the only people you are blogging for are your mother and your best friend. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. Far from it. In fact, many, many successful bloggers have written about how to persevere with your blog when you don’t have an audience. Below is the digest of my research and how I plan to overcome my frustration of writing for no one – YET.

Promotion, promotion, promotion!

I have learned in these last few weeks through a lot of reading and listening to experts, and also through this course the value of promoting your content. Sonia Simone from CopyBlogger writes “until you build an audience that’s interested in what you are doing, you have to promote your content.”

In other words, you shouldn’t just wait for people to find your content. You should invite them to see it.

A little further in Sonia’s article, she writes, “waiting for social sharing to ‘just happen’ is like waiting for search engines to ‘just rank you’. You may be waiting for a long, long time. Until you are well established, you’ll want to get in there and give your content a good push.”

She suggests that sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are a great start for content promotion. I’d like to throw Twitter into that mix.

The flip side of not having an audience

You may think “how could I possibly benefit from not having an audience?” After all, the point is to gather some steady followers who enjoy what you have to offer and engage with them as often as you can so you can stay psyched to keep on creating and publishing, right?

Kali Roberge from Creative Advisor Marketing serves up 4 fresh perspectives on how not having a strong following can benefit you here. I am especially fond of number 4!

“Don’t be discouraged by a slow start. It offers the time and testing you need to lay the right foundation for success.” – Michael Hyatt

A few words about fear

The fear of publishing is real. I’ve been there and I have the tee-shirt in a few colours and sizes. Whether it’s not knowing exactly what it is that you want to write about, the fear of failure or just plain social anxiety, Mike Brown from The Blogging Buddha has you covered here.

He touches a bit on those aforementioned issues and suggests a few strategies to overcome them in a very down-to-earth way.

These posts that I have listed above are definitely ones that I will be revisiting in the future to boost up my confidence level. I hope you will too.

Here are a couple of other noteworthy resources to visit if you are a blogging novice and feeling shaky or you simply want to learn more:

  • Medium (they have an app too!)

Hopefully after reading this blog post, you went from feeling like this:

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To feeling like this:

Source: giphy.com

If you had a magic wand that with one wave could solve your biggest social media woe, what would you wave it for?

Tired of blogging for an audience of your mother? Head down here for some pointers on alleviating some of the most common blogging woes.

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3 Ways to Zero In on Your Tribe

3 Ways to Zero In on Your Tribe

Hello, hello, dear readers!

In last week’s post, we talked about the steps to take for planning and promoting your blog’s content.  We discussed how you can use your goals that pull you toward their achievement to inspire you to create strong content consistently.  Then, we touched on how to schedule your publications and how you could leverage social media platforms to promote them.  These are some of the foundational notions of successful blogging.

This week, I would like to add another dimension to our blogging success strategy:  finding and engaging with your audience.  It’s all very well to write mindblowing content, but if you have no one to socialize it with or to appreciate it, chances are you might lose motivation to keep your effort alive.  So — let’s nip that problem in the bud, shall we?  In the following, I will show you 3 ways to find and engage with your tribe to keep your blog relevant to their needs and successful.

 

Number 1:  find your tribe’s watering holes

The usual suspects are always a good starting point to finding your ideal audience. Through Facebook’s groups, Twitter and Instagram’s hashtags and geolocation tags, and Pinterest’s handy-dandy search function, you can easily track down your peeps and their online hangout spots.  But do you know about Bloglovin.com?

Bloglovin is a space where blog enthusiasts can compile and organize all of their favourite blog haunts in one feed.  Here, you can discover sources servicing your niche topic and engage with writers and their followers.

Pro tip:  knowing the times of the day when your target audience is active on different networks can help you customize your outreach strategy for maximum impact.

 

Number 2:  use your tribe’s issues to shape your content

While engaging with other writers and their readers on social media platforms, you can easily find out existing and emerging issues impacting them.  You can also frequent crowdsourcing spaces like GoodReads or the reviews section of Amazon, where folks offer their reviews of books or products they have read or used.

Find publications or products pertaining to your field and read the feedback on them.  Natalie Taylor, a copy writer, content strategist, and founder of The Missing Ink suggests – in her blog post on how to find your ideal clients – researching how people talk about the products they are using or the books they have read – what they like about them, what features they wished they offered, and what they hate about them.

Then, armed with the knowledge of your potential readers’ challenges, likes, dislikes, goals, values, etc., you can create content specifically geared toward them.

 

Number 3:  engage with your stakeholders

As a project manager, I can tell you with absolute certainty that creating a stakeholder engagement strategy is paramount.

Engaging with fellow bloggers in your domain carries the potential benefit of sparking collaborative efforts that may nudge their followers to gyrate toward your blog.  You never know what can happen. As Catherine Oneissy explains in this blog post, she was offered an opportunity to act as a copy editor for one of her blog-mates simply because one of her comments had sparked a dialogue between them.  Likewise, engaging with readers can help you fine-tune your outreach style to suit their needs.  So don’t be shy.  Go out there and make friends.

 

People Bumping Fists Above Table With Jars and Pen Holder

pexels.com

 

Those are my words of wisdom for the week.  I’d be interested in getting to know your engagement strategies.  How do you keep on top of your followers’ needs?  In what capacity do you typically reach out to them?  Drop me a line here to let me know.  And as always, I love hearing your feedback on my own content so don’t be shy to let me know what you think.

Christie

 

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New to the blogosphere and not quite sure how to reach out to your peeps?  Follow the link below for three ways to take the guessing out of the equation.

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Content planning and promotion: a newbie’s guide.

You have an idea for a blog. It’s exciting! You sign up for a WordPress page, you pick out a theme and customize it, you write a killer introduction and outline the general intent of your blog like a boss. Now what? You have ideas, to be sure. However, you are not quite sure what the logical next steps are for what topic you should talk about first or how you should promote your awesome new and upcoming content.

The good news is that the hardest part is mostly done. You have already taken the biggest leap and put yourself out there by starting your blog. Now, it’s time to shift your focus toward your content. If you are reading this, I have no doubt that you are inspired, passionate and creative about your topic — so content isn’t necessarily an issue. The issue and your questions are more about is you should plan and promote it in a meaningful way.

You are not alone. I am here too tell you that I too have been down the “blog content planning and promoting uncertainty hole” — and I know the way out. Below are a few simple pointers for your consideration on how you can get a head start to making your blog a success and how to stay relevant to your blog’s intent over time.

Number 1: set your blogging goals.

The very first thing you should consider before mapping out your content and marketing strategies is setting some specific and attainable goals for yourself and your blog based on the intent of your blog. Whether your blog is a promotional tool for your business or a creative outlet for yourself, it is important to set up some short and long-term goals so that you can make sure that every post, video, podcast, etc. will serve to attain those goals and stay relevant to the intent of your blog.

These goals can be anything you want. However, they be realistic, meaningful and inspiring to you. As Kimberly Ann Jimenez says in this podcast episode, your goals need to pull you toward their achievement, not push you.

Number 2: your content is the key to attaining your goals.

Now that you have some objectives that you are pumped up about, it’s time to start thinking about a strategy to achieve them. This is primarily done by the planning and delivering of your content. This section is mighty short. But it carries a lot of weight.

Because you are already a wiz in your domain of interest, I won’t tell you what kind of content you need to be planning. But, I do have the following message for you; wherever you are, whatever you do, always remember this: your content is they key to reaching your precious goals, so spare no mindfulness in planning for it, regardless of what its vehicle is. Whether it is a blog post or a video or a podcast, never plan them without your goals in mind to help you stay focused and relevant to the intent of your blog.

Number 3: create a content publishing schedule.

We have gone over the goal setting and the careful content planning. Next, we dive into creating a schedule to publish your aforementioned content. Some plan a week or two in advance, some plan 6 months to a year in advance. I say keep it simple and go with one to three months. This will not only help you set out the next few months of your productivity, but planning for three months may also help you feel like your later content is still within reach and therefore, might give you the impression that your goals are that much closer to being achieved.

From eliminating the stress of having to come up with original ideas at the eleventh hour to allowing you to plan your work around your day to day activities, content mapping in advance carries several added benefits. But how much content should you plan for? Amy Porterfield suggests once a week as a minimum. However, she cautions that it is important to post consistently.

Pro-tip: keep an open spot every now and then in case a blog-worthy event pops up at the last minute!

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Number 4: create a social media schedule for blog promotion.

Once you are comfortable with your content plan, you can start thinking of promoting it. The usual suspects for broadcasting your work to a global audience include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. The frequency of your posts to these platforms depend on how vigorously you want to market your content.

If you are new to the world of promoting using social media, it is recommended that you start with a conservative broadcasting plan to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the task. Also, you do not have to post your links on every platform available to you. In this video, Peter Voogd, founder of the Game Changers Academy, offers that you can pick one or two platforms without sacrificing quality exposure.

Pro-tip: use free tools like Canva to create your promotional graphics. It’s a user-friendly solution that won’t break the bank!

Remember that slow and steady wins the race.

Now that we have covered the basics, it’s up to you to go out there and work your magic on the Interwebs. Remember that slow and steady wins the race. In case you get stuck, here are a few bonus resources to help you along the way:

  • The Copyblogger’s site has a plethora of information on effective content marketing.
  • Amy Porterfield’s podcasts are an easy way to take in a wealth of information on the world of entrepreneurship and social media while on the go.

Have more questions or would like to hear about something specific in a future blog post? Drop me a line here. I love to hear your feedback and know what’s on your mind.

When you are new to the blogosphere, getting your content organized, published and promoted can feel overwhelming. It doesn’t need to be like that. Get yourself on the right track in just 4 steps by following the link below!

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So you started a blog! Now what? https://bit.ly/2PYtK30

Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome!

My favourite and very quotable writer, Aaron Sorkin, once said “I feel like the better version of myself is on paper…  I’d rather have people know me on paper.”  I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty harsh.  Yet, I can unequivocally relate to it.  I contorted myself all weekend over this blog post.  Why?  Because I want to write the perfect post and I don’t know how to do that yet.  My self-doubt and self-criticism were putting in some overtime this weekend.

As Mr. Sorkin would say, my inner demons were shouting down my better angels.

Now, I am no great authority on social media.  After all, I have never posted a single thing on Instagram, I only reluctantly joined Twitter because my mother told me to (true story) – and I rarely post on Facebook, save for the times that I find it extraordinarily necessary to.  Like getting married, or something.  

So I will not be critiquing the latest and greatest application to hit the scene.  

Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to remind us that we are pretty cool people.  I fear that there are far too many people in the world who persistently doubt their abilities, and therefore keep themselves from from showcasing their talent and accomplishments.  If you find yourself in the same situation from time to time, telling yourself that you are doomed to fail before even having tried…  this post is for you.

For as long as I can remember, I have been putting unreasonable and purely self-generated pressure on myself for no particular reason except for the fact that I carry a belief that anything I am or do that is less than perfect is not worthy of people’s time.  The funny thing is, I think I am a pretty awesome writer, a super talented maker with an eye for beauty and I am pretty sure that I can do almost anything that I set my mind to.  Yet, I have this incessant need to tell myself that I can do better than I already am. 

So what’s a girl with a budding business to do?  I have the feeling that if I do not display the most perfect version of myself and my business to the world, someone is going to call me out for making a fool out of myself and then – pause for dramatic effect – my business will crumble and I will have to retire under my sofa, with the dust bunnies, a bottle of Baby Duck – and my shame. This before I have even posted my first product for sale. #thestruggleisreal

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My wise husband is quick to remind me that we are all our own worst critics.  He says, “what if Van Gogh had been too critical of his sunflowers?”  What if he had burned the canvas thinking that no one else would appreciate them because they, in his eyes, were not perfect?

Kimberly Ann Jimenez, a successful digital marketing strategist and YouTube personality, offers two ways to curb your limiting thoughts: first, write them down and then flip the narrative around; and second, surround yourself with people who empower you to feel the best about yourself and what you do.

I want to echo that last one.  Surround yourself with people who empower you and remind you every day of how much you have to offer this world.  And remember to be kind to yourself.  Rome was not built in a day. I would also argue that it was likely not perfect either.

My husband pointed out to me last night that I do not need to be an expert in social media to write a perfect blog post.  Rather, it is the meaningful dialogue that sparks from it that makes it great. 

So tell me – what empowers you to make your better angels shout down your inner demons? 

Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome! https://bit.ly/2DiMoLp

Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome! https://bit.ly/2DiMoLp