In the year before Jenson was born, I was lucky enough to go on a couple of short marketing courses for work. Although I’ve been blogging for over eleven years and working in marketing for six, it’s always good to update your knowledge base and network with new people. Here are a few tips that I picked up.
1. Set yourself goals. Sure, you want to grow your blog/business but it’s good to have something to measure against and to see yourself continually improving. Look at where you’re at now, increase your stats/sales over the next month and then try to push yourself further each month. SMART objectives are key.
2. Study your current audience. It’s one thing to look at your Facebook insights and Twitter/Instagram/Google analytics, but who are your readers/buyers as people? Carry out a short survey (an incentive always helps!) to find out what they want to see more/less of etc.
3. LinkedIn is your friend. Keep your profile up to date with jobs, experience, qualifications, skills and testimonials. When you work with someone, ask them to endorse you or write a short review for your page. Businesses are always searching the site for someone new to work with.
4. Every encounter is an opportunity. I met a writer on one of the courses and managed to get review copies of her books, work on her book launch and do some freelance social media consultancy! If you’re on a course or at an event, talk to people – you never know what opportunities could come your way.
5. A little bit of SEO can go a long way. Think about what you want to be searchable for. Do you have a quirky blog/business name? Do you want to be found via that? Or do you specialise in a niche area and want to be on the first page for certain key words? Use these key words in your titles, main body and those all-important image tags.
6. Know your second audience. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, as a blogger, your audience is your reader. But if you want to monetise your blog/blog for a living, you also need to think about how brands and potential advertisers see your blog. Is it easy to contact you? Do you have a rates card? Media pack? Is it easy to find out more about who you’ve worked with in the past? I also looked at the brands who get the most click-throughs via my website to see who is worth spending the time reaching out to. If readers already like seeing their products on my site, they’ll likely want to see more.
7. Stay on top of trends. Read up on new social media platforms, get involved with Twitter chats, join Facebook groups, collaborate on Pinterest boards, subscribe to Blogosphere magazine… There are loads of little online communities to get involved with. But remember, just because something new has launched, you don’t necessarily have to jump straight on board. It’s better to do a couple of things really well than to try and apply yourself too thinly to everything.
8. Make the most of what already works for you. I looked at my most popular posts of all time and the ones that get regular traffic and optimised them to encourage new readers to stick around a bit longer. You can always add particularly pin-able images etc to encourage sharing.
10. Consistency is key. Even if you can’t afford a designer, it doesn’t take much time and effort to develop a consistent brand strategy. Simply take an image and/or some text, size it up for various social media platforms and make sure your profile is instantly recognisable across the different channels.
Extra top tip: Study your competition. Conduct a web audit, looking at representation, navigation, visibility, etc, and see where you measure up/where you can do better.
I hope you’ve found these helpful. If you’ve got any comments or anything to add, do let me know.