I have discovered the secret to finding time to delete literally thousands of photographs, and I should do this so much more often: just wait up till 4 a.m. for a @Problogger webinar with Tsh from @SimpleMom. After following the Problogger’s previous webinar on monetization I just couldn’t miss it – two of my all time favorite bloggers chatting away live.
I have to say I love the Problogger webinars, actually all he has to share to help all types/levels of blogger… and I had to hear @simplemom’s blog story since we both started blogging four years ago… and we both started blogging to keep grandparents in touch. And then we parted ways, I have literally been standing still, while she redefines productivity!!! I love her network, Simply Living Media, all of it!!! And I follow her Simple Mom podcasts avidly… The great thing about her podcasts is that she interviews real moms/bloggers, often contributors on her site, and just chats with them – it is a fabulous way to meet the folk behind their blogs and I always walk away inspired and uplifted!!!
Se7en + 1 Things I learnt from Problogger/SimpleMom Webinar:
- Share your heart: While folk are interested in reading “how to” posts, you may end up feeling like an “article-factory.” What readers really want to know about is your heart, they want to know the story behind the “how to” and they want to know the writer and what makes their website unique. You don’t have to be perfect from the start, there is a lot of trial and error and heaps of learning involved!!!
- Don’t Compare Yourself with other Bloggers: Everyone knows this, but she went one step further and said don’t compare yourself to bloggers at different stages. Don’t compare your chapter one with their chapter two. Find bloggers at your stage and grow with them… you will become real life friends. This is so true… the folk I met in the first few months of blogging have definitely grown and blogged along side me. That being said, don’t be afraid to ask ahead and mentor behind, there really is room for all bloggers.
- Have a post-schedule: This had more than a few folk falling on the floor! She plots and plans ahead… way ahead – she knows already what she is posting in two months time – details!!! I also have a post schedule… I plan it at the start of each month and then I revise it at the start of each week and then I write something completely different everyday!!! I know this a weakness of mine, and I try really hard not to tell readers what I have planned – because I never stick to it!!! But SimpleMom actually plots and plans and then sticks to her schedule!!! I like her idea of a monthly theme and sticking with her “Simple Living Philosophy” she only posts three times a week… and then a giveaway and a links post over the weekend. So she writes two posts a week and has a contributor write a post mid-week.
- The Truth About Advertising: She gets asked two questions about blogging: #1 How does she do it all? and she doesn’t; and #2 How does she make money? Many small streams lead to a flowing river… she has multiple sources of income and what is now a full-time blog and salary began as coffee money. Her sources of income:
- Private Ads: low rates but not too low; traffic is seasonal; use a CPM rate; keep spots filled from the start; less is more, don’t clutter; and get a fab Media kit.
- Network Ads: Means you can score bigger companies and refutable brands; and you get their stamp of approval; they get a significant cut of your earnings; you don’t have much control and there can be a lag in payment; stay professional and negotiate for control and shorter contracts.
- Affiliates: Only use products and companies that fit your blog and look at what other folk in your niche have as affiliates. Only use genuine and natural affiliates, there is nothing worse than an obvious marketing ploy.
- Book Publishing: An e-book sets you up as an authority in your niche, and you can write about the stuff that really interests you that you can not always blog about. Books take a lot of work and a long time and contracts can be stingy – a good agent is invaluable.
- Freelancing: She has a babble account and she writes for them once a week, it is a well established platform but it does take away energy from her own platform and it does require attention to deadlines.
- Exactly what a Media Kit looks like: The Simple Living Media Kit includes: What we do, who we are, about our readers, editorial calendar, list the advertising options, newsletter options, giveaway sponsors. One Big GiveAway Week and action points. I love the idea of a big GiveAway week, I had one recently and it worked really well and I think I need to set up a regular week of GiveAways… I really liked the idea of finding out more about our readers and SimpleMom suggested using QuantCast, which I need to take a look at. It is not so much about the SEO traffic, which is important, but more about creating good quality material and building reader loyalty.
- Time Management:You just can’t do it all. The to-do list never stops, and isn’t that the truth!!! Something that helps is to have a very clear Mission Statement. With a mission statement you can choose which projects are not NO, just not now!!! ANd outsource for help, take your blog work seriously and treat it as the investment it is.
- Write the Blog you Want to Read: She couldn’t find a blog writing on the topic she wanted to write about: Simple Living. I so agree with that… you have to love your blog with all your heart, I totally write the blog that I would love to read – no it isn’t what everyone would like to read or write, but I think if you don’t love it you won’t be able to stick with it!!!
- Where do you Find Readers? Her simple answer was: Go where your readers are… if they are on twitter then tweet. Facebook then hang around in Facebook and so on… makes sense!!! Like a lot of family blogs we get a heap of our traffic from Pinterest. You can try guest posting; sometimes you “cross-traffic” and sometimes you don’t; Remember it is not a competition, it is all about camaraderie. Act like a real professional blogger right from the start. And take regular scheduled blog breaks – that was my “huh” moment – I never take a blog break – I love it too much!!!
And the se7en + 1th Thing:
They went on to talk about Simple Living Media and how it works… how the six different blogs work together to provide new and excitement material for their readers… why she chose a network rather than a large blog with a lot of categories; where and how she finds her contributors… If you want to know more, hear more and just listen to the full story behind this amazing blog story then here is the link to the webinar… it runs for just over an hour, settle in and enjoy the ride!!!
And if there was just one takeaway point that SimpleMom would like to share:
I love that attitude and I have found it to be true of her and the Problogger they are so willing to help other bloggers in the spirit that it is “not a competition” but there is room for so many bloggers and so many unique styles. A huge thank-you to the Problogger and Simplemom for being so willing to share with all of your avid fans!!!