Blogging Tips: 3 Ways to Get Results From Your Blog

Blogging Tips: 3 Ways to Get Results From Your Blog

You’ve created a blog, or want to create one. Hundreds of thousand of blogs are created every day. Most wither and die. Let’s look at three vital blogging tips which will help you to grow your blog, and get results from it.

Some 15 years ago, when I started blogging, I wish I knew what I know now… Consider this. Blogging is instant publishing. When you hit the Publish button on a post, millions of people can see it. (They won’t, but the potential is there.)

1. Know What You Want to Achieve

If you decide what you want to achieve with your blog, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle. When a blog is abandoned, it’s because the owner decided that that blog is “useless”. Which is ironic. He never decided on his blog’s purpose in the first place.

Decide what you want, before you create your blog. You may want to promote your book. Or display your online portfolio. Or perhaps you want to sell hand-crafted leather goods. Or vintage glass.

Tip: write down what you want. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can wander from the point with a blog.

2. Create a Mailing List Before You Publish Your First Blog Post

You know what you want to achieve, so you know your audience. Before you publish your first post, create a mailing list. I’ve used aweber for over a decade, but there are many providers.

Once when I suggested this to a student, he wailed: “But now I have to create an ebook!”

No, you don’t. You don’t have to create an inducement right away. Eventually you may do, but your first step is to create the mailing list. Your blog’s traffic arrives, and leaves. You need a way to get in touch with those visitors again.

People don’t always want inducements. Sometimes they just want to hear from you. I’m always amazed when I visit a blog, decide I want updates from the blog’s author, and then find that there’s no way to sign up to a list. Yes, I could add the blog to Feedly, but I don’t always have the time for that.

3. Sell Something From Your Very First Blog Post

When I’m coaching students, if the student has a blog, at least 75 per cent of the time there’s no way for anyone to do anything on the blog, except read the content.

Content is essential, but whatever you’re selling, start selling it immediately.

If you’re selling a book, and are still writing it, post a little blurb: “Sign up to receive excerpts from my new thriller, Mayhem in Marsfield.”

If you’re using your blog as a portfolio, grab a theme which is designed to present your portfolio.

Similarly, if you’re selling physical goods; set up your online store, and be ready for sales as soon as you publish your first post.

When I share this tip, a student might say: “Yes, but I thought I had to have ten posts…” A couple of years ago, that was a good idea. Google and the other search engines needed time to index your blog — content helped them to find you, and do that. However, today, with the proliferation of social media, much of the Web is real-time.

You can get results from your blog from the first day; these tips help you to do that. Keep this acronym in mind, GLS:

  • Goal
  • List
  • Sales

I’ve mentioned that it’s easy to wander off the point when you blog. If you feel that you’re missed something, check your GLS. Once they’re in place, you can move ahead with confidence.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 43: Monetize Your Website With Donations

Writing Journal 43: Monetize Your Website With Donations

My writing journal for Wednesday, September 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I’m in a rush this morning, so I completed the major scene for the novella, with 1,600 words.

Next, a quick glance at the email. Julia will handle most of it, I’ll deal with any outstanding feedback and memos to students tonight or tomorrow.

The client sent some material for the memoir proposal, so I read through that and make some quick notes. I’m loving the bullet journal, because I can make notes right in the journal. I tend to cluster, and draw little diagrams in my notes, and the Whitelines Leuchtturm hardcover handles it with panache.

Since the iOS 8 update, I’m finding that the Whitelines Link app isn’t working properly. Not to worry, Whitelines pages show up superbly when you take an image with Evernote’s camera.

I fix Honey’s breakfast and my own. Now I need to get to my meetings.

And I’m back. It’s mid-afternoon. The meetings went well; they were related to on-going projects, and forward planning for 2015. I’ve made some notes in my bullet journal, so I snap images of the pages into Evernote.

Now let’s look at something which keeps coming up. If you’ve got a content-heavy website which isn’t monetized, you may have considered asking for donations to keep you going.

An easy way to monetize a website: solicit donations

Several people have asked about monetizing websites with donations over the past weeks, so let’s look at that now. If I cover it here, it saves me typing out the info multiple times, because donations seem to be a hot thing at the moment. :-)

You’ve got a couple of options. All have benefits and drawbacks:

  • The crowdfunding option (Kickstarter or Patreon and similar sites)
  • A PayPal button on your website

Either way, you’ve got to be clear about what you want people to do, and why. By “be clear”, I mean TELL PEOPLE. I see many websites where there’s a donation button, which is fine. But when you check to see the how, and the why, the site owner doesn’t say a word. It’s as if the button’s there… but no one wants to talk about it.

That’s nonsense. If you’re accepting donations, publicize it. Say: “Listen, if you like what we do here, we could really use a bit of support. Website hosting costs money, and so does my time. I’d love it if you could show your support with a donation. A little or a lot, it doesn’t matter. It shows that you value what we do, and that’s a huge motivation for us to keep doing it.”

You don’t need to say more than that, but you do need to say it. Write a short blog post about it, and send a mailing to your list. Tweet about it. Mention it a couple of times a month, at least. Buttons on websites are all very well, but people need you to ask too.

You may be surprised at your results. One of my writer friends finally put up a donations button, and it’s covering her expenses. While some visitors pay small amounts, several have made hefty donations. It’s motivating for her, and she’s very grateful. It’s had another effect too: it’s given her confidence. It’s validation that people read what she writes, and that it helps them.

Blog proposal and scope

I did the draft proposal and scope for my client’s new blog yesterday. I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon on it, so that Julia can proof it and send it out.

Then, a couple of timer sessions on client blogs – finishing posts, and scheduling them — and I’m done for the day. Daily review and word counts done… :-)

Team up 2014: final enrollments

Just a mention, in case you miss it on the freelance blog… We’re running the final Team Up for the year now. Enrollments will close on September 30.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

WordPress Blogging: Here Comes Twenty Fourteen (ooh, the Excitement)

WordPress Twenty Fourteen
WordPress Twenty Fourteen

If you’re a keen WordPress blogger, as I am, you’re looking forward to the next release of WordPress, version 3.8. This version is due on December 12.

I’m excited about the new default theme, Twenty Fourteen, which you can see in the image above:

Twenty Fourteen is intended to be a magazine style default theme, so having an easy way to promote featured content is important. The theme was originally intended to work hand-in-hand with the “Featured Content” plugin that is being developed for 3.8. As it is yet unclear if that plugin will be ready, the team opted to implement a “featured content” tag instead, which can now be found in the Customizer.

Some of my clients want magazine-style themes, so this will be perfect for them.

I’m looking forward to creating a new blog for self-publishers, and Twenty Fourteen will be excellent for that, too.

Unfortunately, Twenty Fourteen might not make it in 3.8; we might need to wait a bit longer. As Sarah says: “The theme’s inclusion in 3.8 is dependent upon how many things can be accomplished during the crunch time before the merge window closes tomorrow.”

Whenever it arrives, it’s a brilliant inclusion into WordPress.

BTW, I’m now doing blogging consults. They’re at an introductory price for a short time. So do get in touch if you’d like some help with your blogging.

Blogging Consult: Fast and Easy, with Powerful Results

If you’re thinking “my blog’s driving me crazy!” Here’s the solution, a blogging consult. Tell me what the challenge is, and we’ll fix it. You may have challenges with: creating your first blog, developing content, using social media, getting traffic… it doesn’t matter. This is your one-stop solution for RESULTS.

Consults via emails, phone and Skype: guaranteed solutions. (Introductory offer for a limited time.)

Buy this on Selz
Sell digital downloads on Selz
, and on Twitter: @angee

Blogger Confidential: 5 Secret Strategies for Creating Valuable Content

Strategies for Creating Valuable Content

You’re a blogger. You create content. Every day. Although you enjoy it, you feel as if your inspiration’s squeezing out of you, like the juice from an orange. What happens when there’s no juice left?

Let’s get juiced up, with inspiration infusions, so that you can keep blogging, and creating valuable content for your audience.

1. Mine your depths: stir your subconscious with free writing

When you’re writing, your subconscious mind is much more powerful than your conscious mind. “Ray Bradbury often said that conscious thought is poisonous to the creative process”: when you think too much, you’re juicing the orange down to the pith.

Over-thinking is dangerous. Take five minutes to free write. In free writing, you simply write, without taking your fingers from the keyboard until a timer sounds. Free writing gets rid of surface thoughts, and stirs your subconscious.

Bloggers give up on free writing because they expect publishable content from it. That’s unlikely. While free writing usually produces junk, it stirs your subconscious in the process. Then, inspiration bubbles up, and you’ll soon be creating valuable content.

2. Know your readers: get inspiration from demographics

Your blog’s audience knows what it wants, so it’s your best source of blog content. Create a poll. Ask your blog’s readers about their challenges. Then think about what their intentions are.

While this is useful, you can go beyond this. Demographics can help. What magazines does your audience read? You may have a self-help blog. Your audience reads Go to Quantcast, and enter “” into the search query field.

Check the Demographics in the right sidebar: the audience is 88% female. Then check Lifestyle at the bottom of the sidebar, and you’ll get an overview of what the audience also likes.

Are you inspired by what you just learned? I’ll bet you are – go and create some valuable content.

3. Know your industry: follow the news (and have an opinion)

You’re a blogger. You need to know what’s happening in the industry you’re covering, and beyond. If you’re a self-help blogger, you might check Google News for inspiration.

Today Google News linked to a Guardian article on Malala Yousafzai, who might win the Nobel Peace Prize:

When a Taliban gunman boarded a school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley last year, he shouted out one question. “Who is Malala?”

Google News can provide great hooks for valuable content.

4. Know your values: trust yourself

Sometime, somewhere someone will hate what you created on your blog, and that’s OK. You’re a blogger: a publisher. People will misunderstand what you write, and may even deliberately twist your words to suit an agenda.

Your values are your shield. Think about your values. Write them down.

Buffer has a wonderful slide deck on their culture. Slide 5 reveals 8 Buffer Values, which include: “always choose positivity and happiness” – great values for any blogger.

When you know your values, you can trust yourself to create valuable content for your audience no matter what.

5. Ensure that every day in every way you’re learning (and getting better)

What will you learn today? Blogs are voracious. You need to keep learning. Commit to learning something new.  I spent a couple of years learning PR. These days, I take online courses regularly. While some are directly helpful in blogging, many are not.

You can learn just for the joy of learning. That joy translates into inspiration… and that inspiration creates valuable content.

Inspiration’s essential for bloggers. Use these five secret strategies to get inspired, and your blog’s readers will benefit from your content.
, and on Twitter: @angee