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Printable Blog Planner | Blog Tools | Blogging Editorial Calendar and Worksheets | Blogger Guidebook

The Printable Blog Planner That Will Help You Grow Your Blog Biz

Do you want to double or triple your productivity as a blogger?

Start actually using an editorial calendar and goal-setting method and stick to it?

Use a system for each blog post that will ensure it’s written in an evergreen, SEO and Pinterest-ready way?

Then grab your coffee and keep reading. I’ve got a really sweet printable blog planner you need to hear about.

Printable Blog Planner | Blog Tools | Blogging Editorial Calendar and Worksheets | Blogger Guidebook

 

Why Did I Create This Planner?

There came a point in my blogging career where I realized that I felt “busy” all the time, but that the busy didn’t necessarily translate into productivity.

You know the feeling: You are doing a thousand things every day but never feel like you are *actually* growing your blogging biz. I knew I needed a concrete tool for myself to stay on track with my task list, streamline my systems, and keep myself organized.

I had a traditional agenda that was pretty, but I wasn’t actually using it. The design wasn’t laid out for a blogger. I tried to use a google calendar for my blog stuff but I never really liked having to look at it online. I was constantly making hand-written to-do lists, brainstorming, and trying to set goals on random sheets of paper, because my agenda didn’t have any dedicated space for it. And I couldn’t track any of my blog growth or other blogging-specific info, since there wasn’t a spot for it.

I kept feeling like there were important things I wanted to write down or keep in one spot, and I didn’t have the right tool to do it.

So, I created it for myself.

I designed printable sheets that were dedicated specifically to growing a blogging business. There is an editorial calendar. There is a goal setting section. There is an audit tool that works like a checklist for each blog post before you hit publish. There is a section for tracking social stats and blog growth. Multiple sheets for tracking income by month and year. Contact sheets. A blog post brainstorm sheet. And more.

 

Buy the Planner Here!

You can buy the Printable Blog Planner here. It’s currently on special at $9.95. A steal!!

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What You Get Inside the Planner

All in all, there are over 20 individual sheets that make up the planner (some of which you print multiple times – like the monthly calendars!).

I wanted each and every sheet to be seriously USEFUL. No frilly stuff to bulk it up. Just sheets that I knew you would actually use and that would help you build a better blog.

Ever since I printed out my first version, there literally hasn’t been a day that I don’t use it. I printed the sheets and put them into a slim white binder, and it sits on my desk right beside my computer. I can glance over and know exactly what’s on my calendar for the week, exactly what I need to be working on to reach my goals, and so much more.

Because it’s date-less, you can just re-print any sheets I need and re-fill the binder as required.

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

Plus, did I mention it’s pretty?!

There is a whole lot of pink and fun graphics. And since I couldn’t settle on just one, there are 6 cover page options. Ha!

blog-planner-2

 

Oh and I threw in 3 free art printables that you can either print out to use in your planner as section dividers, or just frame and put up in your home office!

I’m especially obsessed with the shine bright one. It looks amazing framed or even just taped up on a white wall with some washi tape.

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How to Print The Planner:

In terms of printing – don’t stress. It’s super easy.

There are detailed instructions on how to print included in the purchase, but basically you just print the sheets on regular 8.5 x 11 white paper, hole punch, and slip into a 1/2″ binder. You can do it all in colour or not, and do different numbers of sheets as it makes sense for your use (printing in black and white makes the binder super cheap to print).

You need to print several copies of the following pages, as you’ll need multiples to take you through the year. This is generally what I recommend:

  • Calendar sheet: 12 copies (1 for each month)
  • 90-Day Goals: 4 copies (1 for each quarter)
  • To-Do List: 5-6 copies
  • Blog Post Ideas: 5-6 copies
  • Blog Post Brainstorm: 10 to get started
  • Blog Post Audit: 1 if you are going to use it as a guide and not mark it up, multiple if you plan to mark up the sheet for each post
  • Biz Expenses – Monthly: 12
  • Income – Monthly: 12
  • Income Breakdown – Monthly: 12
  • The rest –> Print just a single copy for the year! You may find that you have to print additional sheets every now and again, but these will be good quantities to get you started.

Because the calendar sheets don’t have months on them, it means you can use the planner year after year, without ever having to buy a new one!

blog-income-report

Here are what a few folks are saying…

“With pieces of note papers everywhere, to-do lists and blog post ideas swirling around in my head, I’ve been looking for a good system to capture it all in one place. Not only did this planner help me to get organized, but included in it are extremely helpful tips and templates to take our blogging to the next level, such as ones for blog post brainstorming and short- and long-term goal-setting. I highly recommend this valuable resource.” – Jane (& Sonja), Sustain My Craft Habit

“Gemma’s blogger planner was EXACTLY what I needed to help me develop and stick to my blogging strategies. Anything that could be added to this planner is in there and I now depend on it daily. A blogger planner isn’t something that you can really appreciate until you have tried it and now there’s no turning back for me! This planner meets my needs, is super chic, and the price can’t be beaten. Thank you for thinking of it all, Gemma!”– Amy, AmyHowardSocial.com

“I honestly didn’t think I’d benefit from a blog planner. I have an editorial calendar system that is rocking BUT I’ve struggled to keep all the information a blogger needs in order. Affiliate spreadsheets, brand contacts, and social stats? Come on! And goals? I couldn’t even remember where I’d written them down to see if I’d met them. It is such a lifesaver to have all this information in one place and looking beautiful. Thank you Gemma for changing the way I look at blog planning!” – Colleen, LemonThistle.com

blog-post-audit-tool

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

You can buy the Printable Blog Planner here.

It’s on special at $9.95. A steal!!

blog-planner-1

planner-buy-button

 

Don’t want to buy the planner yet, but want some FREE downloadables?

I have made the editorial calendar and goal-setting worksheets available FO FREE, so you can download and test them out!

Click here to get the FREE templates!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

Want to learn how I took my blogging business full-time by launching an online shop?

Then make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

Related Posts:

How to Start a Blog

My Goal Setting Method

How to Create and Use an Editorial Calendar for your Blog

 

#Free Blog #Editorial Calendar Printable | How to use a blogging content planning system to grow your blog and maximize your productivity!

How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog [FREE printable]

If you aren’t using some kind of editorial calendar for your blog and you want to be serious about growing your blogging business, then stop what you’re doing, grab a coffee, and read this post, OK?

#Free Blog #Editorial Calendar Printable | How to use a blogging content planning system to grow your blog and maximize your productivity!

 

Why A Blog Editorial Calendar is So Important:

When I got serious about using a monthly calendar and actually sticking to it, woah did it ever made a HUGE difference to my ability to stay on track, plan out my work, and be way more productive.

Instead of using any kind of software or online calendar, I decided to go old school and plan out my calendar with pen and paper. I had been using a google calendar before, but once I went to paper (and kept my calendar with other blogging paperwork in my blog planner), the whole routine just stuck.

 

Snag the FREE Editorial calendar:

Before we dive in to how to actually use the editorial calendar, make sure you snag it. Enter your email address below and I’ll send the printable straight to your inbox, along with some goal setting sheets too!

 

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

My editorial calendar method:

Step 1 / Brainstorm

At the end of each month (before the next one starts), I sit down and have a brainstorming sesion.

My first step is to write out all of my blog post ideas for that month. Usually I go overboard and write out every single idea that comes to mind.

When you are doing this, be mindful of any products you are wanting to promote. If you have an Etsy shop with printables, think about a blog post that somehow incorporates a framed print (maybe in a room makeover?). If you are trying to sell online decorating services, maybe you could have one post that is dedicated to showcasing some past client work. You always want to use your blog posts as a marketing tool for any paid product or service you have.

Once I have those ideas down, I also add in any sponsored posts I know are coming up. Because I only plan one month at a time, it means that I usually have a pretty good idea of any sponsored content I have coming down the pipeline.

You also want to think about the seasonal themes and incorporate some of those types of posts into your calendar. If you are stuck for ideas, this post lays out blog post ideas for every month of the year.

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

Step 2 / Categorize

After all of the ideas and sponsored posts are down on paper, I categorize them.

If you are a home and DIY blogger, then those categories might look something like this:

  • DIY project tutorial
  • Home decor finds or some kind of round up
  • Room makeover (not necessarily just “before + after” – could be a progress post of a makeover)
  • Home decor lesson or trends
  • Product Review (this is a great spot to integrate some affiliate marketing!)
  • … etc, etc. (you may also do recipes, fashion, or other “lifestyle” posts – these categories will be different from blogger to blogger)

Why do I categorize?

Well, not only to make sure that I have scattered the posts appropriately throughout the month, but it’s also because each category has a different time requirement. Doing a DIY project where I need to gather supplies, do the project, take photography, edit photos, write, etc, takes WAY longer than doing a round-up post of favourite marble bathroom accessories. A room makeover update post would be somewhere in between those two. So by categorizing, I can be realistic about how many of each type of post I can get done within the month.

You want to focus on writing good evergreen content instead of too many “filler” or quickie posts, so you need to be realistic about how many you can actually do in a month without running yourself ragged or not accomplishing your other, bigger blog biz goals (you can read about my method for planning and accomplishing goals here).

I’m a big believer in quality over quantity in terms of blog posts. By focusing on really stellar evergreen content and not trying to stick to an unrealistic posting schedule, you still have time to grow the other parts of your business model AND stay sane.

 

Step 3 / Enter into the Calendar

When I go and actually write out the posts into my calendar, I do it on paper. I have a physical blog planner that I use every single day.  If you don’t have your own planner, you can print out 12 date-less calendar sheets. Then use one calendar sheet per month and plan out your content out on it.

Why paper?

I like to be able to look at the calendar easily within my blog planner and if it’s hidden in a software, then it’s just one more tab I need to have open on my computer. By seeing the calendar everyday on my desk (along with other things like my to-do list, goal sheet, etc.) I stay WAY more focused and on track. Plus, I just like putting pen to paper. I’m old school.

This is what it would look like just printing out the FREE calendar sheets I linked to above:

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

I keep the editorial calendar mostly just focused on content: blog posts and email newsletters. If I’m launching a product or have a webinar, or something like that, I would add those in too.

What I don’t write on this calendar?

Social media posts, my to-do list tasks, appointments, calls, etc. Those go into another sheet within my blog planner. And I use scheduling tools for social media (find out which social media tools I use here).

Getting the calendar down on paper not only means I can look it over and make sure I like the overall plan for the month, but it also makes it super clear to me what I need to be working on. It gives a natural priority to the task list.

 

Step 4 / Be a blogging badass

Since I started utilizing this method, I can usually be a couple of weeks ahead of schedule for blog post writing. No more feeling rushed to whip out a last minute blog post because I feel like I “have to”. Honestly, it’s been a huge time AND stress saver. And I actually feel like I have my shit together (most of the time).

Oh, it also means that your content will be better – it’ll planned more thoughtfully and strategically. Basically it’s an all around win.

 

Download Your Calendar Templates:

Make sure you grab the calendar and goal setting sheet printables. This printable is date-less so you’ll be able to print out a whole year’s worth at once!

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

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Blogging Legally: 6 Legal Issues You Need To Understand

In our Bloggers Facebook Group (join here!) a little while ago, I asked what people were struggling with.

One of the questions that came up was a bit more clarity regarding the legal aspects of blogging: What you do and don’t have to do to cover your butt when working with sponsors, doing giveaways, and making money.

Luckily I knew exactly who to turn to for that stuff – Jackie from Jade and Oak.

Blogging Legally | Following all the laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, images, disclosures, and more? Click over for the blogging legal basics - what you need to know to avoid any trouble!

Jackie is a lawyer in her day job and blogs on the side, and I have been following her blog for years. I sent her a message to see if she’d be willing to pop on over here and share some of the blogging legally basics…. and lucky us, she agreed!

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I’ll let her take it away…

 

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Blogging is big business and I love that more and more people are treating their blog like a business. Being a business means that you also need to make sure you’re covered on the legal side of things. So I’m so happy Gemma invited me to post today about the legal basics of blogging.

My name is Jackie and I’ve blogged at Jade and Oak for over 4 years and have been an attorney for over 6 years. I provide legal info and tips for bloggers and small biz owners on my blog, so today I’m here to educate on the legal basics you need to know as a blogger.

(PS >> Although I am an attorney, I’m not your attorney and this post does not create an attorney-client relationship. As an American attorney, this post was written with US laws and regulations in mind. If you live in another country, research your country’s laws. This post is legal information and should not be seen as legal advice. If you need legal advice, be sure to consult with an attorney who specializes in your subject matter and jurisdiction.)

 

1 // Legal statements on blogs

Most blogs need several different statements (in order to protect yourself and your readers). At the very least, you need to have a “privacy statement” if you are collecting any personal info on your blog. Most blogs are collecting some sort of info, either through the use of cookies for Google Analytics or even just email addresses when people leave comments. If you collect personal info, you must have a privacy statement, letting your readers know what info you collect, how you collect it and what you do with that info.

It’s also important to include a terms and conditions statement, which basically lets people know the “rules” of your blog, including what kind of behavior is/isn’t okay.

Lastly, disclosure statements are necessary anytime you are working with a company or brand and are being compensated in any way (through a sponsored post, getting a free product or getting paid an affiliate commission).

It’s important to have these statements to show that you are running a professional blog and you understand legal requirements to have a legit business. This will help to put your readers at ease because they know you’re educated regarding the law and aren’t running a shady operation. Definitely a good thing.

 

2 // Copyright issues

In the US, your work is actually copyright protected the moment that it is created. As a blogger, that’s great – it means your work is protected without needing to formally go out and do anything. BUT that won’t necessarily stop anyone from stealing your work (the internet is obviously an easy place for people to take other people’s work).

So it’s a good idea to include a general copyright statement on every page of your blog – with the © symbol and/or “copyright,” your name/blog name and year or years of publication. Mine says: Copyright 2012-2016 Jade and Oak.

You should also include a longer statement somewhere on your blog indicating what you are/aren’t okay with others using.

For example, if you want people to use your stock photos for any reason, indicate that. But if you don’t want anyone to reuse your work or you require a link back, lay all of that out as well. (You can read more about copyrights here.)

 

3 // Linking to other content

Speaking of links, as a blogger you will likely be linking to other people’s content or blog posts.

Most people are more than happy to have you refer to their content if you are providing a link to their site. Just sharing a link isn’t a copyright issue, but if you are sharing someone else’s photos, graphics, videos or quoting a huge section of their blog post, you need to email them and make sure that they are ok with it.

 

 

4 // Your email list

If you are using email marketing for your blog or business, there are a few things to consider to make sure you’re not breaking the law.

The most important thing is to include an address in every email newsletter (physical address or a PO Box). This is to help prevent spam. In general, you want to avoid being spammy with your email list and want to make sure you aren’t emailing people who have opted out.

You can learn more about email lists and the law on my blog.

 

5 // Protecting yourself from liability

Blogs are an amaaaaazing source of info – I love that you can learn so much from fellow bloggers. However, you should be careful to make sure you won’t be held liable for something that could be seen as professional advice. Just like how I included a legal disclaimer at the top of this post, consider if you need any disclaimers for info that you provide.

For example, if you write about weight loss on your blog, it’s important to remind your readers that you aren’t a health professional and your blog posts are for informational or entertainment purposes only and should not be relied upon for health advice. (And if you are some sort of professional, remind people that you aren’t acting in your professional capacity and providing them with any specific or personalized advice.)

Most people will realize that your blog posts are informational in nature and aren’t medical, legal, health, tax, etc advice. But it doesn’t hurt to just remind people that you aren’t providing professional advice, so include a clear disclaimer as necessary. If someone could maybe mistake it as professional advice, err on the side of caution.

 

6 // Money issues

Yay you’re making money on your blog! Now you just need to make sure that you’re properly reporting it to the IRS for taxes.

In general, once you are making more than $400 per year, you need to start reporting that to the government and pay taxes as necessary. However, you can also take advantage of legitimate business expenses or deductions for your blog as well (things like your hosting service, email service provider, graphic designer, etc.)

Whether you’re a brand new blogger or you’ve been making money for awhile, start tracking your income and expenses right now so you can be ready when it’s tax time.

(**Canadian bloggers –> This is the same for us! You need to claim your income and any gifts received in your income taxes.)

 

Free Email Course

I know the law can be daunting and overwhelming. These are some legal basics to get you started but there is more to know! If you are interested in learning more, sign up for my free email course, Legalize Your Blog, to get legal tips sent straight to your inbox.

Also check out my blog Jade and Oak for even more about running your blog and biz legally! If you have any more questions about the legal side of blogging, let me know!

Blogging Legally 101 | Following all the laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, images, disclosures, and more? Click over to the post for the blogging legal basics - what you need to know to avoid any legal pitfalls!

 

Thanks a mill, Jackie for popping in here and giving up some Legal 101 Scoop!

Guys, be sure to head over to Jade and Oak for all your legal questions. 

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

Related Posts:

How to Easily Increase Blog Traffic

How to Use an Editorial Calendar (with FREE printable!)

5 Mistakes Bloggers Make when they Monetize Their Blogs

Free #Blogging #Goal Setting #Printable Worksheet | How to set goals to maximize your productivity and grow your blog fast!

How To Grow Your Blog Faster By Setting Blogging Goals [FREE printable!]

When I finally got serious about treating my blog like a business, I started setting blogging goals.

Do you do this? I can’t even tell you how much it has helped me.

By actually sitting down, having brainstorming sessions, getting laser clear about my focus, and then setting those goals and planning out all the steps I need to do to get there, my productivity has gone through the roof. No more spending time on things that don’t get me closer to where I want to be. It makes everything SO. MUCH. CLEARER.

And as a mama who only gets work-time during naps and sometimes evenings, I needed that clarity. I couldn’t waste time on fluffy stuff.

I thought I’d share the method that is really working for me so you can maximize your productivity too!

Free #Blogging #Goal Setting #Printable Worksheet | How to set goals to maximize your productivity and grow your blog fast!

How to set blogging goals to grow your blog, including a free goal setting worksheet and printable editorial calendar!

FREE Goal Setting Worksheet

Before we dive in, get instant access to the goal-setting worksheet AND printable editorial calendar here. These two resources are going to be SO helpful in getting you organized and insanely productive… promise.

 

What are NOT blog goals:

Let me be clear on what I consider goals to be.

Something like “publish 10 posts” doesn’t count.

I don’t actually consider blog posts and newsletters “goals”. This is where my editorial calendar comes in. I have a certain schedule that I stick to (for example: blog posts on Sundays and Tuesdays and a newsletter on Wednesdays).

That content is just my regular, weekly stuff that doesn’t change. I plan out my content on the editorial calendar, and tackle my goal-setting and related to-do list for that on a separate sheet.

 

So ARE blog goals?

My blogging goals tend to be things that are growing my biz outside of content and newsletters. It’s like working ON my business instead of just “in it”.

Things like developing new products to launch, working on site improvements, creating an email sequence, pitching sponsored posts, doing webinars or collaborations, working on my social media strategy, updating old posts with new pinnable images, etc.

See how those are different from regular content production?

If I forget to set goals, then all I end up doing is producing more content but without my working on strategies to continually grow my blogging income.

 

Alright, let’s dive into the goal-setting method…

 

1 // Set 90 Day Goals

I personally like working in 90-day chunks, but you can work in 30-day if that is better for you.

The reason why I like 90-day is because since I tend to be setting quite large business goals, I need to give myself enough time to actually accomplish them.

The 90 day chunks means that your year is broken up into 4 quarters:

  • Quarter 1: January – March (deadline: April 1)
  • Quarter 2: April – June (deadline: July 1)
  • Quarter 3: July – September (deadline: Oct 1)
  • Quarter 4: October – December (deadline: Jan 1)

Here are a few examples of some 90 day goals: 

  • 90 Day Goal: Launch new line of art prints
  • 90 Day Goal: Go live with new blog design
  • 90 Day Goal: Start blog newsletter and have 5 opt in spots across blog
  • 90 Day Goal: Audit and update old blog posts with better SEO, affiliate links, and pinterest image
  • 90 Day Goal: Launch a new webinar series of DIY project tutorials on blog

See how those are pretty big goals?

You don’t want to set more than 2-5 goals for the 90 day period. Keep them attainable and realistic. If you always set too many goals or goals that are too big, it’ll just get overwhelming.

On the other hand, if you don’t set any goals, then you’ll probably spend your 90 days producing blog content, floating around on social media, but not actually moving your business forward.

Have a brainstorming session once per quarter to flush out these big ideas. I make a morning of it. I grab my coffee, notebook, and carve out a few quiet hours to dedicate JUST to brainstorming. I get so much more done this way and I can plan out months of work, tasks, content, in advance.

Blogging Goals | How to set goals for your blog and business | Blog Goal Setting Worksheet | Using a blog planner and editorial calendar

 

2 // Break Goals Down into Tasks

Once you’ve written out your 90-day goals, it’s time to break those down into task lists. The task list might be long and that’s OK. I want you to literally break it down as much as you can so that these become very specific items that you can cross off your to-do list as you work through it.

So let’s take the 90-day goal of “Start a blog newsletter and have 5 opt-in spots across blog”. The task list for this might look like:

  • Research and decide on email system to use
  • Sign up for email system
  • Design overall template to use for newsletters
  • Find your top 3 most popular blog posts on Google Analytics and brainstorm opt-in freebie for each post (opt-in might be a worksheet, design guide, printable, etc)
  • Create opt-in freebie #1
  • Create opt-in freebie #2
  • Create opt-in freebie #3
  • Develop opt-in sign up boxes and embed them into the 3 blog posts
  • Embed those opt-in boxes in any additional blog posts where the freebie might be relevant
  • Add general opt-in box to blog homepage
  • Add general pop-up opt-in box to blog
  • Create newsletter schedule

See how that’s a big list? It’s a lot. That’s why you want to focus on just a handful (or less) of goals over a 90 day period so that you can actually see them through.

It’s the worst when you only get things half finished before moving on to the next, and then you never go back and call it done.

3 // Allocate Tasks into Calendar

Once you have those big lists written out for each goal, then it’s time to take those lists and plan them into your calendar.

You may not know exactly which day you are going to work on each thing, but you might plan it out by week. So for instance, week 1 you would want X, Y, and Z done. Then week 2 you’d move onto the next 3 things. That way each week you know *exactly* what smaller tasks you need to accomplish in order to be able to cross that big goal off the list after 30 or 90 days.

Having this sort of to do list for each week, along with my overall blog editorial calendar for content, means that I always know exactly what I’m meant to be working on. There is never a morning where I get to my computer and say “Hmm, what do I feel like doing today?” It’s already planned out for me. This saves me so much time and has put my productivity into overdrive.

Blogging Goals | How to set goals for your blog and business | Blog Goal Setting Worksheet | Using a blog planner and editorial calendar

 

4 // Keep tabs on Progress

At the end of every month I’ll check in to see how I’m doing against the bigger list. Sometimes things have gone off the rails (hello, life!) and that’s cool. I’ll just try to course-correct and see what I can do to try to still accomplish the 90 day goal.

By checking in at the end of each month, it means that I can see pretty clearly if I’m getting done what I need to.

 

5 // Re-visit and Move to Next Quarter

When you get to the end of that quarter? Daaaamn it feels good to check those big goals off the list. You actually feel like you accomplished something BIG instead of just keeping up with the status quo.

If you don’t get all of them crossed off, then evaluate why that was. Maybe life just got crazy and it wasn’t feasible. Maybe you bit off more than you could chew and planned too many big goals. Maybe you under-estimated the task list associated with each goal. Whatever it was, try to understand it so that you don’t make the same mistake again.

Like I said earlier, I tend to only have say 2 big 90-day goals at a time. There is still lots of other work going on from writing blog content, writing newsletters, managing etsy shop, scheduling social media, etc. I want to stay realistic about what I can accomplish.

Blogging Goals | How to set goals for your blog and business | Blog Goal Setting Worksheet | Using a blog planner and editorial calendar

 

Grab The (FREE!) Goal Setting Worksheet

I designed these printables for myself to use and have LOVED using them. I write out my goals and brainstorm the tasks on the goals worksheet, and then allocate the tasks to my editorial calendar and to-do list for that week.

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

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Why You Need to Build an #Email List as a #Blogger. The 5 reasons why you should grow an email list to increase your sales and traffic.

5 Reasons Why Every Blogger Needs To Build An Email List

Email lists are having a moment, and as a blogger I’m sure you’ve read over and over again that you *NEED* to have one.

When I started blogging in 2010 blog email lists weren’t really a thing – you had RSS feeds where each of your posts would pop into the reader’s email inbox, but it was all automated and you didn’t have to produce extra content for it. Then newsletters slowly became more popular, and now NOT having an email list is pretty shocking.

I didn’t start collecting emails until 2015 (5 years into blogging!!) and damn if I’m not kicking myself for starting earlier.

Why You Need to Build an #Email List as a #Blogger. The 5 reasons why you should grow an email list to increase your sales and traffic.

Why You Need to Build an Email List:

If you are still on the fence about whether you want to start collecting emails, I think you are about to be convinced.

Here’s why…

 

1 / You Own It

With social media platforms, you can build up your audience like crazy, but then one day the algorithm changes and all of a sudden only a small portion of that audience actually sees your stuff. Or your account could get hacked. Or maybe that platform goes away all together. Or your blog might go down. You just never know.

With an email list though, that bad boy is ALL yours. You own that list and can pop in on your readers there whenever you need to.

 

2 / It’s a Direct Line of Communication

Getting an email is SO much more personal than seeing an update on social media or a new blog post. It’s more like getting a little love note from a friend.

Having such a direct line of communication is an amazing tool. You know your readers are probably checking their email multiple times a day (unlike social media or your blog itself) and will see your email no matter what.

You can also ask for feedback via email way easier than with blog posts or on social media. Ask your list what they would like from you. Ask them to take a survey, or ask their opinion on something. It’s a great way to figure out what kind of content you should produce and what potential products you could develop in order to serve your audience better.

The biggest thing about an email list is that you want to be providing them with TONS of value. They should be your VIPs – getting all the insider scoop and be the first to know about everything.

 

3 / You Can Build Stronger Relationships

Because email is such a personal form of communication, it is a great way to build a really strong relationship with your audience.

Make sure you personalize those emails (after all, they signed up to hear from YOU, so don’t be shy!). Elicit conversation by asking them to hit reply and tell you what they think. Respond to them when they do write to you.

All of those things help to foster a meaningful connection and trust. You want to cultivate an engaged and loyal readership in that list – people who are going to be your biggest cheerleaders and who can’t wait to read what you have to say. Plus, building up that trust and credibility? Well when you have a product to sell, well that’s gonna convert into more sales. We all like to buy from people we feel like we really know and like.

 

4 / It’s Your Best Sales Tool

Your email list is going to be your absolute best sales tool. It’s the most effective and targeted way to make sales, and get your product or service seen.

Once you have an email list setup and you have a product to sell, you will want to create a “sales funnel”. Basically this means that you get people to sign up to your list by offering some kind of opt-in incentive, and then walk them through what you can do for them that will help them.

So let’s go through an example. Say you had an opt-in incentive which was a design guide to decorate a room, and your product is a course on how to decorate your house or a service like design consulting, then you would want to create a series of intro emails that give the reader lots of value but also pitches them (in a non-sleazy way) what you’re selling. You might send them 2-3 emails on various tips on how to decorate, but then also 1-2 emails that pitch your product.

There is a whole art to creating sales funnels, so google around for more info on that if you want to do further reading!

 

5 / It’s A Monetization Asset

Beyond selling your own products or services, you can also monetize your email list in other ways. You can insert a display ad right into the email. You can highlight affiliate products really well in email and drive those affiliate sales.

Be clear on the rules of whatever affiliate program you’re using (Amazon for example doesn’t like you to use affiliate links in emails) and you always need to make it clear that affiliate links have been used.

Similarly, ff you are working with brands on sponsored campaigns, offering them a mention in your newsletter can help you drive up your sponsored post fee. If the brand knows that they are going to get a mention in front of 500 or 5000 eyes on email, that’s a huge asset.

 

My best advice? Grow your list with intention.

This is my one caveat when it comes to list-building.

Be intentional about why you are creating your list and who you want on it. Even if you don’t have any products or services to sell yet (that’s cool!), think about what kinds of products you might create in the future and who might buy them. You need to be really clear on your target market and make sure you are getting those people on your list.

Just having random people sign up to your list for all kinds of various opt-in’s will build your numbers, but it will be a disjointed list that doesn’t have a common theme. You’ll likely get a lot of unsubscribes and be at a loss for what type of product to create since everyone’s interests will be really different.

You want to make sure your opt-in freebie relates to the end product you will be trying to sell. For example, if someone signs up to your list because you offered a free meal planning printable, then it wouldn’t make much sense if down the road you were trying to sell them interior design services. They don’t really connect well, you know?

Plus, if you have this great targeted list and build up that community, then it will be much easier to know what to write about in your newsletters. Because you know what those people are interested in, you will be able to come up with lots of ways of providing them value.

As always, you need to think of your blog as an overall brand and biz if you’re going to be successful at building it up into a super profitable gig.

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

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Blogger Email Lists 101 | If you aren't building an email list as a blogger, you're making a HUGE mistake. Here are the 5 reasons why you should build an email list to grow your sales and increase your audience from the beginning. Click through to read why, and tips on getting started!

How to Create a Blog Media Kit That Brands Will Love

Are you a blogger who wants to start working with brands?

Well, you are going to need a stellar blog media kit that will make you look professional, show off your work, and basically make brands line up to work with you. It’s like your ultimate sales pitch tool. I can guarantee you that if you pitch a brand without a media kit, your chances of them saying yes to a collaboration are waaaay lower.

Note: Affiliate Links have been used in this post. Please refer to my Policies page for more information.

Blog Media Kit | How to make a media kit | Pitch brands | Sponsored Posts | Media Kit Templates

 

Elements Every Media Kit Should Have:

A Description of You & Your Blog

You need to introduce who you are and what your blog is all about in your media kit. The description should be a short paragraph letting them know your name, your blog name, and the general topics you blog about. I also like to include location in here. For me being based in Canada, sometimes that is an advantage or can be restrictive to potential sponsors, so I like to get it out on the table right away.

 

Amazing Photos

Next up are photos. You don’t want your media kit to come off as all-text because that would be seriously boring. It needs to look good and convey a sense of personality and your blog. I want you to include your best headshot so that the brand can feel like they are getting to know you, and then a handful of other images that demonstrate some of the most stellar work from your blog. Make sure these are beautiful photos that are well-lit, edited nicely, and form a cohesive look.

 

Audience Demographics

Next up are your audience demographics. You want to give the brand a sense of your readership so that they know whether this fits into their target market. If you head into Google Analytics, you can look up the sex, location, and age of your readership. You should have a general sense of this anyway, and the overall interests of your readers just based on your interaction with them. A one to two sentence description of your audience is sufficient.

 

Stats

Your blog and social media stats need to be on the kit somewhere. The key ones to include are:

  • Your followers count across your social media platforms
  • Monthly page views to your blog
  • Monthly unique page views (“users” in Google Analytics)
  • Newsletter subscriber count (assuming you have a newsletter setup)

To get your page views and your uniques, head on into to Google Analytics, as it has the most accurate numbers. If you don’t have Google Analytics setup yet for your blog, definitely do it. It’s going to be the best way for you to get a sense of your readership.

Blog Media Kit | How to make a media kit | Pitch brands | Sponsored Posts | Media Kit Templates

Check out Shannon’s media kit here. She does a beautiful job at packing it full of info AND keeping it pretty! 

Collaboration Options

You want to describe the kinds of ways you could work with brands. This is where you are saying what you offer – whether it’s blog posts, social media posts, newsletter mentions, photography, original video, etc. I recommend you include your rates within your kit so that it’s all in one spot. You want to make it as easy as possible for the brand’s PR/marketing person.

 

Contact Information

It’s kind of obvious, but make sure you have your contact information readily available in the kit. An email address is sufficient, and your handles for social media is good to have there too.

 

Testimonials / Press

This is optional, but having testimonials from other brands you have worked with can be a great way of selling yourself. Or even just having the logos of brands you’ve worked with is still an awesome way of adding that credibility factor to your blog.

If you have received big press coverage with your blog, then it’s nice to highlight that as well. Again, it shows that you have a big reach and helps you to be taken seriously.

 

General Tips:

Make it a PDF – Your kit should always come as a PDF, unless you have created it online so it has its own URL. Don’t send something in Word or as a JPEG, it just doesn’t look as professional and may be difficult to open up. A PDF will always look exactly how you created it, no matter who opens it up on any device.

Lots of white space – You don’t want your kit to feel text heavy. Make sure you have lots of white space to make it look great and be easy to read.

Not too long –  I don’t think that there is a hard and fast rule to how long your media kit should be, but kind of like a traditional resume, I wouldn’t let it get out of control long. People aren’t going to take the time to read anything that goes on forever, so aim to keep it under 3 pages.

 

Media Kit Templates:

If you are savvy with design software and can create your kit on your own, then totally go for it… BUT using a template is what I recommend. It will save you tons of time and headache, and will ensure your kit looks super amazing.

There are lots of great templates out there, but here are my faves. The best part? All of these can be customized using Word, so you don’t need Photoshop or any other special software. It makes it easy to edit and you can save as a PDF no problem:

template1

template2

template3

  • Graphicadi  – use coupon code THESWEETESTDIGS for 10% off!

template4

template5

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

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10 must-have #tools and programs for running your #blog biz. Ever blogger and online entrepreneur needs these to grow their business. Click through for the full list!

Top 10 Must-Have Tools For Bloggers

There are so many tools and software out there to help you run and create a blog, it can be totally overwhelming. I’m constantly hearing about new programs coming out, things seem to be ever-changing, and it’s hard to stay on top of it all.

There are a few programs and websites though that are my absolute go-to’s as a home decor blogger and keep my business afloat. I love it when I find something that is user-friendly and makes my life easier in some way. I try to create “systems” in my business so that everything runs as efficiently as possible.

If you’re looking to create a blog or already run a blogging biz, here are my top 10 must-have tools

(Please note that you don’t need ALL of these things to run a successful blog biz. I know that costs can add up! So be sure to add new tools to your toolbox as your budget allows.)

10 must-have #tools and programs for running your #blog biz. Ever blogger and online entrepreneur needs these to grow their business. Click through for the full list!

The top 10 must-have tools and programs for running your DIY and design blogging biz. Ever blogger and online entrepreneur needs these!! Click through for the free download cheatsheet!

Affiliate links have been used when appropriate. Please see my Policies page for more info.

 

My Top 10 Blogging Tools:

 

#1 – WORDPRESS: For creating your blog

I am a wordpress lover through and through. There is a learning curve, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy to figure things out on your own (and worst case, google it! Honestly, there is an answer for ALL wordpress issues out there).

I love that I know how to edit my site, change up the look, ensure good SEO, and so much more. Oh and the other great thing? Because WordPress is used by a zillion people, there are plugins for everything. And most of them are free. For example, if you want to start selling products, then the WooCommerce plugin is free and waiting for you.

 

#2 – BLUEHOST: For hosting your blog

Bluehost is widely popular with bloggers. In my own experience, Bluehost is a great host to start your blogging journey with. Their rates are the cheapest you’ll find, and I didn’t have any issues until my blog outgrew it. Once I was getting sizeable traffic, I upgraded to a more expensive host (EvenPar Solutions).

Click here for my How to Start a Blog page for detailed instructions to get you up and running.

 

#3 – CANVA: For creating amazing images

Ever wondered how to create amazing graphics for your blog? Especially if you don’t have the bucks to shell out for fancy Adobe Illustrator?

Well, get ready, because you’re about to lose hours and hours of time on Canva creating the most gorgeous graphics ever. Honestly, I LOVE this program.

Their design templates are great, they have so many options, and the interface is crazy easy to use. Major heart eyes over here.

I pay for the professional version so that I can easily re-size images and have access to the full suite of features, but the free version is seriously amazing too.

 

#4 – BOARDBOOSTER: For scheduling Pinterest

Pinterest is ridiculously important for bloggers, and particularly those in the home decor niche, where good graphics and photography are a big player in attracting readers to your site.

My fave Pinterest scheduler without a doubt is Tailwind. This little tool will change your  life. You can schedule out pins to your boards, participate in tribes, find content, and just manage your whole Pinterest presence. For me, it means that I look like an active pinner and gain lots of followers, but only have to spend an hour a week on Pinterest. Amazing, right? It’s the best money I spend every month!

 

#5 – BUFFER: For social media scheduling

Buffer is another excellent scheduling tool. I use it for Facebook – both pages and groups. It allows you to upload all of your pics, write out your captions, and schedule your posts for weeks and months in advance.

For instagram, it can’t actually post for you, but you get a little pop-up on your phone when it’s time to post and then it’s just a matter of hitting a few clicks to publish.

Sitting down once every few weeks to plan out your social media content will make your life so much easier.

 

#6 – CONVERT KIT: For your email provider

If you plan on focusing on list-building (which I reeeeally encourage you do to build your biz!), and want to have a smart email system to do it with, then ConvertKit is it.

I switched over to ConvertKit  from MailChimp and LOVE it. The creator of ConvertKit built it specifically for bloggers, and it means that there are some really smart features.

-Do you have multiple opt-in’s on your site?  No problem – they only get counted as 1 subscriber so you aren’t having to double pay for them.

-Want to setup an automation sequence for a free course or other marketing tool?  Easy-peasy in ConvertKit.

-Need to tag folks so that you know what particular things they are interested in from you?  Takes 5 seconds.

I could go on and on. There are lots of really great features at an affordable monthly price.

When I first switched over, I was a little bummed that the emails didn’t look as “pretty” and didn’t have the drag-and-drop setup feature that Mailchimp had. But then I realized that I actually like getting emails from bloggers that look more like an email from a friend and don’t take a million years to load with a ton of images. Plus apparently fewer images also means they are less likely to go into spam folders. Who knew?!

Read more here about why it’s so important that you build an email list as a blogger.

 

#7 – CREATIVE MARKET: For graphics, fonts, and all things pretty

Creative Market is a rabbit hole that I get COMPLETELY lost in from time to time. From amazing fonts, to gorgeous stock photography, to really cute graphics and clip art, there is so much fun stuff to browse. If you are going to create printables, do any kind of graphic design (even basic stuff) for your blog, or need stock photos for your posts, then this is where you want to go to.

If you sign up for their newsletter, you get free stuff every Monday to download! I’m always super pumped to see what they are sending out every week. Go sign up now – you’ll love it!

 

#8 – WAVE APPS: For your bookkeeping

One downside of running your own biz is having to handle all the numbers and bookkeeping, but I have found a tool that makes this WAY less painful. Stop using a plain spreadsheet to track your biz expenses and sign up for Wave. It will change your life (it’s free!).

I track all of my expenses and pay-days in there, create super profresh looking invoices, and can get a quick glimpse of what my overall income is in a flash on the dashboard. You can even have multiple profiles – so I separate out blog, etsy shop, and in-person design/consulting services as 3 separate entities so that I can see the income from them super clearly.

It’s an amazing tool! Makes tax time so much easier, too.

 

#9 – ETSY: To get started selling products 

I think Etsy is the best spot to get started with an online shop. It is so quick and easy to launch, they handle all back-end logistics and transactions. There is a lot of built-in traffic since Etsy is the #1 online handmade marketplace.

Use this link to get your first 40 listings FREE!

I wrote a whole guide on how to start your Etsy shop to make it super easy and take any of the guesswork out. Download it below!

#10 – KINGSUMO GIVEAWAYS: To build your email list with giveaways

If you do any giveaways on your blog, you might have used a free service like RaffleCopter or Gleam. Those are fine, but generally when I do giveaways I want the entry to focus on the thing I’m after most: the email address. Building my email list is waaaay more important to me than social media follows.

The best tool I have found to do this is called KingSumo Giveaways.

With KingSumo Giveaways, the ONLY thing you collect as an entry is the reader’s email address, which is an amazing way to help build your list. Then if the reader wants even more entries, they share the giveaway with a special URL and for every friend they refer they get a bunch of additional entries (you set the number). It means that there is major incentive to share the giveaway – total win for the blogger.

It’s a little bit pricey, but it’s a one-time cost and if you do giveaways a few times a year and have list-building as an important aspect of your biz, then I totally think it’s worth it. I much prefer a one time cost then a monthly subscription for something like this.

 

That’s a wrap! My top 10 tools.

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

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7 Strategies To Increase Blog Traffic

As a blogger, you want each post you write to get noticed! There is nothing worse then spending a whole whack of time crafting an amazing post, just to have it bring you little to no traffic and hear crickets. It’s not just a game of luck though. There are really specific things you can focus on and do with each blog post to make sure it reaches its full potential. From my experience of writing blog posts that have done super well AND not so great (trial and error, peeps!!), here is what I have learned: 7 proven strategies to increase blog traffic.

Increase blog traffic | Viral blog post strategies | Increase blog pageviews | SEO, Pinterest and Blog audits | Click through for a free workbook!

 

7 Strategies to Increase your Blog Traffic:

Free Checklist:

Before we dive in, click here to get the Viral Blog Post Checklist sent straight to your inbox:

1 // TEACH SOMETHING

The types of blog posts that not only get read, favorited, shared, and stand the test of time, are the ones that provide ultra valuable content.

A short post that doesn’t leave the reader feeling like they gained a lot from it ain’t going to have much of a lifespan on the internet. On the other hand, if you write a really comprehensive article that imparts some kind of knowledge to the reader, they are going to really value it and share that bad boy.

Try to write every blog post with the intention that readers would want to bookmark and come back to to read again, because it was THAT GOOD. I’m not saying that each post needs to be a tutorial of some kind (though those are great!), but try to always write your post from the perspective of offering value in some way to your reader.

My top posts that do well and continue to send traffic my way, even years later, are comprehensive posts that taught the reader something – usually a DIY project tutorial or some kind of how-to. This post on choosing quartz countertops for our kitchen is an example of one of my best performing posts. In it, I took the readers through our experience of selecting countertop options and included all the marble-lookalike quartz options out there, our decision making process, which we choose, and how we ended up liking it. It’s a pretty clear guide for someone wanting to do something similar.

 

2 // HAVE STELLAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography, particularly in the design / DIY / food / fashion / lifestyle arenas, plays such a huge role in blogging. Let me embarrass myself for a minute, k? Here is a photo from one of my very early blog posts. It was one of my first furniture makeover posts – this was the “during the makeover” pic.

pic-2

Small, SO dark, a weird angle, and terribly composed with the sofa and random stuff in the background. NOBODY is going to find that inspiring. It’s just plain bad.

This image, on the other hand, is well-lit, better composed, and is all around more appealing. Waaaay better. Obviously I have learned a thing or two in my 5+ years of blogging.

looking-for-nursery-or-kids-room-decor-ideas-check-out-this-black-white-and-green-boys-room-with-a-scandi-meets-camp-design-7

I know all bloggers aren’t photography experts. I’m definitely not. But, I promise that you can get better if you just dedicate a bit of time to figuring it out.

Look up tutorials online, read through tips, and get to know photography editing software like Photoshop, LightRoom or PicMonkey (only $40 for the Royale version). There are even tons of apps out there for creating amazing photography just using your phone – here is an article outlining some of the best ones.

If you don’t need to use original photography in your posts, then be sure to use beautiful stock images to amp up the visual factor of your article. There are plenty of sites that offer free stock photos. If you are looking for something more unique or specific, then there is also a whole market out there for paid stock (check out Creative Market, Etsy, etc.). Just never ever ever use a photo that isn’t yours without knowing that you have permission to do so.

 

3 // MAKE IT PINTEREST-FRIENDLY

Pinterest is a huge driver of traffic for most bloggers. It is consistently in my top 3 referrers to my blog, sending me a minimum of 1000 hits a day. In order to get your full potential out of Pinterest, you NEED to make sure you have a “pinterest-friendly” image in each and every blog post you write.

What does this mean?

Size –  The image should be vertical and sized around 735 x 1100 pixels. Vertical images are proven to be way more successful on Pinterest than horizontal ones (they always appear really small), so please please please don’t ignore this piece of advice.

Text – Although I would argue that it isn’t always necessary, images with a text overlay tend to do well on Pinterest. An overlay refers to your post title or some descriptive phrase placed on top of the image, like the one below.

There are two free software tools you can use to do this. The first is Canva, which if you’re anything like me, you will get obsessed with. They even have a Pinterest image option with templates you can use – your designs are going to suddenly look SO good! The other option is PicMonkey, another solid option that I use regularly.

Tags – Alt tagging. I know, I know. You’re like “alt whaaat?”. You know how when you pin an image from a website it automatically pulls a description into the Pinterest description? Well, if you don’t alt tag your image with something, then it’ll pull whatever the title of the image is (think “DSC_0959”). Not great. You want to ensure that you have entered a good phrase into your image’s alt tag so that it pulls this as its’ description, making it way more search and reader friendly in Pinterest (meaning it’s more likely to get re-pinned). If you don’t know how to edit the alt tag, google it for instructions using your platform (wordpress, blogger, squarespace, etc).

Here is an example of one of my post photos that I would consider Pinterest-friendly:

chalk-painted-mason-jars

If you want to get all the Pinterest info you’ll ever need, you HAVE to check out Melyssa’s Pinfinite Growth course. I took it and have 5x my following and saw a 300% increase in Pinterest traffic. The girl delivers an incredible system that works.

 

4 // SMART SEO

SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. Basically, there are a whole bunch of things to do with keywords and the tagging of your post, that are going to help make your post rank high in google search. The higher your post ranks, the more people are going to see it and click on it.

Here are the basic things you want to think about:

Your keyword phrase. This is the phrase that when searched in google, you would want YOUR blog post to show up nice and high in the results. Make sure your phrase isn’t too long, but also specific enough. If you were writing a post about a paleo chocolate cake that uses zucchini (does such a thing exist?), you would want to have the keyword phrase be “paleo zucchini chocolate cake recipe” instead of just “chocolate cake recipe”, where your competition is going to be much higher. Make sense?

You want your keyword phrase to be included somewhere near the top of your post (first paragraph is good), in the title, in the URL, and elsewhere in your post if possible.

Your title. As much as it might be cute to have a title with a funny pun, you want to have a title that is explanatory and grabs peoples’ attention. That fine line between being both educational AND interesting / thought provoking. When you show up in google, you want the title to encourage folks to click over. Something like “Friday Faves” doesn’t tell you anything about the post. I’ll admit – I struggle with titles! I feel like it’s a total art that I definitely haven’t mastered yet. Here is a good article on title creation.

If you use WordPress, there is a plugin called Yoast SEO that I really recommend. It takes the guesswork out of SEO tagging and gives you a green light once you have “good” SEO. I use it for each and every blog post I write. It’s especially perfect if, like me, you don’t totally understand all the nuances of SEO but want to make sure you are going to rank well.

There is WAY more info you can learn on improving your SEO, but that’s a good place to start.

 

5 // MAKE SHARING EASY

Having other people share your content is one of the absolute BEST ways of getting your content out there. You need to make it super easy for people to do this. Make sure you have social sharing buttons placed in a really obvious spot in or throughout your post so that your readers are encouraged to click on them. When someone hovers over an image in your post, the social icons should pop up for the reader to click them (hover over any of the images in this post to see what I mean).

There are tons of plugins that you can use to make this possible. I keep hearing and reading great things about SumoMe, both for sharing buttons and email sign-ups. I’m just getting started with it on my own site, and will report back if I notice a huge leap in sharing!

the-7-things-you-need-to-do-in-each-of-your-blog-posts-to-make-them-go-viral-get-shared-and-boost-your-traffic-click-through-for-the-article-and-free-worksheet

 

6 // AMPLIFY ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA

Speaking of social media, you need to make sure you share each and every blog post you create across your own platforms. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, and wherever else you and your target audience hang out.

Now, I don’t just mean share it once and call it a day. The best thing you can do with your blog’s social media strategy is to continue to share these evergreen blog posts for a long time to come. That’s why we are making sure they are valuable and comprehensive … because those posts ain’t going to go out of style!

There are loads of tools out there you can use to schedule your social media updates. What I recommend is keeping a record of all of your blog posts in some kind of document (like a Word doc, even). Have the link, title, and short description saved and build it up over time with all of your posts. That way you have this amazing document you can pull all of your old blog posts from to schedule into your social media.

For scheduling, these are the software tools I recommend as I find them to be the “smartest” and least time consuming for me:

7 // HAVE A CONTENT UPGRADE

What is a content upgrade?

It’s the “freebie” you sometimes see at the end or within a blog post available for instant download. The blogger has thought about the reader and created some kind of ‘extra’ to give them. Like I mentioned above, it’s allllll about creating value for your readers to get your post shared and folks coming back for more.

You always want your content upgrade to be related to your blog post’s subject matter (having it be totally un-related would be a little weird). Some content upgrade ideas:

  • Cheatsheet (like a one-pager that summarizes your post content)
  • Workbook
  • Checklist
  • Resource List
  • Worksheet / Assignment
  • Guide
  • Printable
  • Podcast
  • Case Study
  • Templates
  • Course
  • eBook
  • basically whatever you think your readers will dig!

Content upgrades not only increase the sharing of your post, but they are also a great opportunity to collect email addresses and turn those readers into subscribers. Building up your email list is really important for your blogging biz, so you want to use this as an opportunity to land some new folks on there.

 

 

Free Download:

Start doing those 7 things with each and every blog post you write, and I PROMISE you are going to see a boost in traffic. You’ve got this!

Click here to get the Viral Blog Post Checklist:

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

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