Home » BLOG » The Blog

Category: The Blog

#Affiliate #marketing for bloggers. A great strategy for making money blogging! Here are 5 things you can do today to increase your affiliate earnings. Plus, where to get affiliate links, and a free tracking sheet!

5 Strategies to Make More with Affiliate Marketing [Blogging Tips]

Affiliate marketing can be an amazing revenue stream for bloggers, but often it isn’t utilized it to it’s full potential.

I wasn’t strategic when it came to affiliate marketing on my own blog, The Sweetest Digs, for such a long time, but when I finally started implementing some strategies and developed a system, things started to click.

Conversions started to happen.

And finally affiliate marketing became an actual revenue stream that brought in more than just a few bucks every month.

 

Free Affiliate Marketing Tracking Sheet

Before we dive in, grab my very own affiliate tracking sheet. I use this tool to organize all of my affiliate networks and links, which makes it super easy to keep everything in one place, and have a go-to spot every time I’m getting ready to publish a blog post or social media post and am adding in my affiliate links.

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

Affiliate-networks-tracking-sheet

Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Affiliate Marketing Strategies

So what are 5 strategies that you can start implementing today to take your own affiliate marketing revenue up a notch?

Here goes….

 

1 // Optimize Your Best Posts

I want you to go login to your Google Analytics dashboard. From there go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. Here you will be able to see your most popular blog posts. Make note of the top 10 or top 20.

Now one by one, head into each of those blog posts and add in any affiliate links that you didn’t do the first time around.

Is it a DIY tutorial? Link to all the supplies needed for the project using affiliate links.

Is it a room makeover or update of some kind? Have a section with a “source guide” where you link to a lot of the products that are featured in the space (even if you can’t find the exact match, link to something similar so your reader can copy the look).

Ultimately it would be great to optimize every blog post, but getting going on your most popular 10 or 20 posts is a good place to start. You know that the majority of your traffic is going to those posts, so it makes sense to spend the time on them. While you’re in there, you could also upgrade the images or include a Pinterest-friendly graphic, if you hadn’t already.

 

2 // Add Affiliate-Heavy Recommendation Pages

Your ability to add affiliate links to your blog isn’t limited to posts. Have you ever noticed any “Shop Our Home” or “Fave DIY Supplies” type pages on a blog? Well those recommendation-type pages are a great spot to link up to your favourite products in one spot – and all (or as many as possible) as affiliate links!

Chris Loves Julia does a great job of this on their “Shop Our House” page. They show all the photos of their gorgeous home, and then identify where you can get the same products so you can achieve a similar look in your own space.

shop-house1

Pages like this are powerful because they don’t get lost and buried into archives like blog posts do. They live in a prominent spot on your website and are highly visible for new visitors.

Whatever it is that you blog about, there has got to be a related products page you could create. If you are a food blogger, it might be kitchen tools. If you are an interior design blogger, it might be online resources for furniture and accessories. If you are a fashion blogger, it would obviously be clothes and beauty recommendations. You get the gist!

 

3 // Use The Pre-Publish “Affiliate Lens”

You should be integrating affiliate links naturally into just about every blog post you write. If you go through each post with an “affiliate lens” before hitting publish, I bet there are quite a few spots you could add some links without it feeling sales-y.

Most of your blog posts should be offering value to your readers – you are likely teaching them something with each post. Whether it’s how to cook something, how to pull together an outfit, how to style a bookshelf, how to pull off a craft, how to design a room, whatever – most involve products of some kind. Products that you can link to!

Your readers want to emulate what you are doing and teaching them, so make it easy on them and provide the links to the products so that they can do just that.

This DIY driftwood hanger post of mine, for example, has all of the supplies linked as affiliate links (mostly from Amazon). It’s just a simple DIY tutorial but I have ensured that every thing that can be linked, is linked.

affiliate-links

 

4 // Integrate a Round-Up or Review Post Every Month

I hope you are using an editorial calendar to plan your blog content (if not, head here to snag my free editorial calendar printable).

Alongside your regular schedule of content, could you include a round-up or review post every month?

When I say round-up, I’m referring to a round up of products that relate to a particular theme. Budget-friendly headboards, or the best products for infants, or the top 10 online resources to find yarn for knitters. Here is an example I did – a round-up of Fall decorations.

fall-decor

A review, on the other hand, would be an in-depth look at a product that you are using yourself and want to recommend to your readers. Maybe you are a food blogger and have fallen in love with your Vitamix. Or if you’re a home decor blogger, maybe you want to review an armchair you bought for your living room. If you are a craft blogger, maybe you could review your Cricut machine.

Whatever it is, doing an in depth review where you go over the pro’s and con’s and show readers how you use it can act as a great affiliate post if it encourages folks to purchase the same product. Even better would be to review a few things against each other – like the vitamix versus a few other brands of blenders. Obviously this can be more costly, but it will make for a more powerful review and recommendation.

I’m not saying to go out and review every single thing and fill your blog with only reviews (boooooring for your readers!), but if you genuinely use and love something and can write an in depth review that will be helpful for others, then you should do it. I know that I almost always google for reviews of any product over $50 that I’m planning on buying.

With these round-up and review posts, make sure they are well optimized for SEO so that you get the organic Google traffic for them. And like I said, don’t do them too often, but maybe once a month. Then if they are SEO optimized and have a good Pinterest graphic, they may make you money for months and years to come.

 

5 // Add a “PS: I’m loving ____” To Your Newsletters

If you aren’t building up an email list and regularly emailing your VIP, then start now. Seriously. An email list is going to be your best marketing tool for your business (read more about why here).

Your newsletters can be a great spot to add a very casual affiliate link here and there. Just having a “PS. I’m loving these ____ right now” line with a pic of whatever product you are recommending feels relaxed and not too pushy. If those subscribers are on your list, it’s because they love your style and really want to see what you are purchasing and using.

As an example, I get emails from Best Friends for Frosting. I love her content and the pretty pink newsletters! In the bottom of some of her emails are these fave finds. Such a great spot to use some affiliate links.

email-affiliate-1

 

So, those are 5 strategies you can implement today to start ramping up your affiliate revenue. Don’t feel like it’s a lost revenue stream for you if you haven’t had success with it yet. Be strategic, go through all of your content with that affiliate lens, and over time that revenue will build up.

As you get more page views and your evergreen posts continue to gain traction through search engines and Pinterest, they can continue to earn you money for a long time to come.

Super important note?

ALWAYS remember that you need to disclose your affiliate links everywhere you use them. In blog posts, on social media, in your newsletters. Everywhere.

 

Don’t forget that tracking sheet!

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

Affiliate-networks-tracking-sheet

Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

Powered by ConvertKit

And in case you missed it, you’ll also want to check out this post where I go over the top 11 affiliate networks you should join to get all the affiliate links you’ll need for your posts.

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

#Affiliate #marketing for bloggers. A great strategy for making money blogging! Here are 5 things you can do today to increase your affiliate earnings. Plus, where to get affiliate links, and a free tracking sheet!

Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money blogging. Here is how to get affiliate links, and which affiliate networks to join. List of networks included for home decor and DIY bloggers!

 

 

Related:

-Top 11 Affiliate Networks You Should Join

-How to Use Affiliate Links on Pinterest

-How to Start a 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?

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.

*Note: If you are working with a team, then you’ll need some kind of online tool like Asana or Trello to manage your calendar and task list so that everyone can update it and knows what’s going on. The paper method is better for a solopreneur, or someone  who does all the content but hires help for tasks like social media managing.

Free Blog Editorial Calendar Printable | How to use a blogging content planning system to grow your blog.

 

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!

Editorial Calendar & Goal Setting Worksheets

Editorial_calendar_and_goal_setting_sheets

Grab these free templates (the exact ones I use!) to help you plan out your blog content and set goals. Your productivity is about to go through the roof, yo.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

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 binder-based blog planner that I use every single day.  I print out 12 date-less calendar sheets. Then I use one calendar sheet per month and plan my 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.

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. Things like appointments and calls I put into my Google calendar. My to-do list tasks go onto 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 Yours:

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!

Editorial Calendar & Goal Setting Worksheets

Editorial_calendar_and_goal_setting_sheets

Grab these free templates (the exact ones I use!) to help you plan out your blog content and set goals. Your productivity is about to go through the roof, yo.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

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

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

 

Related Posts:

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!

jackiejadefr-2

 

I’ll let her take it away…

 

////////

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. 

Related: How to Start a Blog

Related: Easily Increase Blog Traffic

Related: 5 Mistakes Bloggers Make when they Monetize Their Blogs

 

Speaking of making money blogging, be sure to sign up below to get 7 action-packed lessons sent straight to your inbox on how to monetize! I’m spilling all my juiciest tricks for increasing my blogging income.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-palms-desktops-1-final

Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

Powered by ConvertKit

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!

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.

Editorial Calendar & Goal Setting Worksheets

Editorial_calendar_and_goal_setting_sheets

Grab these free templates (the exact ones I use!) to help you plan out your blog content and set goals. Your productivity is about to go through the roof, yo.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

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.

Editorial Calendar & Goal Setting Worksheets

Editorial_calendar_and_goal_setting_sheets

Grab these free templates (the exact ones I use!) to help you plan out your blog content and set goals. Your productivity is about to go through the roof, yo.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Don’t Forget to Pin it!

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

Related Posts:

How to use an Editorial Calendar to maximize your productivity
11 Affiliate Networks you should join to increase your income
How to Start a Blog

#Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money #blogging. Click for how to get affiliate links and which affiliate networks to join.

The 11 Best Affiliate Networks For Home and DIY Bloggers

Let’s chat affiliate marketing. As a blogger, are you optimizing the potential of affiliate marketing?

It can be a hugely successful strategy to monetize your blog in a way that doesn’t feel sleazy, so long as you are honest and straight-forward about it.

But do you know where to go to get affiliate links?

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure, because I have rounded up the best affiliate networks for you to join.

 

FREE Affiliate Marketing Tracking Sheet:

Before we dive in, get instant access to my affiliate marketing tracking sheet. It’s the exact tool I use to keep all of my affiliate networks and links organized, making it super easy to embed in blog posts or social media posts.

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

Affiliate-networks-tracking-sheet

Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

Powered by ConvertKit

How Affiliate Networks Work:

To get affiliate links for products, you need to be signed up for the brand’s affiliate marketing program. Some brands may manage their affiliate program themselves, but most work through affiliate networks.

Basically you sign up for the network, then request join the brand’s individual program, and then once accepted, you can go in and grab links for that brand’s products that will be embedded with your unique referral link. It means that every time a reader clicks on that link from your blog to go to the product, there is tracking and if a purchase is made, you get a commission.

The affiliate networks listed below are the ones that will get you access to a huge range of great brands – from Etsy, Target, Anthropologie, Lowe’s, Wayfair, and so many more. I’m personally a member of 8 out of 11 of them!

**IMPORTANT**  You don’t need to be a part of every single network. Choose the ones that have the brands that best suit your blog and style. The biggest thing here is NOT to link to a brand from two networks (for example, you can get Etsy affiliate links through both Affiliate Window and through RewardStyle). The reason you don’t want to do this is because you run the risk of them cancelling each other out. If there is a brand that is a part of two networks, always stick to using the affiliate links for it through ONE network (you can make a note of this on your tracking sheet!).

#Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money #blogging. Click for how to get affiliate links and which affiliate networks to join.

 

1 / Amazon Affiliates

Apply here

This is such a great affiliate program, especially as your first one. Amazon offers a huge variety of products so you can usually find a few things to link to within each blog post.

The other great benefit?

After a reader clicks your amazon link, anything they add to their cart for the next 24 hours and purchase, you get a commission on. Even if it wasn’t the thing you linked to originally. How sweet is that?

 

2 / Share-a-Sale (part of Awin)

Apply here

Another really popular affiliate network! Share-a-sale is geared to predominantly online-only merchants. Think Shutterfly, Wayfair, Craftsy, One King’s Lane, Land of Nod, and Joss & Main.

There are no requirements to join.

 

3 / Affiliate Window (now called ‘Awin’)

Apply here

This one is more popular in the UK, and although there aren’t strict requirements for joining, there can sometimes be a $5 joining fee.

What do I use this network for? ETSY! If you love Etsy products and want to link to them on your blog, sign up for this network.

Anyone who is sweet enough to want to link or promote my own Etsy shop products, I always tell them about this so that they can earn commission on any sales made.

 

4 / CJ Affiliate

Apply here

Even though CJ Affiliate is one of the largest affiliate companies, it is not hard to gain access to. Their brands include Lowe’s, Domino, Indigo, Pier 1, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Fabric.com.

Once into the CJ Affiliate network, then you need to apply to the brands directly to get into their individual programs. Note that sometimes getting into the individual brand’s affiliate programs can be more strict.

 

5 / Impact Radius

Apply here

Can you say Target? Yes, this is the network that has the Target affiliate program. Halle-lu-jah! They also have Pottery Barn, World Market, and other goodies.

No requirements to join.

 

6 / PepperJam Network

Apply here

PepperJam seems to have a lot of smaller, online retailers. In the home/DIY niche, they have Ace Hardware, Lulu & Georgia, and Kelly Wearstler.

 

7 / Rakuten Linkshare (formerly ‘LinkShare’)

Apply here

This one is a large worldwide affiliate program and works with companies like Anthropologie, Nordstrom’s, and Macy’s. No requirements for joining.

 

“Sub-Affiliate” Networks:

Sub-affiliate networks are a little bit different. Instead of applying to individual brands within the affiliate network, once you get into the sub-affiliate network, you have access to all of their brands.

 

These are the more popular sub-affiliate networks out there:

8 / RewardStyle

Apply here

RewardStyle is a popular sub-affiliate network, especially with fashion bloggers. They have some great home décor brands too, like Target, Anthropolgie, Wayfair, and more.

They are the creators of the “Like to Know It” app which helps influencers monetize their instagram with affiliate marketing. When a reader “likes” an Instagram image, RewardStyle sends them an email with the shopping list of the products shown in the Instagram pic.

RewardStyle is notoriously hard to get into and usually only accept bloggers with an established following and like a clean, bright aesthetic.

 

9 / ShopStyle Collective

Apply here

With ShopStyle Collective, you earn money per click instead of per sale. They keep track of the clicks that go to retailers and calculate a revenue share based on the volume and quality of the traffic. The more your shopper buys, the higher your per-click rate will be.

They work mainly with lifestyle and fashion bloggers, and include brands like Nordstrom and J Crew. You can check out the whole list of brands here.

ShopStyle has a tool for monetizing Instagram. It’s similar to RewardStyle, and more accessible since it’s easier to get into the ShopStyle program. FYI – if you get into RewardStyle, you don’t need to ALSO be in ShopStyle Collective. It’s an either/or sort of thing.

 

10 / SkimLinks

Apply here

SkimLinks comes with a technology that bloggers might find helpful, particularly if the tech stuff is challenging. The way it works is that it turns all of the links on your blog into affiliate links automatically using an internally-generated HTML or java script code to monetize different brand keywords. There aren’t any requirements to join.

Some publishers who have used them include Apartment Therapy and Huffington Post (street cred!).

 

11 / Viglink

Apply here

Like Skimlinks, Viglink creates a code on your page that turns regular links into affiliate links. No requirements to join but some retailers have limitations, so you may need to directly apply to some brands to be a part of their programs.

Phew!

I know there are a lot, but I don’t want you to leave cash on the table by not optimizing your posts with affiliate links.

I am NOT suggesting that you start writing posts with the sole purpose of dropping affiliate links left right and center (comes off sleazy for your readers), but if you were going to link to a product anyway, have a DIY supplies list, doing a “shop our house”, or wanted to do a round-up, then those links should definitely be affiliates. If they aren’t, it’s totally a missed opportunity.

 

Grab The Affiliate Link Tracking Sheet (Free!):

To keep it all organized I’m sharing my own personal affiliate link tracking sheet.

It’s an excel doc where I drop in the login info, key brands, and key links to individual products that I share over and over again. It’s all filed in here so that I have one quick document to go to whenever I’m writing a post. It saves so much time!!

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

Affiliate-networks-tracking-sheet

Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

Powered by ConvertKit

Strategies to Increase Affiliate Income:

I wrote a post with 5 tips for increasing your affiliate marketing earnings. This one is a must-read!

Don’t forget to Pin it!

#Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money #blogging. Click for how to get affiliate links and which affiliate networks to join.

Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money blogging. Here is how to get affiliate links, and which affiliate networks to join. List of networks included for home decor and DIY bloggers!

Affiliate Marketing Networks | How to get affiliate links | Make money blogging | Affiliate networks for home and DIY bloggers

 

Related:

5 tips for increasing your affiliate marketing earnings

24 Ways to monetize your blog

How to start a blog

 

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.

 

Free Newsletter Template:

Before we get started, make sure to grab my email newsletter template. This is a plug-and-play guide, so you won’t ever be stuck wondering what to write in your blog newsletters! Such a win.

Get the Newsletter Template

Convertkit-freebie-display

Get the plug-and-play newsletter template to take all the guesswork out of writing your weekly newsletters!

Powered by ConvertKit

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!

[FYI – I use (and loveConvertKit as my email service provider because the ability to create email funnels is ridiculously easy!! Plus you can create opt-in’s, segment your list, landing pages, and all kinds of cool stuff.]

 

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.

 

Free Newsletter Template:

Before you go, make sure to snag my email list template. Take the guesswork out of your weekly newsletters and use this as a insert-and-go guide!

Get the Newsletter Template

Convertkit-freebie-display

Get the plug-and-play newsletter template to take all the guesswork out of writing your weekly newsletters!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

How to Build Email Funnels:

If you are ready to take building your list to the next level, I put together an email course all about how to create email funnels, or “sequences”.

How to Grow your Email List [free course!]

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-pink-mint-marble-final-1

Want to know how to grow your email list AND how to build "funnels" or email sequences that work on autopilot? Get in on this free email course and I'll show you how!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

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.

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!

 

Related Posts:

8 Ways to Increase your Blog Traffic

24 Ways to Monetize your Blog

How to Start a Blog

10 Amazing Blogger Facebook Groups You Need To Join

When you are trying to grow a blog and build a business, creating community is one of THE most important things you need to do. Having a posse of fellow entrepreneurs is not only going to help you promote your site, but also to collaborate with others, get advice, share strategies, and stay motivated. I have found one of the very best tools for doing this is through Facebook groups. Facebook wasn’t where I expected to meet others and connect, but it has REALLY worked for me.

About a year ago I joined a whole bunch of groups, weeded out the ones that didn’t do much for me and were overrun with spammy promos or lacked content, and now am active in a handful that I personally love. If you are a blogger, especially one in the design / DIY / home niche, then I really recommend you join these groups. I can safely bet that they will soon be your go-to spots for advice on all things blogging biz!

10 Facebook groups you NEED to join if you are a blogger. If you blog about DIYs, home decor, or design, these groups are going to be your go-to spots for collaborating, building community, sharing resources, and generating traffic! Click through for the full list

 

Before we dive in, make sure to get instant access to my Resource Library of freebies for bloggers. Guides, worksheets, printables, they are all in there!

Get Access the Private Blogger's Library

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-pink-chic-1-final

Want free worksheets, guides, templates, and swipe files that will help you grow your blog, pitch brands, increase your affiliate revenue, get organized, and start your own online shop? Obviously, right? Sign up here and get access to literally every resource I have ever created. This is gold, yo.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Alright, back to the Facebook groups. First up…

1 / Home and DIY Bloggers Biz Chat

Is it totally tacky to start with my own? OH WELL.

Yep, this is my Facebook group that I love and nurture like a baby.

home-diy-bloggers-biz-chat-2

This group is meant for all the DIY / design / home decor bloggers out there. It’s niche-specific, not spammy, and doesn’t have a geographic restriction to it. If you are looking to collaborate with other bloggers, get advice, share your posts in our weekly thread, and build your community, this is the spot. The group is dedicated to chatting blogging biz strategies with bloggers in your same niche – so the advice and tips will be really actionable and relevant.

Oh and I pop in every week for “Biz Tip Tuesday” on Facebook Live. So you get to see my face once a week and chat blogging biz with me. It’s so much fun – I love connecting with you this way!

How to join: Request to join the group here. Can’t wait to chat with you in the group.

 

2 / Blog + Biz BFFs

Blog + Biz BFFs is hosted by Melyssa Griffin. She’s the gal behind Pinfinite Growth – my fave online course that details how to grow your Pinterest and use it as a blog traffic machine! The group is meant for bloggers of all niches. It’s active with good threads but also a lot of questions and comments being regularly posted. Because it’s such a big group, there is always someone in there that is going to be able to help you out if you have a blog question – especially if it relates to creating digital products, online courses, email marketing, etc. Even though it’s a big group, I find it’s moderated really well.

How to join: Request to join the group here.

 

3 / Savvy Business Owners

This group is THE spot for any female entrepreneur. It’s hosted by Heather Crabtree and is full of super supportive women who help each other build their businesses. It isn’t specific to bloggers, but any entrepreneur will get a ton out of this group. I have posed questions in here before about all kinds of things from looking for feedback and advice on something I’m working on, to where to find certain products for my etsy shop, and always get amazing responses. You kinda feel like you get a big ol’ hug in this group – it’s just THAT nice.

How to join: You need to be a business owner (make sure you have your blog/biz listed in your facebook profile), and then sign up for Heather’s email list here in order to join. Once you’re signed up, she sends you a link to join the facebook group.

 

4 / For Love + Money

Caitlin Bacher hosts For Love + Money. It’s an active group with lots of great chatter, but is specifically useful for tips and resources on how to use instagram and facebook groups effectively to grow your audience and make sales. This group isn’t just for bloggers – there are other types of creative entrepreneurs – but I find a lot of the information is still valuable and relevant to bloggers.

How to join: Request to join the group here. There is also a free instagram course that Caitlin offers – so be sure to check that out. I signed up and got some great tips.

 

5 / Photography for your Blog + Biz

This group is hosted by Chaitra from PinkPot. It’s a group dedicated to photography and visuals, which is a bit different from the rest. Chaitra is an amazing photographer. She hosts weekly threads that include sharing your own stuff, what’s on your to-do list, tipday tuesdays, etc.

How to join: Request to join the group directly here. Plus, check out the link in the group description to get a free photo pack from Chaitra (they are gorgeous!)

 

6 / Blogging with Becky and Paula

Becky and Paula both run successful blogs, and then got together to run their own site dedicated to helping other bloggers grow their own blogs and businesses. This is a large group and I would say has a lot of bloggers in the mom/parenting/lifestyle areas (based on the threads I  read in there), but I do find that there can be helpful tips and good advice. Becky and Paula themselves regularly post tips and share strategies in the group.

How to join: Request to join here.

 

7 / Blogging Boost

Blogging Boost is a huuuuge group and spans any topic imaginable when it comes to blogging, so sometimes things might not apply or be a little random, but it can be a useful place to get blogging-specific advice or tips.

How to join: Request to join here.

 

8 / Blog Beautiful

Blog Beautiful, the group by Marianne of Design your Own Blog, helps creative female solopreneurs create beautiful online appearances that match their unique work and personalities. Marianne shares resources, tutorials, and threads in her facebook group that focus on blog design. So if you have a wordpress plugin question, advice on a logo, whatever, this is your spot!

Also, if you need more info and guidance on how to design a beautiful blog, Marianne has a stellar eBook, ‘Blog Beautiful’. Seriously, all the info you need on building a gorgeous site for yourself!!

How to join: You need to sign up for Marianne’s list here, and then you’ll be able to join the group.

 

9 / Blogging Over Breakfast

Gina from the Shabby Creek Cottage runs this Facebook group. She pops in live all the time to dish out blogging tips and advice and it is a really great spot to connect with other DIY and home bloggers (since that’s also Gina’s niche!).

How to join: Head here to ask to join the group.

 

10 / Mind Blowing DIY Bloggers of Awesomeness

This group is specifically for DIY bloggers. I wouldn’t call it a very active group, but if you are looking to get a specific DIY question answered, this is your spot! There are opportunities posted in here occasionally from brands looking to partner with DIY bloggers or from other bloggers looking for other DIY blog posts to feature in round-ups.

How to join: Request to join the group here.

Hope to see you in these groups! 

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-palms-desktops-1-final

Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

Powered by ConvertKit

How to grow your blog with #Pinterest! Click for tutorial on how to setup #Boardbooster | Put your pinning on autopilot and use this scheduling tool to repin your content and automate your pinning.

How To Explode Your Pinterest with BoardBooster [Tutorial]

I have mentioned on numerous occasions about how much I love Boardbooster.

I would marry it if I could…. It’s THAT good 😉

 

What is Boardbooster?

Boardbooster is a tool for scheduling your Pinterest activity.

Boardbooster changed the game for me. I went from having this super overwhelming Pinterest strategy that I couldn’t keep on top of (who has time to pin a zillion things everyday?!), to a system that runs on auto-pilot, brings in a vast majority of my blog traffic, and has meant a steady increase in Pinterest followers. It was the first scheduling tool I invested in for my blog, and has been hands down the most worth it. And it’s really inexpensive – plans start at $5/month and go up to $30/month.

I wanted to share all the details on how I setup Boardbooster, because it can be a little daunting to setup at first. It’s not a super intuitive or pretty software to use, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy peasy.

 

FREE Pinterest Workbook:

Before I dive in, I wanted to make sure you grab this Pinterest workbook. It goes through the key strategies you need to put in place to increase your Pinterest following and boost your traffic.

FREE Pinterest Workbook

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-pink-mint-marble-final-1

Build your traffic and your brand on Pinterest with these quick-to-implement strategies.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

 

3 main features of Boardbooster:

Looping –> Takes old pins and re-pins them to the top of your board

Scheduler –> Allows you to schedule pins for pinning at a later date

Campaigns –> Pulls random pins from a given board and pins them to multiple other boards (good for pinning to group boards)

Using these tools from Boardbooster is going to make you look active on Pinterest while saving you time, helping drive traffic to your blog from your pins, and ensuring that you continue to get followers on Pinterest. You want to use all three of these features to have a solid pinning strategy, so I’m going to go through each feature below.

You want to appear as an “active pinner” and look good to Pinterest so that they re-pay the favor and put your pins higher up in their “smart feed”. In order to appear active, make sure you pin every day (there is debate on how many pins – but I would say no fewer than 15 and no more than 100), and be sure to pin a mixture of your own content AND other peoples content.

 

Free Trial of Boardbooster:

You can try Boardbooster out for free through my affiliate link, and then sign up for one of their monthly plans (starting as low as $5/month). Honestly, it’s the best money I spend for my blog traffic.

 

How to Set Up Looping:

Looping is the bomb. At first I was skeptical because I didn’t think re-pinning stuff I had already pinned made a lot of sense, but then I realized that only a small number of my followers would have actually seen all those pins (kind of like how only a small percentage of your followers actually see each of your facebook posts) and they were stellar pins, so it made sense to recycle them up to the top of my Pinterest boards. It also meant that I could attain a certain number of pins a day, without having to spend a my whole life on Pinterest.

Here is how to get it all setup:

Go to your Boardbooster Account > Pinning Tools > Looping.

Click on “Add Boards” and a pop-up like the one below will appear. It will give a list of your boards. All of my boards were setup for looping except this holidays board, which is why that’s the only one you see in my pop-up below. Click on the board you want to setup for looping and hit ‘Continue’.

boardbooster-looping1

This screen is the next one that will pop up. These are the settings for your board looping. It’ll be preset to loop 1 pin/day at 8:00am.

boardbooster-looping2

If you want to loop more than 1 pin per day, then click on “multiple pins per day”. Input the settings you want. I have it set to 2 pins/day and like them to occur at random times between noon and 10pm, which is the more active time of day for my followers on Pinterest. I like that it loops chronologically, so it’ll take my oldest pins on that board and loop them up to the top.  You could set this to random if you preferred, though. You could also switch up the timing and the days, if you didn’t want it 7 days/week.

boardbooster-looping3

 

The “deduplication” is so that you don’t end up with multiples of the same pin. If you select “enabled” for automatic deduplication and then set the number of days below (in this case 5), what that means is that after 5 days Boardbooster will delete whichever pin has fewer re-pins. So it’s constantly weeding out the lower performing pins and making sure you don’t have duplicates. I really recommend you keep this setting on so that you don’t have to go back and manually delete duplicate pins.

“Protection for viral duplication” is a feature that is there in case you end up having two pins that both get really high re-pin numbers. You can set it so that it doesn’t auto-delete one of these pins. The idea here is that you might move one of those viral pins to another board. I keep it disabled as I don’t find it necessary and even if my pins do well, I don’t plan on moving them to other boards, so I would prefer for Boardbooster to just delete whichever one has under-performed.

“Protection for pins with comments” is a bit similar. It means that it won’t delete any duplicate pins if they have comments on them. Having comments and general interaction on your pins is a marker of a “good pinner”, which makes you look good to Pinterest, so up to you if you want to enable that one or not. I personally just keep it disabled.

Click “submit” and that’s it! You’ve just saved your looping campaign. You can always easily go into any of those campaigns and change out settings if you want to down the line. Repeat this process for all of your active boards. Just be sure that the boards you are looping are nice and full of pins already – you don’t want to be looping like only 15 pins through a board as it would be too repetitive.

boardbooster-looping5

 

How to set up Scheduler:

Even though you loop pins, you also want to make sure you’re regularly adding new pins to your boards. This is where the scheduler comes in. What it does is creates secret boards that correspond with each of your public boards, so that you can fill up the secret boards with pins that get dished out over time.

So for example, I have a secret board for my DIY Projects board. When I sit down to do some Pinterest browsing, I just pin whatever DIY projects I find and love into that secret board. Then I have it setup so that it pins 2 pins a day from that secret board onto my public board. By doing that plus the looping, each of my boards gets some level of activity every single day, and I don’t have to stress about finding all new things to pin all the timeSometimes I’ll get a notice from Boardbooster that one of my secret boards is empty, so I know to focus on filling that particular one up.

Let’s get yours setup:

Go to your Boardbooster Account > Pinning Tools > Scheduler.

Click on “Add Boards”. This screen will pop up, listing all of your boards (including group ones). Click on the board you want to setup for scheduling and click “Continue”.

boardbooster-scheduling1

You will come to this screen where you can configure your settings. I tend to do 1-2 pins per day for each board, and again edit the time to be a bit later (noon till 10pm). Once you’ve set everything, click “submit”.

boardbooster-scheduling2

It will “think” for a sec and “talk” to your Pinterest to setup that secret board. Once finished, this screen pops up. Next time you go into your Pinterest, you’ll see a new secret board that will have the same name as your public board but with a “-” in front of it. That’s the board that you want to fill up with pins.

boardbooster-scheduling3

Once you have set up all of your boards for scheduling, you’ll have a dashboard that looks something like this. If you want to edit settings for any of them down the road, you can easily go in and do that.

boardbooster-scheduling4

try-boardbooster-for-free

 

How to set up Campaigns

Campaigns are useful for pinning to group boards. The idea here is that you can setup pins to go out from a source board to one or more group boards.

Go to Boardbooster > Pinning Tools > Campaigns. Click on “New Campaign”.

This screen will pop up. I’m just going to go over random campaigns, because I find them more useful. Feel free to do more reading on the scheduled campaigns over on the Boardbooster website. Click “Select” for Random Campaign.

boardbooster-campaigns1

This next screen will pop up. Say one of the topics you blog are DIY holiday projects and want to create a campaign for those posts. You might name it “DIY holiday projects” and then add your source board. If you have a board that is dedicated to just your holiday projects already, then use that, but if not, create a secret board where you fill it up with those posts. You will likely do this for all the broad level categories you blog about. For example, I have several secret boards that I title “MY BLOG – ___”, with the type of posts to fill in the blank. So, “MY BLOG- DIYs” and “MY BLOG – blogging biz posts” and “MY BLOG – interior decor shots”, etc etc.

boardbooster-campaigns2

Once you’ve chosen your source board, then you select the target boards you want those pins to go to. In this example you can see that I have told my secret biz tips board to repin to 6 different group boards I’m a part of related to that topic. You can vary how often a pin gets pinned to those boards, and so you can be sure to regulate how many you have going through (some group boards will have rules on this).

boardbooster-campaigns3

Click on “save” and you’ll be all setup! I recommend watching how your pins do in those group boards and adjusting them as necessary. If a group board isn’t doing much for you, leave it. And don’t be spammy with your group boards either. Overall you don’t want to only be pinning your own content – Pinterest doesn’t like that- so keep group pinning somewhat limited.

 

Adding your New Content

The last thing you need to think about is making sure to add your latest content to Pinterest on an ongoing basis. So whenever I publish a new blog post, I pin the relevant images to any appropriate boards, including my secret boards that are for campaigns.

 

Phew! 

Hopefully that’ll save you some headache when you sign up for Boardbooster (I went through some trial and error trying to figure it all out!).

Like I said, Boardbooster has been a game changer for me. I SOOO recommend it!

 

 

Free Trial:

Grab your free trial of Boardbooster to see how you like it (their monthly plans start as low as $5/month). I have a feeling you’re going to LOVE it!

try-boardbooster-for-free

 

Don’t Forget to Pin it!

How to grow your blog with #Pinterest! Click for tutorial on how to setup #Boardbooster | Put your pinning on autopilot and use this scheduling tool to repin your content and automate your pinning.

How to setup Boardbooster | Put your pinning on autopilot and use this amazing scheduling tool to repin your content and automate new pins. Click through for the step-by-step set up tutorial.

 

Boardbooster Tutorial | How to automate Pinterest with Boardbooster | Pinterest Scheduler | Increase blog traffic

 

Related Posts:

Key Strategies to Brand your Pinterest and Grow Your Account

8 Easy Ways to Grow your Blog Traffic

How to Start a Blog

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

Before we dive in, I wanted to make sure you knew about my Bloggers Resource Library. It’s my VIP area where I upload everything – worksheets, printables, guides, and more. If you want access to all of my free resources in one spot, make sure to sign up below to get the password!

Get Access the Private Blogger's Library

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-pink-chic-1-final

Want free worksheets, guides, templates, and swipe files that will help you grow your blog, pitch brands, increase your affiliate revenue, get organized, and start your own online shop? Obviously, right? Sign up here and get access to literally every resource I have ever created. This is gold, yo.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Here are the elements that 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

And if you want to use your blog media kit to get work with brands, be sure to check out this post that takes you through how to pitch a sponsored post.

Don’t forget to sign up for my totally FREE 7-day email course on blog monetization. I’ll send you jam-packed lessons to help turn your blog into a booming business. Pinky swear.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-palms-desktops-1-final

Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

Powered by ConvertKit

The 3 Biggest Blog Monetization Myths (and what to do instead)

Between outdated information and just the huge amount of articles out there, it can be really hard to know where to start or know what really works when it comes to monetizing your blog. There are some general things I hear over and over again, that really just aren’t true.

Let’s take a deeper dive into these 3 big myths about how to make money blogging.

*This post contains some affiliate links. Please see my Policies page for more information.

Blog Monetization Myths | Want to make money blogging? Make sure you ignore these blog monetization myths!! Click through for the full scoop on what they are and what you can do instead. Plus more blogging biz and social media tips!

Before we dive in, make sure to snag my FREE 7-day email course. This goes over exactly how to start a profitable blog, and you’ll get action-packed lessons sent straight to your inbox.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-palms-desktops-1-final

Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Myth #1: The only way of making money is through display advertising

In the early days of blogging, selling display ad space on your site was often all you needed to do in order to make some decent dough.  Bloggers could just throw the ads up there, focus solely on content, and call it a day. Sadly nowadays though, display advertising doesn’t pay much. Even if you test out all kinds of different spots on your blog and put up a zillion ads, you still aren’t going to make an income you can live off of, unless you have crazy high traffic (we’re talking hundreds of thousands of page views a month, or into the millions ++).

So, it’s all about getting smart and diversifying. I started out just with display advertising and still use (even if it doesn’t make a huge amount – it’s still so nice and passive!), but I have focused on creating other revenue streams that are strong. And now I’m making an income that actually pays our bills.

You need to tap into affiliate marketing that is done in a way that is actually going to convert into sales. If you want to work with brands, you need to know how to pitch them successfully and charge a fair fee. You need to think bigger picture and come up with a strategy to develop a product or service that you can sell through your blog. Rather than your blog being the be-all-and-end-all, you need to think about it as the “headquarters” for your larger brand.

 

Myth #2: You can only make money as a blogger if you have huge traffic.

Obviously having a higher readership is going to be good for your revenue streams as a blogger. There is no doubt.

But you know what? It really isn’t ALL about traffic. If you are using outdated monetization strategies and relying solely on display advertising, then yeah, traffic is going to be the only way to increase your income. But if you are diversifying your revenue streams, working with brands that are paying you fairly, using affiliate marketing in an effective way, and using your blog as a marketing vehicle to sell products and/or services, then you don’t need huge numbers to make a good income.

When I started working with brands I had no idea how to pitch and what to charge, and was doing work for waaaaay too little. Even if your traffic isn’t huge, if you have cultivated an engaged and targeted audience and produce beautiful content, that is going to be super valuable to brands. Head over to this post about how to pitch brands sponsored posts.

If you are smart about how to use affiliate marketing in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y and are able to integrate it into a lot of your blog and social media content (particularly blog posts that are going to be popular and evergreen), then you can convert that into sales even if your numbers aren’t high. Some of my favourite affiliate programs are: Affiliate Window (they have Etsy!), Share-a-Sale (they have Joss & Main, Land of Nod, One King’s Lane, Shutterfly, etc), Amazon, and RewardStyle (this one can be harder to get into – but they have sooo many brands, including Target).

I was able to introduce a small product line of art prints when my readership was under 50,000 page views a month and market it in a way that meant I was making about $1000/month (net profit) just from that stream. It depends on the product of course, but Etsy is a great spot to start an online shop.

If you want to introduce a service, sometimes all you need is to book out 1-2 clients a month in order to meet your revenue goals. You don’t need huge numbers for that.

Honestly, it’s not ALL about traffic. If you are smart about your monetization strategies from the beginning, you can make money. And then as you also work on growing your blog and see your traffic grow, inevitably your overall revenue will too!

 

Myth #3: It takes a lot of time and money to create a product line or service

I know that creating a product or coming up with a service to sell seems overwhelming and like a huge amount of work. And I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t – you do need to hustle and work damn hard to turn your blog into a thriving biz. But here’s the thing. It is also totally do-able. I promise.

I bet that you are spending oodles of time creating amazing content for your blog, doing outreach on social media, and sharing your work all over the place right now, right? But with smart systems in place to do those tasks more efficiently (hello, social media scheduling and batch-working!), cutting out the things that don’t provide a return on investment, and re-focusing some of that time toward product creation or providing a service, you might be surprised at how much you can actually get done. You need to have a business plan, set goals, and be strategic about how to get there.

And as for the monetary investment? There are so many product ideas and services you can come up with that cost either nothing or very little to get started (see this post for a big ol’ list of ideas!). From third party fulfillment products, digital products, and online services, there are lots of avenues you can explore. The best thing is to start small and test the waters, then scale up as required (you need to have a plan for scale-ability!).

I started my Etsy shop with a $20 investment and slowly figured out what did and didn’t sell. I went through a few different product ideas before finally landing on something that sold. It took some time and trial and error, but I now have a product line that sells both on Etsy and wholesale to boutique shops across Canada and the U.S. without requiring a crazy amount of time by me.

Blog Monetization Myths | Want to make money blogging? Make sure you ignore these blog monetization myths!! Click through for the full scoop on what they are and what you can do instead. Plus more blogging biz and social media tips!

 

FREE COURSE

Make sure to sign up for my free 7-day course below which sends you a ton of tips straight to your inbox. You’ll be pulling in more income with your blog in no time.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

Haute-chocolate-styled-stock-photography-palms-desktops-1-final

Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

Powered by ConvertKit