I am forever reading and absorbing new blogging content, but, if you know ME, I’m extremely PICKY! There’s so much BAD content out there on how to blog, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s good…what’s worth your time reading.
For that reason, through out the month, as I come across great articles that I found super useful and helpful, things that really impact how I think about things, I’m making a list. Some to be able to reference back to myself (selfish little badger, aren’t I?!) but also to help you find that great content without having to weed through hundreds of posts like I do each month (there’s the unselfish part! LOL)
10 Best Blogging Posts You’d Be Crazy To Miss
The first one I found this month is also by a blogger named Sarah, booyah! She blogs at Unsettle. The post that I found very helpful is actually a newsletter subscribe and although I hate to send you over just to sign up for something, I feel this is 100% worth it. In fact, being on her newsletter for just a few days, you can see that she goes above and beyond and I get the feeling that she truly cares, which is rare online these days, so I’m happy to show her some love!
What I learned: In Sarah’s eBook, 10 Free Tools That Reveal The Product Your Audience is Begging For, I signed up with…to be honest…with skepticism. I thought it would be just a bunch of things I already knew and nothing good, but I signed up none the less.
Wow, can I just say WOW! I learned a lot. The biggest takeaway was using the “find” function and scrolling through comments. You basically go to someone’s blog or anywhere really and see the piece of content they posted on, then scroll through and look for the questions.
By seeing what questions their readers had, you get a glimpse into what your readers are thinking and truly what they need to know.
This is HUGE! You can then take those questions and be sure to include the answers in whatever product you are creating.
Simple advice, huge results. To sign up for her newsletter, click here and get the full book yourself. There’s a lot of great content in there that is definitely worth your time!
In addition, I also found this post on how to create an opt-in offer to grow your email list like a weed very helpful as well.
Why I’m Ditching Social Media Buttons (Update: blogger deleted post)
This is a fantastic article and when I read it, it totally hit home. I tried out Leslie’s method and sure enough, I started keeping more of my traffic. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t want for my readers to connect with me on social media FROM my blog. That may sound strange, but if you think about it, if you don’t have the option for them to get distracted by the never-ending-rabbit-hole of social media, they actually sign up for your newsletter more, which is what I personally want.
Because in my emails, I go far more in-depth on a personal basis than anywhere on social media, or even in my blog for that matter. My email list are my friends, my true friends and I feel I can share anything with them. I let down my guard and my professionalism of blogging, and I just WRITE to them as a cherished friend. It’s somewhere online that I can shower them with love and really talk to them. So, I’d rather have more of THOSE connections than a fly-by-night connection by…look, squirrel! Oh, social media!
For that reason, I focus more on getting people FROM social media TO me, rather than from my blog to social media and thanks to Leslie’s advice, my traffic has gone up….way up, and whenever I mention her article to my coaching clients and they do it, their traffic goes up as well.
Now of course I have to include one of my own articles in this collection. I wouldn’t be a good blogger if I didn’t, know would I?!
I recently published this post and not soon after, it already has nearly 10,000 shares! It’s going crazy and I’ll be honest, I figured out the secret way to making a post I think will be popular go viral. I know that’s a HUGE claim, and I’m still testing it with other posts, but so far so good, it seems to be working!
In this post, I talk about blogging, of course, and it walks you through the basic steps you need to take in order to go from starting a blog to making $10,000/month, which I did in the first 12 months of my starting this blog. I highly recommend reading this post, even if you want to just see what all the fuss is about.
I’ll be honest, this system did not work for me, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It just means that I never personally found what my readers really want the most from my Facebook page. For Tawra, it’s been recipes and I literally watched her implement this strategy and fly WHILE she was doing it. I’ve also seen others implement it and have great results, so I feel pretty comfortable sharing it. It may not work for every single blogger, but for many, it can and it’s fantastic advice.
Tawra’s Facebook page is one of the top Facebook pages in the whole lifestyle category now, and I’d definitely recommend this great read. She goes in great depth, lays it all out, and shares everything step by step, leaving no questions to ask, so that you can really implement this strategy. You can read the post by clicking here.
Speaking of Facebook, in the event that your Facebook page or account is not working properly, you can debug it here.
If you’ve noticed around here, I recently went from posting every day, to posting every other day. I feel like posting was all posting for me, and while this works great, I have no time what-so-ever to market my posts. That has changed. On the day that I post, I market it normally how I do. I ping, I promote, I pin to Pinterest, sometimes put on Facebook, and so on.
Related: Find out more about why and how I ping in my eBook, How to Boost Your Alexa Score Organically. Regarding this book, Kelcie on Amazon says, “Sarah Titus is every bloggers “little black book.” She’s honest, helpful, and straight to the point. I recommend reading her blog if you don’t know where to start with your blog, or just need a big ball of inspiration! I will buy as many of her books as possible. Worth every penny!”
The next day, the one that I DON’T post anything, I sit there for 30 minutes and try to come up with ideas and ways I can promote the previous day’s post even more. Although I am VERY new at this (just started) and I haven’t seen any effects of it *yet,* I know that they will come as I get better at it. One of the ways to get better is by reading this post. There are a myriad of ways to promote your blog posts, ways that I never even knew about and all covered in this post by Amanda from Kaleidoscope. It is sure to give you some great ideas on promoting, things YOU may have never thought about either! You can click here to read the article.
I’m not sure if you know about QuickSpout or not, but if you don’t, boy are you in for a treat! This is one of my favorite blogging blogs to learn from and they have a lot of great tools that are REALLY helpful in researching other bloggers in your niche…giving you information that you can’t find anywhere else. Yep, it’s totally my secret weapon! Don’t tell anyone! 🙂
The post itself (which you can read by clicking here) is not all that in-depth, but it links you to articles that teach you a LOT. I like how they have it laid out because I didn’t need to click/learn everything they are teaching. I can click what I want to learn about and read the full post there. For example, chapter 2, Types of Blog Posts That Are Easy to Market To, I found incredibly helpful, especially since I am learning the marketing side of blogging. Most of it I already knew, but there are some real gems in there that make it worth the read, or as I read…skimming to find what you want. LOL.
Another chapter I found very helpful is Chapter 7, Outreach, which I will be implementing Step 4 on this post. 🙂 I don’t think I’m very good at it. I probably come off really awkward trying to tell other people I’ve shared their content, mostly because I’m shy and it’s a “cold contact,” but everyone that I share, I highly respect their work (or I wouldn’t put it on my blog) and I can only hope that my genuineness comes through my shyness. I feel like it’s better to get out there and try and fail, then never try, and eventually, I’ll get better and more comfortable in it. It’s really hard for me to ask a favor to share something or ask someone for something. I always love to be the person doing the favors for everyone because I genuinely love to serve and help others. It’s my favorite thing to do! Being a single mom now, that’s the part I really miss most about being married. Being there for a spouse and being a help-meet.
Of course this best blogging posts wouldn’t be complete without the mention of Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula. Although this IS his own model to try to sell you his course ($2,000), the information is extremely valuable and I find myself not being able to pick it all up at once. It’s sooo over my head at this point and I think that’s a good thing. I want to learn. Since the video’s themselves are valuable and free, it’s a great resource to add to your collection of resources.
The video’s are not shown all the time, and I believe I signed an email newsletter to receive them, so be sure and watch them if you can see them by clicking here, or sign up for the newsletter if you have to. It is very much worth your time. You can learn a lot by watching the video’s and I love that they ARE video’s, because it helps those that are visual learners like me to absorb hard, complex information easier.
Jeff also has this information in book form, which I’m about half way through. It’s a lot of information to go through, but very, very successful in what I’ve seen others do and what I know about him. You can find his book, called “Launch” here on Amazon.
Every week, Jeff produces weekly short video’s that are very helpful. You can see those video’s on his blog here. He’s definitely someone you want to follow if you’re not already.
If you’re self publishing a book for the first time, there’s a lot you need to know. At every angle and corner, there are things that can can trip you up, questions you’ll have, and decisions you need to make. Jessi’s been through it and is quite knowledgeable on the process and thankfully when I first started self publishing myself, she had a post up!
As I go through the self publishing process each time, if I have a question I refer back to this article for help. It’s come in handy several times and definitely worth mentioning here on this list.
What I love even more is the transparency behind her articles. In her 2015 goals update here, you can see she made $171.09 in September. She has three books on Amazon and the first one was published on May 21, 2014.
I have such a TERRIBLE time knowing what to sell and what to give away for free. Just today, I am working on a post and I thought it would be about 2,000-3,000 words in length and it ended up being over 8,500 words!!!!! I’m thinking to myself, “MAN, do I want to give all this hard work away for free or do I want to put it in another ebook” (I ended up giving it for free, by the way.) It’s just a hard decision for me all the time and if I error, I error toward giving everything away and not making as much as I could, which is where I’d rather err, but I still love to be paid for all my hard work too. So, within myself I battle.
How about you? Do you battle this question as well?
What I love about this post is that it provides clarity to the question. While it’s still a very personal decision that only YOU can make, this post, which you can read by clicking here, is great at giving you some really good guidelines on how to make that decision easier.
For me, and this blog, after reading the post, I feel like it’s my time to give away a lot of content on blogging for free. I want to prove that I know what I’m doing and that I’m not a fly-by-night-scammer like many others teaching about making money from home. This is real. Like, I’m a single stay-at-home-mom and this is my life. I do this every day, I make money from home and it hasn’t always been from blogging. In fact, I have been making money from home for 18 years (boy, does that date me!) I’ve pretty much done it all. I KNOW the scams and I KNOW the legitimate business models and it’s my job to teach you both. So that you are not scammed and so that you can help your family.
At the same time, a girls’ gotta support her family (on her own, by the way!) so I do have products and I do sell coaching and things like that. I work this blog 40-80 hours a week. There’s no shame in getting paid for this FULL-TIME job, in which I employ others as well and keep food on THEIR tables.
Now, please keep in mind that what I do personally on this blog, doesn’t line up in every way with Chris’ guidelines, but again, each blogger is different and it’s a guideline, not a rule book. It’s designed to help you in your particular situation, whatever that may be. Right now, in this season, I’ll give away more than charge, and that’s okay, but there will come a day when I charge for things I currently give away. And that’s okay too. Everyone is in a different place in their blogging career. Ultimately, it’s a fantastic guide to make decisions for your own business and can greatly help you cease the confusion you feel about what to give away and what to charge for.
With that said…
I cannot, in good conscience, put up this list WITHOUT this book. Yes, it’s a book. Yes, it costs money, so it’s not technically a post, but this resource is far beyond it’s weight in gold and it’s not something I can exclude.
This book, which you can order here on Amazon, is, by far, THE BEST, book I’ve read ALL YEAR!
Along the lines with giving away too much information, I felt trapped. Trapped because suddenly now that I’m a top blogger, I’m SOMEone, my friends want to “pick my brain,” take me out to coffee or something and have me teach them all I know for free.
Please understand that I am a very giving person and I don’t have a problem with sharing, but when it comes to details, I’m sorry, but I’ve worked this blog 80-120 hours a WEEK for the past 21 months and this last month, FINALLY went down to about 40 hours a week. I cannot just give all my hard work away to those that didn’t believe in me until they see I’m actually doing this and doing it well. It wouldn’t be fair.
But, I struggled with it greatly because I DO love to help and I love my friends. Ultimately, this book shows us that we can STILL be generous people, loving, loyal friends, without allowing other people to pick our brains, suck up our time, and not be compensated for more than just a lunch. I realized that my brain is of value. Everything I’ve learned, every hour that I’ve put into blogging. I’ve done the hard work. I can’t do all that and just give it away to everyone. That time that I spent away from my kids, setting up this blog, and working my buns off, is worth something. I learned in that book that feeling that way doesn’t make me a jerk. It doesn’t make me bad. It just means that I need to treat my job (and yes, as much as I LOVE blogging, this is a JOB!) like a business. When I started looking at blogging like a business, looking at myself like a leader, a boss, then, it really helped give me the courage to say, “No,” when I need to.
What I’ve found that is a good balance for me personally, is that when a friend has a question, I like to write a post on it. That way, I can lead them to the blog and it doesn’t suck up my time for one person, but rather, a post can help a million readers all at once. It’s a much better investment of my time. Helping one person…or helping a million in the same time frame?! It’s a no-brainer.
This book is definitely something you want to pick up and she goes into a lot more detail and explains it all so much better than I ever could.
If you’ve read this post, you know by now that I’m all about quality and that I absolutely love helping you. I’ve put together an entire resource page that you should check out. It has all my favorite plug in’s, image recommendations, which ad networks to join, which companies to go through with sponsored posts, and a ton more info. You can see the blogging resources page by clicking here and of course if you want more in depth information, check me out on Amazon. I’m committed to releasing at least one new book per month and many of my readers are absolutely loving all the information I’m cranking out. Told ja I work hard! 🙂 You can see all my books on Amazon by clicking here.