GROW YOUR BLOG

How to network as a blogger with brands and PRs

In today’s blog, I really wanted to talk about networking. I’ve had a busy few days in London and purposely made sure I fitted in some networking opportunities around my trip (leaving my poor husband to hit the shops alone!). Networking can take many forms: meeting other bloggers, attending events, meeting with PRs and brands for coffee or simply getting linked-in savvy. But if you want to get your name out there, be on everyone’s radar and make a go of your blog, then networking is pretty vital.

This is something I didn’t take much notice of in the first few years of my blog. So it’s absolutely fine if you don’t want to jump right into to it. But since I’ve gone freelance, I’ve found networking has made a huge difference! So here’s my advice on why you need to network to grow your blog AND how to do it!

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6 ways to be proactive during quiet blogging periods

The Christmas lull is common in the blogging world-everything’s winding down, budgets have long been spent and ‘The out of offices’ are on! It can be frustrating for bloggers as there’s likely to be fewer campaigns and money can be tight. It can also leave us short of inspiration; since we’ve spent so much time planning our Christmas content it’s hard to think beyond that.

Today I wanted to offer some of my suggestions on how to keep proactive during these quiet periods to make sure your blog keeps ticking over and money is coming in.

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How to revamp your old content to get tons more page views.

So for the past few weeks, I’ve been really busy and felt as if I needed some new seasonal content. You know the type: pumpkin recipes, Christmas guides and anything with the word ‘autumnal’ in. Since I already get some traffic from Google and Pinterest, I noticed some of my previous year’s posts were starting to get more hits- for some reason it’s now perfectly acceptable to google Christmas advent calendars in September. The old content was being read but to be honest, it was bit tired: dead links, crap images and very 2016. The solution was clear: to start working on my old content and make it as good as new! Here’s what I did:

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10 tips for going from blogging to freelance writing

Today is a much-requested post here on The Bloglancer. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that as well as running two blogs, I am a freelance writer. I mainly write for magazines and online sites but have also done some blogging for brands and copywriting. This topic is something I get asked about a lot, but for me at least, getting ahead in freelance writing is the same as any form of media: working hard; not being afraid to put yourself out there every day; making contacts and constantly coming up with new ideas!  Here are my ten tips for going from blogger to freelance writer….

 

1. Read, read and read some more. (more…)

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10 ways to grow your mailing list quickly

There seems to be a real trend towards bloggers and small businesses developing a mailing list lately and there are many reasons why. It is the perfect way of making sure your content is delivered directly to your reader’s inbox. And, with all the algorithm changes going at the moment, the only thing you can really rely on is your email list.

So what makes me the expert? Well, on my first blog I’ve been slowly growing my mailing list for the last year or so and have now reached 1400. Why did I decide on my mailing list in particular? Well being an information-based site, many readers come to you for information and promptly departed.

Health and food blogs have much higher bounce rates this reason, as readers are less likely to follow and connect with the person behind the blog. While I had a group of loyal readers, I could see that a chunk of my readership was brand new readers each month who didn’t find me through my social media. So, to me, it made sense to try and find something to keep them around.

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How I Reached 1000 Daily Views

Today I’m back with some blogging tips, and this time I am going to be chatting with you about my continued efforts to grow my blog traffic. Last week, I hit over 1000 daily views (on my main blog: A Balanced Belly) for several days in a row and a couple of you in my Facebook group asked me to share my top tips.

 

Revamping Old Content

I decided I’d try to blog a little bit more but knew I couldn’t post lengthy blogs every day. For this, I adopted two strategies. Firstly, revamping old content. As winter is coming, I went over my old recipes and updated the images. Like this pumpkin pie smoothie. I created new pics for Instagram and pins for Pinterest. I then shared in relevant groups. This is definitely worth doing with Christmas content too, especially since older content has built up with Google.

Old Pin                                                                                                                       New Pin

Looking for a dairy free pumpkin smoothie recipe? This anti-inflammatory smoothie contains turmeric, pumpkin and cinammon. It is perfect for those with IBS and IBD. If you are looking for recipes for crohn's disease, IBS or weak digestion give this a try.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used Canva to make my images. The second pin looks more ‘autumny’ and the quality of images are much better. However, the first pin still does ok on Pinterest- so using the two together brings more traffic! This is something I plan to experiment with more and use several pins for the same post. I have two popular posts with google: gluten-free subscription boxes and dairy free advent calendars. So I plan to revamp these too: adding better images and links to other posts to lower bounce rate.

Start Spreading The News!

Another thing I focused on to increase content was shorter news stories. Being gluten-free, there’s always new product launches and a write-up of one (like this one about dairy-free pizza) only takes about ten minutes but can bring in lots of traffic. Always try to answer questions the audience has, e.g. the price of something, their ingredients or a launch date. These types of stories do well on Facebook too.

A side note to this is to start thinking about what people would be excited about. I do think transitioning from a hobby blog to a site that is more of a job is thinking more of the reader and traffic. It doesn’t mean that what you write can’t be fun- but the balance has to be there.

Social Media

Pinterest is also a bit traffic driver for me (you can read more about how I get traffic from Pinterest in this post) but I decided to join a few more boards and get pinning my seasonal content. I also had an overhaul of my Facebook page~changing the header so it clearly summed up my content and experimenting with video. One of my videos went a bit viral gaining about 400 followers in a week. It is hard work but video definitely seems to be the way forward. Especially videos that link to your content that you can link to in the post.

I then ensured I kept posting relevant content~creating a Canva image with a question or unusual fact that prompted discussion worked well. I also started to share the Facebook post into groups (rather than post links in there). Here’s an example…

It actually reached 9821 people according to Facebook, which is a massive increase of the usual few hundred I get.

Sidenote: This was working really well but then Facebook randomly blocked me from sharing in groups for 7 days. Apparently, this has happened to a few bloggers, so while I don’t think I overdid at all (sharing daily in a few groups) just a word of warning !!

I was also verified on twitter! I am planning a seperate post about that and whether it has any impact on my views!

Anyway, that’s just a few tips on growing my page views. For more info on this, the following blog posts might also help!

 The Only Blogging Course I’ve Ever Taken

   How I Get 400 Views A Day From Pinterest

 

 

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
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My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
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Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

 

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WIN a blog to job audit and 121 mentoring with me!

Today I am back on The Bloglancer for the third day running (after sharing my favourite blogging course Thursday and my interview with Fetch PR on Friday) and this time it’s a giveaway.

I’ve wanted to do a giveaway for ages and wracked my brain over the competition, until I thought of the perfect prize:me!! So many of you have got in touch that I’ve been thinking about the possibility of launching some kind of blog mentoring in a while-so I’m offering two bloggers the chance to win this for completely free!

The winners of the competition will need to send over their blog links, goals and media kits. They’ll firstly receive a document outlining my suggested changes to their media kit, ways to gain traffic, suggested pricing and pitching suggestions. They’ll then have a 30 minute 121 with me to discuss all of their questions, thoughts and ideas of growing their blog and ways they could turn it into a job. Whether you’ve just started blogging or are looking to turn it into a bit more of a career, this should be the perfect prize for you.

So what do you need to do win? It’s simple, just enter via Rafflecopter below! You’ve got until Friday  29th to enter! Please note, the two winners will be expected to provide me with  a very short testimonial of their experiences, which I can then use on my own blog at a later date. There’s no obligation to write about this on their own blog or social channels.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The only blogging course I’ve Ever Taken (and an exclusive discount)

Sometimes, it can feel really overwhelming with the sheer amount of blogging courses out there. There’s ones that specialise in Pinterest, others that promise to make you an Instagram queen or grow your affiliate income from 0 to thousands in 30 days. As I am only just beginning my journey into full-time blogging, I just couldn’t justify the hundreds upon hundreds of pounds these courses often cost, just to focus on one area of my blog. So it was only a few months ago when I decided to take the plunge and invest in my very first e-course.

 

Somebody once told me that ‘people invest in people’. It’s something I’ve always tried to apply to my own blog- making connections and always helping others. It’s one of the reasons behind changing my social channels to @jennafarmeruk (well, that and my desperation to get a twitter verified tick!). Well, Emma Drew is somebody who I have followed for absolutely ages and when she announced her first course ‘Turn Your Dreams Into Money‘, I knew I had to buy it. I was completely sold before I’d even looked at the course outline! Emma has always taken the time to help and support me (even when she definitely should have billed me for her time)- so I just knew it was going to filled with amazing guidance.

I was lucky enough to be part of the ‘beta’ tester group- which meant I was one of the first people to take the course. So I have taken the whole course and feel I am in a strong position to give an in-depth review.

What Does the Course Cover?

One of the best thing about the course is the huge amount of topics it covers. It begins right at the beginning with a few modules for brand new bloggers (I originally skipped these but then actually returned to them when I launched The Bloglancer) and covers everything from gaining traffic, social media, Pinterest traffic, how to find sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, creating a product, repurposing old posts. The list is endless. Unlike most courses, it’s text and worksheet based rather than videos.

This was a huge bonus for me as there was literally no faffing! I’ve tried free courses in the past and I’ve been put off by the lengthy introductions and waffle- you are often 10 minutes in before anything of value is given. Emma’s course doesn’t set out to be the most visually appealing- instead, it’s almost as if she’s piled up everything she knows and divided it into chunks. They read like short and snappy blog posts on every single topic on blogging you could ever think of.

Did It Help Me?

Yes! I consider myself a fairly established blogger: although I still have a lot to learn, I don’t need to be taught the basics. I was worried at first as the first few modules are for ‘new’ bloggers- but actually Emma still taught me things in this section! From writing a disclaimer to backing up your blog.

My favourite part is that each member of the course gets a free in-depth blog critique. To do this, you simply send your key concern over (mine was traffic and SEO) and Emma will do an in-depth critique via video and send it back to you. Straight away Emma was able to show me my Alt Image descriptions were wrong, my site speed was really really slow and my site layout needed improving! She also suggested a few affiliate ideas for me. I am still working through the advice- but I’ve managed to increase my site speed, apply and earn through a few more affiliate ideas and am now on mission SEO!

I am so glad I purchased the course and I know it’s going to be something I go back to time and time again. Emma has a big supporter of my ‘Bloglancer’ adventure, so I was really pleased when she offered to give my readers an exclusive discount! If you enter the code BLACKFRIDAY into the checkout-you’ll receive a huge £50 discount off at the checkout! The course is usually priced at £197 but by using my code you’ll get it for £147 instead. Given that many bloggers charge this just for a critique, it’s a really reasonable price. If by some miracle, you don’t know Emma’s blog, do go have a read to as there’s tons of advice on blogging and making money on there!

Disclaimer: As a referrer of the course, I do receive an affiliate payment. However, this discount is significantly more than you can find on other sites and this is the only course I am currently promoting because it really is brill!

 

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How I Get 400 Views a Day from Pinterest (with only 700 followers)

Of all my social channels, Pinterest has the lowest number of followers; yet is easily one of my biggest referrers. Doesn’t make sense, does it? Despite a paltry 700 Pinterest followers, I average 400 hits from the network each day- and that’s why I am so certain of its power to boost your numbers. Let’s learn more about how I use Pinterest to drive traffic.

 

 

1.Focus on evergreen content. This is the biggest one for me. For Pinterest to do well, your pins need to e evergreen-meaning the information is relevant all year round (with the exception of seasonal content which does well at specific times of year). I believe every blog should ensure it’s content strategy is focused on evergreen content as that’s where the views are long-term.

The type of evergreen content that does well on Pinterest tends to recipes, tutorials, how to guides, information articles and listicles. While it’s certainly easier to do well on Pinterest as a food and health blogger, everyone has the potential to create evergreen pinnable content. Fashion blogger? Try a DIY customisation tutorial. Beauty blogger? A list of thrifty beauty hacks. Try to focus on doing this at least once a month.

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How I Turned My Blog Into My Job

 

Hi guys, today I am going to be sitting down with you and telling you all about my blogging journey. I started to think about this when I inadvertently stumbled across my first ever blog from a whole 7 years ago! So I wanted to hop on here to let you know about how I turned my blog into a job and that not everyone is a success straight away. In fact, my blog had 7, yes 7, reincarnations- everything from fashion to music to travel until I finally found my match at A Balanced Belly (and hopefully The Bloglancer will stick around too!)

Find a Blog That Fits

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Image source: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

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