A Quick note: This is month 7 of my blog to business journey, and the first 6 months of the series appears on my healthy living blog here.  Due to not wanting to duplicate content, I will keep months 1-6 on my original blog but further monthly updates will only appear on The Bloglancer. 

Today is Month 7 of my blog to business guide.New to this series??Then you can start by reading all of my blog to business posts! All caught up?Well, let’s get chatting.

Blog Growth

As always, I like to start off by discussing blog growth. This month has been really good for overall social growth. Namely…

  • Instagram. Since my last blog post, I have started to take my Instagram much more seriously and I’ve jumped about 700 followers as a result? How? Well firstly I was lucky enough to be featured in this Guardian article (more on how that came about later on in the post) and I managed to gain a good chunk of followers from that. However, I’ve also been making a conscious effort to post every single day and to keep up with Instagram stories- which I’m really enjoying. I also found a tool called ‘link tree‘- which allows you to link multiple links in your bio. This has made a really big difference to how many people are actually clicking on the link in my bio- before I never got any direct traffic from the link in my bio but now the figure is into the hundreds. This definitely gives me more motivation to keep growing it!

 

  • Mailing List. Each Sunday I send out a weekly newsletter but I am trying to make this a bit more useful and I’ve been experimenting with free downloads and different things my readers want. I have managed to grow my list to just over 1200 which I am happy with. I’ve noticed this being talked about a lot more in forums and I am happy to perhaps go into more details about it next month? But the biggest thing for me is always offering an incentive.

 

  • My traffic is pretty much consistent- I suspect this is because I have not dedicated much time to Pinterest so the boost from my mailing list and Instagram has prevented a slight decrease from Pinterest. Plan for this month is to go back to Pinterest! As I mentioned in month 2, this is great for traffic.I would strongly recommend Tailwind as this is what took my referral traffic from Pinterest from about 50 views per day to close to 500 hundred! You can use my referral code to get a free month to see if it works for you. Click here to start your trial

Growing My Business

The past few months have been all about being proactive for me! I have noticed my Inbox has not been as busy and I personally think this is because of the number of blogger agencies that are emerging which means brands are outsourcing the work. This is frustrating as I find these type of agencies either have unrealistic expectations (10,000 followers for a tin of tomatoes? I’m ok thanks) or unrealistic aims (who wants to enter a ‘competition’? Not me). It stops us really connecting and having proper conversations but as I’ve said before, there’s nothing stopping us making these connections ourselves and I have been pitching pretty much every day. So much, I came up with an ebook……..

If you want to start reaching out to brands but don’t have any idea about what to say, how to describe the ‘b’ word (that would be budget!) and how to prove you can offer value, then this ebook will help!  You can click here to read more about my Pitching Toolkit.    

It even comes with a ‘cheat sheet’ which cover what to say in awkward blogger/brand conversations!

So, how has my pitching been going? Well, one of the things I am learning is about being flexible. One of the benefits from growing my Instagram is that it gives me more room to pitch in different ways .You may notice that brands say they don’t have a budget (and I cover exactly what to do in this scenario in my pitching ebook) but there’s nothing to stop you being creative with what you can offer. As I am keen to grow my following and not run out of things to photograph, I’ve been happy to accept samples in some cases in exchange for coverage on my Instagram and stories. This has been a great idea as it has introduced me to new brands and has taken the pressure off having to guarantee blog coverage. We often see our blog and social as a whole package but it can be worth being adaptable and considering it in segments. DO you have a newsletter? a facebook group of likeminded individuals? Make this part of your pitch! Rather than doing more for less, it is about being flexible and giving brands choices.

A Different Type of Pitching

I am still pitching every week and see this as a great way of making great contacts. I’m also pitching in a different way! Because of my book release, I’ve also been focusing on getting my name out there. By taking the time to pitch to newspapers and online magazines, I have had coverage in The Guardian, Female First, BT Online and the Press Association. How did I do it? I dropped them an email with an article idea (or in the case of the Guardian article, responded to a journo request) and they said yes. In my case it tied in well with World IBD Day- so it might be worth looking at key dates in your blog niche. I don’t often work for free but offering content to newspapers and online articles in an exception and can be more effective than guest blogging.

Learning

This month has been all about learning.

– I joined Janet Murray’s Soulful PR group (I would really recommend her podcasts which are great for listening on the way to work!) Her podcasts are fab for learning more about working with the media.

– I read a few good books. Wellpreneur is perfect for aspiring health bloggers. I also reread The Million Dollar Blog and Blogging Your Way To Riches. Sensing a theme yet?

 

-On my way to work, I have been listening to podcasts such as: Hashtag Authentic (Instagram Podcast), Ctl Alt Delete and Blogtacular.

 

Looking Ahead

You’ve probably sensed that the past few months have been a bit of a journey for me. Opportunities were easy to come by at the starting of this journey but I have definitely felt the need to be much more proactive now. However, this comes with advantages as I am taking the time to have actual meetings with PRs and really thinking myself about inspirational content. The next step for me now is to start looking towards passive income. This is something that I’ve shied away from me before but somehow stumbled across listening to this free webinar on passive income which was actually really interesting. I’ve never really got on with affiliate programs but I do have a lot of free ebooks and resources aimed at my health audience on the blog- so the next step is going to be to figure out how to turn this into a product.

I’ll be next month with another update on my journey- do keep following along and let me know what you’d like to see next!

 

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links