growyourblog

10 Reasons Why I Am Not Joining Vero (And The Bloggers Who Agree With Me)

So you might have seen the new social media app that suddenly went crazy recently is Vero. I woke up one day and my twitter timeline was FULL of bloggers saying they had joined and to go follow them.

My first instinct, was just NO. But that’s pretty normal: if a bunch of big bloggers tell me to do something; I’ll pretty much do the opposite (see my terribly curated Instagram feed or the fact I think most blogging awards are shit).

 

However, once I did a little more reading; it became apparent that 99% of people we’re only joining because they were terrified of it being the next big thing. Yes, it’s annoying that nobody sees our Instagram content anymore- but if you genuinely think Vero is going to replace Instagram, I think you’re mistaken.

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Pitching, engagement and budgets: Email with Alex from CCD PR

For regular readers, you might remember when I interviewed PRs and small brands on working with bloggers. I interviewed Icelolly.com about press trips, Fran from PrezzyBox about gift guides and Sam from Socially Sam about engagement, pitching disaster and everything else PR deal with!

Today, I’m back- and interviewing the lovely Alex-Account Executive at CCD PR who look after all sorts of lovely natural health, food and wellbeing brands. Alex shares such amazing insight which I know you’ll all find so useful!

Before, I begin, just to ask if you could (if you haven’t already!) fill out my big blogging money survey-to help me share how much bloggers charge for sponsored posts.

 

Q:Hi Alexandra, thanks so much for chatting with me today! Would you mind briefly introducing yourself, your role at CCD PR and a few of the brands you represent?

I’m an Account Executive at CCD PR working across natural health, food and wellbeing brands, I work across brands such as Nairn’s, Ombar and Equinox Kombucha . As an account executive my role encapsulates everything from getting our products into the press, working with bloggers and influencers, hosting events and brainstorming campaign ideas.

 

Q: All of my favourite brands (sidenote: If you haven’t tried Ombar, please do immediately!) How much of your day-to-day work is working with bloggers?

It often depends on what we’re working on with our clients. If we’re creating campaigns with bloggers or putting together a series of blogger reviews it can be a big focus of my day-to-day work. I think the work we do with bloggers of all sizes is definitely growing and brands are increasingly open to working with them.


Q:We’ve discussed projects that would suit both my blog and the publications I write for. What are the differences between the two pieces of media do you think? What are the benefits and the drawbacks of getting something in front of bloggers instead of traditional media?

We constantly work to get our clients in the media as it lends a recognised authority that people will trust and respect, also these days a greater number media outlets now have social media with hugely influential followings, so we do have devote a lot of our time to gaining exposure through these channels.

However, working with bloggers can add a more personal touch, so we’re always on the look out for innovative bloggers and influencers to work with who will help introduce a brand to more specialised and dedicated audiences.

Times are definitely changing and I think a lot of PRs now aim to get a balance of both blogger and media exposure for their clients, as we do find that blogger exposure can have a longer-lasting impact for brands.


Q: Very true! Us bloggers are constantly told brands are looking for good engagement-but what does that really look like to a PR company?

Engagement can come in many different forms, but essentially, when I look at a blogger’s engagement it’s to make sure their following isn’t just a number but rather an audience that are genuinely receptive and involved with the content that is being published.

When I look for engagement I often look for bloggers who engage with or work with other bloggers, produce beautiful imagery, have interesting or unique angles for their blog posts, and those that evidently engage with their readers, whether this is replying to comments on their Instagram and blog posts or through Instagram stories.

I also usually look at how they’ve worked brands on previous projects, I’m always really impressed with bloggers that create multifaceted campaigns, even on a small scale, where they showcase brands on both their blog and social media in a way that is unique to them.

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10 Reasons No One Is Reading Your Blog

So, today I wanted to talk about one of the most common complaints I see bloggers talking about: why no-one is reading your blog. You might know that my latest venture is all about blogging outreach (I now run Chronic Illness Bloggers which helps connect bloggers who blog about life with an illness and brands and advertisers) as well as doing blog audits and helping bloggers with their sites. During this time, many of my conversations have been about stats and more specifically people asking: why is no one reading my blog?

Traffic is important. I know many bloggers will tell you it isn’t but most of the time we’re blogging for two reasons: a) we want people to read our words and feel inspired or informed and b) we want to be hopefully paid or compensated for our words (if that’s you, do go fill out my blogging money survey as I’m trying to keep track of how much bloggers charge- I’ll be sharing in a blog post soon!). So unless you are blogging purely for yourself, it’s ok to admit that you want people to read your blog!

After looking at a LOT of blogs this week- I wanted to share ten mistakes some bloggers are making…

1.It’s hard to navigate 

I think bloggers underestimate the attention span of an average reader at times. Often, on landing on a site it can be hard to navigate with unclear headings or no introduction to what the site is actually about. Make the purpose of your blog really clear as soon as the reader arrives on your site. One way to do this might be to have a landing page so you can send your different types of readers off in different directions.

2.You’re not offering value

One of the quickest ways to gain traffic is to offer something of value-whether it’s a free download or ten tips on something (just like I’m doing now!). If your blog is purely your own reflections an a journal for your life; that’s absolutely fine-but you might need to accept it might not be the traffic-building blog you’d like.

3.It doesn’t stand out

 

You don’t have to have a clear ‘niche’ but you do have to offer something different in my opinion. There are just so many blogs out there- why would anyone read yours over a thousand others?

4.It takes too long to load

Make a note of your google page insights to check your site speed

I’d recommend using google page speed insights to see how slow your site is to load- this can be really offputting; especially if people are scrolling on their phone.

5.You’re focussed on false engagement

Follow trains. Comment pods. Like for Like. Whatever you call them, they’re really bloody annoying. And all a bit fake. I might use one once in a blue moon-but only if I know the reader is likely to stick around afterwards.

For example, if I have an amazing post on The Bloglancer; I might use these to drive people to my site (since them being a blogger is the perfect audience) but make sure I have all the different ways to follow my blog so they’ll stick around.  I wouldn’t do this for my first blog, A Balanced Belly, however-since it’s unlikely I’d find people geniunely interested in my content.

You might spend thirty minutes of comment pods and follow trains to bring in one hundred readers one day; but it would be better spent working on Pinterest- to bring in potential one hundred readers every day.

Read it next: How I get 400 views a day from Pinterest.

6.Your sponsored content sticks out

If you’re only blogging a few times a way and have regular sponsored content, it can definitely impact your blog. So your sponsored content needs to BE BETTER than your original content, not just stuff you’ve posted and hoped nobody would read. Treat every sponsored post not just as a way to make money, but a way to get traffic. Always ask if you can offer a giveaway item (which is a very easy way to boost traffic) and always share on social media, create pins AND make it interesting (too many bloggers just don’t do this)

7.You’re not keeping people on the page

Always do your very best to keep bloggers on the page once they’ve arrived. Try to have recommended posts at the bottom of the page and interspersed throughout (either through images or links). Make sure you click the ‘open in a new window’ tab, so you don’t lose the blogger!

8.You don’t know who you’re writing for

Yes, you may have the nice template and an Instagram-worthy feed; but who is your ideal reader? What are they likely to want to know that you can help them with. Quite a few bloggers have readers surveys and they can really help get to grips with what the reader is after. Another way is to look at your stats and see which style of post is consistently popular.

9.You’re not sharing enough

Make sure you are sharing your old content as well as your new stuff. I often go through my blog and see what type of evergreen content I can reshare ( I either do this manually or use the app ‘HiPlay’ which works with Buffer). It’s also worth making sure you are continually sharing old posts around key dates- so get your Easter posts scheduled!

10.You haven’t bought my book.

Sorry guys, this wasn’t intending to be self-promotion; but I already designed my pin for ’10 tips’ and I’m having a mental block around the last one- so I thought I’d give my new ebook about building traffic a mention. If you’re looking to build your traffic, it’s got lots of practical tips and I also offer blog audits if you’d like me to take a look at your blog specifically to see where you’re going wrong?

I hope this post helped and I’ll be back with a new PR interview in a couple of days!

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10 reasons no one is reading your blog

NEW EBOOK: Everything you need to grow your blog in 2018

Today I’m back! With my second ebook finally complete. After talking about the power of ebooks in my post on passive income projects, I set about creating my second-and it’s here! The Blog Growth Toolkit!

 

What is the blog growth toolkit?

The blog growth toolkit is an ebook which is full of practical tips on…

  • Planning content people want to read and share
  • Using social media to boost traffic
  • Getting all the views on Pinterest
  • Setting up and making the most of a mailing list.
  • How to grow your blog and take it to the next level in 2018

As well as plenty of printable pages to track your stats, growth and ideas to take your blog to the next step. All this for only £5.99!

Is it Right for Me?

  • Do you already have a blog and social channels? This is not a guide for those who haven’t yet started a blog. Instead, it’s for those who have already got the basics of the blog set up, and want to take it to the next level! However, if you’re already an established full-time blogger, this might not be the best purchase for you as you may already have nailed your blog growth and traffic.

 

  • Are you cautious about spending lots of money when you’re not making very little blog income? All my ebooks are set a very reasonable rate (of £5.99) as I strongly believe growing your blog shouldn’t have to cost the world!

 

  • Do you want a steady, realistic increase in growth and NOT millions of followers? If you want to grow your blog but aren’t daydreaming of millions of followers, then this is the blog for you. I don’t have millions of followers. I hate ebooks that promise this (because I’ve read them and I still don’t have a million followers. If I did, I’d be selling toothpaste ads on Instagram instead of blogging here. Instead, this is real, practical tips to grow your blog steadily month on month.

What if I need extra help?

For the first time ever I’m offering two options for my ebook. The first option is the ebook itself but the second choice is the ebook plus a personalised blog audit! This involves…

  • You filling in a questionnaire, outlining your key goals and focuses that you need support with.
  • Within seven days, you’ll receive a detailed blog critique from me (approximately 2 pages long) via email; full of suggestions on how to grow your blog targetted advice and areas of development.
  • You’ll then have an additional seven days to send unlimited follow up questions via email to ensure you know exactly how to grow your blog.
  • This service can include me looking at your media kit and pitching emails- if one of your targets is to make money from your blog. The price of this is £51.99

Testimonials on my previous ebook: Pitching Toolkit

Steph from Colitis to Ostomy: I found the Blog to Business: Your Pitching Toolkit to be really useful and easy to understand. It has enabled me to think about how I will approach brands and how to narrow down the brands that fit my blog.My blog is written with young people having ostomies and pregnant women/new moms with an ostomy.

Becky from The Owlet: Jenna you’re amazing! Just got my first EVER sponsored post thanks to yo. Also after our conversation on Twitter, it’s really helped me come up with blog content. Thank you so much!

Laura from Mum on A Mission

This ebook has given me the confidence to start pitching as well as ideas on who to target and how to find their contact details. Since I read it I’ve successfully pitched to several clients and have recommended this guide to other bloggers too.

Where can I buy?

Buy the ‘Blog Growth Toolkit’ here.

Buy the ‘Blog Growth Toolkit+audit here.

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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Everything bloggers need to know about their tax self-assessment

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably left your tax self-assessment return to the very last minute. Perhaps you’re even worse than me and didn’t realise the Self Assessment submission deadline is midnight on the 31st January! But it is fast upon us and most of us avoid it until we really have to face it; last year, 33,000 people filed in the final hour, while a staggering 840,000 people missed the deadline altogether. If it’s late, HMRC delivers a straight £100 fine; with even more penalties if it continues to be missed.

You get the idea. It’s a faff but it needs to be done. To avoid getting stressed,  I’ve teamed up with SimpleTax to share lots of expert advice and tips on filling in your tax return properly as a blogger. Make sure you read to the bottom of the post so you can claim a 14 day completely free trial (bank details not needed) of SimpleTax to help you fill in your return with zero effort!

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8 blogging email scams you NEED to know about.

So today I wanted to have a chat about your blogging inbox. Is it just me that seems to get all sorts of dodgy emails? I hope not. In fact, I feel like my bullshit detector (I don’t usually swear in blog posts but I feel a bit stupid doing the ** so it’s staying!) is pretty strong lately- and I seem to spend a chunk of time replying ‘it’s a scam’ to various posts on blogger forums. So, like anything I find myself commenting a lot about, I decided to turn it into a blog post instead. Here are 8 blogging email scams you need to be aware of- let me know how many you’ve encountered.

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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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How to get verified on Twitter: everything you need to know.

I haven’t posted on here in a week or so and realised I completely forgot to document one of my exciting achievements last month: I was verified on Twitter. I’ve actually had a lot of people ask me about it- including some asking why it’s worth bothering with in the first place. So I thought I’d blog about the process, what happens after you apply,  the benefits and everything else you might want to know about how to get verified on Twitter.

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8 brands looking to work with bloggers for gift guides

Today is another gift-guide themed post. Last week, I shared my top tips for writing gift guides and shared 7 brands looking for bloggers. Now, I’m sharing ten more brands that want to get their products featured. I hope this blog post helps with your gift guide dilemmas!

  1. Self-care and Wellness bloggers: Affirmation cards and prints from A Life More Inspired email:nicola@alifemoreinspired.com
  2. Gift guides for her: Checkout https://upoveranddownunder.com/  and email: Info@upoveranddownunder.com
  3. Border collie inspired gifts, clothing+homeware http://www.olliecollie.co.uk email: heather@olliecollie.co.uk
  4. All types of gift guides.That Lovely Stuff. A gift store full of things handmade by mums at home. Email: nicola@thatlovelystuff.co.uk
  5. Gift guides for men. https://www.meandmycar.co.uk/ email:Fiona@meandmycar.co.uk
  6. Gift guide for 3-8-year-olds.  A range of art sensory boxes to feature. Visit facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/squidgydoodle/ 
  7. Gift guides for men. Sci-fi, gaming and retro film prints http://www.smartarts.gallery Email:sales@smartarts.gallery
  8. Gift guides for teenagers/young girls. Miss Dreambox are gift boxes for girls. Email: info@missdreambox.co.uk

Before you go….

 Check out my original post on gift guides and 7 brands looking for bloggers.

Read my interview with Fran from Prezzy Box on sending gift guide pitches.

Read my guide to Response Source– the perfect way to source products for gift guides.

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