M ford indie chicks presentation


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M ford indie chicks presentation

  1. 1. Blogging Basics, Monetization and How to Become a Full-time Blogger<br />Molly Ford<br />Indie Biz Chicks Conference<br />
  3. 3. Smart Pretty and Awkward Overview<br /><ul><li>SmartPrettyandAwkward.com
  4. 4. Started in December 2008
  5. 5. 250,000 page views/month
  6. 6. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blog Comments, BlogLovin’, StumbleUpon</li></ul>Site Map<br />Homepage<br />The homepage links to the four site pages below.<br />Who Writes This? Who Reads This? Press Page More! <br />
  7. 7. Importance of Knowing Your Readers<br /><ul><li>In Summer 2010, I did a readership survey of my readers to provide my sponsors with more information about my readership.
  8. 8. Used SurveyMonkey to create, collect, and analyze the results
  9. 9. The survey page was linked to my homepage; I collected just under 900 responses. </li></ul> Survey Survey Results<br />Most significant readership data:<br /><ul><li>98% female
  10. 10. 95% US-based
  11. 11. 82% between 19 and 25 years old to your site (numbers according to a January 2010 readership survey of 800 daily readers).
  12. 12. 91% have or are in process of obtaining college degree
  13. 13. 47% check Smart Pretty and Awkward daily </li></li></ul><li>Analytics and Legal Ownership<br />Analytics<br />I track my analytics through Wordpress’ Analytics model, which comes free with my self-hosted Wordpress blog. I used to use Google Analytics, then switched to OneStat, and am now happy with the current embedded program. <br />Legal Ownership<br />I own the domain name for ten years and all relevant variations, which all redirect to my site. Because I sell merchandise under the label “Smart Pretty and Awkward,” I have both a state business license, and the name Smart Pretty and Awkward trademarked from the U.S. Patent Office. <br />
  15. 15. So, You Want to Start a Blog. <br />What Should Your Write About?<br /><ul><li>Write about a topic you like
  16. 16. Not trendy topic
  17. 17. Stuck? Ask yourself: What do you like to read?
  18. 18. Want topic to be broad enough that you can mold it to what your readers are responding to, but themed enough to be cohensive
  19. 19. Examples: CupcakesandCashmere.com, ThePioneerWoman.com, OhSheGlows.com</li></li></ul><li>How Often Should You Write?<br /><ul><li>Quality vs. Quantity
  20. 20. Write when you have something to say, balance between quality content and readers relying on you
  21. 21. This changes when you are full-time blogger</li></li></ul><li>How Transparent Should You Be?<br /><ul><li>Hard to be truly anonymous
  22. 22. Different levels of transparency</li></li></ul><li>How Genuine Should You Be?<br /><ul><li>Be YOU
  23. 23. Same person online as person offline
  24. 24. Eventually you will meet readers offline and they should see the same person they have been reading</li></li></ul><li>When Should You Tell People About Your Blog?<br /><ul><li>Three month rule: Commit to blogging for three months without trying to promote yourself
  25. 25. Allows the write to decide how to write, lets the reader get addicted to your blog when they do find you
  26. 26. Try different media (text, photos, video, audio). Your time to experiment!
  27. 27. Example: Offbeat Empire blog</li></li></ul><li>How Will Your Community Trust You?<br /><ul><li>Readers should have some idea what they are seeing when they head to your site
  28. 28. Take into account readership</li></li></ul><li>How will you Promote Yourself? Social Media<br />All major social media is accessible from the site’s homepage on the left hand side.<br />Facebook Page/Ads Twitter Page<br />LinkedIn StumbleUpon/Bloglovin’ RSS Feed<br />
  29. 29. Summary: <br />Top Blogs Do These Things:<br /><ul><li>Post Often
  30. 30. Promote themselves on Social Media
  31. 31. Content and links should be interesting and haven’t been overplayed
  32. 32. Average top blog is 34 months old
  33. 33. Blogging is long-term!</li></ul>Source: Second Edition of ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income<br />
  35. 35. My Transition<br /><ul><li>About a year into Smart Pretty and Awkward, thought it could happen
  36. 36. Then waited another year to build up traffic—waiting for 10,000 hits/day
  37. 37. Then in a three month period between February and May 2011:
  38. 38. Coffee with Molly
  39. 39. Ad Publishing Network (BlogHer)
  40. 40. Amazon Affiliate Links
  41. 41. August 2011 Revenue Breakdown:</li></li></ul><li>When to Monetize?<br /><ul><li>Either do it from Day One, or do it once traffic has grown
  42. 42. If you do it once blog is established, try not to disrupt content or change site design too dramatically to avoid oft-putting readers</li></ul>How to Monetize Your Blog Directly?<br /><ul><li>Blog Publishing Network
  43. 43. Banners
  44. 44. Text Links
  45. 45. Sponsorships
  46. 46. Let people know when you want to accept sponsors, current readers are a good place to start
  47. 47. RSS Ads
  48. 48. Affiliate Ads
  49. 49. Donations</li></ul>How much to charge? <br /><ul><li>Request media kids from other blogs with similar traffic</li></ul>Source: Second Edition of ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income<br />
  50. 50. SP&A Example: Coffee with Molly<br />Being introduced to MailChimp is completing changing my revenue model for the blog.<br /><ul><li>On May 1, the 28 month anniversary of the blog, I launched a paid email-only newsletter for the blog’s readers.
  51. 51.  
  52. 52. The newsletter costs around $2.23, the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee, branding as a ‘cup of coffee with Molly.’ The newsletter comes out 5 times per month.
  53. 53. The content for the newsletter is positioned as a conversation, or coffee, with myself
  54. 54. personal blogroll, FAQ, reader relationship questions, music I like, giveaways and discounts from smaller shops, outfit posts and pictures, top ten lists of my favorite tips, or 3 tips grouped together by theme. </li></ul> Newsletter Template<br />
  55. 55. SP&A Example: Other Blog Revenue Sources<br />I sell merchandise with SP&A’s logo at CafePress (mugs, tee shirts, mousepads, etc.)<br />
  56. 56. How to Monetize Your Blog Indirectly?<br /><ul><li>Blog for other sites, as your current blog has helped establish your writing niche and ability
  57. 57. Speaking on your topic
  58. 58. Consulting on your topic
  59. 59. Just boost your resume and land better full-time job
  60. 60. SP&A Example: I’ve done all of these things! </li></ul>Source: Second Edition of ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income<br />
  62. 62. How Do You Know When You are Ready to Become Full-time Blogger?<br /><ul><li>First, obviously look at the finances. How much are you making currently as a “hobby” blogger?
  63. 63. Advertising structure is in place, indirectly or directly
  64. 64. Pipeline: Wait until people and businesses are reaching out to you
  65. 65. Until you have so much to do, it is a full-time job (tip: keep resume current so you are always ready to go back to full time job)
  66. 66. Where do you want to take your blog? (Book, TV, something else?)</li></li></ul><li>Questions?<br />Molly’s Contact Info<br />Site: www.smartprettyandawkward.com<br />Email: molly@smartprettyandawkward.com<br />Resources<br />Grow Your Blog by the Simple Dude<br />ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett <br />