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    M ford indie chicks presentation M ford indie chicks presentation Presentation Transcript

    • Blogging Basics, Monetization and How to Become a Full-time Blogger
      Molly Ford
      Indie Biz Chicks Conference
    • PART ONE:MY BACKGROUND
    • Smart Pretty and Awkward Overview
      • SmartPrettyandAwkward.com
      • Started in December 2008
      • 250,000 page views/month
      • Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blog Comments, BlogLovin’, StumbleUpon
      Site Map
      Homepage
      The homepage links to the four site pages below.
      Who Writes This? Who Reads This? Press Page More!
    • Importance of Knowing Your Readers
      • In Summer 2010, I did a readership survey of my readers to provide my sponsors with more information about my readership.
      • Used SurveyMonkey to create, collect, and analyze the results
      • The survey page was linked to my homepage; I collected just under 900 responses.
      Survey Survey Results
      Most significant readership data:
      • 98% female
      • 95% US-based
      • 82% between 19 and 25 years old to your site (numbers according to a January 2010 readership survey of 800 daily readers).
      • 91% have or are in process of obtaining college degree
      • 47% check Smart Pretty and Awkward daily
    • Analytics and Legal Ownership
      Analytics
      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.
      Legal Ownership
      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.
    • PART TWO:BLOGGING BASICS
    • So, You Want to Start a Blog.
      What Should Your Write About?
      • Write about a topic you like
      • Not trendy topic
      • Stuck? Ask yourself: What do you like to read?
      • Want topic to be broad enough that you can mold it to what your readers are responding to, but themed enough to be cohensive
      • Examples: CupcakesandCashmere.com, ThePioneerWoman.com, OhSheGlows.com
    • How Often Should You Write?
      • Quality vs. Quantity
      • Write when you have something to say, balance between quality content and readers relying on you
      • This changes when you are full-time blogger
    • How Transparent Should You Be?
      • Hard to be truly anonymous
      • Different levels of transparency
    • How Genuine Should You Be?
      • Be YOU
      • Same person online as person offline
      • Eventually you will meet readers offline and they should see the same person they have been reading
    • When Should You Tell People About Your Blog?
      • Three month rule: Commit to blogging for three months without trying to promote yourself
      • Allows the write to decide how to write, lets the reader get addicted to your blog when they do find you
      • Try different media (text, photos, video, audio). Your time to experiment!
      • Example: Offbeat Empire blog
    • How Will Your Community Trust You?
      • Readers should have some idea what they are seeing when they head to your site
      • Take into account readership
    • How will you Promote Yourself? Social Media
      All major social media is accessible from the site’s homepage on the left hand side.
      Facebook Page/Ads Twitter Page
      LinkedIn StumbleUpon/Bloglovin’ RSS Feed
    • Summary:
      Top Blogs Do These Things:
      • Post Often
      • Promote themselves on Social Media
      • Content and links should be interesting and haven’t been overplayed
      • Average top blog is 34 months old
      • Blogging is long-term!
      Source: Second Edition of ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
    • PART THREE:MONETIZATION
    • My Transition
      • About a year into Smart Pretty and Awkward, thought it could happen
      • Then waited another year to build up traffic—waiting for 10,000 hits/day
      • Then in a three month period between February and May 2011:
      • Coffee with Molly
      • Ad Publishing Network (BlogHer)
      • Amazon Affiliate Links
      • August 2011 Revenue Breakdown:
    • When to Monetize?
      • Either do it from Day One, or do it once traffic has grown
      • If you do it once blog is established, try not to disrupt content or change site design too dramatically to avoid oft-putting readers
      How to Monetize Your Blog Directly?
      • Blog Publishing Network
      • Banners
      • Text Links
      • Sponsorships
      • Let people know when you want to accept sponsors, current readers are a good place to start
      • RSS Ads
      • Affiliate Ads
      • Donations
      How much to charge?
      • Request media kids from other blogs with similar traffic
      Source: Second Edition of ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
    • SP&A Example: Coffee with Molly
      Being introduced to MailChimp is completing changing my revenue model for the blog.
      • On May 1, the 28 month anniversary of the blog, I launched a paid email-only newsletter for the blog’s readers.
      •  
      • 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.
      • The content for the newsletter is positioned as a conversation, or coffee, with myself
      • 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.
      Newsletter Template
    • SP&A Example: Other Blog Revenue Sources
      I sell merchandise with SP&A’s logo at CafePress (mugs, tee shirts, mousepads, etc.)
    • How to Monetize Your Blog Indirectly?
      • Blog for other sites, as your current blog has helped establish your writing niche and ability
      • Speaking on your topic
      • Consulting on your topic
      • Just boost your resume and land better full-time job
      • SP&A Example: I’ve done all of these things!
      Source: Second Edition of ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
    • PART FOUR:BECOMING A FULL TIME BLOGGER
    • How Do You Know When You are Ready to Become Full-time Blogger?
      • First, obviously look at the finances. How much are you making currently as a “hobby” blogger?
      • Advertising structure is in place, indirectly or directly
      • Pipeline: Wait until people and businesses are reaching out to you
      • 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)
      • Where do you want to take your blog? (Book, TV, something else?)
    • Questions?
      Molly’s Contact Info
      Site: www.smartprettyandawkward.com
      Email: molly@smartprettyandawkward.com
      Resources
      Grow Your Blog by the Simple Dude
      ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett