Month: July 2017

3 things bloggers need to survive.

Three things bloggers need to survive.This post contains affiliate links and i may earn from them.

I have questions that I need you to answer as honestly as possible. As a blogger do you strive to dish out the best content to your readers? How much time do you spend on your site upgrading it and making it appealing to visitors?  Are you willing to break the bank and invest in your website? After you hit the publish button are you excited and looking forward to happy readers or are you nervous that the post will not really make a mark? As a blogger and entrepreneur, I have been in the game long enough to know that there are certain important aspects that need to be followed for survival and for a profitable journey. I will just mention the three most important things that have proven to be very vital in my blogging journey.

CONTENT

As a blogger strive to have blog content that is unique. Many might think that the only thing that matters in blogging is the content (the words that people read on the screen). Yes, strong, engaging and life changing  content is hugely important,  – but if your blog’s design shouts “unprofessional,”at first glance and your post looks hard to read, then visitors may not even get to the first line or peruse further. Often times, I have visited sites that look overrun by ads: one thing you should know is that it is  not only the blog design that suffers, but the overall visitor’s experience as well. If you add your banner make sure you do it in a way that it does not over shadow or get in the way of you content.

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Banners and links should be  put in such a way that they co-exist with your content instead of being distractions. I do not like cluttered sites and I bet you do not either. You may not know what makes a cluttered site, but your readers and customers know when they are trying to navigate one. I have met with flashing ads that give  headache, loads of links with ambiguous titles, all on one page!. Your audience would sooner go to another writer’s site that make site navigating a good experience and that does not give him a headache!

TIME

Blogging is such a wonderful yet complex experience and vicious circle. The more time you put into your blog, the more successful it becomes. The more successful your blog becomes, the more it demands of your time. Interesting isnt it?

Here you are, you have done everything right.

Check List

  • Grown your email list.
  • Networked on many bloggers platforms
  • Promoted on all social media
  • Probably were fortunate to guest blog on some awesome websites and you are rocking it.
  • Responded to every single blog comment.
  • Did every other thing on your secret list to make your blog successful.

Everything is going great but it’s OVERWHELMING. You can’t handle the pressure anymore.  Time, which was never on your side in the first place, begins to mock you, it is just not on your side . As your   influence in your niche and blog grows, it may feel as though you have 80 hours of work to do and only have a few hours to work on it. You have to keep up with hundreds of comments, come up with new juicy content, promote, live a life, do other side hustles and at the same time stay sane. The day is only 24 hrs!

Before it was easy to respond to only a handful of comments but now you are faced with comments and emails that are streaming in from all corners of social media and mailing services. As your blog grows and you have more demands of your time, it’s imperative you use that time the most efficient way possible. You can no longer afford the pleasure of being disorganized. For more tips on time management check out.. 6 Time management tips for bloggers

MONEY

This one is a bit personal for me. I am still on the Personal WordPress package for I am still deciding on whether I should go full time and monetize my blog or not. I know some bloggers, I included, hate the idea of spending money on advertising. It’s a real shame and disadvantage on our part. Just think of it this way, how many competitors are there, that are doing better than you in your niche?   A lot, right? Well, one way to improve your authority is to devote a little bit of money promoting your work to a targeted group of people who are likely to be interested in your work. In my ongoing research I have noticed, much to my delight, that sponsored posts and advertising on Facebook and other social media is relatively cheap and very effective.

Here is where you can spend money on your blog

  • Good Web Hosting example include Dreamhost , Hostgator, Siteground etc
  • Buying traffic through advertisements (Social Media)
  • SEO
  • Good Branding
  • Hire a freelance writer to guest post on your blog, creating targeted backlinks for you.
  • Premium themes and Plugins.

Most bloggers work from home and need a comfortable and convenient place to work from so you can invest on home office equipment too.

There are various pros and cons to working at home but here are guides to help you get through it. Tips to work from home

While we’ve all heard that “it takes money to make money”… the more accurate way of saying this in terms of your online business, is that “it takes money to be taken seriously online.” Ryan Biddulph

What I have learnt so far

  • It takes money to make money *this applies to all aspects of business whether online or offline
  • Blogging can be a very lucrative business if done well. That is why you need proper preparation and goals0
  • If your goal is to take your blog and business to greater levels you need to invest more time, more effort and indeed more money.

I am learning every day and will update the list as the knowledge comes.

Let me know your own thoughts, experiences and other things that helps bloggers survive in this blogging world.

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©Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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6 Time management tips for bloggers

6 time managementBlogging is one way that you can generate passive income from. It can also help you generate more referrals for your projects and business. It may seem like an easy way of earning money, at least for some it is but getting to point where everything is smooth sailing can be a very hard way. One of the hardest things about blogging is finding the time to practically put pen to paper. In this article I will cover time management tips. Hopefully they will help you and other bloggers find the time to blog even when you are also on a full-time job. If you have been finding it difficult to balance your time in blogging then this article is for you.

Set specific goals for your blog

Having specific goals as you approach your blog each day or week helps you cut out unnecessary things that will not help you achieve what you want. It helps to write out a number of goals for your blog for the month/year and keep them at hand from where you work from. I have made my goals as a wallpaper for my phone! Refer to them often. It can also help to make your goals public, in order to help put some pressure on you. I always share my goals with my Husband and children. (My seven y.o is very good at reminding you of what you have said). It is always good to start small, make sure your goals are attainable and will not leave you burnt out for the whole year.  Goals are a huge motivation to doing something. Work progressively, step by step and as you attain that goal set another one.

Create an editorial calendar

Do a brainstorming session where you come up with a list of blog post topics that you would want to work on. From your brainstorming session, transfer your topic ideas to days you will publish your blog articles and plug those topics into an editorial calendar. This will help you determine what day you will publish a specific blog post. The calendar helps you when to write your blog post and what topic exactly you are to write about. You can also add other bits and pieces to your editorial calendar, such as keywords, an outline for your blog post. Editorial calendars come in various formats, you can choose a wall/ desk calendar or Google calendar. Choose the one which works best for you and your style of work.

Limit social media

We all know that having a blog isn’t just about the writing. After writing we PROMOTE our content. It is very important to promote your blog and normally bloggers do that by networking through social media. Social media is good but it can swiftly waste all of your time. Spending too much time on social media can leave you all hyped up, feeling like you have accomplished a lot with hardly any work done. I can work more effectively and come out with good and well researched content when I limit my time on social media. It’s very hard, but I think we can do it. Good, well placed comments and encouragements may come via the mediums you have used but do not get caught up glitz and glamour of social media! When I started blogging and promoting my content I got carried out away by the traffic and feedback I was getting that I spent time monitoring my stats and the comments. It’s important to interact with your readers but set a time in a day for that.

Schedule and stay organized.

Scheduling is setting up your posts to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else you want. I have noticed that, in terms of readership numbers, the more you publish posts the more your readership will grow. This however should not force you to do hurried and low quality posts. Yes, frequently give new and exciting posts to your readers. Scheduling your posts can be helpful on this one.

What has helped me to schedule my posts:

I use

  • Hootsuite to schedule my twitter status update.
  • Facebook to schedule my Facebook posts.
  • Tailwind to schedule Pinterest and Instagram

There are other apps like  scheduler

Also, remember you can schedule for today, tomorrow, next week and even for the whole month.  Please, please go right ahead and schedule a few posts over the next several months and do not forget to come back and thank me.

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Use a timer.

 A timer has helped me a lot and I have grown to love my timer! I use it to keep myself on track when I need to get specific things done. I set my time for every task I have to do on a day. I set a timer every morning to check email. I have loads of mail coming in so I give myself  45 minutes to deal with them, then I check my mail every 2hours for 5 minutes. It will be very helpful to use your timer when you are on social media so that you do not get carried away . For example on a day that promoting your content on social media is not high on the priority list. Set aside 10 minutes for every hour and a half to check posts that needs your attention and replies.

Focus on one task at a time

As women we pride ourselves in our ability to multi task. I recommend that you put our focus on thing until completion. It is good to jot down your ideas as they come, even if they are for another post scheduled to release in a month. When it comes to blogging, whilst it is good to have a few outlines on various post, when it comes to completion, work on one, polish it and finish it. By putting half the amount of effort on two tasks, put 100% of your effort into one, this will help you dish out good blog post.

Extra thought: Think of blogging as making a family meal plan. You plan your menus in advance, making sure you have the right food items in your kitchen, it will be much easier to plan and prepare fo meals. The same is true for blogging: plan and you will be able to serve up a blog post that will satisfy your readers — all while saving you valuable time.

I would also like to know how you manage your time as a blogger. Please get in touch!

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©Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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