On Monday morning I briefly mentioned Cassey Ho’s BlogFest session that touched on blog and social media growth and making money from your blog, YouTube channel or social media account. Cassey’s presentation stemmed from experience, as she’s cultivated quite a successful brand that includes a YouTube channel with upwards of 1.6 million subscribers, a popular blog, merchandise, meal plans and, just recently, her own fitness fashion line.
Cassey spoke with enthusiasm and shared lots of advice with BlogFest attendees that I wanted to share with you guys today since I know a bunch of you out there are bloggers or have ambitions to start a blog some day. I took lots of notes, so this blog post may be a little long-winded. You’ve been warned!
Growing Your Blog and Making Money
- Give Away Something… But Not Everything
If you give away everything for free, your readers will expect you to continue to do so and will never want to pay for anything, even if it costs you a lot of time and money to develop. Try giving away snippets of something for free… like the first week of a one-month meal plan. Don’t sell yourself short!
- Cater Your Content to Current Events
Is a big event or holiday coming up? Try catering your content to this event since people will likely be searching for content around this event, making your content more pertinent and popular. For example, with the fall coming up, try sharing a collection of your favorite autumn recipes or creating a “back to school” workout.
- Create a Newsletter
Creating a newsletter is invaluable, as it gives you direct access to your readers. With an increase in newsletter subscribers comes an increase in page views, social media followers and income, especially if you include links to your merchandise or affiliate links to favorite products. Companies may also pay more to be included in your newsletter in addition to your blog. Mail Chimp is a great resource for easily creating your own newsletter.
- Understand and Utilize Instagram
Utilize Instagram and understand that people who use Instagram generally don’t want to have to leave Instagram. Sharing a photo of a recipe and then typing out a link to your blog may not be the best philosophy because links cannot be hyperlinked within Instagram and people will likely just keep scrolling. Consider typing out FULL recipes from time to time so people don’t have to leave Instagram and can find value in your account.
Use hashtags to find new like-minded Instagram users. After posting your photo with a caption, you can quickly comment on your post with corresponding hashtags so they’re not as visible and don’t detract from your caption.
- Use YouTube to Connect
YouTube is a great way to give people a glimpse into your true personality and create a solid relationship with viewers. Many companies look for a strong, engaged YouTube presence.
- Block Out Time To Increase Productivity
If your blog or YouTube channel lends itself to this practice, consider blocking out a period of time to create a bunch of blog posts or YouTube videos at once. Focus the rest of your time on building relationships, promoting your content or merchandise, researching new avenues for growth, reaching out to brands, working on your newsletter and interacting with people who follow you.
- Consider Selling Something
Though it is possible to make money solely from blogging or posting YouTube videos, your chances for a larger income greatly increase if you sell something. Whether you sell training plans, merchandise, or consulting services, loyal readers will likely be interested in your product since they probably share your similar interests if they’re visiting your blog or YouTube channel regularly. Highwire.com is a great resource for setting up your own online store.
- Connect With Others
Create genuine relationships with other bloggers or YouTubers… the key word here being genuine. Every blogger can see right through an email from another blogger who clearly just wants a link to their site shared. Build real relationships with those within your community before suggesting collaboration. Once a genuine friendship is established, share business contacts, successes and content. Constantly share content from others with your readers and promote other bloggers and YouTubers regularly. Pass their contact information along to brands you’ve worked with and work together to increase success.
- Work With Brands… But Don’t Let Them Dictate
Contact brands you love and suggest a partnership. Reaching out to a brand on Twitter is a great way to get contact information. Once you have an email address, send a pitch and suggest ways you can work together. When a working relationship is established, stay true to yourself and do not let a brand dictate what you will say or do on your blog or YouTube channel. A partnership with a brand is a collaboration that involves two brands… yours and theirs.
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