I didn’t mean for the intros to these business bites to always be about food, but I guess the series name lends it to be. It’s official, Texas has the most insane food! Since I arrived here on Wednesday we’ve eaten more delicious morsels than ever. It my be a work trip but vacation rules still apply right? I.e. sod the diet, I’m going to try everything! Weird cheese dips, frozen margaritas and wine, and more Mexican food than I even thought possible. The rumours are true by the way, Austinites are very proud of their food culture – we’ve had more eatery recommendations than ever. I kinda wish we were here a bit longer so we could actually try it all.
I guess we’ll just have to come back…
♥ Just shut up and blog
♥ How to deal with doubters, unbelievers and naysayers
♥ What your Twitter bio says about you
♥ Love the work your with
♥ How I stopped waiting to become a writer, quit my job & launched my dream
“There was power, I learned, in giving more than taking, being generous instead of greedy.”
I’m obviously pretty biased, but if you’re running your own business and not harnessing the power of working with bloggers then you’re missing a seriously big trick! With thousands (or for some of us hundreds of thousands) of loyal monthly readers, getting your product or service in front of all those eager eyeballs has got to be a no-brainer. But bloggers are overrun with submissions so just how do you go about getting them to not only notice your pitch but actually want to write about you too?
1. Contact them correctly
The “Dear Blogger” email is probably the bane of every blogger’s life. Not addressing someone by name when you email them is not only lazy, it’s darn right rude. Why would someone then want to go on to promote or help you if you can’t even be bothered to find out their name or personalise your email?
It’s pretty easy to decipher what a working relationship might be like with a brand through that very first email. When you write to a blogger without using their name (or using someone else’s name – whoops!) what you’re really saying is “I want to work with a blogger… any blogger… I actually don’t really care who they are or what they do, I just want to get featured on some blogs”. First impressions are of the utmost importance, and if you’re sending out these kinds of emails, it will just appear that your strategy is nothing more than ‘spray and pray’… spray everyone you can and pray that someone is bored enough to want to write about you.
2. Get to know them
It’s important to get to know the bloggers before you contact them. Follow their blogs, read what they publish and interact with them on social media. Reply to their tweets and leave (non spammy) comments on their blog. Get to know them and try and get them to know you. That way, when it comes to pitching something to them you’re not just hitting them with a cold call, they might recognise your name or feel like they already know who you are. If they do they’re much less likely to just delete your email.
Image: Apron Strings
I’m not the best housewife but I made this for dinner on Monday night and it was flipping delicious and SO EASY. It look a whole ten minutes. I actually added some chopped up sausages to it after it was cooked too, Gareth is a hardcore carnivore and a veggie dish for dinner probably wouldn’t have gone down that well. Oh yeah, I’ll be winning that wife of the year award in no time!
But onto much more exciting things, lovely business learning clicky links:
♥ How to make a good first impression
♥ 6 tips for managing multi-author blogs without losing your mind
♥ If you’re looking for a new WordPress theme for your blog or website, Shauna has laid out some of the best places to get ‘em.
♥ Stuck on what to blog about? Use these awesome prompts (88 of ‘em!)
♥ Darren Rowse of ProBlogger spoke at World Domination Summit all about dreams and how to make them your reality. It was great. Do yourself a favour and take a 40 minute break to check it out…
Dear Kat, I have a massive dilemma and I really hope you can help. I’ve been blogging about a certain topic for the past few years and I’ve really loved it. I’ve made some great connections within the industry, built up a decent readership and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. But I have a problem… I feel like I’ve kinda fallen out of love with it – not with blogging, but with the topic I’m writing about.
I know you say that the key to successful blogging is having something different to say and a unique voice to say it in, but right now I really feel like I don’t. I used to wake up every morning full of excitement and new ideas around the topic I write about and now… nothing. It’s a massive struggle to come up with anything new and I’m certainly not excited about anything I’m writing.
So I guess what I’m asking is what should I do? I don’t want to give up blogging and all the hard work I’ve put in but I also don’t want to keep plodding along for the sake of it. Do you have any suggestions on how I can re-find my passion?
For most of us, starting something new is a really exciting time. We’re motivated more than ever and, if you’re a blogger, churning out more content than you know what to do with. Your head is full of ideas and your passion is at an all time high. But like with anything, over time monotony and even apathy or resentment can start to set in. You get bored, you find new interests and you might even consider moving on to the next thing… after all, getting that ‘new project high’ can be kind of addictive.
The thing is, when you’re a blogger, however big or small your readership might be, when you go through this you can also start to feel very… exposed. As bloggers we’re expected to really have our shit together. Our readers count on us to churn out regular and engaging content, no matter how we’re feeling about it. It’s at this stage that a lot of bloggers quit, or bring on an intern to do a lot of the work for them, but that isn’t the only option.
Considering I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, I sure do pin a lot of pretty sweet treats… hum, I wonder what that says about my psyche? I hope you’ve all had a brilliant and productive week. I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I’m going out – not once but twice! Sheesh, what a party animal. Now excuse me I better go and grab a quick disco nap before the chaos commences. I’ll see you on the other side!
♥ How to make your website credible
♥ My to do list is a little wolf spider
♥ Is community college the right choice for you?
♥ Strategic plan: doing things
“The day when artists could build platforms for themselves simply by being on social media has turned into myth. And the glut of “social media experts” and “content experts” who offer proven strategies for building a tribe is growing tired.
So how do you build a base for your work? Kevin Kelley once proclaimed the principle of “1,000 true fans,” where he stated that only 1,000 customers were needed to build a sustainable career. In this new “maker society” where your livelihood comes from your followership, how do you stand out in the long tail?”
I was never very popular at school. I had a group of four friends who I stuck pretty close to and we were delightfully nicknamed ‘the bods’ (our school’s name for geeks/ nerds/ squares) by our much more popular peers. As a teen, popularity is such a life-defining thing. If you don’t act a certain way or fit in with a particular group you’re ostracised or bullied and you spend your days saying “Well who’d want to be like them anyway!?” while all the time wondering what you ever did to be so despised.
As soon as I left that horrific school, I unwittingly shed my unpopularity pretty quickly. In college being an outsider was considered cool and at university pretty much everyone was best friends. I have since learned that when you get past those awkward teenage years, it’s actually your idiosyncrasies and differences that make you more liked.
One of the questions I get asked the most (by far!) is how to get more followers on social media. So while I can’t claim to have always been someone that people wanted to follow, here are a few little tips I’ve discovered along the way about what makes people want to on social media.
1. Be interesting
It’s sounds pretty flipping obvious, but look back at your last 10 or so tweets, Instagrams or Facebook updates… are they? Would you follow someone who posted those things? If not, why not?
Share things that are funny, engaging, happy, sad, inspiring, quirky, colourful, useful, entertaining. Be kooky but considerate, be funny but not sarcastic, share personal stories but don’t be boring. Don’t just tweet the fact that it’s raining or post yet another photo of your lunch. Come on now, who wants to follow that?
2. Vary your uses
The social media platforms are all very different beasts so don’t treat them the same. If you’re cross-posting the same things everywhere it’s going to be repetitive and boring for anyone that follows you in more than one place, and you’re also not going to be getting the best out of each platform. Similarly, the kinds of people that follow you in each place will be different. I’d say that the majority of my Twitter followers (or at least the ones that engage with me) are people in the wedding industry, whereas my Facebook is chock-full of brides. So why would I post wedding industry specific updates on Facebook? It wouldn’t make any sense!