Tag Archives: business

How To Sell Your Own Products On Your Blog

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One of the things I learnt pretty early on when I started to monetise this blog, was that having multiple income streams was a good idea. While I continue to earn the bulk of my income from banner advertising and sponsored content, only relying on this every month wouldn’t be that smart. I mean, what if all my advertisers suddenly decided to go elsewhere?

Around mid-2012 I started to brainstorm other ways I could make an income from this site. One of those was selling products. I dabbled with a number of things but the most significant for me have been The Blogcademy, my print magazine and my headpiece collection with Crown and Glory.

If you want to start selling products through your own blog, then here are a few keys things you need to consider.

Bring your readers on the journey with you

The reason the people that read your blog will buy from you over anyone else is because they are invested in YOU. There are a million wedding magazines out there and a squillion brightly coloured headpieces on Etsy, but the reason mine sell is because my readers love the Rock n Roll Bride brand.

In order to capitalise on this fandom (for lack of a better word!), you should bring your readers on the journey with you. Share sneak peeks of the design process and tease the launch on social media. Run exclusive discounts or contests on your blog. Let your readers know, before anyone else, what you’re working on and when they can buy it.

Last week I was shooting the look book for my new collection with Crown and Glory (which is launching on September 15th by the way!) and I made sure I shared a few behind the scenes shots on Instagram. I also snapped some other photos to tease out slowly before the launch (ahem, like in this blog post!) This way, my readers are hopefully already excited about the new collection before it’s even released.

It’s important that you don’t give too much away with your previews though. You don’t want your readers to feel like they’ve already seen everything before you launch! You’ll notice, for example, that I haven’t shared any close up shots of the actual pieces yet. You need to keep some mystery!

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Collaborate with others

There is no way I could sell any of my products without a team behind me. With The Blogcademy I have Gala (co-founder), Shauna (co-founder and designer) and Gareth (developer); with the magazine I have Shauna (designer) and Gareth (packing and shipping); and with the headpieces Sophie and (another!) Gareth of Crown and Glory (designer, making, packing and shipping). It would be impossible for me to do all these things on my own.

If you’re thinking of selling something yourself, collaborating with someone else might be a smart move. Not only can you pool your skills, but also your marketing power. Naomi and Josh of Love Taza just joined forces with Joy of Oh Joy! to launch their app, Pippit, for example.

Have a launch plan

It’s all very well and good spending months working on your product but if you don’t have a launch plan, no-one will ever know about it! Unless you have an enormous Kardashian-sized audience, if you don’t work hard to promote it, no-one else will do it for you. Word of mouth may start to spread down the line, but you need to kick the process off.

Obviously you should share your new products on your own platforms, but that’s rarely enough these days. What else will you do to get the word out?

You could reach out to other bloggers and magazines, do some paid advertising, or run some competitions. Marketing is a slow and steady process, so don’t ever launch a product without some kind of idea on how you’re going market it.

A Beautiful Mess just did this really well with their latest iPhone app, Party Party. First they announced it on their blog. Then, they sent out a care package with some fun props to some of their blogger friends with access to the app so they could try it and share the results on their own platforms. They now continue to write content on their own blog that shares the behind the scenes process of app building, as well as images and gifs made with the app. They’ve also managed to secure some major press features.

If you want to learn more about marketing a blog or product, have a gander at The Blogcademy Home School’s PR and Marketing module!

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Rock n Roll Bride Advertising End Of Year Discount!

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With the madness of wedding season finally coming to a close, I’d imagine that many of my wedding supplier readers will be thinking about their marketing strategy for 2015. To help you start of the new year with a flurry of enquiries, I’m offering discounts on some of my most popular advertising options for the rest of 2014!

If you’d like your business to be exposed to an audience of hundreds of thousands AND at a lower than usual rate, then drop me an email with the subject line “Discounted Advertising” to see my media kit and to qualify for the lower rate. Please also include your website URL and a brief introduction about who you are and what you do in your email.

Yay 2015, LET’S DO THIS!

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Perspective & Dealing with Mid-Season Burn Out

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It’s the height of summer and wedding season is in full swing. Everywhere I look my wedding industry friends are lamenting about how busy they are, how tired they feel, and just how much they’re really looking forward to winter… and a well deserved lie in! Whatever industry you’re in, there are likely to be particular times of year that are much busier than others. So how do you survive, no thrive, when you feel in completely over your head?

I could give you plenty of tips for getting through a busy period – saying no more often, taking a day off, giving yourself rewards, being an excellent list writer – but really there’s just one thing you need in order to power through. Perspective.

Most of us run our own businesses because we’re passionate about what we do. We love our work, we cherish our clients and it’s immensely satisfying overall. Well, it is when you take the time to look back at what you’ve achieved. When you’re in the thick of it, it can be very difficult to see the wood for the trees. It’s hard to remember why you do it at all sometimes, especially when you’re rushing about from place to place, client to client, deadline to deadline.

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On Overcommitting and Why I Haven’t Written My Book Yet

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I thought that if I said it out loud, it would force me to actually go through with it. I started this year with one big goal: to write a book. A massive undertaking at the best of times, but with a schedule like mine? Madness. Yet I reasoned that I could definitely get it done. I thrive on being busy.

But as the year zipped by a frighting speed, there was one thing that became very obvious: I was seriously putting off writing the damn thing.

Sleep on the plane, or bash out a few chapters? Work on blog posts, or draft an outline? Produce more Home School videos, or work on content ideas?

As more and more time past it become very clear to me that I was procrastinating. Big time.

The idea of writing a book started to feel like an albatross hanging around my neck. I wish I’d never told anyone, it was now all everybody seemed to ask me about. Each time they did the burden and guilt that I hadn’t even really started got heavier and heavier. “How’s the book coming along?” they’d innocently enquire. I’d blush bright crimson and mumble something about “being just so very, very busy right now.”

Which is true, I have been swamped this year, but if I’m being 100% honest with myself, that’s not why I haven’t written it. If I really wanted to do it I would have found the time. The fact that I haven’t speaks volumes.

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Live Your Own Truth

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Iris Apfel, American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon is a pretty amazing woman. At the ripe old age of 93, she still consults and lectures about style and fashion, and she continues to rock the same inimitable style that she became so well known for.

I might have said it to you a million times before, but looking at someone like Iris only reinforces my belief that you need to wholeheartedly be yourself. Standing out in a crowd is awesome, but in life (no matter how you choose to present yourself) you’re always going to come across people who are threatened, intimidated, offended or annoyed by you. You need to keep prancing along doing your own thing anyway. If you don’t, you’ll end up being a carbon copy of everyone else and just as bitter as the rest of them.

I’d rather people disliked me for who I actually am, than have them dim my sparkly light because it might – GASP! – offend their boring sensibilities. I already know my style, opinions and choices are going to annoy some people, so I might as well just be myself and enjoy life on my own terms regardless!

Iris Apfel

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I Ruined My Friend’s Wedding

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Kate Moss for Vogue, April 2012

Dear Kat
I fucked up (to put it mildly!) and I need your help… advice… anything. I’m an aspiring wedding planner. I’m just out of university and when a friend asked me to help her plan her wedding I was thrilled, honoured and terrified all at the same time. I’ve always wanted to go into events and even though I’ve never planned anything as big as a wedding (and I told my friend this) I was super excited to be involved.

I worked my arse off in the run up and on the day, and I feel like I did a pretty good job considering it was my first go. BUT there were some things that didn’t go perfectly and now my friend is pissed and blaming me. For example the flowers were delivered late, the cake started to sag before it was cut and she hated the hair and make up artist I booked (even though she agreed to her, and had a trial, beforehand).

I appreciate her feedback on how I could have done things differently. After all this was my first wedding and I know I have a LOT to learn. But I can’t help but be massively crushed. Not only is my friendship effectively ruined but I feel like I never want to try and plan another wedding again!

I don’t know if you can help me or if you can say anything to really help me feel better, but do you happen to have any advice on how to deal with this? We all have to start somewhere, right?
Sarah Jane

Aww Sarah Jane I am so sorry this was your first planning experience. Being involved in someone’s wedding is a huge deal and a massive amount of pressure. From reading your email I am convinced that you did the very best you could despite your inexperience.

While you can’t change what’s already happened, the first thing you need to do is apologise, even if you feel you did the best you could at the time. While the flowers being a bit late, the cake being a bit saggy and her not liking the person who did her face might seem like pretty minor misdemeanors, you do need to look at it from her point of view. Yes, she is your friend, but in this situation she was first and foremost your client. And the customer is always right.

Ask her if there’s anything you can do to make it up to her, and go out of your way to do anything that she might ask you. Think of something nice you can do for her to show how very sorry you are. How about a canvas print of one of her favourite wedding images? Try your very best to build those bridges.

kate moss for vogue

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