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3 Reasons Why Guest Posting Is an Awesome Marketing Strategy

3 reasons why guest posting is an awesome marketing strategy

If you want to build your creative business or your reputation as a freelance writer, the most effective method is guest posting.

Guest posting is an incredible marketing strategy. With the correct guest posting methods, guest posting on other sites can take your business from stagnant to stratospheric. We’re not just talking about growing your website’s traffic (though, that will happen too!).

If you’re still unsure as to whether guest posting is for you, take a look at these three reasons as to why you need to hop on this awesome marketing strategy.

Pssst! Make sure you grab the free download at the end of the post on how to send a guest post pitch that rocks!

1.You become an authority figure in your niche

Guest posting on websites within your niche allows you to become an authority figure. How? First, you need to create high-quality content. Content with value will demonstrate your knowledge and experience in your specific genre, building your reputation and authority.

People who value your content will then want to know more about you, sending traffic to your website. It’s the perfect method for promoting your services or products, increasing sales and growing your overall creative business.

2. You get exposure to a new audience

Gaining exposure to new readers within your niche is one of the best strategies for growing your email list and promoting your services. Using guest posting will help you to connect with potential clients and customers, as well as building relationships with other creatives within your genre.

3. You’ll have samples for your portfolio

If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, then guest posting is a great way to build your portfolio. You’ll be able to link to your work in your pitches and use them in your online portfolio. If you need references or testimonials, ask the website owner for a short paragraph of feedback, so you can use it to pitch for work.

How to guest post in return for results

Many people underestimate the power of guest posting and don’t end up viewing the results they want.

It’s so important to write a powerful pitch that will convert into a guest post slot, and achieve the desired results you want – that is, building your authority, growing your audience, email list and selling more of your products or services.

You don’t need to be a fountain of knowledge on your chosen topic, but you do need to be able to create content of high value. How to do this;

  • Thoroughly research the website you want to guest post on.
  • Create an outline of a post that will bring something NEW to the site (dont write the full post until you have secured a slot).
  • Make sure its original – plagiarism will give you a bad reputation
  • Don’t just give your opinion – can you back up your content with facts, data, statistics?
  • Avoid linkbait titles
  • Can you demonstrate results – if you’re writing a post on the best methods to save time writing, then can you give examples of things that have worked for you.

Now you have an idea of the type of content your guest post should contain, you’ll want to know how to send a pitch that grabs an exclusive spot on your favourite site.

Get the FREE download sheet below for a precise strategy that will convert into winning guest post slots on your preferred websites.

Make Money Blogging – The Ultimate Guide!

It’s easy to assume that to make money blogging, you need to be a blog superstar! Not true! In fact, you don’t even need a large audience to make money from your blog. Yes, it’s much easier to make money with lots of blog traffic, however, if you’re fairly new to the scene, there are still ways of making profit from your blog.

Pssst. If you haven’t yet started blogging, check out my post on how to create a WordPress blog.

You absolutely don’t need to be blogging full time to start making a profit. You may love blogging because it’s your passion, but it’s also a great way to supplement your current income. If you’re searching for ways of how you can monetise your website, then here is the ultimate guide on how to make money blogging.

Affiliates

One of the most popular ways to make money via your blog is through affiliate links. An affiliate link is when you place a link on your blog via a third party, such as an affiliate network or retailer. This link contains your personalised referral code, so that when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you’ll receive a small percentage of the retail price.

The amount you make via affiliate links will depend on your traffic and audience. For example, you may have a luxury lifestyle blog with a small audience, however, if you’re linking to expensive products, you could make quite a large profit with only a few sales. If someone clicked your link and purchased a handbag for £2000, you may make a commission of 10% (depending on your affiliate network), which is £200.

Affiliate links are super easy to use and you can choose which products to link to and which brands to work with.

Any type of blog can use affiliate links and the best way to use them is to add them naturally within a blog post, rather than stuffing a post full of links. The best affiliate networks that I’ve personally used are Amazon Affiliates, ShopStyle, Skimlinks and LinkShare. Make sure you grab the free make money blogging resource sheet for more networks to join.

Ad networks

Ad networks, such as Google Adsense allow you to place adverts on your blog (which may be placed on your sidebar, in the footer or below the header) and you get paid for each click you receive on an ad. Google Adsense is undoubtedly the biggest ad network around. I personally made very little from Adsense on my lifestyle blog, despite gaining around 100,000 views per month at its peak. However, Adsense is ideal if you want a small passive income stream, achieving a little money from essentially doing nothing. Adsense isn’t the only network around and there are plenty of alternatives, such as Chitika and Infolinks.

Sponsored content

Sponsored blog posts, giveaways, social media posts and brand work are all high income streams. Sponsored content normally involves promoting a brand or product in exchange for money. You need to declare this content as sponsored on your blog. Sponsored content can also involve Instagram posts, sponsored tweets, paid press trips or working exclusively with a brand in some form. Generally, those with a large audience can make more money via sponsored content. However, even those with a small audience may be offered the opportunity for sponsored posts. When I’ve written paid for content, I’ve mainly been approached directly via email, although, I have found opportunities on Facebook. If you’re in the UK, I highly recommend joining the UK Bloggers Facebook group. If you’re based elsewhere, Blogger Opportunities is a good place to start.

You can also find sponsored content opportunities via Bloglovin Activate and Izea. There are also lots more sites to consider in the free blog resource list!

How much to charge for sponsored posts?

This is a tricky one as there’s no standard fee. I’ve made £50 to £70 (around $70 to $100) for a sponsored blog post, however, the amount you charge will depend on your blog views, unique users and number of subscribers.

Sponsors/selling advertising space

Selling advertising space to other bloggers or small brands was hugely popular a few years ago and it’s still a great way for those with a smaller audience to make a bit of extra cash. Creating a media kit and a page to sell your adverts on is a good way to get started. Price your adverts reasonably as it’s highly unlikely people will pay ££/$$ unless you’re getting a crazy amount of traffic. Alos, ensure that you have a PayPal account so you can get paid. I’d also recommend handling the scheduling of adverts and payment yourself, instead of paying for a third party website like passionfruit.

In your advertising packages, you may want to include a sidebar advert on your blog, links on social media, Instagram mentions or a dedicated blog post to your main advertiser.

Try to incorporate tiering into your packages. For example, you could have a bronze, silver and gold package, each with a different price, with the top package offering more incentives.

Selling your own products

Selling your own products is something that even those with a small audience can be successful in doing.

Examples of things to sell;

  • Digital products – ebooks, courses, prints, designs, logos, planners etc.
  • Physical items – stationery, jewellery, homeware etc.

Digital items are great for creating a passive income stream. With physical items, you’ll need to factor in storage, shipping materials, costs, stock checks etc.

Where you can sell your items

The great thing about selling your own products is that you can decide exactly what you want to sell and the pricing. I’d highly suggest selling items relevant to your niche, in order to maximise your sales potential and to promote your products on social media platforms.

Freelancing/selling services

Another epic way to make money blogging is by freelancing or selling a service. If you want to know how to make the transition from blogger to paid freelancer, then grab my free e-course here.

The money you can make via freelancing or selling services is unlimited. Here are a few ideas of what services you can provide;

  • Freelance writing/editing/proofreading
  • Design based services – web and branding
  • Blog coaching
  • Speaking engagements
  • Paid webinars
  • Virtual workshops

If you want to get started freelancing then try People Per Hour or Upwork to find jobs to apply for. I’ve used both of these sites and found several well paid projects, as well as long-term clients.

If you’re freelancing or selling a service, then its highly important to create a services page for your blog. Your services should be on a separate page, linked to your navigation. Your page should include;

  • What services you are offering
  • Who your services are tailored for
  • Your prices
  • Testimonials from previous clients
  • Your contact information

Finally, how you should make money blogging…

If you want to build a blog to make a regular income stream, then it’s essential to maintain quality content, and not just rely on your links being clicked or your products selling. You still need to put effort and hard work into your blog for results to show. Remember, hustle isn’t a dirty word!

A few things to consider;

  • Create high value content on your blog
  • Build an email list – this is great for promoting products and services
  • Consider using more than one income stream
  • Cater towards your niche
  • Use the shit out of social media – Pinterest and Twitter are my favourite platforms
  • Up your image game – you don’t need to be a great photographer as using stock photos and an editing platform like Canva can really work. Good images are better for more shares on social media

 

Want to know which sites to use to make money from your blog? Get the make money blogging resource list for a complete overview of sites you can use to make a profit!

 

5 Proactive Ways to start your WordPress Blog

If you’re planning on launching a freelance career, side hustle, product, or you already own a kickass business then starting your very own blog is the way forward. Seriously, blogging is a force on its own, and whether you’re planning on creating a blog for hobby or profit, it can be a pretty straightforward task when you know the proactive steps to take you in the right direction.

I’ve set up a few blogs over the years and one of my favourite platforms is WordPress. Why go with WordPress? I’ve used Blogger, Squarespace and WordPress, and for me, WordPress is the most professional, flexible and search engine friendly of the lot. The first time I set up this blog on WordPress, it was overwhelming, but as a freelancer, I needed to figure it out for uploading work for clients. I gotta say, knowing what I know now, I would happily take this platform over Blogger (though Squarespace is pretty awesome too – have a read of my pros and cons of Squarespace for bloggers here.

Starting up a WordPress blog comprises of five elements. I’m not down with this whole start your blog in five minutes bullshit, but, it is pretty straightforward and if you follow the steps below, you’ll be well on your way to successfully establishing an epic blog.

Choose a name

Deciding on a name for your blog can be the most time consuming step, especially if you have yet to find a vision for your brand or a niche. When it came to naming my first ever blog, several years ago, I spent ages trying to pick the perfect name. For Diary of a Freelancer, it was a pretty quick decision. If you already have a business or a product then you’re pretty much good to go as I’d highly reccomend sticking with the same name. For those of you struggling to choose a blog name, take a few things into consideration;

  • If you’re starting a blog to boost your freelance career or for a side hustle then consider using your own name. Sure, its not the most original idea, but it looks professional and anyone searching for your work will easily be able to find your blog.
  • If you’re starting a blog as a hobby or are hoping to monetise it further down the line then consider your niche. If you’re starting a fashion blog then you might want to add ‘fashion’, ‘style’ or ‘chic’ to your name. Similarly, if you’re planning on writing a food blog then add a food related word. Yes, its simple, but its direct – anyone finding your blog will know straight away what your blog is about.
  • Alternatively, you may want something completely unique. If that’s the case then be adventurous. Gain inspiration from family, friends, social media, books, television shows…anything that can help you to brain storm an idea.
  • Make sure you search your chosen name in google and in domain name providers as you’ll need to ensure that there is no other blog or company with the same name.

Decide between free and paid hosting

WordPress offer a free option, which is ideal for those wanting to create a blog, without having to spend any initial investment. However, you’re limited as you cant use your own domain name or personalised blog design.

If you want the free option

Go to WordPress.com and sign up for a new account. Type in your blog name to get your free WordPress domain (you would need to pay extra to use your own personal domain). Free domains end in wordpress.com

You’ll then need to choose a username and password. Enter your email and check your emails to activate your WordPress account. Log in to your new account and you’ll find the dashboard on your left hand side. Head to personalize and themes, where you’ll be able to find a free design theme. Select live preview to view how your blog will look and when you’ve found the one for you, click save and activate.

Click on configure and settings to establish your security settings and comment settings. To add plugins, go to configure and plugins or visit https://en.support.wordpress.com/plugins/ to learn more about what you can add to your free WordPress blog.

You can then add content by clicking on blog posts under publish on the left hand dashboard.

If you want the paid option

For paid WordPress, head to wordpress.org This is what I use for Diary of a Freelancer. From here, you’ll be able to create a badass blog within a few minutes. At this point, you should have your blog name and have checked that your preferred name is free with a domain name provider.

Find a host

As wordpress.org requires self hosting, you’ll need to find a provider to host your blog. This is essentially where your blog will ‘live’. There are several providers – I personally recommend 1and1

Advantages of using 1and1

  • completely hassle free and easy setup
  • Affordable payment plan
  • They take care of any updates regarding the WordPress platform
  • You can test how optimised your website is
  • Takes care of your online marketing needs
  • Expert support

I use the WordPress Unlimited package which literally gives you everything you need, including unlimited webspace, a free domain, unlimited email accounts and complete enhanced security and webspace recovery.

Regardless of the host or package you choose, once you’ve chosen the ideal plan for you and your needs and entered your payment details, its time to set up your blog.

1.First, you’ll need to download WordPress org. Go to the website and save it to your computer. If you’ve opted with 1and1, go to your dashboard and click on MYSQLAdministration under the database section.

2. Next, click New Database and enter a description and password (note, you’ll probably want to ensure you’ve got a complicated password for security reasons!). Once you’ve done this, click set up. You’ll then be given details about your database setup, which you should make a note of.

3. Next, you’re going to upload WordPress by clicking on webspace explorer under access in the hosting section of your dashboard. Click upload at the top of the window in the webspace explorer window. Now select the wordpress file that you downloaded to your computer and click ok.

4. Once you’ve uploaded it, click unzip (at the top of the webspace explorer window), click on the drive icon in the following pop up window (the top icon) and click ok.

5. In your 1and1 dashboard, click on manage domains in the domain section. Check the box on the left hand side next to your target domain and click ‘destination’ and then ‘edit destination’ from the drop down box.

6. Click edit and then search, in the pop up window, find your wordpress folder and click save. Then click ok to save.

7. It may take some time for your site to be set up, however, once everything has been updated, you should see a WordPress notice that you dont have a wp-config.php file. On this notice, click on create a configuration file, you’ll then need to enter the information you saved in step 2.

8. Once you’ve entered all the required information, click submit. You should then be asked to run install. Click this button and enter your site title, username, password and email and click install. You should then be set up and you can enter the username and password you just created. You should now have access to your WordPress dashboard.

Find a blog design

You’ll now be interested in customising your blog to make it look epic. You may already have a designer on board, but, if not, I highly suggest taking a look at etsy. You’ll find a range of wordpress templates for around £20 and they’re very handy if you’re just starting out on your blogging journey.

Start writing your content

Now the good stuff! Its time to get writing and getting your content out there. Planning your content can be a challenge, which is why you can download my Get Started! Blog Planner completely free to help you on your way. This five page planner includes an editorial calendar, mood board for inspiration, post planner, blog stats tracker and email contact list.

To receive this epic blog freebie, just fill in the form below and check your email inbox for your completely free blog planner.