Full disclosure, I am preaching to myself as well as you. I have two blogs, which means I definitely should be a blogging machine. But life happens and sometimes writer’s block is a thing and at the end of the day, new blog posts just doesn’t happen as often as they should.
Good news is, I’m here to help! Blogtober is a 30-day challenge to help you become a blogging boss. You set your own goal and then make a S.M.A.R.T. Plan for it. (Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound.) The time part is taken care of since our time will be the month of October.
To illustrate the other parts, I’ll give you an example of my Blogtober Goal:
S – Provide consistent blog content for She Be Knowin in the month of October.
M – Publish 3 blog posts a week. (12 posts total for the month.)
A – I’ll achieve this by writing on Sunday and Wednesday every week.
R – Keeping this realistic by not doing too many posts, creating an editorial calendar beforehand and scheduling posts each week.
T – October 1 -31.
So are you ready to get started? Sign up below! There will be lots of encouragement, freebies, and tips to get you going.
As visual creatures, one easy way to appeal to new readers is through gorgeous imagery. If you’re just starting out and have that free ninety-nine budget, here are some places to get some great stock photos.The following sites are sites I peruse regularly for my blogs, websites and social media across my portfolio of digital endeavors. They come highly recommended!
Create Her Stock – CHS was created to fill a void in the stock photo community by providing photos of African American women. There is a repository of free photos, but you can pay a small monthly fee to tap into more awesome photos.
Death to Stock Photos – You can sign up to download free stock photos on a monthly basis. Each month has a different theme, but they are always great photos with a modern feel. They also have a premium version if you just can’t get enough of them.
PicJumbo – There’s a vast number of free photos. I particularly like PicJumbo because it’s searchable. Really great for tech and photos of objects. I haven’t gotten much luck with particular people photography.
Unsplash – Unsplash provides hundreds of crowd-sourced professional quality images for the free. I recommend checking out their curated questions to get a quick start on finding images for your blog, website or social purposes.
Creative Market – Creative Market provides weekly freebies that sometimes include stock photos. Definitely get on their email list for the occasional catch.
ISO Republic – For someone who loves a very clean, urban aesthetic, this site is a dream. I absolutely love their food and city photography.
Foodie Factor – This website is for food photography, but the photos are downright drool-worthy. Was that a bad pun? Maybe. But you should visit them anyway.
The internet has come a long way when it comes to free images for personal and commercial use. While there are some occasions when I buy stock photos, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a professional, beautiful visual aesthetic without having to pay a cent.
Need help with designed blog graphics? Be sure to email me at email@example.com for your custom quote!
I’m not going to lie. I just got consistent at emailing my blog subscribers over at She Be Knowin. For me, emailing always consisted of a lot of insecurity and indecisiveness. First, I didn’t like my email template (but I’m also a designer so I could totally design what I wanted….if I knew what I what I wanted). So I would spend way too much time on Really Good Emails or some other design source to try to inspire my look. Spoiler alert still didn’t know what I want. Second, I never knew what to say. Sending emails sometimes feels like shouting into an abyss, because people typically don’t reply back. So at best, you look at your campaign metrics and see who opened, clicked or unsubscribed each time. (If you’re sensitive like me, I suggest you don’t look at your unsubscribe metric. It will only drive you crazy, wondering why they won’t e-love you.) If you’re fancy, you also linked your email marketing to Google analytics so you can see how deep they got into your website before leaving. But that will probably be another lesson for another day. The point is, a single email included so much self-inflicted distress that I never saw myself wanting to do it in a consistent manner.
And that may be you too.
But I have seen the light, and I’m here to help you too. See, I made my email marketing so easy that I had absolutely no excuse not to do it. So easy that I can do it from the palm of my hand, which means I can get it done anywhere from inside a boring meeting to on my new adult couch that hold so near and dear. I’m going to show you my workflow for my blog, but you are welcome to apply the general concept to any email marketing you do.
To get started, you’ll need just two apps:
In addition to a Canva and MailChimp login, you’ll also need a good source for photos. For my blog, I typically use CreateHER Stock and Adobe Stock for my featured blog promo images.
First, I created a “template” in Canva for all my email images. Since MC Snap optimizes for mobile first, I choose their social media image size.
Canva has a lot of great layouts, so you don’t have to overthink the design.
Bam! I have committed to my layout and don’t plan on leaving it until I do. Please note, I did the initial setup on desktop Canva. Moving forward, I’ll be able to access this design both on my app and on the desktop.
Another note, since I use this for blogging, I typically already have my feature image uploaded to Canva from making my other social posts. This is a time saver, most definitely.
On my phone, I simply swap out the image and text I need on the Canva app and save to my photo album.
Next up, I head over to MC Snap. The email layouts are very simple so I don’t have to overthink my email design. Keep it simple and get stuff done, stupid. (KISAGSDS, if you were wondering.) MC Snap is so simple that you do most of what you need to do for your email is on one page. One possible drawback is you only have an opportunity for one link/button. For emails that are meant for sharing a blog post, that’s not a big deal to me.
After you fill in the main email details, you get to choose from one of 5 layouts. From there, you select which list you send to and Presto Bingo, you’re done!
Now that you’ve gotten the basics, you’re well on the way to more consistent and better email marketing. Want to get in the learn more about what makes a great email? Sign up for your FREE 5-day course on better email marketing! In this course, I lend my 5 years of experience with advertising agency and freelance digital marketing to teach you how to rock your emails. You definitely won’t want to miss this.
Rock that Email Marketing
Signup for a FREE 5-day course on better emails. Future you will thank you.
Periscope. Snapchat. Twitter. Instagram. Google Plus (heh). Facebook. Pinterest. StumbleUpon. Reddit. It’s easy to get caught in the rat race of social media presence as a blogger. However, when you only have very limited time it doesn’t benefit you or your readers to have a lackluster presence on every social network. Before deciding to join yet another social network, be sure to ask yourself these three questions.
Is my ideal audience on there?
So, it would do me absolutely no good to put my super pink, super girly blog She Be Knowin on Reddit. Pretty sure nobody there really cares about my latest Scandal recaps or cross stitching things. My ideal audience for that blog is young millennial women that can be more easily found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
Do I have time for this network?
I’ve basically had a Periscope since it started, yet I decided that it is not a network I have time for. The amount of time it would take me to reach a “camera ready” level just seems like too much to me. Now I will take a moment to talk out of the other side of my mouth and say that it’s a good idea to reserve a social media account with your brand name so no one else can get it. I personally work best with social networks that allow me to schedule posts ahead of time, so Facebook and Twitter are always a given. Work smart where you can is my motto when it comes to blogging as someone who has a full-time occupation.
What unique value can I bring through this social network?
In addition to your posts (everyone posts their posts), decide what you can bring to your audience on the social network. Is it funny memes, motivational “pick me up” type posts, or a unique take on current events? Whatever it is, take a moment to think of how you can best benefit your audience and have them seeking your page(s) out for me.
Still not sure which social media networks would be good for your blog? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your social media consultation.