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A Year in Review

What a successful year 2017 was for the Blogging Your Way to Riches team! Both Lynn and I have had an incredible year. Between us, there has been lots of media coverage and we have been involved in some fab creative campaigns.

We kicked off January with our media day for the book.  We found ourselves on TV and on lots of radio stations.  The feedback was great and certainly helped launch the book to a wider audience.  Many start with great intentions in Jan and if yours is to make money from blogging then you need our book which you can buy direct from this link.

There were more media appearances including Lynn being featured on the front page of Woman and I was on BBC Breakfast programme chatting about Reverse Advent Calendars among other features.

Between us, we have worked with many brands including My Vouchers Codes, Pension Bee, EDF and look forward to this continuing in 2018. Both Lynn and I are being seen as experts in our fields of personal finance, education and empowering young people (Emma ) and a healthy lifestyle (Lynn).

We have enjoyed supporting other bloggers on growing their own online presence.  We offer support in our Facebook group where we chat about all things blogging, do come and join us! We regularly write about blogging and share our tips, one of last years most popular post was how to get Twitter verified and we were pleased to see other fab bloggers getting verified as a direct result of following our tips.

The year ahead is full of promise and we can’t wait to see what it brings.  We plan to build the Blogging Your Way to Riches brand and want to be able to support more bloggers and work with companies that also will support blogging.  The plans are exciting so do check back here for all the latest updates.

We want to thank everyone for their support in 2017 and can’t wait to get going again in 2018!

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How to Pitch and win that campaign

How to Pitch and win that campaign

Pitching is one of those things that bloggers love to hate. If you are keen to monetise your blog then you are going to have to harness this skill and get pitching. But how do you pitch? I thought I would share some of my proven track record of successful pitching ideas that you can learn from. This is a taster of ideas, for plenty more ideas invest in a copy of our book Blogging Your Way To Riches that inspired this website.

bloggingyourway_hires Blogging Your Way To Riches

 

When to Pitch

There is no right or wrong answer to this question but here are some idea of times when pitching cn work.

When you love a product.

You when you find the most perfect product. It helps you in your life, saves you time, saves you money or just looks beautiful then you want to rave about it. Write a blog post telling your readers all about the product. Use this post as an example of your great work and pitch it the brand. Share it and tag the brand on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Do some internet research and email it to the PR agency who look after the brand or to a marketing manager in the company (a search on linked in will help with this).

Look at What other bloggers in your niche are working on

Read your fellow bloggers websites and see the kind of brands they are working on. These are brands open to working with bloggers and potentially have budget available to spend right now. Comment on posts from other bloggers as the brands are most likely reading these comments. Engage on Instagram and Twitter. If the brands love the comments and engagement then they may consider working with you as well.

Go to Events

Get yourself out and in front of the brands. Blogger events are a great way to start this process off. Events such a Blog-on and Xmas July fest are a perfect way to meet the brands face to face. Dazzle them with your ideas and personality and arrange for future projects. Emma and I recently attended the Xmas July fest and met so many brands, many of which we both now in touch with and working on various projects.

Create a series of Amazing Content

Maybe you are a food blogger with Vegan food as your niche. Think up a series of maybe ten posts each with a different brand or product focused. Then contact the brand with your ideas and see if they are up for being included in the series. The more unique and interesting the series the more likely to catch the PR agencies eye. Do something different that you’ve not read about before and that you know your readers will engage with.

How to Pitch

The email you send to the PR executive or the marketing department need to be succinct and to the point. A couple of paragraphs should suffice, why you love their product and a unique and innovative idea of how you can talk about their product further on your website. Or how you can promote is on social media or on your newsletter. Then offer to send them a copy of your media pack if they are interested in exploring. This needs to catch their eye as they get hundreds of emails every day.

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For more info on pitching, negotiation of pricing and so much more invest in a copy of our book..available right on this website for just £9.99 for paperback or £4.99 for kindle version.

 

 

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Why Your Blogging Approach to Guaranteed SEO is Probably Wrong

SEO or search engine optimisation is crucial for organic traffic to your blog. If you can get your SEO right you will rank highly for organic search.  This is turn increases traffic aand visibility which often brings the paid opportunities to your blog. Therefore the question is how can I get guaranteed SEO success?

I have been blogging 8 years now and I am still learning all the time.  Blogging has been on a huge journey in the past 8 years and I have riden that wave.  When I started, Instagram was yet to be born, follow and no follow links meant nothing to me and SEO was not of interest.  I wrote because I wanted to, somewhere along the way it started to make me money.  Then blogging became my job.

During that time I learnt about the  technicalities of blogging.  I added plugins to my blogs that would help grow the blog.  One of those plugins was Yoast.  Yoast helps with SEO and many of us aim to turn the light green.  This green light is the belief that we will have guaranteed SEO success. However that is only part of the approach, and yet this is where most bloggers stop.  Unfortunately that is only the half way point.

What that light is not telling you is what you keywords you are hitting.  In order to really hit the SEO highs you need to be in the top eight searches on Google. Just consider your own searches, do you often go beyond the first page when searching for something?  Some phrases are very competitive and it would be really difficult to rank on the first page for.

However there are tools and programmes that can help you uncover the words and phrases that you could still rank highly for.

Guaranteed SEO Improvement Tools

  • KW Finder has been my game changer.  You do need to pay for the service but even only having it for a month whilst you audit your posts would increase traffic. It is really easy to use. Simply add a keyword or phrase into the search bar and it will tell you how hard or easy it will be to rank for that keyword. KW Finder also offers other related phrases that you can analyse.  Furthermore it also tells you who are the top sites for each keyword.  I have been using my top posts as found in my own analytics to update my SEO using this tool.  In a short space of time I have already increased my organic traffic.
  • The second tool is using Search Console.  This is a google service and once your site is being tracked you have host to lots of data.  Click your site and then click search analytics.  Next select pages and under the chart you will see your top performing posts for organic search.  This data will help you see where you are already ranking well.  You can then look at improving the SEO of these posts using KW Finder.

Using these two tools has increased my organic traffic.  These posts can then be affliated and could start making you money. There are no guaranteed SEO systems and Google often tweak their algorythms but using key words and search console will possitively impact on your organic traffic.

Le us know in the comments how you get on.

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12 ways you can make money from blogging

12 ways you can make money from blogging

There are many ways to make income from your blog. It becomes a platform for many products and services. Here are a few of the ways that I, Mrs Mummypenny earn money from my blogs, some things I love doing more than others.

1) Sponsorship from brands

This makes up the largest chunk of my earnings. I work with many finance and lifestyle brands, where I write a post about new products, services or marketing campaigns for a one-off fee. All of these posts will be about something I have experienced or about a problem that has been solved. Many campaigns have now turned into ongoing relationship where you will the same brand popping up again and again on my website and social media. The more branded work you do, the more you are approached to do!

2) Affiliate/referral revenue

This is a similar type of writing to a sponsored post, but this time your earnings are based on how many customers you refer to the company. This is known as passive income as it can continue to earn you money whilst you sleep. It’s also continual income that will earn for (hopefully) a longer period of time.

make money from blogging

3) Testing and reviewing new products

Companies who are developing products related to your niche may employ you to provide feedback on their new creations. This might be before the point of releasing to the public in test phase, or in early release to help with testing, feedback, or building up subscriber numbers. I’ve worked with several companies building new propositions/apps and services

4) Advertising space on your website

A blogger can sell estate on their blog, in the shape of things like banner adverts. They can also use ad networks such as AdSense or MediaVine to include adverts within blog posts, in more permanent places on the website. In addition, the revenue stream from YouTube can be significant if you can generate high numbers of views.

5) Appear in an advert for a brand

We’re getting into model territory here! Josh – my middle son – starred in an Aldi school uniform advert last year, and I’ve also done a few wine tasting videos for their YouTube Channel. And yes I have been part of a billboard campaign for Pensionbee! Extend your blog into YouTube and show you’re a natural on camera to get these types of commissions.

6) Event attendance

A fee may be paid for attendance at an event, which you’ll then write about after. Many bloggers are sponsored by a brand to attend blogging conferences.

7) Write a book

Writing a book is something you can do when you become an expert in a niche area. I co-wrote Blogging Your Way To Riches with Emma Bradley. We’ve written about everything you need to know to create and grow a successful blog. We cover things like negotiating, networking, pitching and SEO. If you’re thinking of setting up a blog or are keen to monetise it, then you should find it handy!

8) Public speaking events

Once you become an expert in your field you may be approached to speak at events. Attendance fees are payable for these events.

9) Writing content for brands to appear on their sites

Many brands have a blog and are keen for fresh and exciting content to be featured. Relationships can develop to the point of being invited to write content on the brand’s website.

10) Social media

As your social media channels build to significant numbers you will be paid for Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and tweets. An Instagram profile with 50k natural (not paid for!) followers is a valuable asset.

11) Blogger outreach

This is a service that many bloggers offer to brands who might want to outsource their blogger outreach. Emma works closely with Educational Quizzes on blogger outreach every month. A blogger will organise for sponsored posts to be written by other bloggers and will broker the conversation, ensure quality of posts and pay all the bloggers a fee from the brand.

12) Newspapers/magazines/radio/TV

These media sources are always looking for amazing content, and a blogger can be well placed to produce it. Sometimes, you could even be the focus of a story. More often than not the blogger will pitch an idea to a publication. Elsewhere, a TV show might be looking for a blogger with certain experience to feature in a program. Emma and I have a strong of media appearances between us and even some together! We have appears on programs like The One Show, Good Morning Britain, London Live and have appeared in publications such as Huffington Post, Mail Online and the Financial times.

Is blogging looking a bit more attractive now? If you can find the perfect niche, be an engaging writer and win at social media it could be for you. It’s changed my life, it could change yours too!

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13 First Steps to Writing a Book

Do you have a book in you?  Many people believe they do and this post will help you take the first steps in turning your idea into a book.  Writing a book has been one of my greatest achievements to date and it has inspired me to write more. For many getting a publisher was the first hurdle and here is where many people’s dreams of becoming an author stumbled. Thankfully now this need not be the barrier you dread. Follow our 13 First Steps to Writing a Book post to realise your dreams.

13 First Steps to Writing a Book

More and more self publish their work and there are benefits to this.  Firstly it means that you are in full control and can make every decision.  You set the price and take all the profit.  There are of course disadvantages to self publishing, the main one being you are responsible for promoting your book and any costs associated with writing and publishing are yours.

A number of people have asked us the process for writing Blogging Your Way To Riches and I thought we would share how we approached writing the book collaboratively.

  1. We decided to self publish from the start and although my first initial idea was for an Ebook, Lynn quickly convinced me to create a physical copy too.
  2. Lynn and I brainstormed chapter ideas and allocating chapters to each others determined by our strengths.
  3. Lynn drew up a timeline which we stuck rigidly to.  As we don’t live close to each other we also had a weekly online meeting via Skype. This is where we motivated each other but also tweaked ideas.
  4. We each started drafting our chapters in the order that suited us.  We wrote the chapters in word and just kept saving as we went. One thing to note is style  Lynn placed one space after a full stop where I naturally do two.  This was a pain to sort after so agree on style early on if you are working collaboratively.
  5. We proofread each other’s chapters. Proof reading is hard and we agreed early on to be fair to each other but also to be honest. We were critical friends!
  6. Once the draft was complete we gave it to a couple of trusted bloggers for their feedback. This was brutal in parts but helped us reshape the content.  We cut bits out and added more detail where needed.  It was useful to have different people that looked at different angles.  For example some bloggers naturally focussed on content where others looked at grammar, syntax and tone.
  7. We arranged a photoshoot and then commissioned Di Coke to design the front cover of the book.
  8. The content was then formatted for createspace which is Amazon’s self publishing portal.
  9. The final proof read took hours and we did it together over skype.  However at the end we were satisfied nothing had been missed out!
  10. The content was then uploaded and we ordered two sample copies.
  11. We eagerly waited for the samples.  We found a few things still to be tweaked that was sizing issues and we then hit publish.
  12. The book Blogging Your Way To Riches became instantly available in Amazon.  We also bought stock ourselves.  This was our biggest outlay.
  13. Promoting the book is ongoing and there will be another post on how we have done that.

We hope this inspires you to start that book you have in your mind.  Holding your book in your hand is an amazing feeling and I still don’t get bored flicking through the pages!

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How to Set Blogging Goals to Drive Success

How to Set Blogging Goals to Drive Success

When your blog is your business it is important to have structure and a strategy. It is your own business so you need to treat it seriously and plan for every eventuality. Goal setting can be a positive and direction based way of planning. Dream big and set those aspirational goals of where you could get with your blog.

There is a school of thought that if you dream big you will get there. Aspire to huge things that you might not think are possible. Aim to earn £100,000 and if you get to £50,000 you have done an incredible thing.

Overarching ambition

Think about what you really want from your business. How can you describe your ambition in one sentence? Maybe it is about creating work/life balance. Maybe it’s about creating an income from a flexible job. Maybe it’s about becoming an expert in a field and helping others. Have a think about your one big super goal, what you are passionate about and/or what drives you to write every day.

Big Goals

Big goals for your business will relate to a period of time, maybe the next year, six months, or maybe three months. It’s often best to plan forward as far as you can. After all, you would take a mortgage deal for five years so why not think about the five-year plan for your business.

We would recommend coming up with two-three big goals. Maybe one relating to your blog/brand and one relating to your earnings. Remember, these need to be a challenge, and something way bigger than you think possible. It could be one of these

  • To have your blog/brand earn enough money to replace your current employed earnings
  • To quit your employed job and to become a full-time blogger
  • To grow your brand to have social reach of 10,000
  • To have 20,000 unique views of your website per month
  • To be earning £5,000 per month from your blog/brand
  • To be considered the expert in your blogging/writing field
  • To work with particular brands you admire and respect
  • To appear on TV as an expert in your field

Shorter term goals

Next take each big goal and break it down into parts. Be brave and write down all the possibilities. Once you have those options go through, prioritise and focus on those that make you happy and you know you will enjoy doing.

Make these shorter-term goals SMART, and you will know when you have achieved them.

Smart stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely.

For example:

If your goal is to grow your blog and brand presence, your quarterly objectives could be:

  • Focus on building your Facebook page and groups up to 5,000 members/likes
  • Build your Twitter followers to 10,000
  • Build your Instagram followers to 5,000
  • Set up a YouTube channel and build subscribers to 1,000
  • Create an email database with 5,000 subscribers
  • Appear in print media
  • Build collaborative relationships with five other bloggers in your niche

You would then go through and prioritise these. To prioritise, I like to rate as A,B or C. A is something I enjoy, earns money and takes little time. B is earning money but takes more time. C is not enjoyable, yet essential for running of the business. This will then give you a great idea on what to focus on every day.

Daily goals

Let’s focus on one of the short-term quarterly goals and break it down into daily tasks – Build your Facebook page and group membership to 5,000 members.

This was one of Lynn’s first goals relating to her brand. She knew that Facebook was important to the growth of her brand and was the most popular social media choice for her demographic. She worked hard to grow her Facebook profile and likes.

For Lynn, it included things like:

  • Share all blog posts on your Facebook page and encourage sharing
  • Run a competition where ‘sharing is caring’
  • Pay for Facebook advertising to put your brand in front of people interested in your niche
  • Collaborate with other bloggers who will share your work
  • Ask brands to share your Facebook page on their Facebook page
  • Comment on relevant Facebook groups and share your page details
  • Set up Facebook member groups – e.g. Mrs Mummypenny Money Saving Tips
  • Set up a Facebook post schedule and vary your posts every day
  • Get engaging conversations going on your page with lots of people commenting
  • Analyse your Facebook insights to understand your most popular posts

All the above can be incorporated into your daily to-do list and all relate back to your short-term goals, long term goals and overarching master goal.

To-Do Lists

Every day we like to write a to-do list. It works best to only list three or four things. As we go through the day we know we will get distracted and end up doing other things, so these make it onto the to-do list when they have been done. That way we can see what has been achieved, the initial three to four things plus a load more other stuff.

Both Emma and Lynn find that they are always extremely effective and motivated earlier in the week so load more working hours and important tasks into the beginning of the week. Thursdays and Fridays are great days for face to face meetings and catching up.

This is taken from Chapter 8 of our book, you can buy the full version from this website, clicking here.

Both Emma and Lynn have written more about goal setting and planning on their websites.

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What is Christmas in July and Should I Be Going?

It is a true fact that the month of July is often termed Christmas in July in the world of media.  It seems rather crazy that on the hottest days of the year bloggers, freelance writers and PR’s are eating mince pies and listening to Silent Night.  However there is a purpose to the madness! Here we share ‘what is Christmas in July and should I be going?’

Christmas in July has always happened, it is not a new thing and there are good reasons why it happens in July.  The print media schedule about three months in advance. All those glossy shiny gift guides that start appearing in magazines and through our doors in November will be being designed and crafted from August.  Therefore Christmas in July is when the brands and PR teams will showcase their new ranges.  It is a chance to see the products that the buyers have picked out.  It is a chance to see what the trends are for next Christmas.

In recent years bloggers have found themselves on these guests lists and it can be a great networking opportunity.  It may seem very early to be thinking about Christmas and in reality I don’t know any bloggers that schedule that far in advance!

Will I get paid to attend?

Unlikely, it is a press day and as such they often want as many feet through the door as possible.  It is unlikely you will be paid or given travel expenses.  However many of the events will give bloggers a goody bag and this can contain anything from vouchers, to decorations.

Why go?

It is a great opportunity to network with brands and PR’s that you would like to build a relationship with. They may not have long to talk to bloggers and often print journalists will be ‘favoured’ but it is a good opportunity to talk, hand out business cards and chat to brands and other bloggers.

Do I have to stay long?

Not at all.  You could fit in several a day and this certainly makes the cost of travelling into London or around London more viable for many.  I have known bloggers fit in 8 or so events as the day starts early and often goes on until 7pm

What coverage are brands looking for?

You could be super efficient and schedule posts and start gift guides.  I tend to share my day on Facebook Live (follow me Emma and 3 here).  I will also use photos later in the year on Instagram.  Lynn yesterday attended Aldi’s event and shared photos on Instagram ( follow Lynn on Mrs Mummy Penny here).

How do I get an invite?

Follow brands on Twitter including following the hashtags.  This is a great way of connecting with brands. The more you network with brands the more you will find yourself added to lists. If you hear of an event you’d like to attend be proactive about approaching brands.  Ask to be on their lists for future events.   Register for events as you see them advertised.  My golden tip is always be nice to people and then you will be suggested and recommended by other PR’s.  Only yesterday I was on a call with a PR person who told me she had been passed my details by another PR person because I do a good job.  Remember your reputation will travel around agencies!

Last words!

Wear comfy shoes, it can be a long and tiring day.  Pace yourself, if I am doing a few events I plan my day in advance.  I have a rough timing and I know what route to take to minimise travel! We hope this helps you understand what is Christmas in July and should I be going?

Any questions drop them in the comments and we will do our best to answer them!

 

 

 

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blogger essentials

Emma & Lynn’s Top 5 Blogger Essentials

Blogger Essentials

Being a professional blogger is the best job in the world. Emma and I are so grateful for our profession and the opportunities it presents to us every day. We get to work on the most amazing campaigns with brands (chocolate crafting at the savoy, cake baking with bake off contestants) and get to experience amazing events (Badminton horses, Standon Calling festival, Summertime ball). The quality time we get to spend with our three children each is invaluable. We are there for our families, yet earning a great living whilst doing so.

It’s not without hard work of course. There is so much time and work that goes into writing engaging content, the building of many social media channels, networking with brands and fellow bloggers. Add on the technical website elements, admin, travel. If you can do this then the rewards are fruitful. It is possible to earn really good money with hard work, determination and a bit of knowing the right people!

Emma and I wanted to share our favourite tools that we couldn’t live without that make our blogging life easier and save us time, thus money. I have popped in affiliate links so if you did go on to buy we will make a small bit of income, thank you!

Lynn’s Top 5 ‘Can’t live without’ Blogger Essentials

  1. Laptop HP Envy Amazon

You absolutely need a decent laptop. Now I don’t neccessarily mean a £1,500 MacBook (although lots of bloggers do love them). You just need a decent fast laptop. You will likely be building your websit in WordPress so its good to have speedy computer that works quickly when you make changes. I love my HP Envy. It cost £500 two years ago, here is more updated model available at Amazon. The battery is great and last around 4 hours after being fully charged and its light enough to carry around in a rucksack.

2) Samsung S7 Mobile Phone

I am not an Apple person, I love my Samsung products. So, for a phone I have always chosen Samsung products for the past seven years. I got my S7 in March (after losing my S6 at my 40th birthday party, in the rubbish bin). It’s such a great phone that I can do everything on. I can run my entire business on my phone! Importantly the battery life is good and I have a fast charger so can get a full battery charge done in 1 hour.

The cheapest way to get a decent mobile phone is to buy it outright, an S7 is a great price now as the latest S8 model has recently come out.

Then get a Sim Only deal with a network. EE have some great deals on 12 month SIM packages.

3) Cool note pads/stationery

I am sucker for my stationery. Shops like Paperchase and even Staples are heaven for me. I was most excited when my friend Julie set up Edie & Rona, an online stationery shop with everything you could possibly need to help with organisation and blogger prettiness.

4) Brightly coloured lipstick boots

Most of my selfies and blog pictures have me wearing bright lipstick, check out my Instagram feed for lots of pictures. I would never wear bright lipstick in my twenties or early thirties. I always thought it was too much. Now I love bright lipstick and love the statement it makes. I have a beautiful Chanel Red that I just adore here is a link to the product at Boots.

I also have a beautiful Bobbi Brown bright pink the colour is called watermelon.

5) Phone charger

I mentioned my phone earlier, if I use it all day long and then have an event in the evening it will mean that I need to recharge it. I always have a charger in my bag for emergencies. There is not much worse than a 40-minute train journey home at 11pm with no phone battery!

Emma’s Top 5 ‘Can’t live without’ Blogger Essentials

1) Erin Condren Planner

A planner is one those essential bits of kit that just make life easier to manage. Get all your lists in there, blog post ideas, recipe ideas, diary. It’s nice to have them all in the same place. There are many on the market but Emma’s planner of choice is the Erin Condren planner. Beautiful colours with a logical structure inside. Full of inspirational quotes and ideas. Take a look on Amazon there are loads of beautiful designs.

2) Canon G7X for vlogging and photos

Emma and I have very different cameras, but I must agree with Emma and say this is the superior one. Its compact enough to carry around in your handbag, has a very cool screen that you can pop up and flip around so you see exactly what you are filming. And the photos are stunning. It’s not cheap I will warn you. But if you are serious about blogging and want to have professional photos and vlogs then this is the product for you.

 

3) Blogger picture backgrounds

Captured by Lucy has set up a business attached to her blog selling backdrops for the most beautiful images. If you take pictures of products for Instagram and your blog then you will want to have a browse through these products.

4) Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation

Emma went for a beauty product as well with hers being her can’t live without foundation for flawless skin in pictures and video. It comes in 28 shades and contains an SPF, and here is a link to the product at Boots. Fab foundation there, check out Emma on her YouTube channel to see the foundation in action.

5) iPhone

When I, Lynn am a Samsung android user, Emma is an Apple user and can’t survive the world of social media without her iPhone. I know a fair bit about phones having worked for EE for 5 years and they are all pretty much the same, particularly the iPhone 7 versus the iPhone 6. If you are getting a new phone why not buy a slightly older model maybe a year old and get great value for money. You can pick up a refurbed rose-coloured iPhone 6S from Amazon from Apple for just £380 now. Nice!

We would love to hear your essentials too if not covered about, tell us in the comments.

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How to get Verified on Twitter as a Blogger

How to get the Verified Tick on Twitter as a Blogger in Three Easy Steps

Regular Twitter users will know that a blue tick next to your name means that you are verified.  However many wonder who is verified and the reason why.  Twitter suggests that those who get verified tick are authentic public interest accounts. Therefore it applies to users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas. In this post I want to share how to get verified on Twitter as a blogger in three easy steps and how the process works.

The blue tick is applied by Twitter and it  is their decision on who can get the verified tick. To apply for verification you submit an online form and identification is also required.

How to get Verified on Twitter as a Blogger

Why does it matter?

The blue tick is definitely a sign of authority and this for bloggers and writers could potentially lead to more work.  It demonstrates that you have authority in your field.

Last week I was verified and suddenly spotted the tick.  I had no notification and it was about five days after I had completed the online form. This past week I have had new followers and most were from other blue tick tweeters.  This suggests that it does attract more followers and hopefully will help my blog grow even more.

What did I say to get the verified tick?

  1. The form asks for basic details which require no thinking about, just personal details.  However the second section asks for links to examples of your writing.  This is key for bloggers and I believe that Twitter are looking for more influence than just your writing on your personal blog.  I applied and linked to a piece I have had published in Femail Online, where I wrote a first person piece.
  2. Secondly I linked to a website where I have written educational articles as a educational specialist (I am a qualified teacher). Next I linked to where I have been featured in the media.  Finally I linked to my blogs.
  3. The third section allows you to write a paragraph to support your application.  In my paragraph I explained how I am a freelance writer in addition to the blog writing.  I explained that it is a full time job for me.  Finally I I suggested how I have influence and demonstrated that my blog tells an important story that needs to be shared.  I focussed on my daughters hip operations and that I am an influence and spokesperson in this area.

And that was the job done!  I then sat back and was rewarded with my tick. Do make sure you are following Lynn and myself over there!

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How to find your niche area as a blogger

How to find your niche area as a blogger

Emma and I believe that its a really important success factor to find a niche area as a blogger. Become the go-to person for a particular field of expertise. Emma for example is well known for her educational writing and Lynn is well known for her accounting and corporate previous life and experience. We are both chosen specifically for campaigns because of our expert areas of knowledge. Or do something that makes you different, like writing a book!

There are so many blogs around today, with tons more popping up every day. But sometimes it is a case of quantity over quality and there’s no doubt that many fall by the wayside simply because the author failed to find their target audience or simply couldn’t keep up with the commitment it requires to keep their audience engaged.

It’s no good to simply start a blog and hope for the best. Before you put fingertip to keyboard you need to understand 5 key points that will help you not only identify your niche, but then gain a strong following and keep your readers coming back for more.

Find your niche

Too many blogs out there are far too random, which often means visitors feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff on the site and don’t feel they have the time or inclination to sit and wade through it all. Consider your talents, and your hobbies. Are you interested in home making, sewing, cooking, baking, or technology and geeking? Are you fascinated by learning to become an online trader with a company like CMC Markets and want to share your knowledge on stocks and shares or maybe even forex? Think about what you simply LOVE to do and then you’ll find that ideas for starting a blog feel natural.

Write about your areas of interest only

It sounds very obvious, but stick to what you know. No-one wants to necessarily visit a blog about fishing tackle to find spurious posts about cupcake recipes! Stick to your subject area and areas of interest only and don’t be tempted to segue into anything else. If you do find you want to divert and discuss something different, make clear your reasons for doing so and explain that this will only be a one off diversion and that normal service will be resumed in the next post. If you find you’re veering off topic a little too often, then it might be best to revise what your blog is about.

Stick to your common strengths

Are you a funny writer? Do you lean towards comedy? Or are you a serious, academic writer who finds it tough to pen posts with wit and passion. Deciding your blogging niche also relies upon being able to pinpoint your style and your flair. Don’t try and be a funny blogger if that’s not in your bones. Similarly, if you’re not into writing serious articles, don’t try your hand at it when you set your site up. Sometimes, you only know how you’ll develop as a writer once you begin, and it may take a few posts for your own true style to emerge, but once it has, stick to it and don’t try and diverge. This will be what engages your readers and keeps them coming back.

Keep content fresh

Can you commit to writing regular posts and entries and keep your site updated regularly?

If you can’t then it might be worth revising whether this is something you want to do or not. Finding your niche means also being able to keep up to date with what’s going on in your particular world of interest and making the content relevant and interesting to an ever changing readership. If you’re writing about news and current affairs this should be relatively easy. Plan on making at least one post a week. More if you can. The more you post, the more you advertise your blog through social media, the more exposure you’ll get and the better your page will rank.

Be creative

What’s your blog’s USP – is there something you have that other bloggers don’t? Dig deep and think about doing something that will not only inspire your readership but encourage new visitors to your site. If you’re a crafter, think about doing regular competitions and giveaways – as a way to advertise your skills and make sales. Create interest on social media around your page – hashtags, Facebook postings and Instagram pictures to promote what you do, get interest in your blogging niche and advertise your skills are all perfect ways to get creative without really ever having to move from the sofa.

 

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