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How to blog on a (very small) budget (Part 3 – Marketing your blog)

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advertisingIn the first two parts of this mini-series, we have looked at various methods of saving money while building an effective and professional blog. First we looked at money saving tactics for general hosting and domain names, then in Part 2, we presented some ideas for hosting images and scripts on cheap (often free) and reliable servers to reduce bandwidth and hosting costs for our own sites.

For this final part of the budget blogging series, let’s take a look at methods of marketing and advertising your blog which incur very little (if any) cost.

Overview

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Content is King”, but no matter how good your writing skills or how Digg-worthy your content may be, your efforts will be wasted unless you have an audience to read your blog.

In order to develop an audience for your blog, you need to market it. Persuade people to read your blog, link to your posts, recommend articles to their friends, and so on.

For many, the first marketing technique which springs to mind is advertising. Of course, if you can afford to advertise on some of the world’s most popular blogs and websites in your niche, you will develop a readership very quickly for your blog, but this can be a very expensive task. And if you are blogging on a very small budget, you may only have a few dollars left over for such marketing ventures.

Instead, let me offer an overview of some highly effective blog marketing techniques which will save you a packet in advertising costs and may prove even more useful to your ventures in the long run.

Build relationships with other bloggers (and their readers)

It’s a common misconception that other bloggers and writers in the same niche as yourself are simply competitors who should be avoided. The truth is far from it! By building relationships with other bloggers and the readers of their blogs, you offer valuable contributions to these communities and assist in establishing your own reputation as a blogger.

There are many advantages to building relationships with other bloggers. For example, you can

  • Ask for advice
  • Offer your own advice
  • Reach a wider audience
  • Establish yourself as a complementary source of information

All of these benefits ultimately provide steps to achieving your goal: encouraging more readers to visit your own blog!

handshake

Make valuable comments on their blog posts

Commenting on others’ blogs allows you to offer your own perspective and opinions their articles. But rather than simply express how good (or bad) you found the information in these posts, explain why your opinion is formed.

Valuable comments offer far more to the blog author and their readers than a simple “Great post” type of comment ever could. Instead, offer your own advice or explain the particulars of how the article in question has been useful for you. And make sure you comment regularly on the blogs you read the most rather than simply surf the web adding your comments at random. Building relationships takes time to accomplish; a simgle, random remark will get you nowhere!

Use social media to approach other bloggers

These days, most bloggers use social media outlets to help promote their content and and as a secondary method of interacting with their readers. It can be helpful (and less intimidating to both parties) if you attempt to approach other bloggers through social media channels before sending a long-winded email.

Twitter, Facebook and MyBlogLog are excellent sites of community building for bloggers. Find out which social media channels are used most often by your favorite bloggers and send a message/make friends using this channel.

Even if the bloggers you approach do not respond with inmediate declarations of friendship, it’s more likely that you will be acknowledged and remembered later on.

Send a friendly email

When building relationshops with other bloggers, there is no use asking for favors right away. Instead, a “softly softly” approach is preferred, expecially one which promises mutual benefit for all parties involved.

Make sure your first contact with another blogger is not simply asking a favor! An email requesting a link to another’s blog where no previous relationship has been formed will likely end up in the receiptant’s trash folder. Instead, I have found that it’s far mroe helpful to simply introduce yourself and explain a little about your blog. If you have had contact through social media outlets, don’t forget to mention this so the other blogger remembers who you are. And while most bloggers will not freely admit to this, a little “ego massage” does not go astray so long as it is subtle enough to be believed 🙂

If you don’t receive a response to your email, don’t feel as though your message was unwanted. Popular bloggers tend to receive a lot of emails and are simply unable to respond to them all. You are not being deliberately ignored! Just think to yourself that the blogger may be busy or overloaded with emails and try again at a later date.

Further reading on building relationships with other bloggers

Guest Posting for other blogs in your niche

Writing articles to be published on other blogs is a highly effective method of marketing yourself and your blog. I have discovered many of my favorite blogs after they have guest-posted on other blogs I read regularly, and suspect that many of you reading this post have done the same.

Some blogs actively ask for guest posters. Take a look at the top-right of the header section here on Blogging Tips, for example: Kevin welcomes high quality articles from guest authors, and a by-line with a link to your own blog offers readers the opportunity to read more of your work.

If you would like to write a guest post for another blog in your niche, try sending a succinct email to the author/editor of the blog which explains the following:

  • Who you are
  • Where you blog/write/some other examples of your work
  • A brief outline (including the title) of the post you would like to write
  • Your contact details

Some experts recommend sending the entire post for perusal, though if this is a lengthy post (and consequently a lengthy email) you may not receive a timely response.

Be understanding and do not expect anything in return. If the blog owner/editor likes the concept of your post and considers this worthy of publication, they will likely email you back and ask that you send the entire post for them to read.

Further reading on Guest Posting:

Utilize social media outlets to market your blog and posts

Social media outlets have the potential to drive thousands of new visitors to read your blog and posts. Utilizing social media can he a highly effective (and free) method of marketing your blog. Getting on the front page of Digg or Stumbleupon can have a massive effect on the number of visits you receive who in turn may become subscribers or regular visitors to your site.

social-media

We touched upon social media when discussing methods of building relationships with other bloggers. However, when using social media to market your blog and posts (as opposed to marketing yourself) a different approach is required.

In order to market effectively through social media, you will need to receive a lot of votes for your content. Basically, this means you will need to have a lot of influence to encourage others to vote for your content, or persuade someone who does to help you market instead.

Simply bookmarking your own posts while taking little interest in other aspects of the community will get you nowhere. Utilizing social media for blog marketing means you will need to spend time actually using the service:

  • Find and vote for useful content
  • Network with other members of the site
  • Learn about which types and formats of content receive the most votes, and try to apply this formula to your own pillar articles.

While you will need to spend time and effort in building your blog presense through social media sites, the end-result can be a remarkable readership and many backlinks to your posts.

Further reading on utilizing social media networks to market your posts:

Marketing with eBooks and white-papers

In my personal experience, this has by far been the most effective method of free marketing I have tried!

By compiling a free eBook, report or white paper which is relevant for your niche and distributing this for free, you are creating the potential for viral distribution. Provided your eBook/report features clearly visible accreditation to your site, your paper will provide effective indirect marketing and encourage readers of this content to seek out your site in search of more useful and interesting content.

ebook

Gathering content for your eBook

There are different methods you could use to generate content for your eBook/white paper. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a collection of your best blog posts
  • Research some aspect of your niche and write a report about it
  • Elaborate on one of your most popular posts to create a fully featured essay on the subject
  • Write a useful directory of services, sites or features relevant to your niche subject, providing your own commentary and imagery to ensure it is interesting and worthwhile

Writing your eBook/Report

When writing eBooks and reports, you must ensure the format of your publication is one which most readers can actually open. PDF format seems to be the preferred choice, though there are few free PDF editing programs which are worth the effort to download.

My favorite method of creating eBooks is to use OpenOffice.org Writer. This free, open source program allows you to create content in similar fashion to Microsoft Word, and save your finished publication in PDF format. You can download OpenOffice.org Writer for free from the Open Office site.

When actually writing your eBook/report, be sure to use many headings, sub-headings, lists and (possibly) images to break up long sections of content. Such formatting is apparant in the most popular publications of printed press, and is a tactic you should use to ensure your content is easy to read.

Copyright issues

If you are writing a publication for free distribution, you should make it clear from the beginning how you intend for your content to be used.

For this, you will need to apply a copyright policy to your document in order to explain the terms under which your publication is offered.

Many writers choose to distribute content under a Creative Commons license. This ensures your content can be distributed for free while you retain certain rights (and prevent others from claiming your work as their own!).

Using a Creative Commons license means you can specify

  • If you allow derivitive works to be made
  • If you permit others to profit from your work
  • How authorship should be attributed

To find out which version of the Creative Commons license is the best solution for you, visit the Creative Commons website and choose your specifications.

Distributing your publication

In order to distribute your eBook or report, you will need to host this online to allow others to download it. Scribd is an excellent and reliable host for your eBooks and publications which I have recently discovered (I wish I had known about this earlier as it would have saved me a fortune in hosting costs!). Alternatively you could make use of other free hosting solutions as discussed in the previous installment of this series.

Once you have uploaded your publication to a reliable host, you should make others aware of it’s existance by linking to it from your site. A “landing page” written specifically for yoru eBook is the ideal solution: here you can write an enhanced description of your book, perhaps with a preview or elaborative image to encourage readers to download.

Don’t forget to use other marketing strategies to ensure others become aware of this free publication: send a brief email to others writers in your niche who may be interested; inform your blogging buddies and social media friends, and link to your eBook/landing page from all pages of your blog (in a highly visible place, such as the sidebar).

Further reading for eBook marketing strategies

Low Budget Advertising Techniques

After following the advice presented in the other sections if this article, you may find traditional advertising techniques are no longer nescessary. However, for those who still wish tp pursue these avenues, here is a round-up of free and low cost advertising outlets which you would find useful for promotng your blog:

Entrecard – Banner exchange system

By using Entrecard, you display a widget on your site to earn credits from advertising banners displayed on your site. In return, you use these credits to advertise your own blog on other sites.  Entrecard is also a community based system where you can find recommendations for other sites and participate in community activities.

Project Wonderful – Low cost, auction style banner advertising

Project Wonderful allows you to bid on advertising from your chosen publishers. While your bid for advertising is the highest for your chosen ad-slot (and there is enough funding in your account), your banner will remain on the publisher’s site. Learn more about the Infinite Auction system.

Stumbleupon Ads – Buy targeted “stumbles” to encourage more reviews of your site

I discovered Stumbleupon Ads after reading how Freelance Switch was promoted. Provided your content is “stumbleworthy”, this could well prove an effective and very-low cost method of advertising your blog.

Conclusions

While your blog may have a beautiful design and some killer articles, this proves worthless without an audience to enjoy it. In this article, we’ve looked at marketing strategies for promoting your blog and content which are either free or very cheap to use.

I hope this article has offered useful concepts and informative suggestions for marketing your blog on a very small budget. Please feel free to leave your own comments and suggestions below.

Image credits: Boxed (top right) by recursion_se_recursion, Handshake by Gaetan Lee, Social Media Stickrs by Robert Scoble, eBook by Tscherno. All via Flickr Creative Commons.
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Amanda is a freelance blogger and web/blog designer. She writes about Blogger at www.BloggerBuster.com and maintains several other blogs on various subjects.

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Blogging for Money: How to Increase Your Profits

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Gordon Gekko embodied blogging for money. He said what is worth doing is worth doing for money.

I agree with that idea. Not with his insider trading.

Old GG clues you in to how to boost blogging profits.

If you blog you should make money blogging because you live a worldly life.

I see monks on alms every morning here in Northern Thailand. Monks do not need money. Buddhists give to the cloth, supplying monks with food and goods. A dazzling looking wat, or temple, sits 1 minute from the house. I hear gongs each evening at 6 PM, bringing the monks to some ritual. You should hear it too; quite serene and commanding, at the same time. I love living in foreign lands.

Blogging for Money

If you live like a monk you can shun money because you shun material things and a life of leisure. If you choose a worldly life just get comfortable receiving money through your blog. Or receiving more money through your blog.

Money helped me travel to New Zealand, where I snapped this dazzling photo.

blogging for money

Money is a car, a home, my plane tickets to Thailand, food, movie tickets, all that good stuff.

Blogging for money simply helps you live your dreams through blogging.

Whether you made millions online or are in a different tax bracket the same tips apply to making money with your blog.

See yourself as being successful. Money flows from within. I see this more daily. I feel good about my prospering. Money flows to me. My outside world reflects my focus on success. Feel successful. See your blogging wins. Observe your blogging wins, success and profits expand beautifully.

1: Focus on Money Flowing to You Easily

Million dollar bloggers and billion dollar entrepreneurs believe clearly that money flows to them easily. I concur.

Money is an inner game. Money begins in mind. As Bob Proctor says; money is in consciousness.

Warren Buffet has been one of the richest people on earth for decades. He said he never doubted he’d be really rich. His belief became so.

See money flowing to you easily. Visualize it. I do this multiple times daily. I affirm freely. I feel money flowing to me easily and see money around me, appearing out of the ethers.

Money flows to me easily these days. Plus money making ideas flow to me easily. I execute the ideas. The results rock.

My blog post ranks on Page 1 Position 3 for “advanced blogging tips” super quickly. I just published the post a few days ago.

Click here to read the post:

Advanced Blogging Tips

Plus I noticed how I nailed down 5 positions on page 2 of Google for “pro blogging tips” the other day.

Why?

I affirmed my wealth, felt more and more money flowing to me easily and saw more money flowing to me easily.

Do this is you are a 6 figure earner looking for greater profits. Money is an inner belief.

2: Learn How to Make Money Blogging From Top Pros

Top pros teach you how to become successful, full time bloggers.

Top pros teach successful, full time bloggers how to make more and more money.

Study wealth acquisition from wealthy people who live their dreams. Acquire wealth. Simple and quite easy way to prosper freely.

This tip is how most bloggers gain wealth quickly. They focus on advice offered by prospering bloggers and follow it from an abundant, dream-focused, success conscious vibe.

Read pro blogs. Invest money in pro courses. Hire pros to coach you. Profit.

I learned from top pro Alonzo Pichardo to create content and let it do what it does. Have posture. Know you succeed, now. Know your content will carry far and wide.

I shared this success conscious view with my readers via this video, which Alonzo promoted to his Facebook Page:

Pros remind you success and prospering is your birthright. Top pros offer proven practical tips for prospering but share the most important mindset tips to align you with blogging profits. Listen to them.

3: Count Money Wins

Count every single money win you recall from the past few years. Making $1 is a money win. Making $1,000,000.00 is a money win. Money loves you. Money loves being recognized. Recognize money. See your wealth acquired.

Sit down right now. Count your clients, course sales, affiliate sales and eBook sales. Be thorough. Money loves if you love noting money you made.  Where your attention and energy goes, grows.

Give your attention to money you manifested to make more money through your blog. Make more money.

4: Create on Topic and Inspire

Create on topic content to inspire your readers.

Stick to your niche. Be known in specific blogging circles.

Inspire readers to live their dreams through your:

  • blog posts
  • live broadcasts
  • podcasts

always infusing your positive, can do, success conscious energy into your posts.

Me by a massive yacht during my trip to Qatar. Pretty sweet boat.

I love adding my tropics selfies to every blog post. I make sure my readers soak up my life here in this sleepy, tropical village in Northern Thailand, pausing for a few minutes during videos between advice offered. Top bloggers love my delivery because many still seek the key to freedom; I help boost their profits and free them from a successful but confining lifestyle.

I also inspire top bloggers who live their dreams vicariously through me; maybe a few even decide to up and travel as well.

As these big dawg blogging pros promote me I boost my blogging profits.

Success Is Yours by Default

You are born into success.

Success is yours by default.

Seize your heritage.

Profit through your blog.

Develop your money mindset. Your energy and focus dictate your blogging income more than anything else. Successful bloggers speak their success into existence by visualizing their good and calmly, confidently seeing their success come into form. New mind, new blog. New mind, greater blogging profits.

Go within to see a new world. Go within to change the without.

All of your blogging success is an inside game. Since you succeed by default you simply go within, see your dream life unfolding before your eyes, in your imagination, and you know it will be so.

Prosper.

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Pro Blogging Advice: How to Filter Opportunities

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pro blogging advice

I ensure that freedom is A1 in my life. Take this pro blogging advice to the bank. Literally.

Freedom helps you make more money, help more folks and feel good as your success expands. Freedom means making freeing choices all day long.

Freedom means filtering blogging opportunities according to:

  • giving energy only to opportunities promoting your freedom, success and dreams
  • giving no energy to all other opportunities flowing your way through email or Messenger or wherever

I spent a few minutes this morning making the bedroom in Thailand nice and cool. Freedom. Considering outside temps are toasty I figured having a cooler work space feels better, more freeing and helps me work from a chill – literally – relaxed, prospering energy. I had the time to do that because I only pick a select few opportunities flowing to me daily.

Pro Blogging Advice

Imagine Gordon Gekko’s line; I see 100 opportunities daily and choose 1.

I see quite a few and choose only successful opportunities that work for me and the other party.

Here I am during one of my Thailand trips.

This is how to filter opportunities to accelerate your blogging success. Give all of your attention and energy to:

  • success
  • opportunities vibing with your dreams
  • love
  • fun
  • harmony
  • peace

as you filter through:

  • pitches
  • asks
  • co-creating opportunities
  • interview requests

and you will become more successful while enjoying the ride and having tons of time offline to do what you love doing offline. Or to engineer your room in Thailand to make it cooler.

Pro bloggers save themselves hours daily and accelerate their success by only giving their energy to success and freedom expanding opportunities.

Every filter is a personal, intimate choice. If something feels fun to you, assess how you see the opportunity expanding your growth. Does it feel like it’s a way to expand your success and dreams? Seize the opportunity from a detached, chill, energy. You’ll see more success.

If the opportunity feels like it cannot expand your success then give it zero energy. Save yourself time, energy and the heavy, burdened feeling weighing down most bloggers who give more than a bit of their attention and energy to anything other than their success and dreams.

How to Filter Opportunities

Let’s say you just opened Messenger or your email inbox.

Scan the title of the first email. Within 1-2 seconds you instantly know if the opportunity moves you toward greater success and happiness and freedom. Respond with 1-2 lines if this is the case. Give no energy to any other opportunity.

If the Message or email feels like fear, give it no energy after 1-2 seconds of scanning. If it lacks clarity, give it a few seconds of scanning. If you vibe with the core message, respond. If not, release.

I tend to give most of my inbox no energy and a few opportunities minimal energy to save literally weeks of email time over years. You instantly know what to respond to and what to let go after a few seconds of scanning. We all do.

A Few Pointers

Keep these ideas in mind:

  • only pursue opportunities with positive, success-focused bloggers
  • only pursue opportunities that feel fun and freeing and success promoting
  • partner only with heart-centered bloggers
  • give your attention and energy to success-seeking newbies who literally put their money where their mouth is
  • think through how much time and energy interviews require before agreeing to do interviews with any blogger

For me, for an hour long interview, Tim Ferriss or Joe Rogan will do. Leveraging.

If not, that hour is best spent at the movies or going out to eat here in Thailand or writing an SEO-optimized post. Rest and relaxation and offline play is the foundation of all my pro blogging success. Getting a life makes you a successful blogger; you vibe abundantly by having a well-rounded, peaceful, abundant, interesting, fascinating, multi dimensional life, as all genuinely successful bloggers have.

I do not gobble up any opportunity. I clearly see if the opportunity aligns me with greater success and more successful folks because where your energy goes, grows.

This is a chief reason why I have circled the globe and lived a movie worthy life for 8 years. I give my attention and energy to success so success expands.

Success Seeking New Bloggers

Have blogging posture.

Sprint up the energetic ladder and see greater success by going to the top of your niche, networking solely with top bloggers in your niche.

Network with bloggers like Jeff Goins. Learn from him. Make an impression. Promote him. Move into higher blogging circles. Learning from the best and following their advice is a way to cut your learning curve by years.

It makes perfect sense to:

  • surround yourself only with highly successful folks
  • learn from only highly successful folks
  • align with only highly successful folks

If you seek health you seek out a highly skilled, successful doctor.

If you seek blogging health and success you seek out only highly skilled, successful bloggers.

Networking only with successful bloggers puts you on their radar, inspires you to practice writing, influences you to create and connect and you will see how your opportunity filter mirrors a pro’s filter; you learn from the best so do as the best do.

Only make room for blogging success.

Pursue success-expanding opportunities.

Network with successful bloggers.

Filter out all else.

Where your energy goes, grows.

Blogging Course

Mindset is everything in blogging. Buy my course to get the right blogging mindset.

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Blogging Mindset: 2 Tips for Increased Success

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Developing a winning blogging mindset precedes your success.

First you feel successful and count your successes, or blogging wins. Devoting your energy to success allows this success to appear in greater amounts on the worldly plane.

Blogging Mindset

Two specific blogging mindset tips accelerate your blogging success.

The first tip vibes nicely with my chill evening here in Thailand. I watched Showtime online for quite a bit. Netflix next. Earlier today I watched the Game of Thrones premier, being a huge fan of the show.

GAL

Get A Life.

Look at the featured image for this post. Me in Cyprus. Look at this image below. Me in Bali.

blogging mindset

Successful bloggers lived well-rounded lives. Successful bloggers spend hours away from blogging because freedom is the #1 blogging goal we all tend to aim for.

Earlier today I saw many of my blogging buddies excited for the Game of Thrones episode, as was I. I also observed some blogging buddies who had no interest in the show. Different strokes for different folks.

However; some bloggers pride themselves on doing nothing but blogging 12 hours daily, shunning TV shows, movies and all forms of entertainment. Most of these bloggers fail, being filled with tension, force, stress and basically having no life. Bloggers who manifest worldly success with such an approach make tons of money but miss out on life. You cannot be successful unless you enjoy a well-rounded ride because your spirit is not one dimensional.

I chose to succeed and to enjoy my Netflix, Game of Thrones, basketball, traveling and other hobbies. You can have it all but get a life to detach some from blogging, to enjoy the richness of a rounded human experience and to accelerate your success.

Develop the blogging mindset of someone who is calm, confident, knowing of their success and detached from results. Watch TV, exercise, do yoga, go to the movies and get excited about season premiers. Top bloggers play online and play offline to vibe high, to be creative and to reach the pinnacle of their niche, because their chill, peaceful, confident, successful energy says so.

GWL

Go. Where. Loved.

Go where people love you. Give your attention to love and success. Love and success expand. You accelerate your blogging success.

Example

I respond to each person who Likes or comments on one of my Facebook posts. Likes and commentors love me. Or show me love. I respond to people who show me love because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Give energy to love and love expands. Success expands as love expands. Simple.

I responded to all comments on my blog. Give energy to love and success expands. Quite easy.

Reach out to successful bloggers you vibe with. Read their posts. Comment genuinely. Go where folks would love you and observe how friendships blossom.

Successful bloggers think like successes. Successes go where they are loved and waste no time giving energy to anything but love. Keep going back to where dear friends fill your well. Prosper. Simple formula.

Take care of your tribe. Befriend your readers. Bond with your customers. Keep showing love to people who show your love. Since where your energy goes, grows, the love grows as does your success.

How Living Both Acronyms Develop Your Mindset

As for getting a life, I just spent a few hours blogging earlier this morning having fun online from a chill vibe. After the blogging play I spent 4 hours out with Kelli. We enjoyed lunch here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have a life. I go shopping and eat out and watch movies and spend a few hours daily on Netflix. I also exercise and do deep yin yoga. Everything factors into my success.

Living in Fiji for 4 months factored in to my blogging success too.

Doing these things – aka having a life outside of blogging – works for me in a few ways:

  • I emit an abundant, calm, confident successful vibe, resulting in greater worldly success
  • top bloggers who also vibe success and abundance – who live rich lives offline – align with me

Observe John Chow. He is super successful. Does he work 20 hours daily? Nope. He leverages online and spends a ton of time offline, going out to eat, buying sweet cars and homes and living an abundant, balanced, rich life. He exudes abundance. He aligns with other top bloggers. No wonder why he is incredibly successful.

Getting a life helps you feel rested, recharged, calm, confident and success conscious. Perfect energy for reaching the top of your blogging niche.

As for going where loved, this is simple success energy in action. People love you and your blog. Give 100% of your attention to people who love you. Love expands. Your tribe grows. Your tribe becomes more loyal. You see more success because you give your energy to people who see you as successful. Simple. Easy too, because giving love to people who show love requires little effort.

See your success. Now.

Feel good about all of your blogging wins. If you experienced it, it is a blogging win for it brought you to today.

Get a life. Be like a pro blogger. Spend time offline. Emit a calm, detached, confident vibe irresistible to success.

Go where you are loved. Engage followers and fans on your blog and via social media. Give all of your attention to people who love you. Things will grow quite swiftly for bloggers 100% focused on engaging fans because where your energy goes, grows.

I gotta go guys; I just bought a container of fresh mangosteen here in Thailand. You should see how brilliant the skin looks. Incredibly tasty super fruit too with oodles of health benefits.

Time to enjoy this refreshing and filling super fruit.

 

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