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Visual Marketing in 2018: How to Enhance Your Blog Visual Marketing

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Visual marketing is something no blogger can any longer ignore. The web has become highly visual: No one will engage with the wall of text these days.

But how to use visuals without spending too much time or money on picking and formatting them? Let’s see:

Visual Content Should Engage

The first step is to set your goals straight.

Engagement should always be the goal. So know what will push them to engage.

>>> Actionable items:

  • Use Pinterest and Twitter analytics at least weekly to understand what works best for your audience. Try to understand why a specific visual got more attention than the others and incorporate your findings into your blog editorial calendar!
  • Create timely visuals. Schedule fun memes to congratulate your audience on big holidays. But not only that. Use these calendars of weird holidays, notable anniversaries and birthdays to post related visuals and visual quotes. Both work extremely well for engagement!

National Polar Bear Day

[Look at this example of Coca-Cola celebrating National Polar Bear Day. How can one not share it?]

Look At What Is Working For Others

The most obvious place to look for audience interests is in what is working from others. Given how likely it is that your content viewers are looking at others within your niche, the information is right there for the taking.

You don’t know need to know the view numbers, you need to see the rate of engagement and begin developing a pattern to follow.

Social platforms are going to be the biggest source for this data, as people are more likely to comment and share there than on blogs. But that doesn’t discount the numbers shown on the websites themselves. Really, any share numbers or comments there will be a big indication of what is working.

>>> Actionable items:

  • If you don’t know your competitors yet or you want to expand your list, use this simple tool
  • Use  to (1) Find your competitors’ most popular blog posts and (2) Analyze your competitors’ Facebook marketing tactics: Loads of info to learn from!

BuzzSumo

[Top content of my competitor identified by BuzzSumo]

Try Asking For Feedback IN The Content With Apester

This is a personal favorite of mine, and one of the best marketing apps available. Apester is a digital storytelling application that creates feedback surveys directly in visual content. You have probably seen them on websites and even embedded in videos.

Each survey presents a single, simple question and a few multiple choice answers. Not only is it a great way to get viewer information, it is an automatic engagement tool that is effortless on the side of the one being asked.

You can also send people from one to another in a unique journey that will expose them to more content while they respond along the way. Very cool, and very effective.

>>> Actionable item:

To see who is using Apester, and how you might emulate the more engaging of those customers, check out this list. Not everyone has quite figured out how to utilize the tool to their advantage yet, but those who do are seeing real number increases in their overall data. It is hard not to be impressed.

Apester in action

Create Better Images Using Pablo and/or Canva

Of course, improving visual content engagement might start with just having better visual content, period. If you have found your own lagging it might be time to start considering that the quality is the problem which is where both Pablo and Canva can step in.

Both are really easy to use content production tools that work across multiple formats (infographics, edited images, banners, charts, etc). They take a lot of the necessary knowledge and skill out of the process, and instead let you follow step by step tools and drag and drop features to make something professional grade. Great news for all of us who never went to school for graphic design.

Best of all, both are affordable.

>>> Actionable items:

  • Both Pablo and Canva are essentially free tools. What you pay for are the photos that you use to create your visuals. You can use your favorite source of photos and upload your own pictures, though, saving money. There are lots of sites that offer free stock photography you can use to pick great pictures. Bigstockphoto is another great option as well.
  • Create templates! Canva lets you create and re-use templates: You can change text, the concept, and the background image (see above) but use the pre-made template to save time. This ensures your blog visual content is branded in the same way which makes your site more memorable.

Cyfe dashboard

You can also use mobile photo editors if you want to create your pictures on the go.

Visualize Your Data and Old Content

Your old content provides loads of visual marketing inspiration. Look at your blog archive and identify content that you can turn into a cheat sheet, an infographic or into a visual white paper.

The idea is, if one particular article is doing well, chances are, its visual version will result in another boost. Plus it will give you the opportunity to re-enforce the success of the original by linking to it from the new content.

>>> Actionable items:

To turn your old content into a visual asset, use these visualization tools and resources:

  • Flaticon is one of the best sources of icons to use in your visualizations
  • Here are some awesome free tools and templates to create viral infographics including Create.ly and Venngage.com
  • Use MarketingCharts and Emarketer for all sorts of marketing and web-related visualizations that are being updated monthly

You can even go further and create video slideshows using your visuals. With proper monetization, Youtube can be a pretty awesome branding tool.

Know Each Platform Specifics

People tend to pick a platform based on overall popularity, but how well do you know it? Each platform has its specifics when it comes to visual content.

  • Maybe you are using Twitter, but the content could benefit from further context and elaboration.
    • Tip: Don’t flood your feed with visuals on Twitter because images, while improving engagement, may also irritate and result in some unfollows. Use images only a couple of times a day when you want to diversify your Twitter feed.
  • Or perhaps you want direct CTAs and so Instagram with its ban on description linking isn’t really the place for you.
  • You could be lagging in viewers because of Facebook’s bizarre criteria on what qualifies as promotional, and so half your content isn’t being reached by your audience (boost pandering from an increasingly finicky platform).
    • Tip: Use this tool to see if your image qualifies for Facebook promoted ads.

Consider adapting your visual strategy to each platform keeping in mind its specific guidelines (especially if you are planning to re-enforce your strategy by investing in advertising campaigns).

>>> Actionable item:

Use a social media dashboard to keep an eye on your blog stats and your social media channels to spot a good trend the moment it comes. This will make it easier for you to analyze your multiple marketing channels and compare them.

I use Cyfe which is very cheap and lets me see the stats from my own blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., all on one page. If one of my visuals does particularly well, Cyfe lets me see it the day it happens:

Cyfe social media monitoring dashboard

There is also that it is ignoring many other networks that might be beneficial. How is your strategy on Pinterest? Have you ever considered Reddit? What about Quora?

Social platforms vary a great deal, and it is important that you take that into account.

Anna Fox is blogger behind Hire Bloggers, a free resource helping bloggers to find online gigs and start earning money

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Blogging

Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?

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Are you a new blogger ready to hop on the Adsense train?

Pump your breaks a few times. Slow down and think this through.

Advertising revenue can prove to be a lucrative income stream for bloggers over the long term. Build a large, loyal following. Be generous. Be patient. Success will be yours, as will Adsense ad clicks and increased blogging revenue. New bloggers have a different Adsense experience though. I see excited newbies ready to cash their first Adsense check on receiving approval. 6 months later, after making $.02 per month, the enthusiasm dies and the blogger removes Adsense from their blog. Why? Bloggers learn a harsh lesson about advertising revenue: you need a huge, loyal following to generate significant income through advertising channels.

Example

Most new bloggers get 5, 10 or 50 people to visit their blog daily. Imagine if 20 people visit your blog daily. How many of those 20 people click on your Adsense ad, or any ad? 99.99% of the time, none. Tomorrow sees 14 blog visitors. None click your ads. After 1 month, 240 people visit your blog. 2 people click your ad. This sounds about right. At the end of the month, you made $0.04 USD. Of course this is common because you are a new blogger with little traffic. Low traffic blogs generate low profit ad revenue.

Do you know who makes hundreds to thousands of dollars in Adsense revenue monthly? Bloggers who blog effectively and generously for 2-3-5 or more years generate this type of sweet income. Advertising revenue takes SERIOUS work! Maybe 1% of bloggers – or less – put in the work that drives the thousands of people daily to blogs which nets a steady, solid Adsense income. But most new bloggers mistakenly believe their 30 visitor a day blog will yield $100 to $500 per month or more. Never gonna happen guys. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?

I share profitable income streams in my eBook:

15 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Buy it to explore different ways and means of profiting, to beef up your multiple streams of income.

Newbie bloggers should never open ad revenue streams because they do not have a large, loyal, targeted readership needed to generate substantial ad revenue. Write and self-publish an eBook. Toss that widget on your sidebar, replacing the ad widget. Brand yourself. Make more money.

Experienced bloggers with large, loyal tribes should consider ad revenue if the ads:

  • feel like a match for the blog and brand
  • are highly targeted for your readership
  • add value for your readers

Think targeting. Sites like the Huffington Post can post any ad and completely disregard relevance because millions upon millions of humans visiting the blog monthly have millions and millions of interests. When advertisers pay a million dollars for a short Super Bowl ad they understand not every one of the 1 billion people watching the Super Bowl is highly interested in their ad, but many folks out of the billion plus people will be interested, and net advertiser revenue, through the commercial.

For you, even if your tribe is large and loyal, you likely do not attract millions of blog visitors monthly. Target advertisements to ensure most if not all of your readers seem highly interested in the ad. Even if a small percentage clicks through you will generates steadily increasing ad revenue by this approach because you intelligently match your ad with your reader.

As a new blogger go with non-ad income streams. Experienced veterans can lay out ads but make sure your ads align with your readers.

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The Ultimate Checklist To Grow Your Blog in 2019

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Perhaps you’re here because you’ve had a blog for a long time now, but you feel like it’s just not growing as you hoped it would. The good news, however, is that you aren’t alone. Even blogs that you think are “famous” may have also gone through this same challenge. Fortunately, there are many tricks you can apply to help your blog reach its fullest potential. These are doable, and with a little help from experts, you’re sure to achieve the growth you’ve been dreaming of.

Here’s a checklist you can follow:

  1. Venture Into Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective strategies in digital marketing, which you can also apply on your blogs. Affiliate marketing refers to the act of partnering with companies and businesses that are looking for bloggers who are willing to try out and promote their products and services. In the beginning, you might not be able to reach more prominent brands and companies, but if you keep going, affiliate marketing can also be very effective in helping your blog grow in terms of audience reach. The more you network with affiliates, the more traffic comes to your site.To provide you more insights on digital and affiliate marketing, read through this digital marketing checklist.

  1. Link With Other Bloggers

In the blogging industry, success isn’t so much about competing with each other. In fact, there’s a lot you can achieve by simply linking with other bloggers as well. This means that, from time to time, you create posts that allow you to connect with others in the industry, or you create collaboration posts with other bloggers. That way, you’re both doing each other a favor by expanding each other’s blogs to the current networks that you both have, much like exchanging gifts.

Here are other ways for you to also link or engage with other bloggers:

  • Comment on the posts of other bloggers
  • Mention other bloggers in your posts
  • Engage in the social media pages of other bloggers

 

  1. Create Detailed Content

Especially if you’re writing about solutions to common problems of your viewers, be very detailed about it. Readers want to have answers as soon as they visit your website. Without clear, actionable content, you’re not only going to lose one reader, but you’re going to lose others as well.

Some of the best strategies you can employ to ensure detailed content are the following:

  • If you’re talking about technical or serious matters, include statistics and case studies
  • Stay away from broad statements that are going to leave your readers guessing
  • Whenever you can, include actionable and real data. (e.g. Climate change is expected to hit a _____ mark by 2020. To combat this, one of the things you can do is…)

While the optimum length of every blog post should still be around 500 to 2,000 words, this doesn’t mean that you cannot put in detail. Never write and post anything haphazardly. Be sure to do your fair share in researching beforehand.

 

  1. Enable Social Media Sharing

If you’re a blogger, you’d know it’s inevitable to also have social media accounts. If you can, go for the three major social media pages, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The more active you are on social media, the more effective you become as well. Keep in mind the following techniques in terms of social media posting:

  • Keep a fixed schedule of when you usually post new content. This will make it easier for your visitors to expect new posts. Through this, you can also build anticipation among your readers.
  • As you schedule your content posting, also factor in the usual available time of your target market. For instance, if your blog is about parenting, you might want to post at night, when all mommy duties have been done for the day, and they can check their social media.
  • Refrain from posting every hour. Keep your posts within a healthy interval so that your followers won’t become bored or even annoyed. At least every other day is enough to keep your followers excited.

What you can do is post an update on each social media account when you also have a new blog. Link your blog post to your social media post so you can draw traffic to your website. With social media, it’s also easier for your followers to share and spread the word about your content. By simply clicking the share button, they’re able to post this on their social media sites as well.

Conclusion

When you strive to make your blog perform better, it shouldn’t end only with the growth per se. You also have a more significant task to fulfill, which is to apply the necessary strategies that are going to motivate your readers to keep coming back. These above-mentioned tips can help you achieve these two goals. Now you can be on your way towards running your blog to its fullest potential.

 

 

 

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Blogging

7 Reasons Nobody is Reading Your Blog

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Blogging is tough work. It’s not backbreaking labor like ditch digging, but it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.

It may consume hours, days, weeks, and months of dedication before you see results. Even with a solid commitment of time and creative energy, results aren’t guaranteed. It’s not just about coming out with new content, it’s more about coming out with content that is of real value, will rank in Google, and that people are actually going to read and share.

Millions of blogs are humming along on the Internet, but only a fraction could be termed successful. If you have a blog and it has no significant readership to speak of, there are a few possible explanations.

1 – You Write About Things People Don’t Care About

“It’s easy when you first start blogging to act like your blog is an online journal. While your blog should be personalized, it should be focused on your reader,” copywriter Michael Leonard explains.

“People, for the most part, only care about themselves. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to give the reader what they want.”

If you’re only writing about yourself, people will eventually tune out. The best thing you can do is to switch your focus to topics your audience is passionate about. Not sure what that might be? Go ahead and ask your existing readers for their input on topic selection.

2 – You Lack a Consistent Voice

Consistency is a huge facet of blogging success. People need to feel they’re encountering the same voice, style, and personality one post to the next. If there’s too much variety in style and content, you’ll fail to resonate with readers and eventually they’re apt to wander elsewhere.

3 – You Have No Social Media Presence

Blogging and social media go hand in hand these days. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on the opportunity to expand your blog readership (and vice versa).

Instead of trying to be on every social media platform that exists, spend your time focusing on one or two platforms (such as Instagram or Facebook). By pouring all your energy into building up audiences on these channels, you’ll be much more likely to see a positive impact on your blog.

4 – You’ve Never Done SEO

SEO might be a bit technical for your taste, but it’s still essential. Without an SEO strategy, you won’t be able to capitalize on organic search traffic.

This will leave you 100 percent reliant on paid and/or social traffic … and that will damage your results and lower your chance of building a flourishing audience.

5 – You’ve Never Invested in Link Building

In order to satisfy Google’s algorithm and prove you have an authoritative website that’s worth turning up in the search rankings, you have to demonstrate that you’re a trusted source for content. One of the ways to do this is by developing a link-building strategy.

Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other authoritative websites to your own. Though you can do this manually, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to hire a white-label link-building service like SEO.co.

This approach frees you to focus on the content side, without neglecting the optimization facet of the equation.

6 – You’re All Words and No Visuals

All words and no visuals is a recipe for supreme boredom. If you aren’t careful, it’ll destroy your audience and leave you with an echo chamber of a blog.

As tough as it may be to swallow, accept the fact that people will likely read only an average of 20 percent of the content on your page. In other words, the average person will ignore 80 percent of your blog content.

Much of this depends on the limited nature of the human attention span. The quickest way to get past this is to incorporate some visuals to provide some relief and boost engagement.

“Visual elements jump off the page,” Quick Sprout explains. “If someone is scanning through your blog post, they’ll likely stop at the images. They’ll skim the first few lines before and after the picture to digest your points of emphasis.”

You don’t have to change your entire blogging strategy, but it’s wise to give some attention to visuals. An occasional infographic or video will go a long way with your audience.

7 – You Don’t Post Enough

You don’t have to post a blog piece every day to be successful. But if you’re uploading only one every few weeks, you’re forfeiting your opportunity to engage an audience.

As a general rule, you should post at least three times a week. This means you’ll have to generate something once every two days (with an occasional lapse of an extra day or two). At that rate, you’re most apt to stay at the front of your readers’ minds without overwhelming them.

Develop Your Blogging Strategy

Publishing a random blog post here and another casual commentary there isn’t going to get you the results you desire … no matter how good the content might be. You need a defined strategy that delivers high value to a specific group of readers in a manner that’s consistent with your brand personality and objectives.

One would hope this article has opened your eyes to what that can look like moving forward.

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