How I Plan to Drive Traffic To My Blog

Welcome to the REAL and the RAW. I figured it was due time that I started writing some step-by-step tutorials and show you the inside scoop of what is happening here at my blog.

How I Plan to Drive Traffic To My Blog: an up close and personal account for 2019

I’ll admit…at the time of this writing I have a long way to go to meet my goals for this blog. This series will be honest and raw, and you’ll get to see my progress on this blog as I begin to put a lot more energy into growing it in this upcoming year. I will show you in this post how I plan to drive traffic to my blog in 2019.

And just so you know- I am not new to blogging and have begun a LOT of them since 2004. I’ve designed for clients and helped them with their blogging strategies. You know how it is, always helping other people but failing to help ourselves… but it is time for me to now focus on my own blog.

And just for a bit more back story before I begin:  I’ve enjoyed growing one of my more successful blogs (or at least what I consider successful for me at the time), where I’ve made the bulk of my income the past seven years.

But I’ll be honest: I just haven’t put in the time and energy to make this blog grow.

Why? Especially since that is my passion: helping women grow their blogs and make money with it.

–>Here’s the story:

I started Mompreneurs in Heels in 2016 with the idea that it would simply be a holding spot, or a sales page, to house my book.

Then I decided to move my podcast over and rebrand it as the Mompreneurs in Heels Podcast. So now I had a book and a podcast.

But then…I kind of felt badly about not putting up more content. (Most of my energy was going to my other blog)…so I started putting together a makeshift blogging strategy to sort of keep this one afloat.

What does this mean? 

It means the strategies I used for previous blogs I’ve owned have worked, because I WORKED them. But here at Mompreneurs in Heels I got caught in a not-so-great blogging cycle where I didn’t purposefully plan to drive traffic to my blog. It was a cycle that looks like: start…then pause…then stop for a season…then start again. You know that cycle? As a blogger is this familiar to you (or am I on my own here)?

I wasn’t as consistent with this blog as I’ve been with others, and we I know that consistency is the best way to gain client trust.

So I don’t recommend you do what I did  the past two years on this blog. In fact, I recommend you follow the strategies I used on my first blog, and if you want to dig deeper you can purchase my blogging course to learn the ropes of blogging if you are a beginner.

I want to end 2018 and start 2019 with a clear blogging strategy for this blog, but this time around I want to let you in on the backend of things and show you what’s happening. I will be honest and transparent and you can see that there is no magic trick to getting more traffic. It’s just hard work.

The Real…

Currently in December of 2018, if you asked me if I drive traffic to my blog  here at Mompreneurs in Heels, I would have to honestly tell you “not much”. After checking my stats I realize the truth of the matter.  It’s as if I just created the blog last month. Instead, it has been two years.

So, don’t feel badly if you are not getting the traffic you want right away. It takes time and work. I haven’t REALLY been working this blog. Business, yes. Blog…not so much.

“So…how are you making money on your blog?” you might be asking.

Like I mentioned before, my bigger blog is driving the most traffic and has the bigger mailing list so I use that one often to leverage this blog baby. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. 🙂

I also use social media to drive traffic to my blog to showcase seasonal discounts and specials I’m having on my services. I mention everything on my podcast and I send out emails to my list. My email lists and listener audience are, thankfully, bigger than my blog traffic, so this has been working for me so far and allows me the clients I need to keep money flowing in.

I offer services, products and sponsored posts. Again, this helps a lot with keeping an income rolling in.

However…it’s time to up my blogging game, and I’m super excited about it!

How I plan to do to increase my traffic in the next month.

Because I’m sharing this publicly, that means I’m holding myself accountable. You will get updates as I add to this series each month, so if I skip a month you have to tap me on the shoulder and let me know.

–>Up my Pinterest strategy.

So far, my Pinterest traffic is not too bad (although it has declined in the past month)…

Pinterest strategy 2019

I’ve been learning all about the ins and outs of Pinterest with Melyssa Griffin’s Pinfinite Growth course. I’m planning to implement much of her strategies to increase traffic back to my blog for the month of December. Pinterest accounts for so much blog traffic growth for so many bloggers that I decided not to pursue Facebook ads any time soon. If I can get free, organic traffic from just ramping up my Pinterest game, then why not?

One of the things Melyssa recommends is joining group boards, so I’ll be looking for boards related to entrepreneurship, business, and blogging.

Another thing I’ll need to do (which is going to be loads of work) is to go back and recreate my pin images so that they fit my blog theme and work for Pinterest also. I need to make them more attractive and take time to create catchier headlines on my posts so they get more clicks.

I’m currently in the processing of restructuring my boards, deleting ones that weren’t gaining much traffic and merging some. I placed my business boards at the top and my homeschool ones a bit lower now that I’m focusing more on my business blog. My goal is to eventually change the cover image of my boards to make them all uniform and pretty.

From everything I’ve read and learned over the past year, Pinterest is a MAJOR traffic driver for blogs. In my personal experience, I’ve had great success with it on my homeschool blog. I just need to make Pinterest work for Mompreneurs in Heels now.

Summary:

  • join more group boards related to my niche
  • restructure my boards
  • finish Pinfinite Growth

–>Grow my mailing list

I’m currently still with Mailchimp just because I’ve been too hesitant to switch over to anything else (although I did try Convertkit two years ago before I switched back), but I have already outgrown the free Mailchimp account long ago.

I’m finding, though, that more advanced features like list segmenting may be a little easier with another provider. We’ll see. I may switch back to Convertkit soon, but for now I’m good with Mailchimp since it integrates well with Bloom, which is my opt-in creator.

I installed a footer opt-in on every page of my blog as well as a new popup that, hopefully this time, won’t irritate my site visitors. (That last one I installed with Mailchimp was PAINFUL! You couldn’t see how to close the popup and I’m sure it annoyed the heck out of everyone who landed on my page. Which explains low engagement and conversions.) This time, thanks to Bloom by Divi themes, I can use popups in moderation and seamlessly.

 

I’m also planning to add content upgrades to each of my blog posts. Yes, this will take a while, but it will be so worth it to have this on each and every post (which, so far, is working out just fine with the footer opt-in), but I’d like to add more.

Summary:

  • place content upgrades on most blog posts
  • determine if I will leave or keep Mailchimp

–>Network and collab more

This is an area that I’ve been neglecting for this blog the past few years. Like I said before, I’ve been busy networking over at my other blogs and homeschool YouTube channel. I also have been running interviews and producing for two podcasts (not just this one- here’s the other)…so that is the extent of my networking, and it has been a great experience.

I will keep doing interviews, but at this point I would like to strategize my networking activities even more so that our collabs actually mean something to both parties. I want to be sure my interviewees are getting value from their time with me, and that likewise, I am gaining exposure to their circles as well. Conducting interviews is work! 🙂

I may release one more interview before the year is out and afterward launch a new season of interviews for 2019. I’m excited about that!

I also want to check out other blogs- stop by and read others’ posts, leave comments, contribute to the conversations. I plan to do more link-building to others’ content in my blog as well as do more guest post writing.

Oh…and I’ll be participating in more Facebook groups.

Summary:

  • continue interviews for my podcast
  • blog commenting
  • link-buiding
  • guest post writing
  • participate in Facebook groups

–>Get more SEO pillar content in place

I realized that when I first built this site, since my main objective was to have a place to house and advertise my book and showcase my podcast, I didn’t necessarily have an SEO-plan in place with cornerstone content.

My objective now? Get some pillar content in place! I’ll be sharing more about blogging and blogging strategy so you will be seeing more posts from me about this topic in upcoming weeks. I’m also going back to old content and optimizing these for search engines as well, making sure I focus on my site’s main keywords.

Summary:

  • create pillar and cornerstone content
  • optimize old blog posts for my site’s main keywords

So that’s my strategy for the month. Stay tuned for more info on how I ramp up this blog during 2019 and beyond! 🙂

MIH 040:How to Develop Your Winning Digital Media Strategy

Listen to “040:How to Develop Your Winning Digital Media Strategy” on Spreaker.

Why is a digital media strategy important?

Recently I’ve been designing websites and working with women entrepreneurs to better their web presence. I’ve been helping mompreneurs with creating their own digital media strategy. And you want to know something?  I LOVE IT!! Helping female entrepreneurs develop a winning website is a passion of mine.  But I can’t just stop there.  I have to literally keep pressing for more- and helping women to shoot for higher.  It’s not just about having a website, but using it as the tool that it is for helping you increase your income. That’s why I talk about having your digital media strategy at hand before you even begin to develop your blog.  I talk about this in my book- in full detail.  You’ve simply got to have a digital media strategy in place so that your website has the potential for success. Set up your blog for success up front.  I know you’re probably thinking: “How on earth am I supposed to do this?”  Great- let me answer that for you!

Start with the end in mind.

What’s your vision? Your purpose?  Who are you trying to reach?  What is your main goal for your blog? When you start with the end result in mind, you’ll have a better shot at creating the website you really want.  If there’s anything I try to stress when developing and designing blogs for creatives, it’s to know what you want your end result to be. Do you want people to buy from you?  What do you want them to purchase?  Do you want them to listen to you?  Will you have a podcast?  Do you want them to watch you?  Will you have videos?  Do you want to provide a service?  What will you provide?   How will you provide your products?  Will you need a shopping cart? There is so much to think about, and you really should sit down and map it out.  Never believe anyone who would have you think that the perfect site is one that looks beautiful.  Yes, you want to have a beautiful blog you can be proud of, but you absolutely need to think about functionality.  At the end of the day, beautiful blog and all, did your blog accomplish its goal? Start with the end in mind and work your way backward so that your planning is much more effective. (I love helping with these kinds of planning sessions, so reach out to me if you need to.)

Set up a strong web presence.

Once you’ve begun with the end in mind, get your blog designed, and have your designer set it up with keywords that will give your blog the cornerstone it needs to compete for your future customers.  After all, we want your customers to be able to find you in Google. Pay close attention to SEO for your blog and for many of your posts.  This can be the difference between getting noticed on Google or staying in the background behind other similar blogs.

Create loads of content.

Content, content, content is king.  I know you’ve heard this catch phrase in online marketing before, but it really is true. You’ve got to keep pumping out helpful content and stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds. Make sure you are offering helps and freebies along the way, as well as rewarding your clients with discounts and special bonuses. Besides blogging, think on terms of creating worksheets, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, videos…the sky is the limit. There are a variety of platforms to do this from: Periscope, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook Live. There are just so many options out there for creating good, juicy content your readers want.  No excuses!

Solve their problems!

If you want to be considered at the top of your field, you’ve got to be willing to solve problems.  Being a problem solver is what makes money, and the more problems you solve for others the more desirable your services and products will be.

Engage and network.

The best way to make your digital media strategy a success is to engage and network.  The only way you can solve your customers’ problems is to get out there and start networking! Get involved on Facebook groups.  Engage on social media like YouTube.  Keep an ear and eye out for the needs of your niche market and pop in to see how that you can be of value to them by answering questions on forums and groups. I’ve met some really wonderful people through networking this way. Awesomeness!!

Balance it all out.

The hardest part and the most important part of this entire process is balance.  You’ll notice I talk about balance a lot on this blog- and it’s because every single mompreneur has to learn to balance business life and the intricacies of it plus family life. When it comes to your digital media strategy, you’ve got to be able to balance working for yourself, working for and with your clients, developing new products, keeping up with current services you offer, and using your blog as the platform to set all this into motion. Seems like a lot?  Well...because it is!! But no worries…we’re here to support one another (well I’m here to support you!) And that’s what this blog is all about.  It’s a support system to help you figure out how to pull it all together. I guarantee you – this is the digital media strategy you need that will help you be effective in your online business.  If you set up your website for success by planning in the beginning (starting with the end in mind), pay close attention to setting up an attractive blog around strong SEO, create loads of juicy content, solve your clients’ problems, engage like crazy, and then balance this out so you don’t make yourself and your family crazy- you have a winning digital media strategy! And because I’m speaking to women entrepreneurs here, my take on what a successful digital media strategy is will always be spoken with the mompreneur in mind. I know you’re busy.  I know you have kids and you’re probably exhausted from all your daily activities. I’m there and I completely understand.  And I wouldn’t encourage you to do something that I am unable to do.  You can do this! If you need a digital media strategy consultation, reach out to me and let’s talk!

MIH 039:What Makes a Successful YouTube Channel

Listen to “039:What Makes a Successful YouTube Channel” on Spreaker.This week’s user question is: what makes a successful YouTube channel?

I love YouTube and when you don’t find me blogging about blogging, you’ll either find me podcasting or creating a video for YouTube. Currently I have two channels (one which is rather tiny, but another which has more leverage.)
 YouTube for business is a phenomenal thing that helps to bring more eyes to my business mission and ultimately lands me more deals with clients.
I have found that in addition to podcasting, YouTube has been one of my most productive ways of getting the word out about my business offerings.  Because I recently had a viewer questions about what makes a successful YouTube channel, I thought I’d offer an answer- and this time via podcast!  I’ll probably create a video to go along with this as well.

So what makes a successful YouTube channel?

Success is not necessarily dependent on the number of people who view your channel, because at first you will have very few views.  Success is contingent upon the necessary steps you take in order to make your channel useful, and also how well you communicate with your viewers. So, let’s dig into some specifics on what exactly makes a successful YouTube channel.

Narrow down your vision so it is specific and strategic.

You’ll want to ask yourself why you created the channel and keep that vision in front of you at all times.  This will make your channel even more laser-focused. Make the vision plain, write it down, refer to it every time you make a video. Your passion shows through your videos and that is always a plus.
Narrowing down your vision helps you to see what’s important.  It helps you to realize potential topics for your audience, and topics that are random.  You want to put the majority of your energy on creating content that is useful for your viewers based on your own vision for your channel.  If you want to have a successful YouTube channel, you have to be laser-focused.

Pair your vlog with a blog for additional impact.

A lot of people miss this or skip this step because it is more work.  But in my experience it has been worth it.
People who don’t find my vlog on YouTube find my blog first. It’s just giving your readers and viewers more than one way to connect with you. On my blog, I like to add posts that include one or two of my videos.  I find that my readers love rich media, and adding videos to my blog is a great way to add a bonus boost to what I’ve written.  Everyone has different learning styles- some love listening to audio, some love watching video, while others prefer reading or skimming through a blog post.
I’ve found that my best contacts on YouTube tend to be those who also follow my blog.  This seems to make for more of a specialized, small-niche vlogging community where I’m meeting the needs (hopefully) of my viewers who love my content in different ways.

Find ways to monetize both your blog and your vlog.

At the end of the day, those with a successful YouTube channel tend to find ways to monetize it– whether through Google ads, digital products, or services. Most successful YouTubers enjoy the fruit of their labors through Google ads, which is super easy to set up.  Once ads start rolling on your videos, you get paid a percentage based on views and impressions.
Unfortunately, back in 2010, I had my Adsense account banned through no fault of my own, and have been unable to use it either for my blogs or my YouTube account.  I’ve since moved to Bing ads for my blogs, but haven’t found a comparable solution for my videos- so they currently run ad-free.  I use other methods for monetizing my YouTube account by offering my products and services regularly.

Post regularly.

Viewers love it when they see additional videos on a regular basis.  I run two channels, and I’m not always successful at getting both updated frequently being a busy mom and all, but I try not to let too many weeks slide between posts. On my homeschool channel I usually post about once a week and lately it’s been once per month on my mompreneurs channel.  I’m planning to change that to once a week as well.

Create catchy thumbnails.

One thing that gets viewers’ attention is catchy thumbnails.  When scrolling through a list of videos on YouTube, a viewer is more likely to click on a video that has an attractive and catchy thumbnail, so you’ll want to make sure to start creating these.  I currently use PicMonkey and create an image with the dimensions of 1280×720.

Interact consistently.

When you constantly and consistently comment on others’ channels and reply to your own channel comments, you’ll find it more likely to have a successful YouTube channel. It’s all about the conversation!
Viewers love it when you respond and you’ll have much less spam and trolls on your channel when you take time to consistently interact with your tribe.

Do these tips help?  Do you feel motivated to begin a YouTube channel or to create a plan of action that will help you maintain it?

If you need support with vlogging- or just an extra ear to listen to you- I’m available for coaching.

Find Your Mompreneur Web Success Strategies!

For this post, I had to dig way back: way back to 2014 when I was first re-building my tech consulting business. I found that I had some true nuggets to offer mompreneurs about using web success strategies to jumpstart your online business. I realize there is wisdom in the old nuggets, so I’m revisiting some older content which is all about coining some different techniques for pulling together a successful web based business.

I believe your blog should start with your brilliant business idea and passion.  Next, I think you should consider some different online strategies and venues for promotion of your business.

The cool thing is that all of this can be done online- and that’s saying a lot for busy moms with a heart for her family and for business.

Web success strategies I discussed in the video 

  • Creating digital products (and adding them to a service-based business.)

As of the summer of 2016, I finally completed my first major digital product- my book, Mompreneurs in Heels:A Guide to Passionate, Purposeful Blogging– and I’ve found this to be an excellent basis from which to serve my clients.

It wasn’t an easy process, but looking back I’m really glad I took those many months to write and edit, and the six weeks to refine the book and publish it.  I just had to make up my mind to get moving and to do it.

  • Creating a service (adding it onto a predominantly product-based business).

I tried to shy away from service-based business for a few years.  Between 2014-2016 I have announced on several occasions (like on my podcast and newsletters) that I was going to focus mainly on offering digital products, and not so much services.  (My services are website design and maintenance, podcasting consulting, and WordPress coaching). I offer a few more tech-related services, but that’s the gist of it.

Although I’ve been on the fence about offering services, I recently have finally come to terms with the fact that my services really are needed.

Between December and February of 2017 website design and podcast consulting clients have been flowing into my life more quickly than I can count- all a God-blessing I know- and definitely unplanned! How can I say “no” when the need is clearly there?

So…I’m back to both a product and service-based business- and I’m perfectly okay with that for now.

As a woman in business, you have to decide what’s right for you during this season of your life. Will you offer products only?  Services only?  Both? Figure out what works for you and set out in that direction.

  • Authoring and speaking.

Speaking is something I haven’t done yet (besides podcasting), but it’s definitely in the works.

I appreciate mompreneurs like  Theresa Ceniccola, and many other speaker moms who are making it happen!

(Just a side note: it’s always a good idea to have business women in your life you aspire to or who influence to be a better you.)

  • Creating and promoting ebooks and other digital products (reports, worksheets and workbooks, audios, videos)

This is where I have found my real drive- in creating workbooks, podcasts, ebooks, and such. It’s easy for me to sit behind the laptop and create something from my heart, and sell it; at least, easier than offering a platter of services.

But I’m finally finding my niche in both worlds: services and products.  Products are neat because you make it, sell it, and walk away while watching it work its magic! Products make money for you when you’re eating, sleeping, and hanging out with your kids.

So, here’s the video I promised you from 2014…take a look and tell me what you think.


What are some success strategies you use to build and promote your online business?

Are your blog posts filled with shareable content?

Okay, so if you’ve been at this blogging game for a while I’m sure you’ve picked up the newest and latest rules over the course of time about how to make shareable content on your blog.

But what if you’re not sure you have content that is shareable?  What does this all mean anyway?

That’s why I’m here to help 🙂

You have shareable content when readers feel attracted to your post title.

Is your blog post title attractive in some way?  Fun and engaging?  Edgy or controversial?  Informative?  How do you peek your readers’ attention with your posts?

You could ask a provocative question or give a how-to hook, but whatever you do, make sure your title draws them in.

Does your content add value to your title?

If you’ve got the catchy title, just make sure your content follows suit and backs it up with good information.  There’s nothing like a reader grabbing that catchy hook, taking the bait to visit your site- then finding out that your post flopped in comparison to the title that grabbed their attention.

If you say you’re going to give the latest on Paris Hilton, then when they land on your page, you better have some news to share!

In all honesty, readers come for content and they just want to know that they’re getting what you promised out in the social media networks.  So if you broadcast it, be sure to back it up.

Do you have plenty of social media sharing options in your post?

This one’s a biggie- although I might say a no-brainer in today’s social media world.  If you don’t have social media sharing options on each and every blog post, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to allow others to share your content.

Use plugins like sociable or shareaholic– but whatever you do, find a sharing plugin, get it installed, and make it available for others to use.  You can use it too!

So how about your blog?  Do you have shareable content? If you haven’t already, which of these strategies will you put into place?

MIH 017:How to interview niche-stars for your podcast or blog!

Listen to “017:How to interview niche-stars for your podcast or blog!” on Spreaker.

In my last post I talked about the mistakes I’ve made in interviewing guests- and I had a few mishaps along the way.  Read about them and see how you can avoid them.  Meanwhile, you might be wondering some of the steps I’ve used to find interviewees and get them on my podcast. So on this post I’ll share with you how to interview your guests- step by step.

Approach them gracefully.

Gracefulness is pleasant, and who doesn’t like to be pleasantly approached?  It’s not about hunting anyone down, it’s about finding out if you have similar audiences and if being on your show would enhance their business project.

Introduce yourself, tell them what you offer your audience, and ask if they would like to participate in a x-minute interview. And be sure to let them know the kind of interview you’ll be setting up.  Personally that means a lot to me as a mompreneur if I know in advance if I’ll be expected to interview via webcam or on the phone.  (Kids running through the house screaming during a video call is not cool.)  Help your interviewee figure out these things in advance.

Know your schedule and know it well.

Ask for their time and immediately schedule it.  In order to do that, though, you’ll need to know your own schedule.  Go ahead and plot out your times of availability for an interview and try to leave it as open as you can.  Remain flexible.  Remember you may not be in the same time zone or even in the same country.  If you want to land a great interview, you have to be willing to work with your guest’s schedule.

Prepare thorough and thoughtful interview questions to send.

Don’t surprise-attack your guest with questions they weren’t prepared for.  To avoid this, go ahead and plan out a set of interview questions to send them.  This means you’ll need to research your guest thoroughly and get to know them through their own website.  Outline questions that are meaningful and bring the best out of your guest.  Be sure to send the questions way in advance of the interview so that if they have any concerns or edits need to be made you can do that ahead of the scheduled recording.

Be on time, ready, and available for your interview.

It pays to be on time.  I think there’s no greater pet peeve of our guests than to be no-shows to our own scheduled interviews.  Due to schedule mix-ups, this has, unfortunately, happened to me before.  Not only is it embarrassing, but drains on your interviewee’s time and schedule as well as you have to work to re-schedule the interview all over again.

Make them feel at ease before, during, and after the interview.

Start with some small talk (un-recorded) and ask if they have any questions before the interview begins.  A short conversation before you launch straight into the interview always eases tensions and causes our guests to feel more relaxed.

Thank them for their time and what to expect next.

After the interview is over, let them know what to expect next.  When will the interview be posted?  Let them know when they should expect to hear from you again.  Be sure to let them know a bit in advance before the interview will be posted so they’ll work it into their social media marketing schedule.

Finally, promote, promote, promote.

You always want to make sure you set up lots of promotional social media posts.  Pin it, tweet it, announce on Facebook, and especially get the word out in your Google Plus circles.

Did this information help you?  I sure hope so.  If you’ve interviewed guests for your podcast or blog, please share a favorite interview in the comments below!

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