Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Facebook doing stuff AGAIN! Earning more money as a freelancer! Easier SEO! All the stuff I’ve been concerned about this week as a blogger is rounded up for your enjoyment and knowledge. I hope it helps.

How Facebook’s New Algorithm Change Will Affect Your Page | Edgar

You will most likely have heard that Facebook will now be prioritising updates from family and friends in news feeds, which means a big thumbs down for you. Edgar has some insight into what might still work in the effort to get organic reach for your posts. And the gifs!!

A Simple Way our of Your Precarious Freelance Income Problem | Copyblogger

This is for those of you who bulk your income with freelance writing – as we know it can be one of the most stressful (b but rewarding) ways to earn a crust. If your workload is more famine than feast, Copyblogger has the answer.

10 Actionable Tips to Get Your First 1000 Snapchat Followers | Jeff Bullas

It can be hard to find people on this platform – and this means you!

5 SEO Strategies for Social Media You Need to Know Before You Hit Publish | Content Marketing Institute

You think about SEO for your blog – but what about your social media updates? Are they searchable? Are you hitting keywords?

What the Heck is Going on With Google Keyword Planner | Search Engine Land

There was mass confusion recently, and Twitter was afire. Here’s what was really going on.

instagram-cleans-up

Image Credit: TechCrunch

Instagram Nixes Naughty Comments | TechCrunch

I saw this recently when I posted (what I thought was) an innocuous comment and I got a notification that told me to re-think my post. I had no idea what was happening – but it looks like comments can be moderated now, and flagged when certain terms are typed. Very interesting.

Five New Features Across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram That You Need to Know About | Social Media Today
In addition to Instagram comment moderation, there are a few things that are different about Twitter and Facebook you should be across – and you can also save your videos and photos sent on Snapchat now, under its Memories function.
9 Social Media Marketing Trends That Could Make or Break Your Business in 2017 | Top Rank Marketing

I can’t believe we have to think about this already but it’s probably a good idea! A heads up on the landscape for next year.

The Best On-Page SEO Tool in the Business Now Has Unlimited Access Via MozBar | Moz

DOWNLOADED!

How Travel Writing Evolved into Travel Blogging, and What Brands Get from Both | AdWeek

This has been such an interesting switch and I am grateful that it’s become more of a level playing field (but of course that isn’t always good for quality). It’s fascinating to see where it’s all headed.

What’s caught your eye this week?

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My Blogging Income Breakdown for the First Half of 2016

It’s been a few years since I did an income report here on ProBlogger for my business, and so while I was pulling together some reports for the end of our financial year I thought it might be good to give a little insight into where the income on my blogs comes from.

As in previous years I don’t want to get into specifics of exact dollar amounts, and instead will keep this to be a percentage-based report to give a feel for the income streams that have been worthwhile for us.

Note: we’re also currently doing a study into bloggers income levels. You can participate by filling in this confidential survey.

This report is based upon the first six months of 2016. Here’s a snapshot (click to enlarge):

Blog income report

Before I get into each section – let me make a few explanations.

Firstly – this is for my total business and includes the income from both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School (dPS).

To give you some insight on the differences between those businesses – dPS is around 8 times larger than ProBlogger both in terms of traffic and income. I’ve included the logo of each business in the different sections that is relevant (i.e.: we don’t run AdSense on ProBlogger and the event and job boards are purely ProBlogger related).

Secondly – I’ve tried as much as possible to show you the profit of each sector rather than the total revenue that each generates.

I’m not able to get exact on this as the businesses do share some expenses (development, servers etc) but I’ve attempted to take any direct expenses that each income stream attracts.

This is why our ‘Event’ is a relatively small piece of the overall – while it generates a lot of revenue it has a large amount of expenses. Similarly our Product sales revenue is higher than Affiliate Commissions but once we pay for the cost of production of the products the profit is not as high.

I’ll now make a few comments on each category.

Affiliate Commissions

This has risen since the last time I produced a report like this, as we’ve put more effort into affiliate promotions at dPS.

Each year on Digital Photography School we run big promotions with our 12 Days of Christmas Sale and our Mid Year Sale. For both of these promotions we do daily deals where we deeply discount a mix of our own products and affiliate products.

These two sales generate a significant chunk of our annual profits and are the reason why this category has grown so much as the affiliate products have done really well for us in these promotions.

Here on ProBlogger we’ve also been focusing a little more on affiliate revenue over the last 6 months through doing some promotions with SumoMe, LeadPages and promoting a number of teaching resources. We’ve also incorporated into our design a new Blogging Resources page which has converted well and are working on promoting Bluehost with our How to Start a Blog page.

Amazon’s Associate program has not been a major focus of our attention but continues to generate a stable income using some of strategies I outlined in my Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Product Sales

Up until 2009 all of my income was generated from running advertising on my blogs and from a little affiliate marketing on my blog. But in 2009 I decided to invest some time into creating my first products on both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. The first products were eBooks and this has been a major focus of what I’ve done since (see the Photography eBook range on dPS and the ProBlogger eBooks). You’ll see in the graphic that 70% of this category is eBook sales still today.

However since 2009 we’ve experimented with other types of products over at Digital Photography School. We created some posing printables that did ok when we launched them, then created some photography courses and more recently have created some Lightroom Presets.

Our Lightroom Presets have been particularly popular both at launch and in our sales and we will continue to create more collections of these going forward.

Courses also did well but during this 6 month reporting period we didn’t promote them with a deal so they didn’t sell many.

Further Reading: Why You Should Create a Product to Sell On Your Blog (and Tips on How to Do It)

AdSense

Every time I have done one of these income reports I get people who are surprised that I use Google AdSense. I know not everyone has much luck with it but because dPS has a large amount of traffic we find that it works well for us.

I should say that our income from it has decreased in the last two years. This is partly because we’ve attracted a bit more direct sponsorship (see the next category) and given up some of the ad inventory that AdSense used to serve, but it is also because we’ve seen our RPM decline over the last few years.

It’s not the option that it once was for us but is still a revenue stream that I’m glad to have.

Sponsorships

On dPS we’ve continued to offer sponsorship options to advertisers who want to work directly with us to reach our audience. This has largely been banner ad campaigns but we also run advertising in our newsletters and have run a few other more creative campaigns including running competitions for our readers.

On ProBlogger we’ve not run any banner advertising (or AdSense) for many many years but have done a handful of sponsorship campaigns on the ProBlogger podcast in the last 12 months with companies like Edgar and 99Designs.

The other place we’ve done sponsorships is via our event (although I’ve included that in the Event category below).

Job Board

Here on ProBlogger we’ve had a Job Board for Bloggers since 2006. At first it was just a trickle of ads that were placed (earning $ 50 per ad) but it’s gradually grown and we’re getting close to celebrating our 6000th ad placed!

Considering the initial investment on the board was minimal and it’s been a largely passive income stream I’m pleased to have started it.

In the coming weeks we’re looking forward to releasing a much needed update to the job board which will give a lot more features to advertisers and applicants. Watch this space.

Further Reading: Check out our How to Make Money Blogging page which has a good overview on how to grow your income from blogging.

Event

This year we’ll host our 7th ProBlogger Event here in Australia (tickets are still on sale if you want to join us).

This event is a massive focus for our team and is largely a labour of love. While it does generate a large amount of revenue from ticket sales and sponsorship the expenses of running an event of this size are huge, and while we make a small profit it really is something I’ve done all these years more because I’m passionate about what happens at the event than anything else.

This year we will offer a virtual ticket so there is some potential to grow this wedge of the pie a little – watch this space.

A Word on Expenses

There you have it – my long overdue income report for the first half of 2016.

The only other thing I’ll add to this is that if I were to talk about expenses (as I know I’ll get asked about) I would say that while our revenue has definitely risen in the last 12 months I would also point out that so too have expenses.

This last 12 months we’ve invested heavily into the development of our sites – particularly here on ProBlogger with the redesign. In addition to our development team I’ve also expanded my team which now includes:

  • 2 editors (one for each site)
  • 2 business unit managers (one for each site)
  • Admin/Customer service team members (one for each site)
  • Marketing (one person – for dPS)

All team members (except for one) are part time.

Then there’s a huge array of others who are contractors who help with product creation, writing, proof reading, podcast editing etc.

Lastly in the expense column are of course things like servers (which are not cheap) and the amazing array of software as a service subscriptions that most bloggers have these days to be able to send emails, create landing pages, run webinars, calendarise editorial and schedule social media, etc (most of which you’ll find on our Recommended Blogging Resources page and all of which we pay for).

To make money you have to spend it!

Summing Up

Wow – that was quite the post to prepare (now I remember why I don’t do it that often). I hope you found it useful!

What’s your #1 Blogging income stream? We’d love to hear what it is in comments below or if you have a moment would love you to participate in this study we’re doing on bloggers income.

Participate in Our Study Into Bloggers Income

We are currently doing some research into the income streams that are most profitable for bloggers and would love you to participate by filling in the following survey (whether you’re a full time blogger or just making your first few dollars blogging).

We will keep all information that you submit confidential and will only publish the overall anonymous results unless we contact you to see if you’d be interested in participating in a case study post here on ProBlogger (which we’d only do with your permission).

Please take our Blogging Income Questionnaire

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How to Get Your Readership Involved and Grow Your Audience with Community Challenges

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.28.48 pm

One of the things we’re always told is to build community – it makes all the difference between traffic who don’t care and an audience who are invested in you and your story.

If you have a blog or online following, and you want to take it to the next level, it’s having an engaged audience that will do it. And challenges are one of the ways you can get that audience engaged.

And if it’s Instagram you’re after, one of the biggest communities on the platform is made up of hundreds of thousands of people across the world who play Fat Mum Slim’s Photo A Day. Beginning in 2012, it now consists of 23 million photos shared and loyal fans from Angola to Zimbabwe, and is part of a super-popular iOS app Little Moments (which went to number one when it launched!)

Chantelle is the blogger behind the challenge to get you to see and share small snippets of your day to a theme, and I asked her for tips on how you too can rally your communities around fun and engaging challenges.

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The Beginning

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Chantelle and I blog at Fat Mum Slim. I’m also a mum to two girls, a slightly mediocre wife to my husband, a cake enthusiast, and an App owner.

Can you give me some background on your blog, and how it led you to do Photo A Day?

I started my blog back in 2008, not long after giving birth to my own daughter. Back then blogging was absolutely new, and I decided that I would start one as a hobby to help me lose the baby weight {which didn’t work by the way}. I quickly realised that I loved writing and the online world, and it soon became a whole new career path.

In 2012 I started the Photo A Day challenge, simple because Instagram was becoming increasingly popular, I loved photography, and wanted to bring some positivity into my daily life. I created a list of prompts, and shared it on my blog and on my Instagram and invited people to play along.

What happened next was something I couldn’t have predicted. It went crazy. People loved it, jumped on and it was getting over a million photos shared each month. It was crazy! Four years on and it still has a dedicated community, and I’ve created a popular App around the concept which reached number 1 in the App store upon launch.

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What has contributed to the 23 million photos shared?

Photo A Day has over 23 million photos shared alone. Over the years we’ve had to adapt to Instagram changes and some challenges and change the hashtags, so the total count on all hashtags is over 23 million, plus the photos shared in our busy Facebook group.

I love creating community activities, so I also run a gift exchange each year, and a happy mail project; both things bring joy to people’s lives and spread happiness around the world. I ask people who play along to share photos of the gifts and letters that they send and receive on Instagram. I also regularly host photo competitions where I’ll work with brands to create really great prizing and ask people to share photos for the challenge.

Lastly, for the Little Moments App that I have, I encourage users to share their photos that they’ve created using the photography App and there have been over 500,000 photos shared to date. I love hashtags used for community purposes.

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Bringing the challenges to life

What have you learned from hosting these challenges?

I’ve learned that hashtags are such a powerful tool for these challenges, in creating communities. It’s great to see these mini-communities form from these hashtags, and friendships form. I’m always getting emails from people who have had meet-ups with these new friends. Last week a lovely lady emailed me to tell me that she was flying to Australia to travel around and meet new friends she’s made through the challenges.

What do you think makes the challenges so popular?

I think it’s important to make them easy to participate in, and that any level of photography skill is perfect. Not everybody is a professional. So I keep them inclusive, friendly and easy to participate in.

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How have you then captured this audience and led them to your blog?

I’ve created photography lessons on my blog, so that people can learn more about improving their photography; topics like lighting, composition, apps, etc. The community really loves those lessons, and it’s been a great way to include the blog as well.

Have you wanted to or been able to monetise any of these challenges?

I’ve purposefully kept these challenges organic, but there was an opportunity last year to collaborate with Disney and create a list around a film they were creating. It worked beautifully. The main way I am able to generate an income from this is the traffic it generates to my blog, and through the App purchases we’ve had.

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The day-to-day

Do you use any tools to help manage such large networks?

I use the Instagram scheduler Grum.co for helping with planning content for the challenge, but other than that it’s about getting in and playing with the community. The community is so strong that I have some beautiful moderators who help out on Facebook within our community, so that’s been amazing.

The network is so big – how do you stop challenges like this from taking over your entire life?!

They really could eat up a whole lot of time, and they do, but I say to my community that when it’s not fun anymore people should take a break. It’s meant to add to your life and not take away from it. I also have community moderators across the various platforms and people helping out choosing the Fab 4, etc.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.25.45 pm

How do you deal with trolls or people causing trouble?

On Instagram the hashtag is so popular that spammers jump on it a lot, so we get a lot of nude photos shared to the hashtag. This was heartbreaking for me, because I’d put so much effort into the challenge and it was really off-putting for people. We’ve had to adapt and add in daily hashtags, which makes things more complicated, but it’s working for us.

In the Facebook group we do get some trolls now and then, but we’re quickly able to put out the fires. The moderator team are brilliant at managing that and knowing when someone needs to be pulled into line.

What do you do when your hashtag gets overrun by hijackers? Is there anything you can do?

Unfortunately this has been the biggest challenge. Instagram really doesn’t care, and it can feel like you have no control over something that was so awesome. Creating alternative hashtags was our only option.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.26.11 pm

Why do you think creating challenges like this are good for building community and reaching new audiences?

I think because they’re positive, they’re fun and they’re inclusive. I think that people love trying new things, and the beauty of Instagram is that people will see a photo that someone shares for the challenge, ask the what they’re doing and then often join the challenge too. It’s really organic and easy.

What advice would you give for people wanting to create challenges for their audiences and to help grow their online profile?

I think people should make them as easy as possible to participate in, and to make them about their community. I’ve watched people try to create an exact replica of what I do, but fail. I think it’s best to know your audience, target it to them, and make it successful that way.

What are three things you think are essential to a great online community challenge?

  1. Make it easy to participate. Make the instructions really simple, and obvious so that there’s no guesswork.
  2. Play along too. There’s no use creating something and then not participating yourself. Get in and be part of the challenge too.
  3. Make it fun! It’s boring when people or brands ask people to reshare their photos in order to win something. That adds no value to the followers, and only really benefits the brand/person running the challenge. Make it fun for your followers to participate. It’s great for them to get creative.

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On August 4th Chantelle will be hosting an Instagram workshop on the Gold Coast, with her girlfriend, Rebel. They’ll be teaching everything they’ve learned as bloggers, eager Instagrammers, and as Social Media Editors. Chantelle will be sharing how she built her Instagram following to 100,000 lovely people, and how to use hashtags to grow communities and support your challenges.

For more info, go here

Do you participate in challenges? Have you thought of running one of your own?

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

The sun is shining in Melbourne, and productivity/spirits/motivation is high. I hope you’re feeling the same wherever you are, and you kick some pro blogging goals this week!

Facebook Now Lets Broadcasters Restrict Their Live Audiences By Age, Location, Gender | Marketing Land

Specific targeting can only be a good thing – particularly if you want views over reach.

4 Ways to Engage Your Followers on Snapchat | Entrepreneur

They’re there (I assume!) so you may as well try and make it a two-way Snapchat street.

How I Turned a $ 15 Article into a 7-Figure Income | Inc

For when you go viral and need to take advantage!

10 Things You Should Do Right Now to Improve SEO on Your Blog | Jeff Bullas

In this land of epic Pinterest traffic and eleventy billion people on Facebook, I am still surprised to find organic search is the highest driver of traffic to my blog. So instead of spending time on social, where it’s probably not worth my investment, I’m on the quest to make my site the most SEO-friendly it can be – it can’t hurt!

10 Snapchat Hacks to Make Your Snaps Stand Out | Social Media Examiner

I got so lost halfway through (emoji gradient filters?) but these seem pretty decent.

A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing: Get the Playbook that Drives Results for Instagram’s Top Profiles | Buffer

Step one: See how the pros do it. Step two: Apply to your experience. Step three: Enjoy!

Why Personal Brands are Better Than Corporate for Social Media | Forbes

So chill, big companies.

How to Choose a Domain Name | Moz

For all y’all who are contemplating starting a blog, step off on the right foot! I’ve written about it here, and Darren has podcasted about it here, but get the Wizard of Moz’s expert tips on top.

How to Write with Power and Authority, Even if you Feel Like a Nobody | Copyblogger

I hear this all the time – “I’m not a professional writer”, etc etc. Impostor syndrome is high. People think they’re not good enough. But the funny thing is, usually they are, they just don’t feel it. These tips will help.

How to Handle Different Types of Comments on Social Media | Social Media Today

I love this so much – often we make the wrong reply because we just don’t know what to say. Here are a few guidelines that should navigate you through what can often be contentious waters.

So what caught your eye this week?

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Still shaking my head over that WordPress tip I HAD NO IDEA EXISTED. This changes everything – and means my workload is lighter. AWESOME.

Have a great week!

How to Discover Your Customer’s Favourite Social Media Platforms | Copyblogger

We say be where your audience is, and these are some great tips to help you figure it out – even for bloggers who don’t have “customers”, necessarily.

Managing the Tensions and Tradeoffs Between UX & SEO | Moz

I’ve seen so much debate over the years on how to fully SEO your site without sounding like you wrote your blog for a keyword-hungry computer. We all want amazing SEO and the best user experience, readability, and general human flow. Google has made it easier over the years and it doesn’t always have to be one or the other.

How 3 Publishers Plan to Use Snapchat Memories to Improve the Quality and Shelf Life of Their Output | NiemanLab

If you’re still confused about how Snapchat can be useful to you, check out how the pros are using it – especially the new “memories” feature.

5 Startups that are Killing it on Social Media | Entrepreneur

If you need a little inspiration in the social media department (who doesn’t – I feel like I’ve seen/tried/done it all, what’s new?!). Get a peek at what these brand new business are doing.

How to Discover Whether Your Audience is Bored with Your Content | Quicksprout

Unless you’re lucky enough to have someone unsubscribe with the comment “this blog is just so BORING” like I did, you may never actually know you’ve sailed past the point of interest for your readers! Have a quick glance through – do any of these apply?

95 Awesome Social Media Facts You Should Not Ignore | Jeff Bullas

This is huge – take a drink and a notepad!

How I got 20K Views in my Second Month of Blogging | Simply Every

The stuff of dreams for newbie bloggers! Love the visual breakdown here.

10 Awesome WordPress Features You Probably Didn’t Know Existed | wpbeginner

NUMBER THREE!!! I just did it and it felt so good. Gamechanger!!

Find Your Voice, Your Words, Your Story! | Christian J. Farber

Sometimes we just need to be told again, that we can do anything. Anyone can.

How to Repurpose Your Blog Content [infographic] | Smart Passive Income

For the visual learners! Pat also has a longer, more in-depth blog post on the topic if you need extra help.

23 Ways to Create Consistent Content Among 101 Other Priorities | Blogger Sidekick

None of us blog in a vacuum – we’ve all got other lives to lead and things to do. These tips are super helpful.

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PB134: How to Decide if You Should Start on a New Social Network or Medium

How to Decide if a New Social Network or Medium is Right for You

Today I’m going to help you decide if you should start on that new social network or that new medium like a podcast or a YouTube channel.

As bloggers, we are constantly bombarded with choice as to how we can spend our time. There is an unlimited amount of things we could be doing to support our blogs, but not all of them are right for us.

ProBlogger_134

I am going to go through some areas where we can ask questions to determine where we really should focus our energy.

Today, I received an email from a reader who was wondering if they should get on facebook live. It’s an emerging medium that many bloggers have been experimenting with.

This is a very common email that I get. People are wondering if they should get on different social networks or take advantage of new mediums.

In Today’s Episode Is It Right for My Audience, My Content and for Me?

My Audience?

Note: Listen to todays episode on iTunes here

  • Is my audience there? Obvious example – LinkedIn is a great place if you’re wanting to reach a more business focused niche. (survey to find out)
    • Not just where do they have accounts but also:
      • where are they most active
      • what are they using it for? (catching up with friends, research, sharing links etc)
      • How long do they stay there?
      • People’s intent and habits are important and will inform how you should use it but also if it’s right for you.
        • For example – we noticed a lot of our readers use FB to share photos – so we started a FB group purely for photo sharing.
        • If your readers are on a network more for personal reasons it could be a signal that it’s not a great place to sell. Rather – take a more conversational tone.
        • If your readers are there to search for info – treating it as a Search Engine – then it might be a good place to be posting reviews, news, how to content.
    • Are others in my niche using it?
      • If so – how and with what results?
      • If not – is there a reason (which might signal that it’s a place to avoid) or an opportunity?
      • How much work does it take them?
      • Do they use systems/automation?
      • Are they around the clock or just certain hours?
      • Are there certain techniques that they use that get results or that don’t?
      • If you can ask someone that’s probably best – but you can learn a lot by observing what they do. Follow the biggest in your niche and see what they’re doing. What is working that you could emulate but what isn’t being done that you could try?
  • Is the network/medium trending up or down? Is it a good time to position yourself for a mainstream audience.

My Content?

    • Does it suit my topic?
      • eg in the photography space we need to engage in networks and mediums that are visual. Blogging, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, FB, G+ in its day, Twitter etc – but to this point I’ve avoided podcasting as it doesn’t seem as natural a fit (although there are successful photography ones that talk gear or video ones that do well that talk technique).
      • Eg ProBlogger we’re talking more about concepts, ideas, techniques that don’t require visuals, so podcasting suits more for some – although there are some things that are easier to show with a screenflow video, a webinar etc.
  • Does it suit the the style/voice of content I produce?
    • Eg – I teach people – which lends itself to some networks and mediums better than others. I think it’s a good fit for podcasting.
    • Eg – dPS is very visual so we’ve invested more time into Instagram. It also lends itself to longer form content as we produce a lot of tutorials which is why our blog is the main thing we do.
  • Can I repurpose the content I create on the new network/medium in some way to make the investment of time I put into it doubly valuable?
    • Eg – video you create on FB Live could end up on Youtube or you could pull the audio from it to put into your podcast or you could transcribe it and then embed it to your blog….
  • Am I creating content somewhere else that I could repurpose for this new thing?
    • Eg – could I use articles I’ve previously written as the basis for a slideshare or for a podcast or for a video?

For Me?

  • Does it suit my style of presenting? Do I naturally enjoy it? Am I good at it? Do you feel energized by doing it?
  • Does it fit with my current goals? (what is the priority for you right now. Finding new audience? Building Community? Developing a product? Pivoting topic? Some networks will help you do these things more effectively than others.
    • Eg – if you’re just starting a blog you probably are in a phase where you need more eyeballs so it might make sense to engage in some of the new networks where there is less competition from the big players and where you can really stand out. For example, I saw a lot of people really establish themselves by being early adopters on Periscope and SnapChat.
    • Others who might be more established might need to really buckle down and focus more energy on building engagement with the readers that they have. So it might make sense to put all your efforts into other activities like creating a product, membership area, newsletter etc rather than to start on a new network.
  • Can you leverage the new thing to build your home base? Ultimately, the sustainability of your business hinges not on what you do in the short term on the social networks you’re on, but on whether you can hook people into a long term relationship. For me, that’s about getting people onto our email list. Some networks and mediums are easier to do this from than others. I’ve personally had less success doing this from Instagram than I have from the Podcast for example.
    • Do I have time/energy for the new thing?
      • If no – would I outsource or automate it (either the new thing or something else to free up time)?
        • If it doesn’t take your personal interaction for it to be successful you could train someone to help you run it – you may not even need to be involved at all or could minimize the work.
          • Podcast editing.
          • I know of numerous bloggers whose Instagram accounts are not even touched by them.
          • Using a tool like Meet Edgar I run one of my FB pages and supplement my Twitter account.
  • What would I have to stop doing to start it?
  • Can I afford to play there?
      • Some networks (the more established ones particularly) are in a stage in their own life stage where you need to pay to reach the audience (increasingly) while other networks are younger and organic reach is still very possible.
  • How many other new things am I starting?
    • Some bloggers have a habit of going all in on every new thing that comes along and do so at the expense of what they’re already doing. This means they end up feeling overstretched and don’t stick at things long enough to become established.
    • It takes time and focus to build up a library of content on a new network, to learn how to use it, to establish credibility there.
    • You don’t have to do everything – probably a lot better to be active and doing an amazing job on one social network as long as it’s the right one and you’re achieving your goals than to be on every network.
    • Similarly it’s probably better to be on one medium (blog, podcast) than to try to do everything.
    • I typically try to have only one new thing on the go at a time.

A Few Last Thoughts

  • Keep in balance what you’re currently doing that is working and starting new things.
    • If something is working well now – work that thing as hard as you can and for as long as you can until it doesn’t work any more.
  • Don’t always be looking toward the ‘new’ and ‘emerging’ trends at the expense of the old things that actually work. For example – SEO, email, Facebook – these things are mainstream and they work. If you ignore them in order just to play on SnapChat, Instagram and to blog on Medium you might be missing out.
  • Having said that you can become stale if you ignore the new and stubbornly hold on too long to something that is trending down and has no future. I remember way back when I started a couple of bloggers who resisted getting onto Facebook because MySpace had been so good to them… I’m not sure what they’re doing these days! `
  • If you do want to try a new thing treat it as an experiment. Allocate a percentage of your time to experiment. Put boundaries around it. Give yourself a deadline. A good way to do this is to create a season of a podcast. Do a series of Youtube/FB Live clips. Start a FB Group for a purpose for a particular time (FB: feelgooder 3 months).

Lastly – Most of the really successful people I know focus on a small number of things and work hard on those rather than spreading themselves too thin.

Yes some big players seem to be doing everything…. but many times they have teams helping them produce their content, they’re freaks who have more energy than most of us, or they do it for a short time and then burn out.

  • Find out where your readers are
  • Experiment where you think you can add most value and where you can play to your strengths Invest significant time into the places where you’re seeing results!

Further Resources on Is It Right for My Audience, My Content and for Me?



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Hey there, it’s Darren Rowse here from ProBlogger and I’d like to welcome you to Episode 134 of the ProBlogger podcast. Today, I want to help you to decide whether you should be starting on that new social network that everyone else seems to be on at the moment or whether you should start that medium, would it be a podcast or a YouTube channel or something else that you’ve been wondering about lately. As bloggers, we’re constantly bombarded with choice as to how we can spend our time. There really is an unlimited amount of things that we could be doing to promote our blog and to support the business that we’re building but not all of those things are right for everyone of us.

Today, I want to go through some areas that we can ask questions in to help us determine where is the best place to really focus our energies. You can find today’s show notes where I will have some further reading for you at problogger.com/podcast/134. Today’s podcast is brought to you by the ProBlogger Plus Newsletter. If you should go over to problogger.net/ideas, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we’ll send you all our latest tips and tutorials, podcast episodes, and everything else that’s going on at ProBlogger.

If you do so end up there at problogger.net/ideas, we’ll give you six months of content ideas. Every month for the next six months, we’ll send you a little email with 30 different ideas, 180 ideas in total over six months which will give you some ideas for blog posts that you can be writing on your blog. Again, that is at problogger.net/ideas.

This morning, I got an email, a very common email from a reader over at ProBlogger. It was from a blogger who was wondering whether they should jump onto Facebook Live. Everyone’s been talking about Facebook Live, it’s an emerging medium that many bloggers have been experimenting with lately. I’m seeing a lot more of it in my Facebook feed and this blogger noticed the same thing, they noticed other people in their niche particularly getting into it and wondered whether they should too. In the email, there was some tension. If I get onto that, what should I give up to be able to do it?

This is a very common email that I get not just about Facebook Live but about podcasting, should I start a podcast about YouTube? Should I start a YouTube channel? Should I get on Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram? Should I be blogging? All these social networks and different mediums that are at our fingertips as opportunities but also potentially as distractions from what it is that we’re trying to build. These questions come in thick and fast over at ProBlogger via email and in the comments that we get.

Today, I wanted to really delve into how do you make that decision about where you should be spending your time. As I said in the introduction, these are opportunities, these are incredible opportunities. Jumping to the right social network just at the right time, and it could be the difference between your blog having amazing success and failing. These things can also be incredible distractions so how do you make that decision?

Today, I want to get you to consider three different areas that you might want to ponder to make that decision. You really need to choose the right one that is right for your audience, for your content, and for you. Over the next 15 or so minutes, I really want to delve into each of those three things—your audience, your content, and you, and put some questions to you that you can ask to help you to work out whether that new social network is the right one for you. Is it the right one for your audience? Is it the right one for your content? And is it the right one for you?

I’m going to go through a whole heap of different questions here and they will all be summarized over in the show notes at problogger.com/podcast/134. You can get the full transcript over there as well, so let’s dig into those.

The first one is your audience. Is that new social network or that new medium that you are thinking about doing right for your audience? There’s some pretty obvious examples that have been given many times before, perhaps one of the most common ones is LinkedIn. Should you be jumping into LinkedIn? Should you start a blog and be producing content on LinkedIn? The obvious answer is that if your audience is a business focused audience, then perhaps LinkedIn is a good place for you to be engaging. Same can be said for different social networks.

Traditionally, Pinterest is seen as a great place to engage if you have lots of visual content and if your audience is women although I do know some big blogs that do very well that are focused on men over on Pinterest as well. That’s something you really need to do, some research. Your audience on these social networks, are they using the mediums that you’re considering using as well?

Here, you really need to dig a little bit deeper than just do they have an account in these places. That’s not what I’m really asking here. A lot of people have a Twitter account but do they use their Twitter account? Why are they using it? What I encourage you to ponder here is where do they have accounts but also where are they most active?

One of the questions that we ask in the surveys that we do is where do you have an account? We get all our readers to tell us all the difficult social media accounts that they are signed up for. Then, we ask them to tell us how often they use each of them. Are you using them daily? Are you using them weekly? Are you using them monthly, or do you never use them? That really gives you a lot more information about how active the people are there. How active are they on those networks, how long do they stay per session? You may need to dig in and do a little bit of research on that but there are a lot of studies that have been done into the session times that people typically have on different social networks.

I remember talking to one of the founders of the live streaming service Blab and they found that people when they go onto Blab were spending hours there, typically. Whereas people on Twitter sort of dip in and out and have fairly short shot burst of activity there, Facebook might be a little bit longer. How long are they staying there? That will reveal to you a whole heap about that social network. What are they doing there? What is their intent on that social network?

These are all things that you can do by surveying your readers and talking to your readers. Where are you active, what are you using these networks for? I think particularly it’s really interesting to see what they’re using it for. Are they on that social network to catch up with friends, are they there doing research for gathering of information? Are they there sharing what they’re doing, sharing the links? These things present different opportunities for us. People’s intents, their habits, how long they’re staying on these social networks will help us to work out whether it’s a place that we should be investing time.

I’ll give you a quick example. Over at Digital Photography School, we did a bit of a survey of our readers and asked them where are they spending time. We found that Facebook is one of the places that a lot of our readers do spend a lot of time. When we asked them what they did in those places and what they did in Facebook in particular, we found that the lot of Digital Photography School readers were sharing their photos on Facebook.

One of the things that we’ve been experimenting with over the last little while is a Facebook group that is purely there for the purpose of sharing photos. People can join it and they can share a photo just for the sake of sharing it or they can share with the question of can you critique my photo and then the community will critique their photo. We found that group has really worked very well but we would never have started that group unless we found out why people were on the network and what their habits were there, what were they doing there. That group doesn’t appeal to all of our readers, not all of our readers like to share photos but there’s been a segment of our readers that has been there.

Why are your readers on that social network? Are they there purely for personal reasons, maybe they’re there just to catch up with their friends. That presents a bit of a challenge and that may actually be a bit of a red flag that maybe you don’t want to get onto that network to sell, maybe you do want to get to that network to be conversational and to build community and to build engagement because people are there to engage with their friends and to find community. If your readers are there searching for information, are they there to research?

A lot of people go onto Pinterest to research and to get ideas. That maybe a really good place particularly for bloggers who have reviews of products or how to content because people are there with the intent of learning something or gathering information.

Do some analysis, where are your readers hanging out, how long are they hanging out in those places, what are they doing in those places, what’s their intent when they’re on those places. That will give you some hints as to whether it’s a fruitful place for you and whether it might fit with what your intentions are as well.

Another question you might want to ask kind of taps into where your audience is. Are the people in your niche using that social network or that medium? You want to be a little bit careful here because the answer yes could reveal a couple of things. It could actually reveal that it’s a good place or it could actually reveal that it’s too crowded as a place as well. Do some analysis. Are other people in your niche, are the bloggers, are the forums, are the influencers in your niche using that medium or that social network? If they are, how are they using it? What sort of results are they getting there? If they’re not there, is there a reason for that?

There may be no one else in your niche on this social network and that might present an opportunity for you but it also maybe a bit of a red flag as well because it hasn’t worked there for other people. You might want to look at inactive accounts there as well. Have there been people there and given up? How much work does it take the other people that are there? What types of things are they doing there? Are they using automation, do they have a very personal kind of account in those places? How often are they using it? What’s the frequency of the content that they’re producing and the updates that they’re doing?

Look at the different types of posts they might be doing and the different types of content that they’re producing and how well they have gained traction with those that are engaging with them there. It’s probably best if you can find someone else in your niche that’s willing to talk about it, and a lot of other bloggers in your niche will be willing to share their experience, it’s very collaborative in a lot of niches. But, you may just need to do some analysis and follow some of the big accounts that are relevant to your particular niche and just watch what they’re doing there, what traction they’re getting. You can learn a lot simply by following people and watching to see what they would do.

Again, you want to be a bit careful about just emulating what other people do or copying what they do and you also want to be looking for opportunities of things that people aren’t doing as well. That may present some opportunities to differentiate yourself by trying some new things there.

The last question I’d get you to ask in regards to your audience is is the network or is the medium trending up or is it trending down? At the moment, we’re seeing moments like Snapchat continuing to trend up. We’re seeing other networks like Twitter sort of plateauing and some people might even say it’s trending down at the moment. We’re seeing tools like mediums still seeming to grow. We’re seeing YouTube I think still presenting real opportunities as well so you might want to do some analysis there. We’re seeing other networks like Google Plus kind of fade away.

You want to really think about how big is the network and the overall size of it is another factor I guess to consider, but is it something that’s going to go away? You really don’t want to be investing your time into a network that has already passed its heyday. Ideally, you want to position yourself into a network that is about to really go mainstream. Bloggers that jumped onto Snapchat a year or so ago now really were positioning themselves for a tsunami of good things to happen for them as well there. All those questions are really about your audience; where are they, what are they doing in those places, that’s some really good questions to ask.

That’s not enough, don’t just ask those questions. The next area that I want to really dig into now is your content. Is the new medium, is the new network right for the content that you’re producing? The first question I want to put to you here is does it suit your topic? Does the new network, does the medium suit your topic?

Again, let me give you an example from my own situation, my photography blog, Digital Photography School. It’s obviously a very visual blog, we’re talking about photography, we’re talking about images. We’ve learned the hard way over the years that any kind of medium, any kind of network that has a visual component is much more suitable for us. Blogging itself, we can have images in our blog post. YouTube is one that can be potentially big for us, we’ve chosen to this point not to have a YouTube account but it’s one that we really wrestled with over the years and we’d like to do at some point because it’s a great place to illustrate particularly how to process photos. There’s been a lot of YouTube accounts that have done particularly well in that space.

Instagram obviously is another interesting space for us and one that we’ve been investing a bit more time into recently. It’s very visual, there’s some challenges there that I’ll talk about in a moment. Pinterest is one that we’ve had some success with over the years, Facebook we’ve had a lot of success with. The fact that you can share images there alone or that you can put images into the content you’re producing there is really great.

Google Plus in its heyday was really good for us as well because there was lots of big, beautiful images. Twitter has been okay for us as well because you can use images. Those types of mediums where you can have mediums really suit the topic of our content as opposed to podcasting. We have talked as a team about podcasting as a network but one of the reasons I decided not to go down the path—at least in the short term—is that it doesn’t really lend itself to visual content very well unless you want to do video which is a whole other beast. Whilst there has been some success for photography podcasts, a lot of them talk more of idea rather than techniques and teaching people how to take better photos which is something that we’re more into. That’s been something that we’ve resisted for a while.

ProBlogger on the other hand, a podcast works quite well for ProBlogger because it talking a lot of ideas. You don’t need to see the things that I’m talking about to get value out of doing it, at least I hope not anyway.

Does the topic suit the medium? Does it suit the network that you’re considering? Also, does the style or the voice of the content that you’re producing suit that network or medium as well? I teach people, both of my blogs are all about teaching. We want to work in networks where people have the intent of learning but also that suit teaching as well. For ProBlogger, I think podcasting is a good tool for us to be using as is blogging itself because people really can learn by listening and by reading. That suits the style of what I’m doing.

Again, Digital Photography School being more visual, we’ve invested more time into some of those visual forms as well. Also, I guess on Digital Photography School, it’s very much about teaching people and it’s about taking people through step by step content. The blog itself as a medium has worked very well for us there as well.

Another questions that you might want to ponder when it comes to the content and whether it suits the network that you’re considering is about repurposing. Sometimes, you can start something new and then use the content that you produce in that new thing in other places. That’s a really great investment of time.

For example, Facebook Live. If you invest time in Facebook Live, you can then take the video that you shot for Facebook Live and use it in other places. You could embed that video into a blog post, you could take that audio from that video and use snippets of that in a podcast. You could get the video that you produced transcribed and use that as a blog post as well. You could take the points that you are making in the video that you do and get them put into a Slide Share so it creates some slides about the things that you’re doing. There’s opportunities there to use that content in the new thing in other places. That is a great investment of time. I would be considering that.

The other thing that you could consider as the flip side, could you use content that you’ve already produced somewhere else and then repurpose it into the new thing that you’re doing? If you don’t have a Facebook page yet, I know most bloggers do already but for instance if you didn’t, you probably as a blogger already have a whole heap of stuff that you could be sharing on that Facebook page. You don’t have to come up with completely new stuff all the time, it may actually be a really simple way to getting to Facebook.

Another good example of that is this podcast. There’s been a number of episodes of this podcast that  have been based upon blog posts that I wrote for four, five, six years ago that I then updated and put into the form of a podcast. Repurposing is something that I would be considering with the new mediums and networks that you might be engaging as well.

The last area that I would encourage you to think about when you’re considering a new medium or a new network is is it right for you? We’ve talked about is it right for your audience, is it right for your content, but is it right for you?

The first question to ponder with regards to is it right for you is does it suit your style of presenting? You’re only really going to know that by giving it a go. For me, again, to use this podcast as an example, I thought podcasting would be something that I would enjoy and that I would be reasonably okay at because I’ve had some experience in public speaking before. I didn’t really know that until I started it. I knew pretty quickly that it would be something that I would enjoy and that did suit my presenting and that gave me energy. I think it’s really important to choose to engage in spaces that give you energy and that you feel good about because that will come through in the content that you produced there and the energy that you bring to those places.

There have been a few times where I thought it would be really great to get into this new social network, Snapchat for me was one where I thought there was potential there. My audience is there, some of my audience are there. It does suit some of the content that we produce, particularly on Digital Photography School but you know what? I don’t really enjoy it. It’s been something that I’ve delved in but I’ve never really thrown myself fully into it because I don’t think it really suits me as such. It doesn’t fit the current time availability that I have as well.

Does it suit your style of presenting is the first question. The second one is does it fit with your current goals? Your blog, your business is going to go through different stages of a life cycle. The different stages of that life cycle, you will need to do different things to help to build your business. What is the big priority for you right now in your business? Is it finding a new audience? Is it building community? Is it monetization? Should you be spending your time developing a product? Should you be doing any of these particular types of things?

They will each mean that you should be focusing your energy on different types of things and different social networks will each have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the stage that you’re in. Let me give you an example. If you are just starting a blog right now, maybe two weeks ago you started a blog. You probably need a phase where you need to invest a whole heap of time into creating content for your blog, that’s one of the things that you should really be focusing on right now. You may need to do that at the expense of some of the other opportunities that are around you right now because you need to build up an asset, a library, an archive of good, solid content.

The other thing that you need to be doing in the early days of your blog is finding new readers. It may make some sense for you to start engaging into the newer emerging forms of social media where there’s perhaps a little bit less competition where you can establish yourself as the go-to person in your particular niche. It may make sense for you to jump onto Snapchat because you need to get more eyeballs and that’s a place where there’s a lot of people at the moment and there’s perhaps less competition than a place like Facebook.

You really need to ask yourself, what’s the priority for my business right now? I did a podcast a year ago probably now about Michael Hyatt deciding to get off Periscope. One of the things that I said about him getting off Periscope that I thought was a good thing is that he doesn’t need a whole heap of new readers for his blog right now, he’s already got a big list that he needs to focus more attention on building a product and monetizing it and building community with the readers he’s already got. There are other networks that are already working for him that he probably just needs to spend more time focusing upon because he doesn’t need those new readers. I thought Periscope at the time was particularly good for finding new readers.

What are your current goals? Do the new things that you’re considering lend themselves to those goals? There are times where we just need to buckle down and work on what is working for us already rather than establishing new things. There are other times when new things are perhaps more suited to our goals. Does it fit with your current goals?

Another question to ask is can you leverage the new thing to build your home base? Can you leverage that new thing? Can you leverage Snapchat? Is it going to help you to actually build your business and can you leverage it to get people onto your email list or over to your blog. Some social networks it’s easy to leverage them than others. Some of the social networks are very hard to get people away from the network itself because they’re such engaging places people just spend the whole time on there. A use of that social network may not ever visit your blog, they may not ever sign up to your email newsletter. Once you may be able to engage them in that space, I hope you’re able to get them to your home base.

Ultimately, the sustainability of your business hinges not on what you do in the short term on that social network but on whether you can hook people into a long term relationship with you. There’s new emerging social networks and they may come and go. A lot of them won’t be here in two or three years. What’s going to happen? Are you going to start a relationship that will continue beyond the life of that social network?

Really, one of the things I’m asking myself is is the investment at this time going to help to build my business in ten years or is it just gonna create a whole heap of buzz in the short term? Can I leverage those people or hook them into my email list? For me, my email list is number one. If I can’t get people onto my email list from the new social network, then I’m going to really strongly consider whether it’s worth my time doing it. Can I get them to visit my blog? Can I get them to buy my products? These are things that are not the most important but are important if I want to build a sustainable business.

Is it just going to be fun? If it’s just going to be fun, I’m not sure that it’s going to be something that’s going to help to build my business.

Another question to ask when it comes to you, do you have the time and the energy for a new thing? If the answer is yes, I’ve got a whole heap of time on my hands, go for it. That’s totally fine, experiment with the new things. If the answer is no, you even need to do one of two things. One, resist the temptation to do it or two, ask yourself, could I outsource or automate this new thing, or something else in what I’m doing to free up some time.

You don’t have to personally engage in all the social networks that you jump onto, some of them can be automated. I know for a fact a number of bloggers who do very, very well out of Instagram by using automation but also using outsourcing and getting assistance to create the posts that they do Instagram.

Podcasting, another good example. I cannot automate podcasting but I can outsource the editing of my podcast. That is one way that I can free up some time for myself.

Do you have the time, the energy? If the answer is no, is there potential to automate or to outsource some part of it or all of it? There are some great tools around that will help you to do that. I’ve talked about Mit Edga who used to help run our Twitter accounts. There are some personal interaction that we do on our Twitter account but some of it is automated as well and that frees up time for some of the new things as well.

Alongside this question of do you have time or energy for the new thing, you should be asking what would you have to stop doing to start the new thing? Sometimes, this is the crux of the matter for me. If I’m going to get into Snapchat, what do I have to give up to be able to do that? I probably have to give up my podcast or blog or Facebook and am I willing to give up something that’s already working to start something new. Sometimes, the answer is yes and sometimes the answer is no.

Another question to ask when it comes to you is can you afford to play in that space? Can you afford to play in it? Some social networks, particularly the more established ones like Facebook are in a stage in their kind of own life stage where they’re charging people to play. Most bloggers now know that their Facebook pages are getting less organic reach and less effective organically than they used to and to engage in that space, you do need to start to consider at least paying. Same is happening now on Instagram, but some of the new social networks are still anything goes almost. There’s much more opportunity for organic use of those. That’s another thing to factor in, is it getting to a stage in the life cycle of that particular network where you do need to pay to play? If so, can you afford to do that? Are you willing to do that?

The last question I’d get you to ask when it comes to you is how many other new things are you starting right now or have you started in the last little while? Some bloggers I know have a habit of going all in on every single new thing that comes along. They do so at the expense of the things that they’re already doing and they get to the point where this week they’re all in on Periscope, next week they’re all in on Snapchat, next week they’ll be all in on Facebook Live. They don’t really stick to anything for too long and this means that they can end up either feeling overstretched by trying to do too many things or they don’t stick at things long enough to become established in those new things that they’re doing.

It takes time and focus to build up a library of content on any new medium or social network. It takes time and focus to learn how to use that social network and to experiment with different types of content on it. It takes time and focus to establish credibility and to get traction in the new things as well. Ask yourself the question, are you starting lots of things at once? If so, you may need to pull back. If you have started lots of things in the last six months, maybe your readers are starting to push back on that as well, they don’t know where to find you anymore for example.

You don’t have to do everything. It’s probably a lot better to be active and doing an amazing job on one social network as long as it’s the right one and you’re achieving your goals there than to be on every one. Similarly, it’s probably better to have one main medium like your blog or podcast or your YouTube account, whatever it might be, than to be doing them all. Sometimes, I think there’s a big argument for having focus. I typically only try to have only one new thing on the go at any time. I find myself too distracted if I’m doing too many new things at once.

A few last thoughts for you that hopefully you’ve already heard some of these things but I kind of think are really important. The first thing is keep in balance what you’re currently doing that is working and starting new things. Something is already working really well for you, you need to continue to invest a lot of time into that. Work at that thing as hard as you can for as long as it continues to work.

If you’re already getting amazing traction from Facebook, then just keep investing into Facebook. You can still try some new things but that’s where your primary focus should be. If the blog itself is already bringing in lots of traffic from Google, then maybe that’s enough for you right now. You need to focus on just serving that audience while that is working.

Secondly, don’t always be looking for the new and emerging trends at the expense of the old things that are actually working. For example, Facebook, email, SEO, these things are old. SEO, search engine traffic, that’s so old. The reality is that most bloggers get most of their traffic from search engines, so maybe it would be much better use of your time to be optimizing your blog content for search engines and increasing the rankings than going to play on Snapchat. Maybe you should be investing your time in converting some of that search engine traffic into email subscribers. Maybe that’s where you should be spending your time creating opt-ins.

Maybe you should be spending more of your time building order responders to serve the people who sign up to you in newsletters, maybe that’s a better use of your time than the new cool thing that’s just out that everyone’s raving about. Maybe focusing upon the old stuff that actually works is a better use of your time than getting onto the new things.

There’s got to be some balance here. I think if there can also be an argument that some bloggers ignore the new things and stubbornly hold onto the old things that don’t work anymore, I remember back in the day talking to a blogger who said I’m not getting onto Facebook because Myspace is still working for me. I haven’t heard from that blogger for many years. Maybe they still have their Myspace account, I don’t really know. You’ve got to hold a bit of tension there. Sometimes, you got to pay attention to the new things but don’t do it at the expense of what’s already working that might be a little less cool but still works for you.

I guess for me, I’m always looking for the new thing but I’m focusing most of my time on the thing that’s already working. If you do want to try a new thing, treat it as an experiment. Allocate a small percentage of your time to the experiment, put some boundaries around that new thing. Give yourself a deadline perhaps.

For example when I started the ProBlogger podcast, some of you will remember when I started it. I think it was June, July of 2015. I announced that I was going to do 31 podcasts, a series. 31 shows, that was all going to be over a month. I was pretty clear upfront that I didn’t know whether I would continue after that 31 days, it was a test, an experiment—it was a lot of work to get those 31 posts up but I knew that I had an out if it didn’t work, if I didn’t find it energized me, if it didn’t connect with my audience, if i didn’t get some signs that I was getting some traction. You might want to announce to people that I’m going to do this new thing for a season and then see what I can learn.

Similarly, I started a Facebook group last year, it was the FeelGood Facebook group. It was about health and well being and I said I was going to do it for three months. I decided at the end of those three months that I didn’t really want to do that anymore. Because I’ve been upfront with the people that joined that group that it was for a season, I didn’t get any push back on that. Sometimes, setting yourself a deadline to do an experiment is a good thing as long as you get those expectations right with people who may join in on that thing.

Last thought for you. As I think about it, most of the really successful people I know in blogging and podcasting, most of them focus on a small number of things and they work hard on those things rather than spreading themselves too thin. As I’m saying that, I can think of a few people who are big players, who seem to be doing everything. They’re on video on Snapchat, they’re on YouTube, Facebook, doing all of those things.

Those people like Gary Vaynerchuk for example, he has an insane amount of energy—he has much more energy than me. He can sustain doing a lot of things but he also has a team behind him. He has someone helping him to produce some of the videos that he’s creating. Whilst he does do a lot of it himself which is amazing, a lot of these people who seem to be everywhere have teams of people behind them. A lot of them are repurposing content from one place to another as well.

I would really encourage you to focus and to bring some focus to what you’re doing. Find out where your readers are, experiment in those places, find out where you can add most value, where you can play to your strengths. And then invest significant time into the places where you are seeing results and don’t do it at the expense of things that are already working for you.

I really hope that something in what I shared today has been helpful for you in making decisions about where you should be spending your time and energy. I would love to get your feedback on this one, I’ve put a lot of thought and time into preparing this particular episode. I’d like to know whether it hit the mark for you. You can head over to the ProBlogger show notes, problogger.com/podcast/134 where I’d love to get a comment from you. Just let me know if it’s hit the mark for you, if you’d add something else to it.

Let me know where you are focusing your time at the moment as a result of thinking about these types of things. I’d love to hear where you’re getting traction as well in the different networks and mediums that you are engaging with.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to the ProBlogger Plus Newsletter. It comes out every Tuesday, Wednesday depending on where you are in the world and it’s just a really quick summary of all of the new content that we’ve published on the ProBlogger Blog from our subject matter experts that we have in the different fields that we’ve focused upon and any new episodes that have come up on the ProBlogger podcast—we publish two of those every week. It’s a great way to get that information.

If you head over to problogger.net/ideas you can sign up and you’ll also get six months of free content ideas for your blog. We’ll send out a monthly PDF with 30 ideas every month that will stimulate some blog posts that you want to write on your particular blog. Again, that’s at problogger.net/ideas.

If you would review the ProBlogger podcast on iTunes or whatever podcast network you are listening to us on, head over to the iTunes Store and search ProBlogger, we’d love you to subscribe there. But also if you could give us a rating and a review, that would be fantastic. I do see every single one that comes in and read them all and get a lot of value out of that in shaping future podcasts as well.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll chat with you in the next episode of the ProBlogger podcast.

How did you go with today’s episode?

I would love your feedback on this. I put a lot of time and effort into preparing this episode. Let me know if it hit the mark for you, or if you would like to add some other content.

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134: How to Decide if You Should Start on a New Social Network or Medium

How to Decide if a New Social Network or Medium is Right for You

Today I’m going to help you decide if you should start on that new social network or that new medium like a podcast or a YouTube channel.

As bloggers, we are constantly bombarded with choice as to how we can spend our time. There is an unlimited amount of things we could be doing to support our blogs, but not all of them are right for us.

ProBlogger_134

I am going to go through some areas where we can ask questions to determine where we really should focus our energy.

Today, I received an email from a reader who was wondering if they should get on facebook live. It’s an emerging medium that many bloggers have been experimenting with.

This is a very common email that I get. People are wondering if they should get on different social networks or take advantage of new mediums.

In Today’s Episode Is It Right for My Audience, My Content and for Me?

My Audience?

  • Is my audience there? Obvious example – LinkedIn is a great place if you’re wanting to reach a more business focused niche. (survey to find out)
    • Not just where do they have accounts but also:
      • where are they most active
      • what are they using it for? (catching up with friends, research, sharing links etc)
      • How long do they stay there?
      • People’s intent and habits are important and will inform how you should use it but also if it’s right for you.
        • For example – we noticed a lot of our readers use FB to share photos – so we started a FB group purely for photo sharing.
        • If your readers are on a network more for personal reasons it could be a signal that it’s not a great place to sell. Rather – take a more conversational tone.
        • If your readers are there to search for info – treating it as a Search Engine – then it might be a good place to be posting reviews, news, how to content.
    • Are others in my niche using it?
      • If so – how and with what results?
      • If not – is there a reason (which might signal that it’s a place to avoid) or an opportunity?
      • How much work does it take them?
      • Do they use systems/automation?
      • Are they around the clock or just certain hours?
      • Are there certain techniques that they use that get results or that don’t?
      • If you can ask someone that’s probably best – but you can learn a lot by observing what they do. Follow the biggest in your niche and see what they’re doing. What is working that you could emulate but what isn’t being done that you could try?
  • Is the network/medium trending up or down? Is it a good time to position yourself for a mainstream audience.

My Content?

    • Does it suit my topic?
      • eg in the photography space we need to engage in networks and mediums that are visual. Blogging, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, FB, G+ in its day, Twitter etc – but to this point I’ve avoided podcasting as it doesn’t seem as natural a fit (although there are successful photography ones that talk gear or video ones that do well that talk technique).
      • Eg ProBlogger we’re talking more about concepts, ideas, techniques that don’t require visuals, so podcasting suits more for some – although there are some things that are easier to show with a screenflow video, a webinar etc.
  • Does it suit the the style/voice of content I produce?
    • Eg – I teach people – which lends itself to some networks and mediums better than others. I think it’s a good fit for podcasting.
    • Eg – dPS is very visual so we’ve invested more time into Instagram. It also lends itself to longer form content as we produce a lot of tutorials which is why our blog is the main thing we do.
  • Can I repurpose the content I create on the new network/medium in some way to make the investment of time I put into it doubly valuable?
    • Eg – video you create on FB Live could end up on Youtube or you could pull the audio from it to put into your podcast or you could transcribe it and then embed it to your blog….
  • Am I creating content somewhere else that I could repurpose for this new thing?
    • Eg – could I use articles I’ve previously written as the basis for a slideshare or for a podcast or for a video?

For Me?

  • Does it suit my style of presenting? Do I naturally enjoy it? Am I good at it? Do you feel energized by doing it?
  • Does it fit with my current goals? (what is the priority for you right now. Finding new audience? Building Community? Developing a product? Pivoting topic? Some networks will help you do these things more effectively than others.
    • Eg – if you’re just starting a blog you probably are in a phase where you need more eyeballs so it might make sense to engage in some of the new networks where there is less competition from the big players and where you can really stand out. For example, I saw a lot of people really establish themselves by being early adopters on Periscope and SnapChat.
    • Others who might be more established might need to really buckle down and focus more energy on building engagement with the readers that they have. So it might make sense to put all your efforts into other activities like creating a product, membership area, newsletter etc rather than to start on a new network.
  • Can you leverage the new thing to build your home base? Ultimately, the sustainability of your business hinges not on what you do in the short term on the social networks you’re on, but on whether you can hook people into a long term relationship. For me, that’s about getting people onto our email list. Some networks and mediums are easier to do this from than others. I’ve personally had less success doing this from Instagram than I have from the Podcast for example.
    • Do I have time/energy for the new thing?
      • If no – would I outsource or automate it (either the new thing or something else to free up time)?
        • If it doesn’t take your personal interaction for it to be successful you could train someone to help you run it – you may not even need to be involved at all or could minimize the work.
          • Podcast editing.
          • I know of numerous bloggers whose Instagram accounts are not even touched by them.
          • Using a tool like Meet Edgar I run one of my FB pages and supplement my Twitter account.
  • What would I have to stop doing to start it?
  • Can I afford to play there?
      • Some networks (the more established ones particularly) are in a stage in their own life stage where you need to pay to reach the audience (increasingly) while other networks are younger and organic reach is still very possible.
  • How many other new things am I starting?
    • Some bloggers have a habit of going all in on every new thing that comes along and do so at the expense of what they’re already doing. This means they end up feeling overstretched and don’t stick at things long enough to become established.
    • It takes time and focus to build up a library of content on a new network, to learn how to use it, to establish credibility there.
    • You don’t have to do everything – probably a lot better to be active and doing an amazing job on one social network as long as it’s the right one and you’re achieving your goals than to be on every network.
    • Similarly it’s probably better to be on one medium (blog, podcast) than to try to do everything.
    • I typically try to have only one new thing on the go at a time.

A Few Last Thoughts

  • Keep in balance what you’re currently doing that is working and starting new things.
    • If something is working well now – work that thing as hard as you can and for as long as you can until it doesn’t work any more.
  • Don’t always be looking toward the ‘new’ and ‘emerging’ trends at the expense of the old things that actually work. For example – SEO, email, Facebook – these things are mainstream and they work. If you ignore them in order just to play on SnapChat, Instagram and to blog on Medium you might be missing out.
  • Having said that you can become stale if you ignore the new and stubbornly hold on too long to something that is trending down and has no future. I remember way back when I started a couple of bloggers who resisted getting onto Facebook because MySpace had been so good to them… I’m not sure what they’re doing these days! `
  • If you do want to try a new thing treat it as an experiment. Allocate a percentage of your time to experiment. Put boundaries around it. Give yourself a deadline. A good way to do this is to create a season of a podcast. Do a series of Youtube/FB Live clips. Start a FB Group for a purpose for a particular time (FB: feelgooder 3 months).

Lastly – Most of the really successful people I know focus on a small number of things and work hard on those rather than spreading themselves too thin.

Yes some big players seem to be doing everything…. but many times they have teams helping them produce their content, they’re freaks who have more energy than most of us, or they do it for a short time and then burn out.

  • Find out where your readers are
  • Experiment where you think you can add most value and where you can play to your strengths Invest significant time into the places where you’re seeing results!

Further Resources on Is It Right for My Audience, My Content and for Me?



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Hey there, it’s Darren Rowse here from ProBlogger and I’d like to welcome you to Episode 134 of the ProBlogger podcast. Today, I want to help you to decide whether you should be starting on that new social network that everyone else seems to be on at the moment or whether you should start that medium, would it be a podcast or a YouTube channel or something else that you’ve been wondering about lately. As bloggers, we’re constantly bombarded with choice as to how we can spend our time. There really is an unlimited amount of things that we could be doing to promote our blog and to support the business that we’re building but not all of those things are right for everyone of us.

Today, I want to go through some areas that we can ask questions in to help us determine where is the best place to really focus our energies. You can find today’s show notes where I will have some further reading for you at problogger.com/podcast/134. Today’s podcast is brought to you by the ProBlogger Plus Newsletter. If you should go over to problogger.net/ideas, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we’ll send you all our latest tips and tutorials, podcast episodes, and everything else that’s going on at ProBlogger.

If you do so end up there at problogger.net/ideas, we’ll give you six months of content ideas. Every month for the next six months, we’ll send you a little email with 30 different ideas, 180 ideas in total over six months which will give you some ideas for blog posts that you can be writing on your blog. Again, that is at problogger.net/ideas.

This morning, I got an email, a very common email from a reader over at ProBlogger. It was from a blogger who was wondering whether they should jump onto Facebook Live. Everyone’s been talking about Facebook Live, it’s an emerging medium that many bloggers have been experimenting with lately. I’m seeing a lot more of it in my Facebook feed and this blogger noticed the same thing, they noticed other people in their niche particularly getting into it and wondered whether they should too. In the email, there was some tension. If I get onto that, what should I give up to be able to do it?

This is a very common email that I get not just about Facebook Live but about podcasting, should I start a podcast about YouTube? Should I start a YouTube channel? Should I get on Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram? Should I be blogging? All these social networks and different mediums that are at our fingertips as opportunities but also potentially as distractions from what it is that we’re trying to build. These questions come in thick and fast over at ProBlogger via email and in the comments that we get.

Today, I wanted to really delve into how do you make that decision about where you should be spending your time. As I said in the introduction, these are opportunities, these are incredible opportunities. Jumping to the right social network just at the right time, and it could be the difference between your blog having amazing success and failing. These things can also be incredible distractions so how do you make that decision?

Today, I want to get you to consider three different areas that you might want to ponder to make that decision. You really need to choose the right one that is right for your audience, for your content, and for you. Over the next 15 or so minutes, I really want to delve into each of those three things—your audience, your content, and you, and put some questions to you that you can ask to help you to work out whether that new social network is the right one for you. Is it the right one for your audience? Is it the right one for your content? And is it the right one for you?

I’m going to go through a whole heap of different questions here and they will all be summarized over in the show notes at problogger.com/podcast/134. You can get the full transcript over there as well, so let’s dig into those.

The first one is your audience. Is that new social network or that new medium that you are thinking about doing right for your audience? There’s some pretty obvious examples that have been given many times before, perhaps one of the most common ones is LinkedIn. Should you be jumping into LinkedIn? Should you start a blog and be producing content on LinkedIn? The obvious answer is that if your audience is a business focused audience, then perhaps LinkedIn is a good place for you to be engaging. Same can be said for different social networks.

Traditionally, Pinterest is seen as a great place to engage if you have lots of visual content and if your audience is women although I do know some big blogs that do very well that are focused on men over on Pinterest as well. That’s something you really need to do, some research. Your audience on these social networks, are they using the mediums that you’re considering using as well?

Here, you really need to dig a little bit deeper than just do they have an account in these places. That’s not what I’m really asking here. A lot of people have a Twitter account but do they use their Twitter account? Why are they using it? What I encourage you to ponder here is where do they have accounts but also where are they most active?

One of the questions that we ask in the surveys that we do is where do you have an account? We get all our readers to tell us all the difficult social media accounts that they are signed up for. Then, we ask them to tell us how often they use each of them. Are you using them daily? Are you using them weekly? Are you using them monthly, or do you never use them? That really gives you a lot more information about how active the people are there. How active are they on those networks, how long do they stay per session? You may need to dig in and do a little bit of research on that but there are a lot of studies that have been done into the session times that people typically have on different social networks.

I remember talking to one of the founders of the live streaming service Blab and they found that people when they go onto Blab were spending hours there, typically. Whereas people on Twitter sort of dip in and out and have fairly short shot burst of activity there, Facebook might be a little bit longer. How long are they staying there? That will reveal to you a whole heap about that social network. What are they doing there? What is their intent on that social network?

These are all things that you can do by surveying your readers and talking to your readers. Where are you active, what are you using these networks for? I think particularly it’s really interesting to see what they’re using it for. Are they on that social network to catch up with friends, are they there doing research for gathering of information? Are they there sharing what they’re doing, sharing the links? These things present different opportunities for us. People’s intents, their habits, how long they’re staying on these social networks will help us to work out whether it’s a place that we should be investing time.

I’ll give you a quick example. Over at Digital Photography School, we did a bit of a survey of our readers and asked them where are they spending time. We found that Facebook is one of the places that a lot of our readers do spend a lot of time. When we asked them what they did in those places and what they did in Facebook in particular, we found that the lot of Digital Photography School readers were sharing their photos on Facebook.

One of the things that we’ve been experimenting with over the last little while is a Facebook group that is purely there for the purpose of sharing photos. People can join it and they can share a photo just for the sake of sharing it or they can share with the question of can you critique my photo and then the community will critique their photo. We found that group has really worked very well but we would never have started that group unless we found out why people were on the network and what their habits were there, what were they doing there. That group doesn’t appeal to all of our readers, not all of our readers like to share photos but there’s been a segment of our readers that has been there.

Why are your readers on that social network? Are they there purely for personal reasons, maybe they’re there just to catch up with their friends. That presents a bit of a challenge and that may actually be a bit of a red flag that maybe you don’t want to get onto that network to sell, maybe you do want to get to that network to be conversational and to build community and to build engagement because people are there to engage with their friends and to find community. If your readers are there searching for information, are they there to research?

A lot of people go onto Pinterest to research and to get ideas. That maybe a really good place particularly for bloggers who have reviews of products or how to content because people are there with the intent of learning something or gathering information.

Do some analysis, where are your readers hanging out, how long are they hanging out in those places, what are they doing in those places, what’s their intent when they’re on those places. That will give you some hints as to whether it’s a fruitful place for you and whether it might fit with what your intentions are as well.

Another question you might want to ask kind of taps into where your audience is. Are the people in your niche using that social network or that medium? You want to be a little bit careful here because the answer yes could reveal a couple of things. It could actually reveal that it’s a good place or it could actually reveal that it’s too crowded as a place as well. Do some analysis. Are other people in your niche, are the bloggers, are the forums, are the influencers in your niche using that medium or that social network? If they are, how are they using it? What sort of results are they getting there? If they’re not there, is there a reason for that?

There may be no one else in your niche on this social network and that might present an opportunity for you but it also maybe a bit of a red flag as well because it hasn’t worked there for other people. You might want to look at inactive accounts there as well. Have there been people there and given up? How much work does it take the other people that are there? What types of things are they doing there? Are they using automation, do they have a very personal kind of account in those places? How often are they using it? What’s the frequency of the content that they’re producing and the updates that they’re doing?

Look at the different types of posts they might be doing and the different types of content that they’re producing and how well they have gained traction with those that are engaging with them there. It’s probably best if you can find someone else in your niche that’s willing to talk about it, and a lot of other bloggers in your niche will be willing to share their experience, it’s very collaborative in a lot of niches. But, you may just need to do some analysis and follow some of the big accounts that are relevant to your particular niche and just watch what they’re doing there, what traction they’re getting. You can learn a lot simply by following people and watching to see what they would do.

Again, you want to be a bit careful about just emulating what other people do or copying what they do and you also want to be looking for opportunities of things that people aren’t doing as well. That may present some opportunities to differentiate yourself by trying some new things there.

The last question I’d get you to ask in regards to your audience is is the network or is the medium trending up or is it trending down? At the moment, we’re seeing moments like Snapchat continuing to trend up. We’re seeing other networks like Twitter sort of plateauing and some people might even say it’s trending down at the moment. We’re seeing tools like mediums still seeming to grow. We’re seeing YouTube I think still presenting real opportunities as well so you might want to do some analysis there. We’re seeing other networks like Google Plus kind of fade away.

You want to really think about how big is the network and the overall size of it is another factor I guess to consider, but is it something that’s going to go away? You really don’t want to be investing your time into a network that has already passed its heyday. Ideally, you want to position yourself into a network that is about to really go mainstream. Bloggers that jumped onto Snapchat a year or so ago now really were positioning themselves for a tsunami of good things to happen for them as well there. All those questions are really about your audience; where are they, what are they doing in those places, that’s some really good questions to ask.

That’s not enough, don’t just ask those questions. The next area that I want to really dig into now is your content. Is the new medium, is the new network right for the content that you’re producing? The first question I want to put to you here is does it suit your topic? Does the new network, does the medium suit your topic?

Again, let me give you an example from my own situation, my photography blog, Digital Photography School. It’s obviously a very visual blog, we’re talking about photography, we’re talking about images. We’ve learned the hard way over the years that any kind of medium, any kind of network that has a visual component is much more suitable for us. Blogging itself, we can have images in our blog post. YouTube is one that can be potentially big for us, we’ve chosen to this point not to have a YouTube account but it’s one that we really wrestled with over the years and we’d like to do at some point because it’s a great place to illustrate particularly how to process photos. There’s been a lot of YouTube accounts that have done particularly well in that space.

Instagram obviously is another interesting space for us and one that we’ve been investing a bit more time into recently. It’s very visual, there’s some challenges there that I’ll talk about in a moment. Pinterest is one that we’ve had some success with over the years, Facebook we’ve had a lot of success with. The fact that you can share images there alone or that you can put images into the content you’re producing there is really great.

Google Plus in its heyday was really good for us as well because there was lots of big, beautiful images. Twitter has been okay for us as well because you can use images. Those types of mediums where you can have mediums really suit the topic of our content as opposed to podcasting. We have talked as a team about podcasting as a network but one of the reasons I decided not to go down the path—at least in the short term—is that it doesn’t really lend itself to visual content very well unless you want to do video which is a whole other beast. Whilst there has been some success for photography podcasts, a lot of them talk more of idea rather than techniques and teaching people how to take better photos which is something that we’re more into. That’s been something that we’ve resisted for a while.

ProBlogger on the other hand, a podcast works quite well for ProBlogger because it talking a lot of ideas. You don’t need to see the things that I’m talking about to get value out of doing it, at least I hope not anyway.

Does the topic suit the medium? Does it suit the network that you’re considering? Also, does the style or the voice of the content that you’re producing suit that network or medium as well? I teach people, both of my blogs are all about teaching. We want to work in networks where people have the intent of learning but also that suit teaching as well. For ProBlogger, I think podcasting is a good tool for us to be using as is blogging itself because people really can learn by listening and by reading. That suits the style of what I’m doing.

Again, Digital Photography School being more visual, we’ve invested more time into some of those visual forms as well. Also, I guess on Digital Photography School, it’s very much about teaching people and it’s about taking people through step by step content. The blog itself as a medium has worked very well for us there as well.

Another questions that you might want to ponder when it comes to the content and whether it suits the network that you’re considering is about repurposing. Sometimes, you can start something new and then use the content that you produce in that new thing in other places. That’s a really great investment of time.

For example, Facebook Live. If you invest time in Facebook Live, you can then take the video that you shot for Facebook Live and use it in other places. You could embed that video into a blog post, you could take that audio from that video and use snippets of that in a podcast. You could get the video that you produced transcribed and use that as a blog post as well. You could take the points that you are making in the video that you do and get them put into a Slide Share so it creates some slides about the things that you’re doing. There’s opportunities there to use that content in the new thing in other places. That is a great investment of time. I would be considering that.

The other thing that you could consider as the flip side, could you use content that you’ve already produced somewhere else and then repurpose it into the new thing that you’re doing? If you don’t have a Facebook page yet, I know most bloggers do already but for instance if you didn’t, you probably as a blogger already have a whole heap of stuff that you could be sharing on that Facebook page. You don’t have to come up with completely new stuff all the time, it may actually be a really simple way to getting to Facebook.

Another good example of that is this podcast. There’s been a number of episodes of this podcast that  have been based upon blog posts that I wrote for four, five, six years ago that I then updated and put into the form of a podcast. Repurposing is something that I would be considering with the new mediums and networks that you might be engaging as well.

The last area that I would encourage you to think about when you’re considering a new medium or a new network is is it right for you? We’ve talked about is it right for your audience, is it right for your content, but is it right for you?

The first question to ponder with regards to is it right for you is does it suit your style of presenting? You’re only really going to know that by giving it a go. For me, again, to use this podcast as an example, I thought podcasting would be something that I would enjoy and that I would be reasonably okay at because I’ve had some experience in public speaking before. I didn’t really know that until I started it. I knew pretty quickly that it would be something that I would enjoy and that did suit my presenting and that gave me energy. I think it’s really important to choose to engage in spaces that give you energy and that you feel good about because that will come through in the content that you produced there and the energy that you bring to those places.

There have been a few times where I thought it would be really great to get into this new social network, Snapchat for me was one where I thought there was potential there. My audience is there, some of my audience are there. It does suit some of the content that we produce, particularly on Digital Photography School but you know what? I don’t really enjoy it. It’s been something that I’ve delved in but I’ve never really thrown myself fully into it because I don’t think it really suits me as such. It doesn’t fit the current time availability that I have as well.

Does it suit your style of presenting is the first question. The second one is does it fit with your current goals? Your blog, your business is going to go through different stages of a life cycle. The different stages of that life cycle, you will need to do different things to help to build your business. What is the big priority for you right now in your business? Is it finding a new audience? Is it building community? Is it monetization? Should you be spending your time developing a product? Should you be doing any of these particular types of things?

They will each mean that you should be focusing your energy on different types of things and different social networks will each have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the stage that you’re in. Let me give you an example. If you are just starting a blog right now, maybe two weeks ago you started a blog. You probably need a phase where you need to invest a whole heap of time into creating content for your blog, that’s one of the things that you should really be focusing on right now. You may need to do that at the expense of some of the other opportunities that are around you right now because you need to build up an asset, a library, an archive of good, solid content.

The other thing that you need to be doing in the early days of your blog is finding new readers. It may make some sense for you to start engaging into the newer emerging forms of social media where there’s perhaps a little bit less competition where you can establish yourself as the go-to person in your particular niche. It may make sense for you to jump onto Snapchat because you need to get more eyeballs and that’s a place where there’s a lot of people at the moment and there’s perhaps less competition than a place like Facebook.

You really need to ask yourself, what’s the priority for my business right now? I did a podcast a year ago probably now about Michael Hyatt deciding to get off Periscope. One of the things that I said about him getting off Periscope that I thought was a good thing is that he doesn’t need a whole heap of new readers for his blog right now, he’s already got a big list that he needs to focus more attention on building a product and monetizing it and building community with the readers he’s already got. There are other networks that are already working for him that he probably just needs to spend more time focusing upon because he doesn’t need those new readers. I thought Periscope at the time was particularly good for finding new readers.

What are your current goals? Do the new things that you’re considering lend themselves to those goals? There are times where we just need to buckle down and work on what is working for us already rather than establishing new things. There are other times when new things are perhaps more suited to our goals. Does it fit with your current goals?

Another question to ask is can you leverage the new thing to build your home base? Can you leverage that new thing? Can you leverage Snapchat? Is it going to help you to actually build your business and can you leverage it to get people onto your email list or over to your blog. Some social networks it’s easy to leverage them than others. Some of the social networks are very hard to get people away from the network itself because they’re such engaging places people just spend the whole time on there. A use of that social network may not ever visit your blog, they may not ever sign up to your email newsletter. Once you may be able to engage them in that space, I hope you’re able to get them to your home base.

Ultimately, the sustainability of your business hinges not on what you do in the short term on that social network but on whether you can hook people into a long term relationship with you. There’s new emerging social networks and they may come and go. A lot of them won’t be here in two or three years. What’s going to happen? Are you going to start a relationship that will continue beyond the life of that social network?

Really, one of the things I’m asking myself is is the investment at this time going to help to build my business in ten years or is it just gonna create a whole heap of buzz in the short term? Can I leverage those people or hook them into my email list? For me, my email list is number one. If I can’t get people onto my email list from the new social network, then I’m going to really strongly consider whether it’s worth my time doing it. Can I get them to visit my blog? Can I get them to buy my products? These are things that are not the most important but are important if I want to build a sustainable business.

Is it just going to be fun? If it’s just going to be fun, I’m not sure that it’s going to be something that’s going to help to build my business.

Another question to ask when it comes to you, do you have the time and the energy for a new thing? If the answer is yes, I’ve got a whole heap of time on my hands, go for it. That’s totally fine, experiment with the new things. If the answer is no, you even need to do one of two things. One, resist the temptation to do it or two, ask yourself, could I outsource or automate this new thing, or something else in what I’m doing to free up some time.

You don’t have to personally engage in all the social networks that you jump onto, some of them can be automated. I know for a fact a number of bloggers who do very, very well out of Instagram by using automation but also using outsourcing and getting assistance to create the posts that they do Instagram.

Podcasting, another good example. I cannot automate podcasting but I can outsource the editing of my podcast. That is one way that I can free up some time for myself.

Do you have the time, the energy? If the answer is no, is there potential to automate or to outsource some part of it or all of it? There are some great tools around that will help you to do that. I’ve talked about Mit Edga who used to help run our Twitter accounts. There are some personal interaction that we do on our Twitter account but some of it is automated as well and that frees up time for some of the new things as well.

Alongside this question of do you have time or energy for the new thing, you should be asking what would you have to stop doing to start the new thing? Sometimes, this is the crux of the matter for me. If I’m going to get into Snapchat, what do I have to give up to be able to do that? I probably have to give up my podcast or blog or Facebook and am I willing to give up something that’s already working to start something new. Sometimes, the answer is yes and sometimes the answer is no.

Another question to ask when it comes to you is can you afford to play in that space? Can you afford to play in it? Some social networks, particularly the more established ones like Facebook are in a stage in their kind of own life stage where they’re charging people to play. Most bloggers now know that their Facebook pages are getting less organic reach and less effective organically than they used to and to engage in that space, you do need to start to consider at least paying. Same is happening now on Instagram, but some of the new social networks are still anything goes almost. There’s much more opportunity for organic use of those. That’s another thing to factor in, is it getting to a stage in the life cycle of that particular network where you do need to pay to play? If so, can you afford to do that? Are you willing to do that?

The last question I’d get you to ask when it comes to you is how many other new things are you starting right now or have you started in the last little while? Some bloggers I know have a habit of going all in on every single new thing that comes along. They do so at the expense of the things that they’re already doing and they get to the point where this week they’re all in on Periscope, next week they’re all in on Snapchat, next week they’ll be all in on Facebook Live. They don’t really stick to anything for too long and this means that they can end up either feeling overstretched by trying to do too many things or they don’t stick at things long enough to become established in those new things that they’re doing.

It takes time and focus to build up a library of content on any new medium or social network. It takes time and focus to learn how to use that social network and to experiment with different types of content on it. It takes time and focus to establish credibility and to get traction in the new things as well. Ask yourself the question, are you starting lots of things at once? If so, you may need to pull back. If you have started lots of things in the last six months, maybe your readers are starting to push back on that as well, they don’t know where to find you anymore for example.

You don’t have to do everything. It’s probably a lot better to be active and doing an amazing job on one social network as long as it’s the right one and you’re achieving your goals there than to be on every one. Similarly, it’s probably better to have one main medium like your blog or podcast or your YouTube account, whatever it might be, than to be doing them all. Sometimes, I think there’s a big argument for having focus. I typically only try to have only one new thing on the go at any time. I find myself too distracted if I’m doing too many new things at once.

A few last thoughts for you that hopefully you’ve already heard some of these things but I kind of think are really important. The first thing is keep in balance what you’re currently doing that is working and starting new things. Something is already working really well for you, you need to continue to invest a lot of time into that. Work at that thing as hard as you can for as long as it continues to work.

If you’re already getting amazing traction from Facebook, then just keep investing into Facebook. You can still try some new things but that’s where your primary focus should be. If the blog itself is already bringing in lots of traffic from Google, then maybe that’s enough for you right now. You need to focus on just serving that audience while that is working.

Secondly, don’t always be looking for the new and emerging trends at the expense of the old things that are actually working. For example, Facebook, email, SEO, these things are old. SEO, search engine traffic, that’s so old. The reality is that most bloggers get most of their traffic from search engines, so maybe it would be much better use of your time to be optimizing your blog content for search engines and increasing the rankings than going to play on Snapchat. Maybe you should be investing your time in converting some of that search engine traffic into email subscribers. Maybe that’s where you should be spending your time creating opt-ins.

Maybe you should be spending more of your time building order responders to serve the people who sign up to you in newsletters, maybe that’s a better use of your time than the new cool thing that’s just out that everyone’s raving about. Maybe focusing upon the old stuff that actually works is a better use of your time than getting onto the new things.

There’s got to be some balance here. I think if there can also be an argument that some bloggers ignore the new things and stubbornly hold onto the old things that don’t work anymore, I remember back in the day talking to a blogger who said I’m not getting onto Facebook because Myspace is still working for me. I haven’t heard from that blogger for many years. Maybe they still have their Myspace account, I don’t really know. You’ve got to hold a bit of tension there. Sometimes, you got to pay attention to the new things but don’t do it at the expense of what’s already working that might be a little less cool but still works for you.

I guess for me, I’m always looking for the new thing but I’m focusing most of my time on the thing that’s already working. If you do want to try a new thing, treat it as an experiment. Allocate a small percentage of your time to the experiment, put some boundaries around that new thing. Give yourself a deadline perhaps.

For example when I started the ProBlogger podcast, some of you will remember when I started it. I think it was June, July of 2015. I announced that I was going to do 31 podcasts, a series. 31 shows, that was all going to be over a month. I was pretty clear upfront that I didn’t know whether I would continue after that 31 days, it was a test, an experiment—it was a lot of work to get those 31 posts up but I knew that I had an out if it didn’t work, if I didn’t find it energized me, if it didn’t connect with my audience, if i didn’t get some signs that I was getting some traction. You might want to announce to people that I’m going to do this new thing for a season and then see what I can learn.

Similarly, I started a Facebook group last year, it was the FeelGood Facebook group. It was about health and well being and I said I was going to do it for three months. I decided at the end of those three months that I didn’t really want to do that anymore. Because I’ve been upfront with the people that joined that group that it was for a season, I didn’t get any push back on that. Sometimes, setting yourself a deadline to do an experiment is a good thing as long as you get those expectations right with people who may join in on that thing.

Last thought for you. As I think about it, most of the really successful people I know in blogging and podcasting, most of them focus on a small number of things and they work hard on those things rather than spreading themselves too thin. As I’m saying that, I can think of a few people who are big players, who seem to be doing everything. They’re on video on Snapchat, they’re on YouTube, Facebook, doing all of those things.

Those people like Gary Vaynerchuk for example, he has an insane amount of energy—he has much more energy than me. He can sustain doing a lot of things but he also has a team behind him. He has someone helping him to produce some of the videos that he’s creating. Whilst he does do a lot of it himself which is amazing, a lot of these people who seem to be everywhere have teams of people behind them. A lot of them are repurposing content from one place to another as well.

I would really encourage you to focus and to bring some focus to what you’re doing. Find out where your readers are, experiment in those places, find out where you can add most value, where you can play to your strengths. And then invest significant time into the places where you are seeing results and don’t do it at the expense of things that are already working for you.

I really hope that something in what I shared today has been helpful for you in making decisions about where you should be spending your time and energy. I would love to get your feedback on this one, I’ve put a lot of thought and time into preparing this particular episode. I’d like to know whether it hit the mark for you. You can head over to the ProBlogger show notes, problogger.com/podcast/134 where I’d love to get a comment from you. Just let me know if it’s hit the mark for you, if you’d add something else to it.

Let me know where you are focusing your time at the moment as a result of thinking about these types of things. I’d love to hear where you’re getting traction as well in the different networks and mediums that you are engaging with.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to the ProBlogger Plus Newsletter. It comes out every Tuesday, Wednesday depending on where you are in the world and it’s just a really quick summary of all of the new content that we’ve published on the ProBlogger Blog from our subject matter experts that we have in the different fields that we’ve focused upon and any new episodes that have come up on the ProBlogger podcast—we publish two of those every week. It’s a great way to get that information.

If you head over to problogger.net/ideas you can sign up and you’ll also get six months of free content ideas for your blog. We’ll send out a monthly PDF with 30 ideas every month that will stimulate some blog posts that you want to write on your particular blog. Again, that’s at problogger.net/ideas.

If you would review the ProBlogger podcast on iTunes or whatever podcast network you are listening to us on, head over to the iTunes Store and search ProBlogger, we’d love you to subscribe there. But also if you could give us a rating and a review, that would be fantastic. I do see every single one that comes in and read them all and get a lot of value out of that in shaping future podcasts as well.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll chat with you in the next episode of the ProBlogger podcast.

How did you go with today’s episode?

I would love your feedback on this. I put a lot of time and effort into preparing this episode. Let me know if it hit the mark for you, or if you would like to add some other content.

Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts below.

 

The post 134: How to Decide if You Should Start on a New Social Network or Medium appeared first on ProBlogger Podcast.


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5 Mistakes Bloggers are Making with Online Courses

Pencils and Postits

By ProBlogger expert Sam Nordberg.

Online courses are the hottest thing right now. Everyone seems to be launching their own course, and looking for ways to make what they believe is “passive income” – but here are five of the biggest makes people are making with their online courses right now:

1. Not thinking about who they are writing for

When you are creating a course, you need to think really carefully about the end user. Who are they? How much do they know already? What do they want the outcome to be? How do they want to consume the information?

If you really want people to learn from your course, and get results from it, then you need to make sure the information is carefully targeted to meet their needs.

Imagine you were writing a course on nutrition. There is a big difference between writing a course for a professional athlete who really wants to fine tune their diet, and writing a course for someone who has been clinically obese for many years, and needs a lot of support to start from scratch.

Think carefully about who you are creating the course for, before you start creating. Really focus on a single, specific need.

2. Trying to fit everything in

It took you years to learn everything you know.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when creating their own course, is to try and share all of their knowledge. I get it, you want to add value, and make sure that you give them as much as you can.

The problem is, there is no way they can absorb all of that information, and actually start to implement it, all in one go.

It took you years to develop your skills and get to where you are, it will take them a while too.

Focus on delivering smaller chunks of information, with a bigger focus on implementation (that is getting your students to actually try doing things) rather than just giving them lots of information.

3. Just recording videos and making PDFs

A course is more than just great content.

Sure, videos and PDFs are useful way to provide information to a student, but there is more to a course than simply content.

Before you start throwing together your content, consider the following:

– What support will they need?

– How will you get them actively involved?

– How will you get them to implement what they have learnt?

– How will they know if they are getting it right/wrong?

– What might they need before the course or after the course?

A course is a process, you take your students on a journey from beginning to end. Before you start to put content together, it’s worth thinking about that journey as a whole.

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4. Not providing support

I’m sure you’ve seen it… you land on their sales page, and you have the two options: buy it for less money and just get the content, or pay more money and get their assistance/support/coaching to help you.

Here’s the problem… If they know that you’ll need support to help you get better results, then why don’t they make it part of the course? Why can you buy a course with no support?

One of the biggest problems with online learning is the lack of support. Students need someone to turn to. They might need help understanding the content, maybe they have technical problems, or maybe they just need to talk it over to really understand what they have learnt.

If you know that your students will need support of some kind (or simply, you know that they will get better results with support) then make sure it’s available to them.

You can look into providing a forum, or support group, having live calls, or even providing phone and email support for them.

Note: There are occasions where a course really doesn’t need support. Maybe the content is fairly basic and self-paced. If this is the case, feel free to sell the course without support.

5. Thinking courses are great passive income

Don’t get me wrong here, courses are a great way to LEVERAGE your income, and they allow you to spend your time one-to-many, rather than one-on-one, but they are certainly not passive. At least, not to start with.

As you’ve seen so far, there is more to a course than just putting your content online and charging people to access it.

You’ll need to promote your courses, help students sign up, answer any questions before, during and after, provide live support, help students to implement… and much more.

Courses are a great way to help your audience.

Courses are a great way to leverage your income.

Courses are a great way to help you monetise your knowledge.

But they are not completely passive. As with anything they require some hard work to set up, and lots of support on the way through.

You can definitely outsource some of that work, but be aware that to begin with, you’re going to be putting in some hard yards.

Courses really are a great way to grow your business, and to help you spread your message…. Just keep these simple things in mind as you start.

  • Really think about who you are creating the content for and what they need to know
  • Don’t try and squeeze it all in. Little bits of information that they actually use, is much more valuable than lots of information they never get around to
  • Think about the whole process, not just the content
  • Make sure your students get the support they need

And remember, it might be hard work to start with, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

Sam Nordberg shows people how to take their passion and knowledge and create an online course that sells. You can learn more about her here and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

The post 5 Mistakes Bloggers are Making with Online Courses appeared first on ProBlogger.


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PB133: The Secrets of Making Money Blogging

The Seven Secrets of Making Money Blogging

Today, I am traveling back in time and playing for you the audio of a video I made back in 2010. This video is called The Secrets of Making Money Blogging, and I share seven different secrets on how to make money blogging. Of course, these aren’t secrets at all since I shared them in 2010.

ProBlogger_133

A lot of this may be stuff that you have heard before, but I put it together for a friend that was really struggling and grappling with whether he should continue to blog or not.

I put this video up on YouTube, and it is one of the most viewed videos that I have ever done. This video has about 50,000 views, and it also got me banned from YouTube for about a month. I assume it was because of the title. I guess secrets to making money could have been considered a little bit spammy in some ways.

As you listen to this, you will hear that it is not a spammy get rich quick video. In fact, that is one of the points I make quite often. The things I do say are important for bloggers of all stages to hear, and they should help you along your path.

In Today’s Episode The Seven Secrets of Making Money Blogging

  • Try to do something online that you really love – choose an area you have passion for
    • Easier to stick with
    • Readers will feel drawn to your passion
  • Be as useful as possible – tell the world something important
  • Be confident – work on confidence – be able to sell yourself and things you do
    • Approach and make offers confidently
  • Diversify what you do – don’t focus on just one income stream
    • Diversify topics
    • Diversify income streams
  • Take a long term view – money can be made fast, but it comes years after building a foundation – working and building relationships and content
    • With investments – you don’t get the return for a number of years
  • Treat it as a business – not as an event
    • Most online entrepreneurs see it as a business
    • Grow over time
    • Releasing products – find a way to grow overtime
    • Be strategic about how to monetize and think of it as a business
  • Build products into what you do
    • Develop systems around those products to sell them

I hope you found that interesting. It’s kind of weird to go back in time six years.

Just for a quick recap these are the things I found useful.

  • Passion
  • Useful
  • Confident
  • Diversify What You Do
  • Long Term View
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Create Products

Secrets of Making Money Online



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Hey there, it’s Darren from ProBlogger here, welcome to Episode 133 of the ProBlogger Podcast. Today, I want to travel back in time and play for you the video that I recorded back in 2010 on the topic of The Secrets of Making Money Blogging.

I get asked all the time what’s the secret, what’s your main secret, as if I’m holding something back. I always find it really difficult to answer that question. What I want to play for you today is my attempt back in 2010 to answer this particular question in which I share seven different secrets about making money blogging. Now, of course, none of these are secret, I put them online in 2010 and a lot of it is stuff you have all heard me talked about before.

I put this video together in response to the question that I got from a friend who is really struggling and who was really grappling with whether he should continue to keep blogging or not. I put this video up on YouTube and it’s one of the most viewed videos that I’ve ever done. It’s not gotten a million views or anything but I think last time I looked about 50 thousand views which for me is pretty good.

The other thing about this video is that it got me banned from YouTube. This video actually got me banned from YouTube for about a month I think it was. I think it was because I had the title Secret of Making Money Blogging which was a little bit spammy I guess in some ways or maybe people thought it was a get rich quick kind of video. You will hear as you listen that it is not a get rich quick video, in fact it is quite the opposite. One of the points actually talks about the long-term value of it.

I do share some things that I think are really important for bloggers of all stages to hear. Whether you are just starting out blogging and you dream of making money from blogging, these seven things I think will help you along that path. Or if you have been blogging for a while like my friend who’ve been blogging for a little while and was struggling with it and was wondering if there was a secret that you didn’t know, these are seven things that I think are perhaps helpful reminders. I will say this one thing that has changed from the video that you are about to hear or the audio that you’re going to hear.

At one point in it, I talk about having four blogs. At the point that I had this video, I did have four blogs going, I had a blog, ProBlogger, I had Digital Photography School, most of you know that because I still have them today. Also, I had a blog on Twitter, so it was called TwiTip and I had another blog called FeelGood which was about feeling better. Those last two blogs are on pause at the moment, I haven’t had them for quite some time. If that is of confusion to you, that is the explanation for that.

Everything else I mentioned in this video I think still really rings true today. In fact, as I just listen to it again, I think they’re really important things and I’ll pick up on a couple of them at the end of this clip.

The last thing I’ll say is that I recorded this in 2010 with no microphone. I was sitting in my living room, on the couch and you can actually view the video if you like, I’ll embed it into the show notes. It is a little bit echoey but I hope you’ll forgive me for that because I think the information that you need is important. Also, I did consider kind of rereading it or re-saying it today, I think it’s kind of nice to hear it as it came out because it did come out of a real-life conversation that had happened just before I recorded it.

Without further adieu, I am going to press play on it and it goes for about eight minutes. At the end, I’ll come back and recap it. You can if you prefer to watch it and I am just sitting on the couch, that’s not a whole lot of visuals in it. You can view that over at ProBlogger.com/Podcast/133 where today’s show notes are. Okay, let’s get into it.

Hi, it’s Darren from ProBlogger here. I had a conversation earlier today with a new friend who’s just started to blog. He’s been going for a couple of months now, and he’s a little bit frustrated. He’s hit a couple of brick walls and he wanted to sit down and just sort of pick my brain on the secrets to making money from blogging and making money on the internet.

It’s a question I get asked a lot particularly in interviews. You know, “What’s your number one secret to make money online?” I always struggle to answer it because ultimately there is no secret and there’s no one way to do this. You can look at the variety of Internet marketers and see a whole heap of different methods to do it and approaches to do it but I began to share with this friend some of the things I guess that I’ve learned, particularly in the last year or two, about making money online. I asked him for his notes because he was writing everything down, so that I could share it in the video. This is kind of the stuff that I said to him.

Number one, I talk about trying to do something online that you really love. Choose an area, a topic, a niche, an industry, that you have some resonance with, some appreciation for, some passion for. There’s a whole heap of reasons for doing this. One, it’s much easier to stick with it for the long term. Two, those who read what you produce and come across you will feel much more drawn to you if you are passionate about it yourself. I just personally find it much easier to make money from something that I actually have a genuine interest in, because I’m able to produce products and blog posts and content that connects with people because I know what turns those people on, I know what will get them reading. I know what will get them purchasing.

If you have an interest, if you have a passion, then try to center what you do online around that. That doesn’t mean you can’t make money from something you’re not interested in or that you don’t like; it’s just a lot easier to do it that way.

The second thing I’d say—and I repeat this over and over again on ProBlogger, but I think it just needs to be said—is be as useful as you possibly can. One of my most recent videos on ProBlogger was about my son telling me, “Tell the world something important.” And really, that is it. That is what it’s all about for me.

Again, you can make money online by doing things that aren’t useful, that aren’t important, that aren’t really enhancing people’s lives, by ripping people off, but it’s much more satisfying if you’re doing something that is actually useful, and it’s much more sustainable in the long term if you want to build a business rather than just make a quick buck, if you actually make connections with people and be useful to them.

The third thing I said was that you need to be confident. Once you’ve chosen something to produce and to focus in on, and once you are starting to be useful, it’s much easier to be confident but you still need to work on that confidence. Many people get online and they feel that they’re not able to sell themselves, they’re not able to sell the things that they do. Look, that’s difficult to do, but you need to learn how to do that. You need to approach this confidently. You need to make offers confidently. You need to approach other potential partners confidently. If you are nervously doing those things all the time, people will sense that.

That doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert and you need to hype things up. A quiet confidence will go a long way for you. Work on that aspect of things. Push yourself forward if you aren’t one of those confident people. Get people around you to encourage you in that as well. Be as confident as you can.

The other thing I talked about with my friend today was diversifying what you do, and not just focusing upon one income stream. This is a bit of a tricky one because if you diversify too much you can end up not really doing anything very well. But what I’ve tried to do over the last eight or nine years now is diversify on a number of fronts.

One, diversify the topics that I write about. Now, I have four different main blogs that I produce content for, four different interests for me. By doing that, I’m diversifying, and if one doesn’t go so well I’ve got the three others to back it up.

But I’m also trying to diversify the income streams. And you’ll have seen, even in the last weeks I’ve produced a breakdown of my income streams over the last couple of months. You’ll see I’ve got eight or nine different areas of income. I’m not just relying upon ad networks like AdSense, or I’m not just relying upon my own eBooks. I’m trying to build in different income streams so that if one falls over, or if one takes a little while to take off, there are other things there to supplement that income.

In the early days of my own blogging and making money online, I diversified by having a real job as well. When I first started, I had three jobs, so I had this diversification, I guess, of the income streams. That helped me to be much more sustainable in the long term.

Speaking of long term, the number five thing that I’d say is that you really need to take a long-term view of this. You can make money fast on the Internet, but it generally comes after years of building foundations. A number of times, I feel like I’ve made a lot of money really fast on the Internet, but as I look back on it there’s usually been two or three years of work, of building relationships with readers and producing content for free that have led to these bursts of income. You do need to take a long-term view of things.

You need to see it as an investment. A lot of the times when you make investments, you don’t get a return on those investments for a number of years, and the same is true on the Internet. See the time, the energy, and perhaps even some money that you’ve put into those things as an investment that hopefully, one day, will pay off.

The last thing I guess I said to my friend was that you really need to treat it as a business rather than just an event. Making money online again, it can happen as an event, it can be these moments where you make money, but most online entrepreneurs actually see it as a business. It’s not just a one-off thing where they make money, and then they go and try something else. What I’ve tried to do is to build a business that has this diversity of income, but is also growing over time. As you release a new product, you need to think about ways of driving traffic back to that product over time. As you do affiliate marketing, you need to build systems that will continue to promote things to your readers using an auto-responder.

You need to think a bit strategically I guess is what I’m trying to say. A lot of people get online, and they produce content, and they think that it will make money by just getting readers. You need to think strategically about how you’re actually going to monetize it. You need to think about it as a business, you need to think about it strategically.

Probably one of the main things for me in terms of building a business rather than just having a job online is to actually build products into what you do. Don’t just rely upon advertising revenue, or marketing other people’s products. Whatever you do, try and work towards having some products that you can sell of your own, and then develop systems around those products to sell them, not just when you launch them, but in an ongoing way.

Those are some of the secrets of making money online that I guess I’ve been thinking about, particularly over the last year or two. There’s a whole heap more of course, but I’d love to hear some of your secrets to making money online. You can leave them in the comments below this video.

I hope you found that interesting, a little bit useful. It’s kind of weird going back in time like that, six years, to hear myself. I guess I sound pretty similar, except for the echoes.

But also to think back some of those things that I’ve learned back in 2010, just to recap. I talked about doing something that you love or something at least you have an interest in, something that you have a passion for. I talked about being useful, doing something that matters not only to you but to other people, that enhances their lives in some way, being confident with what you’re doing, actually approaching it with some confidence.

As I’ve said in that particular clip, I don’t think that means being overly confident. You can still show when you’ve got your doubts, you can show when you’ve made your mistakes that makes you more human but be confident about what you’ve got to say, your story is important, it is your story so tell it with confidence.

Number four was diversifying what you do. Number five was taking a long term view. Thinking about it strategically I guess was the 6th point that I’ve made and then 7th was I talked about products and creating something that is yours to sell on your blog. That may be a product, that may be an information product like an ebook or a course, or it could be a physical product or it could be you, your service and what you have to offer in terms of consulting or speaking on something else as well. I hope you found it useful today.

I would love to hear your feedback on the seven things that I shared in this and any other secrets that you have found along the way, you can find today, show notes including a full transcript of the podcast today, and the video itself. If you want to check that one out over at ProBlogger.com/Podcast/133. If you’d like to leave a comment there, disagree with something that I’ve said, add to something that I’ve said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that as well.

Thanks for listening today, I hoped you enjoyed this little flashback to 2010, also and maybe you could tell us in the comments today what you were doing in 2010 and how’s it changed for you. I’d love to hear from you and I’ll chat with you in the next couple of days where I will talk to you in Episode 134 of the ProBlogger Podcast.

While you’re just listening to silence, maybe you could head over to iTunes and leave us a review of this podcast. I would love to read what you think about the ProBlogger Podcast, it does help us to spread the news a little bit to other people who might find it useful as well. Leave us a writing, leave us a review and I will check it out, maybe I’ll even read it out in a future episode of the Podcast. Again, thanks for listening, see you.

How did you go with today’s episode?

I hope you found this useful. I would love to hear your feedback on the seven things that I shared, and any other secrets that you have found along the way.

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

The sun is shining in Melbourne, and productivity/spirits/motivation is high. I hope you’re feeling the same wherever you are, and you kick some pro blogging goals this week!

Facebook Now Lets Broadcasters Restrict Their Live Audiences By Age, Location, Gender | Marketing Land

Specific targeting can only be a good thing – particularly if you want views over reach.

4 Ways to Engage Your Followers on Snapchat | Entrepreneur

They’re there (I assume!) so you may as well try and make it a two-way Snapchat street.

How I Turned a $ 15 Article into a 7-Figure Income | Inc

For when you go viral and need to take advantage!

10 Things You Should Do Right Now to Improve SEO on Your Blog | Jeff Bullas

In this land of epic Pinterest traffic and eleventy billion people on Facebook, I am still surprised to find organic search is the highest driver of traffic to my blog. So instead of spending time on social, where it’s probably not worth my investment, I’m on the quest to make my site the most SEO-friendly it can be – it can’t hurt!

10 Snapchat Hacks to Make Your Snaps Stand Out | Social Media Examiner

I got so lost halfway through (emoji gradient filters?) but these seem pretty decent.

A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing: Get the Playbook that Drives Results for Instagram’s Top Profiles | Buffer

Step one: See how the pros do it. Step two: Apply to your experience. Step three: Enjoy!

Why Personal Brands are Better Than Corporate for Social Media | Forbes

So chill, big companies.

How to Choose a Domain Name | Moz

For all y’all who are contemplating starting a blog, step off on the right foot! I’ve written about it here, and Darren has podcasted about it here, but get the Wizard of Moz’s expert tips on top.

How to Write with Power and Authority, Even if you Feel Like a Nobody | Copyblogger

I hear this all the time – “I’m not a professional writer”, etc etc. Impostor syndrome is high. People think they’re not good enough. But the funny thing is, usually they are, they just don’t feel it. These tips will help.

How to Handle Different Types of Comments on Social Media | Social Media Today

I love this so much – often we make the wrong reply because we just don’t know what to say. Here are a few guidelines that should navigate you through what can often be contentious waters.

So what caught your eye this week?

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