Thinking about the direction your blog/brand is going?
Are you looking to continue along the same path or do you feel like it’s time to take your blog/brand to a different level?
Want to make the most out of what you have or just looking to tweak here and there but not quite sure where to begin?
Aren’t sure if a complete overhaul is what you need?
Before you go ahead and make any drastic changes to your online persona/brand, consider asking yourselves these few questions to see if in fact your blog/brand needs a makeover or if you just need to rethink your strategy and change your course of action.
Are your social media profiles complete, up-to-date and are a true representation of who you are and what you offer?
Is your voice/writing style conveying the message you want?
Does your audience know what you are about?
Are you setting yourself apart from other bloggers in your niche?
How much thought are you putting into your content?
Are you effectively using the digital assets (images, videos, audio, etc)?
Are you using the tools available to you to your advantage to properly market your blog/yourself?
If you are looking to monetize, are you at different ways to make money or are you putting all your eggs in one basket?
Is what you are doing right now fulfilling your needs?
Is the niche you are in creating the opportunities you desire?
Is the content you are producing in line with your goals?
Share: What questions are you asking yourself as you shift your focus to grow your blog?
We are starting off the series with the creation and execution of link strategies. Strategies that will help you find ways to get noticed not only by your peers or the industry that you are representing but also creating buzz around your site and brand.
Link building in my opinion is one of the most significant components of gaining and generating traffic to your site as well as the overall exposure to search engines.
What is link building?
Link building is about getting other sites to link back to your site. Some strategies include guest posting, commenting on other sites, utilizing social networking, news and bookmarking sites among others.
Why use a link building strategy?
The purpose of figuring out and creating the strategy that best suits your needs is to build quality incoming traffic to your site. These incoming links create visibility and credibility to you, your brand and your site.
What types of links are beneficial?
Links used in link building strategies often include:
Inbound links – links from other pages or sites point directly to yours
Outbound links – links on your site that link to another website or blog
Internal links – linking to a different post or page within your own site
External links – when another site links to yours
Organic links – when someone directly clicks on your link
Where do you start?
The first thing you need to do before creating a link building strategy is to conduct a link audit of your site and find out where you are linked and/or being linked to. Using tools such as Google Webmaster provides you with the information needed to better understand where you should and should not be setting your site on.
Once you have established where the best areas are for your niche, now it’s time to create a strategy and execute.
How to create a link building strategy?
It is important to keep your eye on the prize. When putting together a strategy it is important to know who your link target will be. Focus on building a list of where you want to make your presence known and what will appeal to your audience.
Get your brand and site represented on different outlets. Find out where your audience is and set yourself up there. Get your links on blogs, social media sites and other sites within your niche/market and get noticed.
How to build link popularity?
Some ways to execute your strategy include and are not limited to:
Creating list posts
Creating link posts
Making sure your content is easy to understand and always checking for errors
The more the blogging world grows, the more new conferences are created, many catering to very specific niches. It might get a bit overwhelming just thinking about all the conferences and trying to decide which one to invest time and money into. I´m here to tell you that the if you are serious about blogging as a career, the time and money spent on a blogging conference should be a priority investment for you.
5 Reasons why blogging conferences are important
1. Meeting your online friends, contributors, and readers face to face. Feeling that you belong to a real, breathing community and that what you do matters. Most bloggers will tell you that the most important thing they got from a conference was the invaluable connections they made and how those relationships evolve afterwards.
2. Learning directly from experts who have been there, done that. This is your chance to meet that blogger you´ve always admired and either listen to her/him speak or meet the one-on-one.
3. Meeting your blog heroes and realizing that they are normal–just like you and me–but that there´s just something, or many things, they are doing right. Humanizing your idols is essential because it gives you the boost to believe in yourself and realize that if they can do it, so can you. You just need to want it bad enough and work really hard at it.
4. Putting a face to the brand and the email pitches. Yes, there is a real and breathing human behind those pitches. If you want to work with brands, it´s important to put yourself in the perspective of those who have to create the strategies and pitches to reach out to you. It is also great for them to know the face behind the blog and see the passion in your eyes.
5. Polishing your offline networking skills. It can become easy to sit behind the computer and type away your life. It is much harder to put yourself out there and truly engage with your community. Offline networking is essential and you will realize that most of your great partnerships come from offline events.
Now, I know I don´t really need to convince you to want to go to a blogging conference because you´ve already heard all the buzz from BlogHer, Blogalicious, BlissDom, EVO, BlogWorld, Bloggy Bootcamp, etc. However, I do want you to want it badly enough that you will sit down and stare at this list of 2011 blog conferences and figure out which one is a good fit for you and what you can do to get there. Keep in mind that you don´t only need to focus on the huge conferences. Amazing learning, networking and speaking opportunities are being held in your backyard. Find your local Social Media Club and participate as much as you can.
4 Ways to Get into a Blog Conference without breaking the bank
1. Volunteer. Yes, most blog conferences accept volunteers to man their registration desks, live blog, etc. Both BlogHer and Type-A Parent already put out a call for volunteers, but unfortunately they are both now closed. Keep your eyes peeled for the many volunteer opportunities coming up. A full list of blogger and social media conferences resources is at the end of this article.
2. Submit a proposal to be a speaker. Please don´t shudder at the thought of it, just do it. If you dig deep enough you will find a topic that you are really comfortable talking about. Conference organizers are always looking to diversify their roster of speakers and most want to have fresh faces every year. Why can´t that be you? I was invited to speak at BlissDom 2011 because I made the effort to submit a proposal. I had nothing to loose, and was so surprised that I actually made the cut. Go for it! EVO and Type-A Parent, amongst others are accepting submissions for their 2011 conferences right now. I highly recommend you look-out for the Blogalicious 2011 call for speakers which should be happening soon.
3. Find a sponsor. If you work with brands, there are probably some you work with more than others. Create a well-thought out proposal of what you can offer them in return for a sponsorship. Be very clear and concise as to what your needs are and what you can do for them. Make sure you check out the conferences’ rules regarding sponsorships before you offer anything. Most don´t allow you to hand out samples, flyers, etc while in conference areas. Type-A Parent has come up with a very unique way to partner bloggers up with brands that are looking to sponsor them. I urge you to sign up because you might be exactly the blogger one of the brands is looking for!
4. Look for contests and giveaways. Many bloggers, brands and even the conference sites themselves host various giveaways for conference tickets. I have to mention Type-A Parent again because they are hosting a contest for a full conference pass for three winners. It ends in four days, February 20, so enter now!