By Jessie Holeva of Trend Hungry
It’s been said that success is when preparation meets opportunity. With the new year approaching, it's a good time to get your blogging ducks in a row and ready yourself for a new year of new successes! Let’s make 2013 a year of good fortune and as blogger Meg Biram says “Get Sh*t Done.”
Sounds good, right?
Okay, let’s get cracking, after all, 2013 right around the corner.
1. Make a list. I make a ridiculous amount of to-do lists, but it keeps me on task and blogging isn’t like a 9 to 5 so you’ve got to add structure for yourself. Start by getting a note pad, a pen you like writing with (red is a color of power in Fung Shui, just food for thought), and start brainstorming what you need to get in order to aid your blog growth. That’s what these next points are here to help with.
2. Make your media kit. If you don’t have one, make one. Potential sponsors, blog agents, whoever wants to work with you will likely ask to see this. It’s not hard, so get it done. And, if you’ve already got one, it’s time to update. Your stats may have changed, or if you got a new logo or some big press add those details in.
3. Brag in your bio. Brands care about this too. Yes, traffic is mucho importante, but you are your brand so make sure you’re showcasing yourself and your blog in the right light. Gala Darling was the keynote at a blog conference I was speaking at and I learned a ton from her. Here’s the video of her portion. Watch it! The concept is simple, brag about yourself, but it’s something we often have trouble doing. Get over it and update your About page to highlight your attributes. Put on your publicist cap and start showing off your fabulous features. No one will know you won that blog award if you bio only mentions you like cats.
4. Update your email address and signature. With every email you send you are making an impression. So, it’s time to get a professional email address (I’m guilty of this offense!). It’s very affordable and if you look at your blog as a biz, then it’s time. Make sure your signature is updated too. It should have a link to your blog and even do a bit of bragging.
Here’s mine. It may be a bit showy, but I’m sure we can all agree that sometimes people don’t give the title “fashion blogger” the respect it deserves. It’s my way of showing potential business contacts that I know what I’m doing, so hire me for a collaboration:
As seen/heard on: The Wall Street Journal, NBC10, FOX29, 6ABC, PA! Live, Better TV, WPLJ's The Ralphie Radio Show, Wired 96.5
5. Editorial Calendar. I know, I know, you’ve heard this before. If you don’t have one, get on it! I use my ical. It’s synced to my phone so wherever I am I can gauge whether or not I can take on a sponsor, go to an event, whatever. If you’ve got contributors, it’s a must. It will help you manage your content so you’re not doing five shoe posts in a row, unless that’s your blog’s thing. Plus when working with a brand it comes off much more professional when you schedule when they’re post will go live. The more organized you are, the more professional you look.
6. Fung Shui your site. The whole point of Fung Shui is to make things convenient. If your doorway of your living space is crowded with boxes, then you’re blocking your entryway and making it less inviting. Adapt this to your blog. Is your site really cluttered? If so, it will distract readers and it will be harder for them to get swept away reading your new DIY. Ask a friend to browse your site and watch them do it. You’ll be able to see what works and what can be improved. A lot of Fung Shui is common sense. So, if you want readers to share your posts, make social media sharing buttons easy for access.
7. Get your invoice in order. When a brand comes a knocking (or you pitch to them, don’t wait for opportunity to come to you) you’ll need to bill them for your services. Draft an invoice that looks professional. It should include your logo, the client being billed, service you provided, who to send payment to (mine includes my PayPal info and address), and a date payment is due by. Obviously, this all changes depending on the deal, but if you’ve got a draft, then all you need to do is key in their info and send it over.
8. Organize your cash money. Whether you’re profiting already or are planning on monetizing this year, plan to save. You are taxed on the money you make and will owe the taxman later, so a good rule is save at least 30 percent for taxes. Create a spreadsheet of what you’re making, who it’s from, and whether you’ve received payment. My web designer Lisa of Elembee uses QuickBooks to keep her bookkeeping in order.
9. Get goal setting. Want to add videos to your site, get your social media numbers up, or monetize? Start thinking about these things and write them down. Make yourself accountable and that way you can figure out what mini goals you need to get there. A goal I recently reached was to have the blog pay my rent. To get there, I had a ton of mini goals to meet first. I had to make a media kit, work on my social media to build an audience, research brands, pitch ideas, go to blogging events and read up on blogging strategy. Whatever you want to happen needs some type of road map to get you there.
10. Get your head right. This one is the most important. Get a positive mind set. Blogging can seem competitive sometimes and it’s hard not to compare yourself and feel like you’re failing when you see other bloggers being flown on trips, posing in campaigns, hosting cool events. December is a busy month for blogging (hello, biggest shopping month of the year) and whether you’re December was profitable or not, focus on the great things you do have and set some goals to keep you focused and feeling positive for the new year. Your attitude can be what takes you to the next level or hinders your success, so get positive and start putting those good vibes out to the universe. It’s the laws of attraction. Be a positive energy magnet and more good things will come to you.
So, what now? Go write a killer bio for your about page, remind yourself how fabulous you are, and get prepared for a year of success and good fortune. And put yourself out there. We can all use a few good blogger friends to share trials, tribulations, plus we’re stronger in numbers!