How To Write 3 Months Of Content Consistently

This post is a submission via our member Brittany. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article │ Photo is via Shutterstock.

This post is a submission via our member Brittany. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article │ Photo is via Shutterstock.

If you’re here to grab your content challenge worksheet, you can download the worksheet for free here.

So it’s been a minute since I’ve done a goal post, but the last quarter of the year is starting. Typically, I use this quarter to prepare for Q1 and Q2 of the next year.

This year, I’m doing a content challenge for Q4. The idea is to create content consistently as a means of proving a concept for a few new brands I’ve created.

Three months is the perfect amount of time to determine if you can stick to an idea, and execute the idea, or if you need to let it go.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the challenge–mastering this challenge is my ONLY goal for October and the rest of Q4. If you want to join me, I’ve created a worksheet to help you complete the challenge.

Content Challenge Rules

Write down your ideas

First, you need to write down your ideas in a notebook that you’re going to revisit daily. If that means you have to always carry around a notebook for all of Q4, so be it. Your desire to succeed should be greater than your short term discomfort.

Ideally, you should write down your ideas as they come. But, try to write and conceptualize ideas when you first wake up and right before you go to bed.

Remember, you only need 12 ideas you can execute on.

Outline your content ideas

Outlines are the key to success. It’s easier, and more efficient, to write regularly if you’re outlining your content. To do this, I brainstorm various post titles/ideas, sketch out an introduction, and include the key concepts I want to explore in the post.

At the very least you need to be writing down the key topics you want to discuss in the post. If you can flesh out a “first sentence” for each key point please go for it.

Remember, you only need 12 outlines total for the whole quarter. Once you hit 12, stop. Let’s not waste energy being extra.

If you grab my free content challenge worksheet, you’ll have a spot for the key point sentences and a spot for the introduction.

Write 2 pieces of content a week

Each week you need to try to write 2 pieces of content a week. That may mean sitting down one day and writing 2 pieces in one go. Or, you may want to write a portion of each piece daily.

The purpose of writing 2 pieces is to force you to create backup content. Let’s be honest, it’s very hard to go 3 months without a wrench not wrecking at least once week. If you have been writing 2 posts a week, you give yourself some breathing room.

For this step, just write/fill in your outlines. Don’t worry about editing, or finishing the posts. Just write them.

Finish and schedule at least 1 piece of content each week

Set aside a day each week to finish AND schedule at least 1 piece of content. This is my biggest hurdle to be honest. I can write content for days, but if I don’t just press publish I will get all in my head and convince myself the piece isn’t ready.

We aren’t doing that this challenge.

Whether you are comfortable, or not, you will finish and schedule a piece to go out weekly. Finishing a piece means editing it for grammar, improving the structure, and developing the images for the piece.

Then you need to schedule it to go out no earlier than next week.

If you’re able to finish and schedule 2 pieces you have 1 for next week, and 1 for the week after. The goal is to always stay ahead of your editorial calendar.

Don’t over think this step. Just get it done. You won’t get any results, nor grow your brand, if you don’t publish your content.

The goal of this challenge is to gauge whether an idea of yours (old or new) will get any traction with an audience. I have 2 brands I’m starting from zero, 1 I’m restarting, and then my design brand @xobritdear. So, regardless of where you are in your journey I’m with you lol.

Don’t forget to download your free content challenge worksheet. It will help you with all the steps above!

How To Get Featured In The Blogs: Why This Is Important For Your Brand

This post is a submission via our member Avabella. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article. 

This post is a submission via our member Avabella. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article

In the age that we live in, old ways just don't work anymore. Your website, no matter how awesome it is, and your Instagram posts are not enough to move product off your shelves. No matter what you're selling - you should be engaging and building relationships with influencers. I want to provide you with a few tips on how to get your brand visible in the blogs. 

In this post, I'm speaking from a few layers of experience - I've been on both sides. When I released my first studio recording, I knew that if I wanted to get more people to my website to just listen, let alone buy, I needed to be seen. If I could get one blogger or media outlet to talk about me and my music, the chances were greater for me getting other bloggers who would do the same. Fast forward. It's a year after releasing the project and I launch AvaBella's Indie Blog. I've seen it all. I've gotten emails about just about everything. No lie. From music, to candles, to events, to pillows, to body creams, to hair products, to beard balms, to nonprofits, to crowdfunding initiatives, to cupcakes in a jar; you name it; I've seen it in my email. 

So let me cut to the chase and help you out. Here's a few things you need to know about getting your brand in the blogs and why the heck it's so important anyway. Let's go!

Why is it important? Can't I just make good music? My crochet hats are super cute; won't people just buy them? Why can't I just use my facebook page? Or facebook marketplace? Isn't my instagram enough? Follows and likes don't make you any money, hun.  Well, not all by themselves.

Remember that old phrase, "word of mouth"? Do you know how to reach beyond your immediate circle of influence? When one blogger who is a trusted thought-leader talks about your brand and shares your brand with their audience; it starts a domino effect. That's why bloggers are referred to as influencers - they have influence.

How do I pick a blog/blogger? Most bloggers who have a following and consider their blog a business have a media kit or press package that details who their audience is. Are their readers male, female, 20's, 30's? What are their interests? What does their audience shops for? You'll find your answers by requesting this, if their is not already a link on their blog menu. You may also be able to see things like other brands they've worked with, their social media reach, and how many email subscribers they have. 

You can also find bloggers right in your own social feeds. If not, you can search for them via google search or right in social media platform search bar. Just type in the words blog or blogger and watch the magic happen.

What is the cost? Please understand up front that you are paying for a service. Some bloggers will even put their service list right on the media kit with pricing.

Bloggers will charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour for a post that may take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to research for, write, proofread, edit, photograph and edit product images, and then promote to their following via social media and email. This all can depend on how long they have been blogging, their total social reach and/or subscriber count, and how many people visit their site monthly.

There are so many variables and bloggers have their own way of coming up with their price. Please be fair and respectful. Just as you have taken time to develop your brand; so have they.

Do all bloggers charge? The best answer is no. A blogger may ask for you to pay for the cost to ship the product to them and possibly that they be allowed to keep the product in exchange for reviewing it. This is one scenario and if you're just starting out, this may be what works for you.

Another way some bloggers are compensated is with product plus a smaller dollar per hour rate, or even a flat rate to review. There can always be any combination of these offered. Be open to that. Do your research. If they have client testimonials available, read them. If they don't, look at their social media? Search their name. I also encourage you to have an agreement of some kind. It's still business. I have to follow with, in business, you get what you pay for. Again, don't forget to be fair with your compensation offer.

How does it really work? If you're just starting out, you may, or may not have a marketing budget. NEWSFLASH - you need a marketing budget and bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers should be apart of that budget. Still, new marketing methods and means don't work alone! Having social media does not mean you should not still utilize tried and true methods like radio and print publications; these should all be a part of the saaaaaaame plan. So know that you will give away some product, you will quite possibly pay to reach an influencer's twitter, instagram, and facebook following, and you will absolutely need to cross promote. It's called social media.

Build a relationship - ahead of time. READ their blog - this is how you'll get to know if your brand is good fit, and if their blog is a good fit for your brand. Interact with their followers who retweet, repost, and share the review. Actually, do this ahead of time! Comment on the review once it's posted. Answer the questions about products; be a part of the conversation. 

What should I expect? There are no guarantees Hun! I wish I could say otherwise because that would be a perfect world, right? Here's the thing, the more you circulate your brand name and enter into partnerships that organically allow for more eyes to know about it; you've won. That is the point. People read blogs to get product information when they are already in the midst of the buying decision.

We now live in a customer-centric time when brands have an opportunity to gain market metrics in the moment. A blogger talking about your product in an already noisy market, may just be the cosign you need to have customers flocking. Use it to your advantage. If you have a blog of your own; post the review there. If you don't you may just need to chat with a blogger for a consultation on how to start one.

I hope this inspires you to partner not just with bloggers, but influencers of all kinds to GET VISIBLE. I hope this post has answered a few questions for those of you who want to make blog reviews and mentions part of your marketing plan.

How to Throw the ULTIMATE BLOGGERS Lounge

This post is a submission via our member Cicely. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article. 

This post is a submission via our member Cicely. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article

Over the weekend I had the privilege to attend an amazing Bloggers Lounge  with Bella Kinks DFW Natural Hair Expo sponsored by Silk Elements and the experience was life changing. I won’t go too deep but just meeting other bloggers new and not so new gave me a new perspective on the blogging world.

You are probably wondering what a Bloggers Lounge is! I was right there with you. I had no idea, I didn’t know what to expect. I pictured people with their laptops blogging. But to my surprise, it was a party, a networking event that  was building community. It not only benefited the bloggers but the brand as well.

What is a Bloggers Lounge? A group of influencers that come together for a specific event, cause, or business to network and share about the brand.

Why have a Bloggers Lounge? Remember, these dope people are influencers. They have a following of people that trust their opinion. If you get a group of people to come to your event and their focus is to share with their social media about you, that will help spread your brand. If you haven’t read Why Businesses Should Work With Bloggers, you should!

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The Bella Kinks Natural Hair Expo took place over the weekend, it was a 2 day event. There were vendors, speakers and more. A great way they nailed the marketing aspect was by inviting bloggers to come partake in great food, conversation, music and LOTS OF PICTURES. This became a photoshoot and rightfully so. All these beautifully dope women stayed slaying the night away. What happens when people take pics? They want to show the world. That is what happened! Now, the hashtag to the event is being spread by major influencers.
Now let’s talk about the brand or business that you want to promote and be sure to have your HASHTAG that everyone should be using in all of their posts for the event.

How to Throw the Ultimate Bloggers Lounge

Step 1. Have a dope product or brand that you are excited about. It can be BRAND new or old as dirt but you have to be excited about it and it has to relatable to the bloggers. You cannot get a blogger that writes about cars to show up and expect them to promote beauty products. You want to make sure that they are in the industry and that their following is the market you are targeting.


Step 2. Make it exclusive. There was an application process and bloggers were chosen. You can do it however you would like, maybe you are looking for bloggers with the most followers but something Julian from Bella Kinks said, was that sometimes bloggers with 100,000 followers do not have a lot of engagement and that sometimes bloggers with 1,000 have more engagement with followers so numbers are cool but it is all about that ROI.


Step 3. Have them promoting BEFORE the event even happens. Give them guidelines, they are pretty much now working for you! As a blogger promoting this event, I had to post twice before the event to my social media… That helps with getting people to the event.

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Step 4. The Set Up, it has to be photo op ready! Make sure there are plenty of spots to take amazing photos, especially if it is the beauty and fashion industry. Make sure you have great decor and your brand and hashtag around so that people can easily tag it in their posts.


Step 5. Have great eats! People love to eat, it makes the event less stuffy and more engaging. The event was catered and they had an amazing spread.


Step 6. Have a program, not too structured but make sure you are hitting key things that make for great photo and video ops.


Step 7. Have some amazing hosts! Get people to really turn the place up. People that are outgoing and approachable!

Step 8. Give the gift of SWAG. Silk Elements, the sponsor for the event was super generous and provided each blogger with a HEAVY bag of amazing hair products. We will be using these products, and in our posts we will always give a shoutout. I personally have done a periscope and put it on my snapchat so far.


Step 9. Recap the night! Silk Elements hosted a Twitter Party to recap the night. They had us invite our followers to join in. There were questions asked and lots of sharing of pictures and videos.

Now you're ready to plan your own Bloggers Lounge! Thanks for reading and happy planning.
 

How To Avoid Blogger Envy

This post is a submission via our member Makayla Lynn. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article. 

This post is a submission via our member Makayla Lynn. For more information on this article or for any questions, please feel free to contact her directly or visit the original article

Allowing yourself to experience ‘Blogger Envy’ is, by far, the easiest way to lose the ambition that it takes to power on as a creative.

here will always be moments in our journey when we see someone else surpass milestones with what LOOKS like the snap of a finger, and, in those moments, jealousy will surely cloud our senses. Sure enough, our productivity is low, the drive to achieve is almost nonexistent, and our creative juices stop flowing altogether.

It’s not only imperative that we stay as far away as possible from the WORD envy, let alone the emotions that come with it, but we need to be more intentional with how we see OUR brands and endeavors.

Why is it okay to disrespect ourselves by wishing we were anywhere else BUT where we actually are? You are living, breathing and working in your current season for a reason. If it was meant for you to blow up overnight then you would be much further, but you're not there yet and THAT IS OKAY.

This will be a short post, but nonetheless helpful to those that feel as though there’s ALWAYS something they want to improve, based off of what they see on other blogs. You may see someone's social media feed and wonder how you can make yours like theirs, or notice someone re-brand their blog and wish that you had the resources to do the same…

If you find yourself suffering from blogger envy, boy, oh boy, do we need to have a talk.

Quick story, because Lord knows I’ve had plenty of ‘blogger envy’ experiences over my first year of building my brand.

As a new (serious) blogger, around April of 2016, I was constantly searching for inspiration on Pinterest from other blogs and bloggers that were both established and successful. I would look at what they had in their sidebar, header, footer, blog page and so on…

Let's just say that I spent 90% of the time I had, to create content, watching other bloggers and trying to memorize every little piece of advice that I could.

It was exhausting trying to 'keep up with the Joneses' and find ways to match my site to those that I admired, continuously changing my content based off of what I SAW. There was a good month, after basking in the sunlight of my envious heart, where I disappeared and didn’t attempt to touch my computer, let alone work on my website.

I wasn't uploading, thinking, planning or even RESTING for the sake of my online brand. I stopped dead in my tracks and let something I thought I loved waste away until, at the end of the month when I snapped myself back into a positive mindset, I logged back in to see that I had only five page views each day for a week straight.

Now, what’s wrong with that picture? I went from nearly 200 page views each day to FIVE. That was both devastating and embarrassing, knowing how much I shamelessly promoted my brand to my social platforms only to desert it months later due to jealousy and self-pity.

Needless to say, I dug myself a hole and fell into it—completely abandoning my responsibilities JUST because I wasn't where other people were.

If you find yourself spending more time on other blogs than on your own, I urge you to reconsider why that’s happening and think about where that could LEAD to.

Who knows, you might be genuinely inspired and motivated to create valuable content on your blog, or you may be like me—abandoning your blog because of how overwhelming running after other people's dreams became.

It’s time to get on track and be more intentional with our brands, businesses or blogs. Respect what you're doing enough to be its biggest fan.

Respect your brand/business enough to be its biggest fan.CLICK TO TWEET

Stop looking in every direction in the hopes that it will lead you to where you need to be. Look directly at what’s in front of you, what you’re working with and what resources you have to achieve YOUR dreams.

Don't get me wrong, supporting other bloggers and spending a considerable amount of time learning from their personal journey is a smart thing to do, most days. If the desire to LEARN from them is more significant than the desire to BE like them, then you're on the right track. If it's the other way around, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate. 

What I ended up doing was limiting my time on Pinterest, other than on my regular social media scheduling days. I read blog posts, but only ones from bloggers I trusted to inform me of something I DIDN'T already know.

The biggest time-killing mistake one can make is read post after post about topics they're already familiar with. Read what will help you on your journey, interact with your peers that share similar struggles and niches, and actively work on YOUR side of the fence if there's something you don't like.

If it's a theme issue, change it. If it's your niche, narrow it down. If it's your content, take more time to create content that you're proud of.

Blogger envy is the enemy that's stealing creatives away from their purpose. I urge you to refocus, take a business hiatus or do whatever it takes to light the match that 'burned out.'

If you spent enough time on your dreams, I can't find any reason on earth why it wouldn't work in your favor.



Be the #Boss you've always wanted to be.
 

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