Episode 1: Can A Rural Blogger Be Successful? (Here Are 5 Ways To Do It!)

I’m so excited for Episode 1 of Blog With Kim!  Make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Itunes.  Trying to get your blog exposure can be hard when you live in a rural area.  Many bloggers believe that they have to live in Atlanta, New York, or LA to be successful, but I believe there is a way to obtain success right where you.

Show Notes: 5 Ways To Be Successful As A Rural Blogger

  1. Networking is a must when you are trying to build an audience.  It is important to build relationships and attend events and conferences.
  2. Reach out and collaborate with local bloggers and businesses.  This will help you create content that will give your blog more exposure.
  3. You must have an original angle—do what you love and develop a specific niche.
  4. Be proud of your city.  Explore, learn, and share your city with the world.  This helps to build interest around your blog.
  5. Your blog should be very focused and updated regularly.  People should know why you are the expert.

What Makes Your Blog Stand Apart From Others? | Blog With Kim Podcast

Welcome to a new year and the new Blog With Kim Podcast!  Whoot!  I am so excited about this new podcast that was created to help you learn how to identify and use your unique gifts and talents to build a successful online business with a blog.  I reached so many of my goals last year, and that was because I truly understand what makes my brand and blog unique.  If you are striving to find your purpose and take your blog to the next level, I would highly recommend that you listen to the launch of this podcast episode.  Let me know your thoughts!

How I Found My Voice

When I first started blogging I was very unsure of my direction, my voice, and how much of myself I wanted to reveal through my online presence.  The power of having a “voice” is one of the greatest gifts that you can you have in life because it is yours. Reflecting back, I now realize that fear was holding me back.  I was afraid of judgement; I surely didn’t want to offend anyone with my thought processes or personality.  It is always a journey trying to find your voice and develop your brand as a blogger that’s why I am offering my new webinar, “Find Your Voice.” I am a developing a series of inexpensive webinars that will help you take your online presence to the next level!

When I freed myself from this bondage and found my voice, I was able to create a blog that has continued to flourish and grow with my core audience.  Fear can keep you stuck because it doesn’t allow you to step away from common forms of thinking and just be an individual, and I pride myself on being a free thinker.

When I found my “voice” it was life-changing.  It helped me grow and understand my audience and my purpose.  This is why I developed my brand new class, “Find Your Blogging Voice!”  I want other bloggers and business owners to understand the power of having a clear voice so that you will stand above all of the noise that is online.  Today I’m going to share a few tips that helped me to develop my voice.

Have A Clear Point of View 

When your readers understand your point of view it helps them understand what makes you different from others. This does not mean that you should be tactless or offensive, but it is good to be somewhat vulnerable at times.  Your readers need to see the “real you.”  Showing that you have flaws and are human is always a good thing.

Just Start & Be Consistent

In order to develop your voice, you have to begin creating a consistent body of work that people will start to identify you by.  As you continue to blog you will evolve, and you can tweak things along the way.

Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks

I would have never developed the confidence that is required to build a blog or start my own courses if I let fear control me.  I had to step away from the thought-processes of what it means to have a successful blog and create my own vision.  I had to set goals for myself, without being afraid of what others may think.  You will never have a blog that you love if you are afraid to do anything that is different.

Identify Your Target Audience

You have to understand early on that you are not expecting everyone to read your blog.  You only need the people who resonate with your content and beliefs!  It is better to have a core group of loyal blog followers, than random people who visit your blog infrequently.  When you focus on your audience, your voice will become quite clear because you will begin to attract the people that need your information.  You will even attract people who think they don’t like them, but you win them over somehow.

Be Deliberate With Your Delivery

Take some time to figure out your personality and writing style, and be deliberate about the way you disseminate your information. This will help to really illuminate your voice more deeply, which will help to develop your unique blogging voice.

It is time to step out of the shadows of other blogs and become confident about your voice so that you can grow your own audience. My new webinar will help you do just that!  If your interested sign-up for the webinar HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Developing A Niche On Instagram

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about what it takes to “truly” develop a unique Instagram presence, one that truly will help you reach your target audience, get more readers to your blog, and earn an income.  It all boils down to your “niche”.   What is your page offering that your audience will find a hard time finding in a ton of places?  Here are few strategies to help.

1. Develop Your Audience With Hashtags

Hashtags are the search engine for Instagram.  You can find your audience, other bloggers, and stay current with the trends within your niche.  Using hashtags will not only help people find you, it will help you start to develop a unique voice that will attract a very specific audience.  When you know what is happening within your blogging niche, you will start getting more ideas on what you can offer that is more unique.

2. Develop A New Way To Connect

The one thing that is lacking on Instagram is true engagement from most of its users.  You can make your platform shine by developing a true connection with the people that support what you do.  Make your followers apart of your story.  Share your work behind the scenes and different projects that are working on for them.  Likewise, answer their questions, thank them, ask them questions to make them feel appreciated.  This is how you convert followers into loyal blog readers.

3. Develop A Strategy

Your picture aesthetic is not the only thing that you should be improving on Instagram.  You must develop a detailed plan for your social media platforms if you want to see your blog grow.  How many times are you posting?  What pictures get the most comments and likes?  What content does your audience seem to enjoy the most?  Answering these questions will help you develop a page that is geared towards you target audience.  Your page will be alive and interactive!  You become a leader in your blogging niche when you attract the right audience to your social media pages.

4. Create An Awesome Bio

Your bio is like a resume.  Your followers should be able to look at that information and come up with a theory about what you do as a blogger, and what your strengths are.  I stress the importance of this in my Instagram For New Bloggers class. Your bio is very important because it gives people a glimpse into what you are passionate about and what you do well that they may find useful.

5. Always Have A Call-To-Action

You have to tell your followers what you want them to do.  Your posts may be geared towards moving people to your blog, selling a product, or joining your email list. Whatever the purpose of your posts, you should be creating interesting content that makes people want to act.  Once you can lead your followers to act, you are on the road to developing a niche that works for your blog.

I hope this post helps to start you on the journey of developing an Instagram page that stands out in the crowd!

How To Succeed On Instagram As A Newbie Blogger

The new Instagram algorithm change that will be rolling out slowly has a lot of people worried about how this will affect their blog traffic.  Instagram has decided to move towards the Facebook and the Pinterest route by no longer allowing the pictures in your feed to be viewed in chronological order.  Instead, your pictures will be displayed by what Instagram thinks you would “like to see the most.”  I think this change is not bad after reflecting on it for awhile.  Even if we don’t like it, does Instagram really care…umm no!  I believe this change will help to connect your page with the people who are actually interested in your content, instead of lurkers who never really interact with your page anyway.

What does this mean for you as a new blogger?

1. Your content needs to be better than ever before!  You should think “quality over quantity” when it comes to your Instagram strategy.  In my Instagram For New Bloggers course, I talk about the importance of posting amazing pictures on your profile and I give some very useful tips on how to do that.  If you have been slacking with your picture quality or the information that you share on your platform, it is time to step it up.  Take some time to really think things through and develop a plan.

2. Get started with your email list immediately. The amount of email subscribers you have is way more important than your social media numbers.  I discuss this in one of my previous posts on how to send your first email. Check that out here. You own your email list, but you don’t own Instagram.  While Instagram is a very resourceful tool to use to grow your blog, you have no control over this platform.  Creating an email list will allow you to have instant access to the people that appreciate the content that you are creating.  I also created a tutorial on how to create your first email using MailChimp, which is a free emailing platform as long as you have under 2,000 email subscribers.

 

IMG_7263

3. Start Snapping. I have not been on Snapchat that long, but I am starting to warm up to it.  There is nothing changing about Snapchat at the moment, so now might be a great time to develop a following over there!  You can find me on Snapchat @naturallyfashionable.  This is a great way to connect with your supporters and give them a glimpse inside your world.  Snapchat promotion is something that you really should not ignore as a blogger.

4. Start Collaborating.  Find other bloggers that you can partner up with to create Instagram challenges or to share each other’s content.  This form of cross-promotion will help to build your exposure and get more comments and likes on your platform.  In addition, it will help you to build meaningful relationships with other bloggers.

So don’t be afraid of the new changes, just focus on quality content and be consistent.  You can’t lose with hard work and dedication.  Join my Instagram For New Bloggers class if you need help with creating amazing content on Instagram. The class has great reviews and the participants have seen their numbers grow!

Why Every New Blogger Needs An Email List!

I know that as a new blogger you may be thinking, why do I need an email list, especially when you are in the beginning stages of your blog.  If I was starting my blog right now I would make sure that I had an email list before I focused on anything else, including a blog. There is so much power in an email list and if you don’t understand that early in the game, you may be setting yourself up for failure.  Here are some reasons why you need to start building your email list today!

  • You don’t own any social media platform (and if you do hook me up-lol).  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are all great ways to build exposure for your blog, but you do not own them.  What would you do if your account was deleted and you did not have a way to contact all of the people who are subscribed to you on your social media outlets?  Think about it.
  • As bloggers we all should be providing useful content and finding creative ways to build an engaged audience.  An email list is the perfect way to share exclusive content and encourage your supporters to share your content.  When you have a person’s email list, you basically have personal access to them and that is invaluable.
  • Your are missing out on money-making opportunities when you do not have an email list.  Smart bloggers understand how to use affiliate marketing within their emails.  This is a place to share the products that you love, as well as your own products and services.  You are missing out on earning potentials when you don’t have an email list.  There are expert bloggers who spend a lot of time creating blog funnels.  A funnel is “marketing strategy process” that is used to get a desired result from your audience, whether you are looking for some form of support or a sale.

So where do you get started?

  1. Sign up for an account with mailchimp.  This the emailing system that I use, and while I have to pay for my service (due to the number of subscribers that I have).  You can use this service for free as long as you have less than 2,000 subscribers.
  2. After you sign up at mailchimp, watch my tutorial below on how to set your first list and send your first email off!

3 Ways To Use Your Personality To Grow Your Blog

Personality

We all have very unique personalities! Some are louder and flashier than others, but there is an audience out there that will absolutely love your personality, whether it is soft or boisterous.  I am often told that I have a very “direct” personality, and I used to feel that word had a negative connotation, but that is who I am.  I am a nonsense type of person and that is probably not going to change…lol.  When I began to accept the various parts of my personality and included those unique traits into my blogging process, my platform begin to flourish in positive ways.  You cannot hide from who you are, so use it to your benefit.

Your personality is the one unique thing that no one else 
has, so use it. Click To Tweet

Here are some ways to use your radiant personality to advance your blog:

1. Take some time to get to know who you are and what makes your personality shine.  Everyone is doing some version of the same thing with blogging, so what truly makes you unique is your personality and the way that you share information.  You are the star of your own world and can capture your audience with a great personality.  This requires you not to be afraid of rejection, so spend some time getting to know yourself “off the Internet” and entwine your personality into your blog and social media presence. 

Ask yourself:

  • What do I stand for?
  • What do I like?
  • How would others describe me?

2. Blogging niches help to develop your voice as a writer.  You have to be very clear what the “message” and the “vision” for your blog is.  Your personality traits will naturally direct you towards the things that you love and do well.  Don’t fight what you are obviously talented at.  Be very detailed with your writing and take your blog from general to more laser-focused content.  If you need help with developing your voice.  Read this post.

3. Tell Your Story! We all have a story.  Your story is the one thing that makes your blog truly unique.  No one shares the same experiences as you..they may be similar but not the same.  Lately, I have been encouraging the students who are taking my INSTAGRAM FOR NEW BLOGGERS course to make sure that they are visually telling their stories online.  A story is powerful, and you can capture your personality through your words and images.  Your writing style and pictures that relate to your content instantly give your blog a personality and charm.

Weave your story into your blog posts:

  • Share moments of enlightenment.  How have you changed or grown?
  • Show people that you are human. Discuss the ups and downs of life as they relate to your subject matter on your blog.
  • Think of yourself as a character in a novel.  What adventures are your experiences can you share that will inject more personality into your blog posts?

Take your blog to the next level by using your personality to stand apart from the crowd.  Leave me a comment or tweet me with your advice on using your personality.  I would love to hear from you!

Blogging Is Not A Business Model

You all know that I love my blogs, so you may be surprised to find out that I do not view my blog as a business model.  I view it as the “hub” where people come to get information.  It is a place for me to connect with old supporters and attract new ones, so that they can be exposed to various parts of my brand.  Once you are able to attract an audience of any size you will be able to create a business that caters to needs of your readers.  Blogging is not a “get-rich quick” scheme.  It takes a lot of strategy and hard work to build a business around your blog.  There are a few bloggers who I believe can make high profits from their blogs, but it is rare (probably more than you think).

Why blogging is not a business model:

  • It takes a lot of blog traffic to use your blog solely for profit (and that will most likely never happen for the average blogger).  Most blogs, even the most creative and consistent, only make a few dollars a day through affiliate marketing strategies.  You have to have traffic in the hundreds of thousands to millions to really break into the upper crust of high earning blogs.  Some bloggers focus on sponsored posts, but that is not a sure thing either.  Blog marketing is still fairly new, and I imagine that payouts will also change as brands become more familiar with this type of advertising

 

  • I have to agree with expert David Risely, when he says “unless you are selling something you don’t have a business.”  Depending on ad revenue from your blog is not the same thing as having a business.  You can control your own business, but you cannot control how much you earn through ad revenue.

 

  • You have to figure out how to solve a problem for your audience in order to be able to use your blog as a tool for your business.  People purchase services and products from people that they trust in order to make their life easier in some way.  If you can figure out what your audience desires and be able to provide it, you can use your blog as foundation for a profitable business.

 

  • When you treat your blog as “business model” you will appear inauthentic to your audience and it will be difficult to build a loyal following.  You can see this with bloggers who promote every trending item on their blog.  You may get popular, but it will be difficult to convert sales from your blog.  It is crucial to build a community around your blog so that your audience can trust you.  You don’t have to have thousands of followers to develop a business that you are passionate about that your audience will support.

 

  • All your hard work will be in vain if you try to haphazardly earn from it.  You could post everyday, read blogs, try what everyone else is doing and still never earn more than a dollars from your blog.  A blog is platform for creation, self-expression, teaching, and promotion.  You have to be clear about how blogging actually works, especially if you don’t have a widely popular blog.

I hope this post will help you rethink your blogging goals and process.  Do you want to blog as a hobby or use your blog as a promotional platform to pursue your other passions and business goals?