10 Tips for Creating a Great Instagram Blog

It’s common knowledge that having a broad reach is essential for bloggers and being present on all social media makes it easier for people to find you.

Instagram, with its 900 million monthly users, has clearly taken the world by storm and it seems that everyone is now using the app, not only to share their pizzas and selfies but also to get inspired for their future travel destinations.

If you are a blogger and don’t have an Instagram account yet, 2018 is the year you are going to need one!

However, you can’t drop an account in there and expect magic. Instagram is a high-
maintenance tool. To be noticed on Instagram, you need to constantly share
amazing photos and videos
, but you also need to stand out from the crowd and create a loyal and interested audience.

As I am (very generous) travel blogger and influencer, I’ve decided to share with you my secrets to help you grow your followers and make your Instagram account a great one.


1. Pick a good username

Your Instagram journey starts when you set up your account. If you already have an
established blog name, you might want to stick to that in order to be consistent across all platforms. Otherwise, think of something professional and catchy. Add to it a nice profile picture, a bullet-pointed bio and obviously a link to your travel blog. I was very lucky as when I started my Instagram account early in 2012 I picked @the_storyteller and back then, storytelling wasn’t a popular word as it is today and it got me a long way.

2. Select your niche (and stick to it)

Are you into landscapes or travel food photography? Do you love selfies or architecture? Pick one niche and stick to it. Not every single post needs to be executed exactly in the same way, but with a blink of an eye to your feed, anybody should be able to get the idea of what you stand for and decide if they like what you do or not. I choose mainly landscapes and this is what I mainly do.



3. Tell a story

Great photos are essential, but if you want to make your Instagram stand out, you also need to tell a story through your account. Use the caption area to introduce the place you are visiting, to share some odd things you discovered or maybe some historical facts. It’s true that a picture can speak a thousand words, but sometimes words and stories add that extra touch of interest.

4. Use relevant hashtags

Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per picture. You don’t need to use all of them, but it’s common knowledge that content with 11 or more hashtags receives higher engagement. Some popular and relevant hashtags I use are: #travelblogger #travel #instatravel #travelgram #tourism #passportready #wanderlust #ilovetravel and many more. Then add some more specific hashtags related to the image you are showing, for example I might use #Venice, #London, #Spain etc. Lastly, you should hope to get visibility with some of the most influential accounts related to your topic, for example I use #IAmAtraveler (Conde Nast Traveler), #passionpassport, #traveldeeper, #suitcasetravels and more.

5. Geotag your discoveries and places

By writing posts on your blog you are helping people understand whether they want to
visit a place or not. The same goes for Instagram: by sharing a pic about a city, you want your audience to know what that photo is about. On top of being nice, your post will appear when someone is exploring the content tagged to a certain location.



6. Follow, tag and engage with your Instamates

Following, engaging and tagging other influential accounts on your most amazing
pictures can help you get discovered. They might notice you and feature you on their own account or stories. You should always keep an eye open for competitions and giveaways which are great chances to get your content visible.  If you are loving your meal in a restaurant or a hotel in which you are staying, tag the business on your picture. Your picture might get featured by the business and your content will show up when people look at that account.

7. Use the Instagram Slideshow to introduce your blog post

The new slideshow feature on Instagram allows you to build a story with a series of
pictures. You can create mini travel guides or present an entire meal you had at a great restaurant, or even different rooms of a hotel. 
Pro-tip: you can tag individual photos to give credit to the places and experiences you are sharing.

8. Stories and more stories

It common knowledge that people tend to spend more time on videos than picture lately, so use the Instagram stories feature to show your followers the behind the scene of a picture (for example showing your editing process), to talk about yourself and get personal with them or to talk more about the place you are visiting. Some users have the additional possibility to add links to their stories, once you get this extra feature, make sure to direct your followers to read your articles.



9. Post regularly

Consistency is key in most things in life and Instagram isn’t an exception. In fact, the more regularly you post, the easier it will be for you to build an engaged audience that will be aware of your posting rhythm and habits. By posting at roughly the same time every day, you also increase your chances to connect with the same people and possibly to create a community around your account. Remember to always reply to the comments people leave on your pictures, it’s polite, but it also shows you care about the time people spent leaving you comments.

10. Engage, engage, engage. And repeat.

Unless you have money to spend on fake followers and likes (I highly suggest you to
steer away from all of that), the best way to build a credible and organic audience is by investing time and energy in your account. If you are serious about it, then you should reserve an hour or two every day to connect with people and engage with their content. You will need to study bigger accounts to try and capture the secret of their success and then you should always stay on top of things. By checking your statistics, you need to be able to change and adapt your strategy to what people like the most.

Revealed: Which are the Most Popular Types of Blogs?

When starting a blog, one of the most common questions you might think of is which are the most popular types of blog? There are many different types of blogs covering a wide range of topics, interests, and audiences. For a successful blog, you need to plan ahead and choose the niche that works for you. In this article, we will share the most popular types of blogs that you can start right away.



What Should You Blog About?

To decide the niche of your blog, you need to know about your passion. Every niche has its own audience who search for content related to their interests. Writing about your passion helps you continuously come up with great content ideas as your blog grows.

You don’t just need to plan for content. You also need to choose a WordPress theme, optimize for SEO, and improve performance of your site. These are the tasks that are not directly related to writing but equally important for the success of your blog.

Let’s take a look at the most popular types of blogs that exist:

1. Fashion Blogs

Fashion blogs are one of the most popular types of blogs on the internet. It’s a big industry with a huge global audience. Fashion bloggers get invited to major events, receive special perks, merchandise, and even business deals by top fashion brands.

Fashion Blogs

These types of blogs are good for creative people with a keen eye for style and fashion. You can start a fashion blog and start making money online by following our guide.

2. Food Blogs

Food blogs are another popular blog type. It attracts a lot of readers who are interested in recipes, ingredients, healthy eating, fine dining, and other food related stories.

Food Blogs

Many food bloggers just start with something as simple as their local restaurant reviews. However, as their blog grows so does their interests and target audience. They start covering other food related topics as well. Take a look at our guide on how to start a food blog.

3. Travel Blogs

Travel blogs are becoming more popular each day. Due to cheap air travel, people are traveling more than ever, and they are always looking for travel tips, advice, and destination guides.

Travel Blogs

These blogs make it easy for other travelers to learn about a destination they have never been to. If you are a traveler, then we recommend you to create your travel blog.

4. Music Blogs

Music blogs has a wide audience who search for critiques on the best and trending music. Music lovers enjoy songs from different languages, cultures and norms.

Music Blogs

The music industry has big potential for bloggers to write about different types of music like jazz, pop, heavy metal, famous singers, and more.



5. Lifestyle Blogs

Lifestyle blogs are the most popular type of blogs you can find online. They have a variety of readers, interested in topics ranging from culture, arts, local news, and politics. This gives the blogger a wide range of topics to cover, making it easier to plan their content strategy.

Lifestyle Blogs

Lifestyle bloggers get opportunities to be an influencer, write for other publications, become a speaker, and partner with businesses who are working to make a difference in the society.

6. Fitness Blogs

Fitness blogs has been a hot trend since they cover important topics like health and general fitness. People all over the world rely on the internet to seek advice on how to stay fit. It’s a great opportunity for fitness instructors to start a fitness blog and get clients online.

Fitness Blogs

These types of bloggers/instructors write about diets, diet plans, workouts, supplements, and more. Fitness bloggers can also create video content to explain different exercises to their audience. They can monetize their website and videos using Google AdSense and affiliate marketing.

7. DIY Blogs

DIY blogs are very interesting and have a huge audience. It has multiple sub-types like arts and crafts, construction, wood-work, metal-work and more.

DIY Blogs

These interesting DIY activities would encourage visitors to try new stuff and share it with the trainer/blogger. DIY blogs may involve a lot of communication which is great for blogging.

8. Sports Blogs

Sports blogs are another interesting type of blogs online. Every country in the world has different sports and every sport has its own stars. Sports blogging may also include bloggers who are writing paid content for teams, athletes, and other organizations.

Sports Blogs

The other format in sports blogging is to write about latest events all over the world. Furthermore, bloggers share live status of multiple sports on their Twitter accounts automatically linked to the blogs.



9. Finance Blogs

A lot of us need help and advice to manage our finances efficiently. This gives finance blogs a wide audience ranging from serious investors to families trying to save for a better future.

Finance Blogs

Personal finance blogs share advice for businesses, investors, startups, individuals and families. It’s a good blog niche for the people interested in the complex world of managing money and generating wealth.

10. Political Blogs

Political blogs have perhaps the most passionate audience of all. They cover news on politics, analysis of political news, and can quickly build a very large engaging audience.

Political Blogs

It has become common for the big political affiliates to hire their own blogging team. These bloggers share the agenda of the political party and write about their policies / plans to attract more people towards the representatives.

11. Parenting Blogs

Parenting blogs have a huge, passionate, and highly engaged audience. New parents worry a lot and are always willing to improve their parenting skills.

Parenting Blogs

Mom blogs and dad blogs have different styles of writing. These blogs may involve activities with kids, guidance on food, techniques for early home education and more.

12. Business Blogs

Business blogs are the professional blogs related to the corporate agencies, industries and others. They offer a casual way to communicate with customers and educate them about a businesses product or service.

Business Blogs

OptinMonster’s conversion rate optimization blog is a great example of a business blog. It educates users about converting website visitors into customers using the best conversion optimization software in the world.

13. Personal Blogs

Personal blogs belong to individual writers who share their experiences, adventures, and daily life with their audience. The purpose of personal blogging can be anything like making a difference through positive stories or influencing readers with own views.

Personal Blogs

Personal bloggers also include photographers who share photos online to get more work, vloggers who create videos on their daily life routine, chef/cook who share recipes on the blog, and more.



16. Movie Blogs

Movie blogs share news and reviews of new movies and the film industry in general. They have a large audience on the internet. Bloggers are invited to watch premium shows before the public release of movies, so they can write reviews and generate buzz about an upcoming movie.

Movie Blogs

15. Car Blogs

Car blogs are usually about luxury and sports cars. They cover a wide range of topics including latest car models, their features, engineering, and more. They can even partner up with local car dealerships for business opportunities. These blogs have all the information about modern cars, vintage cars, safety tips for drivers, and more.

Car Blogs

Many people get attracted to good cars and spend a lot of time in reading about features of their favorite cars online. It’s a great niche to adopt as a blog type for car lovers.

Some bloggers also write about car financing tips, financing calculators, corporate and banks offers, and finance schedules. It helps the reader find cars in their budget without visiting showrooms.

16. News Blogs

News blogs cover local news and are a great way for journalism students to build up their resume and sharpen their skills. They can cover a wide range of topics or limit to a particular news section. News blogs are not just about sharing news. They also include opinion pieces to share blogger’s own perspective of the news.

News Blogs

The news blogs are updated more frequently to cover latest happenings. News can be about anything like climate change, scientific innovations, technology, politics, religion, and more. Big media outlets have several bloggers to work on each of these sub-types in news blogging.

17. Pet Blogs

Pet blogs have a great readership online that includes pet owners, animal lovers, animal shelters, and people looking for pets. Pet bloggers share tips on keeping pets healthy, pet grooming, pet food, and training.

Pet Blogs

Animal foster homes also write about their efforts to protect and save animals. Pet bloggers can partner up with businesses selling pet care products to generate revenue.

18. Gaming Blogs

Gaming blogs cater to a large community of gamers looking for articles about latest games, gaming hardware, events, game cheats, and more. This community has grown significantly in the recent years.

Gaming Blogs

Most gaming blogs belong to gamers, reviewers, and official communities of big game developing agencies. They have international events for gamers and reward plans for the winners. It’s a popular blog type and growing everyday.

Once you have chosen your blog’s niche, the next step is to find blog post ideas that you can use on your blog. You can check out this massive list of blog post ideas that you can use right away.

That’s all. We hope this article helped you find the most popular types of blogs. 

 

Pinterest for Bloggers 2020: How to Increase Your Traffic

How many of you think Pinterest is only a place for women to share their latest recipe or DIY project?

If the top 30 Pinners are food, fashion, design, and wedding bloggers, it’s safe to say it’s a scrapbooking paradise for women.

So, it’s easy to push this visual search engine under the rug because you think this platform isn’t for you.

But, if some of the biggest brands – Wal-MartApple, and Lowe’s – are staking Pinterest ground for their marketing efforts, it seems there’s enough room for the bloggers, start-ups, and entrepreneurs to give pins, repins and group boards a try.

There’s power behind using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog. Just take a look at these astounding facts:

And don’t think because you’re in the blogging, tech or marketing industry you can’t make an impact on Pinterest. Look at Pauline Cabrera of Twelveskip or Sue Anne Dunlevie of Successful Blogging. Pinterest is their number one referral source for social traffic.

So, how can you create more traction from Pinterest? Here are five tactics you can use to elevate your pinning strategy and bring on the traffic.



1. Sign up for a business account

To really see an impact in your pinning efforts, go ahead and sign up for a free Pinterest for business account or convert your existing account.

When you sign up, you’ll have access to Pinterest analytics – important information about your pins’ behavior – once you verify your website with Pinterest.

You can also apply for Rich Pins, which are pins with more information than your standard pin. There are five different types – movie, article, product, app, recipe, and place – each with their own pin upgrades such as real-time pricing and a direct link to your site.

Article pins are valuable for bloggers since you can promote your latest blog post with your logo, bigger headline and a link back to your site. And it’s easy to set up with WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, since Pinterest uses the Facebook Open Graph metadata.

Ensure Open Graph is enabled on your blog and then validate your site with Pinterest.

Facebook Enable

Pinterest reviews your site and will contact you to let you know if you’ve been approved.

Additional features that can help you with your pinning strategy are:

  • Pinterest Guides – Pinterest offers guides to help you get started with pinning, analytics and optimizing your boards.
  • Marketing Blog – learn specific marketing tips for this platform and stay up-to-date with the latest Pinterest news.
  • Video Library – catch mini tutorial videos about creating click-worthy Pins or how to optimize your campaign, plus much more.
  • Tools – in addition to Rich Pins, you have an arsenal of pin tools to help reach more people. From Promoted Pins to the Pin It button, you can make it easy for visitors to find you and pin your content.

2. Focus on your copy description

Each pin has a description below it telling the reader what your pin is about. Typically, for bloggers, your blog title and a little description of your post should be enough.

But, to really maximize your pin’s potential, you have to do more than that. According to Pinterest’s data of over 10,000 pins, they discovered what makes a great pin.

For high engagement your pin needs to be:

  • Helpful – make it easy for pinners to find your pin with a spot-on description. According to Pinterest, helpful pins receive 30% more engagement.
  • Detailed – in a sentence or two explain what your pin is about. Give enough information to entice a pinner to click through to your blog.
  • Interesting – draw on the emotions of the pinner by using sensory-related words and positive sentiments.
  • Actionable – include a call-to-action in your description. Using phrases like, “check out…” or “click to find out more” can generate an 80% increase in engagement.

(Note: Pinterest’s article on what makes a great pin is no-longer available.)

What it ends up looking like, is this:

byregina

And for an added pop and to make your pin more descriptive, add text to your image.

Finally, to really promote and market your content, remember to incorporate SEO-friendly keywords in your description and be as concise as possible (think of it as Pinterest SEO). It’s been shown that pins with descriptions of 200 characters are the most repinnable. It also doesn’t hurt to add relevant hashtags to your pin’s descriptions.



3. Pin at the right time

This is all a numbers game. Hundreds of pins are shown on Pinterest every hour of every day.

How can you get your pins to shine the brightest? What you want in your Pinterest marketing strategy is to have the most repins. You want as many people as possible to repin your material so that it’s shown more frequently to new users.

The most successful strategy is to find the best time and day to pin. Naturally, you’d want to pin when your target audience is on Pinterest.

From analyzing the data, it looks like the best time to start pinning is on Saturday morning. The peak time – for fashion and retail – is Friday after 3 pm.

And the worst time to pin is during normal working hours – which makes sense.

But, if you want to target your audience you may want to go a step further and look at where your audience comes from and how they spend their time on Pinterest.

You can quickly find out your audience’s demographics from Pinterest analytics.

This can help you paint a better picture on what time to pin to reach your target audience.

To see how often pinners are actually engaging on Pinterest, according to a recent study by PewReserachCenter, up to 17% of users visit the site daily. Close to 9% of users visit Pinterest several times a day.

Almost 52% of people visit the site less than once a week. So, to reach most of your audience, you need to be pinning consistently, but don’t overdo it.

It’s an awful pinning policy to over-pin your material. The best strategy is to pin content you know your audience will like and find useful. Try to abide by Pareto’s 80/20 rule – share 80% of others’ material and only 20% of your own material.

4. Create pin-worthy images

What makes Pinterest so alluring and addicting is the images bloggers pin. It isn’t enough to just use any image. The best images are optimized for maximum engagement.

So, what makes a pinntastic photo? Let’s look at three core areas to focus when creating a pinnable image.

1. It has to be the right size

You know Pinterest favors vertical images. Since up to 80% of pinners view the Pinterest feeds on mobile devices, it just makes sense to use images that are more tall than wide.

So, what is the perfect size for a pin? Generally you want an aspect ratio of 2:3 or 4:5. For example, if you have an image with a width of 650, your minimum height should be 975. For the best pin, though longer is better, overall.

Pins that are long are more favorable on Pinterest since they take up more room on the feed, making it hard to pass.

Long Pin

2. The image is stunning

The image you use for your blog post has to be amazing. Many studies have been done on what makes a great pin and a startup called Curalate found several attributes that are common with the best pins out there.

In fact, Paula Dean’s pin for her cucumber, onion and tomato salad is considered the epitome of the perfect Pinterest image.

pauladeenpin

So, what’s so perfect about it?

  • There are no faces – images without a human face receive 23% more repins. Pinners enjoy looking at things more than they do at faces.
  • Vibrant colors – Paula’s pin works so well because there are multiple vibrant colors in her image – limes, pinks, reds – the attract pinners to share.
  • Contextual background – simple and plain white background images only receive a quarter of repins. If you want more pins, choose a background that adds to your overall image. In Paula’s picture, her salad bowl is sitting on top of a wooden picnic table, which makes sense to pinners looking at the image.
  • Includes red tones – Images with predominantly reds, oranges or pinks get up to twice as many repins than images with more blue tones in them.
  • Lightness – images with more lightness to them perform 20 times better than darker images.

Pinterest also has their own guide to creating better pins. They suggest the following:

  • Keep branding and logo to a minimal – Pinterest suggests being tasteful with your branding. You want to add credibility to your pin, not take away from what you are pinning. So, make your brand logo – if it’s included in your image – big enough to see in a grid view on your mobile phone.
  • Use high-quality images – great pins use professional looking, high-resolution photos and graphics.
  • Keep it simple, Simon – keep your images focused on an apparent theme. Avoid having an assortment of random objects or products.

(Note: link to Pinterest’s guide is no-longer available).



3. Include text in your image

If you want your pin to draw attention and generate traffic back to your blog, it’s a great idea to start adding text to your image.

It not only looks more professional – if done right – it helps the pinner know exactly what your pin is about, quickly and at a glance.

Just take a look at how this Pinterest feed is more dynamic and enticing:

Pins With Text

And, now let’s look at how this feed has no text in their pins and how easily you can skim past them without really seeing these pins.

Pins No Text

It’s easy nowadays to include text in your images. There are free image editing tools like PicMonkey and Canva that make it easy for anyone to add text in their images.

You can also purchase Adobe Photoshop if you want more choices and tools to make your images pop. They have an affordable monthly plan and video tutorials to help you too.

And, if you don’t know where to find free fonts, a good place to start is Google Fonts. You can’t go wrong there! For more help, The Branded Solopreneur has a fantastic blog post on the beginner’s guide to using fonts effectively to help you achieve an amazing pin.

5. Join a Pinterest group board

Pinterest group boards are perfect for generating more traction to your blog. A group board – if popular – is a community board where other pinners can pin. They are extremely popular and can give you more exposure.

By joining a community board, you can quickly grow your follower base. If you regularly pin to a group board, other people who follow the board will see your pins and might be interested in your Pinterest board. If they like what they see, they will follow you.

In your Pinterest homepage, your group boards look like this:

groupboards

There’s a people icon on the right-hand side of your board. This tells you it’s a group board.

So, how do you find group boards? The easiest way is to search on PinGroupie. Just search for a keyword – blogging for example – and see what’s out there.

pingroupie

There are several ways to join a group board:

  • Get to know the creator of the group board – start pinning their content and open a dialogue with the creator. Pinterest isn’t only for pinning, you can develop a strong network by commenting on pins.
Pin Comments

You can also visit the creator’s blog and leave comments there. These gestures will help the creator know who you are and trust you when you eventually contact them to join their Pinterest board.

  • Check for invite instructions – some group boards have instructions in their description. It may be as simple as emailing the group’s creator, or you may have to leave a response on one of their pins. Just remember to be courteous and explain why you want to join.
  • Get invited by a group member – as a group member, you can invite others – as long it’s allowed in that particular group.
Invite Pin

If you want to create a group board, there are two ways to go about it.

  1. Create a new board as normal, but instead of skipping over, “collaborators,” now you can add other pinners by their name or email address.
    Create Group Board
  2. Create group boards from an existing board. You can invite other pinners or bloggers to your existing board.


6. Increase your Pinterest traction with the Social Snap plugin

Social Snap homepage

If you’re running WordPress you likely know of – and use – many helpful plugins to make your blogging life easier.

Easy is good of course, but when it comes down to it, aren’t we really after one main thing: more traffic?

By using the Social Snap plugin and a few of its unique Pinterest-specific features, you can grow your presence on Pinterest and in turn, increase your reach and traffic considerably.

Social Snap at its core is a social sharing plugin, so if you’re running another social sharing plugin like Monarch or Shareaholic, you’ll first want to deactivate it from inside your WordPress backend.

Once you download, install and activate the Social Snap plugin, head over to the Social Sharing tab -> Manage Networks and be sure to include the Pinterest button in your networks list. I like to include Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, but if you’re in a B2B niche, you might want to include LinkedIn as well. Keep it lean, though, as the last thing you want to do is overwhelm visitors with too many choices.

Add Pinterest to your managed networks - Social Snap

Next, when it comes to positioning, many people find placing the social share buttons at the bottom of each post, along with a floating bar along the side, works well to promote social sharing without being too intrusive.

Social Snap social sharing bars - floating sidebar and bottom of post

Have you ever been to a blog, clicked the Pinterest Save button that appears when you hover over an image and been presented with a popup listing every image on the page?

Remember what we said about giving the visitor too many choices?

To really start gaining some traction on Pinterest, be sure to turn on Social Snap’s Pinterest Save Button feature found in Social Sharing tab -> On Media tab. When a visitor hovers over an image in your blog post, a red Save button will appear and when clicked, takes the visitor to straight to Pinterest to share only that image.

Enable On Media to add Pinterest save button


Now to the part where Social Snap really shines. When you’re creating a post or page in the WordPress post editor backend – or editing an existing one – you can set post-specific options under the Social Snap Options section.

Social Snap Option for Social Media

This is where you upload your carefully crafted Pinterest image and create your optimized Pinterest description. Whenever someone clicks on the social sharing button, they are taken directly to Pinterest with the image and description already in place – ready to pin.

By putting in the extra effort to create a Pin image and description for each post, you can influence what gets shared on Pinterest by your visitors – allowing you to target only the most optimized imagery and keywords.

Social Snap does come in a free version, but most of the important features are only available in the paid versions.

Social Snap has 3 different membership tiers; these are:

  • Plus – $39/year for one site and a year of support. It includes all the features but none of the add-ons.
  • Pro – $99/year for 3 sites and a year of support. It includes all features as well as the add-ons.
  • Agency – $299/year for 15 sites and a year of support. It includes all features as well as the add-ons.

Wrapping it up

Pinterest was the fastest growing social network in 2016 and growth is still going strong. It’s safe to say it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

For bloggers, it can be a great playground to test your image-making skills and marketing skills. To really see results from Pinterest – clicks back to your site – try using these steps:

  • Sign up for a business account
  • Pay attention to your description copy
  • Learn the right time and day to pin
  • Create sensational pin images
  • Collaborate on a group board

MailChimp vs ConvertKit for Email Marketing Software for Bloggers.

What was the first investment you made on your blog?

I bet you remember what that was…

Investing in your blog is scary in the beginning, especially when you haven’t made a single cent from it.

After hosting and a premium WordPress theme, I wanted to invest in a solid email service provider.

Most of my mentors had suggested going for Mailchimp because it’s free for the first 2000 subscribers and is great for people who are starting out.

But I was hearing lots of feedback from Facebook groups about the limitations of Mailchimp…..undelivered email sequence

…being charged for duplicate subscribers.

I had a certain vision for how I wanted to conduct my blog business.

At the heart of it was targeted email marketing based on subscribers interests. I also wanted to incorporate content upgrades from Day 1 as well as email courses.

I was a subscriber of a lot of bloggers’ email lists and I had seen a fair bit of what I liked and didn’t and what I wanted to incorporate into my own business.a

I explored Mailchimp as well as the other email service providers like Infusionsoft and Aweber.

But they seemed complicated with a steep learning curve.

After reading up on what Convertkit vs Mailchimp had to offer, I was certain that Convertkit would deliver on that vision for my business.

In this post I outline my considerations for choosing Convertkit. There are videos that walk you through the Convertkit dashboard too.



Convertkit allows multiple forms per list

In Converkit, subscribers come in to your system through forms. It could be an opt-in form at the end of your blog post or a landing page form. Each opt-in form can be linked to an incentive (your free download, or pdf).

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

With Convertkit, you can add multiple incentives or lead magnets by simple choosing ‘add form’.

If you’re offering a new content upgrade on each blog post, you can add an individual form to the end of your blog post for your audience to sign up.

Here is an example I have on my website.

Here are how the forms appear in the system. As you can see, I have 1 for each content upgrade.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

Mailchimp only allows one opt-in form per list.

Tags & Segmenting

Convertkit works by tagging or segmenting susbscribers. You can add a tag to each subscriber that comes in through your forms.

If someone opts-in to my incentive ’27 Productivity tools & hacks’ , I can tag them as ‘interested in productivity’, for instance. If the same person subscribes to another incentive, I can tag them again. One subscriber can have a few interests and this is how convert kit works.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

But, you are not double or triple charged a subscriber.

I’ll touch on this again below.

With tags, you can have 1 subscriber on several forms and courses and the system auto-de-duplicates. This way, no subscriber will get your email twice, even if they are on several forms.

 

 

 



Send highly personalized emails

Perhaps you have a beta version of a copyrighting course you want your subscribers to trial, you can send your email to subscribers who opted into your content upgrade on your copyrighting blog post series. You can tag them beforehand, like I mentioned above.

Then select from the drop down list, filter the subscribers you want to email by tag, form or sequence. This way, your message does not have to go out to your entire list.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

One subscriber–several interests

As I mentioned before, Convertkit does not charge for duplicate subscribers.

With Mailchimp, you are charged for duplicate subscribers if say a subscriber was interested in 2 or more of your incentives.

Personalised branding through custom messages

You can personalise the entire brand experience for your subscribers through custom messages.

Once they signed up for your incentive through a form, you can choose to display the standard ‘thank you for subscribing’ message or redirect them to your personalised thank you page.

You can even choose to have your incentive on your thank you page so that your subscribers can download it immediately. It’s entirely up to you.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

The same is possible after they have clicked to confirm your subscription or download your incentive.  You can send them to a separate landing page or another relevant page on your website.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

Show custom content

If a subscriber has already subscribed, Convertkit gives you the option to show custom content rather than the same opt-in form or to hide the form. This way you don’t waste the ‘real estate’ on your website and can continue to serve relevant messages to your audience.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

Automation



Double or Single opt-in

There is a lot of debate on single and double opt-ins. With Mailchimp, the subscriber has to click confirm before being subscribed to your list.

Several times, subscribers forget to do so and get to it a few days later only to wonder which newsletter they had subscribed to.  With Convertkit, the confirmation email is the download link. It just yields two results from one click (confirmation of subscription and link to downloadable file).

But you can still choose to do a double opt-in by un-checking that small box. Instead of download, you can have click here to confirm.

Whatever you prefer, you can do that with Convertkit.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

Triggers

Ever been on a launch email list and kept getting bombarded with launch emails when you’re not interested in the product..but you have no way of unsubscribing from the launch sequence without unsubscribing from the entire list?

With Convertkit, your subscriber has the choice to leave your launch sequence but still stay on your list. When someone clicks the link it unsubscribes them from the course but keeps them on my list. This is how it looks.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

You can create custom templates for every launch or promo email that you do. If it no longer serves the customer, they can opt-out but still remain on the list.

Sequence (Auto responders)

So subscribers come in through forms that you create. You can hook these forms up to a sequence. A sequence in a series of drip emails that go out to your subscribers. You can choose the interval and the frequency. Several forms can be linked up to a single sequence.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

If you were creating a free email course, you create a new sequence and hook this sequence up to a form.

It’s as simple as that.

You can also craft a series of welcome messages and have it automatically go out to your subscribers, like I’ve done above.

Broadcast emails

If you need to have an email go out to everyone on your list, you can do it with broadcast emails.

Automatic product pitches

You can also tag people who have bought a product. So if they purchased your ebook on gumroad, you can tag them ‘purchased ebook A’. The next time you are sending your promo emails, you can exclude subscribers tagged ‘purchased ebook A’.

You set up a trigger to remove the subscriber from the sequence once they have purchased your product.

The opportunities for targeted marketing are endless in Convertkit and there is no ONE way to do something.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

Increase email open rates with resends to unopened emails

You can resend emails to people who did not open your email or missed out on it by tweaking your email subject headline or copy.

Integrations

The most frequent complain I hear is that since Convertkit is new so they don’t have many integrations. I just want to say that the team at Convertkit has been adding several new integrations every month.

They currently have several integrations. Some of the popular ones are with Gumroad, DPD, Sumome, Teachable, Sendowl, Lead pages, ejunkie and many more. They continue to add integrations every single month.

Aesthetics

Landing page

The landing pages at Convertkit are simple. They have 4 templates to choose form. You can change up the colour and text very easily.

Stop guessing.Create the exact lead magnet your audience wants and needs! Don't make the lead magnet mistakes outlined in this post!

If you know CSS, you can customise it even further. The slide-in landing page is the most popular at Convertkit.

But to be fair, lead pages offers far greater choices for landing pages. For me, I did not want to be paying a separate service for landing pages and was happy to have this combined with my email marketing service provider.

Convert kit is continually adding new features and they may add more landing page styles.



Multiple form styles

With a single click you can make your form in-line, modal pop-up, or a slide in form. These features are built right into ConvertKit.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

Email templates

Convertkit email templates are basic. The premise behind Convertkit is that simple emails are better for business because they are more personalised, don’t appear commercial and are more likely to get opened by subscribers.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp

But if you need email templates with lots of graphics for your business then Convertkit is not for you.

This is what Mailchimp does better.

It has a feature filled email designer with several templates to choose from.

Easy integration with WordPress

You just need to download the Convertkit plugin, hook it up with your API key. Then select from a drop down list the forms you would like embedded at the bottom of your post. It’s as simple as that.

Pricing

The fabulous thing about Convertkit is that it gives you access to its full features, triggers, automations, landing pages, forms no matter what pricing tier you are on. There are no limits to anything–forms and landing pages included.

Pricing goes by the number of subscribers you have.

The lowest tier is $29 for 1000 subscribers. 1000 subscribers is one of the first milestones for new bloggers. For 3000 you pay $49 a month.

Why I decided to invest in convert kit vs mailchimp



Service

Their tutorials and blogs have all the answers and you’ll be able to find what you are looking for with a simple search.

They also have detailed explanations for how to integrate services like gum road with convert kit. But if you really do need help, the team is great and any question I have is answered within the day.

If you’re wondering about how to import your list from Mailchimp, you can check out their tutorial here.

Overall

Used to be, only the big bloggers with several thousand subscribers on their list had access to sophisticated email marketing systems.

But Convertkit gives even new bloggers access to a robust email marketing platform that’s easy to use. It lets you give a highly targeted and personalised branding experience for your subscribers and to deliver on your marketing vision.

I don’t think anyone should be limited by the size of your list. And we’re starting to hear more stories of people with lots of success with a tiny list. These are the reasons I was sold on Convertkit. $29 is not a lot but when you’re starting out, it is a sizeable investment to make.

But you’ll be doing your list building the right way. There won’t be any catching up or migrations to make when you’re in the midst of building your business.

If you have any questions on Convertkit, drop me an email. I’ll be happy to answer them. I know that this can be a heavy decision.

If any of the above explanation seem daunting, please don’t be overwhelmed. It really is not. Just like any system, it takes some getting used to but with the step-by-step tutorials and support, you’ll get the hang of it really fast.

If you’re ready to up your email marketing game and check Convertkit out, just click the link below. They offer a 30 day money-back guarantee. Grab an account, pay for the first month, give it a try, and if you’re not completely satisfied you can write in to cancel and get a refund in that first 30 days.

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I WANT TO UP MY EMAIL MARKETING GAME!

What’s stopping you from switching to ConvertKit? Let me know in the comments below.

Best Blog Examples of 2019

If you’re thinking of starting your very own blog, but just don’t have a clue on what to blog about, then fear not!

In this article, I have included a whole load of blog examples from a wide variety of different niches.

Since the beginning of the internet, millions and millions and millions of blogs have been created. Many have died due to lost interest or their owners giving up on the idea, while others have thrived and continue to grow, making money and earning their owners a steady income. It’s a constant evolution of content that keeps people coming back for more, especially if these blogs contact highly resourceful material that people find useful and interesting.

Each example listed in this blog post are all different in some way and all bring something unique to their readers & subscribers. I want to show you what is possible and how you can take inspiration from them and create an awesome blog of your own.

Some of these blogs make over $100k a month, others are just a hobby for their owners, but all have the same purpose at their core… the love of writing and sharing information.

Remember that it doesn’t cost the earth to start your own blog. You can be up and running for as little as $2.95 per month with Bluehost

Bluehost offer web hosting, Free SSL, Email, web builder and a FREE DOMAIN for as little as $2.95 a month.



Examples of Frugal Blogs

Frugality blogs have really taken off in the past 3 years, mainly down to the state of the global economy. Saving money and being frugal with your wages is extremely popular as people have less and less money these days after paying rent, mortgage, bills etc. Creating a frugal / save money blog can also be a big earner for you, especially if you choose a good angle to take on this niche. The following examples all have really good angles. They target a specific demographic and they create content that they will love, share and take action with. Those actions can make you money through affiliate links, Google Ads and coupons.

Miss Thrifty

One of the more popular frugal blogs in the UK, Miss Thrifty is targeting young mums with her money saving, frugal tips and articles. And rightly so! The market is massive and she’s meeting a need for this type of information. Young mums aren’t exactly rolling in cash. They may have had to give up work and are now relying on just one wage coming in, so the need to be more frugal with everyday living is a must.

The great thing about this blog is the conversational tone and the real person behind the brand. I think it’s inspiring to other mums to see someone like them making such a difference in other people’s lives by creating amazingly useful content that is 100% actionable. Also it may inspire mums to set up their own blog and to write about their experiences as a mother and a wife in the 21st century.

Skint Dad

So when I talk about coming at a niche from a different angle, this example is exactly what I mean. Skint Dad is a site that helps young / new dads save money and be more frugal in their day to day living. There’s also a section on their that shows guys how to make a little more cash on top of their monthly day job wage, which is vital in some cases just to keep your head above water.  A lot of new dads have the added stress of not having their wives’ or girlfriends’ wage coming in each month, due to the temporary career change in being a full time mum of a baby. So having some content around how they can make a few extra “Ps” in their wallet each month, can ease the burden somewhat.

Examples of Entreprenurship Blogs

SolopreneurHour.com

A very well designed and slick blog that’s all about being your own boss and creating your own wealth. It’s a blog with a very active podcast feed. Their podcasts are insanely popular on itunes, and no doubt they make a fair bit of money from selling ad space on those podcasts. Podcasts is something to think about when creating your blog as it could be a great monetization tool.

BreakingintoStartups.com

A very inspiring blog that contains motivational stories about startups and the people who work in them and create them. If you need a pick me up after a bad day at the office or think that you can’t become that person who goes it along and starts up something awesome, then why not have a read. You’ll soon hear about people who literally only had the shirt on their backs and who rose up to be a success in business and in life.



Examples of Tech Blogs

One of my favourite type of Blog is the “tech blog”.  Now this isn’t something new to blog about, as Tech bloggers have been blogging about technology news and gadget reviews in detail online since the beginning of the internet, But because it’s such a vast niche, you could carve out yourself a really good angle within the tech blog sphere. The trick is to have your own take on tech and don’t just follow the trend. One area which hasn’t really been covered specifically is eco tech, so something to think about. Maybe a blog specifically covering tech aimed at becoming more environmentally conscious.

Anyway, here’s a few blogs in the tech niche that I really like and that I feel are doing something different and is thriving when it comes to organic traffic increases and revenue.

Knowtechie.com

I’ve been following this site since it started and has seen its progression from just one guy writing about stuff he loves, to a site that get’s decent traffic and has a team of writers.

Knowtechie is a great example of a site that started out as a hobby but has fast become a business. I like the angle they have as well. “Tech News For The Non Techie”. KnowTechie is a blog for people who love tech, but live outside the bubble. This is so refreshing, because so many tech blogs out there are a bit too technical and full to the brim of jargon. It’s nice to see a tech blog that has lowered the entry level to tech news.

Examples of Making Money Blogs

Like frugal blogs, making money related blogs have become insanely popular since the global economy has declined in recent years. The want for making more money in order to have a “Ok” quality of life, is increasing year on year. Wages are not rising, jobs are becoming less secure and the cost of living is constantly rising. This is why sites like the ones below in this section are becoming more and more popular.

Again, if you come at this niche with a different angle, then potentially you can have a great and successful website on your hands.

SideHustleNation.com

Side Hustle is an online community of entrepreneurs who’s goal is to gain financial freedom through creating businesses that can help them achieve that. There’s a collection of highly actionable blog posts on how to make additional income on top of your day job wage. They make good use of the podcast medium of content marketing by creating various podcasts with experts talking about a whole range of topics around entrepreneurship, making money online and creating wealth.

MyWifeQuitHerJob.com

A great site, which is highly useful and inspirational for people wanting to change their 9 to 5 lives for something that will allow them to live a little and spend more time with the family. The site is really simple, and something you could build yourself on WordPress in a matter of day, but the content is where this site excels. Podcasts, tools, tutorials and blog posts that target a specific niche is where this guy makes his money. His podcasts are really popular and when you have content that gets a lot of ears and eyes to it, then so will the advertising income.

It’s the same with written content. If you have a popular page that get’s tens of thousands of views a month, then potentially you can sell ad space on those pages for hundreds of dollars a month, if not more.

Examples of Mommy Blogs

Mommy blogs are blog that are targeted towards parents, particularly women. Here’s my pick on the best mommy blog examples that I think are worth looking at. They offer information that’s resourceful and that can make parenthood that little bit easier. Most are monetised by sponsored post and display ads.

GiovannaFletcher.com

Giovanna is a writer, blogger, vlogger and mum. Her blog content is mainly about her life as a mother and a wife. She hosts a very popular podcast called Happy Mum, Happy Baby Podcast.

I love the variety of content on her blog. She mixes it up between informative blog posts about family life, what’s going on in her world and tips for mums and a really cool podcasts that cover a variety of subjects to do with parenting and being a mum. The fact that she’s not really hard selling at all is refreshing.



CupOfJo.com

One of the best mommy bloggers around, Joanna has a really simple looking blog, full to the brim of useful stuff for old and new mothers alike. What I love about this site is the simplicity of the theme, the really current design features and the typography. The blog post ideas are really clever as well and sets Jo’s site apart from all the other mommy bloggers.

Bit of Momsense

Another well thought out and well designed mommy blog. This blog is quite varied in its content as its got a little bit of everything. If you love all things parenting, cooking with kids, craft with the children, health, family travel, stories, charity etc. then this site will give you plenty of inspiration on how you could start your own mommy blog.

motherhooddiaries.com

Motherhood Diaries is an online parenting platform where parents and parents-to-be can share their opinions, expertise and solutions on all topics related to pregnancy and parenting. Leyla, who owns and maintains MHD, builds her traffic through targeting specific keywords related to parenting and creating resources around those phrases. She’s also concentrating her efforts on social channels like Pinterest and Facebook to create lucrative audiences via an alternative traffic source to Google.



Examples of Parenting Blogs

We The Parents

WeTheParents.org is one of my favorite parent blogs. Rather than getting Mom’s view or Dad’s opinion, you get both sides of the parenting story. The content is a real mixture, Neve, the Mom tends to write about empowering mom stuff whilst her husband, Keane, seems to be a big kid who spends his time playing with and reviewing kids toys.

The main goal of this blog is to make parents’ lives easier by doing the research for them. It can be a pain trawling through Google and to find the best products, so this mom and dad team get geeky finding out which products are the best for the whole family. (And which gear is just a waste of money!)

The site is beautifully designed and quick to load. It’s a great example of a simple WordPress theme that’s been well customized.

Examples of Adventure Blogs

The Adventure Blog

Examples of Food / Wine Blogs

Pinch Of Yum

My favourite food blog is this one. I think the style, design and tone of voice is just top notch. Lindsay really has blogging down to a fine art, not just with the writing but also in knowing how to make money from blogging. I reckon she has a massive email list which she has built up over the years, that she can use to literally print money with. Targeting her email list with her latest blog posts, affiliate links, deals, offers, coupons will make her plenty of cash each month.

I love her blogger resources page as well. A clever way to inspire other bloggers to take the plunge and use what she uses to create a successful food blog.

Cookie & Kate

A very slick and beautifully designed food blog. Much like Pinch of Yum, Cookie + Kate knows how to create compelling food content that effectively engages with their audience.

iamafoodblog.com

Another food blogger who fully understands the power of quality content and a knowledge of how to monetize a website. Stephanie Le’s food blog is simple in design and in content form. The stuff she posts is 100% actionable. All the recipes can be made from home and she brings the content alive with amazing, high quality food photography. She gives it a personal touch by adding a bit of commentary and background to the photos.

There’s also a really clever monetization method she uses  with this page “What’s in My Kitchen? Utensils Edition.” She can easily add in Amazon affiliate links to earn income from this page, by recommending quality products that she uses on a daily basis.

This is a great example of an outstanding food niche blog. Think about what she’s doing well and take note. Mouth watering photos, clean and simple theme layout, well formatted and styled recipe pages, excellent writing, conversational tone, and relatable back stories to each post.

12×75

12 By 75 is by far one fo my favourite wine blogs. It’s well written and the information you get access to is via one of the most influential wine traders in the business. There’s not many blogs out there that’s written in the same tone as if your good friend was talking to you on a given subject. A fine example of a blog that’s written out of the pure passion for the subject. Check out their homage to Bruno Mars.

Inspired to start your own blog?

Why not head over to my Start A Blog tutorial and get your new blog up and running in just 30 minutes!

You can also get a great Bluehost hosting deal with my promo link. Get hosting + a FREE domain name from Bluehost for just $3 per month by using this link.



Examples of Personal Development Blogs

If you’re looking start a personal development blog that teaches and gives advice to people on how to improve themselves emotionally and spiritually then check out the great examples that I have listed below to show you exactly what can be done if you work hard enough at it.

tinybuddha.com 

Again this is a very simple site in terms of build but has a very good angle. It was set up by Lori Deschene, who is the author of Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself. The site is all about  simple wisdom, inspiration, relationships, and mindfulness, which has gained in popularity over the past 2 years. There are many posts on this site which are based on Buddhism’s teachings, but also contain things about relationships, healthy living and many other mindfulness related content.

I’ve shown you this personal development blog example because of its simplicity. You don’t need to recreate the wheel in order to produce a popular blog within your niche. As long as you target the right niche and cater to that niche with resourceful content, then you’re onto a winner.

Examples of Fitness Blogs

There’s literally thousands of fitness blogs on the Internet in some shape or form. It’s a popular niche and one that can be lucrative if you promote the right product or offer something different to the rest of the fitness blogs out there.

Below, I have added fitness blogs that do what they do incredibly well and examples that you can gain insights and inspiration from.

NiaShanks.com

A very popular fitness blog mainly targeted towards women, where there’s a positive encouragement of women of all shapes and sizes to get fit and start weights and strength training. Nia writes inspirational and empowering blog posts about how women can be fit, healthy and ripped by doing effective bodyweight exercises. She also promotes the mantra that exercise should never be considered punishment for eating.

I love this site because it has a purpose and a clear message, which resonates with her readers. A great tip that you should take a way with you and try and use when starting your own health & fitness blog.



Examples of WordPress Development Blogs

Here’s a few examples of blogs that help people to develop their own blogs in WordPress and that offer advice and tutorials on the development of WordPress websites. These sites tend to monetize their traffic by having Adsense ads on their pages or have signed up to various affiliate programs to push certain products around web development and WordPress theme and services.

SiteBeginner.com

A very clean and simple design with easy to consume information on a whole range of topics around web development on the WordPress.org blogging platform.

Wptavern.com

 

WordPress Tavern is a site that’s very simple in construction and design, yet is extremely popular with the WordPress dev community. It focuses on all things WordPress, from plugins to WordPress tutorials, they cover most things you’ll want to learn about WordPress. What this proves is that your blog doesn’t have to be flashy with bells and whistles attached. A simple theme with resourceful and helpful content is enough for your site to be a huge success.

Examples of Affiliate / Online Marketing Blogs

Gaps.com

This is a new site launched back in Jan 2017 by Glen Allsop.

This site is going to be hugely popular. Not just because it’s Glen, who is an excellent online marketer who created the monster that it ViperChill, but because the content is exceptional and inspiring. The one thing that I have noticed with incredibly popular blogs is the presence of what I call “The I Factor”. It sounds cheesy, but if you can provide people with the inspiration to do something amazing with your content, whether that be to increase their website traffic, make amazing cupcakes, loose 20lbs in weight, save money on your food shop or create an amazingly popular online business, then your blog will continue to grow and grow and become the site you wanted to create in the first place.

Gaps.com is certainly one of those sites that inspire people to create their own profitable blogs & businesses.