Have you ever read the book, 50 Shades of Grey? Are you going to see the movie?
I read the trilogy out of morbid curiosity (and from the perspective of an online dating/relationships writer), and thought it very interesting that (if true), someone could write a fan fiction story, based on the Twilight series and have it become an internationally best seller. I thought their marketing and PR people were very clever.
And here’s another very clever lady, blogging owner and creator of www.50ShadesofAge.com – Kathy Marris.
What is 50 Shades of Age All About and How Did It Begin?
Kathy began blogging in November 2012, basically out of boredom, and could see an opening for a blog for her age group. So she began 50 Shades of Age. 50 Shades of Age is a lifestyle and travel blog aimed at the 50 somethings.
It took Kathy nearly 2 years before she started getting good traffic and a regular following to her blog.
She advises, “Don’t expect overnight success! You need to persevere and be patient. It took me at least 18 months before I started getting good traffic and a regular following to my blog. So don’t give up your day job just yet!”
It can be a little disheartening at times when you write a great post and no one reads it (or you think no one reads it). However, as Kathy advocates, just be patient. Your time will come.
Patience Pays Off in Blogging
Last year, Kathy got offered a job writing for a hotel/resort website marketing and management company, blogging and doing social media for various hotels. The director of this company had noticed one of her travel blogs on Facebook and approached her.
She also wrote a few sponsored posts and got paid reviews for various companies in the latter part of 2014, which has started giving her a small income for all her hard work.
Kathy says that she hopes to continue in the same vein this year and start earning a reasonable income from her writing.
As I’ve stated before in previous blog posts about having your goals on track, it’s really important to set yourself blogging goals. And Kathy agrees.
Kathy’s Blogging Goals for 2015
When I asked Kathy what her goals for 2015 were for herself and her blog, she replied that she “…would like to bring more traffic to my blog in 2015 as it has been largely neglected during 2014 while I spent six months travelling in a caravan around Australia. I hope to blog more about my travels and accompany it with some fantastic photos. Attracting some paid advertisements to my blog page is also a goal...”
It’s important to know what you want, as opposed to what you don’t want when setting goals.
Every blogger faces challenges and Kathy was no exception when she began 50 Shades of Age.
When I asked Kathy what her biggest challenges she herself faced, she told me that “initially it was all the technical stuff and then finding subjects to blog about. During 2013 I actually lost friendships because of my blog. A couple of my friends were extremely unsupportive and felt that I was wasting my time and putting myself out there on the net. After a lot of heartache, I had to eventually let go of these friendships as they were holding me back. Now I wonder why I didn’t do this sooner.”
Kathy is a focused lady who didn’t let those around her squash her dream. What an inspiration! All of us have felt unsupported at some point in our lives and I for one am very glad that Kathy ignored those that made her feel that way. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have such a great blog out there in cyber world.
As Kathy says, people are always looking for inspiration and one of her most popular posts happens to be Inspirational Quotes for the Over 50’s.
Kathy believes it’s because it was a popular search item on Google, and people are always looking for inspiration. Personally, I believe it’s because she is an inspiration to so many of the over 50’s out there.
If you would like to learn more about Kathy and her blog, 50 Shades of Age, take a look and let her know I sent you. I’m sure she’d love to say G’day!
Know Who You Are
When it comes to marketing strategies, so you know who you are? Get to know you. Knowing who you are and what you are about when it comes to marketing strategies, is as important as knowing how to blog. Ask yourself:
1. What am I an expert on? What are friends always asking me about? Fashion? Cooking? Kids? Sit down for 5 minutes in silence and let your mind wander to the times that you have been a valuable friend or relative because of the advice you have given to someone.
2. What can I show people to help them? Are you good at showing people how to do infographics? Do you have a great collection of stamps or vintage dresses that you can show people and talk about?
As they say, a picture paints a thousand words and if your blog can show people who you are through images, you’ve captured one of the best marketing strategies you can find.
3. What are my biggest strengths that I can lend my voice to? What do you love talking about? What can you sit and discuss with friends for hours on end? What do you know about?
One of the best marketing strategies to have is your voice. And if you know how to get your knowledge out there through your voice, you’ve captured another audience who will follow your blog.
It’s a big, wide, murky world of marketing out there, and it can be tricky to navigate. So get to know you before you go jumping into building that brilliant blog.
Know Who Your Readers Are
Understanding who your readers are, what makes them tick and what they really want and value is incredibly important. And it’s even more important to be specific about your reader. My main reader (at the time of writing this – remember your reader may evolve over time), is a 38 year old female whose kids are at school. She is a little bit restless during the day and would like to earn a bit of extra money so that she can take the kids on a holiday.
Of course my readers will vary, (you may be reading this and may be a 55 year old male who is looking to expand his business through blogging) but at the moment, I am writing to the brunette who is dreaming big after the kids have gone to school. It helps me keep my focus.
Know What Your Readers Want From You
Know what your target audience want from you. ‘Anything about cats’ is not going to cut it! Marketing strategies that focus on what your readers want, will help you focus on exactly what to give them.
Ask yourself specifically, “What do they want to know about cats?” Is it about managing an asthmatic cat? Do they want to know the best cat harness to use when taking cats outside? The top ‘how to train your cat to….’ article is about training your cat to sit. Google phrases or do keyword research to find out what your readers are looking for.
Know What Marketing Strategies to Use to Reach Out to Your Readers
Understand that marketing is not advertising. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that advertising and blogging websites are the only two ways to attract more business.
You can market your blog in literally hundreds of ways, so it pays to know what they are and then eliminate the ones that won’t work. Begin with the bigger picture and then work downwards. For instance, if you are thinking about social media, begin to chunk down and break it into the different aspects.
Take Instagram. If you are using Instagram, when is the best time to post a pic? What competitions or giveaways are you going to employ? How are you going to get your readers to go from Instagram to your blog, to becoming a community member and purchasing your products or services? Start planning and goal setting.
Set goals and targets.
Marketing really is a numbers game. Marketing efforts on your blog that won’t directly or indirectly bring in new readers have absolutely no value. Know what your goals are in terms of revenue, expenses, profit, number of inquiries and, of course, number of new readers.
Sponsorship for your blog comes largely from the number of readers your blog attracts. If you don’t have a large base of regular readers that you can prove to sponsors through something like Google Analytics, then you have little chance of attracting advertising revenue and an even smaller chance of selling your products or services to readers.
Do you have any great marketing strategies that you use? Share them with me now and I will happily reply to you to thank you for sharing.
Tan-Ja has taught adults and children to blog for over a decade. She herself is a Professional Blogger – standing in for those who don’t have time to blog. She also enjoys teaching blogging to adults who are finding their passion and want to learn to blog about it.
In March 2015, she is running a beginners and intermediate course on ‘How to Write Content for your Blog or Business Website‘ in Rocklea, Brisbane.
Tan-Ja is also running a blogging courses on the Gold Coast with Computer Smart Training. For enquiries as to the next beginners Blogging course, phone the Computer Smart Training Centre today on (075) 5395666.
Who Do You Write For?
Do you know who reads your blog post every time you put one up? Do you know who logs on in the morning to look at your website and gather more information about the products you sell?
To figure out who you blog and write for is quite an easy task.
First of all, take a look at what people are buying from you. If you are selling women’s shoes and the best-selling shoes are high, glitzy heels in size 8, you
can probably assume these are women who want to look good.
They are probably going out to better than average takeaway restaurants and would mostly be earning enough money to go out in the first place.
If you are selling a service, what age group buys comes to you? What gender, problems or service do they look and keep coming back for?
Build a Profile of Who You Write For
Build a specific profile of this person. And drill down to their personality. Here’s an example.
I write for 3 people.
1. The busy blogging Mum who has 2 children, a dog called Bouncer that the kids wanted, but she ends up feeding and walking because the kids ‘forget’ to do it. She looks after them and her husband who is the major breadwinner until her blog becomes popular enough that she can earn money from it.
I write articles about organisation, blogging and how to run a successful household at the same time. I interview other blogging mums who are successful, and this helps her to keep dreaming, knowing others were in her position once.
2. The small business owners who begin as sole traders, and are determined to make it in the business world. They lack time and the knowledge in every area of business and come to me learn how to blog and improve their website. They are driven, focused, and want to succeed.
I show them how to write and work online in a much ‘smarter’ way. They will then gain the freedom to do the things in business they originally set out to do.
3. My stuck people. This is the woman who lacks confidence, but wants more. She wants to make money, but is scared to spend money doing it. She is in a relationship she doesn’t know if she really wants to be in, and finds it hard to make decisions in case she makes the wrong one. She needs more nurturing articles, more relationship and lifestyle articles and advice. She is the one who will write to me each week with the same problem, but in a different way.
This lady gets my NLP articles and services. The articles explain how to retrain your brain to go from a stuck state into a problem solving state. She usually becomes a client of my coaching clinic.
So who is your number one reader of your blog? Who do you write for?
Write For and Sell With One Reader in Mind
If you are selling shoes as part of your fashion blog, you should have someone in mind that reads your blog and buys from you.
It is probably a woman who wants to look good and is buying glitzy high heels from you. She is after the good life. She is probably in the 20 – 30 year old bracket, has a good job, is sociable and does not have kids.
She likes to keep fit and goes to the gym or plays a sport. She enjoys the occasional glass of wine and is investigating organic foods.
The types of articles I would write for her would be related to fashion, food and restaurants. Here are some headlines I would suggest:
- Do You Have the Right Heels For Your Friday Night Out?
- Which Heels Show Off Your Figure Best
- You Can Tell A Lot About a Lady By Her Heels
- Glitz and Glamour: How to Let Your Heels Do the Walking
Can you see the difference? You are drilling down and catering for this niche market. Of course you will still be selling your other shoes, but for now, if this is your audience, keep them and grown them.
In ten years time, things may be different – but for now, ask yourself – “Who do I write for?”
I run a review blog, called Triskele Reviews. I tried to paste my About Us here but, of course, Copyscape did not know it was my own writing. I co-author this blog with my best friend, J. A. Steckling. We specialize in various genres of fiction, although we each have our own distinct preferences. I, A. P. Bullard, prefer Romance and Horror, while J. A. Steckling leans more towards Mystery and Horror. While we are not limited to just these genres, we do read them the most.
We do not review religious fiction, science-fiction, non-fiction, or plays and poetry. We do reserve the right to decline any offer to read and review someone’s book. We only offer unbiased, completely honest reviews, and will decline immediately if someone asks for dishonest feedback.
In addition to posting book reviews, we post other things that relate to reading and literacy. A big topic for me, A. P. Bullard, is children’s literacy. I am a strong advocate of it, and work to improve literacy rates as much as possible.