It’s time for our monthly blogging questions & answers. We can talk about anything and everything about blogging. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Jasmine. I’ve been blogging since 2011.
We are launching that soon, hopefully. I love talking about blogging, which is why I love talking about it with these Q&As every single month.
There are so many different things, so many elements involved when it comes to blogging. First, you need to understand how each of these tools works to keep your blog up and running. And also to create good content that people want to read.
We’re creating products that people want to buy and just making the world a better place with content that you create. So I love talking about all elements of those things.
I want to talk a bit about my projects. One is affiliates.
One cool thing that I’ve picked up in the last couple of months about affiliate marketing is that it’s not something you can just put down. Instead, it will just bring in income automatically, especially if you’re new to affiliate marketing and making money with it.
Most of the traffic that I was getting to my affiliate article was coming from Google. So I did a lot of search engine optimization on the article. And what it resulted in is me getting a lot of organic traffic to my blog.
Well, something I learned is keywords also had trends themselves. So if you see a decline in that specific keyword, maybe some people just aren’t searching for it as much.
That’s something to keep in mind when it comes to thinking about affiliate products and SEO. Your keyword can decline.
It may just be away because of the season. Or it could be that no one cares about that keyword anymore, and they’re searching for something else.
I had to learn that I had to optimize my article at least once a month. What I did find is when I was optimizing, as soon as I saw a baby decline, I would start optimizing the article again. I will see it pick right back up and sometimes even better than it did before.
So if you’re doing affiliate marketing with search engine optimization, you want to make sure you’re optimizing your article regularly if you notice that you aren’t ranking as high anymore for a specific keyword.
“How did you make money from affiliates? Any advice for a new blogger?”
When it comes to making money with affiliates, the first is you want to make sure that you’re targeting the right audience. When I say the right audience, think about people who are kind of already on that wave to buy that particular product.
Second, you want to make sure you find good keywords. That is the first and most important thing you can do when writing a good affiliate article. Find keywords where people are going to buy. And then, of course, you want to make sure that you can compete for those keywords.
There are a ton of tools out there that you can use. I love using SEMrush. It has a keyword tool within the platform.
What SEMrush will do is give you a list of other keywords related to that specific keyword. You want to make sure you have a nice equilibrium between having enough people searching for that term. And it should not need to be too competitive when it comes to that specific keyword.
You would want a search volume of at least 100. The higher you can go the volume, the better. But it can’t have a competition of more than 50. Fifty and lower is great.
That’s how you know you’re in the ballpark of having a good keyword to target.
Keyword research is the most important part when it comes to affiliates. First, make sure that you’re looking for a keyword that people are going to buy. Then, think about when you’re about to buy something, what type of things you will search for, and those are keywords you want to target. And then, make sure that you have a nice keyword that people are searching for and aren’t too competitive.
Regarding writing an article, I recommend you look at bloggers doing an excellent job with affiliates. One of my favorite bloggers when it comes to affiliate marketing is Michelle Schroeder Garner. She has a blog called Making Sense of Sense.
I love to look at her website and see all the affiliates she promotes and how she does it. She makes a lot of money with her blog and makes most of her money are from affiliates. So, look at other bloggers and see what type of strategies they’re using for affiliates. It will take you far for sure.
A couple of tips when it comes to affiliates. For me, I love to make sure I embed a YouTube video that’s related because blog posts that have a YouTube video are more likely to show up higher on searches.
So that was huge for me. Take advantage of different Google schema tools that you can use.
And for those of you who have never heard of it, if you use the block editor or the Gutenberg editor within WordPress, they have many different things called schemas. So if you search the blocks for schema, all these little schema things just make it easier for you to show up higher on the search.
I’ll give an example. One schema I love to use is called FAQ. And what it does is it makes a separate little widget in your article, that’s an FAQ section.
And as you hit plus, hit the plus sign to expand. It expands the answer to questions. So, it not only looks great on your blog, it makes it look professional.
Also, when someone searches and finds your article on Google, you now have a little FAQ section below your article. Finally, it makes your article stand out on Google search. So, take advantage of some of those things.
“I wanted to ask about using starter templates on WordPress. I used it today. And there is some code added to my site that needs to go. Any ideas on how I can get rid of the code? It’s not exactly showing up when I tried adding to the page. But the code has images and texts up on my site.”
I’ll be honest with you. I’m not a tech person. But, I’m tech-savvy enough to be able to handle myself. I do some basic HTML code.
But if I’m 100% honest, I have a tech team or tech service that I use. I work with WP Tech Support. I pretty much submit a ticket to them whenever I have problems, and they answer as many questions as I go from there.
They are amazing. And what I love about them is they’re pretty fast. They’ll get back to you within a few minutes of you submitting a ticket. So they may not have an answer for you immediately, but they’ll acknowledge you and get back to you quickly.
“Any tips on creating a lead magnet that will turn my website visitors into email subscribers?”
The email list part is probably one of the most important things when it comes to your blog. You want to make sure you’re getting email subscribers because they will eventually turn into buyers for you. So when you create a lead magnet, it should be something of value.
Something that when you think about it, you’re probably like, “Oh, I don’t know if I should give this away for free because it’s essentially good value. Maybe I should sell this.” So if you’re having those kinds of thoughts, it’s probably a good lead magnet.
To figure out if you should sell it or be a lead magnet, ask yourself how long it took you to create it. If you’re able to create it within an hour, hopefully, within 30 minutes, it should be a lead magnet even if it does serve a huge value.
If it takes you more than that to create it, and it’s a great value, it should probably be something you sell. It should be a course or a good lead magnet.
It can be some printable, which I think many people rely on for blogs because it works. So just make sure it’s something of value.
If you’re wondering, “What can I provide of value?” think about something that you’ve already created for your business because you notice that it didn’t exist before. And then, give that away for free.
I’ll give you a couple of examples of things that I’ve created and started giving away for free just because it was of great value to me.
I made a social media tracking document in Excel. I use this sheet, and it helps me keep track of where all my followers are on social media.
It’s really easy to track. I made it pretty by using a color-coded legend. It didn’t take long to set up. That’s something that I give away to my readers for free.
The other thing you want to keep in mind when it comes to your lead magnet is that it must be something that will attract your future buyers.
So, then take a step back. What is your blog about? Are you blogging about parenting advice? If you are, you don’t want to give a freebie about blogging because you’re going to attract many bloggers to your email lists.
If your blog is about fashion, you don’t want to give a freebie for some art thing you did in the past. Instead, it should be related to whatever product you can see yourself making in the future. I know it’s hard if you haven’t come up with a product yet. So, think more about what you like to do and what you are getting good at.
“Any other tips on growing my email list?”
Yes! Make sure you are promoting those freebies. So, for my blog, all my freebies are treated as blog posts.
I’ll tell you what I mean when it comes to promotion. I make sure that it goes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for every blog post I publish. You know the typical thing, you share them on your social media channels.
Well, when I create a freebie, I create social media images for that freebie as well. I make a point to share a freebie that I have every single day.
So, I have about eight different freebies. Mondays, I share a freebie one. Tuesdays, I share freebie two. Wednesdays, I share freebie three.
Thursdays, I share freebie four. And I just share it out there like I would any blog post that I have. I use my social media images. I make sure it leads to the page where they can sign up for it.
That’s one way to make sure that you’re consistently getting people to sign up.
Now, I know that sounds like a lot of work but what I will say is if you use a tool that does this for you automatically, you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. I use a tool called SocialBee. And what I love about SocialBee is you can create a social media image or posts, and it recycles them.
Also, think about all the places where you can promote your list. A few places that I think people forget, social media. You should be promoting on social media for your freebie. It should also be on your homepage, in your sidebar, or at the bottom of your blog posts.
If you go on my website, you’ll see my freebies are in all these places. If you are on Facebook, you have a little button where people can click on your website. Switch that out and change your banner on Facebook.
Talk about your freebie, and make sure that the link goes to your freebie instead. If you use Linktree or Instagram, you have many places where you can put links. Make sure your freebie is one of those links.
“What’s a ballpark estimate of how much it should cost to start your blog?”
It shouldn’t cost that much. When I first started my blog, I got a loan from my boyfriend, my now husband, for 300 bucks. And that $300 lasted me six months to get my blog up and running and get everything I needed.
You need hosting. Hosting can be as low as $2 a month, so that’s not super expensive when you’re first starting.
Next, I think you need a theme. And that’s just to make sure that your site looks beautiful. I love going with Restored 316.
They’re a really good place where they have beautiful themes, and they’re super highly customizable. I think a theme can run anywhere from 50 to 80 bucks for your WordPress theme.
There are many free tools out there as far as doing things with your blog when it comes to tools. When you’re getting started, I don’t think you need to spend any money on social media sharing tools or Tailwind. I don’t think you need to spend money on most things when you’re still just ramping up.
I don’t think you necessarily do anything else outside of maybe getting your domain. First, you need to buy your domain. Of course, that can vary depending on what domain you have. But even that shouldn’t be all that expensive.
I think I paid like $15 a year or $15 for two years for my domain. Maybe a little over a hundred bucks to get your blog started. But don’t get caught up in all the little tools that make your life easier.
All you need to do is once you get your blog set up, get your main pages going like your About Me page, get some blog posts going, figure out your categories, and make sure that you are publishing content in those categories.
More importantly, I would say to get started on affiliates as soon as possible. There are a lot of affiliate networks you can sign up for. In addition, there are free sites like Commission Junction, Impact Radius, and Flex.
A ton comes up if you just search affiliate networks, and they don’t cost anything to join them. And then, just start implementing some of those affiliate strategies I talked about before.
“Any tips to come up with titles for freebies and digital products?”
When it comes to freebies and digital products, you want to make sure you think of a very action-focused title. Action-focused or goal-focused.
For example, if you have a product that teaches people how to code, learning how to code is important. It’s cool. I think it’s trendy right now but instead of talking about how to code a course, tell them what the result is.
What do people want when it comes to learning how to code? Do they want freedom from their job, so they don’t have to do that anymore?
Do they want to make more money? Is that what their main goal is?
Try to focus on things like that. Make more money with coding. That can be the name of the course instead of Learn How to Code. Think about what the actual result is that people want.
I’ve learned that people don’t know what they want when it comes to an actual product. But, on the other hand, people know what they want regarding their goals and dreams.
And your job as a blogger or as a content producer is to kind of fill that gap. So how do you help them get to their goals faster? That’s the first thing.
Then, keep in mind what result they would want and tell them the result in the title.
“What’s the magic of Pinterest?”
I was a fan until I started going into all of my search engine optimization stuff. Pinterest was my number one resource where I was getting most of my traffic until I did more SEO stuff. Now, I get most of my traffic from SEO.
So I think when it comes to Pinterest, the code is making sure you’re getting enough eyeballs for your pins. And the second is making sure you are making new pins regularly.
Pinterest recently had an update. “We don’t like old pins anymore. We want new stuff.” So, something I do, I’ll tell you all how I am regularly sharing my content on social media.
And what I do is once I get back to a rotation where I’m like, “Okay, it’s time to share this blog post again.” I’ll go ahead and create new pins for the article and share them with Pinterest. Since their algorithm changed, I’ve noticed that I get way more traction with my newer pins than with my older ones.
So, make sure that you are regularly updating pins for your post. Or something you can do; when I typically make a blog post, I do three pins. I’ll pull all three pins in the article, but I share them one at a time on Pinterest. So once one pin has already been shared to all of my group boards and Tailwind communities, I know I can share the next one and see if that one has more traction.
This is good to do. I am doing multiple pins. Because then you can see what stands out more to people and what is more interesting to them.
Every time without fail, I’ll do three pins. I’ll share all three pins. It’s always a pin I like the least is the one that takes off on Pinterest. So, that’s another something I’ve noticed.
I don’t know if it has something to do with my eye. Maybe I’m viewing it wrong or whatever. But people click on the one that you like the least.
So, if I notice that people are clicking on a specific pin, I’ll make sure to kind of look at that and say, “Okay, why are people sharing this one more as opposed to the other?” I’ll consider that design when I make my next pins for it. That’s what I will say.
Honestly, my biggest breakthrough with Pinterest has been Tailwind. I have a Tailwind account where I have unlimited Tailwind communities. And for those of you who have never used Tailwind or have never used their communities’ section.
Has been my groundbreaking part of Pinterest is discovering Tailwind communities. It’s nice having Tailwind as a scheduling tool, but honestly, I’m there for the communities. Even though Pinterest has gone through many different algorithm changes recently that haven’t been all that awesome, I still see success with using Tailwind communities.
Anytime I’m posting on Tailwind communities, I always see an immediate lift in my traffic by doing that. So that would be my suggestion. Tailwind, you should be able to sign up for free for them.
We talked about a lot here. First, we talked about my affiliate strategy and what I’ve done to bring in pretty good income with affiliates.
We talked a little bit about growing your email account and different things you can do to make a really good freebie and make good titles for freebies and products. I think that’s pretty good. We had a little bit of a tech discussion and guidance there.
I’m not all that tech-savvy, but I can put a couple of buttons and message the tech support. We also talked about how much you should spend on your blog.
Lastly, we talked about Pinterest and Tailwind. That’s one of my favorite tools to promote because it’s been just huge, huge for me.
We talked about a lot of things for this month’s Q&A. I hope that you all enjoyed it.