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Build a Successful Creative Blog

Lesson 22 of 26

How Testimonials Can Help with Monetization

April Bowles-Olin

Build a Successful Creative Blog

April Bowles-Olin

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Lesson Info

22. How Testimonials Can Help with Monetization


  Class Trailer
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2 Know Your Ideal Reader Duration:52:03
3 Put Fun Back into Blogging Duration:35:03
4 Best Practices for Success Duration:26:50
5 Developing Your Content Plan Duration:46:24
7 Your Unique Style and Voice Duration:31:49
8 Design Tips Duration:21:38
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1 Writing in Your Voice Duration:34:10
2 Exploring Different Voices Duration:28:23
3 Copywriting 101 Duration:19:45
6 Visuals For Your Blog Duration:30:04
7 Photos For Your Blog Duration:55:35
9 Promoting with Social Media Duration:39:29

Lesson Info

How Testimonials Can Help with Monetization

So the importance of social proof. We want what others have and want. We're constantly swayed by others even when we wanna pretend, like, I'm my own person, and other people don't influence me, but that is not true. When you walk into a party and everyone's dancing and having a good time, you start dancing and you're louder. If everybody's quiet and talking softly, you're not gonna break out into dance party, probably. We do this all the time. Think about your shopping habits online and the reviews that matter to you. I was picking out some new beauty products for this CreativeLive workshop on Sephora. And one of the things I was looking at was the topcoat for my nail polish because I wanted to paint my nails before I left and have them still looking nice on the last day. Which, I don't have any chips. And so I was looking for this topcoat and what mattered the most were the reviews. That's what sold me on the topcoat that I picked. Was the one that said, "This does not chip, "it will ...

last a week, it will look like a manicure "that you got done at the salon." That's what sold me on that topcoat. When you think about how you shop online, when you go onto Amazon and you look at those reviews, they matter. If everyone's saying, "This sucks," then you don't normally buy it. Or, let's say you've got two things and nobody's saying this isn't that great, everyone's saying, "This is good." But you have two products that are pretty similar. One of them has a ton of reviews, a ton of people saying, "This is a wonderful product, "I love it so much." And then you've got five people for this other product saying that it's a wonderful product. You're probably going to pick the one that has the most people saying this is the best product. The more testimonials, the better. Use testimonials from happy customers. In your blog posts, on your press page, on your sidebar, in your product description. The more the better. Do you guys currently use testimonials? Do you put them up? Yeah? Well they're, I mean, if somebody looks at reviews on Etsy, there's good reviews, but since my shop is through Etsy anyways, it's, I don't know. No, not on the blog, but that's not what the blog is trying to do, so. So one of the things I would do is take some of those product reviews that are for specific products and put them right in the description. Because not everybody Right, yeah. reads through all of them. So the best ones for that particular product, I would put right at the bottom of that product description. So even if you don't use them on you blog. Yeah, yeah, that's good. Yeah? I don't know if this is true for everyone, but for me, I had my business for a while with no clients, no one was buying, so I gave away coaching calls to get those testimonials, put those testimonials from the free calls up there and only then did I get paying clients after I already had testimonials up. It's a good point. It makes a big difference that you see that people have worked with you, they liked it, they got something out of it. It makes them feel like they can buy and feel like they can trust it a little bit more, especially with service-based businesses, it's really super important. Yeah, nothing was happening until I had the testimonials up. And then things switched. Absolutely. Do you guys use testimonials? I was afraid to use them because I didn't know if I could just take someone's quote, you know, from my feedback and publish it on my blog. So now I'm gonna ask them if I can. Awesome, awesome. What about you guys? Not yet, but I know that it's important. Yeah. Not yet. I have a few for my opt-in workbook, but not for my work with me client page, I need to start adding more testimonials to that page. Yeah. If it will help kind of like Sage said. It can really help with the sales, yeah, and it can be a little nerve-wracking to contact somebody, especially for something like coaching, and ask them for a testimonial. Usually what I do is send them a little survey. And so that they're answering questions that aren't just, hey, give me a glowing testimonial. I tell them I want to improve, because that's the truth, I really do. So is there anything that didn't really work for you? How could I do things a little bit better? Also, what were your favorite pieces? What were your favorite parts? How did it help your business the most? Would you recommend it to a friend? And, can I use any of this information as a testimonial on my sales page? Is the last question. And everybody says yes. And I've actually got an advice that I've read that you know, you send that survey, and I've had a couple people say, you yourself, kind of re-word the answers that they gave to that survey and then it send it back to them and say, from the information that your provided from the survey, this is kind of the testimonial that I'd like to use. Do I have your permission to use this? If you want it different, you can feel free to reword it. I don't know, do you do that? Or how does that work? Or your thoughts on that process. Yeah, you can definitely do that. Usually I just put exactly what the person has said and I can pick whatever piece I think is the best and is gonna make the most sense for that product or service. But I've heard of people doing that as well. That's something you can definitely do. [Woman With Floral Top] Okay. We have a lot of people in the chatroom who are sharing their testimonial experiences. Now a lot of people here hadn't really thought of testimonials until this conversation came up, so I think it's really good to share. And also don't forget, CreativeLive uses testimonials all the time. (audience chuckling) It's been a huge part of our business, and helping grow our audience, and obviously we always love feedback. We try to remind all of you viewers out there we do have the Facebook thank you page where we get all of the comments, and so you can always share your thoughts on that about April's course, and we also do course review pages, so you will see on the course page there is a place for you to leave your review, and we do take that stuff seriously. It is a lot of good information that we use to try to make our product better for all of you viewers out there. So we have first hand experience right here that we do this, and it does work. Yes, it works so well. You will be amazed when you put testimonials up how it helps. Testimonials are best if they're from someone we know. So from someone we recognize. So if you go to a sales pages and you see the most popular people at the top and even if they've only written a sentence, it's because those work the best. Often it's not from somebody we know, and that's completely fine. You don't have to have celebrities using your products and services for testimonials to work. It's best if a picture is included. So if you've got a head shot of this person, or a picture that you can use, that's best. And often if the person's a blogger, they will send you a picture that you can include. Or if you have a product, them wearing the product is gonna be the most helpful. If you don't have a picture, it's best to include a story. And even if you do have a picture, it's best to include a story. So, showing in some way. So not just saying, "This was great," right? I want somebody who is saying for Marketing for Creatives that this helped my business, in this specific way. That's the testimonial I'm gonna put up. Or "I couldn't put down this book, it was amazing. "I stayed up until two a.m. reading it, making notes. "I can't wait to get working on it tomorrow, "on my business." That's what I'm gonna put up. So you want the story type of stuff to use as testimonials. We want specifics. Ratings are the least persuasive. So if you just have four stars, or whatever it is, that's the least persuasive. Start asking for testimonials or sending out quick surveys. I suggest this for product-based businesses and service-based businesses. If you sell jewelry, you could send out just a simple survey that's only a few questions, that's not gonna take very much time. In fact, you want to keep it as simple and quick as possible. And check your emails and social media. You probably already have some. It would be great if you did. If you're a new business, you may not, but you'll get more and more as you go on. Ask specific questions to get good testimonials. You can't just say, will you write me a testimonial? Because often people will just say, "I loved your product." Or, "I loved working with you, it was awesome." So, what did you like most about XYZ? That one works really well because you'll get something specific. Would you recommend this to a friend? If yes, why? That one also gets me some really great testimonials because people get specific. Features versus benefits. when blogging about your products and services, it's important that you focus on the benefits. What is your customer really buying? What emotional value are you providing? So I'll give you some examples. An example, Marketing for Creatives. Features, actionable advice on how to promote your creative business, more sales. So that's great, some people will buy it just for that. But the real benefits are, if you put this stuff into action, you could have financial freedom. You could leave your day job if you hate it. You could do what you love for a living. Those are the real benefits. Those are the things that are gonna get people to buy. An example, lace dress from Anthropologie. Features, button front, polyester lining, that's not gonna sell me on the dress. What sold me on the dress is that I knew I was gonna feel confident and attractive. And I was gonna feel really good about being up here speaking in front of everybody watching. That it was gonna make me feel good. That's what sold me on it. That's the real benefit that I get from it. And I haven't spent this much on a dress since my wedding dress. So I really had to know that this was going to make me feel good. That's why I spent that money on it. Wedding photography. Features, photographs of your wedding day. Benefits, lifetime memories, something you can share with your kids and grandkids. The photos of the most important day of your life that you can sit there and look at and remember and go back to that feeling. That's what's gonna sell me on buying a higher wedding photography package. So this is the stuff you have to talk about in your blog posts. Not just the features of what you sell. The benefits. So in your workbook you will find on page features versus benefits. Pick one product or service that you offer and let us know, what are the features versus the benefits? Write that down. What emotional value does your product or service provide? So what is the customer really getting? Not-- While the students are writing that, we just had a question come in. I think it would be a good time to maybe touch on this, but Sunshine1 was curious about, when we were talking about reviews and testimonials, they were wondering how should you react to a negative or even just sort of a neutral review? Is that something where you would delete that or respond to that? Because I know a lot of people are concerned that if they open up those testimonials, maybe you'll get some feedback that's not always gonna be positive. Right. Well if you do get negative feedback, the first thing I would say is, that you should look at it carefully and critically and figure out if there is something that isn't working that you need to change. Because maybe somebody's telling you something that really does need to change in your business, especially if you're hearing the same thing over and over and over again. If you're getting glowing testimonials 99% of the time, and 1% of the time, you're getting people who are somebody that you will never, ever, ever get a good testimonial from, it's usually because of that person, and not because of you. And I wouldn't put that on my website. I would never put that on my website, it doesn't make sense to. Obviously you want to try and figure out why the customer didn't like your product or service. Give them a refund, or whatever you need to do in order to cut ties. But sometimes there are those people that you just can't please. That, no matter what you do, maybe they're unhappy for whatever reason in their life, they didn't read closely what they were buying, they didn't pay attention to it, and they're just not gonna be happy. Often those people you just wanna give refunds to and move on. But you should be getting glowing testimonials most of the time. If not, you should really take that advice and put it into your business to make whatever you're doing better, absolutely. So I wanna hear from you guys, what are the features versus the benefits of what you sell? What emotional value do you provide to your customer? You wanna start? Well I make custom photo bracelets and necklaces so the feature is it's unique custom jewelry and you can choose colors that fit your color pallet, but the benefit is that you have a wearable memory and that's how I market it, as a wearable memory. And it's a reminder of a special time in your life. This is a wedding picture of my husband and myself and it makes me feel good to wear it. That's perfect. That's exactly what I was looking for, and you're already doing that. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So definitely including that in your blog posts when you talk about your products. What else, anybody else? Well I think that if we just take like the cat toys and say, in general, 'cause they all kind of have the same feature of being a toy for a cat, but I think it applies to most of the things that I make is that my ultimate goal is that, usually somebody is purchasing something for somebody. Maybe they're purchasing it for their actual cat, but oftentimes I think people are buying gifts and so I think that my things are unique and so it really makes the receiver feel special, and that's kind of my ultimate goal, that it's not just something you can go to Petco and get and it's like any old thing, but that it's gonna be funny to the person receiving it and has some extra like, "Oh my gosh, "I can't believe you saw this and thought of me "and got it for me." So some joy, humor, Yeah. things like that. Yeah, I know that, for me, when I'm buying something special for my dogs, it give me this feeling of, I'm taking really good care of them. And that Right, so yeah-- they're like my babies. And so if I'm getting something special for them, it makes me feel good like I am taking such good care, I'm such a good doggy mama, taking care of my babies, giving them the very best stuff, and when I do that, it makes me feel really good. Yeah. So thinking just beyond what it is. Anybody else? Yeah. So the service I offer is in-home portrait, selling sessions. So they're not just put in an online gallery and the client has to figure out what they want, I actually come to their house with products, help them figure out the images that would look best in a certain place, how big they should have it, and help them visualize it in their actual home. All right. So, yeah. The feature would be they don't leave their house, and well, maybe that's a benefit, but the feature is the selling session. Benefits is it's in their home, they don't leave the house, they have a professional there helping them figure out the details. So they feel more safe, they feel more comfortable. And confident in their buying. And confident, yeah. So those are those emotional values, yeah. Anybody online wanna share? We have one in the chatroom from Kris with a K. And they say that their feature is well-crafted writing curriculum offered by a certified and experienced teacher and professional writer. And the benefits to that are the skill, confidence and ability to share your voice with the world and that's gonna be yours forever. Whoa I like that one, yeah. So thinking about, when you are talking about this stuff on your blog, to not just talk about those features, but really talk about the benefits. That's where you should prioritize things. "The first use of any product "is inside the consumer's mind." And this come from a book, Cashvertising by Drew Eric Whitman. And this is so true. Whenever you think about buying something, you kind of come up with a story in your head about it first. You imagine yourself using it, you imagine putting on the lipstick, what it's gonna look like. You imagine what the earrings are gonna look like, where you might wear them. I imagined myself in this dress, what it might look like, how I would feel. What's the story? What's the story your customer is telling herself when she thinks about buying your product? This is in your workbook on page 67. An example, when I thought about buying the camera bag that I've brought up a couple of times. It's a collaboration between A Beautiful Mess and Kelly Moore. I could imagine myself walking up onto the plane, with my camera bag, but I was thinking to myself, this is so expensive, but I love it, I have to have it. I can imagine myself with it. I can imagine myself walking into CreativeLive with my cute bag that has my camera and my laptop and everything safe, and feeling really, really cool. And I really want it, kept going through my head. Imagining myself with it, imagining myself packing it before my trip. That's one of the things that went through my head. So what is the story that your customer is telling herself before she's buying your product? This is so important to know. I know that when somebody is thinking about buying individual consulting with me, they're not happy with their businesses. They're feeling kind of bad about where their business is at or they're feeling like there's something missing, there's not enough, they're not making enough money, they're not completely satisfied. They're thinking about what it would be like to work with me, what my personality is gonna be like, am I gonna make them feel safe and comfortable? Are they gonna feel like I'm gonna help them? Can they imagine their business growing? I think about, what are they thinking about? What stories are they telling themselves before they buy? One of the reasons this is really important is because you wanna use this with your testimonials. You wanna help your customer see what, you wanna help her see that story with your testimonial, and, if she has any hesitations, you wanna use those testimonials to get past those hesitations. Because you're making something wonderful and great, right? That is really meaningful to somebody. So you want people to buy it. So you wanna help them get past that hesitation. We all procrastinate buying things. We think, oh I'll get that next month. You want them to buy now. This is one of the ways to do it. Is to use those testimonials, especially if anybody is saying, "Oh, that's really expensive." How can you get past that? Having somebody say, "This was worth every penny." So you wanna use this stuff in your blog posts, in your product descriptions. You wanna know the objections and address them. You wanna use testimonials to refute those objections, whatever the negative parts are, because we almost always have that part, but... Should I buy this, but... What's that but that your customer is stopping at? What are the hesitations that she's having? Guess what? We've got a hot seat. I wanna know the story that your customer is telling herself before she's pressing that buy button. Who wants to come up and share? Come one, this is gonna be really helpful to share what your customer is thinking. We've all be on the hot seat, so we've all done it a little bit. Who's up for more? All right. There we go. Rochelle come on. Get on up there. (audience clapping politely) Oh wow, yeah. We did even (laughing). Crowd loves the hot seat. (audience laughing) All over the place. All right, so what is your customer telling herself before she buys? Probably that she wants to buy something that's gonna show off her beautiful memories. A lot of my customers are moms or grandmothers and I have a special, I call it a photo album bracelet and it has pictures of your children, or whatever. If you have pets, you can get pets too. Just that they want to share that. They want to be reminded, like this is a picture of my kids, I like looking at it, it makes me feel happy. So what are they thinking? What are they imagining? Are they imagining themselves wearing this on a regular basis? Yeah, yes. On a daily basis? Okay, all right. So one of the concerns they might have is if it could stand up to daily wear. So I have a special page on my website that talks about that I use high quality products, that they're tested, that I've had my bracelets for years, I wear 'em all the time, they stand up to wear. Amazing, all right. So you're addressing that objection that might come up. Right. So also having some testimonials on there that say, "I've had this piece of jewelry for whatever, "and I wear it daily and there isn't anything," you know, "It looks just like it did when I bought it." Right. Something like that, that would also help. Okay. Get past that objection. And I also guarantee the workmanship 100% so if something does happen, send it back, and I re-string it. Amazing. All right, so you are refuting that as well. So that if people have that, and often it helps when you use a testimonial because we can say it, but it means so much more coming from somebody else. So if somebody says, "I sent my jewelry back to her and she re-did it, "and it looks just as beautiful as when I bought it," that's what you want to put up on your product description on your site. And use in a blog post, and show a picture of her wearing the jewelry. Okay. Yeah, so anything else that's she saying to herself? Gosh I don't know. Hopefully she's saying, "This bracelet is so awesome, "I just love wearing it" (chuckles). Yeah, I can imagine it. Or necklace. Yeah, I can imagine it. She might be thinking about "What outfits would I wear it with? "How would I style it? "What would it look best with?" She might be thinking, "I can see myself wearing it "with this particular sweater or top" or something like that. Right, or also, "This would be an awesome gift "to give someone that I love." You know, for a new mom, if you had a necklace or a bracelet made with their baby pictures on it, it's a very meaningful gift. Yeah, definitely, definitely. And they would probably be imagining the moment when they give it to that person. And what it would be like for that person to unwrap it, and see it, and what that moment would be like. So having some testimonials that include those moments would also sell people on that gift. Like, "Oh yes, I know somebody who would be "really excited to get that. "I do know a new mom who deserves something special" or whatever it is. Okay. Yeah, it's good knowing the story, and you're already doing so much of that work already, which is really great. Yeah, I'm really working on it, yeah. Yeah, all right. Thank you so much. (energetic clapping) I wanted to add one thing about it, her pieces, is that feeling of accomplishment. 'Cause some times as a mother, I forget that that was a huge thing that I did, so to be reminded of that, it's not just for the kids, it's for the mother. That's a great point, that's a great point. That that's something that you would be thinking before buying. [Woman In Purple Floral Top] Right, 'cause-- There are some viewers in the chatroom as well who feel the same way (chuckles). People were loving the Mother's Day mention, moms are going to be looking for those things. Oh, good. That's right, don't worry, we posted the link in the chat. All right, let's have one more person come up. Who else wants to come up and talk about what their customer is thinking before they buy? All right Sage, come on. Woo hoo. (audience clapping) Lots of clapping for Sage. Hi. What ya got for me? What's your customer thinking? What's the product or service first? Okay, so I blog at and I sell coaching calls and I'm also working on a home study program which is going to be very similar to the stuff that I do in my one-on-one calls too. So what they're thinking before they pay me is, "I'm so stressed out. "I don't have any direction in my life. "I don't have the time or the energy "to work on advancing my career "or to get out of a bad job, like it's too much work. "There's not enough time in the day "to do what I need to do and still take care of myself." So that's what they're thinking before they hire me. So would an objection be, I don't even know if I have enough time for this? Absolutely. Okay. So what I say when someone comes to me and they're like, "I don't have time for this, "I don't have time to be on coaching calls, "I don't have time their implement the homework "or stuff that you're gonna tell me to do." All my programs are based on baby steps and if you look at my worksheets too, you take your big idea, you break it down, and you break it down, and you break it down. So actually, they only have three baby steps to do every single day, and they are teeny teeny tiny baby steps, so there's like stuff that would take them less than two minutes to do. So there's no excuse, everyone's got two minutes. Nice, okay. So do you have any testimonials that say, "I only had to spend this much time to get these results"? I believe I do have a testimonial where they're talking about how much time that they're saving or that it was doable. Yeah, I have someone who was saying how doable it was, that they were able to get, to see that progress every day. 'Cause it wasn't like this huge thing that they had to do, they were doing something big, but if you break it out into tiny little baby steps over the course of three months, yeah, you can do it and you don't even realize it. And do you include this information in blog posts and talk about it in blog posts? Yeah, actually I do that in my blog posts. I kind of seed the success stories from my clients, so I let them sell the products rather than me selling 'em. I have them talk about the benefits that they got. The new job that they got, the new paycheck they got. So yeah, I try to work that into my blog posts not in a salesy way. Yeah, yeah, but that will sell things for you, having people saying, "I got this job from working with Sage." Then somebody else can imagine, "That's what I wanna do, "so I need to work with Sage." and having something on there about the time since this person is so stressed out, that's a big piece of it. So it sounds like you've already got that covered, but that's good knowing that story that's going through her head. Is there anything else that she's thinking? Does she think anything about pricing? Or does she think, yeah, let's stick with pricing. Does she think anything about pricing? So, of course, I think everyone has to deal with pricing and, "Can I afford you? "Is it going to be worth it?" So a lot of my testimonials do talk about the money that they earned from working with me. One of my best testimonials involves time and money. In five weeks we were able to get her a new job, a better job at another company, with a $20,000 pay increase. So it's-- Amazing! Yes. Amazing. I bet there are people watching this saying, "Oh my gosh, I wanna go to Sage's website "and hire her right now." Yeah, people are loving Sage's website and also BellaUni says, "Sage should totally do video if she doesn't already. "She has such a great persona "and the way she articulates herself, "it's so likable on camera." I do video. Keep it up. Yeah, absolutely, and that will also help the person kind of visualize who they're gonna be working with too. They can imagine it. That's what some people do for me, and I'm sure for you with videos. They watch it and they say, "I understand who I'm gonna be working with, "it helps me purchase." Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So for any service-based businesses, videos really help because they can see what it's gonna be like to work with you. And I made a point for my home study program because I do get good feedback from my videos, I made sure, home study program has videos, you get to look at me being goofy (laughs). Awesome. All right, a round of applause for Sage (clapping) (audience clapping) There's nothing wrong with that goofy personality. No. Jenny Z says, "I think Sage's personality "is a good way to make others feel comfortable with her. "She seems like she's really easy to talk to." Absolutely, absolutely, I would wanna work with you because I feel like I would feel safe with you. Yeah. You would make me, whatever my uniqueness is, that you would make me feel good about it, and not make me feel awkward or strange or anything like that. Yeah, you would make me feel safe. I'm plenty awkward. (all laughing) So another thing you can do to help your customer stop procrastinating and click that buy button, is to use scarcity when it makes sense for your business. "Showing a limited quantity in stock, "or a limited timeframe that something is available, "invokes scarcity. "Scarcity motivate us to act." And this comes from the book Neuro Web Design which is an amazing book, I highly recommend this book, Neuro Web Design. So when you only have a limited number of something, let your readers know. Often people leave this out, and it's such a simple way to get people to not procrastinate. If I know that there are only two left in my size of this dress, I'm going to buy it because I want it. It's gonna help me not wait another week to purchase. Or if I know that this jewelry artist has made 10 of these necklaces, it's gonna help me purchase, because I know when those 10 are gone, that's it. When she says there are only four left, it's gets me to wanna purchase. Now you don't wanna make this stuff up. You don't wanna be shady. There are so many businesses out there that make marketing look bad and will say that they have a limited quantity of something when they really don't. You don't wanna do that. But for somebody like Sage, you can only work with a certain amount of people each month. You only have 24 hours a day and you're not working all 24 of them. No, Right. I take my weekends off. Right, so you can only work with this many people, so saying I only have this many slots available, that really motivates people to buy. Michelle Ward did this recently. She works with women for their careers and improving their lives and getting to the career that they really want, the When I Grow Up coach. And she, I remember her posting something on Facebook that said, "I only have two spots left "before I'm booked through October." And then the next thing I knew, she posted, "I'm booked through October." (woman laughing) It got those spots filled that otherwise people wouldn't be motivated to buy right then. So other ways to monetize. Membership programs. So, weekly clipart club, weekly interviews, yarn of the month club. So maybe you set up an interview site that you have to pay to get access to. And you do an interview with somebody every week. Or you send out weekly clipart. Information products, so let's say you do some knitting. You could also share some of your knitwear and sewing patterns. This stuff is really easy because once you make it once, it's done and you can sell it over and over and over again. I work with lots of people in the handmade community that wonder how they can do more of that. So sometimes it's teaching a course on how to make something, because that's a completely different target market. So they put together video courses where they teach people how to make it and then they also have the option of buying it and they're two different target markets. Like we've seen. So that can work as well. Consulting. I hired a photographer to teach me how to use my DSLR camera on Skype. Life coaching. Speaking or teaching. So teaching your craft at Craftcation or Alt Summit. Going to an art retreat, teaching at an art retreat. Affiliate sales. So if you have an affiliate, if you are signed up as an affiliate for Amazon, every time you talk about a book you can link to that book with your affiliate link. It doesn't make you a ton of money, however why not if you're already talking about a specific product or service? I don't do any advertising on my site, however, I will use my affiliate links if I talk about books and stuff like that. It makes me enough money that I often buy myself a bunch of books every month. I'm a reader, I love it. So when books show up at my house every month and my husband is like, "Is that another box of books?" I can say, but it was from affiliate money, don't worry, don't worry. Or something like B-School, this is the one thing that I'm an affiliate of and I do every year. It works because it is well-paying, but also because I've been through the program and I know it works. So I love to tell everybody I can about it. So why not make money from telling people about it? A book deal. So you could write a book teaching your craft. So there are lots of ways if you get creative, to monetize your business and sell your own stuff or doing a little bit of the affiliate stuff. Do we have any last minute questions on any of this? This is a stumper, well for me it is, maybe you have an idea, so I do the artwork, but I'm also an organizer and so I've gone through a lot of minimizing and I can help people do that. Is it confusing to try to bring that into an art business? I guess I have to wait till people ask me maybe. Or talk about it in blog posts. Because a lot of the quotes I use is about, you know, less is more, only choose the best, the less I needed, the better I felt. And people love that stuff, the stuff that you're sharing. Okay, so I would experiment with it a little bit. I would add a little bit more of that into your blog and see what your audience does, see how they react to it. Sometimes you can figure out very creative ways to put things together, and sometimes you need two separate businesses, two separate blogs to make it work. But since you're already doing some of that already, I would pull a little bit more into it and see how it works. Couldn't you have a different page that list your services so letting people know, oh I can make these things and they're sold here, oh by the way, I'm an organizer, contact me. Right, but there's a whole thing in the person's mind, "Is she, what is she? "I'm kind of confused. "If she's an organizer, is her mind in that?" but you know-- Yeah, I don't know. There are lots of people who creatively put together things and different things together in the same business. Yeah, thanks. Yeah. I've got one more. Yeah. Go ahead. Question if possible. I've been writing tons and tons of notes in my workbook. Yay. But one of the things that I keep coming back to is being mindful and purposeful about what I'm doing. So I was curious to know about how you plan your marketing and your promotions? We talked about building anticipation and I know from me, I feel like I need to do that maybe a month or a couple weeks prior and kinda lay out a plan prior to releasing blog posts and Facebook posts and Twitter posts. So I was wondering if you had a procedure or process that you did to help you plan out when you're going to release certain things. Yeah, sure. Well first what I do, is I start talking about it the moment I decide this is what I'm gonna do. And usually I'm the type of person who I say, this is what I'm gonna do, and it's what I do. So it works for me. So I start talking about it immediately. I will say, this is my idea, what do you guys think? I'll start asking feedback on it immediately from my audience. And then I will plan things out. So I'll plan out blog posts that relate to it. So, for instance, if I am promoting a blogging workshop, I'm going to plan out maybe four weeks of blog posts that will help people improve their blogs. So that by the time I open up the shopping cart, I've already helped people improve their blogs and they're ready to purchase the course. And so I do plan that stuff out. Usually I plan about a month of it out in advance.

Class Description

There are over 200 million blogs on the Internet, so how do you cut through the noise and stand out in the crowd? A quality blog boasts great content, a powerful voice, and relevant, useful information. The problem is, putting all of those pieces together, understanding how to find the right audience, and marketing your blog is no easy juggling act.

Join the founder of Blacksburg Belle and author of Marketing for Creatives April Bowles-Olin for a comprehensive course dedicated to teaching you how to write, create, and market a successful blog. Drawing on the same methods she’s used to help successful entrepreneurs around the world grow their online presence, April will teach you how to find your own voice and get more comfortable writing like yourself. You’ll learn how to develop a strong editorial strategy, attract the right readers and write engaging headlines that will drive traffic to your site. April will also explore some of the key problems that hold bloggers back -- from writer’s block to boredom to insecurity about what you’re writing -- and explain how to overcome them. Best of all, April will teach you how to save time and have fun while contributing to the success of your blog.

After just three short days with April, you’ll possess the perfect foundation for better copywriting and creating a powerful, traffic generating blog.



This course is absolutely amazing. April is so enthusiastic and inspiring. It is clear she has spent a lot of time preparing for this course with a wealth of useful information in the videos and the workbook and the resource pack. Having just launched my new photography website, I have been looking for ideas and help with the blog- a new area for me. This has made me feel excited about my business. It's helped me plan my blog posts for the coming months and highlighted the importance of a good blog for keeping a website fresh. I found myself excited for each new video and sad when it was all finished! I've purchase a few courses through Creative Live but this is my favourite so far and April has a lot to do with that.

Kristina Zambrano

Where to start? ... Um I took my blog to the groomer ha! you guys must be thinking how on earth you take a blog to the groomer pretty easy actually you just go and click where it says "Build a Successful Creative Blog with April Bowles and you are taking it to the groomer. Now leaving my pet-related talking if you are creative and have no idea where to start in blogging this is your place to start she (April) will teach you everything about the blog world with a touch of joy, fun and creativity. She will take you from Zero, Nada, Nothing to Something or better say to a brand new groomed blog. And if you need more to convince you to get this workshop you just read April Bowles "26 post you gotta read - blog tour" and if that doesn't make you get it, then you are totally not ready to Blog. Thank you so much April for everything you shared with us.


This course gave me both the impetus to begin the blog whose domain I was sitting on for nearly a year and the skills to do it well. April was - and still is - supportive and helpful to all of the people who participated in the course. It became a community of people, supporting and helping each other to follow through with the amazing instructions that she gave us during the course itself. The resources she gave us are still useful, and the connections I made on her site and the sites she pointed us to have made my blog successful in only a few months. AWESOME course!