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Build a Successful Creative Blog

Lesson 18 of 26

Promoting with Social Media

April Bowles-Olin

Build a Successful Creative Blog

April Bowles-Olin

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Lesson Info

18. Promoting with Social Media


  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
  Class Trailer
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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

Promoting with Social Media

Let's talk about succeeding with social media. First you've got to pick the right platforms, the right platforms for you. You want to be someone worth following. So we talked about this a little bit. But this is very relevant for social media. You want to select what you share. So you're not sharing every single thing that comes to mind. We talked about this a little bit earlier. Talking about should I share the runny eggs that I had for breakfast? Probably not. It just depends on what platform you are on. If you take a picture of your breakfast for Instagram, that might be a good one. If it looks really nice. If it's plated really nice, something like that for Instagram would work really well whereas it's not gonna work as well on other platforms. Give more than you take. Give, give, give, give, give, and give some more. And what I mean by that is, talk about other people, link to other people. Retweet other people, share their stuff on Facebook. Like their stuff on Instagram. Comment...

on their photos. And match your branding visually. So you don't want to just use what Twitter has got for you. You want to put up your own stuff that matches your brand visually. So when people go there, it's seamless. They can tell that it's your Twitter page or your Facebook page. So let's talk about, what are the right platforms for you? It needs to fit your brand and type of business. And it needs to be somewhere that your ideal reader hangs out. So if you're on Twitter but your ideal reader really isn't on Twitter, then it's a waste of time. There are some people that will say to me, I'm on this platform and my competitors are on this platform, but my readers aren't. So that might be a good platform for you to use to connect with some of your competition, to connect with other people in your niche. But it's not gonna be the place that your targeting to bring people back to your blog. So it needs to fit your brand and your ideal reader needs to be there on a regular basis. And that will help you narrow it down. So that you don't have to be everywhere. If you want to be everywhere and you get this stuff down, that's great, but you don't want to spend hours on social media every day. That's a waste of time, it's not going to be something that you're going to feel good about day after day after day and it's not something, you can really get a lot done in 30 minutes, even being on multiple platforms. I'm on Pinterest, I'm on Facebook, I'm on Twitter, I just joined Instagram, just a little while ago because I just changed to an iPhone and I love it. And I love Instagram now and I wish I had been on there forever. So you can be on multiple platforms and not spend hours every day. And we're gonna talk about each one individually. But I want to hear from you guys, what you think are the right platforms to be on. And also think about what you're gonna have the most fun with. What are you going to enjoy when you're thinking about these platforms too? Because I will hear from some people, like, I hate Twitter. I hate Twitter so much, I don't want to be on it. Or I hate Facebook so much, I do not want to be on Facebook. And if that's the case, then you're probably not going to update often. You're probably not going to be your personality-filled self on that social platform. And it's not going to work really well for you. So also think about what you're going to enjoy. So I'd love to hear from you guys, what are the best platforms for you, for your business, and your blog? I use Facebook, and Pinterest a little bit, I want to start using that a lot more. And Instagram, I want to start using a lot more but mostly Facebook. Okay, so that's perfect because your stuff is visual with the DIY, yes. So definitely Facebook is a great platform and then also Pinterest and Instagram would be the other two that would be great to add to the mix. Yeah. Well I use Facebook mostly. I'm on Instagram just personally. But I am working towards trying to figure out the best way to use that for my business. So I'm thinking about having two accounts soon. Okay, two accounts on Instagram? Yeah. Okay, why do you think you need two accounts? Well, maybe I don't. But I feel like I might over post. And I post a lot of, just personal things, or I feel like maybe I post a lot and that might overwhelm my clients or my readers, or it just might be a lot. Okay so how often would you say that you post on Instagram each day? Depends on the day. Three to five times. I don't think that's overwhelming. I think that that's fine, especially for a photographer. I think that that's perfectly fine. Your ideal readers are going to like your style of photography and I think that they're going to like it. The people that I follow on Instagram that post a lot, I look forward to their updates. I look forward to their photos. I get excited when I see they have more photos up. And I'm liking them and commenting. So I don't think three to five times is overwhelming. I don't think you would have to separate that. Pinterest and Instagram. Okay, Pinterest and Instagram. So tell me why you're not on Facebook. I don't like that platform. I don't like the aesthetics of it. And there's other reasons too but I just (sighs), I don't like it. It feels like... Have you tried it? I have. And it's just been... I don't like reading... It's just not for me. I've tried. Okay, okay, because thinking about those tough conversations and the tough topics and being able to have conversations, would be good for your type of blog reader. So, not necessarily you don't have to do that on Facebook. You can definitely do that comments on your blog. But thinking social media platforms, that would be the first one that would pop into my mind. But if you hate it, it's not gonna work for you. It's not gonna be a good match. Right, there's a whole privacy thing, there's a whole thing about freedom, that's one of my values, so... Yeah, so you can definitely figure out other ways to do that conversation, like comments. We had some chatroom comments about that as well. This is from My Big Apple City, New York. She says, "I find it very difficult "to attract followers on Facebook. "I feel like my posts are seen less and less, "even by my actual followers. "Now is it that only paid ads are the only way "to get noticed now on Facebook?" So people are feeling that, what you were saying. The aesthetic, there are a lot of ads. Sometimes it's tough to know what's an ad and what's not an ad on Facebook. We are going to dive into that. We're gonna talk about Facebook. We're gonna talk about each of these individually. So I will definitely get to those questions, for sure. But I'd love to still know what social media you're on, what you're using. Mainly on Twitter. And then I do a little bit of Facebook and I just say Twitter just because I felt that I needed to be in social media. But I didn't want to overwhelm myself. So I just wanted to start with one. And it just so happened, I just picked Twitter. I find it pretty easy to use. And I liked the engagement and discussion I can have with people on Twitter. Facebook, I have my personal, then I have my business page and I'm also in some private groups. So it's a little bit overwhelming because I have so many different places that I can go to. Whereas Twitter is just, just, my Teach Good Stuff page and that's it and that's the only thing I'm looking at. So I like that one the best, yeah. Yeah, if I was picking a social media platform for you, that's the one I would pick first. I use all of them (laughs). And how much time do you spend? I'm actually on Pinterest the least amount. I make sure, when do I put posts up, that I do put pictures relating to those up. I get in little, like, one day I'll be into it and another day... I only go on it once a week, probably. Instagram is every day. Facebook, I post, I'm on personal Facebook every day but my page, when I'm posting, I used... Twitter was the first social network I ever got on and I'm starting to use it more because it seems like people are using it and building community is still there. So I wanted to give it another go. I've always been posting my blog posts to it. But as being more actively using it, it's newer. Or re-actively using it (laughs). Yeah, I know what you mean, I gotcha. Oh, go ahead. I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus but the bulk of my subscribers come from Pinterest and Facebook. But I have an automatic scheduler, so I don't spend a lot of time. Can you talk about that, is that Hootsuite that you use or--? No, actually I use CoSchedule. And Buffer sometimes, but CoSchedule for the bulk of my posts. Scheduling can really, definitely help. Then you're not there for the conversation but many times, I think, it's okay. Especially with some of those platforms. Sometimes Twitter right away, I will schedule things. And I feel like people who respond want a response right away because it's right in real time. However I haven't found it to be that big of a problem. I'll schedule tweets when I know I can't be there and then I do them in real time when I can. I like Facebook for personal use but I'm afraid to start using it for business. However I feel like it's really necessary. It's just I don't know how to escape the feeling that I need to have a presence there. And then also, I think, there's a double question in there but the related line of questioning is around separating the business and the personal. Do you have two different accounts? How do you manage that? So I would say, Instagram, just have one account. Because you're sharing pictures from your life most of the time and that's what people are expecting. Pinterest, I would say, if you want a separate account for yourself that you don't share with other people, that's okay, but you do have some options for private boards that you can keep just for yourself. Separating these things is, I think, a hassle on those types of accounts because then you have so much to keep up with. The one that you should separate on is Facebook. That's the one where you should have a business account and a personal account. Because you're not gonna say the same things to the people who are following you for your business that you are to your friends. You might have a picture of you sipping margaritas on vacation that you put up on your personal Facebook wall for your friends, that you wouldn't necessarily put up for your business. Also, lots of people who follow you who are friends of you on Facebook, they don't want to hear about your business all the time because they are not your ideal customer. They're not your ideal reader. And so they don't want to see those updates in their feeds on a regular basis. You can, of course, invite them over to follow your business account. And if they want to, then they'll come over and follow. So I would definitely have that one separate. The other ones don't necessarily need to be separate. And it can really become a hassle to keep up with having personal and business accounts. The log of A Cowboy has four Facebook accounts now. (laughing) That's a lot of work. That's a ton. That's too much. I have different pages within Facebook so each of my courses, I have a different page for. And I also have a page with my partner, Mya for our joint venture, Connecting the Gaps. So I do keep up with a lot of Facebook stuff and it is overwhelming sometimes. It can be really overwhelming. So let's talk a little bit about each one. Succeeding on Pinterest. So this might seem weird, but if you pin often, I mean like 50 to 100 times a day, you are going to see a huge spike in followers. That's how you are going to get a lot more followers on Pinterest. And the way to do this easily is you always want to be posting stuff that matches your style, matches your brand. It should be a reflection of your brand when somebody goes to your Pinterest account. It should reflect what you have going on in your business, your branding, who you are. It should say a lot about your personality. Now that's a good day, 50 to 100 times on a good day. And one of the easy ways to do that is if you pin something and you click on it, you can scroll down and you'll see lots of similar things to that pin, to that picture. And you can pin a lot of those as well. But I have found and I did this recently because I was not using Pinterest as a regular tool for my business. And I saw that a lot of traffic was coming from Pinterest. About 30% of my traffic was coming from Pinterest. And I thought, I'm really missing out on a huge amount of traffic that I could be getting if I was using this site on a regular basis. One of the things I started doing was pinning a lot, every day. And my traffic rose 30% in a week. 30% of people following me in a week, it rose by that much. Could you tell, though, if the traffic going back to your blog was coming from pictures that were from your blog or was it just also from the random couch that thought it was pretty, or whatever? I suggest that you put up about one thing of yours for every 10 things that you pin. So the people that are following you are seeing all of the stuff that you pin but are hopefully clicking on the stuff you put up that's yours and coming back to your site, coming back for your, whatever it is. And yeah, I can tell on Google analytics that people are coming to specific posts that I'm pinning on Pinterest and that those posts are rising in traffic because of it. So it was because of the things that you were putting from your blog posts up? Yes and then what people were sharing. Do you repin a lot of your same stuff, of your personal stuff? Sometimes. I blog often enough and I have so many posts already that I'm not doing that a lot yet. Because I haven't been using Pinterest as much. And I've just been experimenting a lot with it recently. And so I haven't been repinning because I have so many things to send people to, but I will. I will repin things. Plan specific categories, ones that will attract your ideal reader. So think about this strategically when you are putting together a Pinterest board. What are the categories that your ideal reader is gonna be interested in? I have blog tips and advice as one of my categories. And that's a popular one. And I have a lot of my own stuff within that category. So it's sending traffic back to my website. Vertical images rule on Pinterest. So longer, the better. Curate your content, it should reflect your brand and style. Only follow people who match your style because only the people that follow show up in your stream. So it's gonna make it a lot easier on you to be able to pin often if you're only seeing stuff in your stream that you would actually pin. So go back and get rid of people who don't match your style. And also follow your competitors because their content is the type of content that your audience is attracted to. Grow your boards to at least 100 pins. So 300 to 1500 is even better. And those are gonna be the popular ones. And also on Pinterest sometimes will put up boards, when you have a pin, you've clicked on a picture and then it gives you some suggestions underneath. Those boards always have a lot of pins on them. So if you want Pinterest to be sending you traffic, that's one of the ways to do it. Drive traffic back to your site. So pin your own stuff. Pin something of yours, again, about once for every ten other pins. That's just a rough estimate. You can do more or less. Use hashtags and use keywords in your picture descriptions. This is one a lot of people don't do. They just press the space bar and that's what they use. And so then, nothing's coming up. They're not using their keywords. Their stuff isn't getting found. Their boards aren't getting found because there's just a space. So succeeding on Instagram, show your world, your life, your business in progress. Give your followers an inside look. Use hashtags to be found. And don't automatically link to Twitter or Facebook because it often doesn't make sense and things get cut off, especially to Twitter. When you automatically link your Facebook or any other account to Twitter, it often gets cut off and it doesn't make a lot of sense. And people can tell that that's what you're doing. Get creative with how you promote your business and your blog with Instagram. This one is one where you have to get a little bit more creative. To get people back to your blog, to get people interested. One of the things that I've done before with my joint venture partner, Mya and I, we were launching a course and we did a countdown with pictures. And each day we put up a new picture, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, counting down to that course. Succeeding on Facebook, post regularly, at least once a week, but a few times a week or daily would be even better. Don't always post about products. Sell and promote without selling. So an example, I did this for this CreativeLive workshop. I was trying to get as many people to be watching this live as possible. So instead of just saying, come watch my CreativeLive workshop, I posted the picture of my hair and said, I tried out this hairstyle. I posted pictures of the blue areas and said I took these pictures for this CreativeLive workshop. I posted pictures of glasses that I bought, that I haven't worn yet but so that I would have a second pair to choose from. And I posted that picture and said, "Hey, I got these new glasses "for my CreativeLive workshop, "I'm really excited about them." Those posts were so popular. They were really popular. People were commenting, liking, sharing. They were much more popular than the ones that I said, "Hey, I'm going "to be speaking at CreativeLive, "here's where you find the link to watch me. "RSVP for free." include photos because they get seen in your feed. They don't get overlooked as much. Reply to your comments. Separate your business and your personal pages. Avoid the whole, if you like my page, I'll like your page nonsense because you're getting the wrong people on your page. And we've talked about, we've gotten questions about, how do I get more people to see my posts? Well Facebook determines how many people to show your posts to, based on the first few people they show it to. If they're liking it, if they're sharing it, if they're commenting. If they are, they put it in more people's feeds. So you want to be posting stuff that people are interested in. You also want the right people on your Facebook page because if you say to people, hey, I've almost got a thousand fans on Facebook. Come and join and be one of my fans because I want to reach this number. You might get the wrong people on your page. And then they're not gonna like your posts. They're not gonna comment, they're not gonna engage. And then you have a problem. You've got the wrong people on there. Don't automatically link to Twitter. Boost the posts you want the majority of your followers to see. Now I know that some people are like, I don't want to spend my money on Facebook and I can't believe that they've changed up the algorithms. And partly I read a really, really insightful article on this recently about how there are a lot more people on Facebook and how they have liked a lot more pages. So Facebook has had to cut how many posts they're putting in people's feeds because they're only on Facebook for a certain amount of time and there's just not enough time to show them everything. And so that's one of the reasons why Facebook has gotten this bad guy rap. But it's also because we're liking so many pages that we couldn't possibly see everybody's stuff. So they try to give us the stuff that they think we're gonna like the most. So if you want the majority of your followers to see your posts, boost them. You have to pay for it. You click the little button that says boost your post. You decide how much you want to pay. I tell you that this has been incredibly successful for my business. I can't tell you how it will work for yours. I suggest that you experiment with it. But it has been incredibly successful for me. When I boost posts, I get sales, I always get new Facebook likes. I get a lot more comments. I get a lot more engagement. And like I said, I usually get sales, especially if I'm talking about a product that I'm selling. So use Facebook ads wisely if you want to get in front of people then use those ads. And choose the ones that are in people's feeds, not the ads on the sidebar. Because people tend to zone out of the ones on the sidebar. They see the ones in their feeds and they're larger. Schedule your posts when needed. So if you're not gonna be around, go ahead and schedule those posts. Or if you're thinking, I want to be focused on something else this week and I don't want to have to be coming up with creative content for my Facebook page, do it everyday on Mondays, Monday mornings, or whatever day you pick. Get it done and then just check in for people who have commented. Do not ask followers to share, like, or comment. Apparently Facebook doesn't like this anymore. I just found this out recently, that they do not like it when you say in your post, please share this, or please like it, or please leave a comment. So this is something new. Drive Facebook likes back to your blog and shop. So make sure you're talking about your business. Yes, it's okay to talk about your business. That's why you're on social media. And Facebook constantly changes its algorithms. So stay up to date on what works best. So I have a little fun thing that you can do on Facebook. You can find out the favorite interests of your fans. You should be talking about this stuff on your page. And this is how you do it. This is a screenshot of Facebook. And this is my personal page that I have open. And up here in this bar, where you see it highlighted, I have favorite interests of people who like Blacksburg Belle. This is what comes up, sewing, photography, gardening, crafts, blogging. And I get more as I scroll down. So I know what the people who are on my page, I know what they are interested in. I know that when I sew something, I need to put it on Facebook. I know they're gonna be interested in that. I'm not a gardener. But if I do something in my garden, when my mother-in-law comes over and helps me plant some new flowers. I need to post that on my Facebook wall. People are going to like it. Also, search to see who else your Facebook fans like and follow. You'll see I've typed up here pages liked by fans of Blacksburg Belle. This will show me the other pages that they have liked. They like Marie Forleo, they like Etsy, they like Your Courageous Life, Imaginative Bloom, Kate Northrup. I know who else they like on Facebook. This gives me a lot of insight into who my followers are. This is a great tip that I got from Amy Porterfield about searching up there. And she has lots of information. If you guys are interested on marketing for Facebook, write down the name Amy Porterfield. She has free webinars that she does. And they're amazing. She's amazing, actually, she's been here at CreativeLive and when she came and I learned that too from her, I was like, bam! That's awesome! Yep, she is awesome. Agree. Facebook marketing, if you want to know how to do it, she is your go-to girl. So succeeding on Twitter, be social. Start conversations, add to conversations, answer questions, reply to tweets. Don't just put out tweets every time you have a new product in your Etsy shop. Or every time you have a new blog post. This is a platform where you really want to be having conversations. When replying or retweeting, don't start with the @ symbol and the person's handle, unless you only want the people who follow both you and her to see the tweet. I know that sounds silly, but it will only show up for people who follow both you and the other person if you start it out with the @ symbol and that person's handle. So you just want to have something before the @ symbol. I see a lot of people do the dot space. Do you suggest something different because I find that looks odd. Yeah, I say, get creative. Do something creative. Use your voice, be unique. Post when your ideal customer is active. So this is about experimenting, figuring out when your ideal customer, your ideal reader is on Twitter. Schedule tweets, if needed. I use Hootsuite for that. Say the same thing more than once in a different way. So promote your blog post more than once. Use a little bit different language because not the same people are paying attention to their feeds when you're posting at different times. Track what people are saying about your brand. Look up your brand. Look at those key words and see what people are saying. Reply to them. Promotional posts should be a small percentage, I say 25% or less. It should be much more about starting conversations, engaging. It should be about that. Follow people you find interesting and that you admire. Follow your repeat customers. See what they're up to on Twitter, see what they're talking about on Twitter. It's a great place to get to know what's going on with your loyal repeat customers or your loyal repeat commenters, the people that comment on your blog on a regular basis. Don't follow too many people at once if you're just joining Twitter because it makes you look spammy. And do not ask people to follow you back. Just don't do it. It's sad. Just don't ask to be followed back. If somebody is interested in your stuff, they'll follow you. And do not buy followers. I can't believe this is even an option but don't buy followers because they're the wrong people. They're not gonna be paying attention to what you have to say. Can I get some insight from you on getting caught up on the numbers of followers you have. You said much earlier in the first session that you don't have the largest statistics. And you don't get caught up on that either because you'd rather have a thousand loyal followers, people who are actually engaged with you than 10,000 who don't care. So what's your take on that in terms of having a certain number of followers, following a certain number of people? What's your thought? Yeah, absolutely. I say, don't focus on numbers. I know that that's really hard to do and to get caught up in. But it matters so much more that you have people that are interested in what you're saying. It matters so much more. If those people, especially on somewhere like Facebook, where they're testing out your posts. And if people are liking them and commenting, they're gonna show them to more people. It matters so much more that the people that are following you enjoy what you are putting out. Those are the people you care about. Don't worry about the people who don't like what you've got going on, who don't like your style, who don't like your voice. Those people, they don't matter. I've also seen this trend on Twitter where they'll have, like 10,000 followers and then they'll only be following, like 50 people. What's your thought on that? That looks kind of suspicious. Does it? Well, I think that, you're saying that they only follow 50 people but they have 10,000 followers. Some people only follow a small amount of people because it can be overwhelming for them. For instance, I'm wondering if I can think of somebody who has a lot more followers, probably Marie Forleo. Probably if you look at her Twitter account-- I think she is actually a great example. I believe she has, like, in the hundreds, or maybe even less than 200 people she's listening to, then there's like, 100,000 people that are listening to her. I think that that's completely fine. She is following the people that she wants to pay attention to, pay close attention to. That doesn't mean that she's not having conversations with other people because when they tweet her, then she can respond to them. So she still sees what they're saying to her and still can start conversations and have conversations with them. But it gets overwhelming. If you have 100,000 people following you, how could you possibly pay attention to that many people? I know I couldn't. There's no possible way. So if you're stumped on what to share on social media, pick one thing from your work that day and share it. Pick one thing from your work that day and share it. If you're completely stumped, if you don't know what to do. It's very easy. What if, if you just don't have the bandwidth yet? This is me, on Twitter, I just post things but I'm not giving back to anybody yet. Is it better just to go ahead and get stuff out there so you have a history? If you're not ready to jump in and really engage with other people. Yeah, I say, you've got to jump in there and engage. So you can be posting your own stuff but if you're only posting your own stuff, people aren't gonna pay as much attention to you. And it's going to be more of a waste of time than people following you and really excited and listening to what you have to say because it's a social media platform. It's for being social. So at least find 10 people that you're excited to follow on Twitter, that you feel like, if they ask questions, you would want to answer. Or if they share something, you'd want to respond. And start there. So you can start very small with 10 people that you are excited about and just engage with them. So we have a hot seat. I want to look at your Twitter account and give you a little bit of feedback on it. So who's gonna come up here for the hot seat for Twitter? I see all these faces, like, no, don't pick me! Do I have anybody that's willing to come up here and share their-- This is gonna be really helpful, constructive criticism, it's gonna be good for you. (applause) Which way are we looking, there? Yeah, we'll be looking there. So I'm gonna pull up, when they get yours. Okay talk to me about what you share on Twitter. Whenever I post something, I have auto-tweet to it although I have to sometimes do it on my own now because I don't necessarily always like how it formats it. So for a long time that's mostly all I've been doing. And then the last month-ish, I've been trying to... I've been learning about, with tweets, they're only in the feeds for so long, so I'm trying to do it, at least the day I'm posting something, actually write about it a couple times. Right. So my picture's really old and I need to update it. There's all sorts of things I need to be doing with my Twitter. It's probably my least curated (pauses) social media. That's good, though. So we can look at it and give you some feedback. So, your photo, definitely updating that. Making it match your branding. You want it to feel like somebody realizes that they're on your Twitter account when they get there. They redid their thing so you could put something up there. But I literally was like, okay, I'll do that. It was last weekend. I put a photo up there (laughs) because you could put a photo now where that blue area is. Right, right. Okay, so you're selling your cat toys. And I've been tweeting about being here. All right, yay! All right, get prepped for selling art. Let's see what else you've got. A day late for Earth Day but I realized that reupholstering is a good way to keep down on waste. So from here, what I would say is that you should be having more conversations with people. We should see you chatting with other people on your page. So when we go to it, it should show that-- But wouldn't that be because they had to have commented on my stuff? No, it could be that you're commenting on theirs. So that you are-- But that doesn't show up on your page, I think it shows up only in their page, right? Well, if you're having a conversation, it'll show up. If you're having a conversation with people, it'll show up on your page. It'll say new conversation or show conversation. You're just saying, she's looking a little bit more for those bubbles that say that some conversation was happening. Is that what you're saying? But isn't that conversation about something you posted? I don't have a lot of followers so then there wouldn't be a lot of conversations on my page, necessarily (laughs) Yeah, so we want to grow those followers. We want to grow them. We want to get them sending you tweets and you talking to other people too. When you're interested in whatever they have going on. Because I have been talking to people lately on Twitter, so that's why. But that's why I was saying, it's not gonna show up here because it was on their post. And they don't need to be following you for you to have a conversation with them, right? Yeah, yeah. You can tweet to them anytime. But you know that. For everyone at home, you don't have to, yeah, absolutely. They don't have to be following you. You can talk to anybody. And that's the great thing about Twitter, is that you can connect with people that you otherwise usually wouldn't be able to. That's one of the things I love about Twitter, is that I can send a tweet to Marie Forleo and I don't feel like I'm bothering her. She's very busy. She has lots and lots of followers but I don't feel like I'm bothering her when I send something to her. Well thank you for coming up here. If you want fans, you have to be a fan first. This is from Austin Kleon in Show Your Work! It's something that we've been talking about. You definitely need to be a fan of other people and giving to them, and having conversations with them. If you talk about a company or artist in your blog posts, let them know on social media. Send them a tweet, post on their Facebook page, or send an email. They might share it. This happens a lot. It gets you traffic but you're giving to somebody else. I do this when I will post about somebody else on my blog post or use them for an example or say that they are so great. I'll let them know on Twitter. Or I will go to their Facebook page and let them know there. And then often, they share that blog post. So then it drives traffic back to my blog. So it's like a happy circle of traffic-giving. Ask your readers to share your content. And include social sharing buttons with each post so it's easy. Make this easy on people. Don't make them jump through hoops. More than anything, publish posts that ignite conversation and engage your ideal reader. Make her think, I have to share this. So if you're publishing amazing content, she's gonna want to share it. Your ideal reader is gonna want to tell other people about it. She's going to want to tweet about it, or post about it on Facebook. So write those amazing blog posts and this will start to happen naturally.

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!