Hi guys…..I’m going to talk about blogging and how it has been for me so far. I'm not on a rant this time because you learn so much when you do all your research and from all the reading I’ve done I’ve learnt quite a bit about blogging. I've also been doing it since October 2018 (and I can only talk about my experience). Firstly, I have to go back to the beginning as to why I started blogging. I went into blogging for different reasons.
I wanted to be able to share my thoughts about different topics……triniartstudio.org (formerly triniartstudio.net)
I wanted to share my Natural Hair journey through my experiences…….gafraihairu.com, (this blog has since been placed on hold.)
Blogging was a great way to make another income stream. (I am still to see that happen.)
I wanted a voice and a way to journal my thoughts and share them.
I've enjoyed writing for my 4 blogs but learnt that that is way too many, plus I sorta ran out of zest for my hair blog an it was also too much to think about topics for all 4 blogs, so I whined them down to 3 blogs......2 for my art and one for my Cultural lifestyle/thoughts. No one mentions how much work is involved and that you need to be able to write well…your posts must at least be able to keep the attention of your audience., so keeping up with 4 blogs got the better of me and I had to streamline. I've kept what I learned from all the different research I did via Pinterest, Google, etc, where they all say that its your blog and just be you and speak as if you’re talking to a friend. That was fine but it’s not easy to write content that is well written and keeps people’s attention. I must though that so far I've gained some really nice followers and I hope I add value to their lives based on what I share in my blog.
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I love English and I like writing, I didn't realise how much until I started blogging and I don't really care too much if people feel my writing ins't good enough. I do my best to be clear and to be me and I just want to have a voice to say and share what I wanted to. But the other side of this, if you want your blog to be a means to earn a living then I've encountered some big differences with what I've researched and what other bloggers say, who write blogs about that topic and what I've experienced. It's wayyyyyy more difficult to monetize a blog and more so if you're outside of the USA. I remember speaking with my brother-in-law about this, that was at the start, when I was now beginning my first and only blog ( now I have 3).
In starting this blog…www.triniartstudio.org…it was originally to share my Artwork and to try to sell it online, but as I went along and time passed, I went through a transition and that name and the look of the site no longer reflected me artistically, so I kept triniartstudio.org as my lifestyle blog and I rebranded my art blogs to GaFra…..www.gafra.org (my wordpress art blog)….and gafra-art.com (more recently, my squarespace art blog) because my attitude and mindset had changed, as well as my art and lifestyle persona, so I needed to change the image. As usual I did a lot of research because now I wanted to sell my art online and I wanted to share my skills and offer certain aspects of it for sale very reasonably (my printable planners) online as well through my lifestyle blog. After having tried all variety of marketplaces: Fineartamerica, Big Cartel, Artpal, Etsy, ArtFinder and many more none of them worked. I sold nothing.
I've kept my Etsy Shop called Teaprint for my Printable planners and rebranded the shop to be a lot more professional as per what I learned in the different Pinterest articles and youtube videos I watched, but still I haven't sold anything and I've had the shop since February 2019. I'm a bit concerned as to why and that is my major focus lately....figuring out why I haven't sold any planners or Art prints.
Let's start at the beginning:
So when you start a blog, there are few things you need to consider:
Can you write well enough to hold a person’s attention
Is what you have to share interesting or not?
Do you really need to build a list of at least 100 topics so you never run out of things to talk about?
When you share your information is it properly written?
Do you know how to create proper cover pages for your blog post? And do you know where you can go to do that?
Do you even know how to build a blog?
Oh and there is even more....I also wanted to write a book. So aside from knowing if you have the writing skills to write the posts I wanted to go further. I wanted to write a book. I put together my husband’s poems to develop an ebook and publish it for him. That was my test run and it went OK. My ebook will be a different matter, I'm still deciding which topic to write on...sigh.
I’ve always had a book on my bucket list and after reading all the different blogs about how you can do this, I am still tentative, it takes more than you think and only when you're in the midst of doing it do you encounter all the issues, but I tend to be very determined once I start something, and I go until its completed. Guess that's why I haven't started the ebook yet. (smile)
But what is great, is that through the research, like I mentioned above, you encounter all these sites that can help you and I also read from other book publishers, that you can publish it yourself via Amazon Kindle Publishing, but there are also courses that help you go through the process easily. I discovered one of these programs, of course I found it after the fact. It’s always after you struggle you discover all these helpful sites. I recently came upon this program:
Its called The Low Content Mastery training package. It's a course that teaches you how you can make money publishing journals, planners and other profitable low content books on Amazon KDP Print. The program includes:
Module #1: Step-by-Step Training Guides (10, plus free updates)
Module #2: Done-for-you book templates (all sizes)
Module #3: Pre-made Book Covers with Source Files
Module #4: Niche Profit Reports
Module #5: Over-my-shoulder video tutorials.
So don’t be like me and struggle, invest in learning the correct way to publish so that you don’t get lost or go off track like I did.
So what were some of the errors I made and eventually corrected?
Write out the 100 topics so I had a flow for my blogs
Learn to develop covers for every blog posts
Understand the correct format for the posts and how to pull readers.
Understand how to use Amazon KDP.
Understand how to use the book templates correctly.
Didn't use Viglink to earn money
So I know I don’t want the same errors to occur again with my book attempt. When I start my book, which I want to start very soon, sorta. People do your homework and make sure you understand the best process to follow to get your book online and to even write good content whether its for your blog or your book. If you want it to be purchased, do the right thing, be properly prepared so that it’s purchased. See if the mastery course can help you.
Another aspect they don't warn you about is understanding the entire process of auto-responding to the clients or traffic that you gain. luckily I set up two of my blogs with Squarespace and one with Wordpress, but now I have 1 with Squarespace and 2 with Wordpress. I learnt that you have to link to a site that can organise all your emails like:
Tool #1: Aweber....
Tool #2: MailChimp. ...
Tool #3: iContact. ...
Tool #4: Constant Contact. ...
Tool #5: InfusionSoft. ...
Tool #6: GetResponse. ...
Tool #7: 1ShoppingCart. ...
Tool #8: Autoresponse Plus
Tool #9: VigLink....
GET YOUR FREE CHEAT SHEET of all the sites with tools to help you with your Blog.
Right, so with my Art, below is a sample of one of my watercolour art piece, as well as what my wordpress site looks like
The things I've learned about trying to monetise my blog are:
Not only is it difficult to drive traffic to a blog, but it's also hard to monetize the traffic that you do receive.
Monetizing your blog via:
Affiliate marketing. ...
Email marketing. ...
Sell ebooks. ...
Sell courses. ...
Sell digital products. ...
Sell coaching services. ...
I tried the Affiliate marketing but the money is extremely small and I made nothing from the few affiliates i used. I picked affiliates that I added value to me and whoever might be interested in it, but nope...didn't make anything
I've had Ads on all my blogs from day one. It was said that it would clog up my site but it hasn't and i kinda like the Ads but I haven't made anything from that either.
I haven't tried this yet...not sure why...guess still researching its viability
Did the ebook but using my husbands poetry book that put together and I've even offered it as a bundle with one of my printable planners but nothing there either.
I created a course and set it up on Teachable. I liked the whole process but no one has registered plus I need to go back into teachable to reactivate the account but I'm considering moving the ecourse to squarespace. Just have to understand how to set it up first...research. lol
This is what I do. I sell Digital Artwork and planners and again nothing.
I haven't tried this, not sure how to set it up plus I do coaching here in the Caribean and I don't think I'll have the time to do it Online as well as I see 3 clients sometimes 4 clients a day.
Not sure about this and I don't think I understand what that is about...research.
So people....I need help...any and all advice is welcomed. I'm still doing research on why I haven't had any sales and what do I need to do to have people buy my art which is all I want. I want you to enjoy my pieces and place them in your homes, on your walls and anywhere you can look at them and feel good or at peace. I'll figure it out, eventually. If anyone has some advice about selling online I'm open to any advice. Ask me anything and maybe one of you can get me out of this no sales rut. I would be greatly appreciative and grateful.
I look forward to hearing from you...firstname.lastname@example.org