Blogging, Marketing, Promotion, Communications Questions Answered

In honour of reaching 5,000 WordPress followers in 11 months, and because I need a distraction, if you have any questions related to blogging, marketing, promotion and communications, ask away.

I will answer questions that are blogging specific, or can draw from my industry experience if that better helps what you’re looking to learn.

Do you want to know the best free tools to use? Do you want to know why analytics are integral to growth? Do you want to know how many hits I get in a day? Do you want to know the best website to use for newsletters? Do you waant to know industry standards for communication distribution? Do you want to schedule a time for me to look through your blog and ‘Audit’ it, so to speak, to help make it user friendly? Whatever you want to know, ask away.

– Crickets –

64 thoughts on “Blogging, Marketing, Promotion, Communications Questions Answered

    1. I highly recommend Campaign Monitor (campaignmonitor.com).

      I’ve also used MailChimp and Constant Contact and SendInBlue in past jobs that I’ve done. Campaign Monitor has always been my service of choice when I got to pick which I used for newsletter distribution.

      Campaign Monitor allows you the most comprehensive email marketing capabilities with respect to formatting, design and responsiveness. It also provides you the most usable data for improving your emails moving forward. It may sound creepy, but you can see things right down to where someone opens their email. So if someone opens it on their phone, it tells you what street corner they’re on when they opened it on their phone. (I know, Big Brother – am I right?)

      It’s reasonably priced – extremely reasonable for small businesses or individuals (aka great for bloggers) and you can even sign up for a plan that works as pay-per-email… so if you’re going to send out less sporadically than once a month – you pay when you send, rather than paying a monthly fee.

      Highly, highly, highly recommend Campaign Monitor.

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      1. Hello V! Are any of these newsletter platforms you mention free? My HR co-worker and I are splitting company newsletter duties using Canva. We’re both artistic snobs, both of us hate templates, and we both consider ourselves visual designer types. We’re both getting really good at newsletter design… but doing this from scratch on Canva takes 2 hours or more per page. I’m looking for something free that is perhaps faster but allows you to fully customize like Canva allows you. Maybe too much to ask but I couldn’t think of a better authority than you. About my blog, I think one time you said the design is not simple enough. Which was eye opening because I think it’s very simple. Maybe you don’t like the photo-based layout? I would be interested in hearing more about the visual problem with my blog and I may change it. I purposely chose a template that looks exactly like Mark Manson’s blog (or how it looked 4 years ago) because I liked his layout.

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      2. I’ve never crossed paths with a free newsletter platform service. That’s mainly because, in offering you a service that essentially overwrites the limitations of your work servers, it comes at a fee.

        Canva is definitely a great tool if you don’t like layouts. That being said, hopefully you are making sure that what you’re creating in Canva is a responsive newsletter. One of the biggest issues a company can have with newsletters is that they don’t make them responsive. In this day and age, so often these things are opened on tablets and phones and other devices.

        As for your blog, I hope that you didn’t think that I meant that in an insulting way. Now I feel like I probably came across as an asshole.

        My thoughts did not come from a ‘what I like or don’t like’ perspective. My thoughts came from a ‘this is industry practice’ outlook. This is what communications and marketing suggestions would say. Picture layouts are great. And I like your use of pictures. What I do believe I recall saying was that there are a lot of people in this world that don’t know what the three little ellipses mean on the top right hand corner of your blog. And, if they’re not very good with blogging/computers, then they could potentially have a hard time navigating your blog.

        Everyone’s blog should be a layout they like and that is a reflection of them. So please, please, please don’t think that I was trying to tell you to change your layout to something that I like. If I do recall, I believe I was suggesting that you add a menu to the top of your page (not behind ellipses) to help provide ease of access.

        Anyways, I’ll stop rambling now. Anything I ever say, please take it with a grain of salt. It’s not something that needs to or has to be executed. It’s just suggestions. Nothing more than that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh I didn’t take it as an insult at all. I remember kind of wondering what you meant, but the menu thing at the top makes sense and now I remember you saying that. I never thought about people not understanding the 3-line hamburger. I copied your e-mails into a word document and saved them. I’m very lazy about my blog, but one of these days I’ll work on those suggestions. Our newsletter is probably not phone friendly because it’s saved as a PDF, but we do compress it before sending so that it opens fast. It’s 700 employees and most of them sit at a laptop or PC at some point in the week. We don’t paste the content in the body of the e-mail, but maybe we should! I have no idea how to do that with all the individual pieces. Maybe I’ll send you the one I am working on now so you can see how that might be hard.

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    1. This is something I could go on and on about for hours. But, for your sanity sake, I’ll try to not talk too much!

      1. Getting your blog out there – Always use categories and tags properly. When it comes to having people find your content on WordPress, people search up things they’re interested in to try and find like-minded people or others who they are interested in following. Example: If you write about travel, use the category ‘Travel’ for your post. This will allow other travel bloggers to find you, and also, those who have wanderlust who want to live vicariously through your travels can find you as well.

      2. Gain Followers – I touched on this here: https://millenniallifecrisis.org/2019/09/20/blogging-102/. It’s a few tips and suggestions for strategic content distribution and promotion. The EASIEST of these tips is to collaborate. Work with another blogger and share your audiences with each other.

      3. Get people to read your stuff – Turn your ‘Me’ and ‘I’ into ‘You’. (I touched on this here: https://millenniallifecrisis.org/2019/10/24/blogging-104-turn-you-me-and-i-into-you/) Essentially, people resonate with content more if they read it and can believe it’s applicable to them. If you’re writing a journal entry, instead of writing ‘I need to practice self care more often’ change it to ‘You need to practice self care more often’… like you’re writing a letter to yourself. Because that letter you’re writing to yourself, people will read and think you’re writing to them as well! Especially if it is a subject that resonates with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Another question: what do you think are some of the main reasons you’ve gained such a large following so quickly? It’s an amazing achievement! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve spent ten years building and maintaining blogs and communication platforms for different companies. When I started this blog, I quite literally just took all of the practices and things I learned from the corporate world and put them into this blog. Since I’ve already made all the mistakes and done all of the research because of my work, it was a pretty smooth transition to implementing the best practices to my blog.

      Specifically – one of the most important tips – use of analytics is INTEGRAL to blog growth. It’s integral to brand growth. It’s integral to online integration. Whether you use the basic analytics wordpress provides, or you branch out to further analytics from other providers, take all of your analytics and use them to your favour. There isn’t a post on this blog that I don’t track analytics on.

      Also, thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it depends on the size of your blog and what you intend on using them for. If you’re just starting out, or have a smaller following, the analytics that WordPress provides absolutely suffices.

        If you start growing in community size (followers) and you’re getting a lot of hits, both unique and wordpress hits, then it might be something you choose to expand into Google Analytics or another service, just for the added functionality.

        I also recommend Google Analytics if you’re running a business, regardless of your size. IE – If you’re selling art, or services, or making crafts and selling those, or you’re tutoring people or any other things I can’t think of off the top of my head. If you’re running a business with your blog, Google Analytics should be something you consider.

        But as a smaller blogger or someone just starting out, it’s not WP analytics are perfect.

        Point of reference – > With 5,000 followers, I have yet to sign this blog up for google analytics. I’m sure I will at some point, but it’s just not needed yet, in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Since those are all very broad topics and I tend to talk A LOT (and could run the risk of boring you with information you don’t want) are you able to narrow down to specific things you’re wanting to learn?

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  2. Any chance I could convince you to take a look at my blog and give me some pointers based on what you see? I started this blog 6 days ago and it can all be a little overwhelming. There is so much I have to learn! I have a consistent theme and I’m posting every other day right now. I created a Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram at the same time to which I am sharing my blog posts, quotes, and my photography (which I use as pictures to my posts). I’m not sure what I need to tackle next but I am open to any constructive criticism

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Send me an email. What I do is I will schedule a time in which you can sit and chat with me for an hour and we can talk all things your blog and get you thinking about how to best move forward.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I noticed everyone else’s blog is a blue link and yours is black and doesn’t link. (In this comment section). Were you aware of that? When you said photography that made me curious but I can’t go look.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My thoughts are that you need to be an extremely secure, extremely confident person to do video blogging. Blogging opens up the potential for people to judge you for your appearance, how you speak, your mannerism and so on and so forth. If you’re strong enough to drown out that noise, then I say go for it. But, if you have issues with people criticizing you for no reason, I’d be careful. There are a lot of keyboard warriors on the internet who get their kicks from tearing other people down.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on hitting 5,000 followers! And I’d ask how you get that many followers in such a short amount of time, but I probably know the answer and just don’t put forth the necessary effort. But, hey, nothing wrong with 700 followers in 5 years 🙂

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  4. Hey Vee, Would I be able to email you and schedule a time for an audit of my blog? I want to monetize my site in January, and while I feel this 3 month free trial has taught me lots, I think I missed a lot of basic/bigger picture stuff. Particularly in regards to site identity, marketing, and writing style?
    Also congrats on 5k. You must be proud of yourself

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Send me an email. I’m not going to lie, my memory this time of year gets frantic trying to remember everyone. So if you send me an email and I have it in my inbox, I’ll schedule you in.

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    1. Send me an email, please! This time of year I get frantic trying to finish everything so it might not be for a week or two, but we can definitely chat!

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    1. I’m presently without full time employment so I have had a lot of spare time to build this blog. I’ve always worked in marketing/digital marketing, so I guess you could say I have a bit of an advantage…?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess time is of essence, a very important factor but also the things to look after…how exactly to spend the time…on what…is true that I have very little time for my blog but is more than 1.5 years and I’ve reached only a little more than 2000 followers…not exactly sure on what to concentrate my little time 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 1st off, congratulations 🎊 Iwant to know how to reach a bigger audience and how to turn my account from free to blogger. Also, is your account free or blogger? Also, there is a lot i dont know how to do. Maybe you could check out my account and audit it. I know you read my blogs sometimes. But if you audit, do you charge money? I dont believe in online payment systems and i dont have a credit card or visa card or any other card. So if auditing will cost, i cant pay you because i have no way of doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

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