Saturday, September 13, 2014

Getting Started

Getting Started

Have you ever heard the expression Rome wasn't built in a day?  Well the same can be said about blogs.  Blogs take a lot of work, time and patience.  And even after 2 years I still learn something new every single day!  

Figuring out where to start can be frustrating, so I'm here to help the best I can.

Before we start the steps I would suggest you start a new email just for your blog.  On average I get 100+ emails a day.  So in my honest opinion I think a separate blog email is smart.

Start your blog
Step 1
First you need to start at a blog site.  I personally use blogger.com, this step is easy go sign up for a blog, you can sign up for a free blog or use blogger to web hosting and use a site like Go Daddy for a purchased URL.  Whatever you choose to do step one is actually signing up for a blog.  Another great site to start your blog is wordpress

Step 2
Pick a name for your blog.  And realize this is what you will be known as.  I would suggest googling the name first and making sure its not already taken.  My blog's name is The Simply Me Blog

Step 3
Brand yourself.  Now that you have your blog set up you need to start to outreaching to other sources.  Sign up for a business facebook page, twitter account, pinterest, google + and other media sites.  Use your blog name on each media source that way you are easy to find and remember.

Step 4
Okay you have your blog and media pages now its time to get into the dirty work.  Changing your blog templates choosing fonts placing links for your media pages on your blog.  This part can take awhile, but in the end its how you set up your blog that really expresses who you are.  When you land on my home page I use 3 colors black, white and red.  If you came into my home you would see those are my favorite colors.  Use colors and themes and templates that work for you.  Not everyone will love it, but at the end of the day its your blog and you are going to be the one forced to look at it the most :)  Make sure it works for you

Step 5
 If you want to review products google analytics is a MUST.  Sponsors will always ask for your UMV which means Unique monthly visitors.  This is found via google Analytics.  So set this up before you make your first post.

Step 6 
Well I'm sure you want to jump right into reviewing, but sadly its not going to happen over night.  Make a few posts learn your writing style and after you get a few followers start pitching companies!

 Pitching

In order to start pitching you need a few things.  First is a blog of course, a great pitch letter, and a media kit.
Everyone has a pitch letter, that is what you send to companies when you want to work with them.  Though all pitch letter are different they should all contain a few things.

1) Introduce yourself and your blog.  It can be as simple as Hello My name is (Insert name) I am the owner of the (Insert blog)  Or you can really elaborate.  My best advice is stick to the point.  Companies are busy and don't have time to read a 3 page pitch letter.
2) Tell them why you are contacting them.  Come right out and explain you are interested in featuring them on your blog.  Word it however you like, but make sure they know you are contacting them for a review.

3) You can include links to your media page in your email or you can include a link to your media kit.  

4) Offer to answer any questions they have.  I always tell companies they can contact me via email if they need any further information.  

Media Kit
I'm sure a few of you seen 3 and thought what is that?!?!
A media kit is a page/post that introduces you and your blog.  Here is a link to mine The Simply Me Blog media kit my page has a bit of information about me and my family.  I want companies to see who I am and the people who will be helping me to review their products.  I also include links to all my media pages, tell what you offer (reviews/giveaways/sponsored post) include your numbers.  I know companies don't have much time to click all my media pages so I put the number right there for them to see.  
Make sure to have your email there!!  Some companies may come across your blog and want to pitch you, if they can't figure out where or how to contact you they wont be able to.  So put your email in this section.

Posts

My last bit of advice is about reviewing and hosting giveaways.
There are so many rules out there, but I will just name a few.
If you got a free product or are paid to make a post the links must be no follow.  Google will penalize you otherwise.  
Reviews and giveaway must have a disclaimer letting your readers know you received a product or cash to make the post.
Google + is really strict on giveaways you can not ask people to follow you there all those follows must be natural.  Starting in November 2014 you will also no longer be able to ask for facebook page likes.
And always give 110% blogging isn't about getting free products, its about building a relationship with your readers and companies.  
Always give an honest review and provide real facts that will help your readers.  


I hope this helps I will update it and add more so keep checking back.  My last tiny bit of advice is, blogging is a roller coaster some days its great other days its a huge head ache, never give up!  We all get stuck in ruts and all feel defeated from time to time.  It does pass and in the end its worth it :)

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