Yay! The Thought Card just turned 2 – time to celebrate! These past two years have been an incredible journey. I’ve grown so much as a content creator. Every day, I feel more connected to my purpose. So thank you so much for sticking with me and watching this creative space evolve.
Two years ago, my blog was where I shared my innermost thoughts. This included my triumphant victories, failures and everything in between. Today, The Thought Card also inspires, empowers and educates. From budget breakdowns to paying off your student loan debt, my thoughts on travel and finance are limitless.
As I celebrate another milestone, I wanted to share important lessons I’ve learned this year. Specifically, the three ways to grow your blog and scale your online business.
Lessons Learned: Ways To Grow Your Blog
Unless you’re a mega-blogger, more than likely, you’ll have to create your own opportunities. Although some brands may reach out to you, be proactive. Call attention to yourself and create new opportunities to team up with brands by pitching.
A pitch is the first impression, so make it count. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself, your brand and vision. It also stresses the value of a partnership and highlights your previous collaborations.
Without a pitch, brands may not even know that you exist. Pitching is a great way to build relationships. Through collaborations grow your blog by sharing insightful content with your readers.
What To Include
Introduce yourself and your brand. Also don’t be afraid to leverage your education and qualifications. That expensive bachelor’s or master’s degree is relevant! Lastly, stress the value of a collaboration (for both parties).
Pitfalls To Avoid
When you collaborate with brands, find a middle ground between their give and your take. Share what you can offer but also be clear about what you hope to gain in return. Nothing is “free”. On the contrary, working with brands is a lot of work.
Avoid working with brands who want all the benefits of working with a blogger without providing proportionate support. Sorry folks but “exposure” doesn’t cut it. Not every opportunity will be the right one – it’s okay to say no.
Stats and Social Media Following
You’re selling yourself short if you think that brands only look for stats and social media following. Although these are important considerations, they aren’t the only factors.
I’ve found that brands tend to focus more on original quality content. Other important factors include relevance, blogger personality, and engagement.
If you have a small following, don’t apologize for being small or for having a specific niche. Instead, play to your strengths. As a blogger, you are an undisputed expert that has the ability to influence your audience. Focus on impact and align collaborations with your audience’s core values and needs.
When you pitch, don’t be afraid to face rejection. Instead of harping on the bad, take it as constructive criticism. Or maybe it’s a blessing. Rejection comes with the territory, but so does success!
To drive this home, I’ll leave you with one of my mom’s favorite sayings, “Closed mouths don’t get fed”. So go out there and hustle. You never know what will happen when you start knocking on doors.
Pitching Next Steps
If you pitch once a week, double it by pitching twice a week. Send pitches out regularly and be open to new opportunities. You lose nothing by putting yourself out there but who knows what you can gain.
While you’re reaching out to brands, it’s also important to send out your rate sheet. A blog rate sheet quantifies your blog’s worth and your time. With these actionable tips, you can create a professional rate sheet immediately.
Bloggers wear many hats. I’m a writer, editor, project manager, photographer, researcher and social media guru. The list goes on and on. This means that as a blogger, we eventually feel overwhelmed by our to-do list. Instead of struggling, consider hiring help. This frees up your time so that you can focus on the things that you’re passionate about.
Hire Virtual Assistants (VAs), they can work from anywhere. Assign administrative tasks or projects like scheduling posts on social media and creating pins on Pinterest. But hiring help for your blog doesn’t have to stop there. Along the way, you may need a tech expert who can help speed up your site or a designer to create a new logo. Outsource tasks to local service providers who can get things done quickly.
To grow your blog, you can’t do everything on your own. Having a reliable and supportive team will help you increase your productivity and allows you to scale your business.
Your Blog, Your Portfolio
Let your blog speak for itself.
Your blog is a collection of your published work. Even if it’s a hobby blog, it showcases your talent and expertise. Your blog can also attract potential clients and partners. So keep your “About Me” and “Work with Me” page updated.
The “About Me” page should include your name, who you are, your brand’s vision and a clear photo. Don’t forget to include your contact information.
Your “Work with Me” page highlights ways to collaborate and you can even share testimonials from readers and brands.
If you freelance, share the services that you provide. If you write for other publications or guest post, you may want to feature a “Press” page with your list of articles.
Do you blog? What are some ways you grow your blog!
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 25 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.