What’s up friends! Is it just me, or has the summer absolutely flown by? We’re in our eighth month of blogging with intention and we’ve made a lot of progress together, you and I. I’m proud of you.
This month it’s time to acknowledge those things that aren’t so fun, but are necessary for the survival of our business. Whether it’s a time suck, or just something you hate doing so you skip it most days, it might be time to actually do the not fun thing. But don’t worry – we’re in this together, so let’s do this.
I have a confession to make: I hate social media. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I don’t hate all social media, but I hate how much work it takes to establish a presence on social media, when I feel like my time could be better served doing other things.
And I hate that a lot of social platforms are forcing us to pay to play, but I also understand it because they’re running a business, just like me, and businesses need to make money to survive…just like me.
It’s just frustrating, am I right? But we’re not here to talk about me, specifically. Although I will say that I am dedicating myself to embracing social media this month, so we’ll see how that goes.
DOING THE NOT FUN THING
Some of us nerd out on email marketing (hello!!), while others of us dread writing a simple newsletter. Some of us abhor taking tons of photos to get a couple that are blog-worthy, but we love writing how-to posts.
You get what I’m saying, right? To each his own, and all that jazz.
But let’s think about this for a minute. If we want to have a gorgeous, share-worthy how-to blog, we have to spend time taking gobs of pictures until we get the perfect ones, then spend time editing them, then writing the blog post.
We have to do the not fun things to be successful. Period. Even if it sucks. But if we can find ways to make these not fun things suck less, we’re golden!
I’m a big proponent of the buddy system. For example, my friend Julie is the bomb.com at WordPress, and I’m a self-proclaimed email nerd, so we help each other. It’s just an unwritten agreement that we have where, if I send her a Facebook message that says, “HELP!”, she knows I’ve jacked up my site and she needs to fix it. And if she does the same, I fix her email stuff. It rocks.
Figure out what you’re good at, and don’t mind doing for others. Then figure out what you hate and want somebody else to do, and find a friend who can do those things. Swap services with each other from time to time to make both your lives easier.
HIRE AN INTERN
I’m doing this right now. I’ve created three-month internships that give me some relief from tedious business tasks while also allowing me to help other bloggers improve their bloggy biz.
Cool beans! I’ll share more about hiring an intern at some point in the coming months after I work with my own for a while, but basically you need to figure out what you can pay someone without paying cash. Figure out how your potential internship offer will benefit someone else, then put an application together and make it happen.
HIRE A VA
A VA, for those of you who don’t know, is a Virtual Assistant. And they’re amazing, magical creatures who make all of your not fun things disappear.
Not really. They do all those not fun things and you pay them cash money. Simple as that. If you can afford it, this is definitely the way to go, because typically people who work for a paycheck are more reliable (and better at their job) than those who work for free.
SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP
If none of these other options work for you, or if you just want to put your big girl boss panties on and deal with it, then do that.
That’s what I’m doing with social media this month because I need to just do it. Why? Because I know it’s good for me. I know it drives traffic, continues to build authority, and gets me in front of new readers. Ugh.
There is a side effect with this route, though. You might learn something. That’s the side effect. The last time I forced myself to do the not fun thing, I actually started loving the not fun thing and it became fun, and I built a business around it and now teach others to love it, too. Or at least deal with it. It was email marketing. #truestory
Onto the goal assessment!
MY GOAL ASSESSMENT
Last month, my goals involved Home Grown Bloggers, The Mason Jar, and downtime. The first two totally happened.
Heather & I have been working hard promoting our Home Grown Bloggers event this September in Birmingham, AL. We lined up a couple more epic sponsors, hosted yet another successful webinar (this time with the founder of Good Grit Magazine!!), and attended Blog Life University here in Atlanta where we connected with a lot of fabulous bloggers who now know about Home Grown Bloggers!
The Mason Jar has been up and running for a full month now and it’s going better than anticipated! I had 125 members join during the month of July – holy crap, y’all! My goal was 50 – blew that out of the water! I hosted a live group coaching call & a live workshop, both of which were amazing.
Now…about that downtime. I kind of combined work & play this month, but it’s all good. A few things I did:
- Got my hair “did”, as the kids say
- Had brand photos taken at this super cute community garden
- Traveled to Chicago to speak at SoFabU on the Road, and got to hang with my girl Roxana, The Red Eye Baker
- Enjoyed having Heather here for a couple days
- Attended Blog Life University with Heather
- Took my daughter to the 5 Seconds of Summer concert!!!!! (I’m not gonna lie. It’s as much for me as it is for her. I scream like a 14 year old girl.)
So, I think for the first month all year, I checked off all of my goals! WOOT!
I’m going to keep myself very busy this month because I’m trying to ignore the fact that my daughter is starting high school in a week. HIGH.SCHOOL. I can’t even…
#1 – TACKLE SOCIAL MEDIA
I’m very determined to focus on my social media. Here’s the thing: I know from my analytics that the majority of my traffic comes from Facebook, yet until last week, I didn’t have a Facebook page. I had to start one in order to take advantage of the Instagram for Business features, so now that I have one, I might as well rock it, am I right?!
So here’s what I know: (1) Video is huge on social media. (2) My Twitter & Instagram strategies are already rocking, and while that’s giving me ample opportunity to connect with other bloggers in my niche, it’s not generating significant pageviews. (3) Facebook and Pinterest are bringing me a combined 81% of my traffic, so I obviously need to focus more on those platforms.
So what’s a girl to do?
- Snapchat: I’ll start by actually using it. 🙂 Then curate different aspects of my Snapchat story for YouTube videos that can also be shared on my Facebook page, and possibly on Instagram from time to time.
- Facebook Live: Create a regular broadcasting scheduling for both my Facebook page & Blog Fuel Facebook group, and stick to it.
- Pinterest: Be more diligent about posting to Pinterest – not just my own stuff. I use Tailwind, and love it, but I’m horrible about remembering to pin stuff.
#2 – LAUNCH UPDATED SERVICES
I love working with clients. It’s by far one of my favorite things ever, but over the past few months, I’ve been listening to my community and I’m restructuring my services in order to better serve my community.
- Sit By Me Sessions: If you ever wished you could just sit next to someone and have them walk you through how to do certain things, like help you learn Canva or Convertkit, or show you how to write a sales funnel, that’s what these sessions will be. Except we won’t sit next to each other. We’ll hangout via Google Hangouts. Same difference.
- Strategy + Growth Coaching: I currently offer smaller coaching packages, but this one will be the Daddy Mac of them all. If you need an intensive one-month coaching session to help you tie all the aspects of your blog, social media, and email together to meet your goals, it’s coming.
That’s it. Between The Mason Jar, the Blog Fuel podcast, my blog, my clients, and Home Grown Bloggers, I don’t have time for much else…and still have a life. So these two goals will be my primary focus this month.
IN CLOSING: I like to close these monthly posts out with prayer. No, I’m not going to sit here and ask you to join hands and sing Kumbayah. I’d like to ask you to pray for my business, and I’d also like to ask you to tell me how I can pray for you. And I mean it!
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your prayer request in the comments, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
GUIDELINES FOR LINK-UP:
- Add a link to your blog POST, not the URL of your home page. (Post must be related to your goals.)
- Link back to Sweet Tea, LLC via text link IN YOUR POST.
- Visit as many other blog posts as possible and leave a thoughtful, encouraging comment.
- Leave a comment below on this post letting me know you are planning to Blog with Intention in 2016.
- Mark your calendar for Monday, September 5, 2016 for our next Blog with Intention link-up post.
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