The Business End of Your Blog
- Track your money from the very beginning of creation of your blog. Keep a profit/loss worksheet.
- Keep your business money and your personal money separate.
- Know your write offs. Like - business gifts up to $25 are a write off. Meals can also be a write off, if you are discussing business. Educate yourself at IRS.com
- Create a blog policy and stick to it. You should have a policy about reviews, comment deletion, advertising, giveaways, etc.
- Sponsored and paid posts should be clearly marked. Not just a little note at the bottom.
- Be careful when accepting reviews. Read what they expect from you carefully
Connecting With Your Readers
- The Golden Blog Rule - Be genuine and respectful. Basically - treat others as you would like to be treated.
- To get good friends you need to be a good friend.
- Comment on your readers posts, especially when they've taken the time to comment on yours.
- Be accessible. Have a Twitter account, a Facebook page, FlickR etc.
- Get to know your community. Do a survey, add Blog Frog to your page.
- End posts with questions to get your readers talking.
- Keep your posts conversational.
- Work with other bloggers. Don't be jealous.
- Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your tweets should be about other people. Tweet other peoples posts, retweet other bloggers giveaways, and respond when people are tweeting at you.
- Follow people who are following you on Twitter. Unless they are some porn spammer, just follow back. It's nice. You can always unfollow later if they do something to offend you.
- Always reply to Direct Messages.
- If you have a Direct Message that automatically sends to new followers make sure it is spelled correctly and that any links actually work.
- Write about what you know.
- People will want to read what you are passionate about.
- Make sure you stay true to yourself.
- Edit, Edit, Edit.
- Stay clear and concise. Especially when writing a long post.
- Write a story to be true to yourself. Not everyone else.
- Consider doing a series of themed posts.
- Believe it or not - Your post doesn't have to be short! However if you are going to write a long post make it interesting. Don't just ramble on.
- Be aware of your words. Remember these posts are forever.
- Tell your story. If you want to tell someone elses story - ask permission first!
- Make sure you at least like the products you are given to review as they can be counted as income.
- It's OK to offer constructive criticism on products.
- When doing a review be honest but not rude.
- Do not be mean in a review of any product, you don't know who may be reading.
- It's OK to still be yourself in a review, you can still be humorous. After all you still want people to read it!
- Don't stray from messaging point with paid advertising.
- You actually don't have to say yes to every review and giveaway offered.
Advertising and Networking
- Having your own domain looks more professional.
- Don't accept just any advertisers.
- Build working relationships with PR people.
- Do not be rude to PR people. They share info and you don't want to create a bad image of yourself.
- Ask for letters of recommendation from companies you've worked with.
- Be absolutely certain of what you are signing.
I also learned that you never know who may be reading your blog. Just because they don't leave a comment doesn't mean they aren't reading. Here are 2 examples -
1. While at Blissdom waiting for Harry Connick Jr. to sing I hear "Hey, I know that dress!" As it turns out the rep for Con Agra saw my tweet about what I was wearing to Blissdom and remembered that black and white dress! Yes, THE rep for Con Agra had been to MY blog. How cool is that??
2. At a birthday party this weekend a friend mentioned that her and sometimes her boss read my blog all the time. Really?? Yep.
So be careful with what you say. You never know who's reading!
Here are some links to other Blissdom posts you may enjoy -
From Keeper of the Cheerios -
From Tip Junkie -
And from -