In this Interview series, today we have Ruth bowers to share about her thoughts on Successful blogging. She is a well known author at Poweraffiliateclub where she mainly talks about content marketing tips, and a blogger at ruthbowers.com where she shares much about blogging, marketing and motivational tips. With this short intro lets dive in to the interview
Can you please tell about your background and your blog?
I got started in internet marketing in 1997. I was working on my master’s degree in history at the time, and needed a break, so I took a year off from my studies and discovered the world of online chat rooms, which led me to learning how to create websites and teaching myself HTML and graphic design.
I’ve always been a writer – the academic stuff came easily to me – but the creativity involved in doing website design resonated with a different part of me, and after I graduated in 2000 I turned to it as a full-time job. Since then I’ve combined my love of research, writing, and design into a business that lets me do what I love every single day.
My blog at RuthBowers.com is a culmination of all of that. It’s fairly new as far as blogs go. Until last summer I was blogging in 4 different places and decided to combine everything into one blog to make it easier for people to find me and get to know me. The main topics my blog covers are content marketing, building a success mindset, motivation, creativity, and self-confidence.
How did you get into blogging?
I actually had to be dragged into blogging. I started my first blog in 2003 after years of building static HTML pages and relying on email marketing. Once all my marketing friends started to make the switch to WordPress, and as I started noticing the functionality you could get from all the cool plug-ins, I made the switch and have never looked back. I’m still a plug-in geek and love testing out new tools to make blogging more fun for both me and my readers.
What are your top 3 content marketing tips?
My top three content marketing tips are:
1- Create a content strategy. Know how your products, blog posts, videos, social media and email content all fit together. You’ll be more organized and productive because you have a plan to follow.
2- Repurpose as much as possible. This saves you time and energy because you don’t always have to start from scratch. You’ll also never run out of content because you can slice, splice, and turn things into different formats to create entirely new pieces.
3- Be consistent. To get the best results from your content marketing, you must be consistent in your publishing efforts. Create a posting schedule and stick to it so that your audience always knows when they can expect new content from you.
What are your top tips to overcome writer’s block?
My best tip to overcome writer’s block is to write every day. Set a timer and just write. Even if you don’t know what to write about, just start putting words on the page. I find when I do that, after about 5 minutes an idea breaks through, and then I can start working on it.
The other thing I do is keep an idea jar. Every time I get an idea that I can’t use that minute, I put it on a piece of paper and stick it in a jar. When I don’t know what to blog about, I’ll randomly pull an idea out of the jar and work on that.
The best tip I can give you is never let writer’s block build into a wall. Don’t let it fester or become an excuse to avoid writing. If you really think you’re blocked, make a deal with yourself to write one or two sentences a day. Chances are pretty good that once you get your two sentences written, you’ll want to keep going.
What other blogs you follow to get regular information /inspiration?
I don’t really follow specific blogs. I have a huge collection of marketing and personal development blogs stored in my Feedly account, and I scan that every morning for articles of interest and ideas.
Which blogging tools you recommend for bloggers and why?
Beaver Builder – I use this as my page builder for both posts and all my sales and opt-in pages. It’s the most versatile page builder I’ve found so far and the easiest to use with its collection of drag and drop modules.
Simple Click Tracker – You need a way to track which links drive the most traffic. I use Simple Click Tracker because it creates shortened links and gives me plenty of options to track where my traffic comes from. There are also options for split testing and tracking conversion points in my funnels so I can see exactly what works and what doesn’t.
These are the two main tools I use every day. You can see the complete list of tools I use and recommend at http://ruthbowers.com/
How do you promote your blog ?
I promote my blog through a combination of social media and email marketing. I also write a guest post every month for a marketing blog, and use the Facebook Ads Boost Post feature for paid advertising.
If you were asked to choose only one social network, which one would it be and why?
I would have to say Facebook would be my choice if I could only have one. It offers the most opportunities for engagement between newsfeeds, pages, groups and paid advertising. I especially like the groups feature because it helps to build community and really lets you get to know your readers.
What are some of the blogging mistakes you want the newbies to avoid?
The first mistake to avoid is putting your blog on a free site. It doesn’t cost much to register a domain and get a cheap hosting plan, and you get the peace of mind of having a web property you control. Free sites can shut you down or kick you out on a whim, and you can lose everything you’ve worked for overnight because you don’t have control of your site.
The second mistake is not taking enough time to get to know your audience. Take the time to do the research, find out what your audience wants and needs from you, and you’ll have a much better chance at success.
The third mistake to avoid is not building an email list right from the beginning. I could write a whole book on why you need an email list, but for now I’ll just say that your email list is the foundation of your online business. It gives you direct access to your audience that you don’t get from blogs or other social media sites.
Does guest blogging still works? What’s your best advice for someone who wants to guest post in authority blogs?
Yes, guest blogging still works. But, you have to do it right. My best advice is that if you want to guest post on authority blogs, take the time to get to know the blogger first. Then, if your request is accepted make sure you give them wow-worthy content that they will be proud to publish.
You want to make a great first impression with their audience, so create original content for your post that you’re proud to share with them.
How much time do you spend blogging on a weekly basis? How do you stay motivated?
I spend about 10-12 hours a week on my blog. I write and schedule posts on the weekend, and spend the other time keeping things updated, promoting, and replying to comments.
It’s easy to stay motivated because I love my blog. Blogging is my favorite part of my whole business, and so it’s easy for me to make time to work on it. If anything, I have to really watch my time because I spend so much time on my blog that I don’t leave enough for other things like product creation.
What are your top methods to make money by blogging?
My top methods for making money with my blog are selling my own products, and selling other people’s products through affiliate marketing. I also do service work such as WordPress installation and troubleshooting, and clients get to know me through my blog.
What’s your best advice for someone who would like to start blogging?
My best advice for someone who wants to start blogging is this:
Do your research and have a plan before you even start. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the moving parts to a blogging business, but if you have a plan and set goals before you even start to create your blog you’ll be ahead of the game and have a better chance at developing a successful blog.
Where can we find you apart from your blog?
You can find me on Facebook
Instagram at https://instagram.com/
and Twitter at https://twitter.com/ruthieisms
Thank you Ruth for your awesome interview.
Your turn : I have put forth a mixture of some basic and advanced questions about blogging. Do have any more questions in your mind? Just share!