"I made $7,000 last month from my blog." "I made 6,200 last month from my blog.""Check my income report!"
You've seen these, right? Passive income is the sweet spot for blogging, internet marketing, and consulting. I'm not there, yet. No where near. In fact, I've made $10.85 cents so far this month, and that's not even paid out yet.
I read this post about building trust, and not traffic. I love this post. The message was so powerful, I instantly downloaded the book The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer to sink my teeth into his thought process around content and social media.
In the article, Schaefer says "...building trust instead of traffic takes time, a new mindset, a new commitment, and perhaps even a leap into the unfamiliar."
Money is important, I'm not completely naive. But, what's more important to me is building trust, connections and networks. I thrive on the interaction and sharing of information that I can give and receive on social media. It's a really great resource to find like minded people, or even people you don't have a lot in common with personally, but really want to learn from.
I've been tracking my social media platforms. It's been simple, I'm not tracking goals or conversions for you google analytics nerds (I'm getting there) or even social media ROI, yet (you all confused yet?). If you want to grab a copy of my social media spreadsheet you can, just look out for the button at the end of this post.
I'm starting where I'm at. That means noting how many people I had when I started tracking on February 24th and how many people follow me as of March 24th. Why February 24th? That's when I started a Facebook blog page. No big secret there.
I'll share the before and after numbers, along with what I did differently to get that increase.
Before: 1,657 followers
After: 1,750 followers, that's a +93
What did I do?
- Every week, on Thursdays I use Tweepi per Melissa's post to find people on Twitter. Because there are a few steps, I created a spreadsheet (told you I love them) where I track her suggestions putting an X when I've followed someone's followers for example.
- The highlight here? I followed some of Regina's followers, Erika Madden of Olyvia Media. She noticed and retweeted a post of mine, Regina picked up on it again (because she was mentioned) and it was retweeted all over again! Cool huh?
- I also use twitterfeed to push those blogs that I love to my feed automatically. For example, I love This Felicitous Life, you know this. So every time she posts something, I get it pushed to my Twitter time line with her twitter handle. For those niche blogs, I include a relevant hashtag too. I don't just drop them, I check my Feedly in the evenings to read the links that twitterfeed has pushed for me so I'm always in the loop.
- I participated in two twitter chats. One for #SITSblogging on a Saturday morning and the other for design #ellechat They were super fun and I highly suggest attending a twitter chat if you haven't already done so.
After: 535, that's a +50
What did I do?
- I shared my blog posts to Instagram. I can show you how to do that too!
- I began to participate in linkups and challenges.
- I started looking at Instagram feeds a little differently, I would search for topics I was interested in via hashtags and like photos I saw in that feed, while also doing the same within my own "home" feed.
- I downloaded the Unfollow app and cleaned up my followers. Those followers that weren't following me, I gave a week and liked posts of theirs, or commented. If after that engagement, they didn't follow back, I deleted them. Why? I only want people who engage with me on social media. Follows are great, but we're building trust, right?
After: 1,465, that's a +259 <-- yikes! Can I share a secret? My goal this year was to hit 1,500.
What did I do?
- I took a Pinterest course, Pinning Perfect that I LOVED. I also signed up for a pin scheduling app called Tailwind. With these two investments, I learned how to create a branded pin, craft keyword rich descriptions, work with contributor boards and schedule pins to post during optimal times based on when my Pinterest peeps were on and pinning, to name but a few changes.
- In the class we received a checklist for max return on Pinterest investment of your time. Of course, I turned that in to a spreadsheet that I check daily. It's color coded, so I know what to do each day, each week and monthly.
After: 166, that's a ... you know what that is.
What did I do?
- I started a Facebook page! I knew I wanted to get beyond my friends and family likes, so I began to look for opportunities to network.
- SITS has a Facebook group where they have Facebook Fan page love days. Generally, I try to like between 3-5 Facebook posts for every link I drop.
- Kim Garst has a #FanPageFriday where you drop your page on the thread and like others that you find interesting.
After: 3,346, that's a +286
What did I do?
- Honestly, nothing different than my usual. I post the way I usually do (there's a way to do it). I always tell this to people who ask, don't go crazy with all the platforms at all times. Focus on a few, and when they're under your belt, move on to the next. When you're confident with those platforms, cycle out again, and so on.
- But the hightlight? Dustin W. Stout, a self proclaimed creative lunatic and social strategist with 48,170 followers commented on my google+ post of my epic Instagram post and thought it was "Awesome Stuff!!" Wahoo and cha-ching!
- How's this, here's what I would like to incorporate going forward. More +1's, more information sharing on my part to those groups that I admin to get the conversation going and being more thoughtful about sharing content from others to my stream. I'll let you know how I make out in a future post.
After: 120, that's +18
What did I do?
- Well, here's a bigger picture. As of 2/4 when I made the move to Squarespace, I had 42 email subscribers. I began to create freebies for those people who subscribed on a Freebie page. I am currently at 3 freebies and it's a mix of faith related content to social media tips and tricks. I have some plans in the works to add more printouts and info for my subscribers.
- I added a subscriber bar at the top of my site.
- I added a scroll box to capture subscribers from SumoMe just this week.
After: 91, that's +19
What did I do?
- I participated in a follow thread within a Facebook group I admin.
- I began liking other bloggers on Bloglovin'
- I also saved my own stuff! This way when people come over to your profile, they can see your lovely posts, along with others you've liked.
- I added a button just beneath my social links for people to easily find and follow me.
I would say before anything, start a content or editorial calendar. I just started using Trello for this and I LOVE it, but I'll always have my spreadsheets. In it, I have the dates on the left and have the following columns:
- Blog post title
- Social media push
- All of the tracking I note in #1-7 of this post.
- Color key to let me know what I have to do when.
It takes a little bit of time to set up, but after the initial creation of it, you're golden.
I wanted to share with you a great nugget of wisdom gleaned from a podcast I can't stop raving about, Hack the Entrepreneur. The host, Jon, was interviewing Brian Kurtz. Brian mentioned a way of thinking called the Entrepreneurial Gap. Brian explained that if you try to walk toward the horizon to meet it, you'll never get there.
The Entrepreneurial Gap is this:
The gap is what's between today's goal and the horizon, and if you live in there, all the time without having one goal achieved and then turning back around and looking back and where you were and where you've been and where you are now, you'll stay out of the gap.
So here's to the horizon and my looking back at what I've done, what I've achieved. Here's to staying focused and meeting my goals, celebrating them and then making more goals.
There's always the horizon to get to, so I'll keep moving, but I won't forget to look back and take stock in how far I've come. You don't either.
And if you've gotten this far, you can get a copy of the spreadsheet that I use to track and keep track of what I need to do on any given day on social media, by subscribing.
This post contains affiliate links. Costs you nothing, and I get more money to keep the lights on around here. Thanks for supporting Filling My Prayer Closet!
For more quick takes, head over to This Ain't the Lyceum!