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5 Practical Ways to Market Your Direct Sales Business Through Blogging

Blogging is a great way to market your direct sales business! These practical tips are super helpful!!

Did you know that blogging and social media can be one of the best ways to market a direct sales business? In this post, I’m going to give you five strategies to grow your direct sales business through blogging and social media.

{Note: Please make sure you are allowed to have a blog and use social media with your direct sales business. Many businesses have very, very specific rules on what you can and can’t say and do online. If you know for sure blogging and social media is allowed, then continue reading! If not, please do your own research to make sure it is allowed.}

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10 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Don’t Know What to Write About

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Don't Know What to Write About

Beth recently wrote in with this great question:

“Hi Crystal. I would like to get out of debt so that we can better save and maybe travel. My problem is that I’m stuck on what to write. I sit down and nothing comes to mind. How do I find what to write about? Thanks for challenging me to put this in writing. -Beth”

Beth: I want you to know that you’re not alone! I think everyone has times when they struggle with knowing what they should blog about — whether that’s just on a particular day, during a certain season, or as they start the process of setting up their blog and begin to think of planning posts to write.

Maybe you are starting a blog but you’re not sure what the topic should be, or you have your blog set up but you can’t figure out what to write about, or you’ve been blogging for a long time and you don’t love what you’re currently blogging about. Please know this: all writers have times when they struggle to figure out what to write about.

When you’re not sure what to write about, here are 10 questions to ask yourself:

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Black Friday Deals for Bloggers 2018

It’s Black Friday weekend and that means that there are some amazing deals on some fantastic products for bloggers. We’ve rounded up some of our very favorites below on products that we love and highly recommend. (Note: These are affiliate links — if you click through and make a purchase, we’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you!):

LeadPages is offering a really fantastic deal for Black Friday! You can try them out for 60 days for just $1!! We use Leadpages to quickly create marketing campaigns and sign-up pages that are so simple to put together and convert really well.

With this offer, you can get started with Leadpages for just $1 and use all the features of the Pro level account for 60 days. (By the way, with the Leadpages Pro Plan, and its 150+ flexible templates, you can create as many mobile-responsive landing pages to build your list faster and make more sales!)

Note: At the end of 60 days, you can choose to continue on with LeadPages or cancel your account. This is a great way to test LeadPages out to see if it would help you build your list and increase you income and engagement.

WP Engine – Get 35% off of your first month with WP Engine, a WordPress hosting company bringing some of the best hosting plans for WordPress sites. This is a really robust hosting services and has come highly recommended to us. Just use coupon code cyberwpe2018 during checkout to get this deal. This sale is valid through Monday, November 26, 2018.

Bluehost –I recommend using Bluehost if you are new to blogging and/or just need a robust site with great customer service. I used Bluehost for a few years when I was first blogging. I no longer use it now that my sites have a lot of traffic and we need more personalized and customized service. But Bluehost is a great fit for small to medium-sized sites.

For Black Friday weekend, they are offering an introductory offer where you can get their hosting services for $2.65/month for the Basic Plan, $4.45/month for the Plus and Choice Plus Plans, and $9.95/month for the Pro Plan. Go here to find out more.

WP Forms is offering 60% off all of their WPForms plans through November 30, 2018. This is a powerful drag-and-drop form builder that is perfect for beginners. This is great if you need/want to put robust and customized contact forms or other forms on your site. Go here to shop the WPForms Black Friday sale.

Elegant Themes – Check out Elegant Themes’ mega Black Friday event — they are giving away $500,000 in free prizes and offering their biggest discounts of the year! We use Elegant Themes’ Divi theme for our courses and LOVE it! The sale starts November 23rd and lasts for 3 days.

And don’t forget about our HUGE Black Friday sale where we’re offering 50% off all 12 of our courses!

See all the details of our 2018 Black Friday Sale here.

Psst! If you’re not signed up for our affiliate program, you can sign up here and share your affiliate links with your followers (using some of the tips I share below in this post) and make 50% commissions on any sale generated through your link!

Black Friday Sale Pricing — Our Best Prices of the Year!

Here are all of the courses included in the Black Friday sale + the price you’ll get with the coupon code:

Want to purchase more than one course? Go to this page and you can add multiple courses to your cart at one time.

Don’t forget, use coupon code BF2018 to get the 50% off pricing. This coupon code is valid through Monday, November 26, 2018.

Know of any other great deals out there for bloggers? Share with us in the comments below!

How to Make More Money This Weekend (plus a HUGE sale!)

Black Friday is in two days and this is an amazing time of year to promote some of your favorite deals and sales. It’s one of our biggest earning times of the year and I can’t stress enough how fantastic a time of year this is to share deals with your blog readers using referral or affiliate links — especially if they are deals on great Christmas gift ideas!

I’ve got 4 proven tips to help you make more money as a blogger during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, but before I share those, I wanted to let you know that our HUGE Black Friday sale is LIVE!

See all the details of our 2018 Black Friday Sale here.

Psst! If you’re not signed up for our affiliate program, you can sign up here and share your affiliate links with your followers (using some of the tips I share below in this post) and make 50% commissions on any sale generated through your link!

Black Friday Sale Pricing — Our Best Prices of the Year!

Here are all of the courses included in the Black Friday sale + the price you’ll get with the coupon code:

Want to purchase more than one course? Go to this page and you can add multiple courses to your cart at one time.

Don’t forget, use coupon code BF2018 to get the 50% off pricing. This coupon code is valid through Monday, November 26, 2018.

And now for my best tips on how to make more money this weekend…

My Top Tips for Promoting Black Friday Sales

1. Share your personal experience with a product.

Talk about how it has impacted you and why you think others should buy it. Don’t just say: Here’s a sale you should check out.

Nope, tell people exactly how this product is going to make a significant difference in their life. Don’t tell them that they should buy; convince them as to why they should buy it.

Some questions to ask yourself as you write posts/do Facebook Lives & IG stories/put together email newsletters about products:

  • What problem did this product solve for you?
  • How did this product meet a need in your life?
  • How did this product impact you in significant way?
  • How will people benefit right away from buying this product?

2. Send out an email newsletter about this product/sale.

Blog posts and social media posts can be effective, but they will never hold a candle to how an email in someone’s inbox will convert. Don’t be shy; write and send out emails to your email list. (Be sure to keep this in mind when you write your email newsletters.)

Pay special attention to your subject line — that’s what’s going to convince someone to actually open your email. And then make sure that you write an email newsletter that is both interesting but also compelling.

Maybe start by sharing a story of something personal and then tie in the product to that story. Finally, close with

telling people how the product will impact their life (bullet points can work great for this!) and why they should buy this weekend because of great sale.

Be sure to include a clear Buy Now button or Click Here to Buy Now type of live link at the bottom. Make it incredibly easy for people to take advantage of the sale!

3. Talk about the product on a Facebook Live or Instagram Story.

You guys, I know that I sound like a broken record, but live video is where it is at. It’s one of the most effective ways to convert sales — in an incredibly organic and engaging way.

Seriously, you gotta try FB Live and IG stories. I know it’s scary. I know it’s outside your comfort zone. I know that it takes practice. But it really, really works. In fact, oftentimes, live video will beat out or match the conversions we see when we send out email newsletters.

Plus, the more you do it, the easier it gets. For real. (I never, ever thought I’d fall in love with live video. But I have!)

As always, the more you can point people to your own personal experience with a product, the more you can promote the specific benefits of a product, and the more you bring your own unique voice, the more effective your promotion will be.

A few tips for live video: make sure that you are personable (use people’s names if they are leaving comments), have a simple outline, be interesting and overly enthusiastic (it translates to energy on the camera), make your call to action very clear, repeat it multiple times, and use your affiliate link in your teaser text on FB Live and in your bio on Instagram (if you don’t yet have the swipe up feature).

4. Promote the product/sale in multiple ways.

For instance, when I promote our Black Friday sale and Cyber Monday sale on my products to my audience, I will do multiple blog posts, multiple Facebook Lives, multiple Instagram stories, plus I’ll send out multiple email newsletters and post on Facebook.

I know that might seem like overkill, but remember that not everyone follows you on every platform, not everyone logs into every platform every day, and all platforms now have algorithms in place so not everyone who follows you on them sees all of your posts.

But more than that, what I’ve seen to be so true is that people need to hear about something multiple times before they will decide to actually get up and take action! 🙂

What I Am NOT Saying To Do

Now, I’m not saying that you should post the same photo five times on Facebook. That would be boring and would frustrate people.

What I AM saying is to get creative and come up with multiple ways you can promote the sale — focusing on different aspects of the product, sharing it from different angles, sharing a quote photo that you can weave in a message about the product, sharing a picture you took of the product, sharing a video where you talk about how the product has impacted you, and maybe sharing a post specifically about the sale (this is usually most effective during the last few hours of the sale).

Any time I’m planning to promote a product in earnest on my site/social media, I will sit down and brainstorm ideas for different ways I can promote it, different pictures I can use, different angles I can approach it from, different features I can focus on.

Then, I think about which platform is best for which type of promotion and then I map out a plan for promotion where I write down each idea and what day and what platform I’ll use.

This really helps me so that I’m able to promote the same sale over and over again without frustrating or boring people — and it also helps me to not fall into a creative rut.

Now it’s your turn to get out there and make some great commissions! I’m cheering for you and your success as an affiliate this weekend.

And don’t forget to go use coupon code BF2018 to get 50% off all of our courses!

P.S. Our Black Friday Sale is our best pricing of the entire year! I don’t want you to miss this opportunity to grab some great deals on blogging courses and other courses to help you be more organized, calm, and intentional in your every day life.

Why You Should Send Direct Video Messages on Instagram

Why You Should Send Direct Video Messages on Instagram!

Guest post by Erin Port from SimplePurposefulLiving.com

Instagram stories are my favorite way to authentically engage with my tribe, and they have single-handedly fostered the sense of community that I have with my followers. One of the methods I’ve used to do this is direct video messages.

If you’re looking for unique ways to meaningfully connect with your tribe and increase engagement, I’d highly recommend trying out direct video messages.

Why I Started Sending Direct Video Messages

One day I was responding to a tribe member via Instagram direct message and I saw there was a video message component built in right next to where I could send a text response. I remembered some advice I had received that face-to-face conversations could not be replaced by a written word and I decided to try sending my first video message response.

I started doing this often and my tribe loved it. They even started to respond with their own video messages, which was SO cool because I could see their faces and hear their voices!

These direct video messaging exchanges have been invaluable. Not only have I increased engagement, but I’ve also gotten to know my audience on such a more intimate level. I’ve been able to have direct connections with them and listen to their stories — which in effect has helped me create content that better reflects my audience and meets their needs.

So, How Do You Start Sending Direct Video Messages?

Don’t let video messages intimidate you; just try it out! Direct video messages are just like an Instagram story except they are sent to one individual instead of posted on your stories feed.

Here’s how to get started…

  1. In order to receive a direct message, you need to give your audience a reason to message you. Ask them a question on Instagram stories and tell them to message you their answer. It could be something as simple as asking them to tell you their favorite recipe or tv show — just something to get the interaction started!
  2. When someone responds to your story, message back with a video message. Simply click the video icon next to where you would type a response and record a personal video for them.
  3. Once you have recorded the video, you can modify how many times the video can be viewed. When you start out, I would recommend at least allowing it to be viewed again. People might be surprised at first to see a video message from you and will want to watch it again!

How Direct Video Messages Have Increased My Engagement

The social media world is run by algorithms, and those algorithms love authentic engagement. When you send direct video messages, you are not only getting to know your tribe better but the algorithm also sees you are engaging in a meaningful way. That’s a win-win!

Since I started using direct video messages, I have seen a large increase in the number of daily messages I receive. On average I receive about 100 messages each day. I take the time to respond by video message to everyone every day. (After all, I did ask my tribe to message me, so I want them to know they can expect a response from me to make it worth their time!)

We all have a desire to be seen, known and heard in this crazy world. Direct video messages give your tribe that ability to be seen and heard, and it feels more real and personal — like you’re friends! It completely changes the way you engage with your tribe on social media.

If you want to make authentic connections with your audience and increase your engagement in a meaningful way, I’d highly encourage you to try out direct video messaging!

Erin Port is wife and mom of three, soon to be four by international adoption. In addition, Erin is a public speaker and blogger. She founded Simple Purposeful Living to empower and equip women to lead simple and purposeful lives in a chaotic world so they can do what matters most with those that matter most. In her free time, she loves to find simple adventure with her family.

5 Ways to Overcome Social Media Burnout

Stressed out or overwhelmed by Instagram? Check out these 5 ways to overcome social media burnout!

A YBM follower recently wrote in with this really great question:

“Hey Crystal, I need some help! I started my Instagram account back in January as more of a mini blog because I didn’t want to have a full-fledged blog. I started as more of a home decor influencer, but I tired of always talking about home decor and it wasn’t fun anymore. I found myself desiring to be more of a lifestyle/homemaker blogger, but I have been floundering trying to pull it off. There are just so many things to include!

Do I need a niche? I have this thing set up for myself where I talk about certain things on certain days, but I feel like I’m seriously all over the place: Monday Motivation/Tuesday Home Tips/Workout Wednesday/Healthy Thursday/Friday Favorites. My brain is fried from trying to focus on so many topics so often, but I’m not sure how to fix it. It doesn’t seem to make sense to concentrate on one thing each week — like it’d be difficult to keep up a following. Help me stop floundering in this Instagram/blogging world! Please!”

If any of you have ever felt like this (I know I definitely have!), I’m sure you can relate to this feeling of being overwhelmed about what to post or talk about, how to choose what to focus on, and how to organize your thoughts and ideas.

Honestly? It can just feel like total social media burnout sometimes, and to avoid giving up and walking away from it all, I think it’s really important to learn how to combat these feelings of being completely overwhelmed by social media.

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Demystifying SEO: What It Is & Why You Should Care

Demystifying SEO! Does the word SEO make your head spin? Read this beginner's guide to understand what it is and get started!

Guest post by Micah Klug from HomeFaithFamily.com

About six months into starting my blog, I had one of those unforgettable blogging moments where you can barely contain your excitement and it makes all of the work and effort invested into blogging so worth it!

I had woken up at 4 a.m. (which is when I currently get up in order to fit in time to blog!) and I decided I should check my Google Search Console and learn more about keywords.

I was so excited with what I discovered that I just couldn’t help myself… I woke my husband up and exclaimed, “Oh, my goodness, Travis, one of my blog posts is ranking in the first spot on Google!”

(Thankfully, my husband forgave me for my display of enthusiastic excitement, and I promised that I wouldn’t wake him that early in the morning again!)

How did I manage to have a blog post rank in the first spot on a Google search? Well, I could talk about searching for your perfect keywords, strategies to rank on Google, and tools you can use to help you craft your next perfect blog post, but before I do that, we first need to talk about what search engine optimization (SEO) is and why you should care about is as a blogger.

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Why You Need to Build a Platform (+ My Top 3 Tips to Get Started)

Why you need to build a platform, plus my top 3 tips to get started right away!!

Rachel recently wrote in and asked, “You talk about platform a lot, but what does that actually mean?

This is such a great question, because if you want to be a successful blogger, it is so important to know what a platform is and how to build one.

What is a platform?

Honestly, the word “platform” is one that makes me pause. I’m not totally comfortable with the word and its implied meaning, because here’s the thing…

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