Moms Make Cents: One Year Blogging Update

one-year-blogging-update

Are you one of those people that like to seem like they have it all together?

Yeah, me too.

So, this post is a little hard to write. You are going to see the good, the bad and the ugly side of the journey of the blog this last year.

This will be a post where I “keep it real.”

I published my first blog posts on Moms Make Cents exactly a year ago today. 

I remember nervously hitting publish on my first few posts on Moms Make Cents. I had a vision, but I had no idea where the journey was going to take me.

Well, what an amazing whirlwind it has been. I started with the goal in mind to help other moms start their businesses and understand their finances so that they could have the choice to stay at home with their children.

BACKGROUND - BEFORE MOMS MAKE CENTS

So you may be wondering what is my background in the blogging & online marketing realm.

I started my first blog five years ago, back in June 2012. It was a lifestyle blog and was when I first dipped my toes in the blogging sphere. This is where I learned the importance of connecting with other bloggers, taking high-quality pictures, and little touches of web design.

Since then I created a handful of other small blogs that varied from a couponing/frugality blog to a more professional lifestyle blog.

In January 2015, I began helping an old friend with social media and influencer marketing for her startup company. It initially began as an unpaid thing helping her on the side, but eventually turned into a paid position.

During this time I managed all of their social media accounts, created the majority of their content and coordinated collaborations with dozens of bloggers and influencers. This period of time helped refine my experience with working with bloggers from a business perspective.


Around this time the company my husband worked for began to have some serious challenges. He worked in the oil industry and in that industry there are a lot of ups and downs.

This was in the third trimester of my pregnancy, right before I was about to have our first baby. We were panicking.

His pay was immediately cut by ⅓ and over the course of the next year, 60% of his co-workers would get laid off.

In hopes that he could get a new job with more stability, we rented out our home and moved in with family.

I continued to work my businesses, while my husband kept applying for more and more jobs. After a few months more and more of his co-worker's wives began to ask me how they could start their own businesses to help offset the pay cuts that they’d experienced.

One night I remember sitting up writing a 2,000-word document on how to get started selling on Amazon FBA and then it clicked.

If there were this many people so close to home that needed help, I could help so many more people if I published them online. That 2,000 word how to I sent to my friend, ended up becoming one of the very first blog posts on this site.

Now I want to cover the awesome, and not so awesome things that happened on the blog this year.

I’m a bad news first type of gal, so we will start with the not so awesome.

NOT SO AWESOME

1. One thing I struggled with A LOT this year is comparison.

There are so many talented people online and for a while, I was getting down on myself because I didn’t feel like I was measuring up. Now, this was all in my head, but it caused me a lot of anxiety. The turning point for me was when I heard this quote.

“Stop comparing your beginning to someone else's middle.”

How true is that?

When I changed my thinking and stopped comparing myself I felt loads better about myself and my blog.

When I look back on how much my blog has grown and changed in the last year, if I could have just seen my potential, in the beginning, I would have never felt down on myself.

2. I went down the rabbit hole of over analyzing & distraction.

With blogging there is so much to do, to learn, to experience and sometimes I got caught up in it all! I would find that I was reading so much about how to do something, that I would never actually do anything. Sound familiar?

This can be a major productivity killer so now I try to focus on one thing at a time and have batch days where I get similar projects done all at once.

I also recently downloaded the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook chrome extension to help me from getting distracted when I go on Facebook for work.

AWESOME

Here are some of the awesome experiences from this year,

1. I made so many friends!

When I sit back and think that a year ago I didn’t have any of these blogging friends, it is like, “how did I survive without them?!” They have become some of my closest friends and I know there is always someone I can talk to or count on.

Now, I am blessed with friends all over the world, that enjoy the same things that I do, that I can talk and collaborate with.

Plus, motherhood can be lonely sometimes, right? If you are a mom with little ones it can be hard to not have a single adult conversation during the day. Having your blogging friends can be your lifeline for socialization.

2. I learned so much!

Now, I am kind of a nerd and love learning and school. So much that I actually got two bachelor's degrees while I was in college. But, I feel like this year I have learned even more than I did when I was in school.

I learned about,

  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Finances
  • Graphic design
  • Webdesign
  • Online course creation
  • Interpersonal skills

I’m the type of person that can’t sit still and loves to be learning something new and this year I feel like my knowledge and experience exploded.

Many bloggers start out as “amateurs” in their field. They have an interest in a topic and know more than the next person, but haven’t reached that “expert” status yet. As you blog, engage more with your writing and hone your trade you truly become an expert in the topic you cover on your site.

3. I made almost $35,000 😱

When I added it all up and showed my husband that I’d made almost $35,000 in revenue from my blog in its first year. His jaw hit the floor. That was like the salary at my first full-time job out of college and this I was doing during nap time and in the evenings in my pj’s!

The income from my blog has seriously blessed our lives so much.

There were two primary ways that I generated income from my blog this year.

1. Digital Products / Courses

In September of last year I launched my course Pinterest to Profits and in January I relaunched it with a big update. This is an evergreen (always available) course that I sell using a funnel.

Recently I also launched a mini product called Traffic Trajectory. This is a collection of resources including Pinterest group boards, blogging Facebook groups, blogs accepting guest posts, and blogs to comment on to increase brand awareness. Because it is at a lower price point it has sold very well, with little promotion.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been a big player for me ever since I started this site. I only recommend products that I have used and actually like and I know that my readers appreciate that. I focus on promoting offers that my audience may be interested in and that are complementary to the topics I cover on my blog.

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing check out these blog posts,

1. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: The Secret to Making $50,000 a Month Blogging. 

 2. How To Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Marketing

3. Eight Affiliate Networks To Boost Your Blog's Income

THINGS THAT WORKED

1. I focused on one social media platform

In the beginning I tried to do it all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and I was spread too thin. I observed which actions were getting me the most return on my time and Pinterest was by far the most valuable. So I shifted my efforts and put the majority of the focus on Pinterest. 

There are a million ways to succeed online, but if you try to do all of them, you won't succeed at anything. 

2. I invested in my business

By no means am I saying that if you don't invest you can't succeed, but by making small strategic investments you can scale up your business and your income much faster. For example, in my first month blogging I invested in the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and by my third month blogging I made over $1,200 in affiliate income. 

3. I built relationships

By connecting with other bloggers in my niche I've been able to bounce off ideas, get inspiration and have support while working in this industry. These connections can also help you secure guest posts, affiliates, and you can cross promote each others posts! 

GOALS GOING FORWARD

This year has truly been phenomenal and I am so excited for what the next year will bring.

Here are some of my goals for year two,

  1. Come out with a new opt-in or freebie every month to provide more value to my readers
  2. Be more active in my Facebook group Blogging Newbs
  3. Create more digital products
  4. Double my blogging income
  5. Spend more time with my family

Where are you at in your blogging journey? Do you have goals written down for the next year or your blog?

What Is A Tripwire + How It Can Diversify Your Income & Grow Your Customer Base.

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Want to know how to increase your blog income and ignite your email list? This guide to creating your first tripwire is SO helpful! I must read for bloggers that sell physical or digital products. |what is a tripwire|

If you are reading this post there is a good chance that you want to make money from your blog.

Am I right? 

There are lots of ways to make money blogging, but today I want to focus on how you can create a high converting tripwire to diversify your income. 

So, first, what is a tripwire?

A tripwire is a super discounted offer that is given after someone opts-in for one of your freebies or content upgrades. The offer is usually a one-time-offer (OTO) that can only be accessed on that page or is a timed offer that is only available for a few minutes or hours. 

Why are tripwires so dang effective? 

They tap into one of the most effective ways to increase conversions. Urgency. 

If you have products, but you aren’t giving your potential customer a reason to buy now, chances are that they won’t. With a tripwire, they have to choose in that moment if they are going to act. 

Your tripwire should be an irresistible offer. Something that is so good that the person wouldn’t want to miss out on it (remember we all have the fear of missing out). 

Your offer can be irresistible for a few different reasons, 

1. It is a product that isn’t available anywhere else. If they want the product this is their one and only chance to get it. They literally can only buy it on that specific page.

2. It is incredibly discounted - Usually, a tripwire is a product that is either inexpensive or heavily discounted. Most tripwires are at least 50% off. I currently am running mine at about 63% off. 

Now I want to walk you through my process for creating my tripwire and some of the statistics from its first week it was live. 

Creating a tripwire is really a two part process, 

1st - You need to create an enticing freebie that will get a lot of opt-ins. This can be an ebook, email course, or really anything that you think your audience would feel is very valuable. 

The topic of your freebie should be highly relevant to your tripwire product. This way you know that those that are opting in are interested in that subject. 

For example, the freebie that I created is called Traffic Tactics. It is a twenty-five-page ebook on how to create and share your content so your blog will get tons of traffic. Most of my readers are newer mom bloggers and after listening to my audience, generating traffic was one of their biggest issues. 
 

 
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2nd - You will create the actual product. Remember this a product that is super valuable and should be a “no-brainer” purchase for your audience. 

For my product, I created the ultimate collection of resources to help my subscriber grow their traffic fast. My tripwire is called Traffic Trajectory and it is, 

  • A spreadsheet with over 150 group boards
  • Fifty of the best Facebook groups + their thread/promo schedule
  • Over 200 blog that accept guest posts
  • And 100+ blog to comment on so you can get your name out there. 
what-is-tripwire

Traffic Trajectory is seriously a gold mine and will save the reader so much time. The $7 price tag for everything that is included makes it an “irresistible offer.”

What made this convert so well is that usually, Traffic Trajectory sells for $19, but on this one page for a limited time they are able to snag it for only $7 which is more than half off. 

Once the reader hits “submit” on the opt-in page they are immediately redirected to this page that says that their freebie is on its way and give the subscriber the chance to buy Tripwire product. 

The sales page is short. It describes what is included + the main benefits as well as a preview of what is inside when they purchase. At the bottom of the screen, there is a countdown timer that explains that they have fifteen minutes to get a huge discount. This nudges the reader to act now, so they don’t miss out. 

Once the fifteen minutes is up if they don’t purchase they are redirected to the main sales page and will not be able to get back to tripwire page and get the discount. 

I use a tool called Deadline Funnel which powers the timer and creates the automatic redirect when the time runs out. Implementing this one tool in my business has dramatically increased my conversions on my products. If you want to check it out you can get a free one-month trial here. 

In the first few weeks of testing my tripwire product, it has been converting at approximately 20%. So for every five people that opt-in for that freebie one person will go on to purchase Traffic Trajectory. Pretty cool, right? 

what-is-tripwire

How do you deliver your tripwire product?

There are multiple ways to send your product, 

  1. Use a tool like SendOwl or Digital Product Delivery (DPD) to complete the purchase and deliver the digital product (for the tripwire I used DPD, but SendOwl is phenomenal too).
  2. If it is an online course you can easily give them access if you use a site like Teachable.
  3. Set up an automation in ConvertKit so when the purchase is made they are sent an email with instructions on how to access or download the product. (This option would require you to have another platform where you accept payments that can integrate with your email service provider. 

So what are the options with the revenue from your Tripwire product? 

You can, 

1. Enjoy the small profit on the product and work to organically get more people into your funnel and increase the conversions, or

2. You can use the profits from your tripwire to offset your advertising costs. Let’s say for example your Tripwire product is $7 and you decide to run a promoted pin for your opt-in. Now, let’s estimate that you spend $.50 per opt-in and of those subscribers they are still converting for your tripwire at 20%. 

That means if you are spending $.50 per lead and it is even only converting at 10% you need ten people to opt-in in order to sell your $7 product. That means that you are paying $5.00 in advertising ($.50 x 10) in order to make $2.00 in profit.

Now, are you maybe thinking, “Two dollars? What am I supposed to do with two dollars, that is like a candy bar.” 

But the beauty of it is you just essentially made $2 and got 10 new subscribers FOR FREE!

Do you recognize how powerful that is? When you leverage a tripwire effectively you can increase your ad spend (or start advertising) in order to quickly scale up your email list and customer base. 

This is an amazing opportunity to scale up your business quickly. 

In addition to growing your email list and making a small profit, you can include an “upsell” for those that purchase your Tripwire product. This is an offer that is a bit more expensive but is still very valuable. 

This could be a paid course, more expensive physical product, coaching program or even a service you offer and typically this will convert better than if you went straight to this after the opt-in. 

Why?

Because this individual has now changed their mindset from expecting only free things from you to becoming a buyer. Even if it is only a $7 tripwire product they have already committed to the belief that you provide value and you are worth the investment. 

Isn't the psychology of marketing fascinating?! 

If you want to check out my tripwire you can opt-in below. Right now it is the $7 tripwire, but I am thinking about adding an upsell. What product do you think I should add as the upsell?

How To Use A Free Email Course To Build Your Email List And Make Sales On Autopilot

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How to Use a Free Email Course to Grow your Email List and Make Sales on Autopilot

Making connections is one of the most important parts of your business. 

If you want to make money from your blog first you need to connect with your audience. It doesn’t matter if you are selling your own products, affiliate products, ad space, sponsored posts you name it.

In order to be successful before selling anything, you need to sell yourself. 

People need to know, like, and trust you before they are going to take the leap and take your advice or purchase your product. 

This type of relationship needs to be nurtured through time and personal communication. 

Marketing yourself and your brand to the right people, in the most efficient way possible is what you should focus on when you dive into your online business, and here is why. If you are anything like me you are most likely that you are doing this all on your own. You are most likely a one woman (or man) show. 

You have a limited amount of time and resources. You are only one person, right? 

That means that you can’t market to everyone under the sun. That would take too much time and is not very effective. So, you need to focus on your target market, but where do you start?

One of the most effective ways to concentrate and find out who our target market is is through an email list. An email list is your personal (and very precious) collection of possible customers or clients.

These are the people who signed up for something on your website. It may be they downloaded a freebie, signed up for an opt-in, subscribed to your newsletters, or they could have signed up for an email course. This is generally the first step for you to get that very important connection.

Free email courses are a great way to get the ball rolling. Since it is free, people are most likely to sign up out of curiosity or with the interest to get to know you better or the topic that you have to offer, especially since it is at no risk to them.

This is a way for a reader to get to know you better and for you to establish your expertise in an area. It is a great way for you to give your reader a ton of valuable information which will then help them begin to know, like, and trust you. 

Email courses can also be used as a sales funnel. You start with a wide “cold” audience, that has little knowledge about you or your site. Then as they go through the series of email lessons they will get to know you better. 

Some won’t stick around or not like you, but that is 100% okay. That is why it is called a funnel. It is taking that wider audience and narrowing it down to those that truly are your target market. These are the ones who will purchase whatever you may be pitching at the end of your email course, whether it is a paid course, an affiliate product or even a service you offer.

A free email course is a great way for you to grow your email list. I’ve had over 3,000 students go through my free course Pinterest Primer. But, it is also a way for you to keep on earning for a long period of time without having to do much after the initial setup. 

Here are 4 things to remember when creating your free email course:

1. Understand who your target market is

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Before planning anything, you need to know who you want to attract for your email course. It’s very easy to stretch yourself too thin when it comes to marketing yourself out there. 

There’s a reason why people “shoot for the moon” and not “shoot for the entire galaxy”. You need to focus on one destination, one community and it’s even easier if you think about it as focusing on one type of person. This is commonly referred to as your “avatar.” 

Determining who this person is would make your choices in making your email course much simpler and clearer. 

Try giving this avatar a name, or even find a picture online of someone that represents your avatar. It sounds a bit strange at first, but the more specific you are the more successful you can be! List where they like to shop, what they like to read, how many kids they have, if they are married, etc. 

All of these things that you now know about your avatar will help you as your write your email series. 

2. What does your target market need?

email-course-build-list-sales

A good businessman would ask themselves, “What do I have to offer?”, but a great entrepreneur would ask first, “What do they want that I can offer?”. The big difference is considering your follower's needs and wants to come up with your business strategy. Without asking this question, you might end up wasting your time in offering something that no one even wants. 

So what does your target market want? You can get some ideas by monitoring what are your most popular posts or what posts on social media get the most engagement.

Once you’ve narrowed down a topic, you can then decide on what your free email course should be. But remember the free course topic should be relevant to whatever product or service you are pitching at the end of the course.

3. Create great content

email-course-build-list-sales

Now that you know what your readers want, it’s time to create your email course. Planning out the series of emails you will be sending out should be simple and fun. Each day's lesson should take about 15 minutes to complete. Whether you are having them read an email or watch a video keep it short and sweet. 

Your reader is looking for “quick wins,” or things that the can implement now that will help them get results. End each lesson with a call to action encouraging them to apply what you’ve just taught in the lesson. 

For an email course usually, I will send five days of lessons followed by 2-4 emails that promote a special offer just for those that go through the course. Generally,  an email course or challenge will last between four to seven days.  

The first two emails will be full of value and really build up your reader's trust. By day three you will continue to provide high-value content, but you and start to hint at your offer. Days four and five will be more value-based content and day six you can start to do the “hard pitch” of your product. After nearly a week of interaction, you customer is much more likely to purchase from you because they know you. 

4. Use an email service provider

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Don’t get overwhelmed! I swear this is going to be easy. Creating an email course takes a bit of effort up front, but once you have a strong system going it becomes an income stream that can be very passive. 

Setting up your email course with an email service provider is absolutely necessary. I use ConvertKit for all of my email marketing. ConvertKit is a platform that is very easy to understand but has much more advanced capabilities. You can check out my beginners guide here.

In ConvertKit, you would set up your email course as a Sequence. 

Once you have your course set up with your email service provider you are ready to go! You can stop at this point, or continue reading for a couple bonus ideas. 

Bonus Idea #1

One of the benefits of evergreen courses or products is also one of its challenges. It is always available. Because it will still be there the next day people don’t feel the urgency to act. 

There are two things that increase conversions. Urgency and scarcity. 

If your course is evergreen there is a good chance that you aren’t capping off the number of registrants so scarcity doesn’t work for you, but creating urgency can be a gold mine. 

But how can you create urgency for a product that is literally always there? ...By including a limited time offer. 

This could be a discount, added bonuses, or anything of additional value to your potential customer. 

I use Deadline Funnel to create my evergreen timers. This tool tracks a subscriber all the way through my email course funnel and creates a timeline unique to them and when they signed up. It is connected with ConvertKit so it completely automates it for me. 

They have built in timers that you can use in your email or on your sales page and it will track their exact timer even if they switch devices or internet connections. Cool, huh? 

Authenticity is super important using urgency to increase your funnel conversions. Usually, Deadline Funnel only offers a two-week free trial, but for readers of Moms Make Cents you can get a month free trial when you use this link. 

I personally have noticed a huge increase in conversions since I started using Deadline Funnel. 

Bonus Idea #2

When someone opts into your email course instead of a regular page send them to a tripwire page. If you don’t know what a tripwire is, don’t worry, we’ll be diving into that next week, but here are the basics. 

A tripwire is a limited time offer for a product that is presented immediately after a user subscribes for an opt-in. Now you may be thinking this is counter-intuitive, after all, wasn’t this whole post about using your course as a funnel to warm up your reader? But no, and here’s why. 

Your tripwire will be something very inexpensive, usually between $7-$47 and it needs to be a “no-brainer” choice for your audience to purchase. Generally, this will be because it is at a significant discount for a very limited time, or is an offer that they literally can only access when they are on that page. 

Tripwires are an important part of your funnel because it gets your new subscriber in the habit of buying from you. As they go through your less expensive introductory offer and have a positive experience, when you offer another product to them later they will be more likely to purchase from you, because they know that your paid products are amazing! 

I won’t give too much away, but get started on writing your email course and next week check out the post all about tripwires! 

And if you want to see my email course funnel in action enter your info below and I’ll send you the lessons for my free course, Pinterest Primer. 

Why I chose Teachable to host my online course.

This post may contain affiliate links

teachable-host-online-course

Have you thought about teaching an online course?

In the last year, online courses have taken the blogging world by storm!

Creating your own digital products is one of my favorite ways to monetize your blog. But, I’ll be honest when you think about creating a course it can be intimidating. 

One of the main things that held me back was the tech stuff. I am okay with basic technical things but throw code at me and my walls go up!

That’s why I chose Teachable to host my online course because it makes things so dang simple. 

When I started Moms Make Cents, I knew that creating an online course was going to be one of my top ways to create an income through my blog.

I spent hours pouring over the internet trying to decide where to host my course. I considered things like, ease of use, price, scalability, and aesthetics and ultimately landed with Teachable and it is a choice that I have never regretted. 

If you are planning on creating an online course too here are some of the reasons why I chose teachable to host my online course. 

1. Ease of use

Teachable is VERY user-friendly. If you are a little (or a lot) technophobic it is incredibly easy to upload your content onto the Teachable platform, monitor your student's activity etc. If you can run a blog running Teachable will be very easy for you. 

The interface for creating modules is quite intuitive and clean. 

2. Scalability

If you are a dreamer like me you probably have big goals for your online course. I knew that I wanted to eventually have hundreds of students and managing them on a private page or a password protected page on my site just wasn’t going to cut it. 

Teachable makes it effortless to monitor an individual student's activity and email all of your students with updates. 

3. Professionalism

Teachable is the gold standard for online courses.

When someone sees a course hosted on Teachable it seems more legitimate. People are more familiar with the platform and as much as I hate to say it, “everyone is doing it.” 

A similar example that I frequently encounter is with payment processors. You’ve heard of PayPal before, right? What about Square, Stripe, Venmo, Due, or Payline.

Chances are if you had the choice between PayPal or one of the other options you would pick PayPal because you are familiar with it and trust the company. That is the same way with Teachable. People know that they also have a well-respected platform backing their purchase. 

Plus, their sites landing pages and student portals look incredibly professional to both your prospective students and those that are enrolled. So you can look super put together even though you aren't techy.

4. Price

When I first launched my course I opted to start with Teachable’s free plan and scale up from there. With the free plan, there is no monthly fee. Period. You only pay a 10% fee when someone buys your course. If you are starting out this could be a great option for you if you are just testing how responsive your audience will be and you can upgrade later as your enrollments increase. 

Eventually, I was getting enough sales that I would save more by upgrading to their basic plan. The basic plan is $39 a month and includes tons of additional dreamy features like built in affiliates, the ability to drip course content, and offer coupon codes.

5. Affiliates

Having an affiliate program can be a HUGE component of your marketing strategy for your online course. By reaching out to those in your industry or offering your students the opportunity to be affiliates for your program you can reach a much larger audience. 

When I chose Teachable to host my online course I loved that it had the affiliate program built it. It makes things so much easier (can you tell that I am all about tools that make running a business easier) and they will even process the affiliate payouts for you on their basic plan. You literally activate your student as an affiliate, then they can go out and promote, making you passive sales and you don’t even have to do anything! 

6. Drip Content

This is a super cool feature that I’ve recently fallen head over heels for. There are a few different ways that you can implement the drip feature for your online course. 

  1.  Let’s say that you have been pre-selling your online course and you want to give your students access to the first two modules and then one module each week after that. You can set it up in Teachable to drip out these modules at different times. This makes pre-selling a breeze. 
  2. Another way to implement Teachable’s drip feature is to use it for a free course that is a funnel for your paid course. If you aren’t familiar with funnels it is basically a way for your prospective customer to warm up to you and get to know you before you pitch your product or service. 

Hosting a free course is a great way to do that because it builds the prospects trust in you and is an opportunity for you to show your expertise in the area. 

You can set it up to drip out one lesson each day to a student when they enroll in your free course. It seriously is AMAZING! 

7. Integrations

Having integrations with other software providers is super important. It was a top priority for me to have my online course provider have an integration with my email service provider. 

When I originally launched my first course I was still on MailChimp and I had an integration set up with Teachable. Since then I switched to ConvertKit and I am able to have someone automatically added to a tag when they enroll in one of my free or paid course. It is seriously HEAVEN! 

When you have your student added to a tag or a sequence you can follow up with them to touch base with how they are doing in the course, send them supplemental information or even share your upsell opportunity with them. 

8. Joint Venture Opportunities

A joint venture is when you collaborate with another blogger or course creator. Teachable allows you to set up “co-authors” which can receive a certain portion of the sales of your course.

This is a necessity if you want to bundle products with other course creators, do a joint venture webinar, or if you co-create a course with someone. This is seriously such a headache to figure out if you are trying to figure it out on your own, but Teachable knocks it out of the park again with another, “set it, and forget it” feature. 

9. Unlimited Courses and The Ability To Duplicate Courses

Now you may be thinking, “I only have a couple course ideas, why would I need unlimited courses? And duplicating courses? What’s the point?”

Well, let me tell you. As of right now, I have four main courses on Teachable, my free Pinterest course, Pinterest Primer, my premium Pinterest course - Pinterest to Profits, and then two mini-courses, Return on Pinvestment (Promoted Pins) and Pinterest Manager Prep. 

However, for each of the courses, I have multiple copies with different settings. 

  1. Let’s say, for example, you have an email funnel and when someone goes through your funnel they are able to get bonus content, but only if they buy during a certain period of time. You could duplicate your original course and then bundle a few other products or resources as your incentive to buy now. Cool, huh? 
  2. Or if you are doing a product launch, and you want the users that clicked on the sales page link in your email, but didn’t buy, get an extension with a special payment plan option. You wouldn’t want that payment plan option to be on your main sales page, so you can duplicate the course and then change the payment settings to have a four-month payment plan. The opportunities are seriously endless!

The duplicate courses aren’t “published” so when someone goes to your main Teachable school they wouldn’t be able to see all the of the variations. They would only have access if you gave them a specific link. 

So why did I choose Teachable to host my online course? 

  • It is so easy to use. If you are even a little bit technophobic, Teachable is going to be such a relief to you. Everything is straightforward and laid out intuitively. 
  • The features are incredible. There is so much that you can do on this one platform!
  • It makes hosting an online course a breeze! It is completely scalable, you have your affiliate program built in (plus, they can automatically do your payouts for you!), and you can have a stylish sales page up in less than an hour. 

I’m so glad that I got started with Teachable for my online courses. 

My online courses have made my blog thousands of dollars and significantly grown my email list.

So I put together 10 video lessons that walk you through the exact steps you need to take to create your online course on Teachable. Just click the button below and you will be one step closer to launching your course! 

Fundamentals Of SEO For Bloggers

Google "Spiders" crawling your site so you need to leave "breadcrumbs..." what?! If this sounds like another language, or maybe a twisted fairytale, save yourself the future headache and click through now! Implementing SEO on your blog can bring in TONS of organic traffic to your site if you implement it correctly. Make sure to check out the fundamentals of SEO for bloggers, so you don't miss out! 

The last time you searched something on Google, can you remember how many “results" came up?

While writing this post I decide to do a search to see how many it would pull in. I searched for “pizza place” (note to self, don’t write while hungry), and it pulled up 233,000,000 results! 

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Think about that! That is almost a quarter of a BILLION different sites Google could have chosen to show me. So how does it decide which are the most relevant?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a strategy to get your website at the top of the list and to be easily seen when someone types in a specific topic in a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. 

Sound too technical? It's okay, I'm going to break the fundamentals of SEO for bloggers. 

Google has these little things called “spiders” that “crawl” your website looking for clues for what you are talking about on that page. 

If this is your first time thinking about SEO you may be like, “what is this woman talking about?!” but I promise, stick with me and it will make sense! 

Google has to have these clues that will help them identify what you pages contain the most relevant information, so there are strategic practices for where to include keywords for your post. 

Now we are going to dig into how to choose the best keywords and where to put those keywords in order to maximize your SEO.

These are eight ways to practice good SEO:

Choose Strong Keywords

First and foremost, you need to know your keywords. These are words that people would most probably search for when they want to find a blog post like yours. 

There are free sites where you can search for different keywords to see how much the are searched and what the competition is like for those keywords. For a free option try Google Keyword Planner

Another thing to remember is your long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are a string of words that a user will most likely type in when they are looking for something on a search engine.

Usually, these phrases would be 3 or 4 words that should be specific enough to describe your post. If we go back to the pizza example, instead of trying to compete for the term “pizza place” which is most likely very saturated, your long tail keyword could be, “New York style pizza.”

These keywords will be used strategically all over your blogs, your posts and your website in general which I will explain more in detail below.

Optimize your photos

Optimizing your photos is something that many overlook, but is incredibly important for SEO. You need to name your image files correctly and it has to be something related to the image and/or your blog post. Ideally, it should be the keyword or phrase you are targeting for that post. 

Instead of uploading your image as img3601.jpg save it as new-york-style-pizza.jpg.

Your images will also count when someone searches for a specific topic. This also applies to your alt text or alt tags. 

Use Meta Descriptions

Make sure you fill out the meta descriptions for your website and for each of your blog post. This shows a summary below your website or blog when they pop up in the search results. This area usually allows you to use 160 characters to get the attention of the searcher. Use a snippet on your blog or a description about the page that is most interesting or relevant.

Get Backlinks from other websites

Guest posting on another blog is a great way to get a link back to your site. Having other sites link back to your own sends “link juice” to Google and makes your blog appear more legitimate since others are referring to you. 

Writing great posts is another way to get links back to your site. When you write an epic post or “pillar post” other sites and bloggers are more likely to refer back to your content because it is of such great value. 

 Interlink your posts

Interlinking works more or less the same as backlinks but within your own website. If you link one post within another blog post then you will keep viewers on your page longer and reduce your bounce rate. 

You can do this by seamlessly integrating links within your content. Listing related posts at the end of your blog post or posting "Related: Enter related blog post name here" after a paragraph that is relevant to another one of your articles or posts. 

Properly Use Your Permalink

Permalinks are the words at the end of a blog or a website URL. Naming these accordingly will make your link or your website look professional when you post on social media for example. It will, of course, help your search results too. 

Many sites will automatically populate your URL with the date and other information, I recommend deleting that and updating the formatting before you publish your post.

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For example, originally the permalink for this post pulled in as, momsmakecents.com/blog/2017/04/30/the-fundamentals-of-seo-for-bloggers but I changed it to, momsmakecents.com/blog/fundamentals-seo-bloggers to help improve readability and SEO. 

Check Your Site Speed

Your site needs to load quickly. Having a slow website is one of the easiest ways to lose the attention of your visitors. We all know how irritating it can get waiting for a page or an image to load. There are plug-ins you can use to make your website load faster such as W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, Hyper Cache and many others. 

Your choice in web host can also effect your site speed. I recommend SiteGround's Grow Big plan because it includes their Super Cacher which helps your site run lightning fast. 

If you want to start a blog with SiteGround you can check out my full guide here. 

Google also will penalize your site if it loads too slowly. Remember for SEO Google is king and you want to make them happy! 

Install Yoast SEO

If you are using Wordpress for your website, Yoast is a great software plug-in to use for SEO. It gives you suggestions on how to optimize your website to help it rank higher in searches. 

Here are some things Yoast SEO does, 

  • Shows you a preview of how your site will look like on search engines. 
  • Checks if you have named your posts, your images, and other links properly. 
  • Analyzes the keywords you are using and it shows you what is working and what isn’t. 

It is a great starting point for beginners. There is a free version and a premium paid version, but you should be okay with the free version if you are just starting out. 

Having the best SEO, simply put, is being organized and thorough when naming and filling out every component on your website. It does take some time and patience but if you follow the fundamentals of SEO for blogger it can make a huge difference in your traffic. The results of a post ranking on the first page of Google can be a game changer for your blog or business.