Category Archives: Blogging

Blogging

Using Tailwind to Drive Traffic to your Blog

17th May 2019

Hello, hello! Let’s talk about Tailwind App, an app specifically made to increase your activity on Pinterest and help you grow. Pinterest is SUCH a great tool for bloggers! Nearly every single Pinterest pin is connected to a blog post, meaning that when people share the image, they’re also simultaneously sharing your content. Make sure you’ve got beautiful imagery or a compelling graphic, sprinkle in a caption with keywords and voila! We’re good to go with a rich pin for the platform.

I’ve met so many people that use Pinterest but don’t use it as a social platform, which is totally cool! But if you’re trying to drive traffic to your blog, Pinterest is a GREAT way to be able to do that. Especially if you’re already using it! Win, win, win, right?

Tailwind makes it so easy to organize your pins, create pins, add links to your pins, create captions and share it into relevant groups within the platform. Tailwind also strategically posts your pins in what’s called a “SmartLoop,” which I’ll get into a bit later. You can join “tribes” with relevant niches and connect to other creators who are trying to grow just the same. Annnd, I’m gonna make the case on why you should join Tailwind App today. I mean, I went from 1,000 to 70,000 monthly viewers in just 1 month. If that doesn’t make the case for me, I don’t know what does.

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Blogging

How to Build an Engaged Instagram Following

14th May 2019

Hello, friends! Let’s talk about building an Instagram following in 2019! I started blogging in February and had around 1200 followers, but didn’t really start seeing growth until April. It is now May and I’m right at 3000 as of right this minute! So that’s about 1700 followers within the last month. Crazy! I more than doubled my following and it was all done naturally, organically and without buying followers.

Before we start, I just wanted to talk about why you should want to build an Instagram following for your business. Aside from the numbers and the likes, think about it! These are people who are engaging with your posts, who are able to see your advertising on a daily basis. They can consume posts, stories, comments and likes from you, building brand familiarity. This is a great way to drive potential customers to your brand, whether it’s a product or service or a blog, like mine. Most of my readers come from my Instagram, according to my WordPress analytics. Many followers also come from Pinterest, but that’s a different post (coming soon).

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Blogging

Target Marketing, Segmentation & Instagram Promotions

8th May 2019

Hello, friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week. I’ve been getting a tons of questions over on my Instagram about engagement and building a following, and I’m so grateful to even be getting those questions at all. I never, ever, in a million bazillion years thought I’d be able to grow at this rate. And I never thought that you all would be able to notice as well! I’ve been able to land some pretty cool opportunities just because of my engagement rate, and I’ve had luck cultivating a meaningful following that’s engaged and interested in my content. So… how’d I do it?

I figured that, instead of building one long post that would detail everything, I’d break it up into tiny segments to be a lil’ easier to digest. Plus, #content, right? Also, I’m thinking about spending time building an e-course this summer all about it, but that’s just on the back-burner for now. But, stay tuned. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Today’s post is all about understanding Instagram and Facebook paid promotions and target marketing. I would highly, highly suggest this because it’s extremely effective, first of all. Next, it’s surprisingly affordable. As a new blogger and a college student, I don’t have the freedom to dish out tons of money for professional marketing and advertisements. Plus, I’d argue that you don’t even need to in order to build a following. I’ve found that Instagram promotions and target marketing within the platform are extremely effective ways to get your posts in front of the right viewers, and with very little effort.

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Blogging

How to Pitch to Brands for Collaborations

29th April 2019

How to Pitch to Brands for Collaborations

I have so many meaningful, intentional collaborations in the works at the moment, and I’m so excited. Before I began blogging, I assumed that it was quite hard to snag a brand partnership. I was worried about reaching out to brands — how do I “cold call?” Will they even want to work with me? How can I make sure I can secure it?

How to Pitch to Brands for Collaborations

Well, my friends, I’ve put together this blog post to answer all of those questions for you! I have had so much great luck when it’s come to securing brand collaborations. I hope that my tips and tricks will help you start building your own meaningful, intentional collaborations, as well.

1) Make sure you have social media accounts to show them (even if your site isn’t up)

Personally, I don’t think social media follower numbers matters as much as the content you’re putting out there. Be sure you have at least 9 posts before reaching out to brands for a collaboration — the last thing you want is for them to click on your Instagram link to see you’ve barely got any content for them to see at all. You may also want to consider spending some time and energy building your Instagram beforehand.

As you can imagine, while follower account isn’t the be all end all, it definitely contributes to your credibility in the eyes of a brand. Try to think like the brand: why should they send you free products or pay for a sponsored post with you? What’s in it for them? If you have 10 followers, you can imagine that this wouldn’t be an overtly strategic partnership for them — they’re not ensured your posts will reach a large audience, so it’s hard to commit to that partnership. So, try and build your numbers and reach first!

Work on your social media credibility

Plus, there are so many bots and fake accounts nowadays. Building your follower count and engagement organically is so, so important in building your credibility as a real person, as well! I’d recommend spending a few weeks or even months building up your social medias and publishing content before reaching out to brands. Start out by posting at least once a day!

2) Create professional marketing materials

Before we can even begin looking at crafting a pitch email, we need to create our branding strategy to ensure we appear professional and credible to these brands. I recommend creating a media kit to attach to your emails as a PDF file (in my opinion, much more professional than an editable Google Doc or Word Doc). Use Canva to create a media kit with the measurements of a resume; make sure your branding marries well with your aesthetic online and your site (if you’ve got one). I have a Brand Kit in Canva where I’ve uploaded all of my brand colors and fonts for easy marketing creation, and it’s super easy to do. Pick consistent colors and fonts to stick to, and think about creating a “mood board” to get your aesthetic down. You can do this on Pinterest.

Create a media kit

On your media kit, include your social media handles, your email, phone number, and growth analytics (follower count on all social media platforms). If you’ve just started out, think about including your rate of growth or other key elements you think could add to your paper persona. I love to mention my background in journalism and mass communication, as this background has particularly helped me with social media analytics, web creation, photography, videography and audio editing. Think of supplemental details that essentially add to who you appear to be on paper, much like a resume or personal statement would for a college or job application. Be consistent throughout your marketing materials to ensure you are appearing as professional as possible. Get others to proofread your documents, and save an editable copy onto your desktop so that you can update your numbers before every pitch.

3) Do heavy research on the brand

The last thing I would ever recommend you doing is copying and pasting a branding template and going for it to a million different brands. You want to appeal to these brands, right? You should be intentional and strategic about your pitch emails. This is essentially their first impression of you! Be kind, polite and ensure each pitch is personalized to the specific company.

I try to include tidbits of information that show my fondness for the brand, like if I’ve been following them for a long time on social media or if I’ve purchased from them in the past (I always include exactly what item I received — if you can, add in a branded photograph to showcase your skills in brand photography). I love to talk about their messaging and missions, as these are things that usually draw me to the brand in the first place.

DO NOT just copy and paste their “about” page back to them — be intentional and genuine about it. Do you love their marketing messages? Are you particularly fond of their aesthetic? Do you love their mission as a brand? These are all things you should include because it not only lets the brand know you’re serious about the collaboration (and it’s actually meaningful), but it also gives them an idea of how you will showcase their brand through your work.

4) Come up with a specific pitch

This is something I particularly didn’t do when I first began “cold calling/emailing.” I didn’t want to commit to the time, effort and energy that’s required when crafting a lengthy, specific pitch. I thought I’d be wasting my time, but this has exponentially improved the success of my pitches. This shows them just how committed you are to the partnership and it gives them a better idea of what they can expect from a collaboration with you. I love to include specific shoot dates I have planned out, linking the photographer’s Instagram handles. I’ll usually add in the vibe I’m going for with a shoot, as well as the location.

Planning out the Pitch

For example, this week, I have a shoot planned out with a photographer here in Phoenix. We’re going out to a desert-ish location, with big saguaros and mountains in the backgrounds. We’ve pulled photos for inspiration, with bohemian inspiration and pale pastels as the focus colors. I described this in a pitch email to a local sustainable clothing brand, suggesting specific dresses that I thought would work perfectly with the backdrop. Along with my own media kit and social media handles, I sent the brand pictures of my inspirations, and they loved the idea! They lent me some clothes to shoot in as well as a specific affiliate code, and voila. A perfect recipe for a great content collaboration.

Here’s a quick checklist I’ve created for you when it comes to a pitch email:

  1. Introduce yourself
    1. Your full name, your blog title, your blog’s mission, location and URL
    2. Mention that you’ve attached a media kit with social media analytics, audience demographics, etc.
  2. Admiration for the brand
    1. Mention specific aspects of their brand you feel go well with your own (mission, aesthetic, messaging, social media distribution, etc.)
    2. Products you’ve bought for them or how long you’ve supported the brand
  3. Your idea for a collaboration
    1. Shoot location / information (photographer’s Instagram handle or website hyperlinked)
    2. Aesthetic idea or vibe (example photographs)
    3. Specific products (full names) that you feel would work for the collaboration
    4. Timeline
  4. Attach your media kit and sign off with a professional signature (you can generate one here)
  5. Thank them for their time

Hopefully this helps you land collaborations with some brands you’ve had your eye on! Also, be sure to follow them on their social medias and engage with their content — share their posts on your stories, comment on them or even just simply ensuring you’re “liking” their content will get you far. This shows your commitment to them as a brand and your genuine affinity for their products and messaging.

How to Pitch to Brands for Collaborations

Let me know how this works out for you!

XO,

Jade Nicole

 

Blogging

50 Blog Post Ideas About Blogging

18th April 2019

We’ve all been there — stumped, trying to think of the next blog post to get up and running on our sites. Here’s a list of 50 Blog Post Ideas About Blogging! Hopefully, this helps you out of your writer’s block and inspire your next post.

50 Blog Post Ideas About Blogging

  1. Why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Important
  2. How to Get Higher on SERP (Search Engine Page Results)
  3. Connecting with Online Creators: How To
  4. How to Start a WordPress Site
  5. Best WordPress Plugins for Bloggers
  6. Best Affiliate Programs for Blogger Beginners
  7. How to Get Your First Sponsored Post
  8. Get Your First Brand Deal TODAY: How To 
  9. How to Optimize your Instagram
  10. Using your LinkedIn for your Blog
  11. Review of affiliate programs
  12. Top 10 Blogs about Blogging
  13. How to Grow your Pinterest Monthly Followers
  14. Why You Should Be Using Tailwind for Pinterest
  15. How to Schedule Your Social Media Content
  16. Creating an Editorial Calendar
  17. 10 Ways to Network on Social Media
  18. Best Online Blogger Resources
  19. Best Online Courses for Beginner Bloggers
  20. Why You Should Define Your Niche
  21. How to Create Optimized Graphics
  22. How to Organically Grow your Social Media
  23. Struggles I’ve Had Beginning Blogging, and How to I Fixed Them
  24. Networking Tips for Bloggers
  25. How to Host a Bloggers Brunch
  26. Using Facebook Groups as a Blogger
  27. How to Use Pinterest to Grow your Blog
  28. Growing your Email List: Why It’s Important and How to Start TODAY
  29. Best Podcasts for Bloggers
  30. How to Create Brand Photography that Sells
  31. Starting Your Personal Brand
  32. How to Design Graphics (for BEGINNERS)
  33. Instagram Tools & Techniques for Bloggers
  34. What’s an Engagement Pod? How do I use it?
  35. How to Create Branded Social Content
  36. The Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
  37. Why Most Bloggers Fail
  38. How to STOP comparing your blog
  39. Places to promote your blog once you’ve published
  40. 10 Things you Should Do BEFORE you hit publish
  41. 20 Blogs that Accept Guest Posts
  42. How to Approach Brands for Collaborations (Email Template included)
  43. How to Create an E-Course
  44. Understanding Google Analytics
  45. Affiliate Marketing 101
  46. What I Wish I Knew When I first Started Blogging
  47. How to Improve your Content Engagement
  48. How to Automate your Promotions
  49. 10 Different Apps that Automate Your Content Promotion
  50. Income Report

 

50 blog post ideas about blogging

 

Which ideas do you think you’ll implement into your content calendar? Let me know!

The Science Behind Your Beauty Sleep

Anyone that pulls the occasional all-nighter has probably heard the dreaded “you look tired” comment. Even if you fuel yourself with opulent amounts of caffeine to stay awake, you still give off physical signals to those around you that you missed out on some sleep. The idea of beauty sleep isn’t just an urban legend, […]

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The Truth About My Law School Applications

If you’ve been a part of my life in the last two years, you would know how the law school applications process weighed heavily on my soul. My days consisted of constant LSAT (Law School Applications Test) studying, my weekends were consumed with full-length practice tests. I was consistently working on my application, writing and […]

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Meet Paisley Raine

Oh. My. GOODNESS, you guys. I am so excited for y’all to meet Paisley Raine, the newest addition to our family! Paisley is a four and a half month old Golden Retriever, and she’s so, so, so beautiful. We adopted her on Sunday in Tampa, Florida while we were touring apartments and the school that […]

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XO,
Jade Nicole

Blogging / Travel / Uncategorized

006. Update // First Law School Interview

6th April 2019

First Law School Interview + First Time in Chicago

Hello from the Windy City, friends! I’m sitting in Chicago O’Hare, waiting for my flight back to the Valley of the Sun in a few hours. I’m in Chicago for a law school interview, and it was my first one. Although I’ve already been admitted to the school, I was interviewing for a position within their Honors Scholars program (which would include full tuition!). I had the opportunity to meet so many aspiring lawyers, as well as ask questions to law professors and experience the first law school interview I’ve ever endured. Also, I’m going to include an analytics report towards the end! 

When I first began blogging, I really wanted to capture the law school applications process for readers. I loved reading blog posts on the actualities of applying to schools; I read up on lifestyle posts that included everything from LSAT preparation to school selections and everything in between. However, there aren’t *that* many blogs out there to read! And I felt like I had exhausted so many of my options, too. I turned to books instead, reading up on how to get into law school, but I do prefer lifestyle/blogger-ish content since it includes real world experiences. Anyone else prefer that?

The school flew me out to interview on Friday, but since the flight from Phoenix to Chicago is 3.5 hours, they flew me out the day before. I didn’t get in until late, so when my Uber was driving into the city, I didn’t get a good look at the skyline. Driving in, it honestly looked like a mix of Phoenix and Atlanta, just on a larger scale. The streets were wide and empty in the part of town I stayed, like Phoenix, but the buildings towered up in a way that reminded me of where I worked in Atlanta at the Capitol. My hotel was lovely, and I had the most wonderful view of the city from my bedroom.

What’s to Come

I’ll get into the nitty gritty of law school interviews once my applications are closed and my final decision has been made, and believe me: I’m takin’ notes. That post will include ways in which I prepared for the interview, as well as tips and advice for your law school interviews as well. I can’t say whether or not they’re particularly effective yet, since I haven’t been accepted in, but I’ll be sure to include that information once I get that blog post a-rollin’.

To be honest, I’m quite cold. And I know that’s the gag of it all; as I look around in the airport, I notice heavy blazers and wool coats and realize I’m happy to be traveling back to the land in which people wish for clouds. We’ll see if I ever eventually call Chicago home, but it’s quite a difference than being in Phoenix, that’s for sure.

Analytics Report

I thought while I was here, it was about time I did another analytics update for the past 30 days. I’m also going to throw an income report in here as well, as I think that’s rather interesting to see from other content creators!

Pageviews

Social Analytics Report - Jade of Trades

Alright, so, it may not seem like a lot but DANG, I am proud of this! One of the hardest things I faced at the beginning of blogging before was facing those daunting page views. However, I’m so proud of this! I’m glad unique visitors are consistently visiting my site, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Seems like my travel guide to Santa Barbara was a big hit, along with my SEO post that recently went live.

Social Analytics

I’ve included last month’s as well so you could see the progression in context.

SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS AS OF 3/14/19

Pinterest: 48k monthly viewers, 3,717 followers (2032 increase)

Instagram: 1,619 (424 increase)

Blog Subs: 15 (15 increase)

SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS AT OF 4/6/19

Pinterest: 55k monthly viewers, 4,315 followers (598 increase)

Instagram: 2,140 (521 increase)

Blog Subs: 15 (0 increase)

*I started a new Twitter this month to connect with brands and other bloggers more efficiently. Follow @jadeoftrades__. 

Income Report

I have made $20.00 for campaigns and promotions to date (score!). I’ve been gifted a handful of products to try out and review this month.

Talk soon.

XO,

Jade Nicole

Read more:

The Science Behind Your Beauty Sleep

Anyone that pulls the occasional all-nighter has probably heard the dreaded “you look tired” comment. Even if you fuel yourself with opulent amounts of caffeine to stay awake, you still give off physical signals to those around you that you missed out on some sleep. The idea of beauty sleep isn’t just an urban legend, […]

0 comments

The Truth About My Law School Applications

If you’ve been a part of my life in the last two years, you would know how the law school applications process weighed heavily on my soul. My days consisted of constant LSAT (Law School Applications Test) studying, my weekends were consumed with full-length practice tests. I was consistently working on my application, writing and […]

0 comments

Meet Paisley Raine

Oh. My. GOODNESS, you guys. I am so excited for y’all to meet Paisley Raine, the newest addition to our family! Paisley is a four and a half month old Golden Retriever, and she’s so, so, so beautiful. We adopted her on Sunday in Tampa, Florida while we were touring apartments and the school that […]

0 comments