Creating A Facebook Fan Page

Facebook can be a great way to extend your reach. But if you really want to build an audience through Facebook, you need to create and build a Fan Page.

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Starting A Fan Page Is Easy

  1. From your Facebook profile: Find the arrow at the top right corner of your account.
  2. Click and select: Create Page
  3. Choose a category: Facebook offers Fan Page categories such as business, institution, community, entertainer, etc. Choose the category that most closely matches what you do.
  4. Pick a subcategory and name: After you click on a category, you’ll have many subcategory choices. You also need to give your page a name at this point. Then click “Get Started.”
  5. About: Write a brief description of what your page is about. It should match your blog’s niche.
  6. List your links: Just below your “about,” you can list your links.
  7. Choose an address: You can choose a custom url. I chose www.facebook.com/hipdiggs for my Fan Page.
  8. Add a photo: Stay consistent and use the same photo you’re using for your Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress accounts.
  9. Preferred Audience: You can choose who you want to reach.
  10. Invite friends: After you complete your page, Facebook will ask you to invite friends to Like your page.

Here’s a video on creating a Fan Page:

Like 10 Similar Pages To Your Own

A great way to start building a Fan Page is to like similar pages. From your Fan Page, search and Like other pages. Once you’ve created a Fan Page newsfeed, start interacting and networking with other pages. This will likely result in gaining some new “Likes.”

Take Some Time To Get Familiar With Your Fan Page

Spend an hour checking out the different options and settings on your Fan Page. You probably won’t be using most of these options immediately, but you might want to in the future.

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How To Get More Out Of Twitter

So you started a Twitter account. Now what? You need to spend a little time on Twitter to get things rolling.

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Who To Follow On Twitter?

I learned about Twitter the hard way. I started following dozens of people and publications. I would follow back anybody who followed me. I wound up with a newsfeed full of junk.

Following thousands of people doesn’t mean a thing if they’re not the right ones!

A couple of years ago, I decided to clean house. I deleted all but 200 people that I was following. I only followed people from four basic categories:

  1. Major publications: Sites of interest with reliable reputations, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
  2. Bloggers: I chose to keep certain bloggers in my feed. Bloggers like Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins, and Joshua Becker all have information that can be useful to me.
  3. Friends: I don’t have too many personal friends on Twitter, but I kept the ones that I do have.
  4. People interested in simple living: Hip Diggs is a blog about simple living and minimalism. I want to reach people with those interests. The majority of the people that I currently follow on Twitter are interested in simple living.

The takeaway is simple. Don’t just follow anybody. Be specific. Follow those who are potential readers of your work. Follow those who can help you. Michael Hyatt has shared several of my posts. Jeff Goins has given me some good writing advice.

Since I cleaned out my Twitter feed, I discovered something. I started getting more retweets. I may follow less people, but they’re the right people. They’re more likely to share my work.

Try This Experiment

Follow 20 people on Twitter who are interested in the same niche as you write about. Then go and delete 20 people who are just mucking up your feed. See if it makes a difference. Repeat this as many times as necessary to create the right mix.

Building A “Work With Me” Page

So far, you’ve only created an “About” page on your blog. It’s lonely. It could use a little company. There are many options for your second page.

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Before we discuss the “Work With Me” page, let’s look at other options.

There are many types of pages you could add to your blog. Here’s a short list:

  1. Add a store: If you have products to sell, either your own, or as an affiliate, you may want a storefront.
  2. Add an all-posts page: This is simply a page that lists all of your archives. See an example at Hip Diggs.
  3. Add a contact page: A simple contact page is an option. I choose to add contact information on my “About” or “Work With Me” page. See an example at The Creative Side.
  4. Add a favorite links page: You could add a simple page that explains and links to some of your favorite blogs.
  5. Add a speaking page: If you’re a public speaker, or you’d like to start speaking, you could add a speaking page. Here’s an example at Becoming Minimalist.
  6. Add a press page: Michael Hyatt talks about this in his book, Platform. He refers to it as a Media Kit page.
  7. Add an FAQ page: You might want to add an FAQ page to fend off loads of email questions.
  8. Add a subscription page: Some bloggers like their subscription box in plain sight in the sidebar. I prefer mine on a separate page. Here’s an example at The Creative Side.
  9. Add an events page: If you’re a musician or entertainer, you may want an events calendar. Here’s Taylor Swift’s event page.
  10. Add a testimonial page: A testimonial page can help support your products or services.

Why Start A “Work With Me” Page?

Often, when you first start blogging, you haven’t yet created a product for your readers. But if want to treat your blog like a business from the start, you need to offer something. Most everyone has something to offer. Perhaps you could tutor others in math. Maybe you can teach music lessons. Or maybe you can be a fitness coach.

A “Work With Me” page should include some of the following information:

  • A photo of you. If you can, get a photo of you working with others.
  • What can you do to make my life better? Tell me how your services will simplify life for me. How will you help me get what I want or need.
  • What are the consequences of not working with you?
  • Tell me exactly what you have to offer. Be specific, but not too specific. I have a separate page for more specifics about coaching.
  • Make the price look like a great value.
  • Show me some testimonials from happy clients.

Examples Of “Work With Me” Pages

 

Writing Headlines That Turn Heads

If you want anyone to read your article, you’ve got to grab them with a headline that turns heads. There are some secrets to writing great headlines.

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Writing great headlines is an art.

Advertisers and journalists have been writing headlines since long before blogging existed. Great bloggers study their methods. Let’s see what some of the best bloggers out there have to say about writing headlines. Make sure to click on the links to read their articles.

Jeff Goins says:

  • Use numbers
  • Use interesting adjectives
  • Use unique rationale
  • Use what, why, how, or when
  • Make an audacious promise

Copyblogger says:

  • Be useful to the reader
  • Provide him with a sense of urgency
  • Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow unique
  • Do all of the above in an ultra-specific way

Problogger says:

  • Use power verbs
  • Employ colorful adjectives
  • Arouse curiosity
  • Build lists
  • Use the magic words
  • Pick up the newspaper

Michael Hyatt says:

  • Grab attention
  • Screen and qualify readers
  • Draw readers into the body copy
  • Communicate the “big idea”
  • Establish credibility

If you really want to know more…

Check out this book: Advertising Headlines That Will Make You Rich: Create Winning Ads, Web Pages, Sales Letters And More

Adding Categories And Tags

Categories and tags serve two purposes. First, they help keep your site organized for your readers. Second, they help search engines to find your content.

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Adding categories and tags is easy.

In www.wordpresss.com, while your in your edit-post function, you’ll see a few options on the left side of your screen. Beneath the publish box, the option for categories and tags is first. To add categories, just click “add a new category” and type your category into the box.

What are categories?

Categories are simply sub-topics of your overall niche. For instance, this course has four categories: Blogging, Writing, Social Media, and  the “Uncategorized” default. Some posts may fall under more than one category.

If you don’t check your category boxes, it will be seen as “Uncategorized” by default. There’s a way to fix that by making one of your categories the default. Here’s how:

You need to go back to your “My Site” menu. At the bottom of the list, find “Settings.” Once you’re in “Settings,” click on the “Writing” tab. In the writing setting you’ll see a drop-down bar that’s labeled: “Default Post Category.” Change the default to you most commonly used category. My default is “blogging.” This way, if I forget to choose a category, it will automatically be put in the”blogging” category. That’s a pretty safe bet for this blog.

What about tags?

Tags are more specific than categories. For instance, this post might be categorized in “blogging,” but I might add the following tags: blogging, writing, WordPress, tags, and categories. Your readers can click on any of your categories or tags to find all articles on that specific topic.

Back in edit mode, you simply click on categories and tags. Then you add tags, each separated by a comma. WordPress automatically remembers your tags for later use.

That’s it. Now you know how to add categories and tags. Check out the WordPress help page on the topic for more information.

Creating A MailChimp Signup Box

One thing that every blogger should do in the early stages of blogging is start an email list. If you have any intentions of growing a following, this is a must-do.

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Add A Newsletter Signup To Your Blog Using MailChimp

There are plenty of online tutorials about starting a MailChimp account, so I’m just going to give you the short version and add links to more thorough tutorials.

First, why do you need to start a newsletter. Short answer: you don’t. But nearly every blogger who has become successful says developing an email list was one of the best things they did to increase their blog’s reach. In fact, many bloggers regret that they didn’t start an email list earlier in their blogging career.

Social media may bring readers to your blog, but your email list allows you to stay in touch with the readers that are engaged with what you’re doing. That’s gold. Your newsletter is what helps to build your email list.

Getting Started With MailChimp: The Short Version

  1. Sign up for a MailChimp account.
  2. In your MailChimp dashboard, click on “Lists.”
  3. Create a list. Name it after your blog.
  4. Once you create a list, you’ll need to add a newsletter signup box to your blog.
  5. From your list in MailChimp, find the arrow to the far right.
  6. Click on signup forms.
  7. Choose embedded forms.
  8. You’ll have a choice of different forms. I like the Super Slim.
  9. Once you choose your form, copy the code into your blog. You’ll need to paste it into your HTML edit mode rather then your standard visual mode. You can choose to put it on your about page. Or you could create a newsletter page.
  10. Go back to MailChimp and create a Final-Welcome email. Your readers will receive this after they sign up.

Some Links To Tutorials About Creating MailChimp SignUp Forms And Newsletters

Now you can start building a mailing list!

Presenting Your Blog

In the final weeks of this course, students will present their blogs to their classmates. If you want to create an online presence, you need to be able to back it up in person.

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Presenting Your Blog

Presentations are an important part of being a blogging entrepreneur. You need to be able to share what you’re doing with others. You need to be able to promote yourself and your work. You need to be able to accept constructive criticism.

The Process

Present you blog in ten minutes. Here’s a list of what I’d like to see:

  1. Tell us who you are, what your blog is called, and what it’s about.
  2. Show and tell us about your “About” page.
  3. Show us a few of your other pages/posts.
  4. Take us to a few similar sites where you find inspiration or information.
  5. Make some comments about ways you can improve your blog.
  6. Tell us where you’d like to see your blog in a year.
  7. Ask the audience for constructive criticism.

That’s it. I look forward to your presentations!

Increasing Your Traffic

If you choose to keep blogging after this course is completed, you’ll likely want to discover ways to increase your traffic. There are many ways to gain new followers.

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Gaining blog traffic is a slow and steady process.

Don’t expect your blog to start getting hundreds of hits overnight. Getting more traffic to your blog is something that takes time and hard work. There are some things you can do to help speed up the process.

  1. Focus on content: People will come back if you provide good content. Give your readers something interesting. Give them something that can help them in their daily lives. Make sure your writing is top quality. Try adding a podcast or occasional video.
  2. Post consistently: You only had to post six times over ten weeks for this course. But if you truly want to build a blog, you should post a minimum of twice a week. Three to five times a week would be better.
  3. Get a self-hosted blog: Search engines seem to prefer self-hosted blogs. Having a self-hosted blog also allows you to have your own domain name. That can be an effective marketing tool.
  4. Give something away: Most bloggers offer their readers something for free. Most often, the free product is a short ebook. This also encourages people to sign up for your newsletter and increases the size of your mailing list.
  5. Guest post: Writing for other sites can help bring new readers to your blog. Choose sites that have a similar of slightly higher readership as your own. You could also write for multi-author blogs. I write for The Good Men Project and Life Letter Cafe.
  6. Build your networks: Don’t just add friends and share your work. Be methodical about who you add. Take time to get to know some of your readers who have similar interests. Build relationships. Don’t try to focus on too many networks at once. Keep it simple and be real.
  7. Study SEO: SEO stands for search engine optimization. There are tactics and plugins you can use to increase the likelihood that Google and other search engines will rank your posts higher than others.
  8. Study your analytics: The more you know about your audience, the more you can create content that they’ll find interesting. Consider adding Google Analytics to your blog.

There are more things you can do to increase your traffic.

If you really want to keep blogging, I recommend that you continually research ways to improve your writing and blogging skills. There’s a world of fun and adventure in store for you.

WordPress Resources

Here’s a list to a variety of links that can help you with common WordPress issues:

The Internet is filled with great content on using WordPress, blogging, and writing. I encourage you to continue to research on your own.