Last month around this time I announced that I was starting a brand-new blog to see what would happen if I applied the blogging advice I give to you to a blog of my own. My new, anonymous blog has a “made-up me” behind it. There are no references to “Jennifer James” or the Mom Bloggers Club. I wanted to start completely fresh without the advantages of the influence I’ve built or the relationships I’ve formed. In fact, the blog isn’t even in the mom niche.
Thus far just by working on my new blog minimally, I have already received products to review within the first month of being online, have impressed PR professionals with my posts that they are now sending more product and pitches my way and I have created really great relationships on Twitter with leading people and brands in my new blog’s niche.
How have I done it?
#1: I started with a stellar design! I wouldn’t think of starting a blog that does not have a top-notch design. I also have a domain name. A blog’s design and URL go hand-in-hand. Make sure to have both: a domain name and a beautifully designed blog!
Always remember, your blog tells the world about who YOU are. PR professionals and brands will make judgments based on how your blog looks. First impressions do count!
#2: I joined PR Newswire: My blog’s niche requires that I have access to the wires, so I joined PR Newswire as a journalist. It was free and easy to join and now I can pull brand images from the wires and also blog about some of the latest news in my blog’s niche.
One of the things that impressed me with PR Newswire is they emailed and welcomed me to their service even though on paper I am a very new blogger. They even customized a daily email for me so I receive the most relevant press releases direct to my inbox.
#3: I also joined Cision. I have worked with Cision for about six years now and highly recommend them. Essentially what Cision does is allows PR professionals to send pitches to media outlets based on topic, beat, or niche. Some fault Cision for being too spammy, but as a beginning blogger I need to make connections with PR professionals quickly. For me, there’s no better way to do that than with Cision. Now I receive relevant pitches in my inbox each day. A major word of caution: Do not include your address or phone number on your media outlet application. It will prevent PR firms from sending unwanted products to your home or calling you about a pitch. **NOTE: Sign up for free here: us.cision.com/contact_us/update_media_profile.asp
#4: I have been connecting with brands on Twitter. Starting a new blog is not the time to be shy, so I intentionally write blog posts that I know will resonate on Twitter and that will give me a reason to talk to leaders in my blog’s niche. Admittedly my Twitter and Facebook pages have seen slow growth. Once I really hunker down and get to it, I am confident those numbers will grow. In fact, those numbers will be the key to my ultimate success as a new blogger. Companies, PR firms, and brands want to work with people who have a great deal of influence. One way to gauge influence is by looking at social media numbers, so I need to grow those quickly.
One month into my new blog and I am excited about the prospect of growing it and the possibilities that await. Next month, I’ll let you know what happens. Stay tuned!