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3 Common Reasons Why Blogging Isn’t Working for You (And How To Fix It)

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on April 15, 2015.]

3-common-reasons-why-your-blog-isnt-working-and-how-to-fix-itThere are certain patterns successful bloggers follow to get the results they want, and while it is true we could figure out and model their formula, you must define success on your own terms!

Are you getting enough out of your blog?

  • traffic?
  • comments?
  • subscribers?
  • conversions?
  • click-throughs?
  • shares?
  • exposure for your brand?

You get to define enough on your own terms, too, and avoid falling in the trap of comparing yourself and your blog or your content to someone else’s.

Whether you are here because you want to get more out of your blog and you feel like blogging isn’t working for you or you’re simply curious to learn three common reasons why blogging doesn’t work for others, I wrote this post with you in mind because these pitfalls are preventable and reminders never hurt.

Reason #1 Bloggers Fail: Lack of Strategy

One of my favorite sayings of all time is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Maybe it's because with all the hats I wear, I need this constant reminder. You want to have a solid strategy in place for your blog . . . and I don’t mean perfect: done is better than perfect!

Any strategy will do because even if you start out with a “bad” strategy, you can learn and tweak, correcting your course while in motion. One thing must be true, though: your strategy must align with your biggest goals, your top passions, and your main priorities so that it is sustainable and you can develop the self-motivation to refuel along the journey.

Reason #2 Bloggers Fail:  Content Needs Focus

There is so much amazing content out there like blog posts, videos (vlogs), and articles, and there is only so much time in the day . . . not to mention, attention spans are getting shorter by the second.

In order to stand out, we must create original, valuable, well-written content that is focused on addressing specific issues, questions, and concerns of a very select niche and organized in three or five categories that we can use to guide our posting calendar and create balanced content in all the areas we specialize in.

This sounds really simple, yet I can see many people struggling with picking a niche, narrowing down topics, or choosing an overall theme. I tend to work with creative types, and structure is something they mostly resist. I once had a coaching client who hated the words “outline,” “intro,” or “template” because they caused her stress and made her feel confined.

Believe it or not, structure provides freedom! As you define your objectives and match your content to your chosen reader persona, you will create more, help more people, and see more results.

Reason #3 Bloggers Fail:  Poor (or No) Promotion

“Build it, and they will come . . .”

Umm . . . not really! A successful blogger is a marketer and is proactive in the marketing process. Remember my 5 stages to marketing:

Contact > Conversation > Connection > Community > Conversion

Getting the word out about your blog doesn’t happen overnight and requires daily actions to make progress toward the goal, according to plan (see reason #1).

 

Now you know that to achieve the results you want out of your blog, you must:

  1. Design a road-map that defines where you’re going and how you will get there.
  2. Define your ideal audience intimately and focus on providing relevant solutions.
  3. Determine the daily actions you will take to achieve your dream – and do it!

I look forward to your feedback. Would you be willing to share some of your blogging goals and the actions you are using to achieve them?

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.

Do What You Love and Live With Passion

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on March 21, 2015.]

Have you ever been in a situation in your life that isn’t in alignment with who you are, and who you want to be? Back in 2005, I decided to become a mompreneur and launch my home-based business because even though I was grateful for the blessing of being employed, I felt stuck and disconnected and like my job wasn’t giving me anything more than money.

Money is a very important area of life, especially when you bring in the only income as a single mom; however, I decided that I needed to feel successful in all the areas of my life, and go from BLAH to BOLD, living a passionate, joyful, fulfilling life.

As you may have guessed, it was a painfully long process and it required requires tremendous effort, courage, and tenacity. After all the heartaches, failures, and mistakes, I learned many lessons and identified five steps required to live with passion, purpose, and intention.

 

1. Discover Your Passions. I am a very passionate person, and I thought I knew exactly what my passions were. The truth is, many of our passions are dormant because of fear, negative self-talk, or doubt. Other things that we call passions are simply activities we are skilled at, interests, or hobbies. While I don’t believe we need to stick to just one passion, I do think that not everything we enjoy doing is one of our passions. Your passions are meaningful because they are clues to your purpose.

2. Live Your Passions. When we know something is part of our life blueprint, we must become more proactive and intentional in making it happen in the now . . . not someday. When I took The Passion Test, I found out that “enjoying a loving and satisfying relationship with my eternal companion” is my #3 passion. I made a conscious choice to let go of the denial that hid the fear of being in a relationship again (and the rest is history!) and to be open and willing to take the steps that felt right toward what my soul needs. Living our passions means being committed to align everything we do with our deepest desires.

3. Balance Your Passions. Even when we choose our top five passions, there are so many life demands and daily distractions that it can become really difficult to stay balanced. My definition of balance is that “it’s not about having it all, it’s about enjoying all that matters.” With that in mind, we must forsake perfectionism and rather be in constant check to make sure we set boundaries and say no more often so we don’t get too off track and stay on the path that leads to our ultimate happiness. Your ability to be a master of your time, energy, and resources will determine your ability influence those you love.

4. Monetize Your Passions. Many of us learn disempowering beliefs about money growing up, and it may take a breakthrough to realize that money is a blessing that contributes to a passionate life! Being able to turn your passions into your paycheck and amassing wealth are requirement to living passionately because your God-given gift is intimately linked to your passions and it is meant to give to you abundantly. Your income will be the foundation for your impact.

5. Radiate Your Passions. I believe we were born to shine our light so bright that we inspire others to do the same. Whether the impact you want to make is inspiration, monetary aid, or the gift of your time, you cannot give what you don’t have. And when you have little, you give little--and when you give more than you can comfortably give, you can become resentful.  Radiating your passions is about giving back, and though I am convinced that we can pay it forward from where we are and from what we have, I included it as the last step because as you grow in awareness and abundance, you can make a bigger difference in the lives of others.

 

5-steps-to-living-with-passion

 

Are you ready to start living a life filled with passion?

If you’re struggling in the passion department, take a look at these five steps and spend time in prayer, meditation, and journaling. Start taking simple actions that show commitment to living happy, fulfilled, and satisfied in life. When God sees what you are working on, He will see what you are waiting on!

Start identifying your passions, decide the life you want to live and do what you love every single day, choose to align with your purpose, and declare the way you want to change the world in a positive way. Let God bless your path toward unlocking your divine destiny.

What are some of YOUR passions?

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.

21 Ways To Skyrocket Your Blogging Success

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on February 5, 2015.]

21-ways-to-skyrocket-your-blogging-successDo you ever have a challenge with people in your life who fail to see blogging as a career, as a business, as a profession to be taken seriously? It’s almost as if they would have to become bloggers to understand it… or reap the rewards of our success, of course.

That’s where it gets tricky… It is my humble opinion that if you are enjoying yourself and achieving what you want out of it, then you are successful. Society has its rules, but I live in my own world where I create my own terms.

However, if you have ambitious goals to rock your blog, want to take it just a bit further, or just love yourself a little challenge, you can explore these 21 ways to skyrocket your blogging success and… of course, choose what works for you!

 

  1. Create an editorial calendar to plan your blog posts. Whether you use a paper calendar, a Google Doc, or a more sophisticated tool like CoSchedule, what will most help you succeed is your commitment, consistency, and quality content. A bit of structure didn’t kill anybody… that I know of, anyway.
  2. The first rule of writing is knowing, understanding, and writing for your audience. The best way to get to know them is to engage with them and ASK them! Brian Clark, the founder and CEO at Copyblogger, says, “It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead—but it pays off.” (Plus, this way you’ll never run out of content that resonates with them!)
  3. Blogging is a business, and every business needs a marketing plan. A marketing plan is simply a document that outlines the why, what, how, where, and when of your marketing, as well as how you’re going to make money doing it (as little or as much as you wish to make).
  4. Make your brand consistent!  Use the same bio, photo, username, and brand colors throughout all your social media channels and your overall online and offline presence. Tools like NameChk help you select a username that is available everywhere you want to be, and with Canva you can design all your graphics mostly at no cost. Trust is the mother of loyalty. You can quote me on that!
  5.  Mari Smith once said, “Content is king, but engagement is queen… and she rules the house!” Neglecting existing readers is one of the top mistakes bloggers can make. When you provide value, attention, and answers to your existing audience, they will help you grow your blog.
  6. Be yourself, be authentic, be transparent! You want to make sure your voice, your values, and your personality shine through all that you do. At the end of the day, people don’t follow your blog—they follow YOU. You don’t “have to be,” “are supposed to be,” or “should be” anything other than you because in your uniqueness lies your greatness.
  7. Make sure your blog posts are easy to share. Plugins like Pin It, Share This, Click To Tweet, and others are really helpful. I recommend that you add a clear call to action at the end of your blog posts: a simple “please share” or asking a question, you will see an increase in your engagement, conversion, and traffic.
  8. Update your About Page and make sure it tells your visitors why they should stick around, subscribe, and read more.
  9. Focus on building an e-mail list. Do you have a free gift for e-mail subscribers? Do you send them a newsletter? How do you keep them engaged? You need a list that you would own – even if all social platforms start charging or disappear over night. It’s also a way to stay in contact, alerting your audience when new content is available.
  10. Say NO more often!  Learn to be selective when working with brands and avoid brands, products, and services that are not in alignment with your priorities or overall vision. Less is more, and when you say no to what you’re not passionate about, you will have time, energy, and space for that which is ideal for you when it shows up.
  11. Pick a niche… you don’t have to be too serious about it nor does it have to feel like you are excluding the entire world but your “reader persona”… if you’re thinking “yeah right,” watch the video Why You Need A Niche and let me know what you think!
  12. Don’t work for free! As a blogger, your work is valuable, your time is valuable, your energy is valuable, and anyone who asks for you to invest any of it in their brand must be willing to invest in yours… in YOU. When you post sponsored content, you are acting as a media company and deserve pay. Copywriters make money, Graphic Designers make money, Photographers make money, Web Developers make money, Social Media Managers make money, Recipe and Craft Developers make money…  You are worth investing in, and you have the right to politely decline any non-paid work that comes your way.
  13. I encourage you to start speaking. Start by creating a speaking tab on your blog or website and choose a speaking topic. You can find many opportunities to speak at Meetup.com, and you can read my post about exactly how to design your speaker one sheet so you can get ideas on how to promote yourself as a speaker.
  14. As a blogger, making friends with Marketing is a great idea. Marketing is NOT advertising. I broke the marketing process into 5 stages: Contact, Conversation, Connection, Community, and Conversion.  Be intentional as to how you are going to go through this process with your readers, the brands you want to work with, and the media.
  15. Add a Media Page on your blog. Journalists, editors, and researchers are always looking for someone to feature or interview. Having a press-friendly page helps reporters choose you as a source so they can showcase you, your blog, and your expertise.  Here’s a sample of my media page (make sure you scroll all the way down so you can see everything I have on there).
  16. Besides being ready for media opportunities, you can also be proactive in seeking media coverage by signing up to websites that match you up with reporters at absolutely no charge. Some of my favorites are HARO, PitchRate, and RadioGuestList.com.  I have used these sites to get myself and my clients on radio, TV, and national magazines. They work!
  17. Assess your blogging often: what’s the core mission of your blog? Is it evolving? How many categories do you use? How often do you post? Is it consistent? Which posts are most popular? Do you have any plugins installed that may be slowing your site down? Test your contact forms and opt-in box… Is everything is working properly? Looking at our blogs with a critical eye every once in a while is a healthy practice to keep things fresh and moving forward.
  18. Have you ever thought about publishing a book? Becoming an author is the easiest way to gain authority in your field. If you can blog, you can publish a book. As a matter of fact, I have helped many entrepreneurs publish their books, and their number one objection was that they didn’t want to write it. You already have content! You can start outlining your first book by choosing your top 7 to 12 blog posts within a category, organizing them onto a table of contents using a word editor, and adding an intro and an author bio.
  19. Visibility matters when you’re building a brand. Guerrilla Marketing, a practice in which I am a certified Master Trainer, offers 200 weapons (tools you can use) to market yourself for free or very low cost. I put together a list so you can choose some of those to start gaining more exposure. Here’s that list.
  20. Do you constantly track your Analytics? I suggest to pick a day of the week to go through your blog posts and use these four words to evaluate yourself:  worked well | do differently. The first step to success is awareness. I always say that progress is success, and when you are constantly finding ways to improve, even if you make very minor changes, you will find your way to success!
  21. Forget perfectionism! Perfectionism is the enemy of greatness. Your blog does not have to be or seem perfect… and neither do you. You don’t have to follow everyone’s advice (especially when some of it is conflicting), or get all the steps right. Just do what resonates with you. Meet yourself where you are, just as you would your best friend… after all, you must be your best friend!

 

I admit this is a long list… but a long journey starts with the first step. What is ONE thing that resonates with you from the list?

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.

How to Make the Most Out of Attending a Virtual Summit

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on January 9. 2015.]

HOW-TO-Make-The-MOST-of-Attending-a-virtual-summitA few months ago, after fervently praying and working through my own fears, insecurities, and stumbling blocks, I finally summoned the courage to work on making one of my dreams come true. And the Inspiring Mom Bloggers Virtual Summit was born.

In this online event, moms, bloggers, and mom bloggers worldwide, have the opportunity to listen for free to 21 interviews with remarkable women who have overcome unspeakable obstacles and turned their pain into purpose. Attendees receive a daily e-mail with access information to listen to the interviews, where the speakers mentor you through the issues that are causing you struggle or holding you back from creating the life you desire, deserve, and are destined for.

As mompreneurs, we are lifelong learners. I love to devour new subjects, do tons of research, master new skills, and seek out ways to increase in knowledge and understanding about topics that are of interest to me.  Conferences, seminars, workshops, and summits, both online and offline, offer a great opportunity to expand our knowledge, our wisdom, and our possibilities. We can gain information, insights, and ways to implement what we learned.

How Can You Make The Most Out Of Attending A Virtual Summit?

Because attending an event doesn’t guarantee results, I am sharing with you my 5 steps to make sure you can maximize your experience and assure it is a wise and profitable investment of your time:

  1. Be Prepared ~ Gather all your note-taking materials and equipment, and make sure you keep water and a healthy snack near by, to keep hydrated and your energy levels up! Visit the event website regularly to learn about the speakers, download any relevant materials, read any blog posts that have been published, and to see the updated information.
  2. Be Present ~ Rest up, block time, get comfy, take some deep breaths, and get ready to embark on a fun learning adventure. When I travel, it seems that it isn’t until all the check in and gate security procedures are over, that I can relax and enjoy my flight… so say goodbye to the baggage, tune everything else out, and  choose to be fully present for the journey.
  3. Be Open – It’s always smart to set goals and intentions of what you would like to get out of the conference. However, you want to suspend resistance and avoid preconceived judgment and be open to what unfolds, allowing yourself to take in new concepts that may be outside your comfort zone. There’s no growth without stretch!
  4. Be Willing ~ Some concepts will immediately resonate with you, while others may take a lot of thinking, praying, and pondering. Be willing to try out the exercises, assignments, or recommendations of the speaker, teacher, or trainer. Be willing to take notes! I like to tweet my notes and to compile them on a Google doc, but I’m also a fan of composition notebooks and  3 x 5 cards.  I usually take 3 sets of notes:  a) Information  b) Ideas c) Implementation list.  This is how I sort out the facts I want to remember, the ideas I don’t plan to implement right now but don’t want to dismiss, and the actions I want to execute right away.
  5. Be Social  ~ Join the Social Media conversation with the event hashtag, and take advantage of the networking opportunities by connecting with the host, the speakers, and other attendees who are like-minded, like-hearted, and more than likely share the same goals. Join the Facebook group if there is one and start interacting, asking questions, and sharing your insights. We make the most of our experience when we share it with others.

I guarantee if you implement these simple, yet powerful steps, you will definitely see favorable results.

I’m so grateful I didn’t listen to my inner bully and took the necessary actions to follow my heart. I am in awe of the overwhelming response my Summit has received, of the amazing generosity of the outstanding speakers, and of how this event is already touching lives of women around the globe. I will definitely be doing this again and teaching other moms how to do it!

If you are a mom, a blogger, or a mom blogger who feels stuck or not right where you would like to be in business or life and are ready to increase your impact, your income, and your influence, I invite you to learn about the Summit here and, after you sign up for Free,  don’t forget to follow these step to set yourself up for success!

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.

The 5 Stages Of The Marketing Process

 

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on November 11, 2014.]

people-dont-know-how-much-you-know-until-they-know-how-much-you-careThe world of business has changed much since my college days, and with e-mail, social networks, and blogging added to the mix, my definition of marketing has definitely evolved. As a Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer, I know that marketing is a process that starts with any contact you make with anyone, because it is an opportunity to get exposure.

However, I broke down the process into five stages because, through my personal journey helping moms position themselves to make six figures from home so they can enjoy time with their children, I have learned that contact and exposure is necessary–but not enough–to brand yourself as the solution to your target market’s problems.

Contact means “an establishing of communication with someone or an observing or receiving of a significant signal from a person.” We make contact with hundreds–or even thousands–of people daily, but because of all the noise out there, we must stand out and go beyond contact to be memorable and leave a mark.

Conversation is “a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people.” In marketing, we must be active listeners because our prospects are speaking and want to hear information that is relevant to their needs and desires. No one wants to be pitched at; everyone wants to be treated like they matter.

Connection is “a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.” It is not enough to start a conversation; it is imperative to find ways to connect with the audience, which is why being you is the best marketing plan! When you are authentic and vulnerable, your personal brand can shine through, and you can create deep and lasting bonds.

Community refers to “a social unit of any size that shares common values.” When you go deep into a relationship and connect with people who share your beliefs, preferences, etc., you are able to create a community of people who follow you, subscribe to you, and want to actively listen to what you want to say. It takes 27 exposures before someone decides to buy from you, so this is a crucial step to the marketing process that denotes that your audience deems your content to be of value.

Conversion is “the process of being converted.” Of course, as marketers, when we think of conversion, we go right to the definition that’s relevant to electronic commerce: “the act of converting site visitors into paying customers," or to achieve the tangible goal you set as success. When we focus on the dictionary definition, we realize that conversion is a change of heart that we cannot “make happen” and we can only facilitate. When we converse and connect, our readers (our audience) will decide to be a part of our community and, as the relationship grows, they will become our evangelists, sharing our products and services–or in a bloggers’ case–our ideas, with others. Conversion refers to lasting transformation.

 

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Are you having a conversation with your audience that leads them to connect so deeply they become converted?

If you look at the words conversion and conversation, the difference are the letters "AT". Because I’m a word-nerd, I can clearly see that in order to get others on board with our product, service, or ideas, we must stop speaking AT people and start conversing with them. Like I always say: The only way to convert is to converse.

What do you think about my five stages of the marketing process? How do you plan to use them in your blog or business?

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.