The other day I sent out my blog’s monthly newsletter. In part of the newsletter, I wanted to remind subscribers they can join my affiliate program. I hesitated at first, wondering if I would annoy my subscribers by telling them something they already knew. “Hey lady, stop telling us. We know! We knoooooow!”
After all, I’ve mentioned the affiliate program (more than once) before and there’s a link to it in a drop-down on my navigation bar. I realized I was falling into one of the biggest traps in blogging:
I WAS ASSUMING.
When you assume readers already know about something, you miss out on potential subscribers, buyers and readers. And that in turn prevents you from increasing your blog traffic, growing a social media presence and so many other things. Plus, we all know what happens when you ASSume (I had to allude to that old expression because I know you were thinking it)! Heh.
When it comes to making assumptions, here’s what I mean:
1. Don’t Assume a New Visitor Knows What Your Blog is About.
When someone lands on your blog for the first time, can that person easily get a feel for what you write about? As I mention in my book, it only takes a few seconds to make a first impression. The colors and fonts you use should help set the tone of your blog. In addition, the things you include in your navigation and sidebars should highlight your most important content. In a quick glance of your blog, make it crystal clear to the reader what you write about.
2. Don’t Assume Someone Following You on Social Media Has Visited Your Blog.
It’s easy to follow someone back on Twitter, add someone to your G+ circles, or like a Facebook page. But out of your fans or followers who are bloggers, how many of their blogs have you visited? Not all of them? Yeah, me neither. I do visit some, but often I’ll follow someone on Twitter and only actually go visit their blog later on. That’s why it’s so important to keep promoting your content (without overdoing it of course).
3. Don’t Assume Everyone Knows You Have a Product.
That product could be a free printable, an e-book or a even a physical product. Think about all the different types of peeps visiting your blog: you have existing readers who may have missed the announcement of your product, new readers who are just getting to know your blog and on-again-off-again readers who only passively follow your blog. Make sure a link to your products (or products) is clearly visible in your navigation menu. Also, show off your products with an image in your sidebar that links to a product page.
4. Don’t Assume People See Every Tweet, Post and Pin that You Do.
No one can possibly pay attention to every single tweet post or pin (unless they have superhuman powers, that is). It’s easy to worry if you’re promoting something too much, but you most likely aren’t… as long as you’re having conversations with others and sharing articles that aren’t your own. If you pin a great article someone else wrote, then maybe tweet the article too. If you promote a new blog post in the morning, try promoting it in the evening too (people with a day job might not be able to access social media at work).
5. Don’t Assume Brands or PR Reps Know You Are Interested in Working With Them
If you want brands to know you’re open for business, you need one very important page: a PR/Advertising page. A PR/Advertising page drops a hint, saying “Yoohoo, brand! I’m interested in working with you.” (But in an non-obnoxious way). Without a page dedicated to brands, a brand or PR rep might do their own assuming… assuming that you only blog for fun. Whip up a simple page and be sure to include contact information so they can easily get in touch. You wouldn’t believe the number of bloggers that get passed over just because they don’t have an easy way to be contacted!
What sorts of things have you assumed when it comes to blogging?