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If you’ve ever thought about monetizing your blog, you probably already heard of affiliate programs. To those, who are new in the field- affiliate marketing is a way for a business to reward bloggers for each visitor/sale brought by the blogger’s own marketing efforts. If you place your cards right, affiliate marketing can be a great way to start earning money from your blog straight away. This is why I’m SO excited to introduce our own affiliate program!

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way for a business to reward bloggers or online influencers for each visitor/sale brought by the blogger’s own marketing efforts. Basically, once someone clicks on the affiliate link and buys something from your advertised website you’ve shared- you will get commisioned.

Affiliate Marketing has been my second highest income source for the past year and it is seriously the best way to make passive income even while you sleep!

Kotryna Bass Design Affiliate Program

You guys know I’ve been a member of various affiliate programs for a while now, this is why I was determined to create a program that I would love to join myself. Here on kotrynabassdesign.com, we sell high-quality Blogger + WordPress themes as well as offer custom design services and we would absolutely love to have you on board as one of our affiliates!

Here are some key features of the program that should help you make up your mind:

  • Earn 25% commission from every sale you refer if the customer buys within 30 days of first visiting our site through your link.
  • Get unlimited affiliate support from our team.
  • No minimal payout fees.
  • Monthly payouts.
  • All of our clients benefit from free installation services, so you can assure you’re recommending the most helpful team in the business.
  • No products excluded, which means you can earn up to $200 + per single sale if you recommend our Custom Design Services.

If you’re a blogger that shares blogging tips or simply get questions about starting/managing/maintaining your online business- this program is for you!

What Kind Of Posts Should I Write?

Once you sign up for the program, you will get a unique affiliate link that you will be able to use on your blog posts/website/social media etc. Of course, to create a solid income from affiliate links, you need to create content that will do well on a search engine.

Here are some of the post examples I personally believe would do very well in promoting our products:

• 10 Ways To Improve Your Blog (mention blog re-design opportunity and introduce our products)

• How To Start A Blog (mention using themes as a way to design your blog and use our free installation services)

• Interview with Kotryna Bass (feel free to contact us if you want to interview Kotryna & have her answer some questions about our services)

• How to fall in love with your blog all over again (mention how blog re-design can bring that motivation back)

Hope this gives you an idea!

Why Should You Advertise Us?

Kotryna Bass Design is a graphic and web design company specializing in premade Blogger templates & responsive WordPress themes. We offer minimal blog designs, custom design projects, social media and business branding services for anyone interested in creating an online space. With an educational background in Media & Web Design, we understand the importance of utilizing technology and branding principles to create beautiful online spaces.

KBD was found during the cold winter of 2013, and it has continued to blossom ever since. Our clean, professional designs are currently being used by thousands of talented creators, and we know this is just the beginning.

As a blogger myself, I created a web design company that always go that extra mile to help other bloggers & online business oweners & I can personally assure you that people you refer to our website will get the best possible service out there!

Are you ready? JOIN TODAY.

Let me know if you’re keen to join! I’m here to answer all of your questions!

The post Make Money Online: Introducing Kotryna Bass Design Affiliate Program appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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The GDPR is due to come into force on 25 May. Any business found not sticking to the rules could be charged fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s global annual turnover, though the toughest fines will be reserved for the worst data breaches or data abuse. If you’re currently running a blog or an online business- keep on reading.

Disclaimer: this post is not legal advice, for all the information on General Data Protection Regulations, see the GDPR site or seek professional advice. This is just my interpretation of the upcoming changes & what I’m personally planning on doing in order to meet the requirements.

What Is GDPR?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. The key articles of the GDPR, as well as information on its business impact, can be found throughout this site.

GDPR changes how personal data can be used. Individuals, organizations, and companies that are either ‘controllers’ or ‘processors’ of personal data will be covered by the GDPR. A data controller states how and why personal data is processed, while a processor is a party doing the actual processing of the data. Basically, the controller could be any organization, from a profit-seeking company to a charity or government, while a processor could be an IT firm doing the actual data processing.

In short, GDPR applies to anyone collecting data from UK and EU citizens. Thus, if you own a blog or website, have a mailing list, collect e-mails to send newsletters, run an online business/shop or gather any kind of information for services, then you need to comply.

GDPR Requirements

The most important thing you need to do is make sure you’re notifying your readers/clients about any data collection on your website. You can also no longer use the information collected for anything other than it’s intended purpose and you need to be very transparent about the way you’re using and storing personal data.

Here’s what you should start thinking about:

  • Breach Notification – It’s your responsibility to inform your data protection authority of any data breach that risks people’s rights and freedoms within 72 hours of your organization becoming aware of it.
  • Right to Data Access – Users have every right to access the information you have about them, in a commonly readable format.
  • Right to Portability – Users are able to request that you forward their data to other controllers or services.
  • Right To Be Forgotten– Users have the right to be deleted, meaning they can request the deletion of their accounts and personal information. They are entitled to be erased if their data is no longer necessary.
  • Privacy by Design – This section requires companies to design their websites with the proper security protocols in place from the start.
  • Data Protection Officers – If you handle a huge amount of user information or sensitive data (such as patient information or criminal records), you need to work with a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The DPO is the key officer taking care of managing procedures and maintaining records and are in charge of all activity processing data. Luckily, at this stage, a blogger or person providing software as a service wouldn’t necessarily need to appoint a DPO.

As for bloggers & small online business owners, it basically all comes down to being transparent to your readers, clients and making sure their data is safe and is not misused.

Now you might need to make some amendments to how you’re currently collecting the data, shall we get to work?

E-mail Lists

If you’re currently collecting e-mails for your newsletter, here’s how you can comply with the new regulations:

  • You have to make sure to your subscribers officially agreed to be added to the list. You can include a checkbox into the form or use the double opt-in feature where subscribers are sent an e-mail upon subscription which asks them to confirm their entry. You should be able to find these options in the form of your mailing list provider.
  • If you’ve previously collected e-mails and your subscribers weren’t notified you should now give them an opportunity to re-confirm their subscription. Sending out a message to all of your email subscribers asking them to re-confirm their subscription would be a good idea in this case. It would also give you a chance to clean up your mailing list from inactive users.
  • You can not collect any information that is not relevant to the subscription. Name & e-mail should be more than enough for you for sending regular newsletters.
  • Subscribers should have an opportunity to easily opt out of your form at any point.

All in all, just be respectful of your subscribers’ needs and only collect the data that is necessary.

Blogs/Websites

If you’re currently running a blog or a website, you should make sure:

  • Read this post about complete GDPR for WordPress users.
  • Install Delete Me plugin which allows users to delete their accounts from your shop.
  • Specify how and where you process the personal information. (accounting, marketing, UX research, sales reporting etc.)
  • Collect ONLY information you require to run your business/complete orders etc.
  • Set up a WP GDPR plugin which allows you to add checkboxes into all of your contact/Woo-Commerce forms.
  • Create a Privacy Policy page and add a link to it into your footer for users to easily access it at all times. All websites should have a privacy policy.
  • If your website transmits PII in any form then you would need to use HTTPS to ensure it’s encrypted in transit. If your website is a bog standard information page with no information on any individuals/credentials then it won’t really matter. However, if you’re accepting payments & building a profitable business online- SSL certificate & secure HTTPS connection is a must. Luckily, Siteground can help you with that!
  • Your site should display a cookie notice that lets users know that by using your website, they agree to the use of cookies. If you use Google Analytics or collect any data for statistics etc, your website is most probably using cookies. To set this up, simply install “Cookie Notice” or “Cookie Consent” plugin on your WP.

The above covers some of the main edits that will help you comply with new GDPR changes. If you think I’ve forgotten to include anything, it would be awesome if you could let me know in the comments, so I can expand this list!

Consent!

Whatever you do, just make sure to remember the words CONSENT. Whenever you collect any type of data from people, you have to make sure they agreed and are aware of what’s going to be done with this information and you have to keep your word on this. As long as you follow this main rule, everything else should come into place.

The post GDPR: How Does It Apply To Bloggers & Online Business Owners? appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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The biggest problem with the blogosphere and influencer marketing, in general, is the fact that many creators out there are trying to copy each others success. Let me tell you- I follow a bunch of amazing, travelling girls on Instagram and it’s pretty easy for me to mix them up and forget their usernames as they all seem to be doing a pretty similar thing. Bright colours, bikinis, healthy food and never-ending snaps of sandy beaches- can it ever get boring? Well, it’s already happening…

Don’t get me wrong, I know that life is so fun in Bali and I really hope to visit sometime soon. However, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and realised that I actually started to get interested in more and more REAL people out there. Seeing professionally taken photographs can be inspiring & I strongly believe that all influencers should really put an effort into the content they post. However, standing out in the crowd of this pinterested generation can be rough and this is why you shouldn’t be afraid to be the rawest version of yourself online.

You Will Build Your OWN Tribe This Way

I don’t feel like I’m personally doing this enough, but what I’ve learned from my experience is that people that share compassion to some of the not-so-great things that happened to me are the ones that usually stick around.

Look, I do love sharing Instagram snaps from my holidays, but I want to be clear with you all- that is not a real reflection of my day to day life. Not surprisingly, I do end up getting quite a few unfollows when I’m back & start posting about my newest products, businesses adventurous or running out of coffee struggles. And yet, that’s really, really fine with me!

You see, I want people to follow me because of who I am every single day, not just for those few sunny weeks a year. I want my tribe to be interested in my business, my relationships, my daily tasks & I really want to create that lasting, true connection with you guys. I’m no saint here tho & I rarely go on Insta stories without any filter, but that’s something I really want to work on!

The funny thing is, I’ve been afraid to be myself for years now & the more of myself I now show online- the more engagement & success I actually get. The rules online are changing quickly, but I now get what all that “you be you” fuss is all about!

Think About Your Role Models

Now take a moment here and think about the people that are absolutely winning in their careers right now. Do you admire Beyonce to bits or are you so inspired by Bill Gates’s success story? Any role model out there most probably have one thing in common- they don’t hive a damn about what others think of them. They do their own thing, speak their own words and are not afraid to truly listen to themselves and their own desires.

Being Someone Else Is Simply Exhausting

That perfect life story you’re currently creating might be working for now, but you’ll most probably burn out sooner or later. No judgement, I’m talking from my own experience over here!

It might just be me turning 27 this year, but I really feel like I don’t want to waste my time being someone else anymore. I’d much rather try and get to know myself & the truth is- admitting this to myself really lifted the weight off my shoulders. I went through it all- I took pictures certain way, I bought clothes I wouldn’t normally wear and I read books that were popular simply because I wanted to take a snap of them for my Instagram. I’m tired of this and I kind of feel like people online are tired of this too!

People Like Individuals

Imagine yourself walking into a party where you see everyone dressed in black and then, in the very centre of the dance floor, you would see that one person, wearing all red, dancing like nobody’s watching? You might end up thinking that person is annoying as hell, but be honest here for a second- you will definitely want to get to know that person at least a tiny bit more before you make that judgement.

The same happens online really. As much as we like this beautiful Insta-worthy life culture, it seems like only the stories behind pretty weird, outstanding personalities become viral. Authenticity is a key here, don’t be afraid to show your real colours!

Read more: The Social Media Effect: Are You Really Who You Portray Online?

Your Most Unique Features Are Probably Your Key To Success

So you’ve tried being someone else for a while now and that didn’t work out yet? What about trying to be yourself for a change then? You might be very surprised! If you seem to have friends or family that love your jokes or your willingness to help others- who makes you think that other people might hate it? You wouldn’t necessarily pretend to be someone else IRL, huh? Why the heck are you doing this online then? There are thousands & thousands of copycats out there, but there’s just one you & I can assure that people will LOVE you for who you are way more than for who you’re trying to portray yourself as.

To sum up, I really hope this post inspired you to at least consider bringing more of you to your online presence. Go ahead and share that goofy story on Instagram or simply post a no make-up selfie! Just a small step can really bring you closer to that end goal! By the way, let me know what are those raw personalities you currently love following online!

From the top of my mind, mine are:

• Mother Pukka – for her hilarious Instagram stories and everything she does with Flex Appeal in the UK.
Hannah Gale – for keeping that “girl-next-door” vibe no matter how many followers she gets.
• Celeste Barber – for showing us all how perfect imperfections can be & how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself.

The post Why You Should Always Strike To Be Yourself In The Blogosphere appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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From time to time, I’d hear these comments about the death of blogosphere and it makes me cringe every time. The thing is, long-form content is more valuable than ever and I am here to tell you why you should stop listening to all of these haters and why 2018 is just a perfect year for starting a blog.

Look, I get it, we’re now engaged in social media more than ever. We love quick content and those Instagram or Twitter posts are just perfect for that. We see the rising stars on social media that do not really exist anywhere else on the internet and they seem to be doing just fine, huh?

You might be wondering here, why the heck would you need to start a blog if the attention seems to be shifting towards microblogging rather than blogging as it used to.

I completely agree with you, the blogosphere has changed A LOT in the last five years and the old rules do not apply or work anymore. We’re no longer turning towards blogs for personal updates and we usually look up a person on Instagram before anything else.

Yes, blogging what it was a few years ago is dead. It is no longer about simply sharing our daily lives, we now have various social media platform for this. However, if you truly love creating a high-quality online content and are thinking of starting a blog– your time is now!

Let me give you 10 valuable reasons why blogs are not going away anytime soon:

#1 Social Media Platforms Still Aren’t ‘Search Friendly’

We love using social media on the go, but we really don’t rely on it for actually finding that valuable information. You see, social platforms still aren’t ‘search friendly’, so if you want to find that specific piece of content on, let’s say, Instagram vs Google, it is still SO much easier to find the BLOG post. If you’re running an online business or simply want to grow a following online, people need to be able to find you. If you can’t be found, you can’t be hired.

The fact is, social media just can’t do that for you…

Seriously, whenever you’re having that argument with your friends playing Kriss Kross or simply need to be a doctor to yourself and figure out if your hangover symptoms aren’t actually a serious illness- what do you rely on? Exactly- Google.

We still use search engines like crazy and the number of internet users just keep growing every single day.

As it’s show in the graph below, in 2018 48.9% of the global population accessed the internet and by 2021 this figure is projected to grow to 53.7%.

Consequently, the number of people using internet search engines is increasing year on year. The daily searches on Google currently reach around 3.5 billion, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. This is quite a market for you to work for, huh?

#2 It Allows You To Really Go Deep Into The Topic

Many studies have now confirmed that shorter posts work better on Facebook. BlitzLocal looked at nearly 120 billion Facebook impressions and found that performance went down as posts grew longer. According to the search, posts that use captions of 100 to 119 characters get the best engagement. Yet what can really be properly analysed in 100 words?

The same applies to all other social media platforms. People are only looking for quick, entertaining content while using these platforms, but if you’re trying to show your real knowledge, you will need to get people out of social media onto the platform that actually allows you to go deep into the topic of your field.

Blogs are just perfect for that. In fact, most of the no.1 articles on Google use 2000+ words or over 10000 characters! You see the difference? Your audience can look at your pictures and read captions on social media, but if you’re ready to really show your knowledge in the certain fields- there’s no better place than a blog for that.

#3 You Can Not Rely On Social Media Anymore

We’ve experienced quite a few algorithm changes over the years & I can assure you- there are still more to come.

Also, what about all other platforms we’ve passionately consumed before Facebook came? Remember MySpace??

Young people are already turning their backs on Facebook, according to the newest reports. Did you know that two million people under the age of 25 will stop using the social network this year as research firm eMarketer predicted?

As much as I want to believe in the longevity of all the current platforms, I just don’t want to play risky and put all of my eggs in one basket.

Blogs, on the other hand, came into our lives all the way back in 1994. They managed to beat all of the changes on the internet so far and I strongly believe they will continue to do so.

#4 You Can Sell Your Own Products On Your Blog

While most of the social media influencers rely on brands for their paychecks, bloggers are currently winning in successfully monetising their blogs through affiliate marketing or selling their own physical and digital products.

If you ever wanted to start your own online shop, a blog (or well, a website) is just perfect for that!

At the moment, there are two popular eCommerce platforms that I can recommend which is Shopify or WordPress + WooCommerce.

Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce solution. However, the downside to Shopify is that it gets quite expensive, and your overall development options are limited unless you pay additional fees.

This is why most of my clients choose WordPress + WooCommerce. It does require some setup, but it’s worth doing it for the long run. WooCommerce is the world’s largest eCommerce platform & it’s currently trusted by over 40 million users and I personally use it with all of my businesses.

I do highly recommend using WordPress + WooCommerce for starting your own online shop and you can follow this step-by-step tutorial to make it happen →.

#5 Blog Posts Simply Live Longer

Even if I don’t publish a post here on kotrynabass.com, my blog still manages to get pageviews & bring profit daily. Very rarely you will see an Instagram post when looking for an information on search engines and this makes social media posts die after a day or two of posting them.

Instagram posts are just not likely to stick around for more than 13 hours and that’s just one of the examples. In general, social media requires you to maintain your presence daily. You have to keep posting a few times a day at least in order to keep your audience engaged, which can become pretty overwhelming.

In comparison, blog posts can live for years & years. In fact, some of the posts that bring most of my traffic were published 3 years ago!

#6 Blogging Brings You The Audience That Really Cares

Let’s think about this for a second. How do people end up on your blog?

Scenario A: They have found you on social media and loved your content so much that they have decided to really get to know you and see your proper work.

Scenario B: They were looking for answers on Google and ended up reading one of your articles in the field they are already interested in.

Scenario C: You’ve shared your URL with someone that showed interested in your work in real life.

In all of the above cases, people that visit your blog already have a stronger connection with you than any of your social media followers. These people already know at least a bit about you and they are more willing to engage and possibly even become your clients once they visit your blog.

While it’s common to have random people following your Instagram, just because you post cute selfies or have millions of followers on Pinterest because of your talent to look up the coolest interiors, your blog’s audience is really worth most of your efforts. You see, your random social media followers most probably won’t bring you any real engagement or buy products from you, while your blog readers are actually the most loyal fans that you need to appreciate the most. In fact, the best thing you could do for yourself is to keep inviting your social media followers to visit your blog & turn them into loyal readers!

#7 You’re The Owner Here

The scariest thing about social media is that the platforms themselves are owned by someone else. This means that your account can be blocked at any time if you share your opinion on a sensitive topic and someone decides to report you. Have you ever been blocked in any of the platforms? You then know how helpless you feel in these situations…

Now when it comes to your own website or blog- you’re the one in control here. Especially if you run a self-hosted blog, no-one can take it away from you! Unless you do something illegal and the government decides to shut you down, but well… perhaps just don’t do that then?

#8 A Blog Can Connect Everything You Do Online

If you feel like you’re producing a lot of content elsewhere, your blog can serve you as a great place to connect and reflect on all of your work. Your followers on Instagram might be also interested in your podcast or video tutorials, but it can get pretty messy if you try to introduce all of your work in those short captions.

This is where having a blog comes in handy You can use your blog to bring the best of your talent in one place. Blogs allow you to share any type of content easily with the help of thousands of available plugins and services. This way, you can also pitch yourself to brands and clients by only sending them a single link that connects all of your activities in one place.

#9 Content Is The King

In January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content is King”, which was published on the Microsoft website. “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet”- he said & boy was he right! “If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will.”- Gates continued and could argue with this guy even twelve years since the essay was first published.

Look, if you really care about your audience and will continue to put in the work and effort into your blog- you’ll be fine! As long as you provide that high-quality content your tribe is looking for- your blog will continue to grow and be as useful for you and your business as it’s always has been. Just start taking your blog seriously, commit, really re-think your purpose and strategies, ignore the haters, create beautiful online brand & just keep blogging!

#10 We Are Story Tellers And We Always Will Be

No surprise here, humans are born storytellers. We love sharing our experiences with each other & we will continue to do so no matter what. Blogs allow us to create a safe environment where our stories can be told the way we want to. We can upload as many pictures as we want, type as many words as we need and really have that place to open up deeply on what’s important to us.

Those who declare that the best blogging days are behind are most probably the ones that see their own blogging career fading, but the truth is- we will always need blogs. We are individuals and not all of us feel great limiting their words or actions, trusting someone else with our success and at the end of the day- we all just want something that we can call ours to hold on to.

To sum up, let me just tell that I really love using both- my blog and my social media account for building my online presence, but my blog will always be my first love. While blogosphere keeps changing, I don’t think it will ever die, just as with anything in life- we, ourselves, need to continue to grow and improve in order to adapt, but for now- let’s take a deep breath & keep going. Blogging is still very alive and thriving!

If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog, the timing is perfect, so just go ahead and start one today →

The post Why Blogging Isn’t Dead. 10 Reasons to Start A Blog in 2018 appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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Blogging isn’t always fun, I know! In fact, the job requires so much creativity on the daily bases that it’s fairly simple to feel burned out, especially if you’re not seeing those fast results you’re working for. Good news is, there are a few tricks you can do to keep yourself motivated, let me share them with you…

Connect With Your People

Getting to really connect with people interested in your work will definitely put you right back on track and help you remember why you’ve chosen to blog in the first place. Go to your social media accounts & make sure to send a message to everyone that recently commented on your Instagram post. Feel free to thank them for their support and offer your help or expertise. Sometimes giving can cure all of our sores!

Keep Learning

If you don’t feel on the top of your game right now, go ahead & leave blogging on the side for a bit. Grab a book, join an e-course, get deep into those youtube tutorials or just learn to do yoga or meditate. Learning and improving your skills should be on the top of your priority list when you’re a blogger.

What about joining our Free 7-day Course: Design Your Own Blog ?

Allow Yourself To Try Something New

Stop feeling down and make things happen instead, make changes, work towards becoming the best version of yourself! Seriously, go ahead and live your life to the fullest. Risk, fall in love, travel, lose all your money, learn, grow, earn, come back to where you’ve started, but don’t settle for things that do not make you happy. Trust me, blogging about the life that gives you goosebumps is 1000x times easier than trying to find the content that keeps you bored!

Remember your WHY

If you want to feel satisfaction from your blog, you have to know why you’re doing this in the first place. Money, freebies or fame aren’t the right reasons tho.

Think of how your knowledge could improve people’s lives for the better. Be open, share your insights and the rewards will be astonishing.

By determining your purpose, you will get all of that passion back straight away. Trust me on this.

Find People To Look Up To

Anytime I feel a bit down, I love getting inspired by other creators. There’s no better motivation than seeing other people, just like you, absolutely winning their game online. Thus, if you really want to get motivated go ahead and check out:

My 5 Current Blogger-Crushes

These awesome podcasts

These inspirational audiobooks for boosting your self-esteem

Hope these help!

Let me know if you’re feeling a bit unmotivated to blog lately, what’s causing you to feel this way?

The post How To Stay Motivated In Your Blogging Business appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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I’ve been running my blogging business full-time for the past six years now & I can honestly say that it is the best job ever. It wasn’t any kind of an accident tho. I was determined to make blogging my job and by the third month of starting my online business, I’ve received my first paycheck. 

My story might be a bit different than most as I started my blog back when I was still studying at the university. I was able to support myself through student loans & scholarships which allowed me to experiment and grow my business without worrying about the income too much. Luckily, I didn’t have to look for a job after I graduated. By the time I was finished with my studies, my blog was already bringing me a full-time income which I felt and still feel so grateful for. However, I know exactly what I did that helped me turn my blog into a business and I want to share this with you!

Here are 5 game-changing things I’ve learned about blogging that helped me go full-time:

#1 I Took My Blog’s Branding Seriously

Let’s start from the beginning. Type your blog’s domain into your browser & load it on the new tab. How does it look? Are you proud of your blog’s branding?

The reality is, you can have the best posts published out there, but if your blog’s layout looks like a mess- I’d leave straight away. Sorry, but that’s the truth. Your potential clients & sponsors also wouldn’t be too impressed. Don’t let this happen to you.

Your blog design matters, trust me on this! If you want to become a successful blogger, you have to make sure your blog’s branding is on point. Luckily, sorting out your blog’s look doesn’t require you to be tech-savvy, simply choose a premade theme and have a professional design ready in minutes!

I’ve been working with designing your blogs for years now and through my experience, I’ve learned to develop a scheme to help my clients choose an ideal layout for their blogs & take a look at these 10 tips for you all to follow when choosing an excellent theme:

  1. Make sure your new theme represents your brand.
  2. Stick to maximum 3 fonts per layout.
  3. Social Icons must be clear & visible. Preferably displayed in more than 1 place within the template.
  4. Consider how easy to it is to navigate around the theme.
  5. Strive for simplicity. You can always include a funky logo or more colourful pictures if you need something more outstanding.
  6. Your theme must be responsive. It’s not optional anymore.
  7. Are step-by-step installation instructions included? We provide free installation services with all of our themes.
  8. Make sure post width is suitable for your image sizes. Full-width templates work best if you shoot your images on DSLR. If you prefer smaller image sizes- look into the themes with sidebar area.
  9. Look into unique functionality. Featured posts sliders, promo areas, unique categories display– you name it.
  10. Your site should be easy to navigate, we all love then blogs that flow smoothly.

I hope you get the idea by now, huh? Check out KotrynaBassDesign website for easy to use premade blog designs or get in touch for custom services. We’re here to help!

#2 I Was Never Afraid To Pitch Myself

During my blogging career, I had some wonderful opportunities working with my favourite brands. Not only I was able to earn some extra income this way, I also created very useful connections which helped me grow my blog and business along the way.

The truth is, I do not just sit there and wait for e-mails with sponsored deals to come my way. I am not afraid to reach out to brands myself if I see that we could be a great fit for each other.

The best thing is, reaching out to brands is fairly simple.

On many brand websites, you should be able to find an email dedicated to PR/Blogger Collaborations. If it includes the name of the person in charge- make sure to use it in your e-mail! It creates friendlier atmosphere straight away. Introduce yourself, offer your services, describe the promotion you have in mind and don’t forget to include your media kit.

You never know until you try, huh?

#3 I’ve Created Digital Products For Sale

A lot of bloggers think that to be a full-time blogger, you need to earn money from ads and sponsorships. Pull that mindset out of your brain. It’s not really how it works. Of course, you can make some type of money from sponsored deals once you grow your audience, but that’s not really what you should be focussing on in the beginning.

Did you know that majority of my income made online come from my digital products? I believe that selling your own digital products can be a great and very efficient way to monetise your blog. However, coming up with a digital product idea can be a hard task if you’ve never done this before. Make sure to read this post to get a better idea of what products you can offer!

Or, if you have an idea already, go ahead and start an online shop straight away!

#4 I Invested In My Blog From The Early Beginning

I believe the first course I took cost me around $200 and damn that was scary! I wasn’t making a lot of extra money at the time, but I just had a feeling that it’s going to take me & my blog to the next level. I’m so glad I’ve listened to my inner voice! This was a huge game changer for me. As soon as I’ve started to really invest in my blog, my business blossomed and kept growing faster than ever.

We all know by now that blogging can not just be called just a hobby anymore. With so many people out there successfully turning their blogs into thriving brands & businesses, you should make no exception and start taking your blog seriously if you really want to make money from it and eventually take it full-time. Listen, you have to go for it, put yourself out there, be yourself & keep growing daily. Take online courses, hire a web designer, research best services and don’t be afraid to invest. The sky really has no limits when you’re a blogger, but you should really be ready to hustle!

#5 I Was Determined To Make It Happen

Guys, this is the biggest difference. Not gonna lie, I first started my blog without a huge plan, but once I’ve started seeing an impact my blog can make, once I’ve realised that I am able to help other people through my services & once I’ve started to treat my blog as a business- it all shifted. If you want to start blogging full time- you really have to promise yourself to go all in. There’s no halfway here…

Let me know if you’re currently working on taking your blogging biz full-time!

The post 5 Game-Changing Things I Learned About Blogging That Helped Me Go Full-Time appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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I’ve been helping others start and maintain their blogs for years now. I also provide blog consulting services & I absolutely love seeing my clients reach their full potential after a few weeks of working with me. However, I can see a very similar pattern every time I get to connect with new bloggers and I wanted to create this post for all of you guys that are just getting your feet into the blogosphere.

You Want Fast Results

So many new bloggers just seem to want to find an easy way to success. Look, it doesn’t exist. Yes, I strongly believe you can start monetising your blog straight away and you will notice extra attention coming your way as soon as you start sharing content consistently, but let me be very clear with you- blogging won’t make you rich or successful overnight. It’s all about hard work, constant learning & right attitude.

You Aren’t Building A Newsletter List

I truly think that my biggest mistake is not building my mailing list earlier. I only started sending out weekly newsletters a couple of years ago. This was so stupid of me. I’ve been running this blog for nearly six years now and this means that I might have lost those people that wanted to connect with me in the early beginning.

Look, EVERYONE has an email address these days (everyone, except my dad, of course). I personally check my inbox at least 3-4 times a day. Email marketing seriously the most efficient way to be noticed and get people come back to your blog.

Read more: Why Your Blog Needs a Newsletter List & How to Start One.

You’re Not Staying Consistent

If you really want to grow a loyal audience that keeps coming back for more, you have to keep bringing that content. Decide how many posts a week you feel comfortable in creating. It’s important to stay consistent, so I’d say- start small. I currently post about 3-4 posts every week. Even after six years it still sometimes feels like a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, blogging is FUN, but preparing high-quality posts can take a lot of your time. Instead of just posting randomly- prepare a schedule and really commit to sticking to it! Feel free to use these awesome scheduling tools to make your life a bit easier!

You Don’t Have A Niche

If you want to have a successful & profitable blog, you have to make sure your blog carries a clear message. Look, running a ‘beauty blog’ is too broad and it will make your journey a lot harder. Think what beauty products really rock your world, do you love supporting organic beauty brands or perhaps you’re all about luxurious beauty products? Find your niche and stick to it! The more narrow, the better, really!

Read more: How To Find The Right Niche For Your Blog?

You’re Not Taking This Seriously

We all know by now that blogging can not just be called a hobby anymore. With so many people out there successfully turning their blogs into thriving brands & businesses, you should make no exception and start taking your blog seriously for once. You have to go for it, put yourself out there, be yourself & keep growing daily. Don’t be afraid of a change. Take online courses, research best services and don’t be afraid to invest. The sky really has no limits when you’re a blogger, but you should really be ready to hustle!

Read: Why You Should Always Take Your Blog Seriously?

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, folks! Let me know if you’ve just started your blog, I’d love to see what you’re working on!

The post Blogging Mistakes Most Beginner Bloggers Make appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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Sometimes, I feel like I’m just running through life without taking any deep breaths and that can be exhausting. There’s so much I have to do/see/learn every single day that lately, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed. Thus, I decided to book a trip with one of my oldest friends & allow myself to recharge. This time in Greece was all about that- late night talks, sleep-ins, slow hikes and audiobooks.

Read More

The post Greek Runaway: Visiting Rhodes appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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You won’t be surprised if I tell you that social media has changed A LOT in the last few years. With growing number of influencers out there, the competition is bigger than ever. I’ve been listening to Gary Vee’s new audiobook on my flight home the other day and it hit me- so many people out there are currently focusing on a singular social media platform and completely neglecting the rest of the things they could be doing. Whatever it is- Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or any other outlet, I can’t stress this enough- being a social media star is not enough anymore. In fact, I don’t think it was ever enough. Let me explain…

I’ve started my own blog in 2012, back then, blogging was broadly about our personal experiences. You didn’t have to be a makeup expert to make it as a beauty blogger and you definitely didn’t have to attend endless runways to be able to share outfits online. We were able to get pretty great opportunities by posting mediocre content and followers kept rolling. The things have changed tho…

For those focussing on social media numbers: stop right now.

It is devastating for me to see how many creators put all of their attention into only growing within one place. This doesn’t make any sense or any difference.

You see, talking from my own perspective, I can tell you that my monthly income continues to grow way quicker than any of my social media following. I get more e-mails from bloggers in need of my help than ever and by now, I really don’t feel that a number on Instagram can make a huge change if you’re trying to build a career online. It is just a number after all.

What really matters is what are you currently offering to YOUR people.

If you do your research, you’ll see that most of the entrepreneurs running successful online businesses don’t really have impressive social media numbers, but they most probably are already making six or seven figures yearly or might have collected massive newsletter lists.

When at the same time, we see a lot of Instagram influencers that are actually completely broke or in dept.

This only proves that being huge on a single platform doesn’t mean you’re going to make a living online.

If you’re currently focusing on growing your social media following, let me ask you…

Can you offer any useful services to your reader? Or perhaps you’ve just published an informative e-book? Are you keen to run a motivational podcast? What is the purpose of your social media presence?

If you’re creating social media content with no end point, no link to your blog or website, no product- you are not doing it properly. There are so many opportunities that social media can bring you & if you’re in this for a long run- you have to change your mindset.

Imagine if Instagram dies tomorrow? Imagine if they change their algorithm AGAIN or forbid paid sponsorship? Do you feel like you depend on the success of the platform? Does this make you feel insecure? I guessed so…

Don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying that social media stats shouldn’t matter, but I strongly believe they should come as a side hustle rather than require your full attention.

Instead, here are some things you must be doing if you want to create a growing, profitable online business that will serve you for a long, long time.

Expand on other platforms. If you have successfully established your following on Instagram, why not to expand on Twitter or Facebook too? It’s most likely you already have a gift of inspiring other people & you should make sure to bring your content elsewhere for more people to find it.

Start a blog. Why would you rely on anyone else if you can build your own outlet to share your content on? Starting a blog only takes 5 minutes if you use this tutorial & you will never have to worry about algorithms or platforms shutting down, you’re the one in control here!

Launch an online shop. Many social media influencers are primarily focussing on creating their own products these days. As much as working with brands is exciting and fun, if you’re in this for a long run, you should think about creating your OWN brand. Luckily, starting an online shop is fairly simple, we even put a step-by-step tutorial for you over here: How To Start Your Own Online Shop Using WordPress.

Build a newsletter list. This is the easiest part, but it makes all the difference. If you have a growing social media following, make sure to also start a newsletter that will help you connect with all of your subscribers through e-mail. Not only this can help you establish a more meaningful connection it can also be a great way to monetise your online presence once the time comes. Read: Why Your Blog Needs a Newsletter List & How to Start One.

Really start focussing on creating a personal brand online. Seriously, if you’re building a presence on social media, but are not constantly evolving- you’re losing this game. Social media keeps changing every day, so you have to continue to learn in order to grow. Look at your social media presence as a brand and stop focussing on a single platform, if you look at any successful brand out there, you will notice that they put equal effort into all of the outlets out there and most importantly- they focus on creating sleek, recognisable branding on their own websites, newsletters, blogs and every, literally EVERY social media account.

Hope this gives you a better understanding of why I don’t believe in social media stars and why I think you should really change your approach if you’re currently only focussing on one platform.

The post Why Being A Social Media Star Is Not Enough Anymore appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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So you have just published that fresh blog post? Here are 6 things you need to do now…

#1 Share On Social Media

As soon as you hit that publish button, you should make sure to spread the word about your brand new piece of content elsewhere. The fact is, many of us are now relying on social media more than ever when it comes to finding useful information. Make sure to always update your social media followers in order to get that much-needed traffic to your blog!

#2 Share Your Blog Post In The Next Newsletter

Starting a newsletter can be the next step in turning your blog from hobby to business. Despite all the changes in the online world, we’re still using e-mails on the daily basis and creating a list of engaged newsletter subscribers is the best thing you can do for your growing online business. Sharing a link to your post within your latest e-mail is definitely a great idea as your subscribers already expressed direct interest in your work & I bet they are definitely keen to know more.

Also read: Why Your Blog Needs a Newsletter List & How to Start One

#3 Create Shareable Pinterest Graphics

Pinterest can be a magical tool when it comes to bringing traffic to your blog. To me personally, it’s one of my biggest sources of referral traffic & with only a few tricks I get new readers coming to my blog from Pinterest daily. Creating outstanding graphics that will help you stand out from the crowd is very important when it comes to succeeding on Pinterest. Let me show you exactly how I create my Pinterest images using Adobe Photoshop. Just follow this step by step tutorial!

#4 Complete SEO Integration

Your content may already be good as it is, but paying a little extra attention to keyword research and integration can have a big impact on SEO rankings. We all know that Google algorithm changes quite frequently, so it’s impossible to catch on every single shift they make. However, some of the best, time-proven tactics remained consistent. Check out these 7 Effective SEO tips that will help you blog better, attract more visitors & finally get the hang of all that SEO fuss.

#5 Include Relevant Links To Older Posts

Linking to your older posts is crucial. Seriously. Not only you will get your reader hooked on more of the content from your blog, but you will also help your SEO score big time. Make sure to keep adding relevant links to all of your posts and you will see a difference!

#6 Connect With People Online

It’s not enough to just post your link on social media if you really want for people to really engage with your content. Make sure to get on Twitter and research topics within your niche- tweet back and include a link to your latest posts. Help others, answer your audience questions and in general, just be ready to give your best attention to your readers.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, folks! Let me know what things you always do once a new post is published!

The post 6 Things You Need to Do After You Publish Your Blog Post appeared first on Successful Blog Tips & Blogging Strategies | Kotryna Bass.

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