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-What's up, Thrivers? Daniel McKenna here, and today we're here with the incredible Rachel Faucett. And we're talking about Blogging 101 today on Thrive15.com, a lynda.com alternative . How do I know what kind of content to create? Don't know who Rachel Faucett is? She was the consultant of choice for Pottery Barn, Disney Kids, Home Depot, Whole Foods, and countless brands. Her website, Handmade Charlotte, has been featured in "Martha Stewart Living", "Better Homes and Gardens", HGTV, "Huffington Post", "Business Insider", and more. Today, you'll get some insight into discovering what kind of content that you should be creating for your blog.
If you have just started as an online business, or want to start an online business, then this lesson can be very valuable to you as you figure out the type of content that you need to create to be the most successful. So make sure you listen and take notes, and figure out what kind of content that you need to create. Just a tip-- pretty much anything with adorable animals is guaranteed profit. Guaranteed.
-I think we should have our own secret handshake, like I think we develop that over-- yeah, so like maybe--
-I think the foundational lo is that we start here and we do this--
And we come back and work from there.
-And then here, here, up, right.
-Oh, nice. Maybe snap-- that's what we're going to do. And because we're both Caucasian, this my take several weeks to practice to perfect, to really just get into how to do the handshake. But I know that I'm going to do my part. And in several weeks, I feel like I can master that handshake. So we're moving on here.
RACHEL FAUCETT: We can do that.
-We're talking about Blogging 101, and how do I know what kind of content to create? But before we do, I just want to mention a few of the big brands that you work with, because you're kind of a big deal in my mind, which is why I'm so nervous when I talk to you. So trying to not shake and get all nervous when I read-- so here we go. You worked with Ikea, Canon, Hewlett Packard, Procter and Gamble, and you are the founder of Handmade Charlotte-- just in case I don't know. I don't know how I couldn't know what HandmadeCharlotte.com is. But real quick, what is HandmadeCharlotte.com?
-Handmade Charlotte is one of the leading family publishers online. And online publishers. And we give creative experiences to family's everyday, all day long.
CLAY CLARK: Boom. So we are talking about Blogging 101, how do I know what kind of content to create? Now this is your sweet spot. You know this. This is what you do. So I'm going to get out of your way. I'm going throw you some softballs. You just smash them out of park here. So, one-- you have your very own focus group. What do you mean by you have your very own focus group?
-So for all of you that's starting from scratch, and I want to start-- if we're going to go right-- you've never-- what is a blog? It's an online journal of your life and a collection of thoughts, an online publication. And it can be about anything. And then number two, if you're watching this video, you probably have a pretty good idea that you want to be blogging. You probably have favorite bloggers that you read online, and you've identified sort of the niche that you're into, and you've identified some interests, and you want to go for it.
So you've identified that. So then the next step would be finding a platform that works for you. We recommend WordPress, because even though the others might be easier to handle and manage, they seem easier to get on-- then once your audience starts growing, you're going to have to make that painstaking switch to WordPress. So just start on WordPress from the beginning. And the next thing I would say would be to make sure that you own your URL.
So if you're www.bananasplit.com, you want to make sure that you're not www.bananasplit.blogspot.com, or whatever, you want to own your URL.
-Because you this, I'm going to just interrupt you with a couple questions that maybe the Thrivers third grade-- some with a third grade mind like mine, who has questions on. If they said, well, I don't want to use WordPress. What would you say?
-I would say a lot of people use Blogger. And you could research-- Squarespace is really cool. Really cool. So I think you can just research a little bit. But pretty much every single person I know is on Squarespace, Blogger, or WordPress.
-But you've found it just makes sense to be on WordPress. And we could probably spend hours talking about why, but the point is, you've been doing this for years, and you recommend it.
-Right. I recommend it. I also, like my number one thing is, own your URL. Because if you're going to put time into this, it's going to go somewhere. I promise you.
-What does URL mean, if I don't know?
-Earl? I like that. The Duke of Earl. A URL is I'm www.handmade-- it's that you own your domain, your domain name. So I'm www.handmadecharlotte.com. Now if your name is extra cheesy, www.extracheesy.com, and you find another site that already has extra cheesy, and then you say, well, I could be a dot something else.
CLAY CLARK: .gov.
-Whatever. Well, .gov, .org, and those things. But you'll have .net.
-But I would say, you know what? People are searching for .coms. And I feel like, you know what? Go ahead and, instead of being extra cheesy, maybe you're like, extra cheesy times 3. Or maybe even change your name. But really own that, and be conscious of how many-- and you can go to godaddy.com to buy your URL, and it's about $10 a month. Don't get hung up on, if you don't get the name that you're looking for. So those are sort of like very basics, and I could probably on just those specific topics for awhile.
But you're just getting a baseline, and then you can dig deeper in yourself. So own your URL, because why you want to do that is, because once traffic starts coming to your site, that's what you monetize. That's how you're going to make your money, is by driving an audience and people to your site. And if that URL belongs to one of these blogging platforms, then they get the credit for that, and--
CLAY CLARK: No.
-You don't. Right. And then you're going to have to make that switch over to WordPress at some
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-Now, for those of you who might not be familiar with the word monetize, what that word means, we're talking about getting paid, eventually making some money. Not that we're all doing this just for the money, however, I will say, as a general rule, when I go to the store-- maybe it's different for you. When I go to the store with my passion and my enthusiasm and my energy, they still want money.
So a lot of times they're like, yeah, yeah, yeah. We can't-- we're not going to take any passion here.
-But I love these bananas!
-Yeah. And they're like, no, we're still going to have to charge you. I think it's important that we don't die on the hill of not monetising. I hear a lot of entrepreneurs say, well, you know I-- entrepreneurs are struggling. Well, I would hate to charge for it.
Well, I'm just saying the grocery store doesn't say that to you. They're not going, I hate to charge you for it. They're going to charge you for it. So it's OK to monetize. Now, what do you mean though when you say you have your very own focus group? What does that mean?
-So once you've established your blog, you've got this great name. And you're bananasplit.com, and it's OK that you don't-- I mean I would suggest that you take one-- you have a targeted audience that you're trying to capture as opposed to being broad. So I would say that I would focus on your likes, on what kind of content creation-- the kind of content that you want to produce for your audience.
And I would you know that you want to be a blogger, so you've probably been reading blogs, and then emulate the people that you love. And so if it's home repair that you're into, then-- or home improvements or things like that, then really focus on one area of that.
So like you're going to be the best bathroom site on the internet. And then you can go from there. But if you don't already have that focus, and you just want to try things out and you want to find your voice as your on the internet, I don't suggest that. But because I'm giving you tips like just go ahead and pick something, and then you can search later.
So basically, you have a focus group there. So if you're not driving an audience of-- if your audience-- all of a sudden you produce a project, and you see that you made a yellow painting. And you showed your audience how to make that yellow painting, and you see that hundreds of people are coming to that. Well, then you know that they like yellow paintings so that you're going to make something, maybe another yellow painting that would hang next to that yellow painting.
You might make an evolution on how to hang that yellow painting. There would be a tutorial on how to hang it. And looking for that evolution and really focusing and really, really being in tune to what your audience is attracted to.
Now, if you make something like turned a dumbbell into a lamppost, and you painted it green, and nobody came, didn't share, you actually got negative content. Leave it up there. Even I'm a deleter. I'm an editor, so I might even like ditch the whole thing. But if no-- don't do that again. Don't start making maybe lawn ornaments. Maybe that's not what they're into. So just really focus on that.
-When you say here, what am I looking for? That's the next thing you said. What am I looking for? What does that mean?
-So basically what I was just talking about. So like I told that you had a focus group here and really be conscious of what your audience is into. And you really want to build this authentic, sincere relationship with them and this like-- so I want to make sure that I am really conscious of what they're into.
So what are you looking for? It's basically they're patterns and what they're sharing.
-Give me a give me a story. Can I get a little story time here? What's an example of how you have taken advantage of this principle, asking what am I looking for?
-So, for example, a traffic driver that was on our site was a set of four sewing cards that were created by an illustrator that we work with. And they drove a lot of traffic. They've been driving traffic for three years, and I had this aha moment.
I actually I think it was my husband that had idea like, well, if we have sewing cards, then we should be making-- and they're coming to us for sewing cards, we need to be making more sewing cards.
-This just in! People are wanting sewing cards. We should make more of them!
-This is the kind of profoundness that does not happen, sometimes, in businesses. For years, in my businesses, in my own way, I would do that same kind of thing, where I wouldn't do it. So he has that strike of genius?
-Right. And I was kind of like-- duh! We knew that they would click on over to see. We've already got them to our platform and to our site, so we started building out more sewing cards and different kinds of sewing cards and then sewing projects and on and on from there.
-What's an action step the Thrivers can all do as relates to what exactly am I looking for? What's an action step that every Thriver can do who has a blog?
-This blogger came to me and said-- I made strips for my nose, pore cleaning strips. She said the photographs were horrible, and they weren't her favorite photographs, but literally, it's her number-one thing. Literally, she drives millions of people to these pore strips. And it keeps going and going and going. And I'm like-- be the pore strip queen! All you do is pore strips. You should have pore strip recipes.
Whatever you see that takes off, and it's driving traffic, that's what you are. They are going to shape the way you do things. You're like-- I don't want to just do pore strips.
But you're going to get an evolution, because you're going to have the next step of what that's going to be. But it's going to shape it, for sure.
-The next principle, you said, is how will I know if they like the content I'm creating? What do you mean by this? You're going to know, first of all, if they're coming to your site and they're engaging with your comments. So if they're liking your content on the social channels and they're commenting on your content, and if they're sharing it. We really look at those share counts and what they're engaging with.
If they're taking the time and they're sharing it to their friends and family-- those people are the most important people to them-- on their social channels, then they like it a lot. Somebody might like it, but they just didn't share it with their friends. But if they're willing to take the time to comment or share it with their friends, they 100% love it. So if we see a lot of that going on on a particular piece of content or project, then we know they love it, and we'll make something that will be an accessory to that.
-On Handmade Charlotte, do you, then, every week measure what things are being shared and what things are being viewed the most or engaged with the most? And then you make your strategy based upon that data? Do you do that?
-I'm a numbers junkie.
-What tool do you use to test what's being shared?
-Google Analytics, 100%. I like to use some specific tools on social channels. We use Curalate. That's not a beginning platform. I would start with Tailwind on Pinterest, specifically. Your Google Analytics is really going to tell you.
-Just for a quick overview, what does Curalate, and what does Tailwind do for the average humans? Basically, it's telling me my keywords and specific projects and how far they're going, and a little bit deeper than Google Analytics. It's going to give you a little better picture and a little deeper picture within those specific platforms.
-So if I'm watching this, I should definitely be looking at my Google Analytics information?
RACHEL FAUCETT: Right.
-This is weekly, or daily? How often do you look at it?
-Several times a day.
CLAY CLARK: Really?
-I do. Be caught up in the numbers. Be caught up in the numbers. Be conscious. Don't blindly create content that people hate. All of a sudden you've created 10 projects, and you realize a week later, when you look at the analytics, that no one liked it.
-Man, that's you're sweet spot-- creating content people hate!
-Yeah. Exactly. Be extremely conscious and then create content. Don't waste your time.
-The final principle, which ties into the last one there, is pay attention to what your audience is sharing and talking about. Really, when you pay attention and you notice that your audience is sharing something, do you immediately start to write more stuff about that?
-100% right. That's exactly it. We just covered that. The second we see that, we're really excited. We had an idea-- just an off-the-cuff idea. I think I talked about it earlier. Hershey's wanted note cards. And I love knock-knock jokes, and so we created a series of knock-knock jokes, and now we're literally going ahead with that, because they're doing so well. And so we're going to have knock-knock Mondays.
CLAY CLARK: Knock-knock Mondays!
-Knock-knock Mondays for a while.
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