Creating a 2016 blog strategy

Video Notes

Any websites or resources that are discussed in my videos are always listed and linked below. Links with an * next to them are affiliate links- just thought you guys should know that. Enjoy!!

50 copy & paste blog post ideas: This month's worksheet is filled with 50 copy & paste blog post titles that you can use if you can't think of anything to write.

Calliframe: This is the website of one of our very own Shelancers, Chrys. Chrys is a website designer who fearlessly moved to Africa and left an (un)creative career to jump into the design industry. She's a really interesting lady and she's always up for chatting in our Facebook group, so drop her a message!

Devan Danielle: Devan is all about the branding! She helps bloggers and small business owners establish a meaningful brand by going beyond the visuals. Check out her blog for her latest (UBER fantastic) series: 22 Days Of Branding. 

The Epic Blog Planner: A one-year editorial planner by Regina from 

The Badass Blog Planner: Created by Sarah from, this is another paper planner you could use if you'd rather choose something that is bright and inspiring!

How I grew a loyal blog audience

Video Notes

Any websites or resources that I discussed in the video are always listed and linked below. Links with an * next to them are affiliate links- just thought you guys should know that. Enjoy, my friends!

My blog: I blog about brand and website design + freelancing at

My top 10 tips for newbie designers: A blog post with an example of a content upgrade.

Free content upgrade graphics: Jamie has some gorgeous FREE call-to-action graphics that you can use in your blog posts to advertise your content upgrade. Hop on over and download 'em!!


Behind the scenes: November

In these posts, I share:

  • My blog growth
  • My newsletter growth
  • How I did with last month's goals
  • My goals for next month
  • Lessons I've learned throughout the month
  • My current obsessions

My website growth

November visits: 12,359 (-2981)

November audience: 10,207 (-2339)

Most popular post published in November: How to choose the perfect colour palette for your small business.

My top 3 traffic referrers: Pinterest (my no.1 traffic referrer since I took Melyssa's course Pinfinite Growth), Google, Direct.

You'd think that I'd be really disappointed in these figures, since November's website traffic has been lower than the traffic my site has had over the past three months, but I'm totally fine with it. Why? Because low website traffic doesn't mean my business is failing. 

In fact, I've been slammed with Skype consultations with potential clients every week of November. 

I've booked most of those potential clients, meaning I'm now fully booked until March 2016. 

I've written a couple of articles for amazing publications that I'm honored to be a part of. 

And I've been able to take some time off this month to travel to the Czech Republic and Germany (I TOTALLY recommend seeing Prague if you ever get chance!!)

Because my month was filled with client work, client bookings and travel, I only published one blog post for November. That's not usual for me and I am going to get back into a regular blogging routine from December/January onward... but this month has made me realize that I don't necessarily need to blog every week. I'm going to try blogging twice a month (every other week) but I'm going to make my posts longer and of an even higher quality, as you'll hear me discuss in this month's videos. 

If you can take away one teeny tiny lesson from this, I hope that's it's this: you don't need to blog every day or every week if you don't want to. The key to successful blogging is to write amazingly high quality posts less frequently, not low-quality posts more frequently. 

My newsletter growth

(The screenshot above only shows subscribers from November 8th onward because that was the day I switched from Mailchimp to Convertkit. You can read up on my decision to switch in this article.)

Current number of subscribers: 2941 (+280)

Most popular opt-ins: My free Brand Discovery Workbook and my free PDF '10 ways to create a cohesive brand experience'. I've found that freebies that relate to branding go down the best with new folks that land on my blog, which is great! It shows me that I'm attracting the right audience, since my main service is brand identity design. 

December Goals

I already gave you a sneak peek of my December goals last month because I wrote that post later than usual, but here they are again. 

Prelaunch my first eBook. I have everything I need to prelaunch this book. My sales page is ready, my price is ready, the cover is complete, and I even have a few webinar cohosts in mind who have products that would go well with this book as a discounted bundle. I just need to finally push myself to prelaunch and see how it goes!

Finalize the plans for my first ecourse. I have a course topic and module ideas, I just need to do all the other stuff like write a sales page, test my ideas, create a launch calendar... fun, fun fun!

Do 2 webinars. OK, this goal is by far my scariest, but I can't wait to leap on it. Doing things that scare me makes me feeling alive. It makes me feel like I'm making progress. I'm not planning on doing these webinars along, I'm going to find some awesometastic co-hosts. Stay tuned!

Lessons I learned in November

Honestly, I didn't really learn any lessons. That feels SO bizarre to write! But I honestly don't think there were any big lessons in November. I just put my head down, hustled hard and had fun. I thought a lot about how blessed I am to be able to do what I love, and that was the only real 'lesson' I'm taking away from that month.

Some months are sluggish, slow, stressful or full of mistakes. Some are calm. Some are fun. This month was the latter, and it really reminded me why I started this biz. This month has resulted in me being fully booked until March (possibly April) 2016, and that is a truly wonderful feeling. 

Current obsessions

Devan Danielle. I'm totally in love with her blog lately. She's been on my radar for a while and she is honestly the loveliest girl! She writes suuuuper meaty blog posts about branding, and she's got her content marketing game on FLEEK. 

Pat Flynn. Is it totally pathetic that I've only just started reading Pat's blog? He's probably the biggest name in the passive income game, but I've always kinda ignored him- until now. When I was thinking of switching from Mailchimp to Convertkit I saw he'd switched and wanted to know why. After reading his super long, informative post I was totally hooked on how this guy sells, writes and speaks to his audience. New loyal fan, right here!!

The Independant. A magazine put together by three powerhouse infopreneurs. It includes LOTS of articles written by your favourite bloggers, with lots of action tips and worksheets to help you build your blog and business. Yours truly may have written something for the next issue so stay tuned. ;)


Worksheet | 30 copy & paste blog post ideas

So you wanna create a blog but you don't have anything to write about. 

Or you already have a blog, but you're feeling stuck.

You keep waiting for blog post ideas to pop into your head but they're just. not. coming. Or even worse: you feel like a total fraud- like you're not qualified or experienced enough to write on your subject- and that fraudulent feeling is stopping you from putting anything out into the world. 

Sound familiar?

Here's what I tell the freelancers I consult with: it doesn't matter if you don't feel like you're experienced enough to start writing about something. Just start! 

When I first started my business, one of the first articles I was wrote was about how to name your business. But why? If I wasn't an expert in naming businesses (or business in genera) then why start writing about it?

Because I had just decided on a name for my business and it was fresh in my mind. I had made a few mistakes in deciding on a name, but I'd ultimately made up my mind and had good reasons for going with my first business name, Betty Red Design. I didn't start writing about it because I was an expert on it at the time- I wrote about it because I had something to say about it. I had an opinion on it, and I'd just been through it. That alone qualified me enough to share my view with others. 

If you aren't writing blog posts because you feel like a fraud, then push that fear away and just write. 

However!! If you aren't writing blog posts because you've hit a creative block and can't think of anything to write about, I can help. 

I've put together a 2-page PDF with 30 possible blog post titles. All you have to do is copy and paste the ones you want to use into a text document or editorial calendar and fill in the blanks!

Let's run through this super quick so you get what I mean. The first blog post title in the PDF is "5 things I wish I'd known before I started _________."

You could fill in the blanks and create all kinds of weird and wonderful blog post titles, like...

5 things I wish I'd known before I started freelancing.

5 things I wish I'd known before I started learning to juggle. 

5 things I wish I'd known before I started beatboxing. 

You get the idea. 

Just make sure you stick to your expert topic. So if you're a website designer, stick to the topic of websites and make sure your blog post titles are website-related, like...

5 things I wish I'd known before I started using Wordpress. 

Have fun with these! And don't be afraid to change them up a bit! I can't wait to see the blog posts you come up with. If have any q's or you want to share your new, totally brilliant blog posts then share them with your shelance sisters in the Facebook group!

How to get paying clients from your blog

Video Notes

Any websites or resources that I discussed in the video are always listed and linked below. Links with an * next to them are affiliate links- just thought you guys should know that. Enjoy, my friends!

Erika Madden: Erika Madden is the lady behind the blog She is really well known for blogging, but she's a prime example of a blog not being a business, but a way of promoting her business. She uses her blog to sell the infoproducts she creates.

F*** Yeah Sales Funnels and Your First 1k: If you've already purchased Mariah's courses then yay for you!! So have I and I've loooooved them. If you haven't purchased her courses yet then I'd seriously advise to get them if you have the budget. They're invaluable.