Category: Blogging Tips

5 Lead Magnet Ideas to Build Your Email List

I absolutely LOVE lead magnets. However I am yet to figure out if I like them because they are valuable or because they are free.

So what is a lead magnet? It is a piece of content designed to help expand your email list. You provide something of value to your audience in exchange for their email address.

This is an excellent way for you to expand your email database. However remember that whatever you are offering needs to be valuable and needs to be something that people will be interested in.

It is also a good tip to keep the sign-up process as simple as possible. You do not want people starting to sign up for your lead magnet only to leave halfway because you are requesting too much information.

Here are 5 ideas for lead magnets:

  1. A Guide: Search through all your blog posts for a theme or posts that relate to each other. You can use this to create a guide. For example, I could use my blog posts to create a guide on blogging (or a very outdated guide to uni).
  2. Printables: Printables are also another favorite of mine. These are just items that are helpful that you can print such as a checklist, to-do list, motivational quotes or even a planner.
  3. Free stock images: If your audience is the type to appreciate free stock images then go for it! Personally I am always on the look-out for free stock images.
  4. Workbooks: Have I ever used a workbook? No. Have I ever given my email address away in exchange for a free workbook? Every single time. Put in the effort to create a valuable workbook tailored to your audience and you are sure to get a great response when this lead magnet goes live.
  5. A resource library: Once you have a few lead magnet options, you can compile them all in an exclusive “Members Only” library that can only be accessed by those who have given your their email address. Resource libraries are full of valuable information and so this is an excellent bargain for your audience.

Have you ever tried using a lead magnet before? Let me know below.

SEO Tips for Beginners

Guys, I have tried repeatedly to write an article on SEO basics. But I am old and forgetful and I do not know anymore what SEO techniques I use because I learnt it VS what SEO techniques I use out of habit (the latter which is probably old and outdated and might not work anymore).

As a Digital Marketer, I obviously do not want to give you irrelevant and outdated information so instead I am compiling a few links that could help you learn SEO as a beginner.

1) Moz has a beginner guide to On-Page SEO which looks at all aspects of optimizing your webpages.

2) Wordstream has a beginner guide to SEO basics however be warned, this post is incredibly long. This is an article that would probably be best to bookmark and come back to later.

3) Semrush looks specifically at SEO tips for bloggers

4) Finally, Hubspot has their own guide which I am recommending simply because they’re Hubspot.

5 Easy Tips to Increase Your Blog’s Traffic

Rome was not built in a day…and neither is blog traffic. When it comes to blogging, you need to be putting time and effort into gaining traffic for your site. As a newbie it can be difficult to know what to do in order to increase your traffic but here are 5 easy tips to help you along.

1) Share on social: Once your blog post is written (and edited and proofread for errors), share it on all your social media sites in order to increase your visibility. You can also ask friends and family to share your content so that your work can be exposed to a larger group of people.

2) Learn how to improve on your SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to optimizing your blog for search engines so that they’re able to crawl and index your website. Why is this important? SEO helps to put your blog in front of the readers who will benefit the most from reading it (eg, showing my blog to bookworms). There are a number of things you can do to improve your SEO but this article explains it pretty well. I’ve been learning SEO for so long that I wouldn’t even know where to start explaining it but I will say this. It took me three attempts at three different stages or my blog before I got the hang of SEO so absolutely do not give up.

3) Guest Post: Guest posting on other blogs is another way for you to build visibility. It allows a wider group of people to view your work and if you post on a blog in a niche that is different from yours, you can also attract a different audience.

4) Pay to play if possible: For me this is one of the last options but paying to promote your work whether this is on Google Ads, social media to just getting someone to advertise your blog, is another way to help increase your traffic. Some people say that in the digital world you need to pay to play however this isn’t something that I have needed to do.

5) Create a mailing list: My absolute least favorite way to increase blog traffic is through the building of an email list. This takes more effort however it helps to build a community of loyal readers. There are lots of ways to build an email list and I will go into detail about this later however creating a mailing list ensures that you have people who are engaged with your content and want to be informed whenever you create a new post.

There are a ton of ways to gain traffic for your blog and this is just a few of them. Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let me know below.

5 Ways to Repurpose Your Content

Content Creation is important to help build your brand and position it (and you) as an expert in your field. If you’re a book blogger, like me, it can be especially difficult to create content that stands out. However, repurposing your existing content means you’re exposing your work to more people with less effort. A total win-win!

Here are a few ways that you can repurpose your content:

1) Create a Video: Video is growing in popularity right now. With the rise of TikTok, Facebook Reels and YouTube, it seems like everywhere you go, you are bombarded with videos. Creating a video from existing content (eg, a book review or an article) means that you can reach a whole new audience. Some people prefer to absorb information through watching a video so your video could be just what they need to become a new fan.

2) Create an e-book: I love e-books. Of course, I do. I’m a book blogger. For those of us who prefer written content to videos, creating an ebook is a great way to get our attention. Don’t have enough content for an entire e-book? Go with a round-up instead (this can be a video, an infographic or a blog post).

3) Create a quote for social media: I especially like this if you’re trying to push sales for a product (eg, you could use customer testimonials or a quote from a book- in order to promote said book) or even to share a nugget of wisdom from an article or video. Create a graphic for social media and link back to the original piece of content.

4) Create an infographic: Personally this isn’t my favorite piece of content to generate. However it is one of my favorite pieces of content to consume. Infographics break down information into easily digestible chunks.

5) Create short videos: Take the most valuable information from your content and break them up into short-form videos (i.e videos between 30 seconds and 2 minutes). Boom, you now have content for TikTok, Facebook/Instagram Reels AND YouTube shorts.

Have you ever tried repurposing your content? What are your favorite ways to reuse content as a blogger? Let me know below.

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Start a Book Blog

I love my blog. Usually. Sure there are some moments when I’m stumped for content ideas and want to tear my hair out but most of the time I am pretty proud of what I have created. That being said, book blogging always feels like something I fell into rather than consciously going into. And with my years of experience I want to share 5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T start a book blog.

  1. Free Books– First and foremost. Free books. Whenever I mention I have a blog, the first thing people want to know is if I get free things. In fact I remember drawing out plans for a book blog back in ninth grade before an exam with the sole intention of getting free books. The blog never even got started but don’t be that person. Getting free books for a blog is so far off in the future that you are better off not starting a blog at all.
  2. It is hard work– Coming up with content is tough especially if you’re looking for non book-reviews content. Yes your blog can focus on just reviews but everyone does that. You want to stand out. You NEED to stand out.
  3. If you’re a bookworm, this is an expensive hobby– Here, ladies and gentleman we have the real reason I fell into book blogging. To justify my bookworm habits. No I’m not obsessive about books and fictional characters. I’m just a book blogger. For the longest while, my book blog was used as an excuse to purchase more and more books. Now I’m sitting with 3 shelves of unread books and instead of reading them, I’m watching Netflix. (They look at me with judgement in their spines and I can’t stand it).
  4. It is incredibly time-consuming– You need to generate content ideas, get graphics, draft posts and edit. Then you need to promote on social media- preferably different platforms so your work gets exposed to a different audience. I’ve been sitting here for two hours just preparing this post (and okay, occasionally checking Whatsapp but my point stands).
  5. There can be some ugliness– Trolls hating on your feed, copycats duplicating your work and passing it off as theirs and even authors just being downright shady in some cases. Google it. I don’t even want to go there but I remember a story of an author tracking down a book blogger’s physical addreses (What the ACTUAL fudge?)

In life, nothing and no one is perfect. I will always say that you should start a book blog. It’s an amazing experience provided you’re doing it for the right reasons and you know what to expect.

Do you have a book blog? Feel free to leave your link below!

5 Hacks Every Blogger Needs to Know

I miss the days when blogging was just a hobby I had on the side and I could choose how much (or usually, how little) effort I wanted to put in depending on my current workload at uni.

Now that I’ve been blogging for a while and Playground of Randomness seems to be a permanent part of my life, I’ve made it a priority to take it seriously. In doing so, there are lots of little tricks I use to blog more efficiently. Here are 5 hacks that every blogger should know:

1) Batch your work– Whether it’s generating ideas or creating graphics, make sure to batch your work so that you’re doing it all at once. I used to think of an idea, create the graphic and then write the blog post. Let me tell you- that got old FAST. It is far more efficient (not to mention easy) if you do similar tasks together.

2) Set up a system to respond to emails– I usually only reply to emails between 8AM and 5PM because those are my working hours. I also only ever reply to emails from work and usually from my cellphone (I am really lazy when it comes to switching the laptop on for anything that isn’t writing-related). If you are not swamped with too many emails, load your blog email on your phone or tablet so that you can reply to mails while you are on the go.

3) DO spend time on social media– A large portion of blogging is about writing but an even larger portion is about promotion. Put in the time and effort to promote your blog on social media. It will help you find new readers for your blog.

4) Have a content notebook– Have a notebook or an app where you can list content ideas. This helps if you ever get stuck with thinking about what to blog. This also helps you with deciding what content to publish when.

5) Use Google Analytics– I only learnt about Google Analytics when I signed up for a Digital Marketing course a year back. But from my very first second, I was glued. It was like magic. Google Analytics shows you what your readers are interested in so you can create the content that they want to read.

What other blogging hacks do you use? I’d love to know below.

Why You Should Consider Self-hosting Your Blog

It’s been two years since I took the leap and bought myself a domain and hosting. Till today, I still believe that this was the best decision I had ever made. Here are some reasons why you should consider self-hosting your blog if you haven’t already.

Laptop and cellphone

1) You have greater control over your blog- You can have ads (and control the ads that appear on your page) as well as write sponsored content which some blog hosts don’t allow.

2) Plug-ins galore- there’s a plug-in for everything. Stopping spam, managing SEO, Pinterest, torturing your jackass ex. Okay that last one is still a work in progress but there’s no end to the amount of fun plug-ins available for a self-hosted blog.

3) It looks more professional/People take you more seriously- sadly people tend to find self-hosted blogs and their bloggers as more serious about blogging. I hate this stereotype (especially since I know so many great blogs that aren’t self-hosted) but it’s difficult to combat. Also I kinda like seeing co.za in my blog URL. It makes ME feel professional.

Is your blog self-hosted? Why or why not? I’d love to know your views on hosting.

4 Tips on How to Improve Your Blog Traffic With the Content You Already Have

Churning out blog post after blog post is difficult. It’s time-consuming and sometimes no matter how often or how long you sit down, you just can’t think about what to write. Here are four tips on how to use the content you already have to improve your blog traffic:

 

  1. Use Social Media to promote your old posts: As I mentioned above, writing blog posts takes alot of time and effort. So why let all that work go to waste? As you grow followers on your social media channels, share posts from “back in the day”.
  2. Rewrite old posts: Your writing has probably changed over time. Rewrite old posts to maintain your current tone or add extra information that you have learnt about a topic.
  3. Update your graphics for old posts: This is one of my favourite ways to update a blog post since it is so quick and easy.
  4. Use Old Posts to help you find new ideas: Go over your old posts- especially the really popular ones- and see what inspiration hits you.

What are your tips for improving your blog with the content you already have? I’d love to know below.

Why You Should Start a Blog in College

Okay, I know I might be a bit biased but I really believe that starting a blog is ALWAYS a good idea. Starting a blog in college is like the best idea. Here’s why:

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1) You have a record of your college experience- College is not something that is forever (honestly I wouldn’t want it to be either). A blog is a great way to keep track of your college experience. It’s been two years but I still like to read and reread the horror of my first year. I like looking back and marvelling at how things have changed.

2) You gain writing experience- You’re probably wondering why do you need writing experience. Well if you’re a student of humanities chances are that you’re going to be writing essays. Knowing how to write well is a great advantage to have in college. There have been so many occasions when I had no idea what I was saying in an essay but I managed to scrape together a pass.

3) You gain friends- blogging is a great way to make friends. You find people who are going through the same things as you. Being a college blogger allows you to meet other stressed college students who you can share your woes with.

4) You get a portfolio of writing pieces- if you’re interested in a job that involves writing, starting a blog is a good place to begin. You can gain writing clips simply by writing on your blogs. Some paying jobs actually look for blogging experience.

Do you have a college blog? What’s your favourite blog to read? I’d love to know!

5 FREE Sources for Pictures for Your Blog

Laptop and notebook

When I first started blogging I had no pictures in my blog posts. I didn’t think I needed them- I cared more about my words than the way they looked. I also had no idea where to get photos from. If you’ve had issues finding pictures for your blog posts this is for you.

1) Take Your Own- It’s your blog and no one know better than you what pictures you need. The easiest way to get pictures that you need is to take your own. However, keep in mind that you need great lighting and a good quality picture. I know nothing about photography so I always rely on websites instead. Also I really don’t trust my photo skills.

2) Death to the Stock Photo- Death to the Stock photo provides you with monthly photo collections based on a theme. Most of my pictures are from their site.

3) Picjumbo- Picjumbo provides you with new photos every few days and they occasionally allow you access to their premium packs. Their photos are of a high-quality and always have a theme depending on the time of the year. Need a Christmas or Easter-themed photo? They have you covered!

4) Canva- There is no end to what you can do with Canva. Use it to create social media banners, blog posts, infographs or printables. I especially like using Canva to add text to my pictures from Picjumbo or Death to the Stock Photo.

5) Pexels- I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pexels. Simply type in what you’re looking for in the search(e.g, a picture of a laptop) and pick from one of their many choices.

How do you get pictures for your blog? Have you tried any of the above sites? I’d love to know below.

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