I was recently invited to a brand building event for bloggers in Kings Cross, London. Hosted by the lovely Anna Hart at the Greenlight Digital offices, us lucky attendees were treated to snacks, a little fizz and a talk from Anna where she shared a selection of her top tips for bloggers and influencers.
Anna Hart is someone I’ve followed for a while across various social channels, and you may know her from her blog South Molton st Style. She also runs One Roof Social, an influencer media management company that connects brands with bloggers. The busy lady was on hand to chat all things blogging, brand and business with a selection of us for the evening, so I headed down to London with a notebook and camera.
The event was sponsored by Currys PC World and Microsoft, who gave out goodie bags and talked tech towards the end of the night, but the main event was Anna Hart. I wanted to share with you my biggest takeaways from the night, and also pull in some of my own personal experience and advice. Let’s dive in any take a look!
Know Your Audience
Every website, blog, and brand has an audience, and there are key characteristics that define them – their demographics. These include their age, gender, interests, where they live and more. Understanding your audience demographics is key for a number of reasons, not least as it will help you tailor your content you create to hit the mark every time you publish.
Knowing your audience will also help you know which campaigns are right to accept and which you should pass on. Quite often PR agencies will find you through tools that match your demographics with those of their campaign, but that’s not always the case – so make sure that you don’t assume that you’ve been approached because you fit the bill. Know who your readers are and protect your own brand from campaigns that don’t match their age and interests.
One of the easiest way to learn about your audience is by switching on Demographic tracking in Google Analytics. This will mean you get anonymous tracking data on the kinds of websites your audience visit, so you get to know the interests of those people who land on your pages. Match this up with which posts get the most traction each month by checking your page popularity in Analytics and the levels of engagement on your social channels to get a clearer view of which types of content is resonating with your audience the most.
Writing Smarter Content
You may understand your audience and taking on the right campaigns, but that doesn’t mean your blog has to stay the same forever. You’re always growing and changing, and your blog should come on the journey with you. So if you start getting into fitness or go vegan start writing about it, but transition your content gradually – don’t stop writing about the things that served you will in the past or you’ll suddenly alienate your audience.
Consistency will help too. One of the most common tips with content is to publish it at the same time each day or week – it helps your users to get into a reading routine and Google likes to know what to expect too.
Speaking of Google, including relevant keywords in your posts is always a good idea, but identifying trends is just as important. I regularly check Google Trends to see what’s hot and often employ what’s known as Trend Jacking – where you write about what’s how right now and push it across your social channels. A standout example was a couple of years ago when Madonna was in the news for a wardrobe malfunction that lead to her taking a tumble at a live awards show – everyone was reposting that video. I write about music every Monday, so that particular week I got involved and published my 5 favourite Madonna tracks. It fitted perfectly with what was hot at that moment but angle I chose fitted in perfectly with my existing content strategy.
Using the Right Tech
Most of us are publishing our content online, either on the web or through apps, so technology is crucial. Microsoft were on hand to chat through the capabilities of their new Surface Pro tablets and Word Research, which is a wikipedia-like plug-in that gives you access to information on just about anything while you’re writing.
Personally I use a MacBook Pro, and some of the most important software I use for blogging is Photoshop and Sketch. Photoshop can be tricky to learn, but is essential if you’re editing photos. I bought the official Adobe Classroom book on how to use it quite a few years back and have been comfortable ever since, but there are plenty of Youtube tutorials available for free. Sketch is a handy graphics package for the Mac which I use for designing wishlists and other graphics.
In the end the best software is the one that you’re most comfortable with using, but don’t be afraid to get stuck in and start learning!
In all I had a great evening with Anna Hart, networking with other bloggers and hearing her talks and advice. One of the sponsors Curry’s PC World did their own writeup of the night, be sure to have a quick read. I’ve included a few snaps below, take a look and see if there’s any other bloggers that you recognise.