These are the show notes for Episode 27 of the Create If Writing Podcast! Today is all about mistakes I’ve made and mistakes YOU might be making with quick fixes. Want to support the show? Find me on Patreon where you can support me for as little as $4/month. This post contains affiliate links!
Listen to Create If Writing – Episode 027
I hate making mistakes. But I sure make a lot of them! Especially considering the fact that this blog and the podcast were not even on my radar at this time last year, I think it’s gone pretty well. And I always learn when I make mistakes. Maybe more than I would otherwise, because learning the hard way sticks with you!
My $1300 Mistakes of 2015
Buying a $50 Planner When I Don’t Use Planners. I thought the money would make me use it. But the thing is that I don’t consistently use paper planners. I don’t. Never have. Never will. I had a few weeks that I did populate with stickers and words and things, but overall…nada.
Spending $250 on a Business “Idea.” I went in with a few people I trust on an idea that someone they trust(ed) gave. He bought a large list that had opted in to receive general parenting posts. The plan was for us all to create freebies and an email would go out to that list offering free books when the signed up for our lists. TOTAL BUST. No emails. And the biggest mistakes is that I didn’t trust my gut. I had a feeling right before that this was a terrible idea. I should have trusted my gut.
Buying a $1000 Course That Wasn’t All That. I guess the mistake was really not asking for my money back. Or at least emailing the creator. I was kind of embarrassed to say I didn’t think it was worth the money. But out of all the courses I bought this year, it was the prettiest and the least in-depth and helpful. I honestly felt like I knew everything in it and the course was more of a great organizational tool…but I didn’t learn anything NEW.
Trying to Do What Other People Do. (A priceless mistake.) I don’t have a specific example of this, but as I launched this podcast and site, I learned by watching what other people did. Without realizing it, I often made decisions based on what other people were doing. That’s not a BAD thing, but it can be when you don’t consider what you want to do, what you THINK you should do or what your audience wants, it is NOT the best option. Once I realized I was doing this, it helped me see clearly that I needed to step back and make my own choices. Learning from others is great! But that all needs to be filtered through yourself.
I’ve learned a lot this year! I’m looking forward to all I’ll learn this next year. Hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes again—I’ll make new ones!
Let’s get practical for YOU. Here are two mistakes you might be making that you can correct TODAY.
Two Big Blog Mistakes with Easy Fixes
Not Customizing and Optimizing Your Email Forms
This is not technically a BLOG mistake, but because I feel like email is the backbone of your blog, I’m counting it. When you use an email service provider like ConvertKit (read why I like them HERE), Mailchimp, Mad Mimi, or Aweber, you will have a series of forms, pages, and emails that people will see as they sign up. Many people, even people with large followings, miss opportunities by not customizing these forms.
If you aren’t sure what these are, try signing up for your email list. See what this process looks like and jot down notes of things that look weird or off. Then head over to your email service provider and update. Need some tips?
Tips for Optimizing Your Email Forms
- Brand things with your logo and blog colors.
- Write the way you do on your blog or in your email. Be personal & memorable.
- Don’t add any links or distractions on the sign-up page. That page or form has ONE purpose: getting people to enter an email.
- Don’t add any links or distractions in the confirmation email. This email has ONE function: getting people to confirm their opt-in.
- Any time you can create a thank you page, do it. (More on that below.)
- Once people have confirmed, if they see another page or are sent another email, THIS is where your links should go.
Not Utilizing Thank You Pages with Social Shares
This is totally related to the email forms, because there is almost always an option to redirect people to a page on your website rather than using that email service provider’s form or page. If you simply use what Mailchimp or ConvertKit offers, you are missing out on an opportunity to bring people back to your blog. And if you do this right, you can actually turn this page into a social sharing machine. Want to see?
These were three out of something like 50 Tweets that day shared directly from my thank-you pages. You can see that I have tagged myself so I get the notification and can respond or follow back the people who share. It’s a great way to start conversations on Twitter!
These would look prettier with shortened links, so maybe next time I’ll update that. Make sure the tweets leave 24 characters so that people can retweet from within Hootsuite or Buffer! (These are great people to follow, by the way!)
I use social sharing thank-you pages wherever possible. For email signups. For content upgrades (freebies within a post). For webinar signups. FOR ANY AND ALL SIGNUPS OF EVERY KIND HAVE A THANK YOU PAGE.
The ones I use now are from LeadPages, but you can create one in WordPress by using the Click2Tweet plugin or embedding a tweet that people can share. When you ask people to share, they often do. Especially if you are giving them something great. So give them something great! Then ask (and make it easy for them) to share.
Links from the Episode
- Support the Create If Writing show on Patreon! I’ve got super cheap options and super fun bonuses. Like: free books, free courses, discounts, coaching, shout-outs on air, and a private Facebook group for supporters.
- Get your free 50+ page blog planner to help you start off your year!
- Sign up for the free image workshop on Thursday where I will walk you through creating branded & sized images with Picmonkey.
- And if you haven’t signed up for the Quick Fix, by golly, get on my email list already. You’ll like it!