This is a guest post by my new podcast
co-host, Michele Cushatt. She is a communicator and storyteller whose speaking experiences include Women of Faith, Focus on the Family, and Compassion International. You can read her blog
and follow her on Twitter
. Michele will also be speaking at this year’s Platform Conference, November 9-11 in Colorado Springs. For ticket information, please visit our website
For three months each year, three of my six children are the same age. The youngest are twins, a boy and a girl. The next is a girl, nine months older. This means every March, April and May, I’m mother to triplets. Have mercy.
Photo courtesy of Istockphoto.com/Jason_V
It has its benefits—raising children so close in age. They wake up and go to bed at the same time, enjoy similar games and toys, watch the same movies. But there’s a definite downside to their close proximity: individuality often gets swallowed up by uniformity.
When I started building my platform, it never occurred to me to make money from it. When someone suggested I start accepting advertising, I resisted because I thought (erroneously) it would compromise my integrity.
image courtesy of shutterstock.com/koya979
Then I realized that all professional creatives charge for their work. In fact, this is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.
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Over the course of my career, I’ve listened to thousands of sales pitches. These have come from authors, speakers, vendors, employees, investors, and even politicians.
Some of these pitches were remarkable; most were not. Those making them squandered the opportunity to make the sale. What they needed was a carefully-crafted “elevator pitch.”
When I started blogging, using my platform to make money was the furthest thing from my mind. Back then, I just wanted to share my ideas and connect with others.
Now that I’ve build an entire business around my platform, that may be hard to believe. But, I just didn’t know what was possible, and I definitely didn’t know how to get started.
One of the easiest and most lucrative ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing. For example, you review a book and include an affiliate link to the appropriate product page on Amazon. If you readers click on the link and buy the book, Amazon pays you a commission.
This is how I got started back in 2008. I didn’t make much money initially, but it was enough to cover my blog hosting fees. Fast forward to today. Affiliate marketing is my single biggest source of income. That’s why I believe it should be part of every blogger’s monetization strategy.
What could happen to your product, service, brand, or cause, if you could more media coverage—the right kind of coverage?
In this brief video, my friend Stu McLaren interviews me about how platform-builders can get more media coverage for their business or cause. This is an excerpt from this month’s Master Class at Platform University.
I have done more than 1,600 radio, television, newspaper, and podcast interviews. In the Master Class, I share what I have learned—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In this brief video, I talk with Andrew Buckman about three common mistakes platform-builders make with their blogs. This is an excerpt from this month’s Master Class at Platform University. Andrew is a WordPress genius, my web developer, and the co-founder of Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress.
In this ten-minute video, we discuss:
In this short video, I tell you my four simple steps to starting a blog. It may sounds basic, but creating quality content and getting it into the hands of your readers is the foundation for building a successful platform. If you don’t have this, nothing else matters.
Whether you are starting your first blog, or have been at it for a while, here are four essential steps you can’t afford to miss:
I recently interviewed social media strategist and Facebook expert Amy Porterfield about how to use Facebook to create massive engagement and build tribes. Her suggestions really got my wheels turning about what is possible, not just for my platform, but for yours, too.
Now, full-disclosure, I’m a Facebook novice. Twitter has been my primary focus. But what I learned from Amy is that I’ve been underutilizing a major tool for connecting with my audience.
Generating quality blog content is a lot of work. However, you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can use video interviews to bring in outside expertise. It’s simple and inexpensive.
I have done this repeatedly on my blog. Two people who are particularly good at this are Jamie Tardy and David Siteman Garland. Their blogs are almost exclusively video interviews.
It’s easy to make mistakes when you start blogging. I’ve made plenty myself. Thankfully, none of them were fatal. But they kept my blog’s traffic from growing as quickly as it should have.
You don’t have to make these same mistakes. In this video, I share the three biggest mistakes I see other bloggers making. These will kill your traffic if you don’t eliminate them.