Blogging

How to Pitch a Brand: What to Say and What Not to Say
Pitching Brands: What to Say and What Not to Say

Want to work with that company to review a product or represent a product line? Great! Send them a pitch! Go for it no matter how small you may feel your numbers are. But be sure to first think carefully about what that initial email will say. Compose it, let it sit for a day, read it again, ask a blogging buddy to look it over, and hone it again before you click send.

That first impression is vital to getting to a yes.

Keep in mind that the default answer is no. It’s too much effort, too much time, and too much money to deal with you when they are taking a gamble that you will produce any positive results.

Yes, in theory, they want to work with influencers—especially those that can bring in new leads, fresh traffic, and purchases—but they need to have confidence that you are going to benefit their company’s bottom line.

So what should you include in that opening email pitch?

Don’t Include These in Your Pitch

  • Your health—Don’t talk about your disabilities, chronic illnesses, or other medical situations unless they somehow directly tie into the promotion of the product. If you are pitching a company that makes a medical aid, then your illness relates. If you are pitching a curriculum provider, it doesn’t relate.
  • Your spouses’s or your employment situation—recently laid off, a poor minister, an underpaid civil servant, a dedicated first responder, etc. These things simply aren’t relevant to the pitch.
  • Any sob story, however factual and sad it may actually be.

Bottom line: Don’t try to elicit sympathy. Instead demonstrate your value.

Appealing to pity is not a strong way to start a business deal. Doing so comes off as unprofessional at least and manipulative at worst.

Do Include These in Your Pitch

1. Show a genuine affinity with the brand.

Mention your prior experience with the product, your agreement with the philosophy behind the product, and/or your belief in the mission behind the brand.

Realize that your blog is public. The brand can easily research to see if you really are what you say you are. (And they will.) For example, you say in your pitch that you are a classical homeschooler, but your blog is filled with unschooling and unit study blog posts? Busted. You are obviously not a classical homeschooler. Not only are you now not a good fit for this classical product you are pitching, but you also look like a liar (or at least flakey as you are flip flopping your style out of the blue).

Another example. You pitch COMPANY BANANA that uses approach XYZ. But just last year, you wrote a negative post about COMPANY PEACH that also uses approach XYZ, telling how horrid that approach is for your family. This disconnect makes COMPANY BANANA very uneasy. If COMPANY PEACH which uses the same approach didn’t work for you, why would COMPANY BANANA work?

If you are already a user of the product and can point to existing content about it, the brand is going to be on board and fast, especially if that content has driven traffic to their site in the past. If you come off as a mom who’s curriculum shopping and is merely using her blog as a bargaining chip to get free material, you are not going to get a positive response to your pitch.

Let me emphasize, the biggest red flag the brand experiences is that you are merely seeking free stuff. Brands want to work with bloggers and online influencers who they think will promote their ends. They don’t want to be taken advantage of by sending products and getting no return on their investment. Compose your pitch, and then read it again, asking yourself if it’s focused on the company’s advantage more than your own.

2. Include your URLs

It seems absurd to mention, but it happens all the time. A blogger or YouTuber reaches out to a brand and doesn’t even include a link to her site, YouTube channel, or other relevant social properties in the pitch. Not impressive. It makes you look pretty ditzy.

3. Email, don’t message

Don’t send a pitch via an Instagram DM or Facebook Messenger. Sure, you can use that method to find out the email address to contact. But use email to actually conduct business.

2. Tell exactly what you can do for the brand.

This is the most critical part of the pitch. If you can’t articulate what you can offer, the company is not going to be incredibly interested. First of all, these people are busy. Don’t make them have to think too hard. Put your offer in a bulleted list so they can easily scan and see what you offer.

For example

  • 2 blog posts posted in MONTH (18K average monthly users)
  • Facebook shares of each blog post on my page with 10K followers, using the branded content feature
  • pinning of the 2 blog posts (2 photos per blog post) to multiple boards over the course of 2 months (at least 20 pins of 4 unique images)
  • 4 Instagram shares to my account with 5K followers
  • one email to my subscriber list of 4K subscribers (average open rate of 23%, CTR of 7%)

Include a media kit or at least a list (LIST—not paragraph form) of your reach (including traffic stats and social followers). You can see how in the example above I integrated the stats into the offer so it’s very easy to see and evaluate exactly what they are getting.

3. Be willing to negotiate.

Allow for give and take as you go back and forth with the brand. They are not likely to immediately say yes right out of the gate. They are going to ask questions and probe for a promotion package that suits their marketing goals. Be willing to offer more or take a little less as you adjust your offer.

Maybe the brand is focusing on Facebook and isn’t really interested in Instagram or email at this time. Be willing to customize your package to emphasize what they want. This doesn’t mean you go to the brand with an open slate, saying “What can I do for you for free stuff?” or “What can I do for you for $500?” That’s too open-ended and looks like you are either a total newbie or are desperate.

You start with an offer—or at least a skeleton of one—and then you hone the plan, going back and forth with the company until both parties are satisfied.

4. Communicate

Be sure to follow up with the links to all the content and social shares you promised. Don’t make the client hunt you down for them.

And, by all means, if you encounter some sort of crisis or technical disaster that keeps you from meeting your agreed upon deadlines, communicate with the client. These companies are run by people who have sympathy, but if they don’t know that your house just flooded, your child was rushed to the emergency room, or your parent just died (all real situations I’ve faced with bloggers in the past), they are left assuming you simply didn’t hold up your end of the bargain. Approach them first. Don’t make them email you asking what happened. Take the initiative, and you will find them more than willing to offer an extension on your agreement.

How to Pitch a Brand: What to Say and What Not to Say

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7 Keys to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
7 Keys to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

Earning money through affiliate sales is a legitimate way to add income to your family budget. I have earned thousands of dollars each year since I learned these 7 keys to maximize affiliate commissions. That extra income has pulled my family through times of unemployment and illness. Although these tips do require an investment of time on your part, once you set them up, many of these actions go on to create passive income for months, even years, afterwards.

These things work, and I urge you to try them out, tweak them, and then let me know your successes. Simply comment on this post or shoot an email to jimmielanley@gmail.com to get in touch with me.

On to the first tip!

1. Create Personalized Sidebar Ads

Let’s be honest. Most banners, ads, and buttons that affiliate programs offer you are a bit boring. Some are even ugly. And it goes without saying that they are all the same. How can you make your sidebar ads stand out?

The answer is to create your own, unique ads. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to do this. Take a photo of the product in action, for example, your child using the toy or reading the book. Add the product name (and maybe the logo) and a call to action as a text overlay. Think of the way you make pinnable images for your blog posts. But do that for a static ad in your sidebar.

Here’s an example of a personalized ad I created and linked to my review. I have made hundreds of dollars from affiliate sales of this product.

wm-personalized-ad
See? it’s nothing amazing from a graphic design point of view. But it’s personalized and inviting. It works!

Once you have your personalized ad, experiment with these ideas.

  • link the ad to the product site with your affiliate link
  • link the ad to your product review post which includes affiliate links
  • include the ad at the bottom of a series of posts
  • include the ad in your RSS footer (use the WordPress plug-in RSS Footer)
  • upload your ad to a Tweet that includes your affiliate link
  • upload your ad to a G+ post that outlines how you use the product

Whenever you are using affiliate links online, you must legally disclose them. Become familiar with the FTC guidelines (download PDF), and always comply. It’s the law, and it’s the right thing to do.

2. Promote with Pinterest in Mind

Just a few facts to set up the importance of Pinterest:

  1. The average pin is repinned 10 times.
  2. Pins send traffic months after they are originally pinned.
  3. Visitors to a site who come via Pinterest, spend more money than those coming from any other social media network.

How can you use the power of Pinterest to boost affiliate sales?

1. Create multiple pinnable images for your posts.

Most bloggers start each post with a very nice pinnable image. How about making two, three or more pinnable images for your post? Doing so means more variety on Pinterest and more potential visitors to your post.

2. Make pinnable images that tout benefits of the product.

Without sounding like a commercial, add some text onto your image that explains a benefit of the product, how you use it, or a quote from your child about the product.

3. Optimize your images for search.

Most pinners are lazy and will not go to a lot of trouble to edit the default description that comes up. So take the time to edit the alt or title fields of your images so that they say what you want them to say. You want to include keywords that shoppers would search for.

4. Link to your site or use affiliate links directly on Pinterest pins.

As of May 2016, Pinterest allows affiliate links on their platform. (Previously Pinterest would either strip out affiliate links on pins or show a warning when people click the pin.) So now you have two options. You can link an image directly to the shop with your affiliate link or you can link back to your own site that has affiliate links.

There is a caveat, of course. Each affiliate program has its own terms and conditions. For example, Amazon does not allow affiliate links on Pinterest. In your Amazon account, you can add all the domains where you will use affiliate links. Besides your own domains, you are allowed to enter Facebook pages, YouTube channel, and Twitter accounts. And that’s it. To avoid having your Amazon affiliate account revoked, be sure to follow the rules.

If you are using affiliate links on Pinterest, you must disclose that in the pin description according to FTC regulations. Stay legal and ethical!

On your own site, make sure your images are linked to the product with your affiliate links. People love to click links. Above all, don’t miss the opportunity for affiliate earnings by mistakenly linking images to image files.

3. Capture Personalized Tidbits About the Product

One of the standard ways to drive affiliate commissions is the product review post. However, if you want to encourage sales, you need to share very detailed, very personal tidbits about the product. Mere mentions of a product probably won’t entice readers to click through. You need to paint a vivid picture of the product and the benefits it provides.

Why?

  • It demonstrates authenticity. You really use and love the product.
  • It reassures the buyer that the product is high quality and a good fit.

Anyone can visit the product website to read about the features. Your blog readers want to know what you think about the product, how you use it, how your kids reacted.

If you really are using the product (and that’s always the best way to make affiliate sales), you have stories. The problem is remembering them when it comes time to write the post.

Solution: Record Keeping

You need a way to record all the tidbits so that when it’s time to write a post, you have a wealth of material to work from. How you do that can vary according to your style.

  • use Evernote
  • use a spiral bound notebook
  • use a magnetic notepad on the refrigerator
  • stop and add a blurb to a running draft in your blog

The point is to capture the information when it happens so you don’t forget. Here are things to take note of:

  • what you expected the product to be like
  • stories about when the package arrived
  • questions or comments your children or spouse made about the product
  • background stories that demonstrate a need for the product
  • funny situations that happened while using the product
  • how the product solved a specific problem in your life
  • things you loved about the product, especially how it was better than you expected
  • things you wished the product did or offered
  • how you used the product with something else
  • your future plans for the product

All along this path, be sure to take photos too. Those images, spaced out over the course of several days will look more authentic than a staged photo-shoot with the product.

You can even share these tidbits as they happen via social media for a steady stream of authentic promotion. Then compile them all into your blog post.

4. Change Your Mindset —Go Beyond a Single Product Review

You can write a single product review and possibly make a couple of affiliate commissions from it. But to maximize your earnings, you need to think of your affiliate relationship as just that — a long-term relationship with the company.

You have loyal blog readers, random blog visitors, and followers on social media. How can you reach all of them with your product recommendation (and affiliate link)?

You need a steady stream of authentic mentions. I don’t mean constantly tweeting an ad with an affiliate link and screaming, “Buy! Buy!” That is not authentic.

  • Authentic is showing the product in use today, two days later, and a week later.
  • Authentic is sharing a funny story related to the product.
  • Authentic is mentioning how much you love the product because it solved a problem today.

For a lot of these authentic mentions, you don’t even include a link to the product. You are simply showing people that you truly use and love the product. (Because you do, right? If you don’t, you are promoting the wrong stuff.) Instagram is the perfect place to do this!

Then when your followers ask for more information, you have a perfect platform for sharing your affiliate link. And when your readers and followers finally see your product review, they know that it’s legit and not merely a ploy to earn money on your part.

Once you have a nice set of content about a particular product and are seeing affiliate commissions, you can guarantee the company will be eager to get a personalized email from you with ideas for furthering the partnership.

5. Move Beyond Product Reviews and Tap Into Evergreen Content

Product reviews are great; create them! But don’t stop there. To really earn from affiliate commissions, you need to tap into the power of evergreen content.

Evergreen content is content that is valuable today, tomorrow, next week, next month, even next year. It is helpful to a broader audience than those who might search for a product review.

How can you use evergreen content to boost affiliate sales?

Think beyond the product to a larger context. Come up with a topic that answers a reader’s question or solves a reader’s problem. And within the context of that helpful post, mention the product with your affiliate link.
Here are some examples from the education niche to get your ideas flowing.

product: software that teaches keyboarding skills

evergreen topics

  • Ten Ways to Encourage Reluctant Writers
  • Eight Life Skills Your Children Need
  • Why Learning Typing is More Important Than Learning Cursive

product: mapping software

evergreen topics

  • Six Easy Ways to Include Geography in Your Lessons
  • How to Plan Geography Lessons for a Semester

product: a fitness curriculum

evergreen topics

  • Five Reasons Your Family Needs to Exercise Together
  • Best Ways to Get Preteens Away from Screens and On Their Feet
  • How Physical Activity Helps your Children Do Better in School

In order for this tactic to work, you have to deliver real value. Readers can sense manipulation, so creating thinly veiled commercials will not work. Offer thoughtful solutions to your readers’ problems and incorporate natural mentions of the product you are an affiliate for.

Bonus Evergreen Tip

Readers love printables. So create a free printable that relates to your topic. Make an attractive, pinnable image to promote that freebie, and include your affiliate links in the post. Voila! Your post is begging to be shared and visited.

6. Ride the Google Wave with G+ and YouTube

Did you know that videos from YouTube are 50 times more likely to be served up in search results than text content is?

Did you know that links shared on G+ are indexed by Google in a matter of minutes and that G+ posts show up in search results?

If you aren’t using G+ or YouTube yet to drive affiliate sales, why not? If you are thinking about making the plunge into vlogging, there is no better time than now!

Create videos to complement your text product reviews. Embed the videos into your posts and link the post in the video description field. Talking head videos or screencasts are the easiest ways to start. Video viewers have a short attention span, so don’t bother with a long introduction. Jump immediately into your assessment of the product. Keep the pace fast and the length of the video short.

I use Screencast O’Matic to create both kinds of videos (and you can easily switch back and forth within a single recording). This is my referral link.

Share your product review and evergreen post links on Google Plus with a meaty introduction of at least 100 words. (If you drop a link without that long introduction, your post is not as likely to show up in search.) For more about how to post on G+, read this. And pin it here.

7. Repurpose Your Affiliate Content

You’ve worked hard to create product reviews and evergreen content with your affiliate links. You’ve made pinnable images, free printables, and maybe even YouTube videos.

Now what?

Most of the content you create can be repurposed several times over with sneeze pages.

Sneeze pages are indexes that curate the best of your content centered on a single topic. Go back in your archives and dig it all out so your readers don’t miss anything. Arrange the list in an attractive format with links to your product reviews and evergreen content.

  • Annotate the list with brief descriptions or a Q&A format so readers know what each link holds.
  • Or write the sneeze page as an article itself.
  • Include the sneeze pages in your header navigation and/or sidebar.
  • Share the sneeze pages on social media.
  • Make pinnable images for the sneeze pages.

More Repurposing Ideas

  • Periodically tweet old product reviews and evergreen content with affiliate links. (There are tools that can help automate this process. I use and love Edgar.)
  • Pin old product reviews and videos to a new Pinterest board.
  • Create a seasonal or niche Pinterest board related to the affiliate product. Drag that board to the top of your profile.
  • Include your affiliate links (or content with affiliate links) in round-ups, and list posts.
  • Ask your blogging buddies to share old product reviews and evergreen content via social media.
7 Keys to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers • I have earned thousands of dollars with these keys, and you can too.
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Why You Should Trust the Blogger You are Working With
Why You Should Trust the Blogger You are Working With (And What That Looks Like)

I started my social media work as a blogger myself, so I understand both sides of the field. I know what it’s like to pitch a company for ad space or a compensated review. And I also know what it’s like to evaluate those proposals on behalf of a company. I’ve organized blog campaigns with dozens of bloggers, serving as a go-between for companies, asking bloggers for corrections or additions to their sponsored posts.

Over the years, I’ve seen companies make a lot of mistakes when it comes to working with bloggers. Sometimes I’m in a situation where I can educate and affect change. Other times, my hands are tied and I can only stand back and shake my head with disappointment.

One big piece of advice I have for working with bloggers is to trust them.

Bloggers Probably Know More Than You Do

If you aren’t a blogger yourself (and 9 times out of 10 having a company blog is nothing like what these bloggers do), realize that bloggers know a lot more about blogging than you do. They also probably know a lot more about social media and search engine optimization in general.

So when you get highly granular about what you want in a blog post from them, trust them when they push back. If they object to something, there’s probably a legitimate reason. They know how something like that has flopped in the past. They know how their audience responds. They know best social media practices, and they are trying to give you the best possible experience.

They are also trying to protect their authenticity as a blogger, nurture the trust they have developed with their readers, and build their base of quality, evergreen content. Those aren’t selfish things. Those are smart things. If they lose their audience and sacrifice quality of content, then how can they reach people with your message?

The best situation for a blogger-company relationships is when it’s a win for both sides. You get excellent exposure, a traffic spike, new sign ups, (whatever), and the blogger gets engaged readers, traffic via social media, hits via search engines, and yet another piece of quality content on her site.

Trust the Blogger’s Slant

This is the biggest point of contention between bloggers and companies that I see. A company typically desires a review post that features the company name in the post title and is exclusively about their product or service.

There’s a place for a straight review post. You do need those! However, if the blogger you are working with wants to get creative and write a broader post using a unique slant that will resonate with her readers, let her do it. She will skillfully weave your product into a post that will reach more people than merely those who are searching for a review.

You see, online readers are savvy. Even very faithful readers of a particular blog are likely to pass over a post they know is a product review unless they already had an interest in that product. If you want to reach the broadest possible audience, being a bit more indirect is a solution. Let the blogger tuck you away in the folds of her post instead of shouting your name from the rooftops. It’s more authentic to causally mention you in the context of a problem solving post that is meeting her readers’ needs versus crafting a post that is meeting only your needs as a company.

If you demand that the post be exclusively about you, realize that a lot of people will breeze over the title without clicking. They automatically think, “I don’t need that. I don’t want to read an ad.” But people will read things that solve their problems.

Scenario of 2 Potential Blog Post Titles

Unique Slant: 5 Ways I Solve This Huge Annoying Problem (That Everyone in Blogger’s Audience Faces)

Product Review: Client’s Product is Awesome, So You Need to Buy It

The product review may very well explain how the product solves that huge annoying problem. But the title is screaming, “This is a review! You are going to be sold to! Don’t click!” We all know that people love to buy, but they don’t like being sold to.

When you let a blogger use a unique slant instead of a straight review, then you are allowing your potential customer the option to buy instead of being sold to.

Trust the Blogger’s Images

Most bloggers appreciate it when you send over logos, YouTube video links, product images, screenshots, etc. They can incorporate those into their posts and repurpose them into unique graphics as best fits their needs. But don’t require that a blogger use a collection of images. Offer and let them choose.

Again, readers are savvy. They know the difference between a company product image and a photo that a blogger took. Sure the quality of your image may be superior. But that personal, homey touch is what engenders trust and authenticity. Let the blogger take her own photos and make her own graphics. She knows what works on different social media platforms. Trust her experience with images.

Trust the Blogger’s Words

If there are key facts you want conveyed, do point those out to a blogger. Keep it minimal, though, and never require a cut and paste of an entire chunk of text. Readers will spot what is written in the blogger’s voice and what is written in your voice. As soon as their beloved blogger’s voice stops, their defenses go up.

Hopefully you are working with an array of bloggers. This means that you don’t have to rely on one writer to portray a complete picture of your product. Each blogger you work with will share a different piece of the puzzle, focusing on what stuck out the most to her.

The idea is to pique interest so that potential customers head over to your site where you answer their questions, overcome their objections, and seal the sale.

A blog post is not a substitute for your own website. It’s merely a channel to get people there. And blog posts can’t sell your product.

Trust the Blogger’s Feedback

If a blogger approaches you with negative feedback and backs out of the agreement to post about your product or service, receive it as a gift. Don’t get defensive. Instead ask for constructive criticism that you can use to improve your site, your product, your customer service, or whatever is lacking.

Unless there is some personal crisis, when a blogger backs out of a project, this is a red flag that there’s a problem with your product. You can learn from it and grow or you can get ticked off and alienate the blogger.

Let me warn you, you do not want to anger a blogger. Tread carefully. What you started as an effort to boost your brand could backfire in a negative publicity situation if you handle it poorly. Although very few bloggers would post negative feedback openly on their blogs, they certainly do share their opinions in private Facebook groups, in blogging networks, and at social media conferences.

If you have had negative encounters with bloggers and then find that you can’t get any bloggers to agree to work with you, it is likely that you have a bad reputation among bloggers in your niche.

Once I arranged a blog campaign with 20 bloggers that turned into this kind of disaster. Nine of the twenty had such a bad experience that they refused to write a review. (They didn’t want to write a negative review but couldn’t honestly write a positive one. So they wisely wanted to back out entirely.) These nine were experienced bloggers, many of whom were experts in the niche of the product they were to review. These were women I trusted, so I knew that there were some huge issues with the product. When I approached the client, however, I was faced with total denial and some very ugly accusations.

Instead of trusting my bloggers’ feedback (which was written professionally and in detail) and working to improve their product, they chose to alienate my entire blogging network.

Blog Post Versus Advertisement

If you truly do not want to capitalize on a blogger’s voice and unique creativity, if you truly want a way to reach her audience with your exact message, then ask what an email to her list would cost. You don’t really want a blog post. You just want to reach her readers with an ad. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily. But don’t mislead the blogger by asking her to blog about you. Actually you want a cut and paste advertisement.

When you agree to work with a blogger, trust her slant, her words, her images, and her feedback.

Caveats

Obviously there are slacker bloggers who have no integrity or follow through. Trusting them is not a good idea. Unfortunately, you don’t know their true level of expertise or work ethic until after you’ve agreed to cooperate. I’ve been burned plenty of times myself by bloggers who didn’t do what they promised or who did it half-heartedly. But I’ve also worked with amazingly creative and hard-working bloggers who over-delivered and knocked my socks off. Bottom line, it’s worth the risk.

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Why a Blogger Might Want to Switch to a Static Homepage

Bloggers don’t tend to think of themselves as site owners. They consider themselves bloggers. Mentally we have a different image for what a site is and what a blog is. But thinking of your blog as a website can have advantages especially if you’ve been blogging for a long time and have amassed a rich archive of content.

Switching to a static home page and thinking of your domain as a website instead of a blog can help you capitalize on that content. Of course, you keep blogging and creating fresh content, but your homepage becomes a welcome and a guide to newcomers instead of relying on your latest post, your navigation menu, and your sidebar to do all the work.

Benefits of a Static Homepage

1. guides your reader through your site

With a static homepage, you have a lot more control over what the reader experiences. Instead of a different blog post each week, there is a uniform message that guides the visitor’s actions.

2. makes the most of your archived content

New readers don’t have the benefit of all your posts from the last three years. Even your most faithful readers may have missed an article or two. With a static homepage, you can direct visitors straight to index pages that keep them on your site longer as they pore over your evergreen content.

3. de-emphasizes the fact that you don’t blog as frequently as you used to

Here’s a confession. The first time I switched a site to a static homepage was to hide the fact that I wasn’t adding new content. I created that blog to sell an ebook, and it was working well on auto-pilot without my creating new posts. But I didn’t want people’s first impression on the blog to be that my last post was four months ago! All of the content there is evergreen, so dates don’t really matter. But reorganizing the site meant that I could highlight my content by topic instead of by freshness.

If you have scaled back your posting frequency or are going  on a blog hiatus, switching to a static homepage is a good option.

4. highlights products

If you are selling products or services, a static homepage is a great way to get those front and center for your visitors.

5. quiets the ever-hungry content creation monster

You know that constant push to create new content? If you think of your blog as a website, you can see the entirety of all the content you’ve created on your domain as one big resource versus a stream of dated posts.  That stress to always be posting something new is lessened and you have buffer to focus on higher quality posts instead of more frequent posts.

A Few Notes

The burden remains with you to decide what you want the homepage visitor to do. If your homepage is poorly thought out, it won’t do you any good. So choose the right combination of sneeze/index pages, products, site and personal introduction, social media, sign up forms, etc. Keep it as simple and focused as you can, remembering that you are leading the reader deeper into your site rather than putting everything on display. Offer snippets, hints, tastes, and lures to entice a click to different parts of your site depending on her needs.

Although you are now looking at your blog as a cohesive site, also realize that a visitor might see just one post or page.  Not everyone will enter your site via your homepage. You will still have first time and repeat visitors reach your blog via specific posts and pages, so your navigation menu and sidebar still need the same attention you always gave it. What they experience on that first experience will affect their actions — whether they stick around, sign up for your email list, buy your ebook, or share your content on social media.

How to Make the Switch to a Static Homepage

It’s really simple. Create your homepage with the images and text you want. I suggest using your page template that has no sidebar so you can maximize the entire width of your site. Then under SettingsReadingFront page displays, select a static page, and choose your newly created homepage.

How to Set a Static Homepage for your blog

To set up your blog link, create a page called Blog (or articles) and publish it as an empty page. (All you need is a title. Nothing else.)

Then under Settings→Reading→ posts page, choose that newly created blank page. Yes, it’s a bit strange. But test it out. It works. Now your blog posts will be at YOURDOMAIN.com/blog.

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