The One thing All Bloggers Should be Doing Right NOW!

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What is the one thing that will drive people to your blog and get you those precious Google snippets? 

A. Infographics. Infographics have been around for ages but only recently Google has recognised that having consumable data in a chart or infographic is easier to digest visually and will actually keep people on your page for longer. 

Google wants you to have great user experience. Having great written content on your site is one thing, but having it a format that can help people understand the text in a more efficient way is priceless. 

Some examples of great infographics 

You might have seen me post this infographic on a recent blog on what makes a quality shirt. I also did a separate post on the same theme, posting quality photos of the shirt and describing the features. Can you guess what leveraged more click throughs to my website? 

Ask people to share

Check out the graphic regarding Influencer marketing at the foot of this blog. I was sent this by a PR company asking if it would be useful in any upcoming posts.

Of course I had to share this, look how great and in depth the infographic is! Also imagine trying to read all that information separately, you'd be there all day. 

The better your infographic is the more likely people will want to share it. Why not reach out to the people that are involved with the data you're trying to present and ask, 'Hey I included information about your brand/website in this Infographic, I thought you might like to see it and share it.' 

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How do I create an Infographic for free? 

You might be thinking 'I have no experience in web design. How do I design infographics?' The great news is that there are apps out there you can use for free and they're really easy to use.

The rest of this article I'm going to hand over to my friend Peter Brooker, Editor of From Tailors With Love

Make it original 

I used Infogram to help put together a playful infographic for my blog about James Bond cars. It's a great way to reimagine material and information that people might have seen a 1000 times before.

To start with I wanted to get some original data, so I posted a poll on Twitter asking 'What is your favourite movie that featured the Aston Martin DB5?'

Next Step

I then Googled four images of James Bond and the DB5, stuck them through a filter on Adobe Illustrator to make the images look original.

Everyone has seen photos of James Bond driving an Aston Martin, I find in the James Bond community people gravitate to new things rather than the same regurgitated photos that get spread and retweeted ad nauseam.

To finish 

I simply uploaded the four images to a free blank template, inserted some text and quotes that people tweeted me (including Aston Martin) and voila. The only downside to Infogram is that you can't download the graphic, you can only share links and code. 

Still if you visit my blog you might get a better idea.

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Carl Thompson: All the Stats from my Blog Revealed

I was recently asked in an interview where will I be in 5 years. Currently I'm writing this on a retreat in Bali, with no return ticket, with no plans or agenda. The blog is a great platform for me to empty all my thoughts on men’s lifestyle. 

It's sometimes cathartic, sometimes a chore. But it's become an extension of me and I was thrilled to get nominated last year in the Top 6 UK Men’s Lifestyle Blogs by Vuelio. Today I want to share a couple of facts, stats and behind the scenes trivia. 


WHEN DO I WRITE? 

I normally get up at the crack and meditate on a particular subject or campaign whilst out walking Charlie across Clapham Common. By the time I return to the desk I hammer out 300 words, just empty my head and then leave it. That takes about 15 minutes. When you do this for as long as I have you realise that writers block is a myth. No one is going to read every blog, or every word in that blog. (I'm amazed you're still with me right now). 

I'll then come back to the article later in the day, mid-afternoon or dinner. Do a quick edit, fact check, tweak and post. All told I make sure that a blog never goes past the hour mark. 

WHO IS READING

I'm very pleased to have such a wide demographic of people that are tuning in to the blog. Naturally my audience is hugely UK and London centric. With over 73k users finding their way to my site I'm pleased to have developed a large contingent in the US, India and Canada. 

AGE AND GENDER

This is a very interesting one, and not uncommon in the male blogging industry. Women are tuning into my blog as well as men. I'm very pleased that women are reading my posts, finding style and gifting ideas for themselves or their partners. 

I read plenty of women blogs and tune into discussion lead podcasts myself.

The age range is very much my own, written by me for me I guess. But an undeniable peak of the 25-34 range. 

AN UNHEARD OF BOUNCE RATE

That's right, I've been burying the lead. The bounce rate on my blog is the statistic that I'm most proud of. What is a Bounce Rate? 

From Google 'It is the percentage of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further. Google analytics calculates and report the bounce rate of a web page and bounce rate of a website.' 

In other words, people are coming to the site and having a mooch around. They haven't come there by mistake. They've not been put off by my mug and ran to the hills. 

According to an article by Go Rocket Fuel the most common bounce rate for blogs is between 35% - 40%. Anything above 70% is disappointing. 

QUICK THANKS

So a genuine quick thanks for everyone that reads and visits my blog. (Still reading this? Oh you are a saint, you know that you've just notched up my retention stats so thank you).

DISCLAIMER: All statistics are genuine screenshots from Google Analytics for the date range 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2018. My blog carlthompson.co.uk talks about everything men’s lifestyle.

Blogging Tips: How To Create a Kickass Media Pack

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As a blogger I've found the best way to optimise your time is handling the majority of conversations and introductions via email. I still like to network; do the meet and greets, press the flesh etc. But you'll find the one commodity that’s in short supply as you get more successful, is your time. 

Hence the Media Kit, will be your new business card. I like to say when you're networking, your smile is your business card. Well when you're making an introduction or someone has asked to see your portfolio, this Media Kit will be that best smile. The one you give the cute waitress when you want a table, but don't have a reservation. 

You don't need to a bachelor’s degree in IT to put together a Media Kit. I did mine on Photoshop and if you're not familiar with that software there's plenty of YouTube tutorials out there that will guide you through it. 

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Before you start compiling the Media Kit, ask yourself, if you were a brand or in PR, what would you want to know about the influencer before employing their services. I made a list before I did mine. If I was hiring someone to represent me, I'd be looking for the following qualities. 

1. Professionalism
2. Professionalism
3. Professionalism

The above means you'd need to be reliable, presentable, with a good client roster. There's no room on the Media Kits for witticisms. I know a blogger who is a good guy, but can't help himself when it comes to wanting to stand out and he has some tongue-in-cheek gags on his Media Kit. Which might work for him, but unless you're looking to get an open mic spot down the Comedy Store, you're Media Kit should be so straight laced to the point of boring.

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Why I like to keep my Media Kit straight laced is because there should be zero-ambiguity when it comes to delivering the message. Your message is YOU. Who YOU are, and what YOU can deliver. I've started with some strong images of me at the top. It greases the wheels; you're not hitting people with a lot of text to read which can be off putting. I've kept the text to a minimum, (unlike this blog haha) and have dissected the text with some strong images, site and social media stats, and client roster logos. (Logos look better than simply reeling off names).  

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You might also want to include your website. I know it sounds daft, but I've seen a dozen or so Media Kits, and it's so frustrating when I have to double back on the email and ask them to send me a link to their page. Lastly, try and show a dusting of diversity in your kit. It's important to let your potential client know that you're not a one trick pony. I've listed other interests such as interiors, photography, a cute picture Charlie made the kit. Who doesn't adore a cute dog pic right? 

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If you're Media Kit can deliver a message, that you're an influencer with many arrows in your quiver, then that versatility could pay dividends later down the road. You'll find more doors could open for you.