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The find success in the world of blogging and content writing, you need to provide real value to your audience. This is something that is commonly said, but not something that many bloggers still follow. The problem here is that ‘content creation’ will only get you so far — there is also already way too much of it already out there. However, if you can create great content, there is a whole world out there waiting for your influence.

That’s exactly what Camilla Hallstrom has created a business out of and preaches through her own blog. Learn more about Camilla in this week’s latest edition of Meet the Bloggers.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Camilla Hallstrom

Hey there, I’m Camilla and I blog over at Influence With Content.

I started blogging because I wanted to provide epic posts and resources for people who want to connect with and convert their audiences.

The thing is, most advice out there is fluff and hard to apply. It’s about “finding your writing voice” or “writing like you speak.” That’s all fine, but all it does is tell you how to write – not how to connect with your audience in a way that turns them into raving fans and loyal customers.

So, I decided to combine the two and create a resource that helps entrepreneurs write content and copy that digs deep and feels authentic.

2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

Influence With Content is a content and copywriting blog with a focus on customer psychology. The goal is to help you figure out how to get your customers to say: “Wow, this is exactly what I’m looking for – I need this right now!” when they land on your site.

But the reason I got interested in this niche is that I struggled with these things for a long time. I knew how to write, but not what to write in a way that truly spoke to my audience’s desires, goals, wants, fears, and objections.

That interest led me to work with copy and content.

But along the way, I realised that there aren’t that many resources online that give actionable advice on how to write copy that connects and converts.

So eventually, I started Influence With Content to help entrepreneurs with this.

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

Right now, I’m working on launching a course that’s sort of a copywriting “starter kit” for entrepreneurs. But I also freelance as a content and copywriter.

Influence With Content Copywriting Training

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

Right now, I’m working on launching a course that’s sort of a copywriting “starter kit” for entrepreneurs. But I also freelance as a content and copywriter.

  • Focus on a few (important) things

Blogging (and starting any other business for that matter) consists of so many bits and pieces. You need to learn how to write emails, blog posts, sales pages, social media posts, and so forth. You need to set up a site and learn all the techie stuff that comes with it. You’re your own marketer, salesman, assistant, customer service rep, content creator, and editor (to name a few).

It can be pretty overwhelming and frustrating. At this point, it’s easy to start chasing shiny objects like a madman and trying to do everything at once. And that keeps you from getting any real results.

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So if there’s one thing you MUST do, it’s this:

Focus on a few things and do them well. When you’ve mastered them, take the next step. And never do anything that doesn’t support your current sub-goal.

So for example, your first goal might be to get 100 subscribers. That’s your sub-goal and your first job is to figure out how to do it. Pick a list building strategy and roll with it.

  • Buy a solid course and/or get a coach

This might not be the case for everyone, but in my experience, online courses have helped me accelerate my learning. There are so many distractions when you start your business and you’re often trapped by fear/internal objections. So if you find a course that can provide you with a roadmap, that’s worth its weight in gold.

You know what’s best for your business

There are tons of blog posts and resources out there and they all have the ‘right solution’ for your business. One expert says you HAVE to blog five times a week and the next is convinced you should only post once a month… But the thing is, you know what’s best for your business. If something doesn’t feel right for you, it probably isn’t. Instead of doing what everyone else does or what experts tell you to do, do what feels like the best solution for you.

  • Traffic isn’t the most important part

When I first started blogging, I was extremely focused on traffic.

If you have enough traffic, the sales will follow – right?!

But I realized that traffic is pretty much worthless unless you have the right message for the right people.

In fact, traffic is secondary. You’ll get by with less traffic if you have the right message. But if you don’t have the right message, you’ll have a hard time convincing people to buy from you.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

There are so many! But the three blogs I visit frequently are:

StoryBrand – This is actually a blog and podcast. It’s hilarious (I’ll often catch myself laughing when I’m walking by myself in public… awkward). But the best part is that they clearly drill down how to create a clear message for your business.

Backlinko – I love the extremely actionable tips on Backlinko. If you’re looking for a blog that teaches you how to grow a site traffic-wise, this is my #1 resource.

Amy Porterfield – Again, a blog and podcast. This is one of my favorite resources because Amy gives so much value in every episode. Whenever I feel a bit unmotivated, I listen to this podcast – you can’t help but feel inspired after almost every episode.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

BuzzSumo – My go-to content marketing tool. I use BuzzSumo to research and to search for articles to share with my audience.

Grammarly – I use Grammarly to edit my articles. Plus, if I want an extra pair of eyes to check my texts, I use their proofreading service.

BoardBooster – This is an awesome Pinterest tool that lets you save pins and they are then automatically scheduled to your Pinterest boards.

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

Here are three steps I recommend you take if you’re just starting out:

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#1) Focus on targeting an audience

First, define who it is you’re targeting with your blog. The more specific you are, the easier it’ll be to sell to them. Then, get to know your target audience. A simple step you can take here is to join a Facebook group where you know they hang out (for example, a group where people discuss dogs if you’re a dog trainer).

#2) Follow a solid strategy

One thing I see new bloggers do ALL the time (I’ve done it myself), is to follow “shiny objects.” You see an article that promises $500,000 in one week if you follow a specific tactic they lay out. Don’t do it. Not to say that those tactics never work, but you need to be consistent to really see any results.
Instead, follow one, proven strategy. When you’ve mastered that strategy (i.e., when your blog is making money), you can move on to other things.

#3) You don’t need to be the best just yet

When you’re just starting out, it can be intimidating to see all these other experts with perfect websites.
To compete, you set up a beautiful website. You tweak and tweak, just to get it ‘right’. But the thing is, you won’t get it right just yet – that stuff takes time. In the meantime, you could’ve used your time and energy on building your business.
Instead, set up a simple site and when you’re making money, invest in a prettier website.

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

Know your audience.

So many people talk about “knowing your audience,” but I never really understood what that meant. I assumed it was all about knowing who your reader is, like where they live, what they like, and so forth.

But now I know it’s about intimately understanding who they are and what they want. You need to answer questions like: “What’s their biggest fears? Desires? Goals? Objections?” THAT’S what it means when people talk about “knowing your audience.”

So before, I would create something and think: “This is probably what they want.” Now I KNOW what they want.

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

I would buy a month of Lead Pages and create a landing page and a sales page. Then, I’d set up a MailChimp account (free) and hustle a webinar audience. For example, I would reach out to friends and family and connect with people in Facebook groups and on social media.

On my webinar, I would sell a service (that could be whatever – coaching or a freelance service). With that money, I would invest in a site, start blogging and expand my business.

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?

You can find me on Influence With Content and keep in touch by subscribing to my list (only good stuff there, promise!).

Or say hi on Twitter or Pinterest.

Thanks again Camilla for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.

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