Thursday, May 12, 2011

Before the Paparazzi ~ Week 2 ~ Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Hello everyone!

I'm Sumo, from Sumo's SweetStuff!

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

I'm excited to be here today, sharing the small nuggets of wisdom I've learned over the past
couple of years. I certainly don't know even close to everything, and
I'm learning just like all of us, but here are a few things that I can share with you.

"How much time a day do you spend blogging? Do you schedule your posts?"
I try not to spend too much of my kids' awake time working on my blog. But I would say that I put
in at least an hour a day towards it. I like to just take a nap time every once in awhile and crank out a bunch of posts. I'll also admit, guiltily, that sometimes I put on a movie for my kids so I can do
that. I only said sometimes! :) So yes, I do schedule posts. I like to have 3-5 posts lined up at a time. I'm kind of anal like that. It's nice to just know that you've got things ready to go for most of
a week, and not have to worry about writing a post every single day.

"I would like to know the best way to get sponsors on your blog. What's a good rate to charge
for someone for putting their button on your page? Should I contact
people? Or is there some site out there I don't know about?"

Alright, let's break this down!  Let me start off by saying that I don't really make money on my blog.
Sponsors. Honestly, I haven't done much to get sponsors for my blog. All I've done is write up a
post when I decided to start accepting sponsors, and then posted when I've run specials. I was lucky that there were people reading who wanted to be a sponsor on my blog.  As to contacting people to be
sponsors. That is totally up to you! Personally, I haven't done that as of right now, but I've considered it. When I've seen other bloggers discuss this, some suggestions were that when contacting potential
sponsors, you offer them maybe the first month free so that they can see if it is worth it to pay to advertise on your site. Or, you could offer them buy one month, get the second month free. You'll want to
offer something really great to sweeten the deal because they are taking a risk - monetarily - to advertise with you. You want to make it worth their while! When starting out, I say start low! That will entice people and they really aren't out much if it doesn't work out. For instance, I started out offering $5 a month to
have a button on my site AND writing up a feature post. Once you've been doing that for awhile, you may find that it is taking up too much time to write up all those features, and you can re-visit a price
increase. I've done this once. Other options are to offer button swaps with other blogs of similar sizes - I do this with a couple of different sites. You can check out my advertising page to see what I currently offer to get a better idea. It's also great to have giveaways. This can drive traffic to your site, which will increase
your readers and make people want to advertise with you more! To advertise your giveaways, I find it helpful to post a link to the giveaway at the top of each post during the week of a giveaway. I also
tweet and facebook giveaways. You can also find a giveaway directory every Thursday at Someday
, so I like to link giveaways up to that as well. Anything you can do to get people looking at your giveaway is a great way to get people interested in your site, too!  Another way to make money
blogging is to become affiliates for different companies. Lots of companies offer affiliate programs, and it's a fairly easy way to make money sharing products that you love. Many of the buttons in my
sponsors section are companies that I am an affiliate for.  A new site that I've recently
found out about is Social Spark. I just barely learned about this site, and am not even fully set up with
it, but my understanding is that you set your own price to write up posts about products that would be of interest to your readers. I'm certainly no expert on advertising, but that's what I know right now! I'm still learning about all of this stuff, too! I really think you have to decide how much time you want to put into your blog. Most of us aren't really going to make tons of money doing this. So you have to determine if
it's worth putting in a ton of extra time - time away from spending time with your family - for what you'll be bringing in. I bring in a little, and it's nice to have a little chunk here and there, but for
now, I don't want blogging to turn into a full time job for me. It's just finding a balance!

I'm new to blogging and looking to get followers. How do you get followers and people to read your blog?
I get this question, or some variation of it, quite frequently in my email inbox! So here's just a few things I recommend to help get you going!
* Linky parties: There are TONS of linky parties out there for you to link up your projects to. It can definitely be overwhelming, so just decide how many you want to worry about - maybe you just want to start out with 2-5, and then go from there. This is a great way to get exposure, and is in essence, free advertising! Most linky parties are for crafts, recipes, diy, and home decor. I allow everything at mine - including giveaways and etsy shops. Just be sure to read the rules. As most of you
probably know, it costs now to host linky parties, so it's nice to be respectful to the host of the linky party by reading the rules and linking back. Well, it is nice to do that no matter what, but especially nice to be mindful now that it costs! You'll notice on my Monday and Tuesday posts, that I post text links to the parties I
participate in.
* Comments: Comment, comment, comment! This is a good way to get bloggers to notice you. If you feature an idea from another blogger, leave them a comment and let them know. They might tweet or post as a facebook status to check out their feature on your blog. If you comment frequently, blog authors begin to remember you and are more likely to check you out.
* Blog swaps: This is a really great way to get exposure! Contact other bloggers to see if they'd be willing to do a blog swap with you. You are getting seen by all of the readers on the blog you swapped with, and that person will be sending readers over to your blog to see what they are posting about. It's a win win! There are also lots of blogs that allow people to write feature posts sharing ideas, tutorials, and recipes. You may
not get a post back in return, but you are still getting people reading what YOU wrote and getting people interested in following YOUR blog. 
* Post frequently: You don't have to post every day, but I'd say try to post at least three times a week. That way you are keeping yourself out there and people will keep reading.
There is a great site - CrafterMinds - that is all about how to get your blog out there and be successful at it! There is also a weekly chat on twitter (#crafterminds) every Monday at 1 pm PST. A lot of your favorite bloggers are involved in this and give greatadvice! It's a fabulous resource!

How do you get everything done?
Short answer? I don't! Long answer: There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to accomplish everything that I want to! But there are a few things I do to help me get
close! My mom was telling me about a Dr. Laura show she was listening to on the radio, where a mother had
called in and complained that she never had any time for herself. Dr.  Laura asked her what she was doing at five in the morning every day, to which the mother replied that she was sleeping. Dr. Laura then told
her that that was time she could be using for herself.  I couldn't agree more! I get up at 5:15 every day. This gives me time to work out, shower, and get started on my google reader before my kids are up. Yes, it's early, but I like to have that time to myself to start my day. I don't like having to worry about exercising and showering while they are awake, and I certainly don't like sitting on my computer all morning reading
blogs while my kids need me.  I'm also a list maker. I make lists of projects that I want to do, lists of orders I need to make, lists for stores that I need to go to. It helps keep me organized, and I love the satisfaction of crossing something off my list.  I try to make a plan of how I am going to spend my day. For instance, one day last week, I chose to spend nap time cutting out fabric for tons of different things I want to make. The next day, I used that time to sew without having to stop and cut fabric as I moved from project to project. Some days, as I mentioned above, I use nap time to write a few blog posts. And, also as I mentioned above, there are days here and there where I just let my daughters watch a movie while I try to get caught up on things. It just helps me to think things through, and make a game plan to help me accomplish as much as I can.  But like I said above, I don't get everything done in a day that I'd like to! Between my two year
old, my one year old, and the six month old I watch, my mommy/caretaker duties keep me plenty busy and those come first! I sometimes will wait and do some of the computer business at nite, after my kids are in bed and if my husband is in bed already (he leaves around 5:00 a.m. each morning for his clinicals at the hospital!) I like to do projects during the day when the lighting is good for my pictures. But I pretty much stay
away from the computer and my projects once my hubby gets home until the girls go to bed. And even then, sometimes it's just hubby and me time after the girls are in bed and it all gets pushed on the
backburner. Family first!

So I hope that's given you a few helpful tips that you can use towards helping your blog to grow. I always welcome questions, and if you have any tips in return, I'm all ears!  Feel free to stop on by
 Sumo's SweetStuff anytime!

Thank you Summer for all of your wonderful insight!!! 

Don't for get to stop by Hyphen Interiors, Kristy's guest poster this week is from.


Hyphen Interiors said...

That was excellent! Great information. My guest this week is Sadie and Stella. Thanks for sharing!!

Unknown said...



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