Relationships Matter – Even in Our Digital Age

Relationship building is stepping-stone to any successful business, whether an online blog or offline business. But when your reputation is completely built online, relationships become even more important. With millions of blogs and more being launched every day, the competition is fierce. Unless you build strong relationships with your readers and others, it’s easy to get left behind.

The truth is, your direct success is dependent on the relationships you make with others. You could have a killer blog, great content, and lots of traffic but the rapport you have with your audience is all about being personable, and sharing a part of who you are with them. Those that have chosen you as a source of information should be held in the highest regard. Once they have a great experience with you, they will be more likely to share you with others, bringing more traffic to your site and more potential customers.

Relationship building doesn’t stop with your audience, though. Having constant interaction and contact with those that are also on the same path as you is a great way to build your business. Mastermind groups and live events let you connect with people who are on the same journey. Valuable business partnerships and joint ventures are created just by having interaction and befriending those around you. These are people you can count on to share ideas with, create products, and provide bigger and better services that will take your business to the next level.

So what are some ways you can build rapport with those in your target market?

Share, share, share. The more you give, the more you will receive. If this seems a little backwards, you’re wrong. In this business, it’s all about how much valuable information you can give away. Once people see that you are a reliable source of epic content, they will genuinely want to know more and learn more from you. Many “customers for life” are created this way.

Another way is to write FOR your audience. What problems do they have that you can solve? What do they want to hear about? If you keep this in mind each time you will never have a problem reaching those you want to help and in turn, getting them to buy from you over and over again.

In a sense our lives and the success we experience depend on the people we know and associate with. Building solid relationships with the people you come in contact with can launch your business to places you never dreamed. You will also be creating lifelong friendships that will be worth more than any amount of money. The key is to be yourself, and let your unique personality shine through to those you want to reach.

Top 5 Blog Marketing Mistakes

The Internet is a vast place of infinite resources, which can be used to your advantage when promoting your gluten free blog. But there a lots of mistakes to be made as well – and when you’re eager to get started, it’s easy to fall victim to these and other marketing mishaps.

Not having a target market – This is perhaps the biggest mistake a new blog owner can make. You absolutely must know who your market is before you can successfully build your audience. If you go into it thinking that you can serve everyone, you will be sadly mistaken, as many owners of failed bloggers can tell you. Narrowing down your niche and finding out who can really benefit from your information will make it much easier to create content to meet his or her needs, advertising that speaks to your audience, and other tools to attract readers to your site.

Following the “Next Big Thing” – There are always going to be new online products that promise overnight success, a million dollars in your bank account, and a lifetime of success. Your bank account will suffer if you fall for this, and it won’t do your site any good either. Everything sounds great, but if you allow yourself to get distracted with a new site or hot new product, your readership will suffer.

Customer overkill – Marketing to your audience is one thing. When you are sending out 10 emails a day each with a different offer or call to action it will most likely turn them off and send them searching for the unsubscribe button. Interacting with your customers is important, but make sure you’re doing more than just making offers.

Poor website design – Your blog is your storefront. If it looks bad when customers arrive, they will most likely write you off as someone they don’t want to do business with. You will be projecting an image that you don’t want. Remember, your website design is the first thing people see when they arrive. If you aren’t skilled in design yourself, it would be well worth the money to have someone do it for you, or simply choose one of the hundreds of professionally designed templates available. Many of them are low-cost or even free, so you don’t have to settle for a poorly designed website.

Relying on a single type of marketing – You need to keep an open mind when marketing your blog. You may have found one technique – like Facebook media – that you like and plan to use over and over again. However, it’s not a good idea to focus all your time and energy on one area. Things change, and what once worked well may stop performing, so it’s a good idea to always be testing out new marketing plans.


The Beauty of Organic Traffic from Consistent Blogging

When you decide to start a blog, you not only have to think about how you want to design it, but also how are you going to market it. Marketing is the key in all business, online or offline, and will be a foundation to your success. Taking the necessary steps to get your gluten free blog noticed on the search engines is not a complex process, but it does take some time and effort.

The very first thing you can do is to start a blog. Blogging  consistently is an excellent way to start bringing traffic into your website. Let people know why you started a site, and what you intend to do with it. How are you going to help people and be any different than the next guy? Blog posts that contain keyword-rich content will help your site rank higher in the search engines, although it may take some time for this to happen. Get your voice out there and be consistent.

  • Write with your audience in mind – What is it that your target market wants to read about? How are you able to solve their problems with your site or product?
  • Engage your reader by asking them questions – The simple way to know what your readers want is to ask them. Make them want to leave comments and suggestions regarding your content. Once your audience feels like they can engage with you, trust begins to form and a solid relationship can be created.
  • Clear, concise headlines – Make sure your readers know what your content is all about. Having a headline that centers on an issue the reader wants to know about will draw them in and make them want to know more from you.
  • Call to action – Once you’ve wrote your epic content, make sure there is a call to action following the blog post. You can offer them something in return for signing up on your email list. This can be a free report, e-book, or set of articles that help them solve a problem.
  • Social networking –Social media is such a big part of online marketing in today’s world. If you want your website to get noticed you must become a part of a social community. You will be able to expand your readership, and gain a larger following. The reach that social media has is vast. This is not something you want to pass up when trying to build your business.
  • SEO – Optimize your website with keyword rich content. This can allow your ranking to be higher within the search engines. SEO is not something that can be learned overnight. It will take some time, effort, and patience on your part but it can be a helpful technique in getting your website noticed.

No matter what way you choose to market your site, just make sure put your audience at the forefront of everything you do. They have chosen you as a valuable source of information by even coming to your site and reading your content. Your audience definitely plays a factor in how you should market yourself and your site. Be transparent and unique in your delivery and you will be sure to build lifelong relationships with people that like and trust you.

Get Out There and Get Your Blog Noticed

So you’ve taken the leap and created your very own website, but now what do you do? Even in this age of technology, the Internet can be a large, scary place for many people but don’t be intimidated. Even though there are many other sites competing for the attention of every Internet user, it’s not that difficult to get noticed – if you’re willing to put yourself out there.

Get interviewed – These days, there’s a podcast for just about any subject, and with millions of people choosing to listen, it’s easy to see why landing an interview on a popular podcast can really drive traffic to your site.

To find opportunities, first look to the podcasts you already listen to. Who among your favorites would be a good fit? Choose a few candidates, then send a polite email explaining why you’d be a good guest, what you’ll share with their audience, and why it will benefit the podcaster.

Can’t find a good show? Maybe it’s time to start your own!

Social Media – In order to get your website in front of the people who can benefit from it, you will need to join a social media community such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. These sites will generate awareness to your site and send traffic directly to you. There are differing opinions as to which social media platform is better but it comes down to who your audience is and where they hang out the most. Think of social media as another way for you to be able to communicate with your customers and promote everything you have to offer.

Guest Posting – Linking strategies are important when it comes to your website rank on the search engines. Guest posts on other sites within your niche are an excellent way to receive traffic and links back to your site in order to get it noticed. Once you have established a relationship with others in your target niche, it will be easier for you to submit articles and guest posts for them to use on their site.  We’re always looking for more contributors at  If you’re interested, check out how to write for us.

Join a forum – These days there is a forum or community for just about anything you can think of. Find a forum that your target market would be likely to frequent and start up a conversation. The key is not to be a spammer, listing your website URL and then flitting off to the next forum. Actually get into the discussion, find out what the people are looking for and see if the information, services, and products you offer can help.  We don’t want to brag, but we really like our Gluten Free Bloggers forum and think it’s the perfect place for you to start connecting with your audience.

Live Events – This may seem like a strange idea, but you have to understand that even in the online world, the relationships you create will make or break your business. Not only will you be able to promote your business at live events, but you will also meet and learn from some of the experts in your niche. Some of the most successful businesses out there owe it all to the JV partnerships created during these events. On another note, meeting new people, hearing about their successes and failures, and establishing relationships are some of the most beneficial things you can do for your self-growth and the growth of your business.

The key thing to remember when marketing your website is not to be afraid to try new things and put yourself out there. There are so many methods and techniques you can use to build a foundation for your business. Be yourself, and be genuine to your target market and those you want to help. Although you may not be an overnight success, the time and effort you put into taking your business to the top will make it that much sweeter when you do succeed.

3 Steps to Prepare for Networking at Conferences

Personally I get really excited when I met someone else who is on a gluten free diet.  Whether I’m in the gluten free aisle at my local grocery store or at a crowded event, I instantly I feel a connection.  I say to myself, “this person understands exactly what it means to live the way I live – gluten free.

Although, I have not attended a dedicated gluten free conference (until this fall where I’ll be attending the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in New Jersey), I’ve attended some of the largest conferences across the US like BlogHer.  Before you attend an expo where you’ll be networking with other bloggers and companies, there are three things you need to do to prepare yourself.  Here they are:

1.  Know the conference’s Twitter hashtag

Start networking early. Most conferences and expos provide attendees with a Twitter hashtag.  Don’t wait until you walk into the convention area to start networking.  Start following the hashtag several weeks before to meet others also attending.  Even if you consider yourself a social butterfly, it’s always easier to walk into a room where you already know a few people!

2. Print business cards

During your time at the conference, you’ll meet a lot of people.  Make sure you’re able to continue your networking after you go home by giving out business cards to your new contacts.  Include your name, email address and website address for easy follow up.

3. Create an elevator pitch for your blog

While you will be meeting a lot of people, you want to make an impression.  In order for your new contacts to remember you, you’ll want to create an elevator pitch for your blog.  Think about your blog.  Do you provide gluten free recipes? Gluten free product reviews? Incorporate this into your pitch.  Here’s an example of the elevator pitch for the Gluten Free Bloggers network.

“After attending some of the best blogging conferences and spending thousands of dollars learning the best tips and tricks to creating a successful blog, I created the Gluten Free Bloggers network as a community to share this knowledge.  With over 400 members today, we actively connect bloggers with gluten free brands.”

These are three ways to prepare for your upcoming networking event.

Have you attended any networking events or conventions lately? Share your biggest networking tips below.

3 Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing Subscribers Using Social Media

Email marketing has grown exponentially over the past five years.   Bloggers are learning that email marketing is the most cost efficient way to get repeat visitors.  If a person visits your blog once, then they can likely become a repeat visitor with the right email marketing tactics.  What if a reader has only made a connection with you and your blog on social media?  While there are many benefits to connecting with like-minded people via social media, it is much more beneficial for a potential blog reader to join your email marketing list.   It may seem difficult at first to entice your social media followers to join your email marketing list, but there are three simple ways that companies can use social media to grow their email marketing list.

Here are the three best ways to turn your social media followers into email newsletter subscribers and repeat blog visitors:

1. Host a Giveaway

One of the top reasons that people follow websites and companies on social media is to save money.  They are constantly looking for product giveaways and promotional offers.  Use your social media leverage to promote a product or service giveaway for your email newsletter subscribers.   Offer additional entries to those who share your newsletter with their friends and families.

2. Offer a Sneak Peek

Another reason people follow websites and companies on social media is to learn about new products and services.  If you have a product, ebook or service coming out, offer a special sneak peek into your newest product or an in-depth look at how it was created.  Let your social media followers know that on a specific day you’ll be releasing your newest product to only your newsletter followers and direct them to a link to sign up for your mailing list.

3. Add Share Buttons to Your Email Template

People naturally like to share information they find interesting.  If you keep the information in your newsletter exciting and shareable, your subscribers will want to pass it along to their gluten free friends.  Make it easy for them! Add a share button to your email template that easily lets your subscribers share your newsletter with their social media followers.

Don’t forget that you can always cross-promote your social media channels to your email newsletter subscribers to build your social media following.  This will help you build a loyal following of readers and give you the ability to reach them everywhere from inside their email inbox to on their Facebook news feed.

3 Steps to a More Effective Press Release for Your Blog

Writing a press release can seem daunting to most gluten free bloggers, but it’s also one of the most important ways to share new information about your blog.   If written correctly, a press release can really grow legs, causing your blog to gain a lot of publicity (and a lot of traffic).  Carefully planning the execution of your press release can help make it easy for media outlets to pick up the story and cover your blog.  When it comes to writing a press release for your website, there are three important steps to writing an effective press release.  Here they are:

1. Set an Objective

A press release can serve a range of business objectives from introducing a new product to increasing your website SEO by building quality backlinks.  Setting the main objective of your press release will determine how you write it.  Are you focusing on announcing your new gluten free blog, or are you shaping your words to include valuable keywords that you want associated with your business to show up in search engines?

2. Answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How

If you’ll be pitching your press release to journalists, other bloggers or even simply sending it out over the news wire, there are six important questions to answer: who, what, where, when, why and how.  These are the top news hooks to your press release, and they will determine whether or not your news is spread by the media.  Decide which one of the six questions has the most intriguing answer and include it at the beginning of your press release.

3. Edit, Edit and Edit

The final step to an effective press release is the proofreading and editing process.  If a journalist sees an error in your press release, chances are high they will toss it directly in the trash can without a second thought.  They receive far too much information every day and need a system for weeding out the good materials.  For them, your grammatical mistakes are the easiest way to justify deleting your press release before actually reading it.  Read your press release.  Then, read it out loud.  Next, send it to a friend or advisor for their review.  You should only consider sending your written press release to a journalist or media outlet after you’ve completed the entire editing process.

Carefully executing these three main steps when writing your press release can’t guarantee media placement for your blog, but it can position you and your website as a valuable resource for journalists in the future.  They will notice the time you took to make their job easier by providing the relevant information in an easy-to-read format without any spelling or grammatical errors.

Have you ever written a press release and sent it over the wire for your gluten free blog?  Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

10 Ways a Facebook Page Will Benefit Your Blog

With over one billion members, Facebook is one of the largest communities worldwide.  Originally it was built for college students to interact with each other but quickly became an outlet for businesses to have a 2-way conversation with their customers through Facebook pages.  Blog owners have adapted Facebook pages as a way to build a loyal following of readers, share their posts and understand what their readers want in future articles.

If you’re still on the fence about creating a Facebook page for your blog, here are 10 ways having one can give your blog a boost.

A Facebook page for your blog can:

1. Drive more traffic to your posts

Having a Facebook page for your blog offers an outlet for you to market your posts after you hit publish.  Even if your readers are subscribed to your RSS feed and receive an alert after you add new content to your blog, sharing your content on Facebook gives your audience an easy way to click ‘Share’ and help your content spread across the Internet.

2. Build your subscribers

Email marketing gives you a way to communicate easily and cost-efficiently with your readers.  Facebook apps for popular email marketing services, like Aweber and Constant Contact, offer a way to promote your mailing list to your Facebook fans.

3. Sell more of your products or services

After you write your own eBook or develop a service to sell, your Facebook page becomes a seamless outlet to promote it.

4. Announce special offers, promotions and giveaways

Just like your products or services, a Facebook page can also be used to share any special offers, promotions or product giveaways that you may be running on your blog.

5. Announce events like your blog anniversary or participation in a blog conference

Your readers want to know what you’re up to whether it’s celebrating the first (or tenth) anniversary of your blog or if you’ll be attending a blogging conference next week.  A Facebook page offers a way to easily share this information with them.

6. Build your credibility in the gluten free world

Having your own Facebook following puts you in a position to make waves in the gluten free world.  You’ve built an audience of fans who are looking to you to share information whether that means a new recipe they can make for their family this weekend or a review of a local restaurant that offers a gluten free menu to changes in gluten free product labeling.  They are looking to you to keep them up-to-date on what is happening in the gluten free world.

7. Improve your relationship with your blog readers

Depending on the style and tone of your blog, a Facebook page can provide an outlet for you improve your relationship with your readers beyond words.  Your readers want to know who you are and what you like to do (beyond blogging, of course).  You can share photos of your life with your readers to give them a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look into your gluten free world.  This helps you show there is a person behind the words on your blog.

8. Get feedback from your readers through the Polls

One way that you can really benefit from having a Facebook page is to utilize the ‘Poll’ option when you are writing a status update.  You can use this feature to find out more about your readers, what else they want to see in your blog and insight into the type of information they would even be willing to pay for.

9. Promote your product reviews or giveaways to gain additional exposure for your sponsors

As you move to the next level in blogging by partnering with brands on product reviews and giveaways, the brand reps will want to see that you are actively promoting their products to your readers – especially if you are hosting a giveaway.  Having a Facebook page gives you an additional forum to promote your product reviews and giveaways.  More entrants into your giveaways will lead to more and more partnerships to develop along the way.

10. Improve your SEO efforts through social backlinks

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for attracting more readers to your blog.  When you post your content on Facebook, your fans will interact with it by liking, commenting or sharing it.  This shows search engines like Google that your content is helpful and will increase your search engine rankings.

Start a Facebook page for your blog already

If you find just one way that your blog can benefit from having a Facebook page in the above list, then don’t wait any longer.  Start building your Facebook page today and commit to updating it often.

Do you have a Facebook page dedicated to your blog?  How does it fit into your blog marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments below.