9 October 2013, 12:11
The phone’s ringing… and this one’s for you.
You heard right. This one’s for you if you’re nervously eyeing the collection of bills on your desk. This one’s for you if you love your business with all your heart, but don’t know where your customers are. This one’s for you if, no matter what happens, you just cannot seem to move enough product, get enough bookings, or gain enough traction.
This is your opportunity… Your opportunity to find the kind of kickass customers you’ve always dreamed about.
Christmas is coming, and my readers are searching for unique, interesting, and beautiful presents. They want to gift their BFF with a tarot card reading, or a beautiful blue velvet vintage dress. They’re looking for sassy art and handmade zines, illustrated greeting cards and statement accessories.
Yes, exactly. They’re looking for the stuff you sell!
This is no time to be shy!
So here’s the deal.
I have small business advertising spaces available in my sidebar, and they are designed exactly for people like you.
They cost $3 a day (yep, less than a soy latte), and you can advertise for as long (or as short) as you want. Longer is better, though. People will need to see your ad a few times before taking action.
The ads are served by Blogads, who are great: they have a fantastic system so you can easily track the efficacy of your campaign!
The spaces are a 125 pixel square. Like this:
Your ad will be in the right sidebar of the front page, and on individual article pages.
“Advertising on GalaDarling.com showed an immediate boost in site traffic, exposing my design consultancy and journal to new readers everyday…” (Steve G., RDQLUS Creative)
How to get the best results:
Make your ad as engaging, dynamic and eye-catching as possible! This means USE your space as best you can! Fill the space, use a bright colour and bold imagery.
Give people a reason to click! Officially, this is known as a “call to action”. Why should someone click on your ad? Offer them something, whether it’s a discount code, free shipping, a gift with purchase, or something even better!
If you’re not a designer, have someone else make it. This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you have a friend with a great eye, beg, plead and make cookies in exchange for a nicely-designed 125×125 ad. You will always get a better response from a graphic designed by someone who has an eye for it.
Be smart about it! Use fonts that are easy to read, and colours that don’t assault the eyeballs. Check your ad for spelling or grammatical mistakes. If all the other ads on my site are, say, pink, use a colour that stands out! Remember that advertising is a representation of your business, so make it as wonderful as you can!
“I’ve done several promotions on Gala Darling’s site, and the results have always blown me away. First off- there’s the sheer volume of hits she sends me- thousands and thousands of uniques a day. But, more than quantity, there’s quality. Gala’s fans are a sparkly, tight-knit community that love and believe in her. If you’re lucky enough to do a promotion on galadarling.com, you tap into that good will. Promotions on galadarling.com have netted me passionate fan letters, wildly creative responses, and new fans from all over the world…” (Molly Crabapple)
All you need to do is choose how many days you’d like your ad to run, upload your image, and submit your link. Then click Preview or Buy! It’s THAT simple!
Mega-lovin’, all day, every day!
Photo by Chellise Michael.
11 September 2013, 12:20
Last month, I fired up Skype and sat down for a little chat with Srinivas Rao of BlogcastFM. It was very informal, but we began circling around a few topics and going pretty deep. Srinivas ended up giving our discussion the title of ‘Developing a Bold and Authentic Brand’. We had a great and very real chat about what it means to live online.
Some of the highlights include…
My mission to live out loud and have a great time on the planet
Looking at early online journalling platforms
Rediscovering the freedom to be your weird self
How to figure out when and where you can cross the line
Finding a unique angle on a generic topic like fashion
Why pushing the boundaries of what you post raises confidence
The importance of having a bold point of view
Why you must incorporate lessons into provocative content
How to uncover your branding and messaging
The power of writing to the younger version of yourself
The business fundamentals that are important to your success
A look at how the Blogcademy was created from nothing
The role that consistency plays in your success
It’s a goodie, especially for anyone who has a blog or would like to get into blogging.
Wanna tweet it out? Just click the pink bird!
There’s a fine line between being a car crash blogger and being vulnerable from time to time
The only way to cultivate a strong voice is to practice it
After a certain point, perfection is procrastination
Mad love (!) to Srinivas for having me on the show, and of course, for being so rad in general. Check out BlogcastFM for regular, badass interviews with the most interesting people in the blogosphere.
Photo by Made U Look Photography.
21 June 2013, 15:36
If you, like me, love Google Reader, I have some sad news: it’s shutting down on July 1st, and when it does, it’ll take all your subscriptions with it! BUMMER!
There’s a silver lining to this cloud, of course. I recently started using Bloglovin’ to keep track of all my favourite blogs, and now I wish I had started using it years ago!
Here’s why I love it…
1. The design is clean, sophisticated and elegant. No clunky scrolling sidebars or ugly folders. Man, when I think back on it, Google Reader was not a good-looking piece of internet real estate!
2. You can scroll through your subscriptions easily, and see the headline, title image and an excerpt from the start of each post. I’ve found this really efficient for reading, and it also makes it very easy to scroll past anything I’m not interested in.
3. When you click to read a post, it takes you to the actual site, so you see it the way the blogger intended. Google Reader just showed you non-formatted text and images: so dull! Bloggers and their designers put a lot of time and effort into making their sites look beautiful, and that’s no longer a waste of time!
4. The way Bloglovin’ makes recommendations is smart. If you’re low on commitment, you can easily browse through the most popular posts or blogs of the day: a great way to explore the best of the blogosphere.
5. Um, it’s just better. I, like many of you, was totally resistant to the idea of trying something new for managing my RSS feeds… But after 5 minutes, I was hooked.
So, if you’re looking to replace Google Reader — or if you’re just trying to figure out a way to keep up-to-date with all your favourite blogs — give Bloglovin’ a shot. Transferring your old subscriptions is insanely easy, so there are no excuses! Click here to get all my updates!
Embracing change with gusto,
Photo by Made U Look!
18 June 2013, 12:13
Exciting things happen when I’m reunited with my blogging babe posse… And our next rendezvous will be no exception!
In addition to teaching Blogcademy classes in New York and Minneapolis (yay! I can’t wait to visit the Twin Cities!), we’re also going to be conducting another livestream so that YOU can get your questions answered.
Don’t know what a livestream is? It’s a live broadcast that you can view through your computer… And it’s awesome.
Our last event in Portland was a wicked success, with lots of questions, plenty of laughs, and over 1,000 viewers! You know you wanna be a part of it…
And what’s on the table? The three of us will be talking about some of the lessons we’ve personally learned from teaching The Blogcademy… And there are a lot of them!
The blogosphere is evolving at warp speed, and if you’re afraid to move with the times, you get left behind. We’re going to talk about some trends we’re noticing, as well as discuss the changes we’re going to be making to our own blogs.
We each run our businesses very differently, and this is your chance to get some insight on how we do it… As well as get some ideas to steal for yourself!
After that, we’ll be taking your questions! You’re more than welcome to submit them in advance, but we’ll be answering ‘em on the fly, too. (If you can’t attend the live event, but will be watching the recording later, we recommend submitting your questions ahead of time!)
Tickets are a paltry $7 and you can watch it live or at a later date, as many times as you like. What could be better than that?!
We can’t wait to beam into your living room… And as always, if you have any questions about the event, hit us up on Twitter!
The future is now!
29 March 2013, 12:54
For the last ten weeks, I’ve been writing about blogging, giving my tips on how to make the most of your little corner of the blogosphere. I headed over to Facebook to ask my babes what I hadn’t yet addressed. This question stood out to me…
What about someone who’s struggling to start and getting caught up on things like the name of the blog, etc.?
My answer? Just begin. Perfectionism is procrastination.
Way back in 2006, I started my blog on a terrible platform, with a banner I’d handwritten, and a name — iCiNG — that didn’t mean much. I didn’t know what it would become or where it would take me, I just knew that I wanted to do it, and I wanted to enjoy myself as I did it.
I didn’t even read blogs when I started mine… And I think that has been an advantage. The more you compare yourself to others, the more you seem to come up short. The more you take in from everyone else, the more their influence starts to creep in. And the more you read, the more your work starts to look and feel like everyone else’s.
That’s the thing with the start of any story: you can never possibly know where you’ll end up. When you open a door, you don’t know what effect that will have on your life a year from now. That’s the fantastic and terrifying thing about life — no guarantees.
So, my sweet procrastinator: pluck a name out of thin air. Choose a couple of colours that don’t make you want to puke. Buy a domain, install Wordpress, and just get going!
You can spend hours “gathering inspiration” (also known as pinning recipes and DIYs that you’ll never get around to). You can agonise over the perfect colour-scheme, or the snappiest slogan.
But you know what? Some of the best websites have silly names or hideous colour schemes. When it comes down to it, what matters is your content. If you’re writing drivel, the fanciest template won’t encourage people to stick around. But if you’re writing rich, smart, compelling, unusual stuff, then even a flashing gif won’t keep people away.
Of course, once your writing is up to scratch, you can start fluffing around with templates, creating more of a brand for yourself, networking and doing the other million things that will take your blog from zero to superhero. But you can’t do any of those things until you START.
I know how easy it is to get tied up in the planning stages. You um and ah over every small decision, wondering what the longterm effects will be if your URL has a hyphen in it. You dither around with colours, fonts and business cards — never-mind the fact that you don’t even have a business yet! This whole process is so common, in fact, that it has a name: analysis paralysis.
The best branding in the world means nothing if you don’t have anything for your audience to read once they find you.
It doesn’t matter what decision you make, all that matters is that you make one. In fact, any decision is the right one, as long as you start working towards it today.
There’s a fantastic Chinese proverb which goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Get it, girl!
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