Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blog of the Week: Money Smart Guides

This week's blog of the week is Money Smart Guides, written by Jon.  Jon is a PA blogger who enjoys mountain biking and running and blogs all about money and getting yourself out of debt!  Meet Jon:

Tell us a little about you:
I'm a full-time blogger from PA. my hobbies include, mountain biking, running, lifting weights, watching movies, sleeping and reading. I started blogging in 2010 for fun and it slowed turned into a career. Here is a quick list to get to know me:

I got myself into and out of over $10,000 worth of credit card debt.
I bought a house at the exact wrong time to buy and lost a ton doing so.
I spent close to $30 modifying a sports car when I was younger.
I worked in the financial services industry for close to 10 years.
I learned money habits (the good ones) from the 1%.
I have a net worth over $500K.
I plan to retire by 50.

What is your blog about?
Money Smart Guides is a personal finance blog whose goal is to help readers pay off their debt and start investing for their future. While I do talk all things personal finance, the majority of the content is centered around paying off debt and investing.

Where do you live and what do you love about it?
I live 20 minutes outside of Philly. I love the area because we have everything around us and when we want to head into the city, it's a quick train ride to downtown.

What is your favorite spot to visit in the Northeast?
For a while I would say Philly. But last year my wife and I went to the Finger Lakes for our 1 yr anniversary and I fell in love with the area.

What do you love most about blogging?
Getting to talk about finance all of the time. I went to school for finance and I worked in the financial services industry for close to 10 years. It's something I love doing and it never feels like work.

What is your favorite form of social media?
I would have to say Twitter just because it is so easy to not only talk to and connect with others, but its a great way to see what everyone else is talking about as well.

I am all about helping and supporting others, so if anyone ever needs something shared, just ask!

Thanks for sharing Jon!  Be sure to head over to his blog this week and follow him on social media, too!  Check out a few of his favorite posts below:
 Do you want to be featured as one of our blogs of the week?  Let us know!

Connect with us!
Twitter Pinterest Facebook Bloglovin

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

May Instagram Challenge!

Come join us for the May photo challenge on Instagram!

The instagram challenge is a monthly challenge on instagram with a different theme each week.  You can share one or more photos for each week's theme.  You can link up your photo for that theme any day that week.  To link up use the hashtag #nebloggersphoto and be sure to tag us (@nebloggersnetwork) in your challenge photos so we can see what everyone came up with!

Questions? Let us know in the comments below!  And, if you have any suggestions for future theme weeks just send us an email and we'll try to fit your idea in! 

Connect with us!
Twitter Pinterest Facebook Bloglovin

Monday, April 27, 2015

Why Email Marketing is Crucial for Your Blog to Succeed

I’ll be honest, I still haven’t implemented an email newsletter or any type of email marketing for my blog yet, but it’s absolutely on my high priority list. If you’ve noticed, the majority of “big” bloggers out there have an email newsletter! There are plenty of reasons why you need to start using email marketing for your blog (if you want to see it grow) and I’m here to go over a few of those with you.

1. Social media isn’t enough - You can have a ton of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and be advertising your blog and posts through those outlets, but let’s face the reality. All social networks are bombarded with post after post, picture after picture, and surely your own additions will be lost in the sea of social media. Not everyone who follows you will be seeing what you post. This is especially true for Facebook. For me, this in particular is very frustrating because I have the most followers through Facebook, but unfortunately Facebook only shows your posts to a very, very small percentage of those people. Since social media is growing larger and larger every day, you need to find another way to reach your blog’s audience (while still sticking with social media, of course). 

2. Newsletters let you share more than one post - The great thing about having a blog newsletter is that you’re able to share more than just one post. You can have a weekly newsletter or even just a bi-weekly newsletter. You can share all the posts you’ve made or just highlight a few of the best ones. This is your chance to captivate your audience with an enticing headline! People will open your email and maybe just quickly scroll through it, but if you have a list of blog posts, there will likely be something that catches their eye.

3.You can find your true fans - For the most part, people who sign up for your email newsletter or updates are more than likely people who are really interested in your blog. It’s easy to like or follow on social media, and if you’ve ever done a giveaway you know how quickly that can happen (and then just as quickly fall through). When people give you their email address, they’re giving you permission to send them emails, which is something much more personal than any social media account. Sharing your blog posts and updates through email is a great way to build a loyal following. 

4. It doesn’t take much time - Thanks to automated programs, all you have to do is set up your weekly newsletter once and it is set to go out to all of your subscribers. You want to make sure you keep your email pretty short and includes lots of links to your blog.

5. Track activity - While you can also do this with social media, email programs make it much easier to track the activity of your subscribers. You can see how many people opened your email, how many unsubscribed, etc. This allows you to improve these emails and make any necessary changes in order to increase the effectiveness of what you’re sending out. 

Tips for Starting a Blog Newsletter

1. Let people know what they’re getting. Create a page on your blog that lists what they can expect when they sign up for your blog’s email newsletter. Ensure them that you will not share their email with any third party. Let them know how often to expect emails from you.
2. Do not go overboard. People don’t want to see a ton of emails from you all the time. This will likely get you a lot of unsubscribers. Don’t send more than one email a week (unless you have something important to promote, such as a giveaway).
3. Start off small. Creating a newsletter can be a lot of work, especially if you’ve never done it before. Many bloggers create weekly newsletters, but if you’re just getting into it, why not try doing a bi-weekly newsletter? This is even better if you’re someone who doesn’t post that regularly.
4. Offer them something for signing up. This can be a great incentive for having people subscribing to your newsletter. Of course, we all want to be able to grow our email list organically, but sometimes you need that extra little push. Many bloggers offer free e-books, a coupon for their Etsy shop, free PDF files, etc. It may be hard to figure out what you can offer, but don’t let this hold you back from starting the newsletter. If anything, you can start it and then figure out later on what you may be able to offer people. 
5. Test out a “pop up” sign up form. Yes, this is a little bit annoying, but it’s a good way to remind people that you have a newsletter. Also, it’s easy to just exit out of it and continue reading, so it shouldn’t be too bothersome for your readers. Try to set up a form that pops up after a few seconds of them being on the page and also have it pop up only once per certain amounts of visits or so (because if that keeps popping up, people may not want to stay on your blog…)

If you're interested in starting up an email newsletter for your blog, I recommend using MailChimp! It's free for up to 2,000 subscribers. There are plenty of other email programs out there, some free and some you have to pay for. If you're just starting out though, I definitely recommend using the free MailChimp plan. 

What do you think of email newsletters?
If you already have a newsletter, did you see your page views go up because of it?

Connect with us!
Twitter Pinterest Facebook Bloglovin

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Giveaway: NJ Bloggers Conference Ticket!

You're invited to the New Jersey Bloggers Network's spring conference!  The conference takes place May 9th in Hamilton, NJ at 9:00am.  It only cost $10 and you will learn from some fabulous speakers, get some fun swag and treats from their sponsors! All are welcome, you do not have to live in New Jersey to attend!

Enter below to win a free ticket to the conference!  And if you don't win- Click here to buy your ticket by May 1st!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This prize is one ticket to the NJ Bloggers Network Spring Conference on May 9th, 2015. Giveaway ends April 28th at 11:59pm Eastern and winner will be selected and notified the next day. Value of $10. Prize to be furnished by the Northeast Bloggers Network admin team. Winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Winner may need to provide information for their ticket to be valid. (full name and email address) Winner does not need to reside in NJ, but is responsible for all travel and other expenses to attend the event. 

Connect with us!
Twitter Pinterest Facebook Bloglovin

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blog of the Week: A Lovely Life Indeed

This week's blog of the week is written by one of our state reps Kelly!  Kelly writes the blog A Lovely Life, Indeed, meet Kelly in her interview below!

Tell us a little about you:
I'm Kelly. I am a teacher, a Beachbody wellness coach, and a blogger. My husband and I love to travel and are planning to hit the road and travel full time in 2017.  

What is your blog about?
A Lovely Life, Indeed is a blog about travel, love and married life. It's about my part-time life (and eventual full time life) in Galicia. It's about my attempt to learn Spanish, understand a little Gallego and figure out life as an ex-pat American in a tiny village in the coastal, northwest corner of Spain. Sometimes, it's about food, fitness, or wellness. Often, it's about living with intention, about setting and reaching goals and being happy in the with joy.

Where do you live and what do you love about it?

I live in Central Massachusetts. I love that I am within an hour's drive of all of the New England States, as well as within an hour's drive of the ocean or the mountains. I can explore rural farms and urban cities. I am within a morning's drive of Montreal and can be in NYC in a few hours.  

What is your favorite spot to visit in the Northeast?
Boston is such a great spot to visit. It has something for everyone, from the foodie to the sports fan, to the history buff to the art lover. it's a walkable, family friendly city with a heart pumped by the energy of thousands of students that study here, as well as for those who chose to call Boston home. There is always something going on and it is beautiful in every season. 

What do you love most about blogging?
I love the community that blogging builds. In my experience, bloggers are kind, supportive friends that teach you the finer points of your craft and inspire you with their experience and wisdom. 

What is your favorite form of social media?
I love Instagram. It's almost always positive, upbeat images that feed the wanderlust and motivate me to pursue my goals. 

Thanks for sharing all about you and your blog Kelly!  Be sure to visit her blog this week, follow her on social media and check out these favorite posts of hers:

Connect with us!
Twitter Pinterest Facebook Bloglovin