Before I leave off on this adventure, I want to have a few things in place for the family to be taken care of while I am away. Setting up a farm is a little difficult and time consuming, but very prosperous when done properly…
In this chapter of The Viking’s First Voyage, we will go over a process that can be a bit slow and quite daunting. We will call this our “Farm.” By now many of you have probably noticed that the blog itself is a bit unorganized and slow to update. This is done on purpose for a few reasons. The nitty-gritty breakdown simply falls in to bringing up all of the resources before flying off in to other areas. Let us begin today’s lesson in farming.
Our virtual farm is going to be social media. Social media is very wide spread. There are many different outlets, some you may not even realize could be considered social media. For simplicity’s sake, we will stick to the basics and what I am currently using.
Current list of social media for The Online Viking:
- The Blog Itself
Here in a moment I will break down each one. The one I’m sure throws most people off, because I don’t see many Bloggers using, is Snapchat. Let’s take more look at each one, and Snapchat will unveil itself shortly.
Facebook is THE network. It is (after Myspace and other old, irrelevant social networks) big brand, the creator of all things social. Though the market may seem to be slowly dying out there, it is still massive and a great place to connect with a variety of people. I like Facebook because it has been around for many years and has A LOT of tools to offer for business. Setting up a Page for your Blog/Store/Business is very fast and very easy. There are tons of tools to customize your page and help increase traffic. Facebook has been on the backburner for The Online Viking currently though, and this is simply due to keeping things away from Family/Friends eyes FOR NOW. I will unveil to them my site when the timing is right. Until then, this is about you, my readers and subscribers.
If you’re just starting out, I HIGHLY recommend making your page on Facebook and making it a priority. Reaching out to friends and family are the easiest way to get traffic and spread the word about your work.
“Mr. Viking, if that’s true, why aren’t you doing that too?” It’s simple. I don’t want them to get in to my business just yet. I want to put all my time and effort in to growing the site for what it is. I made a promise a few years ago that I will achieve and HAVE to achieve over the next couple years now. Due to the nature of this promise, I am keeping it “underground” for now, with only a select few family knowing what I am working on. (To some extent they aren’t aware, they just know it is happening!) So if you’re in on this, shhh! It’s our little secret and you’re in a special secret club right now!
Now, I have had an Instagram set up for some time before I set up The Online Viking. I have been in and out on it a lot, so it is definitely not as far along as it COULD be. If you hop on over to there, you will notice it is very Fitness and Bodybuilding based. That’s unimportant right now.
So, why Instagram? It’s simple. It’s a VERY social intensive media site. It’s a highly effective way to engage the audience and share more personal moments with them (queue in Snapchat later.) I love the ease of posting pictures/videos in a permanent spot and being able to see what everyone else is up to that they are enjoying and sharing with the world. It truly is a great, close nit site to connect with anyone and everyone. Growing a follower base on Instagram is as easy as just being very social on the site itself. I toyed with it for a while and at one point grew up to 300 followers in as little as two weeks of investing one hour a day on it. Now, I haven’t been quite active on it lately so the number has dropped a little.
But, as you can see, it is a great source to build a subscriber base, especially in a specific niche. As I mentioned, mine is mostly in Fitness and Bodybuilding and as such, a lot of my followers are in the same thing. It’s a simple and effective way to control who you are marketing to.
I am a NEWBY with Twitter! BUT, Twitter is amazing. It allows you to capture those random thoughts and moments, link them to Facebook and Instagram for easy sharing of content. It keeps your mind on track by limiting how much you can write in a Tweet (which is awesome when you don’t know when to stop!) My Twitter account is brand new and as such is very small right now, but I promise you, following the same rules as Instagram, that will change over the next month.
Twitter is very similar to Instagram in that it allows you to be very close with your audience and subscribers. It is an awesome tool. It also makes it very easy for your subscribers and fan base to share your articles and posts, helping spread the word about you that much easier. The key to Instagram and Twitter is simply to BE ACTIVE! From my understanding, posts on Twitter should be AT LEAST 3-5 times a day minimum. Instagram can be a minimum of 2-3 times a day. You don’t want to be too spammy in your posts, but you don’t want to seem inactive and lose interest from not posting enough. Start at about 3 posts a day on both ends for optimal results in the beginning. (I could be wrong on that number and if any Social Media experts are reading PLEASE correct me!)
This is my all-time FAVORITE form of Social Media! It has been around for a while but is only recently starting to grow and gain ground. Snapchat is awesome because it’s the perfect combination of Twitter and Instagram in that you post Photos and Videos but only for a small section at a time. The BEST part is that your posts are only up for a limited amount of time. Why is that awesome? It creates a small sense of urgency and “I need to see this before it goes away!” Or “Oh no, I just missed out on this post, what did I miss?!?” sort of thinking. It is HIGHLY engaging to your followers and very personal. You can easily share moments in a matter of seconds. It allows you to share your silly side or your more personal times with a simple click, making it that much easier to connect with your subscribers. To put icing on the cake, it’s just so fun to use! Go ahead and try it out. Start with your friends and family and expand, share your account with your own follower/subscriber base and play with it. You may build some awesome relationships this way!
Finally, the cream of the crop, the most fruitful tree, the best harvest, your own blog. Your blog is why you do all of this! The rest are simple supplements and extra food source. Your blog is your main source, where most of your work should go. Over the next coming weeks and months, you will see a TON of changes to The Online Viking. Everything from my Opt-In Form and offer, to placement of menus and buttons, background and overall design and layout of the site. It’s a little messy right now as I am still learning my way around, but it will all fall in to place very soon. The biggest obstacle to overcome is learning to use WordPress, which is NOT all that hard! After that, googling some simple coding to be able to personalize things a little more is a very useful tool.
Of course, if you don’t want to struggle with all that mess, you can always hire a freelancer to do the work for you when it comes to your website design. This is great when you have the money to invest in your blog. For the rest of us, you can expect to spend roughly 30$ on startup (price for a domain name and hosting with fluctuations in count.) When I started this particular blog I spent about 24$ total. I used namecheap.com for both the domain name and hosting. It’s dirt cheap to start there for a year worth of hosting, plus SSL Security for .99$! (No I am not affiliated with them and do not receive benefits for this.) Now, I know there are better options out there, but when your budget is in your mind, this is a great place to start. Eventually I will move on to better places.
Putting It All Together:
When formed together, all of these things will make your farm. It will take a lot of time and effort to put in to each one, and they ALL need equal attention. After you set your land up and plant your seeds, daily nurturing is required for them to grow properly, and when the time is right, the Harvest will be very bountiful. Take care of your Farm and your Farm will take care of you. Set aside a bit of time every day for each section and try new things once in a while until you find what works best for you. One tool does NOT fit all. You can follow guidelines, but you must put your own personality in to it and truly make it your own. In time, everything will fall in to place.