Want to learn how to drive enormous traffic to your blog?
Today I’m talking with Melanie Ferguson from Southern Crush at Home for a Part 2 interview.
Melanie starting focusing on her blog about a year ago, and since then has grown it large enough to be accepted into the ad network, MediaVine, which has a minimum of 50k sessions per month.
You will learn what strategies Melanie used to leverage her large Facebook page to grow her blog.
I was impressed with how strategic she was at moving her traffic over.
Because building a business on Facebook is like building a business on rented land, we talk about the value of making your blog the hub of your business, and treating all the other areas as spokes.
We also talk about the importance of showing your face on video to build your community of fans.
Melanie share all her best tips for going live. And even she admits that it still feels weird, but gives her reasons for doing it, and why you should consider it, too.
If you are looking for concrete strategies for driving traffic and engaging your audience, this is the episode for you!
Table of Contents
- MiloTree App
- Catch My Party
- The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Facebook Group
- MiloTree BlogStart
- Southern Crush at Home
Subscribe to The Blogger Genius Podcast:
Intro 0:04 Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11 Hello friends, it is me Jillian Leslie. I am founder of MiloTree, the pop-up app, founder of Catch My Party, the largest party ideas site on the web and host of this podcast. I like to call myself a business translator.
I take what is working in blogging and online entrepreneurship today and break it down. So, you can take those tactics and strategies into your own business.
Before I get started, I want to invite you to join my new Facebook Group, it is called The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Group. If you go to Facebook, and you search for Blogger Genius, you will see it show up please join the group.
I am having so much fun in this group. It is this really nice community of bloggers and online entrepreneurs and we’re all supporting each other and helping each other grow our businesses.
Again, head to Facebook, and search for Blogger Genius. You will see it please come join the group.
For today’s episode, I have my friend Melanie Ferguson, from Southern Crush at Home back on the show. We’re recording this part two, because I wanted to know how she grew her blog so quickly. I think you’re going to find that really interesting.
And we’re talking about live video. I’m sure you’re cringing as I say this, but I really believe that real live video right now is a secret way to grow an audience a committed audience.
In fact, I go live every Monday in my Facebook group at 3pm talking about my newest episode, Melanie goes live multiple times a week. I think in this time when we’re also isolated, it is a real way to build connection. Melanie shares her best tips for going live.
And what I also love is that she shares that it’s never easy. It’s always weird. So, if you think going live is weird. You are not alone. I think you’ll like this episode without further delay. Here is Melanie Ferguson. Melanie, welcome back to the show.
Melanie Ferguson 2:29 Oh, Jillian, thank you so much for having me again. I’m super honored to be here. I cannot even believe that you are having me on here twice.
Jillian Leslie 2:36 Oh, absolutely. When we finished our last recording, we both realized that we hadn’t even talked about your blog and how you’ve grown it so quickly. And we both said, “Hey, wait a second.”
How about you come back for a part two to really talk about blogging from your perspective. So, would you just share about your blogging experience? And like when you started your blog, and when you decided, you know what I’m leaning into this?
Why a Blog is So Important for Your Online Business
Melanie Ferguson 3:07 Excellent. So well, I wasn’t really on board with having a blog from the beginning. I thought that was something completely foreign from what I was trying to pursue, which was an audience on Facebook.
Because I knew I knew I knew that if I could grow a following of people who knew, like and trusted me, I could sell to them something, something of value that they would need. Little did I know it would be through the vehicle of a blog.
Jillian Leslie 3:39 Yes. I always say that usually people start with a blog as like the hub of their business, and then say Facebook, Instagram, email, Shopify, all of the courses, whatever you’re doing are like spokes off of that hub.
But what’s so interesting is really, Facebook was your hub.
Melanie Ferguson 4:04 Correct.
Jillian Leslie 4:06 And I would say your blog has been almost a spoke off of Facebook. Would you agree?
Melanie Ferguson 4:10 I would agree. So, when I started it, I was just looking for a place to house the how-to’s from what I was already giving to my audience, which was an entertainment twist on DIY’s.
So, I would go live and share a project and they would want to know, where did you buy the things to make it? How exactly did you make it?
I missed this part. Where do I get this? And so, it just seemed a little simpler to put it in writing somewhere.
Jillian Leslie 4:48 And the one thing about a blog is you own it. So, with Facebook, you become dependent, people call it you’re sharecropping. You’re building stuff on rented land. Do you feel that way?
When you think about your blog, and you think about your Facebook page. How do you think about them in your own business?
The Benefit of a Blog is You Own It
Melanie Ferguson 5:09 I definitely share that point of view, Jillian, because more than once, have I felt like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me over on social media. So, what I mean by that is, I felt like it was a lot of followers, I had about 40,000, at the time.
I got hacked, and someone from Pakistan took over my personal profile, which in turn locked me out of my own page. So, therefore, I didn’t have a Facebook page, I didn’t have a Facebook profile, everything was just gone for me.
So, I have learned to put certain safety precautions into place now. But it was about 72 hours, it was the longest 72 hours ever. I didn’t have a platform.
And so, I definitely hear you when you say, the two different animals, and I’ve never lost my website. I’ve never lost my blog. It’s, it’s always there.
Jillian Leslie 6:18 Alright, so you start your blog. When did you start it? And when did you decide I’m going to really invest energy in this?
Melanie Ferguson 6:27 I started it back in the in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Jillian Leslie 6:32 Okay, so about a year ago?
Melanie Ferguson 6:34 Mm hmm.
Jillian Leslie 6:35 When did you decide to really focus on it? Lean into it?
Melanie Ferguson 6:40 I knew if I was going to start it, that I wanted to make it something, important to the business. But I didn’t know exactly how to connect all the dots. So, I just started throwing things on there.
Just like most bloggers that don’t know what they’re doing. They just started they think it’s a diary. I did all the wrong things right off the bat, with the cutesy titles and the things that were punny and just didn’t have a clue about any of the details.
But I was putting content out there sending my people over to look at it, I had that part down. Then I learned about Ad Revenue. And I was going, Oh, well. This is in one of the dots started to be connected.
And so, I knew that I needed to get more education on how to get more pageviews over to the blog. And it wasn’t going to be all from my audience.
Jillian Leslie 7:45 So, your goal then is I’m starting my blog, it is a place to kind of house my content. Where I can have more available to my audience, when they’re watching, let’s say my Facebook videos, and they want more details.
So, it was like a warehouse that people could visit. And then you’re like, wait a minute, this could be a way that I can make money. So, I need to figure out how to get pageviews.
And did you know anything about SEO? How did you start learning?
Melanie Ferguson 8:15 So, I had a few coaches online in the online space. All of them would just kind of touch on blogging. So, I’d have to take a little bit from here and a little bit from there. And quite honestly, a lot of them tended to conflict.
I spent a lot of time on Google and a bunch of different sites just trying to learn what my blog was going to look like. Because I believe that they are something fluid that you can meld and form into whatever you need them to do for you.
And I think everybody’s is a little bit unique and different. So, once I figured that out, I’m still learning. And what I discovered was that it was so amazing that this blogging world existed that I didn’t even know about.
Different Ways of Monetizing Your Blog
And it was just very similar to my real estate career. People that are looking from the outside don’t really know what it’s about until they’re inside. And it can go so deep. And there are so many different ways you can make money.
And the same with blogging, there are so many different ways you can make money. And the opportunities are endless. And it’s also, an opportunity for recurring income.
Jillian Leslie 9:44 Yes.
Melanie Ferguson 9:45 Somewhat passive as well, depending.
Jillian Leslie 9:48 So, you start leaning in seriously. And what did you decide, I’m going to do this many blog posts a week. I’m going to take my videos from Facebook and I’m going to embed them.
When you said, “Okay, I’m starting with a craft.” The craft first start on Facebook, and then you go, “Oh, great, here’s my content. And then I would transfer this content over to my blog.” How did it start? How did it move?
Melanie Ferguson 10:19 That’s exactly what happened. So, I didn’t honestly spend a ton of time, pre-making a DIY and then going and sharing it and making two of them. I’m busy like everyone else and have another whole life.
Starting with a Facebook Live
And so, I would just go figure out what I wanted to make. And 30 minutes before I go live on Facebook, I would go live on Facebook, and then I would decide after the DIY was over, was this blog worthy? Is this something I want to put over there?
And then if it was, I would go ahead and put it over on the blog and include my Facebook video at the time.
Jillian Leslie 11:03 And would you be going back and taking photos like, okay, here are my supplies, here’s whatever, I can just use my iPhone, snap a bunch of photos so that I have photos to support the steps, that kind of thing?
Melanie Ferguson 11:15 Yes, so I would go ahead before every project and take a picture of the supplies just in case it turned out great, or they loved it and wanted more.
And so, I would also like, I call it fake it, I would fake the photos of the “How to,” like touch the paint brush to the item, but not really use paint. And some of the things, if they weren’t going to see the back of it, when I was going to be live.
I’d go ahead and do some of the project on the back of the item. So, I kind of just faked it to get some imagery ready beforehand.
Getting Paid By Facebook to Share a Video on Your Blog
And then I would always go back in the blog post and just say, “Hey, listen, if you missed it, or you want more details, you might want to watch the video.” And that video would be connected to the Ad Revenue program over on Facebook.
So, I would be getting paid by Facebook to share my video over on my blog where if they watched it, I would also be being paid Ad Revenue, as well as of course, affiliate money with supplies.
Jillian Leslie 12:19 I love how all these different pieces, like you’re not having to do the DIY twice, that you’re going okay, here’s the down and dirty way of being able to go live on Facebook, have content, make a little bit extra content, like some imagery.
And then boom, you’ve got a blog post. And so, I take it you were putting up or you are putting up one blog post a week with a new craft?
Melanie Ferguson 12:46 I started out with one a week. I was going live all the time, though. And so not every project was making the blog, because I just didn’t have enough time to actually blog it. It had to be a standout one or one that I knew had a great affiliate opportunity.
But now I try to put out two to three blog posts a week. And it’s about to be more than that. So it’s been a process.
Jillian Leslie 13:22 That’s amazing. Okay. So, you’ve got your numbers up so quickly. You’re like this, when you were like, “Yeah, I’m going to really lean into this.” A couple months ago. I want to say and then all of a sudden, you’re like, “Yeah, I made it to Mediavine.”
So, how did you do that? How are you driving so much traffic to your blog?
How to Drive Enormous Traffic to Your Blog
Melanie Ferguson 13:43 Well, it is definitely starting with an audience.
Jillian Leslie 13:48 Mm hmm.
Melanie Ferguson 13:50 So, some people have to borrow their audience. And what I mean by that is, a lot of bloggers, if they don’t have a presence anywhere with a substantial audience, they’re borrowing an audience from Pinterest.
There are so many different places you can get one without actually starting from scratch. What I mean by that is in Facebook, I spent a solid year building that up and getting an audience that trusted me and wanted to see what I was going to do next.
And that is what you want. So that is what I try to teach the people in my business coaching is how to grow a six-figure following. And I don’t mean that necessarily paying you six figures even though mine is. It’s six figures in the number of followers.
So, with that you can count on a certain amount of traffic.
Jillian Leslie 14:54 Right. Because you can say to them, “Hey guys, it’s Melanie. Look what I just did. Come over here.” And they go, “We love Melanie, we’re going to follow her over there.” So, you had this built in traffic from your Facebook followers?
Melanie Ferguson 15:12 Correct.
Jillian Leslie 15:13 And then how have you been able? So, you’re directing them over to your blog?
Melanie Ferguson 15:21 Yes.
Jillian Leslie 15:22 And then how are you able to continue to grow that traffic?
Melanie Ferguson 15:28 Yes, and so, the funny, it’s not funny now, I can look back now and say it was funny, but it really wasn’t funny. But the funny thing is, I had been purposely growing my traffic to my blog, because I wanted to qualify for Mediavine.
Which at the time, was offering opportunities for people who had 25,000. sessions, to their blog. And so, right when I hit it, I was super excited. And I woke up and I looked, and I went to apply.
I had the application up and everything because I was ready to do it that Friday, but then I was shy by a couple people. And so, I waited, and then I hit it like Saturday, and then Sunday, I was like, “I’m going to apply on Monday.”
And Monday was the actual day that they pivoted and made the session minimum 50,000 sessions. So, that was a gut punch. And I just was faced with the decision, do I just say, “What the hey and who cares?” And just slowly keep doing what I’m doing,
Or do what I did, which was dig my heels in and say, “If I am going to qualify, I’m going to do it faster than anybody.” So, I turned around, it took me that full year to get the 25,000 sessions once I actually, leaned into it.
And then in two weeks, I got the other 25k.
Jillian Leslie 17:03 What!
Melanie Ferguson 17:05 Yes.
Jillian Leslie 17:06 How?
Melanie Ferguson 17:07 I have an actual list of things that I did. I think I shared 13 of them. I think there were more. But they’re very specific. And they all pretty much utilized that audience that I had on Facebook.
So, I did all sorts of I call them tactics, because they’re not something that I’ve implemented and just do every month now, although I probably should.
But they were definitely things that you could put into place, even one or two of them and make a huge difference in your traffic. And just for instance, I had one was just like a comment contest, if they wanted to enter this contest.
Using Contests to Grow Traffic
To win, I had a print on demand portion in my shop, and it was just, do you want to win one of these mugs that have my logo on them, go over to any post you want on my blog and leave a comment.
And then come back here on Facebook, and comment underneath this post that you did it. And that’s it. And I had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of entries for that, which led to Pageviews and sessions.
And so, then on that same contest, and that went on for a week, I said you need to do it every single day for a week. And at the minimum, you’ll have five submissions at the end. So, that means each person commented five different times on my blog.
Then I said, Okay, some of them were asking me, “Melanie, hey, if we comment more than once, can we enter more than once?” I’m like, “Oh, yeah.” So, several people commented multiple times. That was fabulous.
Then when I said okay, I’m going to post the winners, I gave away five mugs. And so, five people were allowed to win. I made a landing page on my blog for the winners names. Okay.
And so, I went over to Facebook and I said, “Hey, the winners have been posted, go here.” And so, every single person on my page again, was rushing over to my site to see if they were a name on there.
Jillian Leslie 19:41 That is brilliant. Okay.
Melanie Ferguson 19:45 And then it got even sweeter because the next morning, I posted a picture of my dog looking really sad. And I go, “Sadie’s so sad there are some people who haven’t claimed their mugs.”
And so, a bunch of other people, because you know Facebook doesn’t show everybody everything all the time. So, a bunch of other people went and checked to see if their name was on. And they came back.
And they were like, man, I wish it was me, I would not have claimed my mug, and so on and so forth. And then on the third day, I came back, and this is all part of the same promotion. I said, “Alright, y’all, I am going to give away five more.”
Because I sat and thought about, I was like, this is stupid. Like, I could totally do five more. So, I said, “Five more, and go check and see if your names on there.” So, it really went over very well. I got a ton of comments, which is great for SEO, on my site.
And they were all pretty sincere comments, and sweet. And not just read it. And then tons and tons and tons of pageviews from that. So, that was just one of the different things I did.
Jillian Leslie 21:07 Now, here’s the thing though, was it like you saw this big bump and then your traffic dropped afterwards? Or how have you been able to maintain that level of traffic?
Melanie Ferguson 21:19 I feel like a lot of them. Honestly, Jillian, it was their first time to ever go to my site. They didn’t even know it existed. Because I used to have friends that would be like, “You have a blog?” I wasn’t promoting it. I was like, “Oh, yeah, I talked about it on Facebook.”
And they’re like, “When. Because I’ve never seen you post about it?” And I’m like, well, and I thought to myself, maybe I only post once a week. And so, I’ve gotten really on purpose about posting at least twice a day, something that leads back to my blog.
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
Advertisement 21:57 I wanted to take this short break to talk about MiloTree. This is the pop-up app that David, my husband and partner, and I built to help bloggers grow their social media followers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube and also grow their email lists.
If you are trying to grow your Facebook page, which right now, I recommend you do, especially after listening to Melanie. Remember, you can install the pop-up on your blog super easily.
We have a WordPress plugin, or it’s just one line of code, and it will pop up and it will ask your visitors to follow you. And here’s the best part. It won’t slow down your site. It’s very effective. It’s not obtrusive.
And it grows your most engaged followers, people who’ve been on your site and really liked your content. Head to MiloTree, sign up, get your first 30 days free. And then it’s just $9 a month after that. And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 23:07 Are you promoting different content that’s unavailable on Facebook, on your blog to get people to go, “Oh, I need to see that thing?”
Getting People to Go From Your Facebook Page to Your Blog
Melanie Ferguson 23:17 Sometimes, but usually, if I’m doing something like that, it’s more of a teaser, like, go over there to see the after of something that I’ve created.
Jillian Leslie 23:32 Got it. Got it. So, you’ve been really able to, you know, they talk about this, like cross pollinate. And now, just by doing those contests, those giveaways, it’s like, I think you’re right.
Now people go, “Wait, Melanie has this whole other thing that I’d never explored before.” Because your people are loyal to you, they’re not just popping over to never come back. Kind of like on Instagram when you have all these giveaways.
And it’s like, go follow this account and go do this. And those people will ultimately unfollow because they have no connection. They just want to win the iPad. And so, your relationship with your audience, I think is so much more intimate and connected.
That people go, “Oh, this is a whole other facet of Melanie.” Rather than I’m just doing this to win a mug. But I want to win Melanie’s mug. I want that connection. So, I think that has been that’s so interesting.
So, now when you think about your blog, and you think about your Facebook page, where’s your allegiance?
Melanie Ferguson 24:45 I feel the most sincere love from the blog. And then not that the people on social media aren’t sincere but there’s so many more of them. That it’s hard to pick out the sincere ones because they’re just so many more of them.
Jillian Leslie 25:02 So, as you look forward in terms of building your business, are you leaning in harder in your blog right now?
Melanie Ferguson 25:10 Definitely right now.
Jillian Leslie 25:14 Are you pulling back at all on Facebook?
Melanie Ferguson 25:16 Yes, definitely right now, but tba, to be announced because Facebook is rolling out somethings right now as they always are. And I do make an effort to stay on the complete top of everything Facebook, because that is where most of my audience is.
And so, they are about to monetize live video. And as much as I have pulled back on live video, because it’s exhausting. And you can do just as much with pre recorded video like repurposing your live videos.
As opposed to going live every time I’ve been leaning towards that and just putting things in the Ad Revenue because you would get paid for recorded ones but not for live ones.
But now that they’re about to flip flop that. It may look a little different as opposed to pulling back. I might be leaning in again. I don’t know.
Why FB Lives Are So Powerful Right Now For Growing Your Business
Jillian Leslie 26:15 Okay. To be determined. So, we’ll see about that. Now. Can we talk about live video? And do you think that live video has been your secret sauce to growing such an enormous audience on Facebook?
Melanie Ferguson 26:31 1,000%.
Jillian Leslie 26:34 Okay. Please say that again, because I want my audience to hear this.
Melanie Ferguson 26:38 1,000%. There is nothing that takes the place of live video, nothing.
Jillian Leslie 26:46 And I would argue that in coronavirus, it’s even more important before I press record for this, you and I were talking about how weirdly, we’re almost preferring say showing up on zoom or seeing your face on video rather than even seeing people in real life.
Because with masks and social distancing, all the norms have changed. And it feels almost weird. Whereas at least seeing your face on zoom as I’m looking at it right now. I feel a connection to you. And I’m missing that in my own life.
So, we do coaching groups, and my coaching group, we were doing our session this week. And at the end of it, they were like, “Oh, this is great.” And I go, “No, you guys don’t understand how much I get from this.”
Because I get to show up with real people in real time, and talk about something beyond what’s going on in the world and like help you guys grow your businesses. And there’s something so satisfying about that.
And so, I feel like live video today is probably even more powerful than before we were all kind of locked down in our homes.
Melanie Ferguson 28:00 Yes, yes. And all the social media platforms seem to agree on that one thing. They are all promoting some type of live content. All of them. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, they’re all wanting live content. Pinterest, now.
Jillian Leslie 28:22 Absolutely.
Melanie Ferguson 28:23 Everyone’s on board.
Jillian Leslie 28:28 Were you naturally good at doing video? Or was it weird for you at the beginning?
Okay, a lot of people equate fear to like when you are in a warm bed on a cold morning and you do not want to get out of bed because it’s going to be so freaking hard to do. The longer you stay snuggled up under those covers, the harder it is.
And that’s the same way with hitting the live button. It has become something that I know that if I just don’t hit that button, it’s going to get worse and worse and worse and worse until I do. So, you just rip off the band aid.
Jillian Leslie 29:14 I love that and I love for somebody like you because when I watch your lives on Facebook, you seem so natural. You seem so relatable. You seem like this is second nature.
So, you saying this is not second nature. It still feels awkward. Is so refreshing because for those of you in the audience listening to this, I highly recommend you go live.
Challenge: Show Your Face on Video
In fact, so when I was talking about my coaching group, I challenged everybody this week to show up live somehow somewhere it could be in a story. It could be in going live like it doesn’t have to be making a YouTube video.
Really what I was challenging them was to put their faces on video. So, it’s not no longer a craft where I’m watching your hands. It is no longer you narrating something, it is you on video speaking to the camera.
And I feel like that is a superpower if you can do it, and I love you saying it’s never normal, it’s never comfortable.
Melanie Ferguson 30:20 Because it’s not, and it doesn’t ever go away. It’s not like, oh, once you’ve done it 10 times, then not a problem.
Jillian Leslie 30:29 Right. Alright. So, tell me what would you say your biggest tips are for somebody who is terrified? And says, “No, no, that’s never going to be me.”
They’re terrified. But you and I both are saying this is really important for your business. Because you have to assume most people are in the person who’s scared shoes, and won’t go live. So, if you’re willing to do it, what a great competitive advantage.
Melanie Ferguson 31:05 Definitely.
Jillian Leslie 31:06 It is definitely a superpower.
Melanie Ferguson 31:08 So, I just feel like if you are going to put in the work, I’m very type A. It’s never enough. And so, I feel like very much so, that if I’m going to put in the work, it’s got to be to its fullest. Like, it’s got to be the most bang for your buck.
And if I’m going to put in the work on something, and I know that it’s going to get 10 times over here versus one time over here. And all it means is hitting a button. I mean, come on.
And so, it is for my business and my business, ultimately, you just have to stop and think like, what is it for? Well, you know what? It’s for my family.
Jillian Leslie 31:48 Yes.
Melanie Ferguson 31:48 And if my family needs me to hit a button on a phone, I’m going to hit a button on a phone. And so, that’s not that hard for me. And something I had to learn from the very early on. And I still struggle with this. And I’m sure a lot of people do.
Be a creator of content, more than you are a consumer of content. Because if you’re sitting there and you should be going live, but you’re watching other people’s lives. You’re really not benefiting your business. I struggled with that.
Jillian Leslie 32:23 For the person who’s scared. And who thinks, Oh, my God, I can’t do this. What are your top tips for somebody to do it?
Top Tips for Going Live on Facebook
Melanie Ferguson 32:32 Okay, well, you can start by just putting a big fat sticky note right over the face of your phone. So, you don’t have to look at yourself, and shove your phone up against a bottle or in a tripod if you have one.
And push the button and just talk to the sticky note and make a big smiley face on it. So, you just know you need to be sure and smile. Don’t look at yourself on there. And 100% don’t look at the numbers.
I know for the longest I had either nobody on there, which is perfectly fine. People will watch it later. And all the way up to10 people on there and being mortified. But it’s fine. It’s fine.
Different things work for different people, you could reward yourself, listen, every time I go live, I’m going to go get myself a Starbucks, or something. Everybody’s either positive or negative when influenced. So, you have to decide what works for you.
Jillian Leslie 33:26 Do you recommend somebody plan what they’re going to say or just spontaneously show up?
Melanie Ferguson 33:31 I think you should have a loose outline, maybe like the three things you’re going to say. First, you always want to introduce yourself, you never know who’s going to be watching you for the first time. So, say your name and maybe the name of your page.
They’re there, but they’ve been scrolling. They don’t know who they landed on. So, you just say your name, the name of your page. I have a slogan; I say it every time. And you’ll just get really good at remembering that.
And that’s a great way to count down a few seconds at the beginning without having to say, hang on, you don’t matter, I’m going to wait for someone else to hop on. And then after that, you’re going to just have the basis of what it is you’re going to share.
If there’s something specific you don’t want to forget. When there’s something specific I have to make sticky notes and put them on the phone so that I don’t forget to mention them.
And then at the end, you just want to make sure and if you haven’t been saying it throughout that you remind them if they liked what they saw to please like and follow your page.
Because just you take that for granted like they’re there they should like it. Facebook pops a little thing up that says follow this page. Well, you have to tell people what to do.
So, they’re waiting for you to tell them what to do. And 99% of the time if you tell them to do something, they’re going to do it.
Jillian Leslie 34:47 How long would you recommend somebody go live for when they’re first starting out?
Melanie Ferguson 34:52 That’s a totally loaded question because everybody is going to be different. However, there are situations if you are only planning on going live twice a week, which is totally fine, I wouldn’t go live less than 20 minutes, 15 bottom line.
If you are going to go live several times a day, you can get away with three to five minutes, and then go live again later, and then go live again later. But it just depends on what you’re committed to do.
But don’t go live five minutes one day, and then not again for a week, that’s not going to work.
Jillian Leslie 35:21 Now, are you going live on Instagram as well or only Facebook?
Melanie Ferguson 35:25 I only go live on Facebook?
Jillian Leslie 35:28 Do you then download the video? You do download the video and you’ll put it let’s say or you’ll put a direct link to it in your blog post? Will you upload it to IGTV? Will you do anything else with those videos?
Should You Add Your Facebook Lives to YouTube?
Melanie Ferguson 35:41 So, the Facebook Live video is a little bit different animal than what all the other platforms prefer. And so, it’s a struggle.
You can use some of the editing software to actually create it a little more YouTube friendly. Where you can just zoom in on what you were working with on your hands, or on Instagram on IGTV. Those are a little different too.
And you may have to cut your video up and make it a bunch shorter. Because it’s really there’s no room for all of that socialness over there. It’s more of brass tacks, like show me the money, show me the stuff, show me how to make what it was.
So, it’s a little bit different for each one. In a perfect world, you’re going to have two setups, and I still again, I struggle with this. But remembering to set up a camera that’s separate, that’s just on the project.
And then the one that I use for my face, because Facebook is more powerful. If you use the portrait mode, and you keep your face in the video with the project. Because the people, yes, they want to know what you’re doing.
But more than that on Facebook, those people really just want you and they want community and they want to feel a part of your life. And they want to hear what you did today.
They want you to acknowledge them on the other end and say their name. People will privately message me, would you please shout out my niece, it’s her birthday, would you please say my name live because that added up.
So, they’re more of a, communal situation, whereas over on YouTube, obviously, they don’t even care who you are. It literally shows me how to make that I don’t need to see your face. And definitely you don’t need to say my name.
So, it’s two totally different platforms. And you just, can repurpose the video that you made on Facebook Live better if you keep some of the chitchat at the beginning only or just the end only. And then you can slice it.
Jillian Leslie 37:49 Ooh, that’s so interesting, though, that you’re going live on Facebook in portrait mode, just because I feel like the platform is much more geared toward landscape.
But you’re thinking, because I’m in the video that’s much more compelling for my audience on Facebook.
Melanie Ferguson 38:07 Definitely, it’s 100%. Because that’s how they’re used to seeing you. They’re not used to seeing us landscape where it’s just our neck up. They’re used to seeing the whole you.
And it’s harder to get the project in the photo and yourself, but that’s what they want. And so, that’s what they get.
Jillian Leslie 38:32 I just want to say, as we kind of close out, there’s something, so David and I. David, who’s my husband and my partner with MiloTree, Catch My Party, all of that stuff, what we do is we look at people’s blogs.
And so, this morning, we went to your blog, Melanie to look at it. And what we liked so much about it, what we teach is this idea of content first. And we set up people’s blogs with our MiloTree BlogStart Program.
Here’s a little plug, if you want us to set up your blog, we’d be happy to MiloTree.com/ blog start. But first of all, Melanie, we were impressed that you were on SiteGround, which is where we put our people.
Keep Your Blog Design Simple and Focus on Your Content
We were impressed with your theme, because it was a very simple StudioPress theme, which is what we recommend. But the reason why we really like what you’re doing is because you’re not focused on all the bells and whistles that people get hung up on.
People love to have four different, five different fonts on their site. They love to have things that are animating, they love page builders, which we are not a fan of. We are Athena is content first.
So, that I’m seeing the value. It’s a little bit like a present. It’s like, do you care so much about the wrapping or do you care about the actual present inside the wrapping? And people, bloggers get very focused on the wrapping.
And they’re not focused on the gift they’re giving. And I feel like Melanie with you, the gift is like I get it, I get who you are, I go to your blog. It’s just right there, I’ve got crafts, I’ve got like you, you’re all over your blog, your videos are there.
And it’s like simple crafts that are approachable, doable, especially during this time, chances are, I might have a bunch of the materials in my house. And so, I get who you are, and I get what you do, and I get the value you provide.
And David and I were both like you go, Melanie, just because we think you are focused on the right stuff. So, I wanted to say that to you. Like really, and when you say oh, I’m still new at this, and I’m still figuring it out.
I want to say we think you’re off on the right foot.
Melanie Ferguson 40:58 Yay.
Jillian Leslie 40:59 Really. And, you know this because I said this all to you before we pressed record. So, in fact, we were looking because I thought oh, maybe I have some insights that I can share with you. And truly I’m like, wow, you’re there.
So, think content first, you’re solver of problems. So, Melanie, what would you say the problem is that you solve for your audience?
Melanie Ferguson 41:30 Where they can find inspiration for creating and decorating a home that they love.
Jillian Leslie 41:35 Oh, I love that. I love that. But I love that you know that and I love that you could just say that right off the top. It sounds like because you have that, that everything you make you can go read it.
You can reality check it with that to say, am I doing what I say I’m supposed to be doing?
Melanie Ferguson 41:57 Right. Definitely. And that’s just one of those things like you don’t need to be all over the place with your blog. Try to stick to two to three top, focus points that you’re going to be expressing with the blog, instead of being all over the place.
Jillian Leslie 42:14 I love that. Okay. Melanie, how can people reach out to you? How can they learn more? Share with my audience. Because I want them to go check out your blog.
Melanie Ferguson 42:24 Awesome. Yes. And I appreciate all of those kind words. That was super sweet of y’all to check it out. And I feel really honored.
So, yes, you can find me at Southerncrushathome.com. And for information about what I’ve shared today, everything will be at Southerncrushathome.com/6figurefollowing.
Jillian Leslie 42:48 Ooh, I love that. Alright. Well, Melanie, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Melanie Ferguson 42:54 Thank you for having me.
Jillian Leslie 42:56 I hope this episode inspired you to start doing live video, whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, even in an Instagram story, just putting your face out there. I don’t think there’s any better way to connect with your audience.
And before I forget, please go to Facebook and join my Facebook Group, The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Group. It’s a bunch of cool people hanging out and I will see you here again next week.
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.