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Growing Your Blog Beyond Banner Ads With Nikki Parkinson

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After ditching her journalism career several years ago, Nikki Parkinson started an online, personal styling business and accidentally became one of the most successful (and accessible) style bloggers in Australia. She also really knows her shit when it comes to dominating the internet.

You run one of the most successful and business savvy style blogs in Australia – Styling You. Can you tell us how you got started on your blogging venture?

I tell everyone I’m the accidental blogger because that’s how it all started by accident. I left a 20 year career in journalism to start a personal styling business and the website I had built for that business was built on a WordPress platform.

I didn’t know I was blogging when I started in 2008 but by 2009, I did. Twitter was very much in its infancy in Australia and was this super fun place to hang out and meet people. I connected with so many people working online, I discovered these people called bloggers, went to visit their blogs and realised that I liked what I saw. I like the conversations. I like that they wrote posts and that there were comments from people engaged in a conversation around those posts.

So I gradually changed the way I wrote posts on my blog to be less journalistic and more conversational, transitioning myself to a blogger.

Your social media growth has been extraordinary with 60k followers on Facebook and 43k followers on Instagram you are dominating these platforms. Can you give us your 3 top tips for growth and engagement on these platforms? And 1 tip for something that absolutely does not work? And 1 tip for something that absolutely does not work?

Nikki Parkinson

1. My number one tip for both Facebook and Instagram is that good content (almost) always beat the algorithm. Organic reach is still possible. You won’t get it on all posts but on the posts that fly, you’ll be able to see why they flew as that content had a real connection with your audience.

2. Create follower habits with the times that you post. For my audience, it’s all about the early morning and the evening, so I keep to those times and I generally will only post a maximum of twice daily. I also hop online and answer comments at this time too.

3. Don’t get hung up too much on the numbers. Keep thinking about the conversation. My Facebook page started with the first business pages on Facebook in 2008 so 60K is great but it’s been a slow, steady and organic growth. This kind of growth means that you build a lot of engagement and connection with your audience with each 1000 likes.

#1 TIP FOR SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T WORK … don’t flood either your Instagram or Facebook feed with posts. You’ll not only be competing with other pages for spots in the newsfeed, your biggest competitor will be yourself. In any given day, only post what you really want your followers to find, otherwise Facebook will take all of what you’ve posted and decide for you.

Create follower habits with the times that you post.

If there were 3 social media related activities you could choose to never have to do again, which 3 would you choose?

That’s an interesting question. I enjoy what social media brings to my blogging experience. I see it as very much integrated with what I do, so can’t imagine never doing it again. From the get go, I’ve always allocated time and energy to connecting with my audience and each social media platform offers me a different way to make those connections and conversations.

How do you cope with social media overload? You must be on social media quite consistently throughout the day – what systems do you have in place to take breaks? Or do you not ever take breaks?

I try to mostly stick to morning and evening hangs on social media – being present when I’ve posted so I can respond to comments and questions. I step away more on weekends because there aren’t any fresh blog posts from me so I don’t feel the need to be around as much.

I also now have two community managers working part time and supporting me. I now have a thriving closed Facebook group (SY Everyday Style) that is almost 3K strong after launching in July.

This group is free and open to all email subscribers and I have a newly launched closed Facebook group as part of my paid online styling program (Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe). In setting up these, I knew that I could not be available 24/7 to manage and oversee them. I’m in there every day but have back up by my managers.

Want more? Click here to read the rest of this interview with Nikki Parkinson in issue 5 of the Secret Bloggers’ Business Magazine.

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