With my 30 Days Of Hair behind me, I wanted to take some time to reflect on everything that I learned from this. Mostly because this was the most exhausting and wonderful thing I’ve ever done and the information that I gained will be incredibly helpful to anyone building their own online platform. I went to battle on your behalf, and I lived to tell you many a tale. If you have a blog, an online platform or are trying to build a community, read on, my friend. I should start out by saying that I am incredibly grateful to every person that commented, read or watched a video.
You all gave me such insight into what you want and what you need and it was at times incredibly challenging to meet that need for you. I went into this very blindly, I had no idea what I was doing, but I’m very much a sink or swim type and I wanted to challenge myself to do something crazy so I found a way to make it happen. I am hoping that you can learn from me and my behind the scenes mistakes and implement these lessons on your own platform. If I learned anything, it’s that this is about serving the needs of your readers, not serving your own. You’ll see:
The 5 Things I Learned From a 30 Day Video Series:
1. People Want Original Content:
This is sort of a no brainer, right? But often times it’s so easy to regurgitate someone else’s work on our platform. Whether it’s by sharing someone else’s pictures or someone else’s recipes or someone else’s outfit posts, we do it all the time. Sometimes we are sharing someone else’s work because we respect and appreciate what they’re doing (case in point, my post on Sincerely Jules last week) and we want you to be aware of it as well, other times it’s just due to lack of time (case in point, my post on pie a few weeks ago). But if doing 30 days of hair tutorials reminded me of anything, it’s that people want to know you. You find genuine readers that come to your platform for your point of view and to get to know you better, and that only comes through original content that you are creating. Take the time, invest in your readers and they will invest back. My general rule of thumb: is this something that a reader would share with their best friend? If the answer is no, then I should probably try harder before I press publish. And if someone happens upon your site from pinterest, then you better give them something worth staying for.
2. Keep It Simple:
I spent incredible amounts of time on each video, around five hours each, and the ones that I spent the most amount of time on performed the worst while the hair styles that I could do without a mirror and blindfolded are the ones that performed the best. Take for example my Blake Lively Braid, that I was thrilled to show you how to do, got just 48 views. I want you to keep in mind that that video took me hours to first figure out how to do and then to recreate for you. The video that did the best was How To Curl Your Hair, which currently has 1,638 views and is a style that takes me 6 minutes to do and I filmed it before I left for church one morning. Crazy, right? To me, the Blake Lively braid is infinitely more exciting, but to all of you, learning to curl your hair is something you can learn to do and implement immediately into your everyday life. The most important thing that I learned from this series is that when in doubt, keep it simple. Not because any one of you are simple people by any means, but because added levels of unnecessary difficulty shrinks your sphere of readers significantly, and this whole series was about encouraging every woman to take a risk, not just those who are willing to do 5 braids at once. Keep. It. Simple.
3. Pinterest Changes Everything:
How To Curl Your Hair not only did so well because anyone of any skill set could replicate it, but because the main picture traveled around pinterest, much to my extreme surprise. In fact, the second best performing video is another video that’s just too damn easy, the How To Do A Messy Bun video, and the reason this did so well is, again, because someone shared it on pinterest and it got repinned hundreds of times. This goes back to creating original content, but prior to this series I never considered just how important the images that you use on your blog are. Now, by no means have I gotten this down pat, but taking the time to create high quality, beautiful images will literally change the course of your platform. The views on my page more than quadrupled during the month of November and more than 40% of that traffic came from pinterest, which was my highest platform referral rate. The next comes in at just 13%, which is from, my favorite, facebook.
4. You Can’t Ignore Facebook:
I love community, and I love having the opportunity to build an online community of people who want to live a fun, vivacious, beauty loving life, which is why I spend so much time investing into the group of women (and some men!) that join me on my A Lover’s Anthology facebook page. On November 1st I had 303 likes on the page and on November 30th I had 3748. A percentage of that came from very strategic facebook advertising about the hair series (something I’ll write more about later if anyone cares!), but an even larger percentage came organically because of all of you supporting and sharing the posts (a huge thank you for that) and because I am consistent and intentional in what I put on that page. I’m proud of the community that we have there, I learn something new from you every day and I have made such fun online friends there! I literally read every single post and look at every single like because I want to know how to best serve you and how to best pour into your life, and facebook is where you tell me how that’s possible. Even if you don’t think you are, I’m learning tons by the things that you like and the things that you share. Like, for instance, everyone loves to start their morning off with a really positive quote, those are some of the highest performing images that I put on facebook. And if that’s a way that I can help you start your morning on a better note, then hell yah I’m going to do it everyday. Listen to your audience. Read between the lines. Figure out how you can better serve their needs. You cannot make your facebook page be entirely self-serving, you should be sharing content that enriches someone else’s life. That is what your facebook is for.
5. You Need First Followers:
One of my best friends Angela shared the concept of The First Follower with me and I’ve never looked at my platform the same since. I strongly encourage you to check out that link and watch it for yourself, but essentially it’s about how important it is to have a first follower that brings people on board to start a movement. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few first followers that I lean into almost every day for support. My husband, my parents, and my sweet best friends encouraged me every time that I wanted to stop doing this video series, which was at least every 2 days. After they took the time to share my posts, more of you joined in and supported me with tweets and facebook posts and blog comments. After you all took the time, strangers from all over the world were emailing me with questions and words of encouragement and support. When you want to give up, go back to that group of first followers and ask them why you should keep going. They’ll remind you why they ever started supporting you in the first place.
And lastly, thank you for watching the videos and entering my giveaways and supporting my movement. I love what we’re building, let’s keep it going.