Applying administration methods to blogging

This is a guest post written by Liz who is a Virtual Assistant.  If you’re also interested in writing a guest post for Smarter Admins, I’d love to hear from you.

Like Liz, I’ll be going to ProBlogger too. It’s a two-day conference being held in Melbourne for bloggers and I’m stoked to be catching up with my colleague bloggers! If you’re coming along to ProBlogger, be sure to say hi. I’ll be the one with all the colourful pens!

I’m heading to ProBlogger this week as a volunteer, but that doesn’t mean I won’t pick up a few things while I’m there! Lately in Australian blogging scene, blogger representation has become a bit of a ‘thing’. This is fantastic for those who are represented by an agency, but what if you’re representing yourself?

I hang around a lot of bloggers, and the one thing I hear from self-represented bloggers the most is:

Help! I’m drowning in PR pitches!

Here are a couple of tips to streamline your processes and help keep your inbox happy!
The first thing a media company is going to do is email you and ask for your media kit. Sure, it only takes a couple of minutes to reply, attach a file and send it off, but those minutes add up pretty quickly! Especially when you consider the conversion rate from there in. How many people came back to you positively after you sent them that media kit? There are still a lot of businesses and PR agencies that just aren’t interested once you tell them your time is not free.

Here are a couple of ideas…

1. Make your Media Kit publicly available

Yep! I’m not joking. Go ahead and pop it on your PR/Media page, contact page — or somewhere else that makes sense. If you’re still getting requests, then you know they aren’t even spending time on your blog. What do you have to lose? Not much really. Other bloggers will be able to see your stats and how much you charge for your work, but it’s not like they can do anything with the information. You’re successful in your own right; it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks!

If you’re not comfortable with that idea (and that’s okay!) here’s another option for you.

2. Set up canned responses in Gmail

Yes, I’m talking Gmail specifically here because they have awesome ‘labs’ features which you install like a plugin. A lot of the bloggers are already with Gmail, but haven’t activated any ‘labs’.

The first step is to upload your latest media kit to your blog. “But you said I didn’t have to” — I know, I know. But we’re not putting it out there, we’re just using it as a storage point!

Next, we’re going to set up canned responses in Gmail. Here’s a video where I explain this step. Having trouble seeing the video? Click here to go straight to the video file.

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And that’s not all you can use it for. Why not set up a canned response for your “Thanks, but no thanks” email? The possibilities are endless!

3. Try Passionfruit Ads

Okay, this is definitely NOT a sponsored post! And you may not like this option because it puts your prices out there for the world to see.

But, Passionfruit Ads is rapidly gaining popularity in Australian blogging, and there’s a damn good reason for it!

You set up your account, your ad spaces and how much you want to charge, then you pop two lots of code into your site. Anyone that wants to buy an ad is sent to Passionfruit Ads where they pay and upload the ad for you! You then get the option to accept or decline the ad. If you accept, it’ll automatically run on your site for the length of time you specified when you set it up. You don’t have to worry about statistics, either — Passionfruit Ads looks after it all for you.

What’s the cost? $1 plus paypal fees. Well worth it in my books!

Check out Danimezza for a great example of how it works.

Now this obviously only helps with the ads. But reducing the amount of emails you get for ad requests frees up your time to work on those more lucrative sponsored posts!

So, tell us. How do you manage your inbox? Share you ideas in the comments!

Liz Pulo is a Virtual Assistant by day and personal blogger by night. If you need any help running with any of these ideas, just get in touch!

Rah Gardiner
Rah Gardiner
Hi there, I’m Rah and I’m the face behind Smarter Admins. I currently work full-time as an Executive Assistant, but I have also been a Secretary, Customer Service Assistant, Receptionist, Office Coordinator, Editorial Assistant and Administrator. I started full-time work over 17 years ago—before I even finished high school—and I haven’t looked back.


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  2. Leigh says:

    I loved canned responses. Use them all the time for advertising requests and other mundane emails. Really saves.

    On my second month of passionfruit ads and it’s doing ok. Much easier than having to organise it yourself.

  3. I have an agent but the PR pitches still come in at a huge rate because that’s the nature of PR – they are not offering money, they are pitching ideas they hope you will run for free.

    My inbox can be a scary space so I’ve recently created an automated response through my email host that offers options if someone emails me, including a link to where they can find my media kit on my blog – yes it’s public and I agree with Liz – it’s actually liberating to have it out there. I’ve got nothing to hide.

    And I’ve just joined Passionfruit ads this week to streamline my independent banner ad sales – genius!

    Can I ask about gmail though – I did have my stylingyou email pointing to my gmail email in the hope that out of offices and rules I could set up in gmail would apply but I discovered they didn’t. Is that right? Or was I doing it wrong?

    Great post Liz!

  4. liz says:

    Hey Nikki!

    Depends how you had it pointing there — was it forwarded to your gmail account, or being retrieved through a POP server? In order for the out of office rules to apply, it needs to be retrieved through the account — otherwise the out of office messages just go back to the server that’s forwarding your mail across — if that makes sense!

    Let me know if you need any help setting it up x

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