How EmPress Themes can help you rock #nsale

We know many of you rely on rewardStyle and ShopStyle as your affiliate partners, just like we know that July marks one of the biggest sales of the year for Nordstrom, one of the most popular retailers on both platforms! Today, we wanted to share some insider tips and tricks for how you can utilize <em>press themes and plugins to help showcase your #nsale picks sitewide. And, fear not — you don’t need an <em>press theme to take advantage of several of these!

1. Update your Boutiques plugin

Our Boutiques plugin features multiple layouts so that you can showcase an Instagram shop up top, a list of retailers, and (in all versions!) up to five boutiques that correspond to matching menu links, which are editable. For the Nordstrom sale, you can change your boutiques menus to correspond to particular product categories, such as shoes, accessories, dresses, coats, etc. This makes it easy for you to categorize like items, and help your users browse for items they’re on the hunt for.

2. Create a dedicated #Nsale Boutique!

One feature most users don’t discover is that you can apply the Boutiques plugin to multiple page templates! So if you’re already using our plugin and love how you have it set up, don’t worry — you can simply create a brand new page, apply the Boutique layout like you did before, and theme all the content on it around the sale. Add this new page to your main menu navigation, and presto! You’ve got a dedicated space for users to shop sale content.

Bonus points: Both of our templates include space to add retailer links — but you can actually add any links you like! Use this section to highlight your blog posts about the sale. You can even swap out our Instashop section for a shop the post widget highlighting your favorite picks. Check out our examples on Miramar, Brevier, Archer, and Presidio!

3. Update your Newsletter Pop Up

Now is the perfect time to send out special content to your newsletter subscribers, and drive new readers to your newsletter as well. Though our Newsletter Pop Up plugin is usually a set-it-and-forget-it feature, consider sprucing up your pop up for special #Nsale content. Change out the photo and update the description text to let readers know what they can expect when they sign up for your newsletter.

4. Swap out your widget content

All of our themes, and most WordPress themes in general, come with special widget areas for highlighting content. Use these areas to highlight your #Nsale blog posts and/or your Boutique page. In our Brevier and Presidio themes, you can add the topics widget to your sidebar and upload one or multiple calls-to-action, with a special image, custom text, and link. This widget also works in Presidio’s interstitial widget areas. Or, use the Presidio Highlight widget in a similar fashion. Our Presidio theme even includes a special shop widget to highlight multiple products and a call-to-action to your Boutique page. In Miramar, swap out one or more of your Interstitial feature boxes to highlight #Nsale content. In Archer, create a blog category for sale content, and use the Featured Posts widget to highlight those posts in the footer.

5. Shop the Post

If you aren’t already using our Shop the Post plugin to showcase rewardStyle and ShopStyle widgets before a post break, now is the perfect time to get started! Our Shop the Post plugin works with most WordPress themes, not just <em>press. Readers love the convenience of shopping directly from the home page without having to click through posts, especially when scanning on the go or referring back to posts they’ve already read. Our Shop the Post plugin also coordinates with our Brevier and Presidio themes to showcase shoppable widgets on archival pages.

6. Update your highlighted shopping widget

Our Presidio and Miramar themes include a special area to accommodate a shopping widget near the top of the home page. Be sure to update these to include #nsale picks! If you’re not using one of these themes, consider adding a simple text widget to your sidebar, or even your footer.

Above all, don’t be afraid to get creative! In many cases, we’ve designed our products with instructions and hints to guide you, but think of them as suggestions, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Have you thought of a fun way to use our products? We’d love to see — leave a comment below with your link!

What to put in a media kit

One blog accessory we’re regularly asked about are media kits. When do you need one? What should go in it? When do you send it? How long should it be? If you’re a new blogger, or your blog has grown and you’re thinking about working with brands, we know determining what information to present can feel overwhelming. So today, we’re breaking down media kits — and the best part is, if you’re already keeping tabs on your site stats, a simple one can be put together very quickly!

What is a media kit?
No big surprise here: media kits have their origins in, well, media. Major magazines have always relied on media kits — sometimes called press kits — to describe who and what their brand is, and what their audience is like. You can do a quick online search for almost any major magazine’s or website’s media kit, and immediately learn more about what happens behind the scenes at that outlet (seriously, try Googling “InStyle media kit” and you’ll see what we mean!). Magazine media kits publish information like their history, target audience, circulation numbers, editorial calendar, and advertising opportunities along with rates. Websites can do the same thing, with media kits describing the brand and the unique ways they partner with others.

The purpose of gathering all this information?

To have it ready to go for potential advertisers.

 

What does this mean for you?
As a blogger, you can structure your media kit the same way as a major publication does, and use it for the exact same purpose. Describe who you are, share information about your readership (including who they are, why they come to your site, and of course, demographic information), site statistics, and what partnership opportunities are available to brands.

The benefit of the media kit is that it allows you to provide an on-brand, professional document that clearly outlines how you, as a business, work with other businesses. Sure, if a brand contacts you about working together, you could email back with your site statistics and information about your site. However, a media kit gives you an opportunity to truly sell your blog, as you can include plenty of additional information that will convince the partner you’re the perfect fit! Plus, if you have a set brand identity for your blog (think: logo and a dedicated set of fonts and colors you use on your site and all marketing communications), presenting a document with these elements, along with photography from your site, will tell a true visual story about who your brand is and what it has to offer. Way more immersive than a simple email, right?

As you might’ve guessed, kits should have four main components regardless of any other bells and whistles: 1) information about you, 2) information about your readers, 3) your site statistics both on your blog and social media platforms, and 4) how you partner with brands. Let’s take a look at each of these in greater detail:

Keep reading “What to put in a media kit”

How To Prepare Your Blog For Vacation

With summer vacation just around the corner, the beach is calling our names. And while working from the beach sounds infinitely more fun than working at a desk, the reality is that you’d still be working while everyone around you revels in the sea, sand, and sun. We’ll take a guilty pleasure book over a laptop as our beach companion any day!

But how do you take a break from your blog and still maintain the momentum you’ve worked so hard to build? Today we’re sharing our favorite methods for preparing your blog for vacation.

1. Double up.

If you don’t want to worry about your blog while you’re on vacation but still want to maintain a regular posting schedule, then you’ll need to work ahead of time. The easiest way to do this is to add a bit of extra blogging time into your normal schedule just before you leave, and produce two posts when you’d normally produce one, scheduling the second to go live during your vacation. This works particularly well if you tend to post similar types of content on the same days each week, for example, an outfit post on Mondays and a link post on Fridays. In this case, you’ve already been through your typical process for that type of post once, which will help you complete the second post faster.

2. Schedule a batch day.

If you have time in advance, try blocking off a few hours to produce all of your vacation content at one time. To make this process easier, consider creating a series of related posts to go live during your vacation, so you don’t have to switch gears in the middle of your batch day. For example, make it a week of vacation related content, and document what you’re packing, what you wish you were packing, what you plan to do on vacation, and even what you’ve done there before, if you’ve been. Bonus points: This will actually help you get ready for your trip!

3. Update or share a round-up of posts from your archives.

Once we publish content, we tend to forget about it. But your archives are a really valuable resource! It takes much less time to update and republish an old post than it does to write a new one from scratch. Look at your stats for evergreen posts that still get decent amounts of traffic. You likely have new insights now that can improve the post content, and you also have new readers who haven’t fully explored your archives. You can even make new connections between your old content with a round-up of posts from your archives.

4. Schedule guest posts.

If you’re open to hosting other voices on your blog, why not ask friends to take over while you’re gone? While coordinating guest posts still requires planning in advance, it helps you reduce the amount of content you need to produce before you leave. We find the easiest way to coordinate guest posts is to give bloggers a prompt, and set the due date at least a few weeks before you leave so you aren’t scrambling to schedule content for those who wait until the last minute.

5. Take a break!

Ultimately, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break from posting so you can enjoy your vacation. We find that the total relaxation of vacation renews our creativity and excitement for blogging. And, sometimes your readers need a break, too! If you decide to take a blogging break, consider giving your readers a heads up so they know what to expect. If you have privacy concerns, you don’t have to share details — simply state that you’re taking some time away from your blog and let readers know when they can expect you to resume posting. You may also consider giving yourself a few days after your vacation to get back into your routines.

Whatever you decide, remember that there is no one right answer. Do whatever works best for you and your blogging goals at the time! If you’re feeling extra creative, go with it and work ahead. If you’re feeling behind, give yourself a break and come back refreshed from vacation.

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How do you manage your blog on vacation? Let us know in the comments!

xx,

Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash