So many people start a blog and think...my blog is my business!

In fact, for many bloggers, their website is just a marketing tool. 

Your community, audience and people you are serving are your business.

STOP!

Now, re-read that last sentence.

And there are 2 ways you can really have more control and speak to your audience regularly:

  1. Email list
  2. Facebook Group

Cate Rosales from Sweet and Simple Life joins the podcast today to talk about how she has grown her Facebook group to over 23,000 people. We chat about:

  • How she started her blog and decided what niche she wanted to focus on
  • Why creating a "warm audience" is so important & how to do this
  • Tips and tricks on growing a Facebook group and why you should probably start one today
  • And much more

Growing a Facebook Group to Build Your Online Business

Cate Rosales

From Sweet and Simple Life

Cate Rosales podcast

Make Time Online Podcast on iTunes - Online Entrepreneur Tips

Listen to the full Cate Rosales podcast episode

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Best tips and tools mentioned

There are tons of little tips and tricks mentioned in the podcast. Here are some of the main ones and tools mentioned in this chat...

  • Having a target market makes it more appealing for other brands to offer sponsored content
  • The direction of your blog can change but try to focus on solving problems for one audience
  • Affiliate marketing tips- Share tools, solutions and things you personally love to avoid being salesy but still help others
  • Focus only one a few things that you personally use and think your audience will enjoy and understand (avoid overwhelm by creating content around just one product/ program to start)
  • Build a relationship (a warm audience) with your readers helps to promote higher priced products
  • An email list (1-1 chats) and Facebook group (community) are both important to grow and earn from an online business
  • Use approved schedulers whenever you can to automate things- Publr on Facebook
  • Learning SEO- Debbie Gartner's SEO books (very affordable and super helpful info- get $20 off with that affiliate link)- Mike Pearson's Stupid Simple SEO

How to grow a Facebook group to build a "warm audience"

Facebook groups are a great way to get access to your target market. You can ask questions with the people that your website serves and create an intimate space where they can interact with each other. 

Tips for setting up a Facebook group:

  • Use relevant keywords within your Facebook group name

Growing a Facebook group tips:

  • Make everyone feel special and have a voice
  • Tag everyone's name when they join and let them share their experience and opinion (there is an option on Facebook to do this)
Cate Rosales Podcast
  • Engagement is the most important thing! Facebook then recommends your group to other people
  • Create some daily prompts i.e. questions/ polls/ weekly goals/ tips/ sharing stuff etc.
  • Put your Facebook group on all social media & everywhere you are online (blog posts/ email lists etc.)

Full Cate Rosales podcast transcript

Cate Rosales 0:00
I would say my facebook marketing and my email marketing work hand in hand to build my business. So if my blog disappeared, unfortunately off the face of the planet and Instagram went down and Pinterest crashed, you know, as long as I have my Facebook community and my email community, those are really the things that really helped my business keep burning and so I think they they work together really well. But you’re right, they do kind of do two different things. Your Facebook group is really your community where you where everybody can learn from each other, grow together, support each other, your email list, it’s just me and you.

Mike Beatty 0:31
Hey, guys, it’s Mike from Make Time Online, and today we’re joined by Kate Rosales from sweet and simple life.

So Kate’s main blog, sweet, simple life is all about helping people that want to become a blogger. And it’s particularly focused on like, the whole Helping out mums and she really talks about choosing your audience and serving your audience a lot. But I’ve realised I’ve made two massive mistakes on this podcast. One is the question I asked First of all, which is terrible for me. And like I normally like to, like find some little thing that I can ask people about at the start of the podcast and I just

Unknown Speaker 1:21
did really bad

Mike Beatty 1:22
there. As you’ll see myself, I was gonna edit this out, punk left it in. And secondly, I didn’t ask her how to pronounce her surname. But you know, you see it online all the time. But so I hope I didn’t butcher that name. Kate, I’m sorry if I did. Anyway, Kate has won she actually then we will check in at the end as well. And she actually has four different blogs and has been doing this since 2015. And kind of like growing this huge Facebook group. And that’s actually how I found Kate and was really interested in kind of like picking their brains and learning a bit more about how she’s growing her blogging, business or whatever. Today, and just getting some of her tips on how she grew this Facebook group really so if you’re interested in anything to do with how you go from someone that knows nothing about blogging to starting a full time business using blogging, then this is 100% a great chat for you. And also if you’re interested in anything to do with ever using a Facebook group and little spoiler alert, you probably should be interested in it. If you just want to get like the top tips. You can as usual, skip the last few minutes and I’ll summarise for you if you’re in a rush but if not enjoy this one guys. So Kate, can you let us know what was it like growing up with a twin brother?

Cate Rosales 2:48
Oh my I I so wish that I had told you this in detail before, but my twin actually passed away when he was a baby. So I didn’t actually grow up with him.

Mike Beatty 2:59
So he’s torey I just read it on your page and I just thought that must be. I’m so sorry.

Cate Rosales 3:07
We didn’t grow up together. So I you know, I didn’t I didn’t actually get to get to know him. But um, yeah. So you

Mike Beatty 3:13
had three sisters though.

Cate Rosales 3:15
The three sisters.

Mike Beatty 3:16
Yes. Oh, nice. So big family. You grew up with? Yeah, two

Cate Rosales 3:19
older sisters and a baby sister.

Mike Beatty 3:22
Yeah. Very cool. So, when was it that you actually how did you actually get into blogging? What was what was the lightbulb moment that made you realise? Okay, I’m going to try this blogging stuff out.

Cate Rosales 3:36
Yeah, I mean, there was a few light bulb moments for sure. But I actually started when I was really young. I started over 10 years ago just because I loved writing. So I found out that you could, you know, start a blog for free I think it was blogspot or blogger or something like that in 2010. So I started just writing down thoughts and experiences and you know, kind of like my journal because I love to write. So I had a few hobbies. vlogs over the years, and I loved every second of it, but I wasn’t actually really trying to make money if I’m being perfectly honest, I just love to write. And then in 2015, then I started thinking, you know, I’ve got a job I don’t love, but it pays the bills I love to write, but I don’t really know how to make money writing on my own. I had done a little bit of freelance writing, and did some blog writing for my prior boss, you know, but I just didn’t really have the experience of how do I like earn money from my own blog working for myself. And so I just decided, I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, and I just really wanted a flexible schedule, because I’m going to be a mom, you know, and I need a little flexibility so I can take care of my kids. And so that’s really where I started just digging and trying to figure out if I could really make money blogging, I had already been blogging for a while I had been working from home but for somebody else, and I had a business degree. So I just kind of started brainstorming and trying to put all of these tools that I have Together, you know, can can you actually make money blogging? Is this something you can do started digging and testing. And then sure enough, you know, based on some experience that I had with blogging and business, I was able to start earning money relatively quickly within a few months. And so it just kind of lit a fire under me like, Oh, you can make money doing this thing. I’m not giving up now, you know, so then that kind of that was back in 2015. And so through two babies, and and a lot of chaos and a car accident that almost killed my husband. We’ve had a crazy couple of years. But it has been just magical because no matter what, I just worked hard and kept on blogging, and I’ve been able to make a business out of it. And so I think once you start once you make that decision, like I’m gonna, I’m gonna start blogging, make some money, see if I can make this thing a real business. And once you start making money, the whole process is kind of fun and challenging and addicting. And, and you just don’t want to stop though. That’s where we’re at.

Mike Beatty 5:57
I mean, you must have gone through so many things. likes into since you actually started doing it. But um, I know if I would listen to this, the question that would pop into my head would be like, well, how did you stop making money just a few months in with blogging because there’s so many people that obviously do give blogging a shot sort of thing. And, you know, they can do it for years without seeing any income. So what was it that kind of made you realise, like, this is what I need to do to make some income like early on?

Cate Rosales 6:24
Yeah, you know, and that’s a really good point, because it is tricky. A lot of people will blog for years and not make any money. Others will just kind of get lucky and start making money right away. So I will just start by saying that I did have a lot of experience in online business and admin work and marketing. And so that was I worked in I worked for a financial advisor. And so my marketing experience, my business experience, my writing experience that was all kind of finance based. And so I had to just find a way to twist that knowledge that I had to work for my blog, which was focused on helping moms work from home. And so I just kind of had to fix Right away to twist what I already knew and what I had gone to school for, to try to earn from home. So I started with just writing blog posts that I thought moms might be interested in. You know, and I was a little bit more broad mommy blog focused back then. And then ironically, some a couple of companies brands reached out to me and asked if I could write a sponsored post on my blog for them, and they would pay me for it. So I’m like you pay and people there, you know, they’re gonna send me free products. And all you got to do is write a couple, you know, quick little review on your blog, and we’ll send you 100 bucks. I’m like, that sounds great. I’ll do that. You know, I’ll do that all day. And so it started off very simple like that. I and I didn’t have a huge following. And I didn’t have a big blog. I was a relatively small blogger. But I think because I was focused and I kind of understood how to write good content and how to write content that moms are actually searching for. I think that just kind of worked together in a way that brands were able to locate my blog, which was an absolute, you know, simple minimalist, you know, mommy blog, and the Fancy. But there was just something about my tone and my content that made brands feel comfortable reaching out and paying me to do sponsored work. So a lot of people say that you have to have a larger following to do sponsored work. But my experience was kind of the opposite. I just had a target market and and some good content on my blog. And then brands came to me and offered me those sponsored opportunities. And so that’s how I got started those first few months making a little bit of money. But then I didn’t really just want to do sponsored work. I also wanted to just earn from the content that I wanted to write out of my heart. I didn’t always want to be earning from necessarily promoting a product that I was paid to promote, if that makes sense. Yeah. So I decided to look more into affiliate marketing at that time. So a few months into blogging, I started getting into affiliate marketing. And if anyone has known me for three seconds, they know that that’s like my specialty affiliate marketing is where it’s all that for me. So that’s kind of what I have built my business on. Because I really enjoy just writing content based on it. Things that I use and love, and then sharing tools and solutions and recommendations with people. And then if you need it great, and if not, you know, move along no hard feelings. And so you can kind of write great blog content without being salesy. And I think that’s why I’ve really fallen in love with affiliate marketing.

Mike Beatty 9:19
Amazing. Yeah, I’d love to dig into more about affiliate marketing and stuff. So we’ll come back to that. But you mentioned there like you originally when you started, you kind of had this more like money based audience and niche is so is that the same blog that you actually have now that you still use today?

Cate Rosales 9:37
It is the same blog. Yeah, I just niche down a lot over the

Mike Beatty 9:41
years. I think that’s the thing as well, you know, they change so much how they you can start on one path and they can go in a completely different direction to where you where you wanted. So yeah, it was it kind of made you realise you wanted to sort of divert the path a little bit and, or was there a moment that kind of made you really realise this is kind of more the route I’d rather go down.

Cate Rosales 10:04
You know, honestly, the moment for me, I always knew that I just wanted to help moms and women kind of, you know, take charge of their life, take control of their life live their best life intentionally. That was always my aim, which is kind of why I did the the mommy blog, I was already working from home so I wanted to kind of help people with what I knew about you know, so so that was always kind of part of it. But I really just always wanted to help people with what they needed. I wanted to teach people what I knew, and give that if you’re frustrated, I want to help you if you need tools, I want to come up with solutions for you. Right so when people started taking notice of my blog and leaving comments on my blog or leaving comments on Instagram or Facebook, wherever they found me and saying, you know, I really appreciate this post. It was really straightforward. Can you help me do what you’re doing? I started realising this trend of people don’t really want to learn about my you know, my breastfeeding and my my baby bottle recommendations. wasn’t what people really wanted to focus on. In my case, people liked my teaching style. And so I just slowly but surely found this this groove where people wanted me to teach them how to do what I was doing. And so although I was always including content that was like mom focused and mindset focused and business focused, you know, working from home focused, and I was able to kind of narrow down and help people just start monetizing their blogs based on my experience. And because that’s what people wanted, just by a miracle, it just skyrocketed because I just listened to them. They said, This is what we want from you, and I gave it to them. And that’s kind of where I was able to like really niche down, figure out what my target audience was and what they wanted from me, and then give it to them. And that’s, that’s really the secret to it all.

Mike Beatty 11:47
And that is so cool that you managed to do that because I think that’s such an important part as well, isn’t it is realising and recognising what people actually want and what they’re interested in, rather than just carrying on pumping out the same content is what people actually want. And yeah, so obviously you just kind of touched on affiliate marketing there. What would be like some of your sort of basic tips for someone that’s just kind of like I’ve heard of affiliate marketing before but I don’t really know exactly like what to do what have you. What did you find words like early on for you?

Cate Rosales 12:21
Yeah. So early on with affiliate marketing, I think the best thing to do is promote products that you’ve actually used and love. Because that’s kind of what we all do anyway. Right? Well, I love my car. You should buy that. I love this iPhone. You should buy it. I love this coffee creamer. You got to try it right like we all kind of do that all day every day anyway with our friends and our family, our online friends. And so I think that finding a product that you use and love that that genuineness is going to come out in your content in in your voice. I use this I love this. Here’s my experience. Here’s my results. You know, if you want to check it out, here it is. I mean more than 85% of Worldwide companies have an affiliate programme. So pretty much everything you’re using trying buying, they have an affiliate programme. And so if you just reach out to any company, any product that you’ve tried or love, and ask them, if you can join their affiliate programme they’re gonna let you in because they want to promoting their stuff too. And so start there, start with choosing a couple of products that you use and love and then promoting those to your audience, even if that audience is small, if it’s something that your readers or your followers could benefit from, start with sharing those things. And that kind of will help you like get your feet wet and learn how to how to do affiliate marketing in a really genuine natural way. And that’s kind of that’s where I would start and of course, it goes a lot deeper than that. And I’m not sure if you want to dig deep into it, but that’s where I would start.

Mike Beatty 13:44
Yeah, no, I definitely was. I just kind of thought it’d be good to get that sort like base so we understand just when I like it, and would you recommend sort of promoting tonnes of products or would you think like is best is to focus on one, two or three or four What would you recommend?

Cate Rosales 14:01
Yeah, and the bit in the beginning, you should definitely just focus on a few because it can become so overwhelming. I mean, there’s dozens of affiliate networks, there’s hundreds of thousands of affiliate programmes, there’s terminology that is very difficult to understand. And so in the beginning, just start with a few things that you personally use and think your audience can enjoy or benefit from. Again, it really does come down to your audience and who they are, right? So it’s really about whether or not they’re going to want to try this product, not as much about how much you loved it, but will they love it too, you know, so that’s where I would, that’s definitely where I would start. Just a few is fine. I do affiliate marketing strategy for a living. So I’m in over 300 programmes and I’m in all the major networks and that’s a tonne of work. So I don’t recommend doing that. There’s special situations where that’s okay. But most of the time, you know, five to 10 programmes is ideal. Once you’re solid and you have a really solid affiliate marketing strategy and a warm audience that really responds to your content and your recommendations, then you really want to start aiming for products that pay a higher commission or actually cost a little bit more so you can start earning more money. And so that’s kind of where you go from, you know, just recommending products that you use and love to recommending products that anyone in your target audience can enjoy benefit from, you know, they pay 30 40% commission or the products or three, four or $5,000, then you’re going to earn a lot more money. And that’s ultimately what you want in your business is to be able to have a profitable business. That’s where we’re working toward.

Mike Beatty 15:35
That’s actually something I’ve heard before actually, I’ve heard some people in like Facebook groups and things before say something along the lines of you know, I like the idea of affiliate marketing, but it doesn’t work in my niche. And I quite often hear people say that sort of thing. You know, I there’s not really an affiliate programme that works in my topic, you know, so there might be I don’t know what an example could be, maybe like gardening or the Oh, something like that. But, you know, someone’s sort of says, I see like other people doing it, and I can see that the programme they use, but how is it gonna work for me? Would you say it works in like any niche

Cate Rosales 16:13
it’s gonna work in about 99% of them. So I’ve never I haven’t personally come across anyone that I’ve trained in any niche, even some very unique ones that couldn’t make money or couldn’t find an affiliate programme because everything has an affiliate programme. So, you know, I have a student who does, you know, tarot reading and witchcraft and that’s, that’s, you know, relatively trendy right now, but it’s not necessarily something that’s so mainstream that there that everyone has an affiliate programme for it, right. But there are affiliate programmes out there for all of these products, tools, services, you really just have to do a little digging. So if you’re, if you’re defeated before you even start and you just say there’s, there’s nothing out there for me, there’s no programmes for me, then you’re not going to be able to find what you need. But if you really start digging, starting with the products, you use yourself Of course, but then asking in Facebook groups and asking, you know, amongst your friends or your circles, what people use what people love, what brands they follow, and then do a little bit of digging on Google. I have an affiliate marketing list that I add to daily that has thousands of programmes in every niche you can possibly think of, because there are just so many programmes out there and all sorts of funky and quirky areas of blogging and content creation. So there’s definitely an affiliate programme out there for probably 99% of bloggers you just might have to dig a little bit more if you’re in a unique market.

Mike Beatty 17:35
Yeah, I think I think you might as well as no matter what what niche or audience that you have, I think is doing it from your own personal experience is going to make you kind of stand out whereas I think some people are sometimes just a like, I can win a review every single possible thing I can think of and, and kind of like just hope I get some, you know, someone clicks on my Amazon links and just start Yeah, That that hope doesn’t take you very far. So yeah, I want that. That’s where I really like this conversation to go is kind of digging into more what you have done to grow that, you know, you said you’ve got some like more targeted strategies and things like that. But yeah, what what did you find kind of worked for you to really get a more more of an understanding about what your audience wants so that you can help them really what are some of the things that you’ve done there

Cate Rosales 18:29
and understand what my audience wants, I’m gonna say the most important thing is to put yourself into their shoes because most of us when it comes to our target audience, I personally have found that our target audience is usually who we were a year or two ago before we had some Rude Awakening or some beautiful awakening or something that helped us to grow or change. And that’s usually what makes us step into something new and wants to help the person that hasn’t quite gotten there yet. So that makes your job really easy, right? My audiences, you know, whoever I was a couple years ago, and I’ve come through this phase doing XYZ, and I want to help them accomplish the same thing. And so that’s the easiest way to figure out what your target audience wants for sure. But then if your target audience isn’t necessarily who you were a few years ago or a few steps back, and it’s somebody else, then you have to do a little bit more digging, then you really have to start serving your audience asking around in Facebook groups or Twitter groups, doing some market research, using Google Trends, using keyword search tools to see what people are looking for see what’s trending, see what advertisers are willing to spend money on when it comes to key terms. Hopefully, that’s not too deep. But there’s, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of steps to it. If you don’t already know who your target audience is. Hopefully that makes sense. Yeah, if you don’t already know who they are and what they need, then there’s a little bit more legwork involved in a little more research. But most of us know who our target audience is and what they need because we’ve been in their shoes and we’ve we’ve come out of them. And we want to help them come to where we have have gotten. And that makes our job a little bit easier. You can just easily jot down, you know, what, what are their main pain points, their problems, their issues? What are they searching for on Google every week, and then you know, jot down those notes and then start looking for affiliate programmes that fill needs for those people, or just creating great content that fills needs for those people. And then if you’re if you’re good at optimising that content and filling needs for your people, then they’ll start coming to you, which makes your job really easy.

Mike Beatty 20:28
Yeah, I definitely Well, I really want to dig into like Facebook groups. That’s it. That’s kind of how I found out more about you and everything I saw you’ve got this massive group, I just thought well, how did you do this? This is amazing. So I’m guessing as well is that that’s some that’s that’s a massive way that you’ve probably found out more about what your audience wants having that group of people obviously know you. And then you could like ask questions and things like that and kind of engagement. Yeah. Yeah, well, first of all, I’d like to hear like, why you even started a Facebook group. Like if someone’s listening to this, they’re thinking, is there any point? You know, if I’m in a dog niche or something like that, and I’m training dogs? Is there any point in me even starting a Facebook group, I just wondered if you would like, share why you started it. And if you think it’s worth it for anyone,

Cate Rosales 21:22
why did I start my facebook group? You know, I’m just, I’m a huge marketing nerd. And I started digging into the best marketing tools and Facebook groups kept coming up over and over again, I was in Facebook groups and I engaged in them, especially, you know, mommy groups and stuff when I was a brand new mom. And so I knew there was some power in those numbers, like those communities that are very niche specific. But being a marketing nerd and just loving all things marketing, I started digging into the power of Facebook groups, and they’re such an incredible marketing tool, just like you said, I have my own access to a huge group of people. I can do marketing research. any day of the week, day night, share my opinions asked for opinions. You know, I just have been plugged into this incredible community that basically tells me what they want, and I deliver it to them. So it’s such an incredible marketing tool. The question that you asked though, you know, if I’m in the dog niche or something, is it worth having a group, if you just think of the fact that there’s two and a half billion people, I think on on Facebook, and millions of Facebook groups on every topic you can think of under the sun, you’re not as unique as you think you are. And there’s people out there that want what you’re offering, and they want to they want that community, right. They want to feel understood, whether it’s to reach a goal or accomplish something, learn something, have community commiseration, you know, they want that they want that, that group setting, you know, a private Facebook group is really it’s very, you know, tight knit and intimate and it’s much more intimate than say, you know, like a public Facebook page or a Twitter account. And so it just brings This really intimate element to the community members. And so I don’t think that there’s, I mean, there may be a topic that isn’t really popular in Facebook groups, I’m sure there are a few. But again, I think most of the time, if you’re not defeated, and you come in with an open mind and recognise, there’s people out there, that one what you’re offering, there’s gonna be a space for you, in creating a Facebook group. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also an incredible marketing tool and a great way to connect with your target audience. So it’s not something that I would I would pass up on.

Mike Beatty 23:33
Yeah, what I’ve heard about it for ages, but it’s just one of those things. You know, like when you’re blogging and got like an online businesses, there’s so many parts and just like, what should I be focusing on like now? And I don’t do I actually do feel like I probably have

Unknown Speaker 23:51
put it off

Mike Beatty 23:52
for a long time just because it feels like it’s one of those things. That’s going to take up a load of time, you know, Facebook, social media, and does that mean a hand I’d be on there all the time and let you know. So yeah. How did you kind of start getting the ball rolling? Like, how did you do? What were some of the things that you did to kind of get your group like to engage people in your group and actually, like grow the community.

Cate Rosales 24:18
I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, and type a person. So I want everything to be perfect for a moment one. So I did my research first, right and then set up the group with my very specific target audience in mind. For anyone that doesn’t know that the group is called becoming a blogger, because my goal was to help people become a blogger. And so I was very clear and specific, this is who I want in the group. And so I think that’s step one is really letting your target audience know from your group name, your group description, your your welcome message when they join your group, letting them know exactly who this group is for because like I said, there’s a group for everybody. There’s a community for everybody out there. You need to let your audience know and also, you know, the the Search Engine, the Facebook search engine, let them know what this group is about so that they can share it with people as well. And so starting there is just really setting everything up so that your target audience can find you when they’re searching for Facebook groups. Because there’s a search function, you can actually search by keyword for a Facebook group. And so I wanted the word blogger in my facebook group, so anyone who wants to be a blogger would search for it and my name would, my group would pop up. And so that’s kind of your foundation is just setting up the group that way so that it’s easy to be found. But then the next step is really making everybody feel like somebody in your group. It’s one of my favourite quotes of all time, be someone that makes everybody feel like someone and that means so much to me. So everybody that joined my group, I greeted them by name. There’s actually an option in Facebook groups. If you’re on desktop, there’s an option to tag every new member by name. And so if you just tag all of your new members by name, greet them by name, welcome them to the group. You know, ask them What they want to get out of the group or why they’re here, how they found you, whatever it is you want to do to get them engaging with you. And that’s really the best way to get started just to let everybody who joins even if it’s one person, two people, 100 people, just let them know, you’re welcome here, we’re here for you, what can we do to make this group the best group for you. And once you give people that little bit of personal attention, it really goes a long way. And even if the group is very small, you know, there’s power, even in small numbers, if it’s a small and engaged group, that’s just as good as a giant, silent group. You know, just getting that engagement from the people in your group is the best thing that you can do. Giving them personal attention is really hard to get it. So that’s really what I did in the beginning is just giving every It was hard work that giving everybody that joined my group, personal attention really went a long way.

Mike Beatty 26:50
So this chat is kind of like for people listening, but it’s also really for me, kind of Yes, A big reason why I started doing the podcast is like it was I, you know, I want to try and help people as much as possible. Also, it’s kind of like free coaching for Mike. You know, like you just said you can tag new members love

Unknown Speaker 27:15
it. How do you do that?

Mike Beatty 27:18
Because I’ve seen people do that in Facebook groups before, you know, they sort of say, welcome to everyone that’s joined in the last week or month, I guess you can. Can you choose that how long a time span is if they count as a new member, or is it just

Cate Rosales 27:32
actually not a timespan? It’s just a limit of 100 people and so you up to that hundred people. So for an example, I usually get over 100 new requests a day. So I can’t always tag everybody because it will only tag up to 100 people. But I’ll send you a screenshot later after this but essentially on the on the homepage of your Facebook group. When you get a new member on the right middle side of your screen on desktop. There’ll be a little option with a little button that says welcome your new members. Buttons just as welcome or tag by name or something to that effect. And as soon as you hit that button, it automatically creates a new post. And then it tags all of those people. And then you can create your your welcome message, you know, tell us about yourself, I always just do a very simple intro, make it really easy for them. Don’t intimidate them, just say welcome to the group. So happy to have you here. Tell us about yourself, you know, these people,

Mike Beatty 28:23
these people must be spending hours going through and tagging order individual people.

Unknown Speaker 28:30
Oh, that makes so much more sense. Now let’s just say

Unknown Speaker 28:33
it out.

Cate Rosales 28:36
So quick and easy. And just one of those really powerful things that if you can, not only does it give you an opportunity to get people engaging in your group immediately, but you get to send a notification to their phone, the moment that you tag them, they’re going to get a notification and it’s going to pull them back to your group when otherwise they may have just completely overlooked it, you know, so it’s a really good way to get engagement right away.

Mike Beatty 29:00
Yeah, no, I’ve noticed that on Facebook as well as like when someone actually tagged me in something, you always get notified of it as well. So it’s like, I’m just I’d usually click it, even if I’m not going to respond or whatever, you know, if it’s just if it is. Yeah. always see it anyway, don’t use I guess that’s the huge advantage. So that’s some of like, encouraging some engagement and things like that. But then, how do you go from, you know, I’ve got some people’s new people joining the group and I’ve, you know, tried to make them feel welcome. Things like that. But then how did you go to actually like growing your Facebook group? Because yours is like over 20,000 or something now, I think.

Cate Rosales 29:42
Yeah, I think we have about 23,000 now, and it’s been two and a half years. And so it’s, um, it hasn’t it hasn’t been an insanely long time, but that the growth comes with a lot of hard work for sure. Yeah. But I will say that when you’re trying to grow your group, the most important thing I know we already kind of touch on it. But the most important thing is engagement. Because if you’re getting a lot of engagement in your group, Facebook is going to recommend your group to other people. And that’s just all there is to it. So, if you’re getting a tonne of engagement, I remember when my group was just me and my three sisters. How am I ever going to grow this thing? You know, I think that first hundred members is probably the hardest hundred members you’re going to get. But really, once you start getting a little bit of engagement, Facebook is going to start recommending your group to other people. So the way that I figured that out, was just asking my group members how they found me and most of them were saying your group was a recommended group on on my homepage on Facebook. So I’m like that’s, I mean, that’s crazy that the group is it’s just a regular Facebook group. It’s nothing special, you know, but there was something about the engagement and the growth happening kind of hand in hand, that every time we were very engaged in our group, we got a lot of superfast growth. And so it’s really just about getting that engagement, letting Facebook know this group is the real deal people Hearing gauging all day every day, and you should show the script to more people, right. So they’ll show the group, they’ll recommend your group to people just on your sidebar, you know, in Facebook, yeah, but also when you’re in other similar groups, meaning groups that that your friends are on or other people’s friends are on, and that the recommendation will actually come up inside that group. So I’m scrolling through one of my favourite Facebook groups, and then a recommendation comes up, you know, join these groups. And so I don’t even have to go looking for recommendations they’re just right there in my face, you know, Facebook advertising at its finest. I don’t have to go looking for a recommendation. It’s it’s right here in front of me. And so that’s a really easy way I didn’t have to do work really to go seeking people I just engaged with the people that were already in my group. I think that creating some form of you know, prompts or ways to get people to engage on a daily basis is incredibly helpful. Because like you’ve mentioned before, do I have to be here all day, can I you know, can I step away from my computer for five minutes, basically Groups are not that easy to grow if you are not sitting in front of your computer engaging. So those daily prompts make it really easy for you to get people talking a little bit even if you’re not online. And so again, it comes back to figuring out what your target audience wants, right? So if they if it’s a fitness group, and maybe they want accountability, so do you know weekly weigh in or weekly tip or goal posts or something like that, to get people commenting on that thread, just a very easy task, one simple thing that they should do in that comment thread. And that’s your engagement. So you don’t necessarily have to be online. You just have to be facilitating that conversation so that people can get what they want out of your group. And so once you get that engagement going, then the growth will start happening. But another thing that I did when my goal was growing my facebook group because it was just a big part of my marketing strategy. I kind of ignored everything else and I just focused on growing the group so all of my BIOS on all of my social media, they were all you know, if you want blogging tips, join my group because my group is a blogging group, right? Anybody that is listening. So whatever it is you want mommy tips you want dog tips, whatever it is that you want, whatever it is you’re offering in your group on all of your social media BIOS, everywhere you are online, invite people to your group. I even at the end of all my blog posts, I invited people to my group, you know, if you want more free blogging tips, join my group here. That was my call to action. At the end of every blog post the end of every email, I was just very serious about giving people that opportunity to join that group. And again, there’s just something about a private Facebook community that I don’t know if it’ll always be this way, but it’s just something that people love. And so give them what they want. They want to be they want to be in a Facebook group, give them the link, because they will join you.

Mike Beatty 33:44
Do you think it’s what do you think’s more important Facebook group or email list? Because I hear that, you know, that’s another huge thing. And I guess they’re very similar in a lot of ways, but obviously a Facebook group, you can actually get people engaging with each other. So it’s not just you You having a one to one chat with someone? It’s more like a community, isn’t it?

Cate Rosales 34:05
Yeah, that is the beauty of a Facebook group is the community aspect. email lists are wonderful too. And I actually use my facebook group to grow my email list, which might, might be a conversation for another day. But they’re both very powerful. I would say my facebook marketing and my email marketing work hand in hand to build my business. So if my blog disappeared, unfortunately, off the face of the planet and Instagram went down and Pinterest crashed, you know, as long as I have my Facebook community and my email community, those are really the things that really helped my business keep burning. And so I think they they work together really well. But you’re right, they do kind of do two different things. Your Facebook group is really your community where you where everybody can learn from each other, grow together, support each other. Your email list, it’s just me and you, it’s me and you chatting, I’m sending you an email, you’re responding. I have something to share with you. You tell me what you think of it. My email list is me and you and then my face. Group is me and my whole community. And so I think they both have a very important place in your marketing strategy. You know, just slightly different, if that makes sense.

Mike Beatty 35:08
Yeah, no, yeah, totally. And I actually is speaking to a lot of people, they, they often say, like, email, email list is the one thing that you own more so than anything else, you know, like, I guess even Facebook group, it could probably get like deleted or your account could get blocked or whatever, you know, so don’t totally own it. But like you say, you’re kind of using them together. So anyone that joins your Facebook group, you’re also helping promote people to get onto your email list and things if they’re not. So it’s kind of Yeah, you can see how everything kind of like, into twines together, but

Cate Rosales 35:43
it really does. Yeah, it really does. Yeah, I think that one thing that I always recommend, if you do think about opening a Facebook group, you have to have or you can have up to three security questions to kind of screen people joining your group. And I think anybody that wants to create a group but also wants to go there email list should definitely consider making one of your screening questions that doesn’t necessarily have to be a question. But making one of those entry points, offering people to join your email list for extra tips, freebies, resources, bonuses, whatever you want to offer to them. And that’s one of the ways that I was able to grow my email list to I mean, just like my facebook group, I, you know, I probably get hundreds of requests every week just from my facebook group, because you join my facebook group, you’re taking the time to fill out these questions anyway. You want what I have to offer, join my email list, it’s a little more personal as well. And so making that one of your screening questions will definitely help you grow your email list as well as long as you have something valuable to offer them.

Mike Beatty 36:43
might might question again, so I have I have that as one of my questions. But then

Unknown Speaker 36:48
how do I get

Mike Beatty 36:50
I just then accept should I be like copying and pasting these into like an Excel spreadsheet or?

Cate Rosales 36:56
Yeah, I forgot to do that. Oh, my God. For me, I love her. She is my saviour. That’s time consuming. So there are there are apps, I can’t think of a name off the top of my head because I don’t use them. There are apps that will grab all of that information from your questions. Yeah, but then somebody still has to go through unless the only question is what is your email address? And that’s the response, you know, then you can just kind of use your Excel file to separate that but most of the apps that do grab all that info for you, they grab all the information in kind of a scattered format. And so there probably is a tool out there that’s wonderful that I just don’t know of yet. But you know, yeah, if you can have your VA do that for you or or an assistant of some kind that’s gonna save you a lot of hassle in the beginning you got to do it yourself. I did it myself in the beginning too. But you know, once you once you’re able to hire a little bit of help, it’s it’s gonna save your life.

Mike Beatty 37:51
Well, yeah, I’ve just been pressing except to the moon. Hang on. I can’t see the email yesterday was I I probably lost those ones, but at least I know from now. We’re learning game, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. Are there any other things or any other like, I don’t know, something that I haven’t even asked about, I don’t know, obviously like engagement. And so obviously your title just to like summarise quickly your title was super awesome because that’s Facebook can actually like almost scroll that and see what your keywords are and things like that just like any other platform, I guess. Getting them getting the community to be engaged and so like using personal names and things like that, and then the daily prompts and things. Whether it is I guess it just depends on the niche and things like that as well. But it’s something every single day to try and get people to post common share responds those sort of things. And then obviously, growing your group, like you said, posting on different social media channels on your blog posts, email lists, whatever you actually have go in as well. Have I missed anything else? Is there something else that you wanted to kind of like,

Cate Rosales 39:04
add to that, you know, there’s a few things that I do occasionally. And I, what I really try to do is just make my group feel like they are the exclusive group that’s getting something no one else is getting kind of like you do for your email list. That’s your exclusive community, they get, you know, bonuses that nobody else probably gets. And so one thing I do try to do for my facebook group is do exclusive trainings just for them. You know, again, it will depend a lot on your niche and what your community wants from you. But I try to do exclusive trainings for them and just give them some extra bonus tips that I don’t really share anywhere else. I try to give them discounts on things, special promotions that I don’t share anywhere else, you know, promo days. Again, that will also depend on your niche, but at the end of the day, everybody kind of likes to either talk about themselves or share what they’re working on or share what they’re selling. You know, so give them an opportunity to do that. And you know, not that promo threads are you know, for everybody For every group, but it’s really just getting creative and figuring out what your target audience wants, and then finding a way to create opportunities for them to get what they want out of this group. So when it comes to my blogging group, everybody wants to start their blog, grow their blog, get more traffic, make more money. And so that’s what I try every week, I tried to give them those opportunities to either share their stuff, offer their services to somebody, give them a discount on a training or a course that I provide so that I can help them get to that next level of whatever they want to accomplish. You know, so, I know I’m just like harping on the same thing, but it’s really just all about serving your target audience. If you know what they want, and you’re willing to give it to them and you’re willing to put in that work, it ends up being worth it by far because that was definitely my turning point was growing my facebook group and growing my email list. That’s really what made me see that this is not just you know, making a little bit of money from sponsored work and affiliate marketing, you can turn this into a very profitable business as long As you’re serving your client, just like any business,

Mike Beatty 41:02
that’s very true. Oh, one thing I just want to add there is I noticed I did a poll like straight away. And without really thinking that I was doing something good It just seemed like it was a natural thing to do. So genuine was interested in what people wanted from the group.

Unknown Speaker 41:20
I

Mike Beatty 41:21
guess that’s a really good way to get engagement as well and like put like feedback straight away doing like polls and asking questions and things as much as possible to see what people want because he actually was a different answer to what I actually kind of expected. But good luck, honestly, obviously, my group is still super small. And so a lot of the people that were getting in were actually, you know, like, like yourself, I think you’re in the group and you know, some people that are like already, you know, proper full time bloggers and business owners and things like that. So I guess doing that on a regular basis is a really good way to kind of see where your groups at and what they’re thinking about Time,

Cate Rosales 42:00
definitely, like you said, we think we know what our people want, but we might not. And then we, we might get to a point where we’re growing and we’re learning, right. But then we forget our people are still, you know, maybe back here at the starting point. And we’re, you know, trying to educate them on these advanced things. Maybe they’re not there yet. So really listening to them when they speak is insanely important, which is, again, kind of goes back to those welcome threads. When you ask them what they want out of that group. Listen to them. They’re telling you what they want, definitely listen to them. And then when it comes to your engagement, like you said, with your polls, that is the easiest thing that you can do. Everybody wants to share their opinion. I don’t know anybody that scrolls past a poll, if you give them a poll option, they’re going to they’re going to tell you their opinion, we like to share opinions. And so I think that that’s a really easy task. Anytime you can give your audience an easy task to do that gets them engaging, and then also get them speaking to you so you can really learn how to listen to them and give them what they want. It’s going to benefit both of you as long as you’re really listening. Learning from what they’re saying.

Mike Beatty 43:01
I’ve noticed that in your group is like, you have a lot of things which are very easy to do, you know, so like your

Cate Rosales 43:09
data, keep it easy.

Mike Beatty 43:10
Yeah, like your daily tasks and stuff. It’s almost like, I could just drop a link. And then, you know, click on a few other people’s and share it or whatever, and you and it’s just like really easy things to do. Whereas I’ve noticed that in some other groups where it’s like, I have to really use my brain right now.

Cate Rosales 43:29
No, blogging is so overwhelming and when it comes to your and Well, I mean, any niche that you’re in, but when when you’re in an overwhelming position, and you can find a community that’s refreshing, it’s the biggest compliment that I’ll ever receive when someone says, You’re because my favourite, it’s so refreshing. It’s so positive. That’s all that I want. You know, we’re here to keep it simple for you and keep it refreshing. And so you have to do that for your audience, no matter what niche you’re in, no matter who you’re serving. You know, make it easy for them. And that’s what I really just pride myself in. No matter how complex of a topic we might be. Dealing with, I’m going to make it as stupid easy as possible. Because I don’t want anybody struggling even if it’s complicated. I’m going to make it as easy as I can. And I think that’s, that’s kind of what leads to your engagement and your growth, because that’s what people want. give them what they want. And they’ll keep coming back.

Mike Beatty 44:16
Yeah, so true. So have you got any other like tools or trainings or things that you’ve taken that has just been like you would 100% recommend people, other people do as well?

Cate Rosales 44:28
Yeah, I think that learning SEO is gonna be so important. If you are trying to build a blog if you’re trying to build any type of online business, learning SEO is going to be the one thing that I think and it’s the one thing I wish that I had done a lot sooner. You know, I understood like basic SEO stuff from my day job, but nothing as deep as it truly is, you know, the technical stuff, the deep stuff that’s really important. If you want favour from search engines and the mighty Google, you know, you really have to To understand SEO and implement on every single blog post, and it’s not as complicated as it sounds, once you know what you’re doing. And so taking a course, you know, Debbie Gartner. I’ve know, I know you’ve had her on your podcast, she’s wonderful. She has insanely affordable books. That’s what I use. I still check off all my points from her list every time I do a blog post. I know Mike Pearson has a really popular really, really strategic SEO course. You know, just taking advantage of those opportunities to really invest in your business so you can learn how to be strategic and not waste any time because I think most of us try to do things like the cheap quick, easy way and then wind up being really sorry, so just make those two investments.

Feeling called out right now.

Yeah, you get it though, you know, and we kind of start blogging because it’s, it’s affordable and there’s not a lot of overhead and, you know, there’s a lot of reasons why you start your online business Of course, you know, but then eventually get to a point where you just recognise like I can’t bootstrap everything, I can’t do everything for dirt cheap, sometimes you just have to invest in something that some knowledge, some education, some tools, you know, things that you don’t have at your disposal. And so that’s where I would start SEO is so important. If you’re, if you’re growing a Facebook group or you’re trying to grow social media accounts, use a scheduler anytime that you can, most social media accounts, Facebook groups, Pinterest, there’s approved schedulers for every social media that you can think of, they’re usually very affordable. So you know, automate everything that you can because we got to focus on money making things and not those admin, you know, menial tasks. So using a scheduler, learning SEO, and then at the end of the day, just listening to your audience and giving them what they want, I think keyword research, which falls into SEO, but I think understanding keywords and what people are searching for so important, it’s another thing I wish I had paid attention to in the beginning. I’m just you know, right about all these things I think everybody wants to read about. And that’s not necessarily what they want to read about.

Unknown Speaker 47:06
Do your keyword research.

Mike Beatty 47:10
I see on the whole schedule thing I’ve noticed in Facebook on the Facebook group, I can just write a post as normal. And then there’s like a little clock and I can then do that schedule schedule. I didn’t even realise that was a thing. And I was like, oh, man, that would have saved a lot of time. I don’t know if that’s the best way to do it. Or maybe there is a better tool to do it. I’m not really sure.

Cate Rosales 47:30
Yeah, I think the scheduler in Facebook is perfect. They call it the native scheduler because it’s it’s within their own software that you can schedule stuff, and that’s great. But there’s schedulers that allow you if you have regular prompts, like let’s say every, you know, Wednesday you do like an accountability thread, then use a scheduler where you only have to post it once and it will recur every Wednesday for the rest of your life. That’d be the one that I use for my facebook group is called bubbler and it’s p UB out our I don’t think there’s an E and they’re super, super affordable, so easy to use, and I have all of my daily prompts because I used to do them manually every day. You know, like, this is so time consuming. I’m not making any money and I’m doing all this work, you know. And then I found this magical app and I use it and you can schedule I think it’s six to nine months in advance. And so I have all of my prompts scheduled, you know, that far in advance. So I don’t got to do any work. It’s all done for me.

Mike Beatty 48:30
So useful. Definitely. And yeah, just one other thing. I asked this towards the end of the podcast to pretty much everyone that comes on here. So if you could go back in time, let’s say probably like 2014, then I guess before you actually started this blog, so you’d already you knew about like blogging for free, and you knew there was a thing and stuff and people were doing it and obviously it

Unknown Speaker 48:55
sounds like a job. What was your job again? Something

Cate Rosales 48:58
I was an admin manager for a financial advisor. Oh, wow.

Mike Beatty 49:01
Okay, so yeah, you obviously already knew a lot of marketing side and loads of them. You probably knew way more than what most people would that kind of stage. But what would you if you could give yourself 123 pieces of advice you can choose how many? If you could go back to that day that 2014 before you started this, what would you What would you recommend to yourself?

Cate Rosales 49:29
Honestly, I would recommend

thinking about who I want to serve and how I want to help them and then not veering away from that. And so, just what I mean by that is we spend a lot of time trying to make what we want to do fit into what actually works, right? I want to be a I don’t know a mommy blogger and so like try to make a profitable business come out of this or I want to write about mental health or weight loss or whatever it How do I make How do I make the business fit, and it’s very forced. And it costs you so much time and so much sanity. And I heard a, I heard a podcast or interview recently, and I wish I could remember who said it. But essentially, they said, if you just you want to write about what you want, and you think, you know, I just want to write about my passion, and I’m going to figure out a way to make it work. He said that your passion is going to be a lot less motivating if you’re not making any money, but you’re working your butt off. And it really made me think because I worked my butt off for I didn’t, I’m lucky that I made money pretty quick, based on my experience, that if I didn’t have that, that business and marketing experience, I probably would have blogged for years with no results. And so what he said really stuck with me. I do think you should write about what you love, but I think you need to tailor it to your target audience. And so if you can’t mix what you love with what your audience really needs from you, then find a way to just serve your audience and Then have your hobby blog on the side. But your regular blog should be focused on serving your target audience because every business owner they’re not I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Joe Dirt but I always think of it. This this movie Joker with David Spade old school movie. No, it’s super funny super funny and you should watch it old school movie. So he ends up coming across this guy out in the desert and he’s like a firework salesman and and Joe Dirt he says, You know what, where’s like the good stuff you’re just selling these like snakes and sparkler fireworks. And and the guy says, Well, those are the only ones I like, and and Joe Dirt and he’s kind of just like this, like goofy like white trash type dude. And he’s like, well, that’s a problem. It’s not about you. It’s about the consumer. And it just always stuck with me. I was young when I saw the movie, but it always stuck with me. You can’t be successful if you’re just thinking about what you like, you have to think of your target audience. And so if that’s something that is serving them, but maybe not necessarily something you love Focus on them because your job is to serve them. And if you serve them, then that’s how every business makes money. And so if I could go back to square one, I would stop trying to, you know, make my own experiences and my own. That’s the stuff that I would want to write about. Stop trying to make that fit into a profitable business and make it fit with SEO, and just listen to SEO. Just listen to listen to Google and listen to your target audience and listen to Google Trends and the people they’re asking for solutions online. Those are the people we want to serve. And so I would, I would really make that adjustment and really think of this like a business I need to listen to my target audience, give them what they need, and invest in my business, right, because you can’t, you can’t run a business without making any investments at all. So treat it like a business, serve your target audience, invest in it like a business. And then also try to be strategic as much as you can and pace yourself and be realistic because you’re going to burn out if you’re really pushing yourself beyond what you’re capable of, you know, are trying to do everything when you really don’t have the time or capabilities to do that. You really need to pace yourself and try to have some fun with it. Because I mean, life is short. So I think part of the joy is yes, you got to work hard, you got to put in that work and learn and invest. But also just remember to enjoy it and have fun with it. And, you know, make the best of it, even when times are a little bit hard because there will be hard times, you know, blogging is not, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it

Mike Beatty 53:33
hundred percent. And so if someone’s listening to this, I just want to get in contact with you, Kate, what’s the best way for them to reach out?

Cate Rosales 53:39
Yeah, so my my main website is sweet and simple life calm. That’s my blog, which you can comment on or comment or contact me through my contact page. And then my facebook group is becoming a blogger. So you can just type that into the search engine on Facebook and it’s the only one to be able to find me there.

Mike Beatty 54:00
Amazing, I could just keep chatting to you for ages because I know there’s so many things that I’m gonna learn more when I talk to you, but I’m very aware it’s very late where you are. It’s actually like, half midnight with you, isn’t it?

Unknown Speaker 54:14
Yeah, I mean,

Cate Rosales 54:17
your day is just getting started is

Mike Beatty 54:18
Yeah. But you know, thank you so much for your time, Kate. Really appreciate it.

Unknown Speaker 54:22
Oh, no problem.

Mike Beatty 54:28
I really feel like I only scratched the surface in that chat. I feel like there’s so much stuff that we could learn from Katie. So I am definitely gonna look to get her back on the podcast again at some stage. But anyway, I’m just going to share five takeaways that I took from the chat today and hopefully that can help you as well. So number one, is that a reason why Facebook group is such a good thing to stop any like blogger online business owner is that it’s basically like an exclusive community and people Pull love exclusive communities, you probably are part of exclusive communities, you know, you’re probably already part of different Facebook groups and things like that already. And it just means that you can share inside information and information that people might not necessarily get on your blog or your website or other social media channels. And you can make it really tailored to actually helping the people inside your group, which is, leads on to number two, which is all about trying to encourage engagement from your Facebook group as much as possible. And there’s different ways that you can do this. But the thing that stood out for me is that Kate said that you can tag new members by name, and create a post to actually welcome them to the group. You may have seen this before in Facebook groups, but sometimes you can join a group and you will never even see the group. Again, it won’t even come up in your feed. Whereas if you tag people by name, it’s just one of the Facebook algorithms. It goes into a notification so you’re always going to see that And then if you click on a link, then you might actually be if you can welcome them in a nice way and try and help them share something about themselves, then they are going to be more likely to engage early on. Number three is about growing the group. And Kate again gave loads of little tips there. But the thing that stood out for me was how you can use other social media platforms, your blog, your email list, things that you’re already have going to encourage, or promote and grow your Facebook list. Which leads on to number four and five, which is kind of Kate’s final things that she said that if he was to go back in time, what she would do, what she would tell herself of all of her knowledge that she has now. Number one, number four, then is who you want to share focus on who wants to serve, not share. So the main point of this really everything that Kate talks about in this whole book Cost all links around this one point, if you listen to it again, you will see everything is focused on. She focuses on serving her audience. She doesn’t write content, she doesn’t do things. Because she wants to one she does kind of want to she’s kind of chosen what what she wants to do. But she does it actually help people. And so things like asking questions, your Facebook group is great for that you can have a poll and ask questions, find out what they actually want, and then create content on that to help them number five is to invest in your business. This is also a tip that Kate would give ourself where she went back in time. And I have always been guilty of this and I try and help people as much as possible for free without like, making people have to pay for things. But there are so many things out there that can either save time or shortcut your learning curve by a long way you know, so Rather than, but you can learn everything you want about SEO, for example, on Google on YouTube completely for free. But by taking one course, you can actually Fast Track your learning so much more and get more precise, accurate information that can actually help you. Rather than having to like piece everything together yourself. Obviously, though, any course or training programme or tool or anything that you use is not going to mean your business is going to be an overnight success, you will still need to do the work. But investing in your business helps you to save time, and grow your business faster. Anyway, I’m going to stop rambling. And I really hope that you enjoyed this one, guys. Thanks for listening in to this episode of Make time online. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And please take a moment to write a review for our podcast in the App Store. keep changing for the better guys. Take care

Podcast Summary

There were so many words of wisdom from Cate in this chat. You can learn more about how Cate has grown her Facebook group in her article here. 

But here are my main takeaways:

  1. Facebook groups are like your own "exclusive" community with inside info not found anywhere else
  2. Increase engagement to grow your group
  3. Use other social media platforms to share your Facebook group
  4. Serve your audience and think about how you are helping them all the time
  5. Invest in yourself. Courses can fastrack your learning and get better info.

Cate also has a ton of her own blogging courses but I would definitely recommend her affiliate marketing course. I took it myself as it was part of this year's BC Stack and just found so many little useful pieces of helpful info such as...

  • An affiliate program that everyone should use (and I wasn't)
  • The best performing blog posts for affiliate marketing
  • One hack that will increase your affiliate conversions that you can use today

Click here to check out Cate's courses (affiliate link)

What were your main takeaways from this podcast? Any questions or something you'd like to add? Drop a comment below


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  1. Your podcast made me rethink how to grow my Facebook group. I loved that you had a dynamic conversation that was fun to listen to and informative at the same time. You can’t say that about every podcast. 

    Cate’s discussion about how she started and that she wasn’t going to start it without doing her research first really hit home with me. Mine is a simple page so changing to an actual group is something I’ll have to consider. I never would’ve considered it without listening to your podcast.

    1. Yeah I used to have a page and didn’t really understand about how a group was different. It was through a few chats I had a while ago that made me realise a group is far better and Cate really helped  give me to push to start one! 

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast, it’s every Thursday and I’ll be starting an “Ask Mike” section every Tuesday soon. Feel free to ask any questions on it (if I can’t answer it, I’ll find someone that can) maketimeonline.com/ask

  2. Hello there!
    The article there is really enligntening and helpful for bloggers. The community, audience and people being served are the business of every blogger and all bloggers and intending bloggers should take note of this fact. It is also good to learn that Facebook groups is actually an effective way to grow a blog business and how to actually use those Facebook groups to achieve that purpose.
    Thanks for that awesome guide for bloggers.

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