This may come as a surprise, but you don’t actually need incense or crystals to become a professional Tarot reader. Of course, you do need a deck of Tarot cards (no points for guessing that one!)… but what else might you need?
- A good reliable PC or laptop. You don’t have to buy an expensive computer but a tablet or smartphone won’t cut the mustard. If you are lucky enough to generate any business, you’ll need a standard-size keyboard as you will end up doing a lot of typing, both for correspondence and for typing out the actual readings. (In fact, learn to touch type now if you haven’t already!) You would also do well to have a hard drive or some other form of backup at hand.
- A website and an email account associated with that site. You are more likely to be taken seriously if your email address isn’t firstname.lastname@example.org (sorry, if that is your actual addy – I just made it up!). You also need to make sure that you spell-check any emails before you send them off. Gmail is great because it has a built-in spell checker and allows you to link other email accounts, such as the one you will be using for your Tarot reading site. You will need a way of checking your website stats so that you know what works and what doesn’t. Where people are surfing in from and how/why they click away from your site. Google Analytics may seem daunting to install and use but there are some pretty good guides out there (this one, for example) and it is well worth the time it takes to learn how to use it.
- Following on from the site/email account, you need a reliable web host. Go self-hosted. This gives you much more freedom in terms of which plugins you can use and also allows you to share ‘adult’ material and other things you have censored or get reported for if you are with wordpress.com. All I can say is that I wish I had gone self-hosted sooner!
- A blog. As an online Tarotpreneur, you rely on content marketing and taking on the role of trusted advisor. In order to do that, you need a virtual platform where your audience can easily find you. I should add that a blog takes time to grow and prosper, even when you blog regularly and share great content – possibly even more so when I started my first blog ten years ago because there are now thousands of Tarot blogs around. It was about five years into being a Tarot blogger that my audience had grown organically to the point that I thought it might sustain a business. However, this was without any form of marketing and without being terribly savvy about how to use social media, so it can happen faster than that. The key is networking and finding a way of pimping out your latest content to as wide an audience as possible. You also need to find ways of recycling old articles that position you as a thought leader in the field. Not everyone who finds your blog this week will know that you wrote ‘The Ultimate Guide to…’ two years ago, so it’s OK to re-share those kinds of posts every now and again. Now, if you are more of a talker than a writer, I suggest a vlog instead. You may even find yourself joining the ranks of those of YouTube fame 🙂
- A healthy social media presence. This is where you will pimp your posts out and hopefully, they will get shared on from there. Because, as the Blog Tyrant says, ‘social is the new backlinks.’ If you don’t have a Facebook (profile, page, or both) and a Twitter account, you are pretty much doomed because social media shares now play a huge part in Google rankings. If you are more of a vlogger and have the gift of gab, I would also recommend Periscope as a way of connecting with a wider audience. You may also wish to consider doing regular live webcasts on Facebook. Social media is where life can easily get out of hand as an online Tarotpreneur. Watch out for these two pitfalls: frittering your time away on Facebook and getting involved in Tarot community online drama. The best way forward is to schedule posts in advance. Here are some tips for making your posts stand out and engaging. NB: Buying social media followers never ever works. It only makes you look bad.
- Backlinks. They still matter and there are many ways of getting backlinks that Google doesn’t penalise you for. As long as the backlinks are organic, they are fine. You can suggest for people reference your work in relevant articles and in turn offer to share their articles on your social media platform. You can comment on relevant Tarot and metaphysical blogs. Not all of those allow you to share your website though, so choose carefully where you comment if you are limited in time. Guest blogging is also still worth considering, as is having people do guest posts for your blog. If they have a well-networked social media presence, they will share your post in a way that creates a great win-win. You also need to add your site to as many directories as possible.
- A great camera and photo editing program. It doesn’t have to be too expensive but it needs to be able to make your social media presence look like you mean business. It could even be that your smartphone has a good enough camera for you to be able to take pictures for your blog articles with it. Either way, you’ll need a smartphone anyway, for your Instagram and/or Snapchat presence (some top tips for great images HERE). You will also need software that allows you to edit pictures and add the name of your website. Most of us aren’t graphic designers on top of being Tarot readers and you don’t need to learn how to use PhotoShop in order for your images to look smart. Personally, I use the paid for version of PicMonkey – it does the job and is great for creating Tarot spread layouts. Those of you who are going down the route of making videos will obviously need a good quality video camera and also a set of lights. Lighting is what sets the total noobs (such as myself) apart from the more professional-looking YouTubers. Those of you looking for free stock images to illustrate posts need to look no further than Pixabay. Often your own pic will do a better job than a cheesy-looking stock picture that is being used all over the place <—- learned this the hard way after paying quite a lot for a monthly subscription.
If you are setting yourself up as a trusted advisor and don’t want a business page because of the cost of boosting posts (I still think it’s worth it because it helps new clients find me), you need to act as a trusted advisor on your personal profile page: it needs to reflect the values you promote. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t seek guidance from an advisor who is constantly enmeshed in drama and negativity. When you are the engine behind your content marketing, you will quickly find a way of getting your personal ducks in a row or you (and your business) will quickly unravel.
These are really the bare bones that you must have in place from day one. You can add to the list above but you probably shouldn’t subtract if you wish to grow your online presence and start attracting new clients quickly.
All the best with your new business venture!
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