If you’ve just started blogging in last few months, get ready, because you’re going to crash.
You began blogging full of enthusiasm, and what a rush it was to see your words on the internet! You’re leaving comments on other blogs, you’ve created social media profiles on what seems like ten different services, you’re reading feeds like mad, checking your visitor stats and AdSense reports every day (probably more than once per day), writing post after post and then…
You crash. Your blogger’s euphoria is whipped away like mist in a strong gust of wind. You feel disappointed and disillusioned in the idea and ideals of blogging.
And that’s a good thing!
Your First Moment of Blogging Truth
When you experience your blogging crash, you have reached your first real moment of truth with blogging. You will ask yourself if it’s worth it to continue. You will re-examine your actions for clues about what you can do better. Without this, you cannot advance to the next level of blogging skill and competency, so that’s why I say it’s a good thing. It is a test, a problem that contains within it the seed of a greater benefit down the road. You will be stronger and better when you get through this (not that it’s a big tragedy, but I remember feeling pretty down when it happened to me and I’ve seen people take it kind of hard).
So how do you get over your blogging crash and get back on track? By following these steps:
1. Accept that you feel this way
Okay, so you feel down. I wasn’t exaggerating when I called it a blogging crash. Everything in life is defined partly by its opposite. You can’t feel blogging bliss all the time, although you certainly feel it when you first get into it. Eventually, you’re going to feel down. To constantly feel the same way is like stretching a rubber band — it snaps.
When people first get into blogging, they are often tremendously excited about it. But reality sets in and they just can’t maintain that constantly high level of excitement. It’s a lot like being in a relationship with someone and experiencing that moment when the infatuation wears off and you have to seriously ask yourself if you’re in the relationship for the long term.
2. Understand this happens to just about every blogger
As I said in the previous point, you’re going through a natural cycle of highs and lows. The more excited and enthusiastic we feel about something, the more intense our disappointment is when reality sets in. This has happened to so many bloggers that I think it’s safe to say it happens to nearly every blogger. In other words, you’re not alone.
3. Don’t blog about how you feel
What? That’s what I said. Don’t. For two reasons. First, nobody wants to hear from you when you’re feeling down and disillusioned. This is partly why you feel alone in this — nobody hardly ever talks about it, because their readers wouldn’t want to read it. Imagine going into work and having a coworker say to you, “I’m really having doubts about myself, right now! Would you like to hear all about it?” You wouldn’t, so your readers don’t want to hear about yours. Keep them to yourself. The second reason not to blog about how you feel during your blogging crash is that it would likely take your blog off-topic, and that would make this one mistake compound into two mistakes.
4. Assess your expectations — were they realistic?
Although this happens to just about every blogger, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use this as an opportunity for a bit of self-reflection. People often begin blogging with stars and dollar signs in their eyes. Their expectations aren’t realistic. They think things are going to happen faster. They think they’re going to make oodles of money a day in ad revenue, not barely enough pocket change to buy a candy bar.
Some blogs really do take off quickly, but the vast majority do not. Some questions to give yourself a reality check:
- Did you do keyword research into your blogging niche? If so, and you feel you’ve chosen a strong niche, then this is something you can feel good about as you examine your other assumptions. If you didn’t do any real research into your niche’s keywords, then, I’m sorry to say, you have no reason to hold high expectations. Come back to earth and take a sober look at your blog niche. Maybe you’re in the wrong niche, but it’s more likely you just need to get smarter and change your game up.
- How unique and original is your niche and content? Did you start another blogging tips bog? Another money blog? Good luck with that! If your blog is another “me too” blog, don’t expect much. Originality is surprisingly difficult, but it’s the biggest differentiator. Can you put a twist on a saturated, popular topic? Can you be controversial, or “zig” when everyone else is “zagging”?
- Why would anyone what to read your blog? Ooh… that’s a tough one, I know. Are you providing value that makes people want to subscribe and stick around for more? Are you providing valuable resources to your readers in the form of content and links?
5. Assess your blogging goals — you do have goals, don’t you?
If you don’t have goals, then your blog has no direction. Choose goals that are percentage-based, rather than number-based. What I mean by that is to pick a growth rate instead of a target number. This is because once you reach your target fixed number, then you have to keep making up higher numbers. If you say your goal is $100 a month in ad revenue, then when you hit that you have to crank it up to $200. Instead, create a goal of, say, 10% growth in revenue every month.
6. Compile a list of best practices and steps to move you closer to your blogging goals
Figure out what you need to do to hit your goals. If you have traffic-growth goals, do some research on tips for growing traffic and make yourself a list of tips and methods to try. If you want to increase your subscriber count, read up on how to do that. If your goal is to write better content, learn how to do that.
7. Understand that every blogger’s timeline is different
You may feel you’re moving too slowly, but you might be moving along much faster than many others. We often have a warped perspective of our own experiences. It may seem like “everyone else” blogging is doing better than you. The truth is only a few other bloggers are in this position. A great many more are probably doing worse than you, not better.
Don’t worry about comparing yourself to other bloggers. If you create rate-based goals for yourself, you can effectively compete against yourself. As long as you’re doing better this month than you were last month according to your goals, who cares what another blogger is doing? You are on your own timeline, and no one else’s.
8. Create a blogging plan that matches up your goals to the best practices you listed in the previous steps
Take the best practices list you made in step 6 and use it as the basis of your blogging plan. Make a task list from them that you can check off. Put it in a to-do list on NetVibes or Remember the Milk or something like that. Or write it on a good ol’ sticky note and slap it on your monitor.
9. Do the first step in that plan — nothing overcomes depression like action
Do the first thing in your plan NOW. Physical action clears emotional cobwebs in a flash. You will feel a million times better by your accomplishment. If you make a plan and put it aside and tell yourself you will start it later, chances are you will never start it. Start it immediately upon creating it. Give yourself no excuses. By giving yourself a kickstart to begin, you will help generate the momentum you need to keep going.
10. Keep going
Don’t stop executing your plan. Use your momentum to propel you forward through the steps of your plan. Before you know it, you will be on the other side of your blog crash, and you will be a better blogger than you were before!
Avoid this Blogging Wake Up Call to Enjoy the Journey
Blogging need not be a lesson in harsh wake up calls. You can and will largely enjoy the journey by knowing this: success finds generous bloggers. Let that idea firmly impress onto your mind. Be with it. Allow the idea to worm its way into your consciousness until being generous becomes part of your being. Helping people for free boosts your skills and increases your exposure. Skilled bloggers with massive exposure become successful.
But one wake up call seems to find most bloggers who refuse to learn this lesson. Bloggers need to struggle, fail and suffer because they try to get money and traffic by focusing solely on receiving methods, versus giving generously of their time and talents. Imagine this scenario; a blogger writes and publishes one blog post weekly. Cool. But the blogger sits around and does nothing else blogging-wise for the remainder of the week. Hmmmm…this is not being generous, guys. This is being stingy. Bad move. At week’s end, the blogger did not make a penny of profits. Panicking, the blogger immediately analyzes their various income streams. How can they maximize profits through the streams? What is wrong with their income streams? Did they pick the right streams? Or did they pick the wrong streams? What gives?
Struggling bloggers then spend 2, 3 or 5 hours analyzing their income streams, focusing all of their attention and energy on the GETTING aspect of their blogging campaign. Terrible idea. Why? The reason why you struggle to get is because you refuse to give generously of your time, energy and talents. The income streams? Nope; not a problem. Your lack of generosity is the problem. The wake up call is most bloggers focus heavily on getting when struggling to drive traffic and profits when they should be focused heavily on giving generously. Giving generously leads to greater blogging profits. Instead of writing and publishing one blog post weekly, how about writing and publishing 2-3 posts weekly, weaving some stories into your blog posts? How about you spend 4-8 hours daily generously reading blog posts, commenting genuinely on blog posts, promoting other bloggers and yes, promoting yourself, too?
Put in the giving time to make getting easier and easier. No need to slam into the cold, hard wake up call of focusing selfishly inward, trying to pin your struggles on inanimate, lifeless income streams. You have a giving problem, buddy. Time to be generous. Time to step it up. Write a guest post daily or perhaps, every 2-3 days. Go ahead. Do it. Begin video marketing. Build bonds with bloggers. Help them out. Practice writing. Gain invites to guest post on blogs from your niche. Blogging becomes more fun, more enjoyable and flat out easier if you put in the time, generously helping folks.
Focus heavily on giving. Your star will shine if you generously serve people. On the contrary, blogging and life become so much harder if you obsess over your income streams, analyzing, over analyzing, focusing, wasting precious time and energy on getting, when you should be giving more freely. Blogging feels more fun, too, when you focus heavily on giving, because we were designed to give, to be generous and to serve folks. Doesn’t it feel amazing to help people? Of course, it does. Enjoy the blogging journey and avoid this painful wake up call….plus….you get to sleep in, hehehe 😉
The Importance of Digital Marketing Research for Brands in 2020
One of the key aspects of launching successful marketing campaigns is to conduct market research beforehand. This is no different when marketing on the internet. Digital marketing research is crucial to successful digital marketing, and without it, one can quickly blow through their budget without seeing any type of ROI at all.
A perfect example of this can be seen in social media marketing, where billions of ad impressions are served hourly. The same is also true with paid media marketing and pay per click marketing within Google. There is simply way too much information and user views out there, and if you aren’t careful and are using paid advertising–you could blow through a large budget in a short period of time.
If you have been neglecting digital marketing research prior to launching your campaigns, read on to learn the importance of digital marketing research and why you need to get on the bandwagon!
Digital Marketing Research
Market research helps the marketer understand the market and the trends. The information received can be used to develop a sound marketing strategy. Having an understanding of your audience and how to communicate with them is key to growing your business.
But, how do you go about implementing digital marketing research?
Eyes on the Audience
First, you must know who your audience is. Your business should have a niche target demographic to reach out to. Once you have established who this target audience is, you will have a better idea of how to communicate with them directly.
After you have identified your audience, you will need to get to know them better. You want to know their behavior patterns: how often they shop, what they shop for, what their preferred products are. Using a survey is a great option to ask your target audience questions to garner information about them.
And even better, if you do plan on collecting any type of data from your audience, you should definitely consider your options with remarketing afterward. By this, you can start running Google Ads or Facebook Ads campaigns that target only the audiences that you’ve selected (whether that be through pixel or email data).
Social Media Marketing and Other Digital Platforms
Once you have established your audience, you want to use social media and other digital platforms to market to them. Note: in your survey, it is best to ask them which platforms they prefer.
Essentially, you will be adopting a multi-channel marketing approach to reach your target audience. This means that you will be using different digital platforms to reach your audience, be it through content, social media, or messaging systems such as email, chat, or text messages.
Your market research will tell you which is the best platform to reach your demographic. For example, if your audience are teenagers and young adults – you may opt to use Snapchat and Instagram for marketing campaigns.
An older audience would prefer Facebook or even traditional platforms such as email for newsletters. And of course, if targeting professionals then LinkedIn is your platform of choice.
Who Can Help You and Who Can Challenge You
The importance of digital marketing research extends to knowing who can help grow your brand and who your competitors are.
A prominent aspect of digital marketing is the use of influencers. Use your marketing research to seek out these influencers and ask them if they can help promote your brand. For example, if you ran a company that sold protein powder, you would want to find fitness models who could endorse your products.
Similarly, use your marketing research to learn who your competition is. You can also look at their marketing campaigns to get an idea of what you are up against.
Get The Ball Rolling
Now that you have learned about digital marketing research, it is time to get the ball rolling. By following each of the recommended steps and methods above, there is no reason why you shouldn’t see improved numbers across the board. Digital marketing is changing all of the time, and so are the ways in which you can target and reach new audiences.
Research your target audience and ask them what their needs are. Determine your platforms of choice. Utilize influencers and keep a watchful eye on your competition.
Are you looking for more tips on how to use your blog for marketing purposes? If so, then browse around our blog for more of our latest content.
Do You Honor the Law of Lag?
The law of lag is always in effect. How it works; you generously, patiently and persistently help folks, trust in the process and yeah, make sure you promote yourself freely, too, OK? Be patient and persistent. Relax. A lag exists between you working generously, and, actually seeing traffic and profits increases. I refer to this as the law of lag. Lag times exist between you doing what works blogging-wise and seeing specific traffic and profits increases. Relax. Take a chill pill. Do not panic. Never believe that 0 traffic and 0 profits over the first few weeks of your successful blogging campaign indicates being generous, patient, persistent and trusting is NOT working, guys. Far and away, this is hands down the biggest mistake I see in blogging. Bloggers do not honor the law of lag. Bloggers panic and bail because they see minimal or no traffic and profits increases, during weeks or months, after they follow the successful blogging route.
See the journey through guys. Honor the law of lag. Know how it takes time and practice to become skilled enough and to yield enough exposure to actually boost your blog traffic. Boosting your blogging profits takes a bit longer, usually. Honor this lag time between work and results to become a highly successful, prospering blogger. Imagine being a doctor. During your first 3 months in pre-med, do you panic and bail because you have not made a cent through being a doctor? Nope; of course not. Do you panic and bail during your 6th year of medical studies because you have not made a penny from being a doctor? Nope; of course not. Do not panic and bail if you have not made a penny during your first 6 months of generously creating and connecting. Be patient. Good things take time. You need to become more clear and skilled in order to gain credibility in the eyes of readers. Plus you need to gain greater exposure by generously posting to your blog and by guest posting.
What happens when business slowly, steadily begins to grow? Now it’s time to learn how to better serve your customers. Nobody knows how to serve customers and clients fully until serving customers and clients in real world circumstances, gaining critical experience without a mentor or coach looking over your shoulder. I learned priceless lessons by boosting my traffic, by meeting more folks, by coaching clients and by interacting with customers. I had to put in the time and be patient during seeming lulls, or lags, to be a full time blogger. Being patient, persistent and generous made me the blogger I am today. You never grow until you go through testing periods where nothing appears to be happening but where everything is happening more quickly than you could ever see, in the background. All grows exponentially under the surface but only slowly and steadily bubbles up as profits and traffic stats. Envision the slow burn, bubbling up as a lag that cultivates your generosity, patience and persistent, and, your trust in self, as well as your trust in the blogging process.
I believe in you. See the journey through. Honor the law of blogging lag.
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