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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!
How to Do Blogger Outreach Right
Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.
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People reach out in desperation.
Or bloggers reach out trying to get something from influential bloggers.
I either block or ignore most blogger outreach emails because people want to use me for my blogging platform. Sure I am promised a rich link, a valuable post or some other enticement, but most bloggers using crappy outreach tactics:
- are unknown
- offer little value
- want to use me and my blog for their gain
- are not connected
- are not influential
- have no clout
- have not paid their dues
- have not helped people freely
- have not earned the right to appear on my blog
Observe Bubbie Gunter. Follow him. He does outreach right.
He reaches out to me by helping me. He is generous. He focuses on me. What does this prove? He wanted to befriend me because he was interested in me, NOT in what I could do for him. Naturally, I happily promoted him, we became friends and one neat benefit is we keep helping each other. Bubbie also purchased some of my stuff; bonus points, my Young Blogging Padawans, if you want to stand out in my mind.
I get emails from bloggers all the time who want to appear on my blog but who complain about spending money for sponsored posts. Other bloggers complain about spending money for a freaking 4 dollar eBook. Other bloggers complain about spending money on my 350 dollar blogger course. How in God’s name do you expect to impress me if you complain about what I offer? Thousands of people complain. I ignore these thousands of people. A handful of generous, kind bloggers like Bubbie promote me and buy my stuff. Can you see why he gets a link on Blogging Tips?
I trust him because he did blogger outreach right. He helped me. He did not reach out, to manipulate me to help him. He did not reach out cold. He did not reach out as a stranger. He reached out generously, warmly and genuinely. He did blogger outreach right.
Picture break; check out my current street in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Blogger Outreach Is Helping and Hugging Not Asking for Hand Outs
Most bloggers reach out to bloggers, asking for a hand out. Hey, can you help me out? Hey, I need a link on your blog. Hey, I need a link to my business but even though I love your blog SO much, your rate does not fit into my budget. Lame.
A few bloggers reach out to help me and hug me. Warm and generous, these wise bloggers retweet my post, buy an eBook and email me to connect deeper. Help and a hug. Meanwhile, all other bloggers find my spam folder or simply give up after I ignore their 3 follow up emails.
Strangers fade away. Friends thrive.
Strangers vanish. Friends prosper.
Self-serving, greedy or desperate bloggers fail. Generous, connected bloggers succeed.
Watch my recent live video from Thailand:
Alonzo Pichardo, Jan Verhoeff and Monna Ellithorpe watched my video and chatted with me. No agendas. Not trying to GET anything. Doing what friends do. I take care of my friends. I love giving my friends oodles of links on my blog and via my guest posts. I love helping them. Organic, pure, powerful blogger outreach in action. Help people, make friends, have fun, prosper.
The alternative; try blog on your own, as a stranger. Reach out cold. Get pissed off when you only deal with strangers pitching you, said strangers not respecting you because they do not know you.
You can be on the outside looking in. Or you can do blogger outreach right and be connected.
Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:
1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog
10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.
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Today I rely on no income streams.
I figured out; helping people for free and being detached about 5 to 10 to 15 income streams helped me make more money through my blog.
Making this journey from attachment to one stream, to detachment from many streams, felt incredibly uncomfortable. I felt terrified to gradually release different income streams on the journey too. I loved freelance writing. Made some nice coin through the income channel. But intuitively, I knew I had to let it go to move toward eBooks, courses and a 100% passive income model because going passive helps me focus exclusively on creating content and earning money around the clock as I traveled the globe.
Heck yeah I enjoyed trading time for money many years ago because doing so felt comfortable and familiar. Heck yeah I feared trusting that my passive income would grow if I added many passive streams to my blogging portfolio and if I focused on creating content.
But here I am. Living in Thailand for months.
Eventually, to make more money through your blog, you need to add a passive or semi-passive income model and get incredibly busy helping people for free, because few folks on earth charge $50,000 or more per hour. I have no idea about Tony Robbin’s hourly coaching rates. But I know he ain’t charging only $1000 per hour. He is the most famous coach on earth. He coaches former presidents and the best athletes on earth. Outside of being the most famous or most skilled human on earth in your niche, you WILL hit an earnings ceiling trading time for money solely via an active income model.
But if you add 1, 2 then 10 passive income elements to your blog, earnings potential has no ceiling. Someone can buy my blogging course in the next hour. $350. 10 people can buy my eBooks, priced at about 4 smackers. Someone may advertise on my blog. Another blogger buys 3 of my audio books. All buys occur while I write this post or perhaps fall within a window where I write 3 posts for my blog.
Passive income can increase exponentially through as many channels as you open, at any time, from all over the globe.
Photo break; me by the roof top pool here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Owners do not trade time for money. Owners invest money and energy, and build a fortune passively. Why? Owners know passive income potential has no limits, with exponential growth over time. Every one of the top 1,000 wealthiest people on earth worked for FREE for many years to set up passive income that made them the wealthiest people on earth. Although some of these icons may make coin through sky high hourly consulting rates, the billions of their net worth flowed in passively, due to their free service, free help and generous value shared.
Leave the employee mindset of trading time for money behind.
Embrace the owner mindset of opening 1, 2 or 15 passive income streams. Give 99% of your time and energy to creating helpful content and building bonds with top bloggers like Kulwant Nagi. He teaches you how to make money blogging through passive income models and is a fabulous dude too. Follow him.
Feel free to keep an active income model open. Coaching, freelance writing or consulting can be lucrative streams, for sure. But every hour you spend trading time for money, I am creating free content that expands my reach and helps me earn money through 15 passive income streams.
I learned from the great Bob Proctor that multiple sources of passive income can help you live a life of freedom. Years ago, Bob had already opened and earned through 220 passive income streams. No; that is not a typo.
Are you trading time for money, solely?
You better open passive streams and get busy helping people for free.
Law Blogging Trends For 2019 – What’s In And What’s Out
One of the challenges of maintaining a blog for your law firm is that, while your legal specialty may not undergo significant change, you have to keep developing new content to stay relevant to your audience – and you need to stay on brand. This can be a tough balance to strike, but by keeping up with trends, you can create powerful content that drives readership and increases conversion. Here’s what to expect, and what you need to bring, to the law blogging community in 2019.
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In: An Emphasis On Authority
One of the reasons that developing a clear niche has always been important to the law blogging community is that it helps you demonstrate your expertise in that area. In 2019, though, it won’t be enough to demonstrate that authority to your readers; you also need to build authority from a technical perspective – think “domain authority.” Domain authority (DA) is an SEO metric, and it’s at the heart of whether your site attracts traffic.
To boost your DA ranking, you’ll need to ensure your blog is well-equipped from a technical SEO perspective, which means that it has clear navigation, a sitemap, and is easily crawlable by search engines, as well as that it has linkable content. Linkable content will attract the attention of other websites and help you build backlinks, as well as providing readers with added value through quality content. That might mean writing ‘Top 10’ lists or using other popular formats, injecting humor into your writing, or creating your own resource guides. The goal is to keep your audience engaged and participate in an ongoing conversation, not just to churn out content.
Out: Vague Branding
There are a lot of law blogs on the web, and the majority are associated with a specific firm or topic, which gives them clear boundaries and an obvious audience and purpose. One blog that closed shop at the end of 2018, though, “Concurring Opinions,” was widely read despite its lack of affiliation, at least until recently. According to one of the core members, Gerard Magliocca, the blog saw a serious drop off in readership as venues for sharing ideas evolved. In Magliocca’s view, the law professor blog format “only really works if there is a kind of brand identity.” That means this is a critical moment to clarify your brand’s position.
From your logo to your blog niche, it’s vital that your blog serves a clear purpose. Readers should be able to recognize who you are, what your focus is, and even your writing style after going through a few posts. As an added benefit, the more firmly you establish your brand, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to drive traffic from a wide variety of sources. Brand recognition is key to increasing referral traffic and creating conversations across the internet.
In: Increased Creativity
In order to keep the content flowing, legal blogs, especially those that have been around for a while, need to shift away from older content strategies and start thinking outside the box. That means reading blogs outside the field to get inspired and using the skills that make you a great lawyer in the first place. After all, being a lawyer demands complex, abstract thought and the ability to solve problems in new, creative ways. It’s how you argue cases, and it will make your blogs more interesting and fun to read.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s time to start posting memes on your legal blog; they might be a bridge too far. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to engage with popular culture, sharing commentary and analysis. Those topics can bring in readership that wouldn’t otherwise engage with a law blog, with potentially fruitful results. This is also a good way to remain focused on your blog’s topic without becoming repetitive or dull.
Out: The (Too) Long Form
One of the most common trends across all industries is that more people are accessing websites, including blogs, on mobile devices, and that means they’re reading on smaller screens. Writers need to be conscious of this fact and make sure that their posts are accessible in this way. That means covering all of your bases in terms of what Google looks for as part of the mobile-first indexing process, but also trimming your posts.
The fact is, no one wants to read 1500 words on their phone, and if readers aren’t making it to the end of your post and your call to action, you’re not getting the most out of your blog. You need to hit a happy medium in terms of providing sufficient information while also keeping your content brief. Google also prioritizes brevity over length, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.
Your law firm’s blog is an important tool for building your business, but it’s important to keep up with changing trends. Luckily, with these tips under your belt, your blog posts will draw a growing audience, driving leads and growing your client base. One feeds the other in a powerful relationship.
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