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Bait With the Headline, Hook With the Lead

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Extra_leadStifling summer heat has contributed to an abundant growth in the blogging world.  It has been reported that many bloggers have succumbed to the intense heat and taken their endeavors indoors.  Summertime, long known for its ventures in outdoor sports and activities, has now taken a backseat with bloggers staying planted in front of their computers and writing massive amounts of blog posts. Servers have crashed all over the globe due to the massive amount of bandwidth use the summer heat is causing in parts of the world.    The internet may very well collapse due to this overload.

If the above statements were true, and to the best of my knowledge they are not, it would have made a good lead-in story.  I could have written:

“It’s hot and muggy outside.  This has forced many bloggers indoors to the comforts of air conditioning.  This has resulted in overuse of bandwidth on many servers.”

This lead would not have grabbed as much attention.  It’s a bit boring and monotone.  Many of us fail at creating a good lead and fully capturing the readers’ attention.  We seem to be in a hurry to get the material written and forget the days of old when a great lead almost made the whole story.

Creating a great lead is as important as creating a great title.  It’s recommended that you spend as much time writing the lead and title as you have the body of the material itself.  In fact, it’s one area of writing that many of us forget to practice.  If we spent more time coming up with headlines and leads, it would greatly improve our readership.

This is another area that taking a journalistic approach will improve your writing.  You can read my post, “Using Basic Journalism Structure To Write Great Articles” and Jonathan Bailey’s, “5 Things Bloggers Can Learn From Journalism School” for more information about a journalistic writing style.

We create a good lead to hook the reader, give the reader information and to organize the material.  Some writers begin with their lead and write the body of the material from it.  Others write the material and then concoct their lead out of the body of the material.  Still others, like me, use both ways depending on the subject matter and a spur of the moment idea. Either way is acceptable, it’s more a matter of your own personal writing style.

Writing the lead first can be used as an outline and keep you on track with keeping the material organized.  You can quickly move from Point A to Point B if you’ve summarized the material in the lead paragraph.  But if writing the lead is an area you have trouble with, you may want to write it last pulling highlights from the body of your writing.

The lead should be brief and only contain enough information to hook the reader, and highlight what will be explained in the material.

Never give your opinion in the lead; simply state facts.

The lead should be a map.  The body of the material should follow the same pattern as the lead.  In my example, I would not start the body with the possibility of the Internet crashing unless that was the first statement in the lead.  In the case of my fake lead, I would begin the body of the material telling about how the temperature has forced bloggers back indoors, followed by how this overload has affected servers and the conclusion would then be about how this could lead to total Internet collapse.  It would follow a timeline of sorts like the lead.

For bloggers, writing a good lead is a necessity and second only to a great title.  You want to grab the readers’ attention so they’ll stay on your site longer and return to read your updates.  You don’t want to annoy the reader by using a lead that’s poorly written or irrelevant to the blog post itself.  Rob Starr recently covered, “Why Headlines Are Important”.

Writing great headlines and an attention grabbing lead can be attributed to an art form.  Some writers seem to have the magic button, for others it can be a bit intimidating.  It only takes a little more time to work on a great headline and a great lead, and will be well worth the effort.  It’s also something that can be practiced while you’re watching TV, reading the paper, standing in a checkout line—note the headlines on the magazine covers.  Headlines are everywhere.  Pay attention to them and come up with new ones that you think would have been better; make a game out of it and spend some extra time each day writing great headlines and leads.

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Patti runs several websites covering PLR/Niche Content, and strives to help others through life coaching and personal development.

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What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?

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Drive traffic to other blogs.

Give what you want.

Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.

I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.

I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.

I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.

The more you give, the more you get.

The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.

I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.

My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:

  • link to me on their blogs
  • retweet my posts
  • share my posts on Facebook
  • share my posts on LinkedIn
  • send my blog posts to their email list

That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.

Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.

How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs

I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.

I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.

Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.

You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends

Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.

But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.

As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:

  • when you sleep
  • when you travel
  • when you spend time offline with family and friends

Sounds sweet, right?

Give freely.

Drive traffic to your blog easily.

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What Are 2 Powerful Qualities of Top Bloggers?

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John Chow and Bigfoot.

No correlation exists save this post. Although John is super tall. I met him in person during Affiliate Summit East.

Both JC and Bigfoot taught me 2 incredibly powerful qualities of top bloggers.

John taught me how to think abundantly.

Bigfoot taught me to be open-minded and to think for myself.

Think Abundantly

A while back I recall reading a post on John’s blog.

He explained how being an Amazon Associate creates a steady passive income stream.

For an example, he showed how linking to a product your audience finds useful – in the proper context – leads to blogging profits. At the time, I admired his strategy but could not get why you’d link to an affiliate product for a measly $2 commission. But of course, John thinks like, feels like and is a multi millionaire so he thinks of acquiring increasing wealth versus thinking of how little he makes on certain commissions.

$2 adds to the John Chow millions. Plus, even if JC began blogging yesterday, at zero, he thought like a millionaire well before becoming a millionaire, so he would have made his first $2 on his way to millions.

These days, I think, feel and act abundantly. I celebrate every penny I make online because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Top bloggers think abundantly. If you think, feel and act abundantly, at year’s end, the $2 commission per sale yields $500,to $1000, to $5000 per a single income stream because the more you celebrate money and feel rich, the more money you make.

Top bloggers think: money. Open 5, 10, 15 or more income streams. Seize every opportunity to prosper. $2, there, and 100 sales later, you made $200. Top bloggers think abundance – versus lack – and make money.

Be Open Minded and Think for Yourself

As you know, I love studying the creature Bigfoot.

Most humans are closed-minded and follow the herd, being lazy thinkers, and simply agreed with the herd; naturally, these folks believe Bigfoot is a myth.

A handful of YouTube videos of Bigfoot scientifically breakdown:

  • the size of these creatures: 7-10 foot tall, up to 5 feet wide, and 500-900 pounds
  • the physiology of these creatures; compliant gate, 90% knee flexion, absence of neck, hulking trap muscles, heavy brow ridge
  • the sounds these creatures make; clearly not within our current animal kingdom

If you are open-minded and think for yourself, you clearly see a huge, primate-type creature with some human-like qualities appears in these videos. Truth reveals itself to clear, deeper thinks.

But if you are closed-minded and agree with the herd, you become blind to the truth and see a guy in a suit, or hoax, in these handful of legit Sasquatch videos.

Like the small group of humans who know Sasquatch exist, top bloggers are both open-minded and do their own thinking. Successful bloggers open up to new strategies and new income streams. Plus these top folks never agree with the herd just because most people think a certain way; these pros think critically, for themselves.

I think incredibly deeply about blogging, and mindset, and see parallels no blogger on earth sees, save me. Why? I am open-minded and do my own thinking, for myself, never being swayed by the general public and its poisonous, limiting skepticism.

You almost have to be insane *not* to believe in Bigfoot after scientific video breakdowns and tens of thousands of credible eye-witnesses prove these encounters are with large primates, not humans in suits. Even a 300 pound, pro bodybuilder would look like a 5 year old trying to fit in his dad’s suit if he tried to wear a suit with dimensions for a 9 foot tall, 800 pound being.

In the same breath, you really need to be out there, if you are so closed-minded and agreeing with the poor masses, that you are blind to the truth of abundance around you, as a blogger.

Think abundance.

Open your mind.

Think for yourself.

Succeed.

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What Should You Ask Yourself Before Using a Pop Up or Slider Form?

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Before you use a pop up or slider form, ask yourself:

“Do I want to ask the reader for something or tell the reader to do something before I give them what they want?”

Yesterday I clicked on a link based on the blog title promise. I found the title and link on Twitter.

Since I wanted to see the solution based on the title-promise, I looked forward to reading the blog post. I wanted content; quick content, easy to access content, and simple content.

But I was quickly disappointed.

Why?

One second after arriving to the blog to read the post, I saw a pop up form. The blogger wanted something from me; my name and email. The blogger asked for my information. I did not click the link to volunteer my information. I clicked the link to get what I wanted; content. Oh well.

Mildly annoyed, I closed the pop up form to finally get what I wanted: helpful content promised via an attractive blog post title. But then I had to deal with a slider form; yep, the blogger asked me to click a box if I agreed with my personal information being stored via cookies. I have no idea why you do this as a US blogger; the European Union and its laws have zero jurisdiction in the US. Mass fear tends to goad the weaker minded to do silly stuff.

Anyway, this marked the second time the blogger asked me for something or told me to do something before giving me what I wanted. 99% of the time, I close the window and leave the blog forever. I have no time to waste. But to see how far this blogger would go, I closed the slider form and stuck around. Until 2 seconds later when, I kid you not, the blogger used a corner slider form calling me to do something else. Some ask; some command.

I immediately closed the window and left the blog; never to return.

One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is promising readers helpful content, then, before giving readers what they want, asking them once, twice or three times to do something, before giving readers what they want.

Bad idea.

Most or all readers will exit your blog and never return. Who wants to jump through hoops once, twice or 3 times before getting what they want? Readers get my content immediately. I use no pop up, slider, or barrier to content. People get what they want immediately and also buy my stuff. Good for me. Good for you.

Jeff Bezos became the wealthiest human being in modern times because he made it incredibly easy to get what you want immediately. His net worth is $150 billion because:

  • he enabled one click buying
  • he offers 2 hour to overnight delivery for many products in urban and suburban areas
  • he uses few or no pop ups or other barriers to giving customers what they want

Why do you think I have 170 plus products on Amazon? Dude makes it easy for me to make money. No barriers to buying.

Ask Yourself

Do you want to give readers what they want quickly and easily so you succeed more quickly? Remove all pop ups, sliders and other barriers to content and buying. My blog took off like the dickens when I removed everything so readers could read my content fast and buy my stuff fast.

Stop trying to get what YOU want (names, emails) and give readers what they want – quickly – to become a successful blogger.

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