So I get up early this morning, hell bent to write this post based on another idea entirely. And there waiting on my morning email is the latest Bloggingtips.com masterpiece by Kristen Nicole, and everything changed. Because she’s so right: don’t be a scaredy cat blogger. Today I’m here to take that one step further.
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What I’d planned can wait. This can’t.
Because what Kristen shared is the tip of a critical iceberg when it comes to growing your blog. The secret to doing so is to brand yourself out here in the blogosphere. The better the branding, the faster your blog will grow.
But what does that even mean?
Blogging beyond the obvious
We’ve heard all the blogging tips before, respun, reinvented and rekindled in the name of yet another post you hope will stand out in a weary crowd. It’s all about content. It’s about the reader, not you. Grab ’em with a killer headline. Hook ’em with an irresistable lead. Wow ’em with your insight and expertise.
Dead on. But it’s Blogging 1o1. If you want to grow your blog, you not only need to do all that and more on a consistent basis, you need to do it with a distinct voice. With an edge. With a specific point of view that is uniquely yours, yet in context to all of the above.
It’s the only way to separate yourself from a very ambitious crowd.
You can’t miss an effective brand. Even if you want to
Like it or not (and I don’t), Rush Limbaugh has a brand. Jessie Jackson has a brand. That guy with the fu manchu on on ESPN has a brand (which I do like). So does Ritz Carlton, Nordstom and Morton’s Steak House. You know what they stand for, you know what you’re getting. And you keep coming back to get it. Or at least, someone does.
Chances are you’re not blogging as a general commentary, you’re on a soap box looking out over a sea of hopeful neophyte faces that occupy a defined niche. You and a thousand other self-proclaimed experts. Nobody looking for cooking insight is reading this blog right now, unless they blog about it themselves.
Are you a generalist or a lobbyist? Are you rehashing or reinventing? Are you fresh or are you recycling conventional wisdom? Are you vanilla or are you triple chocolate cherries jubilee?
Killing your inner scardy cat
Have you pissed anyone off lately? Have you bucked the system, rejected the accepted, proposed a fringe strategy that suddenly makes all the sense in the world? What is your voice? Your platform? Your passion?
The key to successful branding is twofold: consistency and credibility. But with an edge.
You’ll get knocked right off that soap box unless you can back your bluster with war stories and scars. Have you been there or are you reflecting what others are saying? Do you know, or do you parrot what others know?
Be sure you know before you write what you know
As for me, I write in the fiction niche, presuming to tell authors how to write better stories and stay sane in the process of trying to publish them. I’m new to blogging, and yet my blog has taken off like an Octo-Mom reality show. Why? Because I’m bucking the system. I’m delivering a new and better way to approach writing, something writers haven’t heard before and are thristy for. Because the established way is crap. I’m offering something that pisses off roughly half of the people who think they already know.
It’s fun, pissing people off. Especially when you know what you’re talking about and can back your position in a smackdown. Which I absolutely can.
When you understand the equity behind your brand, you need to be strategic about how you put it out there. It’s truly a show-don’t-tell proposition (remember that one, from your freshman creative writing class?). It’s the veiled, even self-deprecating reference to your own life experience (like I just did in the previous paragraph) that uses the power of your message to take the deprication out of the delivery.
Readers recognize the real deal when they see it. So the first rule of branding is to be that blogger, the real deal, and then put a spin and an edge on it with every post.
Bold branding is a strategy
Successful branding strategies are never random or accidental. They are the product of a carefully conceived and proactively honed marketplace identity, backed with the establishment of content and tone that embodies it. When delivered consistently, the brand emerges from between the lines of the content itself.
Every columnist who keeps their gig more than a year knows this. And a blog is nothing if not a column in the truest sense of the word.
Do you know the nature of your brand? Do you even have a brand? Do you understand who you are as a blogger, or more importantly, as a player in your niche? Once you do, the secret to growing your blog isn’t so much the content of it as it is the essence of it.
The essence of it is your brand. And if you live it in every post, your blog will begin to grow.
Image credit: Marsdencartoons
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?
Drive traffic to other blogs.
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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?
Drive traffic to your blog easily.
What Are 2 Powerful Qualities of Top Bloggers?
John Chow and Bigfoot.
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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.
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.
Open your mind.
Think for yourself.
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