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Grow Your Blog through Better Commenting

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party crowdOn Day One of your blogging journey some guru told you – no doubt in her or his own blog on blogging – that one of the best ways to grow your site is to comment on the blogs of others.

It’s the proverbial slow road to riches, or even gas money, to be sure.  You see a lot of entrepreneurial tortoises crawling slowly down this path, but few hares because they’ve have pretty much been stomped into roadkill.

Maybe you commented on that guru’s life changing post, maybe not.  I’m betting not… entering your first comment can be as scary as hitting the PUBLISH button on WordPress for the first time.

But sooner or later you gotta go there.

Welcome to the Blogging Party

Commenting is very much like attending a party.  If you don’t speak up, if you don’t ask someone to dance, no one will notice you.  If you do, one of three things will happen, depending on your strategy:

  • You’ll quickly blend into the crowd and then just as quickly become anonymous…
  • You’ll come off as a dork, or worse, as arrogant or offensive…
  • Or you’ll shine as someone people would like to get to know.

Which means, in the latter case, that you’ll be invited back.  And if you continue your shiny ways, you’ll become a regular on the party circuit.

Even better, people will want to attend your party.  Which, in the non-analogous real world, is already underway on your website.

Here are four principles of decorum that will help you stand out, and in the right way.  Because staying neutral is the wrong way, at least if your goal is to leverage your comment into traffic for your own site.

Avoid the “hey nice post” Comments

Someone walks into a party.  They look nice.  You tell them they look nice. You comment

This feels good on the receiving end, too. You notice. But that’s all that you do. It isn’t enough to get the polite commenter a first date. 

It isn’t enough to post a “Nice post, dude!” comment and expect anyone to click through to your site.

It isn’t a bad thing.  It may even be a polite thing.  Go for it if “nice post” is what you need to express.  Just don’t mistake it for a blogging growth strategy.  Because for networking bloggers, “nice post” translates to: not a player.

Don’t Come Off as Overly Contrary

Some people like attention, and to get it they sometimes begin breaking things.  A few like to take a contrary position on just about everything, and by airing it out in a comment (going back to our analogy for a moment), it becomes the lamest strategy imaginable for getting asked back or attracting any type of attention other than negative energy.

You can take a stand, but pretend it’s your soon-to-father in law you’re challenging.  Be polite, look for ways to be gracious and acknowledge whatever aspect of your target isn’t reprehensible to you.

Everybody likes a self-thinker and a bold advocate.  Nobody likes an asshole.

Be Humbly Credible

Blogging is like online dating – it’s a safe place to be someone other than who you are.   But be warned, blog readers are extraordinarily perceptive and wary of B.S.  They can smell a fraud quicker than a gas leak in their bed partner.

There’s a fine line between making it clear and obvious that you know your stuff and making it clear and obvious that your intention is to make it clear and obvious.   Pretend there’s an ego meter wired to your keyboard, and you’re being evaluated on the least amount of bluster possible in what you put out there.

Ego is like an oil leak in otherwise pristine waters.  It destroys everybody’s interest, it repels readers and counters whatever shards of logic and creative ingenuity hidden in your post between the heavy-handed attempts to sound smart.

This can’t be taught.  But it can be observed, recognized, and them emulated.

Add Value to the Post

People who read blogs are for the most part bloggers themselves, which means they understand this game.  They tend to congregate within a specific niche or content arena, which is the wheelhouse of your strategic commenting opportunity.

The right audience is there, in the right place, waiting.  It’s up to you to carry the right tune once you step on stage.

Because not everyone is there to propagate a self-serving agenda.  Many read blogs with a genuine interest and desire to learn.  Which is why the nature of your comments have inherent and significant potential.

If you sound like someone who has something to offer, and if you come off as humble and pleasant and sincere, chances are the earnest blog reader – which is precisely the person you want to attract to your site – will click through to you.

And even with the best of results, you’ll only snag a few.  It’s a long term strategy, one littered with the remains of tortoise-like commenters who yielded to impatience.

If you comment, and comment well, they will come.  From that point on your blog needs to deliver on that promise.  Which makes the comment itself an extension of your blog, and one with important strategic consequences.

Photo credit: David Boyle

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Blogging

eCommerce: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic, Sales and Revenue

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For most people blogging is used as a fun and easy way to share their lifestyle or write about their passion. But for some this hobby had become their profession.

Nowadays there are many options to make money with a blog – for example by getting paid for advertising products. Another way is to add your own eCommerce to the blog and sell the products that you are passionate about in your own web store. Creating an online shop can be the first step into your life as a digital nomad or simply being your own boss.

A few years ago, it was necessary to work with a professional developer to integrate an online store to your website. Especially for small manufacturers, this meant a huge investment before they could even start selling their products. Nowadays setting up a web store has become a lot easier and cheaper: Platforms like Shopify can easily be integrated in existing domains and therefore help makers and crafters to start their own eCommerce without professional help. Once you have set up your own Shopify store it is all about increasing the traffic. A bigger reach will eventually lead to a higher number of sales and more revenue.

So, let’s have a look at three simple steps to do so:

1 – Turn your small business into a smart business…

…by adding automation and product management to your website. When launching your business, it might be fine to keep track of the orders in an Excel spreadsheet at first. But since you expect your business to grow it will become one of the most important things to have a management platform in place that allows you to process orders and handle inventory professionally. Therefore, it can be handy to add a production planning and scheduling software as integration to your existing web store. An easy-to-use solution for Shopify-users is the Shopify inventory integration that adds products to your website, manages inventory or tracks shipments.

2 – Make your products sound and look good…

…by adding high-quality images and longer product descriptions to your page. Not only will this make your eCommerce look more professional, but it is also a great way to increase your traffic by reaching a higher rank in the search results. If you are not able to create these yourself, you can outsource writing or graphic design work to freelancers on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.

3 – Don’t stop blogging…

…or get it started if you haven’t done so yet. While it is exciting to start your own business it also takes a lot of time and energy to set everything up. Anyhow, this should not lead to giving up on your blog. Why? Because a growing eCommerce site and an active blog go hand in hand. And remember: The content of your blog should be interesting to your targeted audience and contain at least one thousand words in order to effectively rank in the search results. Here are some examples of the top eCommerce blogs for inspiration.  

…and that is it!

You are now almost ready to start your own eCommerce! In addition to following these three steps, it is always good to keep an eye on your ecommerce competitors. Do not steal their idea but have a look at what is working for them and aim to go beyond that. As long as you focus on your product, the content of your site and a growing search ranking you will successfully manage to increase your traffic, the sales and the revenue of your business.

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Blogging

Should You Answer that Blogging Question Again?

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“Ryan, how do I increase blog traffic?”

 

“Ryan, how do I make money blogging?”

 

If I had a dime for every blogger who asked me each question I’d have quite a few dimes. Toss in all the times I observe bloggers asking each question via Quora and various Facebook Groups and you have as many dimes as grains of sand in the Sahara Desert.

 

I know what you are thinking; should you answer the same question for the 2nd time, 10th time or 100th time? Confusing. One part of you wishes to be generous. Another part of you fears missing an opportunity to help someone who can be a potential client or customer. Another part of you feels annoyed at being asked the question again. Another part of you feels annoyed at embracing and releasing the guilt of ignoring the question.

 

Should you answer these common blogging questions again and again?

 

No.

 

Of course not.

 

Answering the same, common question more than 1 or 2 times is:

 

  • foolish
  • an inefficient use of your time
  • ineffective
  • amateur hour stuff

 

Here’s what I do to:

 

  • answer questions quickly and easily
  • open myself up to more potential blogging business through possible clients and customers
  • be calm, cool, collected and at peace despite being asked the same question many times

 

Are you ready?

 

Write a blog post!

 

Or write and self-publish an eBook.

 

DUH!

 

If someone asks me how to drive more traffic to my blog I send them this link:

 

4 Blog Traffic Driving Fundamentals

 

Or I send ’em a link from any one of my myriad blog traffic driving posts on Blogging From Paradise.

 

If someone asks about specific income streams for making money through their blogs I send them a link to my eBook:

 

15 Ways to Make Money Blogging

 

Or if someone asks how to make money through guest posting I send them this link from my guest post on the blog of the awesome Enstine Muki:

 

How to Write a Guest Post that Grows Your Business

 

What an easy, simple, efficient, effective way to:

 

  • answer a common question many times
  • answer a common question in 1-2 seconds
  • drive traffic to my blog
  • increase my blogging profits
  • help people, and be helped by people through their prospering of me
  • avoid anger
  • avoid annoyance
  • avoid judging people who have no idea how to blog

 

Fools complain about new bloggers asking the same, old questions. Why does a new blogger ask a question? They have no idea how to blog! Duh. Why anger at their ignorance? Why get annoyed that you need to answer the question again? Write a blog post answering the question. Send the blog post to anybody who asks the question. Seize opportunities to help people and to drive traffic and profits to your blog.

 

Email Mistake

 

Do you own Gmail? I do not. Since I do not own Gmail it’d be foolish for me to answer questions via Gmail when I can be answering the same question on my self-hosted blog. I own Blogging From Paradise. I own that online real estate. Answer questions on your owned cyber real estate. Brand you. Grow your business. Increase your traffic. Keep the ball in your court. Have posture.

 

Leverage

 

If I spend 10 minutes answering a question for 1 human I am a fool when I could spend 45 minutes answering the question for 100, or 10,000 or 1,000,000 humans, by writing a helpful blog post answering the question and sending the blog post link to all future folks who ask the question. Plus; when the post goes live, I answer common questions passively, said common questions no doubt in the minds of thousands of bloggers out there.

 

Leverage. Write a blog post. Do not help one person. Help 10,000 people. Save your time and energy. Make more money.

Matthew Loomis at Build Your Own Blog is a smart guy. Peep his home page. He lays out clear, concise steps for building your blog via his sidebar. You just know how many people asked him the common, pressing, basic blogging questions that he skillfully answered through those clear steps.

 

He leveraged his knowledge. He answered common questions BEFORE people asked him common blogging questions. Smart! Help a ton of folks quickly and easily. Drive blog traffic. Increase blogging profits. Lower your bounce rate. Improve the amount of time people spend on your blog.

 

Write a blog post. Send the blog post link to anybody who asks the common blogging question.

 

Think abundantly.

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Blogging

Why Cold Pitching and Bartering Do Not Work in Blogging

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2 words: nobody cares.

I just checked my email. One stranger who came in cold – as strangers always do – emailed me a reply:

“Is that your lowest price?”

I deleted his email. On a day when feeling less compassionate, I junk the email. Label it as spam. Why?

Nobody cares.

I genuinely care about someone who genuinely cares about me. I do not care much about a stranger who tries to barter with me when he ignored the email where I told him my final, fixed, non-negotiable price. Thousands of strangers have tried this approach. Thousands of strangers get ignored.

Nobody cares.

That was one of the bartering emails.

I received a handful of cold pitch emails. Bloggers emailed me as strangers, asking to guest post on my site. 90% did not even bother to address me by name.

2 words: nobody cares. Meaning, I do not care about them. I delete. I ignore. I move on.

I checked my spam folder to delete the emails. I scanned. 3 more pitch emails popped up in spam. The bloggers pitching through these emails pissed off enough bloggers to ensure; all future emails of theirs land in spam. Try building a blogging business from the spam folder. I dare you.

Genuinely, nobody cares.

Analogy

Imagine someone knocking on the door of your home right now. Go ahead. Visualize this scenario.

This person wants to sell you a vacuum cleaner. You shut the door in their face unless you are 1 of 1,000,000 people who would actually buy a vacuum from a stranger at your door. The remaining 999,999 human beings either buy one on Amazon or via their local department store.

Save the 1 person, nobody cares about a stranger who blindly pitches their sales services or who blindly pitches an opportunity at the door of their home. Just like nobody cares about a stranger who blindly pitches them a guest posting opportunity.

Nobody cares.

How to Get People to Care

If you want people to care enough to buy your blogging course or to feature you on their blogs, care about them.

If you want to land on Blogging From Paradise just do these things:

  • spend 3-6 months promoting me on your blog
  • spend 3-6 months promoting me on social media
  • publish 2-3 posts weekly
  • practice writing daily; offline

I begin to care about people who care about me generously and genuinely.

You stand out from the thousands of strangers who I do not care about when you care about me. It is such an easy tactic to build bonds with leading bloggers. Simple, too. Care about me as a human being. Ask for nothing. Expect nothing. Pay your blogging dues. Be generous. Be genuine. Be patient. Be persistent. Guaranteed; you will stand out from the crowd eventually. You have to, because generosity is always repaid in some way, shape or form down the road.

My generous, skilled friends get links on Blogging From Paradise for free.

Strangers need to pay my rate. If a stranger tries to barter my rate after I noted my fixed, non-negotiable, price, I delete the email. I may spam the email. People who do not have enough respect for me to read the entire email belong in spam. Landing in spam is the blogging business kiss of death; you will fail blogging for 1,000 years if your emails wind up in spam. The Blogging Scarlet Letter is S, for Spam.

Just freaking care about bloggers. How hard is that? Stop focusing on yourself and your needs and what you want to GET out of me and do some GIVING. Fool proof, simple, powerful way to build a successful blog. Plus you will have the money to invest in sponsored posts so you need not try to barter like a cheapie. Plus you will receive more and more free links on top blogs.

Doesn’t that sound fun?

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