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Understanding Your U.S.P. As a Blogger



question markEver wake up and wonder why you’re here?  Not as a reader — we all know why we come to, it’s for the content — but as a writer.  Ever faced that empty little window in WordPress and wondered the same thing for your blog?

I do that each time I sit down to write this post.  Every Thursday, in fact.  Why?  Because the rest of you intimidate the hell out of me.  You really do.  What, I ask my insecure self, do I possibly have to offer these folks who know so much more about the ins-and-outs of blogging than I do?

I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I realize I do indeed have something to offer.  And it has nothing at all to do with WordPress.  It has to do with words.

What don’t I know? Let me count the ways…

Allow me to begin with what I don’t know here in this realm, where I am as green behind the ears as a Star Trek extra .  The list, the source of my insecurity, is long.

I don’t know what headines such as “Blogging on Android With WPTOGO” means.  I don’t know what a “tiny URL” is.  To me, 404 is the number that follows 403, and products like Brizzly and Yonkly and Regator might as well be items on a Seneglese deli menu. 

I’m a writer.  I’m tempted to say just a writer, but that’s actually my point today.  Maybe being just a writer is enough.  My hormones perk up with the new Dan Brown novel rather than the next release of… well, I don’t even know what witty techno-lingo ditty to use to complete that sentence in a hip way.

That’s all I have to work with.  And all of us have to start with something to offer if we want our blogs to actually go somewhere.

So why am I here again?

Because, like I said, I write.  I’m a tried and true, proven and crusty beneath all that green behind my ears writer of all kinds of things, including blogs.  And as such, and in spite of my techno-cluenessness, they tell me my new blog site — more of an instructional writing resource, actually — is taking off like a literary rocket.

I don’t offer that in an attempt to get you to go there.  Unless you’re interested in writing novels and screenplays, it may not be your thing.  I offer it to illustrate the inside-out nature of successful blogging — it’s what we bring from the inside that results in an outward growth in metrics.

Is 500 subscribers in the first two months good?  To be honest, I have nothing to compare it to.  But I’m told, and usually with an eye-rolling grin, that yeah, that’s pretty darn good.  My site should be well beyond 1000 subscriptions by year-end, with the potential of 3000 or more by the end of 2010 at this rate, after 18 months.

That feels pretty good, even to me.  And yet I continue to ask myself, why am I here?

As bloggers, we should all ask ourselves that question.  Because our hope resides in the answer.  And when we consider the concept of hope, we must look in the mirror and ask what this is all about.

The One and Only Formula That Works

So if a completely lame web rookie like me can create a blog from scratch and sniff out 500 loyal subscribers in two months, and actually be generating positive cash flow from from it when everyone said that would require two years, what does that mean

It means it validates what those who really know about blogging are telling those of us who don’t.  What they say, combined with our personal little slice of content expertise, is all we have to go on.

Great content works.  Stuff that cuts to the heart of what readers need to hear to further their objectives.  Not ours, theirs.

Great context works.  By context, I mean describing the next whiz-bang killer app in terms that lead toward benefits rather than the wondrous intricasies of technical architecture.

Audience empathy works.  Frankly — perhaps too frankly for this venue — I don’t make it to second base with a lot of these technical posts because the author assumes the reader occupies a nearby seat on the learning curve .  We need to break it down, not dumb it down, so that the content is useful and accessible to all.

And finally, lively, rich and passionate writing works.  Writing that illuminates the author’s humanity and vulnerability while leveraging an inherent crediblity that is more obvious than overt.

So My Message Today is Simple

Blog like a writer, not like a software engineer or an internet entrepreneur with an agenda.  Subordinate your goals and your business identity to the craft of putting your reader before yourself, and in a way that empowers.  And nothing empowers like rich and selfless content conveyed with a little spice.

That’s why I’m here today, and every Thursday.  Even if I’ve put too much self into this one.  In between posts I’ll keep reading and soaking up the greater wisdom of my peers , and I”ll use what I learn to empower my own blog toward greater reader friendliness and content richness.

The more we know, the better for us.  The better the manner in which we share what we know, the better for everyone.

If I can realize even the smallest contribution on the writing front, if only by example, then perhaps I won’t have to wonder what I’m doing here after all.  Because that’s my U.S.P.  — Unique Selling Proposition — as a writer and as a blogger. 

And, because most of what we know is rarely unique, our U.S.P. is really all that we have in the long run.

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What Is the Most Powerful Key for Turning a Blog into a Business?



Get comfortable with receiving money.

It IS that simple.

But I cannot lie; getting comfortable with receiving money is uncomfortable for most of us. I, like many bloggers, grew up with many money limiting beliefs in mind. I vibed from scarcity. I did not vibe from abundance. I saw folks in my life work hard at jobs to receive a minimum amount of money. I made many weird correlations between money and service. I figured you just worked hard, made enough money to survive and decided my life would progress along these lines.

Eventually, I woke up, owned these limiting beliefs and freed myself of these mind viruses to build my blog into a business.

Forget Practical Advice

Bloggers may advise you on practical tips for turning a blog into a business like:

  • build an email list
  • begin affiliate marketing
  • open consulting services
  • build passive income through courses and eBooks

None of these practical tips help you turn your blog into a business if you are allergic to money, or if you cling to many limiting beliefs and fears concerning money. Why? You follow advice to lose money if you fear losing money and ignore advice to make money if you fear losing money.

Get comfortable receiving money. This is the best advice for turning your blog into a full time business.

Getting comfortable receiving money moves you into abundant, prospering actions. You become more generous. You become more prolific. You begin opening income streams without attaching to any one stream. You also build your friend network generously, promoting other bloggers and expecting nothing.

All prior steps lead to increased blogging income. All prior steps came about because you became comfortable receiving money.

Fear-Filled Bloggers

I speak to many bloggers who fear monetizing their blogs. Said bloggers fear readers used to free, selling-free content will head for the hills or complain the moment income streams enter the fray. You cannot turn a blog into a business unless you open blogging income streams.

Get comfortable with:

  • receiving money
  • releasing fear-filled bloggers who whine about you receiving money

Only broke, poverty conscious, unhappy, unclear or jealous bloggers have a problem with you turning your blog into a business. Have you ever complained about someone who works a job to receive money? Of course not; no sane person complains about another human who works a job to make money. We all have that right. Why then would a sane person complain about you receiving money for service rendered on your blog? Let go these unhappy, unclear, folks. Get comfortable receiving money. Build a business through your blog.

It Is Just Money

It is only money.

Money is just a neutral means of exchange. Add no emotional charge to a neutral means of exchange; no big deal.

I promote my premium offerings through virtually every piece of content I create. I am comfortable with receiving money. I am comfortable building a business through my blog. If I can help people and receive money – in a world where money is the prime means of exchange – I help people and receive money. I am comfortable with it.

Do not be shy. Be clear.

Avoid doing the affiliate walk of shame, begging and pleading for enough money to buy a stick of gum each time you disclose your affiliate offering.

Be clear. Share how you make money through the sale of something on your blog.

Check out my blog disclosure statement. Does that make your head explode? I basically say I make money through all images and links on my blog. I cover myself and feel comfortable with receiving money.

Get clear.

Build your blog into a business.

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




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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Should You Answer that Blogging Question Again?



“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?




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.




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.




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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