Did you hear that global publishing empire, News Corporation, plans to charge for online subscriptions to their newspapers? You probably already know that they’re owned by media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, with newspapers like The New York Post, The Times in Britain, and The Australian. Huge changes are happening in the publishing and business worlds and Murdoch says:
“We intend to charge for all our news Web sites. If we’re successful, we’ll be followed by all media.”
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So why is this good for bloggers? If established sites charge for their information, I think individual bloggers will become more influential because:
- There will be more blog readers: for example, many people won’t want to pay to read the news and the search engines won’t rank information that’s hidden in subscriptions sites.
- Blogs can can offer similar, or better, information free.
- Blogs offer a sense of community, interaction, and the a exchange of ideas that both readers and writers enjoy.
More Power To Bloggers
The power is slipping away from many large news agencies and businesses who don’t understand, or are scared of, the Internet. So individuals now have an opportunity to carve out a niche for themselves through blogging, and compete on a level footing with the big guys. Blogging, if done well, can give you a chance to supplement your existing income, grow your business and even become a full-time blogger.
Take Perez Hilton. The website he launched in 2004 is now one of the leading sites worldwide for celebrity news. For a gossip columnist with pink hair, having his website named one of the ’50 most powerful blogs’ by the UK’s conservative Observer newspaper is quite a feat. Now Hilton is lining up TV shows, books and even a record label, just because of one small website he started five years ago. Love him or loathe him, the man with a passion for celebrity trivia is a serious source of inspiration for bloggers. According to the biography on Hilton’s website, he’s even been named one of the 15 most influential Hispanics in the US.
Pros of Blogging For Business Owners
Some bloggers, like Perez Hilton, now make their living from blogging. You probably shouldn’t expect that kind of success to begin with, but there’s no reason you can’t try. Most professional bloggers say when they started, they never expected their blog to become so successful. If they succeeded others will too.
For SMEs, blogging offers several advantages. Many business owners will benefit from using a blog to sell more of their products or services, whether your ultimate goal is to blog full-time or not. A good blog can grow your business and increase your income. Smart blogging can lead you to become influential with the people you most want to influence ~ your customers.
4 Reasons To Blog
- To establish a rapport and build relationships with your existing and potential customers.
- To improving your search engine ranking and reach more potential customers, which, if your website is well-designed, will translate into more business.
- To ensure you’re the first company people think of when they need your products or services.
- To showcase your expertise, professionalism and willingness to help.
Still Not Convinced About Blogging?
Blogging has negative connotations. The main comments I get from people, who don’t read blogs yet anyway, is that blogging is a waste of time. I disagree. I think setting up an effective blog can make a big difference to businesses of all sizes. Let’s take the real estate industry as an example. In my area, perhaps due to the slow housing market, real estate companies are spending more money on glossy print publications, and claiming that people prefer to look for houses in print, not online.
In my experience, people are going online more and more to look for everything, from music to houses and from motivational tips to financial success. But because most big real estate agencies where I live aren’t using the Internet to their advantage, there’s the possibility for a blogger to clean up. The same may be true for your business, and if so I hope it’s you who cleans up. If you’ve got a good knowledge of your industry, average marketing skills and an interest in Internet marketing, you’ll probably do well.
Do You Want Blogging Success? Are You Ready To Invest Yourself?
If you answered yes to these two questions then please read on.
Starting a blog can seem over-whelming at first. There’s so much to learn, with an encyclopedia of knowledge on this website alone. But don’t be scared by what you don’t know. You can learn how to blog well, and the information you need is readily available for you on this blog, in books and through workshops. Start your blog small and have fun learning how to improve it as you go along.
Four Steps To Get Started Blogging
- Prove your investment
Be prepared to invest 10-40 hours of your time to set up your blog with your branding, and get to know your way round your blogging software. Or consider paying an expert to set up a blog for you for $1000-2000, so you can concentrate on creating content.
- Get writing
Just start brainstorming for ideas and writing useful and positive articles. Once you start writing on one topic sometimes you’ll slip off on a tangent and discover another subject worth sharing.
- Spread the word
Email your existing clients, leads, friends and relatives and tell them about your new blog. Add your website and blog address to all your new print materials and your email signature.
- Ask for feedback
Get people to tell you what they like and don’t like about your blog. When you’ve got a new website or blog, you’re constantly tweaking it and striving to improve it. That’s perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Expect it to take a while to be perfect and congratulate yourself on having started your blog.
Final Inspiration To Get Blogging Or Stick With It
Ten years ago the idea that someone like Perez Hilton could become a competitor for big news sites like CNN would have been ludicrous. The blogging game has only just got started and if you don’t play you won’t win. There’s room for plenty more successful blogs out there. I like to think there’s a special need for more female bloggers, but whatever your gender, the publishing and business worlds are being shaken up. Now is the ideal time to get your foot in the door.
So, ladies and gentlemen, pick your niche, start writing and make your voice heard. There’s never been a better time for blogging. With a good blog at the very least, you’ll grow your business and who knows, maybe you will even go onto become a professional blogger.
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.
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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.
Should You Answer that Blogging Question Again?
“Ryan, how do I increase blog traffic?”
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“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:
- an inefficient use of your time
- 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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
Why Cold Pitching and Bartering Do Not Work in Blogging
2 words: nobody cares.
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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?
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.
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.
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.
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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