If you’ve been reading up on blogging tips around the blogosphere, I’m sure you’ve come across an article telling you what going niche is all about and how you should go about it.
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For the newbies, let me explain this niche concept first. Typically, going niche (getting specific) gives your blog focus and a better chance of getting more readers as subscribers because online is different from offline. Offline, you go to a mall to get quick access to almost everything you can imagine people put up for sale because you don’t want to waste time driving from one shop to another. Online, you search for what you want and nothing else. If you’re searching for digital cameras online, you normally don’t want mp3 player results. Although they’re both electronics, mp3 players aren’t what you’re looking for and it’s unlikely you’d return to that page to look for digital cameras. But, if that page does have digital cameras, you’d come back to it again and again.
Same goes for blog subscribers, turtle care takers don’t want to read articles about bathing dogs and cats. They’re all pet care topics, but not specifically related to the interests of turtle pet owners. Going niche is getting specific and selecting the audience you want to write for so they’d subscribe to your blog and continue to read it.
No Niche Is Too Small
Usually, articles talking about going niche will focus on one important reminder and that is to go niche, but not too niche (specific, but not too specific). Why? Because the writers of those articles are worried you’d narrow your blog down to such a small topic that you run out of ideas for content or you won’t get enough readers. They believe the smaller the topic the smaller the audience, which you should know is completely WRONG.
No niche is too small. I don’t care if all you want to write about are pink, two-headed snakes born exactly on the eve of every blue moon in the jungle of Vietnam. No niche is too small if you inject some creativity and humor. Creativity and humor are all you need to keep on creating content and getting more readers. For example, when you’re done writing about the snake’s birthday, how big it is, or how much you love it, match it up with Godzilla. Tell me how you’d imagine a battle between a giant pink two-headed snake and Godzilla would play out. Better yet, show me through a video blog of paper cut-outs for each monster. And if you are blogging about pink, two-headed snakes, I’m sure it’s a great blog for humor and creativity to begin with.
How does creativity and humor work outside of personal blogs about pink, two-headed snakes born on the eve of every blue moon in the jungle of Vietnam? Specifically, how does this work for profit-based blogs, for bloggers trying to make money from blogs? And if all I’m writing about is an old printer, how can I convince printer companies to advertise on my blog selling new printers?
Here’s how. No, not how you convince companies developing new printers to advertise on your blog about an old printer. Here’s how to make blog money period. You grow your audience with creativity and humor (CH), then again inject some of that CH into your plan for monetizing or making blog money. For example, your loyal subscribers will buy anything you create if you clearly show the effort and time you’ve put into it. Take a hint from Maddox, who sold an illustrated book with topics categorized alphabetically on how to be a man. It’s called, The Alphabet of Manliness.
For more examples, some bloggers are re-packaging their blog content in the form of e-books and paper back books for sale through Amazon.com. Web designers slash bloggers are making money off of speaking at web design related events. The point is blogging and making money takes hard work and what? Creativity and humor.
You do not have to settle. Going niche, but not too niche to get enough traffic from search engines, then convert that traffic into advertising dollars for income is not the only way to get paid for all the hard work. If it really was hard work, then income from advertisements shouldn’t be your only plan to begin with. There are so many social media channels, tools, and better / different ways to get traffic and monetize nowadays. You might as well not bother with it if you’re going to stick with the old ways of creating content and making money. Just give it up and blog for fun.
Content Before Title
Creativity and humor are hard to use when you have writer’s block. That’s where Content Before Title comes in.
Jot down phrases and sentences for paragraph ideas. You don’t know when they’ll be useful for a post or an article, but they will be. Working with bits and pieces instead of trying to write entire articles for predetermined titles is a more flexible technique. It puts your mind in brainstorming mode and allows you to keep building on top of your ideas for new content. Your mind is free to explore and record the journey through phrases and sentences. There’s no filtering involved.
On the other hand, writing content for predetermined titles you saved a week ago does involve filtering. Instead of brainstorming and recording every idea, you’re stuck trying to filter thoughts to make sure the article’s content is relevant. This wastes time and effort. Some of the titles you spent time thinking about end up in the trash or continues to get pushed down on your ideas list because you couldn’t come up with enough content for them.
Can you imagine a comedian having to give up on exploring an idea for a new joke because he’s trying to write relevant materials for a show with a predetermined theme when the reality is every concept and every joke/bit is important? Pretend you ARE a comedian. You work on one bit / joke / paragraph / sentence at a time. When you’re getting ready for a show or an HBO comedy special, you go back to your list of bits, select related ones and tie them neatly together around a subject / theme. Afterward, you can give those bits a title, which is usually based on what they have in common.
For blogging, I’m not saying you should completely abandon the idea of creating title before content. There are exceptions. List types of content like 50 Best WordPress Themes or 10 Biggest Celebrity Toes simply doesn’t need Content Before Title because they are very rigid content templates / formulas you can use to rinse and repeat.
Although rigid content templates or formulas require less brainstorming, they’re boring. That’s why you utilize flexible content templates, which require creativity, humor, and research for creation of more interesting articles and a more consistent publishing schedule. Without flexible content templates, you could publish a great post one day and nothing else for a month; that could cause your blog some subscribers. If you’re serious about blogging for money or if it’s important that your readers hear from you regularly and often then flexible content templates should be a part of your blog.
Flexible / Rigid Content Templates and One Hit Wonders
Without flexible content templates to create new content on a consistent basis, more than likely, you often publish one hit wonders, which are great articles unrelated and unlike any other article on your blog, and you’ve had much trouble with writer’s block because one hit wonders are difficult.
Flexible content templates are easy to develop and they don’t have to be boring like rigid templates 50 Best WordPress Themes and 10 Biggest Celebrity Toes. Instead of writing lists all the times, you could give your pink, two-headed snake a new nemesis. I know what you’re thinking. Your pink snake will never lose. I know and it doesn’t have to lose. However, every battle has to be funny, interesting, and different to keep your flexible content template from getting boring.
Articles based on flexible content templates should be the backbone of every profit-based blogs. However, it shouldn’t be the only go to technique. I know some bloggers like to start new blogs with several predetermined content templates or series of articles and then that would be it. Ideally, you should use all three techniques, flexible templates, rigid templates, and one hit wonders. And surprise, you should use them in that order. Flexible templates help you create content consistently, rigid templates push you through writer’s block, and one hit wonders (OHW) keep readers on their toes.
OHW, no doubt, is the cream of the crop in terms of content quality, but don’t feed the readers too much of it. You’d burn out or they start to expect and demand the same from you with every new article. One exception to this rule is when you’re trying to launch a new blog. In that case, prepare as much OHWs as you can and pump out those articles at a more frequent rate during the first phase of starting a new blog. I’m not telling you to publish them all at once or one right after another. Just publish more OHWs in the beginning and save some for later.
Well prepared OHWs or simply top quality articles are critical toward building momentum for the first phase of starting a new blog. And the amount of OHWs you can think of or have already written is a pretty good indicator of your interest in the topic, obsession with the topic, and your blog’s life expectancy.
How to Pick The Topic and Give Your Blog a Longer Life Expectancy
A new blog’s life expectancy (and level of success) depends on your level of interest with its main topic. If you’re obsessed about pink, two-headed snakes then your blog about it has a longer life expectancy than if you’re just curious. Even if you manage to keep on creating content using curiosity as a motivator, the level of your blog’s success is nowhere near where it should be. Obsessed people don’t need forced motivation.
When you ask an experienced profit-based blogger how you should go about finding out what to write about. You’d probably get this answer:
Well, you should start with bubble brainstorming. List all of your interests, connect them, and branch out. Use blog directories and sites like Technorati to find more niches you aren’t aware of. Once you’ve done that, narrow it down to a few topics that you’re most interested in. Next, research keywords for each niche to brainstorm topics you can write about. Also, research competitors within the same niche to see if the niche is already too saturated (too many people already writing about that topic). While you’re at it, research potential advertisers and stuff you could sell on your blog once it’s established. And if there’s not enough money making opportunities, you should probably move on to the next topic on your list.
All good points and complete BS of the old ways. When they tell you that, they don’t factor in obsession, creativity, humor and the increasing number of ways to make money from having an audience. You could even sell t-shirts of pink two-headed snakes battling Godzilla if your blog is popular enough.
I’m sure some people could do pretty well following those advices, but they won’t be as happy or as successful as they could be so don’t be one of them. Get obsessed and take the road less traveled.
How do you find out what you’re obsessed about? Well, people usually know right away. It’s the topic that you’d talk about for free. You’d talk me to death if you could. But what if you’ve been letting life pass you by with no real strong interest for anything? Well, then it depends on your number of OHWs. Select a few topics after brainstorming and start jotting down article ideas or ideas for OHWs for each topic. The number of ideas you have off the top of your head, not through research, is a strong indicator of what you should be blogging about.
Afterward, start writing, brainstorm, research, then write some more. Inject creativity and humor. Then, guess what? Write more. Use No Niche Is Too Small, Content Before Title, and the three content creation techniques (flexible templates, rigid templates, and one hit wonders). Forget about whether a niche is too saturated or maybe there’s not enough advertisers and products to sell. If you just follow what you love or most interested in, you’ll carve out an audience from that niche in no time. Or even better, with enough creativity and humor, you create a new niche on top of your interest, which you get to own and be the authority of. (No one else will be the first expert on pink two-headed snakes born on the eve of every blue moon in the jungle of Vietnam right?)
How to Do Blogger Outreach Right
Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.
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People reach out in desperation.
Or bloggers reach out trying to get something from influential bloggers.
I either block or ignore most blogger outreach emails because people want to use me for my blogging platform. Sure I am promised a rich link, a valuable post or some other enticement, but most bloggers using crappy outreach tactics:
- are unknown
- offer little value
- want to use me and my blog for their gain
- are not connected
- are not influential
- have no clout
- have not paid their dues
- have not helped people freely
- have not earned the right to appear on my blog
Observe Bubbie Gunter. Follow him. He does outreach right.
He reaches out to me by helping me. He is generous. He focuses on me. What does this prove? He wanted to befriend me because he was interested in me, NOT in what I could do for him. Naturally, I happily promoted him, we became friends and one neat benefit is we keep helping each other. Bubbie also purchased some of my stuff; bonus points, my Young Blogging Padawans, if you want to stand out in my mind.
I get emails from bloggers all the time who want to appear on my blog but who complain about spending money for sponsored posts. Other bloggers complain about spending money for a freaking 4 dollar eBook. Other bloggers complain about spending money on my 350 dollar blogger course. How in God’s name do you expect to impress me if you complain about what I offer? Thousands of people complain. I ignore these thousands of people. A handful of generous, kind bloggers like Bubbie promote me and buy my stuff. Can you see why he gets a link on Blogging Tips?
I trust him because he did blogger outreach right. He helped me. He did not reach out, to manipulate me to help him. He did not reach out cold. He did not reach out as a stranger. He reached out generously, warmly and genuinely. He did blogger outreach right.
Picture break; check out my current street in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Blogger Outreach Is Helping and Hugging Not Asking for Hand Outs
Most bloggers reach out to bloggers, asking for a hand out. Hey, can you help me out? Hey, I need a link on your blog. Hey, I need a link to my business but even though I love your blog SO much, your rate does not fit into my budget. Lame.
A few bloggers reach out to help me and hug me. Warm and generous, these wise bloggers retweet my post, buy an eBook and email me to connect deeper. Help and a hug. Meanwhile, all other bloggers find my spam folder or simply give up after I ignore their 3 follow up emails.
Strangers fade away. Friends thrive.
Strangers vanish. Friends prosper.
Self-serving, greedy or desperate bloggers fail. Generous, connected bloggers succeed.
Watch my recent live video from Thailand:
Alonzo Pichardo, Jan Verhoeff and Monna Ellithorpe watched my video and chatted with me. No agendas. Not trying to GET anything. Doing what friends do. I take care of my friends. I love giving my friends oodles of links on my blog and via my guest posts. I love helping them. Organic, pure, powerful blogger outreach in action. Help people, make friends, have fun, prosper.
The alternative; try blog on your own, as a stranger. Reach out cold. Get pissed off when you only deal with strangers pitching you, said strangers not respecting you because they do not know you.
You can be on the outside looking in. Or you can do blogger outreach right and be connected.
Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:
1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog
10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.
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Today I rely on no income streams.
I figured out; helping people for free and being detached about 5 to 10 to 15 income streams helped me make more money through my blog.
Making this journey from attachment to one stream, to detachment from many streams, felt incredibly uncomfortable. I felt terrified to gradually release different income streams on the journey too. I loved freelance writing. Made some nice coin through the income channel. But intuitively, I knew I had to let it go to move toward eBooks, courses and a 100% passive income model because going passive helps me focus exclusively on creating content and earning money around the clock as I traveled the globe.
Heck yeah I enjoyed trading time for money many years ago because doing so felt comfortable and familiar. Heck yeah I feared trusting that my passive income would grow if I added many passive streams to my blogging portfolio and if I focused on creating content.
But here I am. Living in Thailand for months.
Eventually, to make more money through your blog, you need to add a passive or semi-passive income model and get incredibly busy helping people for free, because few folks on earth charge $50,000 or more per hour. I have no idea about Tony Robbin’s hourly coaching rates. But I know he ain’t charging only $1000 per hour. He is the most famous coach on earth. He coaches former presidents and the best athletes on earth. Outside of being the most famous or most skilled human on earth in your niche, you WILL hit an earnings ceiling trading time for money solely via an active income model.
But if you add 1, 2 then 10 passive income elements to your blog, earnings potential has no ceiling. Someone can buy my blogging course in the next hour. $350. 10 people can buy my eBooks, priced at about 4 smackers. Someone may advertise on my blog. Another blogger buys 3 of my audio books. All buys occur while I write this post or perhaps fall within a window where I write 3 posts for my blog.
Passive income can increase exponentially through as many channels as you open, at any time, from all over the globe.
Photo break; me by the roof top pool here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Owners do not trade time for money. Owners invest money and energy, and build a fortune passively. Why? Owners know passive income potential has no limits, with exponential growth over time. Every one of the top 1,000 wealthiest people on earth worked for FREE for many years to set up passive income that made them the wealthiest people on earth. Although some of these icons may make coin through sky high hourly consulting rates, the billions of their net worth flowed in passively, due to their free service, free help and generous value shared.
Leave the employee mindset of trading time for money behind.
Embrace the owner mindset of opening 1, 2 or 15 passive income streams. Give 99% of your time and energy to creating helpful content and building bonds with top bloggers like Kulwant Nagi. He teaches you how to make money blogging through passive income models and is a fabulous dude too. Follow him.
Feel free to keep an active income model open. Coaching, freelance writing or consulting can be lucrative streams, for sure. But every hour you spend trading time for money, I am creating free content that expands my reach and helps me earn money through 15 passive income streams.
I learned from the great Bob Proctor that multiple sources of passive income can help you live a life of freedom. Years ago, Bob had already opened and earned through 220 passive income streams. No; that is not a typo.
Are you trading time for money, solely?
You better open passive streams and get busy helping people for free.
Law Blogging Trends For 2019 – What’s In And What’s Out
One of the challenges of maintaining a blog for your law firm is that, while your legal specialty may not undergo significant change, you have to keep developing new content to stay relevant to your audience – and you need to stay on brand. This can be a tough balance to strike, but by keeping up with trends, you can create powerful content that drives readership and increases conversion. Here’s what to expect, and what you need to bring, to the law blogging community in 2019.
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In: An Emphasis On Authority
One of the reasons that developing a clear niche has always been important to the law blogging community is that it helps you demonstrate your expertise in that area. In 2019, though, it won’t be enough to demonstrate that authority to your readers; you also need to build authority from a technical perspective – think “domain authority.” Domain authority (DA) is an SEO metric, and it’s at the heart of whether your site attracts traffic.
To boost your DA ranking, you’ll need to ensure your blog is well-equipped from a technical SEO perspective, which means that it has clear navigation, a sitemap, and is easily crawlable by search engines, as well as that it has linkable content. Linkable content will attract the attention of other websites and help you build backlinks, as well as providing readers with added value through quality content. That might mean writing ‘Top 10’ lists or using other popular formats, injecting humor into your writing, or creating your own resource guides. The goal is to keep your audience engaged and participate in an ongoing conversation, not just to churn out content.
Out: Vague Branding
There are a lot of law blogs on the web, and the majority are associated with a specific firm or topic, which gives them clear boundaries and an obvious audience and purpose. One blog that closed shop at the end of 2018, though, “Concurring Opinions,” was widely read despite its lack of affiliation, at least until recently. According to one of the core members, Gerard Magliocca, the blog saw a serious drop off in readership as venues for sharing ideas evolved. In Magliocca’s view, the law professor blog format “only really works if there is a kind of brand identity.” That means this is a critical moment to clarify your brand’s position.
From your logo to your blog niche, it’s vital that your blog serves a clear purpose. Readers should be able to recognize who you are, what your focus is, and even your writing style after going through a few posts. As an added benefit, the more firmly you establish your brand, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to drive traffic from a wide variety of sources. Brand recognition is key to increasing referral traffic and creating conversations across the internet.
In: Increased Creativity
In order to keep the content flowing, legal blogs, especially those that have been around for a while, need to shift away from older content strategies and start thinking outside the box. That means reading blogs outside the field to get inspired and using the skills that make you a great lawyer in the first place. After all, being a lawyer demands complex, abstract thought and the ability to solve problems in new, creative ways. It’s how you argue cases, and it will make your blogs more interesting and fun to read.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s time to start posting memes on your legal blog; they might be a bridge too far. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to engage with popular culture, sharing commentary and analysis. Those topics can bring in readership that wouldn’t otherwise engage with a law blog, with potentially fruitful results. This is also a good way to remain focused on your blog’s topic without becoming repetitive or dull.
Out: The (Too) Long Form
One of the most common trends across all industries is that more people are accessing websites, including blogs, on mobile devices, and that means they’re reading on smaller screens. Writers need to be conscious of this fact and make sure that their posts are accessible in this way. That means covering all of your bases in terms of what Google looks for as part of the mobile-first indexing process, but also trimming your posts.
The fact is, no one wants to read 1500 words on their phone, and if readers aren’t making it to the end of your post and your call to action, you’re not getting the most out of your blog. You need to hit a happy medium in terms of providing sufficient information while also keeping your content brief. Google also prioritizes brevity over length, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.
Your law firm’s blog is an important tool for building your business, but it’s important to keep up with changing trends. Luckily, with these tips under your belt, your blog posts will draw a growing audience, driving leads and growing your client base. One feeds the other in a powerful relationship.
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