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Building a Community Around Your Blog

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One of the best ways to expand your blog into a full blown community, is by starting your own forum where all of your blog visitors can meet up in one place and interact with each other. As much as we would like to think of blogs as a two way conversation, it’s really up to the blog owner to post new content for new discussions to start. With a forum, a community is built around your blog and it allows for others to not only talk on the same topics, but also become well respected moderators and users within the same niche.

As great of an idea it may sound to start your own active forum, there are a few things you will need to have first. Most importantly, an active web site that already have an established amount of readers. The next step is to find a community or forum platform that works with your web site. A lot of people shy away from starting their own forum because they don’t want to deal with the intensive installation process and costs involved with purchasing the right software.

I was recently contacted about the new Dolphin community software, which is an open-source, fully customizable and FREE software package for building and running your own community site. After looking through their web sites, videos and product breakdown, it looks quite amazing.

While I was focusing mainly on the concept of building a community and forum around your existing blog, the software has the functionality to actually become it’s own social network, dating site or even a niche community. To get a quick overview and feel for what Dolphin can do for you and building a web community, be sure to check out the video below.

In addition to creating the Dolphin community software, Boonex has also built up their own directory of templates that can be used with their Dolphin software. Boonex goes on to talk about their social networking templates and how they personally aren’t creating template designs directly, but instead leaving this to their partners and members of the site.

When asked about why the company doesn’t provide templates with their Dolphin package, Andrew Boon says:

We probably will never do it and this position is strengthening to the point that I would argue that anyone who provides community software with lots of templates is diluting quiality of their product and selling “packaging” that you don’t need.

While this may make some of their users unhappy, Boon is absolutely right. How many times have you bought a product that came with a bunch of crap you didn’t need, but ended up paying for anyway. This is exactly why excellent products and software like WordPress, can stay free. They aren’t “selling crap” and stuffing the bonuses into the cost of the product.

With over 3 million downloads so far, the release of Dolphin has been quite exciting for Boonex. Now let’s take a look at some of the templates for community sites that they have available. There are hundreds of templates listed on the site and they range any where from $5 up to around $79 for premium and high end templates.

If you’ve ever wanted to start your own social network but had no idea where to start, Dolphin also has a supply of social networking site templates to inspire and stir up some ideas for you. What’s really cool about the social networking templates, is that they each have a specific focus to help make your social network a better place. In the examples below you can see how some templates allow for locations/travel settings, while others can setup alerts or even job boards.

After looking through the Dolphin web site and software, it looks like it could be a great solution for someone that has time to learn how to use the system, and already has an established audience, but looking to expand even further with a forum or community social network.

If you’d like to learn more about setting up a community around your blog, or see how others are installing and using Dolphin, be sure to check out their web site and the many tutorial videos that can be found on YouTube.

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Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Pro Blogging Advice: How to Filter Opportunities

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pro blogging advice

I ensure that freedom is A1 in my life. Take this pro blogging advice to the bank. Literally.

Freedom helps you make more money, help more folks and feel good as your success expands. Freedom means making freeing choices all day long.

Freedom means filtering blogging opportunities according to:

  • giving energy only to opportunities promoting your freedom, success and dreams
  • giving no energy to all other opportunities flowing your way through email or Messenger or wherever

I spent a few minutes this morning making the bedroom in Thailand nice and cool. Freedom. Considering outside temps are toasty I figured having a cooler work space feels better, more freeing and helps me work from a chill – literally – relaxed, prospering energy. I had the time to do that because I only pick a select few opportunities flowing to me daily.

Pro Blogging Advice

Imagine Gordon Gekko’s line; I see 100 opportunities daily and choose 1.

I see quite a few and choose only successful opportunities that work for me and the other party.

Here I am during one of my Thailand trips.

This is how to filter opportunities to accelerate your blogging success. Give all of your attention and energy to:

  • success
  • opportunities vibing with your dreams
  • love
  • fun
  • harmony
  • peace

as you filter through:

  • pitches
  • asks
  • co-creating opportunities
  • interview requests

and you will become more successful while enjoying the ride and having tons of time offline to do what you love doing offline. Or to engineer your room in Thailand to make it cooler.

Pro bloggers save themselves hours daily and accelerate their success by only giving their energy to success and freedom expanding opportunities.

Every filter is a personal, intimate choice. If something feels fun to you, assess how you see the opportunity expanding your growth. Does it feel like it’s a way to expand your success and dreams? Seize the opportunity from a detached, chill, energy. You’ll see more success.

If the opportunity feels like it cannot expand your success then give it zero energy. Save yourself time, energy and the heavy, burdened feeling weighing down most bloggers who give more than a bit of their attention and energy to anything other than their success and dreams.

How to Filter Opportunities

Let’s say you just opened Messenger or your email inbox.

Scan the title of the first email. Within 1-2 seconds you instantly know if the opportunity moves you toward greater success and happiness and freedom. Respond with 1-2 lines if this is the case. Give no energy to any other opportunity.

If the Message or email feels like fear, give it no energy after 1-2 seconds of scanning. If it lacks clarity, give it a few seconds of scanning. If you vibe with the core message, respond. If not, release.

I tend to give most of my inbox no energy and a few opportunities minimal energy to save literally weeks of email time over years. You instantly know what to respond to and what to let go after a few seconds of scanning. We all do.

A Few Pointers

Keep these ideas in mind:

  • only pursue opportunities with positive, success-focused bloggers
  • only pursue opportunities that feel fun and freeing and success promoting
  • partner only with heart-centered bloggers
  • give your attention and energy to success-seeking newbies who literally put their money where their mouth is
  • think through how much time and energy interviews require before agreeing to do interviews with any blogger

For me, for an hour long interview, Tim Ferriss or Joe Rogan will do. Leveraging.

If not, that hour is best spent at the movies or going out to eat here in Thailand or writing an SEO-optimized post. Rest and relaxation and offline play is the foundation of all my pro blogging success. Getting a life makes you a successful blogger; you vibe abundantly by having a well-rounded, peaceful, abundant, interesting, fascinating, multi dimensional life, as all genuinely successful bloggers have.

I do not gobble up any opportunity. I clearly see if the opportunity aligns me with greater success and more successful folks because where your energy goes, grows.

This is a chief reason why I have circled the globe and lived a movie worthy life for 8 years. I give my attention and energy to success so success expands.

Success Seeking New Bloggers

Have blogging posture.

Sprint up the energetic ladder and see greater success by going to the top of your niche, networking solely with top bloggers in your niche.

Network with bloggers like Jeff Goins. Learn from him. Make an impression. Promote him. Move into higher blogging circles. Learning from the best and following their advice is a way to cut your learning curve by years.

It makes perfect sense to:

  • surround yourself only with highly successful folks
  • learn from only highly successful folks
  • align with only highly successful folks

If you seek health you seek out a highly skilled, successful doctor.

If you seek blogging health and success you seek out only highly skilled, successful bloggers.

Networking only with successful bloggers puts you on their radar, inspires you to practice writing, influences you to create and connect and you will see how your opportunity filter mirrors a pro’s filter; you learn from the best so do as the best do.

Only make room for blogging success.

Pursue success-expanding opportunities.

Network with successful bloggers.

Filter out all else.

Where your energy goes, grows.

Blogging Course

Mindset is everything in blogging. Buy my course to get the right blogging mindset.

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Blogging Mindset: 2 Tips for Increased Success

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Developing a winning blogging mindset precedes your success.

First you feel successful and count your successes, or blogging wins. Devoting your energy to success allows this success to appear in greater amounts on the worldly plane.

Blogging Mindset

Two specific blogging mindset tips accelerate your blogging success.

The first tip vibes nicely with my chill evening here in Thailand. I watched Showtime online for quite a bit. Netflix next. Earlier today I watched the Game of Thrones premier, being a huge fan of the show.

GAL

Get A Life.

Look at the featured image for this post. Me in Cyprus. Look at this image below. Me in Bali.

blogging mindset

Successful bloggers lived well-rounded lives. Successful bloggers spend hours away from blogging because freedom is the #1 blogging goal we all tend to aim for.

Earlier today I saw many of my blogging buddies excited for the Game of Thrones episode, as was I. I also observed some blogging buddies who had no interest in the show. Different strokes for different folks.

However; some bloggers pride themselves on doing nothing but blogging 12 hours daily, shunning TV shows, movies and all forms of entertainment. Most of these bloggers fail, being filled with tension, force, stress and basically having no life. Bloggers who manifest worldly success with such an approach make tons of money but miss out on life. You cannot be successful unless you enjoy a well-rounded ride because your spirit is not one dimensional.

I chose to succeed and to enjoy my Netflix, Game of Thrones, basketball, traveling and other hobbies. You can have it all but get a life to detach some from blogging, to enjoy the richness of a rounded human experience and to accelerate your success.

Develop the blogging mindset of someone who is calm, confident, knowing of their success and detached from results. Watch TV, exercise, do yoga, go to the movies and get excited about season premiers. Top bloggers play online and play offline to vibe high, to be creative and to reach the pinnacle of their niche, because their chill, peaceful, confident, successful energy says so.

GWL

Go. Where. Loved.

Go where people love you. Give your attention to love and success. Love and success expand. You accelerate your blogging success.

Example

I respond to each person who Likes or comments on one of my Facebook posts. Likes and commentors love me. Or show me love. I respond to people who show me love because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Give energy to love and love expands. Success expands as love expands. Simple.

I responded to all comments on my blog. Give energy to love and success expands. Quite easy.

Reach out to successful bloggers you vibe with. Read their posts. Comment genuinely. Go where folks would love you and observe how friendships blossom.

Successful bloggers think like successes. Successes go where they are loved and waste no time giving energy to anything but love. Keep going back to where dear friends fill your well. Prosper. Simple formula.

Take care of your tribe. Befriend your readers. Bond with your customers. Keep showing love to people who show your love. Since where your energy goes, grows, the love grows as does your success.

How Living Both Acronyms Develop Your Mindset

As for getting a life, I just spent a few hours blogging earlier this morning having fun online from a chill vibe. After the blogging play I spent 4 hours out with Kelli. We enjoyed lunch here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have a life. I go shopping and eat out and watch movies and spend a few hours daily on Netflix. I also exercise and do deep yin yoga. Everything factors into my success.

Living in Fiji for 4 months factored in to my blogging success too.

Doing these things – aka having a life outside of blogging – works for me in a few ways:

  • I emit an abundant, calm, confident successful vibe, resulting in greater worldly success
  • top bloggers who also vibe success and abundance – who live rich lives offline – align with me

Observe John Chow. He is super successful. Does he work 20 hours daily? Nope. He leverages online and spends a ton of time offline, going out to eat, buying sweet cars and homes and living an abundant, balanced, rich life. He exudes abundance. He aligns with other top bloggers. No wonder why he is incredibly successful.

Getting a life helps you feel rested, recharged, calm, confident and success conscious. Perfect energy for reaching the top of your blogging niche.

As for going where loved, this is simple success energy in action. People love you and your blog. Give 100% of your attention to people who love you. Love expands. Your tribe grows. Your tribe becomes more loyal. You see more success because you give your energy to people who see you as successful. Simple. Easy too, because giving love to people who show love requires little effort.

See your success. Now.

Feel good about all of your blogging wins. If you experienced it, it is a blogging win for it brought you to today.

Get a life. Be like a pro blogger. Spend time offline. Emit a calm, detached, confident vibe irresistible to success.

Go where you are loved. Engage followers and fans on your blog and via social media. Give all of your attention to people who love you. Things will grow quite swiftly for bloggers 100% focused on engaging fans because where your energy goes, grows.

I gotta go guys; I just bought a container of fresh mangosteen here in Thailand. You should see how brilliant the skin looks. Incredibly tasty super fruit too with oodles of health benefits.

Time to enjoy this refreshing and filling super fruit.

 

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5 Profitable Ways That Bloggers Can Diversify Their Income Streams

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5 Profitable Ways that Bloggers can Diversify their Income Streams

We all know that one of the many ways to make money online is to start a blog.

Not only does it provide you with an avenue to write about what you’re passionate about, but it also offers you countless opportunities for growth.

Also, blogging is a relatively cheap and easy way to build a business empire compared to other money-making schemes that require large capital and extensive technical know-how.

Now, if you’re a blogger working your way towards financial freedom, then you know very well how important it is to diversify your income stream. Sure, having a fairly successful blog may make you more popular, but your blog content on its own won’t be enough to pay the bills.

More importantly, and here’s a bitter pill to swallow for some, success takes time.

Lorraine from Wisetoast.com says it best: “A lot of people look for the ‘fast option’ instead of the ‘right option’ and end up making a loss. Always, look for ways to make money that are right for you. Do not just follow what everyone else is doing.”

So for those looking for a side hustle that will help you earn some extra cash, sit back and learn from the experts!

In this article, you’ll learn how to build your brand and create multiple income streams using your blog.

1. Sell branded merchandise

One way that you can increase your brand’s popularity and engage your followers is to release branded merchandise. Whether it’s shirts, caps, or limited edition prints, selling real tangible products allows you to earn a profit from every item that customers buy from your website.

Building your own eCommerce store on your blog is easy if you have the right tools. You can use sites like Shopify or use plugins to get your store up and running. Don’t forget to check out PayPal and 2Checkout to see which one would be a better payment gateway for your potential customers.

Right now, you’re probably thinking:

“Well, I don’t have the capital to fund for the development and marketing of the product. Are you kidding me?!”

First off, you don’t need a large capital to jumpstart selling products on your blog. You can start small and scale accordingly to gauge demand.

Also, you don’t have to worry about packaging, shipping, and transporting the products to your customers. You can sign up for a Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA account to help you manage this part of your business so you can focus on developing your product.

There are lots of people who found success with this approach. Here’s a feel-good story about a person who made over $1,000 in three weeks on Amazon. The post details the exact steps she took that you can replicate to earn that much money if not more!

2. Get into video marketing

Video marketing is all the rage in today’s marketing landscape so if you still don’t have a YouTube Channel, then you’re missing out on the action. Even though YouTube has changed its ad revenue policy, the platform can still be effective in getting your brand in front of a wider audience.

The best part about creating videos is that you can use it to promote your blog content on your social media platforms. As long as you create high-quality video content that adds value to your audience’s lives, you can turn your video marketing strategy into a money-making machine.

3. Develop your own online course

If you have a special skill that you can share with your audience, why not develop your very own online course?

Not only will it give you a chance to help people develop their own skills set, but it can also provide you with a steady income flow. For every student that signs up, you can either charge monthly tuition or an all-in fee that will give them access to your learning materials.

Known as one of the most successful bloggers, Darren Rowse of Problogger.com fame didn’t settle for just monetizing his blog posts. He developed online courses that teach people how to blog the way he did.

problogger courses

The best thing about his course is that everything is automated.

Once users sign up, they receive emails regularly informing them of the next task at hand.

Basically, his courses run on autopilot that he earns money from the membership fee and engages users without lifting a finger!

Before you can build your online course just like Darren did, you first need to decide on your expertise. Try to look for skills that you think your target market wants to improve on and see how you can help them become better at it.

Your learning materials should be engaging, as well as attractive so make sure that your website or learning platform can accommodate videos and images.

4. Get paid to promote other brands

Partnering up with advertisers for sponsored content can be a good way to fill your content calendar and make some extra cash at the same time. Nowadays; countless brands pay good money in exchange for publishing quality content promoting their products and/or services.

The great thing about producing sponsored content is that you have the freedom to choose the brands you want to work with. You can even choose the topics that you want to write about as long as it’s aligned with the brand sponsoring the content.

On the other hand, the problem with sponsored content is inconsistent inquiries from brands. One month, you’re getting lots of orders. The next month, you’re not.

At best, sponsored content is the perfect way to earn money on the side of your blog.

5. Release your own ebooks

If you already have a strong following, releasing your own series of ebooks may be a good way to make some extra cash.

All you have to do is choose a problem that your target market is dealing with and put together a quick guide to address that problem.

Not only will it establish your brand’s authority, but it will also help you attract a new audience to your brand. Some writers publish their books on Amazon as Kindle eBooks to tap into a new market.

Look no further than Ryan Biddulph of Blogging from Paradise.

You’ll always see him away traveling different parts of the globe with his wife.

You’d probably think he’s a big shot or something.

Well, here’s the truth:

That’s because he is!

And it’s all thanks to over hundreds of e-books sold via Amazon throughout the years!

ryan biddulph amazon page

He details his mindset on how he writes e-books at a very prolific rate in this podcast.

Wrapping it up

Even with so many options, the work doesn’t stop with finding the perfect side hustle.

That’s because there’s just so much to play around with your blog and find multiple ways to make money off it!

For instance, part of building your blogging empire is choosing the best blogging platform. If you end up picking the wrong one, you’ll have a hard time diversifying your income streams effectively.

That goes on top of the things mentioned above and then some!

But what’s important is finding ways to improve your blog.

You can’t settle for just earning from affiliate links or ad units.

There’s always something more out there – it’s up to you to look and try them out!

Thankfully, above are five of the most effective and profitable ways to earn a quick buck from your blog.

If you’ve tried any of the tactics featured in this post, comment below and please share your thoughts. I want to learn from you as well!

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