The blogosphere is a crowded place.
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Countless new blogs pop up every day in thousands of new niches and each one of them battles for more eyeballs on their content.
So if you’re a newbie, it’s pretty hard to grab the attention of your target audience and get your content noticed.
Unless, of course, you choose the smart route of building a solid brand image.
Bloggers with a strong perceived value don’t have to fight for readers. People willingly read their content and closely follow their advice.
And no, you don’t need to spend 3-5 years to build a strong brand image.
Here are 3 ways to do it even if you’re just starting out.
1. Build Your Own Facebook Group and Host Live Facebook AMA Sessions
Do you have a dedicated Facebook group for your blog readers? If no, you’re missing out on a huge branding opportunity.
According to the recent community stats released by Facebook, more than a billion people use Facebook groups every month.
Ever since Facebook changed its algorithms and limited the organic reach of Facebook Pages, smart entrepreneurs gradually started focusing more on growing their Facebook Groups.
When you own a Facebook Group, you can use it to build your image as a niche expert. Your messages are visible to all group members, so you have a much better chance (as compared to a Facebook Page) to generate traffic to your content.
But above all, you can use Groups to build a community of loyal readers and followers. If you continuously provide them value and help them solve their problems, they will become your biggest brand advocates and word of mouth marketers.
However, managing a Facebook does require time and effort. To ensure that only quality content and conversations are posted in your group, you’ll need to moderate it closely. You also need to use social media management tools to schedule your posts and curate the best content for the group.
If you want learn more about using and growing Facebook Groups, Neil Patel has a very detailed guide that’ll provide you step by step guidelines for getting started.
2. Create Content that Solves the Problems of Your Audience
The best way to convert your blog readers into life-long fans is by helping them solve their problems. Instead of focusing on traffic and search rankings all the time, think about your readers and their problems. Create content that takes your readers from “no idea” to “oh yeah!”.
In a recent Huffington Post article, George Otte, a seasoned entrepreneur shared his secret to business success – find problems that people care about and offer them comprehensive solutions that exceed their expectations.
The same applies to brand building with blogging.
If your blog content solves problems and offers solutions, people will start considering you an expert and willingly buy from you.
This is particularly important if you’re running a business blog or promoting affiliate products. Don’t create content that is just focused on your product. Instead, create content about the solutions that your product offers.
The snapshot below is a great example.
Source: Vive Health
This company sells medical instruments, equipment, and supplies. But instead of writing about their products, they’re creating solution oriented content about the problems of their target audience.
Here’s another good example of a coupon site that is creating content about different ways to save money – solution to a problem most of its visitors face.
If you don’t have enough traffic on your blog right now, you can apply the same strategy on forums and discussion websites like Quora, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, Twitter etc.
All you need to do is search for relevant discussions or questions related to your industry that people are asking on the web. Reach out and answer their question on public forums.
You’ll be surprised to see how quickly this establishes you as an expert.
3. Feature on Authority Blogs and Interview Influential Bloggers
Want people to immediately start trusting you? Want strangers to think you’re an influencer?
Start writing for other authority blogs in your niche.
When you do that you effectively borrow their credibility and become trustworthy yourself.
If someone sees your name on blogs like The Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, Copy Blogger etc. they’d assume that you’re an expert in your industry because these are high-quality blogs that do not feature cheap writers.
Once you’re published on some of the top blogs in your niche, display their names on your blog and actively market yourself.
Most influential bloggers have followed this route.
However, landing guest blogging opportunities on the top blogs isn’t easy.
Which is why you can follow a slightly different approach if your guest post pitches not getting responses from blog editors.
Start commenting on authority blogs. But make sure your comment adds value to the discussion. In fact, make it so valuable that it appears like a mini blog post.
Jon Morrow followed this approach to land guest blogging opportunities for Copy Blogger and several other authority blogs.
It requires some effort, but it certainly works.
You can also use an alternate approach to guest blogging.
Instead of trying to feature on influential blogs, identify 40-50 influencers and high authority bloggers in your niche, ask them one very specific question (for example, your 3 favorite email marketing tools or your favorite blogging quotes etc.) and then compile one gigantic roundup post.
This serves two purposes.
- It helps you connect with influencers in your niche because of which people start trusting you (the same effect as guest blogging)
- Most influencers featured in your round up post are likely to share it with their followers on social networks, which means extra traffic to your blog.
However, don’t expect every expert to respond to your question. In fact, if you’re a newbie, you might get 15-20 responses if you reach out to 60-70 experts.
The best approach is to target the bloggers who’re slightly ahead of you and have recently established themselves.
If you’re running a review blog you can also do a review round-up post in which you share your opinion about the best and worst products in your niche (like this post)
But make sure your opinions are based on facts and backed by solid data evidence.
If you want people to take your content seriously and buy the products that you offer, you need to build a solid brand image first. The tips I’ve shared in this post will help you strengthen your brand image and take you ahead of your competitors very quickly.
Do you take branding seriously? If yes, what method have you applied to your blog?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?
Drive traffic to other blogs.
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Give what you want.
Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.
I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.
I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.
I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.
The more you give, the more you get.
The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.
I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.
My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:
- link to me on their blogs
- retweet my posts
- share my posts on Facebook
- share my posts on LinkedIn
- send my blog posts to their email list
That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.
Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.
How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs
I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.
I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.
Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.
You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends
Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.
But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.
As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:
- when you sleep
- when you travel
- when you spend time offline with family and friends
Sounds sweet, right?
Drive traffic to your blog easily.
What Are 2 Powerful Qualities of Top Bloggers?
John Chow and Bigfoot.
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No correlation exists save this post. Although John is super tall. I met him in person during Affiliate Summit East.
Both JC and Bigfoot taught me 2 incredibly powerful qualities of top bloggers.
John taught me how to think abundantly.
Bigfoot taught me to be open-minded and to think for myself.
A while back I recall reading a post on John’s blog.
He explained how being an Amazon Associate creates a steady passive income stream.
For an example, he showed how linking to a product your audience finds useful – in the proper context – leads to blogging profits. At the time, I admired his strategy but could not get why you’d link to an affiliate product for a measly $2 commission. But of course, John thinks like, feels like and is a multi millionaire so he thinks of acquiring increasing wealth versus thinking of how little he makes on certain commissions.
$2 adds to the John Chow millions. Plus, even if JC began blogging yesterday, at zero, he thought like a millionaire well before becoming a millionaire, so he would have made his first $2 on his way to millions.
These days, I think, feel and act abundantly. I celebrate every penny I make online because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Top bloggers think abundantly. If you think, feel and act abundantly, at year’s end, the $2 commission per sale yields $500,to $1000, to $5000 per a single income stream because the more you celebrate money and feel rich, the more money you make.
Top bloggers think: money. Open 5, 10, 15 or more income streams. Seize every opportunity to prosper. $2, there, and 100 sales later, you made $200. Top bloggers think abundance – versus lack – and make money.
Be Open Minded and Think for Yourself
As you know, I love studying the creature Bigfoot.
Most humans are closed-minded and follow the herd, being lazy thinkers, and simply agreed with the herd; naturally, these folks believe Bigfoot is a myth.
A handful of YouTube videos of Bigfoot scientifically breakdown:
- the size of these creatures: 7-10 foot tall, up to 5 feet wide, and 500-900 pounds
- the physiology of these creatures; compliant gate, 90% knee flexion, absence of neck, hulking trap muscles, heavy brow ridge
- the sounds these creatures make; clearly not within our current animal kingdom
If you are open-minded and think for yourself, you clearly see a huge, primate-type creature with some human-like qualities appears in these videos. Truth reveals itself to clear, deeper thinks.
But if you are closed-minded and agree with the herd, you become blind to the truth and see a guy in a suit, or hoax, in these handful of legit Sasquatch videos.
Like the small group of humans who know Sasquatch exist, top bloggers are both open-minded and do their own thinking. Successful bloggers open up to new strategies and new income streams. Plus these top folks never agree with the herd just because most people think a certain way; these pros think critically, for themselves.
I think incredibly deeply about blogging, and mindset, and see parallels no blogger on earth sees, save me. Why? I am open-minded and do my own thinking, for myself, never being swayed by the general public and its poisonous, limiting skepticism.
You almost have to be insane *not* to believe in Bigfoot after scientific video breakdowns and tens of thousands of credible eye-witnesses prove these encounters are with large primates, not humans in suits. Even a 300 pound, pro bodybuilder would look like a 5 year old trying to fit in his dad’s suit if he tried to wear a suit with dimensions for a 9 foot tall, 800 pound being.
In the same breath, you really need to be out there, if you are so closed-minded and agreeing with the poor masses, that you are blind to the truth of abundance around you, as a blogger.
Open your mind.
Think for yourself.
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