Is there anything easier than starting your own blog?
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You can have your site up and running within minutes which is why hundreds of thousands of new blogs are created every day.
But how many of them stay in business 6 months or a year down the road?
As soon as the early excitement of starting a new blog fades away, most newbies find it difficult to come to grips with the demands of blogging.
Despite publishing new content regularly, they fail to build an audience and generate organic traffic.
As a result, they lose motivation and their blog dies a slow and painful death.
Successful bloggers, however, do it differently.
They have a plan from the start and understand what it takes to establish a thriving blog.
Do you want to know the secret to their success?
Let me give you some hints.
1. They Build an Email List from Day 1
“I’ll start building my email list from tomorrow”
For most newbies, this particular tomorrow never comes.
Successful bloggers understand that building an email list is the most important part of establishing a blog.
Which is why they prepare for it before publishing even a single post.
Leading marketers like Pat Flynn, Darren Rowse, Glen Allsopp and even Zac himself are huge advocates of email list building.
According to research, email marketing has a long-term ROI of 3800%, gives your message 5x more visibility than Facebook and drives 3x more social shares.
So how exactly do the super successful bloggers build their email lists?
By adding a “Subscribe to My Newsletter” opt-in box in their blog’s sidebar?
They create irresistible and laser-focused lead magnets that turn first-time visitors into loyal subscribers.
For example, just look at the lead magnet Zac uses
Zac knows his audience and has created a free giveaway that’ll lure any newbie to his email list.
Your lead magnet should address a very specific problem of your audience and should have a high perceived value.
For starters, I’d recommend using a well-designed 10-15 page eBook as a lead magnet on your blog. You can find lots of eBook ideas in this post.
Placing a lead magnet on your site from day 1 gives you a great chance of converting any traffic generated to your site into email subscribers.
2. They Understand the Needs of Their Audience
Newbies get flashes of inspiration and creativity by seeing the success stories of other bloggers.
But pro bloggers don’t jump into any niche without first understanding their audience.
In fact, research is perhaps the biggest difference between successful bloggers and mere hobbyists.
So how exactly do you research your audience?
Let me quickly share a few tips
- Use Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users. It is one of the best places to research and understand the needs of your audience.
To do that, go to Facebook Audience Insights inside Ads Manager.
In Audience Insights, search for the key interests of your target audience. For example, if your blog is about SEO and content marketing, you can search that in the interests tab
As soon as you search for your interest, Facebook will show you tons of data about its users who’re interested in SEO.
For example, in the snapshot above you can see the tabs marked as “Demographics”, “Location, “Page Likes” etc.
Each of these tabs has loads of information you can use to understand your audience.
Let’s take a look at the “Page Likes” tab
It shows you the other Facebook pages your target audience likes.
You can go to these pages and see the content that they’re publishing.
This will give you a great idea of what your audience wants.
- Google Trends
Google Trends shows you the level of interest in a topic over a certain period of time-based on the searches on Google Search.
For example, here’s the interest level in social media marketing
If you scroll down, you can also see the related search queries that people interested in this topic are using
You can sort them by “Rising” to see the recent trends.
It also gives you other related topics that you can use to expand your research.
- Keyword Research
Successful bloggers never start a blog without extensive keyword research. But since it’s a detailed topic itself, I won’t be able to cover it in this post.
I do, however, strongly recommend reading this keyword research guide by Brian Dean. In my opinion, it’s the most comprehensive keyword research resource on the web.
3. They Create Actionable and In-depth Content
The days of thin, poorly researched 500-word articles are long gone.
If you want to engage your audience and rank in the top 10 Google search results, you need to create authentic, high quality and in-depth content.
According to research, the average word count of the top 10 Google search results is 2000+ words
But apart from SEO, longer and more in-depth content also delivers more value to the readers.
Successful bloggers know that which is why they invest in high-quality content and try to make it as actionable as possible. In simple words, their content helps people take action and move forward in their businesses.
4. They Diversify Their Traffic Sources
“Never keep all your eggs in one basket”
You must’ve heard this famous saying by Warren Buffet, an American billionaire businessman.
The same principle applies to your blog traffic as well.
Newbies depend completely on search engines and SEO to generate traffic. Which is why the moment their rankings go down, their blog dies.
Successful bloggers also generate traffic from Google, but they focus on building online assets to diversify their traffic sources.
Here are a few ways to do it
- Build your email list, we’ve already discussed that.
- Guest post on other high engagement blogs in your niche. Ryan has written extensively about this topic.
- Create and grow your own dedicated Facebook Group. I personally know bloggers who generate more traffic from their Facebook Groups than Google Search. Neil Patel has a detailed guide on this topic
- Build your presence on Quora, Inbound.org, Triberr and other industry-specific forums.
- Grow your audience on social networks like Pinterest, Twitter, Reddit etc.
Diversifying your traffic sources minimizes your risk and reduces your dependency on Google.
6. They Aggressively Promote Their Content
Last but not the least, successful bloggers don’t forget their content after publishing it. Instead, they go out and spread the word.
That’s the only way to consistently drive traffic to your blog.
Don’t stop after sharing your post once on social media. Develop a sharing routine and automate the process using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Here’s a good example of how to do it.
The most successful marketers like JeffBullas, Neil Patel etc. keep sharing their content for months and even years.
This keeps sending them new visitors to their archive content and keeps their blog alive.
Blogging isn’t rocket science, but it’s not a walk in the park either. You need to have a clear plan and the willingness to execute it day in and day out. Ask any successful blogger and they’ll tell you how hard they’ve worked to grow their blogs to a level where they can sit back and relax. Hopefully, the tips I’ve shared in this post will help you move in that direction.
1 Mental Block that Plagued Every Blogger Who Ever Blogged
Unless you are the Dalai Lama, you, at one time or another, became highly attached to a single blog post. I do not care who you are. 8 figure bloggers allowed their fears to attach them to a blog post. 8 cent bloggers allowed fear to attach them to blog posts.
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Now, the happiest, most successful bloggers face, hug and release this fear, for sure. But every blogger allowed fear to goad them to TRY LIKE HELL to drive traffic or profits to a single blog post. Or, being human and foolish, we allow fear-attachment to goad us into thinking that publishing a guest post on a blog with a million member community instantly leads to millions of dollars in blogging profits.
I recall being featured on Virgin Dot Com. Floored and humbled, for sure, but I was kinda detached about the feature, being more grounded in love and gratitude, and less fear-attached to any single platform, post or opportunity.
Happy, successful bloggers own this fear-attachment, let it go and adopt an abundance mentality. While most bloggers publish a single post and try to SQUEEZE as much out of it as possible, due to fear and attachment, I developed an abundance mentality and published 700 posts on Blogging Tips Dot Com. Heck; I have published 70 guest posts on the blog of Enstine Muki. For most bloggers, publishing 70 guest posts in total is quite a feat. I published 770 guest posts….between 2 blogs alone.
How am I so prolific?
I have largely conquered the fear of trying to GET as much traffic and profits as possible through any single blog post. I blog from an energy of love, fun and abundance, mainly, not fear, tension and scarcity. Few bloggers have mastered this mindset; only the happiest, most detached bloggers become so prolific, it makes our heads spin.
You Are Human
Of course you become a little attached to any one blog post. This is not a problem. But you need to be honest; the attachment is fear, and as the attachment and fear grow, you move from abundance and worldly success, to scarcity and blogging struggle.
A Good Mindset for Abundance Mentality
Alonzo Pichardo wisely advises to publish content, and let it do what it does. I agree. I never check metrics. Genuinely; if blogging is energy and if I am having fun, I reached my goal. Increasing success is imminent. I trust my feelings, not inanimate numbers on a screen. This is the abundance mentality in action.
Why this Mindset Prospers
I appear to be in a million places at once because I never attachment to any one post or video. Per Alonzo, I let the content do what it does. Not being shackled by stats, I keep creating, expand my presence, appear to be all over, and see greater success. Meanwhile, most fear-scarcity bloggers write a single post and waste their time and energy:
- trying to GET as much as possible through it, promoting it in thousands of places over the next 30 days
- obsessively checking post metrics every few minutes, or, every hour, after publishing the post
- panicking and bailing on proven strategies when a single post does not meet their expectations
All while this crowd makes all these mistakes, I am publishing hundreds of pieces of content over the same month, and also, meeting tons of new bloggers through genuine blog commenting, enjoying the ride.
Publish a post, promote it in a few spots, then move on to the next post, video or blog comment.
Develop an abundance mindset.
See increased blogging success and enjoy the ride.
5 Lessons Learned from Publishing 700 Posts on Blogging Tips
We have hit 700 posts on Blogging Tips together, guys.
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Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing these posts.
I took a few mini vacations from writing but published 1 guest post daily on this rocking site for many months on end. Helping you has been fun, freeing and fulfilling. Here is to the next 700 blog posts.
I learned a few clear blogging lessons during this guest posting run. Rather than call myself “The Cal Ripken of Guest Posting” – feel free to use that – I reckon we’ll dive into the success tips.
1: Avoid Setting Goals
I never could have written 700 posts if I TRIED to write 700 posts. Sounds quite impossible. But holding an intent to help people blog goaded me to show up daily, for writing and publishing. Blogging is simple but highly uncomfortable sometimes. Focus on the process, not goals or outcomes, to have fun helping people, to detach from outcomes and to become highly prolific.
2: Follow Your Fun
I have fun blogging about blogging. I make room for fun daily. 700 posts later, I am just getting started.
Follow your fun. Make work, the reward. All else will feel like extra, meaning post frequency and traffic and profits feel like no big deal if you blog mainly to have fun helping people. Fun-loving bloggers keep on creating and connecting their way to greatness. Everybody else struggles, getting bogged down, struggling and quitting because they do not enjoy the ride.
3: Spot Reader Problems
Writing and publishing 700 posts on a single blog – I published 1,400 plus posts on Blogging From Paradise in addition to hundreds of guest posts on other blogs – requires you to be skilled at spotting reader problems. Blog post = problem solved. Expand your awareness. Instead of running around rough shod all day long, devote time and energy to identifying common problems suffered by your readers. Nailing down problems supplies you with an endless flow of blog post ideas, helping you become prolific.
Moss Clement does a sensational job in this regard, which makes him incredibly prolific.
4: Brand Yourself Clearly
Zac Johnson recently noted how much he loved my travel photos. Folks have been enjoying my eBooks and paperbacks, sales increasing no doubt because I brand my paperbacks and eBooks freely through images I use on Blogging Tips
Never ignore opportunities to brand yourself and your blog clearly.
Many years ago I rarely if ever worked my travel photos into my guest posts on this blog. These days, every featured image consists of travel photos of me, or, travel photos of my paperback, sitting in some exotic location like here in Ortahisar, Turkey.
Be you. Brand you. Brand yourself clearly to boost sales and to increase your blogging success.
5: Nudge Out of Your Comfort Zone
I do feel pretty good but tired now. At 1:45 PM Turkey time. I have worked for about 3 hours, have walked the dogs for 2 hours and feel ready for a nap, after the rare late night out, being up until 2:30 AM last night. But I nudge out of my comfort zone to write and publish this guest post. Do you believe I felt comfortable writing and publishing 700 guest posts on one blog alone over the prior 3 years? Of course not.
Success unfolds exponentially outside of your comfort zone.
All traffic, profits, comments, social shares and heck, any success, expands quickly as you nudge out of your comfort zone daily. Many days, I feared I’d not have enough time to write and publish a post on Blogging Tips. 1 short week ago I spent nearly 20 hours offline, as I traveled from Oman to Turkey during my birthday. I still managed to write a Blogging Tips post on waking the following day; all about doing fun, freeing but sometimes uncomfortable things to accelerate your blogging success.
Adopt this mindset: 1 day at a time, and 1 moment at a time. Seemingly jaw-dropping feats unfold 1 moment at a time.
3 Gateway Activities Leading to Increased Blogging Income
Most bloggers crave a blogging income boost.
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Some bloggers have yet to make a penny. Other bloggers want to take it up a few levels from their current full time income.
Foolishly, most bloggers focus their attention and energy on an income stream itself to increase blogging income. Can an advertisement make money? No. Ads are inanimate objects. Ads cannot do anything. Skilled bloggers who publish helpful content and build strong bonds make money through ads, but the ads themselves, are completely worthless.
Stop focusing on trying to make money via a specific income stream itself. People obsess over Google Adsense, affiliate marketing and other ways to make money, for increased blogging income, never realizing that the blogger makes the money, not the income stream. Stop obsessing over income and focus on simple, generous activities that lead the way to increased blogging profits. Think of a bridge, linking you to greater blogging profits. You cross the bridge through your commitment to these activities.
Specific gateway activities lead to blogging income. If you want to make more money through blogging, focus on these 3 strategies.
1: Comment Genuinely on Blogs
I commented genuinely on Blogging Tips for weeks. Zac invited me to guest post on this blog. I published nearly 700 guest posts here, boosting my blogging profits through this rocking guest posting gig. Blog commenting served as the gateway activity that bridged me to my increased blogging income. I did not get paid to comment, but genuine comments opened the door for guest posting, and guest posting increased my blogging profits.
Publish genuine, personalized comments on top blogs from your niche. Make friends. Observe how opportunities for prospering multiply around you, through both blog commenting and the bonds you build via this gateway activity.
2: Promote other Bloggers on Your Blog
Guys; this is such an easy gateway activity for boosting your blogging profits. Promote other bloggers on your blog. Look for nothing in return. Be generous. Be genuine. Be helpful.
Photo break; here I am enjoying lunch the other day in Turkey.
How it works: promote other bloggers on your blog via a link and mention. Over time, and through persistent promotion, some of these bloggers befriend you. Blogging buddies:
- promote you
- endorse you
- purchase your products
- hire you
all leading to increased blogging profits.
This is by far the easiest gateway activity for profiting IF you generously, patiently, persistently and genuinely promote other bloggers on your blog, expecting nothing in return.
If you are a travel blogger, promote The Roaming Renegades today. This duo publishes helpful content and engages freely via social media.
3: Practice Writing
Weird, right? Writing is the #1 skill for increasing your blogging income, yet few bloggers practice writing offline, only writing when publishing posts. Bad idea. Advertisers, prospective customers and potential clients need to see that you write skillfully before paying for advertising or investing in your products and services.
Write persistently offline to shine online. Write 500 to 1000 words daily in a Word document. Practice your writing to engage in a critical gateway activity guaranteed to increase your blogging income. Plus, you will stand out from the masses of bloggers who never practice writing offline.
Blogging is simple but sometimes, uncomfortable. See the journey through by focusing on these core activities. Income does not increase by trying to boost your blogging income through channels, forcing cash out of these streams. Blogging income increases for generous, skilled, committed bloggers who give much of their attention and energy to these core, gateway activities.
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