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3 Critical Shortcomings Every Blogger Needs to Avoid

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More than 2 million blogs are published each day.

How many are read in their entirety?

Whatever number comes in mind, I am willing to bet the actual number is far far less. Readers are not apathetic. In fact, the most active demographic of readers are millennials who actively search for blogs on several topics.

It’s the quality of the content that puts them off.

Content quality is an umbrella term. It encompasses a number of elements – all critical to the readability aspect of a blog post. One element that I’ll discuss today in this article, and that I have had in my “to-do” list to increase blog traffic is identifying the shortcomings preventing your blog from growing.

There are three shortcomings that I have so far identified. These shortcomings are:

Long-form without action statements

Drafting long-form content is the rule of thumb. It’s a trend that almost every blogger follows. This trend was reflected in Orbit Media’s study that revealed the recommended content length has been increasing with time.

Take a look at the infographic below:

Between 2014 and 2015, content length increased 109%. Between 2015 and 2016 the increase was 118%. The increase in percentage over the years was 108%. The rate of percentage increase being the same, content length needed to increase 127% in 2017. Since 2016’s optimal content length was 1054, that of 2017 was projected to be 1338.

This was in line with Medium’s research in this area. The research led to the observation that readers prefer reading 1400+ words long blog posts.

Now, most bloggers religiously follow the “long-form content” rule. How is that working out for them? Well, not in the way they expect. Most are struggling to build a stable visitor-base. The reason they are failing to make a dent in the blogosphere despite writing long-form content everyday is their content – albeit long in size – has only a handful of action statements.

Content that’s reasonably long but with action statements few and far between, is destined to fail to engage readers. In the absence of action statements, long-form content appears plain boring to readers. More than 40% admit they skim blog posts because the posts are overly long and devoid of actionable tips.

In the past, bloggers were advised to write posts around the 3 “Ws”. The 3 “Ws” were “what”, “why” and “what now.” But now, this technique is deemed archaic. Bloggers who are still following this outdated technique are finding it hard to get their posts read multiple times, by multiple readers.

So, what’s the new trend then?

The new trend is writing around action statements.

This new trend is intrinsic to the millennial lifestyle. Millennials want to quickly get down to business. Action statements, at the end of each paragraph, inform them how the insights shared in that paragraph can benefit them and what tasks they must undertake to avail those benefits.

If you are a blogger reading this, make sure the posts going live on your website have plenty of action statements, which are easy for your readers to grasp, and even easier for them to implement in real life.

Each paragraph must have narratives leading to action statements. The very first line must give the impression that the blogger is attempting to get to the heart of the discourse i.e. deriving actionable takeaways. That will hook readers to the blog.

Demographic targeting

The reason I prefer niche blogging is it gives you access to a pool of loyal visitors. Blogs covering miscellaneous areas attract sporadic traffic, which is why, growing them is a gruelling task. This was one of my early realizations when I first entered into the blogging foray. Over the time, I realized several subcultures exist within a niche area.

It’s wrong to think niche audiences are homogeneous. I first figured it out when I was into auto blogging. I was rating energy efficient cars and gave favorable reviews to 2014 Toyota Prius because of its unbeatable fuel economy owing to an electric motor alongside the combustion engine. The car made way to my “2014’s Top Picks” list.

Shortly after I reviewed the car on my blog, one fellow from India wrote that soaring gasoline price in his country compelled him to repeatedly switch to electric mode. Nickel-metal hydride batteries were super costly in that country. Also, quality-wise, those batteries don’t stand anywhere near to products from international brands.

Another example. One guy from Milwaukee wrote he likes to own a hybrid car. But he also wanted to purchase a bundled insurance package in which home and auto insurances are clubbed together. The problem for him was discounted insurance existed for hybrid cars, but very few insurance companies allowed home and auto bundle.

Both were niche readers. And both received the same information about hybrid cars. But they had different reasons for visiting my blog. And that’s because of demographic differences between them. Demographic factors like region, gender, age and financial status are key components of niche subtypes. Discovering the subtypes and writing around them allow you to dig deeper into audience’s needs and mine solid insights. Posts drafted this way get good response from readers. The comment section of the blog bears the proof of that.

So, if your blog belongs to a niche area, collect micro-level insights that give you a fair idea of the demographic characteristics of your readers. If you are doing it already, then by now you must have seen its benefits.

In case you are new to this, and wondering how to get hold of your audience’s demographic details, this brings us to our next point.

Harness big data

Big data analytics tools don’t have much of use outside enterprise environment. The tools are used to mine customer data and track history of transactions. Bloggers, on the other hand, round up news and offer tips and “how-to” advice. The two don’t seem to add up.

Most bloggers think along these lines and intentionally keep themselves from exploring big data. That’s a grave mistake. Readers want authentic information from credible sources. Big data insights come from industry-approved sources. When you acknowledge those sources on your blog, your blog’s credibility index goes up. And as human mind tends to associate things that are loosely connected, readers may subconsciously connect your blog to the source of the data, even though no direct connection exists.

Business blogs can reference big data to turn a moot point into a strong argument. They can tinker with big data in several other ways. We know big data aids in pattern detection. How about making pattern detection interactive as though you are doing it live? Even better if it’s a vlog, because then it would be accompanied by audio scripts and visuals. Scouting for a definitive pattern based on small clusters of raw data can be fun. If your writing style is persuasive, you can hold readers for long, they will bear with you and won’t get bored.

All the above are off-key benefits of leveraging big data. The most obvious benefit is understanding your audiences. Big data tools can arm you with relevant insights. From how long your readers stay active on social media to how often they activate ad blockers – big data can disentomb a list of audience details, allowing you to see through microscopic filters and scan your readers in a way you’ve never done before.

I have seen bloggers refusing to venture beyond Google Analytics, WordPress stat plugins and similar other cursory tools. That’s not big data. Big data tools are paid subscription-based. Begin searching for one today. And when you settle for one, register for premium membership.

Summing up

After overcoming the three shortcomings, my blog received three times more incoming traffic. The same thing may happen to you. Be patient and improve your blog’s look and feel. The tips are hand-picked, and they will bring you better traffic. Only it may take some time. So, don’t lose patience.

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William Johnson belongs to the most creative field of digital media: web design! Currently, he is obsessed with the latest trends in e-commerce development, search engine optimization techniques, and social media analytics. He has been a regular contributor to leading online portals such as SEMrush, SmallBusinessTrends etc.

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Blogging

Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?

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Some people love attention.

I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.

I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.

If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:

  • favors
  • gossip
  • small talk
  • chats
  • general BS

people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.

100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.

How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries

Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.

I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.

If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.

You Are Walking into a Word Office

Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.

What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?

I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.

I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.

I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.

People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.

Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.

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Blogging

Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?

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Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.

The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.

Birds of a feather flock together.

You have heard that one, right?

I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:

  • grow
  • thrive
  • face your fears
  • serve humanity
  • be a bright light for people to follow
  • live your deepest, wildest dreams

Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.

Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.

Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.

Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.

Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.

Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.

Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.

Who Do You Hang With?

Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.

For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.

Surround yourself only with bloggers who:

  • have posture
  • have authority
  • charge top dollar
  • profit freely
  • prosper freely
  • exude confidence
  • have a highly developed prosperity consciousness

You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.

But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.

Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.

Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.

Nothing personal.

Just your blogging success at stake.

 

 

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Blogging

Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?

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My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.

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

Alonzo Pichardo and I often chatted about being patient, persistent and present during the Online Success Chats Podcast.

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.

Sweet, right?

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.

Succeed.

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