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Meet Ruben Gamez of Bidsketch.com and Docsketch.com

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Many entrepreneurs have dipped their toes into blogging but not many have gone far. A lot of factors may have played in failure. Perhaps the lack of courage, determination, persistence? There are also instances wherein a venture is progressing but suddenly plateaus in growth. This is often the result of complacency. Successful business owners can attest that facing challenges head-on have led them to great accomplishments and the total lack thereof can do more harm than good.

For Ruben Gamez, he didn’t even have to wait for the challenge to come. He got into blogging by getting out of his comfort zone and challenging himself. Today, he continues to excel as an entrepreneur by constantly finding ways on how to improve his tactic. Learn more about Ruben in this week’s episode of Meet the Bloggers.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Ruben Gamez

I started blogging as a marketing experiment and to prove to myself that I would be able to sell my first product. At the time I was working a full time job and had an idea for a software product, but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to bring in enough traffic to make the idea viable.

By this point I had read enough about marketing to realize that blogging was a great way to bring in qualified traffic. I quickly did some keyword research and found a topic that I could write on, and published a post (one week later).

The goal was to see if I could actually bring in traffic, and how long it would take for that traffic to start coming in. After two weeks I started getting traffic to that post (through Google)! I was hooked on content marketing at that point.

2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

Initially we started with a very narrow focus of writing about proposals for designers. That’s because at the time, our product was very niche and that was our target audience.

For example, one of the better performing posts we had at the time, was literally titled “How to Write a Web Design Proposal,” which still performs well for us. As you can imagine, there’s only so much of that type of content you can write for a specific niche.

I quickly realized that it was too narrow and eventually expanded to blogging about helping freelancers, agencies, and consultants land more clients.

We went in this direction after talking to enough customers and seeing what interests they had, and what type of content they liked.

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

We have an online software product called Docsketch. So the main way that we monetize our blog is by converting a portion of readers into customers.

It tends to be a longer process because instead of pushing visitors directly into a trial of our product, we work to get them into a drip campaign. From there we can better educate them and build trust. Eventually, some people give Docsketch a try and become customers.

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

Great question. I wish I knew enough to focus on the right type of content, and not pick topics by guessing what would appeal to our audience. Nowadays, we’re a lot better about picking our topics.

For example, one approach, is to start by focusing on a larger category and growing that through individual pieces of content. We’re actually doing that right now, with a “contract templates” section on our site: https://www.docsketch.com/contract-templates/

Based on researching what our target customer is looking for, we are expanding that page with individual pieces of content that can also bring in traffic (like a specific type of contract template). This helps in that you can slowly build authority in a very large category, and the individual contract templates will inherit that authority.

Another approach we take is using tools like Hotjar to run microsurveys so we can ask visitors that aren’t on our email list, what we should write about. We even do phone interviews with some of these visitors (and offer them an Amazon gift card for 15 minutes of their time).

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

Well, I’ll give two blogs because I’m having a tough time thinking of three.

My current favorites:

  1. The Sumo.com blog which focuses on growth stories (so good):
  2. The James Clear blog which focuses on personal improvement through fitness, psychology, and more.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

  1. Hotjar for microsurveys, visitor recordings, etc
  2. Sumo.com for email collection of all types
  3. Moz for traffic, keywords, and more

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

Look at the top five blogs that you love to read, and deconstruct them. Work backwards. Why do you like them so much?

Don’t look at the specifics of how they’re doing things (images, content length, etc.), instead look at how their positioning hooks you, or how their topic choice gets you coming back. Look at the high level things that make a big difference.

From there, spend some time brainstorming how you can use some of what you’ve learned on your own blog. Then, spend lots of time researching, writing, and promoting 🙂

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

I think the best advice I’ve heard (and that I still try to internalize) came from Derek Halpern. Spend 20% of your time writing, and 80% promoting. That doesn’t mean write for 30 minutes and promote a weak piece of content. That means, that whatever time it takes to write a very high quality piece of content, spend 4x that long promoting it.

One interesting side effect is that you start looking at whether the topics you’re writing about are worth that type of promotion time.

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

I’d use part of it on Sumo.com tool to help me collect leads, the rest on hosting. After that, it’s really just my time on research, writing, and promoting.

The most valuable things that need to be done on a blog don’t cost money. They do involve you investing some time doing them though.

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?

My personal twitter and our product.

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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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Blogging

How to Do Blogger Outreach Right

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Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.

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.

Your choice.

Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:

13 Tips to Make Your Blogger Outreach Campaign Sizzle

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Blogging

1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog

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10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.

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.

The Step

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.

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Blogging

Law Blogging Trends For 2019 – What’s In And What’s Out

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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.

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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