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.
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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?
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:
- The Sumo.com blog which focuses on growth stories (so good):
- 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?
- Hotjar for microsurveys, visitor recordings, etc
- Sumo.com for email collection of all types
- 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?
4 Passive Blog Promotion Methods Nobody Thinks of
Most bloggers brainstorm ways to promote blog posts after publishing blog posts.
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This is active blog promotion.
Nobody thinks of passive blog promotion methods.
Doing a smash up job before promoting posts actively leads to passive promotion.
If you get clear and create a smart post, organic promotion takes off.
Before I even touch a social sharing button on Blogging From Paradise, any one of my blog posts get 5, 10 or 20 retweets organically, based on the blog post quality and nothing else.
Do a good job pre-promotion to reap the benefits of passive, organic blog promotion.
Plus you need to leverage to become a highly successful, professional blogger who enjoys an offline life, too.
1: Cover Only One Blog Topic
Covering only one blog topic makes you an expert.
People promote experts freely.
Readers join big dawg blogger lists and follow big dawg blogger feeds. Said readers freely promote top bloggers based on their expert status alone.
Being an expert requires you to blog on one topic. Build your authority in one niche. Be a known commodity. Enjoy organic, passive promotion through your expert status.
2: Write Inspired Blog Posts
People freely promote inspired blog posts.
My blog posts tend to get shared freely and easily because I uplift, inspire and influence my readers to succeed via all posts.
Creating something inspired, energizing and valuable every time you publish a post.
Allow the post to gain passive, organic promotional momentum.
Many of my posts generate organic promotion through:
- other blog features and mentions
- other blogger’s promoting said posts to their email lists
- other blogger’s social media streams
Take your time.
Write and publish something memorable every time out.
Boost passive promotion momentum.
3: Make it Easy to Share Blog Posts
Make it easy to share blog posts.
Increase passive promotion.
This was from my trip to Turkey.
Observe my social share buttons. Readers finish reading and easily hit a retweet or Facebook Share button.
Post social share buttons in easy to see, easy to access spots. Make sure buttons feature themselves equally prominent on mobile devices.
Make it easy to share blog posts quickly to boost organic promotion.
4: Invest in a Clean Theme
Clean, clear, professional-looking blog themes encourage easier passive, organic blog post promotion because no distractions pull readers from promoting posts on such themes.
Observe my theme. Do you feel confused after reading a blog post? On laptop, Chromebook or mobile, my theme appears clear, clean, sleek and professional.
Clean themes focus readers on reading content, sharing content and buying premium offerings.
Invest money in a clear, professional-looking theme.
See increased blogging success along with increased passive blog post promotion.
Think Like a Success
Abe Lincoln said if he had 6 hours to cut down a tree he would spend 4 hours sharpening the axe.
Your blog post is like the axe. Spending more time and energy writing and publishing a fabulous post increases organic, passive promotion quickly. Toss in increased business profits to see why it pays to do an excellent job sticking to your niche, writing a valuable posts, making social share buttons easy to find and investing money in a clean theme.
The more you follow these 4 tips, the more your blog post promotes itself.
How Long Should a Weekly Blog Post Be?
All blog posts should span a length sufficient enough to fulfill the title promise.
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Give no thought to publishing frequency as you ponder blog post length.
If you publish the weekly post with the fear-energy of “This better be long enough or it will not be valuable because I am not publishing again until next week”, the fear-energy manifests as a crappy, bloated, heavy post.
Most bloggers write posts from an energy of fear, scarcity and lack. Many bloggers believe they are not good enough.
Said negative energies goad bloggers to:
- write bloated posts
- write boring posts
- write posts with filler
because these bloggers believe blog post quality quality depends on a specific word count more than anything else.
Blog post value depends on:
- fulfilling the title promise
- covering the title promise in clear, thorough, concise fashion
- adding enough knowledge to answer the core post question and nothing more
Never ponder blog post frequency before picking a blog post word length.
Thinking frequency creates scarcity-based, “not enough”, mental cross currents that add a poverty conscious, lack conscious, scarcity energy to your writing.
Guaranteed; if you feel like your post length will not be enough because you post weekly, you try too hard to overcome the “not enough” energy and make the post way too long, filling it with wordy sentences, bloated paragraphs and an overall boring experience.
The Ultimate Blogging Curse
Have you ever written a dazzling, 2000 word, in-depth, clear, crisp, concise post, and nobody shows up to read it?
You cling to the ultimate blogging curse; your predominant fear energy of “not good enough or not long enough” overrides your writing brilliance.
You cannot outsmart your predominant energy. If you fear, fear mirrors back to you through your blogging results.
This is from my 2 month trip to Oman.
Imagine publishing one brilliant, genius, clear, concise blog post weekly. If you fear 800 words is not enough, the fear mirrors back to you as no readers, no profits, and blogging failure.
Visualize yourself publishing one 800 word post weekly from a whole, complete, calm, confident, happy energy. 800 words is enough to you. 800 words inspires your readers, you believe, in your mind.
The 800 word, weekly post generates a ton of traffic based on your:
- belief system
First, strengthen your mental muscle. Be positive. Visualize your blogging success. Count blogging wins.
Proceed to write a weekly blog post from this success conscious, positive vibe, to find your ideal word count.
One General Ground Rule
Most bloggers and readers accept 600 words as the minimum count for a blog post.
Break the minimum rule if your intuition tells you to break it. But if not, start at 600 words as the ideal benchmark and go from there.
The Best Advice
Choose a blog post title inspiring your readers to succeed.
Create an outline.
Think 600 words minimum, but, just write.
Allow words to flow.
Give no thought to blog post frequency as you write; projecting into the future takes you out of the moment, out of your flow, and you leave your power behind.
Focus your attention and energy on having fun helping your readers succeed. Allow the words to flow.
I never read a success-promoting post that felt good to read and said to myself, “But I wished the post were 2,000 words long because now I have to wait for next week to read another post.”
We live in abundance.
If someone wants more content that someone can:
Success is your birthright.
You were born rich.
Feel whole and complete if you publish a 600 word post weekly.
Feel whole and complete if you publish a 2000 word post weekly.
Feeling whole and complete attracts to you readers who enjoy your 600, 1000, and 2000 word posts.
The only thing that matters is writing clear, concise, crisp posts that deliver on the title promise, from a calm, confident, abundant, detached, success-conscious energy.
1 Surprising Aspect of Successful Blogging that Woke Me Up
You guys know by now; I am all about blogging mindset tips.
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One such tip woke me up.
I saw the outright surprising influence following said tip had on:
- my blogging success
- my life
- my overall happiness
Years ago I struggled to see blogging success. Today I succeed with greater and greater ease.
I know you succeed now. But if you desire increasing success, take this successful blogging tip to heart.
This next level tip makes you experience dizzying blogging success.
Give No Attention and Energy to Negativity and Give 100% Attention and Energy to Positive Ideas, People and Interactions
During a morning walk with my wife today, I noted how some folks email me asking how I am enjoying traveling the world. Traveling is in my blood. Traveling is my soul speaking out loud. I let people know how I deeply enjoy my travels. Anybody with eyes for seeing knows this, and never asks the question. This would be like asking Picasso if he enjoyed painting.
I tend to get a really odd response – that is not so odd really – from a handful of folks; said people respond with an emotional reaction, describing how they dislike travel and how they love their hometown. Who cares? Why would you email someone to tell them how much you love your way of life and how much you dislike another person’s life?
This is a negative, lower energy reaction suggesting an unclear person who wants to live your life but fears making bold moves to live it. Either way, I completely ignore the lower energies and lower energy interactions and voila! I became more and more successful with greater ease. Why? Where your attention and energy goes, grows.
Some people tell me to stop thanking them individually. I ignore their negativity, because if you cannot express gratitude or make a connection based on someone thanking you, you vibe lower on the energetic scale.
I never give attention and energy to someone who is trashing other bloggers because this is a negative weakness manifest, and I don’t do negativity, or weakness.
Friends Change and Some Friendships Evolve into Different Relationships
I deeply love my friends but as I get clearer and see greater success, I give zero attention and energy to negativity from any one of my friends. Success consciousness thing.
I also released many former friends who I vibed with when I was failing, and more negative, and who I no longer vibed with when I became more positive and successful. Friends change. Some friends visit for a while and you need release them.
Other friends remain friends but your bond changes and evolves into something different. Friends attempting to pull me into negative bashing or judging or trashing quickly see I give no energy to such negativity anymore. Sure we are still friends, but the bond evolves from a different dynamic now.
Why Ignoring Negative Situations Makes You Successful
Where your attention and energy goes, grows.
Give your attention only to positive people, positive interactions and success, and your positive ideas, positive friend network and success expands. Easy peasy.
Energetic momentum builds. Move higher in blogging circles. Paying customers arrive. Paying clients pop up in your experience.
Your blanket, conscious choice to give your attention and energy only to positive people, situations and circumstances accelerated your success.
The key is to completely commit to never giving your attention and energy to negative interactions.
The unclear, admiring people who asked you already if you love travel, only to react with the idea that they love their life, or the thanking rejectors, or bashers, never get one split second of your energy, going forward.
Prosper by giving your energy only to positive vibes.
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