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5 Things that Separate Successful Bloggers from Newbies

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Is there anything easier than starting your own blog?

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?

Not many.

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.

Source: AfterOffers

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?

Hell No!

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

Source: Backlinko

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.

Source: Brand24

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.

Source: CoSchedule

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.

Wrapping Up

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.

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Blogging

How to Get Over the Fear Nobody Will Buy Your Product

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Ship. Publish.

Promote the heck out of the product. Unearth fears. Feel fears. See fears come true. Release fears. Sell your product. More and more folks buy your product only if you face, feel and release fears aligned with the product. If you hold the fears ya ain’t selling the product. Even if you publish a blogging product – like my blogging course – and sell it for a little bit you will not generate big sales until you fail enough to finally feel fears triggered by failure. Feeling fears clears fears which clears resistance which helps you inspire more people to buy the product.

Getting over this fear is messy. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete loser? Nope. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete fraud, or huckster, or embarrassed or ashamed? Nope. You hate trying so hard and then, no freaking people buy the course you promoted 10,000 times but doing so and feeling fears triggered simply makes it easy to promote the product, because feeling and getting over the fear makes you promote the product like you breathe. Being in that space, plenty of people see the product and more folks buy the product.

I promoted my blogging course to the tune of 8,000 page views before someone bought it. 8000 page views was nothing. I had to clear fear-resistance during the 8,000 page views to show the world how fun, freeing and inspired this course was. Fear cleared, more people bought it at 10 times the initial price versus the initial cheapy price. Raising the price ten fold? Yep; another fear for me to conquer. But I did it, and far more people bought it at $350 than at $36. See how funny fear works? You fear something, refuse to feel the fear, and struggle. But feeling the fear and doing it anyway leads to increasing success. Buy the course for a fun, entertaining, inspired blogging guide. Tis the season for celebration and joy and love and fun, helpful blogging courses.

I have no tips for nudging into fear save meditating and doing yoga frequently. Following each habit expands your awareness which helps you become intimately aware of your fears, so you can feel fears and release fears. Feels rough but this is part of the blogging journey if you want to get over the fear of selling your stuff. Hey; do you want to hurt people, mislead people or lie to people with your blogging product? No? Then just sell the thing already. Ship it. Publish it. Fear is so insidious. Fear makes you do what you do not want to do, if you trust fear. Fear causes you to tune into an alternate, illusory universe, where nothing is true and everything is lies, smoke and mirrors. Do you really want to take that road? I did not think so.

All I can do is be a cheerleader. You need to be the athlete on the court, not the fan on the sidelines. Get on the court. Publish your product. Promote your product. You will eventually face, feel and release all the fears you need to release to become a successful blogger and to sell your product successfully, too. Get in the game. People will buy your product when you get clear on it.

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Blogging

Pro Blogging Tip: Release Expectations

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Ouch.

Am I asking you to be a Blogging Buddha? Nope. Not really. No one save enlightened beings completely releases expectations but us mere mortals clinging some to a worldly life can largely release expectations, to become successful and to enjoy the blogging journey. 10 minutes ago, I checked my email. I received a few. I clearly make it difficult to get in touch with me through email because I want to give most attention and energy to building a passive income empire. Every second I spend in email, I could be spending creating content and building connections. Knowing this, it feels good to receive few emails because it helps me scale and move forward from an abundant energy.

Unfortunately, most bloggers have heavy expectations when it comes to receiving email. Bloggers expect a chock filled inbox, with all types of clients, Paypal payments and sponsored post deals. What happens if you get 3 emails daily, all responses to comments? Your expectations not being met levels you, depressing you, making you sad, sapping your energy. If you expect some sweet outcome and reality is not delivering you the outcome to fulfill the expectation, you eventually lose your blogging motivation and quit. Or you make the massive mistake of quitting after seeing your expectations fall short, then, you begin blogging again, quit again after expectations are unfulfilled, and you suffer through this vicious cycle until you fail and quit for good.

Release expectations. Begin blogging with an intent to live your dreams but let go the anchor of expectation because either you feel hopeless after not getting what you expected or you feel average when expectations line up or you feel super high and excited after exceeding expectations, leading to an imminent crash after your emotions settle down. Expectations are anchors, pulling you down, holding you back, preventing meteoric blogging growth. I expect little to nothing blogging-wise because my day is about having fun helping people to blog successfully. I cannot go wrong whether I sell a copy of my blogging course or not because I have no expectations; I just promote the course in a seeming billion places (coming soon) and leave things at that.

If anything, allow a little part of yourself to desire some expectation but make it tiny. Why? If the expectation does not come true quickly, you will keep blogging from an energetic, relaxed, abundant vibe, positioning yourself to succeed. Harboring wee expectations means you remain unstirred if the expectations do not manifest; no crushed, hopeless feeling. Meanwhile, most bloggers with grand, wild expectations often slam into tons of resistance because no spectacular dream comes through and manifest overnight. Living your dream life through blogging requires years and thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service.

Blog for an absolute love of blogging. Be passionate about the blogging process. Release largely on outcomes because weighing yourself down with expectations slows you down. Imagine desiring big blogging bucks only to see an empty inbox for the next 3 months? 90 plus days, zero dollars. After the 90th day, most bloggers quit blogging for good, because they came up so short on their expectations, being frustrated, disgusted, and tired of wasting their time.

Fall in love with the process – not outcomes – to fuel yourself for your blogging journey.

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Blogging

Are You Trying to Rank or Help People?

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Check the intent behind your blogging actions. What are your drivers? Some bloggers desperately want to rank, to place articles on page 1 of Google, to drive sweet, passive search engine traffic. Good luck with that. Nobody succeeds ranking until you give virtually all of your attention and energy to helping people with your blogging efforts. The rank comes after the generous help and that generous help often spans years of your life because developing page 1 Google skills is no joke. If it were easy, everybody would rank on page 1, right?

But you would be surprised by how many folks struggle blogging because the focus on rank over help dominates their minds. I never fell afflicted to this common limiting belief because I give scant attention to ranking on Google. Most of me could care less. I help people through my guest posts, blog posts, course and eBooks. My intent is to help people not to try to get traffic and money through manipulating things. Be honest about the big difference between the two because making this shift will improve your life tremendously, along with positioning you to experience increasing blogging success.

Focus heavily on people and little on things to discover the secret of blogging success. Bloggers succeed by generously helping human beings for sustained periods of time. Imagine some blogger who appears to be all over their blogging niche. Study this individual. Guaranteed, this bloggers generously helped people for years, hours daily, through multiple methods of helping people. Imagine guest posting, blogging, broadcasting live on Facebook and podcasting. See how the top bloggers always seem to be assisting people from a generous, genuine energy? Be that person. The tops never obsess over ranking because doing so attaches you to outcomes. Attach to outcomes. Feel fear. Attachment is fear. Any time you blog from a vibe of fear, you will struggle, fail and quit eventually. Top bloggers feel fears but release the energies versus panicking and bailing on generously helping readers. Everybody else panics, bails and tries to manipulate things to get traffic and money, failing horribly over the long haul.

Nobody gets ahead trying to manipulate things because money flows through humans mainly, then, through things which act as receiving channels. Imagine if I sell a copy of my blogging course. Generously helping human beings instills trust in the person who bought my course. Money flows from them to me through Selz, and my bank account, from their credit card or bank account. The things – Selz, bank accounts – are receiving channels, facilitating the sending and receiving of money, but generous service and trust put the financial transaction into action.

Stop trying to rank before all else because dealing with things solely – SEO and Google – moves you out of the realm of reality, into thing-ality. Bloggers who succeed keep helping folks generously and keep promoting themselves, realizing the things are just tools humans use to connect with each other, to help each other and to prosper each other. Focus on helping humans, not trying to rank on page 1 of Google, to uncover the secret to successful blogging….and to uncover the secret of ranking on page 1 of Google.

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