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5 Ways Taking a Trip To The Mall Will Help Your Blog

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Many bloggers feel that the longer they sit at their computers, the more popular their sites will become. I can tell you from experience that this is not true, as I have stared at a monitor for hours and accomplished nothing. (No, I wasn’t watching videos of Star Wars Kittens on StumbleUpon.) Oftentimes, the less time I spend at my computer, the more progress I make on my blog. This is, primarily, due to two things:

1. Planning

When I plan out the steps I am going to take to improve my blog, I get more done and save myself hours of staring at a blank screen. For each post, I figure out who I’m targeting and how I’m going to get them to subscribe to my blog. But, you all want to go to the mall right now, so check out how to plan your post topics later.

2. Getting Out of a Rut

Spending a ton of time in front of my computer means one of two things. One, I’m working feverishly on a brand new idea that will change the internet, or two, that I am experiencing some kind of writer’s block. Let me tell you, friends – it’s almost always the second one.

Taking a trip to the mall is a great way to find new things to blog about and an awesome technique for giving that brain of yours a major kickstart.

1. Find Marketing Techniques

What do consumers do when they go to the mall?

Browse.

What do retailers want to get these consumers to do?

Pull a classic “shut up and take my money.”

Isn’t this exactly what you’re doing with your blog? The product that you’re marketing is your content, and the product that you’re selling could be any number of things.

  • A Social Network Follow
  • An Email Subscription
  • An eBook download

The action that you want readers to take, whatever that may be, is the product that you need to market on your “mall” – your blog.

How Will Going To The Mall Help Me Market My Content?

Learning new content marketing techniques has never been this easy – you don’t need to do anything other than observe.

Go to your favorite store (Victoria’s Secret is not your favorite store, gentlemen. Stop staring at the wall posters and go to RadioShack.) Now, observe two things.

1. Product Packaging

The majority of products have some kind of packaging that’s meant to get you to buy it. Take a look at what it says and how it looks. Does it catch your eye? Does it provide important details about the product in a way that make it appealing? The answer to both of those is probably yes if it’s a well-designed piece of packaging.

You need transfer this idea to whatever action you want visitors to take on your website. For example, if you want people to subscribe to your email list, you’ll need to alter your web form. It needs to be eye catching, and it needs to tell people why they should subscribe. Take some techniques from products that you find on your trip to the mall and apply them to the online world!

2. Salesman / Customer Interactions

The majority of mall stores have some sort of sales representative. And, in many cases, customers will go to this representative for help, more information, or to file complaints. Observe some of these reactions, and while trying as hard as possible not to look like a stalker, jot down a couple of notes. Which techniques worked well? Which techniques made the customer upset?

The readers of your blog are your customers, and you need to be sure that you are an exceptional salesperson. Deal with complaints appropriately, help readers out in any way you can, and always be prepared to talk about your site and answer questions! Draw from the techniques that you observed at your favorite store!

2. Refresh Your Mass of Grey Matter

Your brain cannot function at a high level all day. That’s why they invented Reddit and gave office computers internet capability! (It’s not slacking, it’s regeneration.) Writing content can really drain you mentally. Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is to take your mind off of it and come back to it later.

In addition, your trip to the mall can also help spark new article ideas! I know that some of my most popular post ideas have come from times when I’m NOT sitting at the computer, banging my head against the desk trying to bubble up some good leads. (In fact, I can only think of one or two popular posts that came about while I was sitting at my desk!)

More often than not, what you think may be counterproductive is actually saving you a lot of frustration. If it’s not working, put it aside and get out of the house for a couple of hours. I guarantee you that you’ll go back to your computer feeling refreshed and ready to churn out some quality content!

3. Discover New Ideas for Product Reviews and Promotions

Chances are, your niche has something to do with products. Blog about beauty? Find some of the latest lotions and potions at your mall’s makeup store! Write about mobile technology? Head on over to Verizon or AT&T and look at the shiny new gadgets!

Story Time!

Here’s a great example of a time that a trip to the mall rocked my blog. One of my most popular posts was a quick article about Brookstone’s Cloud Force RC Helicopter, and I have a few hypotheses as to why it was such a traffic magnet. I found out about the toy while I was at my local mall looking around in the Brookstone store.

Let me tell you a secret: if you have a hard time finding a product on the internet, then that could be an opening for you to create a popular post. A ton of my most viewed posts have been about cool products that I saw at brick and mortar stores or in newly published magazines, like Popular Science! If you found your topic online, then you know for sure that it’s everywhere on the internet, and that the competition is going to crowd you out.

4. Craft a Video Post

Let’s go back to the example of a “tech geek,” since I am one myself. If I’m interested in mobile technology, and I head over to the AT&T store, that’s great. What would be even better is if I put one of the representatives on the spot with a video post and asked him some questions.

Video posts are becoming more and more popular, and your readers would probably find it more interesting than reading yet another chunk of paragraphs. (Like you’re doing now.) Add a bit of flavor to your site – even if you don’t want to interview anyone, use the mall as a lively setting for a talking head video! Change it up, and readers will appreciate your efforts!

5. Do Some Offline Networking

Your local mall, unless you live in the middle of nowhere, is stuffed with people. Think of these people not as a mass of meat standing in the way of you getting a Cinnabon, but as potential customers! Imagine if every one of those people were to become loyal readers of your site!

Obviously, that’s not going to happen. You don’t have time to meet all of those people, and many of them aren’t in your target demographic. How do you overcome this obstacle in order to get some serious offline networking done?

Here’s the thing: you’re going to need a lot of business cards.

I would start with the sales representatives at stores that fit your niche. These people are obviously interested in the same thing you are, since they work with this topic all day, and would be a great launch point for today’s offline networking endeavors.

After you’ve handed out a couple of business cards to these workers, try to approach a few customers! (As “not-awkwardly” as possible. But, hey – if you want these people to come to your site, you’re going to need to talk to them.)

Finally, since you have a ton of business cards left, and you’re tired of talking to people, you should pull the old “accidentally left some business cards at a table” move. Go to the McDonald’s, get a coffee, and then leave a couple of business cards! (If you’re adventurous, you can even sneak around to the other tables and dump some there.) Chances are, people will find them!

This guest post was written by Jack Kieffer, who owns Cool Gizmo Toys, a blog with geeky lists for your eyes to feast on! Check out his article on mustache Tumblr posts!

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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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Long Term Blogging Success: Co-Creation Not Manipulation

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Every blogger who succeeds over the long haul did so through co-creation.

Two blogger met. Two people make friends. Both friends help each other out, for a co-creation, and see greater success due to the co-creation.

I have seen this happen so much in my blogging life over the past 10 years. I befriended Zac many years ago. He invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Years later, all the co-creating I did through 800 plus guest posts helped:

  • increase my blog traffic
  • increase my blogging profits
  • increase my DA
  • increase my brand exposure

Think about it guys; all top bloggers make friends with other bloggers, both parties help each other, and we all win. You win, I win, and our fellow bloggers win.

No Manipulation

You will never create long-term blogging success by trying to manipulate people through fear, smoke, mirrors and other silly tactics, because doing so is like building your blogging business on a house of cards. Even the smallest breeze of resistance knocks down the cards, and your blogging business with it. Bad idea.

What do I mean by manipulation? Imagine you write a blog post filled with bold promises of how to make 6 figures a year, telling bloggers you know the way. You share no specific strategies for making 6 figures. Nope. But you do make big, hyped up claims, filling the 1000 word post with some hefty, silly promises. What are you trying to do? Manipulate humans into following your blog, buying your stuff and giving you money. Your intent is to use fear, greed and desperation to GET money from people. Using fear manipulates people into doing what they do not want to do, for a temporary income boost, for you. But again, imagine a house of cards. A barely detectable breeze knocks down the house, and a seemingly tiny detail knocks down and destroys your blogging business.

When I was a new blogger a LONG time ago, one blogger who claimed to be a 6 figure earner admitted he was lying. He disappeared instantly. His blogging business died because he lied about making 6 figures, because he wanted to manipulate people into giving him money.

Co-Creating Benefits All over the Long Haul

If you guest post on other blogs, you and fellow bloggers create helpful content that promotes lasting success. Imagine building a house on a rock solid foundation, on a granite mountain. Wow! That is a serious foundation. Nothing moves that home. Even a decent earthquake barely makes the house shake. This is what it’s like to co-create content with fellow bloggers.

You both create something together – through a shared post and shared domain name – that is good, and leads to something good and beneficial. Fear and manipulation? No involvement in this process. Love and abundance and service, this is it, and this is why you become successful in building a rock solid foundation, and, in becoming a pro blogger.

How Can You Co-Create?

A few ideas:

  • guest post on your blog
  • guest post on other blogs
  • create joint videos
  • create joint podcasts
  • create joint business ventures

Ultimately, you can co-create with fellow bloggers in countless ways. Being creative is your only requirement.

Think of how the co-creating benefits all of humanity. Think of all the people you can help through your co-creation. Put people ahead of your immediate needs and also, bring other bloggers on board to see the greatest impact over the long haul.

Be generous, help people, make friends and gain exposure. Build a viable, long term, meaningful blogging business. Observe manipulative, flash in the pan bloggers come and go. I have seen thousands of these types die a quick death, like moths flying too close to the flame-temptation of quick, easy riches.

Co-create to out last virtually everybody else in your blogging niche.

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Do You Need to Make a Huge Blogging Shift?

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Sometimes, you get bogged down with your blogging routine. Routines feel comfortable, right?

But blogging is a feeling game like life is a feeling game. All flows based on your emotions. If you feel really good – first – then you take good feeling blogging actions and over time, with patience and trust, see good feeling blogging results.

Unfortunately, most humans give almost zero thought to their emotions before diving in to a blogging routine. Bloggers believe you need to do something or follow a set routine to succeed, to drive traffic, and to make money. Day after day, year after year, most bloggers follow a routine without giving zero thought to how they are feeling, if they enjoy blogging, if they have fun following the routine, and if they feel detached, patient and trusting in the process.

This is the only reason why as of about 7 years ago, 80% of bloggers never made more than $100 during their blogging careers. If 8 out of 10 humans can not make $100 through blogging over 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, 8 out of 10 bloggers clearly give zero thought to their feelings BEFORE blogging. Feel bad, and you see no money. But those 2 out of 10 bloggers who feel really good make lots of money over the long haul.

Shift

Maybe it is time to make a shift, guys.

2-3 months ago I made one shift. 1 month ago I made an even bigger shift; quite huge, for me. But what I did differently made almost zero difference. How I chose to feel marked the big shift, then, I moved into different blogging actions.

For example, I faced some deep fears, felt the fears, and instantly, after feeling pretty crappy for a short time, I felt better and better. Choosing to face fear, clear it, and feel better, helped me see things clearly. I tired of my blogging schedule, my social sharing groups, blog commenting and heavy cross promotion. In truth, I hated it. I did have some fun with each for a while but the passion long left me. Since how you feel before and while you blog means everything, my mindset-feeling shift told me I’d have so much fun guest posting. So as of about 3-4 weeks ago – maybe less – all I do is guest posting because I have fun guest posting and guest posting comes easily to me.

Making the shift involved facing deep fears of failure, loss and struggle. I had to feel the fear of letting go lifeless activities for me – at the time – to clear out the fear, and properly release these strategies, and to move forward so I could feel good, then, decide what blogging actions would feel fun and easy and enjoyable to me.

All shifts happen emotionally first, by your choice. After feeling some muck and then feeling better, you clearly and intuitively feel through the next fun-feeling, enjoyable step.

What About You?

Do you need to make any shifts with your blogging campaign? Or do you need to make one big, sweeping, all-encompassing shift?

Getting caught up in blogging routines feels comfortable, familiar and safe, sometimes. But do you feel good before you begin the routine? Do you feel good working the routine? Do you feel detached, relaxed, trusting and like you are cared for, and prospering, while following your blogging routine?

Be honest to make a necessary shift. If you love following your routine, cool. Proceed. But most humans are taught – me included – to follow some routine (no matter how you feel) to get something, specifically money, so you can avoid failure, struggle, poverty, going hungry, illness, and embarrassment. This is exactly why most humans work jobs. Follow a routine to get money even if you feel really bad or terrible following the work-routine; aka, even if you hate your job and it feels lifeless, or soul-less.

May be time for a big shift guys.

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Why Comedians Teach You a Powerful Blogging Lesson

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Last night I saw a funny comedian perform in Atlantic City.

Chris Delia charmed the audience with his silly, somewhat absurd, level of humor.

He also explained how comedians need thick skin to become successful. Humor is a very personal, subjective topic. Some people find some comedians hysterical but never laugh at other comedians. As you imagine, bombing feels terrible to most comedians. At least until they develop a thick skin.

I once read how Kevin Hart often waited until 1 AM to work an open mic. Sometimes he waited until 1 AM and the place closed down so he never got the chance to do his set. Imagine how thick-skinned you need to be to not let that bother you? Is it any wonder why he is now worth $150 million? He became immune to criticism, failure and rejection. As a matter of fact, after developing a thick skin, he likely did not see criticism, failure or rejection.

All those evenings of 1 AM sets in front of 1-2 lifeless people or all those nights of being told to go home at 1 AM after waiting for hours to do his act purged the fear of criticism, failure and rejection from his being. Void of these fears, he rose up to being one of the most famous, wealthy and powerful comedians on earth.

Bloggers Need Thick Skin

I once promoted a course to the tune of 8000 page views before I sold one copy. Did I quit promoting the course? No. I developed a thick skin during the process. I did not see 8000 rejections. I only saw meeting and helping more human beings through my blog. Even during moments when I felt like giving up I trusted in myself and believed in the blogging process. Quitting and failure were no options for me. But in the same vein, I needed to be thick skinned to see through criticism, rejection and failure.

I needed to be aware of opportunity amid the appearance of nobody reading my blog. Toss in being patient and persistent in helping folks during my most trying times and you have a pretty thick-skinned individual.

Do Not Care What People Think

Chris Delia shared how he could care less what people thought about him. He dressed down a few hecklers during the show.

Comedians succeed because they care less about what people think of their acts; being heckled, ignored or criticized had nothing to do with their belief in self and their belief in their comedic style.

As a blogger, give no thought to what people think of you. Guess what? You cannot control your reputation. No matter how long and hard you work in life to maintain a positive reputation, you can never physically control what people think of you. I am largely a nice guy 99.99% of the time yet some people genuinely hate me. I cannot control their demons. Plus I know we see the world as we see ourselves so if someone hates themselves I cannot do anything about that self-loathing.

Focus on yourself. Focus on what you think about yourself because this is the only thing that matters. Being comfortable in your own skin aligns you with loving, loyal followers who appreciate you for who you are. Let go everybody else. Critics form an energetic yoke if you care about their thoughts but dissolve into thin air when you could care less about what they think of you.

Bloggers become successful because these few folks who have thick skins shine brightly in a world of thin-skinned bloggers who fear criticism, judgment and rejection. The few who step it up do wonders because we all want a piece of free spirits who march to the beat of their own drum without caring what people think, say or do, in response or reaction to them simply being themselves.

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