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3 Branding Hacks To Quickly Establish Yourself as a Niche Expert

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The blogosphere is a crowded place.

Countless new blogs pop up every day in thousands of new niches and each one of them battles for more eyeballs on their content.

So if you’re a newbie, it’s pretty hard to grab the attention of your target audience and get your content noticed.

Unless, of course, you choose the smart route of building a solid brand image.

Bloggers with a strong perceived value don’t have to fight for readers. People willingly read their content and closely follow their advice.

And no, you don’t need to spend 3-5 years to build a strong brand image.

Here are 3 ways to do it even if you’re just starting out.

1. Build Your Own Facebook Group and Host Live Facebook AMA Sessions

Do you have a dedicated Facebook group for your blog readers? If no, you’re missing out on a huge branding opportunity.

According to the recent community stats released by Facebook, more than a billion people use Facebook groups every month.

facebook groups

Ever since Facebook changed its algorithms and limited the organic reach of Facebook Pages, smart entrepreneurs gradually started focusing more on growing their Facebook Groups.

When you own a Facebook Group, you can use it to build your image as a niche expert. Your messages are visible to all group members, so you have a much better chance (as compared to a Facebook Page) to generate traffic to your content.

But above all, you can use Groups to build a community of loyal readers and followers. If you continuously provide them value and help them solve their problems, they will become your biggest brand advocates and word of mouth marketers.

However, managing a Facebook does require time and effort. To ensure that only quality content and conversations are posted in your group, you’ll need to moderate it closely. You also need to use social media management tools to schedule your posts and curate the best content for the group.

If you want learn more about using and growing Facebook Groups, Neil Patel has a very detailed guide that’ll provide you step by step guidelines for getting started.

2. Create Content that Solves the Problems of Your Audience

The best way to convert your blog readers into life-long fans is by helping them solve their problems. Instead of focusing on traffic and search rankings all the time, think about your readers and their problems. Create content that takes your readers from “no idea” to “oh yeah!”.

In a recent Huffington Post article, George Otte, a seasoned entrepreneur shared his secret to business success – find problems that people care about and offer them comprehensive solutions that exceed their expectations.

The same applies to brand building with blogging.

If your blog content solves problems and offers solutions, people will start considering you an expert and willingly buy from you.

This is particularly important if you’re running a business blog or promoting affiliate products. Don’t create content that is just focused on your product. Instead, create content about the solutions that your product offers.

The snapshot below is a great example.

blod pressure

Source: Vive Health

This company sells medical instruments, equipment, and supplies. But instead of writing about their products, they’re creating solution oriented content about the problems of their target audience.

Here’s another good example of a coupon site that is creating content about different ways to save money – solution to a problem most of its visitors face.

crowdsaver1

Source: Crowdsavers

If you don’t have enough traffic on your blog right now, you can apply the same strategy on forums and discussion websites like Quora, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, Twitter etc.

All you need to do is search for relevant discussions or questions related to your industry that people are asking on the web. Reach out and answer their question on public forums.

You’ll be surprised to see how quickly this establishes you as an expert.

3. Feature on Authority Blogs and Interview Influential Bloggers

Want people to immediately start trusting you? Want strangers to think you’re an influencer?

Start writing for other authority blogs in your niche.

When you do that you effectively borrow their credibility and become trustworthy yourself.

If someone sees your name on blogs like The Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, Copy Blogger etc. they’d assume that you’re an expert in your industry because these are high-quality blogs that do not feature cheap writers.

Once you’re published on some of the top blogs in your niche, display their names on your blog and actively market yourself.

Most influential bloggers have followed this route.

videofruit

However, landing guest blogging opportunities on the top blogs isn’t easy.

Which is why you can follow a slightly different approach if your guest post pitches not getting responses from blog editors.

Start commenting on authority blogs. But make sure your comment adds value to the discussion. In fact, make it so valuable that it appears like a mini blog post.

Jon Morrow followed this approach to land guest blogging opportunities for Copy Blogger and several other authority blogs.

It requires some effort, but it certainly works.

You can also use an alternate approach to guest blogging.

Instead of trying to feature on influential blogs, identify 40-50 influencers and high authority bloggers in your niche, ask them one very specific question (for example, your 3 favorite email marketing tools or your favorite blogging quotes etc.) and then compile one gigantic roundup post.

This serves two purposes.

  • It helps you connect with influencers in your niche because of which people start trusting you (the same effect as guest blogging)
  • Most influencers featured in your round up post are likely to share it with their followers on social networks, which means extra traffic to your blog.

However, don’t expect every expert to respond to your question. In fact, if you’re a newbie, you might get 15-20 responses if you reach out to 60-70 experts.

The best approach is to target the bloggers who’re slightly ahead of you and have recently established themselves.

If you’re running a review blog you can also do a review round-up post in which you share your opinion about the best and worst products in your niche (like this post)

But make sure your opinions are based on facts and backed by solid data evidence.

Wrapping Up

If you want people to take your content seriously and buy the products that you offer, you need to build a solid brand image first. The tips I’ve shared in this post will help you strengthen your brand image and take you ahead of your competitors very quickly.

Do you take branding seriously? If yes, what method have you applied to your blog?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Blogging

3 Actionable Tips for Bloggers to Reduce Email Bounce Rates

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List building is one of the things you hear and read about everyday in blogging and content marketing. Email marketing in itself is a whole lot of work put together. Many successful bloggers have succeeded to build a large list for their businesses and that works with a lot of attraction.

Well, the size of your email list isn’t always a point. The quality and relevance are the most important factors. These go a long way to affect your bounce rate which is a corner stone in email marketing. We will be talking about this a bit below but let me quickly brush out a few reasons to start building a list for your blog if that’s not being done now.

Why you need an email list for your blog

Many bloggers blog for different reasons. However, there are things we all need to succeed. These include a growing and engaging community and targeted traffic that converts.

Once someone visits your blog for the first time, you have the chance to convert that first timer reader into a repeat visitor. One of the most effective ways to do this is to capture him into your list.

Your email list basically is an ever-green source of targeted traffic. You can always turn to it and be sure to increase your page views.

Many of my faithful customers are found on my list. This makes it an interesting source of passive  income. Your email list is a huge part of your marketplace that can be tapped into any time of the day.

Whether you are blogging to make money or just for the fun of it, if you care about keeping your readers and reaching out to them at will, start building your list right this moment.

I must build an email list

Email Bounces can really hurt your email marketing

An email bounce occurs when your message is returned to you the sender because it cannot be delivered. Note that messages being caught into SPAM is completely a different thing. This has to do with your Inbox Placement Rate. Though Email Deliverability rate is a big game that should be treated apart, we want to deal with messages that are rejected by the destination email server.

Now, this has an impact on your sending reputation. The higher the reputation score, the more likely  ISPs (Internet Server Providers) will deliver your emails to the inboxes of recipients.

The more your email bounce rate, the lower your reputation and the more the chances of your sender ID getting blacklisted.

Recommended: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts for Bloggers

But What causes Email Bounces

A bounce will take place for the single reason that the destination server rejects the message. What are some of the reasons for this rejection?

1 – The destination email address doesn’t exist

This is one of the most common reasons for high email bounce rates. You send a message to an address that either doesn’t exist on the server or the domain name is not found. This generally is referred to a Hard Bounce, when an email is permanently bounced back to the sender because the email address is invalid or not found.

Why does an email hard bounce happen?

  • There is a spelling error in the address: contatc@domainname.com instead of contact@domainname.com
  • The email submitted to your list is completely never created – junk email
  • The contact address was completely deleted by the administrator for some internal reasons.
  • The domain name does not exist (maybe it’s expired, error in spelling, parked, etc)

2 – The destination email address is valid but something isn’t right

A Soft, temporal Bounce will take place in this case. The destination address is valid but the server returns the message to sender for a couple of reasons:

  • User has reached the email quota limit. Simply put, the inbox is full
  • Email too large for recipient’s inbox
  • Server was temporally down when message hit

Given that soft bounces are temporal, you may not need to worry so much about this. Their impact on your marketing may not be as harsh.

However, Hard Bounces should be taken with a serious attention. Continuous bounces are a bad signal and the email marketing systems are smart enough to figure this out.

3 tips to Reduce your email bounce rate and boost conversion

Ok now you know what email bounce rate is and why you should start building your own list. These are some quick tips to reduce your bounce rate and improve your marketing experience:

1 – Make sure only on valid addresses are submitted to your list

In my opinion, this is something that’s quite easy to handle. First, allow your readers submit their contacts by themselves through a lead capture form.

Use the double opt-in facility provided by many email marketing tools. This will make sure that the contact submitted by the reader is valid. An invalid address will never find its way through the double opt-in validation wall.

The way this works is very simple…

When the reader submits the email to your list, your tool will place it in an inactive mode. At the same time, a validity tracking link is messaged to the address. If this link is clicked within the activation period, that will simply mean the address is able to receive mails, making it valid.

Not using the double opt-in checking method is simply allowing readers to submit junk emails to your list. Looking the negative effects of bounces, this isn’t something I think you’d be comfortable with.

2 – Constantly clean up your list

While the double opt-in validation method makes sure you only allow valid addresses on your list, there are chances that some of these addresses get dropped of with time. You must therefore be able to clean up and get rid of these invalid subscribers.

There are two ways to do it:

1 – Manually filter out and delete contacts that have not opened your campaign during a specific period. Generally, I do remove contacts that have been ideal for half a year.

2 – Use a tool that will scan through your list and check for invalid addresses. I personally use Norbert’s email verification tool for my 5k list on MailerLite.

3 – Avoid using Email Extractors

A quick way to hurt your blog’s email list is to use an email scraper. First, harvesting emails in this way is illegal in many countries. You don’t have the consent of the owners to mail them.

This will bring another set of problems:

  1. High unsubscription rate
  2. Your campaigns will be marked as spam by many of these illegally gotten subscribers.

These two actions will trigger red flags and place you at a permanently suspicious position with many marketing platforms.

Conclusion

I hope these three tips are helpful as you strive to build a profitable email list for your blog. Drop a comment and let me know what you think about.

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Blogging

How Can You Write Content Like a Pro?

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Write your butt off. This is the way to write content for your blog like a pro. No simpler or more direct way exists for writing content like a professional blogger because writing practice is the way to writing like a pro. Of course, most bloggers only write when publishing posts so get little practice and write like amateur bloggers.

I wrote and continue to write millions of words between my blog posts, guest posts, e-books and in the past, through my blogging writing practice. Open up a Word document. Write. Write 500 to 1000 words daily. Close the document. Trash the document. Simply writing regularly makes you write like a pro because your confidence and clarity mushrooms quickly with writing practice. Do not be like bloggers who only write for publishing posts. This crowd gets little practice and never becomes pro bloggers because they do not practice their prime skill, writing, enough. Imagine if LeBron James only shot baskets and dribbled during official games? He never would have made the NBA. He practiced for tens of thousands of hours in private, with nobody looking, in a gym by himself, to become the top pro basketball player who shines in a public, pro setting.

Practice in private. Shine in public. That is the way it goes with any skill in life. Writing like a pro blogger also requires you to carefully observe professional bloggers for their pro writing cues. Do you notice how these folks seem to write in crisp, clear fashion? Emulate these professionals by following their lead and you too will give off a more professional, serious, clear energy. Start with reading posters on this blog. Every blogger is a professional or on their way to being a professional blogger. Study how these pros and aspiring pro use formatting and other tools to allow their blog posts to flow freely. Exposing yourself to professional bloggers simply gives you an example to emulate. Plus, following professional advice allows you to be yourself, giving you permission to write in your one of a kind voice on your way to being a pro blogger.

In my eBook:

How to Find Your Writing Voice

I give you permission to be a brilliant writer by simply writing how YOU write. This writer is unlike any writer who ever lived because we all have unique stories and styles to share with the world. The tone of this eBook is one reason why it spent a spell being the top-rated eBook for its category on all of Amazon. Writing like a pro is mainly a practice thing leading to a confidence thing.The more you practice writing, the more confident you become writing-wise. This process is quite simple but at times, highly uncomfortable to put into action. Keep writing. Keep churning out helpful content.

My neck feels incredibly stiff now but I know it is writing time so I write and will take a nice little break after getting the job done. Write, write and write some more. Gain the confidence and clarity to know you are writing like a pro blogger, even well before you become a pro through your blogging efforts.

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Blogging

Can You Make Tons of Money Blogging?

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Yes.

Just spend the next 10 to 15 years of your life everyday generously helping people and building bonds with both your readers and fellow successful bloggers. If you are prepared to do that then you will make tons of money blogging. I just do not know what amount of money you mean by tons of money. Do you mean hundreds of thousands of dollars? Do you mean millions of dollars? Do you mean tens of millions of dollars?

Only you know the specific answer to that question but independent of the amount, anything ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars requires thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service before oodles of money flow to you. Think 10000 to 20000 to 30000 hours of creating content, building friendships by generously helping top bloggers, and opening multiple streams of income before you begin seeing large sums of money flow to you freely, easily and frequently. Most bloggers who ask this question do so from an energy of scarcity and poverty. Most bloggers only want to make huge sums of money because they have $0 now or $15 now and they have hundreds to thousands of dollars of bills piling up. 99.9% of the time, these bloggers dive into blogging being dominated by fear so they act from a scared energy and do stupid stuff that guarantees their online failure. Forget making millions of dollars. This crowd makes $0 or maybe a few cents or ten bucks doing really unintelligent things because people terrified of losing all of their money do stupid things that lead to failure. Being desperate leads to being a dingbat.

People who blog from an abundant, loving, confident and trusting energy generously create content and build connections over years of their lives, spending 10000 to 20000 hours or more doing these things until huge sums of money flow to them. I have seen a handful of 7-figure earners explain how they blogged for 15 years before the huge sums of money, like $30,000 in a day, flew to them freely. Massive wealth takes time to accumulate because the amount of creating and connecting you need to do to accumulate massive wealth requires tens of thousands of hours of helping people to increase both your skills and exposure to the point of making millions and millions of dollars. This basic law of wealth rings true for all entrepreneurs. Jeff Bezos is worth 180 billion dollars now as the owner and founder of Amazon.com but he made very little when working out of his garage on a cafeteria table. He could not make tons of money through his venture until he generously created, connected, scaled and put in an amazing number of hours to build up his iconic empire.

Do not be intimidated by the amount of work, time and energy you will need to put into blogging to earn a significant income. Why would you care if you plan to be here anyway 5, 10 and 15 years down the road? Do you want to waste your life working for somebody else just to get a paycheck or would you rather work for yourself, make a firm impression on humanity, serve a large amount of people and earn a significant amount of money? Think it through before you get intimidated by the amount of generous effort and time you will put into blogging to build something special.

Remember that blogging gives you what you give to blogging. Blogging always serves as the perfect mirror for the attention, energy, effort and time investment you put into this amazing medium.

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Do you feel confused about how to grow a loyal community?

Buy my eBook:

6 Tips to Grow a Rabidly Loyal Blog Community

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