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How Bloggers Can Leverage Social Proof to Their Advantage

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How Bloggers Can Leverage Social Proof to Their Advantage

How Bloggers Can Leverage Social Proof to Their Advantage

People follow the crowds. One of the foundational principles of marketing is how to influence the crowds, so people are just inclined to become your customers. The phenomenon where the majority influences purchasing decisions is known as social proof. Think of it as word-of-mouth on a greater scale.

Social proof is necessary to build a reliable and sustainable reader base for your blog. It’s not good enough for a hundred people to like your blog. You need to show off to those hundred people to gain thousands of additional readers. You may already be aware of some social proof strategies that drive traffic. For example, celebrity social proof, or getting a famous person or a notable blogger to mention yours, is quite well known. Some get their friends to provide reviews to attract followers. Here are several more social proof strategies that bloggers can take advantage of:

Publish Expert Testimonials

Expert testimonials are a bit different from customer or reader testimonials. The advantage of using an expert is that customers value their unbiased opinion. People assume that experts know what they are talking about.

So, if your blog is mentioned by an “expert,” you can generate a credible social proof for your blog. The expert you choose will depend on your blog. If you blog about the stock market, a professor of finance will be the right expert to use. If you blog about travel, you can use a veteran travel writer or a celebrity, for example.

Show Reader Reviews

Many e-commerce companies use customer reviews to push products and create credibility. Your blog can also use reader reviews to create a sense of popularity for your posts. If there are several user reviews sprinkled throughout your blog, a new or unsure reader will be more likely to stay and keep reading. After all, how can one dislike something dozens of other people have liked? Plus, reader reviews keep the conversation going and the users engaged.

Evaluation Results

Evaluation or test results can be a powerful form of social proof for blogs. Evaluation here means getting the services or products your blog advocates professionally tested. Post the results on your blog for the whole world to see. For example, there are shopping services that show trusted certificates to gain legitimacy and boost social proof. If your blog has been tested for anything by a professional source, and if the results were good, seriously consider showing it on your blog. The results can be a valuable tool that convinces users that your blog is proven to be superior.

Buy Social Shares

Does your blog attract 1,000 unique visitors each month? Then you should show off this number on your blog. You can include a banner or a badge saying this many people read, follow or like the blog. Showing off a like or share counter on your blog can generate more shares and likes.

If you are just starting out and do not get many likes or shares, you can pay for a “buy likes” web service. Artificially boosting visitor or traffic numbers, in the beginning, is a very effective social proof strategy. Soon, your organic numbers will naturally increase as your blog seems more credible and liked.

Ratings

Site ratings often go alongside customer reviews and testimonials mentioned above. However, a scoring system can provide its unique form of social proof. Showing positive ratings for your site can influence the impression visitors have regarding your site. For example, if a visitor initially disliked your site, high ratings can soften the harsh opinion.

Visitors are attracted to good product scores, and they rely on them as a form of credibility and legitimacy. All blogs may not be able to show off good ratings, but if it is possible, don’t hesitate to go with a scoring system. If it’s not feasible to show ratings for the whole blog, you can show ratings for individual blog posts, like product scores on Amazon.

Influencer Endorsements

This is the proverbial celebrity endorsement. Influencers are not always Hollywood A-listers. An “influencer” is technically someone who is famous, highly influential or well regarded in a certain field.

Not many people know who Dr. Duke Samson is, but if you are a surgeon, you will immediately recognize the name of one of the most well-known neurosurgeons in the world. If your blog is about medicine, having an endorsement from a luminary like that would be like winning a blog-version of an Oscar. Influencers have to be relevant as well. The more important the influencer is for his or her work, the more compelling the social proof would be.

Show Subscriber Numbers

Humans are social creatures. We are attracted to the crowds. If your blog has 10,000 subscribers, show off the numbers as you would do with the visitor numbers explained above. That short of social proof makes potential followers more comfortable with following. Think about it; would you rather subscribe to a blog you can see is followed by thousands of other people or one that is not? When you show the subscriber numbers, design a CTA button nearby to get people to subscribe. The number will likely be able to compel visitors to join up.

Media Coverage Logos

Has CNN mentioned your blog? Then, instead of writing a post about it, publish a prominent logo of CNN on your blog. If your blog has won any accolades, do not hesitate to show off the badge either. When visitors click on it, allow the link to take them to the article or segment mentioning your blog. Media coverage logos are a very powerful form of social proof that shows potential readers that your blog gets recognition from relevant sources. It can elevate your blog to a higher status of legitimacy than others without. Of course, you should only publish logos of established and well-known media outlets. If an obscure radio station mentions your blog, don’t add a logo on your site. No one will recognize it. If you say little-known outlets have covered your site, it can result in the opposite of what you are hoping. Your blog could end up endorsing the outlets rather than the other way around.

Master the above strategies, and sooner rather than later your blog’s unique visitor numbers will dramatically increase.

Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who provides actionable and useful web content to small businesses and startups. In his spare time, he religiously watches professional wrestling and finds solace in listening to '80s speed metal.

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Blogging Income Tip: How Do You Feel about Money?

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As I promote my eBook:

11 Techniques to Conquer Anxiety

I ponder one massive source of anxiety for most bloggers: money. Most of you grew up with money limiting beliefs. Money does not grow on trees. Money is not easy. Money is hard to get. Money is scarce. If you want money, get used to owning and facing each money fear because blogging full time requires you to work for free, generously, for a while, and no human with money fears works for free. All humans clinging to heavy money fears only work for pay. What is working for pay? Jobs. Working for someone allows you to get paid for every hour you work because being employees guarantees payment, per work, per your contract.

Guess what? Blogging is a different animal. Nobody gets paid to be an individual, business-owning blogger because blogging is a business. Business is about building something to boost skills and exposure to where your streams of income yield cash for you. Complete 180 from being an employee because you need face money fears, release fears, and proceed from a generous energy to gain skills and exposure enough to earn a full time income through your blog.

How do you feel about money? Does money feel scarce to you? Do you fear running out of money? Be honest guys. Being straight with yourself allows you to make money because before you make money through your blog, you need to face, feel and release money fears. Why? You never move into actions required to make money being burdened by the heavy fear of losing money, a yoke that saddles most of humanity.

I have noted how Gary Vaynerchuk did 2000 YouTube interviews before he began to get major media and TV coverage. He worked for free for 2000 interviews because he was not burdened by the terror of losing money, vibing abundance and generosity and trust. Most of humanity is so scared to lose all of their money that they never give one interview for free; these people work jobs to guarantee they get money for what they do work-wise, but sacrifice their fun and freedom in the process. You cannot live your dreams through blogging if you have no vision for the future and you cannot create a vision if you feel weighed down by the fear of money loss. How can you dream big dreams if you secretly feel terrified to lose it all? The fear of losing it all dominates your mind, body and actions so you will just work a job to get money and you will treat your blog casually, because your blog does not yield money, like your job.

Of course, your blog does not yield money because you vibe a poverty consciousness and poverty-vibing folks never do the generous giving – working for free, for a sustained period of time – to position themselves for success, a’la Gary Vee and his 2000 YouTube interviews. I have written and published nearly 1000 posts on Blogging Tips. Nobody paid me directly for writing and publishing these posts but the traffic and links and money I gained indirectly through these nearly 1000 posts helped me live a neat life. I began giving generously the moment I faced my money fears.

Expect to do the same if you want to live your dreams through blogging.

 

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What Few Bloggers Understand

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I live a pretty sexy life. I have circled the globe for the past eight years through blogging. Pretty cool, right?

But my blogging duties are seemingly mundane, not too sexy at all and in moments, quite boring. I genuinely love blogging. I have fun doing what I do. But I am also a human being experiencing a wide range of emotions on an hour to hour basis. Sometimes, I just want to go to sleep for a little bit because I feel tired and a bit bored with the blogging process. But if I intuitively know it is time to write a blog post I just write the blog post. In these moments, blogging feels boring and mundane and plain and not too sexy. But doing the seemingly mundane things in boring moments lays the foundation for living a spectacular dream life through blogging.

Few bloggers understand this basic fact of sometimes boring activities laying the foundation for a spectacular dream life. Most bloggers believe I do exciting, inspired and amazing things all day long to live an amazing life. This is 100% not true and nothing could be further from the fact. Blogging is fun for me most of the time but sometimes blogging feels boring. Even when blogging feels fun I am not doing anything earth-shattering or jaw-dropping anytime I write and publish blog posts and comment on blogs and promote one or all of my 100 plus ebooks. Does tapping a retweet button and sharing one of my eBooks on Twitter seem earth-shattering? Nope. Simple. East too. But few bloggers understand simple blogging activities lead to great blogging success.

Most bloggers believe you live your dreams through blogging by trying to knock the ball out of the park with viral blog posts and partnerships with the top bloggers on earth. Nope. You live your dreams by simply publishing helpful content, building friendships with top bloggers by being generous and asking for nothing, and by opening multiple streams of income from an abundant, trusting energy. Each of those steps is simple to put into action but sometimes taking each of those steps feel scary or highly uncomfortable. Nudge through the fear. Take the step. Simple, generous actions eventually lead to spectacular results because all meaningful blogging ventures begin with simple, generous actions. Do not believe top bloggers hit home runs everyday. We hit singles again and again and again and again for 10000 to 20000 hours until all those singles add up to something dazzling over the long haul.

Think in terms of tiny impressions made multiple times daily. I could have tried to write a viral guest post on this blog 3 years ago when I first published posts here. But I just chose to do a solid job writing a simple post some 900 times. Now I have written and published 900 + guest posts on this blog which means on a single blog alone I have 900 links or more, based on the ebooks of mine I link to as well. 900 + links leads up to something pretty sexy and spectacular but it was the simple, generous actions I took daily over 3 years of my life that led to the stunning long-term success. Blogging is doing simple things generously for hours daily for years of your life to build something special and meaningful.

Never believe that top bloggers hit home runs every day for a few weeks before they made it big. Anybody who makes it big does seemingly little things with love and generosity every single day over the course of years of their lives. Imagine 10000 to 20000 hours of doing simple things and you get an idea of what it takes to live a spectacular dream life through the medium of blogging.

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Why You Are Not a Blogger Unless You Own Your Domain and Hosting

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Let’s say you blog on Blogspot. Google owns Blogspot aka Blogger. You own nothing. So you are not a blogger. You blog on a free platform Google owns; Google owns you and your alleged blog. You are not a blogger.

Do you blog on WordPress dot com? Free platform. WP dot com owns your blog. You own nothing. You are not a blogger because you do not own the blog. You are a contributor to a free blogging platform.

Imagine you buy your domain on a Blogger blog. Does this make you a blogger? Nope. Bloggers OWN their blogs. Perhaps you own the domain name but you do not own the blog on Blogger because Google owns the blog. Maybe you cyber live at that location but you do not OWN the location. Imagine being a cyber squatter; someone paid for the home and owns the home. You live there, for free. Similar to when Kelli and I do house sits, we do not own these homes. We live in these homes, for free. I would lie if I called myself a homeowner because I do not own the home. You can say you blog, but if you do not own the domain AND hosting, you are not a blogger. Bloggers own their blogs.

I am on a VPS. I invested money to own BloggingFromParadise.com so I call myself a blogger. I own the blog. I own the brand. Nobody can kick me off my blog unless I do something insanely offensive and break the hosting company terms of service. I own my blog so I am a blogger because bloggers own their blogs and people who do not own their blogs are simply people blogging on free platforms. Good luck trying to become a highly successful entrepreneur blogging on a free platform. Credibility issue. People instantly do not trust someone blogging on a free platform with the amateur-looking domain name because it looks bad, said blogger lacking clarity to invest money in owning their blog.

The cases of someone becoming highly successful on a free blogging platform are so incredibly rare that it’d be flat out foolish to advise you to blog on a free platform. Even if you buy your domain and blog on a free platform like Blogger you:

  • never tap into the massive support community at WordPress.org
  • never access the branding power of a self-hosted blog
  • never access the monetizing potential of a self-hosted blog
  • never gain the credibility of owning a self-hosted blog

Imagine you need to climb 10 miles up a towering mountain. Buying your domain and hosting is like traveling up the mountain with the bare essentials of minimum food and hiking equipment and clothing. Lean and mean operation. Trying to blog on a free platform is like strapping on 200 pounds of excess, bloated weight, carrying a TV and laptop and video game system, and wearing a chain mail suit, guaranteeing you fail to make the climb.

Buy your domain and hosting. Make life easier on yourself. Be a blogger.

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