We’re about to enter 2017 in just a few days – can you believe it?
Time really does fly.
So much has happened in the SEO and content marketing world over the last 12 months that it’s safe to say that your blogging strategy needs a complete review.
And what better time to do it than the start of a new year?
You need to address certain key areas of your blogging strategy to maximize the impact of your content, further strengthen the relationship with your readers, and generate more consistent traffic that results in more sales.
Not sure what I mean? Let me simplify this for you
Here are 4 things you need to do well in the coming year to build take your blog to the next level and enjoy more success.
1. Enhance the Performance and the Security of Your Blog
Can you afford to have a slow blog with poor security these days?
In a word, no!
Research shows that readers, on average, wait for around 3 seconds for a page to load before bouncing back. If your blog’s performance is not optimized and it takes ages to load everything, you’re losing a lot of visitors.
But that’s not the only problem.
Poor security and slow load speed directly impact user experience which is one of the key Google search engine ranking factors.
The moment Google identifies any security breach or performance issues on your blog, your search rankings will take an immediate hit.
So what’s the solution to this?
First of all, know where your blog stands in terms of speed and performance by using Google’s Page Speed Test. It not only tells you how fast or slow your blog loads but also gives you tips and actionable guidelines to improve your blog’s load speed.
Secondly, make sure your blog is hosted on a reputable, secure and high-quality web hosting service. This is crucial for the security and performance of your blog.
Zac recommends A2Hosting, which is one of the top hosting companies on the web, in his guide on starting a blog. It’s a reliable service especially if you’re just starting a new blog and have budget restrictions.
If you’re already running an established blog, you may want to consider a managed WordPress Hosting service which takes care of your site updates, security, and other site management activities. It’s safer than a shared hosting service, but it’s also more expensive. So it’s not suitable for everyone.
Other than the hosting service, make sure you’re using a CDN to improve your site’s load speed and uptime.
2. Optimize Your Blog to Convert Visitors into Subscribers
Traffic is the lifeblood of any blog which is why most bloggers are always trying to find new ways to increase their site’s traffic.
But what many of them forget is that traffic alone is not enough to build a successful blog.
You need to convert your hard earned traffic into subscribers and followers if you really want to build a money making blog.
As we enter 2017, it’s becoming harder and harder to generate organic traffic to your site because the competition for search rankings is increasing every day and organic social media traffic is not as easy to generate as it once used to be.
So it’s crucial that you convert as many of your visitors into email subscribers as possible. Once you have people on your email list, you can reach out to them every time you publish new content or have a new offer.
Not sure how to optimize your blog for email conversions? I’ll make it easy for you.
Go to your Google Analytics account and look for the most popular posts on your blog. If you’re starting a new blog and don’t have content yet, look at the most popular content of your competitors.
You can also use free tools like Ahrefs or BuzzSumo to get an idea of the popularity of a blog post.
This will give you an idea of the 1 or 2 major pain areas of your audience.
Create an eBook or email course that comprehensively addresses one of those pain points and helps your audience take action.
Now give it away for free on your blog in exchange of your visitor’s email address.
In blogging terms, it’s called a lead magnet.
Zac’s giveaway is a great example
It addresses a single pain point and promises to deliver a tangible result.
Such giveaways attract subscribers 1000x quicker than a simple “Join Our Newsletter” box in the sidebar.
Here’s another good example from Jon Morrow’s website, GuestBlogging.com
The key to an effective lead magnet is that it addresses a single pain point of your visitors and gives them immediate value.
Use pop-up boxes, your blog’s sidebar and the space at the end of every blog post to promote your giveaway.
If you can get it right, converting traffic into subscribers won’t be a problem for you.
3. Use Visual Content to Simplify Complex Topics and Improve Readability
All of us are primarily visual learners.
Research shows that the human mind can process images almost 60,000 times faster than text content.
Since most internet users have small attention spans, creating plain text blog posts is only going to get them off your blog even faster.
This is particularly important if you’re running a blog on a technical topic that needs a lot of explaining, or a topic that is difficult to understand in general.
Using snapshots and images in your blog posts not only helps your readers understand your point better, but also allows you to keep them on your site longer.
You can use Evernote Web Clipper, a free Chrome extension, to create attractive snapshots for your posts. Or use free tools like Canva or Visme to create infographics for your posts.
Here’s a really good example of how infographics can be used to make complex or dry topics easier to understand.
Source: Fried.com – VPN Stats and Facts
You can generate even greater engagement by embedding video content in your blog posts. Several leading bloggers are already doing it and reaping the benefits.
In short, plain text blog posts are no longer effective in grabbing the attention of your readers. You need to create a mix of text and visual content to make an impact on your visitors and get your point across more effectively.
4. Boost Engagement and Build Your Influence With Facebook Live Videos
Facebook Live has literally taken over the content marketing world over the last 12 months.
Every single influencer I know is using Facebook Live to boost user engagement and strengthen their influence.
Many others are using it to drive traffic to their blog content and convert Facebook followers into email subscribers.
Studies show that users spend 3x more time watching Facebook Live videos as compared to recorded content.
Source: Bold Content Video
So if you haven’t started using this platform, you need to get on board quickly because the competition is increasing every day and the market might not be as open in a few years as it is today.
Facebook is currently giving increased organic reach to Live videos as compared to the text or link updates that you post on your Facebook Page.
So this is a great opportunity to not only build a much stronger connection with your audience by interacting with them live and responding to their queries, but also to drive additional traffic to your blog from Facebook.
Blogging has evolved over the years from a part-time activity to a practical business that is generating millions of dollars every month for people around the globe.
You need to stay one step ahead of the other bloggers in your niche and keep a close eye on the latest blogging trends and practices.
What other techniques do you think will be effective in the coming year?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Writing: Your Best Blogging Friend
Writing helps you succeed with blogging. Because writing gives you credibility. Credible bloggers land clients, sell eBooks, place sponsored posts and drive steady traffic, too. Write your rear end off. Write 500-1000 words daily. Write to be confident. Write to be clear. Write to gain credibility in your blogging niche. Of course, most bloggers struggle because few bloggers practice writing offline, daily. Bloggers only write when they publish a blog post or guest post. BIG mistake. Most bloggers publish posts infrequently, meaning you get in little writing practice. Not good.
Why do you believe you can just show up, write and publish a post and become successful quickly? If blogger were this easy, guys like me could have gone pro within weeks of buying my domain and hosting. Alas, it took me thousands of hours and years to go full time because I had to practice writing, creating and connecting to be REALLY good at blogging. Skills, exposure and credibility flow to bloggers who tirelessly practice all aspects of blogging. Everybody else fails and quits.
All money you make through blogging flows to you because people trust you and your blog. Writing skillfully – with confidence and clarity – is the only way people trust you and your blog. The more you write, the more skilled a writer you become. The formula is genuinely simple. But quite uncomfortable to put into action, sometimes. Few bloggers want to practice writing with nobody watching. Some bloggers foolishly skip writing practice because they believe writing offline for practice wastes their time. This is like saying you waste your time practicing shooting hoops in a lonely, empty gym if you aspire to make it to the NBA. NBA stars practiced 10,000 hours or more, often times in quiet, lonely gyms, and always *in private, out of the public eye, with nobody watching*, to become skilled enough to go pro. Expect to take a similar journey in order to become a professional blogger.
Writing is your core skill. If you write well, you make money online. If you write poorly, you do not make money online.
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Every way to profit – out of these 15 strategies – can work quite nicely if you practice writing offline daily. Practice to become confident. Practice to become clear on your writing. Confident, clear writers write with authority. Writing with authority inspires trust in your readers. Again; this is a simple process. But sometimes, this process feels uncomfortable. Nudge through discomfort. Write, write and write some more. People who trust you based on your writing skills tend to buy your eBooks, hire you to coach them, hire you to freelance write for them and buy sponsored posts on your blog. Be diligent in writing. The money flows to you based on how much you practice writing. Plus, practicing your writing makes you prolific. Being prolific increase your blog traffic and blogging profits, too. No downsides exist to writing offline daily. Only upsides. So….write!
Practice in private. Shine in public.
Any successful blogger you envy now practiced writing so diligently that you would never envy their writing practice. After having written millions of words both online and offline, nobody envies the work I put into going pro. But being free to circle the globe? Worth it!
Do You Assume too Much?
One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.
These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.
This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.
A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.
Blogging Success Is YOUR Choice
Blogging success is your choice. Blogging failure is your choice. YOU choose. Never blame anyone or anything for your blogging failure. Everything in life begins and ends with you because life follows your thoughts and feelings. People or things may *appear* to slow you down or get in your way. But all appearances are illusions. Illusions are not real, not true. You and you alone choose to succeed based on your chosen thoughts and feelings, independent of situations or circumstances around you.
For example, I had a tough time falling to sleep last night. Didn’t pass out until after 6 AM and only slept to 9:30 AM. Tossing and turning, my mind raced with fears. I feared being exhausted and getting sick. I feared work I’d be behind on, today. I also feared simply sitting with my racing thoughts and feelings, being in bed for hours, since I lay down in bed at midnight. I could choose to lay in bed to observe the fears or I could watch Netflix. I chose to observe fears. Eventually, I chose to get up and write my first blog post of the day at 5 AM. I feared waking to work due to fatigue. But nudging into the fear allowed me to create content, positioning myself to expand my success.
I also chose to wake at 9:30 AM after limited sleep to do 20 minutes of intense Kriya yoga, to meditate for 30 minutes and to spend 30 seconds in an icy cold shower. Heck yeah I feared doing each on 3 hours of sleep. But successes CHOOSE to BE the people that succeed. Life unfolds as a series of personal choices. Either you make comfortable choices based on fear, struggle, fail and quit blogging. Or you make uncomfortable, freeing and usually fun choices based on love, leading to your blogging success. You choose. No one can choose for you. No one can wade through fear for you. No blogger can glide through the discomfort for you. This is an intimately personal experience that you need to face, embrace and live, to succeed in blogging, all based on your choices.
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I observed these cute little – actually big – guys during my 4 month trip to Savusavu, Fiji. The little dog men swooped in every night like clockwork, working the papaya trees on the front lawn on dusk. The fruit bats never missed a night; their survival depended on feasting at sundown every single evening. Develop the same attitude with your blog to guarantee success. Be like clockwork. Show up daily. Work. Shine bright in a world of blogging failures who choose to work in fits and starts before choosing to quit. Blogging feels uncomfortable but the journey gets easier success-wise by choosing to wade through scary, unpleasant periods. You have a personal choice to make: generously help people for hours daily over years to succeed online. Or choose not to, guaranteeing your failure. You choose. I believe in you. I know you can choose success. Choose not to fear burnout. Choose to be happy about your future blogging success.
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