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.
Conquering Blogging Fears Sometimes Involves Shedding Blogging Tears
Build a list. Publish posts frequently. Guest post. Work harder.
I did all that stuff. I still struggled. You did all of it, too. Some of you at least.
But I bet you we were in the same boat years ago. Perhaps you sit in the boat of blogging despair now. You did it all. NOTHING seems to be working. Create value. Make connections. No traffic. No money. I can advise good things take time. Or I can say to be positive and be strong. In truth, being positive, patient and strong all are effective means to conquering your blogging fears.
Shedding tears is the quickest, most direct, simplest way to conquer blogging fears. Every fear is scary because fear frightens you. Crying out fears literally dissolves the fear-fuel; as tears shed, so do fears. Chip away; be present, relax, and allow fears and tears to flow in a quiet room.
Guys; until you face, feel and release fears, you cannot be generous, abundant, patient, persistent and prolific. Why? Fear is an anchor leading to:
- writer’s block
- general apathy
I can advise you to generously help people but if you feel bogged down by fear, you will ignore me because you just want to help yourself. See how far you get blogging-wise helping yourself. Expect to publish a cyber diary. Nobody reads self-centered bloggers but the blogger themselves.
Crying Leads to Shining
Last night I worked through the evening. Sickness mixed with energy surges inspired me to work then to meditate at 3 AM. Fatigue and allowing unearthed sadness in me; I cried uncontrollably for 10 minutes. Guess what? I immediately felt better, peaceful, poised, calm, grateful and generous. Perfect energy for accelerating my blogging success. But not crying out those energies creates a fear-burden sapping my generosity and abundance.
Do Not Be Tough Because Repressed Fear Leads to Endless Struggle
I have seen many struggling bloggers work 18 hour days doing smart stuff but injecting work with fear-strain-force. Guess what? Struggles ensue because you cannot get over what’s still in you. Do not be tough. Do not repress fear because fear will destroy your blogging campaign. Every struggle is fear. Every failure is fear. Feel fear – however unpleasant – to move along the struggle, to be generous, to trust and to succeed.
In my eBook: Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger
I explain thinking, feeling and acting like a pro leads to professional results. How can you think, feel and act like a pro blogger if you fear running out of money? How can you succeed if you deeply fear failure? How can you be a generous, trusting person if you feel terrified to spend time building bonds and creating content?
Fear makes you a blogging fool. Blogging fools spam people, publish thin content and fail forever until they face, embrace and release fears.
Cry it out. Seriously. I felt such a purge last night. I continue to predominantly feel amazing, light and relaxed by feeling whatever emotions arise in my being. Nobody enjoys feeling sad, but in the same vein, you will be completely blind to and fabulously ignorant of good, successful blogging advice if you feel burdened by sadness. Nobody succeeds in a happy, abundant way being saddled by fear and sadness. Let it go. Process your emotions not from logic, but from raw energy.
Once the tears go, then fears go. From that energy you are free to become a highly successful, prospering blogger because you act from an abundant, generous vibe.
Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?
Writing and self-publishing eBooks scares bloggers.
I piddled in my eBook writing pants until 2012. People told me I should write ’em. I looked for every reason in the eBook NOT to write eBooks. Nobody would listen. Nobody would buy. Nobody would care.
Turns out, people listen, buy and care enough to publish 5 star reviews for my eBooks. Look at the featured image for this blog post describing this eBook:
I locked down five, 5 star reviews because I taught my readers how to write successful eBooks fast. But years prior, fear clouded my mind concerning writing eBooks to the point of me refusing to write one. You may be in the same cyber boat; but you better not miss the eBook writing boat. Lucrative profits serve as one part of the picture. Digging deeper, writing eBooks brands you, distancing you from the herd. Plus you feel good writing short reads and gain trust and extra credibility in the eyes of readers.
Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?
Fear is the core reason. Fear of failure, criticism or wasting time sit near the top of eBook-related fears. I did not know how to sit down and write the darn things. Fear arose in my mind; how would I do it? Who would teach me? Could I find the process? Would I need special editors? How could I learn the technical steps for conceiving an idea to shipping the eBook on Amazon? Tech stuff really scared me; I had no idea how to save Word files with different, web-based extensions, let alone creating covers with proper dimensions via Canva to meet Amazon’s diligent standards.
Rather than learn how to do these things I allowed fear to get the better of me, refusing to write eBooks. But during a trip to India I met a reader and friend who begged me to write eBooks for a while. He had been on me for a minute. Meeting in person, he finally convinced me to write and self-publish an eBook on a lesser known digital platform. Later, I went with Amazon, and never looked back.
I had to dive into and nudge through deep fears related to failing and being criticized because I believed nobody would buy what I offered in eBook form. As my friend convinced me, I waded through ideas like wasting my time, getting terrible reviews and promoting my eBook to the tune of zero sales. Did it feel good to embrace these fears? Heck no. But the benefits of self-publishing far outweighed a few unpleasant emotions experienced during these fear-feeling sessions.
Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain
Gain by writing eBooks; if you take experience with you, loss is impossible. Even if you sold not a copy you take valuable writing, marketing and selling experience with you any time you write and launch an eBook. But if you generously help people and make friends, you will sell eBooks and help more people, reflecting gain back to you in physical form.
Digging even deeper, facing and releasing fears associated with criticism and failure benefit you across the board with your blogging campaign. Apply that same fearless nature to other aspects of your blog to boost your blog traffic and profits.
Write and ship.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering Blogger
possesses an interesting cover for anyone not familiar with my eBooks.
For anyone familiar with my 100 plus eBooks, my cover is par for the course. Every single one of my eBook covers has been personally snapped by me. Images of paradise preserved by yours truly fit my brand, blog and eBook covers perfectly. Blogging From Paradise means retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Sometimes I visit islands. Sometimes I visit mainland spots. In all cases, my eBooks and courses – as well as my blog – bleed travel images because this approach fits my brand and is unheard of in the blogging tips niche.
I totally respect any blogging tips blogger who posts featured images for their blogs and eBook covers consistent with content titles. Imagine a light bulb and dollar sign for the above eBook cover, for starters. But I went with a photo I snapped in gorgeous Rawai Bay in Phuket, Thailand for my cover image. Why? Nobody else on earth uses their travel photos as eBook covers and featured post images in the blogging tips niche. If nobody else does it and the move completely aligns with my brand message, this is the starting point for being an intelligent and prospering blogger.
Smart and Prospering Means Different
Every successful blogger I follow sticks to basic fundamentals but deviates from the norm in some regards. Different means bigger bucks and smarter prospering because readers notice that different flavor stepping away from normal. Folks enjoy my covers and blog post images, even though the content and eBook title technically have nothing to do with travel images. Guess what? Adding my brand logo aligns the eBook cover with my blog and brand. People clearly see I am about blogging from paradise. Why not add travel images to each eBook cover?
I follow a high number of basic blogging rules; create value, build connections, be generous and have fun. But if you do EVERYTHING just like most bloggers, you get lost in the herd. Nothing makes you stand out if you do not choose to stand out with at least one element of your blogging campaign. I stood out with eye-popping eBook images I snapped myself, in a blogging tips niche. How do you stand out? Ask yourself the question. Be straight with yourself to answer.
Bigger Profits from a Smarter Energy by Being Different
Cindy Crawford kept her mole. Muscle Man Arnold kept his accent. Steve Jobs made computers and peripherals outrageously expensive and designed quite weirdly compared to other computers and peripherals. Guess what? Crawford, Arnold and Jobs are legends who we won’t forget for a long time. Different makes you a serious fortune because people notice folks who stand out in some way, shape or form. This different approach bleeds intelligence; why work your butt off if you look just like the next guy and offer a mimicking service?
But Make Sure You Follow Some Fundamentals
Steve Jobs did not attempt to make computers out of cardboard. Arnold did not try to speak German in Hollywood movies. Cindy Crawford did not try to rewrite the foundations of modeling by wearing a fake beard of photo shoots. All icons followed basic rules for their industries because being too far out in left field usually makes you forgettable, or, impossible to spot. Follow blogging fundamentals to stay in the game but find that one thing that distances you from the herd.
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