Do you strive for blogging success?
In the world of blogging, the potential for success is almost limitless. Top blogs like Mashable and Smashing Magazine regularly earn several hundred thousand dollars a month.
The power of blogging can also be used to launch products and services. For example WP Curve, a million dollar WordPress support company, was built on the back of a series of blog posts by founder Dan Morris. Not a cent was spent on external advertising.
However, bloggers today face an unprecedented barrage of competition. Two million blog posts are written every day.
At the same time, our attention spans are decreasing. Our average attention span is now 8 seconds. That’s one second less than a goldfish.
So how can you rise above the digital noise and succeed as a blogger?
Well there are 5 essential tactics you must use.
Master them and success will be yours.
1. Choose the right topics
If you’re blogging to make money, your blog should not be about you or your business. First and foremost, your blog needs to be about your readers. You must produce content that addresses the needs and desires of you readers. Your goal should be to keep coming up with interesting topics to write about.
The key question you need to ask is: What do your readers want to know?
Businesses exist because they address a need in their customers. Your blog is no different. If you can consistently write about subjects that your readers want to know about, you will attract an audience.
To find out what your readers want to know, you have a number of options:
- Keyword research. Use keyword research tools like google’s keyword planner to find out what people are searching for online.
- Forums. There are almost certainly forums relevant to your niche. What are the members posting about? What difficulties are they experiencing?
- Q&A sites. Question and Answer sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers have questions on every conceivable subject. Run a search using your industry keywords.
- Surveys. Ask your readers what they need to know. You can post your survey via your website on social media.
- Competitor sites. Spying on your competition can be a good source of topic ideas. But don’t simply regurgitate their content. Come up with a fresh spin or your own unique angle.
Now you have a list of topics that your readers want to know more about. The next step is to write a blog post for each topic.
2. Produce quality content
Writing on topics that interest your audience will get them to check out your blog posts. The next stage is to keep them reading. There’s one sure way to do this:
Give them quality content.
As Copyblogger’s Sonia Simons says, “If you’re a content marketer, high-quality content is your most potent form of advertising.”
Quality content means content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience:
- It’s relevant because it approaches topics from your audience’s point of view, and addresses these topics in a language they understand. Some bloggers produce content that is targeted at their peers and is full of technical jargon. Don’t be like them. Write for your readers not your peers. Use a conversational tone. Show you understand what your audience feels about a particular topic.
- It’s valuable because it’s content that is not readily available elsewhere. It’s full of actionable ideas that your audience can implement. It gives your unique perspective which is different to that of your competitors. It’s backed by figures, data, and case studies.
Quality content takes time and effort but it’s the surest way of building your authority and traffic.
3. Promote on social media
Now you have your quality content written and published you need to get eyeballs on the page. If you already have a following eager for your fresh content you’re off to a flying start. Still, whether you’ve got an established blog or you’re fresh off the blocks you should be constantly expanding your reach.
Social media is a simple and free way of promoting your content and holds almost limitless potential. The most effective social media accounts will depend on your niche but the most important are Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin and Pinterest.
For social media success you need to build your followers and promote your content to them:
- Build your followers by following audiences with interests relevant to your blog. The simplest way to do this is to follow the followers of the top influencers in your niche. Some of them will follow you back. Engage with them. Share their content. Participate in conversations. Be respectful but also demonstrate your value.
- Promote content to your followers. However don’t be overly self-promotional. No one wants to be subjected to a continuous sales pitch. As Social Media Today advises, follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the content should be on topics that interest your audience, 20% of the content can directly promote your brand. Also, don’t limit the content to your own. Share the content of others and in time they will return the favour.
4. Build an email list
As online marketing expert Derek Halpern says: “If you’re not building an email list, you’re making a HUGE mistake.”
Your email list is your most valuable asset. It provides a guaranteed audience for everything you write. Written a new epic blog post? Email your list and your devoted fans will lap it up and share it on their social networks.
Furthermore, you can sell products and services directly to your email list. Doing this will give your highest conversions. Think about it. Your email list have signed up because they want to receive regular content from you. They eagerly open your emails to benefit from your insight and guidance. They love your stuff and are just waiting for the opportunity to buy from you.
To build an email list you should place opt-in forms prominently on your website. As far as placement goes, these locations have consistently proved to be high converting:
- Feature box. This box is located on your home page. Your home page is typically highly trafficked so get people to sign up there.
- Top of sidebar. Try to draw attention to it by using colors that stand out from the rest of your site.
- End of post. People who’ve read through your entire post are engaged with your content. Ask them to sign up for more.
- Pop ups. These are highly controversial. They often have the highest conversions but if you overuse them they can annoy your readers.
Compare the effectiveness of different locations by split testing. Every niche and website is different, so you need to find out what works for you.
To really boost your conversion rates, consider offering a lead magnet such as a free e-book or email course as an extra incentive for people to give you their email.
5. Connect with influencers
As you build your social media following and email list you will start to see a flow of regular visitors to your blog posts. However you may not be able to compare to the influence of top bloggers like Pat Flynn who boasts over 75,000 subscribers to his email list and over 110,000 followers on twitter.
If only you could direct just a little of that traffic to your site. That would be so awesome.
Well, with influencer marketing you can.
Influencer marketing is a tactic whereby you forge a relationship with a key influencer in your niche. Then when the opportunity arises, you can leverage that relationship to your advantage.
The key to influencer marketing is to give before you ask.
You can give to influencers by:
- Sharing their content on social media.
- Linking out to them in your blog posts.
- Commenting on their blogs.
You can ask influencers to:
- Share your latest blog post on social media.
- Offer you a guest post on their blog.
- Be interviewed on your blog.
Whether you’re guest posting on an influencer’s blog or interviewing them on your blog, you’re harnessing the power of their huge audience and authority. Some of that will rub off on you. Influencer marketing when done properly can really skyrocket your blog traffic.
Blogging success is within your grasp
There’s no secret to blogging success. It’s all about applying these 5 essential tactics, being driven and being consistent. In 2005 Pete Cashmore launched Mashable on a WordPress blog in his bedroom. Seven years later Mashable was valued at an estimated $200 million.
Who’s to say you can’t be the next Mashable?
Do You Get Lost in Blogging Busywork?
My prime business intent going forward is to get my 124 ebooks in 1 billion places. That’s it. I will promote other opportunities of course and prosper through multiple channels but it is a billion with my 124. Hold me to that. Wait a second. You won’t have to hold me to that. I’m pretty good about being accountable to myself.
Anyway, it’s been fascinating to see moments of my mind attempting to pull me to blogging busy work. You know exactly what I mean. For me, my day is largely about promoting my ebooks through Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, guest posts, Live broadcasts on Facebook, my podcast, and videos on Twitter as well. Other than promoting a few other opportunities, I do not intend to do anything else. But of course my mind tries to pull me toward blogging busy work at times. How does my sidebar look? Is my sidebar converting enough? What about blog comments? Should I open comments on specific old blog posts? Each question indicates some type of busy work that is not genuinely important or business building for your blog. Of course, most bloggers spend a fair chunk of their days on busy work and wonder why they struggle and fail so horribly. If you spend most of your time doing what does not matter, you will fail. But if you spend most of your time doing what does matter, creating and connecting and opening multiple streams of income, you will succeed. Blogging is that simple.
But blogging is not comfortable at all because even though we intellectually know to avoid busy work, our fears pull us in towards the silly activities. Some bloggers spend weeks or months or even years doing stuff that ultimately does not matter. Why spend hours on your blog design when it’s the content you create and the connections you build that lead to your greatest blogging success? You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to blogging. Being straight with yourself makes the difference between success and failure.
I usually catch myself within seconds to minutes of being engaged in busy work that does not really make a difference. I scan my email in seconds. I am down to that number now. But I recall my struggling days when I would be in my email for 20 minutes or an hour or longer every day. I tried to read every word of every email. I tried to engage every silly sponsored post pitch. Huge mistakes. I wasted so much time on what didn’t matter. You know what matters? Creating helpful content and building genuine connections with human beings by helping other bloggers. Do these things and you position yourself to succeed. Add income streams and you position yourself to become a full-time blogger, just like I discuss in this eBook.
Blogging is simple but uncomfortable. Creating and connecting feels uncomfortable when your fear pulls you toward busy work. Ego is like that. The mind is like that. It makes a mountain out of a molehill by pulling you away from core, business building blogging activities towards stuff that waste your time. I have never looked at a heat map in my blogging life yet I’ve circled the globe for the past eight years as a professional blogger. Feel free to spend a few moments checking out heat maps but when moments become hours, you’re messing up. You’re too engaged in blogging busy work. Help people freely and generously. Trust in the process. Open multiple streams of income. Promote your core opportunity the most, like me promoting my 124 ebooks. Success will find you.
Do You Reject or Accept Opportunities for Growth?
I just wrote and self published this ebook in a little over 24 hours:
not bad, eh? I asked my readers for ebook ideas. I received answers. I wrote the ebook. I really hustled on this one. I’ve already generated a quick sale. How? I accept opportunities for growth immediately. Do you feel the same way? Or do you reject opportunities for blogging growth? Be honest with yourself. This is not a comfortable process for bloggers to follow because your ego may sting a little bit.
Blogging struggle is borne of rejecting opportunities for growth. Blogging success is born of accepting opportunities for blogging growth immediately. I opened another income stream within 24 hours based on seizing an opportunity immediately. No hesitating. No hemming and hawing. No delaying. Other than sleeping for a handful of hours I did nothing else other than write the ebook, proofread the ebook, add photos and publish the sucker during that 24-hour stretch. Oh yeah. I also did some networking and content creating and yes, I promoted a handful of my 123 books. But I wrote ebook number 124 during that time frame too. Why? I love blogging. I love freedom. I love seizing opportunities for blogging growth.
Emerson said all life is an experiment and the more experiments you make the better. This wise man knew the secret to success. Seize the moment and squeeze all you can out of the moment by accepting opportunities for blogging growth fast. If a reader nudges you to write an ebook, write the darn ebook. Do not delay. Unless you despise writing, and you probably don’t because you blog, write the ebook, help the reader and make money. If one reader has that issue than 50 million readers have that issue. We are all human beings with pretty similar problems when you break everything down.
How quickly do you reject opportunities for growth because you fear something or someone? My most lucrative freelance writing client basically had to beg me to work for him. I so deeply feared I would not be worth the money he was paying me and I also feared his criticism, even though he was such a nice, warm, genuine dude. After he would not accept me saying no, I accepted the job and made a pretty penny over the course of our relationship. I learned my lesson. Now I gobble up opportunities for growth so quickly it’ll make your head spin.
I could go to bed right now to take a quick nap. I just worked for the long stretch to write the e-book and release it. But I gobble up this opportunity to write a guest post. Again guys, I accept opportunities for growth and grow like a stinking blogging weed.
Do not ignore opportunities because you fear seizing blogging opportunities because ignorance leads to struggle, failure and quitting. Seize the moment. Seize opportunities for blogging growth. Write the guest post. Broadcast live on Facebook. Upload a video to Twitter. Write the ebook. Convert it to audiobook. Create a course. How do you think I retired to a life of island hopping? I did not sit on the sidelines folks, waiting and waiting and waiting for opportunities. I seized opportunities for growth quickly and more opportunities flowed my way. Opportunities seized, multiply fast. Opportunities rejected disappear immediately.
Seize the blogging moment!
No Blogger Can Force Clients Customers or Readers to Learn and Succeed
Sometimes you just need to get right to the point with blog post titles. This is one such title and blog post. After answering questions for readers recently I made a realization. Honestly, I’ve had this realization in mind for many years. I guess I never chose to write about it. But today I will cover the topic. You cannot force a reader, client or customer to learn and succeed. This is just not possible. You cannot will someone to see what they are not prepared to see or do what they are not prepared to do.
Sometimes, coaches struggle horribly because they base their success or failure on the success or failure of clients. This is lunacy. You can show a horse the way but you cannot force the horse to drink, right? Ditto for human beings. You can coach someone but you cannot force them to do what you advised them to do. That is 100% in their hands. In truth, the best blogging coaches, ebook writers and consultants are at peace with doing their best job and leaving it at that.
I regularly answer questions for free, offering experience, helpful advice for new or struggling bloggers. Said newer struggling bloggers return within a few seconds with more questions, trying to find a different way to succeed, trying to find the quick shortcuts that lead to guaranteed failure. I release these people. Although I have compassion for fear-filled new and struggling bloggers, it is not my job to convince them of my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either they’re smart and listen, humbling themselves and their ego. Or they make the foolish decision of trusting their fears over my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either way, I have nothing to do with their outcomes. They choose to listen or to ignore me. I’m cool with that.
Be clear with the fact that most humans live predominately from fear so until they change their programming through a personal decision they will ignore good advice and follow bad advice. Self-fulfilling prophecy. In the same regard, you can trigger emotions in someone that allows them to follow your successful advice. Someone may open up and learn from you if it’s their time to open up. Totally their personal decision that has nothing to do with you. This is why I never get full of myself. I understand everybody’s life is their choice. I can show the way. You choose to follow or ignore. Nothing to do with me.
Stop wasting your energy trying to convince, manipulate or flat-out force clients and customers to do what you advise them to do. Offer your advice. Detach. Some folks will follow your advice and succeed with their blogs. Other folks will ignore your advice and continue to fail. You did what you could but now it’s up to them to use your knowledge and experience for their benefit. Keep helping people. Keep meeting new people. Don’t get attached to clients or customers. Offer tips and leave it at that. Every human being is fully accountable for themselves. You are a blogger, not a babysitter. You inspire but you’re not a savior. You can try but you can’t force people to do anything. Be at peace with this truth and you will become more successful than you ever dreamed. Most bloggers never succeed wildly because they never scale, being heavily attached to a few clients or customers. Highly successful, happy, free bloggers keep meeting and helping new people and allowing those people to find their own way. I am responsible for no one but myself. This is how I’ve lived the life of my dreams.
Do you want to live a movie-worthy life of travel like me?
Buy my eBook:
PS…the featured image is me in New Zealand and the hut above is where me and my wife lived deep in the jungles of Costa Rica.
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