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5 Essential Tactics for Blogging Success

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blogging success

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?

My name is Foxy, and my job is to sniff out the good guest bloggers from the ones who aren't. This post was written by a contributing author to Blogging Tips. If you would like to learn more about becoming a writer (not one-time guest blogging) for BloggingTips.com, please contact us.

Blogging

Successful Blogging: EXPERIENCE and Learn

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Do you know how people tell you to live and learn? Not the best advice. EXPERIENCE life and observe your lessons. THEN learn. Successful blogging is observing, learning then moving forward with those lessons firmly impressed on your mind. All that sweet blogging money only appears if you experience blogging by diving in, and blogging every single day for hours daily. After, you need to observe your experience. What did you learn? Take those lessons with you to succeed online. Living is useless unless you learn from experiences. EXPERIENCING blogging and learning from experiences separates successful bloggers from everybody else.

Let me explain…..

Me and my wife house sit in Brooklyn for 3 weeks now. The homeowners have a car. I need to move the car to find a new parking spot once weekly as alternate side of the street parking rules are in effect due to weekly street cleaning. The owners simply told me it’d be easy to find a spot early in the afternoon. Cool. But their advice did nothing to prepare me for the EXPERIENCE of actually trying to start the car, and find a new parking spot. I never used a key-less car before. I had no idea you need to press on the brake while pushing the start button because I had no experience doing so, and the owners did not give me instructions to do this. I know you place a key into ignition and turn it because that is my experience for 30 years as a driver. Anyway, 45 minutes later, I figured how to start the car. But wait! I had a new experience to…..experience. I had lessons to learn. Because after exiting the parking spot, I drove side streets for another 50 minutes before finding a spot. Frustrated and agitated, I learned a valuable lesson *from* my experience; change parking spots from one street side to another immediately after the street sweeper comes through. Cool.

But I had another lesson to learn. Traffic cops give tickets if you park on the alternate side before 1 PM; even if the street cleaner plowed through. Being burned by yesterday, I drove around for 90 minutes today to ensure I’d have an entire city block of open parking to choose from. OK; I also illegally parked on that open block for about 45 of those minutes. Why? Yesterday’s agitating experience told me it’s wiser and less time consuming to circle for 90 minutes to guarantee I get easy parking. Wait! I learned another lesson based on today’s experience. Never leave your parking spot at 11:30 AM when street cleaners move thru because you’ve 90 minutes to kill before legally parking on the alternate side. I asked a traffic cop. He offered the answer. More experience. Next week, I hop in the car only if the alternate side seems to fill up fast but based on prior experience, this only happens at about 12:50 PM, 10 minutes before the expiry time.

Blessed experience wins again. Life-wise. Blogging-wise. Seize it. Capitalize on it. Succeed. Blogging is no spectator sport.

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Blogging

1 Blogging Lesson I Learned from Parking a Car in NYC

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Alternate side of the street parking day here in NYC. This means you need to move your car to the other side of the street for street cleaning. Cool. I heard it on the radio many times. First time I had to experience it in person, though. We house sit for a couple in Brooklyn. This couple owns a car. Cool. But the car did not start for a good hour because I did not know one steps on brakes while pressing key-less start buttons. Oh well. But after that, I drove around for 45 minutes looking for a new spot on the other side of the road because you get a nice ticket otherwise. No spots availed themselves for 45 minutes. I spoke to my wife. She told me cars need be parked 15 feet from fire hydrants. I was 5 feet away. Shoot. On returning to the car, a bus moved in front of me. I slid in to a parking spot. Phew. Relief.

What lesson did I learn? No matter how calm you THINK you are, agitation arises in you. Unless you’re enlightened. Alas I am not. I am a regular guy. Calm? Yep. But I routinely find events feeling uncomfortable to navigate. Sometimes, aka rarely, I experience events triggering deeper fears. Today was one such event. I did not flip out, scream, panic or throw a tantrum. I did however feel super agitated about needing to spend almost 2 hours driving around NYC and trying to start a key-less car because 2 hours are precious to me. I hate wasting time. Inefficient actions disgust me. BUT perfect place, perfect time. I needed this experience to trigger fears for feeling, hugging and clearing, to make me even more calm. No matter how much growth and success you experience, leveling up introduces you to new fears. Deeper fears. More unpleasant fears.

With deeper fears comes greater responsibility and even more success. I suspect if I do become a billionaire blogger how I’ll keep nudging into unpleasant-feeling fears along the way. But inspiring millions and making billions? Worth it. I am humble enough to know my calm demeanor a good 95% of the time may-does evolve into agitation some 5% of the time. Maybe less. Progress has been attained. Because I have not genuinely screamed at someone in about 1 year and I have been agitated like today about 5 times over the past year. I am calm most of the time. Agitation arises rarely because I am human and apt to be afraid of stuff. Sue me, LOL.

Be with fears as you grow. Energies arise. Anger. Terror. Horror at the future. Blanket disgust. Never resist these energies. I stumble across non-enlightened folks who hold self to enlightened standards. No way guys. Never be surprised at your getting angry or upset because only enlightened souls and repressed people never anger or feel agitated. Burying fear stifles your growth. Hugging fear accelerates your growth. You know I hug my fears. NYC parking agitation still subsiding now.

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5 Greatest Landing Page Optimization Tools For Your Blog

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landing page optimization tools

Landing pages can steal people’s attention. And if you play your cards right, these pages hold the ticket to attracting more customers.

However, let’s be clear:

Landing pages are double-edged swords. While they can help you, they can also harm you — unless you’ve optimized them accordingly.

So if you know your landing page needs work, why not get around it?

Well, there are plenty reasons for this, and there are also many landing page plugins that can help to further critique your LPs as well.

As you go through this article, you’ll find five landing page optimization tools for your blog. With them, you can revamp your landing page then have it increase conversions and your blog’s income.

Unbounce

Unbounce - landing page optimization tools

Optimizing landing pages is not possible if you haven’t built them yet. So to construct great landing pages, the tool for you is Unbounce.

And Effin Amazing, a Florida-based agency that specializes in analytics and growth, will tell you all about the tool’s power.

When one of its clients, Chupa Mobile, asked for help generating new leads, Effin Amazing used Unbounce. The team’s idea for its client involved a lead nurturing strategy and a content calendar. That and Effin Amazing wanted to get it done as quickly as possible.

True, it was a rather ambitious plan. However, it was realistic. And get this:

The marketing agency reached its goal. Chupa Mobile was satisfied with its landing page. It also began generating dozens of new leads. Plus, it also walked away with a 44% increase in conversions.

Crazy Egg

Electronic Arts is a successful media company that knows that Crazy Egg lets you set up an A/B test in minutes. It also knows that the tool features Visitor Insights and Heatmaps. Both of which provide information about user behavior on landing pages. So before launching SimCity 5 in 2013, it set up an A/B testing process to maximize revenue.

Crazy Egg

For the control version of its landing page, it merely focuses on promoting the simulation game. While on the other version, the company offers a 20% discount.

Here’s the control version of its landing page:

Crazy Egg - SimCity5Control

Here’s the variation:

Crazy Egg - SimCity5Variation

After a while, the media company discovered that its landing page’s variation was a hit. Compared to the version that brings an incentive into the table, the landing page design without a 20% discount performed 43.4% better.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

If you combine Google Analytics and Google Adwords, a powerful tool is in your hands. You can use it to track landing page performance to haul in leads even after they exit your site.

To demonstrate the power of Analytics, let’s explore Marketo’s conversion increase that happened after using the tool.

So here’s the story:

As a go-to company for many B2B and B2C folks when it comes to marketing and automation, Marketo’s goal is to help its clients improve conversions. And to reach that goal, the plan was to use Analytics and real-time personalization.

So it took its clients’ website data such as industry vertical and top products. Then it merged all of it with the user behavior data it got from Google Analytics.

Because of what the analytics tool reveals, Marketo provided audiences with relevant data. From what it gathered, it also created topnotch remarketing campaigns. The fruits of the marketing company’s labor? A 10x conversion rate improvement for its clients!

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect is a WordPress page builder. And if you’re searching for a tool that can help you create visually impressive, high-converting landing pages, it’s the tool you need.

Take it from Louise Hendon. She is a solopreneur who uses Thrive Architect to whip up topnotch landing pages for Nourishing Brands. That’s why, over the years, she succeeded in building a sizeable six-figure business.

An upside is this:

Thrive Architect features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you build your page quickly. If you want detailed instructions on how to use the page builder, this article from ProfitBlitz will come to your rescue.

Pingdom

Pingdom

Did you know that Refinery29, a globally recognized brand for smart, creative women, uses Pingdom? And because the tool provides insights about how to increase page loading speed, the brand welcomes 36 million monthly visits.

So if your landing page loads slowly, Pingdom can help you. The tool works by taking your site out for a spin and pointing you to the root of the problem.

The excellent news is Pingdom is free and easy-to-use. All you must do is paste your site’s URL where the tool specifies, and you’re good to go.

To see it work in action, let’s check the page loading speed of a random site. For this, let’s go with Goliath National Bank’s website. So let’s paste its URL on the appropriate field and click START TEST.

Pingdom - Example

After the tool is done with the analysis, scroll down the same page to see the results.

Pingdom - Results

And if you scroll down some more, you’ll find suggestions on how to improve page performance. If you want a detailed explanation on how to improve page performance, expand the suggestion.

Pingdom - How to Improve Page Performance

Final Thoughts

Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes and think of a landing page as a gateway to something unknown. Now, if someone herded you toward this gateway, would you want to see what’s on the other side of the fence if the entry point is dreary?

Chances are, you won’t. By the looks of it, choosing to pursue the dark path won’t lead to anywhere promising.

Remember, creating landing pages and creating landing pages that convert are two different things. So as you build your landing pages, make sure to implement nothing but the best landing page optimization practices.

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