More than 64 million new blog posts are published on WordPress blogs every month. Which means if you’re new to blogging, or thinking about starting a new blog from scratch, competing against the already established players can be a daunting task.
There’s already so much competition that I won’t blame you if you give up after publishing 1 or 2 posts.
However, if you’re smarter than the average blogger, there are still ways you can make a name for yourself, and a lot of money, in almost any niche.
In fact, if you look closely, you only need to do a few things well on a consistent basis to generate regular traffic to your blog, build a loyal readership and open up possibilities of monetization.
Let me explain them one by one
1. Focus on a Very Specific Niche and a Well-Defined Audience
If your next blog is about weight loss and healthy living, stop!
Narrow your focus down to something like “post pregnancy weight loss tips” or “healthy living for heart patients over 50”
Instead of creating a blog on freelancing in general, start a blog for freelance bloggers or freelance graphic designers. You can be even more specific by targeting certain countries and locations. For example, freelance graphic designers from India.
The more niche you go the higher your chances of success.
Why? Because targeting a small niche, instead of a very broad audience, allows you to create laser-focused blog content that solves problems and establishes you as an expert.
Google also loves blogs that are focused on a single niche or a small group of closely related topics.
In short, choosing the right niche can be the difference between a wildly successful and a completely useless blog.
2. Answer the Biggest Questions of Your Audience With Your Content
Millions of new blog posts are published every day, but most of them hardly get any traffic.
If you don’t want to be one of them, identify the right topics for your blog content.
The best way to do this is by identifying the biggest problems and questions of your target audience. Things that they want to know more about.
Even when you’re creating promotional content like product reviews and comparisons, keep the benefit of your readers ahead of everything else. Ask yourself if your content is solving a problem or simply adding to the noise. This detailed product comparison post is a fine example
There are several ways to identify the topics your audience wants to know more about.
You can use discussion forums like Quora, Reddit and LinkedIn groups, or look for niche specific discussion forums.
Or you could use Answer The Public, a brilliant free tool that helps you find dozens of questions people are asking about your topic.
For example, this is what got when I searched for the term “make money online” [click image to enlarge]
Every one of these questions is a potential blog post topic.
Simply download the list of questions and start creating detailed and actionable step by step guidelines that can help your audience move forward.
Remember, the only way to get your content noticed is by making it super actionable. Don’t just tell people what to do, show them how it’s done.
Create content that solves the problems of your readers but also don’t forget to follow on-page SEO best practices before publishing your posts so that you attract traffic from Google as well.
3. Use Lead Magnets to Build Your Email List from Day 1
To build a successful blog, you need to diversify your traffic sources so that you don’t go out of business with one Google algorithm change.
Which is why you need to build your email list from day 1.
Your email subscribers know you, trust you and are much likelier to read your content and buy from you.
But not every subscriber is useful for your business.
You need to attract email subscribers who can turn into paying customers in future.
To achieve this, you need to create a highly focused email lead magnet – a free eBook, a video course, an email course or any other incentive for joining your list.
Create a lead magnet that is closely aligned with your paid services.
For example, if you’re selling website design services through your blog, your potential lead magnet could be “10 Deadly Sins of Web Design” or “21 Point Website Design Checklist”
The primary audience of BloggingTips consists of people who want to make money with blogging.
Which is why Zac’s free course “30-Day Blog Mastery Videos” is the perfect lead magnet for his audience.
The right lead magnet will start converting your traffic into subscribers. So put it in place from the very first day.
But if you really want to accelerate the list building process, market your lead magnet using Facebook ads. It might cost you a few hundred dollars, but it would save you months or even years of hard work required to get subscribers organically.
4. Establish a Strong Relationship With Your Audience Using Email Marketing
Once your email lead magnet is in place and starts attracting subscribers, make sure you keep them engaged with smart email marketing.
In fact, you need to have a pre-designed autoresponder series in place to nurture the relationship with your subscribers and convince them to buy the products you recommend or create yourself.
Create engaging email content that talks directly to your subscribers in a very informal and conversational tone. Ask them questions and encourage them to pick your brains. The more they engage with you, the quicker your relationship will grow.
This email marketing infographic sums up the topic pretty well.
When your audience is used to reading and interacting with your emails, your chances of driving action from them are much higher.
This is exactly why the most successful internet marketers and bloggers consider email subscribers their biggest assets.
5. Build Your Credibility and Brand Image With Guest Blogging
If you want people to read your content, share it with their friends and keep waiting for your next post, you need to build trust and credibility.
Once people start trusting you a genuine expert your niche, they would gladly read your content and even feel proud in associating themselves with you.
And what’s the easiest way to build credibility on the web?
By simply associating yourself with established industry leaders and by writing guest posts for respected blogs, magazines and online publications.
When people see that your content has been published on The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Problogger, MarketingProfs, HubSpot and other established high traffic blogs, they assume you’re an expert in your niche.
This is the path some of the most successful bloggers have followed.
Bamidele Onibalusi is a great example of how effective guest blogging can be. The very foundations of his blog are built on guest blogging
Jon Morrow and Danny Iny are other hugely successful bloggers who’ve used guest blogging to build their online businesses.
Building a successful blog from scratch is a very difficult thing to do these days because of the amount of new content being published every day on the web. However, if you target a very specific audience, create content that solves their problems, build you email list and focus on building trust with your audience, you can still create a hugely successful and popular blog in a very short time.
3 Tips for Bonding with Blogging Influencers
Forget traditional influencer marketing. We want to go deeper.
Bloggers teach influencer marketing from a less genuine space sometimes. Imagine learning how to try to get someone to do something for you. Manipulation marketing. Fear-based marketing. Problems arise; spam folders become your landing spot. I observe a decent percentage of influencer marketing emails in my spam folder because fear-pitches get labeled as spam and become spam, 100% of the time.
What is the solution? Learn how to bond with blogging influencers.
I remember people who befriend me. I admire people who endorse me or promote me. I appreciate people who buy my course or eBooks. I love people who generously help me for months. Guess what? Bonding with established bloggers influences the influencers. I do stuff for dear blogging friends I do not do for anybody else. If a friend sends me a guest post and their writing is tight, I place it. Even if said post spans 1000 words or more – my minimum count is 600 – I place it without hesitating. Friends found my heart. Friends influenced me through kindness and generosity. I am largely putty in their blogging hands.
Instead of trying to manipulate a successful stranger, bond with a friend. Change your approach to influencer marketing. Make friends. Help without asking. In time, blogging bonds form organically. If you practice writing, the world becomes your oyster because influencers take you to new levels of success, without you even asking.
Follow these tips to bond with influencers.
1: Buy a Resource
The best way to bond with an influencer is to get inside their heads.
Influential bloggers had to influence influential bloggers on the way up to become influential. Invest in a resource like my influential blogger eBook to learn how influencers do it. Speak their language. Connect. Take their viewpoint. Learn how to be influential yourself.
When you discover how to be influential through my resource you in essence, learn how to influence, influencers, by bonding with these pros.
2: Spend a Few Months Giving Not Asking
Bloggers I remember, then befriend, spend at least a few months giving and not asking. Someone buys my course, publishes 10 comments on my blog, and retweets my posts 10 or 20 times during a 3 month period. These people pop up on my radar screen because they gave and asked for nothing. Bonds form. Friendships develop.
Retweet fellow bloggers. Help them. Feature fellow bloggers. Open your blog to guest posting. Guest post on other blogs. Comment genuinely on blogs. Buy products.
Ask for nothing, for at least 3-4 months. Allow friendships to form organically. Blogging friends help each other because blogging friends trust each other. Influential bloggers fall into this helping lot too, as you generously serve them, ask for nothing and polish your writing skills. I gained more endorsements from pros by being generous than through any other method. Help influential bloggers. Ask for nothing. Influential bloggers help you without you asking for a darn thing.
3: Never Rush the Process
Some blogger friend requested me on Facebook a few moments ago. I scanned my messages to see his business pitch in the “other” folder. He simply rushed the process of pitching an established blogger. I appreciate the friend request but pitching your business before generously helping me ensures I ignore all future messages. He rushed the process so I let him go.
Perhaps he smartens up and begins helping me generously without asking for anything. After a few months of helping me and asking for nothing, we bond. We become friends. From there, the opportunities are limitless. Even if I do not use his service, if he has skills and a reputable business model I can share his services with my readers.
Good things take some time. Never rush the bonding process.
Allow bonds to form organically to do influencer marketing right.
How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?
I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.
In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.
I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.
Blogging and Fitness
Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.
Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.
I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.
Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.
Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.
Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.
Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals
After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.
Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.
A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:
- referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
- referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you
I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:
- the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
- I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified
Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time
Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.
12 Times Daily Sales
I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.
The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.
Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.
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