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.
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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