If you don’t currently own your personal name as a domain and using it to grow your personal brand or expertise, you are missing out big time. Not only is it unique and crucial to own your name as a domain (so no one else has it), it’s also a great way to show off your expertise and help rank your site in Google as well. With all of this in mind, millions of people are using their personal names and blogging to help grow their reach and business connections online.

Ian Brodie is no exception to this rule, and he’s been able to grow his network of connections and consulting business in the process. Learn more about Ian and how to use a blog to grow your brand and expertise in this latest edition of Meet the Bloggers.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?

Ian BrodieI work with consultants and coaches to help them get more clients – in particular by helping them quickly become seen as authorities in their field.

I got into blogging right when I started my own business in 2007. It wasn’t for any business related reason. I’d just quit my job working for a big consulting firm and I’d been in consulting working for large firms for 13 years and I just had “stuff” I wanted to say to other consultants about marketing and sales that I thought they’d find useful.

I didn’t think it would turn into anything – I just thought I could give back a bit and also had a few things I wanted to get off my chest 🙂

As it happens, the blog started generating more traffic than my expensive SEOd website within a few months, so I switched over to doing everything on the blog and it went from there.

2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?

The focus of my blog is tips, hints and bigger strategies that consultants and coaches can use to help them get more clients. I focused on that niche because it’s who I am myself and it’s what I know.

At first I posted about things I’d learned about marketing and sales from my corporate consulting days. Then as I got more successful in my own business I started posting more about what I was doing there. Then I moved to doing pretty much all my business online and my posts began to reflect that.

So I guess I’m really sharing advice on the things I wish I’d known about marketing and sales a few years (or even months) ago!

3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?

Monetisation is almost entirely from my own products and services. People read my stuff, subscribe to my email list and either become a member of my membership program where they get in depth training on marketing and sales specifically designed for consultants and coaches; or more recently I’ve been offering a group coaching program focused on getting seen as an authority in your field as fast as possible.

In addition I probably get about 5-10% of my income from passive promotion of tools I use.

4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?

I learnt this after a few years, but I wish I’d started building an email list immediately when I started blogging. I wasted a couple of years putting out great material but with no way for people to subscribe and me to communicate with them directly.

5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?

I always check out James Altucher’s blog – I think he’s a great and very honest writer so there’s always something to learn from him. A lot of the other bloggers I follow don’t necessarily post that often. Bryan Harris at Videofruit for example, or Neil Patel.

6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?

I use Thrive Leads to capture emails on my blog. Active Campaign to send out emails to subscribers and Social Warfare for my social sharing buttons.

7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?

Find out what works in your niche. Daily blogging works in some niches, not in others. In some niches, the high traffic blogs are short opinion pieces. In others, they’re huge encyclopedic posts with tons of outbound links. Check out the most popular blogs in your niche (see who shows up top on google and in shares via buzzsumo) and identify what style of blog posts works best.

8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?

I don’t think it was advice, more something I noticed the blogs I liked best were doing, and that’s, to be honest. Put what you really think out there. Share your failures as well as successes. These days people like to see a real person, not a façade.

9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?

If only had $100 pretty much all of it would go on Facebook Advertising to get my target audience to a landing page with a lead magnet and sign up for my regular emails. That’s the fastest way to build an audience that keeps coming back to your blog (‘cos you’re emailing them useful stuff that gets them back).

10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?

Just head over to Ianbrodie.com – you can sign up for my regular tips or click through to my social profiles from there.

Thanks again to Ian Brodie for taking the time to share his advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.