Many entrepreneurs have dipped their toes into blogging but not many have gone far. A lot of factors may have played in failure. Perhaps the lack of courage, determination, persistence? There are also instances wherein a venture is progressing but suddenly plateaus in growth. This is often the result of complacency. Successful business owners can attest that facing challenges head-on have led them to great accomplishments and the total lack thereof can do more harm than good.
For Ruben Gamez, he didn’t even have to wait for the challenge to come. He got into blogging by getting out of his comfort zone and challenging himself. Today, he continues to excel as an entrepreneur by constantly finding ways on how to improve his tactic. Learn more about Ruben in this week’s episode of Meet the Bloggers.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
I started blogging as a marketing experiment and to prove to myself that I would be able to sell my first product. At the time I was working a full time job and had an idea for a software product, but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to bring in enough traffic to make the idea viable.
By this point I had read enough about marketing to realize that blogging was a great way to bring in qualified traffic. I quickly did some keyword research and found a topic that I could write on, and published a post (one week later).
The goal was to see if I could actually bring in traffic, and how long it would take for that traffic to start coming in. After two weeks I started getting traffic to that post (through Google)! I was hooked on content marketing at that point.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
Initially we started with a very narrow focus of writing about proposals for designers. That’s because at the time, our product was very niche and that was our target audience.
For example, one of the better performing posts we had at the time, was literally titled “How to Write a Web Design Proposal,” which still performs well for us. As you can imagine, there’s only so much of that type of content you can write for a specific niche.
I quickly realized that it was too narrow and eventually expanded to blogging about helping freelancers, agencies, and consultants land more clients.
We went in this direction after talking to enough customers and seeing what interests they had, and what type of content they liked.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
We have an online software product called Docsketch. So the main way that we monetize our blog is by converting a portion of readers into customers.
It tends to be a longer process because instead of pushing visitors directly into a trial of our product, we work to get them into a drip campaign. From there we can better educate them and build trust. Eventually, some people give Docsketch a try and become customers.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
Great question. I wish I knew enough to focus on the right type of content, and not pick topics by guessing what would appeal to our audience. Nowadays, we’re a lot better about picking our topics.
For example, one approach, is to start by focusing on a larger category and growing that through individual pieces of content. We’re actually doing that right now, with a “contract templates” section on our site: https://www.docsketch.com/contract-templates/
Based on researching what our target customer is looking for, we are expanding that page with individual pieces of content that can also bring in traffic (like a specific type of contract template). This helps in that you can slowly build authority in a very large category, and the individual contract templates will inherit that authority.
Another approach we take is using tools like Hotjar to run microsurveys so we can ask visitors that aren’t on our email list, what we should write about. We even do phone interviews with some of these visitors (and offer them an Amazon gift card for 15 minutes of their time).
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
Well, I’ll give two blogs because I’m having a tough time thinking of three.
My current favorites:
- The Sumo.com blog which focuses on growth stories (so good):
- The James Clear blog which focuses on personal improvement through fitness, psychology, and more.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
- Hotjar for microsurveys, visitor recordings, etc
- Sumo.com for email collection of all types
- Moz for traffic, keywords, and more
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Look at the top five blogs that you love to read, and deconstruct them. Work backwards. Why do you like them so much?
Don’t look at the specifics of how they’re doing things (images, content length, etc.), instead look at how their positioning hooks you, or how their topic choice gets you coming back. Look at the high level things that make a big difference.
From there, spend some time brainstorming how you can use some of what you’ve learned on your own blog. Then, spend lots of time researching, writing, and promoting 🙂
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
I think the best advice I’ve heard (and that I still try to internalize) came from Derek Halpern. Spend 20% of your time writing, and 80% promoting. That doesn’t mean write for 30 minutes and promote a weak piece of content. That means, that whatever time it takes to write a very high quality piece of content, spend 4x that long promoting it.
One interesting side effect is that you start looking at whether the topics you’re writing about are worth that type of promotion time.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I’d use part of it on Sumo.com tool to help me collect leads, the rest on hosting. After that, it’s really just my time on research, writing, and promoting.
The most valuable things that need to be done on a blog don’t cost money. They do involve you investing some time doing them though.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Do You Base Blogging Success or Failure on Your Email Inbox?
I clung to such a weird blogging habit for many years of my online career.
I based my blogging day success or failure solely on the number of emails I received. I sometimes did the even more foolish thing of digging deeper and based my success or failure on money emails. You know what I mean. Emails leading directly to profits like landing clients, selling eBooks or landing sponsored post opportunities. This was one of my biggest blogging mistakes for years because I held on to a predominant vibe of fear which deluded me into believing my success or failure depended on emails in an inbox.
I am as happy and free as I have ever been as a blogger and some days I receive a bunch of email and other days I receive little email. Email has nothing to do with your blogging success because email is 1 of a billion to an infinite number of channels through which you could tune into success and through which you can help people. For some bizarre idea, most bloggers base success or failure on their email inbox, checking their email every few minutes or every few hours. Meanwhile, I just wrote a hundred plus ebooks and promoted those suckers during all those hours you were needlessly checking email, trying to figure out if you were successful or not. I let go the email obsession a while back. Now it is time for you to let go your email obsession in order to free yourself and to become a more successful blogger.
I found out something neat after releasing my fear concerning email. I did not even want email. I wanted as few emails as possible because my prime intent is to profit 100% through passive income streams. Particularly, I intend to profit through my 100 + ebooks. This is why I promote one of my ebooks or more through every piece of content I create and publish daily. I enjoy receiving passive income through royalty payments via Amazon, Selz and Gumroad. Do I need emails to do that? Of course not. I can profit and spend a few seconds or a few minutes checking my email daily and that is pretty much my dream day. This dream day has been moving into form AKA happening quite a bit recently as I moved towards a passive income model slowly and let go the time sapping activity of scanning and responding to email.
Even when I do check email and respond I always include a link to one or more of my eBooks. I do not even specify in most cases the e-book itself. I respond to the email and drop my link. Inquiring minds may want to know, and click, and I receive another potential ebook sale. I am still building my passive income even as I actively check email but I needed to let go the email scarcity thing or the email judgment thing to enter into this space persistently.
Email has no meaning save the meaning you assign to email in mind. I talk about this in my blogging mindset ebook:
…. not so much specifically but in the general concept that you succeed or fail based on the vibe you maintain or based on the mindset you cultivate. Succeed as a blogger by thinking, feeling and acting like a successful blogger. To do this you need to create a successful blogger mindset in most cases because we tend to think, feel and act like failing bloggers as newbies or struggling bloggers. Face your fears. Feel your fears. Clear your fears. Lay the foundation for a successful blogging campaign.
Develop an abundance mindset, as I discuss in this video:
Email is just one of a billion to infinite streams through which you can help people and receive money. Let it go. Do not judge your blogging success or failure on numbers on a screen. This is lunacy. Follow your fun. Nudge into fears. Create and connect. Monetize through multiple income streams. Be generous. Trust in the blogging process. Success will find you.
What Bosch Products and Dishwashers Can Teach Us About Business
Business is what makes the world go round. It’s not just about the money that is generated from a business, it’s the service provided and also learning how to better cater to the needs of your audience, while also evolving over time.
Whether you have an offline retail or service business, a website or blog, or even working as a freelancer to start making some money on the side and doing your own thing — they are all unique in their own ways, and also providing you with a journey that you learn from day after day.
Bosch, one of the most popular electronics and service businesses in the world today has created some of the more important products in millions of households around the world, while also building quite the reputation for themselves.
With this in mind, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at their latest Bosch 800 Series Dishwashing Machines, and comparing it’s features to that of an online business, or to the life of an entrepreneur.
After all, these products are all created for the ideal usage from their customers, which is the same way your blog, brand, or business should be built as well.
What Every Entrepreneur Can Learn from a Dishwasher
When you think of a dishwashing machine, you probably just think about how you have to load dirty dishes into and then click a button.
Much like a business or a marketing strategy, there are many different components to a dishwasher to make sure it’s always working, cleaning as much as possible, and also worth the monetary investment that someone has to make to acquire one.
With all of this in mind, lets take a look at some of the more important features, settings, and factors in place that make Bosch’s line of dishwashing machines not only top of the line, but also for comparing a business to a dish washing machine as well.
Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher Highlights and Features:
Building Your Business Like a High-Quality Dishwashing Machine
Sure, the idea of business your business off the same elements of a dishwashing machine might seem a little off the wall or crazy, but it actually isn’t.
Think about all of the moving cogs and components that make up some of the most important electronics and appliances in your house today. Now think about your business and how many different moving parts are built into that as well.
The more efficient and optimized your business is, like that of a quality dishwashing machine, then the more likely you are to find success with your overall business.
The next time you are loading up your dishes and about to turn the dishwashing machine, why not think about how each peice is similar to that of your business as well?
Do You See Yourself as a Struggling Blogger?
Yeah. Good luck succeeding if you see yourself as a struggling blogger. You cannot outrun your self-image. You cannot outmaneuver your energy. How you see yourself is how the world sees you. If you emit a struggling blogger vibe then people will see you as a struggling blogger and choose to stay away.
In essence, you wave a big red flag that tells people to avoid you because nobody wants to get advice from a struggling blogger. What does a struggling blogger know how to do? Struggle. Why would bloggers want to learn how to struggle? We want to learn how to succeed. We follow successful bloggers. But in the same regard, do not brag about yourself all day long as the most successful bloggers put their attention on their readers most of the time and allow their community to spread their successful word for them. People who brag about themselves all day long just do not believe in themselves. This is low self-esteem at play.
Bizarre bloggers carry some weird idea that bragging about their struggles makes them proud, or attractive, or someone to follow, for other people who struggle. This is a stupid idea. Guess what happens? You and hundreds of other struggling bloggers all get together and complain, whine and moan about your struggles as you struggle forever because nobody is teaching each other How To Succeed. Does that sound like a fun blogging career? I do not think so. I sometimes see these groups on Twitter and Facebook. Struggling bloggers crying in each other’s beer. Who cares? I have compassion for struggling bloggers but I have enough respect for them that I see them in an empowered light. The problem is they are a little bit lost. As a matter of fact, it is because I have compassion for these bloggers that I see them in an empowered, not struggling, light.
Ultimately, nobody cares that you struggle because people want to win. Nobody cares that you struggle because people want to succeed. People will simply exit your blog and follow a winning, successful blogger to learn how to succeed and how to live your dreams. Sure you can share some of your struggle but don’t build your entire freaking brand on being a struggling, broke blogger or you will get to be a struggling, broke blogger for your entire career because where your attention and energy goes, grows. You create your blogging struggles and you create your blogging success depending on where you put your attention and energy. A hundred percent of the time you are the source of your blogging struggles and you are the source of your blogging success. What would you rather do? Struggle or succeed? Any sane human being would rather succeed and live their dreams and live a fun, freeing life over struggling.
Watch as I explain how I retired to paradise from beautiful Bali.
Lose the struggling image. Adopt a new, fun, freeing, successful image. Focus on abundance. Count your blessings. Release the starving artist image and you will also release fellow struggling bloggers who only hold you back, in your comfort zone. These are not true friends. These are fear filled folks who say they mean well but only hold you back because they are not teaching you how to succeed, but how to struggle like them. Let them go. Allow them to find their own way. Your job is to be an empowered, abundant, grateful, generous servant who creates and connects their way to the top of your blogging niche. Why? You get to help other struggling bloggers in increasing numbers leave their struggles behind so they can live their dreams.
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