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Newsflash: This Stuff Really Works!

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SS ebook cover

This is going to be a little different.  My posts usually are, frankly, but this one is personal.

I’d like to share the story of the last 24 hours of my life.  Which, for me at least, represents a discovery of the inherent potential of online marketing and the importance of listening to the wisdom of our blogging elders.

Which ain’t me, by the way.  Even though I’m here every week, waxing oh-so-confidently knowledgeable.  Fact is, I’ve only been blogging for a little over four months.  I still have to call a friend to explain how to change a widget in WordPress.

I’m here Because I’m a Writer

One who blogs.  Not a blogger who writes.  Sometimes that’s a big difference.

This makes me a bit of a neophyte on one the hand, and it gives me a leg up on the other.  If nothing else than from the fact that I can do for myself that which other bloggers often have to pay for – I can generate killer content.

I’m here at Kevin’s behest to talk about writing.  To tell you that using words such as “ain’t” is perfectly okay.  At least in the proper context.

Writing isn’t about what your grammar teacher once said or even what she might  think if she read your stuff now, it’s about what the reader gets.  And if my use of the word ain’t rubbed you the wrong way, hey, I’m cool with that.  You can’t hip a square, anyhow.

But I digress.  Here’s the backstory behind these past 24 hours.

The Little Site That Could

My blog is for fiction writers.  In four months I’ve gathered about 900 subscribers – I have no idea if this is good or just okay… I’m pretty sure it’s not bad – and have a few hundred other discreet visitors each day.

Brian Clark isn’t losing any sleep about me breathing down his neck.

A while ago I wrote and released a little ebook on writing tips, and it went over pretty well.  Generated about two grand in revenue over three months.  About what Brian Clark spends on lattes.

But I kept posting, and I kept hearing from readers that I was delivering something that they couldn’t find elsewhere.  That my posts were making a difference.  Pingbacks started showing up, and gradually my brand began to emerge.

My readers learned that they could trust what I said.  And that’s the key to everything that follows.

Learning As You Go

Meanwhile I was a student of Blogging 101 (I dunno, is there a site by that name?  I have no idea…), and while posting on Bloggingtips.com, I also devoured everything else it offers.  Gradually I became more comfortable here, and thus more confident in putting myself out there on my own site, delivering value without asking for anything in return.

Because that’s what the conventional wisdom says works.

Late yesterday I released my second ebook, which was a compilation of a series of blogs I’d done on story structure, with significant enhancement that includes new material.  It’s called Story Structure – Demystified, aiming at what has turned out to be my niche is this fairly crowded little corner of the internet.

Yeah, I’m the structure guy.  I get hate mail from pantsers, those who write by the seat of their pants with little regard to structure or dramatic principles or what I call story planning.  But that’s fine, as they often make my point for me when they brag about writing a dozen or so drafts of their stories before they feel close to getting it right.  As if that’s a good thing.

Here’s What Happened

The new ebook is virtually (and I mean that literally) flying out the door.  It’s a pre-release, typos and all, not even available yet on Clickbank.  I’ve offered a discount to my subscribers and visitors, who have surprised me with the enthusiasm of their response.

I’ve sold well over 100 copies already.  I’ve already made well over half of the entire revenue generated from the first ebook, and a full day hasn’t gone by.

It’s the math that’s amazing here.  With about 125 sales so far on 900 subscribers, or about 1200 folks counting other visitors today, that’s a conversion ratio of about 10 percent. I dunno, folks, is a 10 percent conversion pretty good?  I’m thinking it is.

Gets me to thinking about how and why this happened.  Not to mention what might happen going forward as my site grows.

And the Keyword is…

And that can be described in one word: value.  Deliver it, and they will come.  Keep delivering it, and they will stay.  Make your blog about them, not you (like I’m doing here), and they will tell others about it.

We read this sage advice all the time, here and elsewhere, but I thought it was valuable to put a stamp of validity on it.

Maybe I’m in the right game after all.  And maybe, with the teacher remaining the student as I go along, my waning career as a professional fiction writer will be resurrected in the process.  I have a new novel coming out in February, and with somewhere around 1500 subscribers to my site by then, that’s a pretty good head start, sales-wise.

I know my creative and entrepreneurial spirit has already been resurrected, and I have my blog to thank for it.  Because I can’t wait to get up tomorrow and see how many new orders are waiting for me.

Prior to my blog, I just didn’t want to get up at all.

Larry’s new ebook, ‘Story Structure – Demystified,’ is available on his site, Storyfix.com, for a few more days, at a pre-launch discount price of only ten bucks.  You can read a review of it here.

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Blogging

How to Leave Your Blogging Struggles Behind

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Exit your comfort zone on a daily basis.

Leave blogging struggles behind.

I love blogging. Blogging feels fun, freeing and quite easy to me. But sometimes, on this journey, my feelings change a bit. Sometimes, blogging feels uncomfortable and I nudge into resistance. Fear rears its head. Mental blocks arise. Sometimes I fear running out of time or perhaps I fear wasting my time. In these moments, I have 2 choices: remain in my fear-filled comfort zone or leave my comfort zone.

I left most of my blogging struggles behind because I choose to leave my comfort zone on a regular basis. Traffic, profits, and all manner of sweet blogging success greet bloggers who feel their fears, leave their comfort zones and do the blogging task, anyway.

What Is Blogging Struggle?

Blogging struggle is doing things or not doing things based on fear. Fear drives you. You blog from a fear-based, scared energy. You avoid traffic and profit and success boosting activities because you fear the opportunities. Example; you struggle horribly to make money and drive blog traffic. I advise to begin generous, relaxed, enjoyable guest posting, to help you increase traffic and profits and success. The split second you THINK about guest posting, you feel a range of emotions, from excitement, to happiness, then, from terror, to anxiety, to a general fear of wasting your time.

If 2 people visit your blog daily and you see zero blogging profits now, and you say “no” to guest posting because of some fears, you will likely struggle horribly, because you avoided guest posting to stay in your comfort zone of fear.

Traffic and profits sit on the other side of fear, outside of your comfort zone. No way around that one. We all pay a fear tuition doing freeing, success-promoting, uncomfortable things. I remember when Zac invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Fear invaded my mind. Would he reject my posts? How about if he hated my posts? What if I wasted my time? Would I be able to follow all the rules? Would he criticize me? Of course Zac is the nicest, kindest, friendliest iconic blogger on earth. He REALLY is, guys. He is an exceptional human being. But fear is irrational, distorting the truths of love, harmony and abundance.

I had to feel all those scary, intense fears, and keep blogging anyway, to write and publish my first few guest posts here. 800 plus guest posts later, I am still going strong. Why? I left my comfort zone those first few times and instantly began leaving blogging struggles behind.

Exit your comfort zone every single day. Do something that scares you. Do something that tests your limits. Publish a 4 paragraph long comment on a top blog, even if you fear:

  • nobody is listening
  • nobody is reading comments
  • nobody will click through to your blog
  • you are wasting your time
  • the comment won’t get published

This happened to me recently. I spent 15 minutes writing a 9 paragraph comment on Pro Blogger. But Disqus suffered some connection problems and prevented me from publishing the comment. I feared I wasted 15 minutes. But after feeling and releasing the emotion, I let it go, moved on, and devoted 10 minutes to writing and publishing the comment later in the day, when Disqus was working.

Struggles happen if you choose to blog mainly from fear.

Success happens when you nudge into these fears, toward your blogging fun, taking inspired but uncomfortable action on a daily basis.

Go for it!

Exit your comfort zone.

Leave your blogging struggles behind…for good.

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Blogging

Focus on Things More to Leverage Your Blog Quickly

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Heresy!

What is the relationships guy talking about?

Blogging is a people business, right?

Blogging is one part people and one part things. Seriously. I learned this recently because if you depend 100% on people to build your blogging success you cannot possibly scale to massive levels. But if you do focus on things more, like email lists, and blogging platforms, you become less dependent on people, and also, your leveraging potential goes through the roof.

Email List Example

Let’s look at the famous email list. It is a thing. After you publish a blog post, you write a few words, include a link to your latest post, and after clicking a button, email the post to 10, 100, or 10,000 people….or more people. In a split second, you reach 10,000 human beings. Using a thing helps you leverage your presence like mad. Awesome.

But imagine if you only reached 10,000 people by mentioning people in your recent post, and tagging them on social media. Humanly impossible, of course. Let’s say you depend on even, 50 people, to promote your blog post, by mentioning them and tagging them. Linking to and tagging 50 bloggers takes a lotta time. Minimum, even for a 700 word post, it takes 90 minutes to 2 hours – or longer – to go the tagging and mentioning route. Do you see the problem of depending 100% on people and friendships to build blog? You run out of time. Meanwhile, sending your post to 50 email subscribers takes 3 minutes to send the email and literally, a split second to actually publish the email, at the click of a button.

Using Things Effectively Leverages Your Presence

Using email lists, blogging platforms for guest posting and certain tools leverages your presence fast because eventually, you run out of time trying to leverage your presence solely based on grabbing the attention of fellow bloggers. Plus you are at the mercy of humans, and building a fear-based attachment to fellow humans leads to misery because humans change, humans get too busy to promote you, and humans unfriend other humans.

I am for making blogging a people and things business. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the prior 2 months. Befriend people and enjoy the process, but if you want to leverage massively and sprint up the exposure ladder, tap into the convenience of technology by using things to reach more people fast.

At the end of the day, it is about helping more people freely. Use things – aka technology aka inanimate objects – to help people more freely and to help more people, too.

Exit Human-Obsessed and Things-Resistant Blogging Circles

I used to be part of blogging circles 100% reliant – virtually – on human beings, and heavily resistant to things. But none of these bloggers leveraged to big time, super successful levels. These bloggers railed against bots and joked of not using or being a blogging cyborg. All seemed funny. But on agreeing and following their advice I soon learned how incredibly difficult it becomes to grow a successful blog being 100% attached to and dependent on human beings to build the blog. Humans change. Things do not. Plus you cannot leverage humans like you leverage things.

While all these folks complained about emails and automating, they played so small that reaching next level success proved to be 100% impossible. But, I observed how using things like systems and tools will help you reach huge, targeted groups of people in minutes or even seconds. See the email example above.

Instead of complaining about or resisting tech, why not use things to make life easier, to leverage your presence quickly and to reach a huge, targeted group of human beings so you succeed and so people get what they want?

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Blogging

Long Term Blogging Success: Co-Creation Not Manipulation

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Every blogger who succeeds over the long haul did so through co-creation.

Two blogger met. Two people make friends. Both friends help each other out, for a co-creation, and see greater success due to the co-creation.

I have seen this happen so much in my blogging life over the past 10 years. I befriended Zac many years ago. He invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Years later, all the co-creating I did through 800 plus guest posts helped:

  • increase my blog traffic
  • increase my blogging profits
  • increase my DA
  • increase my brand exposure

Think about it guys; all top bloggers make friends with other bloggers, both parties help each other, and we all win. You win, I win, and our fellow bloggers win.

No Manipulation

You will never create long-term blogging success by trying to manipulate people through fear, smoke, mirrors and other silly tactics, because doing so is like building your blogging business on a house of cards. Even the smallest breeze of resistance knocks down the cards, and your blogging business with it. Bad idea.

What do I mean by manipulation? Imagine you write a blog post filled with bold promises of how to make 6 figures a year, telling bloggers you know the way. You share no specific strategies for making 6 figures. Nope. But you do make big, hyped up claims, filling the 1000 word post with some hefty, silly promises. What are you trying to do? Manipulate humans into following your blog, buying your stuff and giving you money. Your intent is to use fear, greed and desperation to GET money from people. Using fear manipulates people into doing what they do not want to do, for a temporary income boost, for you. But again, imagine a house of cards. A barely detectable breeze knocks down the house, and a seemingly tiny detail knocks down and destroys your blogging business.

When I was a new blogger a LONG time ago, one blogger who claimed to be a 6 figure earner admitted he was lying. He disappeared instantly. His blogging business died because he lied about making 6 figures, because he wanted to manipulate people into giving him money.

Co-Creating Benefits All over the Long Haul

If you guest post on other blogs, you and fellow bloggers create helpful content that promotes lasting success. Imagine building a house on a rock solid foundation, on a granite mountain. Wow! That is a serious foundation. Nothing moves that home. Even a decent earthquake barely makes the house shake. This is what it’s like to co-create content with fellow bloggers.

You both create something together – through a shared post and shared domain name – that is good, and leads to something good and beneficial. Fear and manipulation? No involvement in this process. Love and abundance and service, this is it, and this is why you become successful in building a rock solid foundation, and, in becoming a pro blogger.

How Can You Co-Create?

A few ideas:

  • guest post on your blog
  • guest post on other blogs
  • create joint videos
  • create joint podcasts
  • create joint business ventures

Ultimately, you can co-create with fellow bloggers in countless ways. Being creative is your only requirement.

Think of how the co-creating benefits all of humanity. Think of all the people you can help through your co-creation. Put people ahead of your immediate needs and also, bring other bloggers on board to see the greatest impact over the long haul.

Be generous, help people, make friends and gain exposure. Build a viable, long term, meaningful blogging business. Observe manipulative, flash in the pan bloggers come and go. I have seen thousands of these types die a quick death, like moths flying too close to the flame-temptation of quick, easy riches.

Co-create to out last virtually everybody else in your blogging niche.

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