So I get up early this morning, hell bent to write this post based on another idea entirely. And there waiting on my morning email is the latest Bloggingtips.com masterpiece by Kristen Nicole, and everything changed. Because she’s so right: don’t be a scaredy cat blogger. Today I’m here to take that one step further.
What I’d planned can wait. This can’t.
Because what Kristen shared is the tip of a critical iceberg when it comes to growing your blog. The secret to doing so is to brand yourself out here in the blogosphere. The better the branding, the faster your blog will grow.
But what does that even mean?
Blogging beyond the obvious
We’ve heard all the blogging tips before, respun, reinvented and rekindled in the name of yet another post you hope will stand out in a weary crowd. It’s all about content. It’s about the reader, not you. Grab ’em with a killer headline. Hook ’em with an irresistable lead. Wow ’em with your insight and expertise.
Dead on. But it’s Blogging 1o1. If you want to grow your blog, you not only need to do all that and more on a consistent basis, you need to do it with a distinct voice. With an edge. With a specific point of view that is uniquely yours, yet in context to all of the above.
It’s the only way to separate yourself from a very ambitious crowd.
You can’t miss an effective brand. Even if you want to
Like it or not (and I don’t), Rush Limbaugh has a brand. Jessie Jackson has a brand. That guy with the fu manchu on on ESPN has a brand (which I do like). So does Ritz Carlton, Nordstom and Morton’s Steak House. You know what they stand for, you know what you’re getting. And you keep coming back to get it. Or at least, someone does.
Chances are you’re not blogging as a general commentary, you’re on a soap box looking out over a sea of hopeful neophyte faces that occupy a defined niche. You and a thousand other self-proclaimed experts. Nobody looking for cooking insight is reading this blog right now, unless they blog about it themselves.
Are you a generalist or a lobbyist? Are you rehashing or reinventing? Are you fresh or are you recycling conventional wisdom? Are you vanilla or are you triple chocolate cherries jubilee?
Killing your inner scardy cat
Have you pissed anyone off lately? Have you bucked the system, rejected the accepted, proposed a fringe strategy that suddenly makes all the sense in the world? What is your voice? Your platform? Your passion?
The key to successful branding is twofold: consistency and credibility. But with an edge.
You’ll get knocked right off that soap box unless you can back your bluster with war stories and scars. Have you been there or are you reflecting what others are saying? Do you know, or do you parrot what others know?
Be sure you know before you write what you know
As for me, I write in the fiction niche, presuming to tell authors how to write better stories and stay sane in the process of trying to publish them. I’m new to blogging, and yet my blog has taken off like an Octo-Mom reality show. Why? Because I’m bucking the system. I’m delivering a new and better way to approach writing, something writers haven’t heard before and are thristy for. Because the established way is crap. I’m offering something that pisses off roughly half of the people who think they already know.
It’s fun, pissing people off. Especially when you know what you’re talking about and can back your position in a smackdown. Which I absolutely can.
When you understand the equity behind your brand, you need to be strategic about how you put it out there. It’s truly a show-don’t-tell proposition (remember that one, from your freshman creative writing class?). It’s the veiled, even self-deprecating reference to your own life experience (like I just did in the previous paragraph) that uses the power of your message to take the deprication out of the delivery.
Readers recognize the real deal when they see it. So the first rule of branding is to be that blogger, the real deal, and then put a spin and an edge on it with every post.
Bold branding is a strategy
Successful branding strategies are never random or accidental. They are the product of a carefully conceived and proactively honed marketplace identity, backed with the establishment of content and tone that embodies it. When delivered consistently, the brand emerges from between the lines of the content itself.
Every columnist who keeps their gig more than a year knows this. And a blog is nothing if not a column in the truest sense of the word.
Do you know the nature of your brand? Do you even have a brand? Do you understand who you are as a blogger, or more importantly, as a player in your niche? Once you do, the secret to growing your blog isn’t so much the content of it as it is the essence of it.
The essence of it is your brand. And if you live it in every post, your blog will begin to grow.
Image credit: Marsdencartoons
How to Better Handle Blogging Obstacles
Take a breath.
Now, take a deep breath.
This, too, shall pass.
Every blogging obstacle dissolves into opportunity the moment you breathe, slow down and calm down. Nothing good happens fighting obstacles because your fighting gives attention to the obstacle, making the obstacle grow into something big and scary. But breathing deeply, feeling the fear fueling the obstacle, and letting go the fear-obstacle alerts you the transitory nature of the block, and how it passes into solution.
Better handle blogging obstacles by following a few tips.
1: Take a Deep Breath
Breathe. Take 1-5 deep, slow breaths. Breathing slows down your mind, thoughts and feelings. Slowing down everything allows you to be in the moment, to feel the fear fueling obstacles. Simple process but few bloggers take this step so obstacles appear to run wild.
Take a deep breath, now. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Breathing deeply and relaxing expands your awareness. Do you feel nervous now or anxious? Do you fear some obstacle related to time, and losing it? Breathing deeply allows you to be here and now, to feel fears fueling obstacles.
2: Feel the Fear
Fear fuels obstacles. What is a blogging obstacle but fear you cannot get past something? Imagine seeing the white screen of death on your blog. How would it feel? Scary? Why? You fear you cannot get past your blog being a white screen. Other fears cascade into mind; fear of losing readers, fear of losing money, fear of losing reputation, fear of being criticized.
Be with these fears. Feel the fears. You cannot solve obstacles being burdened by fear for you only see what appears to stop you, not solutions, being shackled by fear. Feel fear, release and proceed.
3: See the Opportunity
Opportunities plant themselves in obstacles. Imagine facing some pressing backoffice issue, tech-wise, blogging-wise. You received an opportunity to:
- learn more about tech, to solve the problem
- hire a web developer to solve the problem, outsourcing
- ask your readers and Facebook friends how to solve the problem, humbling yourself
Every blogging obstacle dissolves the moment you breathe deep, feel fears and relax, because opportunities arise in response to following these steps. Everything is abundance. Everything is opportunity. Fear is illusion so obstacles cannot be real.
4: Invest in a Resource
Do you always seem to be getting tripped up by blogging obstacles?
Buy my eBook:
Resources offer you complete guides to reference when times get tough. Minds race. Feelings fluctuate wildly. But breathing, feeling fear, seeing opportunities, and having a resource in your blogging library levels you out, calms you and helps you find solutions quickly.
Obstacles Are Not that Scary
Blogging obstacles are not that scary if you know to solve these mental blocks. Few bloggers put a strategy into place for handling blogging crisis so they panic, struggle and fight foolishly through resistance. Following a few steps alerts you: blogging is not so hard and facing obstacles need not be some endless nightmare creating hours, days or weeks of panic. You are a human, not a tree. Use your awareness, follow these steps and knife gracefully thru obstacles toward greater blogging success
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.
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