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Understanding Your U.S.P. As a Blogger

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question markEver wake up and wonder why you’re here?  Not as a reader — we all know why we come to Bloggingtips.com, it’s for the content — but as a writer.  Ever faced that empty little window in WordPress and wondered the same thing for your blog?

I do that each time I sit down to write this post.  Every Thursday, in fact.  Why?  Because the rest of you intimidate the hell out of me.  You really do.  What, I ask my insecure self, do I possibly have to offer these folks who know so much more about the ins-and-outs of blogging than I do?

I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I realize I do indeed have something to offer.  And it has nothing at all to do with WordPress.  It has to do with words.

What don’t I know? Let me count the ways…

Allow me to begin with what I don’t know here in this realm, where I am as green behind the ears as a Star Trek extra .  The list, the source of my insecurity, is long.

I don’t know what headines such as “Blogging on Android With WPTOGO” means.  I don’t know what a “tiny URL” is.  To me, 404 is the number that follows 403, and products like Brizzly and Yonkly and Regator might as well be items on a Seneglese deli menu. 

I’m a writer.  I’m tempted to say just a writer, but that’s actually my point today.  Maybe being just a writer is enough.  My hormones perk up with the new Dan Brown novel rather than the next release of… well, I don’t even know what witty techno-lingo ditty to use to complete that sentence in a hip way.

That’s all I have to work with.  And all of us have to start with something to offer if we want our blogs to actually go somewhere.

So why am I here again?

Because, like I said, I write.  I’m a tried and true, proven and crusty beneath all that green behind my ears writer of all kinds of things, including blogs.  And as such, and in spite of my techno-cluenessness, they tell me my new blog site — more of an instructional writing resource, actually — is taking off like a literary rocket.

I don’t offer that in an attempt to get you to go there.  Unless you’re interested in writing novels and screenplays, it may not be your thing.  I offer it to illustrate the inside-out nature of successful blogging — it’s what we bring from the inside that results in an outward growth in metrics.

Is 500 subscribers in the first two months good?  To be honest, I have nothing to compare it to.  But I’m told, and usually with an eye-rolling grin, that yeah, that’s pretty darn good.  My site should be well beyond 1000 subscriptions by year-end, with the potential of 3000 or more by the end of 2010 at this rate, after 18 months.

That feels pretty good, even to me.  And yet I continue to ask myself, why am I here?

As bloggers, we should all ask ourselves that question.  Because our hope resides in the answer.  And when we consider the concept of hope, we must look in the mirror and ask what this is all about.

The One and Only Formula That Works

So if a completely lame web rookie like me can create a blog from scratch and sniff out 500 loyal subscribers in two months, and actually be generating positive cash flow from from it when everyone said that would require two years, what does that mean

It means it validates what those who really know about blogging are telling those of us who don’t.  What they say, combined with our personal little slice of content expertise, is all we have to go on.

Great content works.  Stuff that cuts to the heart of what readers need to hear to further their objectives.  Not ours, theirs.

Great context works.  By context, I mean describing the next whiz-bang killer app in terms that lead toward benefits rather than the wondrous intricasies of technical architecture.

Audience empathy works.  Frankly — perhaps too frankly for this venue — I don’t make it to second base with a lot of these technical posts because the author assumes the reader occupies a nearby seat on the learning curve .  We need to break it down, not dumb it down, so that the content is useful and accessible to all.

And finally, lively, rich and passionate writing works.  Writing that illuminates the author’s humanity and vulnerability while leveraging an inherent crediblity that is more obvious than overt.

So My Message Today is Simple

Blog like a writer, not like a software engineer or an internet entrepreneur with an agenda.  Subordinate your goals and your business identity to the craft of putting your reader before yourself, and in a way that empowers.  And nothing empowers like rich and selfless content conveyed with a little spice.

That’s why I’m here today, and every Thursday.  Even if I’ve put too much self into this one.  In between posts I’ll keep reading and soaking up the greater wisdom of my peers , and I”ll use what I learn to empower my own blog toward greater reader friendliness and content richness.

The more we know, the better for us.  The better the manner in which we share what we know, the better for everyone.

If I can realize even the smallest contribution on the writing front, if only by example, then perhaps I won’t have to wonder what I’m doing here after all.  Because that’s my U.S.P.  — Unique Selling Proposition — as a writer and as a blogger. 

And, because most of what we know is rarely unique, our U.S.P. is really all that we have in the long run.

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Blogging

7 Reasons Nobody is Reading Your Blog

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Blogging is tough work. It’s not backbreaking labor like ditch digging, but it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.

It may consume hours, days, weeks, and months of dedication before you see results. Even with a solid commitment of time and creative energy, results aren’t guaranteed. It’s not just about coming out with new content, it’s more about coming out with content that is of real value, will rank in Google, and that people are actually going to read and share.

Millions of blogs are humming along on the Internet, but only a fraction could be termed successful. If you have a blog and it has no significant readership to speak of, there are a few possible explanations.

1 – You Write About Things People Don’t Care About

“It’s easy when you first start blogging to act like your blog is an online journal. While your blog should be personalized, it should be focused on your reader,” copywriter Michael Leonard explains.

“People, for the most part, only care about themselves. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to give the reader what they want.”

If you’re only writing about yourself, people will eventually tune out. The best thing you can do is to switch your focus to topics your audience is passionate about. Not sure what that might be? Go ahead and ask your existing readers for their input on topic selection.

2 – You Lack a Consistent Voice

Consistency is a huge facet of blogging success. People need to feel they’re encountering the same voice, style, and personality one post to the next. If there’s too much variety in style and content, you’ll fail to resonate with readers and eventually they’re apt to wander elsewhere.

3 – You Have No Social Media Presence

Blogging and social media go hand in hand these days. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on the opportunity to expand your blog readership (and vice versa).

Instead of trying to be on every social media platform that exists, spend your time focusing on one or two platforms (such as Instagram or Facebook). By pouring all your energy into building up audiences on these channels, you’ll be much more likely to see a positive impact on your blog.

4 – You’ve Never Done SEO

SEO might be a bit technical for your taste, but it’s still essential. Without an SEO strategy, you won’t be able to capitalize on organic search traffic.

This will leave you 100 percent reliant on paid and/or social traffic … and that will damage your results and lower your chance of building a flourishing audience.

5 – You’ve Never Invested in Link Building

In order to satisfy Google’s algorithm and prove you have an authoritative website that’s worth turning up in the search rankings, you have to demonstrate that you’re a trusted source for content. One of the ways to do this is by developing a link-building strategy.

Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other authoritative websites to your own. Though you can do this manually, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to hire a white-label link-building service like SEO.co.

This approach frees you to focus on the content side, without neglecting the optimization facet of the equation.

6 – You’re All Words and No Visuals

All words and no visuals is a recipe for supreme boredom. If you aren’t careful, it’ll destroy your audience and leave you with an echo chamber of a blog.

As tough as it may be to swallow, accept the fact that people will likely read only an average of 20 percent of the content on your page. In other words, the average person will ignore 80 percent of your blog content.

Much of this depends on the limited nature of the human attention span. The quickest way to get past this is to incorporate some visuals to provide some relief and boost engagement.

“Visual elements jump off the page,” Quick Sprout explains. “If someone is scanning through your blog post, they’ll likely stop at the images. They’ll skim the first few lines before and after the picture to digest your points of emphasis.”

You don’t have to change your entire blogging strategy, but it’s wise to give some attention to visuals. An occasional infographic or video will go a long way with your audience.

7 – You Don’t Post Enough

You don’t have to post a blog piece every day to be successful. But if you’re uploading only one every few weeks, you’re forfeiting your opportunity to engage an audience.

As a general rule, you should post at least three times a week. This means you’ll have to generate something once every two days (with an occasional lapse of an extra day or two). At that rate, you’re most apt to stay at the front of your readers’ minds without overwhelming them.

Develop Your Blogging Strategy

Publishing a random blog post here and another casual commentary there isn’t going to get you the results you desire … no matter how good the content might be. You need a defined strategy that delivers high value to a specific group of readers in a manner that’s consistent with your brand personality and objectives.

One would hope this article has opened your eyes to what that can look like moving forward.

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Blogging

Beware Trying to Profit Solely through these 2 Travel Blogging Income Streams

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Sponsored post revenue.

Ad revenue.

Until you build a huge, loyal readership, who gobbles up your posts left and right, sponsors have little interest in advertising on your blog. Sponsors want maximum bang for their blogging buck. Advertisers want to get their business in front of as many interested, hungry eyes as possible. Imagine an advertiser paying for a television spot. Why? Businesses wish to receive massive exposure in front of hundreds of thousands to millions of interested people who will buy their product or service.

If this makes sense on television, why would you believe a sponsor would pay you money for the 10 people a day who read your new blog? Why would you believe advertisers would pay money for the 40 daily, un-targeted, non-engaged visitors to your blog? Advertisers have no interest spending money in a campaign that cannot work. Business owners do not pay bloggers to advertise their venture for 10 non targeted visitors daily. Why then do travel bloggers try to profit solely through both sponsored post and advertising channels if most get 10, 50 or maybe 100 visitors daily, to their blogs? Especially if said blogs lack engagement and targeting, you will not make a cent of ad revenue and sponsored revenue until you build a large, loyal following.

Building large, loyal followings takes time, energy and a certain generosity. Few bloggers put in the time and energy. Few bloggers generate significant sponsored post and ad revenue. But most travel bloggers see top travel bloggers raking in sponsored revenue, imitate the top pros, rely on these 2 income streams and struggle horribly to make income because sponsored post and ad revenue are only reliable, consistent income streams for bloggers with huge, targeted followings.

Try this Instead

Write and self-publish eBooks.

I wrote a travel blogger eBook to help you become a full time travel blogger. Although I do generate more and more sponsored post and advertising revenue, self-publishing eBooks allows consistent income to flow to me while I see more sponsored opportunities appear in my email inbox.

Convert the eBooks to audio books. Sell audio books to generate consistent income. Convert the eBooks to paperbacks. Sell the paperbacks to generate income. Create and sell online courses. Engage in affiliate marketing.

Most importantly, be generous and genuine. Help people freely in as many spots as possible. Be of service. Be helpful. Write and publish posts to your blog. Write and publish guest posts. Broadcast live videos on Facebook and YouTube. Publish a podcast. Being generous in many spots online boosts income because you gain the skills and exposure to become a known commodity in your blogging niche. Why do you think I guest post in so many spots daily? I love helping people and also know each post builds my skills and increases my exposure. The more folks know me, and the more folks who see I can write, income flows to me through all channels. But I never relied solely on sponsored post and ad revenue as a blogging tips and travel blogger because income does not flow through those channels until you build a large, loyal following. That takes time.

Diversify and Prosper

Diversify income streams. Be generous in helping people and in giving people options. Some of my readers prefer listening to audio books over reading eBooks. Some readers prefer reading eBooks over listening to audio books. I cater to their preferences and earn more income as my sponsored post and ad revenue grows.

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Blogging

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Tools To Grow Your Business

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Social media has become an imperative part of our daily lives.

And marketers know that the best way to connect with their audiences is to go where they go. This indicates meeting and interacting with them on social channels.

Today 3.8 billion people or 45% of the global population use social media.

Below are some important statistics on the use of social media as of March, 2019.

 

As the use of social continues to skyrocket, so does the number of brands that use social media to get their voices heard in front of customers.

Before we move ahead and see what are some of the tools which can help you to grow your blog, let us look at a few stats.

However, we’re not all packed into a single social network. This is why businesses are segregating their attention. Remember that your audience is spread across multiple platforms.

This is the reason why businesses are splitting their focus across an ocean of social networks to keep in touch with prospects and fans.

Companies have been developing 3rd party tools and apps to assist marketers attune themselves to the challenge of engagement.

While the best social media scheduling and management tools are always changing depending on  the social landscape, there are some evergreen tools that will dominate your social strategy.

 

Here goes the list………..

 

  1. Buffer

 

Buffer is one of the hottest scheduling tools that allows you to schedule posts across a range of social platforms. There are two options: either publish the same post on all platforms or tailor each post based on the type of platform.

Furthermore, you can use the Buffer Chrome extension to add your favorite piece of content to the Buffer queue. This results in a bit of creativity and fun to the entire process of aggregating content and sharing it. You don’t have to build a strategy on what you want to build in advance. Even then, your posts will be shared on the best times. The tool also gives you the freedom of tracking links to find out the most popular content among your readers.

Pricing: $15 a month

 

  1. Buzzsumo

Sometimes when you sit down to create stellar content, you’re on fire. And at other times, it’s like pulling teeth and you’re simply thankful to have met a deadline. You cannot always guarantee success but a tool like Buzzsumo increases the odds.

Using Buzzsumo, you can find the most shared content on social media. Also, enter your own or your competitor’s domain and find what’s been socially shared. You can also use it to find the best performing keywords and trending topics which your audience might be interested in.

And if you have some funds to splash, get Buzzsumo Pro as it is a fantastic resource for competitor research.

Pricing:  $99 per month

 

  1. Feedly

Building relationships involve identifying people who are creating relevant content and sharing it. When the same group of people notices you sharing their content, there are high chances that they’ll share yours too. The tool aggregates all the websites and blogs you follow into one place. It’s a terrific option to subscribing a whole lot of emails or checking every blog for new updates.

Within Feedly, you can use collections to organize all of the websites and blogs you follow. For instance, in your social media collection, you can follow some of the leading blogs and influencers who you know come up with terrific content.

You can log in to the software on a daily basis to check the latest articles from all your sources. Based on how the site or blog is set up, you can either read the entire post on the tool or just a part of it.

This helps you curate the best articles and share with your audience.

Pricing: $5 a month

 

  1. Agorapulse

Agorapulse is one of the best social media marketing tools on the internet.

The dashboard is pretty straightforward and simple. Switching through all your accounts is a cakewalk as they are clearly listed on the left-hand side. The entire features like inbox, publishing, monitoring and social media are located at the top of the dashboard and can be easily accessed.

One of the best features is the social media inbox since it makes it easy to check all your social media updates that require attention. It works similar to an email account.

In addition, Agorapulse also has a monitoring feature by the help of which you can see how many shares and mentions you have got across all your social media platforms. You can search for certain keywords on Twitter and monitor hashtags on Instagram.

Apart from this, Agorapulse has analytics feature too. With the help of this feature, you can see your audience engagement and important metrics. Also, with its CRM feature, you can find out who your most loyal fans and followers are. If you have a large number of followers, you can categorize them in custom tags as prospects, influencers and followers.

 

Price – $89 a month

 

  1. Sprout Social

The year 2018 saw a humungous growth and change in the ever-changing digital landscape. There was a massive shift from traditional content to video, which is only going to get bigger in the coming years.

Thankfully, the era of scheduling a social media campaign across each platform now things of the past. Sprout Social, an all-in-on social media management tool provides publishing, analytics, engagement, and team collaboration tools.

Instead of working and updating with each profile individually on your website, you can use the software as a one-stop location where you can manage everything linked with your social media marketing, which includes content curation, publishing, scheduling and much more.

The ultimate goal of the tool is to make it easy to manage your social profiles and find out which marketing actions you take are effective.

Pricing- $99 a month

Summing Up

There are a lot of outstanding tools out there, with new ones popping up time and again.

The key lies in discovering tools that ease your marketing efforts, and investing the time in getting to know them.

What are some of the social media marketing tools you’ve been using and how has been your experience with them?

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