So yeah, you get it. You’ve heard it time and again. Ad nauseum, even. To succeed online…
You must blog.
Must be blogging.
Blogging = Completely Torrential Downpour of Profits.
It’s time to blog, you get it. But blogging for blogging’s sake isn’t going to cut it. If you want to succeed in blogging, you have to have a few readers. Suck them in with great content and keep them coming back for more. (Come for the jokes, people! Stay for the thought-provoking, life-changing commentary.)
Here’s the rub. With all the other millions, literally, of blogs out there, how do you stand out and attract a readership? What’s so damn special about you and your blog?
A lot! We’ll get to that in a second but now I want to make you understand how big the blogging world is. I’m not doing this to scare you away from blogging, but rather, to encourage you to do this right, if you’re going to do it at all.
Wikipedia tells us,
“On 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide. According to critics and other bloggers, Blogger is the most popular blogging service used today, however Blogger does not offer public statistics. Technorati has 1.3 million blogs as of February 22, 2014”.
But like any good coach I’m making you face your competition square in the eye. It won’t help to put your head in the sand about this. Now I’m going to tell you that although there is a lot of competition… a lot of it sucks! I’d even say most of it sucks!
So if you put a little effort and a lot of ‘you’ into your blogging, standing out in the crowd is a cakewalk.
Here are my top 9 tips.
The first four I’m going to categorize under what I like to call The Laziness Principle. If you can fight the very natural, very tempting LP when you blog, you have already won. The vast majority of bloggers are lazy and if you aren’t, you’re automatically going to stand out. That’s a bunch of them beaten, right from the start.
1. LP #1 Pay A little, Stick Around
I’m filing this under the Laziness Principle but really we could call it the CP, the Cheapness Principle.
Blogging is something to take seriously and its something you need to invest in. So resist the temptation to cheap out and host your blog on a free site. Trust me when I say you will be ever so sorry if you go this route. Not only will you be driving all your traffic to, say, Blogger.com versus your own URL, but you risk spending loads of time and money on your blog…only to have it turn into a nightmare.
Free blogging hosts actually own your content and can take it down whenever they please. Poof! Gone. Sob.
They also usually have very limited bandwidth. So if you reach your goal and start getting popular, they might dislike all the expensive traffic on their sites and they can shut you down. Scary stuff. Don’t build a strong house on such a weak foundation.
Instead, install WordPress with your own website domain name and get your own hosting. Or if you don’t want to go that route, look into other more robust ways such as Rainmaker (Marketing For Owners is powered by Rainmaker). Money well spent. Foundation well built.
2. LP #2 Don’t Wait for Someone Else to Do It
Many business owners tell themselves they will start blogging when they have the ‘staff’ to do it for them.
–BUZZER SOUND – Wrong answer! It’s a bad idea to procrastinate blogging until you have someone to do it for you for two reasons: one, who knows when that will be? And when you have to hire a bit of help, you’re likely to do so because you have billable stuff like customer service and accounting duties for them to do. You’re not going to pay them to blog!
And besides, no one can blog about your business, in your own voice, like you can. No one. Maybe one day you can have a body of blog posts to show one of your employees so they can start mimicking your style and handling the bulk of the blogging. But that day is likely far off. Start now, and start with you at the keyboard.
3. LP #3 Don’t Write Short
Yeah you can bang out 100-200 word blog posts and it would ‘count’, I guess. It’s better than not blogging at all.
But really, in order to stand out from the crowd you need to be memorable. Bookmarkable. Forwardable. And unless you are an outstanding poet or haiku master, short little blog posts aren’t ones that readers are going to be interested in reading more than once, or sharing with friends.
Take the time to write at least 1000 words per post, if not 1500. Give your readers something to sink their teeth into. (Good news alert – although it might be tough to stick to this word count initially, the more you blog, the easier it gets. Once you get into a rhythm, you’ll find it actually fun to sit down with a cup of coffee a few times a week and bang out 1000+ words.)
4. LP #4 Don’t Be Sporadic
If you want to build a following, you have to be reliable. Your readers have to know that, like clockwork, if they check your blog you’ll have new stuff up there. Marc Maron’s show (not podcast) recently tackled this topic.
He was talking about other podcasters who weren’t as successful as he was in the world of podcasting and he chalked it up in part to them just podcasting when they felt like it. That doesn’t work and you won’t grow an audience by being sporadic. Be consistent.
5. Don’t Get Overly Cute
Okay, now let’s stop talking about laziness traps and get into some other tips that will help you grow your audience. First up, is naming your URL and blog.
Don’t get cute! Cute and clever is great but you risk confusing your audience. “The Boogie Blender Blog” might be a fun, alliterative title that reflects your love of boogie boarding, but I would have no idea that you talk about interesting business philosophies there.
Err on the side of clarity, every time. Even if you feel like it’s not as clever as you’d want. Save the clever for the copy. Keep the URL, titles and headlines as clear as you can and you’ll attract new readers as well as entertaining the consistent ones.
6. Be One Thing: You
Pick a tone and a niche and stick to it. There’s nothing more audience- killing than to topic schizophrenia. You will earn more loyal listeners by being consistent in your topic and tone choice than you ever would trying to be all things to all people.
Think about your favorite blogs, TV shows, podcasts. They are one thing. They do one thing and they do it extremely well. You don’t see Larry David try to be anyone but himself, just to widen his appeal. He knows what he knows and who he is and that’s what he writes and talks about.
Don’t believe me that “you” are enough? Think of it this way. Sure there are millions of blogs out there. But there are billions of people. And still, you have managed to attract loyal friends and even people who want to be in romantic relationships with you. All just by being you! Same goes for blogging. Be you, consistently, and the readers will follow.
7. Don’t Worry About SEO
This one is going to be a relief, probably. Worrying about SEO when you’re blogging is a fool’s errand. Keywords and all that business. Don’t do it! Google changes its algorithm too much. Focus on putting out good, consistent content and let that be that.
The popularity and links back to your blog are the most you can hope for when it comes to SEO success with your blog.
8. Ask, Ask, Ask
Don’t just cross your fingers and hope that your readers will comment and share and tell their friends. Ask them to! Be That Guy or That Girl who overtly requests that readers interact with and amplify your content.
The most successful bloggers aren’t shy and cool and laidback. They are crystal clear that they want you to share their content and spread the word. Do the same! You have nothing to lose.
9. Socialize With The Big Dogs
Finally, if you want your content to get out there, try mixing it up with the big players in your space. It will probably take a bit and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get one, but an @mention from a celebrity blogger can skyrocket your following and put you on the map. So interact with them.
Don’t stalk or demand, but make a point to consistently tweet and Facebook and comment on the blogs of those you most admire. You never know when they might talk back to you or like something you have to say!
Challenge: Commit To Doing 3 Things Within 3 Weeks
Week One: Research, identify and set up hosting for your blog. Launch it!
Week Two: Pull together an editorial calendar of 8 blog posts that will suit your audience, which will cover two months worth of blogging if you blog on weekly basis.
Week Three: Write that first 1000+ word blog post!
Write me by replying to this email if you have any roadblocks or questions. Heck, write me just to make yourself accountable. I’ll mark down on my calendar what you have committed to and when and send you a follow-up email on your deadline to ensure you have done it.
Sorry, access to this special content
is for ‘Owners’ only
Owners log in
Not a member of
the Owners Club yet?