I made a post yesterday and decided there were another 10 tips I could give you to build a better blog. If you missed the first post, you can find it here: 10 Things You Can Do Today to Build a Better Blog
#11: Take Down the Ads (5 minutes +/-)
One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is to saturate their blog with advertisements. You really don’t need these and most likely you are not making any sales right now. Most likely you are missing out on potential subscribers to your newsletter because they are getting turned off by all the advertisements and ‘selling’ going on.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot, remove them until your traffic gets WAY up there. You can still link to individual products and services within your blog posts using soft selling techniques. Once you start getting bigger you can start to introduce advertisements. You will end up making way more money in the long run by offering related products and services as they are relevant to your blog posts or creating products of your own and possibly even consulting.
As I stated in my prior post, I was inspired by Corbett Barr to rewrite one of his newsletter posts, you can find out more about how he monetizes his blog here.
When your blog is new, one of the worst things you can do is to plaster advertisements all over the place. If your blog is small, those ads won’t earn you more than a few bucks, but could be costing you big. You’ll turn off readers and stunt your growth during your critical formative months.
For now, take down all your ads and focus on growing your readership and newsletter subscriptions.
#12: Create a Facebook Fan Page (60 minutes +/-)
We all know how important social media is, and Facebook is one of the best places to set up a presence for your business or blog. You can easily do this by setting up a Facebook fan page for your website.
Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income blog (Watch my interview with Pat at : Episode 2: Pat Flynn Interview about Smart Passive Income) created an excellent Blogger’s Guide to Facebook where you can learn everything you need to know about how to use Facebook effectively. You can watch his short video on how to set up a fan page here.
You should set up your page and link to it from your website as soon as possible. You can also put links to the fan page within all your social profiles. Later I will tell you how to use HootSuite to automatically post your blog posts to all your social profiles. So do this now and you will be ready for that later.
#13: Update Your Outposts Regularly (10 minutes daily +)
Outposts are very important to your blog. If you imagine your blog as the center of your marketing hub, outposts are all the fingers that help to capture additional traffic and visitors. You can outpost all your blog posts to places like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Linkedin to find and interact with new readers where they are already visiting.
In addition to posting the most recent blog posts to these social networks, you also want to make sure to comment and interact with your viewers at those locations.
Set a schedule to interact with those in your social circles and to answer questions or make additional comments. By studying examples of others within your space, you will find how to do this effectively.
#14: Test out New Content Format (90 minutes +/-)
I really enjoy following Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, and one thing I learned quickly from him is to ‘Be Everywhere’. By producing content across multiple platforms you will extend your reach and find additional viewers and readers of your blog.
There are a number of different formats you can try. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new today. Below is a list of ideas, try a new one today. Give another one a try next week.
- 2000 words or more
- 400 words or less
It really doesn’t matter what you pick, the key here is to try different content formats and maybe you will find something that you love. I love video because it is easier to rank and get traffic when competing with a very saturated market. When I launced How To Earn Money .TV I stepped way out of my comfort zone, created a public channel on ROKU and started creating video content for Roku, iTunes, YouTube and my blog. The results have been amazing and I have had millions of views and the blog has been profitable since its launch.
#15: Write down your Goals, Inspirations and Qualifications (10 minutes +)
Why do you blog or market to a specific audience or topic? You probably have a lot of reasons why you have decided to blog or create content for a specific audience, but there is one reason that has to be at the top of your list if you are really looking to grow an epic business.
You must have a desire to help and/or entertain people.
If you are not helping or entertaining, why would someone continue to visit your blog? Your blog is there for you to provide value, create inspiration, solve problems, address needs, fulfill desires and possibly enlighten your audience. Whatever your personal reasons for creating your content, that needs to take a back seat and you must always focus on delivering value to your audience.
Write down goals, inspiration and qualifications:
- Write down all the goals you have for your blog. It can be for money, fame, recognition… really whatever they are. You know what they are. Just think about it for a while and drill it down.
- Write down all the reasons why you decided to write the blog or create the content.
- What are your unique qualifications? Are you an expert? Is this a hobby or something you are looking to learn something about and share your experiences along the way?
- Now look at all your answers. If one of your goals is not to help your audience, then you should reevaluate your motivation and the topic you are blogging on. The same thing goes for the reasons why you decided to create this blog or content. If you really don’t care about it, maybe you should consider another topic. Finally, if you are not qualified or an expert in the topic you are blogging about, do you have a really unique method that provides value for your readers? If not, you should really reevaluate your motivations and your topic.
#16: Rant About Something (60 minutes +/-)
When I started ranting about the poor state of the appraisal profession and the dog-eat-dog mentality of fellow appraisers, my blog Appraiser Income exploded with new readers and it became instantly profitable. I went from discussing industry information, news and events with the occasional hard sell for appraisal related products and services to blasting appraisers that were against helping each other and companies that were hurting the profession and I saw instant results and the interactions with my readers went through the roof.
Through my occasional rants I was able to make a big impression on my readers and form much stronger relationships with them. I later went on to write an article for FeedFront magazine about ‘How becoming human completely changed my business’. It opened a lot of doors for me in the industry as well. I was invited to speak at appraiser conventions and provide additional information to articles related to our industry and formed a relationship with one appraiser that later turned in to a 6 figure partnership.
The key here is to be constructive, just calling out the bad guys will most likely hurt your reputation. Use the steps below to come up with a good rant that you can use from time to time.
- Be Constructive. Write about something that can be improved in one way or another.
- Be Consistent. Rant about something that bothers you in the industry. Are there things other people are thinking and just not saying? Don’t be afraid to rock the boat.
- Be Passionate. You must be passionate and sincere for it to make a difference. Don’t just choose an opposite view just because it is opposite. You want your passion to show through in your content.
- Let it Flow. Just write freely, let all your emotions come out and edit when you are finished.
- Review the Responses. If you get many complaints about your post, then you might have gone a little too far, if you get a lot of shares and people agreeing with you, then you might have opened up a whole new discussion that can go on for months and possibly years. If you did blow it, just keep it in mind when you do your next rant and try to identify where you went wrong the first time.
#17: Interview An Expert (90 minutes +)
You won’t have all the answers when you first start a new blog. Your visitors don’t expect you to either and you should give yourself plenty of time to find your unique voice and USP.
One of the best ways to dive right in is to interview experts in your niche. You can find them online, locally or through meetup groups and do a short interview with them to share with your audience.
Watch similar videos on YouTube to find a good technique that you will be comfortable with. Don’t be shy and dull. Make sure you are prepared.
I would suggest starting with the most influential person within your Niche. For example, when I decided to build How To Earn Money .TV, I always knew I wanted Pat Flynn to be one of my very first interviews. I actually interviewed him before I launched the blog! He is one of the most inspirational teachers within my space of helping others to make money online and create passive income streams. If you can identify a similar type of person within your niche, most likely they will find the time for you if approached properly.
Interviewing an expert can be a great way to provide incredible content for your viewers and give you a little street credibility by your readers associating you with the expert. It can also help you create a relationship with the interviewee and possibly open more doors in the future.
Try to keep your first interview short to maybe 30 minutes and allow plenty of time for editing and posting. Keep it simple.
#18: Create a Content Plan Weekly (30 minutes +/- weekly)
If you go about creating content without a plan, you are definitely going to fail. You will be way more productive and create far better content, consistently by planning your upcoming content weekly.
How to create your content plan:
- Set aside at least 30 minutes each week at the same time, same day.
- Review your blog or show ideas (I keep all those in evernote) – weed out the bad ideas, prioritize the good ones.
- Break down you blog or show ideas in to categories like Interviews, Ask Readers, Monthly Reports, Quick Tips, Epic Posts. Review your prior posts to determine which ones were the best ones and which ones failed. This will help you decide to write about those topics again in the future.
- Create an outline for the next couple weeks or month. By going back to this plan every week, you will be able to make adjustments when needed depending on the feedback you get from your audience.
#19: Ask for a Critique (60 minutes +/-)
Sometimes you just don’t see what is right in front of your eyes. Especially if you spend the last 100 hours creating a new website, building a blog, creating massive amounts of content… etc… You need an outside opinion of your blog or content.
Nobody likes to hear if something they made sucks or that needs some major improvements, but the sooner you do it, and the more frequently you do it, the better you will be in the long run.
I would suggest to go for three different perspectives to give you a good idea on what should be improved right off the back.
Ask a Friend – a good friend won’t hold back, but they might be a little over critical.
Ask a Expert / Colleague – they will provided deeper insight if they have the time. Let them know you value their opinion and will help them out in any way that you can. Make sure to thank them sincerely and maybe even take them out for a drink or dinner if possible.
#20: Ask Your Audience (60 minutes +/-)
There are a number of ways you provide value to your readers and create a community. By interacting with them with comments, in blog posts and even videos and podcasts, they feel the sincerity of your offerings and information and lead to further interactions and opportunities.
If you want more comments on your content, the easiest way to do that is to write about topics that has multiple answers and by encouraging your visitors to interact. Don’t force your readers to side with your opinion, but leave an open door that will get readers involved.
Most importantly – Ask for your readers’ opinions.
You can even create a weekly or monthly questions post where you go through and answer questions that were sent in to you or to expand on an interaction that you had with a reader through the comments section.
This is a very powerful technique to get your audiences attention and involvement. Use it.
What do you think I left off my list? Do you agree with my 20 tips? Have you tried any of them?
Thanks again to Corbett over at Think Traffic for his inspiration. Some day I hope to be a Marketing Expert like he is!
I think I am on to day 4 of my blogging challenge right now. I am trying to get in to a habit of blogging daily and creating weekly video content again since falling off the ‘blogging wagon’ a month ago.
Just remember when you are looking to make money online that you are going to run in to hurdles along the way, you are going to make mistakes and there will be failures. I was completely sidetracked by a death in the family. I went from being very inspired to staying on top of my blog, creating new and fresh content and trying new things every week to doing nothing in one day.
It took me a while to get my inspiration back and mark it up as a minor set back. Life happens and life goes on.
When you get down in the dumps, take the time that you need, reorganize your action plan and hit it hard. You will get that feeling back along with the desire to succeed. Just don’t give up!
So for today, just pick one of the tasks and DO IT! You will be even more motivated tomorrow.
But before you leave, please comment below.
How To Earn Money .TV