Lets get down to business. Why is it that some bloggers are successful and some are not. There’s multiple steps you can take to create a blog starting now as of (2020) and achieve success within 1 year. Before we begin, we must answer 1 essential question. According to you, what is success?
1- Having 1,000 email subscribers?
2- Having 1 or 2 brand deals?
3- Having X amount of money?
Whatever it is, the first step is qualifying the goal. You must have a clear goal before you embark into the abyss of blogging. One analogy is when you’re driving, do you get in your car and unknowingly start driving or do you have a set destination? Same thing. Now, where are we going?
What’s the first step?
Well, we must backtrack or reverse engineer the whole process and thought process from a user entering their email on your website.
Diagram of email sub, to website, to instagram backtracking
When a user provides their email within a form, it’s because they want to receive something of value. For example, if you’re a Fashion blogger, you might say to your viewing “Hey, do you want to know how I take amazing fashion photos?” If the viewer clicks on yes, then ask for their email in return for a pdf or private link to your “guide on how to take amazing fashion photos”.
Do you want more X?
Options: (Yes) (No)
If (Yes) -> Please enter your email to receive X.
If (No) -> Hide
Keep in mind, that’s just one method, there are multiple methods for gatherine emails and many which require you to be creative. Are you interested in receiving more methods? Follow me on Instagram @proshot.
See what I did there! :) jeeje
But really, feel free to Dm me.
1- From Instagram
2- From Facebook
3- You shared your blog on WeShareNotes
4 - Pinterest
Now, here’s the part that not everyone wants to hear. If you want something, you must put in the work, especially if it’s something as competitive as being an online blogger or Influencer.
It takes work to Create Blog Posts, but not just any blog post, well written and informative blog posts.
It takes work to research the topics and keywords as to what to write your blog post about. Going back to the driving analogy, you must plan your route in order to reach your goal. Same with a blog post. You must reaseach what’s trending, what people are searching for on google, how to structure your article, etc.
Once you do the research and use tools like google analytics and buzzsumo, then you can start writing the article.
When I write, I have 3 criterias to follow:
1- Provide new Information, research and data figures. Why? Because bloggers and news sources only share and link to articles that provide data figures in order to prove their point. Having numbers and graphs will give other news sources a reason to share your blog on their webpage.
2- If possible, make it a movement. According to multiple sources and research done at the Wharton School of Science “Why Content Goes Viral”, one of the top reasons that drive sharability of content is emotions. Does your article cause emotions? For example, if you’re a sustainability blogger, write an article on “how X is destroying the future of our children’s, and what you can do about it!”.
3- Make sure your article aligns with your value proposition. This means that if you’re selling “Marketing Services”, then make sure your articles relate to marketing and shows your expertise within the marketing realms. Doing so sets you as an industry leader and shows that you just don’t talk the talk. A second reason why this is a must is because people who are interested in reading your article about “Marketing” will most likely also be interested in your paid services or email subscription form.
Now, if you’re serious about creating a profitable blog, then you must have a sales funnel or as many call it a leads funnel.
A leads funnel is just a representation of how incoming visitors interact with your site and services from start to finish. Funnels are designed for a key purpose in mind and that’s to clearly show the process from obtaining a visitor to having that visitor purchase your product or services (in most cases).
If you look around and actively pay attention to the most successful blogs, you will notice this form of sales funnel.
Here’s an example of a leads funnel for a blog
A big big BIG!!! part of creating a functional funnel is creating an effortless user experience between transitions. What do i mean by that?
Well, firstly, your site must be optimized and responsive. Meaning that it should work on all platforms from cell-phones to tablets to computers. Second, each website page must be well designed, clear and concise. Third and final step, make it easy for users to go from one page to the next. Sounds like a simple step but i can’t count with my fingers how many bloggers have made this mistake. They think “oh hey, what if we place a cool loading thingy majiggy until the page is fully loaded or lets create a popup and hide the close button”. One thing for sure, if i ever land on a blog that tries to hide the closing button to their popup, i’m not closing the popup, I’m closing the whole tab. Why? Because its a direct representation of the person behind the blog. To me that screams “if you sign up to my email-list, i’m going to spam the hell out of your inbox!!” and folks, that’s a no no. Please remove barriers. I will let you in on a little secret, I made this mistake myself.
Due to recent changes in SEO, sites like Google are preferring long and detailed articles anywhere from 1000 to 2000 words. This should tell you something, as time progresses it will get harder and harder to set yourself among the gods. This is why I live by the quote “ If you're going to do something, do it today, because tomorrow it will be harder“. It's a good thing that you're reading this eBook now because in a few minutes, you should be able to start or continue your blog right where you left off.
The reason why so many blogs are failing is because many people think that they can slap two web-pages together and call it a blog. Successful blogs are more than just a name or a brand, they are a resource to others. If you can’t figure out how to provide that valuable resource then please think about that first.
Answer this question :
People will come to my blog because __________
Marketing Method # 1: Collaborate with other Bloggers
Probably the best way to rapidly increase your ranking both in google and traffic is by collaborating with other quality bloggers and having them post an article about anything that connects their users to your blog. Important! If you’re lucky enough to persuade bloggers to write or post your article on their blog then be sure to place a “dofollow” url link on their blog.
Fact: “Dofollow” urls are links that tells Google “hey, this blog is amazing and should be ranked higher because people are sharing it”. “Nofollow” urls are links that when posted on a blog tells google “we don’t represent this brand” which it terms signifies that others are not endorsing your work and thus google won't rank you higher on their search engine.
Marketing Method # 2: Use Facebook Groups
Facebook is a great resource for contacting and sharing with other bloggers. Many bloggers have created a facebook page which allows you to message people without being connected as friends. This is great because you don't have to go out of your way searching for email and emailing gazillions of bloggers. There’s also facebook groups where many bloggers within travel, fashion, etc congregate.
Marketing Method # 3: Use Semrush
Semrush does something really amazing that any professional blogger should take into consideration. Semrush gives a very thorough analysis of websites, from growth metrics to who's linking to these sites. Why is this useful? Because you can use these features to analyze your competitors and see for yourself how they are managing to acquire traffic and leads. Once you analyze your competitors and see what they are doing, then you should try to replicate these exact processes to achieve an equal amount of result. For example, a few days ago i had to help a customer with improving his SEO, the problem is that this exact customer was in a very competitive niche and he had no idea where to start. We used Semrush to analyze his main competitors and we found that these sites were posting very eye catching ads and receiving visitors mostly from quora which was unexpected. As a result, we pretty much replicated their high performing ads and hired a virtual assistant to answer quora questions relating to the site at hand. Even though we were performing in a very competitive space, we managed to see an increase of 34% in incoming traffic and a 20% increase in organic traffic within a period of 3 months.
Marketing Method #4: Use quora
Quora is the new kid on the block. It's a question and answer community that’s highly regulated by the staff. As a result, their database of knowledge is more accurate than something like yahoo answers. Quora is a platform that attracts many educated people. The large difference between Quora and something like yahoo answers it's that quora will monitor the quality of every answer. Now, how can you use this platform for your blogging benefits?
Well, you can create a profile and add your blog link within the description. Answer as many questions relating to blogging as possible. As a result, viewers will read your answers and look into your description and ultimately land on your blog. Not only that, but over time, viewers and readers will start associating you as someone influential within the industry.
Marketing Method #5: Pinterest
Pinterest is a great platform for referring users to your site but over the years it has received so much attention that it’s getting quite difficult to extract any significant traffic. That was a fair warning, now, it's still a great platform to post and get out there, i’m just saying that it won't be as easy as it was 1 or 2 years ago. I highly recommend pinterest if you’re both creative and can capture breathtaking pictures. In many cases, Pinterest users a highly educated and are most likely looking for creative ideas. So the more creative ideas you give them, the more results you shall see.
Things to keep in mind:
Marketing Method #6: Meetup Events
If you live in a big city but can’t travel, one great option is to join a few meetups. If you go to meetup.com you should find several different meetups that are happening around your area. If you do end up attending a few meetups you’ll quickly realize that you’re not alone in this world of online blogging, entrepreneurship, etc. In many occasion you will find that many people who attend meetups are just believers of the process but don’t their own ideas. In cases like this, it's a great chance to find partners who might be good in certain areas such as marketing, coding, etc.
Marketing Method #7: Twitter Advance Search
Marketing Method #8: Find Low Ranking Keywords and Create a Youtube Video on that Topic
This method is a big one that should work magic if done correctly. Here’s the logic that makes this method shine. Have you ever search google for a certain phrase or term and it then spits out a video within the search results, like this:
Well, these videos get a ton of traffic from google search because their videos have been optimized to rank on google by including a well thought out title, long description, tags and custom thumbnails. This is just an overview of what is needed to rank a video. I’m sure you can find more information on google on how to structure everything around. Sorry but this is not a step-by-step tutorial but more of a general guide with the intention of opening your horizon with marketing ideas.
Marketing Method #9: Use Google Trend
What better tool to use to analyze trending topics than google itself. Google has this application called google trend. It's an application that does exactly what it means. Google trend analyzes current trends based of search terms such as “blogging”. Many bloggers that i have worked with extensively use this tool to write about trending topics. The faster you post about trending topics the higher are your chances about catching the wave and gathering an influx of organic traffic.
Marketing Method #10: Buzzsumo
Buzzsumo is both a free and paid service. The great thing about Buzzsumo is that you can search a keyword relating to your target audience and receive some of the most shared articles on that subject. Now read the article and make it even better. Include more pictures, videos, soundtrack, descriptions and tips. After writing the article, share it or pitch it to a high traffic site that can net you some “dofollow” links.
Marketing Method #11: Physically Meet Your Audience (Travel) / Word of Mouth
I was debating whether or not this should be under the free marketing section. In many cases travelling is a big step for any sort of business and in most cases it's nothing but cheap. In this case, let's substitute traveling with word of mouth.
Let me share a small story. When i decided to travel to thailand from New York I had very little knowledge on what i was getting myself into. In a sense, my dier desire to travel, to build a business and meet others echo noises in my head saying “do it”, “do it”. Everyday it got louder until wallahh, i bought a ticket. Little did i know that travelling was probably one of the best investments i ever made in both business and self development. While staying at hostels and traveling across cities, i have had the privilege to meet so many people and cultures. I made an incredible amount of connections and improved my online business by word of mouth 10,000 folds. The thing is that while you’re back at home, you’re comfortable. You’re most likely living the comfortable life, meeting the same people, doing the same things, and following a daily routine. The thing about travelling and staying at hostels is that everyone is there for the same reason which is to travel, make friends and enjoy life. My number one rule that i had and the one in which i followed was that no matter how comfortable or how amazing the people i meet at hostels, I had to keep moving. The more you keep moving, the more social you get, the more people you meet, the more subscribers interested in reading your blog and interested in your storyline.
Maybe you’re a family person or don’t have the means to travel. If that's the case, then meeting and getting in touch with people by word of mouth will be more difficult but doable. Asking family and friends to share is a good start but in reality i was never really able to master this back at home. I would love to give you some advice on this topic but It’s different for everyone, as we live in different environments, with different norms and different ideologies dealing with public relationships.
8- Marketing Methods That Cost Money
Method 1: Facebook Video Ads
Never! Never! Ever! Spend your hard earned money on facebook written ads. But there’s one exception to this rule. If you’re ever thinking of creating a really cool video that packs a lot of value, then paying to promote it on facebook is a good idea. Why do i say this? Because based on my experience facebook promoted videos cost about .01 cents per view while a written ad costs around .40 cents or more per lead. If you create a really neat video that can catch the viewer's attention within the first 3 seconds, then you should have no problem acquiring much more leads than a regular written advertisement.
Method 2: Youtube Influencer
Pay a youtuber to mention your free value product. The great thing about paying an influencer is that not only are you getting signups but you’ll also get brand recognition and instant trust.
Method 3: Followerwonk
Moz is a fairly large company and they have developed a tool called Followerwonk. In essence, you can use Followerwonk to conduct effective searches of potential leads on twitter. For example, I clicked on ‘Search Bios’ and typed in ‘fashion blog’ into the search bar. I also change the search preference to ‘search twitter bios only’. As a result, It gave me the profiles of users who have ‘fashion blog’ on their bio description. In some occasion, followerwonk also shows the email of the user which is also provided by the users bios details.
But you can do much more with Followerwonk. For starters, you can click on Analyze within the header bar and then enter a username of someone who has created a blog similar to the one you aspire to have.
Once you enter their username and click on “analyze their followers” you should see a detailed bio of their followers.
Here’s an example that includes details of their followers such as the “Bio word of user they follow” and the most popular location of user they follow. It's a great tool to analyze the followers of a blogger and later fine tune your marketing strategy to target a similar demographic.
Method 4: Open Site Explore ( Find your competitors inbound links)
A very nice tool that i recently found is Open Site Explore. With the use of this tool you can find the inbound links of similar blogs to yours. What are inbound links? Inbound links are just links that refer users from one blog to another. For example, If you get a friend to post a link on their blog directing their users to yours, then thats an inbound link. Here’s an illustration of how you can find websites that might be interested in posting about your blog.
I can’t count the times that I’ve felt demotivated on continuing my online ventures due to the lack of results. It’s a learning process that involves understanding people. As a result, you will find that a large portion of people whom you’ll reach-out to will be unresponsive. It will make you question whether your blog or service is of any worth. I’m here to tell you that it’s very hard to get people to blog about your product or service. As a good conversion metric, 5% to 15% of bloggers will respond to your outreach emails. Without knowing this fact, it's easy to think that people are not interested on your blog. Word of advice, don’t let the unresponsiveness of others dictate your future.