Chris Ducker is an entrepreneur, and Founder/CEO of Virtual Staff Finder and Live2Sell. In 2010, Chris ventured into blogging, and quickly became the outsourcing authority. In this interview, we talk about how he amassed a large following, the biggest blogging mistakes and more.
You’ve been very successful in business, most notably with Live2Sell, and it wasn’t until 2010 that you got serious about blogging. Were there tips/best practices that you applied from the business world?
Being original is number one in business. If you want to do anything in business now, you’ve got to be as original as possible because it’s becoming more and more complex. The second thing is just be consistent in what you’re doing whether it’s a podcast, building out a YouTube channel, or creating a blog.
I decided to make a quality design of the blog (Virtual Business Lifestyle) apparent from the outset. I didn’t want it to look just like any other blog out there. I wanted to try and stand out, and be as original as I possibly could. When I first started Virtual Business Lifestyle, I was blogging three times a week pretty religiously for almost a year, and it certainly helped to drive more traffic to the site, increase opt-ins, and overall get the blog in front of as many people as possible.
I remember discovering Virtual Business Lifestyle (now ChrisDucker.com) mid-2010, and you had already amassed a pretty large following. What do you attribute to your early success?
Other than just the originality and consistency of the content I was producing, I think the other thing that attributed to that early success was the fact I was out there. I was making an effort to connect with other bloggers, to travel from the Philippines to America to conferences like BlogWorld (now New Media Expo) even though I’d only been blogging for eight or nine months or so. I also made an effort to reply to every comment, and converse with people properly on social media.
What are some of the most common mistakes you see bloggers make?
One of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers make all the time is not listening to their audience. They start a blog on ABC niche, and think that’s what they’re going to write about forever. That’s not always the case, and 9 times out of 10, your readers will tell you EXACTLY what they want to hear from you. They’ll tell you in the comments section of your blog, by email, by social media or anywhere else for that matter.
Your audience will ask questions, and when people ask questions, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to be able to create content, and answer that question. Another mistake is trying to be everywhere online too soon. A lot of people think it’s important to be on every single social media platform every single day, but that’s not the case. I have a presence on every platform, but only really use two, Twitter and Facebook, which work best for me.
While some bloggers may frown on outsourcing content creation, what are other areas a virtual assistant can help with?
I’ve never said that you should outsource content creation. I believe that your content is the one thing you cannot, and should not virtually outsource. However, that doesn’t mean that once you’ve created that original piece of content you can’t utilize virtual assistants to help you repurpose it. For example, writing a 1000 word blog post which you can also record as a podcast episode. You could also have a virtual assistant create a SlideShare from certain parts of that blog post, or have them incorporate the post into an ebook which you giveaway on your website.
There’s just so many different areas a virtual assistant can help you on the marketing side of your content. You’re absolutely mad if you think that you can do all the marketing of your content yourself. A virtual assistant can help you produce a marketing plan, and then help you execute it.
Do you have any favorite tools or plugins?
The first one is Dropbox. All my files there are instantly updated, and backed up. It’s a real life saver. I also love Skype for communicating, not only with my virtual assistants, but people I interview for my podcast. As far as plugins, I really love Pretty Link. It’s great particular for sharing stuff on social media. Another plugin I like a lot is the Scrolling Social Sharebar. It scrolls along with the reader as they read content on your site, and it gives them the opportunity to share that content instantly.
Where can people learn more about you, and check out your stuff?