Celebrities. They’re just like us, only rich and surrounded by loyal followers eager to bow to their every whim. Some of them even have blogsâ€”and if you’re looking for a good lesson on engaging an audience and building a cult following, look no further than these 5 celebrity blogs. [Read more…]
Write great content
You’d be surprised how many forget this one. They choose a platform, they load it up with a million plugins, they advertise to their existing social media circles, but when it comes to writing they miss the mark completely. What is great content? This is material which engages your audience. It is researched, highly structured content posted once a week or more that meets people’s needs head on with solutions. It produces a response (in their sharing) to their questions because it’s entertaining but also informative. Pick a niche, and then research ways i.e. read other blogs and construct a way to say what they are saying, but in your own voice. DO NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL.
I previously mentioned promotion as a way to grow your traffic. But here’s the thing about promotion: too much will kill your success before it gains traction. Many of you, including myself, have probably done the following when starting out: start blog, tweet 100 times a day, get on Facebook and beg people to ”like”, then auction your soul to the Devil when that doesn’t work out. This is not only painful, it’s unnecessary. The best promotion tactics, by far, are the ones which never get talked about. For instance, writing great content often produces a series. Conversion of these articles into PDF format and sharing with eBook directories and free document sites like Scribd or Helium is a great way to bump the odds in your favor. Angering your readers by over-promotion is an avoidable situation, so don’t do it!
Engage your audience
If someone, say a family member or friend, asked you a poignant question which gave you pause, would you ignore them? OF COURSE NOT! You’d jump right on the bullet train to Intelligentsia (sorry, bad puns abound in my world) and figure out a worthwhile reply to their query. So why is it when you post on your site, the only thing you see is the occasional greeting from Grandma? The ‘gurus’ bread and butter is no longer figuring out how to get traffic, it’s merely conversing (read:engagement) about all the traffic they get, thereby getting more. It’s a topic which spews dividends every time it is brought up. Simply put: present a question in your great content, then engage with your audience’s feedback. This method can be accelerated if you use forums to become an expert on your niche and use your blog URL as a signature in your profile.
Lots of folks have lots of reason for feeling weâ€™re on the outside.
Itâ€™s almost overwhelming. The world can seem to be one huge tribe and we can seem to be the only one whoâ€™s not a part. Of course, thatâ€™s flawed thinking. Ever met a group of people who could agree on anything huge for very long? The whole world is too big to hold a meeting about who belongs.
Itâ€™s not how the world sees you. Itâ€™s how you see yourself that counts.
When I was young, my mother taught me to choose my friends wisely. As an innocent, I thought this meant I should pick better, smarter people, i.e, the popular kids. While it is important to be known by the “known” people, what she explained was a bigger principle. You are judged by those you keep company with.
Among all the social media tools I’ve been exploring in this series, this is one of the most important ones: understanding the influence others have on you to help define your social influence. [Read more…]
While attending the How to Hire a Professional Blogger For Your Business session at Blog World Expo, it was very interesting to learn that you have to know your performance numbers and how they work in order to really understand what it takes to make money as a hired blogger.
As part of this series on what you need to know about hiring a professional blogger and being hired, let’s look at what the pros had to say about performance numbers and metrics and what you need to know before you go pro.
Gregory Go of About.com Guide to Online Business made it clear to the crowded room about how the numbers drive payment and drives success when it comes to paying a blogger. “If you are looking to make money blogging for a company or blog network, you have to understand the metrics.”
Gregory listed three key web analytics that should be used to set a price for paying a blogger.
- Consistency – Word Count Metric: Number of posts per week or month published with a minimum word count per post.
- Internal Metrics: Numbers based upon direct interaction and actions such as comment count, feed or newsletter subscribers, and direct sales generated.
- External Metrics: Performance compared to the general Internet/blogosphere metrics. This includes page view counts and referrer or inbound links.
While few pay solely based upon one of these three metrics, most blogs and blog networks compensate bloggers based upon a combination of these numbers. [Read more…]
One of the topics covered in the How to Hire a Professional Blogger For Your Business session at Blog World Expo dealt with how important it is that your blog set an example if you want to be hired as a blogger. It was interesting to hear the speakers also add that if you want to hire bloggers, you better clean house as well.
The hour-long seminar featured Jim Turner of One By One Media Social Media and Professional Blogging Consultants, Gregory Go of About.com Guide to Online Business, Will Chen, editor of Wise Bread | Personal Finance and Frugal Living Forums, and Darren Rowse of Problogger. As part of this series on What Do Need to Know About Hiring a Professional Blogger and Being Hired, I want to address the issue of how to ensure your blog sets a good example and speaks well for you to help you be hired as a blogger and if you are interested in hiring bloggers.
Want Bloggers? Show Them You This is a Good Place to Blog
If you are looking to hire bloggers for your blog or blog network, you must set an inviting example.
Your blog or blog network must speak well of itself. It needs to be clean and clear in its content representation, with every element closely tied in with the overall theme and content including design, ads, blogrolls, graphics, pictures, titles, headings, and words. It needs to send a clear message of its purpose and goals.
A blog without a clear purpose sends a lot of messages to potential employees or freelancers. It says that you don’t know what you are doing. You want to send a clear message of your blog’s purpose so the blogger can evaluate the site and determine if they see a place for themselves in your blog. [Read more…]
The How to Hire a Professional Blogger For Your Business session at Blog World Expo this past weekend in Las Vegas was incredible. It featured Jim Turner of One By One Media Social Media and Professional Blogging Consultants, Gregory Go of About.com Guide to Online Business, Will Chen, editor of Wise Bread | Personal Finance and Frugal Living Forums, and Darren Rowse of Problogger.
These expert bloggers are also business managers, managing the bloggers on their network and blogs. They have to hire, fire, put out fires, negotiate, guide, instruct, hunt, and deal with bloggers of all skill levels on a daily basis.
Blogging as an industry is still new. Blogging with hired-gun bloggers is also still new and a mine field for both employers and potential employees. There isn’t a lot of concrete information out there. There is a lot of guessing and little history to help both sides understand how this works.
The group conceded quickly that hiring bloggers isn’t the same as hiring writers for a magazine or website. Bloggers are a new group of employees and freelancers requiring special needs and attention as well as guidance.
Over the next few articles, I’m going to break down what they said to complement other articles I’ve written here on the subject of getting paid as a blogger. These include:
And you probably knew that blog networks, like all businesses, thrive or perish according to their ability to respond to changes in the economies in which they operate.
But what you maybe didn’t know is the extent to which the current economic struggles of Canada and the U.S. are affecting the blog networks you visit on a daily basis – Gawker, b5media, Federated Media, Splashpress (which owns this blog) and Weblogs, Inc., to name a few. [Read more…]
Over at Problogger, Darren Rowse has an excellent two-part series on how to make money with affiliate programs.
1. Relevancy between Audience, Product and Content
One key to high conversion when promoting affiliate products is to align as much as possible the needs of your audience, with the product that you are promoting and the content being produced on your blog.
2. Track What Your Readers Respond to
Yesterday I mentioned that instead of just promoting an affiliate product once that it can be worth running a series of different types of posts to promote it over time. The beauty in doing this is that you begin to see what your readership responds to. You might find that few people sign up for a product when you first announce it but when you write a review that sales increase. Alternatively you might find that when you offer a bonus they sign up more or even that they respond to you doing an interview with the person behind the product. The key is to try different things but then to watch how they convert.
Excellent advice all around…
Earlier this month, Daily Blog Tips interviewed Timothy Sykes, who is making more than $50,000 monthly with his blog:
You claim to have earned $45,000 from your blog last month, and that your traffic is 3 times smaller than John Chowâ€™s one. How is that possible?
My business model is different, heâ€™s all ad and affiliate-based, while my focus is on creating educational products through my own publishing company, BullShip Prress, LLC, namely my PennyStocking Instructional DVD that makes penny stock trading understandable and TIMalerts, a real-time trading alerts subscription service, both of which I promote endlessly through my blog.
Mind you, I tried Chowâ€™s business modelâ€”admittedly only half-heartedly because I have problems promoting all the frauds in financeâ€“but it didnâ€™t work for meâ€¦so I adapted.
It’s an interesting interview to read primarily because of the discussion around the question above. Timothy’s income is less about advertising and affiliate income and more about using his blog as a method to promote his product lines – and then pocketing the much higher profits when those products are sold.
In this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve talked about blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges and calendar archives, two of the many elements many use to clog up their blog’s sidebar. “Clutter” is a matter of perspective. If these added design elements really work for your blog, serve your blog’s purpose, and enhance the reader’s experience, leave them. In fact, put them at the top where they are the first thing people will see next to your post title and content beginnings. Promote them. If they are that important, let them stand out.
If they are not important, then they do become clutter.
One of the most popular blog clutters are the Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes that many feel are important elements to a blog’s design.
The web is now social. People are experimenting with all types of methods to bring the social to their blogs and emphasize how social their blogs are – or at least appear to be. Among the most popular and easy to do are most recent comment widgets and chatting shout boxes. [Read more…]