There have been many misconceptions lately in the blogging world and some key things that influences almost all the successful blogs we have online has been misplaced.
Everybody now comes with his or her own theory, failing to realize that it is not what you say or do that matters most, but the results you get.
There are 7 very important and basic factors that influence your success as a blogger and this post will be giving a deep insight into the 7 core things you must consider if you ever want to succeed as a blogger.
#1 – Content is King
Content is truly king in the blogosphere and it has been misplaced on so many blogs. Many bloggers now come up with different substitutes to quality content and you will see others come up with reasons why content is not king.
Content is king and it has no substitute. At the same time, you should also realize that not all types of content are king. There are different types of content; we have filler content and valuable content. Valuable content is the one that changes the life of anyone who reads it.
There have been many arguments that marketing is superior to content but from personal experience I’ve seen it’s not, I’ve written a post which I never promoted and till date it has been read by thousands.
Now that we know that not all type of content is king it will be very important to know which type of content is king, I will be giving some details into various types of content we have and how they can influence our blog’s success.
Types of Content
1. Long Posts: This might look dumb but I intentionally included this on the list and made it number one. Many people are of the impression that because a post is long it will easily go viral, this isn’t true and a post does not go viral because it is long but a post goes viral because of the value people gained from it.
Long posts have the potential of going viral easily because you can write what is supposed to be written in 3 or 4 short posts in one long post. For example, you can write a post on how to build a powerful blog while still explaining various ways to get traffic to a blog. The end result is that these types of post are usually rich and resourceful which makes the readers more interested in sharing it.
When trying to write long posts, it is very important to make sure you have your reader’s attention – what’s the essence of writing a post that would not be read? It is also very important to make your long posts scannable because it will make it easier for people to read and understand it.
2. List Post: This type of post also tends to go viral if properly written. There are different types of list posts and it can be in the form of the top list or the 101 post etc. For example, I recently submitted a guest post to shoutmeloud.com titled 101 ways to get quality backlinks to your blog, this post really went viral and has sent hundreds of visitors to this blog.
Another great example is the recent one by retireat21.com featuring the top 30 young bloggers making money online.
List posts are known to go viral easily and if you could make your list post packed with value then you will be amazed at the results you will get.
3. Pillar Content: This is the best type of content I will advise every blogger to be writing and it is this type of content that is king.
Pillar content markets itself because of the type of value it has. One great characteristic of pillar content is that it is always relevant and will still be useful in years to come, and that is why this type of content is always the most popular on most blogs.
Pillar content self-promotes itself and it will keep on getting traffic long after you have stopped promoting it.
There are still other types of content but the above are the three most important type of content in the blogosphere.
You shouldn’t rely on others telling you your content is great (I do get a lot of compliments from my readers even when I was writing rubbish ;)), you will have that conviction in yourself if you truly write great content.
#2 Marketing Seconds
Another fundamental truth in blogging is that marketing seconds. Your content is useless without marketing because it doesn’t matter how great content is; it has no life of its own until it is read.
There should be a proportion for your Content vs. Marketing; I will like to use the 70/30 method in which you will spend 70% of your efforts on writing great content while the other 30% will be invested on marketing your blog.
Marketing is truly very powerful but it has to be done properly, you don’t need to waste your efforts on marketing strategies that don’t work but you should rather focus your time on effective marketing strategies that work. I will be giving insights into various types of marketing strategies and their effects.
1. Viral Marketing: This is the most powerful type of marketing strategy you can implement and it can give you traction and recognition beyond your imaginations.
If you take a look at Facebook today, you will notice it is a clear example of viral marketing and I am very certain it will even overtake Google very soon (unless Google comes up with something new).
Viral Marketing is really very effective and it doesn’t rely on you to keep the trend going, all you need to do is to make sure you have a good story/content/product worth sharing.
One major way to make sure the viral marketing effect has its place on your blog posts is by giving your best in terms of content and by making sure all your posts are value-packed – you don’t need to write everyday, it is better to write only one post that can bring thousands of visitors in one week than to write posts that will not have any major effect on your traffic everyday. It is very important to note that not all content will go viral and there are several other factors that will determine how viral your content will go. One major factor is your headline!
2. Leverage: This is another very powerful marketing strategy and if combined together with a very strong content can lead to viral marketing. This type of marketing is mostly used by top bloggers and that is why you see them promoting the products (and blog posts) of each other.
When trying to make effective use of leverage as a marketing strategy, you should consider several factors because it is not easy to gain support from others, but if you can take the right steps, you will get what you want. It is also very important to let your partner know clearly what he/she will gain – it is all about them, not about you.
One major way to easily gain help from other bloggers and marketers is to help them when they need it. If I launch a product and you already blogged about it and did your best to promote it, I won’t find it difficult to help you when you need my help.
PS: One golden rule when trying to make use of leverage as a marketing strategy is to make it clear what the other fellow will gain, if they see they are gaining even more than you do they will be more happy to help you out.
3. Social Media: Social media marketing is another great form of marketing and it is becoming increasingly important and effective in getting the word out about your blog.
Effectively utilizing the power of social media can help you get thousands of views to a single article in one day.
There are several ways to get great results from your social media efforts and I will be outlining two very important ones below:
1. Work with Influencers: If there is one way to shortcut your way to success in the social media world then it is by working with the influencers. Try to work on building stronger relationships with them and they will be very happy to help when you need their help.
This method can be very effective but it is always very difficult to get this to work, which in turn leads us to the second point.
2. Learn The System: Being someone who has been trying to get the best by leveraging the power of social media, I will tell you this is not very easy to do but the results might worth the effort.
Learning the system is really one of the best ways to market your blog with social media because you have the power and you can easily do anything you want without needing the help of others.
Don’t Play with Your Headlines
One of the most important aspects of your content that makes it easy to market is your headline; if you just come up with headlines without thinking about it twice then you are not doing what is right.
The headline plays a very important role in making your content a success and it doesn’t matter how hard you try to promote, your headline can still impose some limitations on the results you will get.
If you take a close look at the headline of this post you will notice it isn’t what I just came up with, I came up with various headline variations such as:
i. 7 fundamentals of blogging success
ii. 7 Golden secrets to blogging success
iii. 7 important keys to blogging success
iv. 7 fundamental keys to blogging success but I had to go with the last one because it has the potential of going more viral than the others.
When writing headlines, we have what we call “important words”; these are words that automatically makes a reader want to read a post because of the headline, in this post you will notice the two important words are “fundamental” and “keys“.
There are many tutorials on writing great headlines but I have never seen a resource as valuable as Copyblogger.
#3 Design Matters
One very important element that has a lot to do with your blog’s success is your blog’s design and I’ve lost count of the number of blogs I don’t read because of the design.
Having a great design is really important because it makes your blog user-friendly and it also makes your content presentable. I am someone who really didn’t care about having a great design, but one great thing I learned from Glen Allsopp is the importance of having a good design – while he might not tell me in words, I was able to analyze his blog’s success and what really made him a success, I discovered the reason for his success was not only his content but also how he makes it presentable.
Your content is important but you can make your readers bored by not having a great design.
There are many steps you can take to improve your blog’s design, you can choose from a lot of premium themes or you can decide to hire a designer to help you design your own custom theme, it all depends on you.
When trying to get the perfect great design for your blog, it is also very important to make sure you have a great navigation structure and you should also make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your blog.
#4 Goals Bring Results
One very important factor that can affect your blogging career is your goal. If you have great goals then you will get great results and you will never be a mediocre but if you don’t care about having goals or you think everything will just come and go then you are most likely not going to get results.
Many people joke with having goals and I think this is a very critical part of your career that you should never joke with. There are several types of goals and I will be listing some important type of goals every blogger should have.
i. Achievement goals: This type of goal should be based on what you want to achieve within a time-frame. You’re the only one that can limit yourself from success, nothing else can! Your goals should not be limited by anything and your goals should also not be based on the present but you should train yourself to see far ahead into the future. What is it that you want to get? What is it that you want to achieve? It might be monetary, traffic-wise, influence-wise, or even in form of the number of subscribers you want to get. It doesn’t matter how achievement-based your goal is, it is always important to have one.
Another thing of note is that you shouldn’t try to get discouraged should you not achieve your goal but you should rather work hard on getting things done and setting goals wisely.
ii. Action Goals: It is this type of goal that deals with what you will do. For example, one of my action goals is to be writing a minimum of 30 guest posts every month. You might have an action goal based on how you promote your blog or how you update your blog. If you want to get the most of your traffic through blog commenting, you can decide to have an action goal of you commenting on “X number of blogs” everyday. Your action goal can also be based on how you update your blog, for example, you might want to be updating your blog every 2 days.
iii. Limit Goals: This is a type of goal that has a restriction or that has a number attached to it. For example, if your goal is to be getting X number of visitors in X time, then we can say you have limit goals.
If I am asked, I will advise every blogger to have limit goals, because goals like this are easier to achieve. If you come up with a goal like I want to be the top blogger in 2010, it might be very difficult to achieve this type of goal and by time you begin to realize what it takes you might eventually get discouraged but if you come up with goals like “I want to be getting 2,000 unique visitors a day after my 1 year of blogging”, you might find it easier to achieve – because it is based on something, “after 1 year and 2,000” and this makes it easier to achieve because you know what you want and when to achieve it.
We still have other types of goals but the above 3 are very important for every blogger, you don’t need to set goals for its sake but set goals that make you get things done.
So Helpful – So Deadly
One major truth is that the difference between the success and failure of many bloggers will be determined by their goals.
The power of having goals should never be underestimated because there is strength in setting goals; your goal is what keeps on motivating you, your goal is what keeps you going – because you are not seeing the present, but the future ahead of you.
Even as important as setting goals is, it is can also be very dangerous and can be the reason behind the failure of many bloggers – it is very dangerous if you begin to toil with your goals.
#5 P, P, P – Passion, Persistence, Patience
These are 3 very important key elements to the success of any blog and every successful blogger had cause to exercise all of these 3 at one point or the other in their career.
Patience: Blogging is not a bed of roses and you shouldn’t expect things to be flowing day by day, there will always be days when you will be sad, dejected, sorrowful etc. but it is your passion for your blog that will keep you going.
One thing I have seen among most bloggers lately is that they say they have strong passion for their blogs when they truly don’t. If you truly have passion for your blog, it doesn’t matter what you are facing, it doesn’t matter how everything is, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t make money from your blog or not, you will still have the energy to continue.
I have written over 220 guest posts this year alone, just because of my blog. Do you think it is easy to come up with that number of guest posts (why writing for my blog at the same time) if I truly don’t have passion for my blog?
Take your time, check yourself again and again, and try to see if that element that makes your blog worth dying for is in you, if it is, then that is what we call passion. If you know what is called true passion, then you might be amazed to hear you don’t have it – develop it!
Persistence: Another key element to blogging success is persistence. You should understand that you won’t just be getting things easily in your blogging career, you might find it difficult to get the connection you want, you might find it difficult to achieve the desired level of readership you want, you might find it difficult to get in touch with the movers and shakers of your niche but if you are persistence you will be able to get what you want.
It was recently that I started getting my guest posts published on A-list blogs, most of the time I tried, it is either I got rejected or my post is too poor to an extent that the blogger won’t reply, but I kept moving on, I kept trying.
Blogging is like a mountain and you might be falling at some point when trying to climb, you still have to hold your faith, believe in yourself and keep trying – the joy of the latter is greater than the sorrow of the former. You’ll be amazed when you start getting results.
Patience: This is what separates the true bloggers from the fake ones; patience is one thing every real blogger has.
I am yet to see a blog that came out of the blue and became a success in no time, most of the successful blogs I have seen have been around for years and all the top bloggers had a little beginning.
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme and you might not even get results after you have been blogging for months, you have to keep encouraging yourself while waiting patiently for results to come. If being successful does not require patience, then it will be useless to be successful. Every successful person has a story and they all had that story because it took them long to be successful, there is no short-cut to blogging success; you have to wait patiently for results to come.
Another funny thing about blogging is that even with you working, it might seem results are not coming. For example, you might be building backlinks for SEO purposes yet it seems traffic is not coming, you might be promoting your blog yet it seems people are not coming, results will surely come, and that is only if you wait for it. Many people quit when they are at the edge of success. You don’t know when you will succeed, you don’t know how close you are to your blogging desires; it isn’t time to quit, keep trying and keep waiting!
#6 Have a Business
This is where most people get it wrong. You will hardly make any money blogging until your blog begins to serve as a business. If I ask you, how do you want to make money from your blog? I know you will answer, by displaying ads, by using Adsense etc. If that is all you rely on to make money from your blog then you are cheating yourself.
Your Blog is not a Business
Do you think your blog is your business with those few ads on it? Then you are wrong, I mean, you are absolutely wrong! Your blog is in no form a business.
Your blog can be a foundation to the success of your business only if you do things right.
As a blogger, there will be times you will be so happy that you will want to give everything you have for free on your blog, while there is nothing bad in this, if you don’t have a solid business plan for your blog it might be the most deadly thing you will ever do. If you plan to make the bulk of your money recommending other people’s product (which I wouldn’t recommend) then you can go ahead doing this (I mean giving your best for free) but if you plan to launch your own product then I am afraid this will cripple your business, because you will end up giving out your potential products away for free.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to underestimate the power of giving value (and I am sure you will hardly get this type of post anywhere for free), and giving value is another thing entirely, all I am trying to say is that you should try to adjust your mentality. Everything can’t be free and it doesn’t matter how much love you have for your blog, you still have to pay for the hosting, you have to buy premium themes and plugins and you have to subscribe to other internet courses that will help improve your blogging career. You also have to live the internet lifestyle which is the first reason you’re blogging.
How do You Turn Your Blog into a Business?
Since it is impossible to get the best from your blog if it isn’t a business, the question that comes to mind now is, how do you turn your blog into a business? I will be listing some tips to turn your blog into a business below.
First Things First
When trying to turn your blog into a business, the first thing to do is to research your niche properly to see what they need most, once you know what their major need is you will be able to get more results from your little efforts. You wouldn’t want to start a business that nobody patronizes so it is very important to know what your readers truly need. There are several ways to set up a business on your blog and I will be listing some below, please know that I am not listing it in any significant order and you can use any one of the below methods you like most, it all depends on you.
1. Offering Consulting Services: One very effective way to make money from your blog is by offering consulting services on your blog. There are various ways this could be done, it can be done via a phone call, it can be done via email, and it can be done via Skype or any model you want.
2. Affiliate Marketing: Another great and effective way to make money from your blog (especially if you don’t want to create your own product) is by promoting other people’s product as an affiliate. When trying to promote other people’s product, it is very important to note that trust is what matters most and it is what can determine the number of sales you will make. If you could build up great trust with those reading your blog, they might not even read the sales page of the affiliate products you promote before they buy (Sounds dumb? Well, I’ve bought products without reading the sales page).
3. Product Creation: You can also profit from your blog by creating your own products; it can be in the form of an ebook, a membership site or a paid forum. What matters most is your expertise and the type of audience you have, if you are trusted by your audience and you are seen as someone who knows what he is saying then you shouldn’t find it difficult to make money from creating your own product.
4. Freelancing: Another great way to profit from your blog is by freelancing, you can set up a page on your blog telling people about your services and why you are the best, because of the relationship you have built with your readers and the trust you have gained you will find it easier to gain more clients.
While these are not the only ways to make money from your blog, you can still get started with these ones and the more experience you gain the more business opportunities you will see.
Don’t do it wrong!
Many bloggers will always fail because thy have neglected the key elements every good business should have; below are some things you should focus on before trying to turn your business into a blog.
– Building Trust is important: Trust matters and the absence of it in a business can be the difference between success and failure. Focus on building trust with your readers by providing high quality content that they can not find elsewhere. It is also very important not to abuse every opportunity that comes your way by promoting products now and then, make sure you don’t overdo things.
–Branding is important: Another important thing to do when trying to get success for your business is to build a great brand for your business. Even though you might see this as of little importance but it can make the difference between you making hundreds or thousands of dollars. If some people launch a product, you will notice there is a lot of buzz about the product, it is because they have built a great brand for their business over time.
There are several ways to build a great brand for your business and one great way is by making sure you are everywhere, it can be through blog commenting, guest posting or any means you can use to make sure you get seen. You can also create some high quality branded free ebooks that do not require people to enter their emails to download and also encourage people to distribute it as they want, before you know it, you would have built a great brand for your business.
Need a System?
In case you need a system to profit from your blog or a summary of what I have been explaining earlier on, you can make use of this: Write Quality Content >> Market your blog using several models >. Monetize your blog using any of the above models.
#7 Have a Backend
At over 4500 words already, I will try to make this as short as possible.
One of the most important things in your business is your backend. I will like to define a backend as a system with which you can get in touch with your readers even when they are not on your blog, or long after they stop visiting your blog. There several benefits of a backend, one of the benefits is that it helps you easily get repeat visitors (and a repeat visitor is worth more than a one-time visitor), another benefit of a backend is that it also makes you less dependent on other sources of traffic.
There are several types of backend and I will be listing the most important ones below after which I will be explaining more about the one which is the best:
i. Mailing List
ii. RSS Feed
iii. Social Networks
My Pick is a mailing list and I will be explaining more about how you can get the best from your mailing list.
When it comes to building a mailing list, the question that first comes to your mind is, how do I build a mailing list? It might be difficult building a big list if you are not known in your niche but following the tips below will make it easier for you to get things done faster.
– Dedicate a special page to your mailing list (this is known as a squeeze page).
– Make sure you have your mailing list subscription form on your blog sidebar.
After you’ve followed the above steps, you can now use the methods below to drive traffic to your squeeze page:
–Guest Posting: Everybody who knows me well will know why I chose this first.
–Blog Commenting: Might not be as effective a guest posting but also bring results.
–Forum Posting: You can get great results from little efforts from your path.
–SEO: I never knew the power of this until I started getting some SEO traffic to my squeeze page. Make sure you optimize the headline and Meta description of your squeeze page using your desired keywords, work hard on using your anchor text to link back to your squeeze page in your guest posts or in your articles.
You might be wondering what matters? Well, it is trust. Building trust with your list can make the difference between the results you get from your efforts; you can work on building more trust with your list by following the tips below:
–Frequency: Don’t bombard your list with several emails in a day; try to be minimal with the amount of emails you send to your list – I will advise you not to send more than 3 emails in a week.
–Headlines: Try to make sure you have great headlines that does not trigger spam filters, make your headlines as short as possible and make sure it can easily catch the attention of your readers.
–Value: don’t try to send promotion emails to your list every now and then but rather focus on providing value in every email you send.
I will like to know what you think about this post. Feel free to share this post on your favorite social bookmarking/networking sites.