When I started this blog, I had many ideas and tools to get started with a bang. I had been studying Internet Marketing from the top experts in the industry – and a few became great friends. I have had excellent mentors that showed me how and why to do certain marketing aspects – avoiding the ones that didn’t matter.
Yet I still had to try it on my own. You can have all the education in the world, but it’s the execution that really starts your training. So today I share some of the things I’ve done to keep me on the mark with my goals of getting traffic, getting subscribers, and just plain enjoying the ride!
This truly is where you need to start before sitting down to write out a strategy. With the panic in the air due to the economy, people everywhere are trying to “hurry and get online”. What those people don’t know, is how much patience you need to have.
Getting 1,000 visitors to your website does not happen overnight unless you know some heavy players with some huge lists. It takes a consistent and focused effort. So, if you’re planning to put up a blog and get success overnight, you’re setting yourself up for some disappointment.
Now, I don’t say that to discourage you. Instead, I’d like you to keep reading to turn that into motivation and excitement. I check my Google Analytics (free, online visitor statistic software) account every day to see what new visitors I got yesterday – what part of the world they found me from – what keywords they typed into Google to find me.
Once you get your first user comment, that spark you had turn into a small fire. Once you get your first subscriber you don’t know, that small fire gets more power. Once you have 500 visitors per month you’re well on your way. It just keeps growing in front of you and it can feel like a mini miracle at times.
It’s up to you to figure out what you want your blog to be about. Sometimes your main topic may change depending on the feedback you get (or lack of feedback). We need to create a brainstorming list of all the possible blog posts we could write about.
Don’t get hung up on sexy titles. You don’t have to know what exactly you’d say in the post. Just sit down and don’t stop until you have 50 blog post ideas written on paper (I find that pen to paper is most effective for brainstorming).
This list will be your savior on days when you don’t feel like writing but know it’s been a while and you’re losing visitors by not posting and keeping that consistency, or days when you just have writer’s block and can’t think of a single good idea. I suggest sitting down and doing this exercise every 3-4 months.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
You’re gonna like this one!
- Go to https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
- Enter a keyword (such as ‘leadership’) or keyword phrase (such as ‘leadership resources for business owners’) into the top field.
- Click ‘yes’ on Use Synonyms.
- Type in the security code (you only have to do this once).
- Click “Get Keyword Ideas”
You will notice a long list of keyword ideas come up based on the most popular searches in Google. I sort the list by clicking on “Global Monthly Search Volume” so I’m seeing keywords from most searched to least searched.
Why is this a sweet free tool? Well, we can see what your market is searching for most. Then we can write blog posts about those topics to get more traffic. You’ve probably noticed my blog posts are about all sorts of topics. Some bloggers do this and some keep to one topic and go deep with it. It’s up to you, but this tool will give you fresh ideas for writing topics and will keep you focused on getting ranked in Google.
Google (and your readers!) like short- to medium-sized posts, usually around 200-600 words. More words than that are a turn-off to visitors because chances are they don’t have time to read it all and Google’s spider bots only scan so many words usually on the hunt for keywords to rank you by.
Inserting images into your posts is a plus. Many people are visual and this can generate more interest. But, you should know you must own the rights to that photo or buy the rights via a site like iStockPhoto.com.
Adding audio and video are always a plus. Click here for a very detailed post on My Top 5 Video Recording Tips for You »
I suggest writing as often as you can. The easiest way to think about it is the more you blog, the faster you will gain traffic. I personally try to add 3 blog posts a week – which can be tough because I do it in my spare time. I make time. Some of you will try and build your blog full time so maybe 5-6 posts a week becomes your goal. The more consistent you are the better!
End each blog post with a course of action or by asking your readers a question to get involved in the conversation. Ask them for what you need. “Subscribe to my newsletter,” “Make a comment,” “Fill out this quote form,” etc.
Stories are a great way to sell and for people to remember you. Paint a visual picture and add screenshots or images to enhance your posts. Before publishing your post ask yourself, “Will this impact at least one person?” and “Did I do my best to educate and inspire?” then tweak your post as necessary.
Some days you’ll start writing your post and feel almost brain-dead on ideas to add. I like adding posts that start with “35 ways to…” or “14 Effective Ideas to…” because people are looking for quick answers and lists make it easy for them to scan for the solution. (Always keep your readers in mind!)
On days such as these, you have 2 options. One is to save your post as a draft and start a new one that you are more engaged in. Your readers will pick up on your lack of enthusiasm most likely anyway.
Two is to “Google It”. Let’s say my blog post is about “how to boost morale in the workplace”. I’ll Google that phrase and look through 5-20 websites to find new ideas (Note: Never, EVER plagiarize.) I like to look at the ideas listed because that almost always will spark some new idea in my mind to write about that can be uniquely mine. Or, I will take an idea and spin in it a new direction. Sometimes we just need a boost or a reminder to keep going.
A great resource you should look into is ProBlogger. I read their book first, then subscribed to get email notifications of their new posts. It has been an excellent resource for growing my blog (and thinking). Examples of their post topics include:
- How 12 Experts Make Money Through Their Blogs (And How You Can Learn Their Secrets)
- An Important Question to Ask Before Hitting Publish on Your Next Post
- Does Price Impact Which Affiliate Products You Promote?
Let’s start a list of the different ways you all have blogging success! Tell me how often you post, how you come up with topics, and even what your problem areas are. Now’s your chance to grow to that next level.