Done correctly, advertising on a new blog can add credibility and an image of being established. Too many ads are annoying and junk up your website. Some people believe all advertising is a nuisance and turns people off. Wrong. Appropriate advertising on a new blog gives the appearance of credibility and establishment. Quality advertising sends the implied message that those advertisers approve of your blog. Quality advertising implies: “I know what I’m doing, I’m experienced.” Get some expert advice about advertising on your blog.Read More
Do you have one of those blogs where people hang on your every word, follow every “Call to Action” you present to them, and buy any and every product or service that you make them aware of? Me neither. But I’m working on it. We all need to improve upon our persuasion skills and I’ve been honing mine for over twenty years. The list of things my eight kids have talked me into (by argument or charm) is more than I care to admit. Their art of persuasion is natural and appeals to emotions, needs, and impulses that we all possess. What can we learn from them?Read More
There are a lot of ugly, sad, pitiful, and homely blogs out there. Not exactly breaking news, right? Today, there is no excuse for a blog with a poor design, cheesy clip-art, or bad images. Your blog design should illuminate and enhance the message you are trying to convey to your readers. Here’s a few quick tips that will help you evaluate the visual appeal and design of your blog.Read More
Anyone with an ounce of humility is a little hesitant to flaunt the title “Expert.” But why not? When you are an expert, more people will buy your stuff, subscribe to your blog, care what you have to say, share your content with others, and contact you for speaking engagements. It’s unfortunate that many bloggers fail to call themselves experts when they indeed actually are. What is the definition of an “expert”? YOU are the expert if you know MORE than the person you are communicating to, educating, or training. Ever thought about that? If you know how to set up a WordPress blog but your audience doesn’t, you are an “expert” at setting up WordPress blogs as far as they are concerned. If you have actually made money with an online business and your audience has not, then YOU are an EXPERT at online business for their purposes. You do not have to know more than other experts… only more than your target audience. There will always be someone who knows more than you no matter how much you know. I’ve been blogging and doing online business for almost 15 years but I could easily write a list of hundred people who are more of an expert than I am, especially if you get specific about skills or experience. To be an expert, you don’t have to be THE EXPERT, top dog, numero uno in a given niche, market, topic, or business. So don’t shy away from being an “expert” because you know you are not in the top 10% of the entire group. You only need to know more than your audience and communicate that knowledge to them. Solicit their questions about the topic, research it, and become even more of an expert as you present answers. Whatever your reasons for not branding yourself as an “expert,” you need to get over them. People with a casual interest in a subject are blog readers; people with valuable information and insight into a subject are blog writers. People who know more than their audience and can impart their knowledge/experience to them, are “experts.” If you honestly are NOT an “expert” in your niche, topic, or market, you should strongly consider picking something else to write about or investing a lot of time in educating yourself to a higher level. Generally speaking (there are exceptions), it is going to be hard to have a successful blog or thriving business that relies on your reputation as an “expert” that people can trust and recommend if you can’t even muster up the nerve to consider yourself an expert (of course, some people think they are...Read More
So you have blog or an online business… quick, tell me what your blog is about? Tell me why it exists. Tell me what your goals are for it. What do you want me to do once I land on your home page? Can’t do it? Chances are, you might be a clueless blogger making the probability of your success almost nada.Read More
At some point, most bloggers experience boredom or burnout. It’s hard to get motivated about new content. You haven’t posted for a while and you start making excuses to your audience. Maybe you get jump-started several times only to turn around and, once again, it’s been three weeks since you posted. Writing has become the last thing you feel like doing. The necessary tasks of blog maintenance are falling to the wayside. Things don’t seem to be happening for you so the enthusiasm factor is low, low, low. For some, it’s a quickly passing phase and for others it could mean the end of an online business or blog. Many bloggers just don’t know how to get out of the funk. Remember the days when you first got the idea to start blogging? You couldn’t get your blog set up fast enough. Designing your pages was a thrill and you spent all your free time thinking of ways to improve your blog and educate yourself on how to be the best blogger that ever graced the Internet. You need that energy and passion back. But how? Thought you would never ask. Interact with your readers. You might do a free phone conference, a live chat, or even a social-media gathering where you respond to reader comments instantly and spark conversation and more questions. Let people know you are willing and available to help them. This interaction is a great way to boost your confidence and remind you that people do care what you have to say. You may not be able to answer all of the questions presented but this will be an excellent opportunity to find out what your readers want to know so you can educate yourself and provide answers for them via your blog. If you set up your blog with the intention of helping people (which I hope is at least part of the reason for most everyone), then taking the time to actually do that will be a great reminder of why your blog is important. Expand your skill set. Boredom will quickly set in if you decide you already know everything you need to know. You should never stop learning. Not a day should go by that you aren’t actively seeking out something new to learn about blogging and online business. Think of the value you can provide to your readers by constantly growing in your own expertise and sharing your observations and lessons with them. Think outside your current “box” and look for a new skill that you can learn within your field, or work to improve upon what you already know. There’s a lot of related...Read More
We get too many emails (except for the ones you get from me; they are just right ). Few people have time to open and read through every single email that shows up in their inbox. Not all of them are worth reading. Good spam filters and setting up “rules” to handle email keep things manageable to some degree. But, everyone wants THEIR email to be the one that is read – especially bloggers and online business owners. What about when it’s YOUR email that is getting blocked or ignored? How do you get the “welcome mat” put out for your email? You know what I mean, right? Think of the emails you get that you look forward to. Think of the authors that you are anxious to hear from. What is it about their emails that keep you WANTING them? What is it about certain emails that you wait for in anticipation, immediately notice, almost always read, and usually genuinely appreciate? Value. You have to create value for the reader. You need to benefit the reader. You have to write emails that readers want to read – something that they open without hesitation when they see it buried in a pile of other messages. You need to stoke interest. When someone reads your email, they need to think “I’m glad I took my valuable time to read that message.” People are rightfully selfish when it comes to their time. They want your emails to benefit THEM primarily. They are trading, literally, their “life” (time) to read what you send them – so it better be worth the investment. Here are some ideas to get you started in creating truly valuable and “wanted” emails: Have a clear and concise subject line. Some people like witty or sarcastic titles but the majority of your readers want to know what they will encounter if they choose to open the message. Don’t give your readers too many directions. If you fill your email with images, requests, sales pitches, and links, your reader won’t have a clear choice in what to do. Most people will just delete and move on. Be aware of your audience. Once you have a grasp on the type of people making up your target email group, write an email that will directly benefit that particular group. Be personable. Try to send emails from an email address that contains your real name (rather than a company name or anonymous “info” address). Greet your audience and end with a sincere closing line and your name. Personal doesn’t mean being too forward, or getting overly impersonal with “hey, sweetie” or “what up bro?” as your greeting....Read More
If you read anything related to social media, you are bound to run into “experts” who emphatically declare there is a “right way” to use each type of social media. Without a doubt in their minds, we are all using Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Facebook the wrong way and we need to learn the “right way” to use social media to build our online businesses. Predictably, they often have program, class, webinar, or e-book that will reveal to us the proper way to use social media. Guess what? There isn’t a “right way” to use social media. There is only the BEST WAY that works exactly the right way for each of us individually as bloggers and online business owners. It’s not “one-size-fits-all.” You need to figure out how to maximize each social-media platform for the specific business you are running, or for the blog you want to be successful. Or… don’t use them at all. Or pick and choose. Maybe your audience isn’t big on social media. You decide what works for you and how you use it. Social media can certainly be a tool to grow your business, and there are lots of people out there with good ideas on how to use the available social-media sites BUT as long as your readers are having fun and communicating with you and with each other, don’t stress about whether or not you are utilizing every social-media network. I think many people get overwhelmed with the pressure to be fully engaged in every big social-media platform. Here’s my advice: educate yourself about social media. Listen to the suggestions of others about how to use it. Along with those suggestions, do your best to “throw out the rules” mentally and see if you can dream up some creative, non-standard ways you can use social media to benefit YOUR business and YOUR...Read More
You should spend a lot of time reading other blogs. Why? Reading is a great way to identify what people are interested in, what information they missed that you can provide, and for you to develop your own writing skills by evaluating other writer’s styles. You also stand to learn a lot. You pick up inspiration, styles, and creative ideas. Reading helps you develop your vocabulary. On the flip side, you see what kind of posts are BAD and it helps you avoid writing the same. Now, here’s the quick tip: As you read other blogs, identify blog posts that you can provide commentary on or rewrite to fit your blog. Focus on your reaction and opinion immediately after reading someone else’s content: What do I agree with? What do I disagree with? What would I have written differently? What did they leave out? What did they include that I would have deleted? What is my opinion about their content? How could it have been better communicated? How could it be rewritten with a new emphasis for my blog audience? You can either use the other blog post as a springboard for your own original content, or use links to the original article (or excerpts) making sure to provide the source link and give credit to the other blogger. If your blog post impresses the other blogger, you might start a mutually beneficial relationship. It may be that your commentary presents disagreement; but that’s okay, that’s part of blogging. Don’t read past that too quickly… you have two good options: 1) taking the concepts and ideas of their original blog post, along with your thoughts on it (see the bullet list above), and then writing your own original post. Or, 2) include excerpts from the original post (with a link back to the original!) and then write your feedback and commentary after the excerpts. Which option is best? That depends on your goals and audience. You know what’s best for your blog. If you see no benefit connecting with the original blogger, Option 1 is the way to go. But, if there is some potential benefit to linking back to the original blog, then an “excerpt” approach works...Read More
I’ve shared many times that one of the key factors to having a successful blog is perseverance. Perseverance is “being online longer than the other guy.” But you have to take care of your blog too.
Think of your blog like a house. If you don’t care for it, improve it, repair it, and constantly monitor the quality of it, it will deteriorate.
Here are six danger signs that your blog might be deteriorating in quality…Read More