Developing my second Blog: Getting some training
During the Summer of 2013, I got into a rhythm of writing posts and realized I needed to be more focused to serve as specific an interest as possible. There reason being that, people who find your blog will expect a certain subject matter if they choose to follow your blogsite. It would be hard for someone to decide to follow you if, for example, one day you are blogging about mustard on corn dogs and the next day your are writing on how to improve your Salsa dancing skills (Salsa, not the condiment mind you).
In September, I started this my second blog on WordPress.org. There are some important differences in setting up a blog on WordPress.com versus WordPress.org (Please see my archived blogpost for details).
This time I studied the information provided by marketing guru and presenter Ray Higdon. In his blog training, he offers several insights to how he generates traffic, and having followed just some of low hanging fruit of his instructions, I was able to pass my total views in one month compared to my first blog’s total view count which had been up for 4 months already.
Note: What I am going to write is a synthesis of what I learned from Ray and what I actually implemented, I am not going to help you differentiate due to the nature of conveying my experience. But definitely, I give Ray Higdon credit for influencing me and helping me better understand how to blog through his “Straight-Talk” series on blogging.
Define your target audience. It helps to be as specific as possible. My choice of Personal Development as a category is pretty forgiving as I can adjust my focus in several directions as needed to meet the needs of my business (BTW, between you, me and a million other people, the last six months form have been unlike any other, my head is spinning from diving into social media).
How can you place yourself “into the mind” of your target audience? To begin it can be simple, not too much more difficult than writing to yourself. How does that sound to you? Consider it, it may help you to get going (I will say, I made this technique up to sometimes cope with my need to be flexible as to what I need or want to write about).
Even though you are writing to “yourself”, the world is a big place, the internet offers a big audience. The chances of writing to someone who closely identifies with your interests or your problems are high. However, if you are into business, then you will need to give more focus to provide value to your target audience.
Value means you need to come up with information that will put actionable ideas into the hands of your target audience. For example, what is helping you? From a personal development perspective, a popular subject is how to overcome obstacles like fear, or to overcome fear in a specific commonly occurring circumstance, like talking to new clients or speaking in public.
Value comes in many forms, but you will need to constantly think about how to serve others by providing it. What are some skills you can share that would improve the business performance, the love life, or perhaps the ability to make the best Napolitana pizza sauce?
Value can be technical like blog traffic generation or it can be character related helping others become a more likable, attractive, and trustworthy.
Unless you have a mountain of relevant experience to share already, you will need to continually learn new relevant ideas and skills to share with others, to serve the multitude who do not know what you know, or at least not as well.
Again, if your intent is to build a tribe, I recommend starting your new blog or reconstruction a soon as possible. A lot of what is done as a blogger is learned faster by trial and error. The biggest problem with most people is that they will talk themselves out of taking the first step and then never do anything (Check my archived article on bestbuckbuck.com).
You don’t need to let technology get in your way as many services are available online to help you set up a blog if that is the main hang up. Online services such as oDesk or Elance provide low cost consulting for those of you who are absolutely not techno-nerds.
Personally, I set up everything myself on my blog and signed up with AWeber for my Opt-in service, but it did delay my first attempt to start my second blog by about 2 weeks. While it is not what a good professional could do for a $1000, my sites function is adequate for now.
Some more simple blog tips:
1) Blog consistently and daily if possible (between my two blogs, I choose to take one day off). Being consistent over time is the number one way to generate traffic.
2) Create a ritual immediately after every post to broadcast your blog to several other sites. For example, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and Twitter. WordPress “JetPack” offers a feature called Publicize or Sharing that will help you easily start this process.
3) Join specific groups who would have an interest in your material and post there also by sharing a link and a brief description. LinkedIn has a feature that helps me share posts to different groups I belong to from my LinkedIn home page.
4) Seek to provide value to your audience. Fill a need. Meaning, strive hard to publish something they will appreciate in their pocket book or quality of life, not only what you think is interesting.
5) Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugins to help rank your posts in the Google search.
6) Need to create an “Opt-In” or “Sign-up” form and provide a give-away that would be of no-brainer value to your target audience (this is an area I need to tweak, it on my list of to-do things). This is for targeted lead generation.
7) Put a professional looking photo of you in your blog to help people identify your slice of cyberspace with you, a real person.
For me, blogging nearly everyday has become a lifestyle change. I’ve heard Ray Higdon say he could create a blog in 15 minutes, I don’t doubt that. This article is not a cut and paste and I started it last night. So I have hours invested in this one.
You could stay strictly with cutting and pasting excerpts from relevant material and you will not lose respect by using other people’s material to make a point, but you need to give the source credit to avoid plagiarism. It will save you loads of time and you can still be a great blogger without being overly creative. Remember, it’s all about value.
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