Starting is always the hard part. It is a physics thing…something at rest will stay at rest until a force is put to it. Procrastination, fear, excuses, we all use them to keep us from getting started.
In most cases, once we begin a process we discover that we can do it. But if you are like me, you also realize that you have a long way to go in terms of improvement. And so we research and self-educate as best as we can. I still have a LOOOOOOOONG way to go in building a business blog, but I have found some help along the way. And if I can help shorten your path, that’s all the better!
Secrets to Getting Subscribers
Blog subscribers are dedicated readers. They find your content useful consistently and as such are more likely to talk about it or share it with friends. Developing a subscriber base is critical.
- This checklist from Marya of Writing Happiness summarizes what I have read and heard consistently from successful bloggers in all sorts of arenas.Why it’s Sooo Hard to Get Your First 1,000 Blog Subscribers (and why that appears to be the magic number).
- Jeff Goins has an amazing story and is a wonderful writer. His story is one of the most amazing that I have found of building a tribe of significant size in almost no time. His story of How I Built a Blog Audience of Over 100,000 Readers in Two Years includes links to 3 posts. Take time to read them.
- True confession: I am a huge Michael Hyatt fan, but my fandom has developed as a result of his generous sharing of knowledge. His numbers are impressive and so his post on How to Get a Ton of New Subscribers On Your Blog should not be missed.
- The 30 Ways to Build the “Know, Like, and Trust” Factor that Grows an Audience from Copyblogger also should not be missed.
- Guest blogging can be huge, especially if you enjoy writing and reading other people’s blogs. This check list is a quick read and a good starting point.
Content is King
This really isn’t a new concept by any means, but understanding the concept and implementing it are two very different things. Phrases like “content is the new marketing” or “good content trumps SEO” are really true. So writing excellent content is a continual goal.
- I like these 10 Commandments of Blogging as they really are about ethics and balance.
- This is hard for newbies (ask me how I know), but write a first draft, then review and edit (possibly multiple times) and publish.
- Being an expert is important, but that means we will need to be constantly learning. The approach given in 7 Ways to Learn Difficult Subjects in Order to Write Useful Content can be applied to a variety of situations.
- It’s not exactly content, but it’s good practice to learn to develop catchy headlines. You will need to submit your email address to get “52 Headline Hacks”, but it is worth it and being notified when Jon Morrow uploads a new post is also worthwhile.
Treat Your Blog Like a Business
Unless of course you have no business idea, concept, hope or dream associated with your blog, it really is in itself or part of your business. If it is just for fun, you can skip this section because none of this should matter.
- The 7 Posts To Read If You Care About Your Business + Blog is a great resource from Sarah Von Bargen. Her posts are quick reads with lots of great information and resources.
- Jon Morrow isn’t pulling any punches in How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers, but that really isn’t his style anyway. Regardless, the information is incredibly sound.
- And for those looking for an easy path, Jon Gordon’s post, How Do You Become an Overnight Success? will answer that question.
- Own your own website and manage your own content. Michael Hyatt has a step-by-step post/video on how to set up a self-hosted WordPress site even if you aren’t a technical guru.
Monetization Will Help Pay the Bills
No matter how big or how small your readership, monetizing your blog will help pay the overhead. And if done correctly, over time it can create a significant source of income for your business.
- Passive income (money that you make via automated systems) is one of the best ways to utilize your blog. Lots of information on this topic is available from the passive income guru Pat Flynn.
- Sponsorships or ads generally make more sense after you establish a baseline readership, but when you are ready, I love working with Passion Fruit Ads for their ease of use and ability to market only the things that matter to you and your readers.
- If you discuss products you love, sign up to be an affiliate and provide affiliate links. These need to be disclosed to your readers, but most folks if they are going to buy the product are happy for you to earn a commission.
Follow the Leader
Subscribe to the blogs that you find consistently interesting. Reading blogs is definitely one of the ways to learn more about what you want to write in your blog. In addition, their newsletters will have “extra” information you don’t find in their blog posts or they will offer special opportunities and discounts for their products. I wrote a post about my top 5 personal favorites about a month ago.
As a new blogger (or when you were new to blogging) what are (were) your best resources?