Category Archives: List Building

What type of blogger are you?

Blogging has come a long way from the personal weblog days.  Sure, there are still personal weblogs around, lots of them, but entrepreneurs quickly understood how blogging could become a source of income.  In a blog post on the Mindler blog, Preena Gadra writes about four types of blogger.   To her four types, we’ll add a fifth.

  1. A hobby blogger.  The hobby blogger is the one who blogs out of a love of blogging, writing. or a particular interest.  There may be a passion for a topic, maybe something deeply personal, and they build an audience, maybe small, maybe large, around a common interest.  A hobby blogger may make a few pennies a month.
  2. A part-time blogger.  The part-time blogger may spend two hours a day or more to blog as a means to supplement their income.  The part-time blogger uses their blog to share their wisdom, knowledge, or expertise.  Gadra reports that there are part-time bloggers who earn a few thousand dollars a year.
  3. A full-time blogger.  For full-time bloggers, blogging is their job.  They devote the bulk of their days to blogging and can earn five to six figure incomes, or more.  Professional bloggers make their living from blogging through a multiple of income sources: website ads, affiliate marketing, personally created products, and for the superstars, speaking engagements at seminars and conferences.
  4. The corporate blogger creates content for a business either as part of their job or as the primary responsibility of their job.  Corporate bloggers create content to promote products and services, and to meet the public relation needs of the corporation through communication to the public, employees, and stockholders.
  5. The entrepreneur uses their blog as part of the marketing mix for their business.  The entrepreneur blogger can be a part-time or full-time blogger.

Problogger reports that most bloggers earn less than $100 a month with 30% making less than $10 a month.  16% of the 4,000 respondents said that they earn more than $2,500 a month.  Blogging is not the way to quick riches, but given time and the right approach you can build a business around a blog.

How can your blog become the primary source of your income or a source for extra income?

16 Tips For Blogging For Fun and Profit

  1. Find a niche that you love and start writing.
  2. Pay attention to the design of your blog.  Does it look professional?  Is it easy to navigate?  Is it easy to read and otherwise use?
  3. Focus your writing on a target audience within your niche.  Create content that will help those in your target audience – meet their needs, wants, and expectations to build your audience.  This should go without saying, but always be truthful in what you write if you want to be trusted by your audience.
  4. Write valuable content.  Don’t be afraid to give away valuable content in your blog posts – you will be rewarded as you build your reputation as a go-to guy or gal in your niche.
  5. Write evergreen content.  Evergreen content is content that stays current no matter what changes happen in your niche.
  6. Write great headlines.  Great headlines get your audience to read your posts.  If this is difficult for you, get my free headlines report to discover the 10 ultimate headline formulas that will expand your readership (and sales).
  7. 300-1000 words is generally the range you want to shoot for when you are creating blog posts.  You need 300 words to get ranked by search engines, but too many words will scare away some readers.  Keep your writing tight – don’t just write to fill a word quota (that can be really boring for readers).  Don’t be afraid to ruthlessly edit your work.  Joe Pulizzi compares a blog post to a miniskirt.  It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.
  8. Put your own spin on everything you write.  There is little need to regurgitate other people’s content;  me-too content is not likely to draw a loyal tribe of followers.  Put your personality and viewpoint into your writing and those who like your voice will become your loyal tribe of followers.  People follow people more than they follow websites.
  9. Read others for inspiration and to stay current in your niche.
  10. Write frequently.  SEO rewards new content and the more new content you can put up, the better your SEO results will likely be.  This also gives your loyal tribe a reason to check in with your blog frequently.
  11. Have a consistent schedule for adding new content to your blog.  Blogger and internet marketer extraordinaire Neil Patel points out that keeping existing readers is a whole lot easier than finding new ones.  However, regular blogging will build your subscriber base as the following graph shows.
  12. Engage with your audience.  Social media announcements of new content can be one way for engagement, but certainly accept comments on your blog.  Encourage your readers to comment on your posts.  You can even solicit post ideas from your audience.
  13. Utilize your blog to let readers and email subscribers stay current on what’s going on in your business (if you are a business blogger).
  14. Use share buttons on your website and encourage your readers to share your content on social media.
  15. Use marketing, free and paid, to build your audience.  Ads, promotions, lead magnets, commenting on other blogs in your niche, and guest posting are ways to market your blog and business.
  16. Use your blog to build an email subscriber list.  Your email list is the best way to promote new content on your blog.  This list will also become the source of the bulk of whatever income you receive from your blog.

Those are my best tips for blogging.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

7 Tips for Powering Up Your Business Website

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from November 2014 and it’s been revised and expanded.

your website

Have you ever thought of your business website like a bricks and mortar store?  Your website can have a showroom, a salesroom, and a stock room. There can be a conference room, and a break room.  You can even put in a private office.

For internet marketing, your website can be the most versatile part of your business. People can find your business through many sources, including social media.  Once they come to your home page they will see your banner, which is like the signage of a bricks and mortar store.

With your banner, you introduce yourself and your business.  Everything “above the fold” is like looking into a store window to the showroom floor.  Everything “below the fold” is part of the showroom that isn’t as visible through the front window.

Other pages are salesrooms in the form of sales pages and landing pages. Thank you pages (also called content delivery pages) are in your stockroom.

You can set up your site as a blog and offer valuable content, the kind that businesses routinely present in conference rooms.  Your comments section is like a break room where you can exchange ideas with readers who become customers and friends.  Your private office is where you work on new elements of your business that you will shortly display on your website.

Your website is the most powerful element of your online business.  One thing that’s great about a website is that your overhead infinitely less than the overhead on a bricks and mortar store.  Use your website to full advantage and watch as it pays you over and over again!  Here are my best 7 tips for fully powering up your business website.

7 Tips for Powering Up Your  Business Website

  1. Start with your name as your domain.  The first thing in politics and business is name recognition.  You are your own personal brand, and your self-named domain identifies you as such.  If you set up your website as a blog, as I have done, you can use any business name you choose as a header.  In this case, my domain is my name, and my header identifies my business, Irresistible Influence Marketing.  Owning your name as a domain also ensures that you can protect your online personal identity.
  2. Keep your website simple so that prospects and customers can easily find what they’re looking for.  This means having just a few buttons in your navigation toolbar, not too many widgets, and a simple, uncluttered layout.
  3. Do have an “About Me” or “About Us” page where you introduce yourself.  Tell your story about how and why you started your business.  Help potential customers and clients get to know, like, and trust you through a page designed to introduce yourself to them.
  4. Make sure that the way to contact you is easy to find.  Is your email address easily found on your home page and other web pages?
  5. Keep your website fresh to keep people coming back.  If your website is set up as a blog, add new content on a regular basis.  On this website, there is generally new content at least once a week and a weekly Throwback Thursday post like this one.  Some business blogs with big staffs add new content daily.
  6. Feature a variety of content on your website.  This could include original content on different topics related to your business niche, guest bloggers, great images including infographics and GIFs, video, slideshare presentations, and free offers for lead magnets that are tailored to appeal to prospects in your business niche.
  7. Is your website mobile friendly?  Here’s why this is important:

What would you add to these 7 tips?  I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

tonyseel

October 4, 2017

I read something on Friday that astounded me.  Barry Feldman, writing for Social Media Today, says that he recently opted onto 25 email lists and more often than not, he did not receive a welcome email.  That’s almost criminal, but here’s the stat on this:

Feldman’s experience doesn’t square with the stat, but my question for you is this: are you part of the 42.3%?  Here’s the first reason to send a welcome email: in a recent survey 74.4% of people said that they expect a welcome email when they opt in to an email list.  They are expecting it and waiting for it – this is the worst possible time in a new relationship to disappoint.  When you send a thank you, you are showing that you value your new subsciber customer, or client.  Besides, it’s the polite thing to do!  Plus, it starts a conversation with your new subscriber.

AWeber calls the welcome email, “the one email you should always send – no matter what.”  The welcome email is the first email that new subscribers receive from you when they opt in to your list, and it will likely be the one email most opened.  AWeber says “they get open rates that are 4 times higher and click-through rates that are 5 times higher than other emails.”

With your welcome email, you set the stage for a growing relationship with a potential customer, client, patient, or donor.  With a great welcome email, you improve your open rates and click-through rates for future emails that you will send.  This all starts with your first welcome email, and a good welcome sequence can build this out for you and increase your sales and income.

Think about it – your welcome email arrives shortly after someone has joined your tribe – their interest is at the highest level.  Look at this:

Not only do your new subscribers expect a welcome email, they are likely to open and read it.  Not only that, they are three times more likely to buy from you during your welcome email sequence.  The welcome emails that you create and use give you a great advantage over any competitors that aren’t using them.  They give you the best possible opportunity to build your reputation with your new subscriber. Do you need more reasons to send welcome emails?  If not, let’s dig in.

The following infographic offers a boatload more of reasons to use welcome emails along with tips:

Did any of the numbers in the infographic grab you?  How about the 336% jump in transaction rate?  Or the 196% lift in unique clicks?  Those are certainly impressive, but don’t miss the other impressive rates in the infographic.  The point is welcome emails can dramatically help your business.

In a series of welcome emails, you can do a number of things that are beneficial to your business like helping your subscribers see why they should get to know, like and trust you.  By establishing trust, and building your authority and affinity with your subscribers you give them reasons to do business with you.   One of the best parts of welcome emails is that you can automate this process through your autoresponder.

Here’s another stat that should be a strong motivator for you –  the open rate for your welcome emails can be 70% better than the open rate for the broadcast emails that follow your welcome sequence.  If you have a welcome sequence and it’s not performing this well, it’s time to rework the emails in that sequence.  Start by rewriting the headlines.

What will you say in your welcome emails?

  1. The first priority of your welcome email is to make a great first impression.  Part of this priority is the delivery of your lead magnet, the incentive that you offered to encourage new subscribers to put their faith in you and give you their email address.  Your welcome email is the best way to deliver your lead magnet since it also verifies that you’ve been given a legitimate email address.
  2. Your first welcome email is a perfect place to introduce yourself.  Make that great first impression by establishing your authority in your niche.  Why should you be the go-to person in your field?  Convince your new leads that they should listen to you.  You also want to build an emotional connection, and there’s no better way to do that than to judiciously sharing your story.  Judicious means don’t go overboard with this (keep it concise)!
  3. Start a conversation with your new subscriber.  What question can you ask that will get your subscribers talking to you?  As long as it is related to your niche and their struggles, you’ve got a great opportunity to build a great business relationship right from the start.
  4. Set the expectations of your new subscriber by telling them about the kind of valuable information that you will be sending them via email.  You can reinforce this objective by including links to your most popular posts.  You can also tell them how often you will be emailing them.
  5. Tell your new subscriber where they can find you on social media.  Social media is a fabulous way to establish a growing bond.
  6. Encourage them to whitelist you.  If their email program is sending your emails into a spam folder, you’re sunk, at least with them.  A P.S. is a good place to place your whitelist request.
  7. What do you expect from your new subscribers?  Tell them.  This is an important place to be clear about what goals you have for your new subscribers.  Do you want them to follow you on social media?  Ask them to do so.  Do you want to introduce your product line?  Make that clear.  What kind of feedback do you want from your new subscribers?  Let them know how they can help you meet their needs through their feedback to you in replies and through participating in surveys.
  8. In your sequence of welcome emails, each email should have one specific purpose.  Ask for one action, whether it’s a download of your lead magnet, a look at the sales page for your tripwire product or main product, or some other action related to your business.
  9. In your emails to your subscribers, ask for referrals.  Referrals are one of the best ways to build your business since satisfied customers and clients can become your greatest advocates for you with people that they know.
  10. Make sure that there’s a clear call to action in every email that you send.

A Welcome Email Sequence That You Can Use Right Now!

Let’s go through a typical welcome email sequence.  This sequence utilizes six emails.  There is no hard and fast rule on how many emails should be in your welcome sequence.  Starting out, you may wish to experiment and make adjustments based on the open rates of your welcome emails.  Adjustments should start with your headlines if the problem is open rates. As my loyal email subscribers know,

As my loyal subscribers know, I like to send welcome emails each day until the sequence is completed.  Others suggest spacing them 2-3 days apart.  Here’s a good sequence that you can use:

  1. The first welcome email is sent immediately after someone opts in to your list.  This is your introduction to your new subscriber, and the work done with this email is to establish a bond with them.  This bonding starts with the delivery of the lead magnet that interested them.  Second, this bonding is done by being crystal clear on identifying your target audience in this email.  Help your new subscriber understand what you’re about and what you have to offer them. Your goal in doing so is to establish that your new subscriber is a legitimate member of your tribe.
  2. Your second welcome email is your opportunity to encourage your new subscriber to get your lead magnet if they haven’t yet done so.  Provide the link for them again. You can also go a little further in helping them understand how valuable you are to them.  This is a great place to ask your new subscribers to reply to you.  The personal contact will deepen your bonding with them.
  3. In your third email, you can go a bit deeper in introducing yourself.  It’s essential that you tell your story in a way that helps your new leads connect with you.  They need to be able to see themselves in whatever story that you tell about yourself.  Show them how you overcame the kinds of challenges, problems, or issues that your products address.
  4. Make the fourth email educational in nature – tell your new leads something related to your niche that they can use.  They opted into your list because they believed you had something of value that would help them.  Now, in this email, add to the help that you offered them in your lead magnet.  Your fourth email help may be a video, another lead magnet, a tripwire product, or your main product.  Any selling should be soft selling at this point.  It is counterproductive to have prospects opt out at this point when they really haven’t gone very far with you.
  5. For those who respond to your fourth email, you can segment them to another list based on what they responded to.  For those who didn’t respond, you can offer something else, or deepen the sale on your tripwire or main product.
  6. This email can be a variation on email five.

What would you add to this?  I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

12 Tips for Using StumbleUpon for Marketing

Interested in marketing to 25 million users?  Who wouldn’t be interested in grabbing even a portion of that vast number.  That’s how many monthly users StumbleUpon has and it is growing.  This makes SU an excellent source for traffic to your website.  Kissmetrics considers SU to be “the best traffic generator among the top seven social media sites.”

StumbleUpon describes itself in this way: StumbleUpon is a giant collection of the best pages on the internet!”

StumbleUpon is a website that recommends content based on categories.  The average page on SU receives over 180 views per month.

SU users (called stumblers) skew toward female and young (think high school and college students), but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a powerful engine for internet marketing even if young women is not your best demographic.  Over 43% of SU’s audience comes from the U.S., according to Alexa.com.  Nearly 16% comes from India.)

12 Tips for Using StumbleUpon for Your Business

  1. When starting with StumbleUpon, set up your user profile with interests that include a number of them that relate to your business.  This will help other users find and connect with you.  Include a photo for even better connection with potential followers.
  2. Write great headlines, a description of your content, and keyword tags to help people find your content through searches.  Tags can be an effective way to help stumblers find your content.
  3. Only feature your best content on StumbleUpon.  Your content is what builds your credibility, and if your content is poor, you will get a poor reputation that will hurt your business.  Through offering great content, you can build a following on SU that can transfer to your email list, website views, customer base.
  4. According to Kissmetrics, the best content for SU is tutorials, videos, images, and lists.
  5. Use StumbleUpon’s url shortener, Su.pr, to share your content as a status update, or post the Su.pr shortened url in your Facebook and Twitter feeds.  You can also share your content from SU directly to LinkedIn.  Using SU.pr is a proven way to increase website traffic.
  6. Short blog posts are particularly effective for StumbleUpon readers.  One of the great attributes of StumbleUpon is that readers are sent to your website, if you can get stumblers interested enough to click on your content.   Keep it short if you want to hold their attention.
  7. Use powerful images to get powerful results.  Images will get your content noticed and induce readers to click to read your content.  Listicles and Infographics are excellent click bait for StumbleUpon users.
  8. To get the biggest bang from your SU efforts, be sure to have well-placed invitations on your website to sign up for your email list.  I recommend top of the page, right sidebar, and possibly a pop-up.
  9. Do very little (if any) selling in the content for StumbleUpon.  StumbleUpon not only helps users find content, it also allows them to rate content.  Too much selling can result in people leaving your content, or even worse, giving you a thumbs down.
  10. As you do with other social media, interact with other users.  Interaction is the key to relationships, and social relationships can become business relationships.
  11. StumbleUpon has a paid advertising feature called “Paid Discovery,” and it costs only $.05 to .25 per click.  With this feature you can choose your category and target demographics.
  12. AskEustice recommends devoting 20 minutes a day (no more, unless you love it and want to do more) building relationships on StumbleUpon and sharing others’ content.

What tips would you add to the 12 tips above?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares!

 

7 Simple Tweaks To Grow Your Email List

  1. Put together a professional and attractive website – now wait, if you think this isn’t simple.  Look at other websites in your niche and put your website together using the best practices of others.  This is your showroom, so make sure it looks great.
  2. Create great content for your website.  Creating great content may not seem simple, either, but again, this doesn’t have to be hard.  Write about what you are passionate about, which shouldn’t be difficult if you’ve chosen a niche that you’re passionate about.  Without great content, why would anyone come to your website?  Show your readers that you know what you’re talking about.
  3. Have an opt-in form above the fold.  This means giving your readers the opportunity to join your list from the very first moment they’ve found their way to your site.
  4. Have multiple opt-in forms located in strategic places on your website.  On this website, you’ll see one opt-in form at the very top and another one is the right sidebar.  Here are three other places for opt-in forms:
    – Inside your blog posts
    – At the end of blog posts
    – In a pop-up
  5. Use a lead magnet to entice website guests to sign on.  Your lead magnet could be a video, white paper, cheat sheet, podcast, an ebook, or anything you can think of that would be valuable enough to encourage sign-ups to your list.
  6. Create and promote multiple lead magnets.  Having more than one lead magnet can grow your list by giving different people the incentive that is most attractive to them.
  7. Subscriber-only content and discounts can build your list.  When readers know that they’re missing out on some valuable content and discounts, you’ve given them two more reasons to sign up.  FOMO is real (fear of missing out).

What are simple tweaks that you would add to these seven?  I welcome your comment and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

9 Super and Free Internet Traffic Ideas

By 

Expert Author Jeff Gadley

Do you want to get free internet traffic to your website? As you may know that there are 2 ways to get Internet traffic, one is to pay for it and the second one is to get it for free. Both are beneficial in achieving your ultimate goal of web traffic but sometimes it comes down to budgeting. You can learn how to use free internet traffic ideas to get high web traffic, if you do not have enough marketing budget at hand.

I have listed 9 online marketing ideas that are guaranteed to help you get free internet traffic.

  1. Article marketing: It involves writing and submitting of articles to various articles submission directories with link of your website in the Authors or Resource box.

2. Blogging: Another useful method is Blogging. Write articles or some informative content and post it in your blog where people can come and read. Do not forget to put in your website link in the blog.

3.  Join Online Forums: You can join various online forums and participate in them by writing down content on different niche. Add your website link in the signature so that visitor can click and read more of the related content. Do this on regular basics and you would get free internet traffic for sure.

4. Social Networking: Use of social networking websites to get free internet traffic is not new. You can post your website link on various popular networking websites link Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Direct Matches etc and attract potential customers.

5. Ezine Advertising: Use e-mail newsletters to attract more and more visitors to your website.

6. Classified Ads: Place advertisements at various ad directories and get free internet traffic. You can also hyperlink certain keyword or phrases relating to your website in these classifiers.

7. Viral Marketing: There is no better way than ‘Word of Mouth’. Let people talk about your business and telling their friends to go online and check out your website.

8. Email Marketing: In this method, you need to build or create your own mailing list of potential customers. This is one of the easiest ways to reach out to customers. Drop regular emails to make customers aware of latest products or services.

9. Write Free Reports: You can even write reports on useful information and share them online for free.

You can start today and get free internet traffic by fully embracing and utilizing the described above marketing methods. They are time-tested and can be very effective in helping you get website visitors and make sales.

FREE! Floods of Website Traffic! Get a 19.7% Click Thru Rate! Check Out this Video Now Playing Get Free Internet-Traffic [http://FreeWebTrafficFlow.com].

About Author

Jeff Gadley is an expert internet author that currently writes articles in a number of disciplines. Just like many of you, he is looking to find more website visitors! He presently reviews Low cost, No cost or Free marketing solutions that specifically are designed to Increase Targeted Web Site Traffic. Visit [http://FreeWebTrafficFlow.com].

How Effective Is Your Lead Magnet?

In one of the three most recent posts on tonyseel.com about blogging, I mentioned lead magnets.  They are an important element of online marketing and one that deserves a full post, so here it is!

Every business is dependent on new leads.  Increasing customer value is the most cost-effective way of increasing profits, but having a consistent stream of new leads is the lifeblood of most businesses.

Increase your leads and you will increase your customer base.  Increase your customer base on a regular basis and your increasing customer value will have an even greater impact on your bottom line.

How do you increase your leads?  One of the most effective ways is a lead magnet.

What is a lead magnet?  A lead magnet is something of value that you give away for free in exchange for an email address.  Your lead magnet is your ticket to building your list.  Here are three ideas (I’ll give you some more ideas shortly).

3 Great Lead Magnets

  1. Your lead magnet could be an offer of your time (e.g. a free consultation).
  2. It could be a webinar (which is a very popular lead magnet today).
  3. It could be a product you’ve created (like my lead magnet, “The 10 Ultimate Headlines Formula To Maximize Your Profits“).

There are many different lead magnets – the most important aspect of a lead magnet is that it is attractive and desirable for your target audience.

The principle behind an effective lead magnet is the same as the rationale for your products and services – what will be of most help to your target audience?  How can you meet a need or solve a problem for them with your lead magnet?  What can you create that will be irresistible to your target audience?

Who is Your Ideal Customer?

Before I give you more ideas on what you can offer as your lead magnet, let’s get laser-clear on who your ideal customer is and what will be most appealing to them.

  1. Who do you want to attract?  When you have a mental image of your ideal customer, create an avatar of that person, filling in as many details about them as you can.  An avatar is simply a person or figure that represents your target audience.  The more details that you can add to this, the better idea you will have about who you are trying to reach.
  2. What can you create that will be valuable enough to them to induce them to give you their email address?  I’m not talking about creating the minimum value lead magnet that will attract your ideal customer.  Skimping on our lead magnet is a sure way to communicate to potential customers and clients that you don’t have what it takes to deliver what they need most.What you want to do is give as much value as you can in order to introduce potential customers and clients to your business.  Show those new to you and your business that you can over deliver on your promises.  People are inundated with email these days, so your lead magnet must be powerful enough to get them to add you to their inbox!

Once you’ve answered those two questions, you’re ready to create your lead magnet.  Do you have some solid ideas for what your lead magnet should be?  I offered three great ideas above, but here are five more.

Five More Great Lead Magnet Ideas

4. A cheat sheet.  A cheat sheet is a list, or a set of tips, or a worksheet that can help your potential customers and clients to solve a specific problem.  The more specific you can get on your content for your cheat sheet, the best targeted it will be for your ideal customer.

5. Content Upgrades.  In this approach, you take a blog post and then create more content around it that can be offered as an enhanced pdf version of the post.  Brian Dean reports that this approach has yielded conversion rates of 1198.32%!  I know that sounds unbelievable, but I’m going to try this shortly and I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Dean did this with 15 of his blog posts and saw an 185% conversion rate increase.  For one of his blog posts he hit that 1198.32% increase.

6. Templates.  People love templates and you can easily create them using Microsoft Word, Excel, or a number of other programs.  I just googled free templates and the first results were: website templates, graphic design templates, newsletter templates, and online form templates.  It would take literally all day to go through all the links that Google pulled up on that one search.

7. Swipe files.  I’ve downloaded a number of these from other internet marketers and they can be extremely useful.  Swipe files are simply a file of examples of something that is pertinent to your business. Advertising copywriters often keep swipe files of great ads.  You can pack a lot of useful information into a swipe file, which is why they can be valuable to your audience.

7. A video tutorial.  These aren’t hard to do and can definitely meet a need for your new subscribers.  Here’s a video I did nearly 3 years ago and while it’s not a tutorial, it is a good 3-minute treatment of why to use video for marketing.

8. Free training can be offered through a number of mediums including video, written reports, workbooks, webinars, teleconferences, etc.

Unleash This Super Power For Your Business!

The power of your lead magnet to draw in new subscribers is one of the great super powers of an automated online marketing business.  If you’ve got a great lead magnet and good promotion of your business, you are on your way to big paydays over and over again.

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

How to Get 1,034 Email Subscribers in Two Months Using Emotional Triggers

by  via Jeff Bullas.com

 

Seth Godin said in an interview a couple of years ago that everyone should start a blog.

The first thing I thought to myself was “Yeah right! As if I have anything useful to share with anyone”.

Fast forward a couple of years down the road and I find myself writing a blog post that grew my e-mail list from 0 to 1000 within two months.

And here is how I started.

 

When I first did some research on how to start a blog that people would actually want to read, most of it was tactics. How to set up a blog, SEO guidelines and headline copy. There was no clear guideline on how to write hardcore value that brings a unique perspective.

I decided to learn how to write content that connects with people. I did this by experimenting on multiple online platforms such as Quora, Medium, and Reddit.

I made sure that in my signature I would link to a newsletter that people could sign up to. I did this using the Tiny Letter tool. After I broke the 1000 subscribers milestone I decided to shift to MailChimp.

I got 614 subscribers in my first month of writing and 420 more in May with just 5 blog posts. I didn’t focus on SEO. I didn’t focus on spamming my work all over social media. I just wrote until I found a formula where I use psychology and powerful storytelling techniques that help me understand my audience and connect better with their needs.

I did this by incorporating these 6 elements in most of my blog posts.

 

Every time before I publish I check if I have these elements present. Below you will find a more detailed description of each.

1. Interesting

The 3 types of blog posts that get read are usually the following:

  • Useful ones that show you how to achieve something
  • Entertaining ones that keep your audience amused or hooked
  • Stuff that is trending like major events in a certain period

No matter which angle you approach while writing your content you must make it interesting. The key is to tell a story. Wrap it up in a personal experience. Present it as a journey. The reader should feel like they are discovering something together with the writer.

2. Needed

Is your content something that solves an urgent need? Or is it just something that’s nice to know.

Learning how to knit gloves might be more important for someone living in Alaska than someone who is living in Hawaii.

Learning how to do yoga might not be that important when your target demographics are more interested in how to ace job interviews or get promoted faster.

Learn what your audience actually needs. Focus to solve that problem. You could even write a really long blog post about a certain topic and then publish it in episodes. This way your content is easier to digest. It also builds up like a journey.

3. Relatable

When writing a blog or creating content in general, everyone tries to adopt the image of the ultimate expert. More often than not that creates a huge distance between you and your readers. They can’t relate to your content because it seems that you come from totally different realities. That’s why movies have such a big success when implementing the Hero’s Journey. Someone starts from an unfavorable situation (that most of us can relate with) and wins.

Most common examples, especially in writing, are headlines like the following:

“This is how I went from being homeless and broke to making my first million $”

“This is how I got 100k views on my first blog post without any connections”

“This is how I lost 30 kg of fat and gained 10 kg of lean muscle”

4. Self Interest

What’s the key to appealing to someone’s self-interest? Simple, you develop your empathy first.

Most people start a blog because they want to develop their passion or make some passive income. The problem with this mindset is that all the focus is on the “I”, rather than the reader.

5. Has a Twist

3 million blog posts get published each day on the internet. You might believe most topics are already covered. This is the main reason a lot of people never start a blog. They feel like the market is saturated.

What sets apart an extraordinary writer from the crowd? The key is to bring your own personal touch.

  • Every person thinks differently.
  • Every person has different experiences.
  • Every person communicates in a unique way.

Bring your own twist by incorporating unique graphics in your blog posts. Use clever anecdotes that approach subjects from a different angle. Write counterintuitive advice nobody has mentioned before.

6. Actionable

If you want your content to be more than just a good feeling you need to provide a solid action plan. Your readers need a framework they can start implementing right away.

This can come in the form of a checklist, Gantt chart or an outline. For example, this is the outline I used in one of my recent posts about overcoming anxiety.

This is the general outline I use:

  1. A common issue that affects a lot of people (interesting)
  2. The empathy build-up:
    1. Why it is important to be informed about (need)
    2. How it affected me (relatable)
    3. How to improve your own situation (self-interest)
  3. The twist is provided by the catchy drawings
  4. Specific lessons you can use to better yourself (actionable)

Bonus tools

Here are 3 tools that will help you understand what people are looking for.

  1. Go on Quora and type in the search box keywords related to your interests. See what people are asking for. Check what are the most upvoted answers and try to understand why.

 

  1. Go on Buzzsumo and type your interest in the search box and see what the most shared blog posts are related to that topic.

 

  1. Go to Answer the Public and type in your interest and you will see the format of questions people are asking online.

 

Wrap

To create content that connects with your audience, implement these elements in your writing process. The key is to understand that you are not just publishing words on a web page – you are writing to actual people that need your help.

After I grew my e-mail list I decided to start my own blog where I have all my posts in one place. I write about habits, psychology and how to create remarkable work. Check it out here: Rule Your Way

Guest Author: Andrei is a blogger that deconstructs topics regarding creative work, human behavior, and methods to break through procrastination. You can read his personal blog at www.ruleyourway.com

List Building: A Key For Your Internet Marketing Success

This Throwback Thursday post returns from March, 2014.

One of the basics of internet marketing is building a subscriber’s list.  List building is the key  to the most profitable way to earn money on the internet.  This list is made up of those who have opted into your one-time offer by providing you with their email address. The fastest way to grow your list is through advertising and the best form of advertising that I have used for fast list building is solo ads.  There is a downside to solo ads that I will address further down.

Solo ads are purchased from vendors who have built up lists of thousands of email addresses.    What is most desirable is to have your one-time offer sent to a list of those who have responded positively to other email offers.  You are looking for solo ad sellers who have lists that convert – that is, get you email addresses and sales.  You are in business to make some money, aren’t you?

Gatsby

The Big Issue with Solo Ads

The problem with solo ads is that there are skads of poor solo ad sellers.  These guys and gals take your money, but you get very little return on your investment.  I’ve created a list of the best solo ad vendors that have worked for me and you can have it for free if you’ll email me at support@tonyseel.com.

How to run a solo ad

To run a solo ad, you will need a swipe.  A swipe is the email copy that you give to the solo ad provider to send to his or her list.  You’ve probably received a few of these yourself and your swipe, including a compelling headline in the subject line, will determine whether or not someone will read your email and subscribe to your list.

Solo ads are purchased according to clicks.  Clicks are measured in a few ways, but the most basic is when someone opens your solo ad email or clicks on your ad.  My advice to you is start small, buying 50 or 100 clicks.  Realize that not everyone that clicks on your ad will subscribe to your list, so your list building will take take and repeated ad buys.

As I’ve suggested above, not all solo ad sellers are equal.  It is good to find a site (like solochecker.com) or a successful internet marketer’s rolodex, that will give you some information on who you can trust and who you should stay away from.  Again, you can receive my rolodex for free by requesting it at support@tonyseel.com.

Where are you going to send those who subscribe to your list?  You can create a lot of work for yourself by sending them to your personal email address, but there is a much better way. Sign up with AWeber (the company I work with and recommend) and use your account to compile and communicate with your list.  You can find AWeber on my Recommended Resources page.

Once you’ve started compiling a list, you will want to follow-up with those who have signed on with you.   Follow-up is an art, and it is good to have help with this.  My headlines report and advertising course on video are great resources for this.

To make money, grow your list.  Grow it with quality leads and you’ll be the one throwing the Gatsbyesque parties!  I hope that this is helpful for you.  I invite your questions or comments, and your likes and shares.

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How to Build Your List and Grow Your Income

This Throwback Thursday post returns from March, 2014:

One of the common sayings in the internet marketing industry is “the money’s in the list.” Building a list of subscribers is essential for internet marketing. The days of “here it is – click to buy” are largely over. Today, everyone is bombarded with ads, beginning with the sound of the morning radio or television wake-up alarm.

To cut through the clutter, you need to build trust, and one of the ways that you establish trust is through sending quality content to an email list that you create through a variety of means. Those means are the subject of this post.

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The general rule is that the bigger your list, the more money you will make.  The metric is that you will make $1 a month for each subscriber on your email list.  So, 2000 subscribers, $2000 a month.

One of the most economical ways to grow your email list and income is through Facebook ads. In 2013, Facebook reported that there were 1.11 billion users of their site every month. By carefully targeted advertising, you can build your list with Facebook ads that start for as little as $5 a day. My experience suggests that it takes time to build your list using Facebook, but it is an economical way to go.

Solo ads are more expensive, but from a recent $40 ad that I ran, I received 80 subscribers to my list. Results vary, and that’s the best that I’ve done with a solo ad, but working with the right solo ad sellers can build your list in a hurry.

There are other ways to grow your list, some good, many bad, but the saying is true – “the money is in the list.” Try Facebook and Solo Ads, and let me know which one works better for you.

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