Do you have a blog for your business? Is it helping you with reach and traffic for your business?
Are you seeing blog growth, getting opportunities and making money from your blog?
In this post, I talk about 5 pivotal actions I made in the last year to ignite my blog growth to take off, raise my profile online and get results for my business.
Let me tell you something about me and my blog. We are in a committed relationship. It's great. But previously we were on again off again, sometimes on-fire, sometimes a bit, well…. blah. But now, we have turned the corner – into a relationship that is solid. One that brings rewards.
You see, before 2013 I was blogging but not really tapping into the potential of my website and this wonderful piece of online real estate that I own. When I started to take my blog seriously and view it as my partner in business and my home-base to be valued above all else… things changed.
It's not that I don't loooooove Facebook. or Pinterest. or Instagram. I do. But I don't own them. I am not in a committed relationship with them. I am in a committed relationship with my blog and my website.
When I started to put my blog first things changed. I didn't spend less time with my social platform friends, I just spent my time more wisely with them. And my relationship with my blog grew.
So did my list, my profile and the number of opportunities coming to me every week:
- My blog was listed as a finalist in the Top 10 Social Media Blog Competition (Social Media Examiner) in 2013 and 2014
- I attracted my ideal clients and helped them get phenomenal results.
- I was able to successfully create and launch my first online training Create Traffic Driving Images and attract an amazing group of first round members.
- I was listed in the Top 100 Cool Company Awards by a company that highly respect, Anthill Online.
- I became a regular contributor for 2 of the top business and marketing websites in the world, Entrepreneur and Social Media Examiner.
- My traffic and my list (let's call it a community, I hate the term list) doubled.
- I was featured on one of the world's top marketing podcasts being interviewed about my niche, visual social media with Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner (on the Social Media Marketing Podcast).
- I was fortunate to be asked to speak at the world's top social media conference, Social Media Marketing World.
Cool huh? All of these opportunities can be directly related to my blog. So I wanted to share with you some of the things that have worked for me to ignite my blog growth:
5 Actions to Ignite Blog Growth
#1 Pivot Your Blog
I literally took my blog for a spin. A couple of years ago, at my first Problogger Event, founder Darren Rowse talked about something that really struck a chord at his keynote. Darren reminded us to look for sparks – the ideas or posts that give you energy and those that are responded to with enthusiasm by your readers.
Then…fan those sparks into fire and grow them.
I went a way, and with the fervour of a forensic scientist, looked at what those sparks could be. They were all based around visual social media.
My readers were sharing posts about Pinterest, and images and creating shareable visual content. They were getting ramped up about instagram, and how to hack Facebook reach with images. They loved our infographics and shared them like wildfire. Other blogs loved our infographics and re-posted them.
And I knew immediately in my gut that I loved Visual Social Media too! They were the posts I loved writing. There was ease and flow.
So that was it. I pivoted my blog to be based around visual social media and content strategy.
It was the best thing I could have done.
My Alexa ranking grew. My subscribers grew. My traffic grew. My profile grew.
What categories or topics give you more energy on your blog? Do your readers resonate with them too? Pay attention to what gives you energy and what gives your readers energy. Focus on that.
#2 Get Consistent
I won't lie. I am not great at consistency. But I am working on it and it has improved immensely.
My aim is to have 2 blog posts a week, and one at the minimum (with a grand aim of posting 5 times per week)…but you know what? I'm human, and it's not perfect. It never will be. But it is improving.
My google analytics is proof of the power of consistency. Every time I post a new article, there is a spike in traffic.
It's simple math.
Blog more. Blog consistently.
You just have to take a look at Marie Forleo's weekly video on Marie TV to see that a successful business can be built on the backbone of quality, weekly content.
I am always saying to you, as readers and subscribers that you should posts images regularly on social media – in that your fans and brand pages will start to look to you for great content.
The same goes with blog posts.
And to be honest, the more I do it, the better I get at it. The writing becomes easier and I am more creative.
It's like flexing a muscle. Use it or lose it.
If you don't have a blog for business, get one started up! And if you do have a blog, get consistent with your posts – start simply. Post once per week and work up from there.
#3 Get Offline
There is nothing worse that finding yourself in a blogging cave.
It can be lonely blogging and as much as social media is awesome for making connections, attracting readers and business opportunities, sometimes you have to shut down your computer and switch off.
The best way to do this is to go a conference or networking event. Make an effort to get out and learn and meet new people. It might be a blogging conference, or an event related to your industry, but it is highly worth getting “offline”.
Some of my best online relationships began offline and vice-versa some of my best offline relationships grew when we connected online first.
I am about to head over to the States for Social Media Marketing World, and many of the “blog” relationships I have built, will be celebrated offline with other bloggers and social media experts that I now consider as friends. (Pssst if you didn't catch my session live at SMMW14 you can grab your virtual ticket here)
What are you waiting for? Get out there and shake real hands, have real conversations and make real connections to complement your “virtual” ones.
#4 Guest Blog
Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of guest blogging. It is a great way to get known by more people, have your content seen and attract readers back to your own site.
I have been guest blogging since I started my business and it has been pivotal to my own blog growth. And I have been blessed to have been able to write for some of the world's best websites, including Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur, Social Fresh, Socialancer (translated into Spanish!) among others. Guest posting has also resulted in other exposure for my content, including being featured on sites like Forbes.
Some Tips for Getting Started with Guest Blogging:
- Don't start out expecting to be on Mashable or The Huffington Post. Look for blogs where your ideal readers hang out, but with a slightly bigger reach than yours. Establish a connection and reach out to the blog. But do it in an engaging way. Read their posts, comment on them and engage with them. Then when you are familiar with their content, reach out and suggest how you can contribute to their readership (remember it is not about you and your blog – it is about their blog and their readers). And for heaven's sake, please ensure that you use the blog owner's name. There is nothing worse than a generic email. Put in some effort!
- Give your best content. If a blog accepts you as a guest contributor, hustle. Write your best content and don't hold back. My first guest post for a major blog, I wrote over a number of days till I got it right. It won't always take you that long, but just remember to give your best work.
- Follow the Editorial Guidelines like a Ninja – if they have editorial guidelines, follow them to the letter. It will make the whole process better for you and the editor. And they will ask you back if you are “easy” to work with.
- Follow up. When the post goes live be ready with your fingers hovering over the keyboard. Respond to every comment, Tweet, Facebook post and mention on social media. Add value and additional advice or insight with your comments. Don't forget to share the post yourself. A guest blogger that actively follows is noticed. You will be asked back. Be awesome!
Think about whether guest blogging could be right for you. On the right blog, with the right content for the right audience, guest blogging can help to build your platform.
#5 Get a Kick-Butt Mentor
I have been very blessed to have had awesome mentors since I started my blogging journey – some of the world's top bloggers and social media experts, both here in Australia and overseas. In many cases they have become wonderful friends. Their impact on my business and helping me to step out of my comfort zone and take action has been massive.
But you don't have to be mates with a mentor – Some of the best mentoring I have had, has also been in the form of courses or programs. There is still a connection with the expert, but in some ways you get more than you would with private mentoring. By providing a course, the Expert can leverage their time by providing you with amazing content (and lots of it) in the form of a digital program or group mentorship.
Here are some more tips for finding a mentor that is right for you:
Finding the Right Mentor:
- Look for someone who has achieved what you want to achieve. They can help you avoid reinventing the wheel and you will benefit from their hindsight and their knowledge.
- Check to see if you are a good fit. Make sure you connect at least on some level – you might be working with this person for a while, so get to know them by checking out their online content, having a call with them, meeting them in person (if possible) or engaging online.
- Be very clear about how it will work – is it a paid mentorship? Be clear about terms and how it will work from the outset.
- Don't feel sad about needing to move on to another mentor – our needs and businesses change and you may need to move on to someone else who has different skills and knowledge they can pass on to you. Be grateful for every opportunity and keep an eye out – sometimes mentors come from the most unlikely of places!
- Consider mentoring others too – to teach is as powerfully rewarding as it is to be taught. Pay it forward.
Do you have a blog? Are you seeing growth in your blog? Let's share the blog love below. Leave a link to your blog and tell me about your blog journey. What tips will you use to grow your blog this year?
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