New year. New President… and now time for a new perspective on blogging.
Sure, we all know what ‘blogging’ is and how it’s transformed the way content is created on the internet today. We also know that without WordPress, the process of creating a website or blog would also be a thousand times harder. With all of this in mind…. why are so many people still blogging and seeing minimal to no results in terms of traffic and money?
Simple… people are way too focused on the traditional concept of blogging and thinking ‘if they build it, they will come’. That simply isn’t the case.
Today I’m going to provide you with five ways to help you make blogging great again (for your brand or business)!
1 – Create Better Content, Not More Content
Did you know that there are currently over a billion active sites on the internet today, and more than 300 million of them are blogs? That’s a lot of sites — and each of them are creating massive amounts of content. So, what does this mean for your website or blog? It means you don’t need to focus on creating ‘more’ content, you just need to create ‘better content’.
Most bloggers go live with new articles all the time in hopes to increase traffic and rank higher in the search results. This could work if you already have a massively huge and powerful site, but for most people it’s just going to be a waste of time. Shoemoney for example has written a number of posts over the years, but one of the driving forces behind his traffic is his infamous Google Adsense Check. Not only is it continually the most viewed image on the site, it’s also his gateway for reaching new audience and introducing them to his blog and the world of affiliate marketing.
If you don’t have a six-figure check to impress people with, then it’s simply a matter of offering value and doing it better than the competition. Niche down as much as possible, find what your audience wants, and then provide the most value possible when someone hits your site.
This also isn’t brain surgery, it just takes some manual work and thinking like your average site visitor. Perform a Google search for anything then analyze the content ranking on the first page. The best content is always going to find it’s way in the top search positions. Look at your competition, create something even better, then get to work on promoting it like crazy!
Need an example? Try searching on “how to boil an egg”. It’s the most simple concept ever, yet the content created around this simple question is amazing.
2 – Optimize to Blow Past the Competition
Another great way to make your blog stand out from the crowd and rank above the competition is to simply focus on your optimization where others aren’t. Again… this is with a tight niche focus and going after long tail keywords is going to help your blog rank at a faster pace.
Most bloggers will stop their optimization with Yoast SEO plugin and adding keywords within their content. This is the most basic form of optimization, but there are other areas for improvement as well. Real optimization comes into play when you start talking about site speed, bounce rates, loading times and the overall performance of your site.
Here are a few simple steps to get ahead of the competition through better site optimization.
- Analyze the speed and performance of your site with Google Tools.
- Read through this WordPress speed optimization guide from my good friend Syed Balkhi. It will tell you everything you need to know about making your site better and faster, while also showing you how to make all the necessary changes recommended by Google Tools.
- Set up a CDN with Incapsula to make your site run faster for all audiences. On their site they walk you through the process of what a CDN is and why they can make a world of a difference when loading content from your site and reducing stress and bandwidth on your server. This applies to sites of all sizes, not matter if they are on shared, virtual or dedicated hosting.
- Make sure your WP is responsive with WPTouch.
In most of these cases, you will only need to set this up one or make a few changes to your site, then your optimization will be complete. The last step in this process is to make all of the requested optimization changes to your site, then re-run your test again and seeing how your score improved.
While optimization isn’t something you or your visitors will visually see when they get to your site, it will make a world of a difference in its overall performance, conversions, and rankings.
3 – Focus on Building Your Core Brand and Message
If you look at the most popular blogs in the world today, they all have something in common — which is a solid brand, business or individual behind the scenes. For example… ShoeMoney.com would just be another internet marketing blog if it weren’t for the success of Jeremy Schoemaker. The same is true for sites like Perez Hilton and QuickSprout (Neil Patel) or even Pew Die Pie and his YouTube fame.
The point is… if you are going to start a blog and really want to make something out of it, try to become the face of the blog, or build a brand around it. This is something I did when I launched my blog at ZacJohnson.com back in 2007. I had already started making money online with affiliate marketing back in the mid-90s, but when I went live with the blog and built a brand for myself it completely changed everything. It’s a very long process to build a content-based business online, but everything has to start from nothing at one point.
Not only will this help with the core message of your blog and brand, it will also help with social media reach and bringing in new opportunities as well. It can also work as a perfect launch pad if you have a personal following that is separate from your blog following, in the chance you sell your site or want to move in a new direction.
4 – Monetize Outside Traditional Methods
Speaking of affiliate marketing and blog monetization, let’s talk about some of the different ways you can make money with a ‘real’ blog. When you have a solid following and are offering real value and solutions through your content, that is when you can really start making some serious money.
Before we even jump into the list, I highly recommend you take a look at this old video from 2010 that Jeremy gave while at BlogWorld. While it’s old, the basics and backstory behind it are still true today.
Here are a few of the best ways to make money with a blog outside of just running Google Adsense and making a few pennies per click.
- Affiliate Marketing – This one is pretty easy… just make sure you find products or services that are relevant to what you are writing about. Even though it’s lower in commission payouts, Amazon.com is still one of the best affiliate programs around for sites that focus on niche products or reviews. Also check out ClickBank.com for digital based products that you can earn up to 75% commission on.
- Direct Ad Placement – If you simply don’t want to deal with impressions, clicks, and conversions, you could just place ad spots on your site and have advertisers buy them out on a monthly basis. More often than not, this will usually provide a higher ROI and you can scale by adding more banner placements on your site.
- Mailing List – This one is a no-brainer for most bloggers already, but many of them are doing it wrong. Create a mailing list and then offer something of real value to get site visitors to join your list. Once this is in place, be sure to add a nice lengthy autoresponder series to keep the engagement going.
- Launch Product – Depending on the industry you are already in, the complexities of setting this up will vary. For example, if you have a review site for products, it would be tough to create a new product of your own (but you could). If you have a site where people are coming to your site to learn something, throwing a course together and offering it to your audience is quite easy. This is something I’ve done multiple times over the years, and when working with video courses it’s even easier.
To see even more examples of how to make money with a blog, you can check out my video course — which is also an example of how you can launch a video series of your own, then offer it to your audience at cost. This is something Jeremy has also done extremely well with on Udemy.
5 – Treat Your Blog into a Real Business
Last but not least… if you want to have a ‘blog business’, you need to actually treat it like a ‘business’. Most people will look at guys like myself, John Chow and ShoeMoney and see that we are doing quite well online, then expect to see those same results after just a few days, weeks or months blogging — but it’s actually taken several years (sometimes even decades) to get to where we actually are.
Just because it’s easy and extremely affordable to start a blog, it doesn’t mean you are going to find success with it. You need to treat your blog like a real business from day one. Several multimillionaire bloggers were created simply because they did put in the time and work, and eventually created something quite amazing. It’s rare, but it does happen simply because the opportunity and numbers are there.
This is especially true when you factor in the competition that is already out there, and the average start-up costs for a local-based retail business. With a blog, all you need is $100 for a year of hosting and registering a domain name. In any other business, you would need to hire staff, pay rent, purchase and hold inventory, acquire new customers and then turn a profit after covering all your expenses.
With blogging, it’s so much easier and effective, yet the majority of people aren’t willing to put the time, work and effort in — which is why so many bloggers are destined to fail.
Make Blogging Great Again in 2017
Now it’s time for you to take action and make blogging great again for your personal brand or business.
However, the sad truth is that thousands of people will likely read this article… but less than 1-2% will actually put in the time and effort to make any progress. Sure, you will likely read through and say all of the data points and call to actions were great, but nothing will get done after you leave this site.
Be that 1% that actually takes advantage of the opportunity you have today with blogging and making money on the internet. You might just have that next million dollar blog idea!