6 Flip Switches for Exponential, Explosive Blogging Results!
In this post I will share with beginner bloggers how to flick 6 switches for exponential and explosive blogging results. These switches are of course metaphorical rather than physical, and this is one of the switches, I’ll explain ;-).
If you’re like most beginner bloggers, you’re getting started with your blog, and now you’re hoping to see results, and you may already be getting frustrated even if you’ve only began blogging within the past few weeks. This is natural, we live in a world where everything is fast, why shouldn’t we see instant result from blogging? Well the truth is there is no such thing as overnight success with blogging or anything else, most overnight successes actually take years… it’s strange how that happens ;-). But there are some “flip switches” that beginner bloggers can flip to the on position which can result in huge blog growth.
In no particular order:
1: Write Killer Post Titles
When I mentioned that these switches I mentioned are metaphorical, and that this is one of the switches – what I meant is that one of the elements for increased blog growth is to write more powerful post titles. Your post title is the headline, it is what will hopefully compel the searcher to click want to read your post. Your post title is also the meta title, which Google use for the result in Google search, although you can tweak this, which I’ll mention shortly.
The key to writing more powerful titles is to think more along the lines of provocative metaphors rather than purely writing the facts as they are. This doesn’t mean talking BS, it means telling the story in a more dramatic way. In my late teens and early twenties I worked in field sales, and I remember the training we used to have – one of the sayings the sales coach had which has always stuck with me is “sell the sizzle, not the sausage!”, which I think is a really good way to describe it.
If I were “selling the sausage” when writing the title of this post, I would have written something like “5 things you can do to improve your blogging”, which is fine, but it’s just not as powerful and as attention grabbing.
Caution is advised however, that you don’t go over the top and write clickbait titles. Clickbait is regarded as basically lying in the title about what the reader can expect int the post, in order to get the clicks – it may work in the short term but it won’t help you to build a loyal readership.
You can change your SEO title so that it differs from your post title, and this means that the snippet in the Google results will be different to the post title on your blog. See my post How to Get Traffic From Google to Your Blog for instructions on doing this. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you do this unless there is a particular reason. I certainly wouldn’t do it in order to make the SEO title look like a list of keywords, as this would be counter productive for various reasons. If in doubt, just write the best, most attention grabbing title that you can and use it both as your post title and your SEO title / meta title.
The key to writing better post titles is to spend more time on them, and to come up with several possibilities and choose what you think is the best. Sometimes I’ll spend longer on the page title than writing the post itself, which may seem excessive but the title really is that important.
Did you know that some of the most successful books ever, were first flops until they were re-published with a better title? If you’ve read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”, you’ll know that he spent so long on the book title, as he knew the title could make or break the book, that his publisher gave him an ultimatum telling him that if he didn’t have the title by the next day he was going to give it the title “Use Your Noodle And Get The Boodle.” Napoleon was disgusted by the title and new it would break him! After exhausting himself working on a new title until the small hours, he woke up with “Think and Grow Rich” in his mind, and he attributes this title as one of the main reasons for the the books incredible success.
2: Write Guest Posts – or Hire a Ghost Writer
One thing you need is to build your Google authority, and this is done with quality backlinks. One of the best ways to get backlinks as a blogger, is to contact people with relevant blogs, and offer to contribute a guest post.
I would recommend that you ask if the backlink will be a follow link or a NoFollow link, although if the blog is very important then I’d still do it even if it’s a nofollow link. The nofollow tag tells Google spiders not to follow the link to your website, which usually makes it not worthwhile having from an SEO perspective. However, if its an important website, then it’s worth having the link for other reasons, namely for the direct traffic that your blog stands to attract from the guest post.
You probably wouldn’t want to contact your direct competition, the kinds of blogs you would usually look at working with would be blogs which are in the same sphere but which don’t directly compete.
The issue when you’re getting started blogging is that it feels wrong to be spending your time writing for someone else’s blog. I’m the same, I feel that I should be focusing on writing content for my blogs, rather than for others, as I only have so much time.
This is where hiring ghost writers can come in, and it’s probably not as pricey as you may think.
You can buy well written posts from Constant Content , by either searching for one which has already been written which you can just buy off the shelf, or by hiring a constant content writer to write for you.
The constant content freelancers tend to be very good – and actually in some ways having guest posts written for you rather than writing them yourself can lead to more success with guest posts, in terms of getting them accepted onto more popular and higher traffic websites. In order to become a writer for Constant Content, writers have to be very good at their craft, and they need to be writing very professional articles – I know, as I’ve written for CC myself in the past, and I found it a real slog to try to meet their criteria. Contacting a bigger, much more established website and asking them to take content can be a bit daunting for beginner bloggers. What is great about being a blogger is that you have the freedom to write completely in your own style, in the first person, with your own personality.
When it comes to getting guest posts accepted on much bigger websites though where the post has to get past the eyes of a professional editor, it’s not quite the same as writing for your own blog, there is an editor you have to impress, and you don’t have that same freedom. Professional writers on Constant Content are experts at writing professional pieces that would impress professional eyes. They might not be as fun as your posts, they won’t have the same level of personality, and you might not want to run ghost written posts on your own blog (although you can do and publish them as guest posts if you want to). But buying ready written posts or having them written for you, is a very tried and tested method for having guest posts published.
I would usually recommend against buying content which has already been written, as you want unique content – but on constant content they show the sample of the article via image, so that it’s still unique content when you publish it in text form.
Even if you start out writing all your own content for your blog and for guest posts, it’s not at all a bad idea to consider re-investing some profit once you’re making money with your blog, into buying posts to submit as guest posts so that you can focus on writing your own blog content.
3: Plan Blog Posts from Keyword Research
One of the tricky things with blogging is consistently coming up with new ideas for blog posts. Another tricky thing is coming up with blog posts for which there is a demand, which means blogging about subjects that people are searching for.
When you start off with keyword research, you begin by highlighting good potential search terms, keywords that there are some traffic for, and which your blog stands a chance of ranking well for in the reasonably short term. I get into a lot more detail about this in my post how to get traffic from Google to your blog , but in short, keyword research not only allows you to identify the right keywords to focus on, but it’s the perfect way to plan blog posts.
Another way to plan blog posts is to get inspiration from other blogs, which often means reading popular, more well established blogs and gaining ideas from these blogs about what you should blog about. The issue with this is that a more well established blog, with more Google authority, will probably be focusing on more competitive search terms than would be practical for a newer blog to expect to gain page one ranking for. When you start from proper keyword research, you’re going to be coming up with blog posts which have a much better chance of leading to traffic in the fairly short term.
I use the long tail pro keyword research tool to build lists of search terms for my blogs, which are within the reach of high google ranking, and I raise my sights over time to higher traffic and more competitive keywords. Once I know which keywords I want to be ranking for, I then start brain storming for blog post ideas with these search terms.
4: Build a Mailing List
The one thing you will find on all successful blogs, is a mailing list signup form. The reason you will find this on most successful blogs, is that a mailing list is just so powerful, and bloggers realise that they’re missing out if they don’t use mailing list building and marketing.
The majority of people who visit a web page will engage very little during that first visit, and then leave never to return. By convincing the reader to join your mailing list, you’re creating the opportunity to bring that visitor back to your website time and time again, and also to read your emails. Over time your subscribers will get to trust you, and will engage more and more with your blog posts and with the content in your emails. It’s for this reason that a responsive mailing list can become a great source of revenue.
Building a mailing list also gives you the peace of mind that no matter what happens to your ability to attract new readers, you have your own readership, which can’t ever be taken away from you. As long as you back up your list. Building a following in any way is a good thing, but what makes mailing lists particularly special is that you don’t need to rely on any particular third party. For example, anyone who build a big myspace following, would have little to show for that now, and if any of the current social media platforms are buried by the newer competition, a similar story will be the case there. With mailing lists, as long s you back them up, and keep them maintained, you can take them with you to other mailing list providers, so you’re not reliant on any other third party.
I’ve used Aweber for years, it’s fairly inexpensive and it’s very simple to use. My most recent blog went from zero to over 800 subscribers within a few months. I love seeing the notifications that I have a new mailing list signup, as it means one more person that I have locked in as a loyal follower, as long as I don’t do anything silly to lose them. One thing I would be very careful with is sending direct emails promoting affiliate products, for example, unless it happens to be a product that you’re honestly absolutely raving about, and it’s obvious that you just can’t help yourself but share. Otherwise I would usually focus on getting using the mailing list to get people back to my blog to read my latest posts.
5: Get in the Press
If you can get yourself into the press, you can help your blog to sky rocket! Most of the big stories you read in the press about bloggers – or anyone for that matter, are hugely exaggerated, or told in a very clever way making something fairly mundane appear news worthy.
Think outside of the box in order to think of any way you can get into the press. I mentioned guest posts earlier, one surefire way to get into local press would be to get a guest post featured in a huge national or international publication, and then inform the local / regional press about it. If in the not too distant future you walk away from your job to become a full time blogger, you could write to the press about a normal guy or gal (you) who started a blog about their passion and ended up a full time blogger. If you tend to blog from various different places and sometimes blog while travelling, you can tell them that you’re now a blogging nomad, and hardly ever work from the same place twice, visiting new cities, meeting new people, travelling the world and earning more than you ever did while sitting in a stuffy office.
Stories like this sell, they’re feel good, people like reading them, advertising sells off the back of feel good stories, so a story like this has a good chance of getting your blog into the press.
Maybe you can think of another way to get into the press with your blog. Maybe for example you could create a somewhat controversial blog post, as long as you’re careful and don’t do anything illegal or libel anyone. Perhaps you could do something really kind, such as feature a homeless person in a blog post and create a fundraising page for them? On one hand doing something like this may seem selfish in that you’re doing it with a view to getting in the press, but if the result is raising money for someone who needs it, I don’t see a problem with that.
One fairly easy way to get in the press by the way, is to write your own press release – and to publish it with a press release service such as PRweb. Services like this have bug networks and can get well written press releases published all over the country, even internationally. This doesn’t mean that a terrible, boring press release with an awful headline would do much good though, to succeed it would have to be well written. You can find people to write press releases for you on Constant Content.
6: Make Blogging a Habit
The most common cause of failure in blogging, and in most new endeavours, is giving up. When you start something new such as blogging, it can be a struggle at first to keep up with, because it’s not habitual. Habits are far more powerful than good intentions or will power.
Think about fitness routines, the people who get really, really fit are the people for whom exercising becomes a habit. While many of us struggle to have the will power to get out running, or to get into the gym, for some people it’s a such a strong habit that they just can’t help themselves, and you can tell by looking at their physique that this is the case.
Try to get into a routine. For example, you get up earlier in the morning, shower – blog – have breakfast. Get home from work, change, blog, have dinner, blog, relax / exercise. bog, bed.
Above is just an example, our circumstances are all different, but the one thing that is the same for all bloggers is that we must find time to blog, consistently. While you’re working a full time job and blogging (if you are), then you need to make time to blog, and if you try your best to turn it into a habit, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding than if you continually rely on will power.
This is tough at first, in fact I think it’s probably the toughest part of blogging.
When I was getting started I regularly had lapses in my blogging when I appeared to just have forgotten to blog. A week would go by when I’d not done anything with my blog. I’d feel guilty, and I’d get back to it, for a couple of weeks maybe, and then again a week or maybe two would go by where I wouldn’t do anything, and I’d have to focus hard on getting back into it again, and eventually after a lot of fighting with myself, blogging became a habit. It sometimes seems to me like our subconscious minds are just so powerful, that if we want to change anything in our outer lives we must fight and fight until we eventually convince our subconscious that our life is different in some way to the way it always has been!
You build a habit by doing something repeatedly, even if it’s hard at first. If you drink beer, can you cast your mind back to when you first tasted it as a kid. Do you remember how horrible it tasted? I do, I thought this must be what piss tastes like ;-). But over a long period of time drinking beer became a habit, I found a way to build strong neural pathways between drinking beer and pleasure, and it became a habit. I don’t drink like a fish, but I have to use will power in order not to become a more hairy version of Homer Simpson (I have a much fuller head of hair, I’m not quite so yellow, and I think I have more fingers).
So just do it at first, and be prepared to fight with your subconscious, which seems to want to keep the status quo. With some effort, you will get into a routine of blogging. When you start seeing some success, when you get nice emails and social media comments from people telling you how helpful they find your posts, and when you start seeing money coming in from your blogging also, it will turn into a habit, and then you won’t be able to help yourself but to carry on!
I’m living proof that this is the case, as not that long ago – less than a two years ago, I was a struggling beginner blogger. I wasn’t a beginner to web marketing, I’ve been doing that for around 12 years, I know about SEO, keyword research etc., but blogging was a new thing for me, and I struggled to keep on keeping on to begin with. Now, I love it, it’s what I do, and that’s because I applied my will power for long enough, and I fought with my subconscious and finally convinced it that I am a blogger, and that I continually produce valuable content for my readers – and eventually I prevailed!
And there we have it. Six hugely powerful switches that you can flip to the on position, in order to create explosive, exponential results with your blogging!