A Successful Blogger’s Top 6 Qualities

A Successful Blogger’s Top 6 Qualities

Build A Blog And Attract Followers

blog blogging nicheIf you’re thinking about starting your own blog, you must also realize that driving or attracting significant volumes of traffic is essential to maximize its’ popularity and build yourself a dedicated legion of followers.

 

In order to become a successful blogger, there are a certain number of qualities you should already have or be willing to learn.

 

This article outlines what I consider to be the top six qualities of a successful blogger. I do not claim that this list is definitive or exhaustive in any way, it is just based on my own experience, coupled with my own reading and research.

 

So here are those 6 Top Qualities:

 

Blogger Quality Number 1

Hardwork!

Sorry if that comes as a shock, but if you are serious and want to be a successful blogger you really have to “do-some-work”. You have to write content for your blog on a regular basis and acquire the essential values of “Persistency & Consistency”.

That means having to do some writing and making sure it is done at regular intervals and putting in some effort to ensure that you stick at it. Laziness doesn’t produce regular content and won’t enable you to get to a stage where your content is actively starting to pull huge volumes of traffic to your blog. To do this, you really must be prepared to spend some time writing your own unique content.

Of course, if you have the money, you can always pay someone else to write it for you. But, be aware that an article written by someone else will be structured in a way that will not properly represent you, or your own individual personality.

In the past, I have paid for high quality and unique articles and although they were good, when I read them they were not written the way I would write and “sounded” nothing like me . So I found myself re-writing to portray me and to suit my own personal style.

 

Blogger Quality Number 2

Publish content that is captivating, interesting and useful.

publishing your contentResearch your chosen niche, know and understand which topics are not only important for your regular visitors to keep them coming back to your blog, but also know what will attract new visitors.

Profile the type of person who is typically interested in your niche, get to know their age range, gender and work status – are they employed; are they retired; are they blue collar employees; are they white collar employees; are they self-employed; are they professionals?

Take some time to really think about the niche you focus on and know what the needs, interests and issues are of people in that niche. From the profiling work above, create an avatar – an image and summary of your ideal target visitor – and give your avatar a name.

Look at some other existing blogs already serving the niche and think of ways in which you can inject some uniqueness into your blog without diverting too far away from the niche itself. As you write your content, keep you avatar in mind, or display what you have created about your avatar to remind you.

A blog that is unique and provides what your visitors want to see will become popular and very appealing to new visitors.

 

Blogger Quality Number 3

You don’t want your visitors to just be like “window-shoppers” on your blog and then pass on by.

Those visitors that have a real interest in your niche and spend their time reading all your blog posts, will be more than happy to give you their name or just email address to subscribe to your email list. A simple message, asking them to subscribe and receive email notifications when new content is published, may be all you need.

 

However, it is usual to give something away in exchange for someones’ email address and is typically something that is useful, like an ebook or a report. Again, custom written is always best and will help to promote your blog and uniqueness.

 

 

Blogger Quality Number 4

Providing unique and appealing content is important, but so is ensuring that you don’t overlook or miss any opportunities to make money from the blog.

moneyA successful blogger knows that relevant and interesting content is the first and foremost function of a popular and growing blog. It is, in fact, over and above the monetizing aspect as it is the content that attracts visitors in the first place. And those very same visitors will most likely become your first customers, as they feel that they have already gotten to know, like and trust you.

Also, make use of the subscribers email list you build-up, to remind or inform them of the offers you have – and don’t forget to put some links into your free ebook or report as well.

So, ensure that you don’t miss out on any monetizing opportunities as there are many ways you can make money on your blog. For example, if you do have your own products and services, or become an affiliate and sell products that are relevant to your niche.

A blog that starts to get high traffic volumes could also provide you with another revenue stream by taking advantage of the high amount of traffic to sell advertising space to local companies or other marketers on the blog.

 

Blogger Quality Number 5

Driving more traffic to your blog will elevate the position of it and increase its’ popularity in the search engine rankings.

drive trafficWhen typing a query into Google, most people will not look beyond the first page (or listing) of results and will only really click those that are near to the top of the listing.

To be both a successful and serious blogger, always be on the lookout for ways to drive more traffic to your blog. Get to know other bloggers in your niche and exchange traffic with them. You can do this by introducing and recommending their blog to your visitors, by either inviting them to write a guest post on your blog or by mentioning them in one of your posts.

Another way to do this, is to send an email to your list with a link to their blog. They will gain your visitors and of course, as it is a reciprocal arrangement, you will gain theirs.

 

Blogger Quality Number 6

Never quit!

It’s tough when first starting out, as visitors will not immediately come running to your blog. I know that feeling very well as will everyone else when they first started.

Never QuitYes, even those who are now famous and at the top of their game had to start somewhere.

You write page-upon-page of content, put in a lot of time and effort ……… and no-one sees it.

You feel as if it’s all for nothing, but never give up as everything does take time.

Don’t expect to be an overnight success as that very rarely happens.

As for those who appear to have come from nowhere and become “instant stars” – well, it’s most likely that you just hadn’t come across them before and weren’t aware of all the time, work and effort they have had to put in beforehand.

As in my number 1 point above, to be consistent and persistent is essential.

Keep at it and Never Give Up!

 

If you have some or all of these qualities, then just go and do it. If not, then Learn – and go do it anyhow.

So, what do you think of those six qualities? I’d love to read your comments.

 

My Business Goals, Objectives & Ambitions

My Business Goals, Objectives & Ambitions

Business Goals, Objectives & Ambitions

I decided to use this post to address my business goals and objectives in my new online business, as well as my on-going and personal ambitions.

SMART GoalsI haven’t written for a while as I have been recovering from the fall I had while I was walking my dog a few weeks ago. The ribs are still a little painful, but my sprained right hand made it awkward as well as painful to type as I was thinking about the pain more than about what it was that I was writing about.

Things are not too bad now, so I thought it was time to get back into things.

The time away has allowed me to properly think about what my actual goals really are the direction I want to take with my fledgling Internet business.

I missed Dean Holland’s regular iPro webinar last night (Monday 21st) and will catch up on the replay, but I did get to the one held on the 14th. What a marathon that was, turned out that it lasted over 4 hours! Many people went live with Dean and spoke about their goals and ambitions with their on-line businesses. I was also meant to speak, but had to leave as it was approaching the 2 hour mark due to other commitments.

Goals & Objectives

So, I thought that I would use this post to document my goals.

Most people start with their first objective as being to build up a stable and regular monthly income, at an amount sufficient enough to cover their monthly outgoings so they can quit their full-time job.

That’s not a bad objective and is probably what I would have written at one stage, except that I am now sort-of semi-retired. I write that in a hyphenated way, because I have in fact been away from work due to a long term illness since August 2010. I finally agreed a pay-off from my employer and have been officially unemployed since January 24 of this year. I now have no mortgage to worry about, so I can’t be thrown out onto the streets, but there are still utility bills to be paid; food to be bought; cable TV & running of car etc…

I’m still not fully recovered from my illness and still have to take medication and regularly see medical professionals.

And that is precisely why an on-line business is beneficial to me.

Internet Marketing is something that I have been studying since I have been off work. I took a couple of on-line courses and played around with html and WordPress websites. The technical side is no real challenge, as by profession I am an architect of complex computer network systems.

Anyway, back to my goals.

I have all this scribbled in pencil on a piece of paper that resides on my desk. I have “First of June 2014” as a starting date, written on top of the paper, as the month of June is the middle of the year and has a nice, round feel to it. But, I didn’t reckon on my dog causing me to trip up while chasing her down the street and breaking a couple of ribs!

I also didn’t allow for any contingencies in my planning, which is something I would have done as a matter of course when running projects at work. Oh well, stuff happens, as they say.

My Goals

Keep Calm Make SMART GoalsThe periods mentioned in the list below are with reference to that June date:

  • To consistently earn a four figure income every month, within a three month period. To begin with, the amounts need only be modest and I am only looking at figures between $1,000 and $2,000. My sites will slowly rise as I finally make a break-through and start to see stable and regular payments into my bank account.
  • Within a six month period, the monthly income will be approaching $5,000 and I will be pushing that figure higher so that my new focus will be on five figures per month after the six month mark.
  • Income streams will multiply as I become more confident. I am already working on a software product that will be launched using the tried and tested methods of JV’s and affiliates. So this goal is the production of a viable product that will be launched with the six month window.

My Ambitions

Around the time I joined iPro, I also joined a small team of people that are being mentored by a creator of several successful software products in the field of content curation. I can’t give out too many details at present as I have signed a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement).

My ambitions are to build both a personal and corporate brand that are both known, liked and trusted. This blog is the vehicle for my personal branding, which I have also begun to enhance, starting with the new website banner you see above. I have added a privacy policy to the main drop-down menu and will be adding more new sections. I am also not happy with the amount of time the site takes to load and I know there are too many plugins. A better WordPress theme is needed which will replace my current free ‘Magazine Basic’ theme.

 

Entrepreneurial Mindset & Big Business

All software products I produce will be under a corporate brand name rather than mine. I receive many emails on a daily basis from internet marketers selling their latest and greatest software product and of course, they make sure everyone knows they are personally responsible for it.

Well, what’s so what’s wrong with that, you may ask.

Allow me to shift my mind back to the senior role I held in one of the top three, multi-national IT corporations. I wouldn’t look twice at a product that was attributed to an individual. Through customer meetings, I was responsible for ascertaining and understanding the objectives with relation to a customer’s business requirements.

When all was understood and accepted by both parties,  I would start by looking at software/components etc that were already available with which to architect a solution. An important criteria, is that any suitable products already on the market must have a robust on-going development and support structure behind it. A well documented product life-cycle must also exist so that upgrades can be planned well in advance to minimize disruption to daily operations.

I have had many good products presented to me, that would certainly cover some specific requirement in a program of work. But because the vendor’s ego was so huge, they couldn’t stop themselves from bragging about it being their own personal creation and they alone were responsible for on-going development and support.

Among their peers and in the industry sector they inhabit, such people are regarded as guru’s. Followers pack out webinars and live events in particular, so they can personally meet and be photographed next to their idol. Credit card at the ready, they will impulsively buy anything and everything produced by their hero.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the wrong vision and approach to present when attempting to sell a product into a large commercial organization.

After such boardroom meetings, which rarely ended well, I have personally witnessed a kind-of look descend on their faces, a look I can only describe as a combination of devastation, disbelief and confusion. Wounded pride mixed in with a sense of insult when they realize that the corporate suits and hard-nosed business types are not swooning at their feet. Some have even been left in a state of physical shock when they are rejected.It is a real shame, as some of the products I have seen are very good indeed, but the attitude and risk presented by these so-called ‘guru’s’ are incompatible with the very high value business environments they would love to break in to.

Richard Branson

Photo used in accordance with License.Photo by J Simmons.Image of Richard Branson cropped from original

Succeeding in the boardroom requires a very different approach. Lessons needs to be taken from people like Sir Richard Branson, who perhaps is the most famous and high profile of entrepreneurs. He has perfected an image of a tie-less, long haired and bearded, swash-buckling go-getter. But he knows that the boardroom isn’t the place for that persona.I guess that, in a way, acknowledgement of this very different environment and attitude expectation, could be regarded as the ‘secret sauce‘ for success in a big business environment.

This is the very reason why I want to introduce products into the market as a company brand instead of my personal brand. I know in the early days, these things are most likely one and the same. Take Microsoft, for example. In the early days it was Bill Gates – when phoning Microsoft in the early to mid 70’s, you spoke to Bill. I know this from personal experience, because I did.

When IBM were in the early stages of creating and developing what was to become a new and now dominant genre of personal computing, the first IBM PC. Would they have ever awarded the contract to provide an Operating System for their PC to a company known as ‘Bill’s Software Products’ rather than Microsoft?

Seven Pillars of Internet Marketing is About The Customer, You Know!

Pillars of Internet Marketing

If you Google ‘Pillars of Internet Marketing‘ you’ll get hits like 5 Pillars of Internet Marketing or 7 Pillars of Internet Marketing or even 13 Pllars… etc… Results like 13, also include the mechanics and technology of Internet Marketing. Things like choosing a website name, web host and whether it will be a WordPress or html based website.

That’s fine if you are learning everything from scratch, but in this article, I just want to focus on the real reason why people go into Internet Marketing in the first place.

It’s to sell stuff to customers, start making a little money from it and eventually get to the point where it is possible to make a full-time living out of it. That’s really no different from any other type of business, because if it wasn’t for customers, there wouldn’t be any businesses at all whether on or off-line.

The 7 pillar model is all about the customer and this is why I have chosen to go along with it in this article. Of course, it is important to know the basics about any type of business and with an on-line Internet Marketing business, having some knowledge about websites and hosting etc.., will at the very least help to avoid being conned by unscrupulous people.

Picking a niche market, researching the competition, the keywords to target and driving traffic are also fundamental to success. And indeed are part of the overall ‘complete package’. However, I would put all these aspects under the heading of ‘Mechanics and Technology’.

The Customer Focused 7 Pillars of Internet Marketing:

  • Knowledge
    Make sure you are aware of who your customer is. Who, where and what is the target market for your online business? These are important first questions that relate to demographics. The age, sex and social status of your target customer.
  • Searching
    As an example If you target the mid-teenage to mid-20’s age group, then you should consider how they access the internet. They would most likely use a mobile device like a phone or tablet, so ensure that your website shows up correctly and is easily accessible on mobile devices. Also consider that this age group is more likely to spend most of their time on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, so make sure you also have a presence on those sites. And as you are also defining your brand, ensure the look of the page is consistent with your website.
  • Invitation
    Stand out from your competition and make sure that you choose page titles and descriptions on your website and social media pages that would most likely attract your target audience. Invite them to feedback and review your products or services. Testimonials from customers of the same demographic are powerful persuaders for others considering doing business with you.
  • Selling
    Someone accessing your website is most likely looking for a product or service that has brought them to you from a search or recommendation. Ensure that they land on a page showing or describing the product or service they are looking for. The landing page should attract their attention and be persuasive enough to make them want to buy from you. Think about a Unique Selling Point (USP) or value proposition and re-enforce the reasons why you are the best place to get it.
  • Compelling
    Make customers want to buy from you or willingly give you their details. Discounts or free shipping for sales, a free ebook or other downloadable gift in exchange for their name & email address. The sales or signup process should be straight forward, with all relevant information clearly visible. Ensure the process of sales or name & email collection is as smooth as you can make it, so they are compelled to follow through.
  • Servicing
    Never take your customers for granted. There is a tangible cost associated with their acquisition, whether it is discounts, free shipping, SEO or just your time. Deliver what was promised in the stated timescale. Be pro-active and call them if there are problems. Communication is key and is essential for establishing yourself and your business in the minds of your customers, as someone they Know Like & Trust (KLT).
  • Retention
    Remind your customers about your business. Help to keep it at the forefront of their minds with regular newsletters. Avoid bombarding them with sales emails every day of the week. Find an appropriate balance in your specific niche. Ensure your emails or newsletters also have good informational content and are not just cluttered with stuff you want to sell to them.

So there you have it, the seven Customer FocusedPillars of Internet Marketing. And as I wrote earlier, there is a whole other side of Internet Marketing that is also considered as additional Pillars.

David Bain is said to have started the whole ‘Pillars’ thing an he has a free e-book of what is now called the 4-Phases of Digital Marketing.

Actually, to have Marketing Plan Phases is quite a common strategy for any business, so the use of the word in IM is probably more of a re-alignment with the regular world of business.

The 4-Phases of Digital Marketing covers all the aspects that are required for a full grounding in Internet Marketing.

Click any of the blue links to get hold of a free copy.

The video below is of David Bain talking about the 4-Phases of Digital Marketing, which is the framework behind the 26-Week Digital Marketing Plan – a step-by-step online marketing plan which helps marketing managers, business owners and entrepreneurs to significantly improve their internet success.

26-Week Digital Marketing Plan founder David Bain gave this seminar on 6th December 2012 in London, UK:

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David Bain talking about the 4-Phases of Digital Marketing