The following is a guest post by Lori Smith. Thanks, Lori!
Stop searching for that elusive secret to blogging success. There isn’t one.
I don’t want to burst any bubbles, and I’m not here to murder your dreams. Let me make that very clear because building a successful blog is unequivocally possible.
The reason most bloggers have trouble getting out of the starting gate is due in part to two deceptive buzzwords—secret sauce. Yep, that’s right. It’s a lie. The term secret sauce is just someone’s idea of great copywriting to get you to buy what they’re selling.
Some crafty copywriters came up with this term as a way to convince you that there’s actually some secret to achieving blogging success. Ha! If there was, we all would have figured it out by now and overnight success stories would be a dime a dozen.
So if there’s no secret, how do you go about achieving success as a blogger? That, my friends, surprisingly is an easy answer. It comes down to three foundational blogging strategies.
But before I spell those out for you, I want you to repeat these three things to yourself, like, every day:
Success isn’t defined by dollars.
It isn’t instant.
And success isn’t a destination; it’s a journey.
Oh yeah I forgot, it also takes a LOT of hard work.
Pick a Specific Niche
I already know what you’re thinking. You’ve heard the speech about niching down before, but indulge me here.
Writing about several different unrelated topics means building several different ideal audiences. Keep in mind, each topic will not necessarily attract the same audience.
Not only is it impossible to successfully build many different audiences, but it’s impossible to effectively market to more than one as well.
It’s an absolute must for your blogging success to define your ideal audience, and focus your content on addressing their problems and providing solutions.
The way to do this is by finding a specific niche and sticking to it.
Start with a list of your five favorite topics. You can then narrow down from there.
For your final choice, make sure to pick a niche that best represents your passion and will be the most profitable.
If you choose more than one niche, I recommend limiting your topics to no more than three. Most importantly, be sure they are related, will attract the exact same audience, and are aligned with your business goals.
Develop a Content Strategy
There’s much more to a brand than just a cool logo. Your words are the core of your brand. So getting them right starts with a solid content strategy.
Content is the driving force of your business. It’s what conveys your brand’s message, establishes your authority, and drives sales.
What you write depends on your ideal audience and your business goals.
Write quality content that addresses the needs of your audience and provides solutions that get results. Your goal is to tell your story in a way that triggers an emotional response. Like an, “I want to buy now” response. Yes, this really is possible with words.
The three things you need to research before devising a content strategy are:
What is your company best at? What does it stand for and what are your company’s core values?
What problems does your audience have or need help with? What path do they typically take in their buying journey? How, where, and when do they prefer to consume content?
What unique selling point does your competition have? What areas or topics are they not addressing that you could fill? How is their content communicating their brand values to customers?
To develop an effective strategy, you’ll first need to conduct an audit of your existing content and determine what to keep, update, or delete.
Next, you need to perform an audit of your SEO. Check to make sure all content is optimized with keywords and that your metadata is defined and up to date.
Once you’ve completed your audits, you can begin to create a plan for what content will need to be rewritten and what content might be missing that you still need.
No matter what you write or what words you use, make sure they are always in alignment with your business goals, your target audience, and your audience’s specific needs.
Promote Your Content
A good promotional strategy starts with knowing where your ideal audience hangs out. It’s all about maximizing your marketing efforts. You want to share your content on the platforms that will get it in front of the largest amount of your ideal audience.
But the biggest mistake you can make is thinking you have to promote everywhere. This isn’t true at all. Your audience isn’t everywhere, and you’ll just end up overwhelmed.
As you can probably guess, automation is a huge time saver. With programs like Buffer, Boardbooster, or HootSuite, you can put your promotion on autopilot and watch it drive traffic to your site like a boss.
Marketing boils down to 30% creation and 70% promotion. It may seem like a lot but unfortunately, the mantra “build it and they will come” doesn’t work with blogging. If you’re not getting any eyes on what you’re creating, then what’s the use?
Throwing up a few social media posts once in a while is a waste of time. You have to have a well-planned promotional strategy and get your stuff out there every chance you have.
So I have to ask. Are you disappointed? Were you still expecting at least a tiny little secret? If you answered no, then good for you. You already have the right mindset.
Information overload is real, and with so many others vying for the same customers, it’s no wonder so many resort to using the old smoke and mirrors copywriting tricks.
Don’t buy into the hype. There’s no secret sauce hiding in a blog post you haven’t read yet, no matter how well-crafted the headline might be.
I’m sure you’ve read this same information many times and have already implemented these strategies. The question is, were you actually getting results with them before moving on to other things?
You see, there’s a sequence to building a blog. You have to start with these basic foundational strategies first so future goals and income streams can be successful.
If you want to be successful, you have to have the right strategies in place and implement them on a consistent basis. This is what will move you toward blogging success. No secrets required.
Lori Smith is an unconventional copywriter and content strategist who loves ripping the Band-Aid off of boring clone-like copy and replacing it with words that strike a nerve and drives conversions. You can find her playing with words on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.