Let me start with a tale of YourNetBiz Attraction Marketing Cafe blog.
Don’t try to look it up though; it doesn’t exist any longer. (of course, due to human nature, I decided not to follow my own advice and Googled it as soon as I said “don’t do it”… Now you are going to do it too, aren’t ya?)
This was the first blog I ever started. Why? Because I was told that every business needed one. Why? THAT nobody could really explain to me.
Since I have a tendency of doing first and thinking later, I did start YourNetBiz Attraction Marketing Cafe. Without clear direction of why I was doing what I was doing though, I ended up wasting about a year writing a bit about this and that, getting some untargeted traffic, seeing no results.
This might actually sound familiar to some of you.
Fast forward to about a month ago, when Randy Pickard of InternetMarketingRemarks.com asked me if I ever considered writing a post about how blogging can have different commercial purposes. (by the way, that’s the link to Randy’s post on the topic where you’ll find his great analysis of the different blog purposes – highly recommend you read that one as well.)
Specifically, there could be
3 very distinct reasons to establish a blog:
- Give your primary website/business an SEO boost.
- Establish your brand.
- Make money blogging.
That’s right: your reason for starting a blog can make a HUGE difference on how often you publish content, what kind of content, how much traffic you need to generate, etc.
If only I knew about this 2 years ago!
But now that I do know, I think Randy is right: we need to talk about this so that YOU can determine why the heck you need a blog and how to run it the most efficient way to achieve your goals.
Disclaimer: the more I though about this, the more I felt like this post had a great potential to turn into a rant of sorts, telling some of you to give up blogging altogether. That’s right. Read on and you’ll know why.
Blogging Reason 1: Blogging for SEO
Let’s say you have a static page that you want to rank better for certain keywords. Usually, that means that you simply need more backlinks to push it up the Google ladder.
However, you can achieve this much easier if you just create your own blog where you entirely control the content, the links, and the anchor text.
If that’s why you need/want to create a blog, here are some pointers you might want to take into consideration:
- Picking a theme is very easy – it should be the same as your main site.
- Your main purpose is not to rank the blog itself for anything, although it would be nice if that happens, so you don’t have to work on the blog SEO as much.
- Posting frequency: that’s the best part – once or twice per week is plenty enough.
- You are mostly writing for search engines (although it never means writing gibberish and keyword stuffing!), not for human visitors.
- In every piece of blog content you write, you can and should link to your static website with naturally varying anchor text.
- BUT never make it ALL about your static site – link occasionally to sites you don’t own or to different online properties that you do, like social media profiles, YouTube videos, HubPages, etc.
- As quality is not imperative, you can easily outsource the writing part – as long as you supply the keywords and the general topic.
In my personal very much theoretical opinion, I’d use a platform like Blogger.com for this type of blog – it’s Google-owned, easy to set up, and I’ve heard (unresearched) rumors that it might be easier to rank your blog since well… it’s owned by Google. Make what you want out of this.
Blogging Reason 2: Establish Your Business Brand
These types of blogs should be build by people who have a primary business: MLM company, top-tier company, ebay store, etc.
Let’s first discuss what the purpose of this type of blog is – make your business known to those who are looking for it or a business and establish that you are the one and only mentor who are a logical choice for your prospects.
The biggest advice I can give you here is to NOT focus on the secondary stuff, like your company, your product, great training, etc.
Determine the BIGGEST frustration your target market has and go after it – that’s what your blog should be all about.
What that biggest problem could be? MONEY. Solve that problem and that alone.
Show them HOW they’ll make money and you’ll win them over, no question about it.
Show them that YOU are their opportunity and not the company or product.
Blog about failures and HOW to avoid them. Blog about successes and HOW to achieve them. Give your prospects a step-by-step plan on how they’ll make money with you leading them. Create a marketing guide every new member will receive and talk about it. Invite your team members to write posts, contribute, create forum-type environment.
Here’s are some pointers on developing this kind of blog:
- The content ANGLE is the key.
- You don’t have to publish too often, but at least once a week.
- Quality of posts matters – that’s how your prospects will decide whether you are worth the salt.
- You still want to pay attention to SEO, since some of your posts could potentially rank for company-related keywords.
- Your main goal for the blog is to convert visitors into BUSINESS PROSPECTS.
- Don’t offer RSS subscription (or don’t push it on them, I should say).
- Don’t try to sell them on products (this one is really going against the grain as far as what a lot of “gurus” would teach you). No affiliate banners, ads, definitely no AdSense.
The only one who matters is YOUR prospect. Made them feel that way and your recruitment numbers will shoot through the roof.
Blogging Reason #3: Make Money Blogging
I don’t remember exact statistics, but I don’t think I’d be too far off if I said that the new mean green blogging money making machines are popping up daily like mushrooms after a spring rain.
And here lies the problem I talked about in my Sunday Coffee with Ana video.
It’s not easy to make money online period, whether you offer services, products, building an MLM downline, or just building recognition for your offline brand.
Making money blogging however is one of the hardest online business models. Yet it’s the easiest to start and the cheapest to run.
If you are reading this thinking of starting a blog and becoming the next Problogger, listen up: prepared to work like a dog. Not that it can’t be done, but without originality, a great niche, good writing ability, and willingness to put in the hours, you might as well just get a job.
Let me just give you a few number to give you an idea of your competition – keyword results from Google:
- “how to blog” – 554M results
- “blogging tips” – 13.5M results
- “make money blogging” – 10M results
Traffic Generation Cafe has been fairly successful over the last few months, but I have a confession to make: there were plenty of days when I thought “what the heck am I doing? why all the sleepless nights? time away from the family?”
Trust me you’d better know why you are doing this; otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of time and possibly end up walking away in defeat.
Just a little blogger to blogger talk.
Now here’s what I think you’ll have to do to succeed with this blogging model:
- Choose the right niche.
- Find your voice.
- Write about things nobody else writes about.
- Prepared to blog at least 3 times a week. The most successful bloggers publish daily.
- You need to have strong SEO skills – or hire someone if you don’t want to/don’t have time to learn. SEO traffic is imperative.
- Don’t go for the easy buck. Promote the best products you know of/have tried.
- Constantly work on your conversions.
- CREATE your own PRODUCT!
- Offer services!
No one says it’s impossible. But realistically speaking the odds are against you.
Some of you who are blogging for SEO or to establish your own brand, should feel relief right about now.
Yes, you do need a blog, but you don’t have to kill yourself running it.
Also take a look at this:
However, if you are in the last category, you’ve got a lot to think about. The biggest question is IS IT WORTH IT? The second biggest question is HOW you are going to get there.
Love it or hate it? Really want to hear your thoughts on this one.