The journey towards a successful blog is full of twists and turns. With so many ways to approach your growth strategy, blogging can feel like a blessing or a curse. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of what’s most important. The purpose of this blog post is to help you prioritize.
To ensure the growth and success of your blog, focus on the following five strategies:
#1: Growing Your Email List
Your email list is your most valuable asset. Gaining more subscribers to your blog or newsletter should guide nearly all of your business initiatives. Everything I do for my business has a focus on growing my email list.
For example, each visitor to my blog is greeted by a welcome mat offering a free ebook: 27 Ways to Get More Retweets on Twitter. Similarly, if a visitor clicks on the ebook image via the sidebar, he or she is sent directly to a landing page.
When I share content on social media, I try to include a post promoting my landing page (but remember to keep self-promotional posts to no more than 10% of your overall content). On YouTube, I include a CTA and link to my landing page in the video’s description.
If you don’t have an email management system and are worried about the costs, MailChimp offers a free option for up to 2,000 subscribers.
#2: Outsource Most Of Your Tasks
If I attempted to do everything for my business myself, my work-life balance would suffer. While I do a lot of work for my business, the work of my freelancers combined surpasses my own efforts. Freelancers schedule my social media posts, create images, edit my content, and much more.
If I had to take on all of these responsibilities, I couldn’t spend as much time writing and promoting great content.
Pareto’s Principle states that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts. Outsourcing the other 80 percent of your efforts makes it easier for you to maximize the results you get from the most important 20 percent and focus on what’s important.
#3: Consistently Write Valuable Content
Never underestimate your audience. They have access to millions of blogs with fresh, consistent and valuable content. Their expectations are high. Your blog needs to stand out among the competition.
Consistently writing valuable content is not optional. You won’t survive, let alone thrive, online unless you consistently provide your audience with something of real value.
Set a publishing schedule that you can stick with. As your blog gains credibility, you’ll attract guest contributors who can help you keep your content fresh and interesting. Blogs that are updated several times daily enjoy a dedicated staff of writers and regular guest contributors.
Consistently writing valuable content will result in returning visitors and the type of Google love that will put you at the top.
#4: Build Relationships
If you’re the only person leveling up your blog, it will only spread so far. While it’s possible to build an audience and increase traffic on your own, it’s much easier when you’ve built the right relationships.
Begin to build relationships with bloggers in your niche if you aren’t doing so already. Some relationships will grow so strong that these influential bloggers will start promoting your content to their own audiences, and your traffic will multiply.
There are plenty of ways to build relationships, but nearly all successful relationships with influencers begin with you doing something to get noticed. Sharing an influencer’s content, commenting on their blog posts, or asking them questions are just a few ways to get their attention.
Lately I’ve been building relationships by inviting people to be guests on my podcast. Getting influencers to participate in your podcast is perhaps the best way to get a free consultation session while tapping into a wider audience (guests often share the episode with their own fans and followers).
Remember that satisfying relationships benefit both parties. Influencers can see right through selfish intentions. Build relationships based on genuine interest and think about how you can give back.
#5: Sell A Product
Imagine that you’ve taken the time to grow your blog and email list, but don’t have a method of accumulating revenue. A blog with millions of visitors per month that never generates revenue isn’t as good as a blog with 10,000 monthly visitors that accumulates revenue.
If you don’t have your own product, start with affiliate links (but don’t rely on affiliate marketing exclusively for long-term profits).
Eventually you should be publishing your own ebooks, offering training courses or creating your own products and services. You will always have more control over a product that you create compared to an affiliate’s product.
While service-based offerings can be profitable, products likes training courses and books literally enable you to make money while you sleep.
Blogging is a complex venture with many avenues for growth. If you find one profitable path, and stick to it, you’ll achieve success faster than bloggers who change direction again and again.
But regardless of which path you chose, these five essentials will make or break your blog. I learned about these five essentials the hard way. Before I optimized my blog for email subscribers, I only gained 300 new names from my first 150,000 visitors. If I had focused on my email list from the start, that number would have been closer to 10,000 subscribers.
If you haven’t yet implemented one or more of these five strategies, now’s the time to get started. No regrets! Rather than focus on could-haves and would-haves, concentrate on the opportunities ahead — the sky’s the limit.
What are your thoughts on these five blogging essentials? Have any others to share? Sound off in the comments section below.