How to Build a Successful Blog Business - Lists and Popular Content
how to builda Successfulblogbusiness list & Popular Content 2/3
Blogs need traﬃc to survive. If nobody’s coming to your website,you’re not making any money!
Blogs need traﬃc to survive. If nobody’s coming to your website, you’re not making any money! There are a few types of content that are known for their ability to get a serious number of people to your site in a short period of time. The content isn’t the only factor: how well they are promoted using social media is a big one, and as with all things, some luck is required.You could have a great piece written for the purpose of traﬃcgeneration (often referred to as “linkbait”) and execute themarketing properly and still fail. Don’t let that get you down;it will happen and the only thing you can do is move on and try again.
The list article is pretty much the exemplar oflinkbait in the blogging industry. When peoplethink of linkbait, they think of the list article,and it’s one of the most commonly publishedtypes of content.This is partly because it’s incredibly eﬀectivewhen done properly. The truth is that many listarticles on the Internet don’t succeed very well.That’s not because the list post isn’t eﬀective –it truly is – but because it’s approached as the“easy way” to get traﬃc and executed withoutmuch eﬀort or consideration.
First you need a topic that’s going to work wellwith the format. The list is often used as aformat for humor content to great eﬀect, but itreally shines with practical information, such as“50 Ways to...” pieces. Second, every point onthe list needs to be there for a reason. Becausethe longer lists often attract more traﬃc thanthe short ones, people end up including ﬁllerpoints to beef up the count. Don’t do it! You’rebetter oﬀ writing a short list with great pointsthan a really long list with a bunch of ﬁller.
Tutorials and how-to articles are always verypopular. Web surfers love to ﬁnd out how to donew things, even if they never end up doingthem!Some tutorials work better than others.
If nobody wants to know how to do something,nobody will want to read about how it’s done!That said, sometimes the most popular piecesteach obscure (but awesome) techniques thatnobody reads about simply because nobodyknows they existed in the ﬁrst place. Don’t beafraid to publish things nobody else ispublishing. Unique content is the best contentyou can ever publish.
Interviews can do really well, but they’re moreof a challenge to get right than the list ortutorial.People love celebrities (even if theperson is only a celebrity to the niche of peoplereading your site) and those doing exceptionaland unusual things. However, if you interviewrun-of-the-mill professionals, the reaction isgenerally pretty dull. It might sound a littleelitist, but people generally don’t care to readabout someone else unless there’s somethingthat signiﬁcantly separates them from theaverage individual.
Journalists are trained to interview subjects in away that produces good stories, not transcribedconversations. They have an advantage in thatthey’re trained to bypass their fear of beingrude to or provoking the subject, and are willingto ask the tough questions that createentertaining pieces. If you’re going to useinterviews on your blog, read a few books oninterview technique and practice regularly.Interviews can be really dull if done badly, andentertaining if they’re done with the rightsubject and the right interview techniques. Takethe time to get it right.
News is not an easy niche to get into becausecompetition can be ﬁerce. However, if you’vegot some breaking news in your niche and canget it published before anyone else, you’ve gota great opportunity to generate traﬃc and buildyour credibility. All you need to do then is drumup some interest on a variety of social mediasites and hope that nobody with biggermarketing muscle steals your thunder!
Controversy works because it gets peoplecoming to your site to defend their position ona topic. For the blog owner, it can be a ﬁne lineto walk: on one hand, it could bring a wholebunch of new readers to your site, but if you gotoo far, it could alienate even more readers thanyou end up gaining.
Controversial posts take many forms: opinionpieces, exposés, and humor, are just three ofthe most common controversy starters.Thestrength of controversial posts is that theygenerate comments and links. You want yourreaders to defend their point of view or expandon your argument. Other post types may bringin heavy traﬃc without adding to your commentcount or inbound links at all.
Polls are not something I’d classify as linkbait inthemselves, but they do generate a lot moreactivity than I would have thought before Istarted publishing them. Readers love to beincluded and give their two cents, especially ifthey can do so without taking the time to thinkup their own answer.
Polls tell the reader that you assign importanceto their opinions and the interaction solidiﬁestheir relationship with your brand. While theydon’t generate much more traﬃc from outsidethe site, they’re still a type of popular contentthat makes your existing readers happy.
Inside the book:Blogging as a Business Staﬀ Generating Traﬃc Long Term StrategiesOpportunities in Blogging Freelance and Salaried Staﬀ Google Analytics Building a Long Term BusinessRisk and Reward Freelancer Basics Basic Techniques for From One Blog to ManyA Sketch of a Blog Business Employee Basics Generating Traﬃc Using a Blog to Build OtherYour Role and Blogging Finding and Identifying Good Social Media Basics BusinessesExperience People Guest Posts Valuing and Selling a BlogSetting Up as a Business What to Pay Content AggregatorsCapital and Investment Working with Remote Staﬀ Buying Traﬃc Case Study 1:Co-founders Setting Parameters and Keyword Research FreelanceSwitchYour Mission and Vision Focusing on Results Giving Away Free Stuﬀ Hitting On a TopicBusiness Planning Other Staﬀ Issues Leveraging Your Existing Capitalizing on a Good Idea Roles Network and Assets The Road to Proﬁtability Role: Site Editor/Manager Consistency and Momentum TraﬃcPlanning and Researching Role: Writer Linking Out to Generate and Lessons LearnedNiches Role: Web Designer Keep TraﬃcResearching a Niche Role: Web Developer Search Traﬃc Case Study 2:Competitive Analysis Other Roles A Basic Guide to SEO Psdtuts+Understanding the NichePlanning Your Content Planning Content Monetization Tips Case Study 3:Your Overall Strategy Writing for the Web General Tips on Monetization AppStorm Making Content Valuable AdvertisingCreating a Brand Editing Aﬃliate Sales Appendix:What is a Brand? The Editing Process Premium Content A Blog Basics CrashNaming Considerations Quick Editing Tips Support CourseDomain Names Know What You’re Talking Selling ProductsVisual Branding About Ad ServicesWeb Design Lists and Popular Content Selling Your ExpertiseOther Elements of Branding Frequency Creating and Selling Web Apps Quality Evergreen Content Other Strategies News Content Blending, Iterating and Filler Posts Experimenting Images and Diagrams Headlines Headlines Galore! Style and Tone
Thanks!about the author:Collis has authored three books, written dozensof the most popular tutorials on the web and isan accomplished entrepreneur, designer andblogger. He is the creator and cofounderofEnvato and Tuts+, producing blogs and sitesthat serve over ﬁfty million pageviews a month.
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