t raf f icgenerat ioncaf e.com http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/popular-blogs-from-scratch/make your blog popularHow to REALLY Create a Popular Blog From ScratchNot all blogs are created equal.Some blogs take of f like wild f ire within weeks of their creation, yetsome might take months to even start seeing the light of day.Your blog might be one of the latter ones.You write great content, yet your competitor’s blog with mediocre posts seems to get all the website traf f ic.Not all blogs are created equal.For instance, when Guy Kawasaki created his blog, he had the benef it of already being a f amous persona inbusiness and online. No wonder he had nearly 4,000 daily visitors within weeks.Chances are you are not Guy Kawasaki.But that’s OK. Because neither was I.So you and I can have a real heart to heart on how to REALLY make a popular blog starting with nothing.In the beginning, there was… hard work.No other way around it. No silver bullet. No secrets.Just plain old-f ashioned “let’s drink lots of good coffee and stay up at all hours of the night, work around yourfamily schedule and any other commitments you might have” kind of work.And start f rom the beginning.How to Make Your Blog Popular: Hurdle 1Best Bloggers Are Natural HackersTraf f ic Generation Caf e is certainly not the f irst or the only blog to talk about how to increase website traf f ic.There are plenty others that paved the way.Yet, here I am, alive and kicking and growing.What’s my secret?You know that phrase: “think outside the box“? I hate it.There’s no such thing as the dreaded “box”. YOU are the only box that you need to worry about.You see, all great bloggers are natural hackers. They took a good look around, measured themselves againsttheir competition, and went against the grain.Do you have what it takes?The very f irst question you have to ask yourself is this:
The very f irst question you have to ask yourself is this:“IS MY BLOG WORTH READING?”Is your content AWESOME and unique? Is it infused with personality? Does it help your readers to solveTHEIR problems?What is your unique selling proposition?The opposite of the above would be:your content is generic and can be f ound on every other blog in your niche.you don’t of f er any unique point of view on your blog.you don’t have a “hook” that would keep your readers coming back (usually, the best hook is a mixtureof personality and the unique angle at solving your readers’ problems).you f ocus on the things YOU are interested in and don’t provide any solutions to your visitors.Start there.Examine your blog as impartially as you can.Ask a f riend. Ask someone to take a look at your content and give you an HONEST opinion.Don’t do anything until you get over this hurdle.By the way, if you want to see if you f it into the “hacking” category, check out this series of 4 blog posts, whichI was a part of , titled “Best Bloggers Are Natural Hackers” – incredible idea f rom Kiesha Easley!How to Make Your Blog Popular: Hurdle 2Find Your VoiceThe best voice you can give to your blog is the one you ALREADY have.Don’t create a blogging “persona” that is a f ar cry f rom who you really are.If you do that, there’s only that long that you can carry on with it and this will eventually become the weight todrag you down.Example: I am not a story-teller. I don’t do f ancy. I am generally not good with words. Especially consideringthat English is not my f irst language.What I am good with is giving straight actionable advice. I speak my mind and I do it well.However, I didn’t realize it until my f irst blog became an obvious f lop.I got tired pretty quickly of trying to be the kind of writer I really wasn’t and my readers noticed. Soon enough Iheard crickets and that’s when I knew it was time to reinvent myself … to simply go back to what I knew how todo best.Now let’s get down to business: stop talking about the “Whats” and get to the “Hows” of how to buildyour popular blog from scratch.1. Create Pillar Content Right Off the Bat
Your next step is to write, write, write.Don’t do anything else, but write.Edit yourself without mercy.Come up with brilliant ways to write about the same old stuf f everybody else is writing (if you can’t come up withanything fresh) f rom an entirely dif f erent point of view.Provoke your readers’ minds.My very f irst post on TGC was a humongous list of 202 Bite-Sized Tips To Insanely Increase Your Blog Traf f ic.Why 202? No reason.I just wanted to create the biggest list of its kind and I did.Needless to say, it brought me a lot of traf f ic right of f the bat and the post was mentioned on severalprestigious blogs af ter that.2. Create Social ProofEver came to a blog that was so quiet you weren’t sure it was even alive?No comments, no tweets; just sitting there, lonely and f orgotten…Yes, I know – I am sad f or the blogger as well.Existing engagement encourages more engagement. And that, my f riend, is what social scientists call SocialProof.I do understand your dilemma though.You have a new or f airly new blog that hasn’t quite developed a f ollowing yet.So how are you to prove to your visitors that you are worthy of their attention?How do you get that initial push, that f irst comment, f irst tweet?That’s where I come to the rescue. On the white horse and all.Have enough posts: f orget about bringing traf f ic to a blog with a couple of posts. Completelycounter-productive.Launch without comments: If your blog is not getting much traf f ic or comments, post withoutcomments f irst. As your traf f ic grows, you can always open the posts f or discussion later.Create a commenting tribe: That’s right: take the matter of no comments into your own hands. Createa group of like-minded peer blogs and start commenting on each other’s posts. How to Drive Traf f ic Toa New Blog Through a Commenting TribeCreate more tweets: Here’s an easy way to create Twitter social proof : have more than 1 Twitteraccount! Or more than 2, or even more than 3. When I f irst started, I had 6 Twitter accounts. To learnmore about my Twitter strategy, go here: How to Get More Followers f rom Twitter Fast.Create more Facebook shares: It’s even easier to get more Facebook shares. All you do here is f indsome existing niche tribes on Facebook (just search f or “your keyword” plus the word “tribe” in FB
search), join the tribe pages, and start posting your links. Of course, it’s good etiquette to not just spamthe pages, but check out other posts as well. Also, here’s a great post on how to get more Facebookf ans (so that you can get more Facebook shares).Limit Choice of Social Sharing Buttons: Don’t ever display buttons that your readers aren’t using. Forinstance, I noticed on my blog that I rarely get any Diggs. Since I am not an active Digg member and willnever become anything close to a power player on that site, I simply removed that button f rom my blog.3. Create Profitable AlliancesCall it what you want: alliance, partnership, JV – all roads lead to Rome.This works no matter what stage your blog is in, how much perceived authority you, as a blogger, have, howbig your readership is – the only thing that matters is VALUE.We all have something we do better than the other blogger, know more about something than the next guy –we all have something to of f er that someone else might want or need.So, working together with other bloggers to achieve the greater good…Ways to create alliances:1. Links / MentionsOne of the easiest f orms of collaboration, it happens to be one of the most ef f ective ones as well.I’ve benef ited greatly f rom it through creating more traf f ic f rom the mentioned blogs, as well as morecomments – at the very least f rom the bloggers themselves, f rom being mentioned on their blogs in return,f rom ref erral business even, like consulting clients, blog audits, etc.2. Promoting in a postEvery once in a while, I like to highlight specif ic bloggers and the interesting projects they are currently workingon.For instance, this post was originally written f or Danny Iny‘s incredible “Engagement from Scratch” book, inwhich 30+ co-authors explain how they built an engaged and loyal audience, and how they would do it if theyhad to start all over again.So now that I mentioned Danny’s book, I am hoping to butter him up to keep me in mind and possibly mentionmy blog in one of his f uture tremendous guest posts f or some incredibly popular blog.How did it work, Danny?3. Guest bloggingYes, I can hold this note f or a long time.Imagine you’d like to network with a blogger who seems to be simply unapproachable because of his/her strongreputation in the blogging community. The kind of blogger you really would love to get to know better, in otherwords.You can’t and shouldn’t just send them an email, however nice it might be, introducing yourself and letting themknow you are af ter a piece of their attention.
Of course, not.But submit an awesome blog post, start commenting on their blog, and sooner than later they know who youare and you are on an email basis with them.Sweet spot to be at.That’s how I developed a relationship with Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs-Journey.com, f or instance.I’ve been a regular contributor to E-J f or about 8 months now (take a look at some of the posts I wrote there)and now that Yaro knows who I am, he was very willing to contribute to my post on banner advertising as aviable income stream f rom a blog.4. Introducing each otherIt happens all the time.You know someone I want to know? Requesting an introduction is in order, assuming, of course, that I alreadynetworked with you, linked to you, and am on a f irst name basis with you.Twitter is great f or that, by the way.Just recently Gail Gardner from Growmap.com thought that I should def initely be introduced to DonnaAnderson from WhiteHatWriting.com, and within minutes of that idea the f ollowing tweets were sent out:Now, thanks to Gail, Donna and I have become each other’s f ans – who knows where that relationship will takeus in the f uture!5. Swap adsSimple enough, yet with a twist.Find a blog with an untapped audience!Don’t just go to a blogger you are already sharing the readership with. Find someone whose content doesn’tcompete, but rather compliments yours.Then approach them with the idea to swap ads and “exchange” traf f ic.6. Offer your freebie as a bonusKnow someone with a great product and think your f reebie will make a great bonus to it?
Everyone loves a good bonus and as long as it’s not in competition with the product – naturally, this should bean easy deal to make.7. Co-registrationThis is a great way to build email list.Get some bloggers with great newsletters together and start promoting each other on a thank you page yournew subscribers will see right af ter they sign up to your list.“…I think you’d really love to check out these newsletters I subscribe to and know to provide tremendous value:…”Here are more list building tips.8. Product co-creationYes, everyone wanting to make any serious money online needs their own product at some point.Having hard time with that idea? Have no clue how to even approach it?Partner with someone who is in the same boat – two heads are better than one.Better yet, f ind someone who already has an idea or is in some stages of development of a product, butneeds your expertise to make it complete.You can even start with something as simple as Kindle publishing.9. Special discountsHave a product already?Of f er a special discount to the readers of a particular blog.Exclusivity is still a hot commodity and will guarantee to bring you red-hot traf f ic ready to buy.10. Run a contest.This one is def initely better done with a partner or two – less work, better results.The really hard part is attracting some strong sponsors; connections are the key here.However, if you’ve done the initial steps listed above and already positioned yourself as an authority f igure inyour niche, that shouldn’t be a problem.How to Make Your Blog Popular: Hurdle 3Let your readers know who you areTime and time again, I see this happen: a FACELESS BLOG.No “Here’s what you can learn on this blog…”No “Hi, I am so and so…”No “here what I am all about”.
No “feel free to get in touch with me”.BIG mistake.When I come to your blog, I – your average reader – want to see the man/woman behind the lines.I want to know if you are worth my attention. I want to know that, if I were to ask you a question, I would get ananswer.Your blog audience engagement starts with this:1. Your About Me page.This is a good place to talk about… well, you. Let your readers know who is behind your blog. Why are youblogging? What are you blogging about? Why should I read your blog?Very important: DON’T get carried away.Yes, it is a page about you, but not really. It’s still about your reader. It’s about you showing them that youare worth a look, a read, a comment.It’s still ALLABOUT THEM.Check out my About Me page and pay attention to the f irst f ew paragraphs, where I am really not talking aboutmyself , but rather letting my readers know why I deserve their attention.2. Your Contact Me page.Equally as important.Accessibility counts.Here you add whatever you f eel comf ortable adding. Some ideas:your phone numberSkype, AOL, Yahoo messenger IDsocial networks (Twitter, Facebook, and such)a “Contact Me” f orm (I use plugin called “Contact Form 7″ on my blog; there are plenty of others tochoose f rom).How to Make Your Blog Popular: Marketing TakeawayYou know why all blogs are not created equal?Because some of them are created by doers and others are created by spectators.DOERS are people who read about it and then go do it. They are the go-getters, the bottom-liners, theachievers.SPECTATORS are people who read about it, but don’t implement it. They are the side-liners, the “I could neverdo what she did” crowd, the eternal students.The good news here is that YOU are the one who chooses which camp you are in.
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