8 Things I Would Do Differently As a Blogger
Knowing what I know now, I would do things a little differently.
I started my first ugly blog in 2008. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or why I was doing it. But, at least, it acted as a platform to help me convert more leads into sales. So for me, it was simply a conversion tool.
I would send people to my blog to improve my posture with them. More posture, means more respect. It was something I instinctively knew was a smart thing to do.
I knew nothing about SEO, backlinks, and keywords (search engine stuff).
That said, my first blog made me money, no doubt about it.
Yet millions of bloggers the world over fail to make any money from their blog. In fact, I wrote about this topic recently in a post called The Shocking Truth About Most Bloggers.
Anyway despite my lack of early knowledge and professionalism, I made sales and money from my various blogs over the years. Please note that I didn’t make ANY money directly from my first blog. Nor did my blog generate any traffic. I made money because my blog boosted my credibility, no other reason. That said, if I had my time over again I would do things a little differently.
Read on and take note of my mistakes and vow to learn from them.
1. It’s Not About SEO
When I started my second blog something had changed. I had read a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and decided to put all my efforts into using it to get traffic flowing. I had bought some courses on the topic and became convinced this was the way to go. Here was the drill:
- Keyword Research
- Create content around the keywords
- Optimise each blog post for the search engines
- Pay someone to do some backlinking
Did it work? To a degree, yes. I did get some of my content ranked on the search engines. But then a few years later Google started imposing penalties on people who were gaming the system which meant their rankings dropped. I was one of them.
Here’s another thing – being overly focused on keywords can easily cramp your creativity. Despite what some people say, it does constrict writers from giving full vent to their ideas. At least, that was my experience.
Does that mean I don’t do SEO anymore? No. Some articles I write have the search engines in mind, whilst other don’t. Frankly, it’s more important to cater to the needs and interests of your audience than use every trick in the SEO book to get your content ranked on the search engines.
So if I had my time over again with that second blog I would be more focused on my audience and create content that hits the spot for them every time. If that happened to coincide with a benefit from an SEO point of view, all to the good.
2. Audience Clarity
What is the profile of your ideal customer? Are you crystal clear on it? When I first got started, I was targeting business opportunity seekers. I was quite clear about the needs and wants of my audience.
But as I dove into new markets (e.g., marketing courses etc to affiliate marketers) it became less apparent. I think this lack of clarity slowed my progress and wasted resources on campaigns that didn’t exactly hit the spot with the people I was targeting.
So the takeout for you is to be crystal clear about the needs, pain points, and aspirations of your target market.
3. Improved Messaging
Last year I made a concerted effort to improve my messaging. Previously I had been a bit shoddy, a bit slapdash. Sure I had fans who liked my content, but I wanted to cast the net wider so figured one way to do that was to improve the quality of my writing and my video content.
Not only that. I also became more focused on the needs, wants and concerns of the various audiences I now target. Your aim should be to score a bullseye every time you create some content. Am I at that place yet? No. But when I look at the content I created five years ago and compare it to now, there is a marked difference. So, follow my lead!
4. Immediate Networking
Looking back, I see a big weakness. I wasn’t engaging people online in any way. Shame on me.
Online networking is similar to offline – we must reach out to people who are at our level and above, and then cultivate them.
The idea is to make friends with other marketers in your niche and perhaps even some complementary niches.
Why is networking so important? Four reasons:
- Antidote to Loneliness. Let’s face it, working from home can be a lonely, soul destroying experience. People are social creatures and need to interact with others to maintain motivation and mental stability.
- An Aid to Engagement. If you check some of the posts on this new blog you will see some good engagement happening. The key point is that most of the comments made have come from other bloggers, that I previously reached out to. Bare in mind that this blog is only a few months old – proof positive that networking works!
- Can Open Doors For You. As you build relationships with others some opportunities will present themselves. For instance, you could score some guest posts on other people’s blogs. What a great way to gain access to their audience – for free.
- Affiliate Partner Opportunities. If you develop your own product you’ll want to get the sales flowing quickly. Rather than waste money on ads why not tap into their network? Other bloggers may well be delighted to promote it to their audience.
5. Better At List Building
I should have been more focused on list building right from the get go. No doubt about it. But not only that I should have learnt more about opt-in bribes and squeeze pages, to encourage more people to opt into my list.
Further, I should have been better at cultivating people once they joined my fledgling list.
6. Get My Head Right
A saying I sometimes make is this: ‘we are facing an eternal battle between the forces of good and evil in our minds’. And it’s true. Even though I made money quickly I could have done so much better if I had maintained a relentlessly positive demeanor, particularly after I experienced setbacks.
If you take anything from this post, please make sure it is this point. It’s critical that you get your thinking right from day 1
7. Focus Like A Laser Beam
Although I don’t get easily swayed by the entreaties of the latest get rich quick sales pitch, I admit a few of them have seduced me over the years. If I were more focused, I would have had more success, faster.
This is where goals and purpose become so important. The stronger they are the less likely it will be that you get blown off course by distractions and the froth and bubble of the get rich quick instant gratification brigade.
8. Be More Persistent
If I had another chance at this game, I would want to have more sticktoitiveness. This may come as a surprise to those who know me. They see me as being a persistent son of a gun. In fact, when I first started out in the sales game (working for a life insurance company) I was given the moniker, Mr Persistent, by my manager.
Although I am naturally persistent, I am not always consistent. Or to put it another way – after setbacks I would tend to go into my shell for a week or two thereby losing precious time and momentum, only to have to crank things up again from a low level.
So yes I am extremely persistent but along the way, there were too many ups and downs for my liking. I suggest you keep an eye on your emotions in the early stages. Fear and lack of belief can cause you to experience wild emotional swings which of course is not conducive to doing business.
Stay the course!
Your Turn – Time to Comment!
What was your biggest takeout from this post?
If you had your time over again, what would you do differently?
Make a comment below!
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