Ths Branding Challenge Changes How You Think About things
One of the reasons that I love teaching is the fact that it changes how you think about things. Consequently, this changes how you do things. Talking to people about what we learned yesterday about the people that come to your blog wondering what can benefit them or how made me think am I actually being as wide as I could be in my blog posts.
Maybe I need to be more aware that I’m writing to people who are new to Internet marketing, and they need me to paint a fuller picture that’s something I will bear in mind for the future.
So onto day four of the branding challenge. Yesterday we looked at the problems in the Internet marketing niche today will look at how we can widen that and take it into other niches.
I saw a few of these in the challenge. Let’s think of a few issues your audience might be dealing with and see of we can change how you think about things:
a. Don’t know how to apply make-up correctly
b. Can’t afford good makeup
c. Have bad skin
d. Never feel satisfied because they don’t look like models
What’s something debatable you could do for these topics?
a. Are You Still Stuck in the 80s Wearing Cake-Up Instead of Make-Up?
You could discuss how too many women over apply make-up when they should be striving for a fresh look.
b. Quit Crying About the Cost of Make-Up When You Can Get By With Less!
You could teach them how to have a couple of choice pieces, or which brand they could afford that’s good (and why), etc.
c. The Worst Thing You Can Do for Bad Skin Is Try to Conceal It!
Piling on make-up clogs pores doesn’t help you heal, etc. You could talk about how they’re emotional about their bad skin, be empathetic, but then boost their confidence with some tips.
d. Is Your Self Esteem Faltering Because Vogue Is Putting Pressure on You?
Talk about the airbrushing, giving real life examples of scandals – Julia Roberts is one, for example). Show real and airbrushed versions.
I saw a lot of cooking niches as well – some for passion (French food) and some for dietary reasons. So let’s choose the healthy cooking niche to use as an example.
Problems the reader might have:
a. Healthy food is too expensive
b. Healthy food doesn’t taste good
c. Fat and sugar are bad for you
d. I don’t know how to cook many meals
Now let’s turn those into some debate-style blog posts:
Are You a Hypocrite When It Comes to Spending Money on Food?
I would let them know it’s not going to fly complaining that healthy food is too expensive when they typically spend money on fast food. Healthy food fills you up longer, and you can have it for leftovers. They’re not making any effort to shop around and find specials or freeze or can foods for later use.
Healthy food doesn’t taste good
Only if you keep your meal repertoire to a bare minimum! They should be willing to eat new foods and explore different styles of cooking and seasoning. They may discover that it’s all you need.
Fat and sugar are NOT bad for you
This would be great right now. Denmark just introduced a fat tax – even on avocados – you know, the one with the GOOD fats?
I would also talk about how the news is stirring debate about diet sodas and sweets, which leave the body wanting more calories. While eating and drinking less calories is better for you – healthwise.
I don’t know how to cook many meals
What an excuse! You could talk about fast and easy (yet healthy) ways to prepare meals. Like broiling meat or using a new kitchen appliance and technique that adds flavor but reduces calories.
Custer’s Last Stand
What you want to do is make people want to join in on the discussion – for or against you! And you want to evoke an emotional response from them.
You also want to take a stand one way or the other, so they know your viewpoint. Ever heard that saying, “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything?” I personally like to follow people who have an opinion on something.
You don’t want to be vanilla – you want to be exciting, flavorful – someone who attracts a crowd because they’re INTERESTING!
I’m assuming you know your niche well enough to know what problems they need you to guide them through. If not, you need to go back to square one and learn about your niche!
It’s not as easy as conducting a quick Google search – you need to be in the hearts and minds of your target audience.
Step 2: Explain What the Debate Is and Why It’s Important
Different Learning Styles
Remember those people coming to your blog with different expectations and learning styles. You want to cover all bases, so for those who complain about the length of a blog post, let it go.
Just because YOU like to skim, doesn’t mean others do. And even if they skim, so what? The information is there in case they see text that makes them want to slow down and dig in. Don’t cater to people’s impatience just because you’re worried they’ll click out.
We’re moving into content now. Don’t worry about being a perfectionist. This is “from the heart” information, backed with supporting information.
Real Life Example
I’m going to show you an example here that is NON marketing, and actually write my OWN niche example on my blog so you can see both. Let’s use the example from the health niche – Fat and Sugar Are NOT Bad for You.
If I was in this niche, this is how I would address the second step – what and why:
“For a long time now, we’ve been taught all sorts of wrong information about how to eat healthily – most notably that fat and sugar are bad and should be avoided at all costs when you’re trying to lose weight.
I believe that those who teach this method of dieting are entirely wrong – and once I explain why it might help put your mind at ease and make the implementation of better nutritional choices less of a struggle for you.”
The first paragraph tells the reader what the debate is. The second addresses why they might want to know this information. You’ll add more answers to these questions throughout the blog post.
Step 3: Give Both Sides of the Story
It’s important that you show both sides of a story. That doesn’t mean you support both sides – it means you tell your readers, “Here’s what they’re saying. Here’s what I believe.”
“Some say that fat and sugar are what’s ruining our nation. You have news media coming out to the public every day with new changes in our nutritional advice and suggested restrictions – it’s enough to drive you crazy!
I get it – I understand they’re looking at what ingredients aren’t chock full of vitamins or those which, when eaten in abundance, put your body on overdrive, struggling to burn off calories.
More than one perspective Shouldn’t be confusing
They’re looking at the massive increase in weight-related illnesses, such as diabetes, and looking for someone to point the finger at. It’s putting a strain on our healthcare system, and it could be threatening the longevity of mankind if things continue as they’re going.
What’s the Real Enemy
But my way of thinking is that fat and sugar aren’t our enemies – our mindset is. Those people bashing fat and sugar don’t consider the fact that moderation exists. That it’s perfectly possible for someone to indulge in these ingredients even on a daily basis and continue to be healthy and happy.
Being denied foods only make us want them more. As children, we hear threats about food and eating. If we don’t finish our plates, we don’t get dessert. They’re dangled in front of us like carrots on a stick. We accept that while dieting, fat and sugar are completely forbidden.”
If this were my niche, I might be even more specific, but I’m just showing you an example for now. Now it’s time to pull in the multimedia resources that prove you’re a researcher and a sharer of good, reliable free information, helping people make up their minds!
Step 4: Provide Multiple external References for Both Sides
This is the part you might choose to do as you write your initial blog post. I like to get my thoughts down first, uninterrupted – and then go out and gather specific resources to back up my blog post with – not just MY opinion, but those of the opposing viewpoint, too.
How do you find them? Google!
You’re going to search for things by using the left sidebar in Google that lets you choose from blog sources, news, and maybe even images! I might start with the opposing viewpoint like this:
I find Harvard articles, Men’s Health magazine content, MD Web advice, and forum discussions about it. I ignore Yahoo Answers as an expert source. You might also be in a niche where a magazine at the grocery store acts as a perfect resource. Or maybe you see a news report on TV.
So below, I’m going to paste what I have written for this example so far and put the new additions in bold for you so you can see how I did it.
“For a long time now, we’ve been taught all sorts of wrong information about how to eat healthily – most notably that fat and sugar are bad and should be avoided at all costs when you’re trying to lose weight.
Top highly revered experts are shaming people by telling them if they eat these foods, they’re addicts – and they now have to go into stringent detox situations.
Look at Oprah’s poster boy for good health, Dr. Mehmet Oz on ABC News calling people who like donuts “addicts:”
My Tuppenny Worth
I think that those who teach this method of dieting are entirely wrong – yes, even Dr. Oz, and once I explain why it might help put your mind at ease and make the implementation of better nutritional choices less of a struggle for you.
Some say that fat and sugar are what’s ruining our nation. You have news media coming out to the public every day with new changes in our nutritional advice and suggested restrictions – it’s enough to drive you crazy!
Take coffee for instance. There’s been so much back and forth dialogue about whether coffee is good or bad for you, it’s like watching a tennis tournament!
On Web MD, they have an article about whether coffee is good or bad for you, confusing consumers even more. First, they tell us all of the good things coffee provides for our bodies – and state research that shows the more you drink, the healthier you are when it comes to diabetes risk!
But then…they hit you with this information:
“Regular coffee, of course, also contains caffeine. Caffeine can raise blood pressure, as well as blood levels of the fight-or-flight chemical epinephrine…”
Okay, so which is it – do I drink it or not? Consumers are left worrying regardless of which decision they choose. And what about fat? Some experts completely ignore the fact that there are indeed GOOD fats!
Luckily some research is clear on this, but only consumers lucky enough to stumble on it get the facts. Harvard School of Public Health tries to guide people in their article, “The Bottom Line: Choose Healthy Fats, Limit Saturated Fat, and Avoid Trans Fat.”
They REALLY put a kink in dieters’ nutritional label reading plans when they say this:
“…dietary cholesterol isn’t nearly the villain it’s said to be. Cholesterol in the bloodstream is what’s most important. And the biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats in your diet—not the amount of cholesterol you eat from food.”
And all those victims of high cholesterol who pick up packages and see how much cholesterol is in a product feel defeated at the confusing information – once again.
The Spanner is in the Works
I get it – I understand they’re looking at what ingredients aren’t chock full of vitamins or those which, when eaten in abundance, put your body on overdrive, struggling to burn off calories.
They’re looking at the massive increase in weight-related illnesses, such as diabetes, and looking for someone to point the finger at.
It’s putting a strain on our healthcare system, and it could be threatening the longevity of mankind if things continue as they’re going, as shown in this graphic shared by the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s perfectly possible for someone to learn good habits that enable them to add lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and grains into their diets and still indulge in some foods for the sheer sake of enjoyment, as the LiveStrong.com website assures dieters in this passage:
“The guidelines recommend you increase your intakes of fruits and vegetables and add more whole-grain products. If you increase your fruit and vegetable intake daily, you’re on the road to improving your health and your weight.
Make whole grains, vegetables and fruits the foundation of your diet. Then add the others food groups in smaller portions–proteins, dairy, fats, and sweets. Make moderation a part of your eating–enjoy all foods in moderation.”
See that last part I underlined? It’s important – but dieting fanatics like to either go hardcore and cut out all fats and sugars or not diet at all. And THAT is where failure and obesity are growing at an alarming rate.
Being denied foods only make us want them more. Our parents threatened us, that if we don’t finish our plates, we don’t get dessert. These threats dangle in front of us like carrots on a stick. We read that fat and sugar are completely forbidden when we are on a diet.
Make Your Peace with Food
The Huffington Post had a great article by Marcia Reynolds called “10 Steps Toward Making Peace With Food” that really stressed the problem with guilty eating messages coming from the media.
She says, “the diet food industry perpetuates the “good food-bad food = good girl-bad girl” concept through commercials like the one for Fiber One Brownies where a woman finally gets behind the velvet rope and into the forbidden world of something that now tastes great.
Jumping on the Bandwagon
Men and women alike have hopped onto a harmful artificial sugar bandwagon because of the shame in indulging in REAL sweets from time to time (and even in moderation). And what’s this doing to their bodies? Harming them!
The reason is, artificial sweeteners do NOT turn on a satiety signal in our bodies that make us feel satisfied and “fed” to be blunt! This was reported by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
CBS News reported in a very straight to the point fashion, “Sorry, soda lovers – even diet drinks can make you fat!”
WOW! Here you’ve been tolerating Diet Coke because a real Coke makes you feel guilty, and now you know why the pounds aren’t coming off like you thought they would.
“Artificial sweeteners could have the effect of triggering appetite but unlike regular sugars, they don’t deliver something that will squelch the appetite,” said Sharon Fowler, an obesity researcher at UT Health Science Center at San Diego.”
Step 5: Explain What Happens if the Advice You Offer Is Ignored
The article is taking shape now. The debate topic is clear. You’ve presented the sides and chosen one to support. And you’ve pulled in a variety of multimedia resources with quotes and references to prove the points and images to break up the text.
Add Multi Media
By the way, with the Dr. Oz story, I would probably not only include a link but embed the video on my blog, too.
Now it’s time to add a portion that explains what life will be like if they don’t heed your advice. So I might add the following personalized story and then conclude with the “if” scenario.
“I struggled with diet guilt and shame for years, my weight creeping up on me every year at a rate of 10 pounds per year until I finally put the brakes on it.
I grew up with a diet mentality – even women who were thin were always dieting, so it seemed reasonable to deprive and binge and hide and cry about food.
Once I went to a nutritionist who taught balance and elimination of guilt, I no longer felt the need to stuff myself with sweets (because I knew I’d be “dieting” again shortly).
It’s There If I Want It
I grew a mindset that it’s there if I want it, and when I want it, I’ll have it – and oddly enough, I no longer over-indulge. The panic to eat it is gone. My weight has slowly been coming off, effortlessly.
True, it’s not as fast or as much as it would be with a strict fad diet regimen, but I can honestly say I’m happier and healthier than before when I was thinner and fluctuating with my weight on the diet yo-yo train.
This is the nutritionist I saw – Jennifer Pereira – and what I love is the way she legalized food so that I no longer felt like a criminal when it came to eating.
One funny story that happened when I was seeing her for help is the shame I felt one morning having to tell her I ate a piece of cake for breakfast. She threatened to make me have cake every morning until I no longer felt guilty for eating it. I nervously laughed but eventually, the lessons paid off.
If I had continued with my shame and guilt of eating fats and sugars, I would have continued watching my weight spiral out of control. You might be on the same self-destructive path.
If you give yourself permission, you might see a short-term spike in indulging, but it should level off as you become more comfortable with the idea that there are no bad foods.”
Step 6: Talk About How They Can Make Changes You Suggest
It’s fine to debate a point of view and encourage people to change their way of thinking, but if you don’t give them any insight on exactly how they can do that, they may leave your site confused and let down.
I like to end with some concrete steps they can implement to fix the situation or alter their way of thinking, like this:
“I want you to start practicing moderation and reintroduce the enjoyment of food – not denigrate it and bury yourself in shame about it.
So here are six steps you can take to change your mindset
Over the course of the next few months – it won’t happen in a day or a week. You have to practice it and live it for it to become a part of you:
Stop saying, “No” to foods.
It’s very uncomfortable right at first, but if you wake up and want cake, cut a piece of cake. Initially, you’ll feel guilt, but over time, it will go away.
Eat foods in any order that you want.
Dinner for breakfast, breakfast for dinner – stop putting rules about what foods can be eaten, and when.
Make sure you watch your hunger levels.
Right at first, you may eat faster because you’re indulging in something formerly forbidden. But as that guilt subsides, you can relax and eat a bit slower, savoring each bite. Don’t eat until you’re full – eat until the hunger is just gone. This is also uncomfortable at first, but it goes away over time.
Be okay with throwing away food.
Eventually, you’ll learn to plate smaller portions, knowing it’s perfectly acceptable to go back for seconds. But right now, you’ll plate more because you’re used to eating until full, not until “no longer hungry.”
Instead of focusing on foods to give up, focus on foods to add!
Make this a wonderful time of discovery for yourself. Teach yourself how to cook in new styles, and see if you like exotic fruits and vegetables you can buy at a farmer’s market.
Ignore guilt talk from well-meaning, yet harmful individuals.
Everyone’s dieting – and those who aren’t are “weird.” They’ll try to talk you out of having cheesecake or drinking a full-calorie soda. They’ll think it’s odd when you take 2 bites of the cheesecake, and smile as you put your fork down because you can have another cheesecake tomorrow if you want – there’s no NEED to finish it.”
Being More Relaxed
I know that once you embrace a more relaxed, state of mind about eating, you’ll notice your peace with food results in a healthier and more satisfied you.”
So that’s one example of a “sharing blog post,” where not only do you come across as an expert, with a personal touch, but you’ve also shown yourself to be a researcher, willing to showcase the debate without making your readers go all over the place to find this out on their own.
Over to You
Right now you’re going to create the same kind of post for your blog (or to put on a free blog). Go back to page 3 to see the summary of steps if you need to.
Remember not just hyperlink to resources. Extract quotes from them to share right on your blog. Don’t copy the entire page someone wrote – that’s content theft. But quoting and linking back is a form of sharing information.
Include quotes, summaries, images, videos, or whatever means you can to help support the issue.
This may seem tedious to you the first time you do it. But over time, you’ll begin sharing with this type of system in a way that feels comfortable for you – and your readers will see the value and thank you for your contributions and guidance.
Today you’re going to be continuing with your mantra of being a giver in your niche by doing something for your followers that most marketers won’t do. Share and share alike.
Most marketers share only their opinion, their knowledge, and their website links. They would never dare let their readers know that they actually go out and learn from other experts, much less share that outside expertise with a backlink to someone else’s site.
Many marketers see the journey of becoming a leader in their niche as stepping all over the competition. Just think how many “competition CRUSHER” courses there are and how we’re taught to DOMINATE over everyone else.
Don’t be Secretive
To be a giver and a sharer seems pretty weak in their eyes, much less share and share alike! You’re supposed to MILK your customers, not cater to their needs. You’re only supposed to link out to people you have a JV in place with, not just any expert – especially those who might know more than you do!
Wrong! That’s what I like to call sleaze marketing. It’s selfish. They’re not in it to help their followers – they’re just in it to hog the attention of the target audience and squeeze money from their wallets.
That’s not you! You’re genuinely in this because you want to help people – whether it’s with their diet, their skin problems, their emotional well-being, or their finances.
My Personal “Real Life” Example of a Sharer
If you have been reading my blog for some time you know Sarah Staar is my friend, and I am her sales manager. If you have ever heard Sarah on a webinar then you will have heard my vouice. Because she is dyslexic, she finds it difficult to read I ask her the questions.
Over the years many people have asked why I have to work for someone else.
The answer is, of course, I don’t!
However, she is my friend and mentor. I get access to all the cutting-edge information she gleans from her mastermind group. Because we are both in mastermind groups, and because we want to help people. We share and pool information. Also, we test every squeeze page she releases to within an inch of its life before it’s put out for general release. So that, of course, gives me an edge as an affiliate.
Why do I trust Sarah Staar?
a.) Sarah never loses her quest for learning and she never fails to share that knowledge.
b.) Sarah is never intimated by new or contradictory advice. She is prepared to take on board new ways of thinking. To give you an example of this, last week one of the girls in the helpdesk was telling her that she used Vista print to print her business cards. Sarah had never heard of Vista print and investigated it and ordered new cards. It transpired that she was still having her business cards printed the old-fashioned way. Instead of hiding this she laughed gleefully and blogged about it. She blogged on two counts the first that she had found a new way of doing things and how much better it was and secondly how she had to fail to begin to learn.
c.) Sarah is never frightened to say she doesn’t know. The important thing is if she doesn’t she know someone that does.She will Google it for you to get the information you need.
WOW! In other words, she isn’t arrogant she is human.
I appreciated that! And I love it when I go online searching for information, too.
Other Reasons Why This Method of Sharing Is Popular
By popular, I don’t mean popular with marketers – I mean popular with your audience.
They love it because, in addition to those three reasons I mentioned before, it:
Makes your blog a one-stop shop.
If they KNOW that you took the time to scour the ‘net and do the research for them, they will be SO grateful. I know this for a fact because I see complaints by newcomers to marketing who get overwhelmed when people tell them to go “Google” a topic to understand it.
Help people who can’t search for themselves
Many people have no idea how to search for real information. Your readers might Google a word and get frustrated when they find thin affiliate sites or ad sites or eBook sites. They want someone to guide them, to help them navigate through the thousands or millions of search results Google provides – not hard sell them or corner them into only knowing one viewpoint.
They trust you, To Be Honest
Your readers trust you to get the best information out there and to be fair in your delivery.
Having a slant or opinion doesn’t mean you have to slam the door on opposing opinions.
When your readers truly trust you, they know you’ll give a fair and balanced viewpoint of the topic at hand. You can say one side is wrong over another, but they’ll trust you to back it up with reasons why.
Sharing Information on Both Sides of the Coin
This is the task I want you to do for your readers today. You’re going to do the following (don’t do it yet!):
1. Come up with a statement or question for your niche where you debate it on a single blog post. Pick a side and back up your reasons for doing so.
2. Explain what the debate is and why it’s important.
3. Give both sides of the argument.
4. Provide multiple OUTSIDE references to both sides in a variety of media formats.
5. Explain what happens if the advice you offer is ignored.
6. Talk about how they can make the changes you suggest.
Now before you go doing this on your own, read on – I have some helpful information that can make sharing a positive experience for both you AND your audience!
The Different Learning Styles of Your Readers
The first thing you need to know is that not everyone absorbs information the same way. And I’m not just talking about the fact that some people prefer video to text or vice versa.
What I’m talking about is the way your audience comes to your virtual classroom ready to learn – what questions they need to be addressed right off the bat, or what expectations they want you to meet for complete satisfaction.
Some people come to you wondering why.
There will be those who land on your blog who want to know why this information is important. Why is it relevant to their lives? Why is it valuable to know?
So it’s not enough to just give a statement and tell your opinion. You have to explain why it is they need to know this – don’t expect them to “get it” because there will be some who won’t see its relevance.
You’re not only going to explain why it’s important based on your opinion but why it’s vital for them to know based on other people’s insights.
Some people come to you wondering what.
What is this blog post teaching them? Have you data is there to back up your statement – facts, please!? What do other people (experts) think about this?
Some people come to you wondering how.
How will this specifically better their lives? When can they implement your advice into their day? Will they be able to overcome any obstacles they run into?
Some people come to you wondering if.
Oh boy, this is me. I’m a big “if” person. Primarily, it stems from laziness. When someone’s teaching me something new, I always want to know IF I’ll really be missing out if I ignore the advice.
I also want to know what could happen IF I mess up the advice, or IF I do implement it IF it will improve my life.
The if I likes to get evidence of IF this information is true or false. Or I like to know what will happen IF I alter it to fit me. Also, I like to know IF there’s more information out there for me to form my opinion on.
All of these are obstacles that consumers bring to the table to force you to overcome in an effort to reach them on an emotional and logical level. If and when you provide information in all of these styles, you reach a wider target audience.
Setting the Scene
I’m going to show you how to create the perfect debate blog post where you teach in a variety of methods and media to strengthen your message and position you as the highest source of information in your niche.
Now I’m about to show you how to let this type of creation unfold. But I’m going to show you my preferred method of doing it – creating the content and then adding to it when you think you are finished.
I do mine kind of like a painting. I create the main framework of the piece, then add details. You can choose to do it differently, detailing as you go if you want to. Everyone’s unique in his or her preferences.
Step 1: Pick Your Debate Topic
I know some of you get nervous when considering a discussion where people might disagree with you. But that’s what gets discussions going, it’s what helps showcase your expertise, and it helps you squash any false information out there!
Almost every niche has a problem. What’s your niche’s problem? I’m going to show a few examples so you can get an idea of how to develop your topic. And I want you to choose a question or statement to title your blog post with that you will prove or disprove!
1. Internet Marketing
This is my niche, so let’s start there and we’ll move on to non-marketing niches in a moment. Brainstorm a list of issues people face in your niche. For me, it might look like this:
a. Lack of money
b. Lack of time
c. Don’t know who to trust
d. Don’t understand something
So I will go through and think of a debatable concept for each of these issues. It might look something like this (and these correspond with the above list topics):
Newbies Getting Poor Advice on Use of Free Platforms
I see this happening all the time – someone will ask if it’s okay to start off on blogger, for example – and some forum participant will warn them away from it, telling them if they don’t have a domain and hosting, don’t even try. When I know they’re wrong, I could challenge it.
Are You Letting Lack of Time Be Your Excuse for Failure?
This is another thing I see quite often. People complaining they don’t have time to work on their business. I think they’re full of S H ONE t! It’s a combination of fear, procrastination, and perfectionism. I know this because I see many who hold full-time jobs, care for multiple ill people, have zero time for themselves, but STILL manage to spend a few minutes hardcore working on their business.
Are You Being Naïve Because You’re Desperate to Make Money?
I already talked about this with my mailing list, but there are so many people who continue making poor buying decisions and taking zero responsibility for their actions, blaming scummy product owners, when I’m ready to tell them it’s partly their fault too! This is bound to cause a stir, but I can back up my opinions. Tell people not to buy products they can’t use.
You’re Using Confusion as Your Crutch But I Won’t Allow That Anymore!
This suits my tone for my blog – blunt – yours may need to be gentler. I see this quite a bit – something that bugs me. So I’m going to deliver a kick in the rear. In fact, I’ll post it on my blog later.
Tomorrow I will give some examples in other niches, not all of you are in the Internet marketing niche. Share and share alike works in the cookery niche as well. We will talk about other examples and problems in different niches.
I am old enough to remember going to school and reading only the three “R’s,” which were reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. At Junior school, we did nothing else but study those three basics. A consistent grounding in those three basics allowed me to pass my entrance exam for Oxford University many years later.To get more traffic by repurposing existing content makes sense, don’t let your hard work go to waste.
Today those three “R’s,” are just as important, but they are a different three. In the blogging world in the make money online niche the three hours I used today are: –
It’s hard to create content
Make sure that your content is evergreen content. Evergreen content is solutions to problems that are never going to change. Sometimes what appears to be evergreen content isn’t.
For instance how to start a WordPress blog, appears to be an evergreen problem. It is an evergreen problem, in fact, newbies will always have that problem. Unfortunately, the solution is not evergreen.
Every time that WordPress updates something changes. That means that any training that you will do in WordPress will become obsolete within weeks.
1. Quote, Yourself.
“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great!
Catherine Ford 2009.
I have made a little graphic of a little saying I made up years ago to put on my Skype profile. When this blog post is live, I will then make that the featured image and post it on Pinterest. As you can see, it has my Internet marketing review URL embedded in it.
2. Be A Hollywood Super Star
Write a prequel, or a sequel to your posts. This drives traffic because you link to it from your original post, and anyone interested will go and look for the original post.
Another way you can make this more relevant as you may have noticed in certain blogs at the bottom of the post they have little thumbnails which you can click through to go to adverts. These are posts where they make money. You can use the same principle and put thumbnails linking to the post in the series at the bottom of the post.If you are not sure what I mean by this, you can see an example by clicking on the link.
3. Repost Old Guest Posts.
When I do a guest post, I keep a note of it on a spreadsheet. When that post is a year old, I then update it because a lot of things will have changed. I update it then I modify the title and then post it on my blogs.No one no one ever makes a guest post without giving it they’re all! It’s a real shame to waste this content, but don’t do it too soon. If you do it immediately, it diminishes your original post.
4. Update Your Old Content
The web changes on a minute by minute basis. Content you wrote six months ago will be outdated. It may have a broken link, or software has been updated. Freshen up your content and make it contemporary and then post to social media. I learned this trick with Kindle books. Every year I relaunch the books and put on the front, second or third edition or whatever. It boosts sales because people think it’s new content, and the same happens with your blogs.
5. Do a Compendium Roundup of Old content
Do a roundup Robin regarding your old posts. If you have written say ten posts about SEO, then write them all up on one page. Write a synopsis of the paragraph about each one and link to them. It gives your blog depth and also gives newcomers the opportunity to go back over old posts.
6. Promote Evergreen Content on Social Media
Because Google owns Google+, it’s a great place to get your content ranked. You can promote your evergreen content onto Google+. Another way you can use social media to the best effect is if you have written 15 posts on writing web content all 15 posts about better content writing then starter page on Pinterest. Post all the images up to that page. This works even better if you choose to use infographics. An infographic is an image with a limited amount of text and is a very informative way for people to learn.
7. Create Infographics or a Powerpoint presentation for Your Old Content.
Infographics are a very useful way to repurposed your own content as our PowerPoint presentations. Piktochart and Canva are both free tools to make these powerpoints and presentations. You should be able to quadruple your traffic with this technique because not many people are using it.
8. Update and Re-Post Your Content on Forums
I use paid traffic a lot, especially YouTube and Facebook ads. My favorite form of traffic is always forums. People say it’s free traffic but in my experience, there is no such thing as free traffic you pay with time or you pay with money. Nonetheless, I have always found that Forum traffic is really targeted. I have made tens of thousands in affiliate commissions by using Forum traffic.
9. Compile Your Best Evergreen Content on a Featured Page
Again this is a roundup sort of thing. I arrange my featured pages and categories and use an image usually thumbnail to drive traffic back to the original post. It has the added advantage of making your navigation simpler.
10. Promote Your Old Content in a Newsletter.
If you send out a newsletter, use it as a chance to promote popular content. Your newsletter audience is likely different from your Facebook audience, so use it to reach new people and get the word out about your content. A strategy I am going to use in the future is to publish all of my newsletters on one site. I have purchased catherinefordnewsletters.com and before the end of the year, I will put all of my newsletters on this site.
You don’t have to use all of these tactics. Adapt them to your needs. For instance, I don’t use Twitter or Instagram. If you do then use these tactics and those social media platforms. On the other hand, the more tactics you use the more traffic you will drive to your site. To get more traffic By repurposing existing content you need to find a way which works with your own marketing plans, the ideas sletched here are guidelines not written in stone.
Day two the about me page is the start of where you present yourself personally as you. It is your personal footprint.So far so good – your mind is simmering about how you want others to see you online. You may even see places you need to cut or expand in your business.
Later we’ll be going into ways you can SHOW and prove your message, rather than by just stating it, but for now, we have to have it in writing.
Why Is an About Page an Important Part of Branding?
Recently, several people emailed me mentioning how they went to someone’s site I had recommended, but there was no information about who they were, so they either didn’t buy at all or didn’t sign up on their list.
I never knew OTHER people looked for that information. I thought “About” pages were not real. I know personally I DO look at these pages before I do anything else on a person’s website. Just thought I was the odd one. That’s because most of the about me pages are written as if the person they are describing is not real.
An About page is the one page when someone lands on your site where they expect to see what YOU are all about (or your company’s mission). They know it’s not a sales spot – they want realism. They don’t want to see a cold dry impersonal page written in the third person.
You need to own your about page.
So today, you’re going to take your promise and your words that best reflect you, and you’re going to create an About page for yourself. It can be on your domain or a free blog platform but get one out there.
My First Attempt at an About Page
If About pages are so important to me as someone considering listening to others, then why does mine look like this:
Catherine Ford lived in Andalucia, on the South coast of Spain with her husband and dogs. She began writing when her parents had dementia.
I know WHY I did it that way – I was embarrassed and didn’t know what to write. i didn’t think that page mattered. And why am I writing in 3rd person?
Now I see this as creepy.
So I’m about to redo my About page. So are you. The reason we’re doing this is because it’s one of the most building blocks of a blog – one we think people ignore, but they really don’t.
An Example of a Good About Page Story
It’s a great about me page because it evokes an emotion in diabetics. I was trying to build trust:
1. By using a picture. not just any picture, but the picture of a couple.
2. I am telling a very personal story.
3. I am trying to empathize with the feelings her audience have as a diabetic.
5. I invite others to join me in the journey.
I am speaking from the heart – as you will be doing, too. I am not selling to anyone. I wasn’t making things seem too good to be true.
Elements of Your New About Page
I want this to be your style – not mine. But there are some guidelines I can give you on what I think would make a good About page if I was visiting one and looking for information about whether or not I liked first impressions of this person and felt like investigating them further.
Your promise statement should be somewhere prominent on this page. It’s not “all about them” as some people say – and it’s really not “all about you,” either.
If you think about it, what they want to know is: will you be good for them?
Will you be fair, honest, and worth their time?
Leave out the Selling
The LAST thing I want you to do with this branding is to write some sterile Unique Selling Proposition. Or follow this shallow advice I saw online – look what their advice on an About page is:
· your experience
· links to your other websites or blogs
· your contact information
All impersonal and not what your visitor is after. There are contact form plugins for contact information. There are sidebars and other places to include links. The only thing worthy of that list is your experience – but not in a cold way.
Weave a Story
People related to stories. So tell yours on this About page.
Start with a picture. Yep – time to get out the old JPG!
Breathe…you can do it!
It can be a thumbnail. It can be anything, but it needs to be you.
I put my real picture on there. It’s different from the one I used to use. The one now on my About page is me on any given day – hair straight no make up.
After the picture, give a quick snapshot of who you are. For me, I tell my age (it matters in some niches and with my niche, people always tend to tell me their age). I also explain I’m married.
Where Did You Come From
Give your backstory then – what led you to be where you are now?
Give information about how your path has altered over time. leo started on four metformin, the highest available dose. Explain the transition – he controlled his diet. Talk about what you did and didn’t like. I discuss how being fit became important to Leo.
Talk about what you think makes you different than your competitors. What will they gain from you that they can’t have with anyone else? (Or at least not many others).In that case, I mention he is one of the twenty-eight people who had cured their diabetes at the time.
Work your promise statement in there and expand on it.
Ditch Those Who Aren’t Interested
Weed out your NON audience. I talk about being blunt. So I hope those who need coddling won’t follow me.if they need help to
Invite people to connect to you. And by that, I don’t mean saying, “Please feel free to contact me.” Be a little more personable. Set their mind at ease about reaching out to you – so many people feel like it’s an inconvenience.
And I didn’t go through a list of accomplishments. I feel that’s more resume-ish than connecting with someone. I wouldn’t meet someone in a dinner party and start saying, “I’m the proud author of a diabetic ebook and have had X number of sales.”
Keep it Real
No – I’d say, “I started researching about how to reverse diabetes when my husband was about to have to take insulin injections” and take it from there. Be PERSONABLE. This is not a job interview.
When you’re finished with YOUR About page, how about you share it with me? Or on me blog in the comments section so others can support you with feedback?
What Not to Include on Your About Page
Don’t sell on your About page.
Don’t stick a bunch of hyperlinks to all your sites there. (Or to others).
Don’t ask people to opt in – unless it’s at the BOTTOM of your About page – they’re just now showing an interest in getting to know you, so tell your story first and then later invite them.
Don’t be nervous, either. Your About page is fully editable at any time. The key now is to attract people to your intentions and your abilities. You have that in you – just tap into it!
Blogging is a method of earning money which is very successful. Unfortunately very few people learn how to stand out from the crowd to have a million-dollar blog.You can blog to the bank, but not straight off the bat.
The history of blogging is littered with names of people who have sold their blogs for over a million. Many cookery bloggers have been able to sell cookery books on the back of their blogs.
Zoella is a renowned beauty vblogger, and she reputedly earns $50,000 a month, and her blogging has led to the launch of a lifestyle range.
Blog to the Bank Does Not happen Overnight
Unfortunately for every mega success story, there are thousands of blogs that never even get seen by anyone. Kat Williams who founded rock ‘n’ roll bride.com has a six-figure income. This is because she has found a way to stand out from the crowd. She has a print magazine and makes money from speaking and merchandise as well. Her blocks make a profit from sponsored posts. A sponsored post is where people pay to put their advertisements in front of millions of eyeballs.
Sometimes great fortunes are made from nothing. Peter Cashmore founded Mashable, the social media News blog. He has a brand tracks 20 million unique visitors a month. The value of the blog is around the 200 million mark.
Like Facebook Peter Cashmore simply took off. Sometimes blogs take off for no apparent reason. Andy Weir was a former computer programmer who blogged about space and science. Theoretically, anyone can blog and be successful at it. Realistically you have to write for six months with no one reading it. To get through this barrier, you have to have a unique vision and something different to say. Andy began writing about a manned mission to Mars. Slowly this gained thousands of fans. He turned the blog into an e-book. The e-book was picked up by a publisher and Andy was reputedly paid a six-figure sum for the film rights. The film starred Matt Damon and was called Spaceman.
The process of blogging is very easy. Most days I write my blog post by dictating it into Dragon 15 and then transcribing it. That means it happens on the go. I don’t have to be sitting anywhere near my computer! So while it’s relatively straightforward process to write, turning a blog into cash is not always that simple.
Becoming An Authority Figure
Cash is not always the objective. Seth Godin has a blog with completely free content. Seth was the founder and inspiration behind Squidoo he is also the bestselling author of the Purple Cow and also Tribes. He has used his blog to reinforce the perception that he is an authority figure.
It’s not always necessary to create a brand-based empire. Madeleine Shaw created Wellness, a classic example of making your passion pay.Madeleine had an interest in Wellness and created a blog which takes that passion to new heights.
Her personality and passion have created a personal brand business. This is the basis of niche specific deals. In just three years she has built up a loyal following of over 30,000 monthly unique visitors. She has over 1/4 of a million followers on Instagram and now has two bestselling books and a food range in Harrods.
Zoe Margolis A.K.A Abby Lee became well known several years ago for her sex blog. Eventually, the observer ranked it as one of the top 50 most powerful blogs in the world, and her anonymity was busted. She did stop blogging for a while but presumably the lure of writing about sex or the money enticed her back. Hundred thousand unique visitors every month. However, this gritty truthfulness about the sex life would not be for all readers or all writers.
Be Heard Across All platforms
Don’t neglect a social media presence when you begin writing your blog. Every day you should post to LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter. This can be hard to do when you haven’t got any readers. But as the owner of back to the movies or bttm.co.uk Shaun Evans said you just have to keep going. People think my blog took off straight away but my traffic was terrible.
Think of social media is an exceptionally crowded Asian market. Imagine the huge market in Istanbul. When you go the first time it’s overwhelming.
Very crowded very noisy multiple people are shouting and competing to get the message about their products across. There are people jostling to get bargains you are being pushed out of the way. And you are only a bystander.
You’re looking for something you are definitely there to buy but you don’t know where to look. Maybe you don’t even know what you’re looking for.
Eventually, your eyes adjust and sort out the confusion. Your ears become more attuned to single voices so that you can hear one shopkeeper or stallholder that you are looking for.
Once you found that one person you can stop and relax. Chances are you will be offered a cup of tea; you can ask questions. You can ask about the provenance of the goods you are buying. If this spices, you can feel it and smell it. If it material you can feel it soaking us through your fingers.
Making Sense of It all
You have a tangible product, and you can check whether the trader is offering you a good deal. Chances are his rivals will be right next door so they will be offering the same goods but not necessarily the same prices.
Social media is like the Istanbul market; the shop is your blog. You have to get your customers to the party before they can see you. Some social media platforms will work better for you than others.
I for instance post to Twitter every day, God only knows why I’ve never seen any results! On the other hand, LinkedIn and Facebook send me a reasonable amount of traffic. If I had a blog with visuals and photographs then, of course, Pinterest or Instagram would work better.
As a blogger, you have to dip your toe in the water and see what works for you.The first signs of success would be you will receive comments. This is one way of knowing the sort of engagement you are having with your reader.