Hey everyone, thank you for joining me for my second post in the series “Why Bloggers Fail”. Just in case you didn’t catch the first post, every other Friday, I’ll be publishing tips to help new bloggers succeed. In this series, we’ll talk about why bloggers fail, why bloggers succeed, and what you can do to be on the winning team. In the last article in the series, we discussed how comments can make a huge difference in the success of your blog. If you missed it, check it out here! So, let’s jump into the lesson for this week.
Selfishly Being Selfless
Why Most Bloggers Fail
One of the biggest reasons for bloggers failing is that they simply don’t know how to market their blog. Unfortunately, we are well past the “If you build it, they will come…” days of the internet. These days, if you build it, write great content, have an idea of how to get that content in front of people, know how to make search engines trust that content, and get a bit lucky, they will come. So, there have been a few steps added into the system.
The biggest problem is that most bloggers blog. If you’re a successful blogger now, you know just as well as I did, it took tons of time and effort. You beat your head against the wall trying to bring traffic in. Then, for most of you, you had that aha moment. You know, that moment when you realized that you’re going to have to earn links to be looked at as a trustworthy resource.
This is where most bloggers come to the fork in the road. We all realize that this blogging thing is going to take much more time than we had originally thought. Next, we give ourselves the choice…
- Keep blogging, put the effort in, and hope and pray it works! Or
- Cut my losses and quit blogging.
But, what if I told you that getting quality links didn’t have to be a hard, time consuming task. What if I told you that you could earn quality links every week for free, doing little more than what you’re doing right now. Well, you probably would think I’m selling you something, but the reality is that I’m not! Here’s the tip I wish I would have learned years ago. The tip that took me more than 4 years of blogging to figure out. The tip that has pushed CNA Finance to all new heights. Are you ready? Well hold on, I think this is a great place for a heading!
Why You Won’t Fail!
OK, I guess I’ve kept you waiting long enough. Here’s the tip…to be successful you need to be selfish and selfless at the same time. I know, this sounds incredibly strange, but here’s how I see it…
- Reciprocation – As I moved further along with the marketing for this blog, I quickly found out that the more I commented, the more people would come to my blog and comment. The more I shared things in social, the more people would share my posts. The more I did great things for other bloggers, the more great things started to happen for me…seemingly out of no where.
- Community Building – Tons of people have a pretty bad idea of what community building online really means. Community building doesn’t just mean that you’ve got 20 people who religiously read your blog. No, it means building a community that will interact with your website, and most importantly, being there for your community when they need help.
Both of the bullet points above are incredibly important to any blog. However, to achieve reciprocation, you’re going to need to make the first move. To build a community, you’re going to have to selflessly help others. But are you really going to do these things selflessly? Isn’t there selfish reasons for you building a community or commenting on a blog? Of course there are, if there wasn’t, you wouldn’t be doing it!
So, the key to this post is to get you to think outside of the box; to think of ways to be selfish, but mask your selfishness as selflessness. To get your brainstorming started, here are a few things that I do on a regular basis that I would consider selfish acts of selflessness…
- Comments – In the last “Why Most Bloggers Fail” post, we talked quite a bit about comments. Well, I don’t just talk about it, I actually practice what I preach. I spend an hour every day leaving comments on other blogs that I enjoy.
- Links – This one doesn’t take much work, but provides one heck of a return. Bloggers love to get links to their work. Let’s face it, we write these posts hoping that people will be able to find them, links help that process along. So, in hopes that it will lead to other bloggers linking to me, I make sure to link to other bloggers. Some bloggers do this by way of a Friday post roundup, but personally, I like to link to great reads at the end of each of my posts. This way, I’m not limited to earning links one day a week! This really doesn’t take a lot of time either. I just take note of my 2 favorite posts for the day during my morning reading. When I write the upcoming post, I’m sure to include those links. In return, most of the bloggers I link to, eventually return the favor!
- Give Away Free Advertising – When it comes right down to it, we all want to make a little money from our blog. Once you’ve been doing it for a while, you’re going to see a dollar sign on each post. You know that people will pay you to post on your blog, and it helps your blog survive. However, have you ever thought of selflessly giving away free advertising for selfish reasons? For instance, I pick a few bloggers a week to contact and ask if they’d be interested in writing a guest post. If they are, I get a day off of writing, and they get a quality link to their blog. As a result of the arrangement, new connections are made, and I’ve got friends to lean on in the future. Sure, I could have charged someone to post in that slot, but the relationship is worth far more than the post price tag in the long run!
As you get further and further into your blogging career, you’ll notice that you’ll start doing more things in the selfishly being selfless category. The bottom line is that you have to be selfless enough to be willing to help your community, to be willing to give away free advertising, to be willing to spend your time helping a new comer pick a theme. However, you have to be selfish enough to know that the time you spend being selfless is valuable and find ways to make the selfless time pay off in selfish ways. I hope the 3 examples above give you a kick start to the concept, and would love to hear your thoughts of the idea in the comments below.
What are some ways that you’re selflessly selfish with regard to your blog?
Great Reads Around The Blogosphere
Here’s to practicing what you preach…
20 Random Things About Me – Laurie is an awesome blogger, and I really enjoyed this post. It’s filled with high speed chase action and all! Being honest…it was really nice getting to know Laurie a bit more!
What Are You Investing In? – Andrew at Living Reach Cheaply is great at what he does. In this post, he poses an incredibly valid question!