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Many tech and finance experts are talking about ChatGPT and how it is revolutionizing content creation. But can you actually use ChatGPT, or another AI tool, to make money on social media? You can, in fact, and here’s what you need to know about using ChatGPT to make money on Twitter (now X).

Sponsored Tweets

If you have a large enough following, companies will pay you to tweet about their products. To make money in this way, it’s helpful to have not only a large following, but one that is specific to a type of product. For example, if you tweet about parenting young children, you may be able to post sponsored tweets about baby products or toys.

Most companies use an agency to find influencers to post sponsored tweets about their products. The agency gets a cut of the money, but it’s a lot more efficient than trying to find companies on your own. Try SponsoredTweets.com or Collective Voice, or just Google “social media influencer agency.” You can sign up with more than one agency, which will increase your chances of getting selected by a brand to post sponsored tweets.

To use ChatGPT to create your sponsored tweets, the first thing you need to do is to verify that you can do this. There should be a stipulation in the influencer contract that indicates whether the company allows AI-generated content. If it’s not mentioned in the contract, ask. It’s not worth saving a few minutes of time by having AI generate your content if it means you get fired from a lucrative contract.

Once you’ve determined that the brand will accept AI-generated content, all you need to do is write a prompt asking for copy that talks about the product in your voice. You can include word or character counts if that’s a requirement for the sponsored tweet. Check the tweet to make sure that it’s accurate and you like it, and you’re good to go.

Affiliate Marketing

Companies use affiliate marketing to broaden their reach so they can get their message out to more consumers. If you have a lot of followers on Twitter (now X) you can sell other company’s products by promoting them on your feed. For every order the company gets through your tweets, they’ll pay you.

This arrangement requires that you choose a product or products to sell on Twitter, and every time a sale is made through one of your posts, you get a commission. To find products to sell, sign up for an affiliate marketplace like JVZoo or ClickBank. Then you can browse the available products and choose which one(s) you want to promote.

You can then use ChatGPT or another AI tool to create your posts. As with anything that you’re doing with AI, the key is to compose the prompt correctly. You want to be sure that your post sounds natural — like it’s actually coming from you — and that it represents the product accurately. You may have to try a few times to get it right.

Blogging

Successful bloggers know that it’s all about the volume of content — the more you can post, the more money you can earn. But writing all those posts yourself takes time. You can use ChatGPT to create blog posts much more quickly than you could write them yourself. You can ask ChatGPT to create a blog post and you can even ask for the post to be in your style or voice.

As a hypothetical example: If Chris Smith has a blog called “Cooking with Chris,” Smith could prompt ChatGPT to “write a blog post with instructions on how to bake sugar cookies from scratch in the style of Chris Smith of Cooking with Chris.” Plugins such as VoxScript allow ChatGPT to browse the internet to familiarize the model with Chris’ previous work, or several blogs can be fed to the AI manually to form a basis. Then, all Chris needs to do is verify that the recipe is accurate (trying it would be a good idea) and then post it.

E-Books

ChatGPT can help with writing e-books as well. When using AI to generate an e-book, it’s best to start with an outline. Determine the number of chapters or sections you want your e-book to have, and what each chapter or section should cover. You can write a detailed prompt for the entire e-book at once or break it up and do one section or chapter at a time. It is likely, due to current constraints, that several pieces will have be done separately and then assembled later down the line.

Be sure to review the copy carefully to make sure it flows properly and isn’t redundant, particularly if you’re using different prompts for each section. Once the copy is generated, you can write another prompt for an introduction and conclusion.

Promoting your e-book on Twitter requires that you have a following, of course, and that you are recognized as an authority in the subject you’re writing about. If that’s the case, you can use ChatGPT to write a post advertising your e-book and start selling!

All of these ways to make money on Twitter with ChatGPT come with the same caveat: any artificial intelligence tool is a data gathering tool. It’s up to you, as the owner of the Twitter account, to ensure that the content you are posting is accurate and doesn’t violate any of Twitter’s rules. Most importantly, it has to be content that you stand behind. Checking the sources is imperative, because you can lose your hard-earned credibility quickly by posting something without verifying the validity of information

feature image credit: Vertigo3d / Getty Images

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Sourced from GOBankingRates

Growing an audience on a social media platform is essential for bloggers. So should you get started on Instagram? Or is Pinterest the better option?

When you begin blogging, you’ll likely need to wait months or years before search engines begin to rank your website properly. However, you don’t need to sit around twiddling your thumbs until that happens. Social media allows anyone with engaging content to expand their audience.
Instagram and Pinterest are two platforms that many beginner bloggers turn to when trying to grow their online presence. Both have benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the right one will allow you to dedicate more energy to attracting website traffic. So let’s compare them.

Monthly Active Users

Person liking a photo on Instagram

 

When looking at monthly active users, Instagram is much bigger than Pinterest. According to Statista, Instagram has around 1.35 billion people using the platform each month. And by 2025, that figure is expected to reach 1.44 billion.

Meanwhile, Pinterest had—according to Statista—463 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2023. This is down from its peak in Q1 2021 when the platform had 478 million. However, it’s still not a bad audience base, and you could argue that finding your target audience will be less competitive.

Learning Curve

photo of pinterest page on a laptop

When choosing a social media network as a blogger, you need to think about whether you can continue using it as your audience grows, or if it’ll reach a peak saturation point. You must also consider what the learning curve is like.

The benefit of a bigger learning curve is that you’ll grow more over the long run. But on the flip side, you might become discouraged if it’s too steep in the beginning. In terms of app usability, Instagram is arguably easier to understand than Pinterest.

Instagram is quite an intuitive app. With Pinterest, you’ll need to learn a few extra things—such as how to design engaging pins and create boards. If you’ve decided that you want to use Pinterest, consider learning how to design a Pinterest Pin in Canva.

Growing Your Account

Man holding phone with Instagram on it

Social media can benefit businesses in many ways, and if you’re planning to monetize your blog later down the line, using social media is worthwhile. It’s hard to grow on most platforms, but some are easier than others. So how do Instagram and Pinterest compare in this respect?

Pinterest

Pinterest operates more like a search engine. Users look for topics that interest them, and they can do so using the search bar or checking their home feeds. If you publish consistently on the app, you can increase your monthly viewership—which may lead to more outbound clicks.

Gaining followers on Pinterest is sometimes challenging, but your follower count doesn’t really matter. Statistics such as saved pins and outbound clicks are more important for bloggers.

Instagram

Getting noticed on Instagram is quite challenging, especially as a beginner. Although you’ll see a lot of advice about how often you should post and the types of content you should publish, you’re better off being authentic and posting when you need to. In that respect, you might want to build your blog audience first and let them naturally find your Instagram page later.

Content Diversification Options

Before picking your preferred social media platform as a blogger, understanding what types of content you can share is a good idea. Not only will you be able to determine what you should prepare in advance, but you can also pick a platform with a form of media that you like.

Instagram

 

Instagram has evolved from being a simple photo-sharing app. Of course, you can share still images—and you have the choice to include up to 10 in a carousel post. However, since the introduction of Reels in 2020, video content has become more popular. If you want to stand out on Instagram, consider trying a selection of Reels ideas.

On Instagram, you can also share Stories in the form of both photos and videos. You can add stickers, along with encouraging your audience to ask questions and much more.

Pinterest

A Person's Pinterest Page With Photos

 

Pinterest also allows you to share videos with your audience, but these aren’t as much of a core experience as they’ve become on Instagram. You can also share carousel-style posts, but you’re limited to a maximum of five images.

If you like still images more than video content, you might want to think about using Pinterest over Instagram. At a later point, you can expand onto Instagram if you feel like you want to explore video content more.

Character Limits

Instagram post on iPhone

 

Even if you don’t start a blog on Instagram, knowing how to write engaging content both there and on Pinterest can help you build the audience you’re looking for. But prior to doing this, you should understand what the character limits are on each network.

When sharing a Pinterest board, you can only write a maximum of 500 characters. With that in mind, your descriptions should be brief and give users an idea of what to expect when they click on your link.

Instagram, on the other hand, lets you type up to 2,200 characters. But while you have more room to share your captions, you should still try to keep your writing as succinct as possible.

Image of a Pinterest Post With Link

The main goal of using social media as a blogger is to drive traffic to your website, and ideally, to also increase your newsletter sign-ups. Removing as much friction as possible can help in that respect.

Instagram lets you add links to specific posts, but you can’t use hyperlinks. As such, someone would have to copy and paste the link into their web browser. However, you can add links to your Stories and bio.

On Pinterest, you can add outbound links in each pin. Moreover, you have the option to include a link in your bio and claim your website.

Will You Choose Instagram or Pinterest?

Both Instagram and Pinterest offer several benefits to beginner bloggers, and you can scale with both of them as more people discover your work. Pinterest is an excellent tool for helping others find your content, especially if your site still doesn’t rank highly in search engines.

Instagram is arguably a better choice for more established bloggers, and it’s worth letting your audience find your account from your site—rather than the other way around. But you can build a close connection with your audience on Instagram, and you may find that it’s an ideal option for encouraging newsletter sign-ups.

By Danny Maiorca

Danny enjoys exploring different creative disciplines, especially photography. He has a degree in Sports Journalism and has been writing professionally since 2016.

Sourced from MUO

By Dinistan Ajay

Do you want to make money blogging? Let’s get into it.

Here are the seven best ways.

So, the first idea is to

Put ads on your blog.

If you’re getting a lot of traffic to your site, there are pages that could earn a significant income from strategically placing ads on them. You could use a service like Ezoic, Mediavine, or Google AdSense.

This is the most passive way to earn income from your blog. If you build up traffic and keep it steady, you can earn thousands of dollars every month from ads alone.

The second idea is to

Sell a service.

First, you want to define your offer — what it is you can help people with and what people are willing to pay for. Then, spend some time creating content around your expertise. For example, if you’re a highly skilled divorce attorney with thousands of hours of experience, you can write about your personal experiences working with clients and how you’ve helped them.

By doing keyword research and writing about topics people are searching for, you’ll start to build an audience and become an authority on the topic. From there, you can offer your services and build up a client base purely from blog traffic. This can work in just about any field you have experience with.

The third idea, in my opinion, is the best way to monetize your blog

Affiliate marketing.

When done right, your income grows the more time you put in. Affiliate marketing is all around you, but you might not be aware of it. Let’s take TVs as an example. People often look up TV reviews and comparisons before making a purchase.

Review sites like ratings.com, TechRadar, and Tom’s Guide include links to each TV, and every link makes money whenever someone clicks through and makes a purchase.

Affiliate marketing has tremendous earning potential. Just look at NerdWallet, for example. Their main revenue source is affiliate marketing, and they made $379 million last year.

It’s the best way to build passive income in 2023.

The fourth way to make money blogging is by

Doing sponsored product reviews.

When you build up a sizable audience and get a decent amount of traffic, you become attractive to potential sponsors. Reach out to companies whose products align with your blog’s niche and share your traffic stats with them. Offer them the opportunity to be featured prominently in your content for a set monthly fee. Most companies will want that top spot because it generates the most visibility and influences purchase decisions.

Here is to go where the money is.

People often think of blogs as hobbies or online journals, but those people aren’t really making any money. If you want to turn your blog into a real source of income, think in terms of niches that make the most money. Avoid oversaturated niches or subjects that are not easy to monetize.

The most popular topics that make money include health, wealth, personal development, and dating. Create content around those topics and monetize them through services, digital products, physical products, and affiliate marketing.

Build an email list

Marketers often say that money is on the list, referring to an email list. To make money from blogging, you need to build a relationship with your readers.

Encourage visitors to sign up for your email list by providing multiple calls to action on your website. Building an email list ensures you always have a direct connection to your audience, allowing you to market to them whenever you have promotions or want to share new content.

Another way to monetize your blog is by

writing on Medium and earning money.

Medium is a popular online platform where you can publish your articles and reach a wide audience. It offers a Partner Program that allows writers to earn money based on the engagement their articles receive. When you join the program, your articles can be eligible for earnings based on member reading time and engagement, which includes claps and responses.

Writing on Medium provides an opportunity to showcase your expertise, connect with a community of readers, and earn income through your published content. Consider exploring Medium as a platform to expand your blogging endeavours and generate additional revenue.

By combining these strategies or selecting the ones that align best with your blog’s niche and target audience, you can create a diversified income stream and maximize your earning potential.

Remember, success in monetizing your blog requires dedication, consistency, and a commitment to providing valuable content that resonates with your readers. With determination and the implementation of these methods, you can transform your blog into a profitable venture and achieve financial success in the world of blogging.

Feature Image Credit: Photo by Rahabi Khan on Unsplash

By Dinistan Ajay

Sourced from Medium

If you’ve ever tried to build an audience, you might have experienced the painful scenario of posting a piece of content you’re particularly proud of and… crickets.

As the supply of content increases, accelerated by the introduction of AI content tools, it’s harder than ever to earn attention.

However, this also means that the value of attention is increasing, and those who succeed have more leverage than ever before. Famed investor Andrew Wilkinson sums this up well in the following tweet:

Andrew Wilkinson Tweet

The good news is that building a new audience isn’t impossible.

It just requires a different strategy than before. So in this post, we’ll discuss a step-by-step strategy you can use to build an audience from scratch in 2023.

Step 1: Select a Topic, Medium, and Angle

If someone consumes a piece of content you created and then follows you, it’s probably because they liked it and want to see more similar content. So if you change the topic and style of your content, you might lose those subscribers because they might not like the new topic or style of content.

As a result, you’ll find that your subscribers frequently churn, and you’ll struggle to build a loyal following.

This was a key mistake Eric Siu mentioned he made when building his YouTube channel. He discussed marketing in some of his YouTube videos, while in others, he discussed NFTs and cryptocurrency. His audience began unsubscribing as the audience interested in marketing didn’t care about his NFT videos, and the NFT audience didn’t care about his marketing videos.

So the key to building a sticky, loyal audience is selecting a topic, angle, and medium. Here’s how I define each of these:

  • Topic: This is what you’ll talk about. Examples of topics include marketing, finance, food, travel, etc. Choose a topic you have unique knowledge about and are genuinely interested in. Content is a long game, and you’re much more likely to be successful if you have a genuine interest in the topic, as there will be a period of time when you won’t receive any reward for your efforts.
  • Medium: This is how you communicate your content. Examples of mediums include video, text, or audio content. The key to choosing the best medium is to select one you enjoy and can produce consistently. Publishing consistency is key to long-term growth, so if you don’t think you can produce that medium of content weekly, choose a different medium. For example, if you don’t think you can produce video content each week, you might want to choose text-based content.
  • Angle: This is how your content will provide a different perspective from other existing content. Similar to product-market fit, your angle is the differentiator that helps you achieve “content-market” fit. For example, if you’re starting a Japan travel vlog, how will it differ from existing Japan travel vlogs? Maybe you’ll interview local Japanese chefs and film them making a meal. The key to selecting a successful angle is to make it both unique and repeatable. For example, interviewing Japanese chefs and filming them making a meal is a repeatable format.
Select the topic, medium, and angle of your content

To help you choose your topic, medium, and angle, here are a few examples for inspiration.

Example #1: Justin Rowe

  • Topic: LinkedIn Advertising
  • Medium: Text (LinkedIn)
  • Angle: He shares tactical breakdowns and case studies of of how to improve your LinkedIn ad performance.

Example #2: Sam Parr and Shaan Puri

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Medium: Podcast
  • Angle: Casual business conversation between two seven/eight entrepreneurial friends.

Example #3: Caleb Simpson

  • Topic: Rent
  • Medium: TikTok
  • Angle: Asks people on the street how much they pay for rent and then tours their apartments.

If you look through each of these individuals’ content, they cover roughly the same topic in a repeatable format.

Note: You’ll notice that they all have audiences across multiple different platforms (Twitter, YouTube, etc.). Below, we’ll discuss how you can take an omnichannel approach, but when you’re first starting out, it’s best to focus on just one medium on one platform. 

Step 2: Create Content and Publish Regularly

The main cause of content failure is the creator quitting too soon.

Your first pieces of content probably won’t hit, and that’s okay. In the early days, the most important thing to do is to get the reps in and hone your abilities as a content creator.

So select a specific content topic, medium, and angle and commit to publishing consistently for the next three months.

Here are a few tips to help you publish consistently:

  1. Set a reasonable content publishing frequency. If you plan to publish every day, you’ll probably burn out quickly and give up. As consistency and a long-term vision are essential for content success, create just one piece of content, see how long it took you to produce, and then select a realistic publishing schedule you can realistically commit to for at least six months.
  1. Batch your content in advance. Many creators find it easier to produce several pieces of content in one sitting once they’re in the flow state rather than setting aside several content creation sessions throughout the week/month. Batching content also ensures you publish on time.
  1. Outsource and automate non-creative work. Plenty of minor tasks are involved with content creation, from editing videos to scheduling social media posts, but these small tasks can quickly add up to hours each week. So use software tools to automate tasks or hire a virtual assistant on a platform like Upwork to help you. By offloading low-value tasks, you’ll have more time to dedicate to content creation, decreasing your chances of burnout.

Once you publish some content, you can ask for feedback from mentors and peer groups.

For example, platforms like Intro.co and Clarity.fm allow you to schedule mentorship calls with world-class experts.

Alternatively, you can join a community like the Copyblogger Academy, where you can ask me (Tim) questions and receive feedback from other peers. We also do Q&A sessions with top content creators.

Feedback from Copyblogger Academy

If you want to learn more about how to level up your content creation skills, here are a few additional resources you can check out:

Another excellent method to improve your content is to study your competitors’ content and determine which content receives the most engagement or positive comments.

For example, if you produce video content on YouTube, you can filter by the most popular videos and then look for patterns and popular influencers to incorporate into your content:

Analysis of competitor content

Step 3: Partner with Existing Creators

There’s a misconception that as long as your content is high quality, it will naturally earn engagement.

Unfortunately, most algorithms (social media, search engines, etc.) give more visibility to content that earns a lot of traction and engagement within the first few hours.

When you’re starting, you probably only have a handful of followers, so your content won’t receive much engagement within the first few hours of publishing. Unfortunately, this means your content probably won’t receive much organic reach from the algorithms – even if the content quality is next-level.

This creates a vicious cycle that makes it hard to earn a following and receive more engagement.

The vicious cycle of algorithms

To break out of this cycle and help your content receive more organic reach, consider collaborating with an influencer that already has the attention of your target audience.

When they promote your brand to their audience, your content will naturally receive more impressions, which will help it receive more engagement and ultimately help you earn more followers.

The tricky part is getting an influencer with a larger audience to agree to do a content collaboration with a smaller brand with a small audience.

As a rule of thumb, partnerships are most successful when incentives are aligned.

So before you ask an influencer to collaborate with you, ask yourself how this partnership will benefit them.

Some influencers agree to interview smaller brands if they can repurpose the content on their own social media accounts. As most influencers are already setting aside time to create their own content, many will agree to an interview with a smaller brand if they can use that content for their personal brand.

Alex Hormozi is a great example of this in action. He often repurposes all of the interviews he does as social media content, like this clip that he swiped from an interview he did on Impact Theory:

Alex Hormozi on the Impact Theory

Many influencers also share the content when it goes live and give your brand a shout-out. Here’s a great example:

Brett Adcock promoting a podcast episode on Twitter

Not all influencers will agree to an interview, especially if you have a smaller audience. To increase your chances of receiving a “yes,” look for influencers that have recently done interviews with competitors that have a similar audience size.

You can also look for influencers launching a book, as they tend to be more open to interviews.

Note: Even if you’re just writing text-based content (like Twitter or LinkedIn threads), you can still interview someone and then write out the key points from the conversation and post that on your social media channels.

If you’re struggling to get an influencer to collaborate with you, consider paying for an interview. For example, you can use a platform like Intro.co or Clarity.fm to pay for calls with world-class experts.

Intro.co homepage

You can also pay an influencer directly to promote your content. However, collaborations tend to be more effective as influencers are often more vested in the partnership when their own thought leadership is involved.

If you’re producing audio or video content, you can also offer written guest posts to blogs with similar audiences and simply ask that they insert the video or podcast link somewhere inside the guest post. For example, popular car YouTuber Doug DeMuro got his first several thousand YouTube subscribers by writing for the car blog, Jalopnik, and then inserted his videos into the written content.

​​Finally, you can also pay to promote your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Step 4: Adopt an Omni Channel Approach

Once you’ve established a solid publishing schedule for your main channel, the best method to increase your output and reach with minimal additional effort is to adopt an omnichannel approach.

For example, if you’re already creating video or podcast content, you can chop that video up into multiple shorter clips and post it across social media platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram.

This allows you to scale reach and engagement exponentially, as your single long-form video is now ten or twenty pieces of content.

Eric Siu and Neil Patel do a great job of repurposing the content for Marketing School. You can see an example here:

The omnichannel strategy

To help you automate this process, you can use a tool like Repurpose.io. Or, if you’d prefer to outsource the entire process, you can hire an agency like Shortzy to do it for you.

For example, you can also put the video script into an AI content writer tool and ask it to write a blog post or social media content based on the script.

The key to succeeding with an omnichannel approach is optimizing each piece of content for the platform on which you intend to publish it. For example, if you’re repurposing a piece of content on TikTok, optimize it with subtitles and edit it in the fast-paced style of content that TikTok users like to consume.

If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of repurposing your content across multiple additional platforms at once, choose just one additional platform and then add more as you become comfortable repurposing.

Step 5: Double Down On What’s Working

The content marketing landscape is always changing, and the marketing campaigns that work today might not work as well a year from now. So as you grow your audience, consistently collect audience feedback to learn what content resonates best and then produce more of that content.

The same methodology applies to your general audience growth strategy.

Look at your growth metrics and double down on the partnerships and marketing strategies that drive the most audience growth.

Many entrepreneurs become distracted by new trendy marketing tactics, but the key to long-term success is focusing on what works and doubling down on those marketing strategies.

While experimentation is a great way to discover more effective strategies, limit new marketing campaigns to just one or two per month. Other than that, focus all your efforts on the top two or three marketing campaigns currently driving the most growth.

For example, if email marketing promotions currently drive 50% of your growth, double down on doing more email campaigns.

Bonus: Consider Different Monetization Strategies

The purpose of building a following is to eventually convert them into paying customers, but when and how you monetize will significantly impact the long-term revenue you receive.

First, monetizing too early can cause your audience to lose trust in your brand, and many will either unfollow you or ignore your offer.

You can think of the trust you build like a bank account – the more value you provide and the longer you wait to withdraw, the more you can ask for when you pitch an offer.

So how do you know when you’ve built enough trust that you can make an ask?

There isn’t a hard and fast subscriber count or engagement rate, but a great test is to make a small non-monetary ask and see how many people respond. For example, you can ask your audience to respond to a specific question in the comments or on social media.

You can also use a sentiment analysis tool like Awario or Brandwatch to gauge your audience’s general sentiment and identify specific audience complaints.

Brand sentiment analysis chart

Responding and engaging with your audience is also a general audience-building best practice, so you’ll probably be able to estimate your audience’s loyalty based on the comments you read daily.

Once you feel that you’ve built a loyal following and have reached a stage in the business where it makes sense to monetize it, there are several different monetization strategies. Here are a few you might consider:

  • Start a business: This strategy is probably the most work, but it’s also the most profitable long-term monetization method. Ryan Reynolds’ business, Mint Mobile, is an excellent example of a billion-dollar business created mainly on the back of a single influencer’s audience.
  • Offer a course: This is one of the most popular audience monetization methods, and Ramit Sethi and Pay Flynn are excellent examples of content creators that have built multi-million dollar course businesses off of their audience.
  • Affiliate sales: There are always plenty of product businesses that need promotion, so you can partner with other brands and offer their products and services to your audience. When your audience purchases those products, you receive a commission. This is a great way to quickly generate revenue, but it isn’t as profitable or long-term focused as the previous two options. The Influencer Marketing Hub is an excellent example of a website that built its audience through SEO and monetizes primarily through affiliate sales.
  • Sponsored posts: This option is similar to affiliate sales, as you’ll be promoting other products or services to your audience, but instead of receiving a commission based on sales you generate, you’ll be paid a flat fee.

There isn’t a single best monetization strategy for everyone, and you can run multiple monetization strategies simultaneously.

The key to successfully monetizing your audience is taking a long-term approach and balancing the ratio of value to asks. You’ll lose credibility if you’re constantly promoting products and services, and your audience will eventually stop following you.

Start Building Your Personal Brand Today

As attention becomes more difficult to capture due to the increasing volume of content online, the value of attention will also continue to increase.

The good news is that as the volume of content increases (aided largely by the introduction of AI tools), the percentage of authentic content continues to decrease, so you can still stand out if you have a genuine, authentic message to share.

Your first few pieces of content probably won’t hit, but if you seek feedback, consistently hone your skills as a content creator and deliver an authentic message, you’ll eventually build a loyal following.
If you want to accelerate your skills as a content creator, consider joining a peer/mentorship group like the Copyblogger Academy. You can ask me (Tim) questions directly, and we also do regular collaborations with other top content creators like Amanda Natividad, Brian Clark, and Steph Smith. You’ll also have access to a group of supportive peers that you can lean on for advice, feedback, and inspiration.

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By Tim Stoddart

Tim Stoddart is CEO of Copyblogger. In 2011, Tim founded Stodzy Internet Marketing. He currently lives in Nashville with his wife, his son, and their pitbull named Alice. Follow Tim on Twitter.

Sourced from copyblogger

By Steve Allen

A quick Google search reveals hundreds of blogging tips.

But which ones are most important?

And which ones should you follow, regardless of all the AI hype?

Well, in this post, we’re covering 21 tried and true blogging tips that just work.

They will help you:

  • Get more traffic
  • Build a loyal audience and community
  • Know what to write about
  • And earn more income.

Let’s dive in.

1. Start an Email List Early

Start an email list

Spencer Haws, the founder of Niche Pursuits, stated something surprising on a recent podcast episode.

Even though he grew the traffic to Niche Pursuits by 585% in 2022, he said he would still choose his email list over the blog if he had to choose one of them.

That’s a bold statement, but the truth is this: email converts!

This study shows the average ROI is $40 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

That’s why this first blogging tip is to start an email list early.

The question is:

How do you grow an email list in the early days?

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Create a lead magnet your readers can’t resist
  2. Add an exit-intent popup to capture leads
  3. Create a landing page and run $5 ads daily
  4. Read our post on how to build an email list without a website

To get started with automating your email marketing efforts, check out AWeber.

2. Build a Community

build a community

Sure, it’s important to increase blog traffic, but building a community around your blog has additional benefits.

Similar to an email list, it provides a direct way for you to communicate with your readers.

And other like-minded individuals can get in on the conversation.

Additionally, it’ll help you build your email list faster and form a stronger connection with your audience.

To start your community, try some of these:

  1. Get active on forums in your niche
  2. Answer questions on Quora
  3. Share your posts on social media sites
  4. Start a Facebook group

When you provide a lot of value on these platforms and become their go-to source of information, you’ll grow your community independently from your blog.

3. Choose the Right Niche

When you first start your blog, it’s important to find your niche or you’ll get lost in a crowded space.

Some other benefits when choosing a niche include:

1. You’ll establish topical relevance faster
2. You’re seen more as an expert when your blog helps solve a specific problem
3. It helps you connect with your readers’ because they feel like you understand them

Here’s the deal:

Big sites that cover a wide variety of topics can afford to do so because they have huge marketing budgets.

Choosing a smaller niche will help you grow your blog a lot quicker.

Why?

Because you can cover everything in a shorter amount of time, helping you gain some traction.

If you need help with this, read our post find your blog niche, or follow these quick guidelines:

  • Choose a topic you’re interested in or it’ll be harder to stay motivated
  • Competition is a good sign there’s money in the niche
  • Niche down in the beginning, then cover broader topics later
  • Find a niche with products you can review or content with commercial search intent

4. Get to Know Your Audience

Know your audience
Touching on the previous tips, you might notice a recurring theme.
And that is how involved you are in your niche and how well you know your audience.

If your content is quite generic because you don’t know the topics well, you won’t build a strong connection.

It’s totally fine to start a WordPress blog in a niche you know nothing about, but you’ll have better success the more you educate yourself about it.

On the flip side, knowing your audience because you live and breathe what you’re helping them with, will help you establish a much stronger connection.

5. Create a Reader Avatar

A reader avatar is an imaginary character you create that resembles your perfect reader.

This is an essential task you can do to help build rapport and connection with your audience.

Why?

This quote by psychologist Carl Rogers gives us a clue:

What is most personal is most universal.

Carl Rogers

This means that a person’s most personal problems are something we all struggle with.

When you define your blog avatar in fine detail, all of your readers will feel like you’re talking directly to them.

Start by listing things such as the basics; Name, age, gender, location, occupation, etc.

Then expand on your avatar with more details; Current challenges, goals, favorite movies, books, food, and so on.

Miles Beckler has a great post on this topic and even has a free template you can fill out.

6. Don’t Let SEO Take Over Your Life

Search Engine Optimization is an essential piece of the blogging puzzle, but try not to let it take over your life.

You could perform the perfect SEO strategy in the beginning, but it probably won’t get you far.

Let me explain.

In the early days, your blog doesn’t have any authority.

That’s because you don’t have enough content. Even 50 – 100 articles isn’t a lot of content these days.

What’s more important is publishing content every day, until you start seeing an upwards trajectory in Google Search Console.

When you’re seeing a consistent 100 visits per day, that’s a great sign things are working.

This is when you can work on more refined and advanced SEO tactics.

Be sure to read our post on how to increase organic traffic for more advanced strategies.

7. Do Perform Keyword Research

Even though a strict SEO regime isn’t vital in the beginning, it’s still important to do keyword research.

Keywords are the building blocks of your content and how Google understands it.

The last thing you want is to create tons of content that isn’t being searched by anyone.

Here are some very simple ways to perform keyword research.

Search for a term in Google and check out the People also search for section:

People also ask blogging tip

You can expand them to get even more results:

Expand people also ask

Reverse engineer your competitors’ keywords with a tool like Ubersuggest:

seo blogging tips

You’ll see some keywords the target site is ranking for, but you’ll need to create a free account for more results.

Find hundreds of keywords with Keywordtool.io. If you want to see the volumes, you need to upgrade.

keyword blogging tips

Another excellent tool for a new blog is Keywords Everywhere:

blogging tips for beginners

You purchase some credits, and it shows the keyword volumes everywhere in your browser.

As long as you know people are searching the content you post, the search volumes aren’t so important.

Just stick to lower volumes in the beginning, with a few high-volume keywords sprinkled in.

8. Follow Google’s Guidelines

With so many so-called SEO experts around, it can be hard to know which advice to follow.

Some will say you need a high word count per article, others rely solely on backlinks, and others jump on the newest trend such as AI writing tools.

How do you cut through all the noise?

You go to the source and that is Google.

If your most valuable traffic source is organic search, then it’s wise to know what their Google’s guidelines are.

Here are a few insights to keep you in the loop.

A great place to start is with their SEO Fundamentals. It starts with the basics of how to get your site on Google and how Google works, to in-depth tips on how to create helpful content.

Their crawling and indexing section covers all the technical side of things. This is the place to go if you want to know the difference between Sitemaps and robots.txt.

Lastly, Google blog is a good place to check now and then. They often release important updates, including this one on the recent changes to E-A-T.

9. Strategy vs Quality Content

Everyone talks about the importance of quality content, but without a strategy, you could be wasting a lot of potential.

Imagine this:

Every post on your blog is of the highest quality, but they don’t relate to each other.

Here’s the deal: successful blogging guides the reader from one post to another, teaching them how to make positive changes in their life.

Eventually, they’ve gotten so much value from your articles, they’re inspired to buy the thing you recommend. Or sign up to your email list, or buy your course.

To do this, you need a strategy.

A blog content strategy is where you plan out multiple posts that interlink with each other for optimum impact.

The purpose of effective content marketing is to raise the awareness of your readers. Awareness of their problems and what’s causing them.

When you can shift the perspective of your reader through strategic content, you’ll see substantial progress with your blog.

10. Build Internal Links

In the last blogging tip, I mentioned internal linking articles.

This is important for many reasons:

  • It’s how an effective content strategy helps guide your readers
  • It can also help keep people on your blog for longer
  • People will see you as an expert when you link to multiple posts
  • It builds topical authority in your niche, which helps your blog rank
  • Your blog can rank faster with more content and internal links

As you can see, internal links provide a ton of benefits.

In fact, it’s what helped Rob Scheerbath go from zero to 33,000 pageviews in 8 months.

Link Whisper is the WordPress plugin created by Spencer Haws. It helps you create internal links on autopilot.

You can get Link Whisper here.

11. Your Blog is a Business

If you want to take your blog seriously, then you need to treat it as a business.

You can’t just load up a WordPress site and post a few articles, hoping it’ll become an overnight success.

The blogging business model needs a few ingredients to make it work.

The first step is to define how you’ll monetize your blog. This could be through affiliate marketing or by displaying ads with Ezoic.

Or maybe you want to eventually sell a digital product or service.

Either way, knowing how you’ll monetize will help you define the next step, which is knowing the types of content to create.

For affiliate marketing, you’ll want to create reviews, product comparisons, and how-to posts to support these articles.

Display ad blogs work best with question-related articles, list posts, or recipe posts.

Or if you’re selling your own products or service, case studies and interviews work well for this type of monetization.

Lastly, you’ll need to follow a system to produce content consistently. The best way to do that is by using a blog content calendar.

When you treat your blog as a business, know the main pieces of the puzzle, and produce content consistently, you’ll find it hard to fail.

12. Use Copywriting Frameworks

Copywriting frameworks are powerful ways to structure words that motivate readers to take action.

You commonly see these frameworks used in sales copy, landing pages, Facebook ads, or social media posts.

And you can bake these into your blog posts to create highly engaging content.

Some popular copywriting frameworks include:

  • AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)
  • PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution)
  • BAB (Before, After, Bridge)

Not only do these frameworks grab your readers’ attention and keep them engaged, but they also help you organize your ideas and identify your target audience.

For example:

Let’s say you want to write a post about the benefits of a morning routine.

You could use the AIDA framework to engage the reader in your blog post and promote an online course at the end.

Because these frameworks use psychological principles, it makes it super easy for people to follow and it improves conversion rates.

13. Track Things to Improve

This blogging tip is essential if you want to make consistent progress with your blog.
There are key engagement metrics that you need to track to know if your blog is performing well.

Without this knowledge, you’ll never know what’s working and what isn’t.

In the beginning, it’s best to install the tracking and ignore it until you’ve posted enough content to see some traction.

A good rule of thumb is anywhere between 50-100 posts or when your blog starts getting 200+ visits per day.

Once you hit this threshold, you’ll want to keep posting content and monitor your numbers every month.

The most important numbers to track are:

  1. Impressions and Clicks in Google Search Console – An improvement in these metrics will tell you your content is being found and ranked in Google. And that people click the results.
  2. Pageviews and Average Engagement Time in Google Analytics – These metrics will help you see which content is performing best so that you can double down on them. You can also improve the content that isn’t doing so well and see if it makes an overall improvement.

14. Promote Your Blog

To increase the exposure of your blog posts, blog promotion is a great practice to adopt.

Relying solely on SEO traffic isn’t as effective.

What you need is a social media platform to promote your content.

This can be done in many ways.

For example, re-purposing your blog posts on social media is a good place to start.

Also, emailing your list when you publish new content will bring your blog more exposure.

Lastly, let other bloggers know you’ve linked to them. This is a great way to get your blog noticed by other experts in your niche.

And they might even start linking to your site in the future.

15. Be Consistent

Being consistent is possibly one of the most valuable skills to develop as a content creator.

Most people’s success comes from doing small things every day over the years, rather than aimless luck.

The issue with achieving success randomly or by luck is that it isn’t repeatable.

To get consistent success with your blog, you need to create systems that drive predictable results.

The easiest way to do that is to create big goals and break them down into tiny actions.

Then repeat these actions every day until you see positive results.

16. Update Old Blog Posts

This is a blogging tip that many people overlook.

Sure, some posts will perform better than others, but this doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon old content.

In many cases, underperforming content can be reworked from a different angle.

Or you can add more value to the post by adding more actionable steps.

Even content that once performed well might have gotten stale in recent months.

You can give these posts a new lease of life by adding images, internal links, or reformatting the text.

17. Read More Books

read more books

If you want your blog to stand out from the crowd, read more books.

What many bloggers do is share what they’ve learned from other bloggers or from content that is freely available on the internet.

The problem with this approach is that most blogs are eventually talking about the same things, with little originality.

To share a completely different perspective, you need new material.

And reading books will spark way more creativity, and you’ll find it easier to write content.

18. Diversify Income

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

And this goes for the income streams on your blog.

In the early days, it might be wise to focus on one revenue source so you stay focused.

But when you’re getting consistent traffic, you want to branch out.

So, if you started with affiliate marketing and you’re getting a decent amount of traffic, why not add display ads?

And if you’re doing both of these, how about offering a service or even coaching?

There are tons of ways to diversify income, read our post how do bloggers make money online to find out more.

19. Done is Better Than Perfect

Nothing is perfect in life. No matter how good you get, someone else can overtake you.

The point in following these blogging tips isn’t to reach perfection, only to help you improve and make progress.

It is far more effective to publish 100 mediocre articles in one year than it is to publish 12 perfect ones.

Why?

Because you will learn so much from publishing more content, even if they aren’t perfect.

With more content, you’ll start to see how Google works, and you’ll get an idea of which articles work best for you.

You’ll also develop the habits you need to become more consistent. And you’ll appreciate the process instead of trying to chase the next shiny object.

Check out what happened when Spencer published 1,000 posts in 12 months…

20. Make Posts Look Pretty

What is guaranteed to turn people away from your blog?

Ugly formatting, big walls of text, and no images.

That’s right, to keep people engaged with your content, you need to spice things up a little.

For best practices, follow these quick and simple guidelines:

  1. Use short 1-2 sentence paragraphs
  2. Break up text with subheadings, images, and bullet points
  3. Highlight important text with bold and italic font
  4. Add quotes or info boxes to grab readers’ attention

Try a combination of these and stick to the same theme throughout your blog. That way, people will know what to expect.

21. Add a Mixture of Content Types

Just like the last tip, different content types are essential for a highly engaged audience.

A variety of content types will generate more repeat visitors and can even help you rank better in search engines.

The most common types of blog content are:

  • How to’s
  • Product reviews
  • Listicles
  • Question posts
  • The ultimate guide

Adding different content types will make your blog more interesting and will stop you from getting bored.

Conclusion

There you have it. These 21 blogging tips will turn you into an expert blogger in record time.

Our advice is to start with a few tips and practice them multiple times.

Then when you develop the skill, your confidence will rise, and you’ll feel more comfortable trying more advanced tips.

Good luck.

By Steve Allen

Steve Allen is a niche site builder, writer, and all-around WordPress wizard. He enjoys personal development, entrepreneurship, double espressos, and making things work better than they did before.

Sourced from Niche Pursuits

By Nikola Baldikov 

Blogging is the best strategy when marketing your products or services to a niche audience for whom you customize your content. As discussed, some flawless writing skills exist to captivate such audiences and improve your website visibility.

4 Ways to Write Blogs your Clients will Read

Millions of blogs with daily content releases reach the target audiences intending to relay particular information daily. However, such blogs face glaring setbacks evident in the competition from similar bloggers in the same niches offering superior content. It is, therefore, commonplace to find them struggling to fight for a share of the scarce attention afforded by the audience.

We outline strategies one can employ to emerge as the leading source of readable content clients want to see on their screens. But first, we examine a client’s thought process from the time they see a blog post to the time they finish reading.

What is a Client’s Thought Process when Encountering Blogs?

Many readers go through the ‘AIDA’ experience whenever they encounter a blog touching on a particular topic. The acronym stands for ‘attention,’ ‘interest,’ ‘desire,’ and ‘action.’ These four steps in the prospect’s mind define the major attack points you can use to make your audience glued to your content. Let’s break each one down individually:

  1. Attention: the prospect comes across a blog whose headline captures the attention of their gaze.
  2. Interest: the individual notices relatable words or phrases that interest them.
  3. Desire: the internet user becomes captivated by the blog’s content, making them read through the article.
  4. Action: the client follows through with the blog’s call-to-action elements, effectively fulfilling the blogger’s desire.

 

Despite the millions of blogs online users encounter, adherence to the blogging best practice requirements will take your readers through these steps. Understanding how to summon your writing prowess for each of the four pieces of the puzzle to fall in place is essential. The following pointers will help impose your content onto the audience without appearing needy and boring:

How to grab the attention of the audience

Simple: People like what they see. If you want to captivate an audience, the question is, “what will the clients think when they scan the article?”

Simply put, audiences want to encounter an easily scannable blog; an easy read is always welcome. This is also crucial when you’re starting a blog – you need to get it right from the get-go, so you don’t end up having to fix certain issues once your blog starts growing.

The following details will help you better your chances of making the blog easy to scan:

Create a consistent article structure

The structure of your piece will make you the best-read blog in no time. The audience will sense careful organization in your work, making it easy to pick out the critical parts quickly. People have short attention spans when on their devices because there are other distractions like messages, calls, and phone notifications. Additionally, they have a constant urge to visit social media sites and see what is happening worldwide. Social media has become an obsession for many people, and social media listening is one way to track this activity.

However, creating blogs with simple formats will make them less anxious to look away because they can quickly scan captivating parts of your content. You can consider these points when designing your blog outline:

  1. Use titles, subtitles, headings, and subheadings to break your content into small readable parts. The user can quickly identify the content under each section without reading everything there.
  2. Write brief and straightforward sentences. Leave out any fluff which will make your sentences overly lengthy and tedious.
  3. Write short paragraphs with up to five short sentences. Long sentences will discourage your readers and divert their attention to other less stressful content.
  4. Use numbered lists to break down the paragraphs and highlight important points. You can alternate with bullet points for diversity.

Use appropriate images

Images can capture user attention better than words can manage. Prospects scanning your pieces notice the imagery and graphics in your article before they notice the detail of the terms. However, it is essential to use images appropriate to the context of your article content to avoid misleading readers. Images also have a few rules of best practice, including:

  • Ensure the pictures are clear and contain insights into the textual content.
  • Always label the images using descriptive words for instant context creation.
  • Use alt text when uploading images to your blogs to make them appear in search results when users type in the keywords.
  • Always indicate image sources to avoid copyright infringement reports that will limit visibility.

Relevant topic headlines

Your titles and headings must contain relevant topic keywords. Users will quickly identify and appreciate the relevance of your headlines to what they desire to read.

How to write content that captures user interest

After capturing the audience’s attention, the second point of focus is to cultivate their interest in reading through your articles. Here, you must be keen on the detail of the text in the body, which will inform the users’ interest. Every reader is looking for a few indicators of an exciting piece, as detailed below.

Use simple language

Simplicity, as stated, is the best way to captivate readers. The people going through your blog want to get the scope of your writing immediately after they begin going through your work. Please ensure the words are simple to understand without needing to digest or refer to other sources to understand meanings.

The flow of the story should also be flawless, with transitions between sentences and paragraphs allowing for instant follow-up. Avoid using jargon that will put off the audience by confusing them without revealing the actual context of your content.

Use authoritative phrases

Be simple but authoritative with your writing if you must keep readers interested in your work. They must know that you understand your facts and can relay the same without appearing uninformed. It would help to employ scientific, niche-specific, and descriptive language whenever needed to stir your readers’ minds.

Avoid overcomplicating things using such words and phrases with reasonable breaks between instances. You can use Google to identify the correct use of some word constructions concerning the topic.

Be keen on grammar

Grammar is key in keeping audiences hooked on your piece long enough to follow your drift. Many readers will instantly close your blog post and find other relevant material if they encounter regular mistakes in your work.

Material that strictly adheres to grammar rules indicates professionalism which people admire and respect. The readers will readily exhaust the entirety of your piece if they see consistent, grammatically correct sentences and phrases. You can use free or subscription-based tools to check and correct any grammar issues. Examples include Grammarly, QuillBot, etc.

How to make the audience desire to read your pieces

Capturing the audience’s desire means you are deeper into the client’s mind with your blog post. Many writers fail to reach this level of client engagement because the two previous steps contain glaring mistakes that discourage readership. However, if you make it this far, the rest is almost child’s play: the reader is already willing to go all the way. Read on to learn how.

The following aspects will be forthcoming in shifting client desire in your favor:

Employ a conversational tone

A blog is an educative and informative piece aimed at a large audience accessing your website at convenience. Therefore, ensure your material engages as if in conversation with an eager student searching for knowledge. Tailor your content to make the audience appreciate your knowledge base and yearn to read on for more.

The best way is to use language that implores them to continue reading to discover what you have in store. You should be convincing and create a vocabulary that reflects a tone people are comfortable reading. Be sure to employ the active voice instead of the passive one because the audience will quickly see interest.

Understand your niche

The subject and tone of your article rely on the topic you are covering. Your delivery will also depend on understanding the niche you decide to cover with the content. Consequently, it is necessary to research extensively to know what, why, and for who you write. The niche also defines the characteristics of the audience your work targets. The following questions will help you understand the place and define the topic and tone of the content:

What content am I advertising? It enables you to define the nature of your product or service.

Who is the target audience? It helps define the characteristics of your audience. Your tone must align with the people reading your work. Are they adults? Children? Women? Men?

Why am I advertising this content? The point defines the solutions you are offering to the audience. It helps you figure out the type of language suitable for the context.

Use real-life examples

Readers will always relate to real-life situations which reflect on their lives or provide relatable contexts. Ensure to include the most relatable examples and case studies in your blog if you address particular product details. For example, when advertising a product, you can quote previous situations where it was helpful to a different audience. Your audience will quickly develop a connection to the item if they have a relatable problem.

Use statistics to back your statements.

Statistics are always helpful when you want to display your knowledge about the effectiveness and reliability of a product or service. The end game is to make the readers interested in understanding the implications of a service or product based on quoted metrics. Such insights also help in decision-making steps if readers want to take action. Thus, always provide authoritative links to said statistics so that they can confirm the truth of your words. They will be willing to try out the item on offer after that.

State and answer FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) offer the perfect chance to address additional client concerns. The readers will see the questions touching on relatable topics and quickly read on to see how you responded. They will then get the desire to discover more about your writings and what you offer outside the blog, cementing the purchase intent.

How to make the audience take action

The best way to ensure that your readers take action after exhausting the detail of your written content is to tell them how. At this point, readers already understand your intention, your solutions, and the benefits they stand to gain. Therefore, you must direct their next steps so they can follow up to buy, receive updates, or discover more content. The following call-to-action (CAT) moves are ideal:

Ask the reader to engage with the blog post.

You can implement various CAT buttons on your page to direct the client to engage with the blog post as desired. First, you can have buttons for sharing, commenting, and liking your post after reading its entirety. It helps expose the content to a bigger audience since the individual helps spread it to friends and followers.

Ask the audience for feedback.

You can ask the audience to give feedback about the post or make suggestions about future posts. Here, you get to understand their perspective of the blog post or needs you did not address. It helps you prepare your following content.

Ask the prospect to subscribe.

You can request the prospect to click and subscribe to your content notifications for future posts. Here, subscribers indicate serious interest and become targets for new content before everyone else gets access.

Remarks

The piece explores the different strategies that can strengthen your reach by enabling optimal engagements on your blogs. The avenues explored ensure audience satisfaction by ensuring that your content reflects positively on the audience. You will find that the ideas are simple yet effective in helping build a brand with loyal readers who follow your work religiously. The trick is to keep them engaged every step of the way through content that reveals your attention to their needs.

Images, sentence structures, keywords, tone, and grammar are some pointers that will inform audience interest. However, the article explains their application in a way that underscores the effort by successful bloggers to win over a loyal audience. Careful application of the details herein opens your blog to new followers who will make you a popular destination in your niche.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Suzy Hazelwood; Pexels; Thank you!

By Nikola Baldikov

I am a founder of InBound Blogging, specializing in SEO, content, and outreach strategies.  

Sourced from readwrite

Sourced from The Guardian

From the benefits of choosing a niche subject to building a community and bringing in income

Focus on your niche

If you haven’t already chosen a blog topic, thinking about your hobbies, passions and personal experiences is a good starting point.

Pamela Rae-Welsh, the creative director at the online visibility specialist Worsley Creative, says: “With so much online content, you’ll need to carve out a unique purpose that your blog will serve. For example, rather than creating a general cooking and recipe blog, consider a specific niche, such as Italian-inspired vegetarian cooking.”

Whatever your subject, also think about what you are hoping to achieve to refine your blog’s aim. For example, that might be to help people, make them laugh or teach them something.

Choose your blog name

Once you have decided on your subject, you need a blog name. Bear in mind that your blog and domain name should be the same, and ideally one that will stand out from the crowd.

It could be relevant to your subject but it doesn’t have to be. Lynn Beattie, a personal finance expert and the founder of Mrs MummyPenny, says: “You simply need it to be as short as possible, and memorable, so it could be a specific word, phrase or play on words.” You could spark some ideas by using the Google keyword planner and the Wordtracker keyword tool to search for the terms you might write about.

Overhead image of a female blogger writing on the laptop
The name of your blog does not have to be relevant to the subject. Photograph: lechatnoir/Getty Images

However, make sure your name isn’t already taken, so search across web domains and social media. You can search and buy your domain through different registrars such as GoDaddy and 123 Reg. See if you can buy the .com and .co.uk extensions.

Pick your platform

You will also need to pick a blogging platform that you will use to design and write your blogposts and publish online. There are several to choose from, including WordPress, Typepad, Blogger and Tumblr.

WordPress claims to be the world’s most popular platform, and is great for beginners who are looking for a simple site that enables them to build a blog within minutes. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials that can help you get set up. You can then work on personalising your blog.

Tumblr social networking website
Blogging platforms include Tumblr, WordPress, Typepad and Blogger. Photograph: NetPhotos/Alamy

Design your blog

Choosing your design theme is important because first impressions count. Francesca Henry favours WordPress for her money-saving blog the Money Fox. She says: “You can buy some beautiful and functional themes from about £50 to £150, and get free plug-ins that help you do loads of things such as create a standalone homepage.”

A simple theme is usually best, while making your blog as user-friendly as possible, including a call to action to let your readers know where they can find you, with links to Twitter and Instagram, for example. You could also get a professional logo designed to complete your brand, or work on one yourself.

Find your audience

Go where your readers are. This could be on specific Facebook groups, for example, TikTok, Instagram or LinkedIn. Follow blogs on similar subjects, start conversations and tweet your posts.

Georgina Durrant runs the SEN Resources Blog, which is for parents and teachers of children with special educational needs and disabilities. “The blog now has more than 30,000 social media followers but it took a lot of regular, consistent posting of blogposts on my site, as well as posts on social media, and a lot more work than I initially expected to get there,” she says.

“You don’t get very far just sharing links. It’s about building a community around the blog. My following increased when I joined in and started conversations on social media. The readership of my blog kept on increasing as the community grew.”

YouTube logo
You could add a YouTube channel to your blog. Photograph: Éric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

Add other channels

There will be people who prefer to listen or watch rather than read, so you could add a YouTube channel or podcast to your blog. Marie Brown, a blogger at Beyond the Kitchen Table, which builds websites for small businesses, also has a podcast called the Website Coach. She says: “A podcast is a great way to market your blog, and featuring as a guest on other people’s podcasts is another option.”

She matches her podcast and blog topics. “You can either use the podcast transcript as the basis of the blog or, as I do, write the blogpost and use this as the outline for the podcast episode. I link the blogpost in the show notes to the podcast episode,” she says.

Keep building your blog

You will want to focus on getting your brand known, producing content and sharing your expertise before potentially turning a profit. Networking to build up backlinks will ultimately help you to monetise your blog, too.

Rae-Welsh says: “Google is looking for unique, relevant and trustworthy content to rank in the search engines – the more you add relevant and quality content, the more traffic you will get, which will give you more opportunity to monetise.”

There are free tools such as Google Search Console or Google Analytics that will help you create content that will be seen by search engines. “But it’s worth investing in learning SEO [search engine optimisation] properly if you want to make your blog a success,” Rae-Welsh adds.

Make a profit

There are various ways to make money from your blog. For example, firms that are relevant to your blog’s subject may want to buy some space and advertise their services using a box or banner. You may also want to consider approaching a particular brand to collaborate and produce a specific campaign on a subject you are passionate about.

You can also make money from sponsored links, where advertisers pay bloggers to publish a post that includes a link to their website. But you will need to ensure you make it clear that the post is sponsored.

Alternatively, there is affiliate marketing, where links are placed into your posts or on your page that direct readers to a website selling something. You will earn a commission on any sales. You can find companies looking to place affiliate links on sites such as Tradedoubler and Amazon Associates.

Beattie adds: “There are so many other ways a blogger can make money, such as writing for brands, product sales, public speaking and social media advertising. The key is getting a well-diversified income stream.”

Feature Image Credit: Illustration: Jamie Wignall

Sourced from The Guardian

Are you interested in starting a blogging career and making money from it? Here are the steps you need to take.

Have you wanted to build a profitable blog, but don’t have a clue where to start? There’s no need to search tirelessly for tutorials.

With the right steps in mind, you can be on your way to having a blog that will showcase not only your online presence, but work effectively as an additional income stream.

1. Choose a Niche

This can feel like the most difficult part of the blogging process, but it’s important to establish a niche. It’s common to think that specializing in many things can be more appealing to others, but that’s not always the case. Focusing on a smaller space will draw in audiences who seek specific services.

Do you know everything about building computers? Use that as your niche. For example, an e-commerce copywriter writes for online stores, so this makes them experts in their field. You could have a technology niche such as reviewing computer graphics cards, Chromebooks, or Apple iPhones.

Think carefully about your primary focus; it can determine how many people want to find you, what brands will reach out to you, and how much you can make overall.

2. Research a Reliable Platform

What platforms are best for blogging? When publishing your blog, you want to use a reliable platform with a system that is easy to use, works well with the type of blog you want, and is in line with your budget. If you’re looking for great levels of customization, WordPress is perfect for your needs. There are hundreds of website templates you can play around with.

Squarespace is useful for visual blogs, such as photography, art, or design niches. LinkedIn is another alternative if you want to go the professional route and connect with people in your desired industry. However, if you’re a complete beginner when it comes to blogging or general website building, Wix may be a better choice. Here’s how to build a unique website without coding using Wix.

3. Customize Your Website

Although basic coding knowledge is really helpful, it’s not necessary for building a blog. After signing up for a website builder, choose a template you feel comfortable starting with. You can use a variety of pre-made templates to change existing features and make them your own.

Customize your blog by adding a homepage or an “About You” page with a photo of yourself, a contact page, so people can reach out to you, and of course, a homepage to start blogging. It doesn’t need to be perfect! What matters is that you’ve started piecing it together. However, if you’re struggling with this process, feel free to reach out to a website designer.

4. Publish Your First Post

Writing a blog post for the first time may seem intimidating, but the most important thing is to just get started. Think about what kind of blog topics would work well for your blog; would you like to write guides, written tutorials, recipes, lists, reviews, industry news, current events related to your niche, or just anything you find interesting?

How do you write your blog once you’ve come up with an awesome idea? First, consider what kind of heading will entice someone to read your blog; will it be witty, serious, or state a useful statistic? Secondly, write the way you would talk. Putting your voice and personality into a blog post will not only make it more genuine to readers, but will feel more natural to you.

Thirdly, keep in mind the way you’re laying out your piece; what kind of fonts do you want to use, and are you sticking to the standard US spelling style? Depending on your audience, the formatting will be very different.

5. Create High-Quality Images

Do you click on a YouTube video simply due to the colorful image alone? With blogs, visuals are very important to catching interest. A good quality image can decide whether somebody wants to read through a piece, so you want to make sure it’s high quality.

Think about the standard sizing for your feature images, as well as the photos you’ll use in a blog post. These should be clear, stretched to a pleasing size, and not blurry. Canva is always a great option here. If you’re feeling creative, you can use GIFs too.

6. Maintain Your Website

Have you ever clicked away from a website due to an unexpected page error? Keeping tabs on how your blog is running will determine how many people are viewing or staying on your site. Your site should be running effectively, have no broken links, be updated accordingly, and always be user-friendly.

If you aren’t very tech-savvy, make sure you hire someone who can do the technical work for you. An optimized website is something that always needs to be checked.

7. Take Advantage of SEO

Blog posts may be the main attraction of your website, but incorporating SEO is the main reason behind how you gain clicks, readers, and potential followers. Research the most-used keywords on Google with an SEO tool such as SurferSEO, the latest and popular trends related to your topic, and compare your posts to other blogs that rank higher on Google.

These SEO strategies, over time, can place you higher in search engines. Still confused? Check out some tools that will help you write the best blog titles.

8. Always Network

Networking with professionals within your niche is another useful resource as it can be the main driving force for your blog. Grow your online presence by joining relevant Facebook groups or blogging networks, attending courses to expand on your skills, and connecting with people on LinkedIn who share similar values.

Take note of how to network like a pro. This can be the key to you finding the next follower, or having people refer their audience to your site. It’s a win-win scenario, and it works.

9. Build an Email List

Using an email marketing platform such as MailerLite can do a lot for your blog. An email list is a collection of contact information from people who have signed up and opted to receive emails from you. However, building a reliable email list of clients and followers can take time. It isn’t about the quantity of data added to your list, but the amount of loyalty you have. You don’t want to spam inboxes!

How often are your emails being opened? Are people scanning, or clicking links to your blog pages? Are people sharing your blogs? By tracking these analytics, researching, and being a bit more creative, your email list will be one to rely on. If you’re new to email marketing, have a look at the ways HubSpot can benefit your marketing career. Using this program is a great way to get started.

10. Learn Affiliate Marketing

With affiliate marketing, businesses pay you if your blog refers people to their website or products, so having ads on the sides of your blog isn’t always a bad thing if it benefits both parties.

Not only is affiliate marketing helpful in getting brands and companies to notice you, but you can easily make a few cents per click. If you’re not really sure where to begin this process, there are a range of online resources.

11. Keep Track of Analytics Data

With any blog or website, keeping track of your analytics data is incredibly important to help you become profitable over time. Checking analytics daily will help you figure out where your viewers are coming from geographically, whether you’re being found organically or through social media, information on what keywords are being used on Google in relevance to your blog, and more. This will ultimately boost your traffic.

Start Your Blogging Journey Today

If you’ve been considering starting up a blog, now is the best time to start. Online spaces such as blogging are only growing more and more, and experts in their niche of choice are always appreciated. Creating a successful site definitely takes patience and dedication, but always trust the blogging process. Now you can start your first draft!

By Saffrom Clacy

Sourced from MUO

By Steve Allen

Do you love blogging, but struggle to see it as a business? Whether you already have a blog or not, it is vital to understand the blogging business model so you can see the bigger picture.

Each part of the blogging process is an important piece of the puzzle, but unless you know the whole system, you will inevitably get lost.

What are the Benefits of Starting a Blogging Business?

It’s all very well to understand the concept of blogging, but what’s more important is WHY it’s a good business model to get into.

Here are several benefits of starting a blogging business.

It’s perfect if you’re an introvert

Have you wondered “should I start a blog?” Blogging is a great business for introverts because you can start your own business without being in the spotlight.

Some introverts dread the idea of creating energetic YouTube videos or speaking to prospects through sales calls.

With a blogging business, you can completely avoid these types of extroverted activities that many other business models require.

If you have an interest or skill in a certain area, you can transfer your knowledge in the form of written articles to build a connection with your audience.

No more cold calls, sales pitches, or answering to a demanding boss all day.

Your main role is to find out what your readers need help with and then write content on the subject. It’s as simple as that.

And if you need help brainstorming topics, check out our list of what to blog about.

You are helping people solve problems

When your readers find your blog posts, you are indirectly helping them solve problems or things they want to get better at.

Any interaction you have with your audience can be done on your terms, whether it be through email, social media, or even in person. The choice is yours.

When you grow your audience with your blog and help many people, you become an authority on the subject you’re interested in, but you can be as involved or removed as much as you want.

It’s also a great felling to receive feedback from your readers who have gotten a lot of value from your writing.

You can also really define a level of expertise within your niche by analyzing your top-performing content and doubling down on what already works.

You can work from anywhere there’s an internet connection

All you need to start, grow, and maintain a blogging business is a PC or laptop and an internet connection.

It’s also a great business to start alongside your job.

You can work on your blog in the evenings and build up the income until it’s making enough money to leave employment and become a full-time blogger.

Then, once you make enough income with your blogging business, you don’t have to be tied to a desk all day. You can work from a coffee shop, a library, or beach if you really want.

It’s highly scalable

Almost every part of the blogging process can be outsourced at scale.

This means that when your blogging business makes enough money, you can reinvest some of the revenue to freelancers and virtual assistants to write articles or manage the entire business.

When you’re in the position of scaling a blogging business, you focus less on completing all the tasks in the business and take charge of moving the business in the right direction.

You’re able to take a step back and establish how you can grow the blogging business faster.

It’s future-proof

There will always be problems in the world. And as long as there are people with problems, there will be a market in solving them.

And this is what a blogging business does. It solves problems within a niche market.

It’s also safe to say that the internet is here to stay and information is only getting more valuable.

As long as that stays true, blogging isn’t going anywhere.

The Blogging Business Model: Starting at the End and Working Backwards

For clarity, here is each part of the blogging business model:

  • Niche
  • Avatar
  • Traffic
  • Content
  • Monetization
  • Exit

Let me explain each of these in reverse order, because it’s important to start with the end in mind. You’ll see why in a second.

Exit

Every business should have an exit strategy, including blogs.

It’s likely your interests will change 10, 20, and 30 years from now. Or you might want to retire at some point and allow someone else to take the business to the next level.

Luckily, blogs are one of the easier businesses to sell because there are so many brokers and website marketplaces.

Blogs and websites sell anywhere between 35-45 an income multiple of the monthly profit.

So, if your blog one day makes a regular monthly profit of $7,000, you’ll have an asset worth between $245,000 and $315,000.

What a lot of entrepreneurs do in this industry is build multiple blogs and scale content production with a team of writers when they’ve got a good system in place.

It’s a good idea to have an exit strategy in mind and set yourself an income goal so you have something to aim for.

Monetization

Blogging is only profitable when you monetize your traffic.

As a blog owner, you’ll need to define which monetization strategy suits you best.

Most bloggers earn their living through advertising (these are the best ad networks for bloggers), affiliate programs, and subscription services, but your options are endless.

In the beginning, your blog will be small and won’t get much traffic. The more content you add and the more relevant and valuable your content is, the quicker it will grow.

That’s why it’s not so important to add monetization in the very beginning. Sure, you can add some links to affiliate products, but focusing on content will benefit you in the long run.

If you want to build passive income, put in the effort with your content, then you can look at more monetization opportunities.

Here are a few ways to monetize a blog:

  • Affiliate Marketing: Probably the most common and easiest way to monetize your site. All you need to do is sign up for an affiliate program such as Amazon and then add affiliate links to your content. Check out our Amazon Affiliate Program review if you’re interested in this route.
  • Display Ads: Another simple way to add blog income. New bloggers can use Google Ads or Ezoic’s new service called Basic Ads. And those who generate 50,000 visits per month can use a service like Mediavine.
  • Products or services: Some bloggers like the idea of creating their own physical product and using their blog traffic to market their products. This is a more advanced monetization strategy, but with potentially higher returns.
  • Digital products or courses: If your blog teaches something, you can package up that knowledge and sell it in the form of a digital product, like an eBook or course.
  • Memberships: An excellent opportunity for recurring revenue is to turn your blog into a membership site or develop a subscription model for gated content.

Throughout your blogging business, you’ll want to keep revisiting ways to increase income.

Just one of these options could be enough to reach your income goals, but it’s important to consider all your options before starting a new blog.

Content

Content is at the heart of a blogging business model. Without content, your blog won’t offer value or generate traffic.

Good content also helps you build authority and become a trusted voice in your niche.

The best way to find success with your content marketing efforts is to develop a content strategy that complements your monetization model.

For example, if you focus on affiliate marketing in the beginning, then it’s wise to add some product reviews and supporting articles to help those reviews rank higher.

If, however, you want to monetize with display ads, then content that teaches something could be better, because it keeps visitors on the page longer.

You also want to develop your content strategy around topics people are searching for in Google.

Try finding content clusters that fall under a broader topic where you can write between 20-40 articles on the subject.

This will build authority in the niche and topical relevancy, both of which can drastically increase SEO traffic.

Traffic

Blog traffic is another essential key to a successful blogging business. Like content, without traffic, your blog won’t generate any revenue.

Luckily, because a blog relies on content, the most obvious traffic source will come from Google and Search Engine Optimization.

If you’re writing the articles yourself, which is recommended in the beginning, you may as well invest some time in using keywords people are already searching for in Google.

You can accomplish this through keyword research.

Adding your chosen keyword in the title, URL slug, h2 tag, and in the intro and conclusion is sufficient enough in the beginning.

Update and Optimize

You can always go back into your top-performing articles in the future for further optimizations, like:

  • Adding images with keywords in the alt text
  • Expanding on the content to build more context
  • Building topical relevance by adding supporting content for your top-performing posts
  • Internal linking your articles to strengthen topical relevancy

If you are for some reason or another against Google traffic, then why not try other organic methods?

Options that might work for you include YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

Of course, to get enough traffic from these platforms, you’ll need to be active on them every day so that your audience grows and naturally clicks through to your blog.

Avatar

A huge mistake people make when writing content for their blog is speaking to all people instead of a specific person within the niche.

They write to cater to everyone, instead of speaking directly to their audience.

The problem with this approach is that the reader doesn’t feel like the content was written specifically for them. It goes over their head and they don’t feel connected to the content.

A better approach is to define a specific person with specific goals and values and write your content directly for this person.

This is your customer avatar, or blog avatar, to be precise, and it is vital if you want to develop a better relationship with your audience.

When you speak to the core desires, values, and needs of your ideal reader, you build more trust, keep people reading longer, and generate more commissions.

So, how do you define your blog avatar?

Here are some key guidelines to follow:

  • What is the primary goal of your niche market? This could be achieving optimal health and everyday vitality in the food and lifestyle niche.
  • What are the core values of your ideal reader? For the above niche, core values could be health, longevity, aging well, focus, and productivity.
  • What books do they read? Using the values above, books of interest could be The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey and Why We Get Sick by Benjamin Bikman.
  • Which blogs do they frequently read? These could be Tim Ferris, The Bulletproof Blog, or Mark’s Daily Apple.

Finally, you’ll want to make your avatar more real by giving them a name and defining some demographics.

To keep things simple, define things like their name, age, gender, home city/country, job, salary, and marital status.

This will help you feel more connected to your overall audience when writing articles for your blog.

To take it one step further, you could print off a stock portrait photo of what you think they might look like.

Niche

That leads us to the very first step when starting a blog: to find your blog niche.

Think of this as a customer segment trying to solve a problem or finding a product to help them improve their lives in some way.

Many people struggle to make decisions by themselves, so they turn to Google for answers.

Doing a quick search for “how to stop a rabbit from chewing” provides you with several blog posts that help rabbit owners protect items around the house.

A blog in the pet rabbit niche has endless opportunities for content to write about, problems to solve, and products to promote.

So, choose a niche based on a topic that doesn’t limit your potential and provides you with a lot of opportunities for increasing revenue.

Niche areas to focus on include:

  • Hobbies
  • Personal finance
  • Relationships
  • Lifestyle
  • Food
  • Pets
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • Fitness

Just make sure you don’t start creating content within a niche that’s too saturated, like losing weight or making money online.

Yes, it is still entirely possible to succeed in these competitive niches, but drill down into sub-topics that have a lot of long tail keywords.

For example, instead of targeting “how to lose weight”, you might have more success with “how to lose belly fat while on the Keto diet”.

Or instead of “how to make money online”, you could see more potential with “17 ways to make money on Fiverr”.

Choose your main niche from the ideas above, find some products on Amazon between $50-$150, drill down into a less competitive sub-niche, and start small.

You always have the choice to expand when your blog becomes an authority site.

The Blogging Process: Focus on Less, Achieve More

The process of blogging is quite different than the blogging business model.

The model encapsulates the blogging business as a whole. It’s the big picture or vision you have for your blog, your “why”, and it helps you establish overall goals.

And the blogging process outlines important tasks that need to be carried out to achieve your blogging goals.

  • Model = What is the blog about? How does it help people? What are the primary business goals?
  • Process = What steps are involved to maintain growth? How will you achieve your primary goals?

The Blogging Process 101

Here is a quick summary of the process of growing a blog to continuously hit your blogging goals:

  • Publish: This is the most important part of the blogging process. Without content, your blog has no value. If you create the content yourself, the process is simple; write every single day. If you outsource content, you’ll need a system to hire a team; more on that in the next section.
  • Measure: It’s essential to track your blog’s performance. Otherwise, you won’t know where to make improvements or how effective your process is. You can track engagement metrics with Google Analytics and measure things like pageviews and content performance.
  • Optimization: Use the data you collect to refine the process. Find the topics that are performing the best and focus on creating more of the same to support what works. Each part of the system can be optimized, but so can the system as a whole.

The most important skill to learn with a blogging business is content creation and the ability to sit down every day and crank out articles.

If you have a budget to hire your own writers, that’s great. However, for your first blog, you want to understand what makes a good blog post.

That’s why it’s a good idea to write the first 50-100 articles so you know how the system works. Once you know how each part of the process works, you’ll find it so much easier to manage a team of writers.

Once you’ve reached your blogging goals and plan your exit, you can use the sale of the blog to fund other blogging projects or an entirely different business model if you choose.

Hire a Team of Writers

Once you’ve written a good chunk of articles for your blog and understand what it takes to write quality content, you will want to start outsourcing some or all of your content.

Getting to this stage in the blogging business is where you can really scale up growth. You go from working in the business to owning the business.

This is where you’ll gain more freedom and start focusing your attention on ways you can double down on your blog strengths and areas of improvement.

You’ll get to put more time into your marketing efforts and making sure your writers are creating consistently high-quality content.

All you need to do is sign up for an online writing site or job board, find some writers, and provide them with some details and requirements of the content you want.

These are known as content briefs and clarify your niche market, avatar, and articles you want with their targeted keywords.

Let’s take a look at a few options when searching for writers.

3 Places to find good writers

  • iWriter: A great platform to buy articles as and when you need them. iWriter is best for finding cheaper content quickly and less about building a team as everything is managed within your account.
  • Upwork: A more advanced platform to find professional writers, build a team, and keep everything managed on the Upwork site and built-in messaging system.
  • ProBlogger: One of the oldest and most widely used jobs board to find high quality freelance writers that you hire and manage directly in your business.

Our top recommendation for this process is Upwork.

Check Out Upwork

Blogging Business Tools

Now that you have a better understanding of the blogging business model, let’s that take a look at some tools to make the whole process a lot smoother.

WordPress plugins

WordPress plugins have endless potential for enhancing the functionality of your blog and overall features of your website.

But they can also make blogging tasks easier and a more enjoyable process.

Plugins like LinkWhisper will save you a bunch of time creating internal links between your articles and help you rank for more keywords.

Look Into LinkWhisper

You could use a plugin like Editorial Calendar to help you schedule content and stay consistent with publishing articles.

Plugins can be useful, but don’t let them take up too much of your focus and distract you from the real markers of your blog’s growth.

Productivity and staying organized

As you can tell from this guide, there are a ton of parts that make up a successful blogging business.

That’s why it’s vital to keep things organized so you can keep on top of content production, marketing practices, and managing your team of writers.

To ramp up productivity and keep your sanity, tools like Trello, Asana, and even a spreadsheet can be a lifesaver.

For example, Trello uses a kanban style workflow where you add cards to a list within a board.

Cards can be used to store details about the articles you’re planning to write, which are stored in lists that manage the stages of completion.

These are managed within a board, which can organize different parts of the business model. For example, you can manage articles with a content production board and manage business goals with a blog performance board.

Text editors

If you’re spending a lot of time writing articles, you’ll want to find a text editor that you enjoy using.

Some people like to write directly into the WordPress editor, but this can sometimes feel a bit clunky or, in worst case scenarios, potentially make you lose your work if your website goes down mid-editing.

Editors like Google Docs will autosave your work and markdown editors like Obsidian won’t carry over weird formatting when pasting into WordPress.

Choosing the best text editor for blogging will depend on your own preferences and it may take testing a few to find which one works for you.

Copywriting software

The launch of AI writing tools and copywriting software have blown up in recent months and years and they are only getting better as they age.

As copywriting is an essential skill for creating high-converting content, tools that can help guide you in this process can be a worthy business investment.

ClosersCopy is a copywriting tool that helps you structure content in a way that motivates the reader to take action, whether that be joining your email list, staying on your site for longer, or making a purchase.

Other popular tools like Jasper.ai are getting better at writing entire articles and even books.

With the help of a human touch and strategic planning, these tools can help speed up your content creation process or, at the very least, banish writers block.

Blog content calendar

Compiling a spreadsheet of content ideas is one thing, but keeping up with content production is an entirely different ball game.

To stay consistent, consider creating a blog content calendar.

This can maximize your productivity by assigning specific articles to be published by a certain date, setting deadlines, or setting goals for how many article you want to publish each month.

To manage this process, you can use something as simple as a spreadsheet or Google calendar, or as advanced as a content calendar tool like CoSchedule.

CoSchedule lets you create a content calendar and keep everything organized in one place. They also have a free WordPress plugin to save you from having to login to multiple locations.

Conclusion

The blogging business model helps you treat your blog as a business, maintain goals, and earn more revenue.

A lot of blogging gurus overlook the big picture when they talk about blogging and make you think that there’s a quick and easy path to passive income.

But shifting your mindset and taking your blog seriously can actually help you stick to achieving your goals and reaching success faster.

By Steve Allen

Steve Allen is a niche site builder, writer, and all-around WordPress wizard. He enjoys personal development, entrepreneurship, double espressos, and making things work better than they did before.

Sourced from Niche Pursuits

Storyselling helps you strategically deliver stories that get people to take action. It supercharges your content marketing and copywriting to increase sales.

If you’re wondering how to make a living online as a writer who works in marketing, advertising, or another creative field, then you’re going to be thrilled to learn all about storyselling.

Writers who provide services to businesses benefit from storyselling because your ability to craft stories that drive action make you a writer businesses would love to hire.

And if you sell products, your ability to craft words in your business blogging that drive action help prospects make the choice to buy the products you offer.

What is storyselling?

Starting a blog to promote the products or services you sell online is a great first step, but you can’t just write articles about anything that comes to mind (or play just what you feel, for that matter).

Your blog post ideas have to tell compelling marketing stories that help you stand out from your competition.

That’s where storyselling comes in. It ensures that all of the time and energy you put into writing great content doesn’t go to waste, so you actually reach your goals. Blogging can be a hobby, but storyselling turns your blog into a business.

7 steps to killer storyselling

The step-by-step guide below will get you up and running with the basics of great storyselling to help your online business ideas come to life.

You’ll be well-positioned to build a blog that builds your business.

Of course, we’ll start with copywriting.

Step #1: Copywriting fundamentals

Unfortunately, nothing sells itself.

Smart content entrepreneurs know that people find great businesses through marketing and advertising.

So, the first step to storyselling is identifying the ideal person who is the perfect fit for what you sell. With copywriting, you speak directly to one person.

In order to do that, you need to intimately get to know that prospect.

  • What problems do they need solved?
  • What desires do they need fulfilled?
  • How can you make their lives easier?
  • What type of language do they use?
  • What makes them laugh?
  • What makes them feel inspired?
  • Who do they turn to when they need to talk with someone?
  • When are they ready to make a purchase?
  • Why haven’t other solutions worked?
  • How can you help them in ways other businesses don’t?

If you have an outstanding, ethical product or service, your target audience should be thrilled to hear about it.

Don’t be shy about using proven techniques — such as copywriting — to make sure the right people hear about how you can help them.

Word choice is critical here, as you empathize and build a bond with your prospect.

In order to guide him to the products or services that are right for his needs or desires, you have to use the right words.

“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.” – David Ogilvy

Whether you’re selling a product, a service, a message, or an idea, your copywriting has a goal.

Every word, every sentence, every paragraph is intentional — it’s not about fulfilling a certain word count or writing a certain number of pages.

However, as a rule of thumb, long copy typically works better than short copy.

It’s simply because the more opportunities you have in your storyselling to make compelling arguments in favor of your offer, the more opportunities you have to persuade someone to take you up on it.

You have to understand why someone might be hesitant to buy and overcome those fears as you guide them to make a decision (more on that in Storyselling Step #6 below.)

Step #2: Storyselling combines content marketing and copywriting

If you have a great offer, weak marketing actually does everyone a disservice.

But what exactly is copy? And how does it fit in with content marketing?

In short, copy is creative text that intentionally guides someone to do business with you.

Picture Don Draper from Mad Men staring out a window, Canadian Club whisky in hand, quietly contemplating the perfect way to position a product to make his client (and himself) a lot of money.

It’s not quite that glamorous in practice, but it does require a large dose of creativity and discipline.

You create content to attract and engage an audience. Then, your copywriting skills help close the deal so that those people become customers.

Content marketing is marketing that is too valuable to throw away. Blogs, podcasts, and videos are common platforms used for storyselling.

Copywriting is the art and science of persuasive writing. It’s the words that guide someone to take the action you want them to take (i.e., Subscribe, Join, Buy) after you’ve hooked them with your remarkable storyselling in your content.

The two practices use empathy to build an audience and convert prospects into buyers.

Picture this:

Content marketing is a vase.  

Copywriting is a flower.

The vase is the valuable container that holds a persuasive flower (your offer).

Content marketing and copywriting work together for your business.

Ask yourself:

“What does someone need to know to do business with you?”

You’re always thinking of what the prospect is going through — and how you can meet them where they are to guide them on their journey.

Empathize with your prospect on their journey from where they are to where they want to be.

  • What does that person think?
  • What does that person feel?
  • What does that person see?
  • What does that person do?

Researching those factors gives you a pool of information to pull from that helps you choose the right words for your final copy.

Once you’ve learned about your prospect, you take your reader on a storyselling journey that persuades.

Step #3: The art of persuasion

Now that we’re clear on how content marketing and copywriting work together, we can drill down into your main job as a copywriter who uses storyselling: persuasion.

In order to persuade, you have to intimately know who you’re talking to and avoid vague language, so make sure you’ve reviewed Storyselling Steps #1 and #2 above.

Have a clear, specific picture of your ideal customer?

Good.

Here’s a 5-part template to help persuade them to do business with you:

  1. Where your prospect is on their buying journey
  2. What you’ve got for them
  3. What it’s going to do for them
  4. Who you are
  5. What the prospect needs to do next

Whether you want to get an opt-in for your email list, gain a new blog subscriber, make a sale, or just inspire readers to support your favorite cause, start with this storyselling method.

You can add other copywriting techniques to make it work even better, but with the following elements in place, you’ll have the most important bases covered.

Let’s look at each of the five elements.

1. Where the prospect is on their buying journey

You’ll start by telling a story that the prospect can see themselves in. They’re the hero in this story and you’re going to be their guide.

Your goal is to show them that you understand:

  • Where they’re at
  • What they’re going through
  • Their struggles
  • Their frustrations
  • What brings them joy
  • Where they’d like to be in the next few weeks … the next few months … the next few years
  • Etc.

This is your biggest opportunity to be creative and form a bond with your readers.

What do your competitors miss or get wrong? Take advantage of storyselling to fill in those gaps.

2. What you’ve got for them

After you’ve demonstrated that you understand where the prospect is on their buying journey, you next have to describe what you have for them.

What’s your product? What does it do? Who’s it for?

Start with a simple overview of what you’ve got to offer, and before you elaborate on that too much, fulfil the next requirement …

3. What it’s going to do for them

Here’s where we talk about the great benefits of taking the action you want your reader to take.

What’s better about life with your product or service?

Describe the end result, the “after” picture once your customer has bought your product and used it as you recommend.

Let the reader know how your product helps her reach the goals that matter most to her.

Now it’s time to unpack the rest of what the product or service is all about.

These are “features.” They’re important, although they’re not as important as “benefits.”

But if you gloss over the details of what your product or service actually contains, people will be hesitant about putting their money down. And as we all know, hesitant people don’t buy.

Typically, the best way to list features is with a series of fascinating bullet points. Include enough specifics to make the product feel valuable.

Bullet points are a “secret weapon” for copywriters because they pull the eye in and let you make your point in a powerful, skimmable way.

4. Who you are

Most of the time, you need to establish that you’re a trustworthy person and that you know what you’re talking about.

That’s why good sales letters often include a photo near the top of the page.

The photo can include some element personalized to your business that helps the reader like and trust you.

Remember that this is not just who you are, but how you’re like your customer, and what you offer that will benefit her.

So, it’s not actually about you after all — it’s about how you help her.

5. What the prospect needs to do next

This is your call to action (more on this below in Storyselling Step #7).

The reader needs to know specifically what to do next.

To move forward with the sale, tell the reader what to do right this minute. Be specific and painstakingly clear.

Storyselling isn’t just about exchanging dollars. It’s about motivating a specific, well-defined behaviour.

The next time you see a really masterful sales pitch, try to identify these five elements. Look for it in infomercials, catalogue copy, sales letters, and good product reviews.

When you start spotting these persuasion elements “in the wild,” you’ll be on your way to becoming a more effective copywriter — a copywriter who sells.

Step #4: Magnetic headlines

When you start studying ads you encounter every day, you’ll notice that they don’t get read if one critical element isn’t in place: the headline.

Headlines grab attention so that the rest of your writing gets read. They’re the most important part of your storyselling.

Why?

Because without a magnetic headline, it doesn’t matter how many brilliant details you go on to tell your reader about.

They’ll leave your page (web or otherwise) if your headline doesn’t give them a reason to stick around.

So, your headline either:

  1. Convinces a prospect to read the rest of your copy (potential sale)
  2. Doesn’t hook a prospect — and they don’t read the rest of your copy (no potential sale)

First impressions matter, and when it comes to attracting attention from interested prospects, you (once again) must know your customer.

When you empathize with your ideal prospect, you’ll know how to use the right language to keep them reading your copy because you’ll know how to express information that is relevant to their needs and wants.

Your headline needs to communicate:

  • Who should care about your story
  • How you’re going to help them, in ways competitors don’t
  • Why they should care right now

You want to get someone to read your story immediately, because content or copy “saved for later” is content and copy that’s forgotten.

How do you do that?

  1. Write your headline drafts first.
  2. Draft a ton of options, including slight variations.

The main thing to keep in mind is that a headline is a promise.

It promises some kind of benefit or reward in exchange for attention.

That reward could range from entertainment to a fulfilled dream to the solution to a pressing problem.

A good way to make sure your headlines always offer a compelling reward is to refer back to the 4-U approach taught by our friends at AWAI (American Writers & Artists Institute).

Your headlines must:

  • Be USEFUL to the reader
  • Provide her with a sense of URGENCY
  • Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow UNIQUE
  • Do all of the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way.

Ultimately, a benefit-driven headline effortlessly leads a reader into your copy.

Many new copywriters struggle with headlines that are UNIQUE and ULTRA-SPECIFIC because it’s often challenging to keep your message clear while satisfying those two requirements.

When you study the headlines that pique your interest, identify the parts that make them UNIQUE and ULTRA-SPECIFIC — the exact reasons why they got your attention and persuaded you to take a closer look at the body copy.

Learning how to write great headlines is an absolutely vital part of your success with storyselling.

When you start your next writing assignment — whether it’s a blog post, ebook, video script, or sales page — make sure you leave plenty of time for drafting and experimenting with headlines.

Step #5: Benefits and features of a product or service

Once you convince a prospect to read your copy, they have to know what’s in it for them if they take you up on your offer.

Benefits and features are the core of copywriting.

The specific skill of being able to clearly describe benefits and features in a persuasive way is what differentiates copywriters from other types of writers.

What are features? What are benefits?

And how do they support each other to make a sale?

  • Features explain your offer.
  • Benefits persuade someone to care about the offer.

You guide a prospect to discover:

  1. What they’re going to get
  2. How it’s going to help them get the results they want

These details emerge from your storyselling research about your target audience, in addition to basic facts about your product or service.

As an exercise, dissect the different sections of your copy and label them as benefits or features.

Is it balanced?

If your copy doesn’t have enough benefits, you’ve likely not dug deep enough into the frustrations and obstacles that your ideal customer or client faces.

Uncover those struggles, so that you can perfectly position your product or service as a way for them to conquer the issue at hand.

Keep reading to find out the best ways to convince those prospects who are still on the fence about your offer.

Step #6: Overcome objections

A business needs to be aware of possible reasons why someone may not choose their product — and then address those concerns head-on.

Effective copy addresses the conversation already going on in a prospect’s mind, and the better your storyselling can soothe any doubts a person may have about purchasing your product or service, the better your chances of gaining a customer or client.

The next time you’re listening to your favorite podcast or watching your favorite YouTube channel, you might want to think twice before you skip over any ads or promotional content.

Listening to or watching ads is a great way to spot all of the ways you can overcome objections with your copy.

Skilled copywriters carefully select each word they choose to:

  1. Differentiate further. What does your prospect struggle with the most? How do you help them with this in ways competitors don’t?
  2. Overcome objections that the prospect may have to both your benefits and features.

That combination forms a deeper bond with the prospect and supports their purchase decision.

Through this process, you have the opportunity to highlight the true benefits you provide that make you stand out as the best choice for their wants or needs.

True benefits in your copy don’t address what you think they need. True benefits in your copy address what the prospect actually wants or needs.

With great storyselling, it’s not the problem you think they have. It’s the problem they actually have.

When you overcome objections, you speak to true benefits in order to persuade.

If someone isn’t convinced by your offer so far, what do you need to tell them to close the deal?

Think about showing versus telling here, with winning details within:

  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Exercises/worksheets
  • Demonstrations
  • Tutorials

Your customer or client wants to see how someone just like them has truly benefited from your product or service.

Step #7: Calls to action (CTAs)

Once you’ve built a desire for a product or service, it’s time to bring all of your storyselling work together.

Every persuasion sequence — whether it’s an email opt-in page for a freebie or a sales letter for a product or service — needs a clear and specific call to action.

If your copy guides someone to an action that doesn’t cost anything (i.e., subscribe to your blog), you still need to sell it.

You’re competing for attention and time rather than money — and those are in very short supply.

Select only one goal per piece of copy.

At the end of your text, you’ll explicitly state the action you’d like your reader, listener, or viewer to take (based on the goal of the copy).

Some actions you might want someone to take include:

  • Sign up for your free email course
  • Comment on your blog post
  • Share your in-depth guide on social media
  • Like and Subscribe to your YouTube channel
  • Join your paid membership community

This is strategic. When you have one of these action-goals in mind before you write, your copy will support your goal.

It should feel natural at this point, after everything you’ve already shared, to ask the prospect to take your desired action.

The work you’ve done to create persuasive copy naturally leads to asking your prospect to take the action you want them to take.

If you’ve followed the Storyselling Steps above, your prospect should be happy to take you up on your offer.

Copywriting in your content marketing helps you build and maintain relationships on the prospect’s journey to becoming a customer or client.

Are you new to storyselling? What to do next

The written word drives the web. It always has, and it always will.

Even if you’re working with audio or video, the right words are still what make the difference.

  • Words drive engagement.
  • Words drive customer experience.
  • Words drive sales, growth, and profit.

And if you want to master the art of using words to drive business results, you’ve come to the perfect place — Copyblogger has been helping accelerate the careers of writers just like you since 2006.

“If you are both killer and poet, you get rich.”

In the classic book Ogilvy on Advertising, legendary copywriter David Ogilvy recounts a conversation with his colleague William Maynard, creative director at Ted Bates & Company.

Maynard shared this observation about the writers he had worked with during his career:

“Most good copywriters fall into two categories. Poets. And killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers as a means to an end.”

And then Ogilvy famously added:

“If you are both killer and poet, you get rich.”

He would know. Ogilvy was responsible for some of the most creative and innovative advertisements of the “golden age” of advertising.

So when we talk about being a poet and a killer inside Copyblogger Academy, what does that mean?

It’s simple. We’re talking about a person who is both creative and strategic.

Too much content produced in the name of digital marketing is viewed as simply a means to an end, and that’s why it fails.

And yet, no one is interested in paying you to express yourself unless it also meets business objectives.

The best copywriters and content marketing professionals understand how to combine poetry with purpose — and that’s a large part of our ongoing training with Copyblogger Academy members.

When creative writing is employed strategically, with the aid of illuminating data and powerful technology, your capacity for meaningful impact and personal success skyrocket.

By Stefanie Flaxman

Stefanie Flaxman is Copyblogger’s Editor-in-Chief. Check out her masterpiece blogging series on YouTube.

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