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How to Blog as a Business – the Basics
* Download the audio podcast of this article to listen to on any device that plays MP3. Business Blogging Basics (download here) (mp3 format, 23 minutes in length). Going on iTunes shortly. Search iTunes for the INCZEN Podcast.
Blogging started out as a way to share your own diary with close friends, then the world. Now we have Facebook for that. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the world wants to hear all about what you watched on television or ate for lunch. Even your best friends and family members will eventually be bored to tears with a constant stream of that nonsense.
Business blogging is MUCH DIFFERENT than personal blogging!
It’s night and day.
Seriousness. Dedication. Making It Count.
Look at your business blog as extremely important. It is, right? It will be the project that funds the rest of your life, if you do it right. Look at your blog as your BABY.
And do it right. Forget about half-assing anything on your business blog. Get it right, or don’t do it at all. Go back to your 9-to-5 job and learn to like it if you’re not going to put 110% of yourself into your blog. With every article you write, every photograph you take and add titles to, every video you shoot and edit to put on your blog,
MAKE IT COUNT!
If you make a promise to always put out THE BEST MATERIAL you have – you can’t go wrong. You have a chance at success with an attitude like that. Without that promise of great quality and a very tight focus on your niche – you have a chance at nothing but obscurity.
Really. Blog focus is that important.
One time over at my IncAnswers.com site I blogged about internet marketers selling SEA MONKEYS, their programs were so ridiculous. That post got more attention than I could have ever guessed. You know what happened? Google labeled my site as having something to do with a business related to those silly things! Seriously. It took a year to get that article out of Google’s index. They loved it because they never had anyone write a great article mentioning the beasts. They sent so much traffic for people looking up information about it that it almost destroyed my drive to blog on the site any more.
That is just a small example. I could tell you dozens of mistakes I’ve made over the years. Some just hurt, and some made me a better person because they taught me something.
Trust me, it is very important to keep your focus rock-solid with your business blog. If you think there is a large contingent of people that care what color your daughter’s poo was after dinner, start a personal blog and talk all about it. Keep extraneous content out of your business blog.
Smashing Your Competition
By now, and we’re halfway to 2020 here, nearly every topic you could choose is competitive. You can’t blog about anything without already having someone out there talking about the same thing. You have to smash them. There’s no other way. If you do your research and realize there is just no way to smash them (like Wikipedia or TripAdvisor), then find another topic to focus on.
Once you do, it is crucial that you do your due diligence and figure out everything the best sites in your niche are doing to stay on top. Top is where you want to be! It isn’t lonely at the top either, it’s HEAVENLY. If you’re at the top of a major or even focused niche, you can probably make really decent money.
Some of you reading this can, and will MAKE SCARY MONEY. It will just take dedication to smash everyone else’s websites that already have a jump start on you.
Keep something in mind…
There are business blogs you’ll find during your research that appear to OWN a niche you want to be in. And, they don’t know their
ass nose from a FruitLoop.
They don’t know what to do with their new-found success.
Really. They literally had it fall into their lap, and they are struggling to figure out what to do about it, how to monetize the traffic visiting their site, and how to keep it going as long as possible, and grow it.
MANY of these sites will fail.
It happens all the time. I just cannot tell you how many people I’ve seen have Lady Luck drop a money bomb on their heads online and they just couldn’t figure out what to do with it. It was months or years and they lost what they had because they didn’t know how to capitalize on their good fortune.
If you are ever that lucky, or that determined, and you have a few thousand, or tens of thousands of people at your website daily, you will need to figure out the answers to the questions I mentioned. Good fortune doesn’t come everyday, week, or every year. If you are lucky enough to have it – do EVERYTHING in your power to figure it out and make it continue for as long as possible. At least for your kids to enjoy it too.
Blog Post Frequency
I’m so tired of hearing internet marketers tell good people like you that they don’t need to blog but once or twice a week. “Five times a week” at 500 words per post.
Nope. No way. I’m calling BS. When you’re first starting out, you should be adding at least a thousand words to your blog per day. Nothing less, and hopefully MORE. As I said, every niche is crowded and you’re competing with everyone in it. Twenty-eight thousand words per month will put you ahead of most bloggers in your niche – for sure.
But not the best.
Where do you want to be in this?
If you have the NEED to get this done and come out on top, you may do it. If you just want it, even if you want it bad, you probably won’t get there.
I’ll tell you what you need to do by way of an example of someone I saw absolutely KILL IT online.
My friend Patrick Meninga decided he NEEDED to find success online. He was working a nine-to-five job that he liked, but his real goal was to get out of that and live “The Life.” He already had about five-hundred really good articles at his site. He had a few hundred people per day coming to it. He was making some money from ads. He could have relaxed and banked the $300 per month and made $3,600 per year for the next fifteen years. $54,000 extra in fifteen years isn’t bad coin.
IT WASN’T ENOUGH for Patrick. So, five years ago he did something pretty much unheard of – at least I’d never heard of ANYONE knocking this out like he did.
He began writing four-thousand and more words PER DAY for his blog.
He was leaving no doubt in his mind whether or not he was going to give it his best shot. He knew he was going to absolutely CRUSH anyone in his space. He wrote something ridiculous like 2,000 articles as fast as he could write. Google didn’t react at first. They were probably choking on it. They were struggling to figure out how this guy cranked out that much content in such a short period of time. It took some months, but when the Big G started indexing his content, he absolutely smashed it and was making thousands of dollars just in ads on his site per month.
Nice, right? I love to see someone work hard and then start really making bank from their efforts.
And then? Well, then it got REALLY GOOD.
In no time, Patrick was looking at a cash offer of $200,000 for the entire site – all 3,000 articles. He took it and ran!
Not that he ran anywhere, the guy that owned the site was so happy to have it, he offered Patrick $2,500 per month to continue writing articles for the website!
So, that’s what was necessary for Patrick to absolutely own the space he decided to play in.
Today, I STILL don’t see anyone cranking it up to that level. Patrick was an anomaly.
Thing is, you probably don’t need to go that hard. What if you went half that hard? I think in most niches you would begin passing your competition quickly. I’ve seen Google react in weeks lately, not months. If you really started cranking out amazing content in your niche that people loved, and especially shared on social media, you could make something big happen in a short time.
If you had the dedication.
Some of you reading this right now will look forward to that time. You’ll put the idea away in your mind as something you could come back to in the future. Nice feeling, right?
Nahh… most of you WON’T EVER come back to it.
But some of you, very few of you, will GO NOW and hit the ground running. You’ll write your ass off for the next six months, year, to see how far you can get. Some of you will be making ten thousand dollars a month within a year. It happens all the time. Not everyone is coming out in public with their stories.
They don’t want anyone duplicating exactly what they’re doing! Success online is usually fairly easy to replicate.
Those that do come out and tell you how they’re making money, either:
- don’t care because they have other passive income
- tell you the old ideas they did a year ago or more that don’t work for them much now
- are dumb enough to tell you their best ideas now!
Copying But Not Duplicating the Best Blogs in Your Niche
You’d be a fool if you did everything your way without giving any thought to duplicating some of what is already being done successfully by the best in your field.
Copy ideas judiciously. Copy blog theme, colors, formatting, media styles, etc. Copy everything you can possibly copy from the best of the best blogs in your niche. Stay out of jail, but if you don’t copy much of what the best of the best in your niche are already doing successfully, then you deserve to fail. Don’t re-invent your niche. Follow what everyone else is doing, and do it MUCH better, or create a twist where you’re doing it differently, and better for at least some of the people interested in that niche.
Make it even better. Make it MUCH better. Open some of the best content from top bloggers in your niche in a new browser window. Beside it open your WordPress “New Page” tab and start writing a page that follows the same focus of the page you’re copying, but you have to rewrite every sentence, every word. You can’t duplicate any of it, in fact, you don’t WANT any of it. You want to make it all BETTER. It’s one thing to copy what someone has done, and you are copying it, but you are going to improve it and bring the content to a new and higher level.
If their content is just so good that you can’t possibly improve on it, then find another post that you CAN make substantially better. Find images on the successful blog and take your own BETTER PHOTOS or find better images at stock agencies online like Dreamstime.com. Stock agencies have the best of the best. When we buy images at Dreamstime, we pay for the publishing rights. We don’t have to put a copyright notice on the image. It isn’t required. It is suggested, but we definitely never do that if we don’t have to. We just paid money for it, it’s ours to use as we wish within the limitations.
Google likes to see original images. They don’t want to see Flickr creative commons photos on your business blog. Worse, they don’t want to see you stealing someone else’s copyrighted photo you have no rights to.
Create your business blog completely by the book. Make it stand out as a near PERFECT EXAMPLE of the best anyone can do in the business you are in.
What is Your Blogging Voice, and Why Is Getting It Right Absolutely Crucial?
Hype is dead. It was dead a half-dozen years ago, and yet many people who are in your niche are STILL beating their customers over the head with it. Remove all hype from your website. Really. Hype in selling is so prevalent that we’re all numb to it, or averse to it. Nobody likes it. Probably nobody EVER DID. It’s a false way to talk to people. It’s like a sleazy car sales guy that switches the radio in the car to a cheaper unit after you pay the money and you’re waiting for your new car to come out of the garage.
This happened to my mom when I was about ten years old. I can STILL remember the guy’s face that owned the dealership! This was 38 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. The guy told his mechanics to swap the radio out before the mechanics brought the car out after she paid for it. My mom was about 38 years old. She had a tough life. She worked really hard for all she had. She was raising three of us kids on her own, dad had bailed-out years before. My mom was working as a steel welder for a desk manufacturer. Yeah, my sweet mom! It was all she could do, bless her heart!
So, this guy swapped the radio and my mom had a major fit and bitched out the sales guy, and the owner of the entire place for a good fifteen minutes. Everyone that was there looking at a car or buying a car, knew they had screwed her around and some people walked out. The owner of the dealership came over and tried to pull her gently away from the front desk to talk and mom wasn’t having ANY of it. She blasted the whole group.
Well, mom got her radio in the car, that was for damn sure!
For God’s Sake, Stop the Hype
Sleaze and hype, though it sells at times, doesn’t satisfy. It is less than honest. It is a disgusting way to treat people.
Treat your customers and potential customers as you would treat your OWN MOTHER. Sell someone something ONLY if they think they need it and it meets their needs.
The entire Internet Marketing Carnival should be flushed down the toilet this year. There are still people selling the dream that isn’t, and NEVER WAS going to happen for their customers.
You know what most internet marketers are doing?
They kill it in some area. They get large amounts of traffic to their blogs. They get a big email list. No matter WHAT THEY SELL from that point on – it sells. They can’t help but make money. They’ve apparently got the Midas Touch. They don’t really, they just have boatloads of traffic.
Then they go way off course and make up courses to tell beginners how to sell things like they do because that’s where the BIG MONEY is – telling you how to make the big money.
IT DOESN’T WORK for beginners because The Real Problem is finding traction to start.
The Real Problem is how to get massive amounts of traffic to come to your site.
The Real Problem is that beginners don’t have 5,000 or 150,000 strong email lists.
The Real Problem is that beginners don’t have friendly relationships with other A-Level bloggers that can push traffic to their offers.
The Real Problem is that nearly all internet marketers don’t really appear to give a shit at all about what they’re selling to whom.
They’re just like carnival knobs on a microphone trying to squeeze a quarter out a kid’s fingers.
All of these were factors in my decision to make this site. I’m going to call out a number of things that are absolute BULL SHI%. I’m so tired of seeing bad people take advantage of good people like you, and your mothers.
There is no short-cut to hard work and dedication to your goals. None. I’ve seen a lot online in fifteen years. I haven’t seen anyone do nothing at all and make it big. Sure we get breaks sometimes, as I said in the beginning of this article. When you get a break, capitalize on it QUICK! Figure it out and run with it.
You’ll never get a break sitting on your hands.
Business blogging is all about dedication to really smashing your competition in your blogging niche.
OK, I got off-track. That needed said though.
Your Blogging Voice
Your blogging voice is how you come across to visitors on your site.
Are you a friend sharing advice?
Are you an expert with a short fuse?
I have a bit of trouble with voice. I want to be a friend telling you everything I know in the world of online business and blogging. That’s what I’m shooting for.
I come across as something of a smart-ass at times. I don’t try, but I guess I feel like I know this stuff so well, inside and out, that when I share information I am too strong about doing so. I come across as a pompous ass at times, and that is NOT what I want. Still, sometimes my true personality shows through – ahhahaha! Just kidding.
It is hard to nail your voice down and keep it constant throughout every post you write, every audio podcast you do, and every video you create. Unless you are just “you.”
I strongly suggest you don’t try to adopt another voice, just be you.
Be you, AND be the one helping your friends online. Treat your visitors and customers at your blog site as your friends that you care about and want to lookout for.
We have a retail site where we sell things from Thailand. I often get people writing me saying they want to find something on the site that will bring them luck to get their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend back. They want something that will bring them money this year. They want something that will cure their kid of cancer.
You know what I do? I write them back and let them know that we personally don’t believe in such things and I subtly hint that they should spend their money in another, smarter way. It’s a real test to figure out how to let someone down, but we REALLY believe in not talking someone into anything. We offer lots of things that people already believe will help them. We don’t try to convince them that our products will bring them some magical event.
You should be like this with your business blog. Help people. Do no harm. There is plenty of money to be made online. If you can’t do it helping someone by being honest, then get the hell off the internet, you have no place here. Go join a carnival!
Which Niche to Choose?
There are some niches too big to be smashed by one person hammering away at a keyboard. You’ll never in your lifetime beat Wikipedia at it’s own game. It was first in and they hammered it by making it creative commons. You couldn’t beat them with a stick.
Just Forget About These Niches:
- internet marketing
- making money
- adult sites – unless it’s a very specialized niche
- running, and most exercises that are participated in by millions
- digital photography
- a thousand others
There are so many topics that are overdone. The competition is extreme, and you couldn’t get on top of niches like this for at least a couple of years, if ever.
I strongly suggest you focus on a niche that is specialized, and yet still has a lot of people in it.
I strongly recommend you choose a niche where money is being spent.
A long time ago I started AimforAwesome.com. It’s a blog focused on moving to and living in Hawaii.
Seems like it would be doing pretty well and easy to monetize, right?
There just isn’t much money being spent in this niche online. There are people on my site that are visiting Hawaii – but there is no great way to monetize the site to take advantage of that. EBooks are about it, and there are plenty of books in competition with my “Moving to Hawaii” ebook. Recently I just pulled it from Amazon and started giving it away for visitors email addresses.
Choose a niche where money is spent online frequently by visitors.
One of the best niches is – training.
This blog is focused on training you to become competent enough online that you can make some money with your blog.
Training is a great niche to be in. Pat Flynn created a training site for security guards and it’s cranking. I created Aarons-Online-Training.com in 1999 and sold it in a year. I just saw two teachers create training courses which made them $140,000 in a month. Training is no joke!
Helping people overcome bad habits – is another great niche.
The site Patrick Meninga sold for $200K was focused on the drug addiction treatment niche. People are spending a LOT of money to get a grip on their addictions. The buyer ran a treatment center in Florida. He had $200K cash to buy Patrick’s site and pay him to keep writing for him. There’s a lot of money in this niche.
If you have a hobby, you can turn it into the best website on the subject and make money on almost anything. Bryon Powell turned his love for trail running into IRunFar.com. It is now the world authority on ultra-trail running with guest posts by many of the world’s top runners. Bryon quit his lawyer practice and has been covering ultra-trail-running events across the globe for a couple years. Nice life!
There are many great areas you can start a blog about. I hope some of this has helped you.
If you want to know what day-to-day work you need to be doing to make your blog successful, that will be the next article coming in a day or so. Bookmark this page, share it, email it, whatever you need to do so you don’t forget where to come back and find the next step.
The Next Step – Business Blog Daily Activities!
Start Your Blog HERE in 5-minutes.
I walk you through starting your first blog step-by-step in this video: