I’ve been working on another site of mine for the last year and it has nothing to do with blogging or Internet Marketing. It’s a longevity site for Baby Boomers. As I’ve been working on it, I’ve been learning about such novel things as marketing, getting traffic and making strategic connections outside of the blogging niche.
When you look online for marketing ideas, you’ll mostly find tips from people who are marketing the topic of marketing. These people make most of their money telling people how to market their websites as opposed to talking about how to promote a niche that has nothing to do with teaching others how to market. Of course, there are plenty of ways to make a great income talking about a topic you are truly passionate about. So here are a few things I’ve learned since I started working on my other blog:
Always keep your site active
Unfortunately, the majority of people who set up a blog don’t post in it once it’s set up. If they do, it’s very occasionally. The beauty of a having a blog is that it’s alive. A website that just sits there is basically an online business card but it’s also sort of dead. Your static site may be a way to find you if you’re a brick and mortar business, but that’s about it. A blog with regularly posted articles becomes interactive and stays relevant. It’s a way to build your list outside of the people you meet in real life because your subscribers are able to stay in touch with you, and get either email updates each time you post or a regular newsletter.
Get involved with other people in your niche
It’s easy to find yourself isolated from humanity if all you’re doing is writing posts to the wind. You need to start connecting with others who are into the same space as you are. I’ve become involved with Twitter Chats, Google Hangouts and local bloggers and companies. By doing this, I’ve been able to get involved with group activities that have driven traffic to my site, participated in really cool educational events, and received some fun free goodies.
Realize many of your best connections will not come from your website at all.
You have to physically get out there and network. Go to events, meetups, and local business networking meetings. You never know who you’ll meet. Seek out speaking opportunities. Just be advised that networking can also be a huge waste of time if you end up getting zero results. It’s important to be strategic about attending events because there is usually commuting and expenses involved. Get connected with other people locally who are interested in the same topic as you are. Collaborate with them by setting up events, seminars, workshops, webinars, etc.
Contribute articles outside of your own website.
Guest posting on other people’s sites is a powerful tool to build an audience, especially if the site you contribute to has a great deal of traffic or a dedicated readership clearly interested in your topic. Once your post is up you’ll get backlinks from that site to yours. Backlinks are good for search engine optimization. (SEO)
Seek out other website owners, online and offline newspapers, and various media outlets. Pitch them on how they would benefit from your expertise and ask if you can submit an article, video, podcast or become a part of a group presentation. Once your offering is live, make sure to have a specific landing page to send readers to on your own site, apart from your home page. Welcome the readers (viewers, listeners) who have come from that particular venue, tell them what you and your business is all about, and have an opt in form to get them to sign up immediately to be on your mailing list. (with a juicy incentive) Your landing page should be free from distractions, (no sidebars) and have one call to action. (join the list) Direct people back to your home page after they’ve opted in.
Have a good reason to add content to your site.
There’s been quite a bit of talk on the Internet about content curation. This is where bloggers import RSS feeds from other bloggers to their own site. Some people swear by it, but I personally feel like it’s a type of online piracy. Others, may take an article that someone else has written, write it in their own words, and then insert a link back to the original article. This may be fine if it leads to your desired result, and the other site has no objection to you doing it, but it isn’t a good idea to simply plaster articles on your site for the sole purpose of adding content. It’s important to have a plan or theme, and to write in your own voice, or the voice of your company, as much as possible with a specific goal in mind. Don’t be afraid to inject your own personality into your posts. If you want people to eventually buy from YOU, as opposed to a competitor, they must have a compelling reason to do so.
Even more importantly, find ways to connect with your audience and answer their burning questions. Engagement is key. Find out what it is they need the most and what they want to know about. You can do this by conducting online and offline surveys or by monitoring sites in the same niche for questions and conversations on similar topics.
Don’t give up
A thriving online business takes time to develop, despite what you may hear from online marketers. It very rarely happens right away. You have to stick with it and stay persistent. You will probably make tons of mistakes and get frustrated at times. Instead of flushing your site down the toilet after the first disappointment, think of the obstacle as a learning experience. Find ways to fix the problem instead. Have lot’s of patience.
The other day I received my first affiliate commission from my other site. $75! I was so excited! It’s little things like that that begin to add up if you wait it out. As in any type of business 80% of people will give up and 20% will do what it takes to succeed. It’s way better to be one of the 20 percent, don’t you think?