The Ultimate 57 Point Blog Marketing Checklist

Filed in Blogging, Content, Ultimate Guides & Resources by on March 30, 2015

So, you've started a blog. Now what?

Well you need to get it in front of people. But, that's easier said than done, isn't it? Plus you've got the worry of creating content, editing, running all of your social media accounts and generally being lord of all you survey.

And, in the midst of it all, it's easy to get more than a little confused.

But don't fret. I'm here to help.

In this article you're going to find the ultimate in Blog Marketing checklists.

57 points of pure gold to help you get from your first blog post, to that 10,000th subscriber.

Sound good?

 

What You'll Learn

Ready? Let's go...

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

Your Platform

Your platform is the foundation of all your blog marketing.

How it runs. What it does. Why it does it. These are all huge players in getting your blog off the ground and making it stand out from everyone else’s.

This section is going to cover everything you need to:

  • Build a brand image
  • Understand the purpose of your blog
  • Manage your content
  • Create a solid platform to market from

 

#1 – Know Your Niche: 

What do the people in your world care about? Do they need help and guidance, tips and tricks or just general opinions on a topic?

The more you can cater to their needs, the more marketable you become.

And, don't make things up.

Be honest and authentic in how you approach your niche. If you don't know something, go out of your way to find it out. There is nothing worse than just finding an article that says what you want, not what's true.

 

 

#2 – Define your goals:

What do you want to gain from having a blog?

The clearer and more defined you make this point the more likely you are to succeed. Most blogs fail because they are aimless. Give yourself a target and work towards it.

Want a little more incentive to do this? People who write their goals earn, on average, 10x more than people who don't. Be sure this stage gets some serious thought.

 

darrenrowse"I think the most critical thing you can do in building a brand around your blog is to give some time to considering what kind of brand you want to build." - Darren Rowse, ProBlogger 

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#3 – Decide your brand image:

Everything you do on your blog is branding.

If the reader can interact with it, see it, hear it or feel it, it becomes a part of your brand.

Are you an authority? Do you cut through the bullshit? Are you soft or hard spoken? Are you at the cutting edge, or do you take a step back and think? What does someone feel when they think of your brand?

This study from the World Applied Science Journal discovered that strong branding can make people over 24% more likely to buy from you. Especially if they associate with the brand.

This is one of the hardest points on this list. But it also one of the most important. Get this right and your blog will start to market itself.

 

#4 – Decide your voice and tone:

When someone reads your articles, what should it sound like?

There is no right or wrong answer here. Just the image you want to give your readers.

If your niche is around Personal Training for big, strong men, you may want to take an abrasive no bullshit approach.

If your niche is around Personal Training for older women with back problems, you might want to take the softer touch.

This all comes down to knowing your reader. Which, brings me swiftly onto the next point…

 

#5 – Know your readers name:

Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. This is a useful tool that your platform could really use.

As I write this, your name is Liam Jones.

Your blog is struggling to get off the ground; you’re juggling lots of projects; you don’t care about fluff or filler content, you just want cold, hard actionable advice.

Your favourite TV shows are Boardwalk Empire and Madmen and you like people that are straight to the point. You may, occasionally, have the desire to wear wing-tipped shoes.

What’s my point?

The more you understand your reader the more successful your blog is.

The more you know about them, the better you know who you're selling to. And then you can choose how to word, label and pitch your products based on what type of person they are.

As you can see here, you can increase your sales by up to 20% just by identifying which type of buyer they are.

Create a person you’re writing too. Give them a name. Decide on their personality. Know how they treat their money. Then tell them everything you want them to know in your post. Show them the answers they’re looking for.

 

 

#6 – Have An editorial policy:

If you’ve followed the points so far, you have a good idea of what your brand is shaping up to be.

Now it’s time to enforce it.

Set up a posting guideline that says:

  • What content you’re looking for
  • The tone it should be written in
  • How long it should be
  • What the end product is
  • If the post should include images, quotes or referencing

This means that anyone – especially if you’re looking for guest writers, or have staff posting to your blog – know for sure what it is they need to do.

And your audience always knows what to expect.

Want an editorial policy you can base yours off? Boost Blog Traffic's is probably the most comprehensive, and user defined I've ever seen. You can find it here.

 

#7 – Designate an editor:

A good blog is a well-edited blog. And, as was pointed out over at Boost Blog Traffic, good writing may not be a metric for conversions, but it will be 100% more powerful if it's well edited.

Bad editing can destroy all the hard work you’ve just put into a post. So it pays to have someone who has the sole job of editing and making sure your posts are fit for purpose.

If you’re a one-man-band I’d recommend hiring a Virtual Assistant or Editor to do it.

If you’re a team, get the person who didn’t write the post to do it.

Regardless, make sure you have someone who makes sure your posts look and read well.

 

tomclifford"Our brains know what we want to say, but we can’t always express it flawlessly. Another set of eyes ensures that your audience will get it" - Thomas Clifford, Content Marketing Institute

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#8 – Have a posting schedule:

Make an educated decision on when you’re going to post your content.

Do some research and find out when people in your niche are most likely to read and share your work.

Are they interested in having something new to read each day, or do they want one long post that sums up everything? Is it better to have two blog posts, and then do Facebook updates for the rest of the week?

This comes down to what you want, you can handle and the niche you’re in.

But once you set up a schedule, stick to it. Consistency is key. And bloggers who have a consistent posting schedule? They have, on average, more views than blogs that don't.

 

 

y#9Have a comment policy:

Comments are a great interaction tool for a blog.

But they’re often overlooked. Try answering these questions and you’ll create your own comment policy in no time:

  • Do you want comments?
  • Which comments will you respond to?
  • What type of comments are users allowed to post?
  • Who responds to the comments?
  • How long after posting is too long to not respond?

Again there is no right or wrong answer here. But I think you should keep comments, because they’re a great source of content generation.

A great example of a comment policy comes from Dappered, the gentleman's style blog. Their policy is simple: say only what you would say to someone's face. Keeps the riff-raff at bay.

 

#10 - Set up an accessible mailing list:

Take a look around this page right now. What do you see?

Lots of opportunities to interact, that’s what.

More importantly you would have to be blind if you didn’t notice you could join the mailing list. Because Stuart makes it so stupidly easy to get signed up.

According to Social Triggers, there are 7 effective places to put your mailing list to increase your signs ups.

But are you using any of them on your blog? Or is your mailing list tucked away, in the darkest reaches, hoping that someone will stumble across it.

Your mailing list is the most important part of your marketing campaign. No arguments. No…not even what you just thought of.

Without your list you everything breaks down. You aren’t even marketing. You’re just posting stuff on the Internet for sh*ts and giggles.

Put your mailing list as pride of place on your site. Make it the focus. And reap the returns.

 

 

#11 – Have a powerful about us page:

It’s been said before, but it’s worth being said again – your About Us page is really important.

It’s where someone decides if they like, don’t like or if they want to be a part of your brand and your site.

A study by Blue Acorn Marketing also discovered that visitors to their About Us page were:

  • Five times more likely to purchase products
  • Spent 22% more money than other visitors

Why? Well, this is where you express why you do what you do. The emotional, powerful hero’s journey that makes your ideal reader want nothing more than to join your tribe.

It also works well for getting rid of the riff-raff you don’t want hanging about on your blog.

Put some time, effort and thought into this page and you’ll see a big impact on how people view you and your brand.

 

 

#12 - Have content in reserve:

Create more content than you need right now.

In his book, 279 Days to Overnight Success, Chris Guillebeau says you should have three months worth of content written before you even think about publishing your first post.

You probably don’t need to go that far.

But it’s good to make sure you’re at least a month ahead of yourself.

It doesn’t mean you can post new, hot topics as they surface. It just means that when life happens, you have a fall back option.

 

chrisg"Spend at least three months creating initial content before hitting the publish button" - Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non Conformity 

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#13 – Remember, the best blogger is the best thief:

Read something that worked well for someone else in your niche?

Steal the idea. Make it your own. Repackage and repurpose it.

Unless you completely plagiarise what they’ve done, there is nothing wrong with this. You’re just taking someone else’s idea and using it in your own way.

There is nothing original on the Internet anymore. Just the same ideas being said by lots of different people, in lots of different ways.

Accept it. Cash in on it. Move forward. Grow your business.

You’ll thank me later…

 

Website and User Experience

You’ve just learned about the inner workings, and the back of house lessons, of marketing your blog.

Now it’s time to see how it looks, feels and the experience of the user when they get to your site.

It doesn’t matter how good your marketing is, if they site isn’t:

  • Professional looking
  • Easy to use
  • Simple to understand
  • Easy to look at

Then, well, you’re running an uphill battle. And in today’s age of short attention spans and ‘Oooh, look at the shiny button!’ mentality, that could be almost vertical.

Let’s look at how you can do it right then.

 

#14 - Buy a WordPress theme and customise it…:

Theme’s probably make up a high percentage of what blogs look like nowadays. And having a theme isn’t a cop out.

If anything it’s a great way to save on costs and have a professional looking site.

Just be sure that everything is customised. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like just another blog.

 

 

#15- …or get a bespoke site:

If you don’t want a theme, pay for a bespoke site. But make sure it’s a good one.

I learned this lesson the hard way. A graphic designer once billed me $600 for work that turned out to be a WordPress template he’d just modified.

But a bespoke, original looking site can really add to the image you put across to your audience. If you have the budget, this can add a lot of perceived value to your site.

 

#16 – Make it easy to use:

Keep it simple, stupid.

Nobody wants to revisit a site that’s clunky, hard to navigate and requires lots of thinking to get around.

I like to think of this as the three-click rule. If it takes your reader more than three clicks to get to a page, your system is flawed.

Make sure you make your readers life as easy as possible. Think of these points:

  • Is it easy to share your posts?
  • Can readers find your posts?
  • Are they always able to join your mailing list?
  • Are the contact forms simple and easy to use?
  • Is commenting easy, or does it involve a complex sign up?

You should strive to have all of these in at least three clicks or under. If not, see if you can simplify it even further.

These last three points combat a powerful feeling called the, "Nobody likes to link to a crummy site" phenomena. Basically, if it doesn't look nice and isn't easy to use, people will have a hard time wanting to share your site with their audience too.

 

#17 – Have featured articles:

These should be put in two places.

  1. On your home page in plain sight
  2. At the bottom of your posts

They don’t have to be new articles. They just have to be articles that are relevant. And the more well placed they are in your layout, the more they can decrease your bounce rate.

Whether that’s your flagship content, your latest article or a lead magnet. Just be sure there is always more content for your reader to get involved in.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.13.29

 

Because, if they didn’t share or comment on this post, they might just do it on the next.

And it helps establish yourself as a real authority with lots of value to offer.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

#18 – Outline related posts:

In your content writing – which you will learn more about in a minute – link to other articles that might interest the reader too.

Whether you’re backing up an argument, talking about a previous piece of content or just linking to something that may be of interest.

Having these reference points helps your marketing on a few levels:

  • SEO Benefits
  • Keeps readers interested in your content
  • Great for networking with other bloggers
  • Makes content more trustworthy

When your article is finished, it’s never really finished. There is always an opportunity to build on it. Adding in related posts can have a big impact on that.

 

#19 – Build a funnel:

In the first section you looked at setting a goal for your blog.

Now you can really act upon it.

If you really want social shares give your reader every opportunity to share.

If you really want e-mail subscribers, put multiple sign ups in the midst of your post.

If you really want affiliate sales, get all the right links in the right place and drive the content home.

By simply redesigning his home page to focus on getting e-mail addresses, Noah Kagan (OKDork, AppSumo) managed to increase subscription rate by 8%.

There is no point setting a goal and not following up on it. Make sure whatever your user can do on your site; they’re always prompted to further your goal.

 

#20 – Custom 404 Pages:

Don’t settle for your stock 404 pages.

When the reader stumbles across the wrong page that shouldn’t be the end of their journey. Instead, create a 404 page that ushers them back to the other content on your site.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 08.55.06

 

 

#21 – Get Ugly:

Say what? Yeah, that’s right. Don’t be afraid to have parts of your site look ugly and out of place. Why?

Because, as we’ve seen time and time again, ugly sign up boxes can increase conversions by over 6%.

The proof is in the pudding, and Internet Marketers all over the world are adopting this strategy.

But it essentially comes down to this:

  • They break up the page and give the reader something new to focus on
  • They stand out and don’t get lost in the design of your theme
  • They’re always prompting people to take the action you want

It isn’t just limited to sign up boxes. You could do it to promote and upcoming webinar, a new product or a new service.

Ugly may feel like a risk. But all you’re doing is giving your content more chance to stand out.

 

adamconnell"[Social proof creating] authority is an awesome thing to have because most of us are inclined to trust authority figures implicitly" -  Adam Connell, Blogging Wizard

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#22 - Use Social Proof Everywhere:

Your readers are sheep. And they want to be herded by someone they can trust. Because they want to know they’re getting a good return on their time invested.

How can you prove that you’re trustworthy? Show them that someone else has endorsed you.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 09.08.29

 

Social Proof comes in lots of different forms:

  • Logo’s (like the picture above)
  • Links and Portfolio Pieces
  • Testimonials
  • Quotes from publications

And it’s super easy to leverage.

Did an authority in your niche tweet you back about a post you did? There’s a quote. Did you get retweeted by the Huffington Post? There’s a nice alternative testimonial.

The eCommerce site, Figleaves, managed to increase sales of their products by 12.5% by simply adding product reviews to sales pages. And the more reviews, the better they converted (up to 85%+ after 20 reviews).

Find any possible way you can to prove your content is trustworthy to the reader. And soon you’ll find yourself in the authority hot seat too.

 

 

#23 – Beat the spam:

Don’t just trust your filters and widgets to catch your spam and get rid of it. Be sure to manually clear any spam that you may have too.

Spammers are smart. And they’ll always try and find a way through your comment filters, because it’s in their best interests.

It’s also worth having the peace of mind that nobody is going to be able to buy Viagra or Fake Louis Vuitton handbags without you getting a cut of the action too…

 

#24 – Avoid lots of category tags:

Be particular and efficient in how you tag your posts. Choose one, maybe two, category tags for each one.

You want to make your content as easy to search (or filter out) as possible. The more tags you put on a piece, the harder that is to do.

Think of this as the opposite of Instagram. More tags doesn’t mean more people read your content. It means less people will be able to find the content they really want to read.

 

#25 – Decide on adverts:

This comes down to how you want to monetise your site, if at all.

Make the choice early on if you’re going to have adverts and where they’re going to go on your site.

If your readers come to your site right from the start and it has adverts, they’ll accept it and move on. If you completely overhaul your site in the middle of the night and start advertising products, they may not be as accepting.

At the end of the day they’ll get over it if they really want your content. But it’s much better to set the precedent early on.

 

Writing Marketable Blog Posts

By now you’ve made a lot of decisions for your blog. It’s branded, it’s got a great user experience and you’ve got a solid goal in place.

Excellent work so far, well done you!

Now’s where we get down to the real nitty gritty part of running a blog then. The main fuel for your content marketing fire. Writing content that your audience wants to read.

I’m going to split this into two sub-sections:

  1. Sourcing and creating content
  2. Writing better content

So you never need another content creation (or writers 101) again.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

Sourcing And Creating Content

 

#26 – The Skyscraper Method:

This is a perfect strategy when you’re just starting out with your blog. And it’s also pretty useful down the line too.

You know how I mentioned before that the best coach is the best thief? Well this is a content marketing strategy built on that foundation. Brian Dean over at Backlinko managed to use it to increase his organic traffic to a single post by over 50%.

Put simply, the process looks like this:

  1. Go to BuzzSumo
  2. Search a topic that fits your niche
  3. Find the articles that have been highly shared
  4. Read them
  5. Decide how you can improve on it
  6. Write it

Simple. Effective. Powerful. Use it to establish yourself and to come up with content ideas when you’ve got bloggers block.

 

#27 – Read user comments:

Your readers are really good at telling you what they want. In fact, they’re stupidly transparent. So much so that you might be overlooking it.

If you see a comment where someone asks a question or has an interesting problem, don’t just answer it in the comments section. Answer it as a whole article too.

And, if you don’t have any comments yet, find out what people are saying on someone else’s site. Then answer it on your own blog.

Chances are if one person is thinking it there will be others too.

 

leeodden“A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.” - Lee Odden, Optimize

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#28 – Read the forums:

Every niche has a forum.

It might not be your standard forum. It could be a Facebook group or a community attached to a blog. But no matter your niche there is somewhere people go to talk about their problems.

A simple search for Lyme Disease, for example, brings up over 20,000 users in Facebook groups.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 09.57.30

 

Get inside these forums and find what people want to hear. It’s better to go mini-viral in your niche answering a real problem then it is to go massively viral but not really help anybody.

 

#29 – Read this article:

20 Types Of Blog Post To Drive Traffic To Your Blog. Why?

Because it gives you a years worth of content for free. You’re welcome.

 

 

#30 – Be like James Taylor:

Who? You know the guy who sang You’ve Got A Friend.

Maybe. Maybe not. But what’s my point?

He’s been a music sensation since all The Beatles were alive. He fills out stadiums across the world and has made millions of dollars with his music.

Yet he has never had a hit single or placed in the charts. How has he done it?

Because he knew his niche. He gave them the content (songs in this case) that they want time and time again. He stayed true to his brand. And he cashed in without ever going viral.

Take the same approach. Be true to your niche and give them the content they need. Not something that might blow up and put you on the map.

 

Writing Better Content

 

#31 – Keep your paragraphs short:

Words have more power when they’re surrounded by lots of white space. Keep your paragraphs to three sentences maximum. TinyBuddha have used the three sentence rule to help grow their blog to over 1.6 million people. So can you.

 

#32 – Write shorter sentences:

The shorter the sentence, the easier it is to read. The easier it is to read, the more people will want to read it. The more people want to read it, the more money you make.

Simple, right?

Short sentences also hold attention. They aren’t draining to read. And it means that, when you do come to a longer sentence where you need to explain a point more in depth, they have more energy to read it. Like you just did then.

The bottom line? If it worked for Ernest Hemingway, it will work for you. This short post by Brian Clark is one of the best writing lessons I ever had, so definitely take a read.

 

#33 – Use bullet points:

Bullet points have some great benefits. They can:

  • Break up boring content
  • Give the reader something new to look at
  • Attract their attention
  • Illustrate your point clearly
  • Make ideas stick (and easier to find when they re-read the post)

Use them to your advantage and to drive your point home.

 

 

#34 – Avoid long tangents:

Stay on topic.

There is nothing worse than a blog post that veers off at a 90-degree angle without addressing why the reader is reading the post.

Stay true to the theme of the posts and be sure to answer the most important question…

 

#35 – WIIFM?

Also known was, ‘What’s in it for me?’.

This is the question the reader is trying to answer as they go through your post. Be sure to answer it. Focus on what your post can do for them.

 

jeff goins "The most important part of writing an article is the headline." - Jeff Goins, GoinsWriter 

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#36 – Practice writing headlines:

8 out of 10 people will read your headline. Only 2 of them will read the rest of it. So, Getting the readers attention is important.

Don’t settle for just highlighting what the post is about, get their attention with the benefits of reading your article.

‘How To Write Headlines’ is nowhere near as powerful as, ’10 Headline Writing Hacks That Will Make Your Audience Salivate’.

 

#37 – Test the length that works for your audience:

Writing is all about testing. So there is no perfect length for your blog post, until you know what your audience likes to read.

There are rarely any topics on NicheHacks that aren’t covered by at least 2,000 words. I can’t remember the last time I wrote an article under 3,000 words actually. Because we know that’s what you love.

Contrast that with my own site, Gentify, where I stick to 500 – 1,200 words, because my audience likes a quick read they can use straight away.

Buffer may have the science behind the shares, but it doesn’t mean that everything is one size fits all. Find what works for your audience.

 

 

#38 – Break it up with images and videos:

Blogging is about writing. But it’s also about holding your readers attention.

And long pieces of text can be scary or boring to read at first glance.

Adding images in the midst of your text can really make it easy for the audience to manage and want to read on that little bit further.

They can also add a little comic relief to the middle of your epic long blog post too:

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 13.19.21

 

 

#39 – Tell personal stories:

It doesn’t matter if your blog is Business To Business, Business to Consumer, personal or anything in between.

Share your own personal anecdotes with the audience

Jonah Berger, in his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, points out that Emotion is one of the most important factors of why people share.

His study at the University of Pennsylvania showed that content that created strong emotion, both positive and negative, was more likely to get shared than content that didn't.

Personal Stories are the best way to create emotion in your blog posts. Telling the reader of when you: won, lost, bled and cried. Or, just generally showing your human side.

Even if it doesn't get shared highly, it has a great branding impact on your blog. Which, as you've seen, can really increase your income.

 

 

#40 – Explain it like I’m five:

When you don’t understand a topic, you start to explain it with big, long words and sentences to try and sound clever. Stop it.

Cut the business jargon and explain it as simply and clearly as possible.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

#41 – Play Bullshit Bingo:

How do you combat business jargon? You play bullshit bingo.

Create a list of ‘marketing buzzwords’ that get used in your industry a lot:

  • Synergy
  • Penetration
  • Localisation
  • Thought Leader
  • Deep linking

Then, when you’re doing your editing, see how many times they crop up.

If you get four buzzwords for every 1,000 words written, you’ve hit bingo and it’s time to rewrite the article in plain English.

 

Building An Audience And Getting Traffic

Once you’ve got well written content it’s time get people to read it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re at 10, 100 or 1,000 views per day. You still need more traffic. It’s at the heart of your online empire and it’s what puts food in your belly.

Everything in this part of the checklist is designed to help you grow, expand and reach people you never thought you could.

 

#42 – Guest blog like your life depends on it:

Remember when people said Guest Blogging was dead?

Yeah, it’s not. Jeff Goins used it to grow his blog to over 10,000 subscribers in 18 months.

And It’s probably the most powerful way of bringing in targeted traffic to your blog. I show you how to do it in this post right here.

 

#43 – Create content outposts:

Your blog is the television station where the programming is made. Social media, forums and adverts are the TV’s, iPad’s and laptops that people can tune in on.

Make sure you’re able to get your content in front of all the people that you can. Think:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pintrest
  • Forums
  • Facebook Groups
  • Reddit
  • Quora Questions

And, I can hear you shouting ‘heathen!’ at me through the screen, because I previously pointed out that these aren’t the most effective strategies ever. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need place to share your content.

You can find out how to maximise your use of these outposts for social shares right here.

 

 

#45 – Research the times people read your content:

Getting content online at the right times is half the battle. Especially if you're using social media to promote it.

When does your audience most connect and share your work?

Think:

  • Are they at work?
  • Are they on their lunch?
  • How do they spend their evenings?
  • Which country are my audience in?

Don’t be scared to break the rules either. There seems to be a belief that you can only post on weekdays in business hours. But most people’s free time is evenings and weekends.

In fact post shared on Facebook are 3.5% less engaged with between Monday and Wednesday than at any other time of the week. With 10% more people engaging on a Friday.

Put a post out on a Saturday Afternoon and see what response you get. You wont know until you try.

 

3

 "I know I see an increase in social media traffic by up to 39% when I post during ideal times" - Neil Patel, QuickSprout 

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#46 – Keep your social media accounts active:

Don’t just post about your latest content. Whenever you come across something interesting, beneficial or worthwhile for your audience, share it.

It might not increase views to your blog straight away. But it will have a huge impact on your branding.

 

#47 – Always answer the right question:

Readers are on your blog for answers. They want to know the:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

Of your niche. Don’t start a blog about productivity and then create posts on Internet marketing strategy.

Stick to the topic you’re supposed to be writing about.

 

IMG_8928a"The only reason [people] read your blog is because they want your
answers to their questions" - James Johnson, Gentify.net

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#48 – Spend 50% of your time on Blogger Outreach:

This is a rule I learned early on from Jon Morrow.

And, as Tim Ferriss once said, “You network is your net worth”.

However long you spend on your blog each week, devote half of it to connecting with other bloggers. That means:

  • Sending e-mails
  • Commenting on and sharing their posts
  • Finding guest post opportunities
  • Offering to help

In todays world of blogging it not who you know, it’s who you’ve helped. And blogger outreach is the perfect way to do this.

 

 

#49 – Build a solid team of writers, guest posters and content marketers:

When you find a part of your blog that you’re weak it – such as creating consistent content – it’s time to hire someone who can do it.

Outsourcing makes life easier and it doesn’t have to break the bank. But you do have to pay for quality work.

If (and when) you have a budget, building a team that can help you build your empire makes life much easier than being a one-man-band trying to do it all on your own.

 

SEO 101

The three most powerful words in the world right now.

No, not I love you. Don’t be so soft. I mean Search Engine Optimisation of course.

This is one of the hottest topics in the online marketing world. And it’s going to play a big part in your future as a blog owner.

Let’s look at this from the angle of ‘need to know’ then…

 

#50 – Don’t panic about SEO:

It may occasionally feel like it, but Google don’t, in fact, run the world.

Therefore if your site isn’t perfectly SEO’d then it’s not the end of the world. In order to complete anything else on this checklist – and build lots of traffic – Google doesn’t even need to know you exist.

So don’t panic if it isn’t perfect…

 

sophielizard"Worry more about what your website’s visitors think than what Google thinks." - Sophie Lizard, LizardCreativeChaos 

(Click Here To Tweet This)

 

#51 - …just do the best you can:

SEO is important though. You’d be blind to not realise that it has its benefits. It has the power to bring in hundreds of thousands of people to your blog if you do it right.

But you don’t have to fork out for an expensive SEO service, unless you really want to. You just have be conscious of it and do the best you can with the tools you’ve got.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

#52 – Learn the basics:

There are three places I would start for this:

  1. Our SEO Section
  2. The Moz Beginners Guide
  3. Matt Woodward’s Blog

Through those links you’ll find all the information you need to get your SEO game to a good level that will bring you a decent sized chunk of traffic.

 

#53 – Learn to use widgets and plugins:

You don’t need to be SEO Savvy past a certain point. After you understand what the hell is going on, there are lots of widgets and plugins you can use that will help you.

In fact, Neil Patel at QuickSprout found a way to massively increase traffic by fine tuning the Yoast SEO Plugin. You can see how he did in this video here.

 

 

#54 – If in doubt, just get these right:

If you really don’t want to focus on it, and just want to get the bare bones – something I’m guilty of – then just make sure you get these right:

  • Meta Descriptions
  • Post tags
  • Keywords
  • Anchor Text
  • Headline

Then just sit back and hope for the best.

 

Bonus: Simple Growth Hacks 

I’ve gone pretty in depth about Growth Hacking before. But here are some quick extras to help you get your blog off the ground that little bit quicker:

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)

 

#55 – Add a Hello Bar:

The Hello Bar goes to the top of your screen and is always there to prompt readers to join your mailing list. Ramsay at Blog Tyrant used it as one of his methods of building a 10,000 subscriber strong mailing list.

And you should too.

It looks a little like this:

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 14.26.16

 

#56 – Click To Tweet:

This free tool is great for getting your posts noticed.

Simply set it up with quotes in your blog post that people can tweet to their own followers. That way, valuable content can get in front of lots of people, and your name spreads much more easily.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 14.32.25

 

 

#57 – Test everything:

There is no reason anymore to not test your content, your website or your landing pages. It simple, easy and pretty inexpensive to do now.

In an (almost) free set of Tests, the guys over at StartUpBro's found that a simple change of Tag Line was going to convert 35% more people than their original one. Something they would never have found without a test.

If you keep plodding along aimlessly, doing what you’ve already done, you’re not going to get anywhere.

But if you test, adapt and change, you’ll find yourself with a six figure blog in no time.

 

James Johnson
James is the founder of the Freelance Writers School where he teaches normal people how to make money through freelance writing even if they failed English at school and have no idea about business.

Comments (14)

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  1. Nick says:

    Excellent post with incredible information content Stuart! Love to download as a pdf. You are an amazing and intelligent writer. Look forward to all of your priceless advice.

    • James Johnson says:

      Hey Nick,

      Thanks for the comment! I'd like to take all the credit for writing the post though 😉

      What did you find most helpful about the post, Nick?

      James

      • Nick says:

        As a newbie I found the whole article fascinating. It verified the training I've received from the likes of Pat Flynn and Stuart. Even more so it added how to increase viewers by taking the right steps technically and editorially. Your "hit the main points" style made it easy to follow. Also easy to find the content, like SEO 101, requiring deeper focus and digging.

        One question though. How do you execute, plan, motivate, regular and dependable posting when you have so many other business activities much less personal business competing for your attention?

        • NicheHacks says:

          Hire writers if you can't keep up with the content demands, it's what I do here. It's why you're reading this post by James one of my writing team. 🙂

    • NicheHacks says:

      Yeah I can't take credit for this one, it's all James work.

  2. NicheHacks really gives us some great content, that's for sure! Keep it up Stu and Co.!

  3. Julian says:

    Hey James, and Stuart,
    I really found this one real helpful. Mostly because it has showed me that I'm doing a lot of stuff right with my blog.
    I did learn a couple new things though 🙂
    Like adding a "click to tweet" button. I will be working on that real soon. 😀
    So thanks..a lot!
    Looking forward to some more posts 🙂
    Cheers!

    • James Johnson says:

      Great work Julian! It's nice to see you're on the right track sometimes too, isn't it?

      Click to Tweet is an awesome tool, had a lot of success with it myself - let me know how it goes 🙂

  4. Jody Haskins says:

    Great article. I have it bookmarked. I am going to have to study these points in more detail. I can't think you enough for this valuable information. I am just now getting settled into my niche and my vision is just now starting to come into focus (after 5 months). Rock On! Jody

  5. James Johnson says:

    Thanks Jody 🙂

    It's much easier to know what to do, when you know where you're going! Glad you're getting focused 🙂 Anything we can help with to make you even more focused?

    James

  6. Jackie says:

    This is excellent. Thank you for writing an article with so much information and with that bit of humour that saw me reading through to the end. (A feat in itself-believe me!) I've shared it as I know lots of people who can benefit from this.
    Thanks again
    Jackie

    • Hey Jackie,

      Thanks for the kind words about my writing! There's a lot of me - and the bad jokes I love - that go onto the page, so I appreciate that sentiment 🙂

      What did you take most from the post?

      James

      • Jackie says:

        Hi James.
        I've gone over this post again. It's one of those where you need to go back for the things you missed last time. I still love it.
        I have never heard of the Skyscraper methods before.
        I'll be back to look over the article and I'll let you know what else jumps out at me.
        Thanks
        Jackie

  7. Hi,

    Really nice and informative post. This checklist is really awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing this informative article. Looking forward for more advice by you.