It’s hard building a successful blog! You can have great content and post often–follow all the rules of the top bloggers–and still not get the traffic, visitors, and sales you deserve.
There are three big rules to a successful blog that many up-and-coming bloggers miss. In this post, I will share them with you…and show you how to implement them quickly!
Rule #1: Get a real email autoresponder service before it’s too late.
Many bloggers make a critical mistake: They only put RSS subscription icons and/or Feedburner email subscriptions on their blogs. Let’s break down each of these and look at why these will severely hamper your money-making abilities with your blog:
- RSS icons: Most blog readers still don’t know what RSS is or how to use it. Unfortunately, even with the advent of Google Reader, RSS still isn’t mainstream.
Even for technical blogs, I still don’t recommend RSS as the primary option. Why? If you’re offering products to your audience, you want to create urgency. Email does that–people consider email that shows up in their inboxes more urgent, and often take action immediately. RSS is a more passive method; many blog readers don’t read their RSS subscriptions every day. If you’re selling products or doing a limited-time sale, an email subscriber is worth far more than an RSS subscriber.
- Feedburner email subscriptions: It seems like a great idea, doesn’t it? You can just plop a piece of code onto your site and Feedburner will automatically email your subscribers your latest blog posts.
Unfortunately, Feedburner suffers from many of the same issues as RSS. It can take up to 24 hours to send the email, which means if you’re holding a 1-day sale, your Feedburner email subscribers may miss out. Also, you can’t send separate emails (other than the automated ones) to your list. If you want to remind your list that a sale is ending, or to get in on a product before it’s too late, you have to write a blog post instead…and then wait up to 24 hours for Feedburner to mail it. It’s a bad solution, and one I regret ever offering on my blog. (I still have hundreds of Feedburner subscribers “stuck” on my list, who aren’t on my Aweber list.)
I recommend Aweber for any serious blogger. Sure, their solution costs money. But you will make plenty more money with it…so much more than you pay for the solution. I pay Aweber about $66/month for my 5,500+ blog subscriber list…but I recently sent one email that made me about $4,000 to that same list. Since the promotion was time-sensitive, I wouldn’t have been able to make that money with Feedburner or RSS subscribers.
The old Internet marketing saying “The money is in the list” holds true. Don’t hamstring your list by keeping it on an inflexible platform like Feedburner. Use Aweber, or another paid list tool that lets you send out custom emails and autoresponders, and reap the rewards.
Rule #2: Know the popular affiliate products in your niche.
Too often, bloggers start blogs about a subject they are interested in. Unfortunately, you may find you have a blog in an industry where there are very few affiliate products to promote.
Always start a blog in an industry where there are a lot of products you can promote. You don’t have to promote all the products, of course…as a blogger, you will be most successful by being a filter and promoting only excellent products to your audience. But know what products are out there before you start your blog, or as soon as possible if you’ve already started writing your blog.
This will also give you an idea of what your potential readers are buying–and which products you can make yourself. Good ebooks in your industry? You can make an audio or video program teaching similar concepts and sell it at a higher price point.
You don’t have to be in the “make money” niche to make money online. In fact, there are thousands of niches out there that are even more profitable. To find a good niche, search the best-selling non-fiction books on Amazon.com and the best-selling products on Clickbank and Commission Junction. Pick a niche you can see yourself writing in without getting bored, and start writing!
Rule #3: Tell people why they should read your blog.
Another mistake all too common, especially with beginning bloggers, is to put a blog header up that doesn’t describe why your readers should read your blog. “X Y’s blog!” the header says, or a nonsensical name. But there’s no tagline.
Some of the most popular blogs have taglines that are easy to remember, and even infamous:
- Yaro Starak: “Down-to-Earth Advice and Tips for Bloggers and Internet Marketers”
- Steve Pavlina: “Personal Development for Smart People”
- John Chow: “I Make Money Online By Telling People How I Make Money Online”
All of these blogs clearly identify their target audience right in their tagline. Put some thought into your tagline, and make sure it features prominently at the top of your blog in your header graphic.
Bonus tip: If you can put your photo and a few sentences about yourself toward the top of your blog, too, your readers will become even more interested. Your readers are curious and want to know more about you!
These three simple rules will help you catapult your blog into one of the most popular blogs into your niche–and help you start making thousands of dollars by writing your own blog!
What tips work well for your blog? What doesn’t work? Let us know in the comments!
About the author: After selling her online business for $1,100,000.00 at age 26, Erica Douglass “temporarily retired.” She now shares advice from the trenches on starting your own business and growing your business to $1,000,000 at erica.biz. Quick link: Download her free Blog Success Manifesto—30 tactical tips to grow your blog faster than you ever have before!