With content writing being the main focus for most bloggers, it’s a tough line to cross when you start selling or promoting content through your sites. At this point, it’s no longer about just creating content, it’s now a matter of selling to your audience and using persuasive writing. This is where copywriters and ghostwriters can come in handy to help with the sales writing process. Not only is this something that can instantly increase your audience engagement and revenue, it’s also something you can learn from other bloggers as well
In our latest edition of Meet the Bloggers series, we will be discussing the very topics of blogging and how finding the right style of writing for your site or blog can make a huge difference. Enjoy!
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
My history is actually as a political aid and then a consumer advocate. I go back a ways; I still recall when the fax machine was a cool, new invention. For many years, I worked on a Wang word processor (before WordPerfect stormed onto the scene).
I didn’t invent the Internet, but I was writing articles online before “blogging” was a thing. So, I got into blogging by switching to a blogging format from what I was already doing as an article directory and an email newsletter.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
My main blog is about writing. I chose it to support my ghostwriter for hire business. Previous blogs supported previous business focuses. Frankly, writing is what I enjoy doing most.
I highly recommend that anybody planning to blog over an extended period of time pick a field they feel passionate about.
Anybody can write a dozen articles about LEED or potting soil, but just try doing that every week for three years! Picking a niche based on some form of analysis is not a long term strategy. Go with your passion.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic
The blog is my marketing. It does four things:
- Some posts attract clients directly.
- The blog serves as a portfolio to draw in clients.
- The blog keeps me in front of friends and colleagues who often refer clients or subcontract to me.
- The blog shows the search engines that my website is a happening place to send searchers looking for a ghostwriter.
The result is that over the past two years, I got to write books on history, psychology, relationships, finance and business. I got to write feature articles on dismantling chemical weapons, business and marketing, anger management and corporate espionage…and many more topics.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
Nothing. I know very little. Some people just never learn.
I say that only half in gest. If I knew as much as I know now, I would like to say that I would have planned everything more carefully. I would like to say that I would have hopped on the Internet with a master plan.
That’s what I would like to say, but I know it’s not true. I plan, but I don’t get too far before jumping in with both feet and – oops! – where did those plans go?
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
I visit Growmap all the time. Gail Gardner gives amazing advice and hosts a lot of guest bloggers also with great advice. It’s not just marketing, but also general business advice.
I visit Internet Marketing Ninjas a lot, too. Ann Smarty is the queen of how-to on the Internet.
I also like SEM Rush. Lots of good authors with a variety of good advice.
This is not a blogging or marketing related blog, but I visit Cerebrations because Roy Ackerman writes interesting posts that make me think about everything from business to society
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
Read-able is a tool I use all the time, not just for blogging, but also for client work. It helps me quickly see how easy-to-read any text is. It also tells me where the main issues might lie.
Caution, though: being readable and being clear and understandable are not the same thing. Plain language writing is one of my specialties, so this tool really is my starting point, not my end point.
I am also very big on social media sharing to get my content in front of more eyes. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of amplifiers – platforms to increase shares. Most are cr*p. There are four that I use these days on a daily basis.
Here are quick screenshots of their typical effectiveness:
Viral Content Bee:
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
My main advice would be to choose your blog topic(s) carefully. Blog about things that will still excite you, even after you’ve bored everybody in the room to death. Otherwise, you are just creating a dreary job for yourself.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
Protect your blog with extra security. When a blog gets hijacked, it is a huge, unnecessary headache. Place a double login on the back-end.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I’d go out and buy a really, really nice meal. $100 is not serious, and here is why:
You should buy your own domain, and get at least a five-year ownership so that search engines see that you are not fly by night. That pretty much uses up the $100.
You have to pay for hosting. That costs money every month.
WordPress is free. Halleluiah!
You don’t “need” a paid theme, but there is a good chance you’ll want one. But even if you go with a free one, you should get a custom design. Technically, you don’t need the design to start. But until you get a custom design, you won’t have credibility and earning money will be an uphill battle.
Most plugins are free, but there are some you might want to pay for.
The bottom line is that you are not in business without a domain, hosting and custom design, all of which you need to pay for. And $100 won’t buy what you need. But it will buy a really, really nice meal.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
Thanks again to David Leonhardt for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.