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What We Can Learn About Blogging from Seth Godin

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sethportrait.jpgSeth Godin is an icon of new marketing, and someone whose thinking I respect. Seth is also a prolific blogger. In some ways, he does blogging the way it’s “supposed” to be done, but in other ways, he bucks convention, such as by not allowing comments.

Just as I did with my learning from posts on Britney Spears and Boing Boing, what I’m going after here isn’t advice from Seth about how to blog, but rather, to see what Seth can teach us about blogging through his example.

Here we go:

  1. Closing comments doesn’t end the conversation: the conversation takes place on the web and through email. You can always email Seth. This automatically gets rid of a lot of garbage. Pingbacks are displayed, but not comments. Think of it as cross-blog commenting.
  2. Keep it short and to the point and valuable, because people’s time is valuable.
  3. Take unrelated things and show how they illustrate your topic (like what you can learn about blogging from Seth Godin).
  4. Use your physical appearance for branding. We all know Seth is bald. His dome is an aspect of his personal branding.
  5. Be prolific as well as on target.
  6. Give stuff away for free in order to sell more. Seth has given away several of his books as free downloads. You think that hurts his ability to make money? Quite the contrary–it strengthens it. The work on Seth’s part is worth it to build trust in his audience.
  7. Take things that already exist and re-imagine/re-invent them with catchy names. Seth is a master at this. The idea of the Purple Cow is really nothing more than just a catchier way to bring up the pre-existing idea of differentiation or of a UVP (unique value proposition). Unique in this case doesn’t mean something that’s never been done before. Reinventing something is the process of tweaking something that already exists to make it fresh and exciting. Business blogging sounds kinda boring, but Gateway Blogging, on the other hand, sounds fresh and intriguing.
  8. Writing a blog and writing books have a lot in common and help each other. Many of the web’s successful bloggers are also successful book authors… or is that the other way around? Print or ebook, it doesn’t matter. Print would help more, but both will help at least some. Seth has a blog for every book he’s published, lately.
  9. Public speaking and blogging go together. Seth is a well-known public speaker. Some of the best things I’ve ever learned have been from watching him speak. Blogging and public speaking reinforce each other very nicely. Just ask my friend Phil Gerbyshak.

Saying that we can learn from Seth’s example does not mean I’m saying that we should imitate him. Maybe you don’t want to use your physical appearance as part of your branding and image. Maybe you would never, ever speak in public. The key objective in all of this, it seems to me, is to find the best ways to be remarkable… and we have to decide what that means for ourselves and our blogs.

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Michael Martine has been involved in web design and internet marketing since the late 90's. He is a blog coach and consultant at Remarkablogger. He lives in beautiful Vermont, U.S.A., with his wife, step-daughter, and grandchild.

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Blogging

Why Invest Money in Your Blog?

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I often see new bloggers say they want to blog on a free platform to see if it works. If blogging works on a free platform then they invest in a domain and hosting.

I guarantee guys: you will fail on a free blogging platform. Blogging never works for cheap, fear-filled bloggers using free platforms. Blogging works for abundant, generous bloggers who buy their domain and hosting and who persistently create helpful content and build strong connections.

Why invest money in your blog?

Stand Out From The Crowd

Most bloggers use free platforms.

Investing money in a domain, hosting and premium theme helps you stand out from the crowd. Free themes and free platforms do not impress people. But seeing a premium, clear, professional-looking theme on a hosted platform creates an eye-popping, attention-grabbing experience.

Visualize your blog looking like a lighthouse in a storm. Invest money in your theme and a domain, and hosting.

Standing out from the crowd also helps you connect with the right people online. Birds of a feather flock together.

Listen to this podcast as Alonzo Pichardo and I chat about connecting with successful folks online:

How to Connect with the Right People Online

Maximize Monetizing Potential

Free Platforms like WordPress.org do not even allow monetizing. How insane is that?

Blogger is not much better. Tough to monetize on free platforms because you have few options to work with. Plus your blog does not stand out; critical factor in the blog monetizing game.

Investing money in a self-hosted WordPress blog gives you crazy monetizing potential. I currently have established 11 income streams through my blog. You can sell virtually anything through a blog that you own because you call the shots. Toss in sweet customizing options on a self-hosted blog and your blogging profit potential raises the roof.

Build a Respected Brand

Everything is branding online.

Successful bloggers build successful brands first because a brand makes you memorable.

Peep that image above guys.

I built a brand that got featured on:

  • Virgin
  • Forbes
  • Fox News
  • Entrepreneur

because I created a clear, powerful blogging brand in Blogging From Paradise.

See the investments in that picture? I invested in a domain and hosting. I also bought a proof copy of my paperback to promote both my eBook and paperback and to bolster my blogging brand.

Spending money helps you lap most bloggers because most bloggers are terrified to spend money. If you dive into the fear of investing money you stand out from bloggers who are terrified to spend even a cent on their blogs.

Drop some dimes guys.

Invest in a bright blogging future.

Trust

Imagine if you visited my blog and saw something like:

bloggingfromparadise.wordpress.com

Looks rough, right?

I would not trust me. No way. Why would I trust someone who could not afford to drop $10 a month on a domain and hosting? If someone is so terrified or cheap they cannot possibly lead and teach readers genuinely. Nor can the individual have the vision and drive to create something meaningful over the long haul.

Think about it guys; imagine if an aspiring doctor said they could not afford med school? Imagine if an aspiring lawyer said they could not afford law school? No way would you trust these doctors and lawyers. Just like no way would you trust a blogger who says they cannot afford to buy their domain and hosting, plus their premium theme. One look at a cheap or free theme on a garbage free hosted blog instantly alerts readers not to trust you. Nor should they trust you.

Wrap Up

Invest money now to make more money through your blog.

All business ventures require investment.

Spend money to make money.

The eBook

If you want to become a full time blogger you can buy my eBook here:

How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging

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Blogging

How to Get Endless Content Ideas for Your Blog

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Writer’s block.

Smacked you in the head sometimes, right?

Me too.

Nothing feels worse than slamming into writer’s block. But nothing feels better than having endless content ideas on tap, making you a prolific, traffic and profit driving machine.

Content ideas abound. But you need to learn how to and where to find these ideas to become incredibly prolific.

This feels challenging at first but finding content ideas seamlessly:

  • increases brand awareness
  • gives your readers a steady stream of content to benefit them
  • increases your blogging profits through a variety of income travels
  • inspires your readers to defeat writer’s block and other mental blocks
  • helps you become a prolific guest poster
  • gives you more ideas for future blog posts

Follow these tips to get endless content ideas for your blog guys.

1: Poll Your Readers

Poll your readers via an email newsletter.

Publish posts questioning readers on their biggest problems related to your niche.

Ask readers questions to get blog post solutions.

Content ideas dance around in the minds of your readers.

Just asking my readers on Facebook or Twitter about their most pressing blogging problems is an easy way to get content ideas. Sometimes I probe into their struggles. Other times I just ask if they have blogging questions. Some days I get 10 answers or questions and other days, 1. Keep asking guys. Probing and polling readers provides ample blog post ideas for you.

2: Hang out on Niche Specific Forums

I spend time daily both answering questions and finding content ideas on the Warrior Forum.

Help folks and see what to write about by observing forums aligned with your blogging niche.

See the most popular posts. What questions do people ask? How do people struggle?

Mine content ideas in the struggles of your ideal readers.

Be an active contributor on forums to better tune into the needs of folks intrigued with your niche. By regularly publishing posts on Warrior I can see and hear problems experienced by aspiring or even professional bloggers.

3: Follow Top Blogs in Your Niche

Read top blogs in your niche. Keep an eye out for popular posts. What do folks have problems with?

Read the comment fields to get a feel on what readers are chatting about. Many commentors have few issues sharing their pain points via blog comments. Pay close attention to complaints, rants or folks who share their biggest dreams. Tune in to these emotional push buttons to find an endless flow of prospering content ideas.

Pro Blogger and Blogging Tips are 2 smart places to scan for blogging tips bloggers.

4: Become a Life Observer

I have nabbed more blog post ideas watching life than you’d ever believe.

Look at yesterday’s blog post: Blogging Outside of the Lines.

See how I spotted a blog content idea by coloring with my niece? Life presents you endless blog post ideas if you quiet your mind, relax, and become an observer of it all. The key is to cease trying to do stuff and to simply relax, and watch, life unfolding around you.

Review your last trip to the store. Who did you chat with today? What life lessons did you learn recently?

Draw an analogy between your experience and your blogging niche. Stay on blogging topic. Be on point. Speak to your readers while relating to them on a deeper level. Be a watcher. Find unlimited blog post ideas.

Bonus Tip

Meditate or do deep yin yoga.

Both practices expand your awareness, a must for folks intent on clearing their head trash to find more blog content ideas.

Wrap Up

Work these streams diligently.

Calm your chattering mind.

Find unlimited content ideas for your blog.

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Blogging

11 Tips on Finding the Right Infographic Ideas for Your Brand

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Infographics have become ubiquitous on the Internet. Whether you’re on Facebook, Pinterest, or Linkedin, you’re bound to come across an infographic online.

Infographics are popular due to their ability to convert complex data and information into something much simpler, making them interesting to look at and easy to understand.

According to Hubspot’s study, infographics are three times more likely to be shared than any other type of content— a perfect investment for those who are looking to bring in traffic and generate leads.

As more infographics are published on the Internet, creating one that will stand out from the rest takes more than illustrations with charts and data. An infographic can have great design but without a compelling topic, it might as well be skimmed through.

So, how do you come up with a compelling topic people want to read?

The truth is, it’s not going to be an instantaneous process. It’s going to take time, effort, and a lot of in-depth research. There are times content creators overlook research and end up with a lackluster infographic.

Narrow Down

Figure out who your infographic is for. Knowing your target audience beforehand can make the process of choosing a topic much easier.

Avoid aiming for a wider audience. Instead, aim for a specific group of people. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work.

By creating a narrow target, it’ll be easier to create effective strategies for the specified target audience. For example, an infographic about basic exercise won’t be of interest for people who are in advanced exercise programs such as Crossfit or calisthenics.

Cook up a (brain)storm

There are a variety of brainstorming methods to use when coming up with ideas for your infographic topic, such as word association, mind mapping, and keyword research. These methods are perfect for coming up with loads of ideas by exploring different angles and connections.

Tools such as Mindmeister and Ahrefs are great for brainstorming and keyword research. Mindmeister lets you create your own mind map online. You can also export the file into different formats and share it with anyone. Ahrefs is a great tool for keyword research, helping you find high-ranking keywords to use for your infographic.

Another way to find ideas for your infographic is to repurpose existing content. These can be from blog posts, videos, or any other type of content.

Repurposing saves you a lot of time and effort. When you’ve gathered the materials you already have on hand, decide on an angle you want to display the information in. For example, if you have a blog post about 30 ways to save money, you can focus and shorten the blog post and instead, do an infographic on 10 money saving tips for impulsive shoppers.

Knowing what is currently trending can also help you come up with ideas for your infographic. A tool like Google Trends allows you to find the most searched keywords. You can see the searches on different topics and different regions.

Although it’s great to have a completely unique topic for your infographic, it’s also important to consider whether or not it’s feasible. Having a topic that’s too niche and has little to no information to support your research won’t do you any good.

A feasible topic has abundant information that’s easy to access and come from credible sources. Since infographics are meant to inform readers and provide valuable content, an abstract or opinion based topic would have little credibility and wouldn’t be very informative.

For more tips and tricks on finding the right infographic ideas, take a look at the visual guide here!

Andre Oentoro is one of the co-founder of Milkwhale, an internationally acknowledged infographic production agency. He helps businesses increase visibility on the internet with visual data and well-placed outreach campaigns. Read more on his latest guide to Viral Infographics and learn how to get the most value out of your website’s traffic.

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