If you planned to build a successful blog in 2012 but couldn’t have your way, 2013 provides you an opportunity for a new start.
It’s still very early in 2013 and it’s never too late for you to build a blog of your dreams.
Zac already has an epic case study happening on this blog with the aim of showing you what’s possible with blogging and exactly how to do it. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. There’s no better person online to teach blogging and making money online than Zac and a case study like this – where you can follow him live – will probably not be done again. I rest my case.
With that said, I’m not trying to replicate the advice Zac will be giving in that case study nor will this post be an ultimate resource to help you build a successful blog. Far from it; if that’s what you want, Zac’s case study is what you need.
The purpose of this post, however, is to highlight some very “common” mistakes people make online that prevent their blog from succeeding and then advise you against those mistakes. If you make the changes in this article, then you can expect to get significant results from your blog this year.
1. Do a Reality-Check of Your Web Host
When everybody is raving about content marketing, having a killer plan, a new monetization strategy etc. the last thing you’ll probably want to read about in an article like this is about a web host, but it’s important nonetheless.
A lot of bloggers will have their blog come down crumbling this year at a critical moment due to choosing the wrong web host.
While you need content, marketing and an epic monetization strategy, this is only possible as long as your website is running and your web host is to key to keeping your website running.
Also, it’s important to realize that it’s not just about your website running; it has to be running effectively.
A report has shown that slow websites alone cost the U.S. economy at least $500 billion dollars every year. Another study found that 67% of online shoppers will happily abandon a website if it’s slow; there are numerous stats that show that for every second your site is slow, depending on its size, it’s probably costing you thousands of visitors and thousands of dollars in revenue every year.
That’s just one major disadvantage of having a slow web host; we could talk about risk of being hacked, being in a bad neighborhood, poor user experience, your website being inaccessible to some users and a host of other problems.
No matter how sure you are of your host now, make sure you do a reality check. You might need to change and you might be surprised to find out that you need to change to a more specialized WordPress setup solution.
2. Develop a Solution
No matter what you’re blogging about, you’re probably writing to an audience that has a problem and needs a solution.
In most cases, your audience won’t realize or tell you that they need a solution to their problems. In some cases, they’ll know and move ahead to a competitor. You want to be more than a blogger this year; you want to be a solution provider and to effectively do this you might even have to launch your own product.
Blogging on its own won’t distinguish you; there are a lot of “me too” bloggers and you want to distinguish yourself from them. You want to be seen as an expert.
3. Make Content a Core Part of Your Strategy
N o, I’m not trying to rave about content marketing like everyone else is doing; you could call it anything you want but one thing is certain, content will be more important than ever this year.
Following some major Google updates, the reluctance of web users to share content as they used to and several other factors, the importance of content should never be underestimated.
This time around, I’m not talking about just any kind of content; I’m talking about “pillar articles,” the kind of articles that people will still be reading in 2013.
Create a content strategy for your blog with focus on creating long-term, quality content. Once you’ve done that, you can then start reaching other bloggers to contribute content to their blog in exchange for a bio when you are able to promote yours.
This process is called guest blogging.
4. Start Building Your Email List NOW!
If you don’t have an email list, start building it now. If you have one, focus a lot more effort on expanding yours and developing a relationship with your email list subscribers.
According to very recent data, email marketing still beat social media marketing. In fact, it beats every other form of marketing my a huge marketing; search marketing is a runner up but there’s still a significant gap and email marketing was observed to be at least twice as effective as social media marketing.
Email won’t be dying anytime soon and this is an opportunity for you to grow your blog; not only are you able to consistently reach your subscribers, you can also send them promotions and links to your blog posts whenever you want.
5. Get People Involved
2013 will favor people who can carry others along on their journey, showing them what they do and how it’s done.
It’s the future of blogging; people are tired of reading millions of blog parroting the same advice. They want to learn from real experts who are getting results and this is where you can come in.
This is something Zac is doing effectively with his case study.
This is also something Brett Lindenberg is doing with his website 500amonth.com, showing people exactly how he builds his blog and monetizes it from scratch.
People want someone who can lead, take the responsibilities, make the mistakes and prove himself; they need more case studies, more experts, not charlatans. Prove yourself an expert and you will make it big this year.
Joseph is an expert blogger and guest blogger. He writes for OutstandingSETUP, a premium WordPress setup and hosting company.
7 Key Components to Create a Winning Brand Identity
Every brand needs a stellar logo to enhance its image. Developing the right logo requires a lot of foresight and a thorough understanding of human psychology. It can be difficult to get right the first time, which is why some companies need to test different variations. IBM had to change its design six times over the years before settling on one that works.
Studying the logos of some of the most famous corporations is a good way to get inspiration for your own. Here are some great lessons to pick up from seven of the world’s leading corporations.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to consider a few different options and opportunities when it comes to logo design and branding. For example, there are plenty of tools online to help you design a logo, but you likely won’t end up with the professional look and feel you are looking for. A better option might simply be to go with a logo design company that has a proven history of success, and is well recommended for their branding efforts.
Some of the most immediate benefits of going with this route are:
- Getting immediate access to a wide range of suggested designs from professional logo designers.
- Having a logo design that is based off multiple design concepts, while avoiding simple variations and blatant copies.
- Owning full legal copyright over your complete logo design and brand image.
- Receiving files in relevant formats; suitable for online & print purposes (.ai, pdf, jpg, and png)
Of course this is all part of the logo design process and something that every site owner or brand will have to go through. To help with this design process and to also give you a few ideas on how other brands have been able to create a trustworthy brand identity, let’s take a look at some of the top logo designs in the world today.
IBM shows that a simple blue logo has many benefits
IBM registered its first logo in 1884. It was a picture of a globe with the company’s acronym attached to it. This logo wasn’t very popular and the company revised it five more times over the next 90 years before settling on the one that it uses today.
The modern IBM logo is a simple font in bold blue letters. The only thing that distinguishes it from other acronym logos is that it is broken up into 13 horizontal bars.
This iconic logo has stood the test of time, because it is a simple design with bold, blue letters. To the casual observer, it is difficult understand why this logo works such wonders over the human psyche. After conducting a little more analysis, it becomes a lot clearer. Here are the core benefits of the IBM logo:
- The simplicity of the logo signifies trust and transparency. Too many customers are used to getting cheated with unscrupulous companies that try to confuse them with doublespeak.
- Blue is both a symbol of dominance and trust. The dual message behind the color of the logo suggests that Big Blue has captivated the market by being honest and straightforward.
Companies that use simple, blue logos are especially likely to thrive in our current climate, since people are more skeptical of big companies than ever before.
Adidas logo tells customers that it will help them reach their fullest potential
There is one universal truth across all industries – customers have clear goals in mind while purchasing a product or service. They’re always going to want to go with the company that best helps to meet those goals.
Adidas understands this principle very clearly. They even incorporated it into their newest logo.
Compare the newest Adidas logo with its predecessor. You’ll notice that the first logo was composed of three horizontal lines. The only difference with the new logo is that those lines are positioned diagonally instead. Why is this significant?
The newest design is meant to mimic the outline of a mountain. It suggests that people will be able to conquer their biggest challenges when they purchase gear from Adidas.
The message is subtle, but it is also very clearly imprinted in our subconscious. Adidas is telling you that it is the best company to help you reach your goals. Since the company markets to athletes, this message is especially important.
Google shows that a small differentiating element in an otherwise mundane and logo makes a very bold message
Google seems to have one of the most basic logos any designer could have come up with. After all, it is nothing more than the company name written in letters with different colors. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about it. Or is there?
When you really take a look at the Google logo, you will see that it actually has a very strong message that our conscious mind does not immediately pick up on. In order to grasp this, you need to pay a little more attention to the logo colors.
The company logo has six letters. If you glance quickly at the logo, you will see that every letter seems to be written in a primary color: blue, red and yellow.
Now look a little closer. You will realize that the “L” Is green. It is the only letter in the logo that does not have a primary color.
This logo is making a very clear message. It is telling the observer that Google does things differently.
The genius of the Google logo is it simplicity. It would not have been able to emphasize its uniqueness by having a much fancier design. Instead, the small difference in color would have been lost in all of the noise.
The lesson companies can learn from the Google logo is clear. It can be a great idea to have a very slight element that stands out in an otherwise very simple logo.
McDonald’s conveys warmth and security
The McDonald’s logo can be traced back to 1962 and is possibly the most famous in history. While the famous Golden Arches are recognizable to billions of people all over the world, the average person hasn’t stopped to think why they have been so successful for branding. Here are several reasons:
- The arches date back to a time when the covered roofs protected customers from the rain while they were placing their orders.
- The logo is bright yellow, which is a symbol of warmth.
- The shape has a Freudian link to feelings of nurturing and sustenance.
The golden arches are very simple at first glance, but they are one of the world’s most successful logos.
Nike uses a simple shape to illustrate movement
Nike is another iconic brand that is complemented by a very simple, yet effective logo. The Nike swoosh is an incredibly basic symbol, but it is still immediately recognized by millions.
Despite its simplicity, the logo clearly conveys movement. This is a testament to the agility of people using their product.
AT&T uses a blue globe to simultaneously show trust and connectedness
AT&T has changed its logo several times in nearly 130 years. They eventually settled on the current logo, because it does such a great job communicating a message of connectedness and trust. It achieves this by using a globe with solid blue stripes.
Coca-Cola shows that a company name can (sometimes) be the best logo of all
Coca-Cola is one of the few companies that has not altered its logo meaningfully in over 100 years. The logo is simply the company name. While this may not work for every company, it has been very effective for Coca-Cola. It works, because it is part of a very consistent branding strategy.
What Are the Biggest Takeaways from Major Logos?
You can learn a lot by studying the world’s most famous logos. Here are some of the biggest takeaways:
- A simple design is usually the best
- Identify an emotion that you want your logo to convey
- Know which symbols and colors best complement your message
Put some thought into your logo design. It will play an essential role in your brand positioning strategy.
1 Key to Blogging Happiness and Success
In today’s heavily charged political climate you may want to debate, outright fight or criticize people on social media.
Maybe the news seems to magically draw you in to negative, toxic headlines.
I have a little secret that keeps me happy most of the time.
Goodness knows following this secret promoted my blogging success.
The secret: I see fighting as fear so I do not get caught up in kicking a dog when it’s down.
This is code for: I largely do not engage fearful, unhappy folks. If I do engage said folks, rest assured the chats last for a few seconds, if that.
Why Doing this Makes You a Happy and Successful Blogger
Avoiding unhappy people automatically makes you happier because nature abhors a vacuum. Ignore fear. Ignore unhappiness. Loving, happy people move into your life since love is the opposite of fear and happiness is the opposite of unhappiness. Many of these happy, successful people will be clients, customers and rocking bloggers who promote you and endorse you.
Ignoring folks having a moment, or perhaps, having a tough life just allows them to find their balance on their own. You are a leader, not a savior.
If a trusted friend is going through a difficult time you can be a sounding board for a bit. No worries there. But even this sounding board stage has its limits and you eventually need to move on to allow these folks to find clarity and peace on their own. This benefits both parties.
Happiness and Success Is an Energy Thing
Folks wonder why I smile in most of my travel pictures. I smile because I am predominantly happy. I am predominantly happy because I see fighting as fear, and I do not kick a dog when it’s down, meaning I do not engage, chat with or try to convince fear-filled, fighting folks on social media, through my blog and through my email.
I do this because I have compassion for these fear-filled folks. Especially for fear-filled folks who fight about politics, religion or whatever topic these individuals are unclear on.
Typically, most of these fear-filled, unclear folks find other fear-filled, unclear folks to complain to, and they all agree in their fear and lack of clarity, and disguise their fear as passion or a love of their political party, or whatever sounds good, to soothe their bruised egos, and their unclear, fear-filled minds. Either way, the dog is down, and since I was once in the same position is life, I ain’t kicking.
Following this practice has dramatically raised my energy from fear to love. Raising my predominant vibe from fear to love has helped me be in harmony with the world, which made me:
- an energetic networker
Taking on these qualities accelerated my blogging success and grew my happiness, because happy, successful bloggers are generous, prolific, helpful and energetic networkers.
But you need to move up the energetic ladder to embody these traits and that involves leaving those fear-filled, unclear folks near the bottom of the ladder. Even if they appear to be successful, blogging business wise, rest assured that their political or religious fight is fear, manifest.
You can still be connected with them and chat casually here and there about blogging or other topics where they vibe love, not fear, but you will be leaving many of these folks behind until they face, embrace and release their deeper fears, to vibe more from love and clarity, so they can join you on higher rungs of the energetic ladder.
Surround Yourself with Loving, Generous Bloggers
Loving, kind, generous bloggers promote your blogging success by showing you the way.
These folks also lift your spirits, making you a happier blogger.
Seek them out. Promote successful bloggers. Comment on their blogs.
Be happier, healthier and wealthier.
1 of My Secrets to Being Kinda Prolific
I have written hundreds of guest posts for this blog.
I have written about 1000 on Blogging From Paradise between posts and travel pages.
A few moments ago I checked my DA for a sponsored post opportunity. The business owner wanted to know blog domain authority before deciding to place a sponsored post on the blog.
Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 48 and 22,457 external links in.
Not super shabby.
I am kinda prolific.
If you want to publish helpful content frequently, just run with my most basic of tips.
Do not wait around for folks to read your content, comment on your content and share your content before writing your next blog post or guest post.
Do not wait to create.
Do Not Wait to Create
The old me – and most bloggers – became highly attached to any single piece of content I created because I feared the content would not register enough shares, comments, page views and sales. Fear drove me to share this piece of content in many places to boost my stats. All well and good but because fear drove me, I resisted my prolific nature, allowing worry and lack to goad me to do stuff that led to me being the farthest thing from prolific.
Eventually, I observed how bloggers who seemed to be in 10,000,000 places at once simply prolifically created a high volume of helpful blog posts, guest posts and videos. Success found these folks because they did not wait around for readers to check out their blog posts. Said bloggers moved on to writing and publishing their next blog post.
Acting abundantly – not allowing their fears to eat into their prolific nature – promoted these blogger’s success as they created generously, publishing a high volume of content across multiple platforms.
I finally learned of this secret and used it effectively when I chose NOT to wait to create.
Now I publish 3 posts daily on Blogging From Paradise. I also publish the odd guest post from time to time. My success accelerated and my online presence expanded when I decided not to get attached much at all to any one blog post, because the next blog post called me.
No sense waiting around for folks to read my stuff because they simply will read at their own leisure. My job is to keep creating helpful content to help readers build successful blogs. As I move in this direction, everything keeps expanding for me.
All because I chose not to wait to create.
Being Prolific Impacts Folks
Peep this tweet from my friend Corey Hinde of The Good Oil Marketing:
awesome!! Congrats Ryan – one of the hardest working bloggers on the planet you are!!
— CoreyHinde-GoodOil (@thecorsta) July 16, 2018
I am humbled by such kind words from an established, super successful internet marketer. This is pretty much what happens when you are prolific; you impact folks in a positive way, and you also expand your reach and help more folks, all because you refuse to hold back.
Tips to Be Prolific
- Blog mainly for the fun of blogging
- Nudge yourself out of your comfort zone daily
- Surround yourself with prolific bloggers to feast on their creative energy
- Do not wait to create
- Beware getting attached to any one piece of content; promote posts freely across a wide range of channels but look toward the next blog post, guest post or video to create, in order to become incredibly prolific.
Guys; this journey gets a little uncomfortable at times but if you love fun and freedom more than you fear doing some uncomfortable things you will become a highly prolific blogger.
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