The old me had a terrible time gaining clarity and confidence in my blog.
Now I walk around wearing T-shirts of my blog, carrying my paperbacks to all corners of the globe, promoting myself freely.
I slammed into years of struggle because secretly I had like zero belief in what I did online. I feared criticism. I feared failing. Sure enough, criticism and failure followed me around for a minute.
It wasn’t until I established a clear, confident blogging direction that things turned around and I saw greater success.
If you see any of these red flags with your blog take a deep breath, own your lack of clarity and confidence and follow the solutions.
1: You Fear Sharing Your Blog with Family
I speak to many new bloggers who fear sharing posts with their family and friends.
This is simply the fear of criticism and rejection manifest. But it shows more than anything that you lack confidence and clarity in your blogging message.
You may use any reason to support your lack of sharing:
- sensitive subject matter
- uncomfortable encounters with family and friends who don’t like your blog content
- the belief that your family will think you’re nuts or taking dangerous risks by doing what you do
In the end, either you feel confident, clear and at peace with what you do on your blog and can share it with any human being or you fear how they will react to the post, which has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you.
Be bold. Believe in yourself. Get clear on your blog.
If you hide the true you from family and friends you will never be true to yourself.
Share your posts with everybody you know. Not 1 to 1, but fear not sharing your latest posts on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere. If somebody has an issue with it the issue is with themselves, not you.
2: You Fear Guest Posting
I feared guest posting for years.
Turns out the fear of criticism was a big deterrent for me but getting to the bottom of things I simply lacked clarity in my blog. I was unclear on my blog’s niche and the value I had to share through posts. I lacked clarity around my income streams too.
Finally, when I trashed my old blog to create Blogging From Paradise I felt like an energetic fog had cleared from around my blog. I could see clearly. I had a special story to share to inspire aspiring pro bloggers. I felt confident in my message. But I need to gain clarity and boldness in what I did online to dive into guest posting.
Do you feel terrified to guest post? Assess your blog. You likely have little confidence in your cyber home and need to get clearer on your niche, message and value you provide to start nailing down guest post opportunities left and right.
Check out this helpful post on Blogging Wizard to land a guest post on your dream blog:
3: You Fear Buying a Domain and Hosting and Premium Theme
For years I felt terrified to buy a premium theme. I secretly believed doing so was a waste of time anyway.
Who was I? A loser who ran a ho hum, failing blog. Even when folks told me my theme looked terrible I either cursed them out or simply ignored their good advice.
I finally spotted the issue: I had clarity and confidence problems. I was not clear on my blog and lacked confidence in my online real estate so investing in a premium theme would be wasted money.
I finally agreed for my web developer to upload my bespoke theme. Never looked back.
If you resist buying a domain and hosting or purchasing a premium theme you need to be fully committed to your blog. That commitment grows if you gain clarity in your blog and increase your confidence in your offering.
4: You Fear Changing Things Up
I hated changing up my blog in the past because I secretly believed that improving my job was a hopeless cause. I’d fail anyway.
I had zero confidence in my blog and the clarity of a captain sailing through a typhoon.
I eventually listened to feedback, honored my intuitive nudges and got clearer and clearer on my blog direction. I believed in my blog and message so much that I was willing to make huge scale changes to become successful.
If you feel unclear on your blog it may be time to change things up. Doing so alerts you to where you can get clearer and believe more in the direction of your blog.
To genuinely commit to improving your blog read this resource from Jerry Low at WHSR:
Are you lacking clarity and confidence in your blog? Why?
How to Get Your Blogging Mojo Going if You Feel Hopelessly Stuck
I lose blogging momentum sometimes.
You may be in the same boat, being human and all.
But if you regularly find yourself saying “I need to get serious about building my blog” over the course of years it is time to own this fact: you need to get your blogging mojo going before you become permanently stuck in a blogging rut.
I was rut-stuck here and there for many years, on and off. Maybe I didn’t quit blogging totally but I’d start blogging, then stop, and continue this process for weeks on end. Not good.
You can find your blogging mojo and get unstuck by following these blogging tips.
1: Pick a Dream that Makes You Feel Alive
I am led by my dreams, not pushed by problems, because I picked a big old dream a while back. I wanted to circle the globe. Bingo!
Since I wanted to travel the world more than I feared doing uncomfortable, blogging-building things, I built a rocking blog and kept on moving, keeping my blogging mojo going.
What is your dream? Figure it out. Hold it tight.
If you need inspiration watch my video from New Zealand. I filmed this one at Mount Cook a few months ago.
2: Feel Fears Fueling Your Struggles
Some folks believe they lack motivation to blog. Others feel they are lazy. But at the end of the day, if you are not acting, you are afraid of something or someone.
Laziness is fear manifest. So find your fears, by shutting a door and sitting in a quiet room, and if you feel the deep fears you purge the energies and proceed from an inspired, loving, persistent, energized space.
I kept putting off writing an eBook for many years. Turns out I was not lazy; I just feared nobody would buy the eBook because I saw myself as a loser who knew little. I also feared people would criticize me. But I went forward and wrote my first eBook to get out of my fear-rut and to keep on moving.
Some of my eBooks do not sell as much as others and people sometimes post negative reviews of my eBooks but since I do not fear these outcomes, neither have any power over me. I just keep expanding my success, helping folks and befriending blogging pros because I move forward, unburdened by many blogging fears I faced, embraced and released.
3: Study Persistently Energized Bloggers
I am no Tony Robbins but blog persistently from an energized space.
Each day I:
- do 1 hour of deep yin yoga
- exercise for 1 hour
- usually take an icy cold shower
- focus on having fun with my blog versus attaching to money or traffic outcomes
I have written thousands of guest posts, over 10,000 blog posts (old and new blogs combined) and I have also written over 100 eBooks. Toss in the thousands of videos I created over many YouTube channels (since closed) and you see I am a pretty prolific dude. An energized, prolific dude at that.
You’d be wise to see how I go about my energy ritual daily to take a few pointers. Consider deep yin yoga to open up your body, to open your mind and to form the habit of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Maybe meditating daily opens your awareness. Exercise is definitely a must, every single day.
Circulating your energy freely moves you from being fear-based, lazy and sluggish to being love-based, energized and prolific. I was once pretty dang lazy before I dove deep into energy work.
Wrapping it Up
Keep at it guys. I know this blogging journey feels scary sometimes but if you grab the right blogging resources and follow the above tips you will avoid common blogging ruts that appear to cripple most bloggers.
1 Clever Way to Find Blogs for Reading and Commenting
Have you missed me?
I dove full bore into promoting my eBook through blog commenting a number of months back. Toss in a prolific blogging campaign over at Blogging From Paradise and some serious video creation and you see I am a busy bee.
A few days ago I uncovered an incredibly neat and pretty clever way to drive traffic to your blog through blog commenting, via a neat method of finding new blogs for your collection.
Do you feel stagnant, blog-reading-wise?
I did. For a minute.
Turns out I dug deep into my blogging comfort zone for too many years, reading and commenting on the same blogs week after week, month after month.
If you know anything about successful blogging you likely know that all blogging growth occurs well outside of your comfort zone. So I had to venture out of the familiar by finding new blogs in both the blogging and travel blogging niches because my readers gravitate to both.
Enter a cool method for identifying new blogs for reading and commenting.
Google Image Search
The other day a neat little idea knocked on my mind’s door; why not use a Google image search to find blogs in my niches?
5 minutes later I literally had an unlimited number of blogs for enjoying, commenting and for connecting with fellow bloggers.
The method is simple. Google a competitive keyword in your niche. Example; I Googled “blogging” to start my search.
I then clicked on the “image” link by the top of the page. A series of images popped up related to that keyword.
Some images link to business sites but for the “blogging” keyword, most images linked to well-read, reputable blogs. Perfect.
Blog by blog, I slowly worked through each image, clinking on the blog post URL related to each picture. After reading each post I published a personalized comment and retweeted every blog post, adding the #blogging hashtag for increased targeting on Twitter.
Why this Strategy Is So Powerful
I – like you – have run into stagnant blogging circles on social media and through forums. Even if new bloggers join sites like Facebook and G Plus daily you cannot access and unlimited number of new blogs on a daily basis through either channel once you become an established blogger.
This is not the case with a Google Image search because the sheer volume of new blogs – for competitive keywords – yielded through such a search boggles the mind. Even better? Ranking high for an image search usually indicates a high quality blog for reading, for commenting and for building friendships with top shelf bloggers.
Some of these blogs linked to images are low quality offerings. Resist the urge to grab and scarf down rotten blogging low hanging fruit. Stick to quality blogs.
Some images point to business sites. I found this to be especially true when Googling major cities and islands around the world to find new travel bloggers. A high volume of images found during a search linked to tour operator sites. Sifting through tour sites or local chamber of commerce sites to find legit travel blogs requires a significant amount of time and energy.
Spending the time and energy to find new blogs is worth the effort but if you find some keyword image searches seem dominated by business sites – not blogs – feel free to try another keyword that may be linked to predominantly blogs for an image search on Google.
I only dove into this traffic driving strategy a few weeks ago but I noted new bloggers finding me daily through this approach.
If you are stagnating in familiar blogging circles commit 100% to this Google image search method. Reach out to new bloggers, build brand awareness and drive traffic through an easy to follow tactic.
3 Tips on How to Grow a Local Trade Business with a Blog
While more businesses and services are flocking to the internet for more reach and lower operating costs, there will always to be a need for local trade jobs. When referring to trade businesses, we are talking about electricians, plumbers, contractors, construction, and anything else that might be hands on.
The internet is great for many different things, but there is always going to be a need for these hands-on jobs. Even with most of these jobs being physical work and going into a home to get the task completed, there are still many ways to take advantage of the internet and what blogging has to offer.
That is exactly what we are going to be looking at today. No matter what type of local or trade business you currently have, be sure to implement the following methods, tools, and services today.
Blog Content, SEO, and Online Quotes
The most obvious benefits of blogging are quite clear. These are usually the aspects of creating content, ranking in Google, and also getting free exposure and advertising online. When looking at blogging from a trade business perspective, we can highlight the following:
- Using your blog as a resource tool to rank in Google for customer problems
- Ranking in the search results for your personal or business name
- Making it easy for customers to find your business online
- Ability to get free quotes and estimates for jobs
- Getting listed in local online directories
- Building a solid reputation and expertise
- Showcasing previous jobs and customer testimonials
In addition to using content creation and SEO to rank your site and services higher on Google, it’s also a great way to engage with your audience and potential customers. A perfect example of this would be if you were to create online surveys, detailed estimate submission forms or even providing customer reviews of various data points and services provided by your company. This can easily be done through the use of WordPress plugins or quick contact form PHP scripts. While many trade businesses will have free estimate forms, not many will go into detail on the needs of their customers and offer than more than just a traditional, name/address/phone quote form.
All of these benefits and features are ideal for a trade business, and if they weren’t to have an online presence, it’s like they might be passed over as well. Today, people want to connect with businesses online — whether that be through email, websites, online forms or social media.
Using Online Time/Invoicing Software
In addition to creating an online presence for your business, it’s also important to take advantage of online tools and resources to help you get more done. For example, if you have a website with a form to request free online quotes or estimates, you could easily start advertising to local residents through the use of geographic targeting on Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. Since you would be targeting to a local audience and only paying on a per click basis, this could definitely prove useful.
However, for all of this to work, you would need to actively track your ad spend versus incoming jobs and revenue. Again, this is where some online tools and resources can help.
- Invoicing – To properly track incoming and outgoing payments, you will need to have quality invoicing software. Some business owners or contractors like to use software, while others will prefer web-based solutions or even mobile applications. Either way, if you take enough time to search around, you will find a good app for tradies.
- Time Management – Just like you need to know how much money is coming and out for your trade business, it’s important to know where your time is best being spent and how to accordingly bill for it as well. This article has a great selection of time management tools that can help with this task.
- Facebook Ad Spend – With all of this time and money going in and out of a business, it’s also important to track your lead generation and online spending as well. Having previously used Facebook Ads as an example, there are several great tools and resources for tracking this as well. Neil Patel highlights some of the best Facebook advertising tools on his site.
No matter what type of local trade business you might have, it can definitely benefit from each of the invoicing, time management, and online advertising tools and references mentioned above. Now it’s time to discuss the many opportunities that lie within branding yourself as an expert while showcasing your talents and customer ratings in the process.
Show Off Testimonials & Expertise
When looking for a business professional or trade expert, most people will head to Google and type in something like “job task + zip code/city“. This will often bring up a wide range of results, usually from Google Local and sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. These sites are all great, but they also list most local businesses in the same way. The only real difference between them is that some have reviews and ratings, and others won’t. In addition to having all of these local directories and listings online, there are plenty of benefits associated with having a blog of your own and better protecting your reputation online.
Again, this is where a business blog or website can really come in handy. Since most of these review sites will allow businesses to link to their main site, it’s a great opportunity to show off your expertise, customer tutorials, pictures of previous work, and how to best get in touch with your business.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Create social profiles on all platforms, and link them back to your site
- Showcase customer testimonials and use photos of real people
- Make it easy for individuals to contact your business through phone and email
- If possible, link back to your main website through local listing and rating sites
Trade business owners or individual contractors are always in a war to win more business. With the internet now in play more than ever before, we will continue to see a larger divide between those who are taking advantage of the tools and resources it has to offer, and those who stick with traditional print and TV advertising.
Having read through all of our recommendations and tips, what side of the business do you want to be on?
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