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3 Tips on How to Grow a Local Trade Business with a Blog

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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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Tim Bourquin is an entrepreneur with years of experience in the world of email marketing and lead acquisition. Through his opt-in email advertising service at AfterOffers.com, Tim and his team are able to deliver thousands of high-quality leads to his clients daily.

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4 Blogging Lessons Learned in Bali

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I have spent over a year collectively on the Island of the Gods.

Bali is a special place.

This popular island in Indonesia teaches you 4 clear blogging success lessons too.

Let’s dive in guys.

1: Expect the Unexpected

During a house sit at a huge villa in Jimbaran I:

  • faced down and helped slay a spitting cobra
  • dealt with a chicken killing dog
  • lost 2 of the pets (1 to cancer and 1 to likely thievery)

This list could go on forever. From this sit alone.

Bali is a fun, fascinating and sometimes wild place. Like most developing places; you never know what waits around the corner.

I am writing this guest post because the security certificate expired on my blog. I had no idea this would happen right now. Completely unexpected. But being a blogger for 10 years I know to expect the unexpected.

When my developer wakes up he addresses it and we move forward. Until then I am at peace with my blog being down. No worries. Part of the blogging game.

Expect the unexpected with your blog guys. It will happen.

2: Learn to Celebrate Everything

Balinese are an appreciative people who celebrate everything.

Staff at the villa in Jimbaran regularly took off for ceremonies, celebrating everything from cell phones, to papayas, to motorbikes.

Even cremation ceremonies are lavish, eye-popping celebrations of life and death.

Appreciate it all with your blog. Wins, losses, and all in between. Celebrating it all makes you appreciative of the internet lifestyle.

I celebrated big wins and tough losses because all these experiences made me I am the blogger I am today.

3: Step Away from the Herd to Be Heard and Seen

Kuta is a tourist trap. Ubud town center can be a bit too much.

But the rice fields well outside of Ubud and the Bukit region of the island are authentic, colorful, peaceful gems.

My wife Kelli and I stand out from many other bloggers because we tend to stay in more remote areas of the island. Even in the popular fishing village of Jimbaran we did a house sit in off the grid farm country and rented a place up in the hills, away from the heavily touristed bay. Our experiences are authentic; not many tourists in Kuta facing down spitting cobras.

Blog in your voice. Tell your story. Be genuine. Blog from the heart.

Step away from the blogging herd. All success lies well away from the herd of bloggers in your niche who tend to follow each other like blogging sheeple, blogging in 3rd person voice and never sharing authentic experiences.

4: The Best Experiences Happen Outside of Your Comfort Zone

We rented a villa in the rice fields outside of Ubud once.

We had to ride a motorbike 5 minutes into the rice fields to reach the villa.

Save 1 other human living on the other side of the compound no people existed for miles around.

The experience was amazing. Once in a lifetime deal. But we had to get used to snakes slithering inside of the house, using an open air bathroom as huge fruit bats flew over your head at 2 AM and roaches, mosquitoes and other insects regularly shacking up inside of the crib.

I would never trade in this amazingly fun, freeing and brilliant experience but of course I felt terrified at times. Definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

A bit before 10 PM on a Wednesday night I’d be comfortable in bed. But since my site is down for a bit now I nudge myself outside of my comfort zone to write this blog post. All part and parcel with being a full time blogger who renders generous service for his readers.

All of my biggest blogging wins occurred because I went the extra mile; even if doing so felt highly uncomfortable.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Your greatest blogging success occurs well outside of your comfort zone.

What blogging lessons have you learned recently?

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Top 5 Most Competitive Niches for Bloggers

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Finding the perfect niche is like a unicorn for many bloggers. The right mix of passion and competitiveness can be found in the most surprising places and isn’t always clear until you’re already well on your way. But the good news is that the harder you look, the closer you get — which is a cliche, but surprisingly true in this case. So before you give up on your dream of creating content about knitting dog pajamas or anthropomorphized helicopters, start by having a look at what niches are the most competitive at the moment.

Most blogs earn their money through affiliation. The good thing about affiliation is that it doesn’t require you to focus on one particular brand, unlike sponsorships. You’re free to place links in your content or not. And to write whatever you like about the brand in question. Money is earned through reader engagement, not through passive exposure.

Travel

Of course, the most coveted and stereotypical blogging dream niche is travel. Who would turn down reviewing hotels in the Caribbean or exciting jungle safaris? Only a few bloggers get to do this, however, but there are still a lot of sub-niches that are easy to get into and earn well in. Local guides and localized content is a great way to find perfect fits for valuable affiliation links and you can even make direct content advertising if you ask. The future is definitely localized.

Gambling

Making content about gambling is often as much about search engine optimization as affiliation links. This has made reviews and guides extremely competitive, but creating content only for SEO purposes can be a little monotonous. More localized information in a specific niche like mobile gambling makes mobile-casino.ca a perfect example of how to stay competitive without losing quality.

Health & Fitness

For ethically minded bloggers, this niche can be a minefield. Health and fitness bloggers can benefit from having a blog of their own in many ways — such as keeping themselves healthy and fit, while also inspiring others in the process. This niche market is also filled with misinformation, dangerous recommendations and straight up lies. Are you the one to finally inform readers about the one true way to stay healthy or get fit? Joking aside, whether you’re a zealot or a skeptic, there are affiliation networks for you. Just include a source or two, please.

Lifestyle

Including this niche might be cheating. It can cover so much — but that doesn’t mean that your blog should. Specialised content that you’re both passionate and informed about can be very valuable for direct ads. Everyone has some kind of lifestyle niche they’re focused on, whether it be simple admin improvement or urban hiking. Find out if readers are interested in the topic, either directly or related, before you go all in, though.

Blogging

With how competitive blogging is, blogs that explain how to succeed are more popular than ever. You’re reading one right now and you could write your own very easily. You don’t have to be the best or the most insightful to write an inspiring blog about blogging — it’s more useful than you think to write down what works and what doesn’t in your own humble experience. You can be an expert in learning.

Have you noticed any commonalities yet? If you look hard enough in any niche, you’ll learn enough to create content with a fresh and exciting take. And that’s the current trend for being competitive: Being both subjective and informed; localized and aware of international trends.

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Do You Really Know Your Readers?

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See the featured image up top guys?

I know readers dig my eBook. Said readers dig my paperback too.

Enter this featured image. I use similar images frequently on Blogging From Paradise. Smart way to appeal to my audience.

But during lean years I did not know my readers because I:

  • did not listen to my readers
  • did not ask my readers questions
  • did not spot my reader’s pain points
  • did not read my reader’s comments carefully
  • did not spot patterns among my readers

Eventually I woke up. Easy to see this now. But back in the day I had a hellish time owning the fact that I did not know my readers.

Reader Red Flags

You do not know your readers if:

  • traffic stalls or disappears
  • blogging profits stall or disappear
  • engagement dies on your blog
  • nobody seems to reach out to you on social media

These are a few red flags guys. Own the flags. Honestly. Owning your mistakes is one quick way to turn things around, to free yourself of this common blogging error.

Do You Know Your Readers?

I mean; do you really know your blog readers? Be genuine before you answer the question.

I know my readers incredibly well now because every blog post, video or podcast I create meets their needs. No guess work, no writing and publishing because I want to write and publish a post and certainly no off topic posting here, on Blogging From Paradise or any place where I guest post.

The other day one of my blogging buddies endorsed my paperback with a YouTube review. In addition to feeling grateful I tuned into one other idea; his endorsement, emails from other book customers and smiling selfies from other book customers alerted me to the fact that my readers are beginning to buy my paperback too, in addition to my eBook. I published a post linking to my paperback and explaining how my book solves pressing blogging problems after spotting this pattern.

I know my readers better and better each passing day because I listen to my readers more closely each passing day. As everything expands with my blogging campaign I find it easier and easier to help folks, to come up with blog post ideas and to know my content hits the mark because blogging with my readers in mind has been the simplest way to connect with these folks.

Your blog is for you and your readers. Never forget this fact. Never forget that if you write just for yourself you are publishing a cyber diary. No need for anyone to read a blog if the blog does not solve their problems.

Knowing your readers genuinely requires you to be:

  • compassionate
  • empathetic
  • heart-centered
  • loving
  • caring
  • observant
  • present

Listen to the latest podcast interview I did with Alonzo Pichardo on his Sound Cloud channel:

He has invited me to chat on his highly popular channel – with over 300,000 listens between only 8 episodes.

Alonzo is a master at spotting the most pressing issues of his audience. My readers also suffer from problems related to these topics. Naturally, as he shares and builds his impressive tribe and as I build my tribe, we have well over a quarter of a million listens between only 8 podcast episodes.

If you get to really know your readers and patiently hit the mark with your content, over years, 10 listens becomes 100 listens, then 100 becomes 1000, then 1000 becomes 10,000 listens, then 10,000 becomes 100,000 listens, and upward from there.

Develop an intimate bond with your readers guys. Poll them. Email them, asking how you can help them.

Much of your blogging success rests on knowing clearly what your reader wants so you can serve it up to them.

Listen. Ask. Observe.

Prosper.

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