5 Tips for Writing A Kickass Blog Post That Gets Traffic and Engagement

You can also find this on Huffington Post.

You hear it all the time. To get hits and engagement on a blog post you have to build your social media following.

Wrong.

To get hits and engagement on a blog post you have to write a damn good blog post. A post so in-factually and objectively damn good that readers can’t help but click that headline and then share that post with their followers. You sharing yours has little to nothing to do with the grand scheme of how well your post performs.

Proof?

This post on Lifehacker barely broke 100,000 hits.

 

 

That might seem like a lot at first, but this one (below) did way better, breaking half a million and landing at over 680,000 hits.

 

 

Same blogger, same platform, and shared on the same social media channels & accounts. Completely different outcome.

You may be thinking, “I can still get 100,000 hits on a bad day? I’m fine.” but Lifehacker is within the top 800 sites in the world (out of over 16 million). So, unless you plan on being in the top 1% of global websites with several writers, graphic designers, and more under your belt, no, my friend. It doesn’t work that way for us little guys who are running our own show. You think Gary V. would be as big as he is without D. Rock? Even he knows better.

But you can get more hits by writing a kickass blog post. In fact, you can completely beat the system by putting out fantastic content.

A large part of my career has been built on studying why people react to certain posts, products, etc. better than others. So I did some studying to tell you how to create the perfect blog post. Not only that, but I enlisted the help of some of the other leaders in the blogosphere to help me tell you all about it.

Here’s what we came up with.

Leave Your Weak Headline At The Door

Your headline is the first impression people have of the content you’re putting out, and trust me: they won’t walk in the front door if it’s looking shabby. Even if your most loyal readers click a weak headline and share the post, I promise you your traffic stops there. Your not so loyal readers won’t be so willing to lend the benefit of their doubt as your dedicated following.

I’ll give you a pro tip from my free Blog Traffic training video:

Plug benefits and power adjectives into your headline like nobody’s business.

Take the headline to this post, for example. Would you have been so keen to click if it only said “How to Write a Good Blog Post” versus “How to Write a Kickass Blog Post That Gets Clicks and Engagement”?

Probably not. The adjective “kickass” is way more powerful than “good”, and naming the benefit of “clicks and engagement” really seals the deal for those who are looking to obtain exactly that. You can tap into the benefit of anything you’re putting out to the word and simply name it in your headline. Conversely, if you cant name a benefit, you should probably touch up your content until you can.

Free Training Video
Click here to learn the Ultimate Headline formula and other traffic generating methods in my free training video.

“Break the Damn Mold!”

If you want to stand out, you have to do things differently.

Richard from Let’s Start Blogging Online supplies us with one of my favorite tips:

“Is everyone writing boring posts with perfect APA formatting? Break the rules and swear your ass off! Are the other blog posts on the subject short? Make yours twice as long. Do you see people using a lot of stock photos? Dress it up with a custom graphic or add real screenshots.”

The cool thing about this tip isn’t the generic “be different!” that we always hear — it’s the fact that Richard has clued us in on exactly how to methodically stand out.

Instead of just coming up with a “unique” idea out of thin air, look at the similar posts your competitors are writing first. Figure out the mold they’re all abiding by, and then tweak yours to be more eye-catching and engaging.

This could be as simple as adding comedy to what’s normally a boring instructional post, throwing some GIFs in instead of plain stock images, or like Richard does with his flagship post, making an ultra-long in depth post where your competitors have kept it shorter and more surface by default.

These small tweaks can be the difference between thousands of visitors who leave and forget you versus getting thousands of visitors to become real engaged readers and fans.

Don’t Pack In The Posts, Pack In The Value

“…the biggest thing I always have in the back of my mind when I create a new blog post is, make it better than anything else out there on this topic.” – Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa, an information products seller that’s high up in the blog influencer network, went on to explain to me that having a well-stocked site of mediocre content didn’t cut it in her own journey. She made that mistake early, but decided later on to slow down (2-4 posts per month) and just make sure that everything she put out was the best she had to offer. She went deep into each post to make sure she delivered examples, screenshots, and thorough explanation compiled with magnificent readability that her audience could take in with ease.

The quality over quantity mentality has been a “huge” success for her and her readers, and if you look at any other successful solo-blogger you’ll find remnants of the same sentiment.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you you need to put out 2-7 blog posts per week. Put out one. Just make it the best. 

Show Up To Your Own Party

Writing a blog post and being too rigid to display your own voice is like throwing a party and sitting in your room during its entirety. Gatsby much? Kim Doyal aka The WordPress Chick reminds you not to be so shy, grasshopper.

“Share where you are, whether you’re on your knees or at the top of your game.
There’s truth to the saying that there are no ‘new’ ideas. The biggest differentiator is YOU. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion, take a stand, and go against the norm. Use your voice.”

You can rest sure of two things when you show up in your blog:

  1. Some people will judge or disagree with whatever your truth is.
  2. For each person who fits into #1, there will be more who will stand by your side, relate to you, crusade for you, and follow you. Those are your readers.

You’re going to get a lot more out of blogging and life by breaking out of that shell of yours and putting your story, your struggle, your strengths, and your opinions on the table for everyone to take or leave. It won’t be your perfect exterior that turns heads and lures crowds, it’ll be the depths of your own presence in your content.

Inspire Action or Rip Out Some Heartstrings

“…will it inspire, teach, or challenge someone. If the answer is no, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and rework the post. I don’t believe in sticking to a niche, I believe in creating content that is meaningful to people.”

Helene (In Between) has one of the most dedicated readerships you’ll see, and with her key ingredient to the perfect blog post its no wonder why. She doesn’t settle for anything less than inspiring some major action, thought process, or emotion in her readers.

I’m inclined to agree. Niche or not, the only readers that find you memorable are those you’ve moved or inspired. They also happen to be the only readers who will talk about you and share your posts. I didn’t find out about Helene through search engines. I found out because a handful of people recommended that I check her out within minutes of one another. And here I am doing the same.

That’s what influence actually looks like. Not a follower count.

So every time you write a post, ask yourself, “will it move them?”

Define Your Goal and See It Through

“the thing that really guides a blog post in regards to engagement is your goals. You have to know what outcome you’re trying to get from people and tailor your marketing and content creation to those goals.” – Ramsay Taplin, The Blog Tyrant

Ramsay gets straight to business in reminding us that not all engagement is good engagement. Each blog post should serve a higher purpose and lead to your bigger goal. Regardless of what that bigger goal is, you should allow it to determine the way you work the post. Who to cater it to, what to write about, etc.

If you want people to download your lead magnet on puppy training, then, you should probably write a post about puppy adoption, or starter care. Then, in the post or in your page’s pop-up your lead magnet should jump out at readers and ask them to sign up for the logical next step in their process: puppy training.

Imagine is the post was about koala care? It would only attract koala breeders and all your hard work on your lead magnet would be lost in the sauce.

There’s more you can do, of course. There always is. If you’re still hungry for ways to drive blog traffic without a social media following or SEO click here. But even if you start with the basics on this post, you’ll see a huge improvement if you weren’t using them before.

Keep reading to get the full quotes of our lovely contributors. And good luck!

Richard Goodwin of How to Start a Blog Online

“Is everyone writing boring posts with perfect APA formatting? Break the rules and swear your ass off! Are the other blog posts on the subject short? Make yours twice as long. Do you see people using a lot of stock photos? Dress it up with a custom graphic or add real screenshots.

A great example of this is my homepage on howtostartablogonline.net, where I’ve written a 5000+ word blogging tutorial filled with screenshots.”

Melyssa Griffin

“Honestly, the biggest thing I always have in the back of my mind when I create a new blog post is, ‘make it better than anything else out there on this topic’.

When I first started my blog, I would write “fluffy,” short posts that barely scraped the surface on an idea. My motto was to pump out as much content as I could, assuming that a well-stocked site would create daily readers. Later on, I realized that the meatier I could make each post, the more people stuck around, read every word, and got real results.

So, nowadays my posts are regularly 2,500+ words, include extra freebies and opt-in incentives, share lots of examples and screenshots, and aim to be ultimate resources for my tribe. This also means that I post way less now — only 2-4 times per month — but the payoff for myself and my audience has been huge.

For anyone interested, I do have a sweet blog post all about how to write killer blog posts (so meta, right?). It includes a free checklist too, and you can check it out here: http://www.melyssagriffin.com/create-blog-post/

Kim Doyal aka The WP Chick

“Just Show UP. Share where you are, whether you’re on your knees or at the top of your game. There’s truth to the saying that there are no ‘new’ ideas. The biggest differentiator is YOU. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion, take a stand, and go against the norm. Use your voice.”

Helene Sula of Helene In Between

“The first thing I think about when writing a post is: does this move me? Meaning, will it inspire, teach, or challenge someone. If the answer is no, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and rework the post. I don’t believe in sticking to a niche, I believe in creating content that is meaningful to people. Whether it helps or causes some type of emotion, I want it to invigorate others.”

Ramsay Taplin aka Blog Tyrant

“The perfect blog post, to me, is a combination of many factors. A lot of people will say that it is all about providing massive value (and that’s true!), but it is also about creating something distinctive that stands out from the competition in some way.

That might mean doing a 5,000-word post that has graphics, videos and tools included such that it becomes a one stop solution for readers. But the thing that really guides a blog post in regards to engagement is your goals. You have to know what outcome you’re trying to get from people and tailor your marketing and content creation to those goals.

All of your content should form part of a bigger strategy. There’s no point in getting 100,000 views per month if they don’t convert to an email list or buy a product. For example, in this post I want to tell people about how to start a blog correctly and so it’s set up for that goal.

Engagement has to be about furthering your blog’s strategy and if you can’t explain your strategy out loud to someone in a 30 seconds then I’d recommend sitting down and planning it out for a few days until it’s perfect. That will shape your blog’s engagement forever.”

5 Methods For Quick & Quality Blog Traffic

The gurus make blog traffic sound so simple.

Post on social media, use keywords, and traffic starts appearing from the depths of the web, thirsting for your value.

The beginner takes months to learn and implement SEO correctly.

And you’re telling me my other best bet is to post to my followers and hope they somehow multiply and share my content?

GTFO.

Here’s a list of “work smarter not harder” traffic generation methods that no one seems to be talking about.

Fix Up Your Headlines

If your articles are highly visible but you aren’t getting many clicks your headline game is weak my friend.

Headlines serve a very specific purpose that severely impacts your traffic: to get people to click and read the post.

Crap headlines alone will ruin your hit count.

I studied up on how to write click-worthy headlines when I wrote for Lifehacker, and have since released a free checklist to help you out.

Some no opt-in pointers are:

  •  Use adjectives. The more intense the better.
  • Write the headline after you complete the post. This is to avoid clickbait headlines that make promises the post doesn’t actually fulfill.
  • Use the curiosity gap every chance you get. If not in the headline, then appeal to it in your caption. “Number 10 is hilarious!”

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is one of the best ways to increase your traffic for free. It also has the added benefit of increasing your authority.

The terrible thing about it is that people think you already need authority or a following in order to gain admission. If you’re not that person skip the video below, but if you are under this impression watch me easily bust this myth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2h6dPMKuxY

People are more inclined to purchase from a Huffington Post contributor or someone who has a swarm of endorsements even if none of them are major yet. People are also more likely to find you if you have links in well-targeted areas all over the web — regardless of the latest SEO roadblock.

Compile a list of blogs and media outlets your target audience flocks to and start writing guest submissions. Use www.similarweb.com to rank the blogs by traffic and work your way up the list.

Several blogs don’t allow you to insert your backlinks directly in the post. That’s okay! Insert you backlinks in your author bio. The most enthused portion of the flock will still find you and be the most likely to purchase what you’re selling.

Influencer Blogging

Influencer blogging is just the acquisition of influencer input — a quote or interview — for your newest post. This makes the influencer more inclined to share the post and 2x, 5x, 10x your reach and traffic accordingly.

Influencer blogging is a solid way to increase your chances of getting a guest submission accepted as well (though you don’t necessarily need it).

I developed a pitch template that worked on 5 influencers at once. I walk you through the template here so you can do it for yourself, but if you want the short version there are 4 key things to remember:

  1. Influencers want to be published in major influential outlets, so you’d do well asking them to participate in guest posts.
  2. Lead with your ethos. This doesn’t have to be public authority (accomplishments, following). It can be experience, ideas, knowledge, etc.
  3. Roundups are great. The more influencers involved the better, and then you can drop the other influencer names in the pitch.
  4. Keep it short. Respect their time.

Use Facebook Ads – The New Blog Traffic Edition

If you’re ready to cut coffee and start spending $5/day on your business, start with Facebook Ads. Don’t just throw up some post boosts, though. Use the ads intelligently.

There are two things you can do with Facebook Ads. You can retarget your existing traffic or you can acquire new traffic. We’re going to focus on new blog traffic.

To get new traffic without wasting coffee money you’ll use the Facebook Pixel and lookalike audiences.

Set up your Facebook Pixel by copy and pasting the code right before the tag in your website’s header.php (or equivalent) file.

Wait until the pixel records about 100 hits. Then create an ad that boosts your most popular post to new readers by showing it to a lookalike audience.

Facebook will optimize and show the post to people who are similar to those who were inspired to visit your blog, thereby intelligently acquiring you new traffic.

The Russel Brunson Method – Steal It

Russel Brunson, creator of ClickFunnels, uses a method that just makes sense.

It alleviates your pain of learning to target your audience with Facebook Ads. A lot of people are bad at that, so this might be your key to success.

  1. Find out who your competitors are by typing whatever you’re selling or promoting in Google and seeing what other blogs and businesses pop up.
  2. Create your free Pro account at www.SimilarWeb.com
  3. Navigate to “referrers” to see where your competitor is getting their traffic from. Many of your top competitors will get referral traffic from ads on other sites. You’ll know if an ad is working if it’s been running for a while.
  4. Go to display ads creative to see what the ads look like. If you don’t see them you may have to go to the website and click around for yourself to see when it will pop up.
  5. When it does take a screenshot of it.
  6. Contact the website that’s hosting the ad to inquire about when the ad space will be available and pricing.
  7. Hand the screenshot over to 20dollarbanners.com and ask them to make an ad for your business that models off of your competitor. This ad should be unique but similar (if their headline is purple, make your headline purple, but don’t copy the text).
  8. Once it’s up it will attract the same visitors your competitor was attracting from that website, which could easily be tens of thousands of people from a single source.

There’s More.

I have a Free Video Training for easy ways to get blog traffic without a social media following or SEO. In it I really break down the best 3 secrets you can use to boost your blog traffic easily without much time commitment and arm your posts for clicks and shares before you even hit the pavement to push them.

Click here or below to head to the training page.

Now you have some additional solid methods of blog traffic generation in your arsenal. All of these methods are designed for you to attract quality leads, not just any old person who might stumble upon your blog out of curiosity.

If you still need to learn how to monetize this traffic read about how to actually monetize your blog here. .

Good luck!

This Is How You Really Connect With Influencers

sm3lnibo2ly-davide-ragusa

Everyone wants that “big break”, right? The moment when the most influential person in your niche notices you and puts you on the map to her or his 1.2 million followers–or something like that.

The thing is, I look around and see a lot of people acting on that desire but their moves aren’t made with enough purpose to prove successful.

In the world of hired professional blogging for major outlets–where I acquired a lot of this truth I’m about to drop on you– reaching out to influencers is a part of the job description.

This is how you really make sure you get an ROI out of your efforts in Influencer Marketing.

1. Change Your Mindset 

Your energy and time are both limited. Only a certain amount of it, per day, can be dedicated to reaching out to influencers. This is why it’s important to understand that influencer marketing, like everything else, is a tiered endeavor. There’s a way to best respect that time and energy.

You don’t start at the top. You work your way up to it.

The word “Influencer” is relative. If you only have 1,000 followers and someone else in your niche has 15,000, they’re your Influencer. And you should be starting there or even lower, because the primary point for you in connecting with influencers doesn’t rest in how many followers they have and dreams coming true. This is business. Reality. Your time and effort are investments, and this investment relies on the probability of your connection influencing your level of exposure and perceived value–affording you a timely ROI.

Let that sink in.

2. Do Your Homework 

“They have 15,000 followers on Instagram!” isn’t the only question to be answered when vetting influencers.

That’s right. You vet influencers. 

If you want to get the most out of your investment (and avoid wasted efforts and bad exposure completely) you have to brainstorm everything that could possibly affect your collaboration in a negative way, and then do your homework.

Are those followers targeted and are they engaged in what your influencer is sharing?

If you’re getting featured on their blog do they have enough hits per month to lend you the exposure you’re seeking?

Is any of their content relevant to the specific thing you’re promoting through their channel? How did the followers respond to it?

What are the influencer’s general interests? Do you have anything else in common? How deep can this connection be and how far should you take it?

What bad publicity does the influencer have? How do you feel about having your brand tied to that image? How do you feel about endorsing their cause and flaws as much as they’re endorsing yours?

3. Become Relevant In Their Space 

If you want someone to notice you in a likable fashion you should become a positive relevant influence in their space instead of interrupting their day asking them for favors without them ever having heard of you.

(Thank me later for that run-on.)

I can best expound on this with a personal experience:

Before reaching out to Daniel DiPiazza (recent acquirer of Under30CEO and founder of Rich20Something, featured in a ton of huge media publications, good looking, blah blah blah) I became relevant in his space.

Rich20Something Community is the Facebook group in which Daniel spends much of his time, (at the time of writing this post it has about 16,700 members).

So what did I do? I hopped in the group and started contributing–regularly.

But I didn’t speak to him. Not right away.

First I just made sure I was visible.

How do you do that? Share value. Ask questions. Answer questions. Be an active and consistent participant in the party this influencer has afforded youth privilege of attending.

Focus on being mindful. Everything you do in their space, starting out, has to align with their value mission first. I don’t mean to go into the group and start promoting their content. They’re already doing well at that–otherwise they wouldn’t have a space in which they have influence.

What i mean is to maximize the value the influencer is providing. Daniel teaches people how to be entrepreneurs. He wants the group to be a place where his entire community comes together to lean on each other through their failures, growth, and triumphs.

So while I’m in his group guess what I do? I offer value that helps teach people how to be entrepreneurs.

I align my value with that of my chosen influencer so that when they see me–which they will because I’m in their space–they will begin to bundle me up with other things and people they consider valuable to their endeavors, and not just another customer that contributes to their bank accounts.

This is how you become relevant. Whether it’s on Twitter, Instagram, blog commenting, YouTube, Facebook groups, or anything other than Snapchat. You find out what space they spend their time in, and you contribute to its greatness. (This is also how I got my gig at Lifehacker).

Needless to say I’ve connected with Daniel twice. Once for my ebook, and another recent connection for a soon to be published guest post on one of those big name blogs everyone talks about.

4. Reach Out The Right Way 

I’ve released a 16 minute-ish free video training on this. In it I show you how I reached out (cold) to 5 influencers (Neil Patel, Darren Rowse, etc.) with a template pitch and they all responded.

Click here to see it now, keep reading to get the short version.

I’ve been pitching to influencers for years now. Like I said before, as a professional hired blogger it was a part of the job description. Here are the 4 main takeaways of successfully pitching to influencers, especially cold pitching to top level Influencers.

Hint: Use emailhunter.co to search for anyone’s email.

  • Lead with your ethos. i.e. “Hey Mark. My name is Tori Reid (you might recognize me from Huffington Post)” <— ding ding ding, confident mention of ethos. If you feel like you don’t have credibility I promise you do and you need to recognize when you’re holding yourself back, which would be right now. I started with nothing, just like you. Don’t tell me you can’t succeed at this. It’s bullshit. You’re out here building a business with something because you know something. You have insight others don’t have. You have experiences others don’t have. You have a vision others don’t have. You’re learning but that doesn’t discredited what you’ve already learned. Use it. For those of you starting out this may take some serious soul searching, but you need to do it, because it’s in there and the first step to success that no one talks about is knowing yourself.
  • Clearly state your purpose. Don’t beat around the bush or take forever getting to this point. Respect peoples’ time and let them know what you’re working on up front. Leading with your long-winded overall vision will deplete, not fuel, their motivation to continue a conversation with you.
  • What’s In It For Me? Everyone wants to know and influencers are no different. If you don’t have a following and exposure to offer in return you’ll have to dig. Perhaps you can give them your product for free to check out in return for a review or testimonial. Maybe you’ll have to invite them to contribute to your guest post submission for another website with a huge readership rather than your own.  If you’ve done your research you should know their sideline interests. Maybe they’ve mentioned liking gifts and you know tickets to Hamilton will tickle their fancy. Whatever the case may be prepare to state this without being asked (because they won’t ask. They’ll just ignore you).
  • KISS Whatever you’re asking of an influencer on your first 1-3 interactions with them need to be so simple it takes them two minutes to contribute to your cause. Clicking a share button, offering a quote for an article. Things of that nature. Only when you get better acquainted with them can you start to ask for more and expect an ROI (unless those tickets to Hamilton are really worthwhile).

5. Persevere 

Starting out you will be met with rejection more often than not. In fact, it’s psychological and has been proven in sales and marketing time and again. Said fact is the entire reason the Facebook Pixel was even invented: people usually need to see your face, brand, offer, etc. 5-7 times before they actually care about what you have to say.

Ignore the “usually” and assume that will always be the case. And this isn’t just influencers. This is all people.

You have two choices when faced with rejection:

  1. Whine in a corner while everyone else surpasses you.
  2. Thank the influencer with grace if they respond and keep along the path you’ve set for yourself to connect with them eventually.

Which will you choose?


If you like this post and you use a blog to help your business you’ll really love the free “Influencer Blogging” training video I mentioned earlier.

So seriously, click here to check it out.

Good luck in all your endeavors, friends.

 

 

 

make money blogging

Make Money Blogging: The Bootstrap Guide To Monetizing Your Blog

So you decided to start a blog but aren’t really sure how to make money blogging. I was once a member of that club, and I’m here to help you leave it.

Understand that blogging isn’t what it used to be. Most people can’t just start a blog writing about the things that they love. That isn’t the key to getting traffic to sell ad space for thousands of dollars. In fact, the ad space for thousands isn’t realistic for any novice blogger.

But there’s another realistic method.

These days people have to treat their blog like a business. You need to sell actual products and services through it. There is a way to automate the sales process so you can just write your heart out, if that’s what you really want to do. But you can’t get around at least selling products to go blogging full-time.

The best thing about selling products and services through your blogs is that you don’t need a ton of visitors to make money blogging. You just need the right visitors. Quality over quantity is what’s allowed the blogging for business sect to thrive.

Here’s a break down if you have no idea what the steps are to undertake this.

Target Your Ideal Reader

Targeting starts with setting your focus. Who are your ideal readers? What are their pain points and desires? Where do they congregate. How do you get access to their congregation area (Facebook Group, LinkedIn, etc.).

All of these questions need to be answered, with clarity, before you proceed. Your blog and the products you sell won’t be for everyone. They will effectively repel just as many people as they attract.

Simply put: if you’re attracting vegans you won’t sell many fishing rods.

Your efforts will be for naught unless you target well.

Attract And Engage Them

Now that you know where your audience congregates, go get them. It’s time to generate some traffic. This can happen in several ways.

You can stay active on social media in your target audience’s congregation areas, use networking online as a tool to pull in traffic from complimentary influencers, or pay for traffic.

Once you attract them you have to engage them. Use social media and email lists to send them valuable post after post after post. These places are also where you’ll redirect them to your blog.

Relying on RSS readers isn’t the best choice anymore. So few readers spend time on them frequently enough. But everyone’s on Facebook. Engage your audience where it’s most accessible.

Free Training Video
Click here to watch my free training video about how to get targeted traffic to your blog without using a social media following or SEO.

Find Out What High Ticket Products They’re Interested In Purchasing

While you’re spending time with your target audience creating value and visibility (also known as brand awareness), validate product and service ideas. Find out what they are willing to pay for. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you want to avoid failure here. Model from what’s already working.

Focus on high ticket products first.

Validate your product ideas by asking your target audience flat out what products they’ve paid for and would likely pay for in the future. When you get a resounding yes, create a bottom barrel version to see if they put their money where their mouths are.

Then scale.

I recommend selling products even though I sell services. They’re just easier, especially if they’re digital/information products. (I’m actually in the process of transitioning to product sales).

By the end of this step you should have a clear idea of what your target audience is willing to pay for.

Choose Elements Of The Larger Product To Create A Value Ladder

Break down that high ticket product into smaller pieces that you can repurpose and offer as a value ladder.

A value ladder is the stepping ladder customers take to find and purchase your high ticket offer.

If a guy you barely know says “Hey, give me $10,000 per month and I’ll turn it into $1 million in 6 months” would you? Probably not.

But if he says “Hey, I have this free checklist that will help you learn to grow money” you’d be more willing. And if you like it –which he’s betting you will — you’ll probably then take him up on his $12 book. Then, if you like the book, you will purchase his $100 video training, and so on.

Value ladders build rapport, and customers need them to trust you with their hard earned cash. The key here, though, is to make sure the smaller products of the value ladder all compliment the high ticket offer at the top of the ladder. This is the key to getting those who would be interested in actually purchasing the high ticket offer, up the ladder.

Choose a company with a full value ladder in place if you’re going the affiliate marketing route. If they don’t you’ll have to create your own, which you can easily do by combining products from multiple affiliate programs. It’s just easier for brand consistency to go with something like ClickFunnels that has an entire range of free to top-dollar products.

Either Create The Products Yourself Or Become An Affiliate

Now its time to either create the products yourself or find an affiliate company that has already made them.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Signing up for an affiliate program and selling those products has a turnaround time of under an hour to launch. Making your own products could take months if not a couple of years with varying levels of focus, motivation, and life occurrences.

Affiliate products are also tested, and it’s pretty easy to research which products are already selling so you can set yourself up for success. Yours will have to go through the growing pains of testing that affiliate products have already been through. It might not sell.

On the flip side, there’s one thing affiliate programs can never give you that you might be able to give yourself — lifetime job security. Even in a niche that sustainable and lasting companies go out of business and get shut down. Someone else is always in control of when you’re done, and you might not even be ready.

There’s also the perk of grossing 100% of the sale rather than making a comission. More money for fewer sales is always a great thing.

On that note I recommend starting with affiliate products while you create your own, ultimately giving you the best of both worlds.

Now, Make Money Blogging

It’s time to start selling.

Start showing the people you’ve attracted how your products and services can change their lives.

Start by launching the lead magnet. Your free checklist, free webinar, or whatever the case may be.

When someone opts-in to download the lead magnet they’ll opt-in to be sold on the next step in the value ladder. Your $12 option.

Once they buy the next product they’ll be transitioned to the next step and receive that sequence, and so on, until they hit your high-ticket item.

This can get really complex if you don’t know what you’re doing, but there’s a free book by that genius millionaire dude Russel Brunson that breaks it down really well in my opinion. You just pay for shipping. Click here to check it out.

Sell Ad Space To Boot Once Your Traffic Is High

Once you start getting about 10,000 hits per month you’re in a good spot to start practicing selling ad space. The revenue won’t be much, but it’ll be a good amount of cash to pay for Facebook Ads and the like to help boost your email list opt-ins and get more people up the value ladder to that money making product.

Next, click the image below:

How to Make Your Blog Post Worth Reading, and Get Thousands to Read It

This post can also be found on HuffPost

An unfortunate circumstance: the number of overlooked bloggers delivering impactful stories and hard-hitting advice, every day. If this is you, know that at least some of us are aware of how deep you’re buried in the blogosphere. It’s a shame but I’m not complaining. I’m here to teach you how to dig yourself out.

I left a dream job at Lifehacker in 2014 for a dream life all my own. I’ve never looked back. And right now there are thousands, if not millions, of people somewhere along the same process. Most of us at some point come to the conclusion that we have (and want) to use a blog. It’s a perfect way to tell your story, lend your expertise, and build a platform for yourself to shout from the hilltops and be heard. And most of you at some point struggle with it for months before submitting to the idea that you just can’t figure it out, or don’t have the time to slave away filling a blog with content for minimal traffic in return.

When you go to the experts or support groups they all say the same thing: share your posts on social media and start adding value to your target audiences’ conversations. I couldn’t disagree more. You likely haven’t the time nor patience to talk to 1 million people individually to get 1 million hits. Me either, so I never took that advice, yet I still had competing traffic with Gawker’s veterans when I was a rookie, and my own new blog is outshining others with the same short lifespan.

Here’s my system, step by step, for how to really get traffic to your blog without a social media following. You could actually be living your dreams in just a few months if you just knew to do this instead of what you’ve been doing.

Step 1: Choose a topic people are already reading about

The first and most fundamental mistake most bloggers make is choosing topics they want to write about with no regard for what their audience wants. If you’re an expert in your field you know what’s good for your readers. However, I present to you the very obvious tough luck you’ll encounter selling vegetables to a toddler who’s getting chocolate from your competitors (at a higher price might I add). Give them what they’re looking for, not what you know they need.

How do you do that? After a while you’ll be able to take the feedback you’re getting from your readership, pick out the recurring questions and concerns, and answer them with a blog post. Starting out, however, you’ll need to use a shortcut friend of mine called BuzzSumo. You can get a free membership on this site and see what articles are already trending in your niche. Take the topics of those articles and twist the angles to make them unique.

Present something the readers haven’t heard before. If the trending article is about how appropriation is ruining and offending sacred cultural practices all over the world, I implore you to write about how cultural appropriation might be the key we’re overlooking to create a more inclusive and curious society versus the one we live in that’s riddled with fear of the unknown–and by way of that oppression and discrimination. Same topic, different angle, and people have already proven their interested.

Step 2: Find your influencers and get their buy-in

The reason I refuse to approach 1 million people individually and start a conversation with them about my blog post isn’t just because I don’t have the time or patience. It’s also that I know very well that I can approach 20 people with a 50,000 member Twitter following and get the exact same results in less time, and with the greater benefits of expanding my close networking circle. Stop seeking the endorsement of a 1 pound catfish that feeds your family for one dinner when there are 20 pound catfish in the lake that will yield greater results.

How? Once you outline your post with the topic you’ve chosen, go back out into the world and see who the leading commenters on said topic are. This can generally be done with a clever use of hashtags on the social media platform of your choosing. It can also be done on BuzzSumo by going back to the original article that inspired your post and clicking “sharers”. These influencers are interested in your topic, speaking on it, and have a large following that’s willing to listen.

Get in touch with them. Offer them value, build a connection, craft rapport, and ask them for input. If they invest in your post by answering a simple question for it they’ll be much more inclined to hit the “share” button on it come publishing day.

Step 3: Write content that compels people to share

The mantra “content is king” has gotten no one anywhere fast. It ensures we all know that quality content is important, but doesn’t discern the difference between quality content and effective content. You want your post to make a difference in peoples’ lives, but it’s also very important that you make it effectively shareworthy. Otherwise it’s not going to make a difference in very many lives, including yours.

How do you compel people to share? Noah Kagan presented a huge case study on Huffpost detailing the comparisons of the most shared articles on the web (100 million articles to be exact). Here are my favorite takeaways, but I encourage you to read it in full whenever you find the time:

Evoke awe, amusement, or laughter. If you can make people feel something from your article you’ve succeeded. Consider awe surprise, such as the angle we thought of up there–consider the effect it would have if you were able to execute that argument soundly, with conviction. Amusement–or otherwise entertained–explains the popularity of cat videos. And who doesn’t instantly share content they find to be flat out funny with their friends? I encourage you to audit each of your blog posts and ask yourself if it makes your readers feel any of these things.

Have at least one picture. The word on the street is that imagery creates and nurtures engagement, but Kagan and the team put numbers to it. Average shares for articles on Facebook with images is 64.9 versus 28 for articles without. On Twitter, the articles with thumbnails 20.36 versus 9.67.

Be controversial. As Noah put it, “Have an opinion…being controversial may divide the crowds, but those who agree with you are more likely to share your content.”

Step 4: Write a headline that is irresistible to click

Once your content is written it’s time to write a headline that represents it. Just like your content serves a specific purpose of being effectively shareworthy, your headline needs to be effectivelyclickworthy,for the process an article takes to become viral is several recurring instances of clicks and shares.

How to write a clickworthy headline? By presenting your reader with a curiosity gap and then pushing them to cross the bridge to satisfy it. This is similar to the feeling you get when your friends start laughing near by you and you can’t help but ask what’s funny. Asking what’s funny to find out what the joke is is crossing the bridge just as clicking a headline to learn what the post has to say is crossing the bridge.

Here are some key pointers:

Numbered list articles are easy to read due to format and make it easier for the reader to commit to crossing the bridge, knowing they won’t have to dig and scan the whole post for the main point they’re searching for.

Extreme adjectives help promise the readers the sense of awe, amusement, or laughter that compels them to share, which will in turn promise them it will be worth the click to read–for an article worth sharing must be an article worth reading to begin with.

Negative wording gives the reader a sense of urgency that positive wording neglects.

Example:

“A Few Reasons You Should Eat Fewer Avocados”

Versus

“10 Stunning Facts About Avocados. Hint: They’re Actually Killing You”

 

The first example is surprising simply because it states a controversial claim (a false one, mind you). Otherwise it’s ambiguous and mild in nature. Whereas the second one uses a specific list, an extreme adjective–“stunning”–and negative wording–”Avoid” and “They’re killing you”. Which one would you rather click?

A warning: if you’re going to present an extreme claim, make sure the article backs it up. This is why you write headlines that are representing your article and not the other way around. You don’t want to gain a rep for lacking in quality due to empty clickbait.

Step 5: Deliver your post to influencers to share for you

By the time you make it to the step you have a fully formed shareworthy post with an extremely clickworthy headline about a topic that’s already trending. Furthermore you have influencers’ expert opinions imbedded in your article to add quality and value. Now it’s time to present the article to the influencer and let the finished product speak for itself.

Influencers are people, which means they’ll be triggered to click and share for the same reasons as everyone else. They have the additional benefit of sharing to help get their own opinion out there to present more value to their readers–since its in your article. So generally all you have to do is let them know it’s published, encourage them to read it, and thank them for their input.

However, if 24 hours passes and they don’t share the article on their feeds, feel free to ask them for a share outright, or otherwise strike up a conversation with them on Twitter asking them what they thought of the final article. Getting the link to your blog post on their feeds is the end goal, and there are several ways to achieve that. All you’ve got to do is figure out which way works for you.

Now that you know how to actually get a blog post to spread and gain traction–stop slaving away post after post just to feel unfulfilled and unnoticed. Start writing the right posts and connecting with the right people. Be compelling, have an opinion, and create a network in your niche that works to your benefit.

This post is to level the playing field. Incredible stories are being told, and priceless advice is being given that no one is seeing because aspiring and new bloggers don’t know how to be heard. Use this system step by step with each post you create and watch the game change for you. Watch it change for us all.