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.”

Honesty: What’s In It For You? – Where Personal Growth and Business Collide

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You can also read this on The Huffington Post

“The truth is undefeated” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To anyone who carries the truth as a burden on their backs, something to hide from or shield from others, you’re using it wrong.

It’s actually the wings that free you.

For your personal growth, and for your business, it’s time to stop hiding. Your fear of owning your truth is hindering your success, your growth, and your happiness.

Before I dive into this, know that I’m no saint. I make mistakes. One of my biggest struggles in transparency is looking in the mirror to find my truth in where I’ve gone wrong, but once I find it I quickly come to terms with accepting and voicing it. I never forget that any truth of mine is a human truth, and we are all equal in that we all have them.

I speak with transparency about the things I know about myself. The good, bad, and ugly.

I can recognize it’s not that simple to those around me, and probably isn’t simple to you if you’re reading this, so read a little further and I’ll make it more objective for you.

The Myth

People always tell you to be honest because it’s “the right thing to do”, when in fact one can argue that in certain situations honesty isn’t the noble thing.

For instance: a husband on his death bed admits to his wife of 50 years that he had an affair. Was it the right thing to do?

The Truth

The reason for being honest isn’t just that it’s “the right thing to do”. (Which I would actually still argue it being the noble thing and take up timing as a completely different issue–personally).

The more compelling reason to be honest is that honesty comes with more personal and interpersonal benefits than any alternative lack of transparency.

So while you’re busy being burdened with the fear of people knowing you better, I’m over here setting my truth firmly on the table. Freeing the people who aren’t a good fit for me and my business and character, attracting those who are, and walking through life free as a fucking bird.

What’s In It For You

The personal and business benefits of transparency are astounding.

You Greatly Reduce Your Run-ins With Conflict & Guilt.

“Miscommunication is one of the biggest causes of conflict in interpersonal relationships, and transparency helps to reduce the occurrences of miscommunication.” – Eli Adversity

When people say they trust you, they aren’t trusting you to be perfect.

When they trust you they’re trusting you to be who you’ve presented yourself to be.

Once you present yourself or your business as a certain type of entity people expect you to deliver on that standard. The moment someone takes a risk on you, be it with their money, their secrets, letting you into their home or heart, it means they’re expecting you to deliver on the standard you set. No one else set it for you.

Conversely, losing someone’s trust doesn’t mean you’ve presented a character flaw or made a human mistake of some sort. People accept each others through those circumstances daily.

Losing someone’s trust means you stepped outside of the standard you lead them to believe in, which in turn made them question everything else you presented yourself to be.

So if you remain authentic in your strengths, weaknesses, business, and character, you almost never have to disappoint anyone around you, or suffer the conflict and guilt resulting from that disappointment.

You Get More Accountability — The Greatest Ingredient Of Growth

“As an introvert and a private person by nature transparency was not something that came natural to me, but I quickly learned that a sense of transparency and vulnerability were key to making true connections.” – Chanel Cumberbatch
You want personal growth?

Face yourself.

Furthermore, allow those who you’ve promised a standard to to judge you based on your consistency in upholding the standard.

People say “the first step is admitting you have the problem” because there’s no way to grow without acknowledgment of where the immaturity exists. This requires transparency.

You Stop Questioning Your Circle’s and Following’s Acceptance Of You

“…This attracts the right people, deters the wrong ones, and you never have to overthink who you are trying to represent.” – Arne Giske

When people know your truth their decision is simple: at what level can they show up for you.

Some will decide to stay distant. They’ll follow you on IG without buying your product. Others will disappear, but the best people for you at that time of your journey will decide to be your best friends and best clients.

When you reach a point of consistent transparency and allow everyone around you to see you as you are you get to firmly believe this one thing: no one in your life is out of place or holding you back.

Not a friend, and not a customer.

People Give Their Money to Those They Trust

“We live in a world where markers are full of crap 99.9% of the time. So when you go out there and you’re completely transparent you automatically set yourself a step ahead of everyone else.” – Dan Henry

I don’t care if it’s asking a friend to borrow money or asking a client to take a chance in paying you for a service. If they don’t know who you are, you aren’t getting the money. You start hearing “I don’t have it, I’m sorry.” and excuses of the sort.

What they really mean is “I don’t know if I’m going to get what I want out of this transaction.”

And that’s because they’ve picked up on an inconsistency with what you’re presenting that makes them question who you really are and what your business is really capable of.

So when it comes to business, you need to make sure your target audience trusts you before you ask for the sale.
You don’t have to take my word for the benefits of honesty and transparency. See the full quotes roundup of successful entrepreneurs who have built some of the most loyal followings by owning their truth in business and life.

 

Arne Giske – Founder of The Millennial Entrepreneur Podcast & Digital Marketing Ninja

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“When you are authentic in your marketing you never have to fake your image. People see the real you, not a manufactured brand. This attracts the right people, deters the wrong ones, and you never have to overthink who you are trying to represent. I’ve found that it’s a lot more fun to be myself and not hold back. My story is unique, my style is my own, and no one can copy that. There’s only one Arne Giske!”

 

Arne has a kickass podcast and might even take you on as a sales funnel client if you fit the bill. Check him out!

Chanel Cumberbatch – CEO at Chanel Cumberbatch, Business Strategist

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“Transparency has had a HUGE impact on both my business relationships and my personal growth. As an introvert and a private person by nature, transparency was not something that came natural to me, but I quickly learned that a sense of transparency and vulnerability were key to making true connections. Especially online. Now I’m able to share bits of my story with others, inspire and truly become “relatable” as well!”

Chanel is the aspiring entrepreneur’s hero, killing 9-5’s one client at a time. Check her out here.

 

Eli Adversity – Founder of Resilient Fitness/Poet/Model

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“Transparency serves a large benefit in both business and personal life alike. From a business perspective, clients know what they are getting into from the visuals we put up on social media. So when they come to class they have adequate information on what to expect thus there is a sense of trust. We did not chose to hire models to represent an image because we are the image and every client is a part of this image. In regards to personality, self growth and clarity are the biggest advantages to transparency in one’s character. Miscommunication is one of the biggest causes of conflict in interpersonal relationships, and transparency helps to reduce the occurrences of miscommunication.”

Eli is one of my all time favorite humans. He started his Fitness Coaching business, but also takes part in the arts including spoken word poetry and modeling (though he might not openly admit to the latter). Follow his IG here to keep up with everything he’s doing.

Dan Henry – ‘Superhero’ Facebook Ads Expert
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” I would say, transparency has helped my business tremendously. We live in a world where markers are full of crap 99.9% of the time. So when you go out there and you’re completely transparent you automatically set yourself a step ahead of everyone else.

Dan is a major Batman fan and the go to guy for Facebook Ads. He has two goals: get results and stay real while doing it. Click Here to find him.

 

 

Eryn Amel – Writer/Photographer 

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“Transparency helps allows me to piece my success together one sale at a time in business. Finding a network that honors your transparency helps them support your vision. Not specifically when it comes together, but allowing my trials to take shape organically seemed to have birthed life into my projects and this transmits to my customers. I think the transparency helps others feel comfortable in who they are supporting all the while showing others how much work goes into operating a business meant to keep your lights on.”

Eryn is an artist of several forms, and the transparency she speaks of has afforded her one of the most loyal followings I’ve seen. Follow her on Instagram for a daily dose of mind, body, spirit, and beauty.

 

 

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: