The Small Business “It” Factor: The Critical Differences Between Winning And Losing Bloggers.

stickynote.jpgGuest Post By Genuine Chris Johnson

I’ve had the good fortune to help just over 100 people get started blogging in the time I’ve owned my business. I’ve helped almost exclusively “rotary clubbers,” the small town, mainstreet folks that prepare our wills, list our homes, make our loans and do our taxes. I love the spark of entrepreneurship that my clients have.

I’ll tell you a secret you never hear from any social media consultant: most of my clients fail. They don’t get a good ROI on their blog, and they leave a Google trail of half assery all over the Internet. They don’t Blog For Profit, they waste their time and energy, and for most of them, they should never have started. Secret number two: I can often tell very early if someone is going to succeed or fail.

I recently went through all of my clients. I looked at their blogs, from our “never posted blogs” to the “obscenely profitable” blogs. I wanted to figure out if there were some instantly observable, obvious threads so I could guide my clients.

Fear. That was the number one thing that was the same. Clients were afraid of making public mistakes. Like everyone was frantically clicking refresh on their feed reader, salivating over what some anonymous tax attorney had to say. Consider this: It’s OK to make mistakes. When you first start blogging your blog might be the most completely private place on the Internet.

Second: my failures wanted to see an ROI before they achieve critical mass. Cart before horse. People make blogging all about them, but what makes blogging work is service to others. 10 self-serving posts does not a blog make. Instead post information people need—and use process stories to tell just why you’re different. After one blog post a check is most certainly not in the mail. When you just make half a blog, you will almost convince people to become leads.

Third: our failed bloggers don’t any take action till they feel like they know everything. I do a lot of training and I have daily lessons available. There are some “lessons junkies” that spend more time on the webinars with me than writing their blog. These folks I love, but these folks fail. The point of blogging is unfiltered, authentic information. Have an opinion, make a wave, and stir the pot. Be yourself, and share what makes your service the best in the world.

The failure path has “fear” at its heart. If you’re a blogger and you’re afraid, it’s much less likely that you’ll succeed. If you presume failure, it will follow you. What are the common threads of my “success stories?” The folks that made 60x or more what they invested?

Action: They churned out loads of content, constantly improving. You get better at blogging the more you blog. Churn lots of posts. Each post makes you better, and rings the bell of Mr. Google. If you want to make your blogsite work, write, write, write. Here’s a fact: everyone that worked with me and posted 70 or more original articles or pages reported a return on their investment.

Winners realized that there is a way to win and they set out to learn it. Look around: some people are winning bloggers. The presumption that success is possible and predictable drives a different set of actions and spirit of commitment than if you’re just “trying out blogging.” There’s a map to success in everything from SEO to conversions. Hunting your model is a different mindset than dabbling. In the Rock, Sean Connery says something to the effect of, “Losers try their best. Winners come home with the prom queen.”

Third: the people that won looked at numbers. Hits, links, clicks, analytics, inbound calls & even word count. Drucker said what’s measured can be improved. Knowing your numbers (without being overly concerned) makes you hard to beat.

Do you want to win? Here are some easy questions and action Items:

  • If your blog isn’t making money, look at a few things: do you have 40+ posts and 10 pages with evergreen content?
  • Do you know how to get into your analytics?
  • Do you look at other industry blogs and see what they are doing, and do it better?
  • Is it dead simple to contact you?
  • Is it real clear what information is on the blog and how it benefits customers?

Those are questions that we all have to answer.

Genuine Chris Johnson helps rotarians get business from blogs at Flat Rate Web Jobs, and he helps third party candidates get websites and donations at Patriot Connect.

About The Author
Grant Griffiths is founder of Blog For Profit and co-founder of Headway, the first Drag and Drop WordPress Theme Framework. You can follow Grant on twitter at @grantgriffiths
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