Why are you in business? Why do you have a website to begin with? Are your goals in alignment with your actions and expectations?
Show Me The Money
Where do profits come in your business? Do they come from “hits” on your website? Do they come from comments on your blog? Probably not. I’ve spent time advising clients on how to get more comments on their blog, and if I’m being honest with you I always want more comments as well. But it’s essential to make sure our focus is in the right place. Are more comments really going to help you? It’s a fair question. That’s why I’m writing this post. I see a lot of business owners and new marketers focusing on traffic and other metrics when they really need to be focusing on making sales. Seriously, traffic and comments take care of themselves. Run your business; that’s where your focus should be.
Are you running your blog to help your bottom line, or are you doing it for an ego-stroke? Many new bloggers get distracted.
Are you focused on your business or getting distracted by pseudo-important metrics like “traffic”, “bounce rates” and “comment counts”? This is an essential question that all bloggers must face at some point along the line. It’s easy to get distracted; sometimes it’s hard to keep your eye on the prize.
We see blogs like CopyBlogger and ProBlogger with 100k+ subscribers, and it’s easy to get distracted. Their posts get 50-100 comments every time, and you look at your blog that gets zero comments or 5 comments on average. Are you a failure? Should you be striving to be like Darren at ProBlogger? It’s a fair question, and as you’d expect the answer is “It depends”.
How To Rake In The Results: Blog Tips That Actually Matter
I submit that when it comes to blogging or any business endeavor, it always comes down to results. Many new bloggers want more traffic or more comments, but it’s important to know why or how that’s actually going to help your business. Do more comments build a healthy business, or does a healthy business bring more comments? Here’s a blog tip to consider: maybe it just doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have. Maybe quality matters a whole lot more than quantity. How does that jive with your current thinking?
I say this for a specific reason. I’ve seen the beauty of running small, highly profitable websites. Trust me, in most business niches small traffic is all that’s necessary. The problem is that most of us are still learning how all this works. Most of us are still deluded into thinking that being successful online means pulling in huge traffic. It’s just not true.
Most of the readers at Next Level Blogger so far are small business owners who are new to blogging and running very small businesses…5-7 employees or fewer (including many single-person operations), and the majority (from what I’ve heard from talking with you all) are running locally owned businesses. So…as a locally-based photographer or Realtor or attorney or shop owner, do you need to be concerned with getting 100k+ subscribers to your blog? No. Absolutely not.
Are you an author or beginning marketer intent on taking over the world with your great idea? Then yes…you will most likely need to shoot for the stars when it comes to building your fan base. But many of us spend too much time on our blogs and spend too much time WORRYING about our blogs when we ought to be focusing on other things.
A Nauseating Example Of Wasting Time On Blogging
I attended a conference recently and watched a Realtor talk for over an hour about all the SEO work she’s done on her blog. The audience (comprised mostly of like-minded real estate professionals) was very interested. Everyone took copious notes. Clearly, she’d done her homework, and she was obviously spending both a lot of time and a lot of money on optimizing her blog. Everyone in the room watched her in awe and she bandied about phrases like “image alt tags” and “anchor text”. Clearly she has deciphered the code to search engine excellence, and all Realtors should pay close attention to her, right? After all, blogging is the way of the future, right?
Oddly enough, I could have shown her what she needed to know about SEO in 15-30 minutes on the phone. Instead, she’s spending several hours every month and paying some SEO firm big bucks….all for her little local real estate blog that is never going to pull in more than a few thousand visitors a month anyway. What a waste. Why? Because she works in a small town that only has a small population! With regards to search optimization, her concerns are a piece of cake. She doesn’t NEED big traffic. She needs qualified, targeted traffic from her local market. She needs 1,000 highly targeted and engaged visitors per month. From that, she can make a fantastic living as a real estate pro in her town. Why spend $500 a month (her numbers, not mine) on search optimization and hours each week on tracking down trackbacks and manually requesting that they change their anchor text (again, her techniques…not mine)? But she’s gotten distracted as so many of us do. She’s seen the big lights and been deluded into thinking that she also needs 100k+ subscribers and tons of traffic to her site.
This is a great example of how distracted we can get. Please ask yourself the questions:
- What are the results I’m expecting from my blog?
- Why do I expect those results?
- Will achieving those goals actually help my business grow?
- What are the most essential metrics I can use to ensure I’m reaching my goals through blogging?
If you answer these questions, you will be well on your way to getting the results you want from your blog marketing. If you need 100k+ subscribers, there is a model available to make that happen predictably. But if you’re running a small business, especially a locally owned business, it’s likely your concerns should be much more focused. Running a high traffic site is one method of achieving success through blogging. One method…not the only method.
Final Blogging Tip Today: Blogging is Simple…Really!
Believe it or not, blogging really is simple. Talk to your people. That’s all there is to it. “What about SEO?” “What about getting tons of subscribers and huge traffic?” Don’t worry about it. Trust me, Google will know you’re out there, and if you’re posting relevant content to your audience they will find it. Taking it upon yourself to figure out every single thing about running a website is a huge burden, and it’s not why you got into business to begin with, is it? Did you get into business to be a webmaster? Most likely not. Most likely you got into business to sell something. So sell it! You already know how to do that. Talk to your people. Set up a good self-hosted WordPress blog, and let er rip. Have fun with it! Don’t wrack your brain over SEO and all the minutia of being a webmaster.
Can it really be this simple? Yes, it is. Talk to your people. If you actually have something to say, you’ll draw the exact crowd you need.