You hit publish. This is going to be epic. You wait.
You check your Google Analytics stats. Nope. No visitors.
Days go by and your blog is as dead as the day you published your post. What is going on here? Blogs are supposed to be cash machines.
The truth is that is takes more than a “publish and pray” approach to become an A-Lister. Here’s what you need to do that you’re not doing right now.
Do Real Business Stuff
This is at the heart of running a blog. You have to treat it like a business if you want to make money with it. Almost all blogs that make money are businesses. Sure, you do get bloggers who get lucky here and there, and make some money by selling advertising. But, those blogs are few and far between.
Most blogs have to be set up as businesses, selling things like ebooks, products, or services.
Get An Audience
Before you do anything, get an audience. This is the number one tip professional marketers like Brian Clark, Danny Iny, and Neil Patel teach. If you don’t have an audience, you have nothing. If you have an audience, you can sell almost anything and you don’t really even need to know much about marketing.
Having an audience that likes you means that you understand them – probably better than you understand yourself. You know their deepest fears, their insecurities, what really motivates them and what they really want out of life.
Then, all you have to do is come up with a product to sell to them – something they want already but that no one is giving them.
Start Writing, But Not On Your Blog
When you first start out, it’s tempting to want to fill your own blog up with posts. Don’t do that. It’s a waste of time. What you should be doing is filling other people’s blogs up with posts. Guest posting is one of the best ways to get the audience you’re looking for.
If you’re having trouble with the writing, hire someone like bid4papers.com to help you. Keep approaching people until someone says “yes.” Once you get that first guest post, follow up with the same blogger for another one. And, use your existing post that just went live to get your foot in the door with other bloggers.
Cool It On The Extracurricular Activities
Social media, commenting on blog posts, and forum posting is all well and good, but it’s not the way you’re going to generate massive traffic just starting out. One way to get massive traffic to your site is to make friends with other bloggers in your niche – preferably famous ones.
That’s hard. Unless you really are friends with them, your next best bet is to ask to submit a guest blog post to a highly-trafficked site.
This is a lot easier than it sounds. All you have to do is reach out, submit a few headline ideas, and wait up to 2 weeks for the blogger to get back to you. Getting published on the site might be tricky, however, depending on how “big” the blogger is.
Another thing you can do is buy ads. If you have an irresistible offer you want to test (a free PDF, or maybe an email course), set up a Facebook ad campaign and test the response you get. Make sure you collect email addresses and mail your list with interesting stories and offers (don’t just turn your email campaigns into an endless pitch-fest).
People online can tell when you’re being fake. It’s weird. They shouldn’t be able to, but they can. And, even if they couldn’t, you should always be honest and open about who you are and what you’re doing.
Being transparent can also earn you way more business than if you take on the typical stuffy corporate attitude. Unless you’re IBM, you can’t get away with that anymore.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to spill the beans about everything that’s going on in your personal life, or that you should be a jerk to your readers or anything like that. It does mean, however, that you should be authentic in your communication. Even if you do hold something personal back, like maybe what you did on Saturday night, or what you had for breakfast, what you do end up telling your readers should be written in your own “voice,” or style, and said in an authentic manner.
About the Author
Mike Hanski creates content strategies and writes at Bid 4 Papers, an online service that provides editing and writing assistance in a one-on-one format. He likes to write about topics related to education, entrepreneurship and social media. Follow Mike on G+ or Twitter.