Frankly, Are You Building A Business Or A Blog?

Sometime ago I wrote a post titled: Are You a Blogger or an Entrepreneur Who Blogs? In that post I did gave reasons why you should not consider yourself simply as a blogger but an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, it does appear that not many people are really listening to these things.

Since writing that post I have seen a whole lot of new bloggers join the blogging bandwagon while many others have abandoned ship! I still believe that many who have shipwrecked their blogging dreams did so not because they do not have the passion for blogging but because they have approached their blogging career from a wrong angle.

build a business and not a blog!

Don’t Just Build A Blog; Build A Business!

I have mentioned this severally but I will never stop talking about it until I see more bloggers put it into use. Truth is, when you ask the average blogger if they are really building a business the ready answer is yes!

But think about this:

  • Can you really say you are in business when you don’t have a product?
  • Are you in business when you don’t have a target market?

Indeed, these are just the basics of building a business. But how many bloggers can readily point to their blogs and say, this is my product or target audience?  Now, if you cannot do that how can you really say you are in business?

Recommended: Hey Blogger, What Really Is Your Product?

You must understand that blogs, as we know them today were initially setup by internet marketers as traffic generating tools for their online business sites. Blogs were not set up initially to make money by themselves but as marketing tools. So, looking at your blog as your business today is really a wrong approach to blogging because a business without a valuable product, a target audience who wants that product and a platform to present that product to the target audience is not really a business.

So, How Do You Really Build A Business And Not Just A Blog?

I love using the analogy of building a house whenever I talk about building a business. This is because building a business is similar in many ways to building a house.

There are different steps involved. From the foundation stage to the roofing stage, a lot of planning and effort is required. Besides, the type and size of the house will determine the depth of the foundation. The higher the structure you desire the deeper the foundation you will need to prepare.

The following are a few tips on how to build a business using your blog.

1. Decide From the On-Set What Direction to Take

It’s unfortunate that there are many people online who want to jump into the blogging bandwagon without any preparation. To this people the wise saying, “look before you leap” has no meaning. If your blog is going to be your online business then it is important that you get a clear idea what direction you want to go. Set your goal from the beginning and then run with it!

2. Be Creative But Don’t Seek To Re-Invent the Wheel!

Every one of us has a creative flare in him/her and your blog is definitely a place you will want to show your creativity. It is your platform and you’re free to run it any way you want. You’ve the freedom to post whatever you want. Indeed, this is good. However, instead of being too concerned with your creativity, it will be of great help to you if you’ll rather seek out what is already working and then building on it. Study what successful business strategies the experts are using and never hesitate to be a copycat if need be. Your focus should be on taking what you have learned and modifying it to suit the needs of your business.

3. Get Help through Mentor(s)

Do you really need a mentor to build and run a blog? The answer to that question might be a “yes” or a “no” depending on what you really want. Is your blog going to be a platform for your every day ramblings or you really want to build something worthwhile? What experience do you have about running a business? Do you have any formal training and skills on business management? Your answer to any of these questions will determine if you will want to go for a mentor or not. But the wise route is to seek for help when you deem it necessary.

4. Be Financially Committed

Setting up a WordPress blog could be done without any real financial commitment. But the fact is, if you desire to really build a business with your blog, committing some financial investments into the business is a must. Never be contented with just running your business on freebies. Invest in the right tools. Pay for the knowledge when necessary. One thing you must know is that when you are financially committed your motivation for success will go up and this will help you to put in more effort into building the business of your dream.

5. Remember To Stay Green

The internet business world is an ever changing one. It is a dynamic market. To keep abreast with the latest ideas and trends you need to invest in yourself through trainings. Whenever possible, attend seminars. A single new idea picked up from such trainings could transform your business. Of course, simply acquiring new information and learning new ideas is not enough. To really see these ideas and knowledge come to fruition you will need to put them into action and by taking action you will always be open to more new ideas thereby keeping yourself on the green lane!

So, are you building a business or you are simply building a blog? Share your thoughts on this subject with us in your comments below.

Strategic Guest Blogging Tactics That Get Results!

Content as we all know is the king when it comes to internet marketing. Indeed, no wonder the internet is called the Information Super Highway!

As a business gunning for more visibility, strong brand relationships and client trust, producing valuable and relevant content that helps in solving your site visitor’s problems is a must.

Though may businesses have not realized this but many are already using content marketing to their advantage.  In a content marketing research for 2012, the Content Marketing Institute reported that about 60% of marketers, who are already using content marketing, planned to increase their spending on content marketing over the next 12 months.

Specifically, the report states:

  • 9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing.
  • On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their goals.
  • Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.

This is indeed a testimonial to the importance of content for businesses on the net. Now one of the content marketing tactics employed by many of these businesses to gain online visibility is guest blogging – a strategic content marketing tactic made popular by bloggers.

It’s unfortunate however, that despite the many benefits of guest blogging, a lot of folks who desire to use it to either promote their products and services or to drive traffic through enhanced online visibility, are far from achieving their goals.

Now, various reasons account for this failure. But from personal experience, I’ve discovered that one of the reasons is the lack of truly understanding the basic principles and essentials of successful guest blogging.

This is why I’ve decided to put together a blog series on How to Drive a Horde of Endless Targeted Traffic through Guest Blogging!

I know you have read numerous “How to” articles on guest blogging however, if the ones you have read are anything like the ones I’ve read, you will agree that not many of them go into details. They barely list WHAT you need to do but never care to tell you HOW! But this one is going to be different.

Pushing Beyond the Nuts and Bolts of Guest Blogging

When I planned to do this, I simply wanted to write a detailed article touching on every area of guest blogging. But I soon discovered that a single post will not accomplish what I really had in mind. And that is why I’ve decided on doing a blog series. I know with a series I’ll be able to go into details as I wanted.

Now, you may be wondering why I’ll want to put in some effort to produce a blog series on guest blogging? Of course that’s natural but I truly want to use this as my contribution to the blogging community. Besides, I’m positive that if this succeeds we all will benefit in the following ways:

  1. I will be able to receive more quality guest posts to publish for you on this blog.
  2. Career bloggers offering guest blogging services for businesses will use this to improve their art; and
  3. If you have been thinking of guest blogging and had not been able to bring yourself to doing it, you will receive the confidence to launch out.

The Structure of the Guest Blogging Series

In case you’re not familiar with my blog series, I invite you to read the last one I did on WordPress Search Engine Optimization.

My blog series are always detailed as they touch every area from the WHAT to the WHY and then the HOW!

This one is not going to be an exemption. I’m very certain you will benefit greatly with it. Even if you don’t have the mind of being a guest blogger, what you will receive will help you write better blog posts.

UPDATE: I’ve linked to all the posts in this series below. Feel free to read all!

1. The Secret to Getting Hordes of Endless Free Traffic as a Guest Blogger!

2. Ignore This Essential Element and You’ll Fail Woefully as a Guest Blogger!

3. How to Guarantee a Continuous Flow of Traffic with Your Guest Posts!

4. How To Create Content That Engages and Drive Traffic As a Guest Blogger!

I hope you enjoy them.

Top 6 Blog Directories That Will Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog!

This article is an off-shoot of a guest post I did at famousbloggers.net a few days ago. The post titled, “How to Drive Traffic from Blog Directories and Tags to your Blog” has elicited a lot of comments most of which did not agree with the effectiveness of blog directories when it comes to traffic generation.

I must agree that blog directories presently do not drive traffic like the search engine. But why so? It’s simply because people rarely go to directories seeking for answers!

But this does not mean that blog directories do not drive blog traffic.  In this post I want to simply showcase some top blog directories that have been traffic-drivers for this blog for some time now.

Remember, preparation matters!

It’s crucial.

Before submitting your blog to any blog directory, you should make sure your blog is ready for the viewing. Do not simply place your blog address and then expect people to read half-baked essays, poor stories, or no entries at all. Have a lot of good content to welcome your new and current readers.

Besides, be aware of exactly what keywords your blog will have. This means that you’ll have to go through your content, and then evaluate what keywords to use. This will help you properly categorize your blog and provide the right keywords if the blog directory service asks for it. I’ve given some insightful thoughts on how to do this on the post, “How to Drive Traffic from Blog Directories and Tags to your Blog.” Please do read it.

Once you’re sure your blog is ready for the blog directories you may want to consider these ones:

1. The Do-Follow Blog Directory  – If your blog is do-follow then this is a must. This is the top directorr generating traffic for this blog right now. Since submitting The Web Income Journal to this blog directory I’ve recieved traffic from it nearly every day. This blog directory apart from having different categories also list the most recent blogs added and the most popular blogs.

2. Blog Catalog  – This one is very popular amongst bloggers. It allows you to place your blog into a category. Besides, it also shows which categories are the most popular, allowing you to be better guided as to what market has the biggest readers. Through blog catalog, you can join discussions and form or join groups.

3. Blog Hub  – With Blog Hub you can add your blog, chat at a forum and also chat with your fellow bloggers. There is also news about affordable web hosting services and other interesting articles. Blog hub also offers information on how to use services to monetize your blog.

4. Blog Hint  – With Blog Hint, like the do-follow blog directory, you can also add your blog to the directory, view the latest blogs added, view the most popular and also the highest rated. Blog Hints will even suggest a category for your blog, and you can access some WordPress themes if you are using that service. There are many different blogs in this directory that you can search through. The blogs are also arranged in folders that are readily visible on the front page of the site.

5. Blogging Fusion – Blogging Fusion is a paid-for-inclusion blog directory. It prides itself as a premier blog directory. With price ranging from $1.99 to $49.99 you can feature your blog on the home page. There are also available blog rating systems and popular blogs lists for you to browse.

6. Blog Flux  – Blog Flux has featured blogs, alphabetical directory listings and the latest updates to blogs listed in the directory.

I must say these are just a selected few. Putting your blog on the right category and giving it a good description is definitely important. So if you want to try out some blog directories, these ones will be a good place to start.

As mentioned earlier, most bloggers have some bad feelings about blog directories. So what have been your experience with them? Post your comment below.

Blog Marketing Using High Traffic Blogs!

I’ve thought of talking about this for sometime now. However other commitments have taken me off for the past few days. Besides, I discovered a few days ago that the blog theme was breaking. So I had to work on this first. At the moment things are back to normal and so I felt it’s time to talk about this.

I know generating traffic is always an interesting topic for every blogger. I for one, I’m always on the look out for free but powerful ways I can drive traffic to this blog. Well I just love free ways! You know why dish out some dough when you can get it for free? You know what I mean, right?

Ok, so I’ve discovered quite a few ways of driving traffic to your blog. And I believe you’ll also want to use this free method I’ll be talking about here. You don’t have to spend your life savings on expensive ‘traffic generation’ software or even paid traffic!

The new method I’ve just discovered is contributing your content to High Traffic Blogs!

You see I’ve just discovered that there are some high traffic blogs out there that will gladly allow you to post your content for free. Maybe you’re wondering what is different with this and guest posting?

Well there are just a few differences. You know with guest blog posting you will have a hard time being accepted on some of these high traffic blogs. Especially if you’re just starting out. And then with most guest posting there are conditions like you not posting your guest blog article any other place even on your own blog. But no so with what I’m talking about here. In fact with this one you can post articles you’ve alread posted on your blog!

It just work the same as article marketing. But you know many of the article directories do not allow duplicate contents. That’s articles on your site will need to be re-worked before submission to these article directories.

Ok, enough of that let me give you an example of such blogs. Here’s one you can use right away. It is called The Marketing Blog Zine – http://marketing-blogzine.com.

The Marketing Blog Zine talks about Internet marketing and making money online. It provides targeted traffic for anyone who wants to learn about Internet marketing.

If you want to divert traffic from blogs like these, what you can do is to contribute your own blog posts as a contributor. Talk about topics that are relevant to their blog as well as your own. This is a good way to capture the reader’s attention.

You will reap the following benefits:

• You get to tap into their traffic and drive traffic to your blog

• You get to build your credibility online because you get to leverage on their ‘authority’

• The blog post remains there for a certain period of time ensuring that you will get maximum exposure

Ensure that your content is relevant. When submiting your content there is one section that you must take note of because it is really valuable. This is the author’s bio. This bio block allows you to ‘sell’ yourself and brand yourself as an expert in whatever niche that you are in. if you’ve submitted articles to article directories, then you know what I’m talking about. Use this bio box wisely and you can be sure to drive tons of traffic to your website!

Hope this article was helpful. Let’s hear your thoughts on this. If you’ve used sites like these before you can also let us know.