12.8 So, what should I blog about?
Blogging offers those that provide services with the opportunity to showcase their wisdom. By advising and by engaging in conversations they will establish their brand in a positive way.
I ran the risk of being boring by advising, over and again, that you should seek a popular market before you decide on what to sell. Blogging is no different. You are “selling” entertainment or information. It is fine to host adverts and to promote a product or service but do not get pushy! You want to attract ‘eyeballs” and not drive them away. Also, you seek to attract an audience that will engage in a conversation on the topics that you introduce for discussion on your blog. In this way you will attract subscribers or followers whose “eyeballs” you can bridge to content for a reward if you so wish.
12.9 Establish the size of the market for information about your blog topic.
The idea being that you find an interesting and popular niche on a topic that you are passionate about. If there is no market then blogging to no one only helps if you have something that you need to get off your chest. Let us say that your intended niche is “work from home.” The easiest and cheapest method of researching this niche is with Google Search.
Open a Google Search Page and type in the words > work from
You will find that Google opens a drop down list of the most popular searches that begin with the words > work from.
The drop down options I was presented with include:
~ work from home - 3,160,000,000 search results
~ work from home jobs - 1,230,000,000 search results
~ work from home ideas - 952,000,000 search results
~ work from home nairobi - 69,900,000 search results
~ online jobs in kenya paying via mpesa - 253,000 search results
The competition or a number of search result options is provided when you select any one of these options. By narrowing down the options further, you will be able to determine the competition for alternative niche opportunities.
~ work from home jobs new york USA - 773,000,000 search results
~ work from home jobs cape town south africa - 17,500,000 search results
~ work from home jobs mombasa kenya - 2,550,000 search results
Using Market Samurai I was able to determine the number of searches that a number one ranked site could expect per day if they searched for the following:
~ work from home - 2,278 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
~ work from home jobs - 2,775 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
~ work from home ideas - 75 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
~ work from home jobs new york USA - 75 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
In addition, Market Samurai offered the following:
~ online jobs - 2,775 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
~ business ideas - 1,864 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
~ make money online - 1,519 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
~ small business ideas - 1,022 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
~ earn money online - 835 clicks per day from anywhere in the world
Given that, you do not have Market Samurai you can still explore alternatives on Google. Start with the broad phrase such as > work from home, then narrow it down e.g. work from home jobs and next search> work from home jobs a. When you have added the first letter of the alphabet, move to the next. It’s long winded, but cheap. Programmes like Market Samurai will automate the process for you at an affordable price. The results with an > a added were:
~ work from homejobs australia
~ work from homejobs atlanta
~ work from home jobs amazon
If you add a location, you will narrow the niche down considerably. This may be appropriate if you want to offer a neighbourhood service such as:
~ Travelling Hair Stylist New York - 83,300,000 search results
~ Travelling Hair Stylist Cape Town South Africa - 758,000 search results
At this point, I’m sure that you will have determined that, at best, the results obtained are a guideline and that the above Google search results must be taken with a large pinch of salt!
If they were even remotely liable we would have solved the world's unemplayment problems! This then underscores the need to go local on a directory and even better you should try to secure a researched contact list for your area of interest.
Should you believe that there are some three-quarters of a million travelling hair stylists in Cape Town, South Africa, I’m sure that you could be one of the few. Let us now try searching for an exact match by adding quotation marks to the search phrase.
~ “Travelling Hair Stylist Cape Town South Africa” - zero results
~ “Travelling Hair Stylist Cape Town” - one result
~ “Hair Stylist Cape Town” - 827 results
The world has discovered Cape Town (Camps Bay Beach is seen below). Are there 827 hair Stylists in Cape Town. I'll leave you to decide but I am sure that there are more than one who travels to clients.
The object of the above was to highlight the need for research to determine the size of the market that you target for research and in addition to offering an idea of the potential for traffic to an online site. Having established an interesting, popular niche that you are passionate about, what’s next?
12.10 Offer valuable information and if this is not done, be sure to entertain.
Next, you need to offer valuable information on topical matters for discussion on your blog. As was discussed above, create subtitles that include the popular keywords in your niche. These will be your paragraph headings that
you must format as h1 or h2 headings. Under these can be further subheadings that are formatted as h3 or h4 headings. Doing this not only gives your post structure but it advises the search engines that these matters are discussed in your article. When you have an established audience, you can direct their attention to say, work from home opportunities, which you are prepared to stake your reputation upon. The latter aspect is critical, and you need to join a team such as my “Unstoppable Team” (e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me how) that has tried and tested the opportunities that they promote. In this way, you can take a short-cut to success as you can leverage on the success of others so that you can learn from the mistakes of others.
OK, you have the content now you need traffic to your blog. At the start of this chapter, I discussed a number of ways in which you can leverage traffic to your sites.
Without customers, it matters not how passionate you are about your business; it’s products and services. A store in a local shopping mall can wait for “walk-in” traffic but all internet based online businesses must drive traffic to their stores. If they do not get traffic to your online store by building an audience, your online store is unlikely to be found. e-Marketing your business can be outsourced but if you are to be a Home Based Business that’s a start-up on a limited budget then the place to start is to learn to be an internet marketer. Consider becoming a network marketer for the primary reason of learning the shortcuts and tricks of the trade. It is probable that if you do what is advised that network marketing may become a business in itself. Failing this you can take away the lessons learned and apply them to your online e-commerce business or any other online business because online marketing is a universal skill that is to become increasingly important.
12.11 Building a stream of traffic to your site
An effective way of creating a blog post that is almost guaranteed to be interesting to your audience is to find relevant, popular and topical video posts on YouTube and to embed these in your post.
Note that you can customise the size of the YouTube display screen to the size of your blog’s page. If it’s a bit smaller than your page width, it is less problematic than if it is too big.
Your objective will be to attract followers by getting the conversation growing and so you need to add value by adding your thoughts on the matter.
When your blog post is published then contact the YouTuber that posted the videos and request the YouTuber to add a link to your blog post about the video. Most viral YouTube videos are not commercial, and the YouTuber is likely to enjoy the fact that you have set up a blog destination for discussion where you will give support by answering queries and by adding to comments. If you are promoting a product or service that offers you an affiliate or other commission on sales you can offer to share the commission with the YouTuber. Some of the Affiliate sites allow you as a registered Affiliate Marker to set up your affiliate link in such a way that they will administer the sharing of your commission on a sale.
Another way of attracting traffic is to register, bookmark or share your blog posts with sites such as:
~ Digg - It’s a popular article directory.
~ OnlyWire - Have a WordPress site? Every time you update or create new content on your WordPress Blog, OnlyWire will automatically submit it to all of your networks. OnlyWire is a fast, secure automation tool to submit content to the over 45 Social Media Networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Use OnlyWire to save time, automate your website’s content and engage your followers.
~ Reddit - Reddit is a social networking service and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links.
~ StumbleUpon - StumbleUpon finds and recommends web content to its users.
12.12 Do not spam social networks.
Social sharing and bookmarking is a great way to get the word out there about your blog and to attract eyeballs to your honey pot! Be sure not to spam social networks as this will make you nothing but infamous!
12.13 Share popularity scores when you are proud of them.
This leads me to the matter of sharing your popularity score on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. These are displayed as a number next to the social network logo/icon. It takestime to build popularity scores and all too often they are displayed because the site designer was justifying his build fee rather than assisting you to get found. Until you have a high score showing the popularity count on your blog will not add to the user experience so leave them off until you are proud of the popularity scores.
The following WordPress plugins will help you to share blog posts with social networks:
~ Alexking plugins
~ Tag Warrior by Neato
~ Lesterchan’s e-mail forwarder
This Blog is integrated with Facebook and Twitter for one click article/topic sharing. It has Twitter and Page following plus a Twitter Archive and Google Analytics.