Why Winning Product Blogs Do Only Three Things: the Secret of the Blog Triad

 Your product blog has only three tasks.

I recently was given an opportunity to listen in on a discussion with three successful blogging veterans.  These were folks who have really made blogging work and generate real income.

The group was unanimous in being focused on only three tasks. 

Why you need to remember only the Three C’s of the Blog Triad 

Content

Simple idea.  Generate content of value to readers.  We’ve all heard the phrase, “Content is king.”  

Original, interesting content is to readers what nectar is to hummingbirds.  A hummingbird may check out a bright shirt, but it won’t stay long.  Epic content, like nectar, will bring readers back.  

The idea of great content is simple; the execution more challenging.  Litmus test:  Would you read your content?  Is it informative?  Funny? Moving?  

Would you recommend that a friend read your blog?

Has your content been optimized so that search engines can direct readers to your site?  

Community

No blog is an island.  Your blog, if it is to be more than a silent repository, must engage with readers.  

Your blog is a bustling newsstand, a bookstore, a library; a place people are willing to visit to find content.  A successful blog is a busy, noisy place.

If you fancy yourself the lone writer, creating brilliant works that someone else markets, you will need a book contract and a photograph of yourself with a pipe (or if you’re a lady, a cigar).

When you are a blogger, you must be gregarious, sociable, and outgoing. You have to get out there and rub shoulders with your community of potential readers.  

Search engines will send you some traffic, just as a phone directory might send potential customers to a bookstore in the middle of nowhere.  

The real traffic comes from networking.  Why?  Because unlike wolves, who run in packs, people tend to organize in networks.

One way to network is to visit other blogs and leave comments.  Visit blogs similar to yours and say something meaningful about other articles.  Read the articles on which you comment. You may actually learn something in the process.  This really works.

Some blogs openly encourage comments with a plugin discussed in this article on CommentLuv.  The article has a link to a terrific list of CommentLuv enabled blogs just waiting for you to participate. 

Another method of engaging with your reader community are the social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+.  

Do your best to follow or friend people with interests congruent with your blog content.  On Twitter, which tolerates a cacophony of short messages, you can search for topics and Follow people interested in that topic.  Facebook takes more engagement and frankly I’ve been distracted by meeting people I genuinely like

What is the right mix of community engagement versus content creation?  

One blogging expert offered an approximate formula:  80% networking, 20% content

That’s in the beginning.  As your blog attracts more traffic the formula should gradually shift to 20% networking, 80% content writing.  But you never stop networking.

Conversion

Every blog has a product.  You may be selling an idea, or Three Wolf Moon T-shirts, or a book.  Reversing the equation slightly, you may be selling reader attention to advertisers.  

But a successful blog convert your browsers into customers of your product. 

You may want to become an affiliate for a product.  As an affiliate, when a customer buys the product, your site gets a piece of the action.  No conversion, no cash.

You may want to sell an item directly, such as an e-book or an educational course that you develop, or just about anything.  Whatever your plan for conversion, your blog should be structured to funnel potential customers toward the conversion area, sometimes called the Landing Page.  This blog currently is a terrible example for conversion – don’t use it as a model.

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Most successful bloggers advise setting up an e-mail list so you can stay in touch with readers and periodically send offers.  When the offer is congruent with your readers interests, they will actually appreciate the right kinds of notices, discounts, and the like.  

If you would like to join my e-mail list, it’s very easy and you can unsubscribe any time.  

In fact, if you act quickly, you can be among the very first charter subscribers.  Do it now so you don’t forget!

That last line was a “call to action.”  Successful product blogs always give readers a call to action.  It’s like pirates always say, “Avast matey!”  It’s a clear direction to their product.

So that’s the product Blog Triad: Content, Community,Conversion. 

The experts were unanimous on another point: successfully creating content, community, and conversion takes hard, persistent work.  But the message was clear: Success is possible if you skillfully juggle the three tasks of the Blog Triad.

What do you find is the optimal mix among the three tasks?  Are you doing all three?  Hey, leave a comment and get started on one task — community — right away!

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About AstroGremlin

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9 Responses to Why Winning Product Blogs Do Only Three Things: the Secret of the Blog Triad

  1. Rose Webster says:

    Dear Astro G,

    Well, I suck. I’m only good, perhaps, at the content part (and the odd ball joke). My sense is that if you email or network too much, too soon – you come off as a spammer. There is an undefined time frame required to build up trust in your readers. (I only “get this” because my colleagues are extremely skeptical).

    It doesn’t take much to become a nuisance. I have failed miserably in the “create an e-mail list” area. I LOVE the idea of letting people know about special offers, etc. (but not too often). I think we all are sick of the “on sale now” pitch – esp. when an item never changes in price.

    Finally, I think it’s wise to be discerning about who you follow . . there are some people I won’t promote simply because they are actively networking with people (I feel) are unethical or, well . . idiots (to be honest).

    A related article I wrote: How to get Seth Godin to read your work

    Stay well,
    Rose (aka sousababy)

  2. Claire from Mold Removal Services says:

    Well, you can’t really make it without a right mix of all three. Ignore one and the entire castle falls. You don’t need experts to tell you that, but it definitely helps to have them back up the basics.
    Claire recently posted..Removing Mold from DrywallMy Profile

  3. Mac Wilson from UK Web Hosting says:

    Since, I have started my travel in the online marketing field, I have focused only on one “C” (ie. Content). Everyone knows that content is the key towards success. If you could manage to write unique content on topics that doesn’t exists on Internet, you could gain the other two “C’s” (ie. community and conversion) automatically without spending your money.
    Twitter:

  4. Carolyn says:

    Hi AstroGremlin, Wow, great article. I wish I had read this when I first started blogging. I just thought writing quality content would be sufficient. Silly me!

    But I have discovered I love networking. I don’t even think of it that way. It feels more like hanging out with friends and meeting new ones. In fact, I think the blogging community is one of the best aspects of blogging!

    Ileane has great suggestions for blogging communities. I just blog hop informally and visit the blogs I enjoy reading. I’m probably doing it all wrong, but I’m enjoying the process.

    AstroGremlin, how do you network among blogs? Do you join groups or do you informally blog hop? Or perhaps you do a combination of both?
    Carolyn recently posted..What Does the Future Hold?My Profile
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  5. AstroGremlin says:

    Hey Ileane, thanks for these connections. Have checked out a couple and noticed you rank very well on both Blog Engage and BizSugar. These are innovative networking strategies I haven’t tried yet.
    AstroGremlin recently posted..Leave More Comments with Dragon PowerMy Profile

  6. Ileane says:

    Hey AstroGremlin, I certainly agree with you about the power of networking. Outside of the usual social media network, a few community networks that I really enjoy are:
    Blog Engage
    BizSugar
    Blokube
    SERPd
    Blog Interact

    Have you joined any of these yet?
    Ileane recently posted..BizSugar a Social Network for Small BusinessMy Profile
    Twitter:

  7. Steve says:

    Great points here. I specifically like your point on networking being “the” thing early on then tapering off (but never disappearing) that is something that I have also noticed.

    The Three C’s are “it”. They are very broad stroke categories, but they are absolutely essential, and no matter how comfortable people feel they should always pull back now-and-again to check those “big picture” items.

    -Steve
    Steve recently posted..Blog Conversion Rates: How a Few Simple Tweaks can Increase your Blogging RevenueMy Profile
    Twitter:

    • AstroGremlin from superheroes says:

      Thanks, Steve! When I started blogging I wasn’t aware that I needed effort in all three parts of the blogging triad. Content alone won’t cut it, nor will just networking or mechanisms for conversion.

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