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
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?
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.
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!