In the online world, people neglect the power and reach of actually building relationships.
Much like in the offline world, you need to build relationships online with other people.
Have you ever wondered how the bloggers you look up to got to where they are now?
Did you think they shot up there because they simply created “awesome” content?
Well, in some cases, that might be true BUT in today’s online world, it’s practically impossible unless you have a following already even before you started your blog.
Nobody will your see your new post, nor your blog. There are over 160 million blogs out there.
How would they be able to find yours?
That’s right. They won’t. It’s why you don’t have the traffic you want.
This post is not here to demotivate you.
In fact, I’m writing this now because it’s better to just share this and tell people the *truth*.
Other people can sugar coat it all they want.
They could talk about how creating a blog or site is all they need to get the money rolling in, but seriously, people will never really find your stuff… unless you go out and actually promote it.
Makes sense, right?
You see, the bloggers you look up to today, well, they worked their butts off and promoted their work like crazy.
They didn’t just type in 400 words, hit publish and instantly got traffic.
They spent 10x more time to promote their work!
The blogging world is not easy. Content creation is not easy. Getting yourself out there is not easy.
They all need time and work from you.
Don’t come in thinking that things would be all easy and that…
…My friend knew somebody that did this on the side and is now very popular! All I need is to create my own blog and I’m good to go!
- Creating your blog was just the start.
- Optimizing your site is a little trickier but it’s manageable.
- Coming up with content that people will actually need is hard.
- Promoting yourself or your site? This is the *hardest*.
A Short Story
You might say that me and my wife don’t really promote posts here.
For this site, we already did the first 3 things.
We haven’t really done any promotion yet because we aren’t really looking to increase readership here. We consider this as a hobby right now.
We want Light to be able to use this site in the future and shape it to what she wants it to be, so she will find and build that audience on her own.
For this post, it’s best to just show other examples then.
We created a niche blog about kefir. Traffic came because of all the relationships we built with other the blogs that linked to it. It is getting around 30,000 page views a month. Things happened with Google’s algorithm but it’s now back around 18k-25k depending on the season.
It started with conversations on blogs, forums, social media and Q&A sites. We reached out to influencers in the Paleo markets and other health niches. We built our brand and trust with them over time while not pushing our stuff too much.
Eventually, people referred their friends, we got more email signed ups and one thing led to another.
It snowballed and as we applied better SEO for it, things just got even better over time.
It’s not rocket science. You can do it, too.
As you can see, you don’t stop with just content alone. You have to take extra steps to take things forward.
Once you set up your site, do basic SEO, create content and prepare your editorial calendar, then you have to start promoting your stuff.
- Find influencers – put the details (their site, social media accounts, email address) on a spreadsheet.
- Figure out how you can build a relationship with them. Sometimes, a simple honest email can do wonders. You can also start by sharing their content or commenting on their blog.
- Contribute to forums. Yes, people still do use forums. Try using this as a search phrase in Google.
“your niche” inurl:forum|viewthread|showthread|viewtopic|showtopic|”index.php?topic” | intext:”reading this topic”|”next thread”|”next topic”|”send private message”
- Join Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers and Quora. Answer and leave a link back to your blog only if necessary.
- Join Facebook Groups – yes, this is really effective. You can also create your own group. Make sure it’s private, you don’t want random bots joining your group to spam it.
- Join Twitter Chats – it’s amazing how Twitter chats can connect you with like-minded people. It’s also a way to show your expertise. Chats usually happen once a week on a certain time.
- If you are on Google+ then join a community about your topic. People say it’s a ghost town… well, it’s not. Just try it.
- Do guest posts on sites that your ideal readers are reading. This includes the influencers you are targeting.
- Reply to people that comment on your guest posts.
Don’t worry, you can’t do this overnight. Take some time to think it through and do it one at a time.
Building relationships will take time, there’s no short cut.
Now, you know what 90% of bloggers out there don’t. That’s the missing key that will separate your blog from the pack.
It’s time for you to take action.
Just do it!