Bloggers – Stop Doing This One Thing!
It was only a few months ago that I decided to take my static website (for the offline financial education business) and turn it into a blog with fresh content each week. As a business professor, I understand the fundamentals of business, but did not know the specifics of running a blog. So I started researching ways to make a blog profitable, drive traffic, convert traffic, etc.
I bought some quality ebooks, a small coaching program, some not-so-quality ebooks, some useful plugins, and lots of not-so-useful software. I started listening to at least three webinars per week, reading 5+ articles per day, and going through the mini coaching program along with some other training courses.
So what was my conclusion?
- There are more ways to earn money on the Internet than the number of friends I have on Facebook.
- There is more information about making money on the Internet than anyone can possibly absorb in one lifetime.
- There are more webinars offered per day than there are hours to attend.
- There is more software being released each day than there are visitors to my site.
- There are more ways to lose money on the Internet than the number of dollars in my account.
What is the One Thing Bloggers Must Stop Doing?
Stop chasing the next shiny object. Stop chasing the holy grail. Stop chasing the almighty dollar. Most importantly stop chasing the quick fix.
Everyday there are several new “one-click” software programs that will “automatically”:
- generate leads
- drive traffic
- make your posts go viral
- increase your conversions
- triple your leads
- build your funnel
- drive traffic from Youtube
The problem? Since blogging is time-consuming and takes a long-term commitment before you realize any real return or income, it makes bloggers easy prey for Internet marketers. They know we are looking for two things:
- More free time
- More income
So all of their sales pages focus on how much their software will save you time and how much extra income it will help you generate (or better yet – how much income it will generate for you). I sometimes wish Internet marketers could provide content or software even half as good as their sales letters. It seems that is the only thing they are actually good at – convincing people to buy stuff they don’t need with money they don’t have to convert visitors that aren’t there.
This is not to say that every training out there is bad, because it’s not. Not all software or plugins are bad, because they are not. For instance I use CommentLuv to encourage other bloggers to engage on my website and PrettyLink to better manage all of my links and Thrive Themes for my website. Not all web services are bad, because some are necessary such as hosting or an email service. And not all the ways they say you can make money on the Internet are wrong, because they are not. What I am saying is you can’t do all of it. And you certainly cannot jump from one thing to the next and expect to accomplish anything.
Online Lessons from the Offline World
One of the advantages I have, is coming at this as someone who understands offline business. As it turns out the principles are still the same, but the players and the tools are different.
Imagine you start an Italian restaurant. After two months you convert it to an American diner. Six weeks later you change it to a fast food chicken restaurant. Three months later you change it to a retail store. Then a car wash.
People would think you are crazy! Now you could say you are just trying to see what works, but chances are you haven’t given any of them time to build a customer base.
Or let’s go back to the Italian restaurant. Let’s say that someone told you a more advanced cash register would help your sales and save you time. Would it really? Especially if you don’t have but a few customers? Now, someone comes in with fancier tables and more comfortable chairs which should help your customers stay longer and order more food. Should you invest already? You still don’t have many customers! Someone else tells you that you need a fancier menu behind the counter or leather-bound table menus so you can raise your prices and make more per transaction. But you still don’t have customers so this doesn’t matter.
Well, all of those examples are obvious, but why is this not obvious to us in the online world? Because for some reason we think that people online are not the same people as those offline and somehow there is this magical thing that happens on the Internet and basic business rules no longer apply. But we would be wrong.
Customers want value. Customers need to know you exist. Customers need to feel a connection to your or your product/service.
So if you want to grow your blog or turn it into a business, then stop chasing the next shiny object. Stop trying to find a quick fix. Yes, you will need to find the right tools to help your business grow, but if you treat it like a business, then treat it like a business. Invest time into building relationships and finding out what your customers want and give them everything they want and more. Find out where your customers hang out and go to them and let them know about your business/blog. And only after you have enough customers do you start worrying about redecorating the interior.
Please share your experiences as a new blogger and maybe some decisions you made that cost you time and money!
As part of my blogging journey, I have started to join in on some link parties. Here are some below: