How to Introduce Yourself as a Blogger or Freelancer – And Blow People Away

How to Introduce YourselfWhen someone asks you what you do, do you hesitate?

While you know what you do, do you have a hard time telling others?

I’ve been freelancing and blogging for over 5 years now. So I’ve faced this many, many times. People ask me what I do. I answer “I’m a freelance writer,” and I get “Oh, so you write books?” Nope. Or I say “I work from home,” and I get that “Okay…” and that conversation just ends.

Or even worse, I get people who think I still stay home and do shit all day. I’m serious. To this day I still have family members who can’t quite grasp what I do. Probably cause they don’t really care …

But anyway, as a freelancer or blogger, the “What do you do?” question is sometimes annoying, sometimes painful and most often, unavoidable.

But when your job doesn’t quite fit into the norm, it can be hard telling people exactly what you do. It’s not always easy to sum up your work in a single word description. You can’t spout off a one word, recognizable and respected answer like a doctor or teacher can. And the truth is, unless they also work online, most people have no clue what you actually do.

So what’s a person like you, someone making a living online, supposed to say? How do you answer to avoid that dreaded blank stare or the “oh, that’s nice”?

Forget terms like blogger, designer and freelance writer. The key to telling people what you do, and blow them away with your answer, is to effectively tell them the value you provide.

Focus on Your Big Value

Now, I’ll be honest. Your big value answer is going to be longer than saying something like “writer” or “web designer.” But it will be something that people can understand, relate to, and (most importantly) be impressed by.

Your big value statement should focus on what you do for people. Not what features you have, but what benefits you bring to the table. It should also convey what sets you apart from other businesses or bloggers out there.  Lastly, it should include words that people recognize and understand. Don’t stuff your statement with techy words that only other WordPress designers will get. If you do, you’ll be met with blank stares. Your value should clear, concise and easy for just about anyone to understand.

Start by figuring out who you help. Be specific. What type of people do you help? For example:

I help:

  • small businesses
  • aspiring entrepreneurs
  • bloggers
  • parents

Now, what do you help them do? What do you help them achieve? How do you make their lives better? For example:

I help (your answer above) to:

  • Make money online
  • Get more sales
  • Organize their lives
  • Build a website they can be proud of

Lastly, what is your “how”? How do you help these people? For example:
I help _____ to ______ by:

  • Showing them how to brand their business.
  • Creating content that will help bring their business attention.
  • Showing them how to create a home schedule.
  • Using creative design services.

Make sense?

Put it all together now.

I help small businesses build a website they can be proud of by using creative design services.

I help parents organize their lives by showing them how to create a home schedule to get things under control.

I help businesses get more sales online by creating content that will help bring them attention. 

If you really can’t get away from your job title, go ahead and add it!

I’m a freelance designer and I help small businesses build a website they can be proud of by using creative design services.

I’m a writer who helps businesses get more sales online by creating content that will get their business attention.

Now that you have your big value statement, practice it. Say it yourself in the mirror. And be confident! No one will believe in you if you don’t seem like you believe in yourself.

You can even add your value statement to your website mission statement and use it in your social media profiles.

When you work from home, explaining exactly what you do can be difficult. Especially to people who don’t quite get working online. Instead of listing off a job title that most people just don’t understand, build a value statement that will clearly convey who you work with and what you do.

 

9 Big Blogging Mistakes That Could Keep You From Succeeding

Blogging MistakesDo you ever feel frustrated with your blog? Like you’re doing it all wrong?

That everyone gets it but you?

Don’t worry, it’s not just you.

Truth is … everyone feels frustrated at some point. And everyone makes mistakes along the way. Some of us more than others.

*raises both hands*

But if you know what the most common mistakes are, you stand a much better chance of getting ahead and not wasting years and money *again, raises both hands*

So to help you out, here are 9 of the biggest mistakes that bloggers tend to make.

#1 They over analyze. Bloggers, especially new ones, tend to worry a bit too much about their credibility. Being new to a field is enough to make anyone question their authority. But you know what? You’ve picked your niche for a reason. You know you’re stuff. You got this.

#2 They think they need design knowledge. Dude. You just don’t. The extent of my skills is basic. So basic I wouldn’t even call it skills. You can do what you know, and learn the rest (YouTube anyone?) Or you can simply outsource it and save yourself some stress.

#3 They wait until their blog is perfect. You are your biggest critic. The truth is that your blog is never going to be perfect. But you know what? No one but you will notice! The reality is that good enough is just that…good enough! Do not fall into this trap of trying to get it just right. Get it good enough and launch! You can always tweak anything later.

#4 They aren’t consistent. When new bloggers start out, they are eager and willing. But life can get in the way and posting can become more infrequent. Be honest with yourself. How many posts can you realistically commit to? And don’t think you have to post daily to gain that traffic. You really don’t. You can post once a week, even every other week and still get traffic, gain followers and make money. Set a schedule and stick to it. Your audience will start to know when you expect something from you, and look forward to it.

#5 They don’t have a writing voice. You’ve read blog posts that are super informative, almost educational. Yes, they offer great information, but they can come off as a little stiff. They have none of the blogger’s personality. They don’t say anything about who you are as a person. Avoid this by writing how you talk. Okay, maybe not exactly how you talk. Because if I did that everything would a lot more bad words in it. But spice it up a little, let your readers know who you are through your writing. Show them why you are different from the rest.

#6 They don’t have an opt-in. You’ve probably heard there’s money in the list. And it’s true. Your email list will be your loyal followers, the ones who will love your posts and jump at the chance to buy your stuff.  While you certainly can make money off your blog by having ads on it, you’re going to need thousands of readers a day just to make a buck. Building a list will give you a directory of interested people to email every time you post something new or launch a new product.

#7 They don’t take care of their subscribers. Your email list is all about building relationships. As soon as your blog goes live, you will start getting visitors who will eventually turn into subscribers. Take care of them from the get-go. Respond to their comments. Email them, but don’t spam them. Cultivating a good relationship from the very beginning will allow your subscribers to trust you, and when they trust you, they are more apt to buy things from you.

#8 They don’t connect with other bloggers. Yes, there are dozens of bloggers in your niche. But stop looking at them as competition and look at them as allies. Why? Because their audience is your audience. By connecting with other bloggers, you can increase your reach and build your audience. Read more on blogger outreach here and here.

#9 They succumb to shiny object syndrome. They tend to jump on the latest bandwagon. Whatever sounds like it will help them get ahead, they go and try it. Most times, this gets you nowhere. I did this for Five. Frickin. Years. Don’t be me. Just do you and what works for you and you’ll get ahead.

Many people start a blog hoping it will be their big ticket into making money online. The reality of blogging is it takes hard work to make any real money. And you will likely make mistakes along the way. Luckily, if you start off knowing what the biggest mistakes are, there’s a much greater chance you will find your own way and succeed.

 

Why You Should Forget Keywords … And Do This Instead

KeywordsLet me ask you, do you use keywords to gain traffic?

Do you do the research, carefully picking the right keywords your potential audience is looking for?

Do you hope against hopes that these keywords you are using will attract the types of readers who will be interested, engaged and (most importantly) will spend money?

But do they spend?

Sure, you can get interested readers to your site. They are, after all, doing the searches you optimized for. But are they converting into dedicated readers who keep coming back to your site with every post you publish? Are they jumping at the services or products you offer, just cause they know and trust anything you put out?

Probably not.

I hate to break it to you; you’re going about this all wrong.

Why? Getting people to your site isn’t the problem. The thing is, people aren’t going to be trust you off the bat. Most people aren’t going to buy from with on their first visit.

If you’ve been struggling to make it online, let’s forget about keywords and even SEO for a second.

Instead, focus on blogger outreach.

Blogger outreach is about relationships. It’s about leveraging the popularity and power of other bloggers, helping your grow your traffic, your audience and your revenue. Pretty freakin’ awesome right?

Why should you care about blogger outreach?

Because other bloggers can help you more than you know. Don’t think of other bloggers in your niche as your direct competition – think of them as your allies! Here’s why.

Their audience is your audience. Since their readers are the same people you want to attract, getting your blog in front of their readers can bring you tons of traffic. I’m talking readers who are genuinely interested in your content, and people who want to hear what you have to say. Once their audience discovers you, they will come to realize just how great you are.

Prominent bloggers are influencers. Do you have certain bloggers in your niche that you look up to? People that you listen to? Constantly read their posts and buy (or strongly consider buying) their products just because you know and trust them? If you look up to them, others do too. You could stand to gain a lot if a blogger recommends your blog or endorses your product or service.

Blogs can influence purchasing decisions. Big or small, people trust blogs (and bloggers!) when deciding to purchase something. In fact, close to 84% of consumers purchase something after reading about it on a blog, and blogs ranked as the #1 driving sources of purchasing decisions for consumers aged 18-34.

What does this mean for you? You know those influencers? If they share your blog, or product or service with their audience who has grown to trust them, the chances of you making a sale greatly increases.

You gain high-quality backlinks. Let me get something straight. I’m not against SEO. Yes, keywords can help you get your pages ranked. Linking to quality sites is a great way to show Google how relevant you are. And linking to influential blogs is a huge benefit to blogger outreach. The more blogs that link to your content and feature your blog, the better you look, not just to readers, but to Google as well.

Blogger outreach won’t do what keywords will. It will help you do so much more. By simply making connections, you can exponentially increase your traffic, rub elbows with influencers who will help promote your blog and start to really increase your blog revenue.

Interested in learning how to make connections that will skyrocket your traffic and your blogging income? Sign up to be notified when my new course on this very subject will be available!

Get on the waitlist here.

Blogging Credibility – Why Some Bloggers Just Ooze Authority

Blogging Credibility2Some bloggers just have it.

The innate ability to write posts that resonate with readers. Posts that grab attention, teach you something valuable, and then leave you wanting more from them. You know who they are. They are the bloggers that have become superstars in their own niches. The ones whose names are easily recognizable and known by all.

How do they do this? It’s not that they are the best writers out there. Or even the smartest. Okay, they’re pretty great at writing and they’re pretty darn smart, but those are not the reasons.

These bloggers are authentic. They have authority.

But they didn’t get there overnight. They built their authority over time. And a lot of it has to do with the type of content they write.

It’s not necessarily about writing new content. Authority bloggers often write about topics that have already been covered. It’s not what they write about, it’s how they write it. They write pillar content; content that tells a story, teaches, entertains, inspires, motivates, encourages and makes you think.

The good news is, anyone can write pillar content that will help grow their audience and increase their authority. The trick is knowing exactly what will continue to inspire, and how to write it.

What is a Pillar Blog Post?

Pillar content goes far beyond a regular blog post. While a regular how-to article will tell you the steps; a pillar post will tell you the steps, explain each one carefully, include images to help make it clearer, and more.

Pillar content is something that educates your audience, covering something they are currently struggling with. It is usually a comprehensive guide that can include:

  • A case study that uses real numbers and data
  • Examples and stories of real people and real results
  • Screenshots, image or video

And most importantly, pillar content is evergreen. It’s something that won’t expire soon and will continue to inspire long after it’s been published.

Crafting the Perfect Pillar Blog Post

Because pillar content goes beyond what a typical blog post does, it makes sense that it would require just a little extra work. To really write a blog post that is authentic and demonstrates authority, follow these steps.

Step #1: Understanding your audience

When the point of creating content is to increase your authority, that content should be something that is important.

But not to you. It should be important to your readers.

To figure out what’s really important to them, you need to start by understanding your audience.

You may have heard about profiling your readers, to compile information about their genders, social status, income, family size, maybe even making up an “ideal reader,” going so far as to envision this person in your head.

I’m not going to tell you to do that.

What I am going to tell you to do is to spy a little on your readers to understand them and find out what they really want.

Because they’re already telling you. You just need to know how to listen.

Start by:

  • Looking through your comments. What are common issues or questions that keep coming up? What concerns do your readers seem to have? What points do they agree or disagree with you on?
  • Looking at your emails. If you have an email list (and you should!) you have a direct connection to your readers. When they respond to your emails, what comments or questions do they leave? Make note of these things, as these are what’s important to your readers.
  • Checking social media. What are your readers, or potential readers, saying on social media? Many people come here to vent their frustrations, so it’s a great place to figure out what they want to know about.

Step #2: Analyzing what others are writing

Now that you have a better understanding of what your audience wants, look at what other industry leaders are writing.

Take a look at their most popular pieces to get an idea of what your target audience is really interested in. Use a tool like BuzzSumo or renoun to give you an idea of what topics are trending and getting the most shares on social media.

Step #3: Write something epic

You understand what your audience wants to learn from you, you know what others are writing about. Now it’s time to write your own epic pillar content.

While there are no set rules for creating authority-inducing content, here are some ideas.

  • How-to article. These are pretty standard when it comes to pillar content. Whatever it is your audience wants to learn, write an in-depth post teaching them how to do it. Go step-by-step and include images and screenshots to really help your readers understand what you’re explaining.
  • List article. List articles are great. They go above and beyond, giving readers a bunch of tips, ways, tools, etc. To create an epic list post, start by looking at list posts that are already popular. Now, add to it. If it’s a top 10 list, create a top 20 or a top 50 list. Take something that readers already like, and make it even better.
  • Case study article. Want to really drive your point home? Write a case study! Feature someone your ideal reader will relate to and tell their story. Include data and images that highlight your point.
  • Resource article. Provide your readers with the ultimate resource article. This can go deeper than a list article.

Make sure you write with authority – you are, after all, an authority!

Step #4: Promote your content

Once you’ve written your amazing content, make sure it gets seen.

  • Pin it to your homepage
  • Include it in your “favorite” posts widget
  • Mention and link to them in your other posts

And of course, send them to your email subscribers and share them on social media.

Step #5: Keep them updated

Pillar content should be something that’s timeless. The content should always apply, no matter when your readers access it.

But things can change in every industry. Stay on top of industry news and update your content as needed. Make sure your content continues to provide the best and most current advice.

There are some bloggers out there who never fail and delivering the best content. They write with such authority that other bloggers begin to look up to them. They turn to these authority bloggers for the latest advice, and follow their tips to the tee.

But guess what? Nothing is stopping you from becoming the next authority blogger. And it starts with writing content that people want to read.

Introducing A Valuable Resource For Freelancers

Introducing A Valuable Resource For Freelancers 750x450When Corinne invited me to guest post on her blog, I wanted to be sure I shared something that would be a valuable resource with you. So I took to the internet to do some homework and I stumbled across the Freelancers Union.

Have you heard of them before? I hadn’t. In fact, I didn’t know freelancers had a union. I thought this would be a great time to check it out and tell you about what I learned in case this is new to you as well.

The Freelancers Union was founded by Sara Horowitz whose mission is to help the self-employed community by connecting freelancers to group-rate benefits, resources, create a community and online networking opportunities to improve lives and the bottom line.

What’s more is; Sara is active in the political arena by giving a voice to the 54 million independent contractors out there to ensure freelancers receive adequate rights, protection and professional benefits. The Freelancers Union also plays an active role in community initiatives and advocacy campaigns.

To give you an idea about how passionate Sara is about protecting independent contractors, she gathered at the City Hall in New York City on February 29th to urge City Council to pass a payment protection bill to protect freelancers from nonpayment experiences, which, as you know, is the biggest downside of freelancing. You can read about it here.

Here is what else I learned out about the Freelancers Union.

Benefits

They provide resources for a variety of health coverage such as Freelancers Medical, Dental and Retirement.  You can also get Small Group Health Insurance, Liability, Traveler’s Medical Insurance, Disability and Term Life.

Resources

If you’re a freelancer, you now have to take on expenses like office equipment and software, promotion and marketing plus other cost of living expenses like healthcare and self-employment tax. But I know preaching to the choir.

With that being said, some freelancers look for great deals and discounts to help keep more money in their pocket.

We all know every penny counts nowadays so finding great deals on things we frequently use should be on our list but when do we have the time?

Freelancers Union members get extra discounts to places like Anytime Fitness, AT&T, Hyatt, and Hertz. And there’s plenty more where that came from. To see the entire list of Freelancer Discounts click here.

There is also a “taxes” tab filled with helpful article such as how one freelancer lost $3,500 due to check fraud and what to do if the check never arrives.

The “Advocacy” tab has helpful resources like a contract template, next-level contract clauses, a collection letter template and small claims court guide.

And who doesn’t want a community and resources to keep a freelance business thriving?

Community

The thing I liked most about the Freelancers Union was their community. We all know how important it is to connect with other freelancers and network, right? They have over 295,000 members in their Freelancers network.

I was browsing through the directory and their member profile tells you about the freelancer, their interests and which communities they belong to plus links to the website and site they’ve contributed to.

In looking at one member’s profile, he states under “Interests” that he is interested in “helping other freelancers with networking, hosting events, and teaching classes.” Right away I got the feeling being a member could be a good thing.

They have what they call a Hive which is filled with local networks, clients & gigs and freelancing tips.

They also have Spark Events for extra support and local networking opportunities.

Become a Member

It costs nothing to become a member of the Freelancers Union. If you’re interested in joining and would like to check out their website, click here.

Over to You

Are you a member of the Freelancers Union? If you are, I would love to hear about your experience with them…good or bad. Anything you share will help other freelancers make a decision about becoming a member.

How about you? After reading this, would you consider becoming a member?

I’d love to read your comments.

If you know other freelancers who might not know about the Freelancers Union, please share this post with them.

 

CoriCorina Ramos is a blogger and freelance writer. She lives in Houston, Texas with her family and two dogs. She has a multi-niche blog called Not Now Mom’s Busy and recently launched corinaramos.net to help new and not-so-new bloggers start and grow their blog.

Connect with Cori on Facebook and Twitter

8 Ways to Come Up with Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will Love

Come Up with Blog Post IdeasYou stare blankly at the screen.

You’re frustrated. Annoyed.

You just can’t think of anything to write about. Nothing that sounds worthy of sharing with your audience anyway. And of course, just any old topic isn’t going fly.

We’ve all been there.

I know I’ve been there tons of times. I’ve come up with ideas only to chuck them because “this is just a stupid idea!” (yeah, I’ve totally said that out loud)

So, in order to never have to face this frustration again, here are 8 ideas to help you come up with ideas that you know your readers will love.

#1 Write all your ideas down

All of them. Even if you think they are stupid. Why? Because even if they aren’t a good fit now, it may inspire something that is later.

It’s also important to be able to keep track of your ideas where ever you are, because you never know when you will get the inspiration for an epic post idea.

You can keep a document or spreadsheet file in Google Docs or Dropbox so you can access it on your phone and on your computer. Or use an app like Evernote to keep literally everything.

#2 Read. And then read some more

I love to read. Like I read for fun.

But I have found inspiration when reading. And not just reading article-type stuff or business books. I’ve gotten ideas from novels. I really like to read fiction. I love imagery, settings, characters. I love the way different authors describe things.

Other reason to read?

It helps keep your mind sharp. Reading is great mental stimulation. You know that phrase “use it or lose it”? Yeah, it totally applies here.

It helps expand your vocabulary and writing skills. I have discovered many new words from books. And not just words. Books help inspire the way you                             structure your paragraphs and the way you put words together.

#3 Look at what everyone else is writing

No, don’t flat out copy what they are writing. But you can certainly gain inspiration from what others in your niche are writing about. Especially respected, prominent people in your niche. If they are writing about it, chances are high it’s a great topic.

Take their popular post ideas and make it your own. Write an opposing piece. Or if they did a top 10 article, do a top 20 one. Turn a topic into a longer blog series or an infographic or video. The possibilities are endless, and all you are doing is using others are inspiration.

#4 Expand your own content

Just like the previous tip suggested looking at the most popular content of other bloggers, this one is to look at your own popular content.

Since you are me know your audience appreciates these topics, think of where you can expand. Could you break down one post into several, detailed posts? Maybe write a follow up post? If the information or tips are a bit outdated, you could write an updated post.

Make sure your link to the previous post in the end.

#5 Repurpose old content into new formats

Instead of expanding your most popular content, why not repurpose it into something else? Since people consume information in many different ways, there is always a need for different formats of the same information.

Use your content to create a video or infographic. If it’s a really meaty topic, you can create a webinar or podcast from it as well.

#6 Ask your audience

So if you really want to write a blog post your readers will love, just ask them what they want you to write about!

Pose questions at the end of your blog posts. Or simply ask your email subscribers what they would like you to cover.

#7 Get all stealthy on your audience

You don’t even have to straight up ask them if you don’t want to. Mine your comments and social networks for questions and comments that keep coming up. Check your Twitter replies to see what people are talking about.

You can go a step further and look for communities that revolve around your niche. Look for Facebook and LinkedIn groups and see what types of conversations they are having. What posts seem to get the most comments and biggest reactions? Look for online forums and do the same: look for questions that keep coming up and threads that have the most comments. These are the things people are really interested in.

#8 Jump on trends

A great way to find a topic that readers will really love is to turn to what’s currently hot. If your content follows the current trends, you can be sure there’s going to be someone searching for it.

To find out what’s hot right now, start here:

Google Trends-This will tell you what people are searching Google for

Twitter search– Find out what people are talking about right now. The bottom will show you what’s trending.

BuzzSumo-Search by topic, keyword or domain. BuzzSumo shows you what’s trending and how many shares they get on social media.

Renoun-Discover top content, articles and influences.

If you’ve ever been stuck on a blog topic, don’t worry. You’re not the only one. Luckily there is inspiration all around us if we know where to look.

Now to you: Where do you turn to for inspiration when you are stuck for a blog topic?

 

21 Top Bloggers Share What They Wish They Had Known When They Started Blogging

21 Top Bloggers Share the One Thing2You feel stuck.

Frustrated.

You started a fantastic blog, and wrote some epic content that should teach and inspire. But just aren’t getting the results you thought you would.

You’re not alone.

I’ve been there. Other bloggers have been there.

Running a successful blog is a process. In fact, it has taken many of us years to figure it out. I’ve been online for 5 years now and still haven’t figured it all out.

Luckily, you have some experts who have been there and done it all. So I posed the question to 21 expert bloggers:

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started blogging?

Here is what they had to say.

Brian DeanBrian Dean of Backlinko

“I wish I knew how to build my email list.

When I look back at the #1 thing that’s helped grow my blog, it’s not even close: it’s my email list.

Even though I knew it was important on day 1, I had no idea how to build it properly. So I just copied techniques that other blogs were doing. I had the occasional win, but it was dumb luck.

Fortunately, after testing a million different strategies, I discovered two things that made all the difference:

  1. Popups (Yes, they’re annoying. But they work)
  2. Content Upgrades

You can almost ignore every other strategy and focus on these and you’ll be good.

I just wish I knew about them sooner! I’d have 2x+ more subscribers.”

 

Gary KGary Korisko of Reboot Authentic

“There’s a balance you have to strike between doing your own thing and doing exactly what you’re told to do by others. You need to study, to enroll in courses, and to get coaching from those who are already successful. Rather than winging it and hoping things eventually turn out ok (a horrible strategy), you really do need a formal education.

But you also need to create your own flavor and make those proven principles yours in a unique way that doesn’t just blend into the woodwork. So the tricky part is walking that line… taking time-tested strategies and making them look brand new with your own unique style.”

 

Adrian JockAdrian Jock of AdrianJock.com

“When I started blogging I had lots of things new bloggers don’t have: an online marketing experience of 7-8 years, a mailing list interested in the topic of my niche blog, two books written by me that matched 100% the blog, and more.

So I didn’t start the blog for the sake of blogging, or because that was the fashion. The blog was a marketing vehicle that I needed in order to increase the exposure of my books and the income.

The one thing I wish I knew when I started blogging is… nothing. Nothing at all. I wouldn’t change a thing from what I’ve done.
But let me tell you what I wish I knew when I started my last blog for a different kind of audience and for a different goal:

If people want to buy shiny stinky fish, you shouldn’t try to help them by teaching them how to catch some fresh fish.

(No, it’s not about buying and selling. And it’s not about fish. Just a figure of speech.)”

 

neil patelNeil Patel of Neilpatel.com and Quick Sprout

“Consistency. If you don’t blog consistently your blog won’t grow. When I started I thought I could do it for fun, but it didn’t work out well. When I started to blog consistently the blog grew… but I had to put in time on a regular basis for months before I saw results.”

 

 

Mi MubaMi Muba of Be a Money Blogger

“The one thing I wish I knew before I started blogging is the conceptual difference between blogging and advertising as the blogging simply influences people to buy which things from which companies while in advertising a company itself asks people to buy its product.

If a person gets to know what he ultimately is going to do on his blog he can easily plan everything from the very first day after starting his blog to bring the most relevant people who he can sell a product and equally first influence them with his freebies and free contents to eventually convince them buy the premium products on his recommendation.

So knowing the basic conceptual difference between blogging and advertising is must to do blogging successfully.”

 

DreaAndrea Beltrami of The Branded Solopreneur

“I wish someone would have told me when I first got started that it’s all about who you know! That it’s building relationships that is the secret sauce in the solo success recipe. It wasn’t until I pulled my head out of my ass and realized that my peers were allies and not competitors, and then started building friendships with them that I started raking in the traffic and exposure I wanted.

The second thing I wished someone would had told me when I was getting started was HOW to go about building those strong friendships with my peers…and in a way that was totally authentic for me. I’m NOT a fan of kissing ass or being fake in the name of making connections, so even after I knew what I needed to do I didn’t know how to do it. I know it seems like a no-brainer when it comes to how to make friends online {I mean, I have some of those in my real life….lol} but it wasn’t clear to me for far longer than I’d like to fess up to.

That’s when I turned to my go to tactic…stalking! I studied and watched every move my mentors made and eventually was able to reverse engineer their methods and find the best ways for me to celebrate my peers and earn their trust and support. These days my brand besties are precious gems I seriously don’t know how I’d live without!

I share 9 of my most kickass relationship building strategies in my post, How to Get an Influencer’s Attention Without Being a Suck Up. If you’re not the Mac Daddy of friend makers online yet I’d urge you to devour these strategies and implement them in your efforts ASAP. Your brand will high five your badass over and over again if you do!”

 

Sue AnneSue Anne Dunlevie of Successful Blogging

“The thing I regret the most about my blogging career is that I didn’t know about blogger outreach until I started reading Blogging Wizard, about a year into my blogging journey.

I don’t know if Adam Connell realizes what a big part he played in getting Successful Blogging to be a popular blog. I so appreciate it, Adam!”

 

Adam CAdam Connell of AdamConnell.me and Blogging Wizard

“Email beats social hands down

The first thing I did when starting my blog was to encourage my readers to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

But this caused 2 problems:

1) Some people would click through to a social network and get distracted (and never return).

2) Negative social proof – showcasing how few followers you have on a social network is not a good thing.

So I was going nowhere fast.

What was the solution?

…. Build an email list.

For a long time I was too focused on publishing content regularly but conversion rates were shocking.

Eventually I offered a free PDF and my list finally started to move in the right direction.

And the great thing was that it was far easier to drive traffic to my blog from my email list; in comparison to using social media.

Here’s the kicker:

My Twitter following was around 8x higher than my email list. But my email list drove more traffic.

The 3 point formula to grow your list faster

1) Offer something of value to your audience

2) Make your offer as relevant to what people are reading as possible

3) Make it easy to subscribe and access your offer

If you want to check out some of the specific tactics I’ve used, check out my list building guide.

Here’s the bottom line:

Building a following on social networks can be worth while but you should never rely on it.

This is like building a house on rented land – if the network makes even a small change, your traffic could nose dive. So if you rely on your blog for income, that could put you in hot water.

When you build an email list, that’s yours. Nobody can take it away. Sure, email delivery is a big part of this but there is a degree of control that you have over that & steps you can take to improve it.

Remember – diversify your traffic, and diversify your income. You’ll be glad you did.”

 

AdrienneAdrienne Smith of AdrienneSmith.net

“When I started blogging I was doing affiliate marketing and I was taught the right way to go about this.  I had great success with it too.

The issue most people have today though is that things are always changing.  Hopefully everyone is already crystal clear on what it is that they do so that when people visit their blogs they know instantly.  That they are clear in each post they write with their message of how they can help their specific audience.  We’ve evolved though now to where you can’t speak to everyone and expect to get great results, you have to just speak to your target audience once person at a time.  The mass marketing approach is history.

I think the issue most people have today is that they aren’t 100% clear exactly on what it is that they actually do or how they can come across to their audience in a way to really help them with their needs.

It’s a process though but one definitely worth learning.  I’ve evolved a lot myself since those affiliate marketing days and I wasn’t 100% clear myself on what it was that I wanted to do so until you know that then I suggest not being upset if you’re not getting your desired results.

Blogging is a journey but it’s one that you’ll find so very rewarding.”

 

Julian SJulian Sakanee of Blogging Aid

“Google is NOT the only source of traffic.

When I started blogging, all I did was hope for first page rankings. I was taught that ALL backlinks were bad. And ended up wasting a whole year doing nothing but writing content that no one was ever going to read.”

 

BrenBrenda Pace of BrendaPace.net

“I wish I would have known what a time commitment it would be and everything that goes along with writing a post and clicking Publish. However, I’m glad I made the decision to blog because I’ve made so many awesome friends over the years and wouldn’t trade them for the world.”

 

 

EnstineEnstine Muki of EnstineMuki.com

“How I wish I knew how to build a list for my blog when I started blogging back in August 2012. Having a targeted list is a sure source of traffic and income.

I blogged for month before ever getting my first blog subscriber. I think that was the mistake I did and if I have to restart blogging today, I’ll do more on list building.”

 

Krista raeKrista Rae of KristaRae.co

“The one thing I wish I knew when I started was the importance of fellow bloggers, creatives, and business owners who understand you and have your back. I thought I was perfectly fine doing it on my own, but I was getting nowhere fast until I met the awesome ladies who are like my sisters now. Not only do they share my content, but they are always there to encourage me, keep me going when my mind is telling me to quit, and let me know when one of my ideas isn’t quite as great as I think it is. For anyone who hasn’t found fellow bloggers to surround themselves with I encourage you to start reaching out and making relationships. It scary, but it sure is worth it!”

 

kelliKelli Cooper of Life Made to Order

“The one thing I wish I knew about blogging when I first started was something I had known for awhile but was having a harder time applying it to this endeavor in particular, because it was something that was really important to me, something with which I really wanted to succeed. And that wisdom nugget is: It is all about what we are ‘being’ not what we are ‘doing.’

Our energy—the sum of our thoughts, feelings and beliefs—is the thing that determines what shows up in our lives. It really isn’t the actions we take, though that certainly plays a role. But our actions are always a manifestation of our energy. We just don’t do things for no reason.

And when we aren’t energetically aligned with success, and what we want to accomplish, the actions we take tend to give us lackluster results at best. We have to work really, really hard to make any sort of headway, and talk about frustrating and exhausting.

I got really caught up in what I should be ‘doing’ when I first started, and did a lot of stuff I really didn’t resonate with because I thought that was what I ‘had’ to do. It was harder to trust my energy-oriented approach because it has been very deeply ingrained that we have to ‘work hard’ to be successful, that the hard work is what actually makes us ‘deserving’ of the success.

But eventually I got back on track, and started focusing more on my inner world. I got more comfortable on letting my inner guidance lead the way as far as any action I took—if something resonated and I enjoyed doing it, I did it. If it didn’t resonate, I didn’t do it.

I committed to being myself on my blog, and writing for me first and foremost, knowing if I was authentic, ‘my people’ would find me. When a blogging tip that seemed interesting caught my eye, I read up on it, but for the most part, I just did things my way.

When I felt compelled to take action, I always checked the motivator—do I truly feel inspired to do this or do I feel I ‘have’ to do this or else I won’t get a specific result? When it was the latter, I would do my best to pull back, and that often felt very uncomfortable; but in doing that, I made room for the inspired actions to make their way in, and there is a lot more leverage behind them, and they are a lot more enjoyable.

I highly suggest bloggers make their personal development a priority. There tends to be a preoccupation with practical tips like using social media, how to write a catchy headline, etc… and that has its place of course. But all that ‘doing’ will only take you so far if you don’t have the right mindset, and you’ll work a lot harder than you have to, which will likely lead to you not liking blogging very much.”

 

Ron SelaRon Sela of RonSela.com

“Thanks to improved technology, the Internet has become the best tool for communication. It is also as a treasure trove of information. From students to scientists, everyone relies on the Internet. We all search for current news, historical data, scientific evidence and statistics.

Information found on the Internet has been posted by various people (like me) who own blogs and websites. Today, blogging has become the best means of offering users current information. Blogs also serve as forums for inspiring creativity. Also, they are platforms for discussing various issues.

Before I started blogging, there was one thing I wish I knew:

Never give up

When users browse the internet and search for benefits of blogging, the one thing that will stand out is that one will be able to make money. There are hundreds of posts that have been created describing how one became successful thanks to blogging.

What many bloggers don’t reveal is that professional blogging takes so many resources. Resources like time, money, hard work, intelligence and perseverance to be successful. It also takes time to recoup the initial investment.

Many people who have read such posts and have started their blogs gave up within the first three months (I was almost joining the group of quitters). This is brought about by the lack of visitors which is as a result of poor or no internet marketing.

What one needs to know is that there are billions of blogs and websites currently online. Therefore, don’t expect online visitors to find your new blog easily.

To be successful in blogging, never give up. Learn strategies that will help the blog to be visible online and attract more visitors.”

 

James MJames McAllister of Help Start My Site

“If there were one thing I wish I knew when I started blogging, it would be that you have to treat it like a business from the very beginning.

While it would be nice to think that we could do whatever we wanted with our blogs and make money doing so, this is unfortunately not the case. We have to adhere to market demands, and the same basic business principles that have been in place for hundreds of years offline still apply in the internet marketing world as well.

This means we need to choose a niche with real demand behind it. We need to take the time to come up with both a scalable marketing plan and a monetization plan, and understand how these systems will work with each other.

It also means we need to be willing to offer some unique edge against our competition. Blogging is becoming more and more competitive every day, so it’s very important to make yourself and your brand memorable. The easiest way to do that is to be exceptional at whatever it is you’re doing – whether it is publishing a piece of content or writing a blog comment. Regardless of what it is, if you’re average at something, you’ll never be remembered for it.”

 

Ryan BRyan Biddulph of Blogging From Paradise

“I wish I knew that blogging for fun is the way to go. Right now, I’m checking my emails for the week. This is 1 of many features I’m responding to, and I find myself offering the same exact piece of advice. The fact that I’m receiving so many feature requests while putting in 1/20th of the work I used to put in shows that it’s your energy behind your actions, not the actions themselves, that manifest certain outcomes.

The “fun” energy is irresistible. Can’t contain it. And you will shine stupid brightly (whatever that means) when you blog for fun. Doing so detaches you from outcomes and allows your energy to flow, making you a free, creative dynamo.

My wife Kelli and I are often spotted offering this energy advice in round ups. It’s because we have lived an amazing, inspired, wickedly special life, circling the globe, blogging full time from some of the world’s most gorgeous tropical hot spots, for years, by managing our energy and by following our fun.”

 

FrancescaFrancesca Nicasio of Be a Freelance Writer

“Grow your audience ASAP.

You don’t need to have a full fledged blog to grow an audience. As long as you can produce content, you can start building and engaging with your community. How? Start growing your email list from day 1.

That’s what I did for BeaFreelanceWriter.com. I set up a basic landing page to collect email addresses, and then I sent out newsletters (with just content—no links) while the blog was still in the design stage. At the same time, I also wrote guest posts for other reputable sites to grow my list.

When BeaFreelanceWriter.com was ready to launch, I already had over 1,000 email subscribers, and this enabled the blog to gain decent traction right from the get go.

If I had known about this when I first started blogging, my previous projects would have been a lot more successful.”

 

Erik EErik Emanuelli of No Passive Income

“I wish I had known more about SEO.
Now, I’m NOT an expert, but when I started blogging, I was really a newbie. I made several serious mistakes like purchasing 1000 backlinks for 5$, sidewide link exchange, over optimization and other SEO disasters.
Today, if I’m sure about something, it’s that I must focus on the users and readers, delivering original, high-quality and added value content.
I believe this is the way to go to feel safe and avoid any Google penalization.”

 

Carrie SmithCarrie Smith of Careful Cents

“The one thing I wish I knew when I started blogging is that you have to treat your blog like a business. It needs a consistent content publishing schedule, a monetization plan, a regular focus and goal for the results the content’s going to produce. It took me three years to realize this and I’m only now seeing results of my hard work. I lost a lot of time and wasted a ton of money trying to figure out how to make a blog work. Thankfully though, now it’s repaying me for the time and money lost.”

 

CoriCorina Ramos of Not Now Mom’s Busy

“The one thing I wished I had known when I started blogging was how much work was going to be involved. During my first year of blogging all I read were posts about putting up banner ads then just sit back and watch the money come in. That was very misleading. There was no direction as to how to create content, drive traffic and most importantly how essential it was to connect with visitors.

It’s not that I would have changed my mind about blogging but I would have been able to create a better plan for my blog and I would have known who my target audience was and what they were looking for rather than just posting ads I thought would make money.”

Now to you: If you’re just getting started (or even if you’re not!), What is the one thing you are struggling with in regards to blogging? Leave a comment and let me know.

Digital Marketing in the Real World? One Company Shares Their Top Tips

Digital Marketing online marketingNote: This is a guest post by Carla Gatt. Take it away Carla!

We talk a lot about content marketing and social media.

Why? Because we know these methods work.

In fact, they work so well that even companies with larger marketing budgets turn to digital marketing as their main method of promotions.

Let’s look at a company in the language education industry; through some trial and error, they found what works for them.

The Who

Schools & Agents is a Maltese-based company that deals with the language travel industry. It helps agents connect with language schools around the world. Lynne Farrugia, one of the co-owners, shared their best digital marketing tips; what works when it comes to online branding and marketing for a company. Here is what she had to say.

The What and How

Content is Key

Being an online company with an international market, Schools & Agents has always tried to adapt to the way the world communicates. The website has always been the main source of information for clients and we do believe that ‘Content is Key’. From the very beginning the company has aimed to disseminate industry related news, however, we focus on original content as often as possible. Up until recently, most of the information was presented in the form of long content, mainly articles, to keep clients well-informed.

Key takeaway: Content marketing works. Stick to long-from posts and share things that will educated.

Evaluate and Reassess

I think the one thing I have always thought to be true is ‘Less is more’. Marketing is all about catch-phrases and implementing them in the job. Whether it is phrases, images, videos, long or short content; catching the attention of the right target audience by using the right methods is what any business should aim for. Since people in the market we operate in are extremely busy, a shift from long to short content every now and then is appreciated.

I keep referring to content because I think it is what forms brand perception and what leads people to use one’s services or products. No matter how close or far, and how real or virtual a company is, clients nowadays are likely to refer to the website and social media for information but will ultimately make a decision depending on the feedback of family, friends or people within their network.

In the case of Schools & Agents, I felt that gathering Likes and Followers on Facebook and Twitter respectively was good, but not great. It did not reflect what our vision statement stands for: “Our vision is to make communication within the industry easier and more possible”. Having people liking and following a page did not necessarily mean that our message was getting across and therefore, schools and agents were not necessarily reaching out to each other. New strategies will always need to be implemented and sticking to one strategy and never changing it can only guarantee failure.

Key takeaway: Not every digital marketing method will work for everyone. For example, some people or companies thrive on social media, while others may not be reaching their full potential there. It’s important to go in every now and then to evaluate what you are getting out of your marketing efforts. Determine whether or not it’s working for you and adjust as needed.

Add a Personal Touch

Our clients only get to see us in person during industry conferences and workshops. Most of the relationships we build are virtual. Even though more and more people are becoming accustomed to such communication, I still feel that it should not be standardized… a little personal touch goes a long way.

Since my business partner, Bernice, and I run and manage Schools & Agents on a duo basis, we can afford to deal with every client separately. I feel that this is lucky in a way because it keeps us away from standardizing the way we work. This does not mean that we do not have specific core procedures that we follow on a regular basis.

From our quotidian ‘good morning’ to our ‘good night’ messages, Bernice and I are constantly in touch to discuss client queries and ways of dealing with the. We also discuss new ideas to implement, and other ideas which need to be amended. We work to facilitate the way we communicate with clients and vice versa as well as the way our clients can communicate their message to other potential clients.

Key takeaway: Marketing is good. Being a real person is better. Don’t be an automated marketing machine

Explore All Possibilities and Give it a Go!

Do not be overwhelmed by all the possibilities! There has never been so much opportunity to work in digital marketing as the present. I joined Schools & Agents around the same time I was about to start working on an assignment for a Digital Marketing Module. I felt like a child in a candy store where lo-and-behold, a world of endless possibilities presented itself to me. I decided, however, to evaluate all the opportunities and pick wisely according to the needs of the market. Since less is more, using all the options at once will not get you far in my opinion. My advice is: Research your market, get to know it and give it what it needs

Key takeaway: I think Lynne said it best. Research your own market and adjust your marketing accordingly. Also, never stop adjusting. The online world is a fickle place, what works one day may not work tomorrow. Keep researching, keep evaluating, and keep adjusting.

Digital marketing is currently the stand-out method when it comes to marketing. Schools & Agents is an online company who has been there, done that. They tried a number of tactics and found what worked, but also what didn’t. Find what works by exploring multiple avenues, don’t forget to assess every now and then, and be personable!

Now to you: What have you found that works best for you when it comes to digital marketing? Did it take some trial and error to get there? Leave a comment and share your story.

 

carlaCarla Gatt is a freelance writer and teacher, who staunchly idealizes a world without borders. Being born on a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean, she yearns for both a sense of belonging and freedom. Her happiest moments are when she is either curled up in some corner reading or when she is roaming about in a large city. Check out her blog at Carla Gatt.

Want to Know Why People Unfollow on Twitter? Cause I Asked!

unfollow on twitter Have you ever wondered why people suddenly unfollow you on Twitter?

I mean, you tweet and interact regularly and while your followers go up, every now and then they start to go down.

The truth is: Twitter is a volatile creature. People will sometimes disregard you simply because you tweeted something they didn’t like.

In that case, it’s their loss right?

But still, I can’t help but wonder: Why do people unfollow on Twitter? What exactly causes them to click unfollow?

I wanted answers.

So I asked.

Why do people unfollow on Twitter? I wanted answers. So I asked. Click To Tweet

The two biggest reasons people stated? Sending automated direct messages and sharing inappropriate tweets. Here’s what responders had to say about why they unfollow someone.

#1 Self-promoting automated direct messages

Apparently, everyone hates them. Why do people still send them? Do they still work? This was the #1 reason why people suddenly unfollow on Twitter. It’s impersonal and often rude.

@CantonCathy said her pet peeve is “automated direct messages saying thx for following check out my ______ auto responses.

@NotNowMomsBusy stated she unfollows “When you follow someone and instantly they message you about their course or product.”

@thetravelfool said he unfollows someone only “when I get automated DM asking me to follow on FB, Instagram and everything else they have. If you can’t take the time to talk to me then don’t send me an automated DM.”

@theknightsplace agrees with the rest of these awesome bloggers. Her reason for unfollowing: “When they send you an automated message when you follow them! It makes so so unpersonal!”

@hholtschlag added a bit more info to her answer. She said “When I see a profile that asks for money to increase Twitter followers or people who send me unsolicited DMs.”

What can you do? Simple. Don’t send automatic direct messages to your new followers.

#2 Inappropriate tweets

The second most stated reason for unfollowing someone? Inappropriate tweets. Don’t tweet out rude or hateful things. And don’t share anything pornography or cruel. Looks like a lot of tweet peeps will unfollow you if you do so. Probably because if you do it once, chances are you’re going to do it again.

@Virtual_Bren told me, “The biggest thing that makes me unfollow someone is if they are sharing pornographic images, text, or animal cruelty. The next thing would be spewing hate. Twitter is a fabulous place to network and I just don’t feel those type of things are acceptable.

Seems like others agree with Bren.

@lifeandabudget said she will unfollow when she sees “Hateful comments that puts down others because of their race, religion, or sexually preferences.” She also added: “Excessive sponsored ads…if I log on and that’s all I see in my feed, it’s annoying.”

Also in agreeance is @HandPArtistry, stating “Posting inappropriate or X rated comments” as the reason she will say ba-bye.

@Bl0gAtTheZoo said “Click bait! I can’t stand crass or suggestive Tweets!”

@gillianculff added “When their posts don’t relate at all to their profile description, and worse, are about shallow, stupid things like celebrity gossip. Also, when they post photos with sexual content.”

What can you do? As long as you make sure your tweets are appropriate, you shouldn’t have a problem. Remember, you are using Twitter to promote yourself and your blog or business. It is important to remain professional in what you share.

#3 Too much automation

People get on social media because it’s social. Shocker, right? While it’s personal opinion that scheduling tweets is fine, it’s also important to log on and interact. Also, if you’re going to schedule posts, do it right.

@jonknep said he often unfollows someone because of “Duplicate tweets because you don’t know how to manage your share/automation tools. Also, excessive self promotion.”

What can you do? If you’re going to use automation or scheduling tools, learn how to use them correctly, m’kay? And make sure you get on Twitter every once in a while yourself and respond to comments, thank your new followers and just show them there is a real human behind your account.

These were the top 3 answers I got. But the thing is, I’ve never done any of these things.

So what gives?

So of course I did some more digging. Here are 5 more reasons people suddenly unfollow on Twitter.

#4 Off topic tweets

When people decide to follow you, they do it for the reason.

Ideally, they’ve checked out your bio and found out what you’re all about. They also want to get an idea of what type of content you will be sharing with them.

So if you suddenly start tweeting about something completely off topic, some followers will suddenly jump ship.

What can you do? Clearly define your goals for using Twitter. What type of posts will you be sharing? What type of follower are you hoping to attract? Define your goals and don’t stray from. Doing so could lose you some followers.

#5 No real value

This kind of relates to the previous reason. People are looking for a certain type of content, they want to get some value out of it. I mean, they started following you for a reason right?

If people start sensing your tweets aren’t useful or helpful in any way, they will unfollow you to make room in their feeds for tweets that do provide value.

What can you do? Share things that provide value for your followers. If a blog post is something you find useful (whether it’s your own or not), share it with others. Share quick tips, helpful links, case studies and more. Avoid sharing too much personal stuff. Followers don’t want to hear about your bad day or your feelings. Sorry, it’s the truth. Which also brings us to …

Share things that provide value for your followers. Click To Tweet

#6 Too personal

Followers want you to be human. But too human is bad. Especially for a business account.

There is such a thing as over-sharing.

What can you do? Always keep your Twitter goals in mind. If it doesn’t fit in with your goals, you shouldn’t be tweeting it.

#7 Radio silence

I said from the beginning that Twitter is volatile. If you’re not tweeting, people will notice. Many people go through their feeds every now and then and purge anyone they notice is too quiet or just doesn’t share anything valuable.

What can you do? Do your best to keep up with Twitter. Share content daily and interact. It can be time-consuming, but worth it for promoting yourself.

#8 Too much posting

On the other hand, you may also lose some followers if you suddenly start bombarding their feeds. People want to hear from you, but not so much that you are the only account showing in their feed.

What can you do? Don’t go on a posting rampage and share a dozen things in a row. If you really don’t have the time to get on Twitter multiple times a day, use a tool like Buffer to schedule your tweets to go out periodically. But remember, if you’re going to use the scheduling tool make sure you use it right.

I’ve come to realize that people will unfollow you on Twitter for their own reasons. No matter if you do everything “right” or not.

What about you? What makes you unfollow someone? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Different Types of Blog Comments and How to Deal With Them

Every blogger deals with blog comments, some not so great. Click through to find out the different types of comments, and how to deal with them.Blog commenting is one of the best ways to connect with other bloggers and build your traffic.

As Adrienne Smith (the blog commenting superstar) says, “Building connections with the blog owners and commenters is powerful.  It’s how you meet people by showing up and adding to the conversation.”

But the problem with blog commenting is, pretty much every blogger knows how beneficial it can be. And unfortunately, not everyone is going to approach commenting as a relationship building tactic. Many people still comment only to benefit themselves.

Blog commenting is one of the best ways to connect with other bloggers and build your traffic. Click To Tweet

So what if you get comments that aren’t quite adding to the conversation?

Some comments are obviously spam and can be deleted with little hesitation. But a lot of comments fall into a grey area. So how should you handle your blog comments?

The First Layer of Defense

First off, you should definitely have some sort of anti-spam mechanism installed on your blog. Askimet is a good anti-spam plug-in for WordPress blogs.

This will help you get rid of 90% of the spam that you’ll encounter.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way …

Hand-Written Spam

I’ve been seeing this more and more. Like you know they took the time to at least look at your blog and hand-write a comment, but the comment is nothing but self-promotion. Most times, you can tell it’s a cut and paste thing. These won’t get caught by Askimet, since the author isn’t in a spam database anywhere.

If you see a message with a link in the body text that really doesn’t add any value to your site, delete it. Most times these links aren’t actually related to your site. They’re just cloaked to look like they are so that you will approve them.

Subtle Self-Promotions

You may get messages with the backlink embedded in the person’s name and website (if you’re not using a plugin like CommentLuv that automatically links to their blog.) Whether or not you keep these comments depends mostly on the content of their comments.

If they’re reading your posts and adding value to your site, then of course you should keep their comments. But if they’re just commenting on your site generically to get a backlink to their site, then use your discretion. You know, something like “This post was very insightful. Thank you for posting it.”

A lot of comments fall into this grey area. The truth is, often times they are from people who actually read the post and just aren’t very adept at commenting. They might not add a lot of value, but they are clearly not automated spammers. Some bloggers will delete these, while some will approve these. It’s up to you.

Comments That Make No Sense

You know, the ones that make you go “huh?”

Sometimes, these are spammers that made it through the filter. But they could be actual readers that just didn’t express their thoughts all that well.

If there is no ridiculous backlink or website attached to the comment, I’d approve it and respond with a request for clarification.

Disagreeing Comments

Deleting dissenting comments is a big mistake. People who take the time to read everything you wrote and then share an opposing opinion should be rewarded rather than silenced.

Someone might disagree with something you post this time, but could be a big fan of something you write next week. If you delete their comment, you’ll lose them forever. Furthermore, the people who take the time to write their opinion are probably people who really care about your topic. So thank them for their comment, politely refute if you need to, but don’t delete or ignore them.

The Really Long Winded Comments

Every once in a while, you’ll get hit with a really long comment. Like one that could be its own blog post.

First thing you do: Say “woah”

Next, thank them for their well-thought out piece of content that they have shared on your blog. They have likely raised some good points in their novel.

Most bloggers have come to realize the benefits of commenting on other blogs. Many of them use this tactic judiciously – commenting to build relationships with other prominent bloggers. They take the time to write a well thought out comment, and leave something that is more beneficial for others than themselves.

Unfortunately, not all the comments you get on your blog will have the same value. Judge each comment and approve or delete as you see fit. Remember, some of these will really be spam, while others may just be actual readers who just aren’t as adept at commenting.

How do you deal with blog comments that don’t add to the conversation? Leave a comment and share your strategy for dealing with blog comments.