Imagine for a moment, you walk past your keyboard, tap out a few lines of something for the day.
You press enter.
Then head off to your plumbed in espresso machine for the first cappuccino of the day, smug in the knowledge that what you just sent out into the Internet is optimized for SEO, regularly picked up and syndicated, and is devoured by scores of readers eagerly awaiting every juicy morsel you deign to drop at their feet.
You call this work and you make thousands every month.
Now stop imagining because it’s never likely to happen.
Honestly, if you thought you could make a living without doing much of anything, become a politician and give up blogging.
Why is it so difficult? I hear you ask.
Well it goes a little something like this…
When you write good content, promote your posts hard enough then the links will follow, look at John Chow if you want an example.
The common thread in all internet marketing is that content is king. Give value and you will receive value. Thankfully for me this is not rocket science (I never was good at astrophysics).
If you want to do it all wrong, that is fine by me, just stuff your tiltes and content full of keywords, use those article spinner thingys and solely write content in order to get links.
The search engines will love your site (maybe), the search engine spiders will be crawling your content, you’ll get listed, how nice for you, you may even get some readers, wonderful! But guess what, that traffic won’t be coming back anytime soon. They’ll take one look and head for the hills.
Answer me this: Would you rather have 100 new visitors who will never come back or 25 repeat visitors who like the way you write, think and express yourself and are more than happy to spread your good word via social media?
It was a trick question but you get my point.
So who are you talking to?
Your audience or the search engines?
Don’t get me wrong here, this is not an SEO slagging match. SEO is an important part of creating and maintaining a blog, but it is a useful tool, not the definitve answer. Because if no-one sees your posts, you won’t get links to them.
You have to do whatever it takes to get your posts in front of your audience and the reality is those links are given out by people, not by websites. You want to engage your readers, give them value and keep them coming back to you as an authority. You will never achieve that if you don’t write for your audience and give them what they want.
Again; write good content, promote it as much as you can to your audience and the links will follow.
So make it easy for people to access and subscribe to your blog. Whether it is through RSS or email optin forms.
Try linking to other influencial blogs in your market, put their link on your site (it will create a pingback notification for them), engage in dialogue with them, network and build realtionships.
When people leave comments on your blog, reply for gods sake or email them back and thank them. Build rapport.
Submit AND ACCEPT guest posts, it’s a two way street and both are effective for networking and link building. In fact guest posting seems to be a hot topic at the moment. At the end of the day it is a tried and tested method that works.
Another great way to get your posts out there is to leverage relationships you already have, whether it’s in the same market or not. Use friends, family and offline co-workers, you just never know who they connect with.
Social networking is all about having good old conversations and engaging with people, it’s not just about likes and tweets and pins. That’s superficial stuff.
At the end of the day write quality, value driven content for your audience and do what you can to ensure it gets delivered to said audience so you can engage with them, and keep them coming back for more regularly.
Then you just might be able to make thousands every month and have a plumbed in espresso machine.