Here’s Why You Need To Build—or Grow—Your Blog This Year

by Derek Halpern | Follow Him on Twitter Here

Let’s say you’re looking to use the web to sell some stuff.

(It doesn’t matter what you’re doing specifically—whether you teach fitness, take pictures, make art, sell real-estate, give marketing advice, design websites, sell trinkets, or whatever, that’s neither here nor there).

How do you build a blog that works for—not against—you in your quest to become self-employed, build a business, or use the web to generate leads and make sales?

Some people believe, “it’s impossible. All of the good topics are taken!”

But how do you explain how every year a new blog emerges as the “go to” resource in an industry?

Some people believe, “as long as you’re doing good work, that’s what matters!”

But how many people do you know that do great work… and STILL struggle?

Some people believe, “it takes an endless supply of content, and they’ll NEVER have the time to do it.”

But how did I build Social Triggers from scratch to more than 70,000 subscribers in 21 months… with less than 3 posts per month?

More on that in a minute…

First, let me share an interesting personal story…

A story that demonstrates why building a blog is GREAT for building your business.

A story that shows you that, in addition to building your business, a blog comes with many sideline benefits you could have never imagined.

*Prepare yourself for gratuitous ego-stroking*

Okay, let’s talk about me (my favorite topic, ha)

As you know, I launched my blog, Social Triggers, officially in March 2011.

And as you also know, I started my blog in the overcrowded “I give advice about online marketing” space.

It’s so crowded, in fact, Adage reports that there are 181,000 people who call themselves social media experts, mavens, ninjas, and gurus on Twitter1.

(That doesn’t even include people who talk about copywriting, conversion rate optimization, blogging, and more).

Yet, my blog TOOK OFF… as if I had slapped a jetpack on my subscriber count.

In addition to attracting more than 70,000 subscribers, I launched a top marketing podcast on iTunes, and released a web tv show that amasses around 10,000 viewers per episode.

The revenue ramped up fast, and Social Triggers was able to evolve from a one-man show to a real company… with a virtual team… and everything.

(And I’m not talking about virtual assistants outsourced at a dollar an hour. I’ve got a real team of people—a videographer, an assistant, part-time developer, and various other professional contractors).

But what I’m most proud of is this:

Social Triggers releases some of the BEST content for people looking to use the web to build their business.

(Or in other words, I do good work).

But don’t take my word on that though. Just recently, I asked my fans on Facebook “If you stumbled on someone who doesn’t read Social Triggers, what would you tell them to persuade them to start reading it RIGHT NOW?”

Here’s what they said:

To see the full list, look at the conversation on Facebook right here.

Unfortunately, I can tell you this:

The fact that I did good work isn’t why my blog took off.

The REAL reason why my blog took off is because I was able to get my good work into the hands as many people as possible.

Because, “If you build it, people DON’T come.” Doing good work is the price of entry. Once in, you’ve got to recruit people with master-level promotion skills.

And that’s why people who do good work often struggle. They’ve paid the entry fee, but they don’t know what to do once they get into the fray.

Luckily, that can be taught, but more on that later.

Now here’s the best part:

Yes, I launched a blog in an overcrowded space.

Yes, I created good work… and promoted the heck out of it.

But I also didn’t SLAVE over my keyboard creating content day-in and day-out.

If you look at the facts, I averaged less than 3 blog posts per months over the course of 21 months to build my blog.

That means, if you’ve ever thought, “there’s no way I could write content daily,” the short answer is “you don’t have to!”

That said, there have also been many other sideline benefits of my blog as well.

#1: How Building a Popular Blog Makes Getting Book Deals A Cinch

Seven years ago, if you asked me “Would you ever write a book?” I would have probably said “I’d never be able to land a book deal.”

It turns out, after talking with some book industry insiders, they said I could land a book deal in a few weeks. (And that’s something I’ll pursue for the right offer).

#2: How Building a Popular Blog Makes It Easy-As-Heck To Land Speaking Engagements

Two years ago, to land speaking engagements, I had to HUSTLE. I had to apply to speak at industry conferences, make session pitches, and BUST MY BASS to land a speaking gig.

(Yes, I just said BUST MY BASS. Gotta keep this G-rated so I can’t say the word ass. Whoops…).

I landed some gigs, and didn’t land others. All I knew was this: “If I have to keep this up, I’m going to smash my head into the wall.”

But then Social Triggers took off, and people began inviting me to speak through my contact form. Some of the conferences were weird—one was about server hardware, another was about sports, another was a large company that wanted me to speak to their marketing executives, and etc.

And before I knew it, even though I wanted to speak once per month, I had enough engagements to speak like once a week. The demand was so high, that now, if you want me to speak at your conference, it runs $10,000 for a 1 hour keynote.

Oh, and if you’re curious, that’s me doing my thing at Marie Forleo’s conference. There were a few hundred women in the audience.

#3: How Building a Popular Blog Empowers You To Meet Like-Minded People Whenever You Want

Last year, I had the bright idea that I wanted to meet people just like me (people who were using the web).

Previously, I would have to travel to a conference to do something like that.

Now? Send one email to my list, and I could have hundreds of people show up at a live event in NYC.

Or have people show up to a meetup anywhere for that matter (I’ve held them in Seattle, NYC, Austin, and etc).

#4: How Building a Popular Blog Makes Selling Extremely Easy

Back in 2005, I believed it was impossible to sell anything online. I was so defeated, that I stopped trying. I instead slapped a bunch of ads on my first-ever blog because it didn’t matter if the ad sold or not. I got paid either way.

Now? It’s a completely different story. When I want to sell a premium training product, a consulting contract, or anything, it’s sometimes as easy as just letting people know I have it for sale.

You might have been on one of my webinars where I give great training… and then follow it with a pitch. You might have also seen that I promote premium training products (very occasionally) from people that I respect.

Guess what? That’s how Social Triggers earns revenue. A lot of it. And yet, there are people who read my site, and ask me “Derek, do you ever sell anything?”

The answer is “Yes,” i just don’t do it often. I take the “poker playing” approach to selling online. I don’t play many hands, but when I do, I’m aggressive. And when it comes to selling, I don’t sell often, but when I do, I sell hard.

I’m still amazed…

My blog is the reason why I was able to build a highly profitable business, with an amazing virtual team, and now I can be an author, a speaker, or a highly paid consultant.

The big question is how do you build a blog that works for—not against—you in YOUR QUEST to teach fitness, make art, sell real-estate, take pictures, become self-employed, or use the web to generate leads and make sales?

That’s why I’m proud to announce a new series that I’ll be running on Social Triggers over the next couple of weeks.

(This is where you’ll get the insanely practical tips you can implement into your blog growth strategy right now).

  • I’m going to take you behind the scenes of how I do what I do.
  • I’m going to bust common blogging myths wide open.
  • I’m going to reveal some specific strategies YOU can use to start growing YOUR blog today.
  • And much more.

All-in-all, by the end of this series, I hope to empower tens of thousands of people to begin building a blog that helps them do what they want to do… no matter what it is.

So, if you’re not on the email list, make sure you HOP ON IT to ensure you don’t miss out.

And if you LOVE what this series stands for, take a second and share this with a friend. Gotta reach tens of thousands of people, and with your help, we can do it!

In the mean time, I want you to leave a comment and answer this one simple question:

Do you believe a blog can help you build your business?

  • If yes, what type of business are you in? Describe it in detail, and explain how you think a blog can help you build your business.
  • If no, tell me more. What type of business are you in? Why don’t you think a blog can help you build your business?

Also, know this:

I’m still putting this content together right now. So, if you’ve got any specific questions about blogging, leave a comment asking your question, and I may be able to work it into this series.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it's free).

Email Address:

  1. Ochman, B.L. "There are 181,000 Social Media 'Gurus,' 'Ninjas,' 'Masters,' and 'Mavens' on Twitter." Ad Age on the web 7 Jan. 2012. 8 Jan. 2013. The link

{ 422 comments… read them below or add one }

Jordan

A blog can absolutely help you build your business. That’s what inbound marketing is all about! In today’s world, you need to educate consumers about your products in services in a way that demonstrates your expertise. Simultaneously you build your mailing list, and social media profiles to engage with your target market. It’s not long before you start generating new business as a result of your “inbound efforts.”

At the same time, I think a blog could be a business in itself or a great launching place for a consulting career. Take Amy Porterfield as an example or even Copyblogger. Both turned blogs into build businesses.

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Jordan

I wrote this quickly in hopes of being the first comment :p excuse the spelling errors (“products in services” should be “products and services” & “blogs into build businesses” should be “blogs into big businesses”)

Cheers,
Jordan

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Derek Halpern

Rushing a comment through “with hopes of being the first comment,” is not a real reason to leave a comment :-P.

Most people “rush to leave the first comment” with hopes of getting as much traffic as possible back to their website…

…And quite frankly, if that’s your traffic strategy, you better read this series.

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Jordan

Haha Derek – That’s definitely not my traffic strategy! Read my first comment – I think you’ll agree it makes a lot of sense! Being the first comment is more a thing of pride!

Regardless – looking forward to your new series man.

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Derek Halpern

Sounds good!

Jordan

Wow! Serious note – my “first comment” did yield 100+ visits and 3 new subscribers…I think that says a lot more about your traffic than anything else…but it’s not insignificant ;)

Derek Halpern

Don’t make it a habit though :-P

Jordan

Derek – I can understand if you’ve been jaded by spam or troll-like comments in the past but I’m quite sure this is my first time commenting on your site. I liked what I read and I left a very relevant comment… one would think that’s the exact habit a blogger would like to encourage…cheers man – looking forward to the new series.

David Wright

Derek,
I do believe a blog can help me build my business, which is why I’m in the process of building mine now, so your article and pending series are timely.

I’m in network marketing and have watched all the “gurus” share topics I know and have learned and reap success simply because they took action. So, I’m taking action now.

My blog will give me exposure to prospects who may eventually join my business as well as position me to people who already know me but second guess my knowledge and skills to join me.

Looking forward to your content in guiding me as I roll out my blog.

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Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

Yeah, network marketing is a brutally competitive field where you can use any advantage you can get. I must admit I got a chuckle, after reading Derek’s diatribe on pumping out daily content, to see your site promising to share “my FREE daily newsletter with the skills that will pay the bills…” (nice tag line, by the way).

Ok, I must admit that I’m semi-guilty here, too. We offer weekly tips, research and tools for getting on our list, something that we succeed with on Twitter / Facebook / G+ but not really on email.

Looking forward to hearing Derek’s advice. I suspect it all hinges around this one sentence:
“Because, ‘If you build it, people DON’T come.’ Doing good work is the price of entry. Once in, you’ve got to recruit people with master-level promotion skills.”

Ironically I got quoted by Forbes recently saying almost the exact same thing. I still don’t have anywhere near Derek’s level of traffic though!

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David Wright

Ha ha. Derek gets crazy traffic.

Thanks for the compliment. I was wondering if it sounded cheesy. The thing is there are debates about how frequently to mail your list. One “guru” has me convinced for now that anything other than daily will cost you subscribers, especially in the network marketing niche where prospects want to see consistency. I do feel that way myself when I get an e-mail from someone whose list I’m on and they hadn’t sent a e-mail for weeks to months and have a lame excuse that they were vacationing in Maui. That’s where lots of content added to automation or delegation can play a part.

As I read your first paragraph, I looked at your page and didn’t see your e-mail opt-in then you explained it, but if your social media following is large enough or loyal enough, no major issue. Get them onto e-mail though and from your “guilt” I’m sure you know all the reasons why :-)

You’re right… content can be great, but if you don’t know how to drive visitor traffic to it and to convert visitors into subscribers, you’re losing out big time.

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Gabe Johansson

Hey Derek,

I gotta say I am pretty excited to see what you have coming up. Slaving away writing content all the time is lame, and half the reason I’ve had any success is similar to the reason why you blew up so quickly…

JVs and collaborations for days! ;)

Almost all my sales have come from working with other marketers with much larger audiences. Anyways, I enjoy what you do here and I’ve learned a ton!

Thanks a bunch!
-Gabe Johansson

P.S. “(Yes, I just said BUST MY BASS. Gotta keep this G-rated so I can’t say the word ass. Whoops…).” Just LOL

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Jadah {Simple Green Smoothies}

I agree. It’s nice to hear that 3 posts average a month it much more dreamy than the 3 blog posts a week formula a lot of people say you have to keep up with. :-)

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Derek Halpern

While JVs are a great way to get exposure, the big problem with it is that it’s often contingent on something. Sometimes you’ve got to pay to play, other times you’ve got to promise you’ll reciprocate. I don’t like to play those games when building my audience, simply because the audience is what comes first… not my desire to build a business :-).

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Gabe Johansson

I only said JV’s and collabs since that’s how I found you originally. Then I couldn’t NOT find you on all the blogs and sites I read lol

For most people, they do have to pay to play or reciprocate because they offer mediocre or slightly above average content. What you were doing was insanely valuable.

Funny enough, the person I found you by charges $300 to do what you did for free on that blog

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Yoli

I like that. Well said

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Joe Cassandra

Always wondered where that conference pic was from.

I’m stoked for this series, and being a beg. blogger still have tons of questions:

How specific a niche do you need to master before you become a “go to”, because your pretty broad but still rule the school in marketing.

Do you build a product while in the early stages or focus on community first.

I’ve sent links using the Drafting Technique but all I got is a “Thanks, enjoyed it.” No link. Follow up?

I’ll stop there for now :D…excited!

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Jadah {Simple Green Smoothies}

Joe, I am curious about the question you have too. Do you create product or build community first? We built community first and have been trying to create product alongside, but sometimes it’s hard to manage time for both. But I also find that engaging with your community provides you with so much market research that you can’t get anywhere else. I know all my audiences pains and challenges. They have tons of questions and now I know how to give them those answers in a product.

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Timon Weller

@Joe and @Jadah – No matter what product you sell you are the product before the actual product first. So without a community base for your people to know you or another way a affiliate base the product is sitting on a bench behind a nameless cause..

So to me with all my sites, build a community first even if small and then build a product.. Hard call to sell to no one.. The building of traffic is the hardest bit, quality traffic to a desired niche then sell quality products in that niche.. Build an email list of course, sell yourself first then sell the product..

Regards,

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R.J.

Definitely… I run a blog that requires daily content (crazy I know), but while I enjoy the site, it’s not my passion, and while I’ve had to build two distinct audiences for the blog (readers to get books and authors to submit books), all of the content was for readers.

I have all of these authors coming to me for something they want. I realized I could really expand my business, and create a whole new segment of my business, helping authors market their books.

It’s funny you mentioned the “Build it and they will come”… many self-published authors consider “just write more” to be their marketing strategy! And while it’s nice to have a larger catalog of books, by promoting a few books, they could significantly increase their sales across all of their books.

So, I am working on creating a podcast/blog that will help authors to really learn how to market their books.

Before finding your blog a few months ago, I would have probably tried to blog every 2 days and burn out. Now, I will focus on creating epic content, a few times a month.

Plus, I’ve reached out to some great self-publishing marketing minds to get them on my podcast and the response has been great so far.

I’m really excited about this project!

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Derek Halpern

Love to hear this, and to hear that you’re on the right path.

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Adrijus G.

That’s a great start R.J. Site design similar to Social Triggers too :) There are a few podcasts in Publishing industry but not enough yet. Definitely space there to expand. Video content is even less used seemingly (altho I may be wrong).

P.S. Might be interested in advertising on your site/s so let me know if you’re interested!

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Justin Westbrooks

That’s a really cool value proposition – I know a few people who have found success by helping others launch their books! Who knows…maybe my team and I should write a book! Sounds fun!

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Mohammed Hajjar

Launching a blog provides a platform through which ou get noticed and establish credibility. Hence, it is the modern version of an editorial in a magazine or white paper.

I’m in the management consulting business where I specially focus on:
1. Family business
2. Launching new business
3. Restructuring and accelerating growth for non performing business

My interest is how do you really get noticed and what are the tools for attracting audience. What I mean, is that before you can get them to follow you, you need to know where they are and attract them.

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Rhonni

Yes, I think my blog can help my business. Not because I need more business, but because I get asked for advice and insight as a successful serial entrepreneur in a niche of a niche business. Advice from a Festival Professional might seem to be quite specific, but most of it translates to other businesses as well.

My workload is uneven. I make my living in 5 months of the year, which gives me plenty of time to bring on another project. Besides, brainstorming and discussing wacky business ideas is one of my most favorite things to do, and my superpower is connecting people with ideas and people that are important to them.

I’m looking forward to the series,
Thanks,
Rhonni

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Brian Cain

I am not sure if a blog can help my business or not. I currently have a blog that teaches Law Enforcement Leadership. To date, I have 52 subscribers and I have had to scrounge for those! I hear people talking about building your list and selling to your list, but dang… how do you do that?

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Derek Halpern

First things first. You’re talking about Law Enforcement leadership as your main target audience, and your first post is talking about how you spent all your time with a social media marketing / business guru. What does that have to do with law enforcement leadership?

That said , you’ve got to start writing about topics law enforcement people might be interested in knowing about. Get a hostage negotiator to interview, as an example. Get an FBI detective, and how they manager inter bureau relationships. Get a police commissioner to talk about how he motivates police during a time with falling overtime hours.

Right now, it looks like your content may be wrong for your audience. That’s just off first touch. You probably know your audience better than me, though.

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Mohammed Hajjar

You are suggesting to focus on interviews. But shouldn’t that happen at a later stage when the site is known and has attracted an acceptable audience. Who would wanna be interviewed when only 52 people are watching?

On a different note, what is the process for building the communication platform for attracting the audience? and doesn’t that require some talent (i.e. some peole have talent to tell a story while others deliver a report like message… which turn off people sometimes)

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Derek Halpern

Don’t sell them on an interview based on your traffic numbers. Sell them on what you hope to build.

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Michael Leander

Now that was very well said, Derek.

In my experience a lot of people are uncomfortable with selling “them” on what they hope to build, or the exposure they hope to get. They shouldn’t be, but rather just be frank with their interview partner. In other words; state your ambition “I am hoping to ..”, but don’t promise any concrete numbers.

Brian Cain

Thank you so much for your input!

Mark

Derek,
Well, you touched a nerve when you talked about trying to produce content every day (NOT!). Call it lack of time – or perhaps more accurately – lack of discipline. In any case, I haven’t been able to get myself to do that.

I’m looking forward to the series – I think you already covered the reasons why building a popular blog is good for business!

Take care,
Mark

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Backlinko

I believe Derek…I do believe!

I just launched an SEO blog to help me sell a link building course that’s in the works.

I’m doing things a little differently than you laid out here because I’m putting 90% of my focus on good work and 10% on promotion.

That 10% is going to be BA…but I want content that has legs so I don’t need to do as much promo.

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Derek Halpern

I’m sorry to say you’re in for a sore surprise. Good work is the price of entry. What you do with that good work… after the fact… is how you truly “Make it” in this industry.

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Jadah {Simple Green Smoothies}

I would love to hear more details on what you do after the work Derek. Would you say landing speaking gigs was your hot spot for marketing yourself?

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Derek Halpern

Speaking wasn’t the hot spot. Speaking was what I did because I wanted to do it.

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Backlinko

Thanks for the advice Derek. If you say promo is the “make or break” factor then that’s what I’ll set my crosshairs on.

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Heidi Thompson

I’m so excited about this series you are doing! I know that blogging will be the cornerstone of my business because I’ve seen it happen in so many other businesses. My business focuses on helping wedding business owners with their marketing and business development so I will actually be showing them how to blog for themselves.

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Jeff Fine

Heidi,
That sounds very empowering. This will be a new profit center actually for both your clients and yourself. It is fabulous way to promote their brand and sell weddings. Obviously this is a form of self publishing which can have many benefits. I am expecting to start my blog today! I am stoked!!!!

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David Paul Krug

Derek,
It’s been pretty amazing to watch you go from the celebrity gossip blogger to the Social Triggers expert you are today.

Actually it’s been pretty awesome to watch you transform.
:)

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Zed

How the F*** do you create traffic to your website ! That’s the main question I can’t figure out how to solve.
I have GREAT content, I mean like incredible great content. My readers tell me : You have great content, it’s incredible.

But my blog struggles at 100 pers. per day, with is completely ridiculous… And I can’t sell anything because I lack traffic. Can you help finding a solution to that ?

Thanks !

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Austin Gal

Zed..

I’m sure Derek will go into all this, but my experience is to get out there and help people, connect, solve problems.. let pp know who you are and what you do.

For my local sites, I naturally promote a lot locally.. hooking up in local forums and blogs, and interacting. Plus building up social media in that town.

For others, guest post, guest post.. and on as big a blogs that will take your post.

d

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Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

I’d start by putting your website in the field when you post comments, to begin with. When you said you had such amazing content, I immediately went to click on your name to see it… but there wasn’t any website to go to!

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Zed

Oh, about the link, yerah, I know that’s because I don’t want my competitors to find me through my backlinks…

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Eric Scism

Derek, Absolutely a blog can help your business. I actually am running a blog without a business right now and just trying to build my followers/tribe/whatever you want to call it. Then I’ll figure out my business model later. I’m looking forward to this series. I can’t wait!

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Bree

Derek,

Another splendid post, as usual. I’m a freelance writer hoping that a blog will give me some clout, reputation, and headway as I continue to market myself and my writing. To be specific, I’m building a blog focusing on geek culture, because I want to become a culture, gaming, and entertainment writer and blogger.

Though there are many other blogs already out there like this, I hope to be unique in that I offer deeper perspective and thought about the whys and hows of culture, instead of just the whats. I want people to come back to my blog because I’m the only one willing to get to the root of issue, which will in turn prove to potential clients that I am dedicated and hard-working, and that I will have no problem getting their writing needs taken care of.

Thanks again for your post!

Bree

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Derek Halpern

Hi Bree,

You’re welcome. As a freelance writer, you’re definitely “ahead of the pack” when it comes to building a blog. You already know how to write, and that’s always half the battle.

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Felicia

I am a certified fitness trainer & ESL instructor, as well as a writer & performance artist. I am currently a freelance instructor-for-hire and am in the ‘pre-launch’ phase of my blog/online business. I’m looking to position my fitness & creativity consulting services/products online for over-obliged, savvy/dynamic women.

Based on my business model’s Ideal client profile, a blog is absolutely essential to build rapport & trust & provide low-barrier ‘buy-in’/ conversions/referrals.

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Igor

Derek, I’m in the process to help my business grow with blog content, but need to find a groove/rhythm and content ideas, so your upcoming series it timely!
keep up the good work!

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Chris Aitken

Hey Derek — completely agree with your sentiments about not having to slave building content. One of my sites (MBA Prep School) saw an *improvement* in our Google rankings and organic traffic when we reduced the quantity of content and increased the quality. Obvious in retrospect but wasn’t at the time!

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keith

Do website & email promos for an office supply biz, just not sure what i’d blog about – in an interesting, clever way to build their biz.

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Melissa

Keith,

You obviously haven’t had a chance to sit in on a group of writers talking about office products ;-)

I’ve chatted with my writer friends about pen reviews (brand, style, etc), paper types, the works! You just need to find your audience—geeks like me who get upset when the manufacturer of my favorite pen goes and changes something on me (in this case the grip and the ink) and I have to go find a new favorite pen as a result.

I’d think deals on office supplies (maybe a different promotion each week or month?), product reviews, showcases of nice products (paperclips in different shapes for ex), roundups of unique uses for office supplies (binder clips to hold cords in place, for ex.), and such would make great light reading and would GREATLY help with SEO.

Just my 2 cents.
- Melissa

PS. I’m a copywriter and I’d totally blog for you if you’re interested. Just drop me a line – melissa (at) melissabreau (dot) com.

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keith

Great suggestions! Pentel vs Inkjoy, I dunno.

We do a weekly email promo featuring various products either specially priced or with coupons & such. Yea an interesting uses for typical office products, there was something like that sponsored by 3M scotchtape

I’m thinkin’ you’ve given me more than just 2 cents, thanks!

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Andrea

You have the opportunity to blog and use humor think the TV show “The Office”. You could spin off that idea and get creative writing short fictional funny (not boring) stories about what happens in the office while promoting your products. You can shoot funny ore thought out photos with the products in the shots. It’s all in how you deliver it just as Derek points out you can put a bunch of ads up or you can entertain your audience and earn readers and customers that way.

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Sara Marberry

I was the principal blogger for a nonprofit organization I worked for until my position was unexpectedly eliminated in October. As a knowledge expert in the healthcare design field, the first thing I did was start my own blog and send the link to 93 of my industry friends, whom I still notify every time there is a new blog post. Having decided to start my consulting practice up again, I think the blog is one of the best ways to keep my face — and voice out there. Many people have told me how much they are enjoying reading the blog and I know that my business will grow because of it. I’m in the process of unifying my brand and creating a new integrated blog/website, which I hope to launch soon!

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Stephanie W.

I think creating a blog should be a part of a marketing plan if you intend to sell online as long as you have the stuff to back it up. Small businesses run by 1 or 2 people may or may not be able to back it up with quality content especially if they make what they sell by hand. Too often I see my micro business friends get overwhelmed with the burden of writing content to the point of failure. I think overall it’s important to find which tactics work best for you regardless of what others tell you need to do. For example, if you don’t like to write you probably shouldn’t start a blog!

For myself, I will be starting a blog soon as I’m embarking in a journey to teach other less tech savvy individuals how to sell on some of the larger online selling platforms. What better way to reach my target than a blog and email list?

By building out my blog I can share my advice, build my email list and my reputation, reach my target demographic and of course generate sales of my eBooks and in-person training sessions. Of course a little affiliate income would be nice too but I haven’t decided whether to go that route or not.

Derek, do you think having a lot of advertising on a “professional” blog dilutes the message and my ability to stand out as a professional in my field?

Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you’re packing, D!

-S

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Alexia Anastasio

I do believe that my blog can build my business as it is inviting others into my life to share in my adventures and successes. I am an artist, actress and filmmaker and I do have many adventures. :)

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Thomas

SocialTriggers always delivers – it’s the one email I consistently click on in my Inbox and then follow to read or watch. Thanks for another great post.

#3 really resonates with me. I’m a single parent, and a 30yo combat veteran. So my time for meeting new people is at an unfortunate minimum, and I’m a bit of an insomniac… Anyway, because of all these reasons and a few more, my interest in connecting with people – especially at weird hours like 4am PST – led me to create my own spot on the net at NE1UP.com.

I started out blogging lightly a couple years ago and really found it necessary for everything I do. I love commenting, I love sharing, I love interacting, so the ‘do good’ and ‘help others’ part of blogging has always been easy for me and reading what you wrote, thinking more about it, I see that’s because not only was I building it and hoping they would come, I was getting out there and interacting with the community.

Anyway – loved the article, it’s bookmarked and I’ll probably be on the site another few hours now when I should be working, but hey. ;)

All the best,

Thomas

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Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

Just a quick tip – I went to your site to see what you’re doing. I was trying to read the text in the slider at the top, but I only ever got about 1/3 of the way through before it changed. I’m a pretty quick reader.

You might want to think about slowing it down, or making the text shorter.

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Jason Verdelli

Derek,

Excellent points! What would you say was the most effective step in reaching your tipping point with the blog?

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Ray Johnson

Derek I can’t wait to dive in and take action with this series!
Here is my info
I do believe a blog can help my business. I want to become a business consultant that specializes in helping small businesses develop there marketing online and offline. I want to use the blog as a launchpad for this business. Starting this year I have recorded 1 workshop and consulting with 2 businesses.So I am finally taking action .

How do you separate the busy work from the work that produces results?

Similar question :How do you break up monthly task?

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Adrijus G.

Hi Derek,

awesome timing! Just started a blog/website and have question about it related to this series. I’m in book cover design niche (not super competitive but plenty of freelancers in that can undercut on price, Fiverr or DIY authors etc). Selling price is pretty average, most competition is freelancers, some with blogs, but not all of them:

I know blog is good for teaching and helping authors on the topic of book cover design, how to choose the designer, how to know a good cover from bad one etc. But should landing page be your blog or a homepage with links to other pages like portfolio, pricing, etc?

Have you seen any testing done on this one? Maybe you will share some examples in the series, that would be awesome.

Looking forward to learning new stuff!
Adrijus G.

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Thomas

You could do testing – theme A served to one visitor, theme B served to the next, relatively easily. I’ve done that at my own site, NE1UP, and it is a great way overall to judge what is working or isn’t.

I’m not sure if promotion or getting your name/work out there is an issue, but have you ever thought of doing review copies and then a ‘services for sale’ thread on large forums? I see a lot of that sort’ve thing going on at places for web developers. Just a random thought.

Take care,

Thomas

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Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

It’s interesting. “Test it with an A/B split!” is the go to, catch all answer for any internet marketer. By and large, it’s good advice, but obviously it does depend on having traffic in the first place, which is what I suspect most people reading Derek’s blog are struggling with.

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Adrijus G.

I gotta learn to do A/B testing with Google Analytics definitely. Problem is that people have different mindsets on timing of buying a cover and different mindsets about pricing. There is lots of variables in there alone. Maybe email list might be the best thing to be focused on. Which would probably mean making it main promo on the homepage. But maybe not. Interesting to see opinions on this.

And yeah, like Piers said, traffic building comes first for me and in the mean time I want to have a good website, then optimize it later as much as I can. :)

Cheers

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Eric Triplett

My business specializes in Designing Beautiful, Ecologically Friendly Low Maintenance Water Features for Koi Fish & Aquatic Plants BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY People!

It’s easy for me to be passionate about what I do and easy to provide Information, Education and Inspiration on my craft!

I’ve paid my dues, now I’d like to get paid. I DO BELIEVE a blog can bring a revenue stream to my business so I am eagerly taking all this in so BRING IT ON DEREK!

And if you want to experience the Culture Of Koi in your Garden you best give me a shot at exposing you to all the wonders a koi pond can bring.

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Loralee Hutton

I was so excited when I saw your email that I clicked through without really reading it. I suspect I was really looking for a “I have a blog series & a mentoring program for bloggers” message. Because, that’s truly what I’m looking for. This past year I’ve figured out a lot, but I’m floundering in many areas. There’s so much conflicting information available on what I should and should not be focusing on. I need straight up answers, and then a bit of time to implement, measure and adjust. Any chance this will lead into a course?
And yes, I’m still excited about the email series too! :)
Loralee

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Chandra Scott

I agree with Loralee, however I’m impatient and want it all in the series coming up. I’m completely new to blogging and don’t want to waste my time and efforts. I agree with your points about why it’s both important and useful. I know the message and value I want to deliver, now I just need an efficient process and strategy that works.
I want to see you do it. Walk me through your process. Mentally, I process things better by watching and hearing. You know the whole, don’t tell… SHOW. I want that. And maybe some notes along with it. However, I have tons of pens so I can take my own notes. Just show me, please.

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Loralee Hutton

I hear you Chandra! Being able to look over someone’s shoulder while their working, and then trying it out myself really works for me. Can’t wait for this series! :)

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Sam Brody

Hey,

My name is Sam and I am a designaholic. We started insurance beanstalk because having a website build from scratch is a lot like buying street drugs….uh…or a box of chocolates. You never know what your going to get. We rely on our blog to teach insurance agents step by step how they can use the internet to generate leads.

We think this information should be free and open. The best information will attract the best leads. So far all we have done is written 3 blogs and done 2 infographics, we posted it one one forum and had 200 people visit, not bad for no effort

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Sam Brody

side note, we built our entire price structure around Dereks Grocery store Jam theory

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Liz

Hey Sam, got a link to that? I want to know more!

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Dayne Shuda

It will be interesting to see if there is a psychological reason some people (well it seems like most people) abandon blogs after a few posts or a few months.

I imagine it’s related to the promotion aspect of blogging, which you mentioned above. Those practical tips will be incredibly useful.

Really looking forward to the series, Derek.

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Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

I suspect it’s because most people see cr*p all results in the first few posts / months. Then there’s Derek….

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Derek Halpern

Or, maybe, in the first few months, people are just working on the wrong things… and they get demotivated.

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Lauren

Derek, this is so timely for me. I am currently building a blog/ video education member site for the equestrian industry and I am just about to send out my first blog-post newsletter! I really want to do this well because my goal is to convert subscribers into members as the videos are edited down and posted. I believe the blog is essential to my credibility and to develop love, loyalty and deeper understanding for the teachers and teaching methods I am seeking to highlight. I am a business minded person so I am always interested to study what worked for other people to launch a web business. I am very happy you will be discussing this topic in deeper detail!

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Camilo Oliveira

Yes, I do!

Actually, I’m starting a blog in next weeks to talk about interface design, UX, conversions, analytics, online copywriting and these things. There is a lot of material about this in English, but few (if any) in Portuguese (my native language).

I was teaming up with two former college friends, but due to lack of responses from them, I know I will have to do this all by myself, and one of the purposes of starting this is became known by being one of the experts in the subject. Yes, it could take a moment since I am still learning and trying a lot of things, but I don’t see much people talking about this online, so I think there is an opportunity here.

I already have a blog with some friends, and I can say our content is good, but we have few subscribers/visits and never took off, so maybe because of that, we rarely publish new articles. It’s a pleasure when it happens, but took months to write something again. I have lots of ideas, but no willpower to take some hours and write them down (I have the time, I know it).

I would love to have a bigger audience (some thousand readers) and the opportunity to meet good people from the field, work with them – or maybe for good companies as a freelance consultant – and, who knows, some speaking gig (I did it just once and was very nervous, but I love events, so would be a pleasant challenge).

A lot of invisible scripts above, I will try to overcome them, but I think it’s a start anyway.

Waiting for your material next weeks, Derek, you are great.

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Adrian Miller

So Derek, I’m lovin’ your stuff so far:) I have a blog and readers that say “wow that’s awesome stuff.” I love to write (have written a book or two as well) but I can’t seem to get real traction and I really can’t convert readers to buyers of my sales consulting and training services. And that’s what I want! So I hope to learn more and keep chugging away and get it going. Thanks for your words of wisdom. I intend to follow them.

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Jadah {Simple Green Smoothies}

Yes, I believe a blog can help build a business. It not only provides credibility, but positions you as an authentic person with endless possibilities to share important messages through blog posts. I love the branding that happens with a blog. It’s like your virtual brick and mortar (I did one of those in Kauai and never again).

We currently run an eco-lifestyle blog for parents that we started Nov. 2011, http://www.familysponge.com

And we just started a health-inspired niche site on Nov. 2012, http://www.simplegreensmoothies.com

The targeted niche site has us in awe right now. And we are loving it. We’d love to get feedback from you.

Our current stats in the last two months for our green smoothie site that we launched Nov. 10, 2012:

- 17,385 people are signed up on our email list for the challenge (that launched Jan. 2, 2013)
- 52,972 followers on Instagram (we’ve jumped over 20,000 in less than one week)
- 8,060 fans on Facebook
- 293,386 page views (Nov. 17,090; Dec. 72,375; Jan. 203,921)

P.S. would you take on two young moms (we both turn 30 this year) running a green smoothie site under your wings for mentorship?

P.P.S. I love Marie Forleo.

Our dream team would be to add on a writer for health-based content and some webcopy, along with a techie programmer to work on our site when we want to do something beyond our abilities. I’d like to step into vlogging smoothie tutorials (any tips on equipment?), but my own videographer and editor would be awesome, and an assistant to help with email responses and our social networks would be the cherry on top! We do everything ourselves now, but reading your story makes it seem possible to build a team. I’m located in the SF Bay Area if you know of anyone. :-)

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Cheri @ The Watering Mouth

Omg you guys rock!! I know this is an old post and an old comment, but are you looking for anyone to help you out still? I am a health and fun blogger :) and do videography, content, etc, and would love the chance to work with you all. I love what you’re doing and am building my business in the same way, motivating, fun, healthy — I know we’d totally click! I will contact you on your site as well.

And thanks to Derek, for attracting such awesome freaking people to his website. I love his comments sections!!

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Jane

Yes, a blog has helped my business. I have a small, handmade business – I’m a custom, online sewing studio! My blog has helped me to brand myself. I share my creations, the story behind my creations, I make tutorials so others can sew fun things. All of it drives people to my blog and ultimately, my shop. I’m not in the big leagues, but the blog gives me a space to share content to other sites – like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

I’ve learned a lot from reading your blog!

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Aditi

Derek – I want to be an inspirational speaker, author, and life coach. I do think blogging is important and that is where I decided to start because I wasn’t sure where to start with the other stuff. I thought it would be a good way for me to build a following and hopefully some dedicated readers. I’ve been able to build a list of 185 so far through tapping into a lot of people I know, but I’m struggling with finding people who I don’t know to join and how to get them to join in. I’m thinking a website re-haul is one avenue but I need $$ for that and am a little strapped at the moment. What can I do until then?

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Chris Hanlon

Yep, I agree that a blog can help your business.

The biggest question is how do you attract the right readers.

I am looking to set something up this year to offer marketing advice to salon owners. But wondering whether I should set up a new blog, or use my more generic one, and utilise landing pages (as you mentioned in the CreativeLIVE presentation) to target the niche?

My blog has never been strategic (yet). But I did strip away most of the social links in the border as you had suggested.

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Geoff Whitmore

Derek – Great post! Love your blog!

I actually started my blog based out of my own personal experience. I researched days upon days about how I can travel just using rewards. I started doing it myself, telling my friends and family – eventually, I started noobtraveler.com. I felt like such a “noob” myself, so I wanted to teach as many people as possible that credit card companies were handing out miles and points like candy. I also wanted to break through the misconceptions about credit cards by showing how this whole Rewards Travel game has actually kept my credit very healthy and allowed me to stay debt free.

I, too, was breaking through in a semi-saturated subject, but I knew what was missing and what needed major improvement. I implemented those things on my blog.

Two years later, I love that I now have this opportunity to write content every day for my readers. I started because I wanted to educate as many people as possible, and now I get to actually chat with new readers everyday! Blogging at NoobTraveler has opened doors to new friendships, new media opportunities, and so much more.

I loved reading your post because I felt a personal connection to all of it! I don’t have to be stationed at a computer screen all day every day in order for it to be successful. Thanks so much for this, Derek!

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Barbara

A blog is a necessary item in my field of graphic design. A successful blog would be an asset for connecting with people who have similar style sense (or people with no sense of style but like mine) and make them potential and repeat clients.

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Nadia Chaudhry

Yes, I do believe a blog can help you with your business. I’m a copywriter, so my blog is can be viewed as a sampling of my work for potential clients. It’s also my personal space to strategically keep track of the development of my writing.

It also gives you the ability to take advantage of keyword research and be a short snipit of you that easily disgestable online for people to “test” you out to see if they life you.

A part from this, I know little else. What is the best way to use your blog to directly get clients. I’ve heard of your method Marie’s video about writing a post in regards to specific niche and spreading it in that blogosphere. I still need to try that. Thanks for reminding me to bump that method to the top of my list.

This is really helpful, thanks for doing this Derek.
Nadia

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Joshua

Herro Derek.

I’m a fiction writer, soon to be published novelist (I have a publisher lined up and everything). I am certain that a blog can help a person build an online business, and in my case, it could help me connect with my audience and sell more books.

Don’t have any special requests, but I am looking forward to seeing your series get started.

- Joshua

P.S. If I tell you why I think all of the links on your site are purple and I’m right, do I get a cookie? Email me! :D

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Heidi

Yes! absolutely blogging helps a business. Mine is in the infant stages but I’m viewing it as my voice and way for potential clients to get to know me, my coaching style and how I think, speak, and connect.

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Mike Zaremba

Yes, I believe a blog can help build my business.

I have recently re-launched my blog that is focused on small, local business owners that need help marketing themselves online.

This isn’t just advice but actual ideas and how to’s. All info is free and I publish a new article once a week.

I know that SMB’s are the backbone for the country and I feel that once there is enough buzz and subscribers I’ll be able to move from town to town helping these guys by offering seminars that are directed at the local, small business owner.

Thanks for this post, Derek.

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Katina

I totally believe a blog can build my business — so much so, that I do toil over the voice of my current blog.

I’m an indie writer. Still kind of new, but managed to get a small following nonetheless. One of the first things I noticed as a writer was that finding readers for my material was hard. I’d go to sites where they boast of great communities of readers, only find other writers looking for readers in those places. In fact, we “indies” kept bumping into each other on these sites. Eventually, I did find communities of readers (with real readers), and they didn’t want writers spamming the crowd with book plug-ins ─ understandable. I think just mentioning I was a writer (when asked) qualified as spam — that’s just how touchy those group can be.

Long story short, it became clear that the way for me to build my tribe was to get readers to come to me, and this is the direction I’m going in for 2013 ─ my first year of writing full-time. Last year I found that my posts attracted other writers because the information I put out was mostly self-promo (readers don’t care too much for that) or stuff that related to writers and the writing process.

This year, I’m going to write material that is meaningful to readers, and meaningful to me as well (else there would be no passion in the blog) and really work on letting content take me the rest of the way.

I look forward to reading all of the information you’re going to reveal, Derek, about how to make proper use of a blog for the sake of tribe building.

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Caroline J

Yes, I do!
My sister and I are in the ‘teaching people how to use graphics software’ business.

We see our Blog (website?) as the main hub of our business and we see it helping by:
* Being able to communicate & interact with prospective and actual customers.
* Share our knowledge and expertise in a very accessible way
* Help to establish trust and credibility by being transparent and ‘being ourselves’.
* A platform on which to sell products

One of the things that I think is really key in any business, but I think a lot of people don’t cover, is knowing how to really identify/clarify the market you are aiming for. It’s something I know I struggle with, but I do believe that if you have this crystal clear, then stuff like overwhelm, distraction etc are just not a problem. So something practical (not theoretical) on this would be great.

Looking forward to being shouted at some more;) -Caroline

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Doug Francis

Believe? Yes because I have seen it work in my own business. Basically, in the real estate agent business people pretty much carry the baggage of every sales guy ever ~ think “Glenngary Glen Ross”.

Blogging about what I do has helped people discover me as they Google every topic on local real estate. Those long-tale searches have allowed me to market “me” differently so they get to know what I’m about. Essentially, they are looking for someone they can trust.

I think of it as the Amazon culture – review everything! Research, Google, read and more. I have had people come to me because they Googled the agent who had been personally referred and been mortified that they barely existed online, looked out of touch or so 2004. My blog has demonstrated that I am knowledgeable and understand 2013 marketing (to a certain extent). That’s it ~ blog-on my friend.

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Katie

Absolutely! But trying to figure out how to do it better than the competition, so glad to be able to learn from you!

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Connie

I’m inclined to think that a blog is not going to be very helpful in building my business, which is fashion knitwear and accessories. Maybe I’m not looking at this from a broad enough perspective, but for me personally, I’m not looking at blogs that then lead me to want to buy a pair of shoes. Please tell me if you think differently.

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Raven

Connie,

I just checked out your Etsy site, and I think a blog could definitely help any Etsy seller! Your products are beautiful, and you could use your blog to show readers how to wear your products (like the “101 Ways to Wear a Scarf” pins all over the Pinterest), or create a round-up of other great products and accessories to pair with your own.

Also, I noticed you mentioned the idea of “Slow Fashion” in your About page. I’ve heard of “Slow Food”, but never “Slow Fashion”. That might be a great post – give readers some information about the movement, and then your personal story about why you believe so strongly in it. You might also be able to find others in the same field who you could interview about the topic, and host a “Slow Fashion Week” with other bloggers who share the same interest/passion. I’d definitely be interested in reading that series!

Lastly, you could always use your blog to share your process, which is huge with handmade items. Give sneak peaks of what you are working on or your next line, and use your blog to build up to that product launch. It’s always amazing to see an ordinary skein of yarn transform into something spectacular.

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Sid Kassidy

Raven, your name is not clickable… I need to talk to you! :) Please contact me! sidkassidy at gmail.com

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Stacey

I believe that blogging can make or break you. I am very new blogging and will admit flat out that I don’t have much of an idea of what it is that I am doing. You have to sink before you swim and in reality that is what I am doing. I am working with different programs trying to figure out what exactly it is that I need to learn and implement. I am working to create a website/blog that takes more aspects of travel and combines them into a specific area that anyone can find easily and can gather and get advice from. The travel industry is huge and has many components associated with it. However, like everything out on the web it is a mess and is so hard to maneuver through. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place you could go to and get advice and your questions answered? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place you could go to that would openly talk about travel and its pros and cons? What about all the taboo topics? Believe me they are out there but not many people talk about them. This is my vision and I know that blogging will only help improve and establish my vision.

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Ian Said

Derek,

Definitely, a blog can help your business.
I own a software development company and specialise in Inventory Control software for the restaurant / FoodService industry. I started blogging just over a year ago. It has brought exposure and traffic to my website daily, and ultimately new leads to my business.
It has also set me up as an expert in my field.

I am interested to find out more on how to grow my blog subscriber list.

Thanks,
Ian

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Tamara

I suffer from the ‘build it they will come’ syndrome. I have been blogging in the fitness and health niche (also overcrowded) for 2 years. The past year, I’ve seen tremendous growth on my site (more subscribers, higher page views, more engaged commenters) and have started offering online training services. Nobody is biting. My content rocks. I have a huge, local, in person following (I teach fitness classes and work as a personal trainer). I need to learn how to market my products. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

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John Hutchison (Your New Student)

WOW!

This article just fish smacked me clean and proper…..I have been following your blog for only a few months and I made the decision just two weeks ago that starting a blog was just what I needed to do…..this couldn’t have come along at a better time than now. I have my idea, my market picked out and I’m creating content as I write this…all I need now is my mentor to guide me!

The question is, when will you and how will you coach my fellow students and I?

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Mr. G

Do you believe a blog can help you build your business? If yes, what type of business are you in? Describe it in detail, and explain how you think a blog can help you build your business.

Yes, I do. Actually, my blog has been the excuse for my business.

I started writing my immigration to Canada journey back in 2004. Since 2007 I am working on creating a business around it and, although I’ve been one of many that had great success but struggled to make money, I am finally getting interesting numbers.

Yes, a blog can build a business

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Toni Nelson

I was able to watch you on Creative Live where you shared a lot of your knowledge and expertise. Currently I am in the 30 day blog challenge – write a post every day for 30 days. I have seen posts from blogging on my others sites bring in traffic and so with my book launching soon I thought it would be a great idea to work on the blog challenge. Having built up Social Triggers as you have only blogging 3 times a month would be an easy plan to follow. I’ll mention your article in the private facebook I belong to.

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Jacques Albrecht

Derek, Yes a blog is important to get my message across and to add specific information for better search rankings – thus building my business! My approach to real estate marketing is to offer committed, personal service rather than using a ‘hard sell’ method. This is in-tune with my personality and also fits well with the clients who view me with more respect as a knowledgeable professional who’s not ‘selling’ them anything.
So bring on your secret sauce of BLOGGING, we can all use some for sure!

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Hanna Perlberger

Hi – I have been a divorce lawyer for over 20 years and did a 180 to become a certified marriage and relationship coach. Trying to recreate my reputation. I love to write. I get great blog ideas in my head all day long (if only I could remember them). Seriously, I think in terms of blogs and I know that my content is great. I don’t know how to get it read. I don’t understand the tags, titles and social media stuff. I don’t know how to tap into the potential of this and so I am anxious for this brave new world to open itself to me. I look forward to learning with you. Thank you.

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Gil

Yes. I have seen it time and time again. In the past, I have bought in to all of the naysayings imaginable (i.e. overcrowded markets, not skilled enough, don’t have the right personality, etc.)

But I am getting my feet wet this month. Still not 100% sure what my focus will be but I am making myself accountable/getting over my fear now.

I really appreciate the information I have found here and I am looking forward to this new series. All the best to you in 2013.

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Carolyn

Yes, blogging built my business! I started it without a plan, actually. Three years ago I started writing for and about artists, with the intention to make it a win for everybody.

I started interviewing experts, providing great business content for artists, promoting featured artists – then started consulting, and ended up getting a gig as the director of an arts nonprofit by walking into an office to interview the founder of a major art show.

I thought there was a lot of competition, but it was amazingly easy to start being taken seriously. My original plan was to just go to the best people out there and ask if I could interview them – nobody said No. Everybody loves to be stroked and quoted. Now other top art bloggers and experts ask for my opinion, and we promote each other. There is plenty of business to go around.

I’m interested in your take, Derek, because obviously you have a very complete view of the big picture and how to scale up to a much higher level. Not surprised that you say it wasn’t that hard. I think it’s all about mindset and how you’re thinking.

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gil

That is very encouraging to hear.

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Alexandria

Carolyn, love your website, story and the graphics draw you in!

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Jesse reed

Damn! That post itself was a lesson in sales. Nice lead in , I can’t wait to read the series.

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Bill

Derek, Can’t wait to consume your information. Yes, I have a blog and yes I want to make money with it. In fact I will be releasing a product in the next couple of weeks in the health and fitness area. I really want to become the authority site for health and fitness for baby boomers since I am one. They need exercise and healthy eating advice just like younger people and I want to be the one to help them get it. We are not out to build six pack abs but I would sure like to help them stay out of a wheelchair or the nursing home. Really looking forward to learning more about blogging from you.

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Jan

Oh My G’d,

This message just came to me and you already have that many comments? How can one succeed with that much competition?

I think that they are numerous examples where people make a nice living from a blog; however, we do not see all those that either failed, gave up or just “fizzled out”, to use Corbett Barr’s statement. I believe his new project will also succeed, because success likes success; money goes to where there are other moneys.

I am definitely interested to join; I bought everything you created, I tweeted about your genius. I thanked you for your help multiple times; it did not make a difference, because you became too big.

Although I could not test yet my learning at BTC, because I had a hell-of-a-time with designers, I am still confident, it will be give me an edge.

I believe we are ready to launch in a week. (I am crossing my fingers), but life is too short to get excited about everything, like that despite my dedication to you, you did not even care to invite me to one of your meetings in NYC.

But you know Derek, I lived long enough, to know that life is funny. It is like a merry go round – meaning we are going up and down – I mean all of us. Nobody stays forever up – and nobody remains down as well. Just think about it.

I can read between the lines – you are once again selecting who you are going to take and to whom you will ask one of your assistant to send a kiss-off message.

What I am thinking, dough, is that this program is not going to be cheap, so I may have a chance.

To get back to your test:

You can make a living with a blog – but definitely not everyone. It is not enough to be a great writer, it is not enough to be a great marketer and it is not enough to provide something unique

It may have been enough 5 years ago (or maybe even 3 years ago), but today you need more than that.

First, you need to strive to partner with someone that is either a “King of the Internet” by himself, or connected to one. Solopreneur forget it.

You need to have sufficient funds, to hire geniuses, like yourself, to work with a one-to-one arrangement for spreading the “right” words and develop one’s niche with the right angle. (did you pay attention I used plural?)

Even with the above, a new person would need more than 3 posts/month, would need to work hard the first year (if not longer) and would need to be on every social media online, and if possible promoted off line, as well.

The second part of your question is:

What I do?

I am a medical writer, for over 25 years, I am planning to use my blog to educate. To teach people how to enter and succeed in the creme-de-la-creme of professional writing. This is the highest paid group of writers; not easy to get in, because it is a high society group and they are trying to keep the crowd outside.

I will be running e-courses, tutorials, e-books and coaching programs, aside from live event. And I have one additional edge – I know a lot of influencers in the business.

I have a good feeling about it, but I do not think it is going to easy, or fast.

So, what do you think? am I a candidate? or should I just relax and look for other geniuses?

Jan

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Lisa Tener

Yes, absolutely. My modest book writing and publishing blog has helped me connect with my community and it’s also improved my SEO–which has helped me become one of the top sites on Google and other search engines for Book Coach and Book Writing Coach and Book Proposal Coach, etc. However, I know I can do better. My readership is modest and most people come to my blog from my newsletter. I’d love to grow the blog readership dramatically, so I’ll be following closely, Derek.
Oh, and I look forward to that book–I encourage you to go for it–the rewards are enormous–kinda like a blog, but different, too.

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Yoli

I believe a blog CAN grow your business…not sure how for me yet. My business is fitness/personal development/vibrational-sound/color therapy/yoga and meditation. That’s when I’m not doing Bach Remedy sessions. THAT’s a mouthful! and hard as hell to squeeze into an elevator pitch! Nevertheless, I’ve been blessed with word of mouth and I’m grateful for that. I’ve had clients who have been with me for many years. Not because they haven’t reached their goals, but because they enjoy the work I do with them.

My business is localized. I go to people’s homes. It’s been a good niche. I’ve been doing it this way for 6 years (since my daughter was 2).

About 6 months ago, a tech savvy friend, shamed me into making a website. He said, “You’ve been in business how long??? and you don’t have a friggin’ website!? You gotta get on that sister.” So I did. I’ve been going through the “dark night of the soul” with the whole thing. I hate my friend. but I love him.

Derek, you’re amazing and a true inspiration. Thank you for sharing so much. I can assure you that it doesn’t fall on deaf ears on this end.

Rock on,
Yoli

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Amandah

Hi Derek,

I believe (and have been told) a blog can help me build my business. I’m a freelance writer and an aspiring author and screenwriter.

Freelance writer

I have a blog on my writer website for a few reasons. First, top freelance writers recommend it as a way to demonstrate your writing abilities to potential clients. Second, it’s a good way to strengthen and hone my writing skills. Third, other writers read my blog and it acts as a doorway to collaboration on books, eBooks, screenplays, etc. Finally, I like to write.

Note: I guest blog as a way to build my blog, but maybe I need to do more guest blogging and be more selective where I guest blog.

Author

I received a writing contract to write a series of self-help/personal development eBooks under a pen name. I also wrote a ghost, historical, and romance novel along with several screenplays. I registered a domain name with my name and have put up a subscriber page as I develop my author website behind the scenes. With that said…

I believe a blog would help me build my author platform, which could attract literary agents and publishers and readers. Of course, I could always self-publish my work. The bottom line is a blog would be a way for me to introduce my books and screenplays to readers. I could introduce them to my characters, plots, etc. I could also blog about topics related to the publishing industry, my travels, and other subjects.

I look forward to reading and learning more about how to build a blog that works.

*I also have a personal development blog where I could feature the eBooks I’m writing. I also have a blog for aspiring and experienced writers. Maybe I have too many blogs. :)

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DaleK.

Yes, I know a blog can help me build my business. I have an old blog I haven’t updated in like 3 years. I recently checked my clickbank account and I’d actually been selling stuff for about 2 years off that site without knowing it. I would check clickbank a few times a day for the first few months and there were never ANY sales. I forget about the site and then people show up? lol I’m confused.

Anyway, I’m in the business of putting the $60+Billion a year weight loss industry OUT of business. I want to empower people to become their own personal trainer, nutritionist and coach. I have a real life fitness studio that I pay a lot of rent for which up until this week, Google Local refused to acknowledge even existed. Thankfully that’s fixed, so it should help with driving local traffic anyway. But ultimately I want to not have to pay rent so, I’m looking to be fully virtual in 2 years…or at least not have to rely solely on the dollars for hours model.

My biggest struggle right now is how to be found without investing a crap ton of money (I don’t have) on Adwords to compete with the eat anything you want, never get off the couch and lose 50lbs in a month crowd.

I also struggle with writing for search engines. I kinda feel like I have to, but my writing is much better when I write for humans. Right now I’m kind of feeling like Google is in control of my life and business. Then I look at that old blog and I’m like “huh?” I’m definitely missing something here – probably patience.

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Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

Of course blogging CAN be insanely useful to your business. The question is how to get it to that point. As Derek says in this post:

“Because, ‘If you build it, people DON’T come.’ Doing good work is the price of entry. Once in, you’ve got to recruit people with master-level promotion skills.”

This is what I’m interested in learning about. Obviously Derek has some killer strategies in this respect that go well beyond whether to use the phrase “I think” or “I feel” or whether to pay attention to haters or not.

Sharing *this* information is what would really help us out. Thanks Derek, it’s been inspiring watching your ride to the top. Now I’m ready to come along for the ride, too!

I’m curious if there’s going to be any cost associated with this new “series” (or a pitch at the end)? I’m not against such a thing, but I do hope the posts themselves have value.

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Atoya Sexauer

Yes, I think a blog would help. Or, I “feel” a blog would help. (see, I am listening to your advice)

I technically do hair/makeup services but really, I think I’m a healer. At least that’s what Danielle LaPorte says:)

I perform all services without standard guides…instead using the hair/face as a canvas or sculpture. It’s a work of art to me. I also freehand paint most of my color clients.

What I want is to build a blog that not only attracts local clients but reaches a global audience. Building a brand with products, ebooks/guides, and self esteem workshops.

I’ve watched enough Social Triggers episodes and MarieTV to know that although I am a local business…web presence is vital.

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Barbara Holler

Yes I think it does help a business to a degree. I like the concept you have minimize the amount of blogs maximize the content.

My experience has been that I have been using all the social media outlets for a little while and have had a website since 1994 and have been utilizing SEO services for many years to stay on top of search engines which has worked. My site has helped me quite a bit thru out the years however my business is diffintely reputation based and word of mouth. I have focused much time and energy on name recognition and reputation which is great but now I need more. Yes I get sales but not like I did with the personal on the phone contact. I have found people want to know who they are dealing with much of the time and the more personal I make it the more chance they will consider my services next time. I got lost and hung up in the social medias and I still use it just not as much. I haven’t gotten many sales from it just more people know me. I rather less people know me and more sales. Lol

I would like to have a great blog on my site just don’t know how to go about making it great and bring in more sales. That being said I am teachable and looking forward to your series. Blogging I think can make a site more personal and coming from the old school of sales personal relations are very important as is great service so if I can have a blog and build an audience by bringing great information I think I can greatly increase my sales. Time is one thing I do no have much of.

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Keller Coleman

Derek you give the best information, I’m so glad you share to us the readers about your success.

I’m an author and speaker and I have learned how to blog but looking forward to getting more people to reading my material.

I am watching what you are doing and implementing the strategies.

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Steph Gordon

Super excited about this new series, Derek! Your practical no non-sense actionable advice is unparalleled. I saw you on CreativeLive with Lewis Howes and have started using The Drafting Method recently. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got up your sleeve. All the best!!-sg

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Michelle

Funnily enough it’s my *personal* blog which ended up helping me to grow my business – back in the day I spent a fair amount of time reading and commenting on the blogs of people in my industry, and linking back to my personal blog because that’s all I had. A number of those people came to ‘visit’ my blog, enjoyed what I had to say (which admittedly was all about my insane life more than my business – these were the days pre-business,) and those relationships ended up becoming quite lucrative once I did open the doors to the real life business.

The irony is that now I’ve recently started a business blog – which is just attached to our existing website – which is not yet doing a whole lot for me! This year the plan is to make the business blog a much bigger part of our overall online presence, so I’m looking forward to learning from your series. My first experience with the blog/business connection was by accident – this time I’d much rather have some real thought behind it (and what the heck, a bit of fun as well…) :)

So – do I believe that a blog can help build a business – absolutely! You don’t need to look any further for evidence of that than all the food bloggers who went from hobbyists to authors/speakers/well known in a pretty short time frame (Pioneer Woman, Bakerella, etc). I own a fabulous custom cake company here in Melbourne. We’re not just about cake though – we do all sorts of other related things like teaching cake decorating, building a cake community, and having a reputation for pretty much always saying, “Yeah, we can do that!” to the most insane and ‘out there’ requests (even if we’ve never done it before. Nothing ventured, nothing gained..even in cake. Although with cake you can gain…weight!) :)

For us I think a blog will build our business because it’s all part of the bigger picture of authenticity and building a rapport with our clients. No, we’re not the only fabulous cake makers in our city – but we are the ones who will let you into our real lives, be real about who we are and what we can do, and we’ll make you feel like you’re not a client, you’re a friend. The best way to show all of that off to prospective clients is by our words – what we post on facebook, what we say in our blog posts, and what we write in our newsletters. The blog is just avenue for those words.

…and by the way Derek, so you know that people do listen when you talk – we recently added a (much more obvious) newsletter opt-in to every single page of our website, based on what I’d read here recently. :)

Roll on 2013!

Michelle

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Rachel

I’m a psychic – and I teach people to be psychic, so I’m really targeting a very specific group. I do believe that building a blog can help me reach them. Most people find me by searches that lead to my blog posts, so I try to make them as amazing as I can. Beyond doing that – and focusing on growing a list, I’d love more tips on how to better optimize my time. Your blog has been so helpful to me already, but I’m super psyched about this new project of yours.

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Melissa

Hey Derek,
As a copywriter and book editor, I not only believe that blogging can help build my business—I’ve seen it. I’ve had guest posts land me paid gigs (and clients mention them in their first email as the reason they reached out).

I will say though that I’ve had more luck getting clients from posting on other people’s websites than from posting on my own—though I don’t promote my own blog as much as I should.

Looking forward to the series and to what I’m sure will be a few new great tips for upping my game in 2013.

- Melissa

PS. I’ve been recommending your site to anyone I meet who hasn’t heard of it, but I’ve got to tell you, you’ve got pretty good market penetration! Most people have heard of it. :-D

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Avanti

Derek,

Thanks for the great post. Yes…I absolutely think that a blog will help build my business. I finally decided to go “pro” and commit to building an online business. My posts to date have been all over the place…because I wasn’t really clear on what my focus should be. I’m designing a website, re-branding and focusing in on my subject and market. I would love to learn how you grew Social Triggers! I can hardly wait!
Avanti

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Deirdre

I am a teacher who has traveled for 16 years with students. I am also a tourist guide and am trying to develop my tour business online. I know a blog is essential and I think I have information through my own experience that would be beneficial to people. I am working on building my website through Wordpress – on the advice of you and Marie Forleo – but am finding it challenging to get it started. The technological part is daunting.

As a guide, I do tours with all sorts of groups in and around Washington, DC. I also do walking tours in DC and want to develop some in Baltimore. I have taken students abroad for many years and am working on developing my own tours to Europe. My target audience is student groups and mature singles and couples who want a leisurely, upscale travel experience.

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Summer

I’m a believer, Derek. And I’m putting money where my mouth is by launching a website, blog in Feb. for divorced/separated women with children. Blog topics will focus on living a happy life after divorce & co-parenting. Services will be divorce coaching and a future book.

The info you provided in Marie Forleo’s B-school has been invaluable! I’m stoked for your new series!

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Chris McKenzie

Derek,

Great to meet you at CreativeLive in Seattle. My sports blog will help me be the go-to industry expert for sports performance and rehab. I’m having trouble getting in touch with PR representatives for popular blogs I want to guest post. Any suggestions? No luck with LinkedIn or Twitter…

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Bill sawyers

Thanks for the tips, from a children author.

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Rejoice

Yes, I believe a blog will help my business. I just started one, which I hope will over time help me build credibility and so promote my writing business. I’m a med student, so I think I should start off in the health niche, but I must confess putting up great content is not easy, ‘cos I can’t just write off the top of my head; I have to do some research. My plan is to build the blog up to a level that I can use it as a portfolio to apply for the good-paying writing jobs in the health niche. Am I on the right track?

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Wendy Merron

Hi Derek,

I do have a blog and I do think it’s important to build my business.

I’m a Board Certified Hypnotist, Coach, and author of an upcoming book called Powerful Thinking on Purpose.

Feeling as if I’m missing something because my blog doesn’t seem to be making a difference and attracting new subscribers. I’m wondering what I need to be doing that I’m not doing!

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Alyssa

Definitely using a blog! I’m in that oversaturated marketing field. :) My focus is working with locally-owned, independent businesses. My locals-only coalition is a great source for case studies. I’m trying to figure out the best use of blogs for these kinds of businesses, though. Their customers are reading blogs, but they are having a hard time connecting those customers to THEIR blogs. I’ll be looking forward to this series so I can pass on any tidbits I find! :)

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Cristina

I spent a year getting my business launched – a service that recommends and delivers gifts for kids on behalf of busy aunts, uncles, godparents, and grandparents. I started a blog as a way to communicate the founder of the site and gain some traffic to my site. What I struggle with is what is the right “voice” and how to develop the right content that will attract an audience that will eventually think “gee, I relate to all this, maybe I’ll check out the service”. That is my goal for 2013. Excited to see how your new series will help me connect the dots.

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Amy

I do believe that blogging will help, but I’m not sure of the exact ways it will help my business. I am a therapist in Washington, DC and have recently launched my practice. Attracting clients in my industry is a soft sale process. I am curious to know about any research with soft selling and blogging/list building. Derek – I trust that you will be able to sell me on why blogging will help someone in a soft sale industry. Looking forward to your witty response and research.

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DonnaJoy

I have a strong desire to start a progressive political blog that people can turn to to get factual information about important issues and share their opinions as well. I have not flush out all of the details as of yet but I would love to start posting this year.

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Samantha Gambon

Hey Derek! Thanks for the great post.

I am absolutely convinced that a blog will help my “online business”…though I’m not sure I’m even allowed to call it that yet! I have nothing to sell, really–though I hope to someday land a book deal or something cool like that. I’ve currently got a blog that’s aimed at college-aged Christians that addresses the things that we face on a college campus…like differing worldviews and lifestyles, and I also give tips for studying and healthy living…since we’re all learning how to take care of ourselves at about this time in our lives.

I’ve had a little trouble gaining momentum, just with my writing…but I think I’m on my way now. I suppose the next step is to start guest posting? Is that the real way to get followers? I’m not even really sure.

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Alexander

Hey Derek –

I think the blog is going to be one of the most crucial aspects of me developing my health & fitness business.

For starters it gives me a chance to show to people that my stuff actually works (which builds trust and a following). And second, like you said, It’s going to help get the word out.

Not to mention any digital products I create online can be fantastic upsells from in-person coaching services..

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Sarah Kohl

Derek.
I do believe that a blog can help grow a business. I am trying to grow a small medical practice in an obscure niche. So far I have been simply answering questions that my customers ask all the time. The blog analytics indicate that I am getting some traction…but now how to increase visibitiy and more specifically how to increase leads and sales.
Can’t wait to hear what you have in store for us (yep you have a community!)

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Michelle Marcus

My business is a blog…while helping people land jobs in the St. Louis area. I am hoping to use my blog to build my audience and attract advertisers or affiliates in order to monetize it. The more job seekers and recruiters that I can get to come together, the better!

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Rob Swick

Derek – this is awesome stuff as always. Very interesting about how frequently you post (or rather, how infrequently).

One of the things I tell my clients is that taking the time and thought to do ONE AWESOME thing is better than a year at clawing away at a whole bunch of mediocre things. Google wiped out Yahoo! because of a couple of small but important differences in philosophy about search behavior.

Facebook overtook MySpace again, because of a couple of small but crucial core differences in user insight and strategy. The cream rises and there are a LOT of ‘also-rans’. Do one thing the best – and you’ve got attention. And that’s my simple explanation for why you’ve done so well so quickly. And we’re appreciative!

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Jared Latigo

I ABSOLUTELY KNOW that a blog can help my business. Heck, it basically is my business. I have been a web designer freelancing on my own for the past 3 years. Previous to that I did web design for an agency and collectively have over 10 years experience. But it wasn’t working for me long term.

Why? I believe because I didn’t have a blog or utilize social media to help grow my business. Therefore, it’s mostly tanked. BUT, I’m on the bounce-back with a new branch of the business!

My new venture since about 6 months ago has been a blog where I write about how people can live their dream. I do this by helping speakers, consultants and coaches to better brand themselves to share their message effectively. It’s my passion to help people succeed and I can do that by helping them with branding via my blog.

I’m really looking forward to this series. This will be the year I no longer have to scrape by to pay the bills. We live frugally anyway but not being able to bring in even low level funds on a consistent basis is killing me. I have faith that the collective efforts of the things I’m doing will work over the course of the next few months. Sometimes you just feel when you’re at that inflection point, ya know?

Thanks Derek for your expertise and willingness to share. I’ll certainly be along for the ride and looking forward to putting your plan into action!

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stephanie @Babasouk

I <3 blogging! I started as a guest blogger! Weird thing….I'm a graphic designer and offered my help to a highly popular design blog and now 1 year later I am starting my own blog along with an online boutique. My question is: Do you suggest having a blog on the same web page, similar url as for instance your online shop or making it separate for it to feel less "salesy". Thanks for you awesomeness ;)

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Ian

A meme based on this blog. lol Thanks Derek.
http://i.imgur.com/xAucf.jpg?1

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Designer Rob Russo

Yes, I think all businesses should have a blog, even if they only update 3x per month. ;-)

I’m a graphic designer … I fix or prevent poor design that can hurt your business. I specialize in social media graphics and branding.

I work with marketing and social media managers, providing “design that sells” solutions for their clients and other small business owners, building strong brands that increase bottom lines.

I hope to build an online/virtual biz that allows me to work from home or anywhere. A blog + social media helps me reach folks/friends/clients beyond my traditional, local community.

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Russell

I understand the power of web marketing and am a student and follower of online marketing practices.
I am working in the social economic enterprise development field and I see the opportunity to market our services in a different and unique way to other enterprises that are in the market place.
Looking at HOW to put new media marketing in place is the challenge.
Our overarching ideal is to provide employment opportunities for marginalised people yet at the same time operate in a marketplace that is price driven.
Part of our services deal with large contracts and government procurement procedures as well as domestic and individual support services.
HOW do we put it all together to use blogging new media marketing to achieve our end result of achieving a community that embraces a fair and compassionate workplace outcome.

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Tom

I wrote my first blog about New Years resolutions and attached it to my on line Christian Resources store at http://www.newtestamentlife.com
I am hoping the blog will add interest to my website and at the end of the blog I attach products related to the blog topic I think people might enjoy. I wonder if I can find enough Christian based blog topics that will keep people’s interest. Currently using my own experiences and some Christian resources I already have. Hoping to get great tips from this article.

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Alice

Derek,

I’m a self-employed massage therapist with 20+ years of experience and I’m one of those folks who is very good at what I do (at least that’s what everyone tells me) but struggle with the business end. I do believe that blogging could help but I am not yet generating much business from my blog. I’ve been blogging inconsistently for two years. Initially I wrote mediocre articles for potential clients (benefits of massage, different types of massage, blah, blah. . .) but last year I wrote an article for other massage therapists on a subject about which I really had something to say. I was surprised when it got a lot of attention. Since then, I’ve been noticed in the MT community by a few folks and more recently was startled when an article I wrote “went viral.” That’s fine and when I return to teaching, which I hope to do, a few folks will already know who I am. But it isn’t helping me get clients, which is something I need.

I’m unusual in my field in that I am a science-based massage therapist. No woo, no fads, just good, skilled therapy. I’m not looking for clients who want the cheapest rubdown in town. I’m looking for clients who value experience and expertise. I’m looking for clients with chronic pain who want help getting out of it. I’m looking for athletes and performing artists who want to perform at their best. I’m looking for individuals who enjoy a good massage for relaxation and wellness. I’m looking for pregnant women who would like some nurturing and some relief from the temporary discomfort of pregnancy.

I have a hard time promoting myself and feel very uneasy with anything that feels like “high-pressure” sales. I’m hoping to learn ways to increase my business in a manner that feels consistent with who I am as a person and as a therapist. I believe it’s possible.

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say about successful blogging.

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Mark

Hi Derek,

I’m wondering if you have any experience using a tool like “pop up domination?”

>>>>DEREK, what do you think?

Is it effective? Does it convert and prompt people to take action and sign-up? Or, is it just an annoyance.

I know that several other bloggers in your circle use this tool. I’m surprised, because I’m programmed – probably like most people – to click off anytime a pop up appears. But, I’m a missing something?

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Aleshia Green

Hi,

Yes, I am putting together my blog now for my social media business. I manage business’s social media pages. I believe a blog will be helpful in building trust with potential clients.

I am looking forward to hearing your blogging tips and tricks. I first watched you working with Creative Live..you were great.

Thanks,
Aleshia

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Kevin

Yes, I believe that a blog can help me grow my business….except that my business is all about doom and gloom. You see, I’m a consumer lawyer and I provide services to those in financial and legal trouble. I’m not a pessimist. Nor am I incapable of seeing an opportunity among many obstacles. But the inherent problem in blogging about bankruptcy, foreclosure and credit problems is two-fold: 1. No one wants to admit they’re in financial trouble so they’re not exactly going to rave about you on Facebook and twitter, and 2. No one wants to read weekly posts that remind them of the trouble they’re in, and once they’re out of trouble, why read about it at all? Being in financial trouble is like having a shameful disease. You might tell your closest friends and family, but you’re not about to broadcast it on the Internet. And even if you’re willing (or can’t wait) to receive weekly informative posts about “cures”, once you’re over it, you don’t want to read any more. Any helpful insights would be greatly appreciated.

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David Wright

Kevin,
I believe your dark cloud has a silver lining.

The key is to focus on the positive emotions. When I sold life insurance, I preferred to create and dwell on the emotion of love for one’s family as opposed to fear of death.

Once you provide great service, having solved your client’s problem, they may feel good about it and spread the word.

Possibly, you could get video testimonials or at least written testimonials.

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k isacson

I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on this, Derek…would love to hear any thoughts you have specific to writers & artist’s blogs.
Thanks,
+k
ksullivanisacson.blogspot.com

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Marcelina Hardy

Hi Derek,

I’m a newbie to your blog. To answer your question, I am in the content, social media, and marketing business. I like what you say about not having to blog everyday or even every week because I have a difficult time writing often because I’m always working on other people’s blogs. I believe my blog could really be helpful in increasing my clientele, if I had the time to promote. I would love to read how much time you take to promote, especially in the beginning.

Thanks,
Marcie

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Praveen

Hi Derek,
Seein ur growth I think it’s definitely possible to build a business through blog. Though I have a specific question. I am planning to make informational guides for international trade in commodities, now to promote my product which I think is a niche and not something everyone will buy, how do I reach my customers effectively through a blog ?

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Serita Diana

Derek I love what you’re doing here. Most people blog about the what you need to do without giving the how. Hands down time and time again I’ve heard the coaches say, “Give them the what but not the how,” because the how is what earns people the money. But case and point is your living example of how you give and give and give. Thanks for being such a great “giver” and for sharing all you share with us! I’m definitely staying tuned!

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Ananda

Agreed! Thanks for your generous wealth of information sharing, Derek!

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Kyle

Derek, I am HOOKED on your podcast. I have already made several changes to my site (from the podcast and your two ’101′ series. I immediately noticed a difference (like within 24 hours) in my subscribers AND sales. WTH!

Looking forward to trying out some video and using some fascination techniques.

Also looking forward to this email series. Keep doing what you are doing man :)

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Brian Lau

Hi Derek. I am a web designer. I have been doing this for a few years now and finally decided to officially start my own business. I just started blogging but I think it can help my business. I have usually focused on other areas of online marketing so it will be interesting to see how it goes. I like your videos btw. I first saw you on creativelive with Lewis Howes. You two make a great team.. Actually, all four of you did.

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Jeremy Maher

Hi Derek. It’s funny I can only remember one time you have sold through email in the last year (webinar bridge?) and you give away more actionable content than any source I know of. (In any niche)

Anyways, here’s my question for your upcoming training:

What do you suggest for those people out there that have a blog and maybe a second website for their product but…
Are horrible at vocalizing their thoughts, which translates into mediocre writing? Hire someone to write the posts (hard to do in a specialized niche and I wouldn’t feel right about that)?

What about those people that struggle with creativity?

To sum up the main issue, I know my niche very well, can give tons of info about it, but its boring and the writing is mediocre (I’ve been working on this for 2.5 years)

Thanks man, happy new year

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Danielle

Looking forward to the series! I just started a lifestyle blog dedicated to living life in the present, with tidbits and insights on fun things to do with kids that don’t involve hectic schedules or electronic screens.

The blog was started as part hobby/part hope to build a community to drive to a baby/kid goods online shop I’m launching this Spring at LittleRoadies.com.

I hope this series will provide some guidance on 1) how to build an engaged community in this overpopulated online niche and 2) how to drive this traffic to boost online sales. Thanks for the help!

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Chris

Shared!

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Ananda

When it comes to the internet AND marketing I’m a pessimist. I have *not yet* started a fashion label. Mostly because the million things that are required to run such business are uber overwhelming. But when I actually get it off the ground, I can’t imagine why i’d want to spend more overwhelming time keeping a blog. What have you got to say to that?! :)

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Walter

Derek,

Thanks for the interesting post as always. I am particularly interested in the frequency of posting. I also realized that most blogs are either not keeping up with the 3 a week routine or they are busting their basses on guest posts and therefore turning off readers.

I also do 2 to 3 posts a month and have experienced immense success. I agree that you can still do a couple of posts a month and do great. After doing a lot of “courses” and getting a lot of experience, I have learnt that frequency is not equal to popularity or authority.

Keep up the great work Derek :)

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Ellie Walsh

I’m finally getting back to more blogging … I used to blog a couple of times a week … then less – then less … Then I found myself on my facebook page much more than my blog. While I can get likes — I’m not getting email addresses! So … 2013 I will be blogging again … I would like to write 3-4 times a month … and for fb – I need to get my email form on there…. Lots to do this year. ;)

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Marco

I do believe blogs can really help business, but I also believe that do build an attractive blog you need to have good “blogging skills”. What if you don’t? (or have a poor use of the language). I am a graphic designer :(

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Tisa Yonts

Thanks Derek! Love your stuff! I want to empower people through my blog and create income as well as generate speaking engagements and info products

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Ziboinboin

Hi Derek,
No, I don’t think a blog is going to help my business!
I sell bags, aprons and cushions, and I think my time is better spent behind my sewing machine. Convince me of the contrary!

Anne

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Jane Manthorpe

Well, Derek, first I am excited to hear you will be sharing how you do things around here as you sure seem to know what you are doing. Been following for a while now and really happy I found you. :)

I am a newbie in this online world and just about to start my blog so this is perfect timing.

My business is in the Holistic Health and Fitness area:
Inspiring Health Conscious Active Women to be consistently healthy, free of illness, and vibrant, so they can bounce with energy and excel in their sport.

My ideal clients are actively exercising as runners or walkers, whether as an athlete or recreational; they desire to be in superior health and want to know about healthy eating for nutrition and stay injury free. They are spiritually aware individuals who seek how to connect to their intuition and their true genuine self; they desire to have consistent self-esteem and confidence, and be happy with their body image and being.

Their main pain or problem fall into the fall into the following areas:
• They are having issues with their health and keeping well.
• They are getting injured when running or walking causing frustrating breaks in their exercise schedule.
• They suffer from lack of self-esteem and confidence issues and negative body image and not loving themselves fully.

Their desires:
• They eager to learn how to eat healthy and to remain free of illness.
• The want to find ways of how to run with less injury and keep active.
• They deeply desire to learn how to connect with their true authentic self so they can fully love themselves as they are and be tuned into their mind and body.
• They seek ways to connect to their intuitions so they can make wise decisions when it comes to eating healthy and keep fit.

Inspiration, motivation and guidance on:

• How to be consistently free of illness, and have abundant energy and vitality by including fresh uncooked living foods into the diet with on-going coaching and support. This way of eating enhances long-term health, fitness and wellbeing.

• Learn Chi Running and Walking, a way to exercise in an Injury-free and efficient way for body health, flexibility and life-long well being, with on-going coaching and support.

• Specific Holistic Coaching on clearing any negative and blocked energies that cause emotional issues in connection with loving yourself fully and having great self-esteem and body image.

Also, providing information on up-to-date related topics of raw living food health nutrition, natural hygiene and holistic remedies, and alternative health therapies for the active women to remain free of illness and obtain the highest level of health.

There is no doubt that a blog can help my business for these reason:
* I want to build a huge tribe of loyal fans will rave about me and spread the word about what I have to offer.
* Share my story, thoughts and inspirations so they can relate to me and be inspired
* Create epic content that will have them engaged and create a community of like-minded people who will support each other and invite others to join in that are also interested in what I offer.
* To support my website where I will have details of my Coaching Services, Products and Course’s and Workshops all with great landing pages. Here also, will be static epic content that digs deeper into the subject I write about on my blog where I will have links from blog to website to this epic content.
* To invite experts in my area of expertise that will further add value to the conversation, either by a video interviews, guest posts or audio interviews.
* To highlight and give recognition to any of my loyal tribe that have had great results with my services, products and coaching etc, and also have regular spotlight area of each of my fans, may be weekly etc

and more other things when I think of them

So my answer is a definite YES :)
cheers Derek

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Tahlia Meredith

Absolutely! My friend and I are building a blog about personal development and I definitely believe it will be the launching point for a successful business. This post is very timely for me and I can’t wait to see the great information I know you’ll have for us!

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John Corcoran

Hey Derek – wow, first of all, my fingers are tired from scrolling down through the list of a zillion comments on this post. Secondly, we missed you at NMX in Vegas – sorry you couldn’t be there. Pat’s talk today was awesome. It was a blast meeting him and hanging out at his dinner & whatnot, along with Chris Ducker and Jaime Tardy and a host of other cool folkls.

This series sounds awesome. I’m going to tweet it out.

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eva

So….I’m currently the president of a national association and I started a blog on the association’s behalf (my post is for 2 years). People loved the first few, but have suggested we ask others to host so that it is as inclusive as our association is. I love this idea, but how do we keep the interest when each presenter has his/her own flair? how do we create a product that consistently draws a crowd irrespective of who presents the information?

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Ronen Zlotogoura

Hi Derek,

Please advise about blogging for artists selling work online.

Thanks,
Ronen Zlotogoura.

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John Smith

Great news on the blodding feature!

I work in corporate entertainment so the problems that first seem to appear with writing a blog are usuallly around how to get the right person or persons to read it because:

1. Corporate event bookers often believe they already know all about event organising as it’s their job and they’ve done it a lot.

2. If they did want to learn they don’t have time.

The other element is that often blogs are used to keep existing clients engaged and encourage repeat purchase. Clients in the corporate entertainment field don’t tend to re-book for at least 5 years for annual events. Plus there is no such thing as a ‘current client’, they’re either a past client or a future gig.

I’d be interested to see how blogging can work in this industry as a way of building my credibility and visibility to event planners and bookers.

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Zainal Zulia

Hi Derek.

Definitely this is the issue i am facing at the moment.

I am freelance songwriter. I feel it is a lot easier to produce songs than market it. Actually I hate marketing. I really don’t know what to do to market it.

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george

I believe a blog can help build my business but have been too lazy to work on my blog. I need some motivation or something and i am looking forward to starting it big again this new year. Hope i get some relevant advice to push me.

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Jonathan Edwards

We’re in the Cloud Computing business. This is new technology and so I think a blog can help build our business if we show our expertise in this area. We have the answers to a lot of people’s questions.

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Cassie | Womenswaytowealth

Yes, a blog is a key way to build your business in 2013 because Google-friendly sites are so important and a blog enables you to provide fresh, relevant content to your readers and the search engines.

Great articles, thanks. Look forward to the new series Derek.

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Sheila Bergquist

I started out building websites on cat furniture andcat beds. I finally decided to start a blog and try to connect my other websites in there where it was appropriate. I don’t know if this is the right way to go or not, but am working hard on my blog. I have learned a lot from you (thank you!) and hope to learn more!

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Timon Weller

Hey Derek,
Can’t agree more with you on blogging less, I used to do 5 posts a day seriously and after a while you realize traffic is not growing much.. Traffic only grows by building an audience and content is only a small aspect really.. Some of my blogs have less than 50 posts and they get more traffic than my my bigger 300 plus post blogs.. All about substance and quality plus building the email list…

It used to be content alone could build it in the old days when google loved lots of content, now they only want less content but better quality.. Its better to make big topic based posts than targetting on area in way..

My crunch of quality traffic from most of my sites now is from my list now as well.. I do about 2 to 3 posts a month on most of my blogs..

By the way, congrats on your success with your site….

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Anna

Hello Derek,
I started a blog 2 years ago that gives people information that helps them sleep. I have had hundreds of people tell me that they have cured their insomnia using my site. I initially had a list building element which i took off and haven’t put one back – because all the different advice out there makes my head spin!

I work well with a clear plan, but keep hitting a wall of ‘too many options’ when I try to make one. Some people have told me I give too much information away – but then I look at your site and I know that isn’t true.

I have just added my first product to the site and am almost finished a second one. I know it is time to get serious about regular blogging and list building, because I am sure it will help my business.

My primary questions are -
1. What company is best to use to deliver emails
2. How often to send them
3. Is auto responder beneficial to build into a communication plan
4. When are video posts good to use

Thanks for your inspiring awesomeness!

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Timon Weller

Hey Anna,
Checked out your site and yeah you need to focus more on email list building.. Even if your site is getting around 100 good views a day a email list should build daily if placed and worded right.

If you ask me and i am sure Derek will agree as well, email is the most important aspect otherwise readers just leave most of the time, we have to capture them somehow and this is the best medium i reckon..

With sending that is up to you, test it, i like in general once a week except at the beginning of the autoresponder.. The first few i do daily to get the email reader to know me more.. ( build email relationship )

Videos are good as well, however try to be natural to how you are is key to video when making videos and not like salesperson style..

I hope that helps, hopefully Derek will give his take as well..

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Tehmina Zaman

Very timely post, I can’t wait to learn more. If there is a way to blog better and work smarter then I am definitely up for it…I love your emails and quite frankly your results speak for themselves Derek :-)

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Troy Vayanos

I started my own golf news and instruction blog this year. I love sharing and helping golf improve their game. I have been playing the game for over 20 years.

I’m hoping to build up the blog large enough to sell advertising space and create my own eBook and / or golf improvement program.

Cheers

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Julie Jewels Bertrand

First, I am so psyched you are doing this. I’m a former “traditional” advertising exec in NYC. I worked for the big radio groups, Clear Channel. XM Satellite Radio, CBS. After kicking BASS for 2 decades, I’ve left the radio dinosaur behind and am starting a web-site with blogs/vlogs designed to inspire ppl to life a better life. I’m just starting out and the web-site launches hopefully by end of month. Athough I could help my fortune 500 clients break thru the clutter in radio, I am an infant when it comes to marketing myself in the social media and internet world. A “how to map” is just what I need to help me navigate thru the social media word to help my message be reached. Looking forward this!

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Sheyi

There’s more to building a popular blog than marketing it online alone. Gurus (and maybe including you Derek) will hardly talk about the offline factor they used in building their email list.

Sheyi

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Marc Halliburton

I agree 100% blogging will help my business. Being a mortgage banker in California, competition is still pretty heavy and what our industry has been through the past 5 years; let’s say home buyers have very little trust… can you blame them. My site and objectives is to build their trust by educating all home buying consumers on the how-to’s of qualify and being able to get their slice of the american dream.Looking forward to your material.

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Mark

Derek,

I am excited by this series, and you hit the nail on the head with me on this one.

I think I create really great content that is extremely practical to my target audience, but how to I get more people to read it.

I look forward to the series

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Dora Sislian Themelis

I am a fine artist/jewelry designer/knitter and I’m looking forward to learning how to get more out of my blogging and online activity with your help. This is coming at a good time for me as I’m trying to move from blogger to a more professional look on Wordpress. Thank you!

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Mary Malia

Hi Derek,
I write twice a week for my blog and I write for two or three other blogs to build my list. I’m not sure that it is sustainable.

I’ve been reading your blog since it launched and learned many great lessons. I’m definitely interested in your series.

I saw you in Portland, ME and loved what you had to share and I’m still trying to find a way to use that “create the idea of conflict” thing – so in the dating coach market it’s something like “online dating is dead”.

I can’t wait to learn more.
Mary
Superpower = Gay Girl Dating Coach!

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emily

My blog (blog.emilyhudspeth.com) has absolutely helped my business and I believe that is what will take it to the next (and the next!) level. I am freelance stylist and makeup artist and when I left the salon and started working for myself, I used my blog to promote my website. My website is what gave my business visibility and what has allowed me to grow my business in 3 states over 5 years. My online presence is how people found me. It also allowed me to share my knowledge and establish myself as an expert.

Last year I launched a business coaching (for stylist/artist) program to give people resources on creating a profitable, sustainable business. I am selling an intensive online coaching/webinar type product this year that is getting great feedback (moneymakingmakeupartist.com). I didnt make direct sales or money from my first blog, but I enjoy writing it and it has created other opportunities that I hope to see expand even further.

One of my goals this year is to bring back my personal blog that I neglected 2 years ago because I have been putting so much energy into my business. Between my freelance artist business, aspiring coaching business, and hilarious stories on my personal blog, I see these blogs giving me the opportunity to make my way into the author/speaker/consultant world.

Thanks for your inspiration and education on this topic. Its so valuable!

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Ehsan Ullah

You have a quite interesting story Derek. I love what you do on Social Triggers and how you took it to the high level. I’m looking forward to this series because I know It will be very useful for bloggers like me.

Will It be for newbies who wants to start a blog or for experienced bloggers too?

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Helene Campbell

Hi there Derek,
I have tried blogging and massively stalled…… I found I just had major writers block, along with a feeling of a this huge weight due to the need to come up with great content on a weekly, but knowing I would fail to do so. I am busy trying to build my business and blogging is just another acitivty to do in a long line of things to do.

My business is also changing, hence the reluctance to blog, (looking back on what I have written here, there is a few blogs just on the topic of business change/redefinition of a business etc … :-))

My business is mostly internet based and I am a full time engraver (12 months ago I was a full time corporate exec, part time engraver – hmm another blog there :-)), and we started by designing inhouse our own bespoke software to allow our clients to customise their own garden tags, in solid aluminium or brass, fixed price and fully engraved, in six easy steps. We find that our customers design tags for both their gardens and in the memory of the dearly departed – both human and animal. (Another blog idea there….. Derek you have inspired me!!!! No more writers block – yay!! Oh darn I have to write the darn things…drat!)

Since starting the online tag business I have moved to general off the street special occasion engraving and designing custom engraved jewelry, holiday ornaments and a lot more. I sell these via Etsy, so I need to start a blog for this too (oh no! I can sense that feeling of blog overload creeping up on me, again), but I can’t combine the two yet, can I? My original blog (out of date blog) is on my website for the tags, should I combine the two or keep them seperate for now and combine them later on?

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Samantha Harnack

I am working towards becoming a Health Coach. I plan to offer my clients health counciling, personal training, yoga training, and eventually I would like to start speaking to larger groups about health and wellness through nutrition and fitness. I currently have a blog, but am still working on get the website up. I thing this series will be insanely beneficial to me. I’m a chatty gal, I just need help with how to put my information out there at the right time in the right way. Thanks!

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Kevin Tobosa

Although I’m in the very early no-traffic stages of my site, it has already helped my business. As I’ve shared before, I recently left my 9 to 5 as a creative director to do creative strategy consulting and by chance, came across Derek and Social Triggers. I completely shifted my focus and my blog (modeled very much with Derek’s advice) is the hub for everything I’m doing.

So what has it done if it hasn’t generated any traffic?
1. It’s given me focus. Writing the ‘About’ page alone was a great exercise in thinking about my business.
2. Provided a sense of accomplishment. I’ve got 6 or 7 posts I’m proud of. I’m past the “blank page” phase and so the ideas are coming easier.
3. It’s me. It’s my calling card, my resume, my personality, my wisdom, my skill set. There is already more of who I really am on my site than there is on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

I know I need to generate traffic and I’ll probably find out I’ve missed some good opportunities to do so. Either way I’m looking forward to this series Derek.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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Gary Hedges

Just getting started, and it makes logical sense that a blog should create results….just need to know how.

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Jason

I believe a blog can help your business because it gives you a platform to show folks (if they’re interested in finding out) that you know your stuff. A real estate agent with a blog about homes in their area, things to do in their city, tips on selling homes, etc, would get my business way before someone who just posts a pull-tab flier at the store or even simply does direct mailing.

I’m working on a website design business targeting small business owners. I’m still trying to get a mailing list together and write a blog for folks who may already have a website but not know what to do with it but for whatever reason want to goof around with it themselves first. The goal with that is that eventually the list member/blog reader will get tired of fiddling and contact me for some work. But in the meantime, I’ll be able to give them some great free content that will help them out even if they never contact me.

-j

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Adrienn

Hi Derek,
Absolutely!
My blog is the beginning of my business. It is my lab so to speak.
As professional organizer with an interior designer background my aim is to build an online organizing business. Teaching others what comes naturally to me.
At the moment I’m home with my two children (2 year old and 6 month old), blogging and learning how to build a better blog is an excellent way to stay connected to the world and pursue my passions. Organizing and interior design.
And you are a BIG help! :)

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Sarah Russell

I definitely think that running a blog is great for your business – as long as you don’t make the mistake of viewing blogging alone as a business model. Writing and posting blog articles doesn’t make you successful. Leveraging the readership you build from these articles into product sales, affiliate referrals, speaking engagements and book deals is what makes an actual business.

Looking forward to the series, as I’m knee deep in getting my own new business off the ground!

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Mandi

Not sure for me. I do think a blog can help you build your business. *BUT* I’m not sure if it’s going full force with it right for my business. I do branding, marketing strategy and web design specifically helping businesses position their businesses as the authority in their niche and appeal to the right target market. I am concerned that this space is too competitive for me to put too much of my energy in besides posting articles that are helpful to my clients and position me as the expert to prospects visiting my site. Am I right here? I imagine I could reach a whole new level in my business with a blog, but it looks to me like I could reach that level with less energy and battling through other means like networking and partnerships. Your thoughts?

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BJ

Hi Derek! Your advice on Social Triggers has been truly priceless as I have gone through the process of setting up my first blog. Developing this blog will be absolutely critical. I am a lead personal trainer at a gym but quickly figured out that my ability to help a large number of people is limited when I have only a certain number of slots a day open for training. This year I am developing the nutrition coaching part of my business (mainly fat loss) into a entirely online based service. I can’t wait for the series!

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Casey Harrison

I represent a nutritional product you may enjoy. I don’t want to advertise it here on Social Triggers, but if you would like to contact me, I would love to pitch it to you. I signed up a bodybuilder last night who is going to use it in his cut phase. I gave him 7 days worth of samples and he came unglued lol.

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Emma Henderson

Hi Derek
I have been writing a blog alongside my product based business for a while so am in no doubt that blogs are great.
But I have just started a new blog (this year!) with the aim of posting a new pattern design every day. The purpose of this blog is not to be an expert or to teach or discuss issues like so many other blogs. I started this blog purely to encourage me to create art on a daily basis, to be accountable to my own creativity and to push myself. Having said that I do eventually hope to sell or licence this art. So I am curious, if breaking your rules by posting daily and using mostly images rather than words, will I still be able to build a following and get visitors using your techniques?
I hope so.
Emma

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Andrea

Emma, you should sell your patterns for print on Spoon Flower http://www.spoonflower.com there is a great community of surface pattern designers there. Have you heard of it? Think the Etsy of surface pattern design. Best of Luck!

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Emma Henderson

Hi Andrea

Thansk, yes I love spoonflower! The plan is to get some patterns listed there and on some products on society 6.

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Jason

Hey Derek – Yes, I absolutely believe that a blog help build a business. I’m a fitness enthusiast and I’m working my way to becoming a cerified fitness professional. Because fitness and nutrition are passions of mine, I talk about them all the time. I’ve recently found that I enjoy writing articles about these topics and then sharing it with friends. I’m also a Team Beachbody Coach and I make a commission when one of my friends buys a program, such as P90X, through me. It’s a great way to add value to people’s lives while supporting my family. I’m still working on building it, but I know one day I’ll be Coaching full time with a team of Coaches who are driven to help Beachbody End the Trend of Obesity. Thanks for your content dude! I really enjoy and appreciate your up-front, no nonsense approach.

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Donny D.

In my experience over the past few years managing my blog, I have found that the approach you take depends a lot on the type of blog you have.

Your blog for example has general help that people are looking for. You can get away with writing three articles a month because you can put a lot of time into each article and knock them out of the park. People find them, love them, follow you on twitter, and join your email list. They look forward to the insight and help you can provide them, and most of the articles you write connect to what they want or need.

My site is a whole different ball game. I run a video game tip site, so I’ve always tried to dominate search results for “how to” type stuff. In the beginning, that was the only feasible way I saw to get traffic, and I’ve become pretty good at it over the years. I’m finding it hard to get away from that though, because it’s not the type of site that people can just come to and find amazing articles that will help them out. If a random gamer was to visit my site by chance, I either have the tips for the game they are playing, or I don’t and they leave. The dominant players in my niche are huge sites with teams of people writing tons of articles per week, either that or they have masses of contributors submitting content to them for free. I have to stay on top of the most popular games at all times just to keep my piece of the pie, and I’ve had a very hard time getting away from this, simply because of my time and resource limitations. I’m a one man show, so I don’t have the time to cover everything on every game out there. I have to pick and choose what I write about, to get the best result for my time.

I’ve tried twitter and email lists, but I find it hard to write interesting things to pull people in based on my type of site. Sure I can say “Check out the Dishonored tips I just posted” and I might pull a few people that play that game, but what about the rest?

My question to you Derek is, what would you do with a site like this to pull a broader audience? Should I even attempt this, or just keep going with the working formula on that site and start something with more curb appeal on a new website in a different niche?

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Janet Kay Jensen

I am a writer with a new book coming out in Fall 2013.And a very small blog following. So now is the time to build my blog . . .. which is being remodeled as I write. I’ll be reading your posts and newsletters for ideas. Thank you!

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robby

Hello Derek,

I have a dutch blog and everybody says to me you can’t earn in our language. I don’t believe that but i’m blogging for more then one year and it grows but not explosive. Should i remove all my ads? What’s wrong, i followed several of your thoughts. I’ve listen to your seminar with Brian Clarck and it makes so much sense. But still, the growth is not where i want it.
Can you give me some pointers?

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Sigrid

Hello Derek,

I’m a newbee in the Internet world. I lost my job a few months ago and though it was the right time (= age) to take a new turn in life and try to build up something myself.

My website has been online for a month now and I’m struggling. I do have a blog, but I have the feeling nobody cares what I’m talking about… Even though I refer to my blog on my FB, Google+ and Twitter page, I just don’t get any answers or feedback. I really don’t know what to do to grab the attention of potential clients.

So now that you know all about me, I just wanted to say that I’m looking forward to your new series. I’m a huge fan and I have already learned a lot from you, so thanks!!!

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Davide Di Prossimo

Derek, great post…as usual I would add. Yes I always find people telling me things like “that has been done already”, or maybe “the timing is wrong” or “Internet is over saturated” etc etc. If you really want to succeed at something you must go on and not listening to anyone, and try and try again until you get what you want. I think it was Albert Einstein that once said: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
Moreover, I did not notice you post just less than 3 times per month. Congratulations! You have done a terrific job with your blog. I follow you since a while and you do very cool stuff.
I cannot wait to see the new series coming up in the next few weeks. I have a blog as well and I’d love to gather some good tips by you.
In answer to your question: “Do you believe a blog can help you build your business?” Yes I do. In fact, as I said previously, I am part of a team working on a blog. We love what we do because it gives us freedom to create something out of our minds.

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Holly

Hi, I am craftsperson and make my living selling crafts for over 15 years. I am developing a site now (thesis 2.0, still waiting on that Social Triggers theme) that gives out “aggressive strategies and tutorials for developing and making-over your work, so that it practically sells itself.” I produce a lot of interesting work so I have got plenty of images, this helps to set me up as an authority, I figured out I actually am one! What I want to see happen obviously, is the blog makes me money, beyond just providing links to my cool stuff I am selling on etsy. You have really shown me something important with the way you have set up your own blog with the delivering of very “potent” articles (this is my blueprint, it suits me). I guess my question is, well…. I experience anxiety over the fact that I am toiling away on a “build it, and then awesome next step reveals” kind of site. I am banking on some epiphany where I know what to offer these folks in terms of a “none material object” that I have created for sale. I love true internet magic, where money and dowloads exchange. The answer feels veiled in mystery and am thinking of turning to the Muse on this. But have no idea if the Muse does internet marketing?

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Tracy Reid

I feel the same… I keep hoping that once i build my site, i’ll get some phenomenal idea about a product to create and sell, that A) people will actually buy, and B) that will actually help people. As a blogger, when do you get to “that” point, where you know exactly what to do next? Or do you just keep doing stuff till something works?

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Tracy Reid

Derek, Brilliant as always. I can’t help but smile while reading your blog posts. Only smile though – if i laughed, i’d wake the kids, then I couldn’t read any more.. anyway… Blog: YES!!! I’ve been studying social media for about 18 months, helped out some friends and family along the way, and I find that without a blog – it’s so hard to put a social media campaign together. The blog posts help pull the whole thing together. Like creating a theme for the week. It feels so disjointed online without a blog. Social media without a blog, is like a chook with it’s head cut off – it runs aimlessly, and doesn’t get far. And probably crashes into a few walls on the way… Anywho – the other good thing, is exactly what you said about getting people’s recognition. I’m just starting out with a business, and my blog is brand new, and it’s good for two big reasons: 1. People can look at my blog and see that I know what i’m talking about (or at least i think i know what i’m talking about!) and 2. I’ve just found out i’m pregnant – so it’s a lot easier to get work on the other side of a computer screen than trying to go door to door while you have morning sickness or looking like a bloated whale… So yea. Blogs are awesome, and I definitely think it’s the way businesses need to go in the future – and I like what you do – only a few a month, but solidly packed with info. Awesome stuff!! :)

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Renee

Hi Derek, I am a transformational parenting coach with a very specific message. So many parents out there don’t want to use violence or coercion with their children, so they do nothing. And then their kids end up ruling the roost. No one is happy and the family can’t function. I help those parents step confidently into their role as a firm and loving authority in their homes. No more threats. No more yelling. No more jellyfish parenting.

I think that blogging is essential to the growth of my business because I need to be seen as an expert with unique solutions for parents to need to work with me.

My web traffic is low. I need your help!

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Susan Beane

Yes! We sell automotive electrical supplies. For 20 years our customers have been repair shops in Colorado and Wyoming. We decided we needed a website, both for our current customers and to reach new customers. We never published a catalog and we can only call on some of our customers a couple of times a year so we needed a way that they could get supplies when we weren’t in their neighborhood and a substitute catalog.
Since our second goal was to reach customers beyond our current base, both wholesale and retail, I knew I needed to put together a strategy that could reach across the country without being ridiculously expensive. I know the blog and email newsletters are vital to that.
I started out highlighting some of the cool things our customers have done with our products and now I am adding blog posts about some of our new or exciting products.
I’m getting some traffic to the site, but not enough! Look forward to your series!

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Greg

I have bought into the blog hype and I am starting my own. The truth is, my blog is in a very niche industry – prescription drug use and abuse – and the point of the blog is to serve a SaaS business that I’ve developed with a couple of partners. Namely, it is a software database to prevent prescription drug abuse.
Do you still believe a blog is the best marketing strategy? As a tool to drive traffic and awareness to a private company, even if it’s not necessarily connected to the blog?

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Lindsay Shack

Hi Derek,

Yes, I absolutely believe a blog can help build my business. I’ve seen it happen and know it can work. I’m in the wellness industry – the other overcrowded industry! I believe providing free content on a blog is a great way to create that know, like, and trust factor needed to create revenue and also make yourself stand out. I’m really looking forward to your blog series! I’ve been taking baby steps and can’t wait to really grow my business.
Thank you!
Lindsay

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Julia

Very much looking forward to this series, Derek. I started my blog (irreverent, no-BS dating advice for smart women) with the intent to turn it into a full-fledged business (you know — book deals, speaking engagements, informational products, seminars, etc., all that fun stuff). Since I’m at the relative beginning, I now want to develop new phases of the brand (video content, a book, interviews, classes, etc.), but not quite sure which to develop first in order to have the most impact on growth. And, am I (read: my blog) really ready to start incorporating other products and services at this time, or should I focus on creating a larger audience/following first? So, I can only imagine that what you have to share in the series will be extremely personally poignant. Can’t wait! Thanks!

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Poppy Grady

Derek,
Thanks for all of your great advice. I believe my blog is in a niche that is undersaturated, actually. I write for Executive Assistants. I’m a senior EA at a worldwide company and wanted a place for our group to gain commaraderie. I have been writing for over a year now (66 subscribers) but have been a little lame of very late. Just when I start to get down on it and wonder if I should just pull the plug, someone will leave a comment like, “I’ve been an EA for 25 years and still learn something new when I read your blog.” Those comments always come at the right time to keep me going.
I’m not sure where it will take me — I just wanted to write! And I knew I had an audience because when new EA’s hear of it/read it, they tell me how happy they are to have found it – that they didn’t know anything like it existed.
A lot of it is best practices and training, and some of it is fun. I’m not sure where it will take me, but I do see opportunity.
Do you know how many assistants there are in the world? According to the IAAP (Int’l Assoc of Administrative Professionals) “Today, there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support roles. More than 475,000 administrative professionals are employed in Canada. Millions more administrative professionals work in offices all over the world.”
Wow! Okay, so I just Googled that. And I only have 66 subscribers? I suck. ;) Will sign up for email series pronto!

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Mary

Hi Poppy!

I think your best bet would be to try to reach out to those organizations. Maybe you could do a guest blog or two. Also, try to find more places where EAs hang out. Forums, mailing lists, etc. the more you comment and contribute with your blog address in your signature, I bet you would get more subscribers.

Good luck!! :)

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Alberto

I already have a blog about photography that makes about 1000€ a month. I write good content, I know it because readers love it.
I don’t waste time on news or on regurgitating other blogs’ content or press releases. I only write and record (on video) tutorials that teach something or articles that inspire.
The site has almost 50k uniques per month and 150k pageviews. I know I could make more out of it, even with this numbers. I only need to know how.

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Kris Gilbertson

Derek,

I’m so excited for your training!

Ever since seeing you at Creative Live your drafting technique and your marketing style make so much sense – like a 2 x 4 just hit me over the head!

I’m psyched to better understand how to do it effectively and with my own unique style.

I’m excited to learn all 4 topics points. Are you also going to cover how to find the sweet spot for the drafting technique content ideas?

Thank you Derek – You have sparked a new understanding of the online space and how to attract the listeners/readers/experts/ I hope to inspire to go global with their messages!

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Ryan Freeman

Yes, blogging definitely helps – all the stats seem to back it up, and from my own experience it has lead to speaking gigs, paid trips as an “influencer”, and much-increased brand strength as a reliable resource.

Further, as we serve primarily small retail businesses, blogging helps our clients grow their businesses. My favourite respond to the “I don’t know what to write about …” complaint is: “If you can’t think of anything about your business that’s worth discussing, you need to close your doors.”

I’m looking forward to this series as your blog was built with strategy, insight, and in a saturated market – not as an early adopter who rode the first big wave of blog popularity and became successful in spite of himself :)

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Fit Missy

Building traffic is definitely the hardest part of running a blog and building a biz. Based on the nr of comments it seems that you have mastered this.

Derek when you have a chance more on this topic please. Any ideas are helpful.

Thx!

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Matt Ragland

Derek, thanks for putting this course together, I’m very excited to learn more. One question I thought of, and I hope you don’t consider the question of a non-believer. But how much of your success would you credit to the work you have done in the past online and in social media? Obviously you’ve put the work in over several years and are not just an overnight success.

Thanks again!

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Derek Halpern

Considering my previous websites never had my name attached to them, my connetions were essentially useless. I had a few, but that’s about it.

But as an example, I started my celebrity blog in March of 2006, by February 2007, it was already killing it. And I knew NOTHING about blogging or celebrities.

My success with Social Triggers was obviously much faster, because prior to Social Triggers, I did build several successful blogs. So, I already knew what to do, and how to do it. But luckily, this is something, that I believe, can be taught.

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Kandyce

I am just beginning a blog for a company that I was recently hired into. We specialize in retirement planning and I know a blog will help us get out our expert advice, which will in turn bring clients to see us for more personal strategies. Oddly, I came across your blog when I did a search for the word ‘social triggers.” It was a subject being offered at a convention that I couldn’t attend….but I knew it was significant. I’d say utilization of “social triggers: is the missing element in our company’s previous marketing. My boss, who is highly successful and one of the top financial services professionals in the nation, says that his main clients are male engineer types. When I saw his website content (which we are currently re-writing) and his email campaigns…..I knew why. The approach was very mathematical/logical and lacked true emotional impact. I hope to gain specific insight from your blog that will help me balance our approach to both the male and female ideal client.

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Jared

I’d love to hear any comments on how a nonprofit can use your strategies.

I participated in the Creative Live event you were a part of (Lewis Howes), took copious notes during your sessions, and have begun implementing the tips you gave there.

I direct a nonprofit called The start> Project. We help individuals, groups and businesses with “Good Samaritan” projects.

A blog will help share information that encourages, educates, and inspires our audience to respond/act. We also will use the blog to promote our services and products.

Any comments on how your advice might apply itself in the nonprofit world would be awesome!

Love your work, and am looking forward to the series.

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Angela Alston

Yes, I’m positive that our blog can help generate business. Because we blog on behalf our clients’ films & it works.

What we’ve not done consistently is, after we’ve written OUR blogs, done the work to get them read. Because we blog on behalf of our clients. :}

This year we’re taking a pro-active, energetic approach to self-marketing. Beginning with our first blog of the year, 7 Tips for Outreach Success.

As to what we do: we connect independent films with their core audience.

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yetty

Hi Derek,
Do I believe a blog can help build my business…………..of course. I’m into real estate. I currently have a real estate blog which doubles as a directory / listing service. I discovered visitors to my site spend time on the blog posts and not as much time on the listings. Well there aren’t much listings anyway.My goal now is to get as many agents as possible to sign up and post property deals.I try to make the blog posts engaging , informative and straight to the point.I avoid lengthy posts.
I’m looking forward to your series.Am sure I’m going to learn a lot.

Cheers.

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Katerina

If I didn’t believe a blog can improve business I wouldn’t be the avid reader of your articles that I am. Right now I am a yoga teacher working toward my master’s in Chinese medicine in Portland, Oregon. I hope to significantly build up my blog before I graduate so that I not only have recognition, but also have a bounty of resources already available for my clients to refer to. Now that I’ve gotten this project started, I’ve started planning online courses to guide people around the world to living a more vibrant life, through yoga, mindfulness, nutrition, and seasonal living.

As a relative newbie in the blogesphere, I am very excited to read these next few articles you have in the works! Any tips you can give on how to reach out and build audience, and how to market products without being an obnoxious sales person would be greatly appreciated on my end.

Thank you so much for your good work!
Warmly,
Katerina

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Jason Gracia

Derek,

I teach people how to turn their passion or expertise into a six-figure business by sharing and selling their information to the people who need it most.

As such a blog is a major piece of the puzzle, through which to build authority, deliver content, and communicate and connect with my audience. It is also a major part of my clients’ platforms.

Jason

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Hans

Hi Derek. I have a music blog, but I specifically focus on the arranging part. That means dressing up songs in any specific style. You could call it a sub niche of a niche. I plan to write some pdf files about this topic in order to attract subscribers to my future opt-in box ( I haven’t yet installed eweber).
I also plan to shoot more videos for youtube about the actual hands-on training of arranging music. Plan to make some contacts with other music bloggers and get my message out. With friendly greetings, Hans

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Nando

Flaterred to be quoted in the above Facebook examples.

(The one time I’m not using a recommended, recognizable, avatar…)

I’m actually taking CreativeJourneyman into strictly blog (and business elsewhere), using a great big deal of what I’ve learned here.

You da man, Derek.

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Dave Parks

I am absolutely convinced that a blog can help to build my business. I have seen many people do it in the last few years like, for example, Derek.

I am a martial arts teacher. I teach Aikido and have done so for the last 30+ years. The brick-and-mortar school is much like any other martial arts school so I won’t go into it here.

The online version is in its pre-natal state right now. I am using my own YouTube channel coupled with a squeeze page to get people on my mail list. My next step is to set up an actual blog.

I know that a blog is like an authority center. I will be using it to inform and to sell.

Although you didn’t specifically ask, I need to learn about SEO because I am shoe-stringging it out of necesity.

Dave

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Mark Wienert

Absolutely I believe a blog helps your business it sure has helped ours tremendously. We have had a blog as part of our now Thesis website for 6 years now its been very important in building our outdoor business and connecting with potential clients.

Thank you.

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Casey Harrison

I’m in network marketing(I know, I know I hated it too.) But, we have an awesome nutritional/energy product, since it’s pretty new, I definitely think a blog could help my business. Even if it’s just to document my journey! I started one, but like many others, starting is where it ended. I continue to post on there, but it’s more of a notebook, when I read something that could help me or people I know, I write about it. That way I help cement it into my mind.

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Food Babe

I love hearing your experience with the amount of blogging you do…It’s so refreshing to know you don’t have to blog everyday to be successful at getting your message out and building your business.

I have some thoughts to share with you on book deals when we finally connect live… looking forward to it.

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Big Mike

I help people who have been injured or killed due to the negligence of other people. I’m a Personal Injury (PI) attorney in Fort Worth, Texas.

I’m going to open my own law firm in the next few months. I believe there is about to be a “changing of the guard” in the PI legal community. Many of the old school PI lawyers plaster their pictures on the back of yellow pages or have TV commercials with lots of explosions and screaming. I’ve noticed that the few PI lawyers that have blogs have terrible content that they’ve clearly outsourced. I’m going to use a blog, branding, social media, and anything else that will make me a major contender in the DFW area.

This is the first comment I’ve ever made on a site like this. I’m diving in! I look forward to learning from your knowledge and experience. Thanks in advance!

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Henry

Yes, a blog can be the centerpiece of a great business even. I’m a public speaker and hold retreats on the experience of holding reality and existence in awe. A focus is the larger cosmos in which we find ourselves. The blog piece of my work is just starting, and hopefully will benefit greatly from this series.
Warm Regards,
Henry

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Liz

Hi Derek,

I’m a professional organizer and freelance business consultant, mainly working with creative individuals, start-ups and established small businesses to identify goals, pinpoint growth opportunities, improve workflow systems, save the client money and allow them the freedom to focus on what’s most important to them.

I’m excited about starting a website and blog and I think that by cultivating the right content I will be able to both strengthen my brand and get leads that lead to sales. I’ve purchased a domain name but I’m clueless about setting up the website. I know I want to have opt-in to collect leads but I don’t know how to set that up. Do I need to hire someone or can I do it myself? I like the Thesis theme but when I look at their site I’m not sure exactly what I’ll get once I make the purchase. Will I be able to set it up myself? Will I need to buy extras for it? Does it include SEO? I need basics, Derek! Your help and suggestions would be most valuable and appreciated. Love your blog and podcast. Keep up the good work, sir, and give a shout next time you do an Austin meetup! Thanks!

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Erik

Yes. I think I need to get a web presence to grow or start my business. I am a tech consultant and want to move into managed services (in technology, phone, mobile, cloud computing). I have started but I want to build a machine. (a business that runs like a machine.

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Brooks Lockwood

First off, I am in the film business. Specifically on set doing lighting. Having a blog can definitely help my business, but in a totally different way. The way you earn respect and trust through the film world is by cold hard experience, there typically aren’t any short cuts, and advice is extremely hard to come by.

So while my industry typically doesn’t respond to blogs, I know the up and coming generation is, and they will look at that type of information.

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Laura Young

I am pretty sure I am on your email list, but rejoined just to make sure as I don’t want to miss out on any of this! After a few years, I have switched my niche a little to work with kids so I am currently creating a new website and blog to go with that. I love you Derek! You have the best blog ever, one of the only ones I read all the time, and I am excited to learn new things from you!

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Kristie

I started my blog with out any intentions of selling anything. However I’ve been offered several jobs unrelated to my blog just because people like what I’m doing.

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j.u.

Do you believe a blog can help you build your business?

Yes. I would like to use blog to become “go-to” person in my field. It would be scientific blog describing my research, news from my field, tools that might help others, …. I am trying to build such a blog for almost two years but with no success.

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RoZ Tanner Evans

I have an inspirational story to tell & so I started a blog. My intention is for readers to see that it is never too late to start again, or that you may have a hidden talent, or discover your passion.

I write from the heart based on my own experience in creating my handcrafted beaded jewelry business & an “Ageless Explorer Over 72″.

Haven’t learned how to use my blog to drive traffic to my website, yet.

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Helen Wills

Yes a blog can help you do anything! It’s the reason why people would come to your website for reasons other than buying a product or service. Once they are there, we just have to keep them there.

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Israel García

Hola Derek.

Yo HACE 4 MESES Que Tengo mi blog y La Verdad Que Nunca Habia Pensado Que con this tool podria CREAR Negocio.

Estoy entusiasmado con Mi Negocio en línea, Que me Ayuda a captar Clientes para mi Negocio real.

ASI Que me quedo a la Espera de Tus Artículos Sobre Como potenciar el blog un.

Gracias por Todo y te mando un saludo desde España.

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Susan Bailey

Blogging is one of the best ways to build credibility and give your work exposure. I totally get it why, Derek, your blog has created all these other opportunities. Your readers know you, your work is first rate and thus, the offers keep coming. Your blog recommends you.

My blog is about an author (Louisa May Alcott) so I’m not trying to “sell” anything except my own expertise on the subject. My goal, as a non-academic with a mere BS in Elementary Education, was to attain credibility with the numerous Alcott scholars out there plus be THE go-to place for teachers, students and fans to find out more about Louisa May Alcott.

Goal One (with the scholars) has been reached! Three very prominent Alcott scholars have given me personal kudos and encouragement for my blog. I’ve had the opportunity to meet them face to face, they know my name, my work and they signed my books with their encouraging words (which I posted on my site). The link to my blog is prominently listed with the Louisa May Alcott Society (run by these scholars).

Goal Two is growing slowly but it is growing. I get letters from students, teachers, librarians and authors, thanking me for my content. I’ve received encouragement from readers to consider writing a book. I’ve been invited by one educator to teach one of her classes!

In short, I earned credibility by writing posts that my audience could respect, use and trust for accuracy. And because I am SO totally in love with my topic, it comes through naturally in my posts.

Goal Three is to build a viable tribe – that part is harder. But I’m keeping at it!

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Claire

Hey Derek, I run MULTIPLE blogs, but never miss one of your video episodes! I look forward to hearing what you have to say!!

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Peter

Derek,

Good stuff. I know most of your audience already has a business, but I would love if you could talk even just a little bit about how to narrow down a niche to start in.

Thanks, and looking forward to the series.

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Camilo

Hey Derek How Are you?

Man you are awesome, i hope, someday when i grow up i could be like you ;)
Well, let me tell you this, i am from Colombia, i have Two blogs, i am a professional coach, i help people with GAD General Anxiety Disorder and panick Attacks, mi websites are totalcoaching.net and vivesinpanico.com.

Men, it has been a struggle to make a living on this, i dont know, sometimes i think is part of my culture and the mind of the people of my country, but well i keep on trying on this.

with this blogs i can offer my coaching sessions, my services as coach, and i sell a Clickbank product about how to cope panick attacks, i am writing a book about how to deal and dominate the GAD, and hope this blogs can help us too.

Well in this days, Google Adwords, slaped my face suspending my site vivesinpanico.com, because they said, that i am violating the policys of adwords, allways talking about the power of the Google Monopoly, and i hope this series you are offering can help me to improve my game man, i want to live of this, of my blogs and my services and make the money you make with your site.

Thanks for all the help you provide us.

Greetings from Colombia.

Bye

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Pat Bloomfield

Yes blogs definitely sell products and services!

I have two websites promoting my photography services and they bring in all my clients now. Most of my assignments are in a small niche of erotic photography that is very hard to promote through other mediums. Even though traffic is relatively low, my website performs well in search engines and when people want what I offer find me in natural searches.

My photography websites are: http://www.patb-photography.co.uk and http://www.innerbeautyphotography.com

Last year I started another WordPress site to sell and license music. It’s not run as a blog but using Thesis it performs surprising well in searches already.

http://www.scrambledegos.com

I want to bring all my sites up to speed through 2013 especially the new music downloads sites and believe your off site marketing strategies will be key in making this happen.

P.S. Thanks for answering the question how you make your money – it’s something I’ve often asked myself :-)

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Paul F

I am not yet to the point of startup, but I have started and owned 3 businesses, two of which ran more than 10 years. That said, in today’s economy, unless you are starting a new national brand with a very large bank account, it seems that blogging is an essential component of business growth, marketing, positioning, and branding.

Anyone focused on the immediate bump of a first post or other gimmicks seems to miss the entire point of owning and operating a business, which Derek seems to well understand. And that is to provide real value. Too often social media and the blogosphere seem to be cluttered with the worst of High School, which was the “social / popularity” focus rather than genuine, relevant, help. Most of us can see through the BS of short term thinking quickly. Nice work Derek.

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Tom Larsen

I have a blog that nobody sees. No traffic, no comments, no followers. It is very discouraging as I don’t know how to turn it into one that gets “eyeballs”!

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Samantha

Yes I believe a blog can help me build a business because my field continues to expand and there are not a whole lot of people online going in-depth on the topics I have a niche in (international education advising, international scholarship and fellowship advising, and internationally-themed course and seminar development). I’m all ears (and still working my bass off!)

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sandy

I’m starting a blog to generate leads online for my network marketing business. Also plan to use what I learn to create a lead-generating blog for my husband’s real estate business.

I believe a blog can work because:

1. it’s a platform for demonstrating expertise and personality (why should customers choose you?)

2. where do ppl go FIRST when they want to find info? online.

I believe a blog could fail due to lack of education (not knowing what to do with it, or by doing the wrong things–my greatest blogging fears!)

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todd hutcheson

Interesting timing. I decided to do a blog yesterday and today I get your email. I own ibuyhomes.com geared toward finding sellers. I am starting a new blog at ibuyhomes.net geared at giving great content to real estate investors. I am sure I will get investors who become interested in becoming the licensee for .com. I also hope to do some speaking based on the blog.
I was thinking of trying to write something every day, but after reading your post, I will just do twice a week and make them badass.

What is your opinion on guest bloggers? Does it dilute your brand?

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The Flying Couponer

Hey dear Derek! I am in the Couponing business, I am couponing everywhere, from Canada to Hong Kong. I think a blog can help build a business. It help sell products and services! I made $30 so far :-/ but I am getting there with your help :-p

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Suzen Pettit

it is ridiculous how many comments you get Derek. CRA- as my 14 year old would say. i love creating my blog, and would love to walk the walk you do—of having a super popular blog that attracts thousands, so that i in turn can teach others to follow in my lead, as you do, so i know you are doing something right. you may be young enough to be my….nephew….but you definately have something to teach me.

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Ben

Is a Vlog functionally different from a Blog? My Idea is to teach music, mostly guitar, through lesson videos because I’m different and better than all the other guitar lesson sites. I’ve got it set up as a word press regularly updated vlog, monthly subscription for full access and a weekly newsletter that gives free content (unimaginative, I know. that’s why I’m reading your stuff) and a bunch of other free content on the site. It’s developing, but very slowly. I am glued to your new series because it sounds like exactly what I need, but is there anything blatantly obvious to you that I’m missing?

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Jason Ulsrud

DEFINITELY YES!!! I created the most popular and visited website in Chiropractic with 6 months. However, I was posting 5 days a week with 2 RockStar Interviews, a Weekly Rock show, a Rock Radio show, and one text based post. It was insane, but it really built the audience fast. I was super edgy and probably pissed a few people off along the way.

Now, I’m very close to launching my next big adventure with N8 Media, a marketing and web design firm in Dallas, TX. I’m going to take the same approach as before except this time I’ll only post 3 times per week, and focus the rest of my time and energy on networking, building relationships, and getting seen.

Without a multimedia blog, this just wouldn’t be possible. A blog lowers the barrier of entry to being successful, and it’s a great teacher of consistency and hard work.

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Elizabeth

My husband is training for the Olympics in weightlifting — an exciting but low paying dream of his. To supplement his income, we’ve launched a blog/website community that offers nutrition, recovery and training advice for strength athletes, a niche increasing in popularity due to the surge in Crossfit gyms. As the sport grows, we’re growing. Because my husband is an authority in the sport, people want to know what he does and why he does it. We’re slowly putting together lots of free content and resources to help build the trust, while monetizing through AdSense. Our goal is to expand to have a mix of ads and affiliate programs to generate income in the beginning. In the future, we’re toying with lots of other ideas, including digital magazines, eBooks, books, speaking engagements, and, when he hits “retirement” age after (hopefully) making an Olympic team, opening a gym/headquarters. The blog is what is driving our business. We’re offering content that few other people in this niche are, and right now, we have a lot of support via word of mouth.

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Adeife Adebiyi

Hi Derek, this is my first time of reading your articles and i’ll say i’m dumbstruck. I really admire your ink and creative style a lot. however, i need help with my new blog..www. naijapoetry.com.. its barely 2 weeks old. the idea behind the blog is that i want to showcase my poetry, inspire fresh talents as well as provide a formidable platform for the re awakening of the poetic culture in Africa(Nigeria) and beyond. how do i go about popularizing my blog amidst almost non blogging folks. Thanks a lot

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John Ringgold

I have a business that promotes new technology tips, ideas, and products specifically for use by real estate professionals.

I choose to blog as I think it is the best way to consistently deliver information to my readers, plus blogging helps with SEO to generate new readers. I continue to show real estate professionals how they can use technology to enhance their business and set them apart from their competition. I hope to promote myself as a trusted technology resource in our industry. I do have a few products for sell on the site and I hope to build enough trust, my readers will eventually click on and purchase a product, or hire me to speak to their group.

I love blogging, but my biggest challenge is getting any engagement at all on the website.

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The Get In Shape Girl

Blogging helps me get my message out. I used to be fat, now I’m fit. I must share my story to inspire others to do the same. Then, when others have been so inspired to do the same, I like to blog about them to inspire even more. Plus anytime I have the opportunity to review a product, experience something like a road race, or cook something new, I blog about it! Any information I learn and can pass onto others, I blog about it!

I’m an online personal trainer and new folks who find out about me from facebook don’t know me from Eve, so my blog is their way of getting to know and trust me!

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Bethany

I really believe that blogging can help me expand my audience, and I do what I can to grow my list but for a really long time I have just been drawing a blank at what I can post about.

I mean… I sell novelty coffee mugs :) I love my products and my customers rave about them but I don’t really know how I’d blog about it.

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Jackie Ulmer

Great article and I am looking forward to the series. I am new following you, and you come quite highly recommended, as you well know.

Question 1 – yes, absolutely. I started online in Oct 1999, so I “pre-date” blogging and didn’t get into that until the end of 2009, but I have seen great results. And, that is without REALLY putting enough emphasis there and focusing too much time on my Social Media audience.

2013 is dedicated to the blog and expanding my reach.

I’m in the WAHM marketing, and primarily through Network Marketing, which is where I began nearly 20 years ago, to be home with my children. It’s a crowded, noisy and often frustrating niche, but one I truly love when done right, and specifically with moms.

Frustrating because of the ridiculous hype so many put behind it, and that is one of my goals. To stand above that crowd, further develop my voice and tap into the larger market of women who build their businesses differently than men.

So, my focus is on much more value driven content this year, increasing my subscribers and true audience and having positive influence on those inside and outside of my profession.

Thanks for the thought provoking questions!

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Joe Peck

Hey Derek!

Another totally inspiring post! I agree 200% that a blog can absolutely build your business. As a BTC student, I already know that it works and am about to employ the techniques.

I am launching a blog in the next week or two (!) about crowdfunding. Specifically I teach Millennial entrepreneurs how to create a successful crowdfunding campaign. There is no question that a successful blog can make your business explode. You can get awesome content in front of a limitless audience for free and have a presence that allows your audience to find out who you are. Once they like you and see that you are an expert, they will want to engage with you. A blog is a fantastic way to do this!

I’m super excited about my business and I’ve made tons of changes to the way my blog looks based on your advice and techniques. I’ll share the details when the blog goes live!

Keep the amazing content coming!

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Chris

Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads
up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

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Gerald

Hello Derek,

Thank you so much for all your advice and for a blog that is exciting and informative.

Is there a content “format” that makes a Blog more successful? Specifically, is there a “Best Way” to introduce a message?

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SparkWorks

Thanks for the inspiration + push! 2013 needs to be a year of change for my blog, and I want to see people come to us as thought leaders in our industry: eLearning and training. We work with anyone – small or medium business, independent bloggers, educational institutions, or l build engaging online and mobile learning with razor-sharp learning analytics so you and your learners can see detailed results of their competencies and performance. We know in a 21st century knowledge economy, people need to learn to mastery – and then excellence!
We started the blog last year to get visibility for our ideas and show we make an impact to eLearning to result in quality learning – but we had very disappointing traffic. We need the blog to raise awareness, but also showcase the great work we do (our clients think it’s pretty great too!).
Looking forward to your email newsletters and podcasts for great tips so we can rock out our blog in 2013!

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Jesse - Cajun Copy

Derek,
Great stuff. Looking forward to more.

Yes, I believe a blog can help me build my business. I’m a business writer. and a blog allows me the platform to show business owners and marketing managers I know what I’m talking about.

My blog also allows me to establish relationships, and it gives me a foot into the door of conversations I would not be invited into otherwise (like this one).

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simon

My business is WordPress training with a bit of design help thrown in. I think a blog can help because with WordPress being so popular yet so hard to use there’s a lot of people that get stuck. A blog will help me connect with these people and really help them. By creating content that is SO useful or good hopefully people will want to forward it on to others which will help me promote my business.

It will also help me connect with a niche market. Wordpress training is a growing market and I will need to differentiate. I plan to give away loads of my knowledge in video tutorials for free then …….I don’t know.. (which is why your blogging series has come at the perfect time).

Lastly it will help me grow because I can get feedback and I can ask people what they need and then make a better contribution and get better feedback which will help me develop my niche.

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Leanne

I think a blog will be great help -but I’m new to all this and my business is still in my head. Studied Psychology too, but looking to branch into health.

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Barbra Ignatiev

Yes! A blog can definitely help.

I am an artist that creates designs for ladies that love color, lavish line and have a sense of humor. I share my designs as digital wallpapers and also sell them on products such as pillows, stationary, posters.

My blog is great for setting the tone of what people can expect from me ~ I’m a bit of a sassy rebel-type lady and that shows through with the site design, I believe. My blog’s also great for collecting emails, of course.

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Roy Naim

The past few weeks I’ve been thinking about this.

Is it worth starting a blog in 2013? Isn’t it such a big commitment now? And in the niche I am thinking of – Personal Development – is it even worth it?

Maybe I should do “email blogging” which requires the same effort of getting people to sign up and read what you have to say. Except, it is more private?

So yes, a blog will definitely help one get out there and get known. I don’t think there is ever a doubt about it. But like you mentioned, so many blogs are out there with so little readers – one can help but to think if they will also become the statistic.

But, if one goes about it aggressively and is serious about it – then for sure, one can make it.

The other thought that comes to mind – what about videos? Instead of the written words, use videos to share your content.

I know that is what you do now, Derek, but would it have worked back in March 2011? What about today?

Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing what you got and the direction you are going to take us.

So, is there a step one yet? Get a site up?

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Dave

I’m a skeptic. I work in web development and social media. What will set me apart and garner readers?

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Nitin Aggarwal

Hey Derek,

I am new to the blogging and always keep looking for the traffic. It’s very low right now and i am looking forward for the series. From your previous post also i gained that marketing is important and i am trying to follow the rule which you gave that 20% time on content and 80% on marketing. Looking forward for your posts.

Regards
Nitin

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Debora

No, I’m kind of nerd. I created something not-implementable yet so that people will have some pleasure of holding it (hardware) and showing to their friends. It is not even a program (software) with animations and pretty characters fonts. Very few people understand my work, if. I kind of moved to sell lipsticks, which is a thing I also like, but not because of the money I can do selling lipsticks (?), but as I saw a potential way of applying the theory with that way of making money: the affiliation thing through personalized webpages, and I’m experimenting how it works. Also I am understanding I have to stop talking about what I know (! so why to blog?), as I will never convince anyone about the benefit of all the Greek letters which helped my invention. I started with a little thing from inside Facebook (see StarAmbients Page), but why to go big to people I don’t know? It feels sad, even when I reach people that I know, example: my sister, they still ask me why I study so much…

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Aff Runner

Great series Derek. Looking forward to the next post. Yes having a blog can tremendously boost your business online. I have a niche educational blog that not only makes me an established authority in the niche thus leading to more affiliate sales but also helps market my educational courses better.

Readers trust me, my knowledge and enroll in the courses as a result. So a blog is a tremendous boost to my entrepreneurial dreams.

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Loz James

Thanks Derek

I’m not sure this works in all niches though.

For example, if you’re running a business selling door knobs – how could you really hope to get your ‘tribe’ enthused with posts about such an uninspiring subject?

There’s also the fact that you have an engaging/confident/amusing/attractive personality (I’m not hitting on you honest!) – but not everyone will feel so confident and be so compelling when stuck in front of a camera, writing a blog post or making a podcast. Not everyone can be the expert.

In that respect, I believe people buy into people – not blogs, and your success is undoubtedly related to your compelling and authoritative personality (as is Pat Flynn’s). Many of us may not have that ‘secret sauce’ to make our businesses or blogs so attractive.

That said, I’m looking forward to your series though – and thanks for a great post.

Cheers!

Loz :-)

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Gayle

I do believe that a blog can help my business, however, sometimes I do wonder because out of the millions of on line marketers out there, my question is: how do I get “found?” I am an Independent Director for Scentsy; which currently has three “lines” of products; flameless candles ( not what you’re thinking!) Belgium chocolate fondue ( not traditional be any means!) AND beautiful purses, wallets, clutches, jewelry ( again a break from the ordinary!). I have a blog, but, it is lame! I must admit. I want to make it a “killer” blog so I am excited to read on………………….

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Jamie

Derek,

Yes, I do believe it will be helpful! My business sells Photoshop Actions to photographers of all levels. I have had a blog for as long as I have had my business, but my posts are few and far between. In-fact, in 9 months I have zero followers, that’s embarrassing. I need to get on par, and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say over the next few weeks!!

Many thanks :)
Jamie

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Pamela

Derek, you are right and using your approach throughout your blogs. Masterful. I’m a Brit journo now in Penang. Malaysians are interested in business development. Lots of Chinese here, links to Singapore. Sometimes I think they just need to be directed into training that could open up a whole network across SE Asia and beyond. What do you think?

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roni

i’m getting ready to start a small photography business…still consider myself in the learning process and while i think that a blog may help me generate interest and possibly, help bring in business—i’m not sure ‘how’ i can go about it. i don’t feel qualified or that i have enough experience to do a bunch of how-to photography type blogs and i really want to connect with people that may be able to turn into potential clients—either to purchase my nature photography or for sessions. any suggestions?

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Danielle

Yes, a blog can absolutely help build my business. I am a nutritionist & health coach who helps busy mamas become their most healthy self so they can be healthy role models for their families. With a blog, potential clients can get to know me and get beneficial information for FREE! The blog gives me a voice and allows me to share my personality and my expertise with the world.

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Briana

I’m a financial coach and I have a blog. Folks that read it seem to dig it, but that’s not many folks. I feel like it could help me attract more clients because they would get that I know what I’m talking about. But how to get it out there is beyond me. I’ve put it out on twitter, facebook, G+ and linked in and still am only getting minimal hits and the odd sign up for my newsletter.

So I am really, really looking forward to this series!

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Derick

i believe a blog is a good marketing tool. I’m a financial advisor. I have all of the support materials (books, videos, etc.) to market in my geographical area. Unfortunately, up to this point it has been a disaster. Can you help?

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Chris

I’m a bit late to the party here I know, but I totally believe in how blogging can help my training consultancy business, and not only that but I’m excited about doing it too. In fact I released my very first blog yesterday and so I’m looking forward to getting lots of practical tips from Derek’s blog and email series. So far it has been great fun blogging and I was surprised at how quickly I wrote my first article, but I also feel a bit daunted at the prospect of identifying new topics to write about (and of course finding the time to write them well!).

Chris

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Art Jones

We are one of the 181k people on twitter offering New Media Marketing expertise, however unlike the majority we don’t sell ninja, guru or magician. We sell thoughtful, insightful and compelling consulting built upon solid experience.

I signed upfor Derek’s sessions because of the zillion pitches I see everyday his offer presents as crisp, clear and uniquely different from all the rest. & oh by the way, having 3 solid testimonials and one from one of my FAV thought leaders Pam Slim signaled to me that something special

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Art Jones

I posted my comments using my mobil devisce this AM, which wasnt easy. Now I see that some of the text and links didnt present well at all, so this is my attempt to make my point clear.

The testimonials shared by Derek sealed the deal for me. The testimonials sopke of Derek’s credibility, passion for his mission and unbridled creativity. So, yes, I too am looking forward to something very special.

Derek, Thanks for serving as our guide thru the BLOGGING jungle.

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Art Jones

I posted my comments using my smartphone this AM, which wasnt easy. Now I see that some of the text and links didnt present well, so this is my attempt to make my point clear.

The testimonials shared by Derek sealed the deal for me.

Derek, Thanks for serving as our guide thru the BLOGGING jungle.

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Art Jones

I posted my comments using my smartphone this AM, which wasnt easy. Now I see that some of the text and links didnt present well, so this is my attempt to make my point clear.

The reference shared by Pam Slim sealed the deal for me.

Derek, Thanks for serving as our guide thru the BLOGGING jungle.

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Art Jones

I posted my comments using my smartphone this AM, which wasnt easy. Now I see that some of the text and links didnt present well, so this is my attempt to make my point clear.

The references sealed the deal for me.

Derek, Thanks for serving as our guide thru the BLOGGING jungle.

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Art Jones

I posted my comments using my smartphone this AM, which wasnt easy. Now I see that some of the text and links didnt present well, so this post should fix it.

Derek, Thanks for serving as our guide thru the BLOGGING jungle.

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Art Jones

Derek, Thanks for serving as our guide thru the BLOGGING jungle.

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Amy Volk

Yes, absolutely it can help. I run a small Professional Organizing company but my blog is under my name, not my company’s name. My company site is pretty fixed, not fluid in content and a great place to get info. But my personal blog is tied to organizing, but so much more. It has helped me generate business by just talking about my life and sharing my ideas to simplify your life. It’s very personal.

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Catherine Doucette

What do businesses spend thousands of dollar on each year and rarely measure? Training

My company Creativity that Inspires Inc. creates measurable, interactive training on subjects, such as writing skills for leaders, presentation skills, and become a trainer. When training is done, your staff know they know, and I can prove it.

We can create customized training for your company with the help of a subject matter expert. I also offer keynote talks that include Life Lessons from Angry Birds, Be Yourself – Everything Else is Optional, and Self-Care for Success. My second book on creating the life you want is due out later this year.

My blog shows my personality, gives me credibility as an expert in my area, and spreads the words about what I do, keeping me top of mind.

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Iris Barzen

I believe blogging can help you grow your business.

I’m in the coaching and lifestyle design field. My target audience are college students who want to live an unconventional life they love while making a difference in the world.

Question: How do you position yourself as an expert?
How and where do you promote your content?
How many hours did you spend per week to build Social Triggers? What did you do?

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Ali

Hi Derek – I started my blog four months ago as a hobby. It’s grown to 40,000 page views a month and almost 17,000 visits in that time, which seems to be on the right track. My issue is that my traffic is growing but I’m not really selling much of anything because I have nothing to sell. I have two ways of monetizing right now – per click ads and commission based ads. I just feel that there should be some other way that I could be making money. Don’t get me wrong, I’d keep doing it even if I never made a dime. But making more money would be nice. Hoping to see more about that in this series.

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Carrie Medford

I believe whole-heartedly that blogging is essential to my business and will always be one of the best ways to share my life and my goings on with my readers, co-workers and facebook fans.

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Renee

Greetings Derek! I am a Certified Health Coach and a Healthy Eating Specialist. I also focus on Detoxing and Cleansing. My blog is pretty new and I am still in process of designing it. I also have another new blog: http://www.LivingSoulYoga.com in which I will be journaling my experiences in yoga. I would like to get more speaking engagements specially once my book comes out later on this year. I believe that blogging can increase my present, I just need the “how to” to increase traffic and subscribers to my blog.

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Michelle Atkin

Hi

I have a blog/ website- from which I want to build my business.

I would love any hints and tips. I have a larger number of facebook followers but struggle to convert them to subscribers.

Thanks
Michelle

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Bonnie

Hi Derek,
A peer at a recent training posted about you in FB and I’m glad she did. Someone close to me just strongly encouraged me to start a blog. I’ve been intending to, but haven’t. I think it would be great for me because I want to positively influence others with the ways my life has changed dramatically for the better and the transformational training, practices and outstanding leaders and experts I’ve met, interviewed and studied with over the years. I feel it’s time.

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Sophisticated Diva

It all depends on the product you’re expecting to advance, and the demand for that product. If you have a product that isn’t in great demand, or something that nobody even is aware of, of course it’s natural and smart business to blog about the “genre” and add valuable content to your blog! People don’t want to be “talked at” they want to know “what’s in it for me” , is that correct, in your opinion??

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Johanna Walker

Oh man I definitely need a blog. I teach writing and performing, and I coach public speaking, and I run a story slam in Boulder, CO. I love the work I do, and I need more clients. So far my marketing has been only through word of mouth and hanging flyers in local cafes. My classes don’t always fill. I’m just starting to get public speaking clients and I need more. I want to reach more people. I want to figure out some passive income that I can sell online. I’m skeptical because I don’t want to create more filler content without substance. So create content with substance. That’s what I need help with. A blog would help my business because it would get people following me. It would help me stay connected to people. It would invite them to come back and come back until they finally realize they need me. It would get me closer to writing a book. It would challenge me to clarify what I have to say.

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The Process Ninja

Hi, I’ve been writing my blog, The Process Ninja for 4 years now. I’ve been through the times when I wanted to give it up, the insanity of looking at hit counts daily but ultimately realising that it IS a successful tool to promote what I do. The blog is a niche blog about business process improvement and business process management but it has raised my profile on a global level and has helped me to secure several engagements as well as national newspaper coverage. I still feel that I have a long way to go in terms of what I want it to achieve so I am interested to see how social triggers can help me with that.

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Edwin Bourne

I feel that blog can help your business. However, if it’s a local business a combination of online and offline marketing will help it catapult to a successful venture.

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Steph Rickaby

Hi Derek,

Thanks for your article, it’s great to hear your story. I’m an Accountant in the UK about to go solo and launch my own business. I’m looking to brand locally and then nationwide with a view to franchising.

I would like blogging to help my business in the following ways:

Communicate that I care and want to help your business with accounting strategy ideas and tax planning. My company is called Sunflower Accounts. The strap line is helping your business grow to new heights.

Communicate the company values and branding

I would also like to be considered an expert in my field

Then maybe look to publish

Looking forward to your articles. I do find writing a struggle and am going to improve!

Thanks again

Steph

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Clayton Elliott

I’ve had my new site live since mid 2012 and have to admit, I’ve been having challenges regularly posting blogs and building my list. I know the many benefits that come with having a ‘kick-bass’ blog, but other parts of building my business took my time and attention over the last year, and I’ve yet to build our blog to what I know it can be.

Like many other contemporary renaissance humans, I’m multi-passioned and am intrigued by a wide variety of causes, interests, and goings-on in the world. This has been one of the sources of my blogging blocks – I want to write about everything, which can cause overwhelm, so I end up writing nothing.

I started my social-purpose coaching company Widism® (wide+ism) with the purpose of helping people who feel stuck living narrow, normal lives, to think wide about themselves and the endless possibilities that are available to them, and Live Life Wide.

I’ll be looking forward to your blogging email series. 2013 is the year that I take our blog/business to the next level!

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge Derek!

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Jill Stevens

Hi Derek, Thank you for being the real seal in a sea of internet sharks.

I truly believe a blog can be of benefit to a business and create a steady steam traffic and income when done right.

The issue, there are a lot of examples of how to do it “wrong” and I have fallen into those before. I am excited for your series and looking forward to learning all you have to offer.

My one question is the most simply but I think often overlooked – What’s the very first step? Meaning you have a domain, you have a template or site up, you are ready to launch, already did perhaps but not sure how to get the word out, how much content to produce, what to do… so what’s that ONE step to take first.

I’m all about building a solid foundation and that’s what I want for my site http://www.educationlady.com – I’m in the business of making a difference in children’s lives, parent’s lives and teacher’s lives. That’s a lot of lives and perhaps too many markets…? Yet, my product currently is teaching teachers to start their own tutoring business… and I have ROCKSTARS graduating.

So, I have something to offer. I have results, testimonials… yet I have a blog sitting not doing much of anything. Love to know your thoughts on that FIRST STEP and who knows, as I dig deeper into this series, perhaps that answer will already be there.

Blessings (and thanks again for your cool realness),
Jill
(Your Education Lady)

PS Excited for tomorrow’s webinar. I’m there!

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John C Spark

Certianly believe it will be very beneficial to my clients…after all people love traveling…unfortunately it can be confusing and stressful…so not necessary.

Informative content on tips/hints and things to do along with real peoples experiences would be valuable and interesting.
My personal challenge is that while I have 30 years of advising people on travel I have not experienced a European River Cruise…yet!!!

I am unsure where to target readers now as you have just skittled my intended sources…which actually sense.

I will keep reading your posts and no doubt join your trainings when they are ready.

Cheers
John

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Iain Robson

Do you believe a blog can help you build your business?

Yes, I think that a blog can help you build your business.

What type of business am I in? I am in the helping business. I help new Canadian farmers who don’t know where to start. They don’t know what to expect or if it is right for them. I provide them with the information about what being a new farmer is like. I give them personal accounts of what it is like , so they can make a real decision on whether farming is right for them or not.

If yes, what type of business are you in? Describe it in detail, and explain how you think a blog can help you build your business.

A blog can help my business in 3 different ways: emails addresses, build community, and generate sales.

Emails addresses. Generating leads is one of single most powerful aspects of having a blog. By having leads you can keep people informed as to what you are doing, and you can also sell your product.

Additionally, you can can build a thriving community through your list. You can answer people’s questions that they have, and you can get personal with them. By doing this you are creating a deeper connection with them, which decreases your need to hard sell.

Furthermore, by having a blog you can generate sales. By creating a strong community with people and providing them with worthwhile content, they will be happy to buy something from you because they like you.

My blog can help new farmers or potential farmers make the real decisions about if farming is the right choice for them.

I help them learn the fundamentals in a down to earth way. I provide them with the information they need to get started and progress. I connect them with the resources they are lacking.

Very engaging content. I like what you have here Derek

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Michelle Davis

I believe a blog can help my business 100%. I am in the wedding industry and brides are using the internet more than ever for advice and resources for planning their wedding.

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Thomas Ludwig

Hey Derek:
I’m new to your list.. Enjoy what is see so far… I’m been trying to get the hang of this Internet Marketing thing for about 3 year’s now. I have a Blog and several small sites up and running. Just tiring to bring the traffic in… This is what is ruff for me “the traffic” I’m sure you know what I mean!!!! Looking forward to more of your Emails… Thanks again Derek have a good weekend…

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Djay

I believe.
I am I’m the entertainment industry as a writer/radio personality and being able to build an audience through my blog will help with everything I am already doing.

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Kelly

Since I don’t really have a product or service to sell and generate an income on, I’m not sure this is the place for me.
I do have something I want to be well known, nation wide, so I was hoping I might be able to apply what you say to my project as well.
Looking forward to this learning adventure!

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Bonnie Andrews

(Not sure when you wrote this, but I still want to answer and ask, even at comment 313. It’s accountability insurance ;)

A1: Yes, yes, yes! I know it can.

A2: Systems (In that “overcrowded, I give advice about online marketing” space.”) I have a clients who tell me I have a gift to “get crap done.” So instead of getting stuff done for other people, I decided it’s time to jump on the bandwagon somewhere to get stuff done for myself – and teach other people about the systems and principles I use to make it happen.

Q for you, if you have time: When you talk about connecting with the people who have ‘master-level promotion skills,’ how did you connect in your first 6 months? And what was it that made those people want to share their skills in your direction?

Thanks in advance!

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Kasino Bola

Hey Derek:

I’m trying to understand marketing online now.. I have a Blog and several small sites for my business up and running. Just tiring to bring the traffic in… This is what is ruff for me “the traffic” I’m sure you know what I mean!!!!

Looking forward to more of your ideas . Thanks again Derek have a good weekend…

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Cassandra Tondro

I don’t know if a blog can help my business or not, Derek. I’m an artist, and I sell original abstract paintings. I have a blog that is mostly neglected, and I don’t really know what to write about there. I don’t quite get it yet. Maybe you can help me to understand.

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Penelope

I do believe that a blog is an absolutely necessary presence if you are marketing yourself or your products. I began by writing and publishing books to the Kindle marketplace, but knew that I would ultimately need a home base to showcase those books. My blog has kind of morphed into a place where I scoop content about writing for Kindle, ebook promotion via social media methods, general promotion of myself and my books, as well as promotion of other authors and their books. I also created a Blog Talk Radio station where I can actually hold book chats with other authors, and these chats are also be posted to the blog. All the social media feeds are set to post into the blog. I am finding that I am gaining followers at rapid speed pace, and finding less time to write. I could use advice on how to outsource all of this! ;)

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David Peters

Yes, I believe a blog can help my business.
I am a REALTOR® working in Parksville, BC Canada.
I am hoping to figure out a way to use a blog to increase traffic to my website and to generate leads for both the seller and buyer.
But, I believe that face time is more important than computer time and I want to spend time with family, not work 12- 16 hours a day.

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Erin

I am a soapmaker. The goal with my blog is to build a community, educate the benefits of natural/organic products and to increase my sales. Working on a free opt-in offer and building my email list as well. It’s been slow going – thus far. I’m thirsty for knowledge and connecting with others who are like minded. Looking forward to this series.

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Aradia G. of Aradia's Hand

Yes, I believe building a blog can help build my business. As a handmade creative and spiritual artist I can show people it’s more than just some knitting or a pretty piece of glass. I can tell and show a story. With a blog I can reach people I might not get to physically meet because they’re “way on over somewhere not here”. I can show how I transform raw materials into something freakin’ amazing. (Now I just have to DO that…)

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Linda

I am an artist who’d like to create a community with my blog, but that’s not been happening. I do think I can make it work to sell my work, my art and creativity classes. I know I do good work. I have interesting posts. I also know I have to do something to make this work. I’m not engaging my audience.

I can’t help but think that, if I were selling a ‘proven system’ for artists to make money online or improve their art sales at festivals using direct mail style marketing, I’d be rolling in dough. Since there is no’ system’ to sell… I can add more how-to’s!

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Ressurrection

Hello,

I loved how you sucked me in, even after I opted in. I need this aweber thing lol. I have a blog and it took me a while to figure out how to make it work effectively. I now have readership in 188 countries, 120,000 + views, over 1600 comments, and thousands of followers and subscribers. But I need what you’ve got – clearly!

My topic is child sexual abuse, and I have branded myself as an expert in my field. I do gain private clients who I help with situations regarding child sexual abuse, domestic and/or sexual violence. I am now beginning to attract more media attention than ever because of a few specific blogs that I wrote which were reviews of television shows.

Anywho, I’m leaving a comment because you asked me to! Great strategy. I really want to have more success at blogging because I am a true writer, and I have books that I’d like to sell, and more books I’d like to write.

I am also a speaker, and I’d like to get more speaking engagements on specific subjects that I speak on.

Thanks for sharing.

BE. Extraordinary,

Ressurrection
@AJourneyToLove
http://www.facebook.com/ressurrectiongraves

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Gail Kenny

Yes, I believe blogging can help connect me with my clients and I can make money that way.

I work with people in physical pain who have already tried all the normal solutions but are still struggling with pain. I help them find out why they are stuck and to break old dysfunctional habits of thinking and feeling resulting in pain relief and getting back to living the life they want. I teach them to relate to their body, emotions, mind, and soul in new ways, creating relief from underlying tension and healing pain from the inside out.

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Alessandra

I definitely believe a blog can help me build my business! I’m training to become a Life Coach, and I want to market and sell my services online once I graduate in June! I ALSO want to use my blog in the way that fashion bloggers do, but with a more constructive and fulfilling purpose – to empower young women with inspirational words and images! Blogging is a platform to draw in and connect with these young image-focused women. My visitors will be a pool of potential coaching clients AND a great resource when partnering with outside companies for campaigns, consulting, etc.

Question: Does this sound too multi-passionate for a 24-year-old beginner? Should I focus on one aspect first?

THANK YOU DEREK! :)

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Michelle Lee

I do think blogging can help my business. I’m in the business of teaching teen girls and their mothers how the ancient cultural programming has created their sense of inadequacy and how to disengage from it to become the leaders they were born to be through seminars, one-on-one sessions, and speaking engagements.

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Kristen

I always find it so astonishing when entrepreneurs in my nitche don’t think blogging can help build a service based wellness business, it is what build mine in 12 months. The fasted business I have every build. Thanks Derek!

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Jacqueline McAdam

Yes a blog can help. My business includes education as one of its objectives…so blogging fits in…I blog about development issues in Africa to help others understand how we contribute, and make a difference in the world that empowers many. My business is rooted in the field of social entrepreneurism.

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Nicole

Derek~
This is the year I decided I would officially start my blog. I’ve come to the realization that it’s imperative to incorporate to grow my business. I’ve been trying to find some blogs with content connected to my industry, specifically skin care, to follow, to see their habits and layout, consistency and content. But I haven’t found any worth following and relevant to my interests. I also have sought out ‘how to blog’ techniques and styles and none of them have been helpful. The information was so vague. So far from what I read here, Derek, your straight forward style is just what I’m looking for. I’m excited to learn and to get started and become successful with it, without feeling overwhelmed with the writing and multiple postings!

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Jan @TWOwomenANDaHOE

Yes! I believe enhancing the content and developing a strategy for my blog will help promote my business, Two Women and a Hoe® (full-service indoor/outdoor sustainable landscape design, installation and green garden management). It is my long-term goal to franchise my business and position myself as the subject matter authority. I desire to become a key-note speaker in the landscape/garden arena.

May all your gardens grow,
Jan

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Frank Daley

Derek, I’m starting a business on self-development called Self-Knowledge College (site under construction) which will help people know themselves.

If you don’t know yourself, you don’t have the right information (about YOU) to make the best decisions about your life. You’ll choose the wrong line of work and the wrong life partner and you’ll be unhappy.

I’m preparing a sister site for at-risk college students and their frantic parents. Millions of students are failing high school or college in North America because they don’t know who they are and what they want. They don’t have any direction, or know themselves well enough to choose the right programs to enter. There’s no defined interest and no real motivation or drive to succeed.
This has a huge personal, family and societal cost both psychologically and financially.
I’m going to help students and parents with this.

My blog, The Daley Post, will focus on these problems. It will identify the problems and offer real solutions. It bis essential for my new business.

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Paul W. Swansen

Yes I believe a blog can grow my business. Now to begin to hone my craft so as to draw more visitors to my two sites.

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David

Yes, I believe a blog can help me with my business, Allery Consulting and Training LLC, and have written a book on it. I will also be teaching a course on the book beginning shortly.

But a blog would definitely help. The trouble is I always thought you had to blog daily. Now you’re saying that is not necessarily true. So I’m interested in reading why you know this.

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Franni

I have been wanting to stary a blog snd definitely think one would enhance my business. Most importantly for me is that my blog will enhance the lives of those that read it and hopefully teach them how to live with love, joy, peace and gratitude in their hearts and souls.

I am a Certified Focused Intention Technique (FIT) Practitioner, Life Coach and Angel Empowement Practitioner. FIT changed my life in an amazing way and I knew I wanted to become a practitioner after only a few sessions over 5 Years ago. FIT gets to the core reason why you can’t stop negative thoughts, why simple things may trigger anger, resentment or any negative emotional reaction. The process then removes negative thoughts and installs incredible positive emotions that you personally need as whispered by your heart centre Conciousness. FIT will also allow feelings of gratitude to emit from your heart.

I look forward to learning more about blogging. It is not the topics I will have any difficulty with but, as most wonder, how to get the followers.

I am grateful that I am receiving your expertise and teachings regarding blogging

Blessings of love, Franni

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Frank

Derek:
Thank you for the informative blog post. This is my first time reading your blog and have found it very informative.
I do believe that a blog could help me build a business. I am a Network/System Administrator wanting to get out of the corporate world and start my own consulting business. Knowing how to create a great blog and “personally” brand myself in my field would be extremely helpful as I am clueless now.
I am looking forward to leaning more.
Thanks

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Gaurav Vichare

I am amazed with your progress! Just 3 post / month and 2 years. You grown really fast ! You inspires me!

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Kat

A healthy, informative and heart-filled blog can most definitely help my business. I am a Mommy Coach and I help moms create Sanity, Teamwork and Joy in their homes. Mommies are very busy people. A newsletter/blog they can read anytime really works for their schedule. I’m looking forward to learning how I can take my experience and my passion for helping other mommies and create a powerful message that is actually opened when it hits the inbox.

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brandy

Derek,

How do you build a blog that targets B 2 B relationships rather than individual consumers? There is such a variety of topics to consider as we are able to provide services for any type of industry. If we want to promote our financial services, do you think a blog relating to business finances will spark interest from potential buyers. Not every company leader browses the internet for services that they may already have available to them. If you can educate me in this regard in the upcoming posts it would be helpful.

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Bruno Marsala

Hi Derek,
Thanks for a great article and introductory email. I am leaving my comment. I run a green screen studio in Toronto and we make cool videos for all kinds of clients. I do feel a blog is important because it is a great way to attract customers that are looking for what it is you do. With that said, you have to be credible, knowledgeable and actually do it! I have so many interests and actually think of my studio as a great place to create all kinds of my own high quality content be it writing, podcasts or videos. I look forward to following you and will pick up your Appsumo course as well.
Best,
Bruno

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Angie

Awesome series! Great timing for me. I am building a blog about real estate in my local area. I was doing web design but I craved the process of selling! Web design is fun and that is why I intend on being a triple threat. Sales savvy, web savvy and determined. I’ve been thinking hard about the best direction to head with my blog. Clearly SEO has to be top notch. Content is king but I’m still not sure of the angle I will run with. Looking forward to your emails! Maybe I will get a some ah ha out of it! Thanks!

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Maia

Hi Derek,

I’m new here and absolutely loving your advice! I have a handmade business, I make and sell natural body and skin care products. I know that skin care products are a dime a dozen, but with the right direction, I see no reason why I can’t stand out and leave a mark. I believe a blog can help me get there. I want to learn HOW a blog can help me get there. Looking forward to learning from you.

Maia

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Edmond

Can a blog help me build my hearing aid business? I really don’t know the answer to that question. I know for certain, that people are thursting for information of all kinds and that in my industry, information is quite scarce. However, I really don’ t know if readers are really looking for what I am writing about, or if they even like the content I am providing.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Susan

Hi there –
I am certain that a blog can help my business grow. I was regular with my posts for several months and saw increased SEO.

I have slacked over the last few months and need to get started again. I look forward to learning from you.

Thanks!

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Jen

Hi there,
I just found this site from Facebook and I’m really excited to learn about blogging. I believe it could help, but I have never figured out how to attract people to a blog. I think one of my biggest difficulties is I will either run off topic or have nothing to continue blogging about. My husband and I are in telecommunication and energy brokerage and we’d love to utilize possibilities of blogging to attract more customers.
Thanks!

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Serene Queen

Hi Derek,

I’ve just re-started my fledgling blog page – one day I hope the project will become a book, but for the time being I want to stretch my writing fingers and get back into Serene Queen.

I’m hoping to learn about how to promote and grow my blog so I can reach a wider audience. I also write blogs for my clients and would like to help them get a wider reach for their businesses.

Looking forward to hearing more. Thank you! SQ.

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Sam Hodder

I have a small jewellery business and I am just starting to try to promote it online. I recently started a blog for my business. I definitely think that blogging can help promote a business and get more people interesting in my product, and have my website exposed to more potential buyers. I would like for my blog to show people more about my business and also the kind of person I am. I would like to use my blog to increase awareness about the work I do outside of my jewellery business, in the nonprofit sector as well.

I’m still wondering exactly how to start promoting my business, and I look forward to reading more of your tips!

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Karen Quigley

Hi. Wondering if a blog can be used as a first step to starting your online business or if you have to have a business already in place. I have the concept but haven’t been able to figure out the best place to start – blog, website, webinar, etc. Its life coaching for youth and young adults who don’t fit the ‘mold’ and need to go in their own direction, to give you an idea of the business i’m thinking of.

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Bonnie Kissinger

Absolutely blogging is a key form of communication that can result in tremendous benefits for all. Learning to communicate what your passionate about, with your authentic voice helps others really get engaged.

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Perryn Olson

I agree with the results of what you said blogging can do for you – speaking, book deals, easier selling. I’ve seen that already with my blog.

How do I get more qualified people to see my company blog? I write for a narrow audience, construction companies. I don’t want millions of people on my blog & social media accounts, I just want people in the construction industry.

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Diane Peckham

Hello Derek,
I definitely believe Blogging can be a powerful force in making your business work, although it is definitely not one of my strong points. I look forward to all that you can teach me.
Our business is Empowering People, via Personal Empowerment Life Coaching, Emotional Freedom Technique, Psych-K and NLP. We also do w workshops in Basic EFT and Facilitate Empowerment Life Coaching Programs. I am interested in all you can teach me!

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Sara DeFrancesco

Hi Derek,

I think a blog is the key to creating referrals for my future business. I’m a naturopathic and Chinese medical student and graduating in June 2014. I think creating a successful blog in my last year of school will help get my business off the ground and become a trusted name in the profession.

I also think that because my field of work is very small, many people have not heard of a Naturopathic Doctor. Others may have heard of a naturopath, but are not educated on our philosophy or unconventional treatments.

I want to use my blog to reach more people than I could ever see in a lifetime of private practice, because so many people need this medicine and don’t even know it’s out there. Also educating the public through my blog will ensure I have the best clients suited to my business, for example, clients will know ahead of time that I will be making food recommendations and they will come in when they are ready to handle that.

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Tracey

I totally believe that a blog could help my business which is why I have one. I am a designer and I use my blog to show interesting designs. However, after google launched Panda, I went from 180-200 readers a day to 50. I need to know how to avoid this happening again and how to increase readership.

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Nihal

I have been always skeptical about the use if a blog in my business. I am a political economist specializing in Egypt specifically and Middle East generally. I am not in academia yet and that’s why I am interested in having a blog but not sure how will it help me since there are tons on online magazine articles with tons of analyses (which I do not necessarily agree with most if the time). I know starting a blog will expose my thoughts but how can I get it through with all the now busy platforms for analyses etc?

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Robin

I’m a 20 year, international design award-winning veteran of the home design and renovation business. My book “Renovation Bootcamp(R): Kitchen (Design and Remodel Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Wallet, Your Mind or Your Spouse) is an Amazon best seller. I’m a speaker, addressing consumers, design pros and design students as well as keeping up with a home-based design practice. I’m active on Twitter with 2300 followers, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I know for my business category I should be active on Pinterest and Houzz, but haven’t done much with them to date.

I’m currently renovating my website and will start a blog, which I’m doing with great trepidation. There are SO many blogs out there on every subject, not to mention all the social media outlets, I can’t imagine how anyone has time to read them…I know I don’t. So how am I going to have time to research and write one on a regular basis that keeps readers coming back? I have GREAT, proven content, but as you say, that’s not enough. So I’m looking forward to hearing how it’s done so it’s not just a black hole of time wasting effort!

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kaz

Stopped blogging a few years ago..and started again three days ago. I suppose I stopped because of the non traffic issue, but determined to make a go of it this time. I have no idea what to sell yet, just getting this writers block out of the way. Some of my work will be Australian-centric. I like social history, quirky ideas and human stories. I have some ideas for other blogs but shall start here first. Thanks for the info. :)

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Louise

I think a blog is great potential to grow a business. I am in an uncrowded space – I sell green, earth-friendly pest control products that work. I am an expert on safe pest control, all sorts of pests, plus ‘green’ living. I blog at least once a week but must be doing something terribly wrong since it has not manifested into sales or followers. Help!!

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Jordan Oram

Hello Derek,

I do believe a blog can help one build their business and I’m in the business of encouraging awesomeness. :) I realized that the thing that makes me most passionate is encouraging and empowering people to see their potential; to hear the whisper of their incredible skills and talents and passions.

I feel thankful for being born into a world with the foundations put in place as they are by all of the people who’ve come before us, and I want to do what I can to help leave the world in a much better state yet.

I do this by being willing to awkwardly model the example of a normal guy stumblingly moving forward through his fears and doubts, to pursue his dreams, have conversations with strangers, share tea and stories, all while taking a whole lot of photographs.

Last year I travelled across Canada for 7 months, going west to east on around $2000 after starting the trip with about $250 to my name, before managing a much quicker return west before the winter froze me. I rode by car, boat, bus, and train. I slept on floors, couches, beds, the side of a mountain, and beside a farmers field. I stayed with friends old and new, former campers, former students, and former co-workers.

And now I’ve spent the last month with 24 000+ photos on my hard drive, the idea to do a series of ebooks based on my trip, an ever growing social media following, and the familiar fears and challenges ahead of me.

So thank you, I’m really looking forward to what you’ve got to say, and I hope that it can help me to realize my short and mid term goals, while helping me continue to strive towards the possibilities I see for the future!

May you have a wonderfilled day,
Jordan Oram
the Maplemusketeer

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Matthew Detrick

Derek, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Your points on “what if you build it and they don’t come” and “creating daily content sounds overwhelming” are both reasons why I have not consistently worked on growing a blog. When I first started RemarkableHypnosis.com friends of mine liked the posts but it never seemed to extend beyond their interaction. Now that I look back I probably quit too soon, which is why nothing really exists on the domain currently. I know what I have is valuable because people are usually interested when I mention what I do. I think it’s more about presenting things within their frame or reference rather than me telling people how great what I do is for them.

Questions for you: In what ways are keywords/SEO important in your strategy? (maybe it’s more of an after thought?) In what ways do you think I might be able to present a topic like hypnosis in a way people would want to engage and share?

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Tim

Hi Derek and thanks for the info and the upcoming series. I am fairly new to blogging, about 8 months now, but have recently joined a 100 day biz builder challenge with a group of like minded Network Marketers. I believe that a blog can help me build a presence online and grow a large following of people that enjoy reading my content and gain value and knowledge from it. I am in several ventures, Health & Nutrition,Affiliate Marketing and also I am the Marketing Director for a four (4) time Olympian/Professional Speaker. I feel that i can incorporate my business into my blogging by providing content that is both Informative and Entertaining. I will never stop learning and gaining value and knowledge from those that have paved the way before me. I look forward to learning from you and stepping up my game. I too wish to become a professional speaker and author.

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David

Hi, can anyone tell me where I can get the file for Thesis framework? Can I get it free do you know?

Thanks for your help

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Marina (rock star raw)

Hi Derek
Perfect timing that I stumbled upon your article. I’m about to start my blog tomorrow! I’ve been inspired by my daughters blog fashionrushhh she’s got a pretty big following & at age 17 is so happy being invited to London fashion week & parties. My list is growing steadily but could be better. I’m going to blog about my passion & luckily it’s also my work as a film location chef focusing now on bringing more “raw” onto set. Film work usually is very long hours so I’m bringing natural energy to the cast & crew. Despite my name – I’m encouraging natural highs via food not drugs or alcohol!

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Jennifer

We consult, design and teach ecological design and holistic planning. A blog is essential to show our experience, share our discoveries, create community, and show how our services can work for potential clients.

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Jeannette

Yes, I think blogging will help me. I am a health coach and have many avenues in which I can share information and hopefully develope a following leading to more business…I’m a novice at this so bear with me, but I do believe that blogging will help and am looking forward to hearing more.

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Joe

I am in the business of helping empower people to build stronger communities by repairing, strengthening and healing relationships. I am a counselor. I own my own private practice and I do relationship seminars. Yes, I believe that building a blog can build my business and I have been using a blog regularly for many years in a variety of settings.
We have captured a large part of our local market in a short time, I believe in part because of blogging. I am looking to go national with my conferences and I am hoping that a blog will be part of that path.

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Erica Goodman

I do believe that blogging is a great avenue to build your business. I work with Mary Kay and I am currently working towards becoming a sales director. I see blogging as an avenue to find women that also wish to grow their business and who wish to learn more about the cosmetics and becoming a better woman in the workforce.

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carole Hill

Yes, I believe a blog can help my business. I am a health and wellness coach and know that people looking for better health or wellbeing love GOOD information and sharing stories. I also recruit and train others to be coaches so know that seeing in action the successes and way we help is the greatest way to attract more people to be team members in my business.

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lynn

I’m a health care practitioner, Nurse Practitioner by training and on the internet a Health & Wellness coach with a focus on supporting the health and wellness of children and their parents. I’m aligned with the top rated nutritional supplement manufacturer in the world, in a network marketing format. I love blogging about health, wellness, prosperity and getting the best from life. I know that improving my blogs will increase my presence, get my book created and out the masses and bring me to the stages of those wanting what I have to offer. Sooo, seeking your assistance, guidance and down right honest reviews.

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Mary Catherine

Derek!!
Love your energy and fun! Yes I am doing the research to launch my blog
Thanks for the inspiration and guidance!
Mc

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D. Jeff Heggie

Derek,
Yes, I believe that a blog can grow our business. At Kodiak Mountain Stone we supply manufactured stone, natural stone, brick and acrylic stucco for interior and exterior finishes. I believe that our blog will help us to drive people to our site by providing them with the commonly asked questions in our industry. We work with and have many experts on our team who have the knowledge and know-how that many people can benefit from if they will just share it through our blog.

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Jenn

YES! I think a blog can be extremely beneficial to my business. I already have one going, and have much more consistent with it lately, but I REALLY need subscribers!
I teach the business of Acting & what it REALLY takes to find success + longevity in the entertainment business. I am also a talent manager, and work in the entertainment world on a daily basis, with many different clients.
I give real world advice that cuts through all of the bullshit.

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Stepmom Coach

Derek, I’m sure hoping that your ideas about blogging will make a difference in my business. I do have a blog and I must admit, I’ve not been consistent.

My name is Claudette Chenevert, known as The Stepmom Coach. I work with women who are married or about to marry Prince Charming, who happens to have kids of his own.

I provided great information and tips to help stepmoms and stepfamilies move from struggling to thriving.

With about 1300 new stepfamilies forming on a daily basis, it’s important for them to understand what makes stepfamilies different from traditional families. And because the divorce rate for second marriages are higher, helping families get off on the right foot is important, not just for today but for future families.

I look forward to hearing what you will be sharing and ways to improve the readership of my blog.

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Jeanette

I believe a blog can help promote my personal injury law firm. I think the issue I need help to overcome is how to get subscribers. People use us if they have been involved in an accident. I’m not sure they will want to receive regular blogs from us prior to or after we have been involved in their case. Looking forward to receiving further guidance.

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David Martin

I work as the digital communications manager for London-based translation agency Today Translations. Our blog is pretty successful and I’m well aware of the benefits it brings, especially in terms of SEO and costumer and supplier engagement. But this industry is also very crowded and highly competitive, which is why I’m always looking to improve and make our company stand out.
Really excited about this series and benefits it’s going bring!

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Jeanne Rollins

YES! I have no doubt that reading a blog (your blog) can help me build the audience necessary to pave the way for my children’s book series, related empowerment talks and licensing opportunities. I’m a family therapist & parenting coach who challenges the traditional understanding of generosity. I accuse over-functioning parents (& leaders) of being Greedy Givers who give in a way that undermines instead of empowers. I haven’t packaged my message the right way. But there’s no time like the present. “Greedy Gracie” and I are on our way. Thanks for inviting us along for the ride. Following you on fb & twitter.

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Anne Hernandez

I think my blog is DEFINITELY going to help my business. It’s starting out as a blog and will morph from there. The company is called Pintesting. My name is Anne and I’m a Pinterest addict. Yes, the fastest growing social media out there with the largest ROI is my addiction – just like thousands of others. What makes my blog special? After trying a lot of recipes, crafts, tips, and other Pins, I noticed that many were great, some were okay, and others were epic failures. Pinterest has a flaw in that comments which could pinpoint these failures don’t follow re-pins. You’re at the mercy of the original site.
My company tests, reviews and rates (on a weighted 5-point scale) Pinterest Pins. It’s still in it’s infancy, less than 1 month of posting blog content, but it’s a specific niche that has unbelievable potential. I’m getting good feedback from social media sites and hope to get other bloggers to help launch this into places yet unknown.

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Tanisha

I am just transitioning into becoming a Life Coach and creating my website. I have a book coming out in May 2013 where I will be using it to help me create workshops, webinars, teleconferences, etc. I would love to use my blog to promote what I do, what I offer, and how I could benefit others. A great blog would allow me to get speaking engagements, attract those who want to be coached, and sell my products.

Tanisha A. Cunningham

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Kathy H Porter

Absolutely Yes: blogs can grow any business. The best ones come from the perspective of a blogger who asked how they could best serve their readers before they wrote their first post and who made sure that the “guts” of their blog – its infrastructure – were configured for organic search before they went “live.”

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Gilbert Bartlett

I dont have a clue on how to Blog and what it can do for me.That being said I wont to learn everything I can I have a Business that I wont to do but dont know how to get good leads to grow my Business.Help I know if I can learn this I can grow into the person Id like to be and am working to be.I need training to become the master at this I was a Carpenter /Remolder all my life well life change I can no longer that kind of work no more.I have allways been in sales we all have been selling our selfes I need to learn this and go to the top like I did before.Looking forward to this

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Rita

I know a blog can grow my business. I currently write to give my audience inspiration. My passion lies within creating a forum to motivate people to tell & share the stories of their photos. Photovation is a two part word – photo & motivation. I am looking forward to learning how to build a tribe of clients that will actually do the work to create their own photo legacies.

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Erik Krause

Love SocialTriggers.com!

A blog is a useful tool to grow my business because it’s a tried and true growth platform.

In my particular business, holistic health education and training for extraordinary living, I use blogging as a vehicle for delivering practical wisdom in easy to digest amounts for free.

In one click (or none if you sign up for email delivery) you can learn practical, proven techniques for improving your physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual quality of life.

Given that The PATH²: The Pursuit of Attaining Total Health & Happiness has only recently (<2mos.) established a virtual presence, a blog seemed like the right first splash to make. Blogging is a low-overhead, straightforward and established marketing medium well suited to distributing holistic health information that you could easily incorporate into your day-to-day to feel healthier and happier.

Just as I am laying out the universal blueprint for attaining total health and happiness, you, Derek, are doing the same with professional blogging. I appreciate your generosity in sharing the wisdom of your experience. And I'll stay tuned for more because you've just whet my appetite.

"If you have something wonderful in your life, you have an obligation to share it with others." The PATH²

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Katydid

I definitely believe a blog can help promote a product IF the blog is written in a way that will pull people in instead of push them away. I’ve written a daily blog since November of 2009 and in the beginning I just blogged because I loved storytelling…but I’ve decided I want my blog to make good money so in the last couple of months, with my daughter’s help, my readers have grown tremendously. I’m seriously considering offering an ebook to see how that does. Just a simple 15 or so page ebook for pennies on amazon…and IF that works well I’ll do more. I’m not interested in selling to my readers. I want my readers to come to my blog only to be lifted up. I want my blog to make a difference in lives. So we’ll see how this works for meeeeeeee :-) Looking forward to more in this series….Thanks

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Susan

Hi Derek

The answer is YES. A blog can and should be used for any business. In fact, my business is about teaching YES which in my terminology is Your Essential Self. Once you know who you are, understand your values, goals, dreams and aspirations, passions you can then put them into practice, align them with your own STYLE which I like to call Ultimate Style (because your own style is ultimately your own, no-one Else’s) and become Beautifully Rich (because when you are shining on the inside, it shows on the outside, all of a sudden you see your own beauty and the beauty of others which of course is rich in itself) the riches come from being able to develop Your Essential Self into a powerful money making, beautifully stylish business that is unique, different and special and aligned to YES. I love blogging, in fact I love blogging everyday and I have absolutely no end of content, it just comes and flows. That certainly doesn’t mean that I’m a master of the blog and social tactics as yet, but I am a master of my own domain and knowledge base and I can guarantee that anyone who follows my own program will not only feel compelled to live their best lives, I’ll show them how to understand how to do it their own way. My blog is my business, I’ve gone from coaching people one on one (which I still do, but my rates are high) to re-branding my business to an online one where I can coach multiple people at the same time. This allows a collective to grow, share and develop their own selves at the same time as being supported by a like-minded group who know and absolutely believe that they can “have it all”.
I’m looking forward to learning more in your series Derek, keep up the fabulous work.
Susan

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Edwina Cowgill

I own an editing company, Monarch Writing Services. I do think a blog would help increase business; often, it’s a matter of time management to get a blog posted. I work part-time, am writing a book and have the editing business. So the blog posts don’t get put on the back burner, they get pushed off the ledge! Any and all help greatfully appreciated~!

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Edwina Cowgill

ooops… that’s gratefully appreciated!!

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Lank Simmons

I absolutely believe a blog can help my business, although I have not blogged much but do have one on my site. I would love to learn how to ge subscribers to my blog. I am in the IM niche.

Thanks
Lank Simmons

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Andy Owens

Hello Derek, yes I think a blog would help my business idea, or maybe I should say that my business idea IS a blog. I am a serial entrepreneur and have always had, run and sold successfull businesses, but was also always a musician on the side. I also live a crazy life of various activities like travel, scuba diving, cave diving, music tours or events. But making money making music is near impossible now. What I want to do is develop a blog that enertains people and lets them live my live vicariously thru my blog. Music would be delivered, streaming live performances of music or my life activities, which are pretty interesting. How to monetize that? Good question, I believe in the patronism model, check out http://www.patronism.com or some other subscription type model. Looking forward to your ideas.

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DrTerry

Hi Derek, interesting stuff. I’ve been looking for a blogging mentor!

I definitely believe blogging will help my business but not sure which to start with. I’m an Anti-aging and Skin doctor so I would love to build a successful blog educating people about skin, anti-aging and feeling great. I have a blog on my website now but I know there’s more potential to it.

On another note, I also train doctors on the technical side but would like to develop that to include teaching doctors how to run business/practice so this would be a completely different blog. So would like to know can I do them simultaneously or just focus on clients first, before doctors? Looking forward to learning more.

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Nancy Morris

My blog already brings me business (corporate training) and I’m wondering what else I can do to not only expand my reach and build reputation but to turn it into a “watercooler” (in other words, get more comments). A lot of people consume my blog posts and even spend time writing to me directly. I really want people to chat with each other more.

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Jean

I discovered you first on Stitcher Radio – I listen to Podcasts every night when I go to bed. You have a great message and great energy when you speak. I look forward to learning more from you to help me make my blog more well known

Jean

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Brenda C

Yes, I absolutely believe a blog can help build a business! I started mine a year ago. I am looking forward to reading your newsletters to find out what I need to be doing to get mine growing faster. My business is art. I am happiest when I am creating and I am looking for others who feel the same. I know they are out there!

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Gayle

I absolutely think my blog can help my business. I am an Independent Scentsy Director ( direct selling party plan type company). BUT, I know I need help with it! I don’t want to just “write” for the sake of writing. My desire is to provide value, share information & change people’s lives!
Any assistance will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!

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Dodie Jacobi

I’m a believah! A year and a half ago, I started my blog for owners who want a business AND life they enjoy, and have income has grown steadily – and that’s with all conversions happening the offline way. This year’s about automation (including online conversion), expanding my contractor staff, and launching a web program. Look forward to learning from you!

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Chad Corbett

Great article. I am a real estate professional that has never marketed myself as a “REALTOR” because I’ve always been in high-end resorts working for one developer selling one product so I didn’t need the online presence that REALTORS do. However, I’ve moved from HI to VA and I’m in a market where 99% of the REALTORS I’m competing with were born’n'raised here so I have some catching up to do. I’m taking a bit of a “leap of faith” in spending the time to create relevant content and I have very little competition from my peers online so I’m hoping that just getting good information out there will bring the business.

I find that Seth Godin is 100% correct in saying that it doesn’t matter if anyone reads your content at first because it forces you to be an expert. I’m very careful about what I put out because I consider it cast in stone and forever published and searchable so I make sure I’m only publishing the best information.

I am starting 2 companies, a REALTOR company and a Real Estate Investing company and have a Wordpress site for each with a blog front and center. The investor site has been up for nearly a year and I’m already owning “real estate” related searches. My REALTOR site has only been up a few weeks and I’ve focused on more content and SEO now that I’ve learned a little so I’m excited to see if I can grow quickly with blogging.

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C S Sullivan

Derek, I use screen reader technology — all text is invisible to me. Synthesized speech is good for e learning but not so much for daily blogging where all widgets take precious seconds. Connecting with my fellow authors it is possible to lose the author’s ideas in the clutter but this post gets five stars.

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Karen

Hi Derek,
I’m a total newbie in the blogging world but I’m
convinced that the logical next step for my tiny little business.

My background is employment counselling/training/recruiting but when I was downsized in 2009, I started gardening and cleaning houses. While it hasn’t been lucrative, I learned that I never want to return to corporate life! I love making life easier for my clients and I love their reactions when they see the quality of my work. Most of all, the feeling of pride is kind of overwhelming each week as I deposit their cheques into my account – what a rush!

I really believe a blog will help me connect to like-minded people, build a loyal following of potential customers who will want to purchase the things I love and share on my blog. I’ll be able to reach a wider population to help make their lives easier as well with tips and suggestions.

I tend to be a wee bit of a perfectionist (hence, cleaning and gardening) but that often throws up road blocks to progress (something I’m working on!). I’m really excited and grateful to learn what successful bloggers like yourself have to offer to new folks like me. So, hit me with what you’ve got…I’m all ears and eyes! And, thank you! I’ll be paying this one forward for sure.

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Tanya Aliza

WOW Derek after scrolling down for about 5 mins till I reached the bottom where I could leave comment was an honor. I wouldn’t normally take this time but your content and story is off the chain. I love it. Now that I’m exhausted I can’t remember why I was here ;-) LOL Oh Yeah a BLOG! YES you HAVE to have one in this day in age. I started in the home based business arena and I got really good at sharing value in our niche that I started my own coaching business and this would never have been possible without a social media/blogging presence. It’s weird but when you have this platform to work off of, people think you’re FAMOUS!
That’s cool…..I like Famous!
This Blog thing lead to some amazing opportunity and when you talked about speaking engagements……I’m speaking in Vegas at one of the largest Internet / Networking events of the year called No Excuses and I’m sharing the stage with Gary Vaynerchuk at this event!!! How sweet is that!

Thanks Derek for all you do and if there is anything that I can ever do to help your message…..just let me know!

Next time I won’t have to scroll down for 5 mins because I’ll be on your content like white on rice ;-)

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Dawn Marrs

Wow… Like Tanya said, had to scroll for a LONG time to leave a comment… amazing what you’ve done here. Yes I agree that having a blog can be a great asset for any business, if only to get more “eyes” on your offer and to extend your brand.

I have to say, this blog post is a great lesson in itself on how to hook your readers… there’s no way to escape your open loops ;)

Thanks for the great content and for sharing such valuable information!

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Susan Elcox

I have a new blog in which I am blogging every Thursday. After reading “The Impact Equation” by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith they said quantity makes less of a difference than quality. Julien blogs 1x/wk whereas Chris blogs multiple times/wk. They have found their results in terms of followers are quite similar. Anyway, back to my blog… My topic is niche: rug hooking. I sell supplies and I want my main revenue source to be online classes by others, but I don’t yet have that live yet. I need to grow my list. I have articles planned for Rug Hooking Magazine w 20k subscribers and Rug Beat w 2k subscribers, but I need some guest blog gigs, and some mags outside of the rug hooking genre. My issues are a) finding those opportunities (most rug hooking blogs don’t have good followings and often poor content) and b) I’m worried about using up all my blog topics. For the good blogs in this space that I have approached, they don’t seem to understand the benefit of sharing guest blogs. So anything you can bring to this discussion would be helpful.

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Brian

Hello, I just started following you and I must admit, the information you are giving to us is very useful. I appreciate all that you have done, so far, for my understanding of this theory and how I can apply it to my own site. I am a freelance designer and I have started a website and blog about a month ago and I am thinking that I may need to use wordpress.org instead of the .com version so I can actually have some plug-ins and count visitors and start a mailing list ect… It would really be awesome if you could give me your opinion on my theory. Thanks and I look forward to the future of social triggers!!!

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James

Hi Derek. I’m pretty new to your blog and to the world of blogging in general. My wife and I set up a business producing printed and embroidered personalised gifts, promotional products and workwear. We started about 2 years ago but it is only in the past 2 weeks that I have switched from the world of “proper” employment to self-employment. I’m very aware that there is a real need to increase the number of customers and sales if working from home with my family is to be a sustainable way of life.

I think a blog can help; although figuring out how is still a bit of a mystery. My first few entries feel almost like therapy for myself rather than something that my readers and potential customers really want to read about. I would still like to keep some blog entries that reflect the ins-and-outs of running a micro business with big ambitions; but I do need to focus more on interesting and information content that my customers actually want to read.

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Deborah Owen

Hi Derek,

I am very interested in learning more about this topic. Yes, I DO think a blog can help you build a business. In general, it is better than a static website because it keeps people coming back to see what is new. If they keep coming back, you have the opportunity to invite them into a learning community with you, and if you want, ultimately sell them something.

I am a high school library teacher with a brand new blog (http://convergenceinthecommons.com/) that is focused on the integration of inquiry, technology, literacy, and innovation in education. I am also very interested in learning about and sharing ways that educators can help students develop self-motivation for learning. I am starting this blog, partly so that I can work out – through writing – a lot of the things I am reading and thinking about myself, partly to develop a community of like-minded educators with whom to learn and share, and partly to build a base for when I decide to do something a little different. I hope that if I can develop a lot of followers – a “tribe” – that I will have some credibility when I make the break from the daily circulation desk/whiteboard!

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Fit Missy

Yes you can if you fuel it with the right content that delivers value and is pumped with personality!

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Margie Blackmon

Hi Derick I am a baby boomer and reinventing myself I am a Business Growth Coach I believe a blog can help me build my business because it will allow me the chance to share engage and express ……..

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Tiffany

I definitely believe a blog will help me build my business. I’m a graphic designer focused on making excellent design accessible to entrepreneurs via education and graphic design. For me education is the key and a blog is the perfect vehicle for me to get that knowledge out there. This post and forthcoming series couldn’t be more timely. The post are starting to churn, but not I need to figure out how to get people to the site. Looking forward to hearing more!

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Nikki Assalone

I’ve been building my website (from scratch) for the past year, beginning at B-School last summer (where I was first introduced to your fabulous self) – I didn’t even know what wordpress was a year ago and learned through videos (Nathalie Lussier) and courses on Lynda.com. My site has been fully functional for the past 6+ months and I’m blogging once per week – but MAN is it slow going. I have under 50 subscribers. My company was on the ground for many years and quite successful. I’d hoped to gain an international reach on line, but so far… not so much. My program counsels people who deal with stress eating, binging, emotional overeating and yo-yo dieting. You know how people often KNOW what they want and what to do, but just can’t seem to get themselves to do it? Well that’s where I come in. I’m a nutritionist who got sick of telling people what they already know and got down to the business of developing the habit of DOING what we really need to do to live a good life…
I know I’m missing something and need to focus less on content and more on marketing. I KNOW without doubt that what I’m offering changes lives… but it’s all useless if I can’t reach those lives. I soooooo hope to gain some insight here. Thanks for offering to share you wisdom.

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Brandon Starnes

Great article! I found your site from frustration of not seeing my blog showing much growth. I began a search and found your site on how to grow your blog. I also believe I have heard you on John Dumas’s podcast. I have been hooked to his podcast being able to hear all about how successful entrepreneurs have created some amazing companies and products. Every interview seems to come back to the same idea of creating a blog. I did just that about 3 months ago. My thoughts have been why can’t I create something and do the same as other successful bloggers have done in the past. I am looking forward to this series and see how I can implement these tips.

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Shelly Owen

Yes, I believe a blog can help grow my business. I have a online jewelry business that I have been struggling to get noticed. I blog usually a couple of times a week and have been for the past two years and still only have 41 followers. I’m working on it, learning, and trying to brand through the blog. It’s a tough gig for jewelry right now. If you don’t find your niche, you pretty much are dead in the water. So using a blog for promotion and brand building is very important. The trick is I don’t know how. Hopefully, I can figure it out.

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STEVE CORRIVEAU

i am a graphiter artist.I want to be able to support myself by selling my art.My niche is NY YANKEES fans.I want to sell original art as well as limited edition or prints that aren’t limited.I would love to get premium prices for mt art.I am realistic or hyperrealistic in style and technique.I am a regular subscriber and love your social triggers vids to sell for higher prices.I feel I need more in depth knowledge on how to do this!
SINCERELY,
STEVE

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Jim

Hi Derek,

A blog will definitely help grow our business. We have been so busy doing it for clients that we forget about ourselves. My blog will definitely be helpful for people that are looking to get an edge up on competition and grow their business. We’re a marketing company and stress blogging as only one stream of marketing in today’s world. Look forward to your series. Best of luck.

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Suzanne

I am good at what I do, and I know, not just believe, that a blog would further me being able to work with the people I have envisioned working with. I created a business called “Total Freedom”. At first I helped people clear negative energies from their bodies. Then I helped the families of adopted children conincide happily together thru that venue and a program I created. I now work with people on their whole body creating the health freedom they desire. I am in the process of creating a modality that brings the one end of health, clearing negative energy at the cellular level to the other side of health, nutrition, at the cellular level. I so want the knowledge and freedom I have experienced and know to be true, to be out there helping a LOT more people. That is my mission.

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Sally

I am in the helping profession…a school social worker and teacher. I am convinced that personal self care is the answer to many of the issues facing education – specifically learning the skills of mindfulness (being in the present moment with compassion for self and others) and applied thinking (creating what you want). Fifteen plus years in education does not exactly lend itself to savvy business skills! I appreciate your help in expanding my blog on social and emotional learning: Nurturing children through self care for teachers and parents.

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Kimberly Davis

Since I didn’t get wind of your knowledge till now, how can I get a copy of your instructional on blogging the right way, right now?

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Rickey Romero

I do believe a blog can sell my business. I am a sales trainer, coach and speaker. I just opened my business 3 months ago. I have done training for over the last 20 years as an employee of various companies. At 53 years old I am lost on the proper way how to use social media. I have some blogs written but I am not sure how to get this blog published where it can be seen. I am building my email list.

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Gary Bartlett

Derek,

I’m management consultant in the process of (a) moving my consulting business online, (b) publishing a universal management intervention taxonomy and the universal solution library I’ve assembled and developed and (c) building a software as a service application for making it easy for managers to build and manage interventions.

I’ve blogged on and off over the years, but not got a lot of value from it – probably because (a) I didn’t have an effective traffic generation strategy, (b) My area of specialisation (the intersection between system science and cognitive science) was too “out there” until quite recently and (c) I didn’t have many of the insights you offer in this post (and I’m expecting you to provide in your course!).

My mission is to contribute to bringing our entire civilisation to escape unconscious incognizance faster and engage more productively, innovatively and collaboratively in advancing itself.

I think that blogging will become the most effective marketing tool for my business and mission over the next few years, because it will enable me to key into and enrich existing and emerging networks and communities – and create a pull-system for change in the process.

So I’m very keen to learn from you!

I really like your business model. Thank you very much. I tried to establish myself in the same way 11 years ago when I made my first significant breakthrough, but was spectacularly unsuccessful at it – I hope that the combination of my increased capability and experience and your insights will enable me to succeed this time round!

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Stan Eigi

I totally agree. Blogs can significantly boost your business effectiveness, knowing how many people almost live online it would be a shame to waste this opportunity. As usual a very informative post.

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Sid Kassidy

I always though about blogging but never did it because I don’t know what to talk about. I’m a jeweler. I read some post suggesting to post products, interview other artists (but who any artists or only other jewelers?), showcasing my products with others things that could match with my products like clothing, shoes, purses (good idea), etc. Should I talk about me, who I am, that I have 4 kids, my daily life, etc? Some say I should show my process. Good idea but what do you do when your process is unique, and that showing it would make competition be able to do the same? I really developped my onw way of working even the material I use no one yet has been able to find it. I’m not sure I want to give this out to competition. and, I’m still not sure if people interested in jewelry would be interested on fashion in general or only jewelry? How to search these anwers, how to find out. I’m confused. Also, how to write good copy?

Those are my questions, hope you cover them!

Thanks!

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Jordan

I laugh at people who think blogs aren’t useful. Especially business owners. They social media takes the place of blogging so they devote their time there.

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Petra

Hi Derek. I am new to this on line blogging and am yet to put together my website. Feeling out of my depth, but learning a lot from you and Marie Forleo’s B-School. I am fourth generation intuitive, Reiki practitioner, certified Angel Tarot Card Reader, and studying Hypno-therapy and Feng Shui. I am great at what I do, but unsure about the technical aspect. Thank you for all your information, it is helpful. Sincerely Petra Prendergast.

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