Last week I revealed the “big secret” behind building blogs.
(If you didn’t read my post about “Why blogs fail,” the secret is: “The easiest way to get readers for your blog is to convince another blog that has readers to send readers your way.”)
I then challenged you to list what sites you’d LOVE to get traffic from, and why you wanted traffic from those sites…
…but that’s when I noticed something strange:
People are looking for readers in the wrong places.
And if you’re struggling to get readers for your blog, I’m going to tell you right now: You’re also looking for readers in the wrong places.
Why You Want Other People To Send You Readers
As a quick refresher, the reason why you want other people to send you readers is because it’s the FASTEST way to build your audience. Hands down.
Most people create content and hope someone will notice them. They hope search engines will rank them highly and send them readers. They hope a big blogger finds them and links them. They hope a journalist “discovers” them.
The big problem with this strategy is that people are sitting around, waiting for something to happen.
(This is strange to me because while most people admit they’re not looking for a “handout,” that’s exactly what they’re doing!).
However, when you actively try to get other people with readers to send you readers (and potential customers), you’re taking control over the success of your website.
Are You Looking For Readers In The Wrong Places?
My lawyer cracks me up. He swears that the internet is useless for generating leads and sales for his business. He even went so far and said, “Creating content is a horrible way to attract business. I’ve been doing it and it’s not working.”
And that’s when I set the record straight. He’s my lawyer. Like you, he’s accustomed to my direct, no B.S. approach to everything.
So I told him, “First, my man. Your logic is flawed. Just because it’s not working for you doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Maybe the problem isn’t the strategy. Maybe the problem is you. I know plenty of people who use the web to generate leads and sales for professional service businesses. Yours is no different.”
Then, I fired up his site, and it all made sense.
He made the same mistakes most people make when they create a website for their business.
(The same mistakes some of you made when you completed the homework on Friday. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the article “Why Blogs Fail.”)
Before I dive into these issues, I want you to know my lawyer isn’t stupid. He owns his own firm, and built it from scratch to a decent-sized office.
And despite his glaring mistakes, he was doing a lot of things right.
He had a blog. He had a way to collect leads. His content was well-written, and it was also entertaining.
So, what was the problem?
He was attracting the wrong readers.
How did I know this?
Because when I read the content on his blog, all of it was tailored to other lawyers.
Meaning, if a random lawyer stumbled on his blog, they’d love it. But if I stumbled on it, I would be like “What? I’m not a lawyer. Next…”
His content was repelling his customer… and attracting his competition.
What’s funny is, TOO MANY PEOPLE make this same mistake.
A friend of mine is a freelance writer. She was complaining that her blog wasn’t attracting potential freelance writing clients.
I fired up her blog, and she had content like “7 mistakes freelance writers make when they work with a client” and “When you should fire your client” and “How to charge more for freelance writing.”
Now think about this…
If you were looking to hire a freelance writer, would you hire my friend? Or would you say, “You mean you want to CHARGE ME MORE? AND THEN FIRE ME?”
And then the only action you would take is clicking that X on your browser window to close out the site. Why? Because her content is tailor-made for attracting other freelance writers… not people who hire freelancer writers.
As another example, as I saw in the homework that you submitted on Friday, instead of writing the wrong type of content, people wanted traffic from the wrong websites.
(If you didn’t do the homework, go do it. There’s more than 250 people in the comments. If you did it wrong, feel free to do it again and leave another comment.)
One person said that they’d love to get a link from Social Triggers. Why? Because he liked my videos. What’s wrong with this?
Don’t get me wrong… I appreciate the compliment.
However, when you’re building YOUR readership, you shouldn’t seek links from people you like. You should seek links from people who you believe have legions of potential customers for your business.
Another person said they run a blog about fitness, and they said that their DREAM website was another huge fitness blog.
On the surface, this may sound like it makes sense, but here’s the problem:
People reading fitness blogs aren’t your ideal customer. They already found a solution to their problems.
Sure, you might be able to pick up a few readers here and there, but it’s not going to be easy… and it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Not only do you have to demonstrate you’re competent… but you have to demonstrate why someone should read “yet another fitness blog.”
So, are YOU looking for readers in the wrong places?
That is the question, now, isn’t it?
How do you know “I’m on the right track” or “Looks like I’ve done messed this up.”
I cover this in detail in my premium training about building a blog that fuels your business, Blog that Converts.
In it, I walk you through figuring out who your ideal customers are, how to find them and show you proven methods for getting those people back to your website. But more on my course later this month…
For now, I’ve got one more quick anecdote followed by a little exercise for you…
Fair warning: If you ignore this exercise, you risk building the wrong blog.
The story: Last week, a friend, someone I greatly respect, emailed me and said, “You should create less videos on blogging. It’s a really solved thing and boring. So many more interesting topics.”
That’s true… from his standpoint. He already has one of the more popular blogs in his vertical. So, yes, for him, blogging IS solved.
But as you can see from more than 500 comments on my last two blog posts, building a blog that actually fuels your business isn’t a solved problem. There are plenty of people who need help.
Most people might let a comment like this shake them, but here’s the deal: The guy who said it is an industry professional… not an ideal customer.
The people who left comments telling me they LOVE the series are my ideal customers, and they’d be perfect for my advanced training on blogging.
So, the exercise is this:
Are you reaching ideal customers or industry professionals?
Obviously you want to reach the former. Why?
Compliments from industry professionals make you feel great, but sales from ideal customers help you live great.
Now take an honest look at your content. Are you reaching industry professionals or ideal customers? Are you writing for people like you… or are you writing for people who want to buy what you sell?
(If you made this mistake, in addition to the homework which I’ll share in just a second, I want you leave a comment telling me about how you made this same mistake).
And now, I’ve got more homework for you…
Here’s the directions for your homework today:
Step 1: Did you mistakenly write for industry professionals as opposed to ideal customers? Share your story as “Part 1″ in your comment below.
Step 2: In my next blog post in this series, I’m going to show you HOW to get ideal customers back to your website. So, what are your BIGGEST struggles when it comes to getting people back to your website?
Be as specific as possible. Tell me who your ideal customer is. Tell me what problems you have getting their attention. Is there too much competition? Do you struggle getting their attention? Do people read your site… but they don’t convert into sales?
Oh, and, if you’re loving this series about building a blog, make sure you hop on the email list to ensure you don’t miss out on the other great free training I’ve got prepped for you.
And if you’d like to help me spread the word, all you have to do is send one friend a personal email where you tell them all about the series. (Here’s the first article. Here’s the second article. And you’re reading the third article).