Aug 20, 2014

By: Markco | 0 comments

5 Years of Blogging Condensed into 10 Tips

If the first modern blog were a person it would barely be an adult. Having been a blogger since 2009, I've seen quite a large portion of blogging's history. Earning $100,000 three times out of five years only added to the quality of this journey. I've put some thought into how I can celebrate the 5 year bench mark by providing you with some truly inspirational, truthful, but most importantly, helpful advice.

1. Be Better or Die Trying

While I encourage all out compassion and cooperation with your niche's bloggers, you must treat them as competition. Your blog has to look better, have better articles, produce better products, have greater diversity in content types (think youtube, charts, images, etc), and have better comment conversations than your counterparts. Use your own niche to judge the quality of your blog. If at any point you start thinking you're good enough, then you've already started the declining era of your blog.

Above all else, be different than your competition. I did things like host monthly blogging carnivals, guest post on smaller blogs, branch out to related niches, guest host on podcasts, create youtube videos, etc. None of my competition did that and I left them in the dust.

The only times my blogs have broken the six figure income benchmark have been when they were the best in the niche they resided in.

If you can't be the best at your niche, invent a new spin on it. Be yourself and be it well!

2. You Must Be Passionate

When I'm passionate about a blog, I wake up in the morning with blog ideas. While running, I talk into siri to remind me about a post idea I just had while avoiding broken glass in the road. During the day I am constantly making mental notes about conversations and situations that I can blog about. For whatever reason, I recall almost any post out of thousands that I've written (subject at least) and why I wrote it. Excitement fills me with each new person I connect with and help to achieve their goals. If your blogging topic doesn't do that for you, find a new one or don't blog at all. Maybe youtube videos would be a better outlet for you.

I believe that the number one reason so many businesses fail is because we start off thinking we're passionate and then we slowly realize it was just a short burst of endorphins squashed by the amount of effort required to be successful.

3. The Money Can't Be the Reason

Especially when you first start out, making money won't be a good reason to blog. Can you guess why? Because you won't make any. I was very lucky and made $800 my first month blogging, but that is definitely an exception to the rule. Your goal should always be to make money, but it can't be the source of your inspiration or the way you rate your success early on. Focus on having fun and helping/interacting within your niche (hello vlogging!).

4. Social Media Is Not A Recycling Plant

The best method I've found for building links with social media is to do more than just link article titles on twitter and facebook. If you put a little effort into starting a conversation at the same time, you'll do fantastic on social media. For example:

I did the ice bucket challenge but I still think it's an annoying fad! What do you think? Have you done it yet? Will you? [Link to article].

That little bit of effort will yield fantastic results. Not only will people leave comments, but they will often like/retweet posts with a little more thought put into them. Every time someone responds you connect not only with them but every person they are connected to. If you only put the link to your article, odds are they will save their comments for your blog, essentially turning your twitter or facebook account into a private messaging system that only targets people who are already your fans. Boring and pointless!

5. Waste Your Money on an E-Product

I believe that every would be marketer/blogger and entrepreneur has bought at least one online product at one o'clock in the morning. These impulsive, often immediately upsetting, purchases are viewed as a lapse in judgement instead of as a learning opportunity. What I'd like you to do this year is buy a product promising to teach you about all the secrets to making money online. You should at some point buy my honest tale of earning six figures online, but it's probably better for this experiment to buy from one of the classic "enormously long pitch page with catch headline promises you everything" product that are so famously laughed at online.

Take in all the effort that was made to sell the product, then focus on how reading/watching/listening to it makes you feel. Are you immediately feeling cheated? At what point did you decide you had wasted your money? Was there anything of real value?

The biggest thing I did for my websites was figure out how much content was needed to impress my buyers and then exceed it. If you truly want to make money online, you must fulfill a need and do it at a price that people view is a deal. The more value in your product the more likely it will be a deal to the customer!
6. Most of Your Businesses Will Fail

Three of my five online businesses are failures in my eyes for two reasons:

  • Didn't live up to their potential.
  • Didn't make enough money.

One of my failures is the blog your reading, which is still a truly great resource for bloggers but I was so distracted attending to my successful blogs (that were making me six figures a year) that I never put the time and effort into The Traffic Blogger that was necessary to make it succeed. This blog will always be more of a journal regarding my success than a platform for making myself money.

If you want one of your blogs to succeed, then you need to put the time into all aspects of it (marketing, outreach, link building, writing, etc). Which brings me to the next tip...

7. Start New Blogs Often

Don't take up too much time doing this, but periodically you should try creating new blogs to take advantage of trends in your own interest. If you're into rare Japanese action figures that shoot orange juice then I'm sure somebody else out there is too. Maybe even a few thousand others (probably not). I have created dozens of blogs with only a handful of pages but they all make some money! This is due to Adsense, low competition on Google, and sheer volume of topics. Some of my successful blogs actually spawned from these little experiments.

8. You Can't Start Without a Megaphone

Someone out there must believe in you besides your mother or you're never going to succeed. Some examples of successful methods I've used to instantly rank on Google and get a few dozen readers in the first 24 hours of blogging:
  • Stickied Post on a niche's Biggest Forum.
  • Guest Article on a niche's Biggest Blog.
  • Guest Hosted on a niche's Biggest Podcast.
What do all three of those examples have in common? I targeted the biggest websites to achieve the biggest splash possible. If you're starting  a new blog, you should do the same.

9. Relationships Beat Content Every Time

How often do you read a decent or even poor article on a major website? More often than most of those sites would admit publicly. If you know the right people, even a mediocre article can get published. Spend time building relationships with fellow bloggers and you will always gain some level of exposure. Just make sure that you bring something insightful to the table!

10. Live the Role of "Best"

The biggest blogger in a niche is like the president; they are expected to behave differently than everyone else. You should be respectful at all times, and your website should reflect the success of your online business. Be classy but fun and impressive but relate-able. Sort of like dressing for success, you can do the same with your blog and personality very early on in your career.

As they say to most doctors who are just starting med school: fake it till you make it ;)
May 16, 2014

By: Markco | 0 comments

Are You Stressed Over Blogging Social Media?


My friend Gale over at GrowMap.com has put together a new community for helping members learn to utilize social media on their websites. There are over 160 dedicated and active members, not to mention the dozens of experts you'll gain access to on the Trello boards.

Give it a try! Go to Social Implications and take the stress out of social media on your blog.
Feb 28, 2014

By: Markco | 0 comments

Free Tutorials for Building and Selling Websites

Want to build your own series of websites and sell them as I have? How about develop an army of fans that can't wait to read your every email? Here are several free tutorials I've written to help you in this journey.


How to Build and Sell a Site Worth $50,000

Free Dumb

Aweber Crash Course


Enjoy and please let me know what you thought of the free books on building your own $50,000 website and business.
Nov 3, 2013

By: Markco | 0 comments

Ideas Are Cheap

Ever sit around the bar with a group of friends trying your damned best to come up with ideas for a website the four of you can use to make millions of dollars? In almost every single case, someone eventually utters the dreaded phrase:

"That's already been done."

No, actually, it hasn't already been done. You are a unique person with your own set of talents, sense of humor, skills, etc. The nuances that make up who you are, in comparison to the rest of the human race, are your ticket to creating unique, magnetic content.

If you state this fact, then your friends will surely counter with the following:

"Just because you realize that you're unique, doesn't mean that your ideas are."

This is your cue to quickly drink what's left of your beer because you have no rebuttal. Allow me to provide you one, and perhaps make your not-so-unique ideas become reality.

Not only are you a unique person, but the way you go about implementing your ideas is also unique. In order to be successful, you need to think not in terms of ideas or what people want, but how you're going to get those ideas into the brains of your audience.

The most successful people on the planet are businessmen. Not inventors, not scientists, not even rocket scientists. Do you even know what it is that a businessman does for a living? It isn't all pushing buttons on the copy machine and listening to hours of conference calls. Businessmen and women go about their day coming up with ways to get their products to their consumers. In other words; they create sales funnels and distribution centers.

When I look at my blogs, I see not a collection of products and services, but a cost effective method for attracting thousands of people to those services. Same goes for social media, podcasts, youtube videos, guest posts, etc.

The vast majority of my time, as a businessman, is spent not designing products, but designing the box that holds and distributes them.

I use Aweber to great success to achieve this. It helps me to create a series of emails which greatly improves customer loyalty and ensures that 60% of my readers purchase one of my products. Since readers are coming from very different places to visit my blog, that number is pretty impressive.

Now think long and hard about what I've written to you today. Do you want to be a person who comes up with ideas or a businessman who makes those ideas become a reality?
Aug 27, 2013

By: Markco | 0 comments

Secret Reason Link Swapping Sucks

This post will explain why link swaps suck in comparison to every other traffic building method.

There’s a saying that no man is an island, and I think that it extends to blogging as well. Think of the internet as a highway, with all the people randomly driving up and down stopping along the way at various websites. You may think of your blog as an island, separated from the internet highway and thus devoid of traffic. Perhaps you’re thinking, maybe I can get links from sites already inside the beltway, so to speak, in order to bring those people to my little blogging island. While this strategy works, it doesn’t work as well as the bloggers who manage to drag their little island into the main stream highway of internet traffic.

See, it’s a different mentality. Are you bringing people to your blog or your blog to the people? The first strategy is mostly robotic; you focus in on getting links through any means to your website. But the second strategy requires that you become much more involved in the process. Perhaps you write guest posts, create content with other bloggers, or interact on any level besides link swapping.

If you don’t have the time to create your own link building projects, feel free to participate in the plethora of other opportunities online. There are calls for guest posts, various contests, blogging carnivals, etc. Don’t over think this, as participating in such activities is not rocket science. Be sure to check out my posts in the site guide for tips on guest posting.

That is how you bring your blog into the main stream fold, instead of trying to leach traffic from others. So here’s your mission: become an integral part of what’s happening on other sites. Offer to do guest posts, podcasts, make lists about interesting things you found on other sites, host or participate in blogging carnivals, etc. These activities build quality links, not just bare bones link shares.

Have you noticed that I rarely post on this blog, yet it still gets traffic (you’re here duh)? This is from years of linking activities with various bloggers inside the beltway of the internet traffic super highway. You can do the same, if you focus on people (projects with other bloggers) more than pleasing robots (link swaps).

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