Is Your Blog Struggling? Here’s How to Fix It

  • July 26, 2011 by Guest Writer
  • 107 Comments

Note from Corbett: This is a guest post from Danny Iny at Firepole Marketing. Danny is a star student from Traffic School, and he has been a regular contributor to Think Traffic over the past few months (look for more great posts from him coming soon). Danny is giving away something pretty amazing at the bottom of this post to any Think Traffic readers who are interested, so read on and don’t miss the full details.

Traffic… subscribers… and money.

That’s what you really want, but it’s not happening.

Stop and take a good, long look at your blog. It’s a mess, right? The topic is wrong, the design is unimpressive, and your posts aren’t really all that interesting.

This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

Remember back when you started? You had a vision of a vibrant and engaged community. You chose a niche that interests you and lots of other people – a niche that should be full of opportunity.

But here you are today, and the vision hasn’t materialized.

Your traffic is minimal, your list is inactive, and you blog’s revenues can’t even pay for your groceries.

What happened?

How Did This Happen? Why Isn’t It Working?!

You didn’t set out for your blog to be this way, but your initial plan was flawed – full of assumptions that turned out to be wrong. You know what I’m talking about:

  • What your audience would connect with.
  • What sharing options to include with your blog, and where to put them.
  • How good a design you could put together by yourself.
  • What sort of offer would get people onto your subscriber list.
  • How much money you could make with AdSense and affiliate offers.
  • What your readers would be willing to pay for.
  • And the list goes on…

It’s okay – everyone makes poor assumptions when they’re starting out – I certainly did!

The problem with bad assumptions is that they inform decisions – your design, your topic, your layout, your writing, and your strategy.

Eventually you realized that something was wrong, and you tried to fix it.

Then You Tried To Fix It…

First, you recognized that things weren’t working.

You took a long, hard look at your site, and decided that you didn’t like the design, the name was too long, and you weren’t using the right email auto-responder.

So you started changing everything.

Maybe you changed the design, the colors, the headlines, the logo, or the email sign-up form. You tried blogging about different things, and featured other bloggers to try and get their attention. You might have changed the opt-in offer and your tag-line, too. But it didn’t make any difference, and your blog ended up looking worse than before.

When the changes didn’t bring you the results that you wanted, you started looking for answers, and found gurus promising the latest fad solution to get a gazillion visitors to your site.

But even though you did your best (and maybe spent a lot of money), the guru strategies didn’t work, and now you are back at square one.

Something isn’t working, and you don’t know what it is!

How Do You Know What To Fix?

The changes didn’t work because you didn’t change the right things.

No matter how good you are, there will always be things about your blog that look wrong to you – but just because they look wrong to you doesn’t mean that they’re causing your problems!

No – to find the problems, you need to really understand business and marketing. Because all of the things you want to do – attract an audience, engage them, and convert them to paying customers – these are all marketing.

And I don’t mean the way that everyone who’s taken a course or read a book thinks they understand marketing – I mean really understand it.

We’re talking about learning something at a really deep level, not just picking up a tactic or two. That takes time.

Staying In the Game without Burning Out

How long are you willing to wait before things start turning around?

How much time are you willing to invest before you start seeing significant traffic to your blog, subscribers on your list, and dollars in your bank account?

Is it weeks? Months? Years?

Having realistic expectations is important. If you try to run a marathon as though it were a sprint, you’ll end up exhausted on the side of the road. And if you try to run a sprint as though it were a marathon, you’ll finish dead last.

So what kind of race do you want your blog to be running?

If you’re willing for it to take 2-3 years to get your blog to where you want it to be, then a good strategy is to read business books for bloggers, along with the best blogs in the industry, like Copyblogger, Social Triggers, Think Traffic, and of course Firepole Marketing.

If you want to see results in 6-9 months, then you need something a little more intense, like a training program. There are a lot of courses out there, but it’s important to stick to the good ones; I recommend Corbett’s amazing Traffic School, or the Firepole Marketing Audio Coaching Program (but hey, I’m biased).

If you want to fix things sooner than that, you should get some help.

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

I have a confession to make: My first two blogs were both spectacular failures. I thought I knew what I was doing, but neither of them got anywhere near escape velocity – no traffic, and no subscribers. And neither of them made any money.

Firepole Marketing is different; in our first six months we grew to over 5,000 monthly visitors, an Alexa ranking below 125,000, an intensely engaged community (two of my posts went viral, with 150 and 142 comments, respectively), and repeat guest appearances on blogs like Copyblogger, Problogger, Kikolani, and right here on Think Traffic (this is my third appearance).

And am I making money? Hell yes – in the last 30 days, Firepole Marketing made me over $5,000.

So what did I do differently?

I stopped trying to figure it out on my own, and got some help. I paid Jon Morrow and Corbett Barr to take me under their wings, and put all of my energy into learning from them, and following their advice.

And did it work? You bet it did! I followed their advice and landed thirty guest posts on major blogs, and multiplied my traffic and subscribers.

Here’s the thing – even though I thought I knew what I was doing (I’ve consulted on marketing for some of the biggest companies in the world), I still needed some outside perspective to help me see my own blind spots. It was embarrassingly obvious when I saw it, but I never would have noticed if I didn’t have these experts to give me a different perspective.

Of course, not everyone can afford to hire the superstars that I did!

I hope I don’t end up regretting this, but here’s an idea…

Get on the Phone with Me for 30 Minutes for FREE

I believe in paying it forward.

As helpful as Jon and Corbett have been, I’ve also received a lot of helping hands from others along the way, for no reason other than simple kindness and generosity.

I’d like to do the same for you, so I came up with this idea:

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do somewhere around 15-20 telephone consultations. I’ll get on the phone with you for 30 minutes, and you can tell me exactly what’s troubling you about your blog and business. I’ll then give you advice that is specific to your exact situation.

And it’s going to be 100% free. No charge, no strings. Not even an email opt-in.

All you have to do is tweet this:

I’m getting a FREE 30-minute fix-my-blog call with @DannyIny via @ThinkTraffic… RT to get yours! #FirepoleFreebie

Click here to tweet the above and get your free call.

And follow me on Twitter, so that I can DM you to get your blog’s URL, and setup the details for the call. It’s that simple.

Just one thing – if too many people end up tweeting this, I’ll probably end up doing the free calls with people who also left a comment explaining what their issue is. Just saying. ;)

Easy enough?

Good then. Together, we’ll get you the traffic, subscribers and profits that you want. So get tweeting!

What is the biggest issue you’re struggling with on your blog? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

Danny Iny is a strategist, serial entrepreneur, and proud co-founder of Firepole Marketing, and the author of the free viral cheat sheet Why Guru Strategies for Blog Growth DON’T WORK… and What Does! Don’t forget to follow @DannyIny on Twitter and retweet this post to get him on the phone for 30 minutes, for free, to get your blog traffic, subscribers, and profits.


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Diggy July 26, 2011 at 6:06 am

Hey Danny and Corbett,
Great post and good to read! The thing that stood out most here was the fact that you wrote 30 guest posts. I’m willing to bet that anyone who writes 30 half-decent posts to send off on other blogs will get a substantial increase in subscribers (anywhere from 500 to 3000+ as an estimate).

I think it’s easier to get traffic and subscribers than it is to make a high monthly income from a blog, depending on the niche of course. Any sort of make money blog (IM, Forex, Freelancing etc.) seems easier to sell products and services to. Is this true or does it not matter what the niche is, as long as you can give your readers what they want to buy?

Cheers
Diggy

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Hey Diggy, I think you answered your own question; you can make money anywhere that you can give your readers stuff that they want to buy, but that’s easier in the “make money” space. Doesn’t mean it can’t be done elsewhere, though – there are plenty of examples out there to show that it can.

And as for the guest posts… they’ve got to be better than half-decent, and that’s an art in and of itself! :)

Rob July 26, 2011 at 6:27 am

I have been traveling since 2009 and writing daily updates with experiences and photos from over 40 countries. Started it because before I left I wanted to know “what people got up to” on a trip, not a re-written wikipedia or “5 things to do in city X”.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on a few things.

.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Sure thing, Robb. I’ll be following up with everyone who tweeted in the next day or two. :)

Paul Wolfe July 26, 2011 at 6:32 am

Hey Danny

Rocking the blogosphere again I see!

The takeaway for most people should be that although you can do it on your own, getting a mentor is probably the quickest way to make forward progress in your goals with your online business.

Good luck with the consults!

Paul

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Thanks, Paul! What can I say – I do what I can… ;)

You’re absolutely right – you can always make it alone, and it’s always easier with help.

I’m looking forward to giving something back! :)

Srinivas July 26, 2011 at 6:33 am

Hey Danny,

It’s interesting you bring this up. I’ve been at this for a little over 2 years and I came to the realization that I need some help and I had to be willing to ask for it. I actually just joined Jon Morrow’s guest blogging course :) . I think the main thing about asking for help is that you actually have to do the work. There are so many people who will sign up for a course or program and never do anything with it, and then they wonder why they don’t get any results. I’ve added your blog to my RSS reader. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Srini, you’ve started well with Jon’s program, and I’ll be happy to help – but yes, you definitely need to do the work, too.

I’m glad I’m in your reader, and I’m looking forward to connecting! :)

Amy @ Nomadtopia July 26, 2011 at 6:35 am

Hey Danny, I just tweeted about your offer! This is really generous of you – love it. I think my biggest struggle with my blog right now is that I get very little feedback from readers and those on my list, so it’s hard for me to know what’s working, what isn’t, what they want more of, and so on. I also fear that despite my efforts, my blog doesn’t stand out enough from the tons of other blogs that purport to show you how/inspire you to travel, work from anywhere, etc. Would love the chance to talk with you about all that!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Don’t worry, Amy, we’ll take a look and get to the root of the problem. :)

TrafficColeman July 26, 2011 at 6:45 am

I tell people to take a step back and look at your site and tell me what you need to do to bring it up to par. Once you do this then you will see your site through the eyes of the world.

“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Hey TC, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us. ;)

Aggie July 26, 2011 at 6:55 am

Nice build up and it’s true that not all of us can hire rockstars to help us out. The biggest pain in the butt when it comes to blogging is finding your target audience. Most of my acquaintances on twitter have blogs about travel or about blogging and self-help. I guess I just can’t focus my blog and get the content to the point where I want it to be.

That said, I know close to nothing on adsense and commercializing my blog. What affiliate links would be good to add?

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hey Aggie, it depends – I’ll be reaching out to everyone who tweeted in the next couple of days, and then we’ll get to the bottom of it. :)

Logan Marshall July 26, 2011 at 6:57 am

Hey Danny,

Awesome article. I have two big things I’m struggling with:

1) Although my site is receiving decent traffic ( \over 5,000 visitors a month) I am not converting these visitors into subscribers. I short: my conversion rates suck and my bounce rate is high. I’ve been playing with new designs but don’t know enough about html to really create what I want.

2) I’m only 18 years old and am afraid to put ME on my blog. I think what makes so many blogs popular is because people connect with the author on a personal level. While I am aware of this and do try to write personally, I have been struggling with this for a long time and would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again Danny!!

Logan

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Okay, Logan, it sounds like there’s plenty to work with. Definitely don’t worry about your age – look at Oni over at YoungPrePro, he’s doing great!

I’ll be reaching out in a day or two, and I’m looking forward to connecting and working through these challenges! :)

Sam Montoya July 26, 2011 at 7:07 am

Hey Danny, I also sent out the tweet, but overall some good stuff. It’s funny that something so easy as asking for help is somethings the hardest thing for people to do. It makes them feel as if they failed which in reality it’s not that way at all. Funny how our perception of events can dictate the outcome. Keep up the great work.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Yup, it’s totally a matter of perspective. :)

Sharon July 26, 2011 at 7:10 am

Hopefully I’ll be successful – I have re-tweeted under my ecommerce name Fitwear Boutique. I’ve just started out building my blog/site and I’m unsure whether to build it as a niche site or as an authority site – I need some direction and some simple step-by-step tips. I’m reading and trying to learn so much about writing good content, SEO & traffic building tips that it sometimes feels like info overload!!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

There’s no reason for you not to be successful, Sharon!

I’ll be happy to help – I’ll be reaching out via Twitter in the next couple of days, and we’ll get it all sorted out. :)

Dina Eisenberg July 26, 2011 at 7:34 am

Hey great post. I loved it and tweeted you up. Looking forward to talking about how to shape a brand-new site to avoid struggling. My topic is so hot right now (selling your home fast!) that I gotta start off right. I know you’ll have great ideas, Dan!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Sounds great, Dina, I’m looking forward to connecting! :)

Kyle July 26, 2011 at 8:20 am

Really cool of you to offer.

I have a two fold problem. One my traffic is good, averaging about 33k pageviews a month, but it’s stuck. It’s been that good since Feb. basically and stopped growing. I’m feeling stagnant.

Two, my readers are heavily divided into two different camps. Photographers and travelers. I’m trying to figure out how to cater to both without alienating either group.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Hey Kyle, that sounds like a fun challenge – I’m looking forward to chatting with you about it! :)

Don’t worry – we’ll have you un-stuck in no time. :D

Joel Zaslofsky July 26, 2011 at 8:25 am

Electric post Danny! I was drawn in immediately and you held my attention like reading until the end was the most important thing I was going to do all day. And that’s saying something because I moved into a new house a few days ago and need to work through the box factory big-time.

I retweeted the offer and would like to briefly mention the biggest issue I’m struggling with. I’m ready for engagement of the blogging community but don’t know a good way to find my “peers”. I blog about resource management, sometimes practically and sometimes abstractly, and I can’t find people in the same niche to network with. If you could help identify those bloggers that would be a tremendous help.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Joel, I’m flattered, and congratulations on the move! I actually moved a couple of weeks ago, so I know exactly what you’re going through! :)

I think I can help you – I’m looking forward to chatting about it further. I’ll be reaching out on Twitter in a day or two – sit tight, and I’ll be in touch soon.

Nikoya July 26, 2011 at 8:39 am

This is a very generous act of paying it forward! This is a huge opportunity to jump in on.. I certainly am! Practical and specific advice is hard to find these days from trustworthy and authentic people. I’m tweeting ;)

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Sounds great, Nikoya, I’ll be in touch in a day or two to find a time for us to chat. I’m looking forward to it! :)

Emily in Chile July 26, 2011 at 8:50 am

I retweeted, and honestly I’m a little scared! I’m just getting started in terms of thinking of my blog in “grown up blog” terms (ie. wanting to increase traffic, maybe making some money off it), and it’s easier to just hide-out and say that I do it for fun and pretend not to care about the topics you’ve mentioned. But I figured I should be brave and ask for help on how to make that transition. I feel like I have some really loyal readers who enjoy my content, but I’m not sure how to get more of the same to improve the numbers.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

There’s nothing to be scared about, Emily – asking for help is the brave thing to do, and I’m happy to lend a hand. I’ll be reaching out to everyone who tweeted in a day or two, and I’m looking forward to connecting with you. :)

Amy July 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

Hey Danny!

Just retweeted and am excited for the call!

My blog is brand new- I launched it last Monday (Woohoo!), but I’m having trouble narrowing down my niche and focusing on one thing. I initially wanted my blog to be fitness-based, but I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about going further in the direction of overcoming life’s obstacles (because of what I’ve been through- you can read about it on the about page: http://stronginsideout.com/about ). I’m struggling with trying to fit everything I want into the theme, but I think it’s making it jumbled and a bit unfocused. Looking forward to delving into this with you!

Amy

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Hey Amy, congratulations on your new blog! I can definitely help you with that – I’ll be reaching out in a day or two, and I’m looking forward to exploring this on the call. :)

Larry Lourcey July 26, 2011 at 9:06 am

Sounds like a great idea- I just Tweeted the message – always looking to improve my blog!

My biggest issues are generating traffic and narrowing my focus. I’d love your input!

Larry

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Sounds great, Larry – I’ll be in touch on Twitter in a day or two, and look forward to connecting!

Cathy | Treatment Talk July 26, 2011 at 9:08 am

Hi Danny,

I have made some changes to my blog and I feel that it is growing, but need suggestions on how I can really gain readers in larger numbers and present content that will fit my reader’s needs. Thanks so much for this offer!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

You bet, Cathy, I’m looking forward to it!

Daniel Sparks July 26, 2011 at 9:11 am

I retweeted, followed, and now I’m commenting. I want this dang phone call.

With that said, let me tell you the major issues with my blog. I’m not increasing traffic. I’m slowly gaining subscribers . . . but not fast enough. I don’t have a specific enough niche. I can’t decide who my target market exactly is.

My blog is about investing in stocks. I’m passionate about it and I’ve discovered there are probably enough other people out there that want to hear what I have to say. Problem is, I don’t know what angle to approach things at. Letting investors follow my portfolio was my original purpose, but it is simply too attached to me. Even though I’ve been crushing the market and earning incredible returns, this is the approach other financial bloggers take. I need something different. I need something people look forward to reading. I’m planning on implementing video but I can’t do that until I get home. Right now I’m deployed. I’m getting out of the Army in a few months.

Looking forward to our phone call!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Don’t worry, Daniel, we’ll make sure you get the help that you need. :)

I’ll be in touch via Twitter in a day or two, and then we’ll set it up. I’m looking forward to helping you get un-stuck!

Jason July 26, 2011 at 9:24 am

I’m close to unleashing my blog onto the world, and scared shitless of course! I’d appreciate your feedback on the design elements I’ve chosen, the overall look and feel, the layout, and best strategies for building an audience from scratch right away. The whole chicken and egg conundrum. If you have time to chat with me I’d very much appreciate it. If not, no worries, love what you and Corbett are doing, keep up the good work and thanks for all the advice.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Don’t worry, Jason, we all feel that way. :) I’ll be happy to chat – I’ll be in touch with everyone who tweeted in then next day or two. :)

Roberto Lebron July 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

Thanks for the post and for the offer. I’ve gone ahead and twitted and I’m now following you from @robertolebron. I would certainly welcome any advice about improving my traffic. Cheers!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Hey Roberto, thank you for the follow, and I’m looking forward to connecting! I’m going to be in touch in a day or two, and then we’ll set it up. :)

Richelle @ The Carolina Clipper July 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Hi Danny,

Really looking forward to a fresh set of eyes and your impression of my blog! Last quarter I had over 54K page views and almost 20K unique visitors…but I’m not making any money. Affiliate links aren’t working and I’d like to put my product (savings workshops) in video format, but that is so very expensive. Eager to get your take. Thanks for the offer!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Hey Richelle, we can definitely do something with that! I’ll be in touch with everyone who tweeted in the next couple of days to setup the calls. I’m looking forward to getting you un-stuck! :)

Chris July 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm

This is such an interesting and I must say generous service you are offering here. I’m so glad that I found this post on this very day in which I was actively searching for better ways to improve my blog. It really becomes very overwhelming for me. I have tweeted the message as requested and thank you in advance for any help that you are willing to offer.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 6:32 am

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed – don’t worry about that, Chris. I’ll be following up with everyone who tweeted today or tomorrow, and we’ll take it from there. :)

Stacey Herbert July 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Hey Danny, I see you like everywhere. One of the biggest obstacles for me with my blog is working out what exactly I want to achieve with it, and making the decision to focus purely on what works, rather than what I enjoy writing, doing, etc! When I look at my stats, some of the posts with the most interest/lowest bounce rate etc, have not been the ones that I would have thought. Your post has encouraged me take a step back, really analyse what is going on with my blog and put an action plan in place to help me achieve the results that I want. Thanks

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

That is a challenge – ideally, you focus on the intersection between what you love and what works. :) Good luck with your analysis – if I can help you with it, I’d be happy to!

Wilson Usman July 27, 2011 at 4:45 am

Hey Danny, I am almost embarrassed to say this too, but I’ve had a few failures online as well. I took the advice “fail fast” literally. But I think it’s help me learn a lot from those mistakes.

I wouldn’t lie I’ve been struggling to get my site of the ground for close to two years now. I come and go as I please and sometimes for personal reasons I get away from writing.

When I started reading this post is like you were talking to me directly. And then you go and make that crazy flipping awesome giveaway at the end. I’m so excited and I really hope that I can learn a ton from you and your advice.

Thanks!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 6:34 am

There’s nothing wrong with failing – those are just lessons that contribute to the next success.

I’d be happy to help – I’ll be following up with everyone who tweeted either today or tomorrow, and we’ll set up the calls. :)

Siegfried July 27, 2011 at 6:24 am

I’ve been there, seen that… Still strugging to make my site fly ;)
nice post btw

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 6:34 am

Thanks, Siegfried, and good luck! :)

Sarah O July 27, 2011 at 7:02 am

This is certainly a generous offer! I went ahead and retweeted, and honestly not sure if I’m ready for a consult. My blog is brand new and I’m still struggling to learn the tech curve to get the design right and to get on a regular schedule for posting good content. I’m wondering if my focus should be broadened or narrowed and if the blog is unique enough to generate the followers I need to actually become profitable. The site is up but I have only publicized it to very few people and I haven’t even got it on any social networks yet because I’m not sure if I have the name and tagline right. Basically looking for feedback on whether I’m headed in the right direction, or if I should rethink the thing.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

Great, Sarah! Those all sound like questions that I could help you with – I’m looking forward to chatting and giving you some feedback. :)

Steve | ROI detector July 27, 2011 at 7:25 am

Seems as though you have to consider your blog a business…whether you’re looking to monetize it or not. Last month I started a blog focused on helping small businesses use “Social Commerce” and I’ve found two things help. 1) write posts with the specific goal of solving just one problem per post and 2) reach out to people in my existing network that would find that solution useful. Plus friends are more likely to leave comments and share.

I’ve also signed up for A-list Blogging Bootcamp and am hoping to increase my subscriber base (like everyone else I imagine).

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 7:35 am

That’s a great point, Steve – if you write specific, useful content, and share it with the people who need it, it’s pretty hard to go wrong. :)

Madeleine | Age Myths July 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

I write about aging and how it’s not as dreary and bleak as we’ve been led to believe. So my blog is part consciousness-raising, part inspiration, and lots of solid information. Still, the topic is a bit of a tough sell. My challenge is to make money writing about something that many people don’t want to even think about.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

Hey Madeleine, this will be an interesting challenge, but definitely something that we can make work. :) I’ll be following up with everyone who tweeted today or tomorrow, and we’ll setup the calls. :)

Sam Thatte July 27, 2011 at 8:40 am

Great article that woke me up and started a fire in my belly!
Thanks for the generous offer, I have just sent out the tweet. Very clever marketing idea also! Nice Job.
I have a new presentation design blog that is not getting much attention. I have about 10 posts on the blog and I am sometimes challenged for time to write posts. I hold a 50 hours a week full time job and am trying to create a side business with this blog and my skills as a presentation designer.
I need guidance on marketing the blog as well as growing regular readers.
Thanks,
Sam Thatte

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 9:31 am

Thanks, Sam, I’m glad I could help, and I’m glad you liked it!

I can definitely help you out with this – I just did exactly what you’re trying to do. :)

I’ll follow up with everyone who tweeted today or tomorrow, and we can setup the call.

Cheers,

Roshanda Gilmore July 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

WOW! What a HUGE offer to share your time Danny! That’s awesome!

I just followed you on Twitter and I’m going to go hang out at your blog for a few. I like your style and your heart for helping others!

I recently found Get Traffic and LOVE all the valuable content. I have a feeling your blog will leave me feeling the same. :-)

Thanks for such a great guest post! I enjoyed reading…

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 9:46 am

That’s great, Roshanda! I’m thrilled you’re going to check out Firepole Marketing, and I hope you find it up to the high standards here at ThinkTraffic! I’ll be in touch with everyone who tweeted later today or tomorrow, so that we can setup a time for the calls. :)

Srdjan - Bloom to Fit July 27, 2011 at 11:29 am

The entire time I spent reading this post, I felt as if you were talking directly to me. I’m in that phase where I’m trying to figure out what is exactly wrong with my blog. I’m gettng some traffic, some sales, etc. but not the engagement I’ve been after. I want to create a community, not just a place people stop and go. I’ve been making changes constantly and at times I feel really lost.

I checked out Firepole Marketing and I love the content. I’ll definitely be stopping by more often. I just posted your tweet and I truly hope it’s not too late to get this phone consultation. It would be extremely beneficial to me.

Thanks,
Srdjan

Bianca July 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Ciao Danny,
I’ve been on your site before, about 6 months ago. I remember it having a different logo, I like your new changes. This is a great way to get you out in front of people. You’ve basically made an offer that is irresistible- and that is what it is all about! Giving everyone some tweet-work is a grand idea. Mine is sent.

Well, I’m a newb on the block. I run an Italian Travel Site. I am trying to stick my neck out there; joined the hustle project and my first guest post appeared on a big Europe travel site today. Kinda nice cause it’s my b-day! Anyways, I would love your feedback on what I should concentrate on -build my readers, build my subscriber list, build my content. It seems everything need to be done! Where should I concentrate on? And I am kinda stressing myself out on hyper mode trying to fit this all in. It never feels like enough. My readers swing anywhere from 80/day to 4 a day (you can hear the crickets)!

Anyways, wanted to take this opportunity to hear what you have to say. Thank you for the chance. If you can’t get to everyone, I also understand but best of luck anyways.

Bianca

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 28, 2011 at 8:19 am

Oops, sorry Bianca, I didn’t realize I had originally posted this not as a reply:

Hey Bianca, I’m thrilled that you found me again, and congratulations on your first guest post – that’s huge! :)

I’m glad your tweet is sent. I’ll be following up with everyone who tweeted later today to coordinate the calls. I can definitely help – I’m looking forward to chatting! Watch for my DM on Twitter. :)

heather July 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Hi Corbett, Danny,

Thanks for the great information! Like many beginning entrepreneurs, marketing is such a challenge from me, and it’s so helpful to have you guys to learn from! I discovered Think Traffic just a couple months ago (now an avid reader, first time commenter), and I’m very glad to have now discovered Fire Pole Marketing as a result of this post.

I usually wouldn’t be so long winded and specific in my first comment, but as you asked for the marketing challenges faced by readers, and mine is a bit of a different breed, I thought you might be interested:

My website (still in development), is a subscription-based dating/ social networking site whose modeld is completely foreign in Australia (where I’m based), but is highly successful overseas.

Since this type of site is unknown here, I’m tackling one of the biggest challenges in marketing (and in business) – generating demand for a product that customers don’t even know they want yet. Therefore, I have two main challenges:

1. As no one in Australia will be searching for a site like mine online (and that’s where my target market is), I will need to rely on a significant amount of offline marketing, at least initially.

2. I need to reach critical mass almost immediately after launch – no one will sign up to a site that has no members, so I face the challenge of getting enough members quickly enough to build a large community.

I know my first issue is quite different than the challenges you usually deal with, but any feedback from you guys (or any other readers) would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers, Heather

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

Hi Heather, thank you for sharing!

I don’t think you necessarily have to rely on offline marketing, just maybe not exclusively on *search* marketing – though that might work as well.

The first issue isn’t that hard – we can deal with that, no problem. The second one is actually the trickier one, but we can deal with that as well.

I’m looking forward to speaking with you! I’ll be contacting everyone who tweeted later today to setup the calls – watch for my DM! :)

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Hey Bianca, I’m thrilled that you found me again, and congratulations on your first guest post – that’s huge! :)

I’m glad your tweet is sent. I’ll be following up with everyone who tweeted sometime tomorrow to coordinate the calls. I can definitely help – I’m looking forward to chatting! Watch for my DM on Twitter. :)

Adam Stanecki @The Practice of Uncommon Sense July 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Hey Danny,

Thank you for the insight.

You could have been writing most of that directly to me. I guess like most people my main question is: what do I tackle first?

I’ve made numerous tweaks, changed my focus, tightened my ‘niche’ and while I am not unhappy that I have a small band of loyal followers I’d really like to help more people than I am at present.

The mentoring thing is big for me right now. I’m finally following my own advice. :)

Cheers, Adam.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hey Adam, thank you for your comment. The answer to your question of “what do I tackle first” is that “it depends” – but when we speak on the phone, we can talk about the things that it depends on, and get you going in the right direction.

I’ll be following up with everyone who tweeted later today to setup the calls – watch for my DM! :)

Extreme John July 28, 2011 at 5:58 am

When problems arise in blogging, it’s always better to seek help from others. There are many kind-hearted and genuine co-bloggers out there are are always ready to help if we just seek for help. Not only will it help solve the problem but it also allows for a better companionship and better relationship with other bloggers thus building a healthy blogging community.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 28, 2011 at 8:23 am

You’re absolutely right, John – there’s no reason to do it alone, especially when there are so many great people out there willing to help. :)

Virginia Graham July 28, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Hi Danny,
Thanks so much for this very generous offer, I really need your help- i am terrible at marketing. My finance blog is a bit half baked as I keep changing it or “trying to fix it” as you correctly say. I have written a book on finance for women which was moderately successful and write finance articles online and video blogs for the newspaper here in Australia , 2 of my articles are the most popular blog stories on the site(which is an achievement for the boring finance niche) & my videos did well but I seem to be promoting other people’s businesses(who advertise on the site) not mine-even though I sometimes have a link to my mortgage broking site. My job is a mortgage broker and the whole point of my finance blog is to drive traffic to my site. It does not get any traffic and I feel like I could put the most amazing articles up and no one would know or care, so i dont even bother finsinhing it as I cant see how to promote it! I am a bit lost.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 29, 2011 at 5:04 am

Hey Virginia, I’m happy to help – I’ve sent the details on how to setup the call to everyone who tweeted – have you done that?

Reading through your comment, I know that I can help you – I’m looking forward to getting on the phone with you! :)

Timo Kiander August 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

Danny,

Again – another awesome post!

Are all your consultation spots already taken?

I could use some advice on how to move forward with my blog. I’m a little bit clueless on how to identify my target audience. Maybe if I have a sharper focus on things, I could improve even further. What do you think?

Timo

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 1, 2011 at 11:21 am

Sure, Timo – if you tweet the tweet, I’ll send you the details. :)

Jared Kimball August 3, 2011 at 9:44 am

Danny! All I can say is thank you sooo much for this post. Thank you for introducing me to Jon Morrow. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure out ways to drive traffic to my site like article marketing and SEO techniques, but I just haven’t gotten any deep traction. I’m now equipped with new knowledge that I can’t wait to start trying out.

I’m glad I read this post. I have a feeling it’s going to change my life.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

Jared, you’re too kind – I’m really glad that the post was helpful! I’ve just tweeted you the details on how to claim the free session – I’m looking forward to connecting! :)

Dawn August 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

Danny, just found your Blog thru Think Traffic, is it too late to join your V generous offer as I have hit a plateau with my online store, although just looking at the numbers it should be a success :(

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Hi Dawn, no, it’s not too late, if you tweeted, I’ll send you the details on how to setup the call. :)

AstroGremlinaa August 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

As much work as it is figuring out blogging on my own through trial and error, I’m enjoying the learning process. I may change my tune in a few more months! Seems as though I goof something up as often I “improve” it. Think your offer to help folks shows you have the right stuff.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 17, 2011 at 6:35 am

Hey AstroGremlin, you’re absolutely right that there is great learning to be had from trial and error – I’ve certainly learned a lot that way, too. Getting some help is just a good way of accelerating the process. :)

ah Freedom August 17, 2011 at 5:53 am

This is it right here: “I stopped trying to figure it out on my own, and got some help. I paid Jon Morrow and Corbett Barr to take me under their wings, and put all of my energy into learning from them, and following their advice.”

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 17, 2011 at 9:40 am

Yup, that’s what did it! :)

David Tong August 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm

What a great post, while reading through the article, I just kept nodding.

My photography-related blog is about 2+ years and I honestly don’t know where to go to get more traffic as I’m stuck at 18-20K uniques / 40K or so page views a month for quite some time now. I see a slow increase in visits when I add more pillar-like articles but they’re relatively low-impact (+200-400 page views for each of those articles).

My blog has very, very little interaction in the comments section except for review articles as well.

I’ve just started a mailing list and offered a nice, free e-book as an incentive. The ebook response/feedback has been great, but it added almost no impact to my site’s stats (though it has only been 2 days since the ebook offer).

I’ve yet to add that free ebook on the site for download, however, I just offered it through existing newsletter subscribers (about 1500 in that list).

I’m aware that I need help with traffic and marketing, that’s why I’m here (:P) but I’m quite lost as to where to start as well.

Danny, I actually stumbled to your current course at Firepole and I’m seriously considering it, but like most offers of a long-term course, I’m not certain if that course is exactly what I need for my blog(s) to grow. Any clarification would help me decide to sign-up (I believe the window’s closing, right?)

Regards and all the best
David Tong
(http://reviews.davidleetong.com – My photography site in question)

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 27, 2011 at 7:22 am

Hi David, thank you for your comment!

To answer your question, yes, our training program will help your blog to grow, precisely because it is focused on *marketing*, as opposed to tactics like Twitter or Facebook or whatever – these tactics come and go, but marketing is real – it’s about building a sustainable relationship with your blog.

I’ve tweeted you the details on how to setup the call – try to set it up as soon as possible, so that we can speak before the training program closes to new members on September 1st.

I’m looking forward to speaking with you soon!

David Tong August 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

Thanks for your quick reply Danny…

Since I’m halfway around the globe to where you are (I’m assuming the US), what’s the best time (and day) for you in general? Also, in order to not waste your time either, what are “good questions to ask”?

I’m pretty sure that our call will finalize my subscription to your 6-month program… Thanks again for this opportunity Danny!

Dave Tong

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I’m in Montreal, Canada (Eastern time).

I’m somewhat flexible early next week – email me at danny (at) firepolemarketing (dot) com to sort out the details?

David Tong August 29, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Done, went through the checkout and fired you an email Danny, thanks.

Dave

Kay @ Trifecta Tech August 30, 2011 at 10:43 am

I stumbled upon your article from twitter and I have to say it is great to hear someone say it straight and to the point. Planning on going the 2-3 year plan and read those books and follow those blogs that you have mentioned: I found that I read some of those books already – GTD has transformed the way I organize my ideas and time! Thanks for the article!

One question I would ask is everyone wants more traffic, but what should you be looking for in a tool like Google Analytics? Are there other metrics other than page views and unique visitors that I should be paying attention to?

Caleb Wojcik August 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

This will be an upcoming post in our series actually. :)

A great resource for you in the time being is here: How Much Are Your Visitors Worth?

David Tong September 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Just want to update my situation.

I was fortunate enough to book a 30-min phone call with Danny and shared with him my monetization struggles on my photography site, particularly with Amazon and Adsense conversion rate.

He gave me tons of useful advice and a couple of specific to-do suggestions to test out, and I’m happy to report that I’ve only implemented one (of around 4 to-do items) so far and it instantly produced results for my Amazon conversions… By ‘instantly’, i meant gaining high-price product sales on my existing content only. I’ve actually sold a couple of $150-250 products and a $1,700 item within a week of content optimization.

There’s no better way to improve one’s product/site/blog than have a fresh pair of eyes – experienced eyes, to provide constructive feedback.

Thanks Danny and I’m looking forward to learning more in our FPM program.

Corbett, thanks again for this site. I hope that by the time I’m done with FPM, your traffic school will be available as well :)

Cheers!

Dave
http://reviews.davidleetong.com (the site I’m referring to).

Nathan October 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I’m willing to wait it out for a few years since my site is a personal journey, but I would love to have some feedback on how to improve my blog. Great article btw.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing October 21, 2011 at 5:31 am

Hey Nathan, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! The free call promotion is over, but shoot me an email to danny (at) firepolemarketing (dot) com, and tell me what you’re struggling with in growing your blog, and I’ll do what I can to help. :)

Josh Sarz November 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

Great post. Makes me think how many things I’m doing wrong with my blog, but just goes to show I have more to learn.

Thanks for the good read, Danny.

Danny @ Firepole Marketing November 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

Thanks, Josh!

Deane November 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm

It was sobering to learn that it could take a few years to get a blog where you want it to be. Unless you are doing your blog as a passion or a hobby and don’t care about the money part of it, this is unacceptably long. Makes me realize that I need to continue my education to get where I want to go faster. Thanks for the virtual kick in the butt!

Danny @ Firepole Marketing November 2, 2011 at 5:04 am

I know what you mean, Dean – it’s frustrating to think how long it can take, especially if we’re coming from the angle of expecting instant results. That’s why we’ve got to kick our butts into gear and get moving! :)

Razwana November 4, 2011 at 1:06 am

Hey Danny. It’s great to see something that is quite honest – i.e sometimes it can take years for a blog to take off. I have some friends who are just getting into this and expect to be raking it in in 6 months without an actual clear strategy.

Although I know it will take longer to build a following (or perhaps not……?), I am lacking in a strategy also. Working at a full time job, it is difficult to define exactly what I should be working on with the limited time I have. Getting started is the challenge ….

- Razwana

Danny @ Firepole Marketing November 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hey Razwana, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I’d be happy to help you with strategy. The free call promotion is over, but shoot me an email to danny (at) firepolemarketing (dot) com, and tell me what you’re struggling with in growing your blog, and I’ll do what I can to help. :)

Razwana November 5, 2011 at 2:42 am

That is very generous of you, Danny. Email winging its way to you shortly……

Alex August 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I just came across this.. I wish those free phone calls were still taking place! I also can’t wait for traffic school to open back up.

Dawn August 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Got your DM but the Link is not clickable

Danny @ Firepole Marketing August 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Type it into your browser. :)

Kay @ Trifecta Tech August 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

Really? Glad to hear I’m not the only one with this question. Thanks for the link, and look forward to your next posts!

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