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.
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
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.
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!