A guest post by Jered Slusher of Mass Influence Leadership.
It seems like nowadays everyone’s got a different blogging philosophy: focus on SEO, focus on creating a list, focus on Twitter, focus on Facebook, success is in the content, success is in productivity, and so on.
Here’s the real truth: A successful blog can be achieved in different ways for different people. What works for one person might not work for me or you and vice-versa.
For example, some blogs don’t use Twitter, yet they’re growing. Some people haven’t written a guest post in their life, yet their traffic is phenomenal. Some people don’t even think about promoting affiliate products, yet they’re turning a profit. The problem is it’s so easy to get caught up with tactics and lose sight of our overall blogging strategy.
There are multiple ways to achieve our blogging goals, but ultimately there are just four critical components that will determine if the blog is a success or the blog fails: Content, Traffic, Guild, and Money. Each component is dependent on the previous components to succeed. Everything else is just a means to an end.
Obviously, the goal of our blog is to have killer content that our readers love to read. The key is to give the most value we can in every single piece of content that we release on our blog.
It really doesn’t matter if it’s a list post, a story, entertainment, news, learning about something, an audio, a video, a PDF or whatever.
What matters is that we are delivering what people want to read. Understanding our audience is critical.
Everyone says that content is king, and for good reason. It is. Content is the foundation that holds everything up. The point is that we deliver the best content we can, and however we decide to do that is up to us.
The next goal we’re looking to achieve is massive amounts of traffic. Like I said before, there are all sorts of different ways we can get traffic: Commenting on other blogs, guest posting, SEO, social media…
It doesn’t matter how we do it, what matters is that we get our killer content in front of people. If we have all of the best posts in the world, and no-one sees them, then we’re hosed.
A great thing to keep in mind is that the more great content that we produce, the more likely our site will be spread by word of mouth. If we’re delivering insanely useful or valuable content, people are going to flip out and be like “Wow! This is awesome, check it out!”
Which leads us to the next level of the pyramid:
I chose the word guild because it sounds cooler than subscribers, members, readers or society (and it fits nicely into my pyramid graphic).
Our guild is the people that have seen our killer content and want more. Basically, our guild is the group of people that are loyal to our blog. They’re signing up for our newsletter, commenting on our posts, re-tweeting, subscribing to RSS feeds, etc.
The critical part of guild building is to develop a relationship with the guild by including them as much as possible. We can do that by giving them more killer content, including them in blog decisions, and engaging them in discussion.
If we create killer content, and we get massive traffic, then we can start to build our guild and develop relationships with people who are interested in what we have to say.
At the top of the pyramid is monetization. Many bloggers start out with the idea that they will use the blog to make money, or to compliment their business.
However, I’ve seen time after time that people are not monetizing their blogs to their full potential.
Once we have killer content that’s getting in front of a lot of people, and we have a guild of people who know, like and trust us, it’s time to provide premium products and services to provide more value and deepen our relationship with the guild.
The key to monetization is to provide as much value as possible to the guild. It’s not about being motivated by the prospect that we’re going to be making off with bagfuls of money. No.
The point is to offer or recommend products and services that will improve the quality of our loyal followers’ lives.
That’s what it’s all about: Valuable content getting in front of people that stick around and look to us for more value.
In the end, that’s blogging (and leadership) in a nutshell.
Your Turn: Which of the four critical areas of blogging are you focusing on currently, and how has that component contributed to the success of your blog?
Bio: Jered Slusher is the founder of Mass Influence Leadership, a community of leaders driven to gain control over their future, lead other people, and achieve massive amounts of success. Get your free “Stocking Your Leadership Super-Powers” e-book at http://www.massinfluence.org/free-book