“I want to start a blog but am not sure if there is a market for it. What advice would you give someone who wants to start a blog?” – Reader Question.
First, who cares if there is a market? Create one. That’s what visionaries do.
There was no market for Danger & Play. In fact, I started Danger & Play because nothing like it existed. I created a market.
Second, go pro from the get go.
Don’t screw around with a wordpress.org site. It will limit your monetization options. Victor will set your blog up for free. I have zero affiliate relationship with Victor, by the way. I wish BADNET had existed when I began blogging. It would have saved me some head aches.
Study Gorilla Internet Marketing.
Yes, that’s gorilla and guerrilla. My marketing is so tight that dorks who beg for donations on their sites say I don’t understand marketing.
The best marketing is not about building a stupid list and spamming people and running on a treadmill trying to sustain income levels.
Or about pushing out crap eBooks.
It’s about building engagement and connection.
It’s about attracting quality.
I am almost 37. Can I imagine myself doing Danger & Play when I’m 50?
That’s the question I ask myself every day. That’s the vision I have. The day I say, “No,” the site gets deleted.
Posting junk and dealing with morons is not a plausible long-term business strategy, as it would make me wake up to emails and comments from pathetic people.
There’s a reason Frank Kern had huge bags under his eyes. He spent too much time around idiots instead of focusing on being around awesome men.
Frank Kern is great, but he suffered burnout dealing with morons. He needs to limit his time to marketing to the elite.
Build your moat.
Have you ever heard Warren Buffett talk about the companies he buys? He only buys companies that have a moat. A moat is a competitive advantage that you have and no one else has.
What’s Danger & Play’s moat? Me. No one has me and no one can buy me.
What’s your moat? It’s you.
There are 10,000 fitness blogs. I see guys starting fitness blogs all of the time, and the sites are the same as every other fitness blog.
How is your blog different? Differentiation is everything.
There’s a whole “Victor-Pride-o-sphere” of motivational blogs. A few posts are made and then the site goes nowhere.
The copycat sites say the right words, but there is no music. They are as soulless as cardboard.
Tucker Max’s series on charisma sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?
If you’re not unique enough to have a distinct voice in the marketplace of ideas, slow your roll.
Go live life before starting a blog.
Become your own mechanic.
Your site is going to crash.
Learn all of the backend stuff yourself. There are YouTube tutorials on everything imaginable.
If you run a given framework (Genesis, WordPress, whatever) go to Google: “best plugins for [framework].” Experiment. See how the plugins interact.
Sometimes your plugins will cause your site to crash. Do one thing at at time.
Learn from other sites
Learn how to read page info. Know how I created my Archives page?
I went onto Victor’s page, viewed his source code, saw that he had a plugin installed called “cleanarchivesreloaded.”
I could have asked Victor, but that’s bullshit.
Learn how to fix your own site. Or pay someone to do it.
“If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it.”
You know who has good SEO? Fit-Juice.
It’s deliberate. Reverse engineer it.
Notice how I use search terms in the titles. Then I sprinkle those keywords into the page…but not too much, or you’re guilty of “keyworded loading.”
There’s an art and science to it. Experiment for yourself.
Subscribe to Matt Cutt’s YouTube channel.
Cross-link posts from the get go.
See how every post links to another post (several posts, actually)?
If a new reader finds D&P, he doesn’t just read a post and think, “Cool post” and leave. He’s in a walled garden. Why leave?
As one man said on Twitter, “Going to Danger & Play has me with 4 different open tabs to read.”
Make your first impression count.
Should you hit, “Publish”? Ask yourself this: What if someone’s first visit to your site would be to that post?
Would you want someone finding your site and reading that post?
I was guilty of publishing “throw away” posts early on. That was a mistake. I’ve been going through and editing and deleting old posts.
If you have something value to say, say it. If you don’t, go get material from the Source – real life.
Each post is an opportunity to impress or to make you look like trash.
Start a mailing list.
I use my mailing list different from most. I don’t market to my list. (Ask them.) I use it to send out information about new posts, to give away stuff to subscribers, and to email back and forth. You can subscribe easily by entering your email address into the box below.
I can send out an email and get hundreds of responses. That is what I want – engagement.
I prefer Mail Chimp, but some guys use aWeber. If you want to affiliate market to your list serve, use aWeber. I don’t market crap and nonsense to my list, so I’m a Mail Chimp man.
Give people a reason to subscribe. We already get too many emails.
Offer a gift. “Subscribe to my newsletter to get this free app/eBook/whatever.”
Post quality content on a consistent basis.
Twice a week is the minimum. If you can’t come up with two posts week, there’s not much point in starting a blog.
You’ll end up like a lot of the kids…always talking about what you’re going to do but never actually doing it.
(Once you’re established, you can take weeks or even months off. With that list you have, you can let people know when you’re back.)