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Why do you blog? (And how do you do it?)1282

Mavika30 private msg quote post Address this user
Dear All, I met Bill in Singapore a little over a year ago and his presentation totally fired me up. And then life moved - a lot - across fourteen countries and I got a bit busy with all the baggage. Finally, in March, I put some down and set out to blog. I had two clear purposes:

1. I think everyone was born with a higher purpose and a creative energy that gets too dulled by the pursuit of money and success. I try to write content that inspires people to look for these qualities in their lives.

2. I want to build my email list and social media platform for the launch of my book, "Confessions of a Super Asian," which is a memoir about how I changed from a stereotypical super Asian (a force for money and success) into me.

At first launch, the blog seemed to take off. I got some notice, and that led me to getting a little freelance gig writing for the Wall Street Journal's Expat page, which fed back into my blog and traffic. One article I wrote went viral - over 60,000 shares - and I got some press which upped my stats some more.

But then it all (as expected) died down. When the dust settled, I still only had 91 people on my email list (of which eight are family) and less than four hundred likes of my Facebook page, many of which I think are fake likes from like farms. My engagement rates are pretty good, but the overall volume is low.

I'm not quite sure if this is a normal part of the blogging life - ups and downs and all - or a sign that my content and website are all off. I'm also not sure how to grow my traffic now. What should my marketing plan be?

So I wanted to put up my own strategy for comments and feedback in hopes that I can get pointed in a slightly more upward sloping direction. I certainly don't expect overnight success and know I've just started, but I also feel a bit at the bottom end of what's been a big starting-out rollercoaster. Or maybe I'm on the right track and I just need to keep doing the same things for another year or two? Help!

Here's my strategy:

1. I maintain Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts and post to them once or twice a day. I try to curate a collection of stuff that isn't just my own on these feeds so people will follow them. Is this what others do?

2. I post on Wednesdays. My blogs are of the more personal essay kind rather than the snappy how-tos and lists that others use. They tend to be around 1,000 words. I know Bill recommended we blog shorter and more frequently, but after trying many styles and schedules, this feels most natural to me. I tell myself this works because my purpose is to introduce readers to my writing style for my book. But maybe I'm not approaching this correctly?

3. I have email capture forms on my website but no give-aways. I'm thinking of doing one on the "art of reinvention", but that's a long ways off. I'm not sure how to / if I should try other ways to incentivize people to sign up on my email list right now?

4. I write regularly for the WSJ on expat affairs with a bent towards my blog and book themes (although these sometimes diverge). I plan to pitch more to other magazine and guest websites. I try to idenify good ones by following most shared content on buzzsumo.

5. I network and try to meet as many fellow writers as I can to learn and share ideas.

What else can I do? Thank you so much for reading this long post. I hope others can also learn from my experience!

Rashmi
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Hey @rashmijdalai

Thanks for sharing. Thanks for diving into your strategy.

I know someone who follows/followed your strategy along the same lines. He and I met way back when.

His style lent to long forum posts. Hint: He's a lawyer. He pretty much did as he pleased and eventually got a pretty good following and some good daily traffic...5-8,000 uniques daily! Not bad, eh?

It took him 9 years to get there.

If you have that much time, then write long posts. Stick to your style. You might get there. Oh, and he wrote daily.

I encourage you to read this study and report I wrote up on LinkedIn.

There simply is no contest when it comes to long- vs short-form posts to get initial visibility.

If you want more people to come to your site ... give them more reasons to come. It's as simple as that.

Twitter will work for you if you work it. But you need depth at your site (read a lot of content) before you can get any traction there. You have far too little content and do far too little effort at the noise farm (Twitter).

We recorded the two day seminar this past weekend. I didn't think about it all that much, but perhaps I should make the recording available.

I wouldn't be able to do that for free...considering those who paid to be there. But let me think about it.

Rashmi,

You are such a good writer. I enjoyed so much our talk and remember it quite clearly. You have deep passion and your message will reverberate ... if/when heard.

IMHO, you are doing far too little have spread yourself too widely to see results.
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morrnel private msg quote post Address this user
What's your business?
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Mavika30 private msg quote post Address this user
@morrnel That's a very good question. The reason I started blogging was to attract a publisher and editors / be an online calling card. To that end, my purpose has worked and I think there is a market for my work. But now I feel like I'm putting out a lot of effort for no return. So I'm wondering if I need to either 1. blog more to increase traffic make money on advertising 2. blog more and try to sell an e-book 3. Or both. In other words, I'm trying to create a business on my work.

@belew I feel you like you just wrote "work harder!" :-) which is true - I do need to do that. But I have a follow-on question. How do you keep the depth of your articles and go shorter? Turn content into lists (which I like for practical articles but not so much for artsy ones)? Do you know of any good author blogs that might serve as examples?
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@rashmijdalai

Start with these 199 Ideas for Good Content on Your Blog
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Mavika30 private msg quote post Address this user
Will follow these like a roadmap!
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@rashmijdalai

These are easy to write ... add great quality to your site ... and will establish you as a credible source.

Complement your other stuff, link to it, from these posts that you write and you'll see magic happen.

Does this help?

When you finish these, I have more ideas for you.
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Mavika30 private msg quote post Address this user
Hi @belew, so it's four o'clock in Singapore and while I tried super hard to follow your formula all day, I ended up reverting to mine - sort of. I did find three experts on not living with purpose and write about what I learned from them. The article title is this: "What Living With Purpose is Not: A tale of one husband, billionaire, and televangelist" and it's all about how we think we need to go and "find" our purpose all the time, except it's always present and it's simply to love. The article is 1,800 words and written in three subheaded sections that follow the "husband," "billionaire," and "televangelist" title. So the question is, should I post these as three separate posts across three days? Or should I post as one and spend the next seven days posting shorter posts that are thematically related so I can back link? Or both? Help!
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@rashmijdalai

I'd divide that 1800 word article up into 6 posts...and link them altogether.

Use the same title and add part 1, 2, 3...
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tienny private msg quote post Address this user
The reason I blog is to land me a full time job. I never expect it to turn into freelance.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@rashmijdalai

How's it coming? We're you able tp start creating more content?
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