The "Holy-Trinity" of Successful Blogging

3 writing hacks that bad bloggers just don’t know about

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Now I don't want to get ahead of myself here.

I'm no blogger like Jeff Goins [yet].

I don't have 100k followers that are waiting for and heeding my next article [yet].

I haven't locked up 6 figure advance book deals by pitching an outline for the next best sellers [yet].

There are a plethora of characteristics that you wouldn't be able to tie to my name and put me in the same bucket as characters like Goins, Morrow, Ferriss, Holiday, and Altucher.

There is one characteristic I have that I confidently will say puts me at a similar level to him — my ability to research the f*ck out of what it takes to be successful in a given field.

I love doing research.

I love discovering why certain people are making strides over others — especially in writing and blogging.

I take all of this information and of course apply it to my own efforts.

"Learning from great people makes you great; you learn a lot and it also gives you the experience and confidence to move on with your own career."
— Nas

Plain and simple, in order to be a great blogger, you need to learn from and see the successes of the bloggers out there who have already done so.

Throughout my research, I have found a number of elements these successful bloggers — Tim Ferriss, Jeff Goins, James Altucher, and Jon Morrow (just to name a few) are practicing.


1. Great bloggers are experts at creating compelling headlines and copy

When I first learned this facet of successful blogging I felt a bit dirty and perhaps a bit like a snake oil salesman.

I downloaded, read and researched the art of a captivating headline and how important it was in building your audience and success as a writer.

Headlines are everything.

You could have the absolute best article ever written, but if you don't incentivize an audience to actually click on the article and begin reading, your work will be lost to the endless caverns of internet waste.

I saw an interview recently with Ryan Holiday. The interview was referring to his book, Obstacle Is The Way, a Best Seller (one of his many). He was recalling how when finishing the title of his book, his publishers were pushing him to call the book simply, The Way. Holiday argued that this wasn't really enough to compel people and to generate curiosity to open up the pages and experience the content inside — we all have obstacles, now's our opportunity to use them as a tool for our life.

Who's to say what would have become of that best seller if the title wasn't so compelling?

This holds true with your articles.

When I first started out, I was very "artsy" and vague with my titles. I thought the more esoteric and poetic they were, the better they would be received.

I quickly realized this was only causing confusion and resistance from potential readers.

Headlines are 99% of the weight of your article going viral or not.

Let's breakdown what a proper headline should entail:

  • A good headline focuses on solving a problem (i.e. avoiding belly fat)
  • A good headline uses numbers (i.e. 10 ways to avoid belly fat)
  • The more numbers, generally the more compelling (i.e. 5 ways to rid yourself of belly fat in 5 weeks or less)
  • Bold promises are even more drawing (i.e. The science is in! 5 ways to rid yourself of belly fat once and for all in 5 weeks or less)
  • Great headlines either adhere to one of two emotions: aspiration or fear (i.e. 10 ways to get 10k blog followers in just 10 weeks [aspiration] or Most people are unaware of these 10 tricks banks are playing on you with your own money [fear])
Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

*Now let me be clear, some of the examples I have are perhaps a bit hyperbolic — this is so I can drive in the point of the specificity needed in order to produce a compelling and drawing headline. What ever you promise in the headline, you better be able to deliver in the content of your article. People can smell a fraud a mile away.

I just recently saw an article from Jon Morrow titled, How to Become a Highly Sought-After Writer and I immediately said to myself, "Hell yes!" and clicked the article without question.

Needless to say, he fulfilled on his promise and the article was ripe with extremely valuable content I will take forward with me on my mission.

What if he didn't take inventory of his title, however?

What if he tried to be fancy and artsy?

Morrow laid out clearly what problem I would be able to solve should I click and give him a chance on this article.

This is the art of making superb headlines.


Great bloggers while very analytical and informative, they also tell great stories about themselves

Photo by Phil Coffman on Unsplash

To further illustrate my point with this, let's continue with Morrow's previously mentioned article. To quote a few passages from this article:

"I need to tell you something about my past…
When I was twelve, my mother and I hit a rough spot where we couldn’t even afford to buy food. We used to go to churches to get meals, because otherwise, we would’ve gone hungry.
But I had an idea.
I took a plastic bucket and put a sign on it that said, “Please help. We need money.” Too embarrassed to let anyone see me with it, I put it next to the road and looked out the window, hoping people who went by would drop money in it.
Needless to say, it didn’t work. Even worse, my mother saw it, and it punched a hole in her heart.
“You don’t have to do this,” she said, tears streaming down her face. “We’ll make it somehow.”
But I couldn’t do nothing. The feeling of powerlessness was killing me.
A few days later, I noticed a Girl Scout going door-to-door, selling cookies. By the time she got to the end of the street, all her cookies were gone, and she had a wad of money in her hand.
That’s when I learned one of the most important lessons of my life…
You can’t just wait for people to put money in a bucket. You have to give them something in exchange. You also have to go to them, not expect them to come to you.
But what could I give them? We didn’t even have enough food for ourselves, much less supplies to bake cookies.
I looked around and found a poem I’d written for my mother. It was all I could afford to give her for Mother’s Day.
“That’s it,” I thought. “I’ll sell poems.”
Over the next few days, I wrote a dozen or so poems. Each of them less than a page.
And then I made little frames for them out of popsicle sticks.
When I was done, I went to every house on the street. My neighbors opened their doors and found a skinny little kid in a wheelchair sitting outside, selling poems for three dollars apiece.
What do you think happened?
You guessed it, I sold every single one of those poems. Not a single person said no.
I made $36 from my writing that day. Later, we went to the store, and little Jon Morrow, a 12-year-old kid in a wheelchair, bought his family’s groceries for the first time. Still brings tears to my eyes, just thinking about it.
A week later, my mother found work, and I stopped going door-to-door, pestering the neighbors, but I was never quite the same after that. I got rid of a demon that’s plagued writers for centuries:
Shame.

What does Morrow do here that so many other bloggers don't?

He has invited you into his life on a very vulnerable and intimate level. Instead of just rambling on on how you can become a "sought-after writer" he first introduces you into a compelling moment of his past.

He touches on an emotion that a lot of writers deal with on a daily basis — shame. This makes him just like you and me.

I know one of my most successful articles (10k views) did just that when I recounted how blogging for the past year drastically changed my life.

Human readers aren't robots (not yet at least…).

We require a connection with what we're reading. We want to know a bit about the person who wrote the article. We want to feel something and experience it in it's entirety.

The great and viral articles will generally have this ingrained into their content.


Great bloggers aren't afraid to share their secrets

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Great bloggers understand that for them to succeed, the people around them also need to succeed.

Are you familiar with the Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset?

If not, it's a fascinating concept. Taken from projectlifemastery.com the definition is as follows:

A person with an abundance mindset believes that there is always more of everything in life, whether that’s money, relationships, resources, opportunities, etc. Alternatively, someone with a scarcity mentality lives in fear that they are going to lose their time or money.

Great bloggers understand that there is an abundance of opportunity for themselves and everyone around them.

I recently wrote an article where I offer up the tricks, techniques and hacks I used in order to supplement my income by selling my created digital products through my blog:

There's an overwhelming amount of information I used in order to make money blogging.

One might think straight away that I am giving away information that could result in a competing blogger might use to sabotage my efforts.

Perhaps…

I like to think the opposite however. I want and believe that that only way I can prosper is for other people who are hustling to prosper as well.

Furthermore, Jon Morrow gained an extraordinary amount of exposure and views by sharing all of his valuable information for successful blogging for free.

His whole site — Smartblogger.com which has generated $50 million in total revenue is based on giving away valuable, industry relevant information for free.

If you want to be great, it starts with the community you build. Your voice is contingent on your audience — without an audience, you don't have much of anything (hold for journalistic writing).

The way to grow and foster your audience is through sharing your valuable content for free.


Conclusion

"Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come."
— Dwayne Johnson

If you want to be a great blogger, there are no secrets left on how to get there.

It's a simple formula really.

  • You need to be consistent and you need to work your ass off.

Within that consistency and hard work there are strategies that can play into your hand and offer up insurmountable advantages that lead to your success as a blogger.

These strategies include:

1. Becoming a headline ninja

If you cannot get your readers to actually click into your article and read the valuable content, you aren't going to have a chance of getting your name out there.

Things move unbelievably fast in today's age. If you cannot create buzz in the first few days of your article being live, it will be lost to the pits of the internet.

How do you create buzz?

You need to draw people in and compel them beyond their skepticism by writing superb headlines.

  • You need to focus on the emotional responses of the reader: fear vs ambition
  • Using lists works very well in creating intrigue with the reader.
  • Be specific — you want to help solve a specific problem for the reader.

2. You need to pull at the emotional heart-strings and tell about yourself

For hundreds of thousands of years, human beings have told one another stories.

These stories have been rooted in mythology, drama, and humor.

We have used stories as a means to make sense of ourselves and the ultimate question of "why am I here?"

This hasn't changed in the digital and information age.

To truly supplant your dominance and success and have your voice flourish, you are going to need to let people in.

  • Tell a story of struggle or triumph.
  • What are the fears you have been dealing with?
  • Find ways to be vulnerable in your writing.

To really be remembered, you need to invoke emotion.

3. You have the abundance mindset

If you want to be great, you need to share with the world all the information you have deep within your mind.

Nothing is sacred anymore.

If you stumble upon a new trick, hack, technique or skill; sharing it with your community will help supplant you as a thought leader.

Everyone has a problem — shit… most of us have more than one.

If you know a way to help solve said problem, share it with the world. Your audience will recognize this compassion and return the favor 100X.

Perhaps the world doesn't see it just yet — you are a great blogger.

Maybe you just haven't been using the right tools to get there.

My goal is that these tools help.


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