First, this won’t be the last time I mumble grumpily about other blogs…it isn’t the first and knowing me, there will be others.
But this afternoon I was just interrupted yet again by an extremely LOUD commercial while trying to read a post.
I understand that bloggers monetize their blogs. I even understand…
Aging, Families, Stupidity*Suziland
Source: Gripes, grumps and grumbles………..
I like helping others although I will admit I don’t always like people. For the most part I don’t like crowds and it seems that our society is becoming more self-absorbed and selfish. I know there are a lot of quality people in the world, I just don’t see a lot of them on a daily basis.
I have a personal mission statement that states: “seek to add value to the world around me.” This means each day I work to be patient, teach, lead by example, practice generosity, etc. I don’t always achieve this mission statement, but it is usually at the forefront of my mind.
Do you have a personal mission statement? I’d love to read your comments if you do. Also, in a general sense, do you like people?
One of the joys of blogging is it serves as a source of therapy. I’m able to purge out things that I would normally hold in. To me it has always been a little weird that I share things on my blog for all to read that I don’t share openly to people who I know in the “real world”.
To continue the practice of transparency, I wanted to tell you guys and gals that I have started seeing a therapist. I’ve been kicking the idea around for a couple of years, but finally found a practice via Google that I felt comfortable in seeing. My first appointment was this past Thursday and it went well. I will admit that the dynamic of telling a stranger my inner thoughts is a bit uncomfortable, but I think it will be great for me in the long run. In its basic form therapy is simply talking and I love to talk!
To protect identities I will call my therapist Dr. Kate as I’m sure I’ll refer to her here-and-there. Our first session was a get-to-know-you type talk about what I hope to achieve through talk therapy and a little bit about my background. My goals are to understand how to be a better husband to Evelina and to work through some of the root causes for some of my more neurotic behaviors. I’m laughing as I type this because I didn’t realize how much I hold inside that I don’t say out loud. The vast majority of our thoughts never leave our mind; a fact I had not ever considered until this session. Most of us live a life in our mind that others never, ever see. No wonder there is so much depression in the world.
At any rate I’ll be documenting my journey and some of the things I learn about myself. Hope you enjoy the ride.
Quite a few of you have emailed me asking about the post I wrote a few days back about Seth Godin’s concept of building a “tribe” and engaging with people who care. One of the toughest things to do in life is to get an idea or thought or invention to spread through a population. As bloggers this is a common goal: “I want to get my page to more people.”
But what if this is the wrong goal? I’ve always said you don’t need everybody, you just need the right bodies. If you manage to find the right group of people to connect with AND they buy-in to what it is that you are doing, then they will do most of the work for you. Ultimately what you have to do is lead them.
I see 2 common mistakes among bloggers who desire to grow: they don’t find their tribe and/or they don’t lead their tribe. Topics on which one could build a tribe could be: golfing with hickory shafted clubs, love for a particular genre of anime comic books, a fan club for a specific race car driver or the love of a particular band. In my opinion the passion needs to be specific, not general. iPhone enthusiasts stand in line, in the rain, all night to be the first to have the latest Apple phone product and then tell everyone in their life what they did and how awesome the new phone is. No one forced them to do anything, they choose to do it of their own freewill because they have passion for the latest Apple smart phone innovations. Their passion is much more specific than technology in general or mobile phone technology for that matter. The passion comes from their love of Apple and more specifically, the iPhone.
Do you see my point? Sometimes bloggers spin their wheels in a mud pit of frustration because no one will listen to them all the while posting content that is incredibly similar to what thousands of other bloggers are already posting. The fact is that if you are ordinary (too much like everyone else), then you are invisible. Maybe you need to get more specific and say something that no one else is saying and then get that message out to the right group in order to begin building your community?
Yesterday Jennifer emailed me and asked how I promote my website outside of organic methods. For those who might be unfamiliar, organic refers to traffic to your site that doesn’t cost money. The organic tactics I use involve Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and good SEO practices.
Jennifer was interested to know if I pay to gain exposure for my page. And the answer is yes. I use 4 basic methods to drive traffic from the web to Dream Big: Google search, banner ads, Stumbleupon ads and Facebook ads. This is a new strategy I implemented a few months back after doing extensive research and developing an organized advertising strategy.
I am utilizing the promote your page option in Facebook ads where I am encouraging people to like my Facebook page. So far I average 40-50 new followers each month and the strategy for getting new followers is to target people who live in and around the Charlotte area who also show interest in multiple sclerosis, self-improvement, personal development, blogs, inspirational quotes, National MS Society, etc. The targeting is important and no other platform allows for more specific targeting than does Facebook. How you might ask? Great question.
My company is a partner of Facebook as we do a ton of advertising with them each month. When the general public describes Facebook they do so in terms of social media. But inside the walls of Facebook they think of themselves in terms of data curation; a fancy way of saying they collect data. They know what kind of car you drive, where you like to eat, what you like to eat, where your kids go to school, what roads you travel, where you vacation, what web pages you visit most often, where you shop, etc. The amount of information Facebook collects is insane. Facebook’s success comes by leveraging that data to advertisers through laser-like targeting.
What this type of targeting allows is for me to advertise to those who might engage with my page more actively; we call this high conversion. So instead of simply targeting anyone with a pulse, I am able to only target those specific types of people who will most likely be interested in my type of Facebook page and who will enjoy reading my posts.
Then getting to those followers requires another step. I’m not sure that most people are aware but Facebook limits your organic reach on business/fan pages to approximately 2% of your total followers. For instance, if you have 1000 followers on your business/fan page and you generate a post, only 20 people are going to see that post. In order to reach the remainder you must use the Boost button and pay FB. Amazingly enough this is how they make FB profitable.
Google search has also been a productive tool. You may not realize this, but Google does not view themselves as a search engine. What??!! That’s right, Google views themselves as a referral business. They index pages based on specific search criteria to put relevant results in front of potential customers, readers, researchers, etc. (With that said they still only index about 35 trillion webpages or 4% of the pages on the internet!) Ultimately Google wants you to visit a business, have a great experience and then return to Google for another referral opportunity. In short, Google helps websites and businesses generate leads. And the primary way they help is to use paid Google search.
What you do is register an account with Google and then go through the process of setting up a campaign on Google Adwords. Now search is a pay-per-click product which means every time someone clicks on your ad Google charges you for generating that lead. I set my campaign to deliver ads in the United States and Canada based on keywords like MS blog, multiple sclerosis blog, inspirational blogs, inspiring bloggers, dealing with MS symptoms blog, etc. I want to reach people who are specifically looking to find blogs or bloggers who are writing about specific topics. I don’t want to deliver my ad to people looking for blogs. Why? Because the search criteria is way too broad and I’ll get charged for those clicks and they probably will have a low conversion rate. (conversion rate is the % chance of them becoming a reader of my page)
Seeing is believing! Google is the primary method of browsing the internet for most people (64% market share). Do you know the #1 search site for millennials? If you guessed YouTube you would be correct!
I am also using banner ads which display on websites which allow for AdChoices delivery. AdChoices is the program Google uses to sell advertising on a variety of websites including all the WordPress blogs. I am targeting other big websites whose readers might also enjoy and engage on my page.
And then there is Stumbleupon which drives views but isn’t something I focus a lot of energy. My weekly budget is minimal ($10-$20) and I don’t always run ads on this platform. What I do like about Stumble is it has huge upside in that a post can go mini-viral driving huge views in a short period of time. I’ve had posts get as much as 5,000 views in an afternoon! The downside is these views have low conversion meaning not a lot of people follow my page and become engaged readers. And for this reason I don’t use Stumble that much.
Jennifer was also curious as to why I do all this advertising; which I view as a great inquiry. The truth is that most blogs are followed by other bloggers and this is a great thing. My mission, however, is to reach all types of people and I don’t want to be limited just to those who use WordPress.org or .com. So for me to reach non-bloggers my website must be present in the places they live in the digital world. Thus I advertise.
I know this is a lot to digest, but I thought it might be interesting to see behind the curtain of what I do on a daily basis. There’s a little more to getting a lot of followers than just sitting back and waiting for growth to happen!
My motto: you can spend your whole life waiting or you can get busy doing.
Do you have a marketing strategy for your page? If so, I’d love to read about. Be sure to drop me a line in the comments or shoot me an email! Have a great week folks!
Free is always enticing. This is why some people go to get a blog with WordPress.com. I have some issues with WordPress.com and I want to talk about those with…
Source: Not A Grouch
In 2015 I set a goal to get my monthly views to a level so my blog would qualify for WordAds-the WordPress version of Google’s Adwords advertising program. I had lofty dreams of adding the ads program to begin my journey of becoming a paid blogger. Up to that point in my blogging “career” all I ever read were articles on monetizing a blog. I would soon realize that monetizing a blog is not an easy task.
At any rate, I did reach my goal and in October 2015 WordPress informed me that I would be able to enable WordAds on my page. Over the next 6 months I watched intently for the money to come rolling in and focused on driving more views to my page. At that time I didn’t have the views I have today, but I did have a couple of months that eclipsed 50,000 views in a month-and I was proud of that fact. These views didn’t equate to money though.
I have 3 basic problems with the ads program:
- It slowed down the load time of my page dramatically.
- The ads took up space in my sidebar which pushed my page’s info down below-the-fold.
- The ads didn’t produce enough revenue. As a matter of fact, the best month I ever had in ad revenue was $35.00 and that represented 60,000 monthly views! All that work to drive views so WordPress could deposit $35 in my PayPal account.
So when I evaluated the slower load time and the space ads consumed on my page I made the decision to disable ads and I have not regretted the decision.
The entire experience was disappointing to say the least.