OK – before anyone says anything… I should say, “How to be ONE OF the Best.” I cannot teach you how to be one of the best in a simple blog post, and I cannot teach you how to be THE best if I am not the best! I can, however, help you a lot!
OK – so this is a follow-up from a previous post, Internet Marketing For Beginners, where we talked about what NOT to do, let’s now think about the alternative approach. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest brands on the web and the biggest players in your given niche. What are the sites that are absolutely thriving in your industry and making huge amounts of money as they do?
The answer is the big, well-known brands. And perhaps a few personal brands, with websites that have been lovingly crafted with some really big audiences.
The people who are really making massive money from their blogs are pretty much minor celebrities or household names and they are quite simply class acts.
Ask yourself if any of the following people or brands are familiar to you:
- Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Blog
- Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income
- The Art of Manliness
- Nerd Fitness
- The Verge
- Android Authority
- Den of Geek
- BBC News
Now ask yourself: how many PBNs (Private Blog Network) do you think these companies paid for?
And would these sites be anywhere near as successful if they had hired writers and paid them $1 per hundred words?
Or if they chose to use a keyword instead of creating an actual brand?
No, no, and no!
These sites thrive because they provide real value, because they have a clear value proposition, because they have a strong brand and because they have a professional sheen.
People engage with these sites because they trust them and they know what to expect.
Because they are entertained by them and because they learn from them.
These are the sites you need to emulate if you want to be successful and guess what? It’s not actually all that hard…
The only mystery in all this is why so many sites choose to try and cheat the system instead of doing things properly. And the simple answer is that it’s easier to try and cheat and that trying to cheat will get you results faster… but to a more limited degree and with a high chance of your site being eventually penalized or de-indexed.
A lot of people just don’t know how to market properly, or they assume that they need a massive budget (which isn’t the case). So let’s take a look at how you should go about internet marketing in the right way, shall we?
It Starts With a Brand
It all starts with creating a brand – and with understanding exactly what a brand is.
A lot of people assume that a brand just means a name and a logo but it is actually much more than that. A brand is instead a commitment to quality and a mission statement.
It starts by knowing why your brand exists and what it is that you want to achieve. And this cannot simply be wanting to earn money! Instead, you need to think about how your brand is going to change the world for the better, about what your subject matter is going to be and about why people are going to care about your posts and your products.
As many businesses advisors would say – it’s about the ‘Why’. Why do you do what you do?
What is it that sets your business apart from others?
Once you know this, you can create a logo that communicates that fact and that helps people to understand what you’re all about. You then create content that will help you to communicate your message and provide that value. And you make sure that every product, every video and every other thing you create is all in-line with that same vision.
Doing all this will ensure that people know what to expect from your site and whether or not it is for them. More importantly, it will allow you to start building fans and it will mean that people can feel like they are a part of a movement or a mission – rather than just reading some cheaply-made website.
You can even create a name for your fans, maybe create a slogan and generally ‘recruit’ people to your ‘fitness army’ or your ‘money-making empire’. Don’t try to appeal to everyone – know exactly what your brand is about, who it appeals to and how to get those people on board.
This also inherently means that you need to pick subject matters that you are genuinely interested in and passionate about. This will come across in the way you talk about your site and in the quality of your content so do not try and fake it!
If you have a fitness site, or a site on synthesizers, and you hire someone generic to write your content, then it is never going to be in the top 5% of websites. Why? Because a writer – even a very good one or a very well informed one – doesn’t care as much about your brand and won’t know enough about the subject. They will only ever be able to research the topic and then essentially re-write the content they find. Thus it will never be truly ground-breaking or original, it will never be completely new and exciting.
On the other hand, if you are a huge fan of the subject yourself and you write the content, then you will have a unique voice and something unique to say on the matter. The only exception is if you find a writer who is truly passionate about the subject and who knows it inside out. A writer who cares about your brand and who has something genuinely new to say.