Hi everyone! People have emailed and commented with questions about getting set up so I wanted to lay out a prep list here and if you think of anything else, post it and I might add it to the blog. Here’s a vlog and then some tips below:
1. Have your niche picked out and a slant developed.
You’re going to want to humanize and personalize during this blogging and list building challenge, remember. People don’t need to sign up for a list that resembles an encyclopedia. They’re looking for leadership. What’s your niche and what’s your slant on the topic?
IE: My niche is Internet Marketing and my slant is to promote honest and ethical marketing in a very blunt way that either connects with or repulses my visitors.
2. Have your blog set up.
I don’t care if it’s brand spanking new or an old dusty blog. Makes no difference. TRY to host it on your own domain. I have that free blog setup offer at the top of this blog IF you need someone to do it fast.
3. Map out a week’s worth of editorial blog posts – at least.
This is not mandatory – in fact, none of this is. It’s to help those who need help planning. I personally am mapping out a tentative 6 week – 30 day editorial plan. If, during that time, I discover something ELSE I want to blog about – I can do that whenever. There’s no “boss” to ask permission from, except me!
4. Plan your 6 week’s worth of free gifts or perks to your list subscribers.
Now this I would definitely recommend planning because if it’s something you have to create, then you’ll need time to prepare and create it for your list. I’ll be delivering mine on Wednesdays each week.
5. Do some preliminary research in your niche.
If you’re not sure what your audience needs or what you’ll write about, then start looking and poking around. Pretend (seriously) that you’re a reporter and it’s your job to dig into this story. What could you reveal about it? Any truths or myths? And new news? Any scandals or heartwarming stories?
Look everywhere, including:
- Magazines (in Barnes and Noble, and in Writer’s Market for cool little niche trade magazines)
- Books (one book could provide you with 30 days of blog topic ideas)
- TV shows (depending on your niche – like the HGTV channel for home and gardening)
- Google (not JUST regular web search – use those options at the top to look at other blogs, videos, etc).
- Forums – OMG just the thread titles alone are GOLD.
- News websites (they have various categories). Look at them all. Drudge Report is known for being political, but yesterday there was a post about how healthy it is to pass gas on airplanes. Not that you’re in that niche (LOL) but what I’m saying is, news sites have unusual stories!
- People – you can ask your friends and family (just casually start discussions) to see what their viewpoint is on something. You don’t have to say you’re blogging about it. Just strike up a conversation.
Jot down notes, bookmark some pages – just get READY.
6. Get your autoresponder set up.
Do NOT worry if you don’t have a list yet. That’s what this challenge is all about – building a list by blogging! Developing an audience for your message. You can do that!
I personally prefer Aweber (as do most people I know). They have a $1 trial for the first month – so take the leap.
What I DON’T want you to do is wait until the challenge is almost over and you start seeing traffic to your site and THEN you decide, “Oh okay, maybe I’ll build a list.”
And let me be really crude for a split second and then I’ll go back to being my Southern lady self. LOL! This is NOT a “whip your pecker out and see whose is the biggest” contest.
It doesn’t matter if you get 5 or 500 sign-ups. What this is about is knowing that you’re generating a slant and content that resonates with someone enough that they want to hear more from you.
Some niches are going to cause your list to grow slower than others. It probably doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with YOU. It’s all about traffic and findability and so on. The reason I say probably is because in some cases, if your content isn’t causing sign-ups to occur, then it may mean you need to dig deeper, get MORE real, be more transparent, share more, wow more, etc.