Some days, I don’t have a post in hand. And then I wake up in a cold sweat and just know that I’m going to blow my schedule to pieces. I need something to go live, I need to find ways to relax, and I need to do it now. My mind is working overtime and I panic, kick myself and then try to get a grip on things. How could I let this happen? How could I be so forgetful?
Dear god, what have I done? I missed the boat (in a manner of speaking) and I gave myself a mental rollicking as I knew I had screwed up. But time passes and you regain your sanity and you wonder how you’re going to get things done. And then I realized that I didn’t have to post and I just had to find ways to relax. My life wouldn’t change if I didn’t. Zeus would not rain his rage upon me from high up in Mount Olympus. Neither did a bunch of angry readers email me asking why I didn’t post. Last time I looked out my window, I didn’t see any picket wielding mob baying for my blood either. All is good. For now…
No post? No problem. So what if I had missed the schedule? Sometimes I have pre-written posts, sometimes I don’t. Now, I make sure I have a backlog of posts ready to go at the touch of a button when I forget to post on some day. The idea is to never, ever be caught without a post on any given day. If I do miss a post, it could spell the end of the blog as I know, and that is not an acceptable solution at all. That said, I just went back to my coffee and bagels (god, they’re so good) and knew I was fine. I had a reliable, rock solid schedule that I missed on one day because I had stuff going on. Big deal, I never miss the deadline otherwise. Wake up and smell the coffee. I did, and it’s just delicious, thank you very much for asking.
I only recently put down a biography of David Ogilvy, and those of you that don’t know him, you should. He’s an interesting ad man who was far ahead of his time. My fascination with David Ogilvy goes back a long way and so I figured that for those of us that know about him and those that don’t, I’ll compile a list of quotable quotes that pertain to your business. The king of Madison Avenue may now be resting in peace, but here’s how his thoughts resonate through eternity and still ring true even today.
“The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.”
I’m sorry, but I had to open with this one. It’s my favorite, I still remember how this cracked me up when I first read it. Even in this digital age it is still apt for not just marketers, but also bloggers. Don’t talk down to your customers or readers; they are someone you should value and cherish. And if you can do this, it will take you a long way. And now, since we live in such serious times…
“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”
Some of the best posts I’ve written on here have been a bit light-hearted and funny (or as funny as I could make it). It very often is the craziest and funniest things that resonate with your readers/customers. Don’t underestimate the power of humor.
“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.”
Another class quotation, and in essence this is something that Donald Trump also said in his autobiography whose name I don’t remember now. Of course, your expectations should be realistic as often as possible but that’s no reason to think small. Aim higher and try to do things you never thought you could, and who knows…you might surprise yourself with what you can get done.
“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”
All of the grammar Nazi’s can go take a long walk of a short pier. Sometimes, being grammatically correct is important, but the importance of communicating lies in getting the message across any way you have to. Write your blog posts or ads as if you were talking directly to the person in question. Even if it’s not the best English, it doesn’t matter. Always be relevant to your audience.
“If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. But don’t let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else.”
Truer words were never spoken. It is annoying and extremely heart-wrenching to see your idea or thought process being hijacked by someone else. The key to being relevant is to constantly offer unique content and information, perhaps put a different spin on things. Nothing good ever came by copying someone else’s work.
I often wonder what it is I saw in my favorite websites that kept me returning over and over again, and then I realized there were common patterns to be seen. There are very simple ways of getting traffic to your website, and these methods are just some of the things that keep me returning to my favorite sites.
Wit is the symptom of intelligence, and everyone likes a witty person. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to be entertained and regaled with a few jokes? Heck, The Onion has spun a whole business model out of it. Of course, they’re damn good at what they do, but nonetheless, the point remains; humor is a great way to go about getting traffic to your website.
Be a storyteller
I don’t know about you, but I love a good story. For example, I love turning to Reddit where occasionally real stories from real people surface. And most of them are pretty damn good. Tell someone a story that affects him and he’ll remember it well. The words that you tell someone might fade away with time, but with stories you leave someone with images in their mind’s eye, and that is something people will never forget.
Empathize with me
Sitting back in this easy chair and thinking “I know exactly what you’re talking about” creates a connection with the digital fortress staring back at me. As human beings, we are all very social animals and we look for connections where sometimes there are none. Thus, when we find something we can identify we end up clinging to it for dear life. The same is true with websites we identify with, and it’s what makes us return to it time and time again.
Make a prediction
It doesn’t matter if you’re not Nostradamus, just make a prediction and you’ll find that the hits just keep rolling in. Take the Superbowl that just went by; if you had made a prediction that one of the two teams would have lost for whatever reason, you would have got hits if your article was good enough or had a unique angle. Throw in some humor and you’ll have a winner.
Clarify a concept
I like being a know it all, but I don’t know it all. I like to be informed, I like to know about things. For example, I want to manage my money better, but I don’t know nearly enough about it. Talking to me about money concepts and investments will help me, and I’ll repay you by revisiting your website. It’s a win-win situation!
Show me something I need to see
I absolutely love cars, and I don’t know of a red blooded male who doesn’t. and so when I stumbled upon a story that talked about how a Ferrari Mondial was abandoned without much love in Dubai, it appealed deeply to me and I clicked through to the relevant web page. I had never been to that site before, but the story just pulled me into its world. Stuff relevant to you can do that to you.
Everyone can do with a bit of inspiration every now and again, and websites that offer something resembling chicken soup for the soul will always have visitors surfing to their shores. I’m not just talking about spitting out cheesy quotes either; make a story of it, or simply relate it to an example in you life. It makes the moment so much more visceral, gripping and real.
Even if you don’t quite know it, you can harness the full power of niche marketing as a blogger. Having your own niche has its distinct set of advantages that you might not even be fully aware of. Of course, everyone else has carped on it to the ends of the earth and you will likely have read it all, heard it all and seen it all before. But above all else, be very careful when considering your niche and going about catering to it. Being under-prepared and/or overconfident when playing to the gallery is a dangerous Molotov cocktail that is just waiting to blow up in your face.
But what if niche marketing doesn’t particularly inspire you? What if you don’t have a niche to speak of? And just how do you make a niche work for you, instead of having to work hard for it? For starters, your niche gives you a particular target and makes you focus on it as best as you can. Think of a thoroughbred at the races; putting a pair of blinkers on it makes the steed gives it all while galloping away towards the finish line with nothing but one prime directive in mind. That’s what niche marketing does for you. It chops away all of the deadwood and makes you do only one thing, but do it exceptionally well.
Just like a leggy supermodel on the cover of a magazine or a photo of a supercar adorning a cover tells you what is in store inside, your niche purpose tells your readers what to expect from you. And what is niche marketing for blogs, but simply the effort taken to tailor your blogs to your readers needs? Use the titles of your posts, the headers of your blog, the SEO keywords and the posts itself (of course!) to tell your readers what to expect. When someone lands on your page, they are there either because they have come directly while searching expressly for something or because a search engine has directed them there. Within a few seconds, if they don’t feel that they will get what they want, they will surf away (clicks fingers) just like that. And that’s something your blog can’t afford.
Here’s a quick question then; what if you have nothing to focus on, what if your blog is all over the place? What do you do then? If that is the case, localize your content. Make your content aimed at people living somewhere. People always (yes, always) turn to the internet for information on local happenings, news or information. So why not give the people what they want and localize your content? Your blog might be a great place, but without giving someone a reason to come on over, you will forever be walking down the road to nowhere. The chances are that if someone is talking about something, they will be searching for it on Google. And that opportunity is there for you to grab. Step up to the plate and knock it out of the park, hombre. This game’s there to be won.