Close
Close

What I Learned as a Bestselling Author that Can Equip You for Blogging Success

This guest post is by Peter G. James Sinclair of selfdevelopmentmastermind.com.

When I was only 14 years of age I was handed a set of lyrics from an adult friend demanding that I should add a melody to bring the words to life musically. I’d never written a song in my life, but his belief in me allowed me to produce my first masterpiece.

This then led to hundreds of original lyrics over the next ten years that culminated in a number of professional recordings.

I learned the power of concise

The habit of writing lyrics for songs sharpened my talents for writing concisely about the subject matter of each song.

This then led to writing articles for magazines, journals, and newsletters, but I always knew that I had a book within me.

I learned the power of persistence

I wrote three books over time and submitted them to the publishing fraternity all over the country and even overseas.

I often laugh when people ask me for the names of literary agents or publishers. My response? “I know them all. They all rejected me.”

But then I decided to write book number four. I gave it to my finest critic—my wife—and she hated it.

That night I decided not go to bed until I had completed my next book. So with three, no now four rejected manuscripts beside me, I typed all night.

At four a.m. the very next morning I walked into my children’s bedrooms with a smile on my face, because I’d just completed a book that contained 20 letters written to my children on how to live a successful life.

By the way, my wife loved it, and within a few months I was the proud recipient of my first $100,000 check.

I learned to position myself for success

So, you might ask, how did you make that amount of money from the single sale of your first book?

Simple really. Here were the five steps that led to my very first bestseller:

  1. I identified my market, or my niche, that purchased large quantities of books.
  2. I read the books that were sold to this market.
  3. I created a book following a similar vein as the other books purchased by the buyer.
  4. I added my own unique twist to make me stand out from the crowd.
  5. I self-published, hiring a typesetter, a printer, and a graphic designer to assist me. I learned it all on the job, as I had never done it before.

It all prepared me as I wholly committed to the world of the blog

As an author, I sold thousands of copies of my own books. I then went on to publish books for another three authors in both Australia and the UK, but at the end of last year I decided that I wanted to stop playing with the blog that I had been writing, just for the fun of it, and once and for all turn it into a successful blog.

I made this decision a little over six months ago, and in that time I:

  • have received a mention in The New York Times
  • hired a blogging coach
  • have written guest articles for significant blogs in my industry and even in other industries
  • have conducted written and Skype interviews with other bloggers
  • have created my first online course called “Self Development Mastermind” that is presented in video, audio, and text format
  • have released my Daily Motivational Memo, which combines one of my original quotes plus 100 original words that expand on that quote
  • watched my subscription base increase by more than 1500% in that time frame.

Use these principles to create your own blogging success

Allow me now to share with you how you can use these same principles, that I learned from self-publishing my own books to building my blog, for your own blogging success.

A. Learn the power of concise

  • Make it your goal to clearly communicate your message between 600 and 1000 words.
  • Study the best and most influential bloggers in the world.
  • Study the titles used by other bloggers in your niche that have attracted the most attention.
  • Create a great title and even check out Google’s Keyword Tools, from time to time, to see what people are actually looking for.
  • Make sure you break up your article into clearly broken down headings so that your readers can skim read before reading the entire piece.
  • Use letters and numbers.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Use photos.
  • Always conclude your articles with your personal signature that will lead people back to your blog.

B. Learn the power of persistence

  • Knowledge will empower you in the area of persistence, so hire a blogging coach to teach you about blogging and about how to create online products and membership programs.
  • Write some of your best material for other blogs. In fact, give your best away.
  • Always reply to comments.
  • When you get rejected either submit your article to another blog or publish it yourself.
  • Write another article for those who reject you, and ultimately get accepted.
  • Continue to ask for interviews, and although you may not get them all you will still get most of them.

C. Learn how to position yourself for success

  • One of the keys is the development of relationships with other bloggers. Enjoy the process of meeting more and more amazing people from all around the globe.
  • Communicate with others via Skype and email.
  • Comment on other people’s blogs.
  • Become more and more transparent as a writer.
  • Send your readers to other blogs by mentioning them in relevant material that you write on your own blog.
  • Become a giver—a giver of compliments, a giver of comments, and a giver of articles, a giver of high-value free ebooks, and a giver of a platform for others to benefit from.
  • Promote other high-value products produced by others in the industry, as well as your own, to your readers—because this will add value to their lives.

So what other strategies can you use successfully to build your blog?

Peter G. James Sinclair is in the ‘heart to heart’ resuscitation business and inspires, motivates and equips others to be all that they’ve been created to become. Receive your free copy of his latest eBook Personal Success Blueprint at – http://www.selfdevelopmentmastermind.com and check out his latest motivational/inspirational parable called The Creator at http://www.motivationalmemo.com/the-creator/ – today!

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Peter, I agree with your stance on being concise, but I disagree on picking an ideal “length” for blogging.

    You say 600-1000 words, but some of my favorite posts (which are also highly shared and successful) can be 2000+ words and longer, totally covering a topic.

    Would you expand on why you believe posts in this length range to be better?

    Because in my opinion, if you aren’t going to write something epic, you should save it for another day.

    • Thanks Gregory. This has been the guideline proposed to me by some of the major blogs in my personal development niche. But you need to find out what is the accepted norm in your niche. Remember that quality will always outstrip quantity any time. But if you can do quantity and quality simultaneously then more power to you. Be epic!

  2. “Concise” carries a powerful connotation Peter. Luv your use of the word. You accomplish so much more, with fewer words, as you focus on being concise.

    Thanks for sharing!

    RB

    • Thanks Ryan. Yes it is so much easier to waffle than it is to be concise. I always remember writers of children books telling me how hard it was at times to simplify. When I disciplined myself one year to write 100 word explanations of my original quotes I started to understand the difficulty and yet when you nail it – the power of concise.

  3. Gina Reedy says:

    That’s definitely a really good point. Without persistence/action/direction there may not be the end result someone wants. In fact, the opposite of what they want may occur. Nice post!

  4. Mike Carroll says:

    I totally relate! It takes some definite funding to be able to do this quite well!

    • The “power of persistence” really says it all. producing quality blog posts on a regular basis really helps attract attention to your website. Its like putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward; one step at a time.

  5. Guy Hogan says:

    99% of the content on my blog is free. And I do try to offer value to my readers. Now I think I have finally positioned myself to make money off of the 1% (an Ebook and a service) that will add more value to the lives of my readers. We will see what happens; but after three years of learning I think I’m about to be the proud ower of a hobby that is becoming a business. A small business, but a business all the same.

  6. Great post! Totally agree you should be a helpfull blogger. Good manners and a generous behavior is contagious and should result in a great blog. Now I have to go write an e-book:)

    • Thanks Fredrik. Glad to hear that the ebook is about to be written. Use free ebooks to build your database and then produce other ebooks that you can sell. Make sure the quality of the material – whether free or paid for – is as exceptional as your blog.

  7. Dhen Thomas says:

    I think the persistence is main factor for blogging success. Sometimes we hope our blog or products will generate more money. In fact, the blog/products only generated little money. In this condition, we must have persistence.

    Anyway, great share Peter.

    • In persisting with the growth of my blog I have focussed on building a strong and consistently growing database more than anything else. That has happened because I have continued to write exceptional material – the best I could possibly muster. For the database is where the money is in the long term – if not before – just depends how persistent you are.

  8. Well Mike – in fact….that was not true in my case. Most of what was required to create a book and to learn how to blog cost me ‘hundreds of dollars’ not ‘thousands’ and a whole lot of creative thinking – so any one can in fact do it if they are determined to push through the pain(or doubt) barrier. For most of the things that I write about here – the greatest investment was my time – and we all have an equal amount of that to use if we so choose. For where there is a will there is always a way.

  9. Nick Thacker says:

    Here’s another one: Be ready and willing to get away from your computer every so often (maybe try the Pomodoro technique, or the Information Diet method).

    We need to be putting these actionable items you’ve mentioned, Peter, into practice–I know that I often suffer from reading so much about WHAT to do I never actually take the time or put in the effort to actually DO it.

    Thanks for a great post!
    Nick

    • Thanks Nick. Great thought. Yes be a doer. I have a three word phrase that I speak out loud to myself constantly – DO IT NOW! It destroys procrastination and moves me from a position of standing still and into creative motion.

  10. Terrific post! Persistence is definitely a key to success although maintaining it at times can be really difficult.

  11. Hi Peter,
    It is a pleasure seeing you here. I have to agree with your sentiments here in regards to success, especially blogging success. I didn’t know that you were such an accomplished writer.

    • Hi Justin – so great to bump into you here at Problogger. Now listen up readers – here’s a man who is definitely a blogging success and a great encouragement to other bloggers like myself!

  12. Daniel says:

    Very helpful post, Peter.

    You put forth a nice collection of ideas which would indeed lift a blog or website towards much greater success.

    Maybe not all that easy to put some of those suggestions into action, though, definitely worth considering.

  13. Grace says:

    Persistence is much easier when you’re doing what you love. I believe shorter posts are better. Longer ones tend to make me dizzy. I especially agree with your C. points. Too many times bloggers are all about writing posts but never reciprocate by visiting other bloggers. I found that once I joined a blog directory of like-minded bloggers and visited their sites, my traffic increased dramatically and I’ve made many special online friendships.

    • So true Grace. As soon as you get ‘me, myself and I’ out of the picture and focus on others – growth is a natural progression. The more you give the more you will receive. Give expecting nothing in return but watch what wonderful things will occur – because it is a law – the law of sowing and reaping. Whenever I plant a bean seed in my garden I am in no doubt that a bean plant and beans will appear down the track – same goes for every other area of our life – including blogging. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  14. Vijay says:

    this is the best advice on starting your own product or eBook. I’ve a very successful blog in IT niche but I thing I’m just ignoring to create a product based on that niche which i always think could be the best think i could do.

  15. Sharon F says:

    Enjoyed your post, particularly the rejection process and eventual success! I’m going to implement some of the tips you shared, have been blogging for a couple years and seem to be creatively stalled for words at present. Never heard of a blogging coach… interesting concept!

    • Yes Sharon – stalled for words – understand that – we often call it writer’s bloc. Yes by surrounding yourself with mentors or groups of likeminded people whom you can brainstorm with – this can help to un- stall you. I find that the more I write the more I must read. The more I give the more I must refuel. If my car needs a regular visit to the gas station so do I. You just can’t keep giving, giving, giving without filling up on a regular basis.

  16. alan says:

    thanx for down to earth blogging tips

    • Thanks Alan – someone taught me years ago that some people are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly use. Glad to be useful – where the rubber hits the road.

  17. I like the way you call it “positioning yourself for success”. I understand it to be the building of relationships between you and those who are in the same field you are in and building relationships with your readers or customers.

    I think the 3 strategies you elaborated above about wraps it up for a blog’s success.

    • Thanks James – yes we can’t do it all on our own. We need our mentors, our peers, our readers and our customers if we are ever to experience the success that is ours to have in this exciting area of blogging.

  18. Glen Palo says:

    Love Section C positioning for success. It really is about helping others create value in their lives. Share the good stuff with your readers and social media followers. This all helps create your personal brand of giving and caring.

    • So true Glen. Create value – yes so good. That’s all we need to do if we wish to win. Every post you write – create value. Every product you create – create value. Under-promise and always, always, always over-deliver. You just can’t lose!

  19. TV Rockstars says:

    Well I’m thankful to learn from you . Wish I was a best selling author. :)