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Hacking the 80/20 Rule to Turbocharge Your Blogging Results

Hacking the 80/20 Rule to Turbocharge Your Blogging ResultsThis is a guest contribution from Garik Himebaugh.

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard of the 80/20 Principle. It’s been mentioned by productivity experts as well as the likes of entrepreneurs Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi.

If you do in fact live in a cave, I suggest you move somewhere with plumbing… and people.

While widely mentioned and talked about, the principle is sadly misunderstood and given much less attention than it deserves. From skeptics to those that glaze over the idea too quickly, there is much to be learned from careful consideration of this idea.

Hacking the 80/20 Rule to Turbocharge Your Blogging Results

In this article we will dive deep into what the 80/20 Principle is not, what it is, and how you can use it to turbocharge your results on your blog – from the time you put in to the output you get.

What is the 80/20 Rule?

Basically, it is the rule that 80% of your results come from 20% of effort. It’s working smarter, not harder.

What 80/20 is Not

First, 80/20 is not an all-encompassing philosophy. It does not have to be applied to every aspect of your life for it to be effective in your life.

Too often people get stuck trying to apply this principle to everything and creating a lot of noise about how it didn’t apply to a very particular situation and how they’re so brilliant for uncovering the fallacy. The fact is you don’t have to apply it to every aspect of your life and that is perfectly fine – it can still work for say, diet, or housework, or blogging. If you’ve tried it before somewhere, and it didn’t work, it doesn’t mean it’s not a successful principle.

There’s no limit to what you could do with it, but don’t fail to see the forest for the trees. Get your head out of the weeds and realize the incredible value being presented for those ambitious enough to take it.

Secondly, the numbers aren’t literal and don’t need to equal 100. 80/20 is the example ratio but the actual numbers will vary and need not add up to 100.

For example, 10% of your productive time could reap 77% of your achievement. These numbers aren’t literally 80/20, they don’t equal 100, and that is perfectly fine. Take the idea of segmenting your time and apply it to your own circumstances. Hack it to suit your needs.

What 80/20 Reveals

The 80/20 principle tells us that life isn’t fair. Results are not 50/50.

You can put in lots of effort and get no reward. You could spend all of your time on something you’re bad at and get marginal results, while your peer spends 20% of their time on something they rock at and are getting massive results.

The perfect example of this is wealth distribution where 20% of the people owned 80% of the land. Transform to current times, and the top 1% of Americans own 40% of the nation’s wealth.

The moral is to work smarter, not harder. Or better yet, work smarter and harder, applying your work ethic in a focused way to the area where you perform at your highest.

The Good News

The good news about the uneven relationship between inputs and outputs is that if you understand this principle, you can tip the uneven scales in your favor.

By making use of this you can cut back on the 80% of your time which yields only 20% of your results and multiply the 20% that yields 80% of your results. You can focus your energy where you are best and receive disproportionate results.

To take a closer look at the benefits let’s dive into some examples of the principle in action.

Example 1

Alesei spends 85% of her time at work in meetings, checking email, doing administrative tasks, getting distracted by her coworkers (especially managers), and doing “busy work”. She only spends 15% of her time making sales, which is the most productive thing she does, yielding 90% or her results.

That’s a 15/90 relationship, so just imagine how much her performance will increase if she doubles her time making sales. Now you might be thinking that the things she does in the other 85% of her time need to be done, but does it really? And specifically by her?

When Alesei analyzed her time she found lots of waste in there, lots of meetings that she could get out of, and busy work that she could delegate to others. When Alesei doubled and tripled her sales, her managers certainly didn’t complain.

Example 2 

Joe spends 80% of his time doing things that only give him 20% achievement or happiness. This could include activities like chores, watching TV, obsessively checking email, surfing the web, stalking people on social media and the list goes on.

Joe also spends 20% of his time working on his small business and playing music, both of which bring him 70% of the happiness and achievement in his life. What Joe realizes is that cutting back on the wasteful activities and increasing time working on his business and playing music increases his sense of accomplishment and happiness.

Let’s say with the time Joe carved out of the wasteful 80%, he now spends 40% of his time on his business and music, effectively doubling his results. If you were Joe, what would you do?

Example 3

Sarah, a freelance writer, finds that just 10% of her clients eat up 70% of her time because they are difficult to work with. This only leaves her with 30% of her time to spend on the other 90% of her clients who bring her the most revenue.

How would you proceed in this scenario where you have a 10/70 relationship? There are several options but Sarah wants to stop working with the 10% of her clients that cause her all this stress. This extra time will allow her to reach out to her best clients for more work and even to get more clients like them, thus resulting in more profit.

Lessons Learned

As the examples demonstrate, our efforts are not usually maximized for efficiency. Our best efforts are only accounting for a smaller fraction of our total time.

Increasing the effective variables while decreasing the wasteful ones can multiply results by factors of 2x, 5x, 10x, and the possibilities are endless.

As bloggers you can apply these examples in three ways:

  1. The first is to analyze what you do when you’re working and cut back on wasteful activities whether it’s checking email too frequently, researching without a purpose, spending excessive time consuming social media, etc. Instead spend more time on what gets you the most results whether it’s writing, reaching out to current clients or brands for more work, researching your niche, creating useful, shareable content, or working on your products or services.
  2. The second lesson is to look at how much time you spend on your writing versus other areas of your life. If you need to spend more time on work and less in areas where you’re wasting time, you can adjust accordingly. If you have a good life/work balance this may be unnecessary.
  3. The third lesson is to look at your work that directly earns money, spend more time on the things that increase that income, and perhaps spend less time on the avenues that aren’t as successful.

Now that you see the value of using the 80/20 principle, how do you apply this generally to turbocharge your results in blogging? Read on…

How to Utilize 80/20 in Your Life

  • Think about the times when you achieve at your highest level. What are you doing and what are you accomplishing in those moments? Take 15 minutes and really think about this question, writing down your answers.
  • Now that you’ve got the answers, how can you make more time to do what you’re best at, whether it’s play more music, write more, do more problem solving work, or whatever you are best at. Take 10 minutes and make a plan for increasing those activities and make it actionable.
  • By increasing the time on your 20% activities, you will naturally cut into the 80% of less effective, less happiness bearing activities. However, if you’re ambitious, go ahead and analyze what you spend most of your time doing and identify waste, cutting back on those uses of your time.

How to Use 80/20 in your Blogging

  • Spend less time creating and more time promoting
  • Spend less time writing a post just to get something up, and spend more time on your money-making projects like eBooks or courses
  • Spend less time promoting on social media and more time engaging with others
  • Spend less time on busy work – emailing, admin, images, and more time on creating. Get yourself a schedule that makes rote tasks easy and within a certain timeframe of your day, and stick to it. This will help you free up your time for bigger-picture ideas and creative endeavours.

Now you can see the power of the 80/20 Principle and how to leverage it to improve your life – and your blog. Whether you turbocharge your productivity, increase your performance, or boost your freelancing and client work in order to perform at your highest level the majority of your time, there is a lot of benefit to be found.

How do you see yourself applying the 80/20 Principle to boost your blogging? Please share in the comments.

Garik Himebaugh helps people turbocharge their results at Turbo Results. In the last couple years, he went from someone who wasted most of his free time, had $20k in debt, and social anxiety, to becoming organized, debt free, and super-productive.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Coming to you live from the pit of Facebook reach hell! Are you in the same boat? Ugh.

Here’s a tip that might help!:

Facebook Audience Optimization: Better Engagement and Insights for Bloggers // Jon Loomer

Did you know if your page has fewer than 5000 likes, you can switch audience targeting to get better reach on your organic posts? (that is, if you have an English language page). If your page has more than 5000 likes, it’s automatically switched on – just click the crosshair icon when composing a post and target your audience.

Hat tip to Zoey from Operation Move for that one!

Free Stock Photos: 73 Best Sites to Find Awesome Free Images // Canva Design School

Because we’re always looking. I love how much info they give, and their ranking system. I’ve bookmarked!

What’s it Take to “Go Viral”? 11 Traits to Give Your Idea Wings // Moz

There are a few things you need to ensure you’ve included if you want your post to be shared and shared again. Also has a case study that’s super-useful.

Why Being Afraid of Failure is a Huge Waste of Time // Smaggle

Fear holds us back from a lot (did you hear Pat Flynn talk about it with Darren on this recent podcast episode?). Carly thinks there’s only one way through that fear – what do you think?

How to Write Conversationally: 7 Tips to Engage and Delight Your Audience // Copyblogger

How to make your writing not sound like writing (you’ve deleted too-salesy marketing emails in your time, haven’t you?!). Being human will get you everywhere.

Facebook Changes up Your Newsfeed, Again // CBS News

This week one of my Facebook posts reached three people. Three. If you’re struggling again with reach, this is probably why.

7 Tips to Become an Influencer in Your Industry // Jeff Bullas

I’d never heard of MyBlogU! I signed up. At the end of the day, though – it still comes down to people. Your audience. They are the ones who share you with their friends! Are you treating them right?

How to Promote Your Blog with 105 Content Promotion Tactics // CoSchedule

Click straight to the section on the platform you need the most help with – super user-friendly!

8 Steps to Becoming a Successful Guest Blogger // SEM Rush

Having been the editor of ProBlogger for more than two years now, and seeing ALL sorts of guest blog pitches, I have to say these are some pretty solid tips to getting it right.

The Bumper Guide to Small Business Blogging // Mark it Write

If you use a blog as a promotional tool for your business, you need to read this.

What news did you come across this week?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagram, listen to her podcast, or be entertained on Facebook.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

January has sped by, and I can’t believe we’re staring down February 2016 already! This year has felt like a brand new start to many of us, and we’re beginning to see the results of the new things we’re trying. I hope they’ve been positive results! Everything changes so often it can be hard to keep up – but I also encourage you not to be afraid to fail or make mistakes. Everything moves so quickly we’re absolutely bound to, but you remember what Thomas Edison said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

If you’ve failed or something fell flat, then you’ve just found what not to do, which means you’re a step closer to getting it right. And when you keep refining, keep honing those skills then you’ll hit upon something that really works for you. And the more you try, the faster you’ll get there.

So go forth and fail!

80% of Facebook’s Ad Dollars Came from Mobile // Fast Company

All very nice for Zuck, but what does that mean for you? Well, more and more users are viewing on mobile (1.44 billion at the moment), so are all your ads set up for prime mobile viewing?

Sure, some of that may have come from Instagram ads (I know I’ve sure seen a whole lot more), but the fact remains the same – optimise your ads for mobile and see if that makes a difference.

5 Growth Hacks to Help You Grow Your Blog Business // Jeff Bullas

Food for thought there with number 4.

Getting 20,231 Views with One EPIC Roundup Post: A Step-by-Step Guide // Sumome

Epic indeed! What a post, what a response. If you’re planning an expert roundup post, you might wanna check this out for ideas first.

LinkedIn Driving Traffic to Publishers Again – Including Bloggers // Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Well this is interesting – for most of last year, LinkedIn prioritised the content posted directly to LinkedIn, but now has changed Pulse (the news aggregation app) to consider “universal links”. Which means if you’re sharing your blog posts on LinkedIn, there’s more of a chance people will see them now and click over to your blog. Yay!

How do You Measure Passion? Figuring the Value of Social Media Followers // NPR

It’s not just numbers, although it’s hard to quantify anything else. Companies are now springing up to do just that.

Heavy use of Social Media Linked to Sleep Problems // Psych Central

If you’re not sleeping, then you’re not making the best decisions. You can be the best blogger you can be if you’re not taking care of your health. In this case, less social  social media is definitely more.

Will You Like Facebook’s New Reactions? // BBC

They removed the “yay” because people didn’t understand it? Tell me this isn’t true…

The Hustler’s Guide to Getting Your First 1000 Email Subscribers with Content Marketing // Copymonk

The basics, but better. So much info packed into one post – and a downloadable checklist! It cannot be overstated – know who your target market is, and know where they hang out.

How to Write a Blog Post: The Definitive 10, 273 Word Guide // Be a Better Blogger

You’re going to need at least two cups of coffee for this one. And a notepad + pen.

How I got 1.7 Million Pin Views to My E-Commerce Pinterest Account in 2015 // Kissmetrics

If you’re on Pinterest, you need to read this. If you haven’t yet leveraged it, do so! It can be incredible for driving traffic to your blog, no matter the niche.

Have a great week!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagram, or be entertained on Facebook.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Welcome to the weekend! (Well, Friday if you’re in the northern hemisphere!). Where we are it’s the wind up of summer school holidays, the last weekend before routine and structure begins. Wherever you are, I hope it’s a great one.

Let’s learn stuff!

What’s new in blogging this week

12 Work Hacks to Keep You Sharp And Focused Throughout the Day // Huffington Post Australia

I’m a big fan of #9 and I will tell anyone who sits still long enough to listen. If you work from home especially, pay attention!

10 Must-Read Resources That’ll Change The Way You Write Blog Posts, Emails, Optins and More // Edgar

If you don’t know, then learn from the experts! Edgar have rounded up the top advice they’ve read on the most common issues we all face.

Top 6 Mistakes Marketers Make on YouTube Influencer Campaigns // Kissmetrics

This post will be useful to you both if you are a marketer looking to work with YouTubers, and also bloggers who are looking to work with brands. Find the gap in the relationship that leads to these six mistakes and do your best to plug it.

How to Craft the Perfect Tweet // Enterpreneur

Nailing the perfect combination that readers can’t help but engage with.

11 Things to Do Now to Keep Your AdWords Healthy in 2016 // Search Engine Land

Nobody wants to upset Google, so jump on the trends for this year and ensure that when you create (and pay for!) an ad, that it’s getting seen by the right people.

How to Find Amazing Content for Your Social Media Calendar (and Save Yourself Hours of Work!) // Business2Community

If you’re looking for other content to share to balance out your own, this post has tons of great ideas.

images-social-media

How to Use Images on Social Media to Add Value Part 1: Social Media Images, Sizes, Best Practices,and Tools // Top Rank Blog

Quite a number of image-creation programs I’ve not used before, have you?

15 Hidden Instagram Hacks and Features Everyone Should Know About // Hubspot

I love number one, but it requires also contravening my life laws from the first link, so I don’t do it. I was also pretty impressed with the flight mode stuff. Creep away!

How to Convert Blog Traffic into Customers with CTAs: The Complete Guide // Grow & Convert

I love anytime someone walks me through a Google Analytics Goal and this is no exception. Don’t forget to sign up to be notified when the other posts in the series are published.

How to Get Featured on Large Publications Without Guest Posting // Sumome

A fantastic idea for those of us who have huge back catalogues, but not much time to create new content for other publications. Let me know if it works for you!

So what have you learned this week? Happy to chat in the comments!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagram, or be entertained on Facebook.

5 Ways to Eliminate About Page Anxiety

This is a guest contribution from Natalie Gowen.

Today I’m talking About Pages. Or, rather, I’m talking about About Pages. Either way – please don’t go screaming from the room.

Yes, your About Page is one of the most important pages on your site. Yes, it can make a deep emotional connection with your readers. Yes, your About Page can grow your readership and increase your business with tremendous effectiveness.

And yes! About Pages are the hardest pages to write. If you suffer from About Page Anxiety, you are not alone.

Getting clients to hand over About Page content for their website is the most dangerous part of my job. It’s like taking candy from a baby – where the baby is a starving lion and the candy is a fresh gazelle.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can stand up to About Page Anxiety. You can write a compelling story about your site. You can tell writer’s block to go bother someone else. You can be the proud owner of an About Page that sells you and your blog and convinces people to keep reading.

All it takes is 5 simple elements:

1. Tell your readers why they should care.

When a new visitor comes to your About Page they want to know one thing – what’s in it for them? Answer that question and you also give your readers a reason to dive deeper into your site or add you to their bookmarks.

Your benefits can be real or intangible, either way – be clear about what your blog offers. For example:

You’re a humor writer and a mom – readers care because a good laugh brightens their day, and hey, at least they’re not cleaning poo-based finger paint off the walls.

You’re a business coach – they care because their dreams are like a frozen computer and you can teach them how to reboot.

You’re a fitness blogger – they care because you provide daily motivation to move a little bit more than they did yesterday.

Starting off your About Page by focusing on your reader is the best way to spark a connection.

2. Give them reason to believe you.

Giving people a reason to care about your blog and sharing the benefits you offer can lead you to make some pretty big claims. Using the examples from above:

The humorous mom can make her readers problems fade into the background with a few minutes of laughter.

The business coach gives hope that a side gig can become a full-time job.

The fitness blogger sells a vision of his reader’s future self, the one that can jump off the couch and keep up with the kids.

To help your readers believe you, they need to trust you.  Do you have a degree? Are you featured on top blogs in your niche? Do you have clients that adore you? Is the proof in the (social media) pudding?

Your About Page is the best to explain enough about yourself that readers know you’re not just blowing smoke.

3. Get personal

Your readers will come back for the benefits you provide, but they will connect deeper if they can tell you are a real person, with real struggles and real victories.

Getting personal doesn’t have to mean divulging every last detail about your life. If you want to retain some privacy, let your personality show by sharing:

  • Your values
  • Your interests and hobbies
  • Your goals, hopes and dreams for the future

Most of all – make sure you include a good, clear picture of yourself. It’s always easier to like someone if you can see their eyes.

4. Be available

Don’t play hard to get.  After all, blogging is about connection – so be reachable. If someone really resonates with your purpose and wants to reach out, let them. You can make it easy:

  • Using your website’s email forms
  • Sharing your email address as an embedded link
  • Adding links to social media and connecting off the blog

5. Extend an Invitation

Readers on your About Page have knocked on your door. Are you going to let them in?

Like vampires, first-time visitors to your blog need a specific invitation to go deeper into your website or come closer to becoming your client. Otherwise, they’ll close the browser and will soon forget all about you.

The best invitations are extended as a Call to Action. CTAs are traffic building, business-growing workhorses. The key to an effective CTA is to:

  • Be direct
  • Be relevant
  • Be simple

If you’ve covered the first four About Page elements, you’ll be surprised what readers will do.  They’ll follow you on social media, join your email list, read more posts or even buy your products. You just have to ask.

The Long & Short of About Pages

When you break it down, your About Page should be pretty simple. Whether you write in first or third person, it doesn’t really matter. If it’s long or short, that doesn’t matter, either.

At the end of the day, if you’ve covered the 5 main elements let your About Page be uniquely yours and kick About Page Anxiety out the door.

Natalie Gowen is a brand and marketing strategist for creative and passionate entrepreneurs. As part of her mission to eradicate boring About Pages, she’s the author of the e-course and workbook, About Page Mashup 

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

So much stuff to pack into one weekly roundup here! If you’re thinking about growing your social platforms, or wrestling your inbox to submission, then read on…

Six Marks of Effective Content: The Lego Movie Edition // Copyblogger

Do all your blog posts meet these criteria? If not, then you might find they’re getting lost among the crowded blogosphere.

23 Tools and Tips for Social Media Marketers // Social Media Examiner

If you were listening a few weeks ago, you would have noticed me mention the BuzzSumo Chrome extension and how good it is for calculating tweets of your posts even though tweet shares are not being counted any more. This post recommends you download it for a ton of other cool features, and also give a heads up about Evernote hacks, Facebook security settings, sharing plugins, replay your live streams and more.

Create Coding Magic // Elembee

If you’re still in the beginner stages of coding, like me, then you won’t want to miss this free short video course on basic coding tricks for things like website tweaks and email signup buttons. I learned so much!

How to Spend Less Time on Email: 12 Tips For Keeping Your Inbox Under Control // Hubspot

If your inbox is anything like mine, you’d be desperate to keep it at a level that doesn’t make your brain explode. I like these tips (especially the ruthlessly unsubscribe bit, although I’ve had trouble with unroll.me before), but number 3 is my saviour.

7 Ways to Reach Your Target Market on Facebook // Social Media Today

Not all of these tips will be relevant, but they are useful. I’ve not heard good things about the Facebook business pages though, and plenty of people I’ve talked to would like to change theirs back. Have you had much luck with it?

How Snapchat is Targeting the Over-35 Crowd // LA Times

Because older people is where the money’s at, of course. But is that maybe where your audience is at, too?

The Untold Story Behind Vincent van Gogh’s Success // Jeff Goins

If you’ve hit a wall, or feel like you’re not getting where you should be by now, then read this. Then, read this.

Twitter’s New Rules Explicity Crack Down on “Hateful Conduct” // Mashable

If you were one of the people from last week who agreed with the BBC that the internet has gotten nastier recently, then take heart in knowing that Twitter has announced they will not tolerate “behavior designed to harass, intimidate or silence another user’s voice through fear”.

Case Study: How We Gained More than 100 Links for a Travel Website via Content Marketing // Moz

Jumping on a trend definitely helps. I like how they’ve broken tasks down to make it easier to understand and to replicate. More links: better search results.

The Top 8 Design Trends to Watch This Year // Hubspot

This infographic gives a fantastic visual representation of what’s going to be hot on blogs this year. Do any of them appeal to you? Is it time to give your blog a makeover?

What’s caught your eye this week?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagram, or be entertained on Facebook.

3 Tactics for Building Quality Links to Your Blog

For when you're stuck in the "I must publish new content on my blog every day" cycle: three things to try to build quality links back to your site using the content you already have. Click through to read the whole post on ProBlogger.net

This is a guest contribution from Alex Ivanovs.

Links remain as one of the most important assets for building a Google search presence. Many know that the Google Panda algorithm update was a tipping point for recognizing authoritative sites.

Having a page of your website at the top of the search result page can have a significant increase in CTR (Click-Trough Rate), and a recent study shows the difference between the first position (CTR: 31.2%) and second (CTR: 14%) is 17.2% — that’s twice as much organic traffic for first position than it is for second, and the only way to keep climbing to the top result is by being persistent with building quality links.

We live in a time where content marketing is being recognized as superior towards organic link building, but new bloggers can quickly become overwhelmed with the idea of having to spend countless hours building high-quality content; without the assurance that it is going to perform well. It can also take a long time to see results from organic traffic resulting from organic search results. In order to get a foothold in what is already a saturated market, it can be beneficial to work harder to rank higher in the early days, rather than relying solely on the “great content” method.

To tell you the truth, I haven’t spent nearly as much time building links as I have optimizing my content and making sure that it gets in front of the right people. The way I see it, all you need is a dozen good posts and the determination to work with these posts consistently to ensure that they’re the most evergreen, most up-to-date posts available at any given time.

Here are my top three tactics for utilizing existing content to build high-quality links.

#1: Repurpose Your Existing Content

Repurposing means recycling your existing content into new formats that can further enhance the the learning experience. The idea that we have to write fresh content 100% of the time is ludicrous – if that was the case then only a handful of writers and bloggers would be able to keep up with such a way of producing content. It’s not efficient, and nor is it totally necessary.

Anyone with a few posts on their blog already has all they need to repurpose their content. The following are some of the most notable ways of repurposing your existing content:

  • Slides — Any blog post, presentation or research paper can be repurposed into a unique PowerPoint slideshow that you can upload to SlideShare and expose to its vast audience.
  • PodcastsJeff Bullas has been repurposing his content into podcasts for years, at the end of each published post, he submits a recorded audio file (podcast) of the content he has written. You may also want to explore the option of starting your own podcast; listen to ProBlogger’s podcast for tips and inspiration!
  • Infographics — Infographics are informative, concise, visually appealing, and often more convenient to consume than text content. With a little thought and creativity, you could convert any blog post into an infographic, and you don’t need to be a designer either, tools for creating infographics on the fly are plentiful.
  • eBooks — Interviews and series posts are some of the best types of content to repurpose into an eBook, which you can then either sell, give away for free, or use to generate email subscribers.
  • Images — Quotes, insightful statements, and data presentation are some of the aspects from a blog post that can be turned into an image. It’s very often that other bloggers and media sites look for specific visual content that reflects useful data.
  • Videos — Webinars, podcasts, and even blog posts can be repurposed into video tutorials and guidance videos. Derek Halpern was able to build a huge following to his blog Social Triggers thanks to being dedicated to creating video content on YouTube.
  • Q&A Sites — James Altucher has over 3 million views on his Quora answers in the last 30 days. That’s an astonishing number, and huge potential for building new followers to himself, and his blog. Q&A sites are an incredibly potent way to repurpose your content into concise answers and tips, and Quora is known to be very forgiving towards links and self-promotion.

Now that you look at it, that’s seven different ways that we can repurpose a single piece of content into a different format, yet keep its flavor and usefulness. And we can do this for all of or blog posts, articles, guides, research papers, all of them. The more invested we are in repurposing our content, the more likely it is to come across bloggers, journalists and people who will happily give back by sharing, promoting and ultimately; linking back.

#2: Talk About Your Content

Have any of your posts in the recent few months performed above average? Have any of your posts attracted a higher number of organic visitors than usually? What about the number of comments? This is called popular and/or trending content. You have created something that answers peoples questions, and curiosity.

Sadly most bloggers leave their most popular content as it is, the idea of it performing well is satisfactory enough that they don’t consider exposing this content to more eyes in order to attract discussion and eventually links.

Updating old content with fresh ideas and perspectives has long been known as a reliable technique for attracting new readers, but one thing people look forward the most in a piece of content is the ability to be challenged into an action that can spur meaningful results.

As we update our old content, we can use the number of repurposing techniques that we have already discussed, putting emphasis on adding insightful quotes, images, and other visual data; which makes for a more appealing reading experience, and an increased chance of having your content shared on social media.

We can talk about our content by promoting it on our own blog, whether by using ‘Sticky Post’ features, or by linking to it from our sidebar, we are in charge of what we want our readers to know about.

Once you have identified a popular post, updated it with new data and imagery, it’s time to syndicate it with some of the most popular communities on the web:

  • MediumMedium is a blogging platform that syncs with your Twitter followers. Anyone who is on Medium and is also your Twitter follower will be notified by any new posts you publish with Medium. This is a great way to talk about the ideas that you are discussing in your original content and lead new readers towards it.
  • InboundInbound is an online marketing community that focuses on sharing links marketing, growth, and research. The leading online marketing experts hang out at this community, so highly valuable and insightful content is bound to be recognized and rewarded.
  • Growth HackersGrowth Hackers is a community of online marketers who focus on using creativity and data to grow their ideas. Sharing a unique technique for generating growth can potentially earn you dozens of high quality links.
  • RedditReddit is a well-known link sharing community that’s divided into thousands of unique sub-forums. Everyone must follow etiquette, which makes sharing your own content more difficult, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you’re sharing occasionally and sharing high-quality material.
  • BizSugarBizSugar is for small business bloggers who want to expose themselves to an audience that consists of bloggers, entrepreneurs and small business owners. I have personally had great success with sharing content on BizSugar, and it’s a great way to connect with other dedicated bloggers.

As we continue to see an increase in the number of bloggers who wish to succeed, it’s more and more important to understand that in order to succeed with being recognized on these link submission sites, you have to take great care of your content and aim for providing value that will be hard to match by anyone else.

Personal stories, data driven research, unique ideas, and new approaches are all great post types that will without question generate comments and attraction to your content. If 9 out of 10 submissions didn’t get more than two comments, you’re definitely doing something wrong. It’s that easy to recognize.

#3: Relevant Email Outreach

More than a dozen resources have been mentioned in this insightful post, to think that I would not reach out to everyone mentioned, is to think that there’s no value in email outreach, and of course there is. Email outreach remains as one of the most direct ways of building relationships, attracting social shares, and if you’re lucky — snagging yourself some great links.

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Email marketing is also the only marketing method that can outperform social and search. Yet email outreach has been around for decades, and it’s the oldest known outreach method for job applicants, marketers, PR, business people, and the list goes on and on.

Neil Patel had this to say about building links with email marketing:

For every 100 emails you send out, at least five of them should be linking back to you. If you can’t get five of them to link back, it means you are doing one of the following things wrong:

You are emailing non-relevant sites.
You are emailing your competitors.
There is little to no substance to your website.
Your email copy isn’t compelling enough.

The most common mistake I see with email outreach these days is bloggers following a pre-built email template that has been ‘proven’ to be effective, when in fact that very template has been overused at least a thousand times, and there is only so many same emails a person can receive before he chooses to ignore them altogether.

A Good Email Outreach Template

Hi [name],

Greetings from this side of the World! A recent guest column of mine — tactics for building links — has just been published on ProBlogger, and as you might imagine I am reaching out to you because I wanted to make sure that you’re credited for helping me to make the post possible.

Your resource on [which resource to credit for] was invaluable in making the post happen. I would appreciate if you could give the post a quick overview and maybe throw in a seal of approval?

Please let me know if there’s anything you would like to add to the story.

Kind regards,
Alex

Sincerity, honesty, and straightforwardness is essential to capturing both attention and curiosity about what you want to share, and whenever we’re talking about giving someone props for the work they’ve done, the least they can do is see what you’re talking about.

A Bad Email Outreach Template

Greetings [name],

I noticed your blog today and one of your posts was really informative! I agree that [blah blah] is important. I am also blogging about [the topic he is blogging about], and we have so many similar ideas.

I was writing a blog post today and decided that one of your articles was great enough to link as a resource in my own post. You can see my post [here]. Do you think you could also link to one of my posts, or maybe send a social share?

It would help me to grow my blog, and I would be so grateful!

I know you must be busy and probably get a millions emails per day, but I hope you can help me out.

Thanks,
Alex

The tone, the writing style, the implication — it should be clear that this email is lacking professionalism, and is aimed purely at gaining personal value, almost in a ‘begging’ like mindset. The less professional we are with ourselves, the less professional we are going to be with others.

How are you going to use these tactics to build additional links for your blog? How will you repurpose your first piece of content?

Alex Ivanovs is a passionate writer who works in the field of technology, personal growth, and blogging. You can find his other work on SkillCode, and you can follow him on Twitter: @skillcode.

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

This is a guest contribution from Jawad Khan.

Did you know that eBook sales in the US, the biggest market for digital products, is expected to reach $7.6 billion by the end of 2016?

Surprised?

In the U.S alone, eBook sales have grown almost 3000% over the last 10 years. A study by eMarketer suggests that eBook sales will outgrow the sale of mobile games in the US by the end of 2015.

The rise in eBook sales, and even free eBook downloads, is a direct result of the increase in smartphone, tablet and e-reader users.

According to Pew Research, more than 50% of American adults own either a tablet, smartphone or an e-reader device, with the majority using tablets for reading eBooks.

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

As a blogger, you should be excited reading this – really excited!

Because this not only offers you a huge money making opportunity, that is exponentially growing, but also open up several ways you can use eBooks to build a long term and viable blogging business.

However, to take advantage, you need to take action.

Why? Because research indicates that almost 81% Americans believe they should write a book, but only 1% actually do it.

That’s why it’s important that you take action.

Here are a few ways, with practical examples and relevant tools, you can use eBooks to boost sales, build your audience, and grow your business.

Use eBooks as Lead Magnets to Grow Your List

You’re a blogger and you know how important email subscribers are. There’s almost no long term and viable online business that can be built without an engaged and thriving email list.

But if you’re trying to build an email list by offering “Free Blog Updates” to your visitors, you won’t find much success (unless you’re Seth Godin of course).

To convince your readers and convert them into subscribers, you need to offer them something valuable that pulls them to your list.

In other words, you need a lead magnet.

And what type of lead magnet converts the best?

You guessed it right, eBooks!

People just love reading eBooks, and it somehow feels more valuable than other forms of lead magnets.

But don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at some of the most successful blogs, and see what their primary lead magnet is.

Bryan Harris, the owner of VideoFruit, took his blog from 0 to 10,000+ subscribers in just a few months. He has become an authority on list building.

And what does Bryan offer as his lead magnet? An eBook!

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

Ramsay grew BlogTyrant to 150,000+ subscriber. His primary offer is also a free eBook:

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

And what does Glenn from ViperChill use to attract email subscribers? You guessed it! 

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

Here’s the bottom line.

Your readers and blog visitors are MUCH more likely to subscribe to your email list if you offer them a relevant and high quality eBook.

Create the Perfect eBook for Your Audience and Make Guaranteed Money

One of the best things about blogging is that, over time, you can build a loyal community of readers around your blog.

These readers not only provide you inspiration and ideas for new content, but most of them actually start looking up to you as an authority. They are already convinced about the usefulness of your content and take your words seriously.

By identifying their biggest needs, you can create highly targeted eBooks that not only solve their problems but also fill your pockets.

Blogger and bestselling author Jeff Goins is a great example.

He started blogging just for the love of writing, and amassed an email list of more than 10,000 subscribers.

But he was making zero money from his list because he wasn’t selling them anything.

Until he decided to sell eBooks directly to his audience.

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

Jeff started by running a survey on his subscribers, and was surprised to know that the vast majority of them was willing to pay if Jeff offered them an eBook.

Fast forward two year, and Jeff has a thriving 6-figure eBook income that comes directly from his subscribers.

You can follow the same model even if you have 500-1000 email subscribers. Identify their need, and give them what they want – guaranteed sales.

There are a number of ways you can find content ideas for your eBook. You can run surveys on your blog, look at your most popular blog content, follow discussions on Quora and LinkedIn groups, and study competitor blogs.

You could also search for your main industry keywords on Ahrefs Content Explorer, and find out the posts that have attracted the highest social media shares and backlinks.

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

This will give you a good idea of the popular topics in your niche.

Once you have an idea, setting up your eBook for sale is also quite simple.

You don’t need technical expertise. There are tools and resources on the web that’ll do everything for you.

If you need to design your book cover, you can invite design proposals from freelancing portals like 99Designs. Or you can do the job of a graphic designer yourself, and create eye-catching book cover designs, using Canva.

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

When it comes to selling, you can simply use third party digital selling apps like Selz, which make selling eBooks a breeze.

Selz integrates directly with your email list and allows you to accept payments using all the mainstream payment gateways. You can place your eBook in the sidebar of your blog or create a separate product widget with a Buy Now button.

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

In short, if you already have an email list you should seriously consider selling eBooks directly to your subscribers. It also gives you an opportunity to charge higher rates for your product, since your subscribers are loyal fans who’re willing to spend money in exchange for the value you’re offering.

Don’t Have a Huge List? Sell eBooks to the World

You want to write an eBook, but you can’t sell it to your blog readers and email subscribers because you don’t have a list.

No problem!

Why not sell it on the world’s biggest ecommerce portal, Amazon. Your eBook will be instantly exposed to millions of potential buyers.

Of course, the competition on Amazon is significantly higher as compared to selling directly to your blog audience but, with the right strategy and research, finding success isn’t impossible.

Need inspiration? Just look at Chandler Bolt.

This 21 year old high school dropout has become an Amazon self-publishing success story and has been featured on Huffington Post, Business Insider and several other leading websites.

The Demand for eBooks is Rapidly Growing – Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

Chandler’s accidental stardom started when he published an eBook on Amazon. Within a few weeks, his eBook had gathered dozens of sales. He’s never looked back.

In fact, this success inspired him to start his business venture Self-Publishing School that is on track to making 7 figures by the end of this year.

All because of one eBook on Amazon.

For bloggers, this is an even greater opportunity.

If you already have a blog and a thriving list, you can use your subscribers to build authority on Amazon by making sales, getting reviews and generating word of mouth.

The possibilities are endless.

Use eBooks to Build Authority, Grow Your Network and Find New Clients

Beyond lead generation and direct sales, publishing an eBook can be a catalyst for your long term business prospects.

The reason is simple, when you publish a book, people start seeing you as an authority on that subject. You start getting mentioned and quoted in your industry, you start getting authority backlinks and your brand value grows. You get opportunities to connect with the right people in your industry and expand your network.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs got their first break when they published a book (Tim Ferris, Tony Robinson, and many others)

As a blogger, brand recognition and authority are priceless assets to have.

Just look at Seth Godin’s blog.

Writing ebooks

He hardly writes 100-300 word blog posts. They are short notes with absolutely no regard for SEO, formatting, or any of the conventional blogging advice you see.

But every post on his blog gets thousands of shares and millions of views.

Why? Because he’s an authority in his niche, and people know him by name.

While you might not be able to go straight to the level of Seth Godin, publishing an eBook would still do a lot of good for your reputation, your blog and your business.

In fact, it can change everything for your blog.

Wrapping Up

Publishing eBooks can have several long lasting effects on your blogging career and your business. With such a rapidly growing market, an ever increasing demand and so many user friendly eBook designing and selling tools, publishing an eBook is a potentially life changing opportunity that is waiting for you to take action.

As I said at the start, almost 80% people who believe they should write an eBook, never do it.

Make sure you’re not one of them.

Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blogWriting My Destiny, Twitter, and Google+.

Reading Roundup: What’s Happening in Blogging Lately?

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

It’s here! The first roundup for the new year.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited and motivated for a brand new year of learning, growing and enjoying my blog. Nothing like a frest start to get a fresh perspective on something we may sort of, kind of be stuck in a bit of a rut with.

I hope you find something useful here to kickstart your 2016!

Instagram Advertising: What’s Working? // Marketing Land

Have you tried Instagram ads? I have seen a few of them roll out in my feed, and I think it must be much easier to create one now that they’ve integrated that option to your Facebook Page dashboard. The “have a good image” bit is a no-brainer (Instagram is such a visual platform) but it’s interesting to see the research behind these tips.

5 Digital Marketing Tactics to Help Your Brand Stand Out in 2016 // Top Rank Blog

We all know that the key to success is differentiation (and doing it well!), especially in a culture of oversaturation. But the first tip “use existing platforms in creative ways” gave me hope that there’s still life in the old dog yet. It’s time to start thinking differently about how we blog and promote this year.

Facebook Wants to Kill Phone Numbers Forever // Time

Ok a bit of an overkill headline, but there are changes coming to the Messenger app now that 800 million (sheesh!) people are using it to communicate for both business and pleasure. I love the features for the business communication, I think it would be a fantastic way to collaborate with people… but the flip side is you can turn to your personal feed and get lost down a facebook rabbit hole way too easily…

I’m pretty desperate for that virtual virtual assistant “M”, by the way.

11 Google Chrome Extensions Every Social Media Marketer Needs // Adespresso

I had a few of these already (Momentum is great!) but who knew Klout was still a thing? And my chrome bar grows ever wider.

Really though, who wouldn’t want to “increase your productivity and reduce the effort required on all social media platforms”, and if all it takes is installing a few extensions, I’m there!

#Twitter10K: Possibility of 10,000 Character Limit Creates Big Buzz // Entrepreneur

I think being forced to keep my bon mots to 140 characters has made me a better writer. Plus it’s easier to skim my feed… what do you think of largely unrestricted character posts in tweets?

How to Improve Your Page Ranking for a Specific Keyword // Content Marketing Institute

This was so interesting – especially for me, who really has one keyword most relevant to my blog: vegetarian. It is most likely that a few of us have at least a couple, but if you’re looking to rank in those areas, this tips can’t hurt. Very useful too for helping you avoid over-optimization, which can harm your blog rank.

2015: The Year That Angry Won The Internet // BBC

So it’s not just me that thought there was a vastly unusual amount of ire on the web this last year? It seemed something switched the haters into Full-Blown Mode. Some of the stories you hear are downright heartbreaking, and you wonder how much worse it’s going to get. Did you get caught in the fallout? What do you do when the Internet is a boiling pit of rage and you just can’t take it any more?

10 Predictions for 2016 in SEO and Web Marketing // Moz

You can always count on Rand to have some ideas about what’s going to be useful in SEO!

Page Views Don’t Matter Any More But They Just Won’t Die // Wired

It isn’t the best indicator of popularity and influence, it’s true – but it’s still a quantifiable way of judging ROI and some people just don’t want to drop it. Or, probably more accurately: they don’t know any other way of calculating value. Are page views important, do you think? Or is the whole of blogging more than the sum of its parts?

How to Curate Your Social Content with Reddit // Social Media Examiner

If it’s your job to find funny/useful/interesting things to share with an audience, you might like to try these tips.

Happy 2016!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.