Helpful Tips for Writing About Controversial Topics

Writing is a human activity that often has to do with subjects that are controversial. While some writers may strictly offer information only, others add their opinion or interpretation to it. We live in a time and space where people are sensitive about a whole lot of issues, from religion and ideologies, to the movies and music they like. So when a writer puts his views out, there is a fair chance that a good number of people will not agree with it. Knowing how to write about topics that are controversial without offending people or getting into trouble is an essential skill for the contemporary writer. Here are some helpful tips.

1. Be sure of what you say

The weakest aspect of writing on controversial subjects is poor research. Make sure that anything that you are mentioning in your writing is based on fact. This will help keep you out of trouble in case anyone chooses to contest what you have said. In addition, it will lend credibility to your opinions and your writing.

Wherever possible, quote your sources or leave a reference note so that readers can validate what you are saying on their own. A great temptation that writers have to face is to twist facts in order to make their writing more exciting. While it may give you short term popularity, in the long run, you will be branded as a sensationalist.

2. Stay objective

Controversial topics are the perfect ground for a writer to lose perspective. This happens very naturally since typically these are subjects that the writer has strong personal opinions about. It is made worse when there have been personal life conflicts surrounding those topics. Keep your writing as objective as possible. It is a mark of professionalism to be able to present conflicting views on a subject without giving away your personal battles. Do not use your writing to settle personal grudges.

3. Use tact

Even the bitterest of medicine can be helped to go down with a spoonful of sugar. Be sensitive to the reader’s point of view. Remember that you do not get to choose your reader, but your reader can choose whether to continue reading your writing. Avoid hurtful or inflammatory statements. While humor is an excellent way to put across truths that may be unpleasant, be aware of the thin line between humor and ridicule or contempt.

4. Hold your horses

If you are writing about a controversial topic, learn to give enough time to yourself to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of what you have written. Words once uttered are hard to take back. The written word is even more dangerous than the spoken word, since once it is out there, there is no way you can even hope that people will forget about it.

Once you finish working on a piece of controversial writing, let it stand, and give yourself a break. It is possible that after you have slept over it for a while; you will want to tone down what you wrote.

5. Write from the heart

There can be two reasons for choosing a controversial topic to write about. If you have chosen it in order to create sensation and give a boost to your popularity by virtue of the topic you have chosen, play by the above rules and you should be fine. However, there are many writers who write about controversial topics because it is close to their heart, and they feel very strongly about it.

If the purpose of your writing is to create awareness and educate people about aspects of life that are controversial, you may find it difficult to be nice and diplomatic. In such cases you will want to weigh the cost of being forthright and blunt against the risk of losing the opportunity of carrying your message to a larger audience. Keep in mind that those who will not mind your vitriol possibly already agree with your point of view and it is the rest of the people who you need to target in your mission to create awareness. Being polite, prudent and proper will only help you reach out to a larger and broader readership.

It is not at all difficult to write about topics that are controversial. What is difficult though is to retain your readers and to attract new readers while you are at it. Using the tips outlined here will help you temper you writing with the right balance of forthrightness and diplomacy. Once you have practiced and mastered writing the way it has been suggested here, you will be able to handle controversial topics in a safe, effective and professional manner. Go ahead. Give it a try right now.

This guest post was written by Alia Haley, a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and autos. Beside this she is fond of cars and fancy dresses. Recently an article on New Android Apps attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on dyson air multiplier.

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6 Powerful YouTube SEO Tips That No One Talks About

We often forget that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Being a site that hosts videos, we tend to miss the fact that a lot of people also use YouTube as a search engine to find what they want and need. These are the people who like to consume content in the form of video and are usually more qualified buyers and subscribers than the visitors from search engines.

A few years back, if you posted a video on YouTube with the relevant keyword in the title, it would rank in the top 10 results easily. But nowadays there are so many videos being uploaded in YouTube that YouTube SEO has become as important as website SEO. As an added bonus, one can optimize their YouTube videos and move their rankings up in YouTube search result pages just like in Google search results.

Many marketers have talked about YouTube SEO so I will start with the most elusive concepts first and then I will cover the frequently talked about tips as well.

1. Closed Captions

While watching YouTube videos you would have noticed a button ‘CC’ in the bottom right corner. CC stands for closed captions. YouTube is becoming global now and videos created in India are being watched and shared by people in US; videos from Europe are reaching people in Sri Lanka and so on. Captions not only enable more people to consume your video but YouTube also crawls the content in the captions! This has been proved by many experiments where we include a unique text string inside the captions file and when that string is searched on Google or YouTube the video will come up!

Earlier it used to be a complicated process to add CC to a video – one would need to specify the start and end time of each line and it would take hours. But recently YouTube introduced a speech recognition technology/feature which automatically detects the start and end of each line spoken and matches it to the video’s audio. So all you need to do is upload the script of the video and the captions will appear exactly in sync with the video. It is amazing how YouTube does this – but it is also the reason they are the No.1 in this market.

So a video on a topic with CC should definitely outrank the video on the same topic with no CC provided other SEO factors have also been taken care of.

2. Adding the Script in the Description

If you are creating the script for the speech in video, then adding the same script in the description of the video shouldn’t take much time. Google indexes this as well.

3. Naming the Video File with Keywords

If you are uploading a video about the ‘Health Benefits of Organic Foods’ then the file name of the video should be something like organic-food-benefits.avi or something similar. MOV0234.AVI is not going to be meaningful. The viewer of the video does not look at this but YouTube gives a relevancy credit to the file name because if your file name is named with your keyword then there is a better chance that your video is about what it says.

4. Create a More Engaging Video

This probably sounds straight forward and simple and you may even be tempted to skip this paragrapgh – BUT WAIT. I am about to say something which will blow you away.

YouTube gives relevancy credits to videos where people watch it for a longer time. This is not just a theory but has been tested by us. We uploaded two videos with almost the same SEO factors built in but the only change was the perception by the real human visitor. One video was engaging and the other video was not engaging to the real humans. 6 months later the more engaging video was ranking much better than the other video. So yes, YouTube gives credit to videos which are more engaging because it is a good way to measure the quality of the video.

For the purposes of guarding my niche from competition, I cannot reveal the videos I tested – so if you have a hard time trusting me, you can ignore this fact at your own risk.

5. Authoritative YouTube Channel

If you are posting a video on a fresh YouTube channel it is not going to have as much SEO power as the same video uploaded on a channel with has a lot of other good videos on the same topic. This is similar to website SEO – Posting an article in a fresh blog vs. posting an article in a high PR established blog makes a difference between heaven and hell.

Not only the video would get better rankings, but it will grow faster when the subscribers of that YouTube channel like, comment and share that video.

So always try to have established youtube channels for each of your niche and avoid posting videos on fresh channels. Also avoid posting irrelevant videos in the channels – it may dilute the SEO power of all the other videos on that channel.

6. Posting HD Videos Instead of SD

It is astonishing how many marketers do not even mention about uploading HD videos. Again this has been tested by us in several occasions. HD videos out-rank standard definition videos every time.

You may think that YouTube may not prefer HD videos because it costs them a lot of storage space and bandwidth – but they have more resources that you can imagine. The reason why they limit the length of the videos is not because of lack of storage or bandwidth but to prevent people from uploading copyrighted videos. This has been confirmed by YouTube itself.

It makes sense that a HD video should be better than a standard video. If someone is investing the energy and resources in creating a HD video then the content could be equally good.

So try to upload 1080P videos whenever possible and if you are doing screen cast or presentation videos – 720P should do the job.

Some of the other commonly talked about SEO methods are

  • Having a relevant headline with proper keywords
  • Putting your link in the description above other content with http://
  • Including tags from other videos which rank well for the keywords that you are targeting
  • Giving a call to action at the end of the video for liking your video and/or subscribing to your channel.

Hope you found my insights useful. Please leave you comments.

This article is written by Deepak Raj who blogs at . He is very interested in Video Marketing. His YouTube Channel ( has more than 3000 subscribers and nearly 3 million video views in total.

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Original Post: 6 Powerful YouTube SEO Tips That No One Talks About

Daily Blog Tips


The Connection Will Carry You – or What Skrillex Taught Me About Platform


I’m currently a little too obsessed with the musician/DJ Skrillex, as he’s known (real name Sonny Moore). He’s become the “from out of nowhere” face of a movement. Interestingly, he’s not the face of dubstep itself, exactly, but instead, I’d offer that he’s the face of “the mainstream’s introduction to dubstep.” The distinction is huge. ( If you want even more on dubstep, Spin produced this primer.)

It also means that Sonny Moore has a lot in common with Tony Robbins, Run DMC, Banksy, and Sir Richard Branson. And, quite interestingly, there’s also something underneath their similarities that has me realizing that this, too, is part of the building your platform series.

The Connection Will Carry You

In this Guardian piece, they ask, “Is Skrillex the most hated man in dubstep?” The paragraph that caught my attention and framed why I think Skrillex is onto something was this one, by Joe Muggs:

There doesn’t seem to be a material goal, just a desire – naive, maybe, or even old-fashioned – to be part of music scenes and to connect with crowds. “I don’t even try to make ‘dubstep’,” he says, lifting his hands to make air-quotes. “It’s just another tempo and rhythm that I work in, because it makes people go wild.” This might sound like a line from Spinal Tap, but his sincerity is endearing.

Platform key #1: he’s working for the people.

There’s this criticism of art that says the moment you care what someone thinks, it’s no longer art. Though I understand the sentiment, I have a different take. It’s a post for another time, but suffice to say that Sonny Moore is successful because he works strictly for the frothing sea of people reacting to his songs. If you have a few minutes, watch this little 3 minute snip of video from his work with members of the band, The Doors (yes, THAT band!), and WATCH THE CROWD.

Can’t see the video? CLICK HERE

Hate? Who Can See It?

The article I read talks about how there is quite an upswell of haters. Most of them seem angry that Skrillex is now the icon of their movement, and that he’s not underground enough, not experimental enough, not from the right roots, whatever. Every single variation is a jealous rant that Sonny Moore isn’t as qualified to represent the movement and that he shouldn’t be so successful and popular. Again, Joe Muggs:

Moore, however, doesn’t see it that way. “I never really even hear these views, mainly because I don’t have much time for the internet,” he says. “I go to shows and all I see is love. I didn’t even know people had an issue until someone said: ‘Oh, this and that forum seem to have a real problem with you.’”

Tony Robbins receives those criticisms from the NLP crowd. Run DMC had its share of haters for being too mainstream. Street artist Banksy gets hate for being too commercial these days. Even Sir Richard Branson has a bevy of critics who feel he gives business a bad name.

Interview where Sonny Moore talks about Haters

Can’t see the video? CLICK HERE

None of Them Have Time for Hate

Here’s why: because the connection will carry you. The connection to your community is what each of these people used as a main gauge. Yes, in most cases (maybe not Banksy) there are business goals and financial motivations as well, but that’s not what you hear any of these platform builders talking about. They live and breathe for making their community happy. They live for the crowd. But, as I said with my post about Adele, the other special trick is that they strive to keep the connection to individuals as often as possible, instead of addressing the faceless masses as “you guys.”

This is a powerful way to think about platform and to think about how you gauge your own success, no matter what the ultimate goal of your efforts may be. This isn’t for everyone, platform building. But as Julien Smith and I are learning through talking with people while writing our new book, a platform is what separates a really smart person with amazing ideas and hard work from someone you’ve actually heard of and consider successful.

Good on you, Skrillex. I’m a fan.

One Last Thing

Plenty of people like or hate something without trying it, and/or trying to understand it. I’m starting to learn about electronic music as part of my work with Jacqueline Carly for a new music project she’s starting. This is my first attempt at something more digital than analog. It’s a lot harder than it seems. So, before one trashes anything (a music style, a method of doing business, whatever), it would be so cool if one tried it a bit first. Don’t you think?

Here’s my silly little song. It made for a great learning experience.


Top 7 Misconceptions Bloggers Have About Social Media

When many bloggers hop on the social media wagon, they fall prey to numerous, widespread untruths on what works or what doesn’t. The result? Not only does their social media fail, but it actually turns readers off – sometimes for good.

The trick to good social media for blogging is not to bury readers in tweets or Facebook posts, but develop a reliable, targeted strategy that saves time and maximizes return. To get you started, here are the top seven social media and blogging myths and why they don’t work:

1. Get on social media on Monday, get huge readership on Tuesday

There is no such thing as instant success on social media unless you are blessed by the same paradoxical muse deities as Justin Bieber. Social networking is a prerequisite for all legitimate bloggers but it has to be seen as a long-term commitment, not a way to make an immediate splash. Like everything else worth doing this takes time, so be patient and keep plugging.

2. Work around the clock to bury your followers in content

When some bloggers first establish a social media presence they have a tendency to hit the Jolt Cola and stay up nights working on placing a massive amount of content up on their pages. This effort is rarely rewarded as it’s preferable to start with a relatively minimalist page and then build content organically as you draw in more followers.

3. Social networking is a numbers game

If you want to engage in epeen one-upmanship over your fellow bloggers then by all means go ahead and buy 25,000 bot followers for a hundred bucks. However, if your ego is not that fragile you might want to consider getting readers the old fashioned way: By earning them! Your goal is to build a quality audience which is actively interested and engaged in your blog, not just rack up numbers of ghost followers who never click on your blog links.

4. There’s no such thing as having too many social network presences

Er… yes there is. At last count there are more than one thousand social networks in the English language alone. If you tried to dedicate a minute’s time to update each one it would take you almost 17 hours a day. Every blogger needs a Facebook, Twitter and (maybe) a Google+ presence.

If you’re in a particular industry which has a specific social network such as CD Social for Funeral Directors (!?!) then you should be there too. Unless you’re big in Beijing and need to be on Sina Weibo, you can skip the others.

5. Mistakes, typos, and wild goose chases will be buried

Bloggers have to institute absolutely meticulous fact and copy checking procedures on every single social network post. There are few things that will tarnish your reputation as a blogger than letting typos slip through or worse yet, factual errors.

No attention will be paid to your later correction or retraction, but you can bet your bottom dollar that your mistake will be flaunted across the net by your competitors and detractors to prove that you’re a moron.

6. Who cares what your followers say?

You should. Mining your followers for their opinions, tips, and facts can be an invaluable way to build and expand your blog. You never know which one of your readers has an inside path to a top executive you’ve been trying to get a quote from since you were carving your blog with a stone chisel out of granite.

Encouraging a free flow of ideas, comments and opinions on your social media presences can help you understand your readership so you can more accurately craft your blog to fit them (instead of trying to fit your audience into what you want to write.)

And the biggest fib of all:

7. You don’t need social media to support your blog

In the second decade of the millennium you need social media to support everything that is done on the web, from dating to buying pet meds. Blogging does not get an exemption from this mandatory process as social networking can be even more important for bloggers than most other online purveyors.

Establishing your blogging identity on social networks will allow your readers to find you accessible, and see you in an authoritative and favorable light… which will result in a higher rate of quality readership!

Social media can be a huge boon to any blogger, and over time, it can bring in boatloads of readers and send your blog rank to the stratosphere. To succeed, though, you’ve got to approach the task not just categorically, but with enthusiasm and regularity.

Hal Licino is a successful author, award-winning freelance writer, and frequent contributor to a blog hosted by Benchmark Email, an email marketing service for small businesses. He also writes a weekly column for Daily Blog Tips.

Original Post: Top 7 Misconceptions Bloggers Have About Social Media

Daily Blog Tips


What Flossing Taught Me About Success

Flossing Is More Interesting Than You Know

I think a little too often about flossing my teeth. It’s a really unfun thing to do. No one gives you a medal for doing it. People rarely talk about it (for good reason). And yet, it’s an interesting way to think about success.

When you floss your teeth, it’s something you do for a few minutes a day that keeps your teeth clean and your gums strong. If you do it every day for two months and then stop doing it for a few weeks, your gums will grow weaker and there will be stuff all caught in there, and the overall health of your mouth will all get worse rather quickly.

What does this have to do with success?

Success Is a Daily Practice and Is Rarely Sexy Unto Itself

Success, near as I can tell, comes from daily effort. I write daily (be it for this blog or for my new book with Julien Smith, for articles for Entrepreneur Magazine or Success magazine, or for other projects like my blog topics newsletter. Writing has become a practice. The more I do it, the better I get. It’s not always sexy, and it’s not always fun, but it’s what I do to accomplish some of my goals.

Success in health is the same way. Jacqueline and I are doing the 30 Days of Paleo (affiliate link) project, and that requires eating right for every meal (I fudged just a bit around Thanksgiving, I’ll admit). If I worked on eating right “most” of the time, that would deteriorate into “some” of the time and then probably fall back into “not much at all.”

The Opposite Of Success Isn’t Failure

To me, the opposite of success isn’t failure. The opposite of success is entropy. Because we quite often lose hold of success only when we let our constant progress decay and fall apart. When I slow down on my fitness, I get flabby quickly. When I stop writing every day, it gets harder to pick it up again. When I don’t keep up with email and contacts, it falls away fast.

Entropy is the enemy. Letting things slip. Falling back into where we were before. That’s the bad guy.

Success Is the Practice

We mistake “shiny glamour” with “success” all the time. Shiny glamour is a byproduct of success. You can have a fancy car, but that usually comes from hard work (or rich loved ones – who likely worked hard at one point). You can have a great physique, but that takes work (rich people can’t help you as much with this, except to hire you trainers and personal cooks). Success is the practice part. It’s doing the work to get better and better. It’s the sweat no one sees. It’s the work of drudgery and repetition and yes, success is the practice of moving past failure, and pushing into that next opportunity for success.

Three Cheers for Practice! Three Cheers for Flossing

Flossing isn’t sexy. Running in the rain isn’t sexy. Eating more broccoli and less chocolate molten lava cake is very definitely not sexy. Practice isn’t sexy. But success is practice. Success is doing what needs doing every day. Success is the root system for all the shiny glamour you might be lucky enough to get in life. And success, my friends, is a wonderful practice in and of itself.

Who’s with me?


The internet doesn’t make terrorists/China worried about false information.

A new report has found the Internet doesn’t play a significant role in radicalizing people and pointing them toward terrorists groups like al Qaida. That’s good news for sure and the report goes on to say  although the web is considered an excellent way to spread information, it lacks the ability to foster intimacy between people. The report comes from the Home Office in the UK. That name alone strikes an Orwellian chord, doesn’t it?

Eric Schmidt is the executive chair man of Google so it’s a safe bet that he knows what he’s talking about. He said recently that broader adoption of the Internet will make it easier than ever before to keep an eye on governments. He told business leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Honolulu recently that adopting more internet technology has made whistle blowing easier than ever before and that everyday people were turning to online tools to keep governments honest. We know all that already, but it’s good to hear the powers with their fingers on the pulse tell us we’re on the right track.

Here’s a David and Goliath story that should make everyone sit up and take notice. A 24-yerar old Austrian law student is taking on Facebook over its privacy policy. Max Schrems requested all the personal data that social network had on him and was surprised when he got over one thousand pages back. There were various photos, messages and different posts all of which he thought  he’d  gotten rid of, but he found that Facebook kept all of those items. Schrems says the problem is with the fact users don’t take the time to read  the fine print and the differences between Europe and America in the attitudes over the ways data is collected and stored on each continent. Right back to the Orwellian theme again.

And there’s always more from China. The latest is that in an effort to stop what’s being called ‘rumors’ on the Internet, all Chinese journalists are being told they need to hold off reporting the news until all the facts have been verified officially. These new rules ban reporters from covering any information they get online or from mobile phones until it has been verified by the government. They have media regulators who are worried about the ‘spate’ of false information. Nuff said. This kind of logic generally speaks for itself.




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Are You Forgetting About Win-Win Situations?

I receive around 100 emails per day. Around 50% of those are people asking me to do something for them. Some want a product or service reviewed, some want feedback on their latest project, some want a question about blogging or SEO answered, some want help to choose a good domain name and so on.

If I had time available I would be glad to accommodate all requests, just for the sake of helping people out. But guess what, running a dozen or so websites takes a lot of time, and as most people I struggle to find time even to eat healthy and to exercise.

The result? I ignore 95% of those requests.

If math is not an opinion this means that I answer 5% of the requests that come to me via email. So what do those messages have in common, and how are they different from the other 95% that goes straight to the trash folder?

It’s simple: the requests I reply to always create a win-win situation. That is, the other part wants something, but she is also willing to do something for me, so everyone will be happy in the end.

And I don’t use this principle only when I am being pitched. When I need to pitch something I’ll make sure my message makes very clear what the other person will earn by working with me.

For example, a couple of years ago I was recruiting affiliates to launch a product with me. I could simply email people saying: “Hey, if you promote my product I’ll give you 50% commissions, so are you in?”. The problem is that there are dozens of products out there that also offer 50% or higher commissions, so the people I would contact wouldn’t have much to gain from my offer.

A better approach, which is the one I used, is the following: “Hey, I am launching a product soon, with 50% commissions. On top of that if you become n active affiliate I’ll be more than glad to return the favor and promote one of your products or services.

You can create win-win situations with almost anything you want to accomplish. Want to land a guest post on a popular website? Tell the owner you’ll be plugging the guest post on your own website once it goes live. Want some feedback on your latest web design? Promise to retweet the posts of people who give you feedback. So on and so forth.

Takeaway message: Always go for the win-win situation.

Original Post: Are You Forgetting About Win-Win Situations?

Daily Blog Tips


Is it Really all about Your Content?

contentContent is king.

I’m sure you’d have heard that several times if you’ve been a blogger for anything more than a day. People keep on emphasizing the important of great content and how it can help you build a successful blog. Even those who hardly get results from writing “great content”.

When it comes to “content being king” you need to know that the phrase “content is king” isn’t as conclusive as it seems. In fact, that statement can be very confusing and deceitful that it has made a lot of new bloggers quit because they can’t just get their “great content” to work for them.

Mind You…

I’m not trying to dispute the fact that great content rocks, and I’m not trying to disagree with those successful bloggers who have preached it over and over again. I have gotten a lot of great results by focusing more of my efforts on delivering great content but I’d also like you to know that great content isn’t the magic formula to building a successful blog.

When you try to examine the fact that content is king you also need to realize that so many kings can coexist. If every content you were to see online is great then no content is indeed great.

You also need to consider the fact that there are millions of bloggers (or at least thousands in every niche) competing for the attention of the same set of readers so no matter how great your content is there will still be someone with better content. I’m not trying to use that to discourage you, instead, I’m trying to educate you on how to better position your content and leverage your circumstances to get better results from your content.

While some people’s content are so exceptional that it is bound to succeed, yours probably isn’t, so I hope the tips below will help you get more results from your content.

Presenting Your Content

While the concept of unique and great content is very common online it is important for you to know that there is nothing entirely unique in the blogosphere. Every single blog post you read is an entirely different version of what you read before and every single blog you read is an entirely different version of another blog. The reality with most of the successful blogs you read isn’t that they are presenting entirely different and unique content – it is that they are making their content look so. As dumb as that may sound, it is the reality.

Writing successfully in today’s world isn’t about looking for the most unique points to write about, but making your content presentable. You need to let your audience know why they are not wasting their time reading your content, why your content is “entirely different” from the other content they have or would read and why your content will be worth the time of their friends. You need to be able to present your content in a way that your readers will naturally digest it, in a way that will stir up their emotions and in a way that they will waste spend their time reading it without even knowing they are doing so.

A lot of what makes your content presentable has to do with your blog design, some have to do with your formatting and some have to do with the tone and simplicity with which you write the content. It’s all about understanding your audience and tailoring your content towards them.

Your Content Needs the Right Exposure

This is the final bit of it.

The reality is that great content is useless without the right amount of exposure.

Every single article you write needs momentum to succeed. That is why that ‘poor’ article goes viral on that big blog and that great article on your blog doesn’t bring results. Your great content won’t bring results on its own. It needs people to push it. It needs others to spread the word and you need to do everything you can to spread the word.

Guest blogging. Video marketing. Blog commenting. Article marketing. SEO and any other techniques you can lay your hand on. Don’t ever take any advice that tells you to focus on content alone and ignore marketing seriously. While ignoring marketing might work for some talented bloggers, it probably won’t work for you and you will just keep on living that myth. Do as much marketing as you can to ensure every single article you write gets enough traffic to go viral and you’d be amazed to see what results you can get.

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3 Reasons Why I Don’t Worry About the Competition

I was recently asked who my blogging competitors were. I struggled to find an answer to that—not because there’s nobody else blogging in my niches, and not because I’m not aware of other bloggers in my niches, but because I don’t really worry much about them.

Image by ElMarto

There are three main reasons for that.

My main “competitor” is myself

I’ve always been much more interested in beating my own previous performance than beating somebody else’s. This isn’t a recent thing—when I started blogging, I felt the same way. I remember creating monthly spreadsheets of my traffic and income and always aiming to beat the previous months’ efforts. I’d also try to keep the monthly increases going to beat previous good streaks.

The benefit of competing against yourself rather than other people is that you’re always attempting to keep the momentum moving forwards—you never become stagnant. When you compete against others, if they go backwards or even give up, you’re given an excuse to take your foot off the accelerator. When you’re competing against yourself, there’s always a record to beat.

There’s not enough time to be defensive and competitive

There are only so many hours in the day, and I simply don’t have enough headspace to spend that limited time worrying about what somebody else is up to and how I can beat them.

I see the online publishing space as having so many opportunities at the moment that there is enough room for more than any one player. To get defensive about staking your claim takes your attention away from expanding your own business in a positive way.

That’s not to say that I’m not watching and taking an interest in what others are doing in (and outside) my niches. But I’m not doing so looking to block them or stop them growing. I’m doing it because there are opportunities to partner with them and grow the niche to everyone by doing so (more on that below).

I’d much much rather spend my time and energy building something positive and useful than spend my time and energy worrying and getting defensive about what others are doing.

Competitors are potential partners

The other reason that I don’t concern myself a whole lot with competitors is that in this space there is always opportunity to partner with competitors. With this approach, everyone achieves much more than they could alone.

I guess in some ways I could see blogs like CopyBlogger as competing blogs, since some of our content overlaps at times. But the reality is that by supporting and even promoting what Brian and his team have built, and at times giving them a leg up, I’ve won a lot too. Our niche has grown and so, too, have our profits. It all started very simply (from memory it was Brian sending a link for me to promote … which led to him doing a guest post … which led to a long-lasting and mutually beneficial and profitable friendship.

What’s your attitude towards your competitors?

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger


3 Reasons Why I Don’t Worry About the Competition

ProBlogger Blog Tips


Why No One Cares About Your Blog and What You Can Do About It

Creating a company blog is a great way to embark on your content marketing strategy. A company blog is a good place to start a dialogue with your audience, establish your company as an industry leader, build a brand and company voice, grow your online brand presence in the search engines and more.

Let’s say you launched your blog; announced it with a press release, scheduled three months of posts, optimized the headlines so they would rank well in the search engines, promoted them on all your social networks and more. You should have a loyal band of happy readers in no time, right? Not necessarily.

Here are 3 reasons your blog is failing and what you can do to make it right:

1. It’s all promotional fluff

Yes, it is your company blog, so of course you are allowed to use it for a little self-promotion—once in a while. Great content marketing plans are all about educating the consumer, not selling a product. Why would anyone want to read a dozen posts that are thinly veiled advertisements? Your blog posts need to inform and educate the reader about your industry and related issues. Once you’ve convinced your readers that you’re not just in it for you, you can start slipping in a promotional blog post every now and again.

2. It’s old news

Your blog has to be up to speed with the times. You can’t be writing about the ways things used to be done (unless it’s a post comparing then and now), you have to center your blog on what is happening right now. What trends are big? What is coming around the corner? If you want your blog to gain loyal readers, they need to know that you are the best place to go for breaking news and information.

In the same vein, if there is a hot topic in your industry right now, don’t write a post and schedule it for three months down the road. Get in the conversation while it is still relevant. Playing catch-up doesn’t do anything for you or your readers. Take a unique spin on the issue and go live with it that day. Get your opinion out there while it matters. If you can’t stay ahead of the curve, at least keep pace with the pack.

3. It’s not resonating with your audience

You have to be really honest with yourself about who your readers are. Is it potential clients? Other industry professionals? A blog about baking could (theoretically) appeal to professional bakers, amateur bakers, bakery owners, culinary students, foodies, chocolate lovers, people with special diets, caterers, food writers and photographers, food critics and so forth. It is up to you to decide who your audience is and what kind of information they would want to read. If your company sells commercial bakery equipment, who is your blog really going after—the stay-at-home mom who likes to bake or the restaurateur who owns a dessert cafe? Your blog posts have to mesh with the needs and expectations of your audience; give the people what they want! If you aren’t sure where to start, check out some of your competitor’s blogs. What topics and issues do they focus on?

You also have to remember that you need to give your blog time to gain a following. It isn’t going to happen overnight. While your blog is maturing, take the time to develop relationships with other industry bloggers, build your online network so they can help promote your posts and develop some great content.

About the Author: Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, a Boston SEO services firm. With over 12 years of experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his industry knowledge by posting daily SEO tips to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal.

Original Post: Why No One Cares About Your Blog and What You Can Do About It

Daily Blog Tips

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