responsiblecommenting.com

19Mar/120

How Developers Are Driving the Business Adoption of WordPress



WordPress in now the most popular CMS program in use on the web, it is popular with all developers, both those that work for companies and those that freelance. The infographic below show some of the comparisons between how the two different types of developers are using WordPress. Let us take a quick look at some of these statistics. This information comes from a user survey performed by WordPress in 2011.

How developers are driving the business adoption of WordPress

Developers who work for companies……………………….29%

Developers who are freelance………………………………….71%

Company build sites total………………………………………….33

Freelancer built sites total…………………………………………18

Total company output based around WordPress……….59%

Percentage of freelance time spent with WordPress…48%

Are developers making a living with WordPress?

Developers working for companies

3.1% responded that they made their living with WordPress

5% responded that they made a partial living with WordPress

1.2% responded that they did not make their living with WordPress

Developers working as freelancers

1.2% responded that they made their living using WordPress

5% responded that they made part of their living using WordPress

3% responded that they did not make their living using WordPress

Developers were ask how they were most likely to use WordPress

1. Developers that work for companies are more likely to:

Write a Plugin

Attend a Wordcamp or meetup

Contribute to core or to the codex

2. Developers that are freelancers are more likely to:

Write a Theme from scratch

Submit a WordPress bug report

Answer a question in a WordPress forum

How do Developers use WordPress?

8% Use it for a Blog

61% Use it for CMS

31% Use it for both purposes

How much do developers customize their sites from the original install?

75% state that the front end is unrecognizable but nothing is changed in the admin

20% state that they change the theme and add plugins4% state that they customize everything, including the admin

1% state that they change nothing whatsoever


Copyright © 2012 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips

16Mar/120

Infographic: Google+ for Business

The swell folks at BlueGlass made me a nifty infographic about Google+ for business, replete with all kinds of factoids and thoughts to consider. I’m not always a super fan of infographics, but there are clearly some advantages to them, it would appear.

So, take a look at what Google+ can do for you. This infographic has a bunch of marketing points scattered throughout it. You’ll see why Google+ might help you take your business goals to the next level.

Google+ for Business Infographic

Google+ For Business InfoGraphic by BlueGlass Media

Still with me? Great! If you think it’s worth it, please share liberally. And thanks!




chrisbrogan.com

9Mar/120

What’s The Most Important Business Lesson You Learned in 2011?



I am curious to know what business lesson you learned in 2011 that you consider the most important one. Feel free to share it with a comment below (I might compile the answers into another post, so stay tuned).

For me it would be this one: formal education can make a difference.

I used to have a rogue approach to education. That is, I used to think that if you had enough discipline and were willing to put enough effort you would be able to learn anything by yourself, either with books or with online courses and material (very few exceptions made, like learning how to perform a kidney surgery…).

A couple of years ago I started learning to program, and sure enough I figured I could teach it to myself. My progress was pretty good, but just for the sake of making sure I wasn’t missing anything I decided to enroll into a Computer Science degree on a local university.

Guess what. It turns out I was missing A LOT of stuff by trying to teach everything myself. The very first classes I attended expanded my horizons and gave me a much better idea of what the computer science and programming field was about. In other words, it made clear to me all that I didn’t know but that could be useful to me in future projects.

Bottom line: formal education can have a huge value if you approach it the right way.

What about you, what important lesson did you learn in 2011?

Wanna make money with your website?


Original Post: What’s The Most Important Business Lesson You Learned in 2011?

Daily Blog Tips

31Oct/110

How to Use Big Business Finance Principles to Grow Your Email List

This guest post is by Josh Turner of GatewayCFO.com.

If you’re like me, you focus most of your attention on the growth of your site. You know that generating revenue is priority number one. Thinking about finance and accounting? That’s just a distraction.

While this is true to some extent, there is much more to the world of finance than just counting the beans.

Business finance is about using numbers to improve future business performance. In other words, accounting is about understanding the past and finance is about mapping out the future. No matter the size of your business, the same principles can be applied.

Within big corporations, finance departments provide data, tools and analysis to increase future sales, opportunities, and revenue. And you can do the same things.

One way they achieve this is through the use of dashboards or scorecards. These tools monitor the key metrics that their sales and marketing teams have to stay on top of. Not meeting these goals in the short term will cause them to falter down the road. So what does this mean for you?

Monitoring your metrics—and I’m not talking site traffic

Let’s use Gary as an example. Gary is working hard to grow his email list. He’s currently at 500 subscribers, and has a short-term goal of reaching 8,000. He knows that his growth is supported by two areas:

  1. organic traffic on his site, converting to email signups
  2. guest posts driving traffic to his site, which convert to email signups.

With his current posting schedule of two new articles per week, Gary expects to receive ten new email signups per week. He also knows that, on average, he receives 100 new email signups every time he writes a guest post.

Using your data to project growth

Based on this data, Gary can figure out exactly what it will take to reach his goals. Initially, he decides that it’s feasible to write a total of four articles per week: two for his site and two guest posts. Based on this level of activity, he can forecast approximately 210 new email signups per week. At this rate, it will take Gary 35.71 weeks to grow his list of 500 all the way to 8,000.

Gary has never looked at his email list growth this way. Not bad, he thinks, but he really had hoped to grow his list to 8,000 within 16 weeks. Based on the same metrics and assumptions, Gary can calculate that he needs to add 468.75 new subscribers every week to reach this goal.

Breaking it down from there, he knows that he will need to write 4.59 guest posts per week. That’s about 238 guest posts on an annual basis. Gary decides to step up his game, put in the hard work, and make it happen.

Looking at list growth in this manner provides clarity and clear goals. But you have to take it a step further to enforce accountability.

Create your own dashboard to improve performance

Big businesses use dashboards to keep owners and managers apprised of performance, and to keep their teams on track and accountable. Typically a graphical display, it shows them the key numbers that they have identified as critical to their business performance.

Doing the same thing for your site and email list will provide you with the same type of accountability. Build a simple Excel spreadsheet that tracks the numbers that you have identified as critical for the growth of your email list. It might contain the following data:

  • weekly guest posts
  • weekly posts on site
  • weekly new email subscribers
  • weekly sales/revenue

Set up the spreadsheet to include data for the prior week, prior month, and year-to-date. This will give you insight into your numbers and tell you if you are on track. Gary’s dashboard might look like this:

The spreadsheet

An example spreadhseet

Use conditional formatting in Excel to highlight good results in green and bad results in red, and set up a second sheet that includes the actual data for each week. With this, you can then create functions within the dashboard that automatically generate the dashboard results. Once this is completed, all you have to do is update the data sheet at the end of each week with the four numbers.

Why would you want to do this?

Spend 30 minutes setting up the Excel file. Following this initial setup, you will only need to spend one minute updating the data each week. Doing so will provide you with tangible benefits.

  1. You will stay on top of your metrics and not stray from your plan.
  2. You will be consistently reinforcing your goals.
  3. When things go astray, you will know where course correction is needed.
  4. You’ll be executing your business like a pro.
  5. You will be far more likely to meet your email list goals.

Yes, it’s an extra step in your blogging process. But with just a little time up front, you’ll be running your site and business much more like, well, a business.

Josh Turner is the founder of GatewayCFO.com, where he helps small business owners realize their profit potential. He is currently giving away his how-to ebook “Cash Flow Clarity: Be Proactive, Make Life Easier, Make More Money.” Get your copy here.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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How to Use Big Business Finance Principles to Grow Your Email List


ProBlogger Blog Tips

25Oct/110

How to Use LinkedIn to Create Unique Opportunities for Your Blog Business

This guest post is by Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living.

I thought I had my social media game covered on all fronts: Twitter, check. Facebook, check. Even Skype, which I like to include as a necessary tool for connecting real-time, check-check!

Until I realized that I am missing one giant piece of the puzzle, and it is not even a new kid on the block. It is an old timer that has been around for a while and still goes by the same name: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn? Really?

LinkedIn chocolates

Image copyright Nan Palmero, licensed under Creative Commons.

It made sense to have a LinkedIn profile when I was in the corporate environment, and when I was looking for jobs and needed to show off my resume and qualifications, or even when I wanted to be found by other potential employers—it sure was fun to fly out to Google headquarters for an interview in 2007, entirely thanks to LinkedIn. But is there more to LinkedIn?

You probably wonder, as I did, just what could it do for you as a blogger, a writer, or a solopreneur. What more can you really do on LinkedIn besides creating a nice static profile, connecting with a few people in your network, getting a couple of recommendations, and then letting it collect digital dust?

Apparently, a lot!

I was missing the point altogether. Now that I’ve had a chance to dig in deep under the surface of LinkedIn, I want to tell you why it is smart and even profitable to have a professional presence and engagement on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has become the world’s largest network for business professionals—it has over 100 million members. It is the best place to market yourself as such, and network with other business professionals. Facebook and Twitter combined cannot give you that space unless you spend a lot of time targeting the right people. Maybe.

LinkedIn, however, specializes in this: it makes it very easy for you to connect with like-minded business professionals in your field.

Since I started using it, I have had one of my raw vegan recipes featured on a food network show online, met an amazing client, connected with several coaches and speakers for possible collaboration, and am scheduled to be on a Chicago TV station later in October to promote my book. All from using LinkedIn Groups and ranking for the right keywords—and I am not even a serial user … yet!

Why you should make time for LinkedIn

First, allow me to anticipate and then respond to a common reaction:

“You mean I have to keep up with yet another social media platform? You gotta be kidding me!”

Yes, and I’m not kidding! Listen, make the time, even if you have to take a “vacation” from Facebook and automate or minimize your Tweets for a few days—or even a couple of weeks. Explore and learn to use LinkedIn well and integrate it into your schedule. It will do wonders for your blog and business.

You really cannot afford to ignore LinkedIn any more. Here are four reasons why you should embrace it, starting today:

  1. The LinkedIn community approaches networking with a business-oriented mindset and wants to hear about your business, your offers, your products, and your services.
  2. The spirit of the LinkedIn community is to support one another as business professionals, as opposed to Facebook and Twitter where we are first peeps and friends before we talk business.
  3. The LinkedIn professionals are very likely decision makers in their business and your connection with the right person could mean real business and profits.
  4. LinkedIn search database is used widely for finding candidates not just for a traditional job but also for consulting, contracting, targeted projects, and other unique opportunities. You do want to show up when they search for your target keywords, don’t you?

Take your game to the next level

Let’s get on with the show. Here are three fundamental ways you can build your presence on LinkedIn to make it really work for you.

Build out your professional profile first

You need to have an attractive profile. First, complete these sections using keywords relevant to your expertise and areas of interest:

  • your professional headline
  • the Your Summary section
  • the Your Experience section.

As you fill out the above information, remember to not write in “resume” language—create something more along the lines of sales copy about who you are and what you can offer. Think about presenting yourself in that light to the world, and think about prospects, potential clients, and business partners who read this.

Think of this information as your brand in action. Make sure you stay consistent in terms of the way you present yourself on your website and other places online.

Build up your LinkedIn recommendations

The recommendations on LinkedIn are essentially testimonials from your network telling about their experience of working with you. I know that these have brought me a lot of credibility over time, and it is a really good way to display social proof.

Use the following rules for building up your recommendations:

  1. Find testimonials from clients and business partners in your email or on your website. Then contact them and ask them if they wouldn’t mind sending that to you in the form of a LinkedIn recommendation. Obviously, you’ll first need to connect with them on LinkedIn.
  2. Seek out your trusted friends, colleagues, and mentors whom you respect and offer to first write them a sincere recommendation. Then ask if they have a good story about interacting with you to send as a recommendation.
  3. Offer to write recommendations for people with whom you have worked in the past. Be sincere and specific in your praise, and do so without pushing to get a recommedation in return. Choose the people wisely, preferably only those with whom you are still on good terms. Most will likely write you a recommendation in return if they feel the same way about your work.
  4. If people offer to write a recommendation for you, thank them profusely and remember to point out your specific areas of strength and expertise that you want them to emphasize. Most will gladly comply.

Join the right groups and engage in the dialogue

The heart of LinkedIn is in its groups. Groups are the forums where discussions take place among hundreds of thousands of business professionals with a polished and clean user interface. I love the layout and the features in the Groups; it is far more advanced than any in Facebook and other online forums I have used.

Here are some quick tips for engaging well in groups:

  1. Choose groups that interest you using Groups search.
  2. Look for active membership participation by browsing the discussions.
  3. Look at the Groups rules and be aware of them.
  4. Join your Groups of choice and watch first before jumping in to contribute.
  5. Contribute to an active discussion first before starting your own discussion.

The Groups are where the learning and the networking happen. I find myself constantly drawn to the knowledge that flows freely in the LinkedIn Groups. There is usually enough critical mass in a group that if anyone presents false information, it is quickly balanced out or corrected by other members. My experience has been extremely positive. In fact, a few weeks ago, I worked up the courage to create my own group! Who knows, maybe I have inspired you to do the same thing too?

It’s never too early or too late to jump on LinkedIn. Even if you are blogging just for fun or thinking about starting your own business down the road, there is only an upside to having a network on which you can rely and from which you can draw both inspiration and opportunity. LinkedIn fits that bill perfectly!

Farnoosh Brock is a corporate escapee, writer, photographer, yogini, and coach at Prolific Living. She empowers you to crush your daily fears and live life on your own terms with smart habits. Naturally, she would love to connect with you on LinkedIn!

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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How to Use LinkedIn to Create Unique Opportunities for Your Blog Business


ProBlogger Blog Tips

6Oct/110

Business Secret – The Introduction Before the Introduction

Meeting New Friends...

I have something to share with you that will help you go farther with your business networking connections and your friends. If you want to keep your friends and networking connections very happy and very warm, try this one secret trick:

Before introducing someone to that person, send a message to the person explaining the interaction you’re intending to initiate, and see whether it’s something that your friend or contact actually wants to have happen.

The Introduction Before the Introduction

My friend and co-author, Julien Smith, is in Montreal. If I’m talking to … Joyce, and she mentions she’s going to be in Montreal for a few days, my next step should be to email Julien, mention Joyce and what she’s about, and then ask him if he wants to meet her. Then, he can tell me privately that he’s not interested or not around. This introduction before the introduction saves face three ways. 1.) If Julien’s not interested, he doesn’t have to suddenly juggle a new connection that he didn’t want. 2.) If Julien’s not interested, YOU don’t look like a jerk to Joyce. 3.) If Julien is interested, but can’t connect with Joyce at that time, it saves the connection, thus giving Joyce a better chance later to make a better connection.

See how that works?

The Opposite is Frustrating

I get a lot of emails from person A, introducing me to person B, and saying in the letter that I’m going to love the person’s company or product. Here’s the thing: let’s say I received 11 of these messages over the last 3 days (which is pretty much the exact number of such messages I received). Of those 11, precisely 0 of the products or companies I was introduced to were of business interest to me. I’m sure they were wonderful, and I’m sure they’ll be successful in some way or another, but what I will do with this information is unknown to me. First off, I pretty much never write about companies on here. Second, I don’t consult with startups. So, I’m not really sure what the intention of the introduction is, except that I think some people think, “Well, he’s got quite a following, so if he mentions you, then you’ll be set for life.” It really doesn’t work that way. I’m only influential about things that people who spend any amount of time here already care about. If you don’t see me writing about it much, it’s probably not going to be a hit with my crowd.

Use That Business Secret

I promise you that the value of your business connections and professional relationships will flourish once you start parsing that introduction in the manner mentioned above (or similar). It will save face for all involved. It will give everyone a discrete chance to consider the opportunity at hand, and it will lead to better potential pairings than a blind email.

Oh, and for those of you saying, “Who cares? It’s just an email. Delete and move on.” No one likes to be ignored, and no one likes to be politely brushed off. This is a chance to avoid both fates.

What do you think? Do you see yourself having an opportunity to use this?




chrisbrogan.com

5Oct/110

Ten Ways to Maximize Content and Take Your Business Places



If you’re here, chances are you create and use a lot of content for your blog and to build your business. Are you getting the best mileage you can from all of your content? Here are the top ten ways you can let your content do double duty.

10. Chop it up. Use snippets from your content and publish them as tips on social networking sites. For example, a single article might have five to ten tips. You can schedule them to be posted on Facebook and Twitter with links to your website.

That can equal at least a week’s worth of tweets going out to your followers. Be sure to post them at different times each day, or even twice a day. Not all of your followers are on at the same time.

9. Collect it. Collect similar articles and/or blog posts to create a larger downloadable product. For example, you might collect ten articles on the topic of organizing your closet and create a report for your visitors. It’s a nice way to offer something for free and provide your readers more value.

Plus, since it’s already been posted on your blog before, you don’t have to write all the content. Just add in some new tips, a few transitions between the articles and you’re good to go.

8. Piece it out. If you’ve written reports to give as free gifts you can separate those into smaller articles or blog posts and share them on your ezine.

7. Weekly wrap up. Create teaser paragraphs for each article or blog post you’ve published the past week and create a weekly wrap up. You can post it as an article and/or send it to your subscribers so they don’t miss a word.

6. Reuse social networking snippets. If you’re using social networking to grow your business consider pulling comments you’ve made or content you’ve published and use it on your blog or as an article marketing piece.

5. Give answers. You can also use any questions you’ve answered via comments on your blog or social networking sites and publish them on answer sites like Yahoo answers.

4. Link it up. Always strive to include a link. You can link to your website to drive traffic to a specific page. Or you can link to an affiliate product that relates to your article. Just don’t go overboard with linkage.

3. Newsletters and ezines. Repurpose or expand on articles or blog posts you’ve written to provide your subscribers with more information and value.

2. Syndication. Consider syndicating your ezine content. Syndicating your ezine content can help drive traffic to your website or blog and build awareness.

1. Rewrite it. Rewrite any and every article or blog post you publish and use it for article marketing purposes. Republish it on article marketing websites or as guest blog posts. Make the most of your writing efforts. In fact, you can hire a Virtual Assistant to rewrite your existing content and double the results.

Always think about maximizing your content. Every time you write a blog post or article think about how you can use it and its content in other ways. Give it more than one purpose.  Let it do the legwork for you.


Copyright © 2011 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.

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Blogging Tips Books
A selection of e-books to help you improve as a blogger.
Find out more at www.bloggingtips.com/books/


Blogging Tips

20Sep/110

FREE Is The Future of Business



Free BlogRight now I am reading a book by Chris Anderson called “Free – The Future of A Radical Price”.  You can find this on iTunes for FREE.  You can also search Google and find it pretty quick. Chris Anderson is Wired magazine’s editor in chief and gives us a glimpse of why the cost of doing business online is falling closer and closer to zero.  I really like how this has helped me with everything I am doing online.  The best way to get people online is to give them something free.  You see this on all the top blogs you read, top sites you visit and pretty much everywhere online.

In Free, Anderson breaks down the priceless economy into six broad categories, demonstrating how to make money in each:

- “Freemium”: Free Web software and services, and some content, to users of the basic version. (Think Flickr and the -a-year Flickr Pro.)

- Advertising: Free content, services, and software to an audience that advertisers will pay to reach.

- Cross-subsidies: Give away any product that entices customers to pay for something else. Example: It’s a free second-gen Wii! But only if you buy the deluxe version of Rock Band.

- Zero marginal cost: Anything that can be distributed without an appreciable cost to anyone, like online music.

- Labor exchange: Performing tasks to gain access to “free” sites and services.

- Gift economy: From Freecycle (free secondhand goods) to Wikipedia, money isn’t the only motivator.

Always give Away Something FREE

Your readers want to know that you care about them, so why not give them something free.  Not only does this show your reader that you’re giving them something free that has taken you a lot of time and effort, you also show them that you care about them.  This will inspire trust. This will give you more credibility.  This will break down the barrier that is between you and their information to re-market to them.

How Does Free Work?

Free breaks down the barrier between you and your readers.  If you are selling an eBook and you charge even $.01 you may get a small percentage of readers to purchase your product. But if you give it away for free you will quickly see that your numbers will increase, you’ll get more subscribers, and your blog will be more popular. People love something free, they don’t even think about it.  It makes it so they don’t have to think about the decision; it’s free, why not?

What Do I Give Away For Free?

Give away anything and everything. Just kidding, don’t get yourself into trouble.  I would personally go with what Zac Johnson, John Chow, and many others have done in the blogging space and give away an eBook.  An eBook is a great way to gain your readers trust while getting them to subscribe to your blog.  Use a service like aWeber to keep track and distribute your eBook.  It will keep track of your readers and let you email market to them in the future.  This will allow you to make money off your readers in the long run and keep them coming back to your blog consistently.  Make sure when you’re giving away something free that you don’t give away crap.  Giving away something free that is horrible will cause a bad taste in your readerships mouth.  Bad press travels much more quickly then good press.  If you put something crappy together and give it away for free it will damage your reputation.

I encourage all of you to read Chris Anderson’s book “Free – The Future of A Radical Price”  It will change your world and help you to understand free a lot more than you think.  It will help you realize how Google can give away 99.999% of it’s products for FREE and still make Billions Profit each year.  Please let me know below if you have read the book or have any questions.  I would love to help you out with and Blogging Tips that I have!


Copyright © 2011 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.

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A selection of e-books to help you improve as a blogger.
Find out more at www.bloggingtips.com/books/


Blogging Tips

1Sep/110

My “Methods” for Building a Successful Online Business

Today I received an email from someone asking what my “methods” are for building an online business. That’s always a tough question—particularly because I got the sense that it was asked by someone looking for an easy and quick answer.

Here’s my response. I’d love to hear what you’d have added or said.

Thanks for the email.

It’s difficult to sum it all up in an email (I’ve published over 6,000 posts on ProBlogger on the topic as well as written a book), but really, if I had to summarize what I do, it’d be:

  1. Blog on topics you know about and enjoy (I’d blog about the topics I blog about for free).
  2. Try to blog something interesting and useful to others every day, for a very long time (I’ve been doing it for nine years).
  3. Engage with other bloggers and on other sites where people engage around the topics you write on (like social media, forums, etc.). Put yourself “out there” on a daily basis to find new readers for your blog.
  4. Build community around your blogs. Answer reader questions, stimulate discussions, make your readers feel engaged and involved. Love them to death!
  5. Experiment with different ways to make money from (and because of) your blog. There’s no single way to do this—it could be by a combination of methods including selling advertising, doing affiliate promotions, writing sponsored posts, creating and selling your own products, etc.

A few last thoughts

  • None of this is easy or quick. It takes time and daily work over the long term.
  • There is no blueprint for guaranteed success in this space.
  • Ultimately it’s about being persistently useful to people and building a relationship with them. A by-product of that is that they will keep coming back, bring their friends, and respond to your calls to action.

Thanks for your email—I hope something in this helps.

Darren Rowse

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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My “Methods” for Building a Successful Online Business


ProBlogger Blog Tips

6Jul/110

How to Build a Business By Supporting Bloggers: a Case Study

This guest post is by Jeremy Delancy of passivepanda.com.

Some people get struck by lightning, some people win the lottery, and some people make good money by blogging two hours per day in their pajamas. I’ve never met any one the above-mentioned people, but the snake oil salesmen of the Internet will try to convince you that you’ll be making millions in a few months if you buy their info products and start a blog.

The truth is, profitable blogging requires hard work. An even less accepted truth is that profitable blogging will, more and more, require a collaborative effort. In his ebook Partnering Profits, John Morrow likens the early days of making money online to the early days of computer gaming. The first computer games were so basic that one person designed and produced an entire game! Think about what is needed to create Runescape or Starcraft II. The time and effort is well beyond the capability of any one person.

A similar change is taking place in blogging. Readers now want multi-media content, social media widgets, great writing, and so on. Add in the marketing and promotion of your blog and it soon becomes more than any one individual can deliver without spending 80 hours in front of a computer. The job of managing research, affiliates, guest posts—all while learning new technologies—has already begun to overwhelm some small bloggers.

In this turmoil created by the growth and development in the blogosphere, I see opportunity. The possibility exists to create an additional income not by starting your own blog, but by helping other bloggers build a loyal readership, increase blog traffic and monetize their blogs. I’m starting to do just that and I’ll analyze the steps that I’ve taken so far.

Getting started

First, some background information: I’ve worked as a full-time speech writer for the last ten years. The job entails loads of research on all sorts of topics. Previously, I was an English Literature teacher. I began reading blogs on Personal Finance, Entrepreneurship and Lifestyle Design in 2009.

Since then I’ve come across blogs that had great, well-researched content and good design. I’ve also come across many more that were quite the opposite. It’s obvious to many blog readers that some bloggers need help. The questions I wanted answered were, “Are bloggers willing to pay for assistance?” and, “Is there a market among bloggers for my particular skill set?”

The process

In retrospect, I could have begun the process of finding out who needed assistance, and what kind of assistance was needed, quite differently. One alternative would have been to subscribe to blogs on blogging (ProBlogger) and read the comments to see what were the most common challenges faced. But, that would not have been true to my nature, which is to gain first hand information through research.

Instead, I developed a questionnaire, which I emailed to bloggers who specialized in: personal finance, christian living, entrepreneurship, woodworking, and eco-friendly lifestyles, all of which are areas of personal interest. Some of the questions were informational, i.e. “How long does it take to move from new idea to blog post?” Other questions were about the bloggers’ aspirations, i.e. “Where would you like to be in terms of blogging within the next six months to two years?”

Tip: When you’re doing this kind of research do not send more than five questions unless you have developed an excellent rapport with the other person. I found that sending seven questions in an email dropped the response rate to zero.

Tip 2: For an excellent article on what to write when emailing busy people, go here.

The answers were then collated and turned into A Report on Building A Better Blog which was uploaded to Scribd.com. By using Scribd, I was able to keep track of the number of downloads and the number of positive responses I received. To get a copy of the ten page report, which details my methodology, questions and suggestions, go here.

The service offering

The process of researching and writing the report, had several very important benefits. Primarily, it gave me an insight into the some of the biggest problems faced by bloggers.

Secondly, I had made a tangible product to showcase my research and writing skills.

Finally, and most importantly, the answers allowed me to focus on providing the following services to bloggers in personal finance and entrepreneurship:

  • Guest posts—Invitations to write guest posts are common but not every blogger finds the time to do so, even when it would increase their readership. I write and the blogger who hires me, posts to the blog he/she received the invitation from.
  • Ghost writing—Surprise! Bloggers are people too! They need time to attend to their families, take vacations, etc. Due to the nature of my full-time job, I know how to replicate the vocabulary, syntax and style of others. After a few days of practice, most readers won’t be able to tell the difference between me and their beloved blogger.
  • Research—Find entrepreneurial blogs with 50, 000 RSS Feed subscribers. I’m on it. Research the benefits of credit card X, compare to credit card Y, and write a post. Not a problem. Summarize guru A’s new book and email the finer points. With pleasure.

The major benefit, that I provide bloggers? Time. By spending less time researching and writing, they have more time to work on other projects and find new ways to monetize their blogs

Finding potential clients

When the time came to begin pitching bloggers with the above-mentioned service offering, I had a good idea of their major challenges, and was able to offer solutions because of my research. To find potential clients I searched Technorati.com for personal finance blogs with high to medium authority and then focused on those that announced a soon to be released information product (indicating a very busy blogger), or those whose Compete.com numbers had tumbled sharply (indicating that the blogger had missed several posts) and e-mailed them.

Some of you reading this will think that the process is far too tedious to emulate, but there is a major benefit. By putting 80% of the work up front, your chance of rejection goes down considerably. This is because you are in your customer’s head. You will have taken the time and effort to know their goals, their pain points, their likes and dislikes, and crafted your service to meet their needs. In return they will show their appreciation by giving you their business.

How you can get started today

Finally, for those of you interested in helping bloggers, I’d suggest skipping the research and focus on the following instead:

  1. Niche down and know what topics you will specialize in.
  2. Be clear on what problems you can solve … and those you can’t.
  3. Perfect your service offering via email as it will give you a foot in the door.
  4. Constantly strive to improve your skills.

Become the support network

Helping bloggers is essentially freelance work, and the first rule of freelancing is find your niche. The blogosphere is a big place and as it grows there are more and more opportunities for you to fill in the gaps. Spend some time thinking about how you could help a blogger and you may find yourself earning more freelance income as a blog supporter than many people do as a blog owner.

Could you support a blogger? Have you considered this as an income option? I’d love to hear of your experiences in the comments.

Jeremy Delancy writes for Passive Panda. To get more tips and other proven strategies for earning more money, time, and freedom join Passive Panda’s Free Newsletter on Earning More.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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