This is the first article in a multi-part series called B.Y.O.B. (Building Your Online Business), which focuses on different strategies for building your online business.
So you’ve made it this far. You’ve been reading my blog (what else is there to read?!) and you’ve made up your mind. You want to start your own blog too.
Truth is, the core of any successful online promotional campaign is content. Blogging is a great way to create content. Even if your goal isn’t to have more followers than Lady Gaga, the idea is that to get your name out there, your message has to be out there.
The top two objections I get from people when I talk to them about blogging are:
“But, I don’t want to be writing ALL the time.”
“I don’t have ANYTHING to talk about.”
To both of those, I say…tough shit!
Well, not really. I pat them on the back and console them. Then I wipe their tears and tell them not to worry. The first thing every wannabe blogger has to realize is:
Content aggregation is just as valuable as content origination
In a nutshell, not all the content that you post has to be yours. It does not have to be all original writing. Content consumers are just looking for information. They don’t care where you got it.
Think about it: when you watch those stupid little videos of a pig wearing a top hat on YouTube, you’d never say: “Wait a minute, this person doesn’t really own a pig! He’s just posting a video of someone ELSE’S pig! Now that I know this piece of incriminating information, this video sucks!”
In fact, most of the time, the thought never crosses your mind whether the content provider is really the actual creator or not. You just want the information (or cute pig video)!
Focus on finding interesting content that will go with the theme of your blog and post it, with a little snippet of your thoughts beforehand, then paste the article in and properly cite it. Make sure you link back to the original site. Always make it clear that it’s not your original content.
As long as you do that, people reading your blog will actually be thankful that you helped them discover something that on their own, they never would have. To be clear, it’s good to have a mix of content. I tend to lean towards 60/40 on my blog. 60% is from outside sources, 40% is original.
The cool part about this is two-fold: on the one hand, having slightly more featured and guest posts than original content allows me to add more volume to my blog in less time, but still in a meaningful way.
On the other hand, I often like to write articles for other sites (we’ll talk more about this later) and after they are posted on the other site, I can repost the same article on my website with a link back to the site where it was originally posted.
Now I’ve created content for two sites, but I’ve only written one article. The more articles you have out there, the easier it is for new readers to find you.
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