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The Worst Advice On Starting A Blog Ever

The Worst Advice On Starting A Blog Ever

Creating a blog is easy. Creating a good blog is hard. If you are new to starting a blog, a common piece of advice you might receive is this:

Create a backlog of articles before you launch. That way, if you ever get off schedule, you have a few blog posts to pull from.

Almost every single time I’ve talked to someone about starting a blog, they give this advice. This is the worst blogging advice ever. Here’s why:

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Why This Is Terrible Advice

This advice is entirely predicated on you failing at keeping a schedule. It’s basically saying, try really hard to blog consistently, but if you don’t, just pull a “get out of a jail free” card. It’s a great fail-safe idea, but it’s not sustainable over the long-run. Why? Eventually you’re going to run out of get out of jail free cards. If you focus on just creating a backlog of posts & pulling from them when you need to, eventually, you’ll run out of a backlog of posts and you won’t know what to do. Usually, what happens is people get frustrated, get behind. They get upset and beat themselves up over it before eventually quitting.

Instead of creating an archive of posts to pull from, if you get behind, here are three things you should do instead:

1. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is crucial to maintaining a successful blog. Instead of focusing on creating this never-ending backlog, and always feeling as if you must make up for being behind, work ahead!

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Go ahead, and write the same posts you were planning to write as a backlog. Next, install the WordPress editorial calendar plugin, and start working ahead. Take the posts that you were planning to hold on to “for a rainy day,” and start scheduling them out for the future. You will find that if you start scheduling them out in advance, you can work two to three weeks ahead of time.

2. Create A Habit

While you are two weeks ahead of schedule, stick to your specific writing schedule. Focus on making new content and publishing, until this becomes a habit. By doing this, you are not just planning in case of emergency, you are also staying ahead of schedule.

Do this for a month at least. You only need 21 days to build a habit. I guarantee that you will notice a difference. Once you’re in the rhythm, here are some tips for making your habits stick.

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3. Be On The Offensive

Keeping a backlog of posts means that you are barely staying on top of things, and when you fall behind, you slowly pluck from the backlog. Doing this once or twice this isn’t a bad thing, but over time, you’ll realize you have nothing left to pull from. This is a defensive way to handle your blog schedule. If you only play defense, you will lose.

Instead, be on the offensive. Be three steps ahead of the chaos, difficulty, and obstacles that come with blogging. Be ready for it. By being proactive, you will get ahead. All of a sudden, the weight of hitting your publishing deadline is gone! You will feel like a champ, because you no longer have that deadline beating you down. You win!

Thinking ahead makes life easier. If you know you are going on vacation for an extended time, commit to knocking out a few blog posts, so you stay ahead of the game.

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Don’t do what most people do. They’re just waiting to fail.

What’s the worst blogging advice you’ve ever heard?

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Published on December 18, 2018

How to Brand Yourself and Make Your Business Stand Out

How to Brand Yourself and Make Your Business Stand Out

You’ve been in business for years and have finally hit your plateau.

The tactics you’d implemented for your customers aren’t working as they’ve used to. You feel like your business has fallen out of the spotlight and now you’d have to settle for any business you get. It’s how businesses work, right?

The truth is that some brands will fade off the business world–while others will adapt well and continue to grow. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself for where your business currently stands. After all, you’d kept applying tactics that provided predictable results.

Instead, decide to not settle for average results and spend more time building your brand. To make your business stand out from your competition, you need to be unforgettable. But how can you?

In this article, I’ll cover timeless tactics that have worked for other businesses. If you apply these tactics correctly your competition won’t be able to copy them. Here’s how to brand yourself and make your business stand out:

1. Win Your Audience’s Hearts with Authenticity

The truth has always shined.

Even without the technology we have today, people always had a way of finding out if someone was lying. And, with everyone engaging in social media today, it’s hard to hide from the truth. Yet, this seems to be what many businesses fail to do.

For example, companies like Listerine have been fined for lying.[1] A quick buck today won’t be worth it in the long run. Instead, practice being authentic to your customers and they’ll eventually rely on you.

Allow your customers to buy your products with a money-back guarantee – then deliver on your promise. Be consistent with the content you provide and stay true to your brand.

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For example, if you provide coaching services for entrepreneurs, don’t sponsor irrelevant brands. If you stop caring about your brand’s mission, your audience will notice. They’ll question your integrity with your business and stop trusting your brand.

But if you gain your customer’s trust, you’ll start standing out from your competition. Your customers will feel safe purchasing from you since they’ll know you’re honest.

2. Share a Story No One Will Be Able to Copy

A few decades ago, a brand would’ve gotten away without being unique. That’s because back then starting a business was not accessible to most people. You’d either need enough money to launch your business or have the credentials. And even if you had all these qualifications, you needed to get past the gatekeepers.

Today, technology has disrupted many of the barriers that were present a few decades ago. For example, today a college student can launch a Podcast within a week. He can create a website in a few hours and record a few Podcast episodes. If he’s persistent, he can build a large following overtime and get paid by sponsors.

This is great news for aspiring entrepreneurs but there’s more competition than ever. You can only do so much before other businesses begin to copy you. But what no business can copy is your story.

That’s why you need to share your story with your audience.

For example, if you have a money blog, share how you’ve overcome your financial struggles. If you run a freelance writing business, share how you’ve overcome writer’s block. The more your audience can relate to you the better.

Without a story, your business won’t stand out. And if you copy what’s working for other businesses, you’ll experience short-term success.

Take some time to share your story with the world, your audience will love you more for it.

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3. Stop Reinventing Every Single Thing

“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” – Anthony J.D’angelo

You may have heard that being original is the way to stand out. While this is true to an extent, you also shouldn’t be original when something is already working.

For example, if your competition has a successful Podcast in your field, then so can you. Don’t search for better alternatives to a Podcast if it’s already working.

Why?

Because this is a waste of time. Instead, copy what’s already working and make it your own.[2] If your competition has a Podcast, figure out which areas you can improve and tailor it around your brand.

Knowing this you can now spy on your competition and determine which areas you can improve. But, know that it also works the other way around. Others will view your business and copy what’s working for you.

That’s why it’s important to stay true to your brand and be authentic with your audience. When you do, your competition won’t be able to copy your unique traits. Have an abundant mindset and feel confident for what your business has to offer.

4. Shine Because of Your Uniqueness

Stop trying to help the entire world and focus on helping a specific group of people instead.

I get it, you’re willing to help almost everyone because you want to bring in more business. But the truth is that if you resonate with everyone, you resonate with no one.

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Take, for example, a marketing agency that helps businesses promote their product. This business doesn’t speak to anyone but gets occasional sales throughout the year.

But what if there was a similar marketing agency dedicated to helping real estate agents? If there was a real estate agent looking for help in marketing–who do you think they’ll choose? That’s why niching down is necessary if you hope to stand out from your competition.

Determine which customers you enjoy working with the most and determine which customers bring in the most revenue. Once you’ve gathered enough data, focus on servicing your ideal customer.

Don’t expect immediate results since this won’t be an easy transition. If you’re currently helping a narrow audience, slowly transition into a niche audience. Niching down is crucial to building raving fans.

5. Be the Brand Everyone Can Depend On

Being the brand your customers can depend on is important. How many times have you bought a product that’s failed on its promise? Or have settled for an average service?

Exceeding your customer’s expectations is a sure way to make your brand stand out. In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, studies on human psychology prove that when you give to others, they’ll reciprocate. Offer your customers free consulting, a free ebook, or free quality content. Eventually, they’ll be happy to reciprocate after receiving value from you.

View what your competition is doing and surpass their offers. For example, if your competition offers a free 15-minute consulting call, offer 30 minutes. When you focus on helping others more, your customers will notice.

Make it your mission to serve your customers first and then worry about making a profit. Other ways for your business to be reliable is by inspiring your customers. That’s right, a business isn’t only about selling, it’s also helping customers achieve their goals.

For example, you can write content that will inspire your audience to take action. You can interview guests that will push your audience to break bad habits. Get creative and look for more ways in which your audience can depend on you with.

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The Bottom Line

Imagine serving fewer customers and getting paid more than ever.

Despite the fierce competition, you’ve got fans wanting to buy your products and services. Although this may seem impossible right now, it’s not. If other brands have been able to stand out in a crowded industries, why can’t yours?

The truth is that standing out from your competition isn’t easy. There’s no secret formula that’s available to the rest of the world. The trick is to do what most brands are unwilling to do.

Many businesses don’t want to niche down because this will mean a loss in sales. But that’s sacrificing short-term gains for long-term success. Niching down is necessary to build a brand your customers will love.

Many businesses will spend a lot of money looking for ways to innovate, but won’t apply what’s working. But, not you.

You’ve got what it takes to stand out from your competition. Start slowly and master each principle covered here. Now go and make your business stand out like never before.

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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