I’m currently enrolled in an intensive blogging course led by Jon Marrow, the mastermind behind the mega blogging site, SmartBlogger.com. I feel very fortunate to be able expand my knowledge about blogging by learning from one of the best. Maybe even THE BEST in the business.
One of the blogging issues Jon talks about in this course is making yourself, as a blogger, heard over all the noise on the internet. This is a huge, huge obstacle when it comes to blogging. How do you stand out and get traffic and make your voice heard?
That’s Not What this Article is About
Well, this article isn’t about that. But that is definitely topic for another day.
What this Article is About
This article is about how to shut out all the noise around you and focus on the best advice and the best resources to help you build your blog.
Two months ago, I decided to get serious about marketing this blog and business. So, I went online to hunt for experts to teach me all about marketing my online business.Well, online, there’s a crowd of “experts”; hundreds, even thousands, of self-styled experts on the topic. Some, I’m sure are truly experts. The rest, who knows?
In my quest for knowledge, I signed up for a whole bunch of free offers and email lists. In the past, I was quite ruthless about the content I invited into my inbox. I followed 3 or 4 blogs (including SmartBlogger) and that was it.
These 3 or 4 resources were known entities. I’d read their blog posts for months before I finally signed up for their list and allowed them to deliver their content to me via my email. I knew that what would arrive for me to read would be worthwhile and about topics I was interested in.
Opening the Floodgates
Well, after my sign up spree, I started receiving a deluge of emails from various sources, some great, some maybe not so much. Some sent me 3 emails per day! More than a dozen sources sending me 2 – 3 emails per day. That’s 24 – 36 or more emails per day!
I don’t have time for that. I’m a wife, a mom of 2 pre-schoolers and I run a 6-figure business. And I have a life. Plus, all the conflicting advice was making my brain hurt.
Then They Were Stalking Me
On top of the constant emails, I now had these same individuals stalking me via paid ads on Facebook. Oh, Facebook ads, how I loathe thee.
These savvy marketers use Facebook pixels on their sites. So, when I visit their site, they start tracking me. They find me on Facebook and keep “retargeting” me to see their ads in hopes that I’ll come back to their site and buy stuff.
When I go to Facebook, I just want to look at pictures of my cousins’ kids who live on the East Coast and who we don’t get to visit very often.
For me, Facebook is a way to keep in contact with friends and family who I don’t get to see very often. I don’t want to constantly be inundated with ads in between each of my friends’ posts.
What the Heck Does This Have to Do With Blogging?
I hear the same theme over and over again from customers and from fellow bloggers in the blogging groups I belong to:
There’s so much advice out there. How do I know what the “right” advice is? How do I know what advice is the most important and that will help ME the most?
I’ll tell you what, I went out seeking information and was totally deluged with info. Some of it, I am certain, is really great information. But most of these people want me to pay for what they’re sharing. Fair deal. I can get behind that.
But how do I know what they’re offering is what I need? How do I know it won’t just be a waste of time and money? Time being my most valuable asset as a small business person and money always being an issue. That issue being me not wanting to spend it.
So, in the end, I just want to bury my head back in the sand, unsubscribe from all these email lists and go back to the silence. But I still need and want to know more about marketing and growing the passive income side of my business.
At the same time all this was happening, another email arrived in my box. From the very first email list I ever signed up for. The previously mentioned SmartBlogger led by Jon Marrow.
Jon doesn’t send out emails very often. In fact, his site only posts 1 post per week. His maxim is “if you don’t have something really valuable to share, don’t post”.
As you can guess, when Jon or one of his writers chooses to speak, people listen. Tens of thousands of people on his email list listen, as a matter of fact.
Anyway, this email was gently promoting (Jon is all about gentle promotion and marketing) a webinar about a new approach to blogging that Jon was going to talk about.
Now, I am not a webinar person. I’m not a TV person either. I don’t generally have the patience to sit still for that long listening to a screen talk at me. I prefer interactive conversations and doing things.
But for some reason (probably because it was Jon offering the webinar and the topics was of interest to me), I decided that this was a webinar I had to sign up for.
I Totally Bought It
So, I signed up, I listened, I bought the course. Yup, I did.
One of the reasons I generally avoid webinars is that the host is inevitably trying to sell me something. And I do not like high-pressure sales tactics. If you’re a salesperson that approaches me in a department store, you will inevitably be told that I am “just looking” even if I’m there with the intent to purchase.
But the reason this sales pitch worked on me was because:
1. I knew the source well. I’ve followed SmartBlogger for years. I know Jon’s remarkable story. I know the content and services his site offers are right up my alley. They talk about topics relevant to me and my interests.
2. The offer was the “complete package”. This course offers an A to Z system for a new approach to starting a blog. That’s something that interests me and I love that all this information comes from one trusted source.
Get to the Point, Heather
What is the point of my story and how does it relate to shutting out the noise?
Well, I have since unsubscribed to all those lists that were flooding my inbox and filling my life with so much noise. I am now focusing on learning some really great ideas from a single trusted source.
When you’re out there trying to learn the business of blogging, there is so much noise and chatter. It can overwhelm you so easily. To the point where you may just freeze, forget it or call it quits.
Don’t let the noise get to you.
Here’s what to do:
- Find the right voices to listen to. If you find an article that really speaks to you, visit the author’s site. Read more of their posts. Check out their About page to find out more about them. You can really get a sense of how expert and also genuine a blogger is from learning more about them and reading their content. And don’t skip the comments. Do they reply to the comments posted? I believe Jon Marrow is one of those real deals and a lot of other people agree with me and that’s why he’s built such a massive following.
- Be ruthless about what you allow into your inbox. Don’t be seduced by all the lovely, sparkly freebies. That’s the “in” thing right now to get people to sign up for your email list. (I know, I do it too.) Check out their posts first. Make sure their message syncs with what you’re trying to learn about.
- Guard your time like it’s diamonds and gold. Your time is so precious. When you’re building your blog or growing it, it’s your most valuable asset. Don’t waste it by listening to every bit of noise out there. Be picky, dammit!
- Get recommendations from other bloggers on the best resources to follow. I belong to a few Facebook groups for bloggers. These are a great place to get recommendations. Just avoid the posters who always seem to only recommend their own advice and site. Pay attention when bloggers mention other bloggers in their posts. When I read a post by a blogger I admire, when they mention someone they follow or listen to, you bet I’m following that link to check out this new resource. I will ultimately make my own call about whether to follow this new person, but this is a great way to find new resources to cultivate.
My Top 3 Blogging Resources
Leading right from my final point above, I’m going to share my 3 favorite blogging resources. These are voices I follow because they are genuine and they have content that speaks to me and helps me. Among all the chatter, they are the voices I pay attention to.
I encourage you to check them out and to also find the voices that speak to you in your blogging journey.
1. SmartBlogger from Jon Marrow
Jon Marrow is a tremendous success with an amazing story behind his success. Jon is the first one to say, if he can do it, so can you. And his goal is to teach you how, to share what’s made him so successful.
2. ProBlogger from Darren Rowse
Another “blog about blogging”. Another very successful blog about blogging. This site tends to be a bit more technical than SmartBlogger but that speaks to me as I often delve into the technical side of blogging. Definitely worth checking out.
3. Quick Sprout from Neil Patel
Neil Patel is another giant in the “blogging about blogging” industry. Neil blogs on Quick Sprout about 1 – 2 times per week about growing your blog. His articles are evidence-based and well written. He’s welcome in my inbox any day.
Sum It Up
There is so much information out there to help you start and grow your blog. But sometimes it’s too much!
Research and take recommendations before you commit to following a resource. And if you find a site isn’t a good fit for you, don’t be afraid to unsubscribe.
And now, I would love it if you guys would share your favorite blogging related resources! Please drop 1 or 2 recommends in the Comments to share the love!