Are You Taking The “SMART” Approach To Blogging?

by Jonathan Beebe · 12 comments

This is a guest post by Jonathan Beebe from Make Money Online Work.

Whether blogging is new or old to you, the way you approach it can mean the difference between your blog dropping off the face of the web in a few months, or sticking around for the long haul.

Today I’m going to introduce you to the “SMART” approach to blogging, which is the one that I personally take, as well as every other successful blogger out there—whether they realize it or not. Therefore, I think it’s safe to assume that it would better your chances of success to adopt this approach as well.

approach to blogging

System

The first step to this approach is to develop your own System to accomplish your blogging tasks every day. Nobody can tell you how to do this, because you know yourself better than anyone.

I highly suggest you write your system down on paper. Things to include would be specific courses of action you need to take each day. For example, a system could be as simple as writing down a to-do list for the tasks you need to complete for the day (write a blog post, make 10 blog comments, submit a guest article, send an email to your mailing list, etc).

By not developing your own system, you run the risk of procrastinating and losing track of your goals, which is a clear path towards failure. Blogging requires a lot of self discipline, so once you’ve got a “do-able” system going, stick with it and don’t expect results too soon… just keep working your system.

Several studies (including the Perseus report) indicate that most blogs are abandoned within one month of launch (anywhere from 60-80% of all blogs). Just think, if you create a system to make your blog last longer than that, you’re already ahead of most of the blogs on the web!

Use that as motivation to keep trucking on.

Monetization

There is a lot of debate as to when to implement this, but if you plan to make money from your blogging efforts, you need to get Monetization squared away from the beginning.

Before you start driving traffic that you hope to make money from, you need to decide exactly how you expect that traffic to earn money for you. I suggest testing out products within your niche to see which one’s you could recommend as an affiliate, or begin work on your own.

Or, if you’re going the “ad” route, you can start setting up Adsense ads on your posts. If you’re going to do it, start from the beginning so you don’t surprise your loyal readers later.

Action

The next step in the “SMART” approach is taking Action regularly. Now that you have a system you’re committed to follow, and a way to monetize the traffic you plan on driving to your blog, it’s time to make it happen.

Start publishing posts to your blog on a regular basis and establish your own posting frequency. Whether you decide to post 2-3 times per week or per month doesn’t matter; what does matter is that you are consistent. Pick something and stick with it.

Action also involves your regular off-the-blog promotional efforts. The simplest ways of driving high quality traffic to your blog include blog commenting, forum participation, article marketing, and guest blogging.

The things above won’t bring in a rush of traffic on their own (with an exception of maybe guest blogging, depending on what blog you can get featured on), but if you combine them and take action towards them on a regular basis—week in and week out—your blog will quickly become an authority in your chosen niche.

Retention

This is one of the most important steps, however, it’s ironic that most bloggers fail to put an effort towards Retaining their visitors. This is simply the act of getting your visitors to subscribe—whether it’s to your mailing list or your blog’s RSS feed.

Visitor retention is important because hit-and-run traffic (come once and never return) just doesn’t convert very well. It has been proven over and over again that repeat visitors are WAY more valuable than first time, one-hit-wonders.

By no fault of your own, most people will click away from your website and never return. However, if you work towards retaining them (getting them to subscribe), you have permission to remind them to come back on a regular basis—whether it’s by email, or from the updates they get from their feed reader.

If you focus a large percentage of your efforts towards retaining your visitors, not only will your traffic steady rise over time (with the best type of traffic, repeat visitors), but so will your online income.

The best way to retain your visitors is to offer them an incentive for subscribing, such as a free report that is useful, and relevant to your niche. It doesn’t matter how long it is, just make sure it’s useful.

Trust

Once you retain your visitors, it’s time to build your readers’ Trust. You can’t expect your traffic to make you much money if they don’t trust you, so you want to make a conscious effort to earn their trust from the very beginning.

Fortunately, this can be very easy as long as you are consistent with your efforts. You can build the trust of your readers and mailing list by sending them high quality information on a regular basis (what you’re already posting to your blog).

If you have a mailing list (highly recommended), this is easy. I personally follow a six day mailing schedule that I follow strictly. The way I build trust is that every two out of three emails, I’ll send my list a link to a useful article posted on my blog. Every third or fourth email, I’ll send a product recommendation or a review for an affiliate product.

By following a six day schedule, I’m not annoying my list by contacting them too often, but they’re not forgetting about me either. By sending them two high quality articles before I ever send a promotion, they know that I’m interested in providing them genuine value before I’m interested in what’s in their wallet.

My list trusts me, so when I do send a promotion, I make way more money than if I were to send promotion, after promotion, after promotion, and so on (like so many internet marketers out there do things). Likewise, when I send a non-promotion mailer, I get lots of high quality repeat traffic to my blog (which also results in more ad-clicks and sales).

In Conclusion…

To re-iterate everything I went over, the SMART approach to blogging involves setting up your own personal system that YOU can follow, having your blog monetized so it’s set up to make money from the very beginning, taking regular action towards maintaining and promoting your blog, retaining your visitors, and building your readers’ trust so they have a reason to make you money.

Now ask yourself, have YOU been taking the “SMART” approach to blogging?

About Jonathan Beebe

Jonathan Beebe is an online entrepreneur and list-building expert. Visit his blog for regular articles on how to make money online, building your list, and a FREE report that takes you step-by-step through the exact method he used to quit his day job. Get it FREE at the official Online Income Formula website.

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Chuck Edwards April 29, 2010 at 1:55 am

SMART- this should be required reading for all beginning bloggers (and would also be helpful for many bloggers who have been around for a while). Any blogger that writes well, is consistent, stays on topic, and follows the SMART guideline should do well. Just like trying to lose weight, maintaining a successfull blog requires a lot of discipline but the more that one sticks to their initial concept and posting schedule, the more natural that self discipline becomes.
.-= Chuck Edwards@Weight Loss Tips´s last blog ..How to Lose Weight at Home =-.

Nishadha June 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I personally think you shouldn’t worry about monetizing in the beginning. I think you should focus on getting more search engine traffic , once you start getting the traffic the monetizing part is easier.
.-= Nishadha@Make Money Blogging´s last blog ..MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate Review – Link cloaking,link tracking and automated linking =-.

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