What You Need to Know to Make a Living as a Blogger Right Now

Hollywood sign with Marcus Cooley quote

The average blogger only has two concerns.

The first is obscurity. She is a total stranger in a vast world loaded with people — unknown, inconspicuous, and insignificant. Odd, considering there are so many people online.

But it’s a simple law: We all start at the bottom.

One recent study discovered that the average British blogger had only 285 subscribers, received 18 comments a day, and earned about $120 a month.

That’s the reward for someone who’d been blogging for two years and eight months. Yes, those surveyed also worked full-time jobs.

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7 Ways to Find a Topical Market that Will Fuel Your Digital Commerce Business

closeup of hands holding a map

Before you get down to business online, you need to find the topic(s) and market(s) that can support that business.

And, after answering your questions on digital sharecropping and content curation, that’s exactly what Brian and I get into on this week’s episode of Rainmaker FM.

Listen in and check out the seven-part process for finding the topic market that can fuel your online business …

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What to Look for in a Professional Content Writer

poodle with glasses sitting at a desk

Every business needs content. Not the bland, me-too nonsense that so often clutters up our in-boxes and feeds, but genuinely useful, interesting content.

Content that lets a business stand out amid the clutter and noise. Content that moves prospects closer to a sale. Content that can become a powerful differentiator for your company.

And increasingly, businesses are having a tough time finding the writers who know how to create that kind of content over time.

According to some recent research by Content Marketing Institute, the demand for content writers has grown by 320 percent … just over the past year.

And while in the past, about 10 percent of companies struggled to find qualified professionals, that’s risen to 32 percent this year.

One of the reasons I think organizations struggle is, they don’t always know what qualities will make for a genuinely productive, profitable hire. And as you might guess, I have a few strong opinions about that.

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This Simple Writing Technique Will Help You Overcome the Inertia of Perfectionism

man and woman sitting on floor writing in lined notebooks

When you have to create fresh topics for your blog each week, sometimes you just feel stuck.

Or maybe you can’t nail down your unique selling proposition that sets your business apart from the competition.

Perhaps you’re still wrestling with ideas for your email autoresponder series.

All of these issues are completely normal for writers who continuously aim to serve their audiences.

Since finding a way into your readers’ hearts and minds is your goal, you can exhaust your brain trying to find that perfect connection. As a result, instead of producing the perfect piece of content, you accomplish very little or nothing at all.

Several years ago, I discovered a writing trick that helps me overcome these types of perfectionism problems.

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Check out the Lineup for Authority Rainmaker: Denver, May 13-15, 2015

Image of Ellie Caulkins Opera House

The photo above is the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. It’s a world-class hall designed in the lyric style with acoustical excellence, state-of-the-art technology, and clean sight lines, and it’s the venue for our second annual live conference — Authority Rainmaker.

We’re in the Super Early Bird phase of ticket sales, so I want to share with you the extraordinary group of speakers that will be fueling next year’s event experience. You’ll want to grab your tickets now and save $500.

I previously announced our keynote speakers — Daniel Pink, Sally Hogshead, and Henry Rollins (yes, that Henry Rollins). Today I want to highlight each of the industry experts you’ll hear from in this two day, single-track event covering the core topics of Design, Content, Traffic, and Conversion.

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The Crucial Starting Point For Building a Digital Commerce Business

Image of Vintage Measuring Tape

In the latest episode of Rainmaker FM, Brian Clark and I talk about the big picture of digital commerce.

Many of us are now familiar with platforms like Udemy and Skillshare, but in 2007 Copyblogger launched its first product, one that was aimed directly at the myth that people wouldn’t pay for digital content.

A lot has happened in those seven years, and a lot of businesses have moved (and been born) online.

What does this mean for you?

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How One Marketing Blog Tripled Its Email Subscribers With 3 Simple Strategies

crowd lined up outside a record store

You’ve probably heard how important email marketing is for your business, but do you know how it can specifically save you time and increase revenue?

When I started AppSumo.com, it took me three months to get a special deal with a company to promote one of our sales. Then on the day of the sale, I’d ask everyone I know to tweet about it.

We’d have a successful launch, but then the following week when we did another promotion, we had to start all over again — and go make as much noise as possible to get our potential customers’ attention.

I call this “amnesia marketing.” It’s when marketers have to start from the bottom every time they promote a product.

But once we grew our email list and had a built-in audience, we were able to ditch amnesia marketing once and for all.

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Interview with Brian Clark: How Customer Experience Maps Help You Develop a Smarter Content Strategy

The Lede Podcast logo

Well isn’t this a pleasant surprise.

After we published the third installment of our three-part series on content strategy, Brian Clark informed me that he had the perfect follow-up topic for the next episode.

Sure, Mr. Clark, I think we can make room for you in the schedule. ;-)

Consider this a bonus fourth episode in the content strategy series — and it goes next-level.

Empathy is essential because it allows you to feel what your audience members feel, but what if you could get inside their hearts and walk a few steps in their shoes as well?

You can. Here’s how …

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The Surprising Spooky Secret to Enduring Success Habits

ghost figure in pumpkin patch with Autumn leaves

Are you addicted to productivity advice?

I was, for a long time. I bought every system, book, and blueprint out there.

I had a very spiffy David Allen-inspired GTD process that was only 642 steps long and took a mere 3 hours a day to implement (during which time I wasn’t actually, you know, getting anything done).

That wasn’t David Allen’s fault, by the way, it was mine. But I don’t think I was alone.

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The 5-Step Process for Writing an About Page that Connects (and Converts)

wasp eating nectar from yellow flower

Although it seems like a natural place on your website to talk about yourself, a strong About page is really about empathy for your visitors.

When you write an effective About page, you dig into your readers’ minds and then communicate that you have what they need or want.

And you can’t afford to follow the herd. Just think about how many times you’ve clicked away from a website that included just a little too much “Me! Me! Me!”

You don’t want to be that person at the cocktail party who brags so incessantly that other party guests plan different routes to the restroom to avoid you. But you also don’t want to bore new visitors.

How do you strike the right balance?

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