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8 Tips for Bloggers From an Advertising Book

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8 blogging tips, which are actually quite good and what I wanted to share with you today:1. Know your target audience. Don’t try to be all for all.
A couple of key points here:
First, is that you need a target audience. If your answer to the question “Who do you want to read your blog?” is “Everybody!” – then you have some major rethinking to do. You will be more successful (and have an easier time) catering to a specific, target audience.
I like to use the shoe store analogy. At the malls here in San Diego, you can see up to 5 or 6 different shoe stores in the same mall. There’s a walking shoe store, a running shoe store, a sandal place, casual/hip shoes, and even stores that sell stilettos and crazy 4-inch wedges with goldfish in them.
Each of these stores sell a specific type of shoe, to cater to a specific type of customer. A customer who is looking for running shoes will most likely visit the running shoe store, because that is their specialty. This is how the little guys can compete with the big guys – specialty.
Secondly, you must know your target audience. What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they come from, and where do they go? What do they love or hate? The list of things to know about your audience goes on and on, and the more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to specialize for them.
2. Keep your communication clear and concise.
In my opinion, this not only applies to the words that you write on your blog, but the design and structure of your blog as well.
Is it easy to navigate through your blog? Are you communicating through the design exactly what you want new visitors to do? (i.e., subscribe to a newsletter, click on a banner ad, purchase a product, etc.)
The book goes a lot into utilizing white space, and “less is more” when it comes to print ads, but the same applies to our blogs too.
3. No hype. Tell it like it is. Hype will read dishonest to a substantial number of readers. Don’t get trashed because of over-exuberance.
I really wish all internet marketers read this tip, because there is way too much hype out there right now.
That’s why I try to keep the hype as far away as possible here on the Smart Passive Income Blog, and when I do promote things, it’s usually backed up by hard numbers or case studies from my own experience, so there really isn’t any need for hype at all.
What you see is what you get, and no one get’s let down in the way that hype can let you down in the end.
4. Tell the truth or don’t write anything.
Especially now with how connected everyone is, any lies or deceit can spread like wildfire, and it only takes a moment to make everything you’ve worked hard for crumble like a month old cookie. As the book mentions, “…everybody is a knowledgeable critic with worldwide exposure”.
On the flip side, if you provide awesome content on your blog – again, “…everybody is a knowledable critic with worldwide exposure”, which can work in your favor.
5. Answer all comments as quickly as possible. The good, the bad, the ugly; but especially the bad and the ugly.
For large companies, responding quickly is a must. For the entrepreneurial blogger, answering every comment is important (see 5 Reasons Why You Should Respond to Every Comment), but it doesn’t have to be done quite as quickly.
As far as addressing the bad and the ugly – I think that’s extremely important. Often times, those are the ones we want to avoid answering because we don’t want to stir things up, but if you can respond politely, and even go above and beyond in your response, you may change some minds and get others to support you too.
A great example of someone who does this is Gary Vaynerchuk, who actually responds to any bad reviews made about his books on Amazon.com. He goes above and beyond, offering to speak to them over the phone to clear up any misunderstandings. This is what really impressed me about him and led me to purchase his life-changing book, Crush It!
6. Be upfront about who your sponsor/investor is.
This is mainly geared toward the big companies, but again – this just reiterates the importance of being totally honest.
7. Keep your eyes and ears open in the world of blogging. It is changing and will continue to change at a breakneck pace.
We have to always be aware of what’s happening – not only in the world of blogging, with the advances in technologies and services that can help us improve how we blog, but also of what’s happening in our niches – the trends and opportunities that arise each and every day to help us improve what we blog about too.
Those who are more aware will be far ahead of the game.
8. Good luck!
I like how they put this “tip” in here, because there’s a little bit of luck involved in creating a successful blog. But, like I always say, the harder you work, the luckier you become, and how much luck you end up having is totally up to you.
And lastly, the authors leave us with some final words about utilizing blogs, not included in their 8 tips:
“…Monitor the community for new product idea, refinements, and improvements. Use the knowledge you gain from these free-flowing focus groups to stay ahead of the consumer curve.”
These are very wise words. I had never thought of a blog as a focus group before, but that’s a great way of thinking about it, especially if you want to one day start to earn an income from it.