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Letters to Steve: 3 Questions About Blogging

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Today I’d like to start a new series that’ll occur on a regular basis – “Letters to Steve.”  Here I’ll answer questions I get from your fellow readers. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to send an email to stevescottsite[at]gmail[dot]com.

In this post, I’m going to answer three questions about blogging that David from Deeper Success recently sent me:

Greetings Steve!

I’ve been highly impressed by your blogging website, in particular your ability to write quality posts on a daily basis.

While I’d like to ask many, many questions, I’ll cut it down to the most important ones to me because I’d assume you’re a busy guy.

1) How do you write quality posts on a daily basis?

I run a website and found writing quality posts may take 1-hr, and I couldn’t find enough ideas so I fell back to writing once every 3/4 days.

2) What are your traffic numbers?

You don’t have to answer this one if you don’t want to, but I’m highly curious as to how high it would be considering your dedicated and seemingly successful approach. You’ve also only have your blog 10-months, which would also make these numbers interesting.

3) For those starting out in blogging, what are the most important tasks in building a high-traffic and high-profit website?

I want to take a similar path to you. 🙂

Once again Steve, congratulations on making a professional and successful website. I wish you the greatest success in the future!

From David.

David-

Thanks again for taking the time to write.  I’ll do my best to provide a detailed answer to all three of your questions.  But I do have to warn you that I’m going to ask you to do a little bit of homework after reading this email.  Hope you don’t mind…

#1- How do I write quality posts on a regular basis?

You’re definitely right that it takes an hour to create a quality post.  In fact, some of my posts take up to 4 or 5 hours to create.  There are a few ways I’m able to do this:

The first is I outsource some of the articles posted on this site – At least one or two per week.  These come from people I completely trust to create quality content.  Plus the writers know me pretty well and can create content from my perspective, which is very important if you’re running a small, personal blog.  If you’re interested in learning more about outsourcing then I’d recommend reading these posts:

Next, I’m a firm believer in the power of an idea book.  Get a small notebook and carry it everywhere you go.  You’d be surprised at how many excellent blog post ideas pop up when you’re doing something else.  The key is to write down everything.  Don’t censure yourself…just put your ideas on paper before losing them.

Finally I’ve saved the best for last.  My favorite tool is a publishing schedule.  This is used to plan my writing for the next couple of weeks.  I typically get a rough idea of a post two weeks before it’s published.  That way I have time to contemplate and think of stuff to add to while I’m doing other activities.

A lot of bloggers have problems with content creation because they wait till the last minute to think of an article topic – Or even worse, they only write when they’re in the mood.  Blogging should be treated like a business.  And like you would with a business, you need to create a strategy for success.

Using the three ideas I just listed will help you get a virtual avalanche of blogging ideas.  Now if you want to know more about this subject, then I definitely recommend reviewing my post on how to improve your writing skills.  Specifically I go into great detail about different techniques I use to create content on a daily basis.

#2- What are Your Traffic Numbers?

I get an average of 900 visitors a day.  (Here’s a screenshot of my most recent traffic numbers) Right now, we’re around a 70,000th ranking on Alexa which puts this site in the top 1% of all blogs.

With that said, I think this number can easily be tripled.  There are a number of proven traffic techniques that I haven’t had time to do.  During the next six months I’ll be implementing these strategies which will hopefully skyrocket my blog traffic – More on this later.

#3-For those starting out in blogging, what are the most important tasks in building a high-traffic and high-profit website?

This is a tough one to answer because I could think of hundreds of different responses.  So I’ll list the top techniques for each questions:

For a high-profit website I’d say the secret is readership.  Not only do you need to build up a list of loyal followers you should also focus on creating a highly responsive email list.  While I haven’t achieved ‘blogging success’ as of yet, my experience in other Internet marketing businesses has taught me the importance of a large email marketing list.  No matter what – Get people’s contact information.

Once you have a list of loyal subscribers, it’s easy to make money by recommending affiliate products or your own eBooks.  Customers like to buy from people they trust.  With an email list you can build trust while helping them with their problems.  Then if you happen to promote something that makes you money, people will buy from you because they’ve learned to trust your recommendations.

For a high-traffic website the first thing I’d recommend is creating top-notch content.  There’s a lot of noise in the blogging business.  Your goal is to stand out from the crowd by posting articles that provide lots of value.   I’ve learned the key to blogging success is to give people lots of free value so they’ll keep coming back for more.

Once you have great content, there are a lot of different techniques you can use to increase traffic.  The following are some methods I’ve used to get to my present traffic levels:

  • Twitter
  • Commenting on 20 Blogs a Day
  • Guest Posting
  • Linkbaiting
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Linking to Other Quality Sites
  • Email marketing

Each of these techniques requires an in-depth explanation.  The good news is I’m starting a series about “how to increase traffic to your blog” on November 17th.  This will give a step-by-step blueprint on how to skyrocket traffic to any quality site.  So have a little patience and you’ll receive a lot of information on getting more visitors to your blog.

Well David, I hope these successfully answered your questions.  Thanks for taking the time to write in.  Be sure to drop me a line and let me know how things are coming along…

Cheers,

Steve

Steve’s Parting Thoughts…

Well that’s my response to David’s three blogging questions.  Feel free to send your questions to stevescottsite[at]gmail[dot]com.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll get to them all, but maybe your question will end up in the next edition of Letters to Steve.

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 39 comments }

Fran Aslam

Hi Steve:

You have a wonderful sense of entrepreneurship. You can manage with so many new ideas in your blog posts, one after another. It probably is a combination of your business experience and your sharp perception to human psychology.

I liked your blog post, and as far as subscriber goes, these days subscribers are turning very smart they do not give their name easily. Enjoyed your post again.

All the best

Fran

Steve Scott

Thanks Fran!

You are right I think. It is a lot harder to get people to subscribe. All the more reason to give value. Anyone who consistently gives value, in their blog and in the content of any emails actually sent will win out in the long run.

Sean Mathena

Great idea for a new series! You could also call it “All the things you want to know but are afraid to ask”. I know these were some of the questions weighing on my mind. I will send in some of my own questions, you can count on it!

I can’t wait for the traffic secrets series, I think that is something we could all use more of.

Thanks,

Sean

Steve Scott

All the things you want to know but are afraid to ask…

Not a bad title Sean,

I look forward to some of your questions over time.

The Vizier

Hi Steve,

I think this is a great idea for a series. It makes your blog even more interesting and useful to read. I know I will be looking forward to reading this series.

In answering David’s questions, you have also given me a lot of ideas to chew on to improve my own website.

I look forward to your articles on increasing traffic. I know that is something we all want to get more of.

Thanks for sharing such great value with us!

Steve Scott

Thanks!

Glad you liked the idea. Hopefully I will be supplying some value and maybe seeing areas that people are interested in that I would not know without being asked the questions.

Steven

Great way to engage readers and thanks for sharing a little bit about your attitude towards blogging. Those are really good numbers to achieve within your first year. I’ve already spent over a year blogging and I only get half the traffic.

Nice tips also about having an engaged e-mail list. I need to work on this more.

I’ll definitely be reading more from you in the future. Keep up the good work!

Steve Scott

Thanks Steven

That means a lot. I will be glad to hear from you. I like your blog a lot and look forward to hearing more from you here.

Henway

I’ll be interested in knowing those strategies he’s yet to execute.

Steve Scott

Now that would be telling….

Without going into too many specific I am not sure I have any hidden strategies that will be earth shattering. More along the lines of some stuff i do a “little” of that I will do more and some things I want to do that right now are not a priority.

But I am getting home soon, so I will have time to bust some of it out then…

marlon @ productivity bits

The “idea book” works for me as well. I always bring with me a notebook, like you said. The good thing about the idea book is that one simple idea can lead you to branches of ideas (topics within topics and sub-topics).

One problem that I am facing right now is the lack of time to write. Yes, I have ideas but I don’t really have the luxury to sit down and write – hence, the idea book is a handy tool for idea bank. Plus, I feel that if I am writing and posting daily, that’s kinda contrary to what my blog tries to impart – it’s about productivity at workplace so I’d rather be working than blogging 🙂

Steve Scott

Yes I see, with your moleskin books! Really for many it may seem funny carrying a notebook everywhere, but the one time you do not have it you will have the greatest idea and subsequently forget it!

For some people, notepad in their Iphone or something similar may work, but training yourself to have something with you at all times is simply THE BEST information I can give to any writer who struggles for ideas.

Tristan

Steve, this is some of the best advice I’ve read on a blog in a while. I couldn’t agree with you more about the idea notebook. I think it’s the single best piece of advice that any blogger needs to hear.

And one more note on what you said about how it’s bad to write only when you’re “in the mood.” I agree with that, but let me add one thing: When you’re in the mood, stay in the mood! Write as much as you can “when you’re in the mood” and then you can schedule your posts in advance like Steve and every smart blogger does.

Steve Scott

Thanks Tristan!

You are absolutely right about writing as much as you can in the mood. I see bloggers who have an infrequent schedule. 15-18 days no post, then 5 in 5 days…then 7 days without a post.

If they would just schedule their posts for two times a week, when they are “inspired” they could likely make enough posts to keep things going.

Though I post every day, with the couple of outsourced posts I sometimes go up to 4 days without writing. (this is rare though) but then I have days where I knock out 4-5 posts (some for here and some for my niche site/email)

Alex@Jocuri

If I had an radar for posts written with a true intent of helping this is one of them.
You didn’t hold back on anything and laid out the information right on the table for us to pick up use it the best way we can.

Outsourcing some of your content, so you wont be overwhelmed by all the things you have to do(writing articles, commenting, building links, responding to comments,etc) is one of the greatest and helpful things you can do in blogging(of course just my opinion).

I wouldn’t trust Alexa for any kind of ranking, because I have a website with 50,000 alexa rank and 5,000 visits per day and a website with 25,000 visits per day and an Alex rank of 120,000.

Steve Scott

Ultimately in my opinion every businessman should try to work their way out of a job. It is a little trickier with actual writing, because that is so personal. But every other business aspect is very open.

As for Alexa, I do take it with a grain of salt. It is a stat that a lot of people understand and the only one that gives a comparison to other sites.. even if it is flawed.

I am surprised as hell that a site with 25,000 visits per day would not tip a lot higher on Alexa, though. Unless you were throwing out extra large number to make your point.

Alex@Jocuri

With writing I think it depends on the subject you write. Because you can always sketch some ideas and forward it to a freelancer writer who will write the actual article, but only if is something impersonal like SEO, marketing or something along those lines.

Actually i just rechecked the website it now has * Alexa Traffic Rank: 50,594 * Romania Traffic Rank in RO: 280(and the traffic increased) I think this is due to the fact that Alexa relies heavily on its toolbar statistics and in my country not a lot of people uses it.

Sandra Lee

Hi Steve,

It’s helpful to know that some of your posts take 4-5 hours to write! Thanks for sharing that tidbit and also the list of strategies that have helped you grow. All the best.

Steve Scott

Sure thing Sandra,

Yeah, I am sure there are some people who can do it fast, but some posts can take me quite a while. For one thing, even though I write A LOT I am still about a “4” finger typist.

I really need to add learning to touch type to my list of goals.

Matthew Needham

Great idea Steve and really great engagement with your readers.

I think that your traffic tips are spot on and I look forward to hearing more in the forthcoming series.

Hope all is well with you

Matthew

Steve Scott

Thanks Matthew,

Glad you enjoyed it! Hopefully this series will be a good one.

Patricia@lavenderuses

Hi steve
haven’t been visiting your blog for very long but the quality of the posts keeps me coming back for more. This post has so much of value in it. Some of the things you do like visit 20 blogs a day, posting regularly although I don’t publish daily.
In my small niche I am publishing once a week although I have heaps of information I would like to give to my readers I think it may be information overload! May increase to twice a week once I start doing product reviews in a couple of weeks time.
thanks for sharing your experiences and what works for you. Look forward to the forthcoming series.
Patricia Perth Australia

Steve Scott

Patricia,

I am glad you like the content and keep coming back!

It seems to me you are doing perfectly for you niche. Gaining lots of followers with your great content and awesome comments and posting enough to keep it fresh, but not too much.

Thanks for being such a reliable and awesome commentator!

Devesh - Blokube.com

Great Post and awesome advice steve.
I think blog commenting and guest posting are the best ways to get traffic and build relationship with other bloggers ;).

Thanks for sharing this awesome stuff. Keep up the awesome work.

Steve Scott

I think you are right. Commenting and guest posting are both likely the best ways to drive traffic, hands down. It is hard to beat them for efficiency. All the other ways help too, but you could nail those, ignore the rest and likely do well.

Mark of Success

Steve, Congratulations on your new series! You know what, I have planned, for a long time now, to have a series called “Ask Mark of Success”. But no one asks questions (well, that’s an understatement. LOL!) 🙂 I can blame only myself for now, because I guess there’s hardly anything on my blog right now that would arouse someone’s curiosity, and I haven’t asked anyone to ask me questions either! I’m waiting for the day when I will be able to agree with myself that my blog has reached a “new” level. And my hope is that the new level will not be more than 3 months away.

Steve Scott

Keep charging Mark,

Sure you will get there. It is tough to ‘work it’ with a full time job. All you can do is plug away at it the best you can. It takes time 🙂

Mark of Success

Steve, that was motivating! Thanks for the words of encouragement. Really appreciate it. Certainly can’t complain about my job, because there is a lot in it to be grateful about. I’ll see how best I can balance it all while steadily making progress towards freedom from the rat race.

Bryan

Hi Steve,

Very different article, it’s like doing a Q&A here 🙂 Hmm, I’ve been thinking about outsourcing a while, but I think the trouble is how much you can trust others to write for you. I’ve got a couple of ideas in my head how to get about with it. But after reading so many business blogs and hearing advice from others, I think it’s time to do something about that since I’m also in a full time job and my schedule can really affect my blogging frequency.

Steve Scott

Steve Scott

Outsourcing can be great. You are right in identifying the problem. It is finding reliable people. I have a few good outsourcers, but the really good ones charge more than the bare minimum basement rates.

The secret is to start small. Maybe simple repetitive tasks that take you a bit, but could maybe be done quickly by someone who does it “a lot”. The important thing is to put a price tag on what is is worth to you to not have to do the task (or how much it earns you) and make sure you get the best quality below that price

Joshua Web

Im looking forward to your new segment on the 17th, looking into this tweetattack software as well.

Murlu

Steve, I really like these grab-bag emails – lots of things that we were thinking (I know I was) that’s getting answered now and it does a great, unique angle instead of the usual report type post. Might have to send in a few questions of my own :). Nice to see your transparency on the outsourcing as well – would love to hear more about that in general.

Steve Scott

Yeah I am looking forward to it too. Hopefully the emails hit the “sweet spot” enough to keep it going and interesting but not so many that I have to pick and choose too much (and risk people getting their feelings hurt.

Honestly more worries about the first.

Noel

Hi, Steve, I’ve been really busy lately and haven’t had the time to comment on a lot of sites, but I’m still here! Anyway, great article once again. I’ll be sure to review this from time to time as I’m still working my way up to true “professional blogger”. I’m definitely still not committing enough time per day on my business primarily because of other things (graduate school, personal life, etc), but I’m getting there, I’m sure. After 8 months of blogging, I’m still here and I still enjoy it very much.

Noel

Oh, and I’d also like to share my personal technique on article scheduling. Like you, I note down every idea I place in my head, but I find that if I just leave them like that, they eventually get cluttered and ignored. That’s why I place them in Google Calendar as soon as possible, and arrange them by dates I’m comfortable with. I then set Google Calendar to e-mail me a few days in advance to remind me of the work I’m to do next. I also find that having Gmail Notifier in the taskbar can help a lot in this regard.

Also really looking forward to that new series of articles you’re doing. Really great stuff, Steve!

Steve Scott

Actually very good method. That method makes it a lot harder to “cheat” yourself and procrastinate. I am always “down with” procrastination killers.

Steve Scott

I understand being busy Noel. Have been that way myself. Certainly not happy with my commenting and visiting other sites. Getting more traffic is a double edged sword. It is nice but Hard to comment on all posts and visit all sites with as much regularity as I would like. Real life, getting things done come first…right! Anyway nice to see you again and see you have taken a more specific tack with your site. Keep it up!

Noel

Thanks very much, Steve! It’s very interesting that you mention high traffic is a double-edged sword. I’ll certainly keep that in mind.

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