Wednesday, September 9, 2009

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Promoting Your Blog

When it comes to building an audience for your blog…one that keeps coming back…one that you build a real relationship with…there is a lot of work to be done.

I just yesterday had a guest post on David Risley’s site that covers 10 of the smartest things you can do to promote your blog. I encourage you to check it out. There are also a lot of mistakes that can be made, and that’s what this post is about. Combine these two articles, and I think you’ll be off on the right foot!

  1. Submitting to hundreds of directories: Lisa Irby described this type of method very well pretty recently. I agree with her take on it. Look, we all know that in-bound links are good. This isn’t a secret. But keep in mind that not all links are created equal. If a directory is going to accept anyone that submits, do you think Google doesn’t know that? Unimportant, easily acquired links really just aren’t going to do much for you. If you have all the time in the world on your hands, then by all means feel free to submit to hundreds of directories and get their links, but your time is better spent on writing good content, interacting with your readers, or drinking a good beer with friends.
  2. Automatic blog commenting: Another thing that’s not a secret is blog commenting. Leaving comments on other blogs is a great way to build name recognition and get traffic to your site. So why not automate it? Here’s why…because it’s spam. Yes, there are tools that enable you to leave tons of comments on other people’s blogs with just a few clicks. And no, I’m not going to mention them :) . I’m a fan of automation when it’s appropriate, but auto-commenting is not only ineffective, but it’s also a way to damage your brand, not help it.
  3. Not using self-hosted Wordpress: Yes, there are easier, simpler, quicker ways to get a blog fired up. But none of those easier paths will give you the control you will require later on. I don’t mean to imply self-hosted Wordpress is the only way to go. It’s not. But if you’re new to blogging, and you want to do this for business, the learning curve is worth it. Trust me, after you’ve been blogging for even a short time, you’re really, really going to want to be able to tweak some things, optimize your site and take things to the next level, and if you’re on a platform that doesn’t give you that control, your creativity is going to be stifled. That’s not a good thing. If you want to skip the learning curve altogether and just get a rocking professional blog site up without a hassle, just hire me to do it for you.
  4. Putting up Ads from Day 1: I don’t mean this critically of anyone who wishes to advertise on their blog. I will probably advertise on Next Level at some point; it’s a good way to make some cash. However, this is a post about mistakes often made in marketing, and while I believe success in blogging is largely subjective, I also believe that a lot of new bloggers equate getting some Adsense clicks as success. Here’s the bottom line: If making $5 a month is your goal, go for it. Not everyone is in this blogging game to make money. I get it. But if your goal is not to make money, why are you putting up ads? And if you’re goal IS to make money, I seriously question whether $5 a month is going to do it for you! And that’s what you’re going to get when you’re first starting…$5 a month, so just skip it. NOTHING is more valuable than your time. When you’re getting a few hundred solid visitors a day or more, look into advertising then. At least then it will be enough to cover your hosting expenses! Til then, focus on content and building your brand. It is a way better return on your time.
  5. Put up your blog, write one or two posts and complain about how you’re not getting any traffic: Any business endeavor worth doing takes time and effort. I’m not saying it’s going to take years to build a successful business. It won’t. Not if you’re working it like you should be. In fact, building an income online is fairly simple and doesn’t have to take that long…but the effort still needs to be there. Even the gurus like John Reese work their asses off prior to a launch. Yes, they may rake in a few million bucks doing it, but the wrong assumption to make it that it was easy to do. I’m not saying you can’t make really good money doing this. Clearly, you can. But even Frank Kern, the king of lazy, openly admits to working long, hard hours when necessary. It doesn’t mean you can’t kick back and live a good life, but the work has to be done. If you want results, you have to do the work.
  6. Beg your friends to stop by and comment your blog: It is not comments that you lack when you’re trying to build a new blog. It is community. This is another example of good energy being focused in the wrong place. Allowing your blog to grow organically takes patience, but it is the best return on your time. Additionally, unless your blog covers a truly universally appealing niche, it is unlikely your friends are ideal visitors to your blog anyway.
  7. Buy traffic from a traffic broker: This is a complete waste of time. Wanting traffic is understandable. Pay-per-click traffic can be used well, but it can also get expensive very quickly. But traffic that comes from a broker (i.e. GET 10,000 VISITORS TO YOUR SITE FOR $39.95) comes mostly from pop-under windows or other similar methods. It is basically forced traffic, and it is not valuable.
  8. Blast out an email to everyone in your database about your new blog: It is natural to want to tell everyone about your new blog. But who do you have in your database? Is it really just close friends? If so, OK. But most people’s contacts are filled with a lot more besides just close friends. Coworkers, business contacts, vendors you’ve done business with in the past, etc. If someone has not specifically asked for updates from you regarding your new blog, it is spam for you to blast a message out. Just because you tentatively know someone does not mean you can email them about anything, even if it’s really cool! You’re not forwarding them cute pictures of cats and funny political cartoons too, are you? : )
  9. Use social networks solely for promoting your blog: No one likes someone who only talks about themselves. Social networking sites are for conversation. It is perfectly fine to tweet out links to your site and such. I do it. I recommend you do it also. But doing it incessantly, or if your twitter stream or any other status updates are 100% (or even 50%) links to your blog, you need to reconsider what your motive is for being a part of that network. If your main motivation is to promote your blog, you will be well-served to reprioritize . Brutal truth: if all you’re doing is promoting yourself, your “friends” aren’t listening anyway.
  10. Constantly tweak your site: Everyone who has a blog wants their blog to look great, work great and be great. It’s important to work on the design and functionality of your site. Right now for example, I’m having some issues with some of my files taking way to long to download, and it’s causing my pages to load way too slowly. I apologize if this page took too long to load…I’m working on it! But here’s the thing…you only have so much time, and prioritizing is absolutely essential. I’m going to fix this slow page load issue, no doubt, but not before I make my contacts and write content for the day. First things first. Design, plugins, etc can really work for you. They’re important. But there is no such thing as a blog design or a specific plugin that’s going to make your business a success. Likewise, you can have the ugliest blog ever, but if your content is awesome and you build a community that is engaged and loves what you do…the ugliness of your blog just won’t matter. Work on the fine details of your site, but focus on the important stuff…do the important stuff first.

I write these tips because when I was first getting started, I did most of these things. I never did auto-blog commenting, but I did look into it. I DID email everyone in my database to promote my very first internet marketing project. What a disaster. I’ve made mistakes, no doubt. And you will too…surely you’ll be able to write your own list of 10 things to avoid, and I’d LOVE to hear about them in the comments! But hopefully I can at least help you avoid these 10 mistakes, so you can make better use of your time and get better results quicker :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Professional Blogging – Free Ebook

I want to call your attention please to the new page I’ve added to Next Level Blogger. Click the page “Professional Blogging Ebook“, and it will take you to a new page where you can download a free copy of a new ebook I just completed.

Or you can just download it directly right here!

47 pages of simple-to-follow, straight up content on how to use blogging and social networking effectively to promote your business online. Any professional or business owner who wants to get started using new media marketing tools will get a lot of great tips and free advice.

Here are a few of the topics covered in the report:

  1. Why Blogging is Mandatory
  2. The Rewards You Can Expect
  3. Ways to Make Money
  4. Writing Tips
  5. SEO Tips
  6. Techniques and Tricks
  7. Automation
  8. Twitter tools
  9. Social Networking Tips and Tools
  10. Over 100 links to recommended additional resources, articles, recommended sites, books and more

I spent several hours putting this together…I hope you find a lot of value in this report. Download it for free, share it with your friends and coworkers, and let me know what you think!

I Seriously Doubt You’ll Ever Be Cool Like Me

Here’s the thing about learning to rock your business…there’s not a formula. Here’s the thing about success…there’s not a single way to do it. Yet everyone is looking for the formula, or the way. We have to cut this out.

You’re not cool like me. You’re cool like you.

I write every day, because I love to. When I was 9 years old, I would stay up til two in the morning writing. Something in me has just never been able to shut up. I do not claim to be an awesome writer, but I do love to write.

It’s About Love, People! Love What You Do!

It’s kind of like a lot of these young girls who become pop singers. Remember Michelle Branch? She’s really not that great of a singer (sorry girl!). But when you hear her sing, you can just tell that she really LOVES singing. It comes through, and it’s engaging. It’s not talent so much as it is love, and when you have that passion about what you do, you command people’s attention. Love. That’s what we all need to tap into. It sells more than just records.

Do you have to have a blog? Yes. Do you have to write on your blog every day? No. Do you have to be a great writer or passionate about writing to have a hugely successful blog? No. Do you have to do exactly everything that Leo Babauta or Brian Clark or Matt Cutts tells you to do? No. You should probably listen to what they have to say. You really should, but then you need to go do what you love. And you have to really rock it. When you rock, people cannot help but like you. We all love a rock star. And believe it or not, that’s what blogging is about. It’s not about finding “the way” or “the system”.

Rock stars don’t follow all the rules, and neither should you.

Rock n Roll is Not Dead

I love those Intel commercials that say “our rock stars aren’t like your rock stars”. That is the essence of new media. You can be the rock star of Bloomington, IN real estate. You can be the rock star of grilled hamburger recipes. You can rock anything you want. And yes, there are things you need to do, but the most important, crucial, undeniable thing you need to do is lock into what you cannot shut up about and just go with it.

For me, it’s writing. I’ve been criticized for not having pictures on this blog. Yes, I could spend time picking out stock photos that somewhat go along with the post I’m writing. But why? It’s taking energy away from what I’m good at and what I love. I accept that not everyone is going to dig my site. If you require pretty pictures in order to be engaged, this just isn’t going to be your cup of tea. But if you want straight up awesome written content on a regular basis that helps you promote your business and motivates you to grow, I think there’s a lot of value for you here. And I’m just getting started.

If You Don’t Love it, Don’t Focus on It

For you, maybe writing is not your thing. Maybe for you it’s video. Maybe it’s live blogging. Maybe it’s conducting seminars or interviews or meeting people face to face. Maybe you prefer to paint pictures or do podcasts…the point is that the possibilities are endless, and the further point is that there’s SOMETHING that you LOVE to do that is in alignment with growing your business.

You need to find it, and you need to blog it.

Believe me, when you tap into something that is absolutely exciting to you, work becomes fun. You can work tirelessly to make things happen, because you love doing it! And this is what makes you successful.

One True Success Flows to All Other Areas of Your Business

And here’s the thing about success. Real, true success in any one area of your life flows into all other areas of your life. You really think Next Level Blogger is going to succeed or fail based on whether or not I add pictures or not? No. If Next Level Blogger succeeds at reaching my goals, it will be because I was successful at getting my message out, and that can be done through pictures, yes. But it can also be done any number of ways. I choose to focus on my strengths and on what energizes me.

If you do this for your blog as well, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I could point out technical problems with a lot of very successful sites. I’ve seen very successful blogs with horrible permalink structures, confusing navigation, images without alt tags…the list is endless. You think the authors care? Why bother with this stuff?

If you think the success of your blog is going to hinge on whether or not every page is ultra-optimized, you’re not focusing in the right place! Focus on the one thing that you absolutely rock at. Do it every day. Do it with passion. Get your message across. Everything else…all the technical B.S….will take care of itself.

The Power of 100 for Blogging Success

I’ve learned something from being in direct sales. It’s something that I feel a lot of other bloggers don’t get. As internet marketers, we spend so much time working on our sites, to optimize and get more traffic. We want to capture as much search traffic as possible, and I think it’s smart to make those efforts.

But I think there’s something a lot more important that we should put at the front of our priority list when it comes to building our small business online. And that something is the power of 100.

For the past week, I’ve been tweeting out updates like “30 down, 70 more to go!” I’ve received many inquiries about what the heck this means, and what it means is that I have a rule, and I’ve decided it’s important to once again follow that rule.

Here’s the rule:

Make 100 contacts a day.

That’s it. Touch 100 people every day. Whether I respond to an email, call someone on the phone, send a letter in the mail…it doesn’t matter. 100 daily. That’s the rule.

Why? Because it forces me to be social. And being social is not only energizing and a heck of a lot of fun, but it’s also an essential process for building your business. In case you haven’t noticed, people rock!

Where the Power of 100 Came From

It comes from my direct sales experience. In direct sales, if you’re not making contacts you’re out of business. Well, I’ve learned to adapt to internet marketing, and here is something I’ve learned about internet marketing…a lot of us hide behind our computers.

It’s very easy to tweak on your site all day. VERY easy. I’ve done it. It’s very easy to spend all day reading blogs or studying tutorials, or God forbid, coding! Tweaking ads, the list goes on…and I’m not busting on any of these things. It’s important to have your site looking good. It’s important for your ads to be optimized, etc. But it’s MORE important…MASSIVELY more important to talk to people.

Why the Power of 100 will Transform Your Business

Why? Because no matter how awesome you are, and no matter how awesome your site is, if you’re not talking to people every day, no one is going to care. Because at the end of the day, no one cares if you’re awesome! People want to know what’s in it for them, and if you want to make money online, you need to be interested in interacting with them to find out how you can help!

Here is My Challenge to You

So here is my challenge to you: make 100 contacts a day. Do it with me! I will continue to put out my updates, and I encourage you to do the same. Are you following me on Twitter? Do it, and let’s kill this thing together! There is power and motivation in numbers! Make 100 contacts a day. It will build your business; I promise!

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

I’m using the #powerof100 hashtag to track tweets related to this program. Even if I’m the only one doing it, it’s cool. I’m doing this because I know it works, and since I write a blog, it occurred to me how cool it would be if I could get even one or two other people doing this also. I guarantee, it’s difficult to produce like this every day, and it also changes your business like you wouldn’t believe!

Like I said, I have seen many top performers over the years employ a simple rule like this, and it creates tremendous results. Bottom line, it goes along with all the basic concepts I cover on Next Level Blogger:

  1. It’s very simple
  2. It’s a lot of work
  3. It gets MASSIVE results over time!

Here’s what counts:

  • Respond to a message: email, tweets, phone calls…it’s all good.
  • Blog comments: real, thoughtful, engaging ones…not thoughtless spammy ones. The point is real contacts.
  • Writing a letter, emailing a friend, following up on a lead, etc.
  • You get the idea…here’s the rule: it needs to be a PERSONAL, ONE-ON-ONE contact.

Here’s what doesn’t count:

  • Emailing your list: if you email a bulk list of 1,000 contacts, it doesn’t count as 1,000 contacts! Emailing your list is good and necessary, but this principle is only for PERSONAL, ONE-ON-ONE contacts. The point is personal engagement.
  • Spam commenting: you surely understand this, right? Any form of automation is not the point.

If you make the effort to personally engage 100 people a day on a personal level, you will see real power and real results from this. Like I mentioned, I learned this in direct sales, and I know some of the top sales people in the US literally are employing this concept right now, today, as you read this. It works! Get to it and let me know how it goes!

How to Build a Massive Blogging Business With Only 10 Subscribers

I’m a big fan of leverage, and in the internet age, it’s mandatory that we employ as much of it as possible. You need to be able to get things going quickly! You need to be able to launch an idea without delay and build it competently and efficiently, because FAST is the name of the game.

So how to you build a rocking blog with only 10 subscribers? The answer is this: make sure they’re 10 really great subscribers! Make sure they are advocates.

No matter how far you go in your business, you will always have a core business that deserves more of your focus than anything else. This will be your advocates. Even if you have 100,000 subscribers, I guarantee you that only a handful of them are the reason for the majority of your success. It’s the old 80/20 rule. Find your advocates, my friends! That is the key to success; it’s not about huge subscriber lists (although they are fun and profitable of course); it’s about quality, and my point in this post is simple…you do not need a huge amount of subscribers in order to do a huge amount of damage!

Your power is not in your numbers…it’s in your advocates!

Traffic is Not the Answer! Advocates are the Answer

My point is simple. So many of us want to focus on getting more and more traffic to our sites, and that is understandable. But a big part of me believes it’s kind of an industrial age idea being injected into a new business model. It’s natural and human for us all to want a lot of attention, tons of comments, etc. But I contend it’s just not necessary. Fun, yes. Cool, yes. Necessary to run a profitable business? No.

If I had to choose between 10 people who truly love what I do and are willing to do whatever they can to help me out or 10,000 luke warm, half-assed followers, which do you think I’m going to choose? High traffic may be fun, but it’s rarely efficient. It’s also rarely necessary.

You just don’t have to have millions of fans in order to have millions of dollars. It may be your goal for whatever reason, and if so I’m certainly not criticizing. Go as large as you want. With a blog you can take over the world. We see it happening more and more every day.

The Fame Façade

But it’s also true…and has always been true, that a lot of very successful business people are out there operating behind the scenes. Sorry to ruin the façade for everyone (I don’t really think I’m telling you anything you don’t already know), but the very well-known internet success stories we’ve all heard of are only a small sample of what’s actually going on out there. There are also a lot of famous people who are FAR from reaching their personal goals.

I’d encourage you to not look at the famous “success” stories we all hear about to be necessarily indicative of the direction we should all be going, because it may or may not be true. Fame is not a factor. It’s only an interesting an fun phenomenon that happens to some of us occasionally. Fame certainly does not require significant personal achievement, and likewise, significant personal achievement only rarely produces fame.

If it is fame that interests you, fine, but don’t equate it to success.

Blogging to the Power of 10

All I’m saying is that you likely don’t need to start the next Facebook or Twitter or Tech Crunch or whatever to reach all your financial goals with blogging and internet marketing, so don’t assume it to be so. Look at your alternatives, and one alternative is to learn to operate a very powerful operation with only 10 fans!

Of course I use “10 fans” as only an example. The point is to illustrate that many of us assume we need many thousands of people on board before we’re going to be able to do any real damage, and I’m sorry but it’s just not true.

Each Individual Subscriber Really Does Matter

What if one of your subscribers is David Letterman? Impossible you say? I’m sorry, but do you know what David Letterman’s RSS subscription looks like as compared to anyone else’s? I have no doubt that David Letterman gets online from time to time, don’t you think? And if he’s reading your blog, and you’ve written something particularly compelling to him, don’t you see how that could lead to something significant? Absolutely it could.

As of course, here is the magic: While David Letterman (I don’t know why I specifically picked David Letterman, so don’t ask!) knows a lot of people…last time I checked, a LOT of people know a lot of people. It doesn’t take having a celebrity on board in order to make your blog hugely successful and profitable. Here’s what it takes: it takes an advocate.

What is an advocate? An advocate is someone who truly loves what you do, believes in you and actively takes pleasure in helping you spread the word. A few advocates is all it takes. And an advocate can be anyone…as long as they are truly engaged by what you do.

It really does only take 10 advocates to make your blog massively successful. In fact, in many cases it only takes ONE advocate to make a big difference. I had one post recently connect with some people in my network. Several of them tweeted it out and it them got picked up by Perry Belcher, who in turn tweeted it out, and all of a sudden my traffic went up about 800% for a few days. I’ll take it! I got a lot of cool comments and about 50 email subscribers from that one flurry of activity. If I did not have advocates, it would not have happened.

How to Get Advocates

Advocates, like anything of value, must be earned. Sorry, there’s really no short cuts here, and I cannot offer you a link to a website that offers a free tool called “how to get 10 advocates for FAST and for FREE”. This human engagement, and it can only be accomplished through real personal interaction over time.

Think of it this way, which is quicker?

  • Build 10 significant relationships with people over time, or-
  • Follow thousands of people on Twitter and hope that half of them follow you back?

Of course it’s quicker and easier to build a crappy list, but the result is a crappy list, so why bother?

How many subscribers do you have now? If you have 100 subscribers, and those 100 subscribers were procured the right way, I bet you that your 10 advocates are already there. Now it’s just a matter of identifying them and cultivating a relationship with them over time. Don’t let them slip away; you’re staring at a literal gold mine!

If you’ve just started this whole blogging thing, and you only have a few subscribers…don’t look at that as a bad thing. You’re not deficient. You’re sitting on a gold mine…I promise you! It only takes a few advocates.

If you rock, they will come.

The Threshold of Success – Why Most Bloggers Never Make It

Success is a nasty, elusive little bugger, isn’t it? Is there a topic in the business space that gets covered more often, directly or indirectly, than “how to succeed”? If you think about it, nearly every how-to tip, every list of the “best Wordpress plugins to use on your site”, every tutorial on how to get more traffic to your site, etc…it all centers around the ultimate hub that concerns us all…SUCCESS. How do we become successful?

Success is Not Defined by “Them”, It’s Defined by YOU

One of the reasons success is such a troublesome topic is because it is exceedingly personal. When we accept this fact, success becomes a lot simpler. Not necessarily easy…but simpler none the less. But unfortunately, most of us have not accepted it! The problem is that most of us, understandably, look to the example of others for how to define success, when we really ought to look no further than ourselves. In essence, we look at the accomplishments of others, and make those accomplishments our own goals. This is not the way to do it.

A Lesson from Gary Vaynerchuk – Not All Goals are Created Equal

It’s important to ask yourself if the accomplishment you’re trying to emulate was in fact a goal of your mentor’s to begin with. For example, we see someone like Gary Vaynerchuk with 800,000 followers, or however many it is these days, and we say “I want 800,000 followers too. How do I get 800,000 followers on Twitter like @garyvee?”

Setting a goal is a great thing…if it’s a great goal. There IS such a thing as a goal that steers you down the wrong path, so make sure the questions you ask yourself, and the goals you set for yourself are taking you in the right direction.

The fact is that Gary Vaynerchuk has never given a damn about how many followers he has on Twitter. Getting 800,000 followers was never a goal. It just happened as an automatic result of following his business plan.

Do you want to model his follower count, or do you want to model his success? See the difference?

Maybe you should model Gary’s work ethic and business philosophy…the things that actually LEAD to 800,000 followers, instead of just trying to get 800,000 followers on Twitter.

If you truly wanted to model Gary Vaynerchuk’s success, you wouldn’t give a damn about how many followers you had on Twitter either. This is just one of many examples of arbitrary goals we set for ourselves, that sound good but ultimately don’t lead us in the direction of success.

I’m just using Gary as an example because he’s a marketer and business man who I personally agree with a lot of the time. Your mentor may be someone else, but the concept is the same.

Why Success is Elusive

My point is that success is elusive for many of us for two reasons, and the first one is because often, we set goals that take us in the wrong direction. To take care of this first concern, make sure you set goals that will truly lead YOU in the direction YOU personally want to go, not goals that you believe possibly lead someone else in the direction they went. See the difference?

The Threshold of Success – How to Cross Over and Make Your Goals a Reality

Second, success has a threshold. And many of us, while we want the things success provides, are not willing to do the work. Plain and simple. I’ve worked with a lot of sales people one-on-one and in group settings over the years. Sales training like I’ve done puts you front and center with what it takes to make a business work. It also puts you front and center with the reasons they all too often DON’T work.

No business is successful without strong sales. Whether it’s a service, a product or whatever, you need sales, and I’m hear to tell you that the sales skills I aim to teach my clients are able to be learned by anyone.

If you do the work, you will get the sales, period. I’ve seen it time and time again. When a business person or sales person wants to know how to make more sales, the first place I look is at their daily production. And by production I don’t mean sales…I mean their daily work-related tasks…the work you can actually control on a day to day basis.

You cannot control whether a person is a good prospect to buy a certain product at a certain time, believe it or not. But you CAN learn to have complete control over the following factors:

  • Prospecting
  • Lead generation
  • Lead follow up
  • Presentation skills

If you are not making the money you want to online, or wherever your business is based, there is something broken somewhere in that list. Why? Because that’s all there is. Success is simple. The plain fact is that while people SAY they’re working their tail off every day, they’re either working on the wrong things (things NOT on the list above), or they’re not working as hard as they say they are.

What is the threshold of success? It is hard work…on the right things. And bottom line: most of us just don’t want to do it.

We have things we like to do, and perhaps we just don’t like prospecting. That’s fine, but if you want your business to be successful, you need to make sales, and if you want to make sales, you have to prospect. Period. End of sentence. That’s all she wrote. And if you don’t do it…or hire someone who does…your business will fail.

The reason most of us don’t make it through the threshold of success is not because we don’t work hard. We just don’t do the work that needs to be done. Perhaps the reason “successful” people seem to be at ease is because they realize how simple it is to make their goals a reality. There are, however, only four things on the list!

Talking to People is More Important Than Anything Else You Do

There is so much concern about getting traffic to your blog. This is how you get people to your blog: Talk to people!

When you talk to people and become a valuable part of the conversation in your space…wherever that is, you will get traffic to your site. Now, KEEPING that traffic, getting subscriptions and actually selling, monetizing and so on and so forth are all essential elements as well, but the point I want to make here as succinctly as possible is this: Talking to people is the number one most important thing you are going to do to build the success of your blog.

So Where Can I Find These People You Speak Of?

People are everywhere, aren’t they? They’re not hard to find! There are a lot of tips I’ve read about where to go, and the TRUTH is that they ALL work…if you’re talking to people, you’re doing it right. The better the quality of the conversation, the more valuable it is for all concerned, the better it is for your business. You are branding when you talk to people.

You Are a Salesperson

It might seem scary, but you are a salesperson. Yes, YOU. You are in sales, and you may never have wanted to be in sales, but the world has changed, and to make it in business, you have to be able to make it online, and to make it online, you have become a good salesperson.

Lucky for you, I’ve been a sales trainer for years, and I have a very important fact I’ve learned that I hope will help you with this:

Sales comes naturally to very few people, but ANYONE can learn it. And with practice, EVERYONE can benefit massively from learning sales skills.

This the essence of why I started Next Level Blogger. To teach sales skills. I’m not about big media, and I’m truly not a techy guy. I’m a salesman, and I’ve learned how to apply sales principles to internet marketing. And one of the first things you learn in sales is that if you’re not face to face with a prospect, you’re unemployed. If you want to make it, you have to engage people.

Talking with people is key. It is absolutely mandatory. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Yahoo Answers, some Facebook group or a forum you just joined…it’s all essentially the same. Ideally, do them all! There is not one place that’s better than any other. The point is that you’re getting out there, networking and engaging people on a personal level as much as you can.

What Are You Doing Right Now to Grow Your Business?

Do you spend more time tweaking your site than you do networking? Do you spend more time creating content than you do networking? Do you spend more time reading about how to blog than you do networking? If so, you are doing it backwards!

The fact is that tweaking your site is important. So is creating content and reading content. I recommend all of them, but if you want people coming to your site, the number one most important thing you can do is to simply talk with people. A lot of them. Every day.