In learning how to build my own news platform, I’ve taken a renewed interest in reading through lots and lots of blog posts every day, searching for trends and interesting perspectives different than mine. In that process, I’ve come to realize something.
Nobody Reads Your Corporate Blog Because It’s Boring
I’m not the first to say this. It’s been said for years. Really smart people have written books around it.
Affiliate marketing is a way for publishers like you and me to promote products and services that we like and use to the people we serve through our platform. It’s my favorite kind of marketing arrangement because when used appropriately, it’s the perfect match of a person (me) promoting a product they like (made by someone else) to the people that have chosen to give me their attention (you). I want to talk about what it takes to start affiliate marketing.
Start Affiliate Marketing
Let me state two details at the beginning: there will be affiliate links in this post as there are in lots of my posts. (I disclose that fact on my about page, which is good to do and also the law in the US – more on that later.) Second, these are my simple methods for affiliate marketing. There are far more intelligent and complex ways to do this executed by the really smart people I’ve met at events like Affiliate Summit. Start with me, but if you get really involved in this space, go to that conference.
I’ve been struggling with my new book, but not in the way that most people mean that. It’s not that I have too few ideas or too many ideas. I’ve got millions of ideas and I know how to cull them. It’s just that I need something specific to happen with this book, and I need to craft it well to make that work. No, not a bestseller. Been there. But in the process of this, I’ve learned a lot and I want to share some with you.
I’m Not A Group Kind of Person, I Think
For most of my life, I’ve been averse to mastermind groups or things like it. I’m not good at clubs. I don’t attend any regular meetings of any kind. One reason is that I worry that if I get involved in something like this, maybe I’ll hog it and try to make it all about me. I worry also that maybe all the ideas will be bad. Or that people will be pushy. Or that I won’t get a turn to share.
“I’m getting sick of all the negative news on Facebook.” Has a friend said this to you? Have you heard more and more of this? Are YOU tired of feeling like the information scrolling down your Facebook feed isn’t what you care about? You can build a simple alternative.
What If You Controlled Your Own Attention?
Before we all got sucked into the fan blades of Facebook (and I’m not anti-Facebook – I’m just explaining that there’s this other “build it yourself” Internet that came before it and still exists), the blogging revolution was delivered to us via RSS (Really Simple Syndication), largely thanks to internet pioneer Dave Winer. The name of the game was subscribing to blogs. We’d discover these by looking at the blog rolls (lists of other blogs you might like) that were a fixture on the sidebar of our websites.
When you make your own game in life and business, there’s a tight pairing between an opportunity and a problem and it has one word: freedom. When you can do anything, sometimes you lock up and do nothing. Or nothing useful. What should you do when you feel stuck?
That Stuck Feeling
When faced with freedom, we tend to get into a mental traffic jam. “What should I do?” “There’s so much.” “I’ve got no time.” “I’ve got too much time.” “I don’t have enough customers.” “I have too many customers.”
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Staples. All opinions are mine. They just paid me to give YOU my opinions. It’s a win!
This survey by Staples came out just as small business owners are getting back to business in 2017. In it, Staples asked small business owners a number of questions to gauge their mindset as 2017 kicks off. And that mindset is pretty positive, according to survey recipients. People plan to hire more staff. They plan to invest more in their business. And though I didn’t take the survey, I agree with the 67% of people who think that business tax reform should be the administration’s top priority this year. As a small business owner myself (there are only three of us here), I still get quite clobbered by taxes and would love the ability to continue thriving as an owner in coming years.
Now, more than ever before, it’s important that we develop and nurture a platform where we can be heard. At the very same time that these tools become easier and easier to use, the world is more noisy. Add to this the fact that I believe we often forget a very important detail, and that this mistake might be costing you a lot of time wasted for very little return.
I just restarted my use of Trello. I’d fallen off the wagon. I’m about to restart my gym work. I’d fallen off the wagon.
It doesn’t matter. Start. Start again. Get back on it. Do the work. If you fall off, don’t pick on yourself. Just get back on. Whiners talk about what went wrong. Winners just get back on it.
“I don’t know what to write!” “When I write, it comes out wrong.” “I get jammed up and stuck for ideas.” Does this sound like you?
I started blogging back in 1998, when they called it journaling. I was terrible at it. Most of my posts were about my own opinion on things. There was no consistency of voice. I’d just finish the post when I felt done with my writing. Junk. And no one read my blog.
It took me eight years to get my first 100 readers. To my defense, no one was reading blogs back then. But also, I stunk. My mom read my blog. Becky read my blog. Jon. That was about it.
And then I got good.
How to Make Great Content Without So Much Effort and Fuss
I’ll tell you what I know. The reason YOU are probably having a tough time is that you’re really really (really!) self conscious as you write. “How will this be received? What will people say? What if they say I’m full of crap?” (They won’t say “crap.”)
When I came to master my voice in writing and creating content, I focused on just a few really important factors:
At the start of the year, I saw a quote by James Clear that really stuck with me. He said if you want more success, work on your habits, not your goals. It’s a really solid piece of leadership advice.
Work on Habits, Not Goals
Let’s say your goal is to have 10 active clients in your business in any given month. It’s a good enough goal (depending on the business model). But how will you get there? Action. Habit-driven action.
The big key point here is that you have to point your ATTENTION (and you have very limited attention) on those habits that will help you reach those goals. MOST people tend to put their mental focus on the number 10. I need ten clients. They miss where the attention needs to go.