Inevitably every year at this time we get the rash of “is blogging dead” blog posts.
Which begs the question, right now, in 2018 is blogging still a viable business and growth strategy?
The answer? Yes – with a caveat.
Back when I started Location Rebel in 2009, things were much easier.
There was less competition…
People were less jaded…
Ranking blog posts in search engines was easier…
So if you’re just starting a brand new blog this year, you may be facing a bit of an uphill battle.
However if you know what’s working, starting a blog is still a totally viable strategy in 2018.
And in today’s post I’m going to share 5 things you can do to ensure your blog will grow, stay relevant, and be worth all the time and effort it takes to create great content.
How to Grow Your Blog in 2018
In this video I explain exactly what I’m doing to keep Location Rebel not only relevant this year, but to give it the best chance to grow as well.
So how do you grow your blog in 2018? Let’s take a look.
1) Embrace At Least One Other Platform
The reality is, people aren’t hanging out on blogs quite like they used to. Across the board, people have seen traffic stagnate or decline. This could be due to any number of reasons, but a big part of it is that readers are spending their time elsewhere.
Platforms like Instagram, You Tube, Snapchat and others have increased in popularity to the point where a user can spend time on one of those platforms, and see content from all of their favorite bloggers.
Often, the content is the similar (or even better) to what you find on the blog itself, so it makes sense.
If you want you blog to grow in 2018, you need to choose at least one other platform for your content and go all in.
Does your site lend itself well to beautiful imagery and photos? Invest in Instagram.
Are you an aspiring videographer? You Tube it is.
Are you an expert on your subject and love a good heated discussion? Reddit is great for that.
In 2018, you can’t just expect people to easily find you the way they might have in the past. By devoting just as much time to at least one other medium, as you do your blog, you’ll see traffic, income, and loyalty increase in the process.
2) Invest in More Video Content
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it, but video is blowing up in popularity online.
Well for one, it’s gotten so much easier to do over the last few years.
I mean, look at Instagram Stories for instance. People have built entire brands simply around their daily stories.
So why do I personally think video is so important?
Hint: It’s not for fame, subscribers, or traffic.
Then what is it?
It all comes down to a single word:
It’s one thing for you to read my blog, or get an email from me – but it doesn’t really give you a sense of exactly who I am, what my personality is like, and frankly, if I’m someone you like or trust.
With video, there’s nothing to hide behind. You put yourself out there, for better or worse.
Some people won’t resonate with your style or personality, but what’s most important, is that others will.
It allows you to find your true fans, build trust with them, and give them another way to digest content from you.
So whether you do this with a social media platform, on You Tube, or simply with self hosted videos on your site – the more you embrace video, the easier blogging will become.
Starting a vlog is also an excellent way to get in the habit of producing more video:
3) Start Using Email Automation
Whether we like it or not, the most effective medium we still have for actually building a real business around a blog, is through an email list.
That’s the best way to monetize a site, provide value that gets seen on a regular basis, and once again, is a great opportunity to build trust.
But here’s the thing with email these days.
It has come a long way. In the last three years there have been a handful of new email companies that have come up, and are forcing all of the players to step up their games.
What does this mean? It means that email marketing companies are continuing to roll out advanced features that you should be taking advantage of.
Automations and segmentation.
Now, this gets into more advanced stuff – but if you want to keep up, I believe you’ll need to embrace this stuff.
Because your competition is.
So what’s an example of this?
Well let’s say you take a survey on my site, and I find out that half the people that take it are interested in a lifestyle business so that they can travel full time. While the other half simply wants to spend more time with their family.
I can then segment out these two types of people and send emails that, while having the same actionable content, uses language that will appeal to each group.
One will have travel stories, hacks, and photos of exotic locations. While the other might focus on the day to day benefits of being able to work from home.
By embracing advanced email automations and segmentations, you’re able to give each of your subscribers more useful information for their life.
Right now, I pretty much send out the same thing to my entire list.
But in 2018, this will become more segmented and I’ll do a better job of giving you more of what you want, and less of what you don’t.
4) Become a Better Copywriter
The single most valuable skill you can learn in business, and possibly in life is copywriting.
If you can be persuasive with your words, then you’ll never hurt for money again.
- You’ll be able to write compelling sales pages.
- Do reviews for affiliate products.
- Send emails that get opened and get the responses you want.
- Convince your significant other to go see the action thriller, rather than the romantic comedy.
You get the idea.
Spending time learning Copywriting has been the best investment I’ve made in myself, and it’s why I spend so much time talking about it inside Location Rebel Academy.
I also recommend checking out Copyhour if you’re serious about building this skill.
5) Find a Supportive Community
Finally, this is something that often gets overlooked in the world of “solopreneurship”.
All too often we make the assumption that this means we have to do everything on our own.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
When you’re building a lifestyle business, you’re already going against the grain and doing something unconventional.
Because of that, it’s important to find people who get it.
Specifically, it’s important to find two communities (and they may very well be the same).
The first is of people who are going through the same thing as you.
These people get it. They’re motivated, can provide accountability, and will be able to commiserate during the hard times, and celebrate with the victories.
Having at least a handful of people in the trenches with you, makes you realize you aren’t alone, and that you can do this.
The second is of people who have been there, done that.
And I’m not talking about the marketers and entrepreneurs who have 7 and 8 figure businesses – they’re out of touch with what you need.
I’m talking about the people who are just a few steps ahead of where you are. The ones who have just recently solved the problems you’re needing to solve. Find those people, seek mentorship, and you’ll get far more value than if you’re only taking advice from someone like, Richard Branson or Elon Musk.
Blogging Isn’t Dead – It Has Just Evolved
In the end, blogging isn’t dead. While it’s harder than it once was, there are so many benefits to starting one, that I still think it’s a great first step for most people.
And if you embrace the 5 things we talked about in this post, you’re going to be ahead of 99% of bloggers, see growth well into 2018 and beyond, and have a fantastic brand and business that can give you more freedom than you ever expected.