This is a guest post from Jade Craven, who has been growing her reach and influence through guest posting, managing to get on several big-name blogs. I asked her if she would like to write a guest post about guest posting on a blog about blogging (how’s that for “meta”?) She surprised me with what she wrote…
I was honoured. when Michael asked me to guest post. I’ve been friends with him for a while and was grateful to be able to contribute to the Remarkablogger community. That was until I saw the proposed topic.
He wanted me to write about how I’d built my blog over the last year. He wanted me to share the results of my guest posting and social media efforts. He wanted me to show that anyone could achieve what I have done and how they too could become successful.
Frankly – I think holding me up as some kind of success story is bullshit. I screwed up last year and was so lucky that my friends in the blogosphere accepted me back. I haven’t measured my stats accurately. When I did, I was averaging between 20-50 hits a day. I have 18 RSS subscribers. My income? It came via the occasional affiliate sale. I was able to make about $3000 from strategic alliances but this wasn’t a regular income.
The thing was – I’m still pretty much a blogging nobody. I launched my blog last year, encountered some severe problems and spent most of the latter half of 2009 trying to deal with them.
I’ve had to change my focus in the past year. I’ve learned valuable lessons because of it.
Do you want massive success? You have to learn to hustle.
Hustling doesn’t come easy. It means you have to see yourself on the same level as those above you. You have to work twice as hard to provide value.
Its all about leverage. It doesn’t matter what you have. Leverage whatever you can – ethically – and you can shave years off your networking time. I’m friends with some pretty big names. I’ve also been able to help my friends make a lot of money. This post deals with the hustling secrets that no-one talks about.
Find ways to barter for products.
When I started out, I was broke. I would scrape together what money I had to buy information products and would use the information from that to get one step ahead. However I couldn’t afford everything. Here are some of the things I did:
- Emailed people asking for a small discount. I told them that I was Australian and the product was difficult to afford due to the fall in the value of the Aussie dollar. This sometimes worked. People would realize that I was serious and that they’d make extra money by cutting out the affiliate.
- Build up a portfolio of guest posts promoting others. You then have something to link to when asking for a review copy.
- Brand yourself as someone worth knowing. Eventually, hustling for products becomes easier. I get review copies of most entry level products now, which allows me to focus on buying the next tier of information products.
This felt uncomfortable but I tried to make sure I brought value to the offer. I also respected those that turned me down.
When you guest post, focus on someone else.
If you look at most of my guest posts, they are about other people. They are:
- A review
- A case study
- A compilation post
- An analytical post that heavily links to others.
Here’s the thing. When you constantly focus on others, people start to respect you more. They know that you are in the game to provide as much value as possible. Eventually, they’ll start rewarding you for that help.
One of my most profitable relationships is with Dave Navarro. Last year, I did a guest post reviewing ‘How to launch.’ That review happened by accident. One morning, Darren asked what we were doing via twitter. I said I was reading that and he contacted me asking for a review. A couple of days later, Dave was surprised to find that review on Problogger.
Darren is a mate. I didn’t understand how much a Problogger review was worth until that day. Dave and I have kept in touch since and he has helped me so much. He has given me advice on launching my next product. I’ve gotten free access to his products, which has saved me a lot. When Dave asks to do something I’ll do it immediately. I’ll retweet, promote, comment and help in anyway again. I know he is a top bloke. Same with Darren.
Go to meetups:
This may be hard for some people. It is for me. I live an hour away from Melbourne but it can take 2-3 hours to get the places via public transport – I usually don’t get home until the wee hours of the morning.
I also have anxiety and social phobia. I’m receiving treatment but its still a major issue meeting people. A lot of the people I’ve talked about in my Twitip posts are people that I’ve met in real life. I was able to hear about their projects and as a result, was able to provide a really indepth article to a larger audience.
Leverage other peoples audiences to create buzz.
I got into a discussion with Iggy Pintado about requesting retweets vs letting it happen organically. I said that I preferred to leverage other peoples audiences via guest posting rather than post on my own blog and, as DM Scott calls it, ‘beg for attention’. Iggy replied saying that he didn’t have my fan base.
Here’s the thing – people don’t care as much as you think.
I don’t have a fan base. I normally don’t draw much attention to my posts. Most of the buzz occurs while I am sleeping. My tip? Write something worth sharing. Offer it to a high traffic blog. Focus on talking about others instead of yourself. That way you get three groups of people talking about you:
- Fans of the blog you are guest posting at
- People interested in your work
- Fans of the person/people you are talking about.
This can be a lot of people and also causes a lot of positive sentiment.
Realize that your idols are people.
You gotta realize that most of these people are just like you. They are under a lot of pressure. Sometimes they are struggling to keep it together. They’ve just been doing it longer and have a better support network.
If you see them as an equal, they will reciprocate. They will encourage you to lift your game and will provide you with what support they can. Michael has been one of those awesome people who helped me last year.
It’s all about providing value
People think there is a magic formula to success and there is. You have to work hard at providing as much value as possible. It will take time and effort but its worth it.
Jade Craven is a freelance blogger from Geelong, Australia. You can find her at jadecraven.com where she blogs about authentic networking via social media. If you ask nicely, she may give you a guest post. You can also find her on twitter. She’ll try not to mention imaginary bears.
P.S. - Right. It’s Michael again. Now I’m really going to embarrass Jade by saying that despite her assertion that she is no kind of example of blogging success, she damn well IS a great example of blogging success, and even if she won’t say it due to modesty, I will.
The rose in the picture is my way of giving her a rose and thanking her for writing this guest post. We all have issues, and Jade has truly bloomed where she’s planted. She has my respect for that.
One thing she did not do is write the headline for this post—I did, and of course the reason why I wrote what I did is because they are Jade’s exact words and they are the essence of what this post is about. You would do well to listen to her. More than that, you should get her ebook on guest posting. That’s not an affiliate link, by the way. I bought her book myself and looked it over and you’d better grab it before she wises up and raises the price (it’s that good).