This is a guest post by Jane Sheeba.
Only the pros always do it.
Be it six figure pay checks, screen shots of skyrocketing traffic proof, stunning product launches, amazing social proof, and wherever they go, they’re looked upon – the pros do it.
Why isn’t it easy to become a pro in your niche? Is it a “guru” thing? Do you have to drink some special soup?
Well, as it might sound such a thing of height, it actually isn’t that hard to become a pro. But ironically, the “pro” status should be earned and not acquired.
You should work to meet your business goals in an elegant way such that from seeing the value of the stuff you offer and the professionalism involved with your presence, people should automatically give you the pro card.
Ah well, it all sounds like geek advice, doesn’t it? And who likes advice? No one does!
Let’s get practical. Let me tell you the practical steps involved in earning the pro status.
Let’s dive in.
Find the Right Niche
When someone talks about online success, problogging and niche, most bloggers read that as “blogging niche”, as if there is no other niche available in the store.
I know why the “blogging tips” niche is so popular and attractive for aspiring bloggers to dive in. Before starting a blog (with the “make money online” mindset) any blogger reads a handful of blogs that are about blogging tips.
They get so involved in the subject, get to know a lot of theory and they start to think that they know substantial amount of information in the niche. That’s right, they know things. But they have no experience in the niche.
Right, I hear you now!
Should one have 5-10 years experience in blogging on a particular niche to become a pro in that niche? Certainly not! But you can’t fake it like a pro.
I’m not telling you that the blogging tips or internet marketing niche is bad. But if you’re just reading about blogging, then don’t start a blogging tips blog. It will turn your readers off.
For instance, if you write about how to get 100K Twitter followers while your own Twitter account has 200 followers, that’s gonna put the readers off!
So find a niche where there’s not much suffocation. Stand out with your writing and strategies you share. Be THE one (and not ‘one among’) on the topic you write.
Know Your Niche
Even before you start brainstorming for ideas to publish in your blog, make sure you know your niche. By “knowing your niche” I mean not just being aware of the day to day updates, but you should also know the following:
1. Who is your target market?
2. What do they desperately need?
3. What are the other places where your target audience can get what they want?
4. How do YOU and YOUR CONTENT differ from those other places?
5. Does your content help you to stand out in your niche?
6. Are you one among the bloggers in your niche or THE one?
Well, with the last question I don’t mean that you should choose a niche on which no else is blogging, but you should really stand out.
Without knowing answers to any of these questions, do not start yet.
This cool advice is from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, and this does work. When you present yourself and your valuable stuff all over the place, people won’t have an option but to notice you.
But this doesn’t have to be overwhelming and distracting. With the number of social media platforms already available and with the ones that pop up fresh quite often, its hard to be everywhere. That’s totally fine.
But “Everywhere” can be redefined according to your needs. You don’t need to be present on every social media known, on every forum or on every membership site. Just pick the biggies and stick with the ones that give you a good return of value.
For this you need to study a bit. Initially experiment on a few social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and see which audience convert well.
You need to stick only with those that give you a great ROI.
More than social media platforms, you can easily win people’s attention (and their hearts) through guest blogging.
Funnel Your Returns
When you offer quality, when you are everywhere, there’s no doubt you’ll get noticed. You’ll get lots of people to visit your own blog/website. This is a sign that people are interested in you.
What do you do about them? Do you just let them to visit your blog’s homepage and read one or two posts, and then leave?
Do you clearly know what you actually want to get out of the traffic you are able to generate? Well, the pros clearly know that.
They always have this thing called the funnel. For every campaign they run (be it guest blogging, product launches, giveaways, etc.), they know EXACTLY what they want to reap out of the return.
You need to create a funnel based on what you actually want from your returns (the people that are interested in you/your work). Do you want them to join your list? Do you want them to buy your product? Do you want them to press the social buttons?
Create funnels based on these preferences. For instance, if you want them to join your list, divert those people to a dedicated page that explains why they need to subscribe and put up an easy subscription form on that page.
The last thing you want to do is to direct them to a page where there is no subscription form; you cannot expect them to subscribe, of course.
Offer Nothing but Value
You cannot even dream about becoming a pro if you don’t offer valuable stuff. It doesn’t matter how often you publish blog posts, or how often you launch products.
If your blog posts or products are crappy, no matter how many of them you deliver, they are going to end up in some black hole, never to be found again.
You want your blog posts to be shared by people, to be bookmarked, to be savored and above all, after reading your blog post, your readers should be able to do some action and get a benefit out of it.
If the content you deliver doesn’t have that “meaty” part, niche domination will only be a dream. After all, you cannot dupe it.
Pros are known for their quality and if you want to become one, your standards should be appropriate as well.
The pros are generous. They usually don’t care too much about giving away stuff for free. I mean valuable stuff.
Pros don’t calculate the pennies. They don’t hide stuff behind the walls.
Well, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should become a charity inc., build valuable stuff out of hard work and give them all away for free. You won’t be able to run a business like that.
But don’t hold back.
Remember, a sale occurs one time. But a relationship or a good name earned lasts longer and can lead to multiple business transactions. It also helps with easy “word of mouth” promotions and recommendations.
The pro status cannot be acquired; but that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to become one.
In fact you should put every effort to become one in whatever you do(I know that’s controversial. I said earlier that pro status should not be acquired, but hey, lets face the fact – we all want to become a pro, right?).
It is because the pro status integrates all the excellent qualities outlined above. And, if you have those, you’d be an additional gem on the crown. That’s so precious.