“The key to getting started down the right path of being remarkable in anything is to simply act with the intention of being remarkable.”
This is a quote by Chad Fowler, CTO of InfoEther, in Tim Ferriss's new book, The 4-Hour Body [This link leads to Amazon. Full disclosure: I earn a commission if you purchase through this link]. Tim highlights Chad because after being obese for over a decade, he lost 70 pounds in less than a year, which is truly remarkable.
Although the parts of the book I've read so far are mainly about achieving extraordinary and amazing results with our bodies (like rapid weight loss, superhuman strength, holding our breath for 5 minutes, etc.) there are a lot of wonderful gems, like the quote above, which can be applied to other things in our lives, like our businesses and blogs.
Wishing vs. Action
Wishing for an outcome and actually taking action to achieve it are two totally different things. Below you'll find a list of 22 ideas and actions that you can take right now as a blogger to help you become extraordinary, unusual, noteworthy—remarkable.
1. Step out of your comfort zone and deliver your content in a different medium than usual. For example, if you always publish written content, try shooting a YouTube video and embedding it into a blog post instead.
2. Create a pillar article that will not only increase your traffic, but the trust and authority you have with your readers as well.
3. Spend 5 minutes to write down 3 things that make you and your blog unique. If you can't think of 3 unique things, then you've got some major re-evaluating and restructuring to do. How in the world will you stand out from the crowd?
4. Content Integration—using your content in other people's traffic funnels, including blogs, membership sites, products, emails, etc. (See 5 Little Known Ways to Grow Your Blog, a guest post here on SPI by Kim Roach)
5. Do something unheard of. For me, it was the Niche Site Duel—creating a niche site from scratch and revealing everything behind it, including the niche, domain name, backlinking strategy, etc. Those of you who have been on my blog for a while know exactly how successful and popular the Niche Site Duel has become.
6. Personally email 5 to 10 of your commenters, followers or customers and just thank them. No upsells or links or anything—just a thank you. Like I've said before, it's the small things in a relationship that make it special, and you'd be surprised just how much of an impact this small gesture can make.
7. If you're an affiliate for a product, instead of just linking to it in a post, create a video, to show people exactly how it works and what it can do for them. If you truly show the power of the product and how easy it is to use, then everybody is a winner, and no one is setup for disappointment. Learn more about this technique in Chapter 3 of my Epic Guide to Affiliate Marketing.
8. Do you offer an ebook or something similar as a freebie for signing up for a newsletter? If so, how about creating a second black and white version that people can download in case they want to print it out? People thank me all of the time for that “little something extra” when they signup to download Ebooks the Smart Way. Colored ink is expensive!
9. Write for your readers, not for yourself. This is a gentle reminder (that I need to hear sometimes too) to remember who is reading your blog. It can be really easy to forget sometimes.
10. Have somebody else evaluate your blog. An outside perspective can be an enlightening experience, especially because we get so caught up in our own work we don't even realize how things really are sometimes. I paid a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert to tell me that my site is terribly optimized for the search engines and how to improve it, and I really needed to hear that. (The “why Pat's SEO sucks” webinar featuring Joost de Valk from Yoast.com will be done in early 2011).
11. Use Website Grader from Hubspot to see how well your blog stands in terms of SEO & social media. You'll immediately see where there is room for improvement.
12. We all know that responding to the comments on your blog is a great way to build a sense of community and engage with your readers. Take it a step further and actually ask follow-up questions and really be interested in what they say. This illustrates that you're not a “know-it-all” and it really helps build trust.
13. Share something personal (that you're comfortable sharing). To go along with #12, this helps show that you're a real person that people can connect with, and there's nothing more unique that can help you stand out from everybody else than YOU. People still refer to the surprise wedding dance my wife and I did.
14. Offer to help a fellow blogger. If you go at blogging alone, you're not going to succeed. We're all in this together and chances are if you help a fellow blogger, in one way or another they're going to help you back. Glen Allsop from Viperchill.com, for example, has become one of my best buds online and because we've helped each other along our blogging journeys, I would do anything for him and I know he would do the same for me.
15. Finally write that ebook or create that course. I know many of you have been itching to go “beyond blogging” and create some kind of product, and there's no better time to take action than now. Start with a mindmap and take it from there. Momentum will build upon itself.
16. Join or create a mastermind group. Mastermind groups have played a vital role in my online success, and it's something that I think all successful entrepreneurs should be a part of. I'm currently in three and I learn new and awesome things each and every week that I apply to my online businesses and my blog.
17. Talk about your failures, pains and struggles. Similar to the phrase “real men wear pink”, it takes a remarkable blogger to be truthful and talk about their failures, their pains and their struggles. Read How to Suck at Launching a Product by Adam Baker over at Man vs. Debt and you'll see just how much of an impact transparency and full disclosure can have when earning the respect and trust of your readers.
18. Make things as easy as possible for your readers. Whatever you want your readers to eventually do, whether it be subscribe to your blog, join your email list, buy a product or even just read your content, make it as easy as possible. As I like to say, “Drive Like They're Crazy, Blog Like They're Lazy“.
19. Don't forget to enjoy yourself. I hate blogging when it feels like something I have to do (i.e. “I have to write a post by tomorrow” or “I have to write 2 chapters for my ebook by next week). When I enjoy myself, I meet all of my deadlines and more things get done naturally, and nothing seems to be forced.
20. Add your own “flair“. When I was in the marching band at Cal, sometimes we'd be asked to play for certain companies or at certain events that required a smaller portion of the band for entertainment. Instead of dressing in our usual woolen uniforms, we wore a very informal uniform that consisted of jeans, a blue vest and a straw hat (hence the name of our pep band, the Straw Hat Band, established in 1950). On our blue vests and on our hats we were allowed to add anything that we wanted—pins, buttons, ribbons, old ticket stubs from games, souvenirs—anything. It was cool because we all got to show a little bit of our personality through our uniforms and they became great conversation starters with some of the alumni and other audience members at our performances. Here, you can see a picture of me and my Straw Hat uniform, full of random things (although my vest is totally naked compared to some other people in the band). Oh, and the goatee…that's not flair…that was a mistake.
You can do the same thing with your blog and your content! Now, I'm not saying you should add a bunch of random pictures and animated .gifs everywhere (which would make your blog look like those personal blogs on Anglefire and Xanga from back in the day), but you can do things that help your blog stand out from everyone else. It may be as simple as the actual design of your blog and the common themes and motifs throughout, or the addition of pictures and facts about you.
One thing I do for “flair” is during the introduction of my podcast, I have the “movie guy voice” tell a new and random fact about me. Each one is different and even though it doesn't really have much to do with anything the podcast is about, it's something unique that people can remember me by and possibly relate to.
21. Find a new audience. I'm not saying you should ditch your existing audience, but after blogging for a while you'll start to see your traffic plateau and you're basically writing for the exact same people over and over again. This is fine, and you should love your existing readers to death, but blog growth comes with expanding into new audiences—or in other words getting your face and your blog in front of new people. YouTube videos and Podcasting has given me the best results, but also enabling easy sharing and creating sharable content has been a great way to expand readership too. I've met a lot of friends of friends of friends because of this.
22. Think about what catches your attention. Who are you following and why, and see if there's any way you can do something similar, since you know it works (the method, not the content). For example, I used to follow a YouTube star named Philip DeFranco who creates these fast-paced, funny “what's going on in the world today” videos. His videos were my inspiration for this YouTube video I created which uses a lot of the same kind of edits, which has gotten a good response from a lot of you. I know there are a lot of people out there who inspire you, but how are they doing so?
23. Always over-deliver. In anything you do, always give away more than expected. This has been the key to my success in all of the businesses and blogs I've been a part of.
Here's to your on-going success. Cheers!