Once, an SPI reader asked me the following question:
“Pat. You seem to be EVERYWHERE online. Everywhere I go, people are talking about you and your name always comes up. How do you do it?”
To be honest, I never believed I would become this successful online, especially with SPI—a blog in the “make money online” niche, which as you probably know is wildly oversaturated. Although my success is partially accidental (as a result of getting laid off from my job and stumbling into online entrepreneurship), I know exactly why I’m here.
What it really comes down to is this:
If you want to become successful online, you must think about what you do as building a brand. In order to build a brand, you must do what you can to seem like you’re everywhere.
Don’t confuse that with actually BEING everywhere, because when you are everywhere, nothing has your full energy. And when something doesn’t have your full energy, it will never get to a point where it can serve you and potentially become automated.
But when you are in the right places, where your target audience exists, and if you serve your audience well, they’ll talk about you all the time and you’ll start to hear people say things like, “Wow, I never stop hearing about you,” or “you’re everywhere these days!”
A successful blogger is not just a blogger. True—it’s the blog where things get started. It’s where authority is constructed and content is published. But if you stick to just a blog, you’ll be just that—stuck to your blog.
Your blog or your website is only the beginning. It’s your hub, your homebase where people can go to find out more about who you are and what you do, but it’s also just one piece of the giant puzzle that is your brand—your omnipresent, influential and (if applicable), money-making brand.
Below are ways to “seem like you’re everywhere”:
Tip 1: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Before I get into more specific, actionable items, you must first realize that to “seem like you’re everywhere” isn’t going to be a walk in the park. It’s going to be uncomfortable at times because you’re doing things that you aren’t used to or even scared to do.
With that said, let me tell you this: the only thing holding you back is you.
In The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss gives us some exercises to perform throughout the book to help train our entrepreneurial minds (full disclosure—I earn a commission if you purchase the book through this link). One particular exercise was to enter a crowded area and lay yourself down flat on the floor, looking upwards.
What’s the point?
The point is that it will train you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do, to get you to not worry so much about what other people are thinking and just take action—no matter how silly or ridiculous an idea may be at the time.
When I thought about writing my first ebook, it was something I honestly did not want to do. I was afraid of the process and I didn’t know if it would sell even one copy. Well, I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to write that ebook, because it turned into a six-figure online business.
Getting your name out there can be tough, but also fun! Try other media you haven’t tried before, like a podcast or YouTube channel. New channels can be a way to give another voice to your brand, and also find people who wouldn’t normally consume content from you in the other ways you produce them.
Tip 2: Be Comfortable Being Yourself
Often times, when building a business, we emulate others. It’s important to know that it’s okay, and you should be inspired by others creatively, but if you work hard to be too much like someone else, you’re putting in time and effort to be unoriginal. You need to put your own spin, have your own voice in your work, and the reason people don’t do this as much as they should is because we're afraid.
We’re afraid of being ourselves, so we try to be like someone else, or we hesitate in showing up fully in our brand and to our audience. The number one advantage you have over everybody else is you—you are 100 percent original, so why wouldn’t you insert yourself into your brand so that people can get to know you, the person or the people behind the brand, because guess what—people connect with other people. They don’t connect with websites or logos or brand names, they connect with brands that make them feel a certain way and the people who are on the other end.
You don’t have to show up and take center stage, though—just a little bit of your personality goes an extremely long way. Take the SPI Podcast, for instance. As I mentioned in a previous chapter, at the beginning of every episode my voiceover guy shares a fun little fact about me. It’s nothing big, just a little something to share about me.
When I had this idea back in 2009 when I was developing my podcast, other people said the idea was idotic. They said things like “you’re wasting people’s time,” and “it doesn’t matter.” Now, 65 million downloads later, those same people are calling me a genius.
I am not a genius though. I’m just being human, and that’s what you need to be too. These little things about me are who I am and become a way for me to stand out, be different, and make a true connection with people.
Tip 3: Be a Guest on Other Blogs, Podcasts, and Video Channels
This is huge.
Guest blogging and podcasting is probably the easiest way to get a load of relevant traffic to your website in the shortest amount of time. Beyond that, and even more important for your brand, you and your site’s URL (and possibly your logo too) will be shown to tons of people who may have never heard of you or your website before. After getting published, you’ll be instantly known by that many more people when they come across the blog post on the site.
There are several free guides about how to guest post online. One of my favorite’s is Chris Guthrie’s Guest Posting [Ultimate Guide].
To get guest spots on podcasts, you have to ask yourself, how can I provide value to the host and their listeners. If you come in asking if you can be on their show, you’ve already lost it. First, start with understanding what’s most important to the host and what topics you could provide help for their audience with. Within that, try to get specific for the kinds of things you can offer and support how it actually could be useful. You won’t be chosen if you are coming up with ideas that already exist in their archives.
Also, consider any relationships that you have where they might know the person already. It’s always much easier when you get introduced versus a cold outreach. Now may be the time to reach out and ask for a favor for an introduction. If you don’t know anybody or don’t know where to start, look at the host’s archive to see if you happen to know anyone they’ve interviewed already, and you may be able to start there.
Finally, a quick and easy way to stand out amongst the noise is to send a quick one- to two-minute video with the introduction and what you could offer his or her audience. A video is much easier to consume, and it shows there’s a real person on the other end. Just make sure you don’t ramble for five to ten minutes, make it short, quick and snappy, and make sure you are just fully you!
Tip 4: SEO and Natural Traffic Generation
Generating natural traffic through search engines is one of the best ways to market and promote your website—not only because you’re getting highly targeted traffic, but also because that traffic is virtually free.
If you have a brand new site, this will obviously take time to happen. Your goal is to get on the first page of Google for your target keyword(s), and depending on the niche you’re in it could take months, or it could take years.
I won’t go into too much detail here since search engine optimization is something that is talked about quite a bit on the blogosphere in general, and it’s constantly changing. however I will highlight a few key factors you should definitely pay attention to:
It all starts with great content
Now, more than ever the content you publish on your site is hugely important. It should be unique, extremely detailed and useful, or else you’re not going to get anywhere.
Think about creating content so good that it doesn’t deserve to be anywhere else but at the top of the search engines, and on everyone’s Facebook and Twitter streams.
High-quality backlinks are still key
If you want to make any movement in the search engines, you must acquire high quality backlinks to your site. If you’re unsure of what backlinks are, and where to start, Neil Patel has a good primer on what backlinks are and how to get started.
Get traffic from long-tail keywords
A majority of my search engine traffic does not come from searches for my primary keyword—it’s for other keywords that people type into Google that I never even targeted, it’s just stuff I’ve written about somewhere in my posts.
On my security guard training site, for example, 42.91 percent of my search engine traffic comes from my target keyword “security guard training,” while 57.09 percent comes from 2,142 other keywords. And although most of those keywords only gather one or two hits, together they definitely add up, and as a result my Adsense revenue is always increasing.
The biggest thing to take away from this example is that the more relevant content you publish, the more chances people will have to find you.
And if you’re having trouble with SEO, start here: answer people’s questions. Ask your audience what they need help with, and then create content answering those questions. That shows relevance to Google, which helps you climb the rankings, and not only will you then have answers that people can find on your website and in Google to direct more traffic your way, you're actually serving your audience and showing them you know your stuff, too.
Have real life conversations to find out what they need help with, that always works best, but if you don’t have access to your audience yet, or don’t have the capability to reach out to them, find conversations already happening online where they might exist, or use a tool like answerthepublic.com to help you find the exact questions people are typing in.
Starting a podcast was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve been able to expand my brand through platforms such as Apple Podcasts (previously iTunes), Stitcher, Spotify, and more. Podcasting has gotten much more popular in the last few years. In 2019 there were around 700,000 podcasts. But compare that to 600 million blogs! Podcasting is still much less competitive—so it’s relatively easy to gain some momentum.
There are a ton of untapped niches here, so if you can create a show and become the leader and the voice for the subject on Apple Podcasts, you will promote your brand and you will see traffic, and potentially income as a result.
Of course, setting up a podcast isn’t 100 percent easy, and you’ll definitely want to make sure the quality of your audio is top-notch to get the best results. Check out the Podcasting section of this website to learn how you can get started, and be sure to download the Podcast Cheatsheet.
YouTube is actually the number two search engine in the world, and although some niches are pretty tapped out on this platform (weight loss and fitness, for example), there are some untapped niches that are very under-represented on YouTube.
As many of you know, I’ve been a big proponent of using YouTube to promote one’s website, and it has done wonders for my traffic ever since I started. Currently, my YouTube videos have been viewed millions of times, and they continue to become a major traffic source for SPI.
If you find and fill a hole in your niche on YouTube and create a video that’s useful, you will get views and you will get traffic back to your site.
If you want to learn more about YouTube, check out this blog post I recently wrote about what happened when I got serious about my YouTube channel.
And this SPI Podcast with guest Darrel Eves on How To Build a Successful YouTube Channel in 2019.
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Tip 5. Create Raving Fans
It takes time, but if you continue to provide good content on your blog and build a nice community behind it, after a while you’ll eventually see that you and your blog may accumulate a number of “raving fans.” I like to think I have a few here on SPI, and I love each and everyone one of them to death.
Ravings fans should be treated like royalty, and you should go out of your way to make them happy. Do favors for them, or just spend time talking to them on Facebook or through email.
Because they are the ones who spread the word about you and your site. Some raving fans are more enthusiastic than others, but each one plays an important role in expanding your brand and influencing people who you alone cannot.
Let me say that again: your raving fans will influence people who you alone cannot.
This is why each and everyday I notice a huge influx of traffic from a few random websites that I’ve never been to before. My name and a link to my site show up on forums and blogs around the world not because of me, but because of my raving fans and their recommendations.
Thank you—you know who you are.
A few things to take away from these strategies that I want to make sure you understand:
- Branding is more than just putting up a website or creating a logo. You also need to market and promote your brand. Hopefully these five strategies give you some idea of what direction you can possibly take from this point forward.
- Rarely does one see immediate changes overnight (although there is the occasional viral video or link from a super-site that can give you a quick boost), so be patient. Branding and marketing is a process that takes time, and the beginning is the hardest part. However, once you get going it can have a snowball effect and things can begin to take off on their own.
- And lastly, branding and marketing is a people thing. It’s the relationships you build—not just with other big players in your niche, but directly with your audience, that can take your website, and your business, to the next level.
Build products for people. Create content for people. Help as many people as possible. If you can do that, then you will be rewarded sometime in the future.
Now, on to a challenge for you as you start to build your brand!