There are two challenges that 90% of my consulting clients face and I am going to give you the answer to both in this article. After you read this you will be able take a look at your blog or your business and know what you need to do in order to make your 2010 more successful than your 2009.
A big claim? Maybe, but I see it work over and over when I coach my clients so I am confident if you implement what I am about to tell you.
I have been there.
- First in the programming niche.
- Then in the SEO and affiliate niche.
- For a time in the photography niche.
- And of course I am now in social media.
The system I used to enter and ultimately get established in each of these niches is the system I call Authority Blogging, but it is not just about Authority, and we are not just thinking of blogging here either …
When I was a programmer hoping to get noticed I didn’t have a system and I wasn’t doing what you would strictly call blogging either. But I found my profile was growing to the point where people wanted to pay me a lot of money to teach them, help them out of sticky situations, coach them to do what I was doing, and to buy products from me. I was invited to talk at seminars and events, and was offered magazine and book writing opportunities.
After I decided I didn’t want to be a programmer any longer I had to figure out what I had done to get this great reputation and revenue so quickly and effortlessly.
Family and friends thought I was crazy. I was going places in the coder nerd world, I was making decent money from my day job and my sideline businesses. What was I thinking giving all that up? Especially as I was making little progress moving to gaining full acceptance in the marketing world. At the time I was seen as a programmer with marketing skills, but I wanted to be known as a marketer with a technical background!
Why was breaking into this new niche so hard when somehow I had found it so easy in the programming world? I had passion, I had expertise, and I was putting in the effort. Something was missing.
The solution turned out to be a combination of three fundemental things.
Authority we have already touched upon, and I have talked about it a fair amount on this blog, it is after all the name of my course where I teach all this stuff in step-by-step detail.
I found the biggest missing ingredient, and the real nuts and bolts of my system is the ARC process that I am going to talk about now.
With only one of the vital ingredients this stuff does not work half as well. I guarantee also that someone will read this and think it is common sense, but when I click through to their website I will see while they think it is common sense they are not actually implementing it.
So it should go without saying, but the third ingredient is actually putting these factors to work.
To summarize so far:
- ARC System
Before we get into this, what were the two big challenges my clients ask for my help with?
Growing an audience and making more money. The solution is right here, so read on …!
What is the ARC system?
It is the three major processes of any business but especially online. Over the time my course has been running I have started to actually teach a further two factors, making it PARCA, but these three are the core and the main lesson you need to integrate into your own approach.
The three factors are:
Many people think they know this, but when you analyze their approach you will see either a chunk is missing, or too much emphasis is put into one area at the expense of others. Each factor needs to be in balance and be implemented in a cohesive way.
Get any of these wrong and you actually work against yourself.
That was the big ah-ha moment I had that allowed me to go from struggling to break into a new niche to establishing myself and making progress enough to both leave my cushy job to go into business and give myself a pay rise.
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Attraction is where you increase your visibility.
Website owners can often get obsessed with generating traffic. I see it in bloggers, business owners, and affiliates.
Traffic is not the panacea that people think it is, but it is of course a vital ingredient.
The secret is to get targeted and engaged traffic. Get this wrong and you just waste your effort, make little progress, and potentially lose a lot of money.
What good is generating all that attention if you do not get to keep any of it?
Instead of trying to get a constant stream of new people to pay you attention, keep your audience and compound your attention. A loyal, interested, and trusting audience is much more valuable.
The techniques are many, and I share a ton with my course members, but come down to one golden rule, one that you know well. Treat your audience as you would like to be treated!
How this translates into tactics depends on the approach you are taking, but just consider how you feel when you are reading content, visiting a site, or interacting in a community.
I shudder to think of how much time and money people are wasting trying so hard to get a first visit, when their existing visitors would love to keep returning day after day and bring friends, if you only encouraged them in the right way. Treat your audience right and they will reward you over and over.
Why can I make a healthy living doing what I do? Because my community does not just read my stuff, you buy from me!
Now I know that there are people who think it is distasteful to earn an income from blogging but as Chris Brogan says, “Baby has got to eat”. My lovely audience has a deal with me where I provide lots and lots of value in the form of information, consulting, coaching, my course and other services, and in return they pay me for a portion of it so that I can afford to pay my mortgage, feed my family and take nice vacations.
You can do this too. If you have a product or a service inside you begging to get out then what are you waiting for? It is not as hard as it might appear to create your own product, and I am sure you have a service that you could start offering today with a tiny bit of brainstorming and planning.
The secret is that you need to create your product, a product that your audience really wants to buy. Then you need to explain it to your readers so they can decide if it is right for them.
It is not about hard selling. You just present the offer in a way that highlights that they are getting far more value than the investment, then you let your reader know how to take the next step when ready.
While I have a system for this too, from product creation through to getting people to buy, again it comes down to treating your audience right and trusting to take action when you have given them the information they need to know it is right for them.
You will know that I do not make a big hoopla out of my products, but still my stuff sells well. Authority Blogger sold out after only four emails last time I opened the course up and most of you will be unaware that I even sent them. In fact, I didn’t even need to open it up to affiliates, I just had to let the people most interested know that they could register again.
I have a list of points that you must hit in any sales page, but the most important is to answer WIIFM – “What’s In It For Me” (my course members will laugh when they read this as I must say it at least once a week in the members area!). Tell your reader why and how they will benefit in a way that resonates with them.
The lesson is that if you build an audience that knows, likes and trusts you, then you just need to present a good offer in the right way.