Look, all of us like to think that we have something important to say, that we have something unique to add to the massive online conversations that take place across the blogosphere…
Whether we really do or not, hey, that’s not for me to say. I’m here to tell you why using your precious time to create the most fleeting, temporary content know to man — aside from a status update — is a bad idea.
Let me explain. I’m not recommending that you hang up the keyboard and never write again. That’s not it at all.
But when it comes to blogging, creating the actual content is the least important part of the equation…
Content is NOT king
I’m dead serious. Despite what some supposed “experts” will tell you, simply producing quality content will not move the needle one iota.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter that you’re writing Pulitzer quality blog posts, if no one’s reading them. That’s because, to turn the popular saying on its head, content isn’t king… traffic is.
The web is an incredibly crowded place. Do you really think that users are going to take the time to sniff out your blog posts? That just posting some good content is actually going to be enough to make you a thought leader?
Those days are long gone.
Think about the most highly trafficked sites you visit on a regular basis. Do they feature just one blogger, writing all of the content? Heck no.
In most cases, the person who runs the site almost NEVER writes a single post. Think about it. These are editors, not bloggers. They benefit the most and they write the least…
Viva la Traffic
Here’s the thing: Not everyone is going to figure this out.
Some folks will continue to pour the precious time into blogging, hoping that they’ll get “discovered” through SEO. Others will continue to blog just simply for the enjoyment they find in writing.
That’s okay, but I think you can see why it DOESN’T work. — 99.999% of blogs can never be monetized.
Without an aggressive outreach campaign, a blogger can never expand his or her reach far enough and fast enough to actually profit. Which is why it’s so freaking important to tap into OPT (other people’s traffic).
Let’s look at an example of a site that uses this strategy par excellence, The Huffington Post.
Regardless of how you feel about the site’s politics, the folks at HuffPo have figured something out. They’ve learned how to leverage OPT to generate massive revenues.
Did you know that they don’t even pay most of the celebrity writers?
It’s a Win-Win
It’s true, these celebrities and thought leaders write content for free, just so they can get the distinction and recognition of being published on a top website.
They are building their personal brand via HuffPo, while HuffPo is benefitting from the traffic these celebrities bring to its pages. It’s their business model — this is how the tap into new pockets of traffic.
HuffPo is literally monetizing the fans that these celebrity guest bloggers bring to its site.
10X More Profitable Than Blogging
You’re probably wondering: how does this relate to you? I mean, not all of us can get Oprah Winfrey to contribute to their website, right?
The good news is that you don’t need Oprah’s traffic (though it would be nice). Instead, you just need to consistently tap into fresh, relevant pockets of traffic that fit your target market.
You can do this by soliciting guest content from relevant online “influencers.” These are folks that already have their own blogs, products, and thriving social media pages — in other words, traffic.
Think about it, these folks are already producing content for their audiences. Why wouldn’t they want to get more recognition and clout from the blog posts they’ve already written?
If they are motivated and active online, chances are that they’ll understand how guest blogging can benefit them.
Your job is to recruit only the guest contributors that benefit your brand the most. That means you want the folks with the best chops, the most engaging personalities… and the most fans.
As an editor, it’s your job to identify those folks and target them as guest contributors on your website. Vet them. Read comments on their blog posts.
How many followers do the have on Twitter? How many Likes on Facebook? How much engagement do their posts get?
These are the questions the most profitable editors ask.