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Why Blogging Is Dumb


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.

 


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About Ryan Deiss

Ryan Deiss is the founder and CEO of <a href="http://digitalmarketer.com">Digital Marketer</a>. Over the last 36 months Ryan and his team have: Invested over $15,000,000 on marketing tests Generated tens of millions of unique visitors Sent well over a BILLION emails, and Run approximately 3,000 split and multi-variant tests Ryan is also a highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted over 200,000 businesses in 68 different countries. Connect with Ryan on <a href="https://twitter.com/ryandeiss">Twitter</a> or <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/101048159425795246757/posts?rel=author">Google+</a>.
View all posts by Ryan Deiss ➞

Comments:

  • Shop MAC Cosmetics says:

    I

  • Jim says:

    I see the real lesson here! A controversial headline to get people to read. Slightly contradictory content to inflame debate and a smart email squeeze page to build your list. Thanks from http://www.pilotscotland.com for the opportunity.

    If any of you readers would like to guest blog or tweet let me know @pilotscotland on Twitter or pilot.Scotland.1 on Facebook. Have a nice day.

    • Josh Loposer says:

      Haha, Jim. I applaud you for the strategic thinking. Headlines are definitely important (they get the clicks). However, Ryan really has asked all of his editors to stop blogging and start editing guest content. So it’s pretty sincere.

  • Moke says:

    Hi Josh, I really like the Idea of contacting influencers to your niche.A very clever way to attract traffic.This works almost like bookmarking sites where the owners don’t do much.The most work is done by guest bloggers.I really appeciate the insight.Just a question to Josh and Ryan Deiss: I appreciate you’re sharing the tactic and the insight.It is ok to contact influencers ,I agree.Is there a formula to use to get to those influencers so that the response is what expected to US? Cannot wait to use this tactic on my blog.Thanks for sharing.Please a straithforward answer will be much appreciated.

    • Josh Loposer says:

      There’s no exact formula for contact influencers. We usually look at all of their social sites to see where they are the most active (Twitter, Facebook, their blog, etc) then contact them there… Actually, we’re going to release a product soon that covers this traffic strategy from A to Z. It’s called “Authority ROI,” so keep an eye out for it!!

  • Blake says:

    I really valued the frank feedback provided in the article. I think it takes reading the article fully to understand the secret hidden within it–targeted marketing & targeted traffic.

  • annie says:

    I understand what you are saying Ryan but I blog not so much to be read a lot but rather to have an electronic record of what I write. This way I have a dated record should anybody decide to take my writing and plagiarize it.
    I take all the feedback into consideration. I put the rough drafts for my poetry and short stories there. I know it’s a good one when it’s read by many who make lots of comments.

  • Goldfrog says:

    The comment by Chris below is a reflection of the frustration of the lonely, undiscovered blogger. It also reflects the passion of the blogger. If this article is so stupid how has it managed to attract Chris?

  • Tazz says:

    Josh, you’re nice. Thank you!

  • Pamela says:

    You know there is definitely plenty of truth to this. Plenty of people write good content yet it don’t get many visitors. Most of the blogs owners that do get visitors are actually members to just about ever social marketing network and some are paying out money to advertise their blogs. I wouldn’t say blogging is dumb but I have to say that you still have to have good quality content to gain the readers and keep the readers.

    Sites such as Huntington Post and Perez Hilton’s blog gets traffic from content curation and talking about celebrities and current popular news.

    There is not too much more that can be added to the internet because more than likely someone already said it in a blog post or mentioned it on a website so these two sites just curated stuff already posted to bigger sites and put their own twist on it to capture lots of attention and link to other authority sites.

    When the gurus say post high quality content I get what they’re saying but really how much more high quality can you get to attract traffic? There’s much more to the equation than just high quality post.

  • wade says:

    Ryan, I love your thoughts here and think you have a great point. So many bloggers write the same things! They have done a better job finding influencers to pass the word.

  • Tazz says:

    Thank you Josh, what you told me really helps and I appreciated you’re taking the time to write. However, if I don’t have email lists yet, I’m afraid there again, no audience to publish the heck out of anything. I would think my first step would be to link my name to their blogs and then from people clicking on my site from their blogs, I would begin to get mail lists of people that are truly interested in what I’m about…of course now, I’m now curious about the long answer. Say, do you have a blog?

    • Josh Loposer says:

      When it comes to promoting posts, you don’t necessarily need a list (although it helps). You can promote posts via Facebook, Twitter, banner ads, or paid media (like renting a list)… Obviously, we like to take advantage of free platforms first. If you don’t have many “fans” on FB or Twitter, you may focus your efforts on building those properties first. When someone Likes your page, their more likely to opt-in to your list. The most important thing is to start experimenting. It’s the only way to find what works. here’s another great post about blogging – http://socialtriggers.com/why-bloggers-fail/

  • J.J. says:

    While I wish I could earn a living with The blog-sites that share my blogs, it wouldn’t be ethical or right as I write to share the understanding of the teaching of Jesus. but if I could earn a living on donations from faithful readers, that’s another thing entirely. But this is how I shout to the world the “Way” of Jesus. To hopefully set the feet of others onto the Way so that God in Jesus can have a relationship with them. and with the help of free blogging, and world wide exposure I am able to do this and I am grateful for that. Dumb? Not even. Earn a living ethically? Let it be what it will. I’m sure that those making money are only able by their members interest. And if that is their choice then they have that right.
    As I’m sure that others utilize a blog for their own personal reasons, and whether their reason for doing so be cathartic, or a million other reasons for blogging I can think of, I find it hard to be … dumb.
    See you at my ‘worksbyJJ’ !

  • Mike says:

    Based on some of the comments below it’s apparent that some writers are not also good readers. They should go back and reread the first line, second paragraph under “Content is NOT king” where Ryan’s point is made clear. He says “. . . if no one’s reading them”. The point then is true and quite obvious, you need an audience.

  • Tazz says:

    Good One! I love your attitude!!
    Tazz

  • Modern Maze says:

    I’m surprised at some of these “angry” responses. I think it seems like a very practical strategy and one worthy of modeling (especially if other powerhouse blogs are doing it). Instead of getting harsh, I would be more inclined to brown-nose Ryan and get him to consider guest-blogging for me.

  • Tazz says:

    So, I’ve read so many comments — all good and with good points. However, I’m still wondering – where can a person like me (who’d like to find a successful blogger with a good following and in two markets ) go to find that blogger? I want to promote a new and exciting Simon/Schuster author and his books, and a webzine of my own. Thanks for the help.

    • Josh Loposer says:

      Hey Tazz, there’s a short answer and a long answer to this question. The short answer is to make a list of 10-20 potential contributors (realistic ones) and contact them however you can — Twitter, Facebook, email, phone, etc. — then ask if you can republish some of their existing content. Then promote the heck out of it when you get some. And that’s just the short answer ;)

  • Kaleab Beyene says:

    I got this article interesting for I am the one who is a bit new starter to join the world of digital commerce. Thank you for this to share me.
    Kaleab

  • zagor says:

    I got a call from an SEO company and they wanted me to see one of their sites that had hit the top on google, It was a Health site with many pages to look at plus a very large Article, comment style BLOG. I looked at some of the articles on the blog and some of the comments and found that after the first paragraph, they were giberish. 99% of the blog was machine generated garbage. So, my conclusion is google ratings do not depend on blog content, except maybe the title and first sentence or two.

  • Jason Ibarra says:

    @Chris Norton, it’s controversial, yes, but it’s true. Imagine how many more backlinks one of your blog’s posts would generate if it were written by Ryan Deiss and because he was so proud of it he tweeted it to his 34K followers. A chunk of those 34K would read it, some might come back to your blog in the future, some will share it with their followers and some will reference it in their blog giving you a link. That’s just the HALF of it. Look into AuthorRank for the rest of the iceberg.

  • Raphael Stella says:

    OK – if blogging is dumb, why do YOU do it?

  • patrick says:

    my blog is making me great profits? idk i guess im the minority.

  • Lynette Garet says:

    Woah! My apologies, but I’m about to throw a few clichés at you here: Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water! Why on earth would a “relevant online influencer” want to guest post on my blog if I don’t have a decent blog to begin with? Birds of a feather, anyone? I think Ryan is trying to make a good point here and I agree 100% that the “Huffpo” concept is a good one and certainly a model to strive for, however, I know without a doubt that my site needs good relevant content and that no one in their right mind would want to guest blog if my site or blog sucks. Beside that; what if everyone (even those relevant online influencers!) decided that “blogging is dumb”? I don’t think that anyone is missing any point here; I think that Ryan left a few very important points out.

  • Owen McGab Enaohwo says:

    I actually see content marketing (blog post) as content that should be sent via email to folks on your list who have not yet convert ed and bought from you yet. To me that is the main use of content marketing.

    Step 1 is to offer something of value to get folks into your funnel so that they can be converted into paying customers.

    Content via blog post are just additional reasons to email them!

    Also it’s true. In addition to seeking guest posts hire Ghostwriters and edit their content before posting onto your site. No need to spend hours writing content when there are tons of journalists and writers without jobs looking for a gig such as that!

    As the Entrepreneur marketing is your core focus; get people into your funnel and convert them into paying customers.

  • Martin Hamilton says:

    I think this is a wonderful post. That’s why we’re having the google Panda etc. resets. Whoever can curate the content the best will be the winner here. We just need to put a new spin on it. People are attracted to styles and everyone has a bit of a different style. Not everyone likes a red Chevy. We all like cars though. Here’s one of the most awesome pieces of sofware that has ever hit the masses. Take a look here: http://bit.ly/contentplus

  • Robert says:

    The web is a VERY crowded and busy place. Just putting up good content is NOT good enough (if you want lots of people to read it) so traffic is critical. This plus the fact that most can’t come up with enough to write about consistently makes lot of sense to be an editor too. Why is it when people read these things it is either or? “Influencer” traffic is a sound strategy.

  • Gary says:

    Thank Ryan, great info. I think what Chris is missing is that winning is a matter of minor adjustments or in the game of football, inches. Make the minor adjustment and let their draw and celebrity status benefit you.

  • John says:

    Maybe you need to take this info for the theory and then go read a site like http://www.onlineprofitmagazine.com for some practical ideas

  • Greg Burns says:

    I blog where and when inspired. However, I would prefer what I write be read. I think that is deserved for my time as well as my thoughts. Linking your writing to volume trafic where possible makes sense. I try to do that following my intuition about where I write. However, often I do write to a targeted audience. It makes sense though that if yopu are promoting a space on the web that you invite participation of people with a following – as much as to go where there is a following. What is the sense of writing to a vacuum in empty space. Mr. Deiss makes some interesting and valid points. He should not try to hold back so much and learn to be more direct? I liked it!

  • Rob LaMontagne says:

    @Chris and B…I think you are missing the point entirely. The point being made here is that straight up “blogging”…in a purist sense of “start a blog about something you love or making ‘remarkable’ content others follow” will not benefit most people nor especially those in Ryan’s sphere of influence (IM). Becoming the next CopyBlogger or HuffPost is not in the cards for 99.9% of his audience and even making relevant content that gets “found” or read and thus followed is unlikely for most. Especially marketers…which is who Ryan writes for, by the way. Now, I will agree the “how” part of getting influencers to guest blog for you is the most important piece of info and that is not mentioned at all…BUT you can get creative, take some initiative and just ASK someone who has more influence than you that you admire…start with smaller spheres and progressively move toward bigger ones. Then all you have to worry about is: Can you actually edit and make sure their posts look good and read well?

  • Joel Abramson says:

    Is blogging dumb. I do not blog because I do not perceive myself as a writer, I am a visual artist and I feel a picture is worth a thousand words. If someone wants to add me to a blog let me know at 55joelsart@comcast.net. As for my opinions on what I think, I discuss those with friends, family and my wife.

  • B says:

    I have to agree with Chris!
    This seems to be a strange stance, especially when it appears in the form of a blog post! You should AT LEAST change the title!
    Blogging combined with various traffic-attraction strategies can be a fantastic way to build a following (and email list etc), and ultimately strengthen your business. It’s all a matter of HOW you do it. It’s also important to point out that it’s better suited for some than for others (and for some markets more so than others).

  • "SmallBizDavid" says:

    Video blogging will always work… The Search engines are the “winners” with the written work. Google can make it work with their attention to videos and the written word…

  • Peter Corrigan says:

    i HAVE A VERY SMALL BUSINESS AS A hypnotherapist I ONLY WANT TO ATTRACT A FEW MORE CLIENTS TO MY CLINIC .HAVE I GOT ANYTHING TO GAIN FROM THIS BRAINSTORMING? MY NEED IS QUITE SIMPLE,RIGHT?

    • Josh Loposer says:

      You may be in a unique situation, Peter, if you don’t want more traffic. If you were looking to expand your business, then building an authority blog — featuring the leading Hypnotherapists in the business — would be an excellent strategy to acquire new clients and charge higher fees.

  • Danny says:

    So your actual practical advice is “tap into fresh, relevant pockets of traffic that fit your target market”??

    Where is the actual, practical help here for the reader?

  • Chris Norton says:

    This has got to be one of the most stupid articles I have read for quite a while and its a clear attempt at link bait. It’s obvious traffic is key and if you optimise your blog and write good content you will get that. This is why people blog – that and a strong passion for something they believe in. Not just bloody fake SEO rankings.

    Answer me this one question. If blogging is so dumb why have you done it on your blog?

    Thanks
    Chris

    • Josh Loposer says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Chris. However, I do think you’re missing the point a little bit. Ryan’s point wasn’t simply to put down bloggers, but that the key to running a successful blog is tapping into “influencer” traffic — not just posting quality content.

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