Use Blog Challenges To Coach New Online Marketers
If you’re an Internet marketer who teaches Internet marketing to others, it’s important to help the readers of your blog learn how to adapt to a blogging ritual seamlessly.
Blogging is one of those tasks that many new marketers jump into without understanding how it works. They know they need to blog (because all of the top successful marketers do), and maybe for a few days — or even weeks — they stick to it religiously.
They blog like clockwork, logging in every day, knowing just what they want to say. And then the day comes when it all fizzles out. One day they log in and they’re stumped.
They sit there staring at the screen, unable to decide what they’re going to blog about. Sometimes they start swiping other people’s content because they don’t want to lose the momentum of posting daily.
They might grab something from an article directory or buy some PLR content and use it as is. This is where they start getting lazy, not because they want to be, but because they’re simply lost on what topic to discuss.
Others don’t want to neglect their blog — but the formidable task of trying to juggle a myriad of Internet marketing items on their to do list prevents them from getting to their blog — they’ve backburnered it and soon it’s forgotten and stagnant.
You can host a blog challenge for your readers that will help them in any niche! Whether they’re marketing bloggers, or they have a blog on gardens, insomnia, or dating — your challenge will help them take action, stay committed and view you as a leader.
By the way, if you are serious and want to take your blogging to the next level, check out the Rapid Blogging Blueprint. This is a premium level training that takes you through each and every step of setting up your own highly profitable blog and profiting from it. You can check it out here.
OK, let’s crack on…
What Blogging Challenges Do Your Readers Suffer From?
You should be able to listen to your subscribers and see some common themes among them when they come to you with blog problems. If you don’t have subscribers yet (that you know of since many are lurkers), then you might have to read other blog comments or look in forums to see what issues people have.
Finding topics is a common problem for many bloggers. People sit there staring at their screen, or they go to someone else’s blog to see what they’re talking about.
They key is to help them learn how to find topics — how to dig up new slants and fresh ideas and give commentary on them.
Understanding how to review products is another basic issue for marketers who are inexperienced with blogging. They don’t know how to review products so that they will be interesting to blog readers.
Making an engaging connection is a big deal — and so many marketers falter with this. Everyone wants to see blog comments or get emails about how amazing their blog post was!
Monetizing their blog post could be an issue. You wouldn’t believe how many bloggers are sitting there wondering why their blog isn’t making money, when the only problem is, they forgot to add links!
Consistency is probably the number one problem, though. People get sidetracked and for some reason, their blog — what should be their “home on the ‘net” — is what usually suffers.
Preparing Your Blog Challenge Ahead Of Time
Hosting a blog challenge is a great way to get a ton of branding for your blog, as well as traffic and comments for it, too. You want to go into this well-prepared, not floundering right alongside your readers — they’re expecting you to guide them!
First, announce the date ahead of time. Get everyone geared up to participate. Have them sign up — either simply by announcing their participation in the comments section of your blog, or by having them sign up to your email autoresponder list.
You should give them approximately two to three weeks’ notice so that they can wrap up their projects or get organized. Sometimes they simply want to motivate themselves to participate, or be talked into it by fellow marketers.
Let them know what the basic challenge will be. Create a list of rules, but don’t make it so stringent that people feel like labeling themselves failures. You want to inspire them and encourage them to keep going even if they miss a blog post.
Map out your helpful blog posts that you’re going to create along the way. You will be blogging daily to give tips and ideas, share your own entry to the challenge, and create a space for them to discuss it and encourage each other.
Some people might want you to create a forum for the discussions. Keep it on your blog. As the host of the challenge, your blog will benefit from the traffic and conversations taking place.
Give them any tools and tutorials you think they’ll need. If your blog challenge is to have them get comments, then you might steer them towards something like Disqus and give a tutorial on how that works.
This is not only a good way to be a leader, but it can help you make affiliate sales of certain links for people’s blogs, like paid plugins or WordPress themes, for example.
Supporting Your Challengers
As the host, it’s your job to support the people who are following you and participating in your challenge. Now if you have hundreds of people, it might be more difficult — in that case, you can just encourage people to support each other.
Allow them to share their blog post link. You can let them leave it in the actual comment as a live link, use a tool like Disqus, or just have their name hyperlinked to their website.
Visit their blog post and see how they’re doing. If you have tips, you might provide those to them, but not in the blog comments — do it privately using their contact form or email.
Leave a comment for them to show them they have traffic and encourage comments and sharing by others. By the time the challenge is over, they will have a thriving community — many will stay and at the very least, it shows search engines and new visitors that this person has an active blog!
Check in with those who stray. When everyone signs up, make a list of the name and email of the people participating. If you notice someone falling by the wayside, shoot them a friendly email of support. Sometimes they just need to be nudged.
Challenge Idea #1: Encourage New Media Formats
Blogging isn’t just about text blog content, although that is the most prevalent for of blogging that there is.
You can host a challenge that urges participants to get used to multiple media formats.
You always want them to have text as a staple, but you might make an “Audio Blogging Challenge” or a “Video Blogging Challenge.”
This will get people out of their comfort zones, but it will help them learn how to cater to many of their subscribers across the board. When the challenge is finished, they’ll be able to use more than one format and switch things up for their audience.
Challenge Idea #2: 1-A-Day Affiliate Marketing Reviews
Because affiliate marketing can be so profitable through the use of a blog platform, it’s important that you help your readers learn how to master this.
When you review a product, you should personalize the review, share the specifications of the product, and add some consumer commentary.
For your affiliate blogging challenge, have some guideline steps like this:
- Pick one product over $25 (or $50 or $100 or whatever)
- Make sure it’s rated at least 4 stars
- Write a review of at least 500 words per blog post
- Each blog post should have specs, pros, cons, and consumer insight
- Blog posts should have at least 2 hyperlinks to product (*Optional — 1 hyperlink to a top competitor product)
These kinds of details will help them from getting stuck trying to decide between one product and another. It also gives them guidance on the structure of the blog post.
Challenge Idea #3: Thought-Provoking Shareable Content
These are fantastic challenges to do on your blog. The concept of this challenge is pure 100% quality. You’re asking your readers to create blog posts that knock the socks off of their readers.
This isn’t about monetizing the exact blog post — but it can result in increased income because they gain a loyal following. This is definitely one you’ll want to give them time to map out a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.
This should be their very best work. It can be a combination of media formats, any length — or a length you require — but it should definitely provide lots of value for their own readers.
The goal here is to make sure they have their social networking buttons working. You want their visitors Tweeting, Google + sharing and Facebook sharing these blog posts because they’re that good.
Challenge Idea #4: Curated Blog Content
Curation is a buzzword in marketing circles, but it’s a fantastic way to build a blog readership! First, you need to explain to your readers what curation means. You don’t want them getting confused and swiping other people’s content and plagiarizing it.
Curation is when you act similar to how a museum curator acts — gathering pieces to represent a concept as a whole. The curator then provides commentary about the pieces to pull it all together.
Your blog curators won’t be lifting entire pieces from other bloggers. They’ll be taking one or two sentences as quotes and linking back to the original blogger. It doesn’t have to be a blog post that they’re curating, either.
They can curate a video from YouTube, a news story, or an audio file quote. Make sure they understand that it’s not about sharing someone else’s work — it’s about adding their own insight about that work and giving the original creator credit with a link.
Curation doesn’t always have to be positive. It can be a negative curation, where they’re showing poor examples of something. Just make sure they understand they might get some heat for this from the first author.
Challenge Idea #5: One Idea Fits Everyone
This is a good twist, but only if everyone is in the same niche. If you’re teaching other marketers, then this would be a viable possibility. If you have one in the gardening niche, another in dating and one in smoking cessation, this won’t work.
So let’s say you’re teaching the marketing niche. You would want to create an editorial calendar for the challenge. One each day (actually the day before), you would announce the topic for the next day.
Everyone in the challenge would write about that topic. It’s interesting to see what slants people have on issues. So for instance, you might have these on your list:
- Top 5 Conversion Tips
- Review of the Plugin ThriveLeads
- Is JVZoo Better Than ClickBank?
Whatever topic you want to choose — see what the slants turn out to be after they are published. Don’t tell them what to write, just give them the basics. Your group will love being in these blog challenges and seeing their productivity soar!
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