There is hope, however. You just have to ask yourself a deceptively simple question.
What’s In It For the Readers?
Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketing once published an article about how he and his team built up a blog from zero to $6 million in sales. The website is called SurvivalLife.com, and it’s about survival and preparedness. Yes, it does promote products but in a passive way. They have become a huge resource in the survival and preparedness market, but it’s not just because they have a network of blog contributors and a team of blogger experts. It’s because each article offers something beyond just the article. Having ad networks and even things like Amazon Associates is nice, but they don’t work for everyone. But having a mix of affiliate and in-house offers is better if they’re well-targeted, unlike a lot of those pay-per-click ads.
Ryan says that becoming an authority is so much better than being an “ordinary” blogger for a number of reasons. But one of the reasons is that, as he says:
“You don’t need a product, sales copy or even an idea… you just need to have a passion in a market where great content and fascinating experts already exist.” – Ryan Deiss (http://www.digitalmarketer.com/6-million/)
It’s all about the passion. There’s more to it than that, obviously. You have to really dedicate the time and energy to become the sort of “insider” that he talks about. In fact, he says you don’t even have to be a writer to become an authority. Earlier on in that same article, he mentions Oprah, who has built an empire by simply associating with experts in multiple fields. She makes big time revenues off of those affiliations because those are real sales that she’s generating by the interest in those experts because of the trust that she has built over the years.
Obviously, I am a writer and sure, sharing other content is great, especially when it’s by other experts that I trust. However, I don’t necessarily subscribe to Ryan’s idea of “The World Doesn’t Need More Information.” But what I do agree with is that if the information already exists, and is already well-written and presented, then you should share it with the world without trying to rewrite it “in your own words” as they say.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still be part of it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t share personal experience. What it does mean is that you have to always bring it back to making it not about yourself, but about what your audience is looking for when they come to you. Don’t just throw more of you at them, but offer up other authoritative content that you love, no matter where it comes from. This sounds counter-intuitive, but people will remember where they heard something from if it’s valuable enough. Why do people go back to major media outlets or remain loyal to brands? It’s because people create emotional attachments to things that provide them with what they’re looking for if it delivers on a consistent basis. It doesn’t all have to come from your mouth, but you just have to keep the good content coming, no matter what the source.
Sometimes, it turns out that the best approach really is to become an expert by showing how you learned to become an expert in that field. By doing so and showing the process, you teach others how to become an expert in their own fields. The idea is to lead by example, even if you’re not the greatest writer in the world. It’s about sharing and caring, as silly as that sounds. Remember, as it has so often been said, it doesn’t matter so much what you give someone, but rather how you made them feel in doing so. Once you have the emotional connection and you continue to deliver on that connection, you’ve made a fan for life. And it doesn’t matter how many of those you get as long as they’re genuine because they will be the ones that not only will grow your business, but also be friends for life.