I Paid 12 Months To Learn These 32 ThingsBy Carl Ocab Under Blogging, Featured
February 4, 2007 – Carl Ocab dot com was born. The 13-year old blogger made waves, gigantic waves in the blogosphere – up to now.
Err! Enough with the spiffy 3rd voice introduction.
So yeah, I’ve just celebrated my first year anniversary, bought a cake and took a good glance of the past. I’ll also be having a contest, but there’s more than that.
Blogging has taught me hundreds of things since then. Today, I’ve compiled them and picked the best to share it with you. I’d suggest you bookmark it, print it out and save it in your desktop.
But before that, I would like to give a little plug here to those who have helped me succeed a lot of things online, blogging and in life. Special mention goes to the Lord God for guiding me, helping me and in all of these things. My parents who have supported me all the time. Lil’ brother and sister for the laughs. Friends and classmates (Gloria, Audrey and Jean requested a special mention, hehe) for giving me few hits here and there and for taunting me for my outstanding english – that I rarely show in class. My online buddies (too many to mention) for helping me with their tips and updates and last but not the least, to YOU my readers.
Alright, I guess I’ve thanked everyone. Without further ado, here are the 32 things that blogging taught me in 12 months:
1. WIIFM or What’s In It For Me
The first question that pops out to all of us everytime.
Let’s have a little question and answer here just to prove it to you:
- Why do you work? – To make money.
- Why do you want to make money? – To buy the coolest car.
- Why do you want to buy the coolest car? – To impress my neighbor.
Ask yourself, you’ll always find out that you do all things that give you a benefit.
Here’s a totally different scenario where you want to help people in need. You try to do it anonymously as you can.
But what’s in it for you? – you feel happy on the inside helping people and seeing them happy.
People need benefits. You can’t just ask someone’s shirt if it wouldn’t benefit them, and you can’t sell a product without giving a reason why the customer need your product. Show the benefits.
You won’t be reading this article if you didn’t have YOUR benefit right? Ask yourself.
2. People Like To Be Fed, Spoon Fed
I added a follow up message to those who download my free report “This Is Quick Money” asking them “What have you done today that I taught you in the report you downloaded yesterday?” I got loads of replies.
They were asking me basic questions like “How do I start my own freelance service?” or “What is an autoresponder?” that can be simply answered by our little household friend – Google.
Look at it on the brighter side, what if you sell an ebook that spoon feds people on what they need. Wouldn’t that make you a good sum of money?
3. Content Is Not King, Marketing Is
The internet is FULL and overspilling with awesome useful content. It’s so many, you can’t stay on a site for a minute.
If you generate more and more content, do you think your traffic will also increase? Nah. Well with the right marketing, it will.
Marketing without content is dumb. So I consider content, as part of marketing.
4. Always Show BIG Numbers
What do A-listers have in common? (Preferably John Chow, Shoemoney, and Problogger)
They have BIG Numbers to show.
John Chow with his eye cracking monthly earnings, Schoe with his $180k AdSense check and Problogger with an astonishing amount feed readers.
5. Sleep Is Important
Here’s a good one.
There was a time when I slept 1:30 AM on a Sunday night. Tomorrow is school so I had to get up 5:00 AM.
That’s roughly four hours of sleep for me. My eyes was closing all day long. I even took a nap on our lunch break.
When I got home, I tried to write an article but I just can’t. No ideas was floating on my mind. All I can think of is to sleep and forget all those things first. I can’t even answer a single email!
I’ve learned a lesson the hard way.
6. Act Now, There’s No Later
You have this super idea that you know if you take action, would make thousands over thousands of dollars. After sometime, you forgot about it and you were surprised to see someone did it and got the cash you dreamed of. Has this happened to you?
When you have an idea, implement it now – before anyone does. If you have to stay up all night long, sure. Just act.
7. Log Your Achievements For The Day
Everyday I bullet point all the things I’ve done. From writing a blog post to SEO stuff and etc, just so I can track my achievements.
If I did less the other day, then I would exert more effort the next day.
8. Blogging Is A Sport
You get better and better everyday. The more practice, the better you get.
Let’s have this little article I wrote on my first month of blogging, compare it to this post ;-)
9. You Won’t Make Money Blogging – ALONE
Quoted from the Kidblogger’s Master Plan leaked report.
Yes, you won’t make money blogging alone. Although you can get some coins but that’s not money. It’s not enough compared to the time blogging ate.
That’s why, there’s a system. With that in place, everything is completely duplicatable – Of course, you have the option to hire writers too.
So if you think you can make money off blogging by yourself now, STOP.
10. Blogging Is A Job
Writing an article everyday, sponsored review deadlines, blog commenting schedules?
What’s the difference from your ordinary day job? Ah well at least, you’re at home. But still…
11. Very Good Is Not Very Good At All
I owe this one to Seth Godin. Having read his Purple Cow (Still on the halfway) my perspective and goals change when doing something.
We see very good things everyday, when we walk down the street, everywhere. Very good is too saturated. When you’re unique, you’re just you, you stand out.
12. You Don’t Have To Be Passionate About Your Niche
Our passion is to make money – not writing. So why do you need to be passionate about your niche? You can always hire writers who are passionate enough to write good articles for you.
13. Don’t Sell Yourself Too Thin
Have you encountered those $27, $17 or even $7 crap books? (No offense intended, most of them are really CRAP). They’re selling their self too thin, why sell for $7 if you can for $97?
If you think you can sell a $97 product 100 times, do you think you can sell it for $7 1000 times – with the same people? No! Not a chance.
You see, some people are not buyers. They’re there to see what’s going on and skim over your site, but only small amount of real buyers are worried about the price.
So if you have 1000 prospects, 10% of them bought the $97, but not 100% of them will buy your cheap $7 product.
14. Monetize Now Or Die
The “Wait for your readership to grow, before you monetize” saying just makes me laugh all the time.
Let’s just say you waited half a year to monetize your blog, then on the 7th month, your hosting crashes. All the back ups are gone – or your blog got hacked, the tables in your database ruined and you don’t have a chance to fix it.
Wanna cry now?
Tip: Here’s how I sold my private advertisements.
15. Blogging Is Communication
I’ll let author Tom Peters speak to you “Communication is everyone’s panacea for everything.” In blogging, you communicate by writing informally. You write like you’re talking to your reader. Informal is the best, even copywriter legend Gary Halbert (You are a homo habilis if you don’t know him) uses it to sell!
16. Go Positive
Don’t give clues to your readers for the things that you don’t want them to do. Like say, “Don’t unsubscribe to my blog! I’ll post tomorrow” (Darn, I said it! But with this post, I think you would stay subscribed, aye?) or “Don’t leave yet *sales pitch here*”.
Even though that’s a warning, it’s still a command that might give your visitors a hint.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, take risks – the money is there. Here’s one from me ol’ favorite speaker Anthony Robbins “There is no failure, there are only results”.
18. Experiment! Be Careful Though
Just a word of warning, don’t go below the belt. If it still urges you, don’t forget to grab hold of your privacy.
19. Gurus Don’t Know Everything
Even though they make thousands or even millions of dollars online, they don’t know everything.
I’ve talked to loads of marketers who make six figures a month, but guess what – I still have something to share to them. Everyone has something good at.
Speaking of number 19, that’s the number one reason why those guys are called “gurus”. They are good at a specific, very VERY specific sub niches of internet marketing.
In link building, we have Jack Humphrey. List building, Joel Christopher. Affiliate marketing, Ewen Chia and Chris Mcneeney. Traffic generation, John Reese. The list goes on…
They boiled down so much, they tend to ignore other things not relevant from the niche they are focusing at.
21. Be Prepared For Legal Issues
I can’t believe loads of people put legal issues as the last item on their list! Imagine with just one (yes, it’s that serious that I have to put all the styles in it) flaw, you can lose your whole business – or worse, even your personal stuff.
I won’t finish this as I’m not qualified to do so. Just go get a lawyer now and let him tell you what to do.
22. Set Goals In Everything You Do
When I get home from school, I rest for half an hour before I go online. I never thought that that 30 minutes is one of the most important factors of success.
I plan my day strategically so I won’t lose a single minute out of the blue. And these goals are not just for the sake of writing, they need to be done.
23. Shorter = Better
We are at the attention age era. People are surrounded by tons of information, we give too little attention to things as we have the option to just move on and click away.
In that case, we have less time to tell people what we are really trying to tell them. And heck, it’s actually harder to explain things shorter than the usual.
P.S. Yes, this article is shorter than the usual, I have 32 things to pin point so there. :-)
24. Design Is An Important Factor
Like what I said above, we are at the attention age – and one of the most attention grabbing part of a site is it’s design.
Your website’s design speaks for you. Connect your design with your niche. I guess my master plan is a good example.
25. Sometimes We Could Use Some Ramblings
Blogging is communication aye? (number 15) Why not give your readers a bit taste of your life and how you live?
Even though, yes, your readers are there for topics about your niche, but a post a month with updates of your current lifestyle won’t hurt right?
Most people are curious cats and would always like a snippet of someone’s life. That’s one reason why gossip is a pretty wide niche. ;-)
26. Mingle With The Big Boys
It has been said that if you add up all the earnings of the top five people you hang out most and get the average of it, it will be close to your current income.
That’s simply true. When you hang out with poor people, they’ll influence you to do what poor people do. If you hang out with middleclasses, same thing happens. If you hang out with millionaires, they will influence you too on how to become as rich as them. Even if you have nothing in hand! They’ve got the kicks, all you have to do is listen.
27. Under Promise, Over Deliver
I hear amazon.com does this nicely.
When I ordered my first books from amazon they gave me a rough date when will the books arrive, it’s for three weeks I guess. Surprisingly it arrived in our frontdoor in only two weeks.
I’m pretty sure that they knew they can give it in less than three weeks, they just under promised to make us think they have over delivered in service.
28. Protect Your Feed
Content aggregation is a big hit these days. You know those guys who scrape all your content and plaster big blocks of ads around it trying to make money?
Yes, it annoys me too. One way or another, I see five to 10 duplicates of every article I post on this blog – luckily most of them links back to the original article, but some just don’t get it. Some just copy pastes the whole post, leaving no trace behind.
However, if you place links inside your posts, it will be carried by the scraper because most of them still carry out the html.
29. Make People Feel Important
This I owe to my email list.
First of all, lead capturing is harder than you think it is. It takes three steps to make people subscribe to your list. They type their name and email, press subscribe and go to their inbox to confirm it. Sounds simple? NO! Tell you what (I guess there’s no softer way to say this) people are LAZY.
Why do they have to spend their spare minute to subscribe to your newsletter (or whatever you are offering) when he can subscribe to the one next block?
Make them feel important, give them private access to your swipe files for example. Or maybe a beta access to your new site, etc.
30. People Love Lists
Oh c’mon, you’d never get this far if you didn’t love lists! ;-)
31. Leverage Other People’s Resources
In order to start making money, there are a lot of things you should consider. You need traffic, list, content, credibility and tons more. If you drill down those things and do it all by yourself, it will take years before you can establish a good online business. Notice, I only said good.
But what if you can leverage other people’s resources? Other people’s traffic, list, content and credibility? Wouldn’t that skyrocket your business and your profits?
32. Read Then Implement
This is probably the best thing that blogging taught me after 12 months – read. Don’t just skim, read. If you bought a book today, read it, finish it then implement it. Don’t get another book if you still haven’t implemented the principles taught in the first one.
Start this year right, buy a book now then read it and implement. You’ll be mesmerized by your improvement. I guarantee it.
To Close This One Up
I’ll let Henry Ford close this looong article with his infamous quote “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”