In this segment of Expert Interviews I would like to introduce Barbara Ling. An expert webmaster and well recognized publisher with several books in print she is a prime example of doing profitable blogging the right way!
I have learned about Barbara through her comments on my blog and when we have established the communication channel I was privileged to read her eBook “21 Days To a More Profitable Blog”. And yes, I said priviledged because I would have gladly paid for it! So far I have managed to get through only 4 days (my bad…) and if you actually read it – you will recognize at least 2 changes done to my own blog as result! And I think it would be fair to say I know a wee bit about WordPress and shows that EVERYBODY can learn!
So dig in and learn about Barbara and what she has to share!]
1. Barbara, with your veteran webmaster history can you please tell us how you came to blogging? What was the migration path from webmaster to blogger and why?
Sure! Back in 2006 I dabbled in blogging as I saw that was fast becoming a way to generate interest online. And because blog pages are indexed super-fast, it just made sense to explore this idea.
This past year, I noticed how RSS mania swept the Internet like football fans following the Superbowl. As an online marketer, I’m always attuned to new and upcoming trends, and I decided I’d master this medium as soon as possible. That’s the main catalyst that sparked my desire to become a problogger.
2. When you work on your blog, what do you define as Most Desired Action? What do you lead people to when they arrive on your blog?
It all depends upon each individual blog post. Some posts…I simply want to put out there as free information for any and all and for SEO. For these posts, the MDA is for readers to tell their friends or twitter the link.
Other posts are targeted to compel readers to sign up for my newsletter. Those posts will hint at what my next newsletter edition will be…and the MDA for that, of course, is to generate additional subscribers.
Other posts will be to promote a cause like the Animal Planet Hero of the Year. Here, my MDA is to touch the emotions of the readers and cause them to explore the issues further (as well as tell their friends).
Other posts will simply talk about my life, my never ending desire for coffee, my 14 Twitterbudgies, my kids who defy gravity and the like. Here, my MDA is to allow readers glimpses into what makes me tick and to view me as Barbara Ling, not just “generic problogger.”
3. How do you promote your MDA to your visitors while keeping the balance with other goals?
I ask myself with each post – what is the problem I am trying to solve? What are the benefits I am trying to create? What is the action I am trying to compel?
Because my blog has multiple facets, I don’t worry about any single message…I count on the sum of the parts to be greater than the whole.
4. You are present on almost every social network I’m a member of, so obviously you place importance on it. What do you see as most important aspects of Web 2.0 evolution?
Easy communication. I love my Twitter network because I can touch base with bunches of folks whom I follow (and whine to when WordPress eats my posts, and beg coffee from when my pot runs dry, and … 🙂 )
5. What do you personally see as the best aspect of your blog to turn a visitor from one of the social networks, with short attention span, into a reader?
I also have a Twelcome page for my Twitter followers as well.
6. As someone who is reading your eBook “21 Days to a More Profitable Blog Blueprint” (on day 4 now) I have to ask – what prompted you to write it? How did you come up with idea that is so different from everything else and yet, so good?
The idea emerged from reading one of Darren’s posts about creating tutorials. Because of my affiliate marketing background (plus breaking the Google code in 2004), I have a rather inverse view of how to be successful online – my 10+ years have shown me that before you can really be profitable, you have to build the underlying foundations of what you have to offer to your readers.
All readers have failed Mind-Reading 101…so you have to take them by the hand and proactively show them all the goodies you have to offer. This includes showing WHY people might want to subscribe to your feed, adding plugins that increase the user satisfaction of your blog and the like.
7. What other projects do you have that address blogging topics that you would be interested to sharing them with the readers? What is the unique angle of those projects?
I just finished my Secrets to Adding a Newsletter To Your Blog The RIGHT Way…the FIRST Time. I’ve also picked up some yummy aWeber usage tips, and will be packaging several of my most popular resource-posts as giveaways via an autoresponder. I have ideas for using that to create a funnel for future newsletters/marketing… will keep you posted!
8. Do you see blogging as a long-term part of your business? How much of your effort goes into blogging and do you have other projects besides blogs?
Oh gosh yes! I also write books/develop products, as well as keep myself current and up to date regarding the art of blogging.
9. What are your other plans for the near future?
Becoming known as THE definitive author on how to create a profitable blog.
10. What is your personal advice to a blogger who is reading this post right now? What is one action they can take that would help them with their blog, right now?
I would say, add all the feeds of the top bloggers in your niche to your feedreader, and read their daily insights (your blog for example, Alex, has tons of goodies for powering up WordPress – it’s an excellent resource!) . Also, be open to learning from other niches as well – for example, I’ve gained some valuable design tips by following the new web comic http://www.nicky510.com.
Learning can come in the most unusual places! I wrote several posts about that including:
- The absolute dumbest blogging question you can possibly ask
- Are you worthy to teach?
- Who you REALLY are
Humbling yourself and realizing that everything can turn into a lesson if you only choose to lose your ego (and let me tell you, that was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done!) can prove to be one of the most powerful learning experiences ever. Do take advantage of that.
This concludes the interview with Barbara Ling but I highly recommend you check out her eBooks:
- 21 Days to a More Profitable Blog
- Secrets to Adding a Newsletter To Your Blog
While I haven’t read the second I’m going to use my judgment based on the superb info I already got from her eBook I currently read. It is a bargain at what she charges and I recommend you get it before she realizes!