Jet off to any blogging conference, and you’ll see the same thing:
Beach hair barbies in overpriced flats and Professionally Feminine tops (forget the fact that they were in yoga pants and a spittle-stained t-shirt just 24 hours ago).
Elevator pitches, poised like a skydiver with the plane door open, at the very tips of their tongues. (Work with ME, Brands! I’m a pro!)
Home-bleach-kit smiles that project CONFIDENCE! And KNOW-HOW! And #ALLTHESOCIALMEDIATHINGS!
When the laughable secret is…
Everyone here is exactly as confused/tired/burned out/overrun/suicidal as you.
…and just like them, you’re inwardly cringing at the fact that last year, you spent 1,826 hours blogging that you’ll NEVER get back. All in the name of page views…
The page views you HAVE aren’t bringing you enough money to make it worth your time…and the Chaos you’ve exchanged for real life.
And that’s hard, isn’t it? To think that even if you keep vampire hours every night and clickety-clack on that keyboard till your fingernails bleed — even if you stake your fate next to every other blogger who is trusting an Ad Network with their future…you still might not have enough page views to matter?
Of course, if you’re feeling BAD about your numbers, you can always go to an inspirational/faith blogging conference. As you sip that iced caramel latte, you can cling to every word from the blessed lips of that lady chanting, “YOU are worth MORE than your NUMbers!”
And that’s true. Sort of.
It’s true that you ARE more than your numbers.
But the other half of that half-truth, the lie peeking out from behind that statement?
That your page views are ANY indication of how successful you can be.
The foundational truth — the one that will set you free? Is this:
If you’re looking at page views, praying for the day God blesses you with more traffic and the little Google Analytics line spikes up above 100,000?
You’re praying for the wrong thing.
Because money isn’t always connected to traffic. Not the way you think.
News Flash: You can make a good, part-time income *WITHOUT* 30,000 page views a month.
And on the flip side? You can regularly get over 200,000 page views a month and still make barely enough cash to cover your hosting fees, your two VAs, your tech guy, and the high-priced plugins you’re running to keep that house of cards from falling apart.
It all depends on how you monetize.
The advice you’ve probably been following is based on the traditional publishing model. Think: newspapers and magazines.
The idea is, churn out more content than anyone else, so more eyeballs see your stuff, so you can scatter ads all over your site and the people who just aren’t that into you will click the ad and — chaCHING! — You’ve just made a couple of bucks.
Huge sites like Huffington Post and TechCrunch rock this model. Dozens of staffers churn out hundreds of articles every single day. Millions of page views = thousands of dollars. Huzzah!
And even some food bloggers or DIY bloggers, when they stumble on the right combination of posts that go viral, can make bank this way.
The problem is…when you want to STOP.
When you want to quit making blog posts like rabbits make poop. (PSA: rabbits DO actually defy the laws of physics and excrete more than they consume. #beenthere #neveragain)
When you’re tired of the posting and promoting and pinning and sharing and swapping and you JUST WANT TO HAVE A NORMAL LIFE AND SEE YOUR KIDS AGAIN!
But you can’t, because the moment you stop posting, your traffic starts to slip, and you’re blinded by the dollar signs you imagine whizzing out the back door, so you buckle down and throw yourself into the bull ring for JUST A LITTLE LONGER because MONEY and PANIC and DEATH.
But what if…
Instead of posting 3x a week, frantically flinging posts against your Pinterest boards…you could only post when you have something AMAZING to say?
Instead of joining every link-swap-Facebook-self-promotion-orgy-disguised-as-a-mastermind-group…you could send out a simple email to your subscribers, and know they’d do the hard work of promotion FOR you?
Instead of wondering and wishing and PRAYING that some magical combination of things you do will finally STICK…you could be confident that every single thing you do is the exact right thing to move your blog and business forward?
Sound like I’ve been hitting the essential oils a little too hard?
All that is possible…IF you take your eyes off your Analytics and start focusing on attracting not just any traffic you can, but attracting the right people.
Instead of following the publishing model, you can follow the authority model – it’s your one-way ticket to leave the land of chaos forever.
When you focus on building a core group of followers who look up to you for direction and advice, you no longer NEED to be part of the rat race.
Because you’re no longer trying to attract the MOST people, but the RIGHT people.
The people who devour every word you ever write.
The people who share all your posts with their friends – because you’re helping them achieve their goals and they LOVE you for it.
The people who bend (their wallets) over backwards for the opportunity to buy what you sell.
The people who buy every product you recommend – and they’re delighted that YOU got a commission for it, instead of someone else.
So where do these unicorns hang out?
Come a little closer, honey – I have a secret for you.
You don’t have a traffic problem — you have a BRAND problem.
The truth is, if you have even a tiny trickle of traffic, then some of these people are showing up at your website RIGHT NOW. Yes, even while you’re reading this paragraph.
But while you’re over there blogging your pink puffy heart out, your ideal reader pops in from Pinterest, and then skiiiiiiim – click – click –
And she’s gone.
So the real question is, why isn’t she staying?
For this simple fact:
You haven’t told her what she needs to hear.
You haven’t shown her that you understand where she is, you know what she desires, and you can help her get there.
You haven’t grabbed her by the eyeballs, given a good, firm tug on her heartstrings, and helped her FEEL that the things she wants (the secret, underlying reasons why she followed a link to your site in the first place) are possible for her.
Your brand isn’t your logo. It isn’t your overpriced web design. And it sure as heck ain’t your elevator pitch (gag).
Your brand is the emotional connection between you and the people who stop by. It’s their reason for staying. The feeling they get when they encounter your words. The WHY they belong.
When your readers feel that connection?
In fact, they elbow their way to the front of the line and demand to join your list…and they’re not just plain-vanilla readers anymore — they’re believers.
The missing element on your blog isn’t better photography. It isn’t a faster page-loading time, a flashier logo, more expensive plugins, scheduled social media posts, or a public endorsement from the biggest blogger you know.
What you need is a strong brand.
When you create a magnetic brand, and you pair it with a strong strategy for converting those readers to subscribers…and when you stop trying to make money from the people who LEAVE your site, but the people who want to stay?
It won’t matter if you only have a tiny trickle of traffic or a flood — you can know that with every action you take, your blog and business are moving forward.
(…And that’s why it’s essential that you carve out the time to build a solid brand NOW, before you flush 6 more hours of your life down the toilet, writing “just another” post.)
You want to know the good news?
Creating a magnetic brand isn’t an accident, and it isn’t magic – it’s something you can learn.
But don’t wait until you’ve thrown away 163 more hours of your life doing the exact same thing as everyone else. Start this process now.
…so the next time you’re in a room full of bloggers? You won’t have to hide behind that pasted-on smile, the cardboard-stiff elevator pitch, or the false confidence.
Because your confidence?
Will be real.
(Psst! Enrollment is opening soon for the Blog Smarter program, and it only happens twice a year. It’s your one-way ticket to ditching the blogging Rat Race for good…and stepping up as a smart entrepreneur and CEO of your brand. Visit the Blog Smarter site and sign up to get the first word when doors reopen.)