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Ramsay Taplin (founder of BlogTyrant) is a passionate blogger with a unique style.
Started as a part-time blogger, he kept going with his vision and an inner desire to build a successful blog.
Today, with over 20,000 subscribers, full-time income from his blog and a loyal follower-ship of Tyrant Troops (as he calls his blog community), Blog Tyrant is a great example for other bloggers to follow.
I enjoy reading his views to improve my blogging skills. Ramsay’s articles have helped me massively to rethink and refine my blogging strategies.
For a long time, I was his silent reader and admirer but never spoke or wrote to him directly. I was too shy to reach out to him. It is true that we are limited by our own beliefs and misconceptions.
Only recently, I formally outreached and sent him an email. I asked if he can share his high-level insights and blogging advice with us.
He accepted the offer wholeheartedly.
Thanks Ramsay, I appreciate your time to give us your personal thoughts and guidance on some key questions relating to blogging. I am sure people reading this article will find your feedback and experience useful in refining their blogging skills and strategies.
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I had a clear idea of what I am going to ask him.
I know that when we get a chance like this, it is best to plan your questions as precisely as you can.
As a relatively new blogger, I crave for solid advice and feedback from someone who has been through the ups and downs of the game – blogging. I am sure you can relate to my feeling.
I asked him three questions.
One related to “content”.
Second about “marketing”.
And the final one about “blogging in general”
You can see that I tried to cover almost all “content marketing (blogging)” in a nutshell. If I have an opportunity to get opinion and feedback from a successful blogger like Ramsay, I am not going to waste a single line or come out unprepared as it will be a disservice to all of us.
Without further ado, let us look at each question individually and his responses below.
See what you can extract from Ramsay’s thoughts. Success leaves clues, it is down to us then to join the dots in our own blogging ventures.
If content is the king, the question is what makes it a king?
This is what I asked him.
What in your opinion is the one key ingredient always present in your best performing content in terms of audience engagement and satisfaction?
This is an interesting question because, in my opinion, if you leave your readers fully satisfied it is actually likely that they won’t engage with you that much!
For example, a few years ago I did a post called Revealed: 19 Things to Know Before Starting a Blog which got around 100 comments in a few days and a lot of social shares. In this post, I shared a lot of detail, but tried not to answer everything totally because, in the past, I’ve found that if you totally cover a topic then people hit the back button and don’t engage much. Their question is 100% answered.
So I think it is important that your articles are as useful and helpful as possible, but they should also give people new ideas and make them think about things that they might not have ever considered. This could even be as simple as giving them some resources for further reading, or a tool/plugin that helps them out with some problem.
If you really want me to narrow it down to one key ingredient then I would say that it’s a personal connection. People in all niches love reading about experiments or how you personally implemented the strategy. If you can present this story in a long form article with lots of helpful information based off of the story then it always seems to do better.
Take a look at this article by Michael Pollan called The Intelligent Plant. It’s a massive piece about whether plants have consciousness but, rather than just talking about facts and figures, the author spent months travelling and meeting scientists and watching experiments. It’s one of the best articles I’ve ever read.
Content is half the battle though.
You need to promote and be a smart marketer to enhance your readership and audience. I asked him the following question in this regard.
Keeping your own “blogging” journey in view, what is your one main strategy that sits on top of your overall marketing and promotion efforts?
The main strategy that I use is the one involving a strategic funnel. I lay out all the details in this post on blogging strategy if readers want to go into more detail.
The basic idea is this: you write a massive article based on a very simple evergreen topic. Aim for at least 4,000 words. You then write guest posts, forum posts, and purchase advertising that all points back to that article. Within the article, you should gently mention your affiliate recommendations and your mailing list. On the mailing list, you should give away huge value that expands on the topic of your blog post.
The goal is that everything that you write on your blog should be helping people and encouraging them to join your mailing list. You then use those off-site marketing methods to get relevant traffic to those massive blog posts. If you keep it super tight and relevant the traffic will be really good.
For example, if your long form article is called How to Throw the Perfect Punch then your next articles will be things like How to Make the Perfect Fist and How to Correctly Wrap Your Hands for Heavy Bag Practice and so on. Each one adds to the main one.
I asked Ramsay to give us his top 3 tips to be a better blogger.
Appreciating, everyone’s circumstances and expectations are different, let us see what he thinks.
If you are asked to give new bloggers only 3 tips to be highly successful in blogging, what would they be and why?
The first tip would be to try and help people as much as possible.
The really successful blogs always seem to be the ones that go extra distance in trying to solve problems or research answers for their readers. I also think that success means being personally satisfied, and if your blog hurts people or manipulates them then there is a good chance you won’t feel very happy with your life work. For example, if your blog is about helping people speed up their MacBook Pro, don’t sell them some dodgy App just because it makes you money when there are lots of better solutions out there.
Secondly, find a way to be distinctive.
There are literally tens of millions of blogs out there and if you can’t find a way to stand out and be memorable then it will be impossible to have any lasting success. This distinctiveness could be from the way you write or the angle you take, or it could be a mix of your branding, logos, photos, etc. A simple example is Glen from ViperChill who always uses the same little characters in his epic posts.
Lastly, practice writing titles a lot.
All of the best websites in the world have incredible titles that compel you to click. Jon Morrow sometimes spends two hours or more just writing the headlines, and when he first got started he would re-write them hundreds of times. I think this is vital because a bad headline will mean that even the best article in the world won’t get visited.
I hope you enjoyed and learned from this short but valuable advice from Ramsay.
Time to analyse it in the light of your own circumstances.
See if you can tweak a thing or two.
Don’t forget to share with us your thoughts and opinion about my first formal interview.
I am keen to know if it has given you a valuable feedback and knowledge and what has it left you craving for.