What We Learned at ASE: Take Your Blog to the Next Level

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As always, we had a great several days in NYC attending Affiliate Summit East. We met with many of our current partners, and attended sessions to deliver knowledge back to those of you who weren’t able to make the trip this year. One of the most inspiring sessions we attended was titled, “Inside the Minds of Six Figure Bloggers: Ask the Experts.” We wanted to know how these entrepreneurs turned their blogs into ultra-successful, moneymaking businesses. Our key takeaway? You have to put in the work.

Zac Johnson moderated the panel, which also included John Chow, John Rampton and Syed Balkhi. We liked this session because it not only included high-level, aspirational thinking, but also actionable plans that you could use to replicate their steps. Here are the highlights:

Content Comes First  

Chow’s first bit of advice was to build your business with your content in mind, rather than first focusing on how you will monetize. He said this better positions you to provide value for your audience in the form of original content.

When you move on to start selecting your affiliate partners, consider the holistic view of your customer journey, said Balkhi. Chow echoed these sentiments: Establish yourself as an expert in your niche, and recommend both content and products that solve problems. What do your readers really need, and how can you partner with advertisers to deliver something of value? Why do they visit your site?

Shameless Promotion

None of these entrepreneurs sat on their content and waited for visitors to find it. They actively promoted individual pieces, their overall blog, themselves as an expert, infographics – whatever they could, both online and offline.

Syed suggested networking with other active bloggers, and establishing cross-promotional opportunities. Maybe start or join an open group on a chat app, where group members can share links and help others promote content as it is created.

Make it Work

Johnson tied it all together by providing a replicable framework for finding your niche, and then drilling down even further into a topic you can really own. For example, don’t just blog about sports: and not even basketball, or basketball training, but what about basketball jump training?

Then, find products that solve a problem for your audience. In the case of jump training, it might be a particular pair of shoes or equipment, and create content around that. Maybe create a guide or an infographic, and shop it around, asking others to share so you can build your authority and expert status. Then, repeat!

Have Patience

Chances are, you’re not going to make money a week after launching your site. Rampton said he began by publishing three posts a day for his first nine months, while not earning anything for his efforts. But once he had the breadth of content in place, he focused on providing the right offers, and on implementing his promotional strategy. And today? Rampton has been named a top online influencer by Entrepreneur Magazine and a blogging expert by Forbes.

In our next post about ASE, we’ll cover some of the specific tools recommended by speakers, and how you can use them to your advantage.