What am I missing? Please help!

40 replies
I am a life and success coach who has a very successful practice, and I've only been at it for about a decade now. I have personally transformed the lives and finances of thousands of individuals. I am always able to help others find out what is holding them back and help them acheive a breakthrough. But I am wise enough to know when to turn to others for guidance.

I am extremely grateful for what I have and I am trying to give back. I know that I have transformative knowledge that, when applied, can dramatically improve lives. Because of this I have decided to share what I know and to share it freely. I have begun a self-development blog as my vehicle.

It is only 7 months old and I am getting a decent amount of traffic and subscribers, but it is not growing as I would like. I want to reach and help more people.

In addition to making content, here is what I have been doing: I have a couple guest posts on other major self-improvement/self-help sites, I have had the SEO done professionally, I do no advertising currently, I let everyone I meet know about my site, I go around (online) helping where I can and refer people back to the site. I spend more time on spreading the word than I do making content.

I do not adapt my content for seo reasons or change it accoring to fit certain keywords. I do not want to decrease the value of the content for the sake of seo.

What am I missing? Is it because I am giving it away for free? I know people often tend to value things according to price. However, I don't want to charge, I am not trying to make money. I am trying to give away life-changing knowledge which I have seen work again and again! The links in my signature will show you examples of my site's articles. I am not trying to plug the site here, I am looking for guidance.

Any advice is appreciated, and please do not use this as an opportunity to sell your wares. I am trying to give and help. Please help me to give.
#life coach #missing #self development #self help #self improvement #seo
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    It's almost impossible to give you a straight answer because we don't have enough facts. For example, what is a "decent amount of traffic"? Where are you sharing your content besides your website? How active are you across social media channels? How often do you send out newsletters? All of these things, plus hundreds of others, will determine how fast you can grow your readership.

    Your content seems very solid though other than being a bit long...a few more images to break up the articles would go a long way for subscribers. Also, I don't see anything "SEO optimized" on your website at all- you have a homepage and a blog. Since you're blogging on dozens of topics within the same niche, then you're never really giving yourself a chance to rank for the most common keywords. You do know that you can write naturally and still work a main phrase into a title or a bullet point, right?

    Honestly though, I wouldn't change a thing other than maybe some aesthetic enhancements. Get some core site content on your nav bar and install a theme that's a little more lively, then just keep doing what you're doing. Then start using more images and breaking up your text a little better...that's all you really need.
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  • Profile picture of the author Complex
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    • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
      Really, you need to market yourself more and build your credibility and authority online.

      Complex is right that the way it reads is the same as most boring blogs, even autoblogs sound about the same.

      Bring yourself more into the forefront instead of on the "about' page.

      kk075 is also correct that your blog theme needs a makeover. Get a theme that has more appeal, and like I said get yourself out there right on the home page.

      You also need to branch out with your content...you can create some guides, an ebook for Amazon, some audios, and even have your content converted into video. Do a podcast.

      Your message for awhile needs to be something like "Hey! I'm not just some marketing dude or blogger, I know what the hell I'm talking about and you need to listen to me so I can help you!"

      If you contribute to different forums or do some blog commenting, don't be agreeable with everyone (unless you in fact agree) and sound like you have nothing new to offer.

      Look at some of the crap that is being promoted online and where you can critique and/or give more clarity, do it. You need to get a little mean. Knock out the pretenders. Make people notice you and have respect for your point of view.

      If you look at the people on this forum, for example, you'll see that the members who have the most impact are a little "hellish" sometimes with their attitudes and not afraid to take a completely opposite view to the whole herd.

      Be the captain of the ship instead of the parrot perched on his shoulder.

      Right now you have a start, but appears as if you are going at this only half-assed.

      This is your area of expertise. Go full throttle and claim it, show it, prove it.
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      • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Joan Altz View Post

        This is your area of expertise. Go full throttle and claim it, show it, prove it.
        Very excellent advice. I have absolutely no credentials but ran a self-help radio show for over 5 years, called AMOL Radio. The AMOL stood for the 'Answer Man of Life.' Ask me how much attention that garnered? I would get people that would call in to the show and ask me if I was really that arrogant to believe that I had the answer to every question in life. I would respond by telling them that of course I did not, but all that should matter to them was did I have the answer to 'their question.' If I did, in their world, I was the AMOL. Then I would quickly pivot to asking how I could help them. lol

        At it's height I had over 300 weekly listeners and for Internet radio, those are Rush Limbaugh numbers.

        If you don't believe that you are the best in the world at what you do, why would anyone else believe it?

        Life is short. Go long!

        Cheers. - Frank
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          Completed Thoughts,

          I took a quick glance at your blog. You have done a lot of things right, IMO.

          The one comment that I would offer is that I see no real focus.

          I know you are in the life coaching, personal development, and success space, but that is a huge market.

          Personally, I feel you are trying to cover too much ground.

          When people come online they search for information that is very specific. Your blog is very general and cuts a wide swath through the market.

          People are searching for answers to specific questions - their questions that will make life better.

          It seems you are trying to be all things to all people. You are trying to appeal to and answer everyone's needs. When you do that, you appeal to no one because you speak in generalities and don't focus on the core issues that specific individuals have.

          Focus on a specific vertical niche. Dig down deep and choose one topic and stick to it. You can always branch out to related topics later. You will have a very defined area of expertise and your audience will be very homogeneous. You can help out by addressing the exact issues these people have. You won't be a generalist. You will be laser targeted and single minded.

          I know this advice may go against your desire to help the most people by casting a wide net. But that's not how the Internet works for small time operators like us. Unless you have the money, staff, and influence of a Google, Apple, or Amazon, it's best to be highly focused and become an authority in one specific niche. You'd be surprised at how many thousands of people you can help because the Internet has global reach!

          The best to you,

          Steve
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          • Man, this forum is excellent!

            Steve,

            Thank you as well for your constructive advice. Yes, I am used to adapting myself to the needs of my client and being all things to all people.

            What you say is compelling. Focus is indeed power. I will dig down deep, as you said, and think very carefully about how I might focus in.
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  • Profile picture of the author EugeneWHZ
    It seems you have some basis and things you regularly do and at the same time you are hoping for some increase in traffic. I think in this situation that worth to change approach and try something new.
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  • Thank you to those who replied. Thank you especially to kk075 and Joan Altz who offered constructive criticism and actionable advice. I greatly appreciate that.

    I hope the two of you will be kind enough to answer some of my follow up questions.

    kk075 - Thank you for the advice about adding more images. I see exactly what you mean and I will implement this immediately. Pardon my ignorance as I am a newbie to blogging/site maintenance, but can you please elaborate on what you mean by "core site content of your nav bar"?

    Joan Altz - thank you for your no holds bar analysis. I appreciate the constructive honesty. I see what you are saying about building my credibility and authority. I can see that I have not really done that and I have numerous awards and testimonies which I should probably add. I will do just as you recommended. You summed it up well in stating what my message should be.

    I am definitely not going about this half-assed, but the fact that it appears this way is a wake-up call for me. I will find a way to improve this.

    A question for you both: you both mentioned that I need a theme which is more "lively" and "has more appeal". I have poured over themes and, for months, tried out all sorts of different ones. Perhaps I am not very aesthetically inclined :-) Any advice on how to choose a visually appealing theme? Anything I should research or anyplace you can direct me to learn about what to look for as appealing?

    Conversely, what about my current theme is unappealing? What should I be avoiding?

    I greatly appreciate your advice!
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      I read all the material in all 3 of your links. While there was very little that I would take issue with, I didn't read a single word that I haven't read many times, before.

      It appears that you are regurgitating the standard bromides that have been tossed around for decades. Where is the originality? Where is the display of personal power? It was non-existent.

      At least you named your blog, 'Completed Thoughts' and not, 'Deep Thoughts.'

      Sorry if that's harsh, but one of my completed thoughts is that you are not really helping someone if you don't tell them the truth. As someone whom has "helped thousands of people," I'm sure you'd agree with that.

      Cheers. - Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I have no problem with the theme or layout - but after reading all three links I felt I was in a lecture hall.

        Where is the personality? You need something that stands out from the thousands of "self help" sites that offer the same advice.

        Of course much of your advice will be the same - because it's the truth. However, your presentation has to be interesting and compelling and entertaining.

        I'm not sure what your goal is. You say it's not making money - so it is attracting a huge audience? If so, there needs to be a personality behind the words. You can call it a brand or whatever but you need an authority figure people can connect to if you want to "teach" them.

        What am I missing? Is it because I am giving it away for free?
        No, it's the style of writing in my opinion. The lack of personality or humor or excitement made a chore to read all three links

        If you look at your examples - they all begin by asking me (the reader) a simple question or two....then telling me (the reader) what you are going to tell me or teach me....and then the text goes into what I would call "lecture mode".

        Instead of focusing on increasing your current audience - I'd suggest you focus on improving your content and personalizing your style of writing. You'll know when you get it right because your site visitors will begin to interact with you and respond to you (if you provide a method for them to respond). That response will tell you when you are "reaching" people and it will be easy to increase your audience at that point.

        Edit:

        I have numerous awards and testimonies which I should probably add.
        That's fine on your "about me" page but it won't help engage readers. In person you may be able to command attention with your body language and voice - online only your WORDS draw people in.
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        • BigFrank, you are right, much of the information itself has been repeated, for centuries in fact, yet I'm sure you realized from your time on the radio, we can all hear the same thing over and over, but it is when we hear it and it finally clicks that makes all the difference. repetition is the source of habit and learning. It is repeated, as Kay King said, because it is the truth.

          Kay King, I appreciate your constructive advice. I have spent much time speaking, teaching and running clinics, and perhaps that has rubbed off in my writing. You are very correct, it is all about my words here, I have no other presence and I will take this advice to heart. I will set to work immediately taking a hard look at my writing style.

          Upon reflecting, I realize that you are correct that there is little personality and humor, and I realize now that I have, subconsciously, been distancing myself. In person, I am not like that, however I think it may be the impersonal nature of just having a computer in front of me.

          This is a new world for me and your advice is helpful in making me take a good hard look in the mirror.

          King Kay, you asked about my goal. It is indeed to attract a huge audience so that I can give them the tools that I know work. I am trying to give back and I will see this through until it is something which transforms the lives of millions. You are right, I will stop lecturing and personalize my writing. Thanks again.
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          • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Completed Thoughts View Post

            I think it may be the impersonal nature of just having a computer in front of me.
            Create audio files of your thoughts and send them to Fiverr for transcription, or, better yet, create podcasts if you feel that will better display your personality.

            Cheers. - Frank
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            • Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

              Create audio files of your thoughts and send them to Fiverr for transcription, or, better yet, create podcasts if you feel that will better display your personality.

              Cheers. - Frank
              Terrific idea about podcasts.

              But I have a concern. I keep heaing the importance of having plenty of content. Pardon my ignorance, being new to all of this, but if I switched to podcasts, would I be lacking content in the eyes of Google?
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            been distancing myself
            That is the perfect way to describe it. It can be difficult to "connect" to people online even for those professionals who are accustomed to interaction in their personal and work lives.

            One small example of this is the graphic "Retrain your mind"....rather than "train that brain" or "tame your brain"...

            One thing that might help you is a small recorder or perhaps using text to speech such as Dragon Naturally Speaking. Chances are you have more 'personality' in your live events than I see online. I'd hope so or your audiences would be snoozing.

            It may be the attempt to write your thoughts on a keyboard causes a disconnect - and talking/dictating your pages might overcome that problem.

            You might also consider creating a few small ebooks or reports that focus on various "self help" categories - to offer to your readers free and build a list you can continue to connect with.

            In other words - you could talk about "train your brain" in a general, humorous and entertaining way while also offering more in depth information in a free email course or a short report readers can easily access.
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            Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

            Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
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            • Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              perhaps using text to speech such as Dragon Naturally Speaking.
              Genius. I love it. I will check this out. Thank you so much!
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              • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
                Banned
                Originally Posted by Completed Thoughts View Post

                Genius. I love it. I will check this out. Thank you so much!
                I have Dictate, which is the same program for the Mac, but I find it virtually useless for anything the least bit creative in nature. For some reason when using this, I don't speak as I normally would. I cannot tell you why this is, but it is extremely frustrating. I'm sure it's a psychological thing having to do with watching the words appear on screen and perhaps if I spent more time at it that problem would iron itself out.

                I'm in my most creative zone when I speak, so creating audio files and having them transcribed and then editing them myself has been a real boon to me. Everyone needs to find what works best for them, but find something and get moving. :-)

                Cheers. - Frank

                P.S. If you did post podcasts, include a small descriptive paragraph for teach one to help with your SEO concerns. Keep in mind that the less time you spend in angst over SEO and more creating unique, entertaining content, the better off you will be.

                I never spent one second attempting to promote my station through SEO. Almost all of my listeners came through word-of-mouth.

                Cheers. - Frank
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                • Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  I'm in my most creative zone when I speak, so creating audio files and having them transcribed and then editing them myself has been a real boon to me.
                  I am as well. When writing/typing, I feel like my hands cannot keep up with my thoughts. I will give the speech to text a try and if that doesn't work, I will head to Fiverr and get them transcribed for me. Good backup option.

                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  Almost all of my listeners came through word-of-mouth.
                  As have nearly all of my clients. Thank you for reminding me of this.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              I have no problem with the theme or layout - but after reading all three links I felt I was in a lecture hall.
              Yeah, I got that textbook kind of sense from it.

              Was trying to think on how to improve on that.

              Could be that the articles are too generalized. Perhaps some more story telling of actual situations using case examples of those you've helped - names not necessary of course.

              Example - the "How to build confidence" article.

              Tell me a story about someone(Joe) who was facing this confidence issue and tell me about their happy ending - or even sad ending and what they were missing to improve the situation. I want to relate to Joe and how he is feeling. I want to feel compassion for Joe, and I want to be sucked into his story so I have no choice but to finish the article and read the outcome.

              Then I want to be given that synopsis of tools used to overcome confidence issues.

              I'm no expert, but entertainment I believe will play a key role.
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              • Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

                Tell me a story about someone(Joe) who was facing this.... I want to relate to Joe and how he is feeling. I want to feel compassion for Joe, and I want to be sucked into his story so I have no choice but to finish the article and read the outcome.
                You are absolutely correct. Simple, yet profound advice. You gave me a realization.


                Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

                I'm no expert, but entertainment I believe will play a key role.
                You may not be an expert, but you just gave expert advice, Jill. Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Two major items stood out for me - and they both caused me to NOT read a word on the page:
    • No Branding
    • Wall of Text
    Who are you and what are your credentials? Your website is very nondescript. In addition to a new theme, add some branding. Someone else already mentioned the walls of text.

    Both are very big turnoffs for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author camnettcontent
    OP, you've gotten a lot of very good advice on this page so far.

    Here's my two cents.

    Do you have a YouTube channel? If not, may I suggest that, if you feel comfortable doing it, you spend some time converting all of your articles and blog posts into talking head and/or screen capture videos.

    You can upload them to YouTube and optimize them to get found for many self-help topics. Google seems to favor video content so they typically appear near the top of the results when you look for a phrase. You can also embed the videos on the related pages on your website and give visitors the option to read or listen.

    I find using the talking head videos vs the audio only allows you to connect more with your audience since they get to see your face and hear your voice at the same time. It's a very powerful way to boost relationship building. It's also helpful if you're not good at stirring emotions with your writing. You'll be able to convey your messages more clearly through videos.

    I hear your aversion to SEO, but believe it or not, you'll probably get much better results if you at least do the basics. Until your blog and website take on a life of their own, you're going to need some kind of SEO to get the snowball started.

    If you haven't already, try using the All-in-one SEO Plugin by Yoast to do the basics and go from there.

    Hope this helps you a bit.
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    • Camnettcontent,

      I do not have a youtube channel, though, after reading much of what was said here, I am now considering it. I think you are right about videos being better able to build a relationship.

      I do have the Yoast SEO plugin as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author LesterRussell
    Beside being too wordy to read through, one problem that i feel that you blog has is that your layout has no boarders. This doesn't give your eyes an area to focus on and that makes it very hard to read through a long post.

    Another point you can look into besides doing SEO for the blog, would be to market yourself as the man behind the blog. Create a facebook page for yourself and post up some of your past stories to share how you helped your clients reach success along with pictures to show authenticity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Plenty of content but so many words, makes it hard to read. More pictures....edit tighter. Maybe intersperse some quotes or one liners,
    maybe a bullet list in some posts

    ie, "things you can do to xzy"..

    *one
    *two
    *etc

    I personally love infographics , a nice infographic or a nice picture listing bullet points would help IMHO
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    • Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

      Maybe intersperse some quotes or one liners,
      maybe a bullet list in some posts

      ie, "things you can do to xzy"..

      *one
      *two
      *etc

      I personally love infographics , a nice infographic or a nice picture listing bullet points would help IMHO
      Excellent idea. Pictures are not the only way to break up a writing. Quotes! Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!

      I love infographics too.

      Sometimes we get so deeply involved in something we cannot step back and see things clearly. Thank you to all of you who have helped me to see my work clearer!
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  • Thanks to everyone's generous advice, I can now see that I have much work to do on the site. Before I go off and start changing things, I would appreciate it greatly if anyone could share their thoughts on the other side of the spectrum:

    What have I done right? What do you like and what should I NOT change?
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  • Profile picture of the author Zodiax
    Originally Posted by Completed Thoughts View Post

    I am a life and success coach who has a very successful practice, and I've only been at it for about a decade now. I have personally transformed the lives and finances of thousands of individuals. I am always able to help others find out what is holding them back and help them acheive a breakthrough. But I am wise enough to know when to turn to others for guidance.

    I am extremely grateful for what I have and I am trying to give back. I know that I have transformative knowledge that, when applied, can dramatically improve lives. Because of this I have decided to share what I know and to share it freely. I have begun a self-development blog as my vehicle.

    It is only 7 months old and I am getting a decent amount of traffic and subscribers, but it is not growing as I would like. I want to reach and help more people.

    In addition to making content, here is what I have been doing: I have a couple guest posts on other major self-improvement/self-help sites, I have had the SEO done professionally, I do no advertising currently, I let everyone I meet know about my site, I go around (online) helping where I can and refer people back to the site. I spend more time on spreading the word than I do making content.

    I do not adapt my content for seo reasons or change it accoring to fit certain keywords. I do not want to decrease the value of the content for the sake of seo.

    What am I missing? Is it because I am giving it away for free? I know people often tend to value things according to price. However, I don't want to charge, I am not trying to make money. I am trying to give away life-changing knowledge which I have seen work again and again! The links in my signature will show you examples of my site's articles. I am not trying to plug the site here, I am looking for guidance.

    Any advice is appreciated, and please do not use this as an opportunity to sell your wares. I am trying to give and help. Please help me to give.
    Sir,

    I am assuming you believe in the law of attraction.

    You have come this far because of what you put out into the universe.

    Be patient and wait.
    Signature

    'I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion'
    -Muhammad Ali

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  • Profile picture of the author dconstrukt
    after i read your message over, i know that you are a very great man, if i were you, i will stick to what i want, believe you are who you are, anyone can not change this, fighting.
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    • Zodiax, thank you for your words. However, if I have learned anything about the Law of Attraction it is that we must act when compelled to and wait when when not. And I feel compelled to act currently.

      Perhaps you are correct, however, that I am not being patient enough. I have only been at this a few months.

      However, time is precious and, while I wait for the fruit of what I have planted, I plan to continue to plant more seeds so that there will be further fruits in the future.
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    • Originally Posted by dconstrukt View Post

      anyone can not change this, fighting.
      Thank you for your kind words. However, I am a bit confused as to what you are referring to here.
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyalpha
    op,I actually read your ebook. and i genuinely feel useful. But the site design itself honestly is not very impressive (font color, social media integration, layout). Great contents should come with great packaging in order to "sell".
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    You could keep using your articles/blog posts as content. Add a podcast that focuses on responding to the most frequent questions/comments to your posts, interviews some of your past clients (case studies/success stories), interview authors of books on your recommended reading list, etc. You could also take your best tips and make them each into a short YouTube video. Create a Facebook page, twitter account, instagram account, etc. and cross promote everything.

    I know you said you're not trying to make money, but IMO you should try to monetize at least to some degree. It's going to be hard to gain and maintain momentum without any revenue. Think Wikipedia.

    Do whatever makes you happy, but to reach the masses you're going to need some sort of schtick (for lack of a better word). You have to stand out from the crowd and present your content in a way that moves people. Think "Rich Dad, Poor Dad". For some reason a lot of people think Robert Kiyosaki's information is ground breaking. Personally I don't get it. It's pretty basic stuff. But he has his schtick and it seems to have resonated with millions of people.

    Best of luck to you.
    Signature
    "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
    ~ Zig Ziglar
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    • Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

      You could keep using your articles/blog posts as content. Add a podcast that focuses on responding to the most frequent questions/comments to your posts, interviews some of your past clients (case studies/success stories), interview authors of books on your recommended reading list, etc. You could also take your best tips and make them each into a short YouTube video. Create a Facebook page, twitter account, instagram account, etc. and cross promote everything.
      .
      This is useful, actionable stuff. Thank you for this!
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    seriosly I helped one of my clients triple his business by studying tony robbins stuff.

    Dunno who does his email marketing, or funnels, but I mean the guys is doing big numbers. They are probably not emailing enough, i think you need to use more email marketing, and offer value.

    This is the secret to most niches, but its works very well in your niche if you email them every other day.

    Like I said helped one of my life coach clients triple his business doing this, and he was just emailing 1 time a month. That is not enough, use places like clickonomy to get leads every day, and then start building better content on your blog and email them a few times a week, say 3-4.

    Doing this, i mean following my advice, even if you were crap at it, it would probably ad another 20% revenue. Pm me if you are unsure of the exact steps.

    Just my two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Thread revived from 2015. Checked out the links in the OP's sig, and it appears he/she/it has completely ignored all of the advice given.

    If you look at the site, there is no sign of a human being behind it. No author name on the posts, no About page, no human connection.

    You can teach an old dog new tricks, but you have to have a dog willing to learn...
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  • Profile picture of the author warriortx
    You need a sales funnel and a webinar setup.
    A sales funnel is the upside-down pyramid that represents the journey potential customers go through to become customers. Funnels are widest at the top and narrow down as a potential customer gets closer to the sale.
    I use clickfunnels I hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by warriortx View Post

      You need a sales funnel and a webinar setup.
      A sales funnel is the upside-down pyramid that represents the journey potential customers go through to become customers. Funnels are widest at the top and narrow down as a potential customer gets closer to the sale.
      I use clickfunnels I hope this helps.
      The OP hasn't even logged in for over two years, so I doubt this will help him.

      It did get you a sig promo, though.
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  • Profile picture of the author warriortx
    what's that have to do with him learning how to use sales funnels and webinars we both know that's what people sign up for and actually watch I've been doing this for 20 years and it's just effective now as it was then
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by warriortx View Post

      what's that have to do with him learning how to use sales funnels and webinars we both know that's what people sign up for and actually watch I've been doing this for 20 years and it's just effective now as it was then
      Sorry I ruffled your feathers, but how is this going to help someone who hasn't even logged into the forum in over two years?

      Of course, anyone viewing the thread now...

      You'll notice that the post is still there, so anyone else that wants what you offer can still get it...
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  • Profile picture of the author stevet563
    Sounds like you're doing all the right things. Just keep doing it. For help on improving your blogging. I suggest you look up Ray Higdon. Best of luck you you.
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    Highly skilled, professional, passionate and experienced web designer For Hire.

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