Regardless if you are a travel blogger or a lifestyle blogger, and no matter if you work in English or another language, there’s a certain set of rules to follow if you want to ensure your global dominance as a brand. Devlin from 1 Life 2 Bags and myself recently put together the first Marginal Boundaries infographic covering the top 10 steps to brand domination to help you get your business on track with a global audience. Read through the expanded version of the steps here, and find the infographic at the bottom.
Inspiration and Research
Read articles and books by your peers and betters, as well as check their video content, to find inspiration for your own work. Always be studying, researching, learning and challenging yourself with material from others. You are not perfect. You are not above learning. No one is. Anyone who thinks they are above learning something new from one of the peers, betters or someone with a different point of view is fooling themselves.
Need a place to start? Check out 14 Influential Bloggers for Life Hacking.
Crafting the Perfect Blog Post
Writing the perfect post is an art form and requires careful planning. It should include outbound links, pictures with alt tags, and video to support. The more reference material, the better. Beyond the research phase, you need to be on top of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) game to get the most out of the blog titles you choose, as well as headers, bolded text, placement of content throughout the blog post and beyond. SEO research, as well as on-page optimization, is part of the overall “high quality content” requirement that every blog has.
Beyond that, the post also has to hit hard and heavy in the engagement factor, which is where the proper Point A to Point B routine matters. Crafting the perfect post isn’t just about slapping words, links, photos and a video onto the page; it’s about creating an easy-to-read, highlighted-points-throughout-with-a-call-to-action-message that not only provides information, but also inspires your readers to follow through and interact with each other as well as you.
Everything you produce should earn you money, from the blog to the newsletter to the social media content and beyond. Remember that old saying from back in the day about how time = money? Nowhere does this hold more true than with your brand. Every single thing you do should revolve around bringing in some type of income to fund your travels and keep your brand functioning. Not to mention a roof over your head and food on the table.
For more information on how to make money with your blog and your brand, check out Top 5 Ways to Generate Passive Income for Full-Time Travel.
Also check out 10 Ways to Save $25,000 or More For Full-Time Travel.
Win the hearts and minds of your readers through social engagement as well as your blog content. Everyone is a potential lover. If you aren’t writing to engage your readers…they’ll go elsewhere. Which means you aren’t making sales. Which means you aren’t making money. Which means you don’t have an actual brand or business at all, but rather a hobby. One that doesn’t even pay for itself. Everything you do with your blog should be aimed at engaging your reader and keeping them involved. Pose questions, use polls, run surveys, make your readers and community a part of the brand and they will carry you to heights you never imagined.
We are living in an instant-gratification era where the vast majority of readers and consumers are looking for quick and easy fulfillment. If you don’t fill the gap in people’s daily feed, someone else will. Your goal as a blogger is to be everywhere so you are always in the public spotlight. While it’s impossible to hit up every single social media network out there, you can and should be on all the major players. As of this writing that includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and StumbleUpon.
There’s more to it than simply filling the void in people’s daily schedule, however. By being everywhere you can ensure that your content is being consumed in more than just one place. This also helps with the overall backlinking and SEO for your website by giving you a buffer layer of organic backlinks to your site, something that Google loves to see.
Plus, if there’s ever an issue with your website you can still communicate with your readers and keep them clued in on what’s going on, as well as specifically target unique contests, polls, advertising and features through each social medium.
Cowork, Not Network
Networking is only the beginning. The power of coworking lies in the ability to build mutually beneficial working relationships with your peers, not just be a name on a business card or a nameless face.
In principle, networking is a good idea. After all, a hermit can’t make money. Someone who locks themselves away in the confines of their darkened basement will never sell any products or find a niche for their art. The only way to find customers and clients is to get your product out there. You have to be willing to network and spread the information about your product to as many people as possible to maximize your results.It’s the difference between being Johnny Johnson or Suzy Smith with the lemonade stand.
Coworking is a social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values and are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded, talented people in the same space. The real power of coworking lies in the trust that is built up between member in the same working environment. The empathy that is built up over time, the relationships, are what lead to equal opportunity sharing of like-minded blog posts, videos and projects, but more importantly, joint ventures.
For more information, read Coworking Versus Networking.
Whether it’s through RSS feeds or content marketing services, your blog’s content should be visible on more than just your own site. Syndication is part of being in the big leagues, and this ties somewhat into the “be everywhere” concept. The difference with syndication is that you aren’t simply talking about social media here, but rather true syndication, or the direct copying and sharing of your content at various sources throughout the Internet, such as other people’s blogs. Press releases are one form of syndication; the same information shared over and over throughout the Internet, with a link back to the source material in all of them. Be the source.
Build Bridges, Don’t Burn Them
Whether it’s professional or personal relationships, you should never burn bridges with anyone. Everyone is a potential working partner, and burning a bridge is like shooting yourself in the foot. Just as you wouldn’t cut off your arm when it’s working perfectly well and helping you to function as a human being, you should never burn a bridge behind you because you never know when it might be needed to cross a river…or to help someone else cross who in turn will be able to form a mutually-beneficial working alliance with you. Learn how to separate business from personal matters and never allow your personal feelings to get in the way of professional business methods.
Monitor Your Network
Your website is the center of a giant web, networking out to your various engagement platforms. Be there every time someone engages so you can imprint your value on their mind as someone who cares and is always there. You need to be the spider hanging out in the center of that web, your little legs with their thousands of feelers constantly caressing the various inter-crossing lines of the web, waiting to feel the tug of interaction. Use systems like Google Alerts to know when someone is talking about you or your brand, and constantly monitor your social media networks. If you can’t do it on your own, hire a personal assistant to do it for you.
Local is a dead concept. Global is the new reality. Learn more than one language, travel the world and watch your empire grow through international relations, something you can never build by remaining tied down to a physical location.
If all you ever focus on is the English language market and English language clients, you’ll suffer the same drought that everyone else tied into the English-speaking world is suffering: the so-called “global crisis”. But if you learn another language, or two, or three or four or more, you’ll suddenly find yourself with a vastly untouched market and wide open playing field where you can explore and experiment as you wish.
On top of that, the only way you can build relationships with other professionals in countries around the world, not to mention join coworking spaces, networking events and meet others just like yourself, is by meeting the locals on their turf, speaking their language and hanging out in their local spaces.
Go global, or go home.