I had the pleasure to speak with Addicted2Success.com‘s founder and star blogger Joel Brown in a webinar recently. Joel is somebody every entrepreneur should know – in three short years, he has created a $1 million blog, grounded in the principles of success and self-motivation.
At just 27 years of age, rather than taking the easy route and collecting some quick cash, he turned down 3 million dollar offers to buy out his blog and continues to pump out content based on value, community, and quality above all else.
Below are 8 of Joel Brown’s Key secrets to building a value-sharing $1 million blog
1. A $1 million blog has a variety of content in each post.
The most successful blogs utilize content that will appeal to audiences from all backgrounds. Some of your visitors will be visual learners, some auditory, some voracious readers. Have something in your post to grab the attention of all of them.
Joel emphasizes covering as many bases as you can in a post – something interesting to read, a quality video, perhaps an audio interview – it improves the overall value of the post, and improves your SEO rankings as well.
2. Don’t just build a blog, build a brand.
Joel never thinks of Addicted2Success as “just a blog” or “just a website”. He highlights the importance of building it as a brand.
There should be a culture and community associated with your blog; when someone logs onto it, they should feel a larger sense of purpose and connectivity than just any how-to blog or news article headline. Make sure each article has an emphasis being of the highest quality, and have faith that the audience will start coming back.
A focus on your blog as a brand also increases your chances for expansion. Addicted2Success is now involved in promotional events, keynote speeches, and training workshops. With a focus on branding over blogging, your site will take on a life and culture of its own.
3. Reach out to new business opportunities the right way.
Joel Brown gives us an industry secret: “Keep an eye on [any successful personalities] Social Media accounts and Amazon’s Pre-Order list. If they have a book coming out – that’s the perfect time to reach out. They’re looking for exposure, name promotion, and so on. Reach out then.”
Mention your strengths and how working together with them could be a win-win. As Joel tells it: “I’ve got leverage because my blog reaches 3o million worldwide a year. That brings people I reach out to with some interest.”
Now you may not quite have THAT level of interest, but make clear what you CAN offer to potential connections. If you’ve got a strong Twitter presence, mention the potential interviewee’s upcoming book tour. Give, give, give, and soon enough, you’ll get something in return.
4. A $1 million blog promotes platform-by-platform
Joel tells us he focused MOST of his energy on just building his Twitter presence first. By building a strong and consistent audience there, his transition to Facebook and collecting likes became that much easier. Now he’s moving on to the Instagram world. This is another path to success in getting your blog noticed.
While it’s ideal to be on ALL platforms to some capacity, by focusing your energy on one specific site for a time, you help build a solid base to move to the next one. Eventually, you will gain “organic traffic” from Google searches as Joel did (currently, around 60% of Addicted2Success.com‘s traffic comes this way), but when you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to chunk your business plan down and go Twitter-to-Facebook-to-Instagram and so on.
5. Have “Better Than” interviews than your competitors.
Don’t always ask the “safe” questions. Put yourself in the viewer’s head – what kind of questions would I, the viewer, want to hear in this interview? If you ask a quality question, you get a quality answer. Your audience will begin to connect your interviewing skills with culture and value of the brand. They will begin to engage more and look forward to your unique ability to draw answers out of an interview.
Joel Brown’s principle is be “passionately curious“.
As he points out, some of the great minds of the past and present – from Albert Einstein to Elon Musk – are passionately curious about everything they do and develop. The best interviews are produced from the same spirit.
6. Don’t be afraid of a broad market.
The broader your niche, the more likely you are to find somebody who identifies with it. If you’re doing a self-improvement blog, your reader might be a professional athlete, a fellow entrepreneur, a recent university graduate, or any number of things. What they all have in common, though, is they all want to improve themselves.
Your broad topic may seem cliché at first, but it can be your strongest asset in inspiring a larger group of people. Never shy away from making the biggest impact.
7. Handle the “dirty work” before it threatens your expansion.
We all hate it. The server updates, legal work, the tax reports, the trademarking – it takes the fun out of business. But it’s necessary. As Joel tells us, the sooner you get those day-to-day headaches out of the way, the less you have to worry about a server crash or lawsuit if your blog gets lucky and grows at a rate faster than you expected.
8. Create a standard of quality that readers can depend on.
Joel Brown only puts out content that he believes in. This “no-compromise” approach means that on some days, there may not be a post, but the fans know for a fact it’s because the quality isn’t there. If he just put up a post to have quantity and pure volume of post, the quality standard of the blog would go down.
The longevity of your brand and the consistency of your audience will come from reaching a certain level of quality over quantity in your posts. If your fans know that you are only posting the best of the best, they will come back every time.
Words from Joel Brown
One of the biggest questions I get asked is, “Joel, how do I start a successful online business like you did?”
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Addicted2Success Founder Joel Brown’s Advice