The one metric you can’t quantify and why it’s holding you back

You’ve tried everything to build an audience. You’ve bought every course in existence and finished them entirely. You’ve used every tactic in the book to get people to pay attention to you, but still you feel like something’s missing.

Instead of the thriving audience you’ve been searching for you’re left with an audience that doesn’t seem to care if you succeed or fail. Meanwhile, you feel like the peers you started this journey with are seeing the success you know you deserve.

You know something is missing, but you can’t quite pin it down. You won’t be able to find it by mining your analytics data. This missing element can’t be quantified, but it’s going to hold you back if you don’t master it.

The hidden element you’ve failed to cultivate is trust. And in order to succeed, you'll want to shift from external metrics to one that’s a little tougher to keep track of.

Is your focus on quantity or quality?

How often do you find yourself daydreaming about writing a best-seller or developing the perfect business that every media outlet talks about? I bet during these daydreams you balance your success on something like that coming true.

It’s good to have massive dreams – it causes us to reach higher. However, we have the tendency to think large numbers of followers are going to bring us massive success, when in reality our perceptions are skewed.

We’d all love to have millions of fans who purchase, talk, and share everything you put out. However, this usually isn’t going to be the case. It’s time to switch our perceptions from the mass scale and bring them back down to earth.

This doesn’t mean the work we’ll be doing will be less successful or have a lesser impact. In fact, by focusing our efforts on producing and attracting quality over quantity, our work may begin to matter more.

Expert roundups - the more effective alternative

Note from the editor: We deliberately publish this article right after an expert roundup of our own that went live on Friday. What web marketing strategy will get a "stick-a-fork-in-it" verdict next? 31 experts weigh in was widely discussed in the community - check out the talk and the comments on this blog. The thing is, mediocre content was one of top replies, and expert roundups were mentioned by some people as a soon-to-be-abused practice as well.  We hope that Tom's idea will bring a fresh perspective to the discussion. Enjoy!  

On the face of it, the strategy behind expert roundups is simple yet compelling. You first collect quotes and opinions from a bunch of people with topic expertise and Internet influence. Then you simply stitch together a blog post featuring their views and publish it in the hope that they'll share the content with their followers and fans.

But these days, the web is inundated with expert roundup after expert round up. Some of them feature "experts" of dubious relevance or experience. Others take readers on a quick jolt through a list of opinions without stopping to consider what that person really has to say.

The result? I'm sad to say that expert roundups just aren't what they used to be. But there's a better way – if you step back from the predominant fad and approach expert roundups with a different mindset, you could unearth the success you've really been looking for. In this post, I'll tell you what to do and why you should consider it.

5 ways to get influential bloggers to engage with and share your content

One could view the blogging world as defined by a pecking order, where popular bloggers with large reader bases stand above smaller, newer blog enthusiasts. Ultimately, two factors determine who perches at the top of the food chain: the loyalty of readers and number of readers.

Some bloggers might boast a small, enthusiastically loyal fan base. Others may trudge onward with a large base of readers who are interested but not passionate. The best bloggers combine both loyalty and numbers - they hold, in a word, influence.

One notable aspect of this system is that the more numerous and loyal your readers are, the more effective your efforts to secure even more visitors will be. Influence begets influence, but it can be difficult to establish yourself if you don't have much to start with.

One way to get past a dearth of influence is simply to go through those who do - by finding ways to get influential bloggers to engage with your posts and possibly even share them. In this post, I'll discuss five strategies to do just that.

Top 4 latest trends in blog design

As 2014 rolled in not too long ago, a host of posts and articles concerning the latest trends and forecasts for the new year were published. There was a deluge of predictions and analysis concerning all aspects of blogging, online marketing, and SEO.

Now that January has passed us by, it's a bit quieter on this front, so I'd like to take a second look at the topic of trends.

In this post I'll take a step back from the deluge of predictions and focus on four broad trends in blog design. None of these have seen universal adoption, but all of them are changing design in today's blogosphere for the better.