If You Want to Be Successful Then You Need To Do These 5 Things
If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably always wondering why you aren’t more popular and successful online. You’ve got a site or some social media accounts set up, but no one is taking the time to look at them. Well, from personal experience I can tell you that there are five things that are probably holding you back from reaching your goals. Worst of all, they’re really simple things that you could be doing but either haven’t thought of them or you’re too lazy to do them. Don’t get offended. I know I fall in the latter more often than not. In fact, I still have trouble doing some of these things despite how easy they are. However, I know that they are crucial for any growth at all. You can post every day of the week and follow all the SEO tips you want, but if you want to be successful, you need to start focusing on these things.
5. Build Relationships
I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again: network, network, NETWORK! The internet is not a self-sustained little bubble where your stuff shows up for everyone as soon as you press post. In order to get seen you have to build relationships with other people in your niche (where it’s blogging, art, cosplaying or podcasting) to get exposure. The good news is that anyone else doing what you’re really into is probably going to be psyched to talk about it with someone else. The bad news is that this is going to take time, lots of time. You can’t just fly in and shout “let’s be friends! Promote all my stuff!” My suggestion is to do a search for people in your niche that are successful or popular (most often referred to as influencers) and follow them on social media. Comment on their posts, read their stuff, contribute to conversations that are happening. Make it so when your name pops up, they recognize you. Then start directing comments and questions to them. Ask for their thoughts, let them know if there’s something that needs to be fixed (broken links, spelling, etc), build that trust and from it, friendship will blossom. In the long term, friends like to give their friends shout outs.
4. Building a Mail Lists
This is a mistake that everyone makes when they first get started. They have a site or a social media page and never try to build a mailing list. I know you’re probably thinking that no one really uses e-mail anymore. It’s not cutting edge or hip. However, it is reliable. If people are willing to sign up for notifications, they are probably going to be willing to open an email from you. It’s the most underutilized, but most successful way to not only maintain fans but build a successful business in the long term. Why would people sign up for your mailing list? Well, people love free stuff. Make it so if they sign up for updates, they some special digital reward. New photos from cosplay shoots, sneak peeks at your current work, a pdf of “5 Things Stopping You From Being Successful Online,” entered for a chance to win a custom art request, the possibilities are endless. Just get creative with what you give out, and keep dropping them updates every few weeks. It sounds like a hassle, but when you’re ready to launch a Kickstarter, monetize your site, start selling props on Etsy, launch your podcast, etc; you’re going to have a list of customers you have a direct line to.
3. Link Building
In a way, this relates to tip #5. The key to being successful in generating new and consistent traffic is to spend time every week trying to build links. That means going back through your old posts to add links to your new content and linking back to old content you’ve made. This is a huge part of SEO because it means that the crawl bots that index you get caught in a web within your site bouncing back and forth, which will raise your rankings. The other side of this is linking to other sites, social media accounts, blogs, etc, and getting them to link to you. The best way to do this? Make friends and post links to their stuff in exchange for them posting stuff to you. Now, this is really only possible if you have decent content, so make sure you’re focusing on what your audience really wants. Look at what’s popular and throw it out as far as you can. All of the most successful artists and bloggers out there work to build links coming back to them, so you need to as well.
2. Cross Promote
Another tip that relates back to #5 (see why I keep insisting everyone do it?). If you’re an artist, offer to do fan art or a piece for another artist that they can use to promote their stuff. Get them to do it for you as well. If you’re a cosplayer, try to meet up with people at cons to set up photo shoots with them. Plan group cosplay projects and share updates tagging each other during the builds. If you’re a blogger promote your friends work on social media or mention their article in a blog you’re putting together. Podcasters can do mini shout-outs to each other or have them as guests on their podcasts. It’s really easy and the most it can cost you is a bit of time and effort. You were probably going to make a costume, create new art, do a podcast, or write a blog anyways. You might as well get the most out of it. You might be thinking, “ why would I want to drive my traffic over to someone else? Won’t I lose people.” The short answer is no. All it’s going to do is get your friend more eyes on their work and the same for you. It can only bring you more success in the long run. After all, it’s possible to like more than one person at a time.
1. Go Beyond
This is a bit vague, but it’s the key to being successful online. The thing is that this is going to take the most work. You need to find forums that you can build a presence not just posting your work, but engaging with people. You have to look for sites accepting guest blog posts or guest comic strips or doing cosplayer spotlights. This is the way for your work to be out there where people who might never find you will get a chance to see you. Places like College Humor, Dorkly, and Cracked are open to article or comic idea submissions. So get out there and submit to them. Not only will you get a bit of scratch for your work, but if you spin it the right way it will help to establish you as someone who is a thought leader in your industry. Just be careful that you’re not going to submit an article about why you’re the best cosplayer in the world. Aim for “The Pains Every Cosplayer Knows” or “8 Cosplays We’re all Sick of Seeing.” Get creative and get your name and what you’re associated with on other sites. It’s going to add to your credibility and they will have a much bigger audience that you can tap into.
There’s a lot more to being successful online, but these are 5 of the most crucial tips I’ve learned over the years. I know it just seems like more work for you in the short term, but in the long term, it’s going to pay off more than you can imagine.
Comment below if you have any other great tips for people to build their audience and establish successful online presences.