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I’m a sucker for a good yard sale. Unless I’m in a hurry, I can’t drive past one without stopping. I guess that started back when my daughter was little. As a single mom of one child and the only provider, there were no hand-me-downs or much of a clothing budget. Plus, we lived in Florida…the yard sale mecca of the south! If you’ve ever spent any time there, you know what I’m talking about. People move in and out of Florida at an alarming rate, so there are always really good yard sales, every day of the year. Not just on Saturday’s like they have here in my little rural Illinois community.
This afternoon I headed into the big city (population 4,200) to run a couple of errands. I noticed several yard sales signs along the way. Well, old habits die hard and my grandson out grows his clothes as fast as he grows into them, so I decided to drive around and see what I could find.
As luck would have it, I did find a few nice articles of clothing for my lil’ guy, a rustic chair for my garden and the find of the day – a large ceramic pig wearing overalls. I’m a bit eclectic, so I just couldn’t resist! He’s such a big piggy that I could hardly carry him back to my van!
As I was driving home, I was reminded of a WordPress blog I came across this morning. It dawned on me that it was a lot like a virtual yard sale. The first thing I noticed was the sloppy homemade look of the site. The header was a bit like a yard sale sign on bright colored poster board hand written in black magic marker. Crammed in every possible nook and cranny were a mish-mash of banner ads for a variety of products and services that seemed to have nothing in common with the blog itself. It was confusing to say the least.
Because I teach new internet entrepreneurs how to build, maintain and market their WordPress blog, I had to take a closer look. I was just there maybe 30 seconds, about 27 seconds longer than most would have stayed. It was pretty obvious to me the blog owner was grasping at straws to make a sale of any kind. The blog looked desperate. No rhyme or reason to it. Just a jumble of clutter for sale, much like that yard sale where I bought the ceramic pig, chair and little boys clothing.
Your blog is your home on the internet. It’s where people go to get to know you, to see whether you are a good fit for them and if they eventually want to do business with you. It’s where you establish your value in the marketplace. Your blog should have a clear concise message. Everything should be relevant. There should be nothing to create confusion or a conflicting message. People shouldn’t have to try to figure out what you do.
You have 2-7 seconds to grab their attention before they surf away. That’s why it’s so important to have a clean, uncluttered blog with a clear concise message. If you do that properly, they just might take a look around, read your posts, sign up for your giveaway, become part of your community and do business with you.
People who make purchases at yard sales love a bargain. They will never pay top dollar for your stuff. They want to haggle with you until you’re practically giving it away. Is that the kind of business you want to build?
Spend a few dollars to have a header made. It won’t cost much. You can get one made for $5.00 at fiverr.com. Make sure everything on your blog is relevant. Not only is that important to your visitors, it’s the most important thing Google looks for when it crawls your site. Keep it clean and uncluttered. Unless you are a pretty popular blog you won’t make much, if any money from your banner ads anyway. I suggest you create a resource page and put your affiliate ads and recommendations there and a smattering (don’t over do it) of anchor text links to your affiliate products within your blog posts.
Start with a WordPress blog, keep your message clear and simple, write good content and offer quality products and services. Combine that with solid marketing strategies, social media and good SEO and you’ve got a recipe for success.