The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson Learned

Want to know the real secret to a successful blog? 

It’s probably not what you’ve been told — posting super frequently, getting just the right blog template, having the perfect header image or font for your brand…

Don’t miss this guest post by Jeff Molander.  It’s one of the smartest posts I’ve shared so far this year on my blog (and hey, I DO like my own writing… but that tells ya how key I think this concept is!).

The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson Learned (that nobody is talking about)

Guest Post by Jeff Molander

confidence In the last few years of blogging for business what have we learned? When all the articles and YouTube videos have been published what did we learn—that we took action on and improved our businesses with?

Answer: Readers don’t need us. They need confidence in themselves. They need to believe they can find a better way to create material or spiritual wealth for themselves. If you or I give them an experience that creates that confidence? We earn their trust and business, faster.

The fastest route to trust: Confidence

Want to earn trust? Move your readers’ needles. Give them an honest sense of “can-do” based on something you do for them, not something you tell them. Confidence is the key to unlocking your business blogging success.

When my readers achieve results based on something I did for them I’ve all but sold my product. The rest is downhill. Here’s the best part: Helping readers do something vitally important to them is a wonderful excuse for you to earn their name and email address.

Engagement is not the goal (response is)

Nothing influences and motivates a prospect more (toward purchase) than moving their needle. Nothing. Think about it in your life. Have you ever been given a “taste of success” (a free trial) or a stronger sense of confidence in yourself as a buyer?

If you’ve attended a first time home buyer’s workshop sponsored by a mortgage broker you know what I mean. Giving someone confidence proves what you charge for is worth it, beyond a doubt. The only way to do that in your business is to take action on a bold idea.

Attracting and engaging customers is not a sufficient goal. It is a starting point.

Engagement is an opportunity to get customers to act. Your investment in attracting and engaging someone who lands on your blog is wasted if you don’t earn a response from them.

Michelle recently asked that you do one scary thing per day. Make acting on this idea your scary thing.

Right now, make sure your blog invites prospects to respond to you in ways that bring a “taste of success” into their lives. Make sure you have a call-to-action, inviting customers to take a journey toward what it is they need or crave.

Take action now

Let go of familiar, comfortable habits. I did it and customers started asking me for the sale. Because I am moving their needles with my blog. You can too.

Start causing a little bit of success in potential customers’ lives with your blog. Do it well enough and you’ll see them craving more of those results. That’s because they’ll trust the person giving them that taste of early success, that confidence—you.

Here’s how:

Step #1:  Share your best, NEW insights liberally (or don’t share anything at all)

Step #2:  Prove you’re worth investing by giving ‘results in advance’

Step #3:  Affirm buyers’ right to choose (give them freedom, disarm them)

Get started by asking yourself:

  • What pressing problem do I solve?
  • What pain do I remove?
  • What pleasure can I help create?
  • What freedom does my service permit?
  • What important connection does my product allow?

Begin the journey

Engaging someone who lands on your blog is your big chance to do something for them. Something that moves their needle, creates confidence in them and (as a result) trust in you.

The great Napoleon Hill said it best. Here on planet Earth, we are paid not merely for what we know but more particularly for what we do for others. Learning is in the doing, not the knowing.

Engaging is a chance to enter into a journey with a prospect. A trip toward whatever it is they need, desire, hope for or need to avoid. Make engagement the start of a series of “fair exchanges” that guides prospective buyers toward, or away from, what you’re selling. Good luck!

JeffMolander Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell, adjunct faculty at Loyola University business school, author of, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You and a social sales training speaker.

You can reach Jeff at

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  1. Always great information, Michelle! Thanks!
    Carrie recently posted… Red Velvet BrowniesMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Carrie, thanks for reading and commenting.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… What’s the Secret to Life Balance?My Profile

  2. Excellent post! I will be writing down those questions and posting them in front if me when I write my posts. Thanks!
    Emily Wilke recently posted… Project Series: Mini Album Part 3My Profile

    1. Smart idea, Emily!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Get Your Momentum Back When It DisappearsMy Profile

    2. Hi, Emily…
      I do the same. I have a handful of these lists in front of me… and “rules” like:

      “Every piece of content makes them crave more.”

      I try to look at these throughout the day and act accordingly. Soon they become new habits!

      All the best to you!
      Jeff Molander recently posted… Get a Higher LinkedIn InMail Response Rate in 5 StepsMy Profile

  3. Getting people to respond to calls to action is not an easy task. I guess I have to keep experimenting and trying until I find something that works. The great info in ths post will come in handy. Thanks for sharing.
    Churchill Madyavanhu recently posted… Awesome Twitter tools for beginners and advanced users to work faster and smarterMy Profile

    1. It’s always an experiment. :) But the strategies Jeff shared here are what’s worked for me, too, so definitely give them a shot.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 8 Creative Ways to Build Big Buzz – See Them In ActionMy Profile

  4. “Engagement is not the goal, response is” that just blew my mind!
    gautham recently posted… How To Setup A WordPress Blog On HostGator?My Profile

    1. Yep. Response is what we’re after. Action. Confidence. Success.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson LearnedMy Profile

  5. I’m going to use Jeff’s questions. My goal is to move a lot of needles.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Adalia John recently posted… Balanced Living. Is it Possible?My Profile

    1. Hi, Adalia (what a lovely name!)…
      I love it. Your words gave me a big smile. I wish you nothing but success!
      Jeff Molander recently posted… Get a Higher LinkedIn InMail Response Rate in 5 StepsMy Profile

  6. Michelle,
    I just took a deep breath as I read this post. It was a refreshing read. It sounds a lot like what I’ve read from Seth Godin: fill a need, and they will come. How to apply that to my own blog is the tricky thing–I’m not writing about marketing or blog-development. Thanks, Michelle–and Jeff! I’m copying Jeff’s questions into my idea book.

    1. Hi, Amy. Re: your apple tree… have you tried brewing some tobacco tea (water and tobacco) and spraying the tree with it? I’m trying that currently w/ some success on cherry trees and pears. My apple trees are doing fine, I’m pleased to say (so far!). But I’ve done some research on the tobacco. So long as you spray on young fruit the residue is minimal (re: human consumption).

      Glad my thoughts gave you something to consider. Now put them to action! :)
      Jeff Molander recently posted… Get a Higher LinkedIn InMail Response Rate in 5 StepsMy Profile

  7. This is such a great, well-crafted article, Jeff. I’m really grateful that Michelle invited you to post here. I especially resonated with your distinction between giving them the experience of confidence by something you do *for* them, not something you tell them.

    The internet is full hot air from all the gurus/experts/leaders telling us what we should (or shouldn’t) do. Those who walk me through the steps and show me the value of what they have to offer earn credibility and my trust (and probably, as you point out, my $$).

    Excellent post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
    Steve Rice recently posted… Ask a Better Question, Get a Better AnswerMy Profile

    1. Isn’t that a cool distinction, Steve? It’s one of the little secrets behind why the Ultimate Blog Challenge works, too. Instead of narrowly defining success as writing and publishing 31 posts, we send out encouraging posts to boost confidence about how success can be just getting more content than they had when they started (so if they gave it a shot and blogged a few times, they succeeded!), or building relationships (left a comment on a blog–success!), or just *having more ideas* than they did before (and since we emailed 100 or so ideas during the month… everyone succeeded just by being involved!). :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson LearnedMy Profile

      1. I’m glad to be here too, Steve. If there’s one thing there’s too much of in the world of social media marketing it’s agreement. But in this case, Michelle and I agree on an approach that is founded in this (and a few other) important distinctions that are causing folks to get frustrated and (many times) give up.

        Personally, I think this is because too many of us are thinking like marketers—instead of thinking like sales people. Sales people have ALWAYS known “closing is all about a successful transfer of confidence” from seller to buyer.

        One reason why we see so many folks throwing arms up is because we have “experts” saying “no, don’t expect a hard ROI from social media” (you can’t sell with it). Or (in essence) “it’s all about building relationships” through what you say and how you say it.

        The truth is that’s juvenile advice. It’s disingenuous and misguided at best.

        Your ability to influence someone is based on your ability to move their needle in a way that creates confidence in them—and trust in you.

        That’s how you sell someone something! :)

        Ok, off my soapbox!
        Jeff Molander recently posted… Social media’s effect on sales is … SALES!My Profile

  8. Blogging is one of the popular profession all over the world. Many peoples are getting successful by blogging. But it is important to learning more about it before starting. So this post can help us to learn about a new thing.
    Jane Stevens recently posted… How to Look Simply BeautifulMy Profile

    1. Hi Jane, learning from those who are getting results is a great way to get to success faster. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson LearnedMy Profile

  9. Thought provoking post Jeff. I like the moving their needle part. This is going to help me move more products. Thanks a ton :-)
    Neil Butterfield recently posted… How to Get your Feet Healthy and BeautifulMy Profile

    1. Glad you found this helpful, Neil. Thanks for reading!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson LearnedMy Profile

    2. You’re welcome, Neil. Congratulation on setting up a thriving business (and life!) in the U.S. I hope to dispense more tips to you soon. I have some degree of personal interest in your product area.
      Jeff Molander recently posted… Social media’s effect on sales is … SALES!My Profile

  10. Thank you Michelle and Jeff! Really helpful post – I love the expression “moves their needle” too! That’s such a fun way of looking at it, that I’m sure it’s going to make it easier to remember what it is that I’m trying to do, so that I don’t get lost in the habit by mistake.
    Tasha B recently posted… Mind in OverdriveMy Profile

  11. As a newbie blogger, your advices seem to be really helpful for me. I really like your point on the importance of taking action, I think that if we want to reach success, we all have to move our @sses and step out of our comfort zones. Only this way can all the resolutions realized.
    Susanne recently posted… Alle haben Angst vor dem ZahnarztMy Profile

  12. Hey Jeff, this is a great post on giving your readers confidence and getting them to respond. I really like your perspective on this. I like the fact that you emphasize doing things for your readers instead of telling them what to do. I’ve only seen this done on one other blog and it definitely goes a long way. Thanks for sharing!
    sherman smith recently posted… Are You Mixing Opinions For Facts?My Profile

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