by Todd Walker
Of course you’ve seen these… We interrupt your limited, valuable time for “our biggest sale ever!”
You’re bombarded daily with blogs and companies
begging requesting that you like, follow, subscribe, click, and pin. If you don’t, you may not survive. Like sex, fear sells.
Shock and awe marketing is nothing new. I’m not faulting those who engage in hyped up marketing. It works for a while. It’s just hard to sustain. How many ‘fire sales’ or ‘going out of business’ or ‘give-away’ promotions does it take before smart people catch on?
Preparedness companies and bloggers seeking success – however that’s measured – might want to re-think strategies for converting potential customers and growing subscriber lists.
Instead of marketing hype, offer extremely useful stuff.
Survival blogs I like solve problems and build long-term relationship. These are folks that don’t just teach you to fish, they help you bait the hook, paddle the boat, start the camp fire, and tell fish stories as y’all enjoy the meal… together.
They create customers for life and loyal followers.
I’ll be the first to admit, Survival Sherpa is not for everyone. We’re not your typical survival/prepping blog. We’re a bit unconventional in our thoughts and methods. If you find our stuff helpful, welcome! You’ll connect with other SmartPreppers here.
How to Help without all the Hype
First, let’s address marketing ideas on blogs. We’ll deal with products/businesses in a later post.
If you’re tweet goes ‘viral’ or some big survival blog mentions you, you’ll get an amazing non-linear spike in traffic. A few days later, you’re ‘numbers’ go back to normal. Hopefully, you’ll add a few fans and followers.
Producing useful content will make them stay. And make it FREE! Original, value adding content trumps going viral in the long-run.
Free preparedness blogging tips
I’m new to blogging myself. I don’t claim to have all the answers (life learner here). However, what I’ve learned in the last year and half is that most web readers are low on patience. To hold their attention, don’t use what you learned in high school English about writing. Break the rules.
Here’s some advice I gave to a commenter (Matt) on our site who is just getting started with his new blog. I added a few extras to the list today.
- Write about stuff you’re passionate about and doing. Authentic stuff. Write whatever you want and make it interesting. If it’s boring to you, it’s boring to your reader(s).
- Writers write. Write daily. You don’t have to publish daily. But you do have to write daily.
- Sound human. Write like your sending a letter to a close friend. Your blog readers are your friends. Nurture the relationship with your core/inner circle.
- Bleed in your writing. People will connect with you if you’re real.
- Be honest. Admit you don’t have it all together and figured out. I certainly don’t. It’s a journey.
- Read outside of your ‘topic’ area. I read stuff that has nothing to do with preparedness and self-sufficiency. Some of my best ideas come from crazy places.
- Blogging is about relationships. Nice meeting you today!
- Always give credit to folks when using their idea. Take what others have written and put your unique spin on it. Don’t plagiarize, but borrow ideas. Nothing new under the sun.
- Title your posts to get people to open the link and see the story. You could be the most brilliant writer ever but nobody reads you’re work if you don’t hook them with the title. Example: 5 Must Dos Before the National Nipple Runs Dry
- Be controversial. Not for the sake of being unconventional. If you believe in something strongly, tell people why and support your unconventional stand. Example: The Wheat-Free Prepping Paradigm ~ Life After Bread
- Write like you talk. Don’t use a twenty-dollar word when a ten-cent word is available… unless the $20 word works.
- Use white space. Most web readers scan before they read. Reading long paragraphs reminds us of a boring 10 grade history class. Break your content up into bite size pieces with subheadings, bulleted points, and numbered items to increase the likelihood that more than just your wife and mom actually read your blog.
- Build authority. If people like you, they’ll listen to you. If they trust you, they’ll do business with you. I have no products to sell on my blog. I don’t allow advertisements ~ on purpose. My business at Survival Sherpa is to give away huge amounts of quality, FREE content. The transition to selling stuff, if that’s your plan, comes easier when people trust you.
Seems weird coming from a guy with less than two years blogging experience. It’s true no matter who says it, though.
What’s the key to lasting success in the blogosphere?
This applies to prepping, business, and life in general. You and I are in it for the long haul. The trick is to keep lasting.
SmartPreppers Doing the Stuff!
I’ve got a hunch that low profile Twitter accounts are doing the most stuff. High profile social media prepper accounts get lots of attention. But no amount of high profiling replaces doing the stuff. If you’re not doing the stuff, your words won’t stick.
Here’s a small sampling of people I find doing the stuff regularly (in no particular order). Some are high-profile, some are not, but so worth reading and following.
- Sensible Survival – Hank blogs about common sense preparedness for sensible individuals.
- The Organic Prepper – Daisy Luther – It’s prepping with a different mindset – we stockpile our food with an eye towards avoiding the GMOs, the processed foods, the chemicals and the drugs that are such a part of the North American food supply
- Survivor Jane – Creator of #PrepperTalk on Twitter and a girly girl turned prepper.
- Bug Out Nutrition – JP Martin applies the science of nutrition to survival scenarios.
- The Survival Podcast – Jack Spirko started this popular podcast while commuting to and from work – in his car! He’s upgraded since ’08 🙂 It’s loaded with practical info, videos, and forums.
- Prepared Housewives – Jamie simplifies food storage, emergency preps, and survival skills – all while raising a family and mixing in some humor.
- Prepared Christian – Chris Ray blogs about preparedness from a Christian world-view.
- Crunchy Mama’s Urban Homestead – Crunchy Mama shares her adventures in wild foods as a frequent guest contributor here. Like me, she follows a Primal/Paleo approach to prepping. Here’s a link to her contributions on Survival Sherpa.
- eatkamloops – Caroline Cooper is all about eating local food. Her site is a great resource for food freedom. She has several guest articles here as well.
- reThink Survival – Damian Brindle is dedicated to providing top-notch family emergency preparedness resources, tools, and tips to best prepare you and your family for nearly any disaster or emergency situation. The blog name alone makes me like him.
- Willow Haven Outdoor – Creek Stewart writes articles like – “Yes, that’s a Tampon in my mouth : The Swiss Army Survival Tampon : 7 Survival Uses” – and he’s not afraid to use them. Excellent, original, and value adding!
- SHTF Preparedness – Matty keeps an updated site with the latest from around the web.
- Prepper Website – Todd’s site is an aggregate for alternative news, preparedness, and survival information. He also blogs at Ed That Matters.
- SurvivalBlog – JWR’s granddaddy of them all. I found Survival Blog six years ago. If you’ve never been there, check it out. Even if you don’t follow Rawles’ survival strategy, there are practical tips and how-to stuff you can learn.
I know there’s more. If you have blog you’d recommend, drop me a line and link in the comments. We’re always on the lookout for SmartPreppers doing the stuff.
This is the future of marketing for preparedness blogs -> create useful content and build relationships. Word will spread. Who knows – you might even go viral!
Doing the stuff,
If you’d like to share a portion or all of this article or other posts on this site, please do so freely. All we ask is that you credit the author and a link back to the original on this site.
- 6 Reasons Why YOU Won’t Survive The Coming Collapse (thesurvivalistblog.net)
- Who’s Your Influencer? (survivalsherpa.wordpress.com)
- 10 Prepper Dads You Should Check Out: They Might Just Change Your Life… (prepared-housewives.com)
- The Preparedness Review: 17 Must-Read Preparedness Strategies (Spring 2013 Edition – Free Download) (rinf.com)