Blogging is an art that can be learned and perfected. Street performing or “busking” is also an art, you either entertain or amuse passers-by or you don’t make money. In both situations people are busy with their everyday lives and probably on the way to one thing or another and there you are trying to catch their attention. One is tougher than the other but I will let you decide.
It’s not that hard to get started in busking because, after all, anybody can hit the streets and put on a show. It’s not that hard to start a blog neither. What separates the successful buskers and bloggers from everyone else s they perfect their craft.
So here are 10 Lessons Bloggers can learn from the hardest job in showbiz –street performing:
1. Put together a great act
In busking this happens even before you get out on the streets to perform you figure out your act and practice, practice, practice. In blogging these goes on before you have the material on your blog by figuring out what to write, what is already out there on your topic of interest and what people are really interested in. It ranges from doing Google searches, listening in on forums or even the most popular blog posts on successful blogs or websites. What do the people want? And how can you deliver in a way that is unique?
2. Find a place to perform
The ideal busking spot (or pitch) is a fairly quiet place with plenty of foot traffic, for bloggers it is your means of spreading out your content. What spot has the most foot traffic than the internet after all? Will you focus on growing an audience through a blog, or e-mailing list? How will you get yourself on social media sites, what will your purpose be? Think carefully about where you place your content from your blog name, to its look and feel. Street performers need to find a pitch that suits their act, bloggers need to find a medium that can help them scale and grow their audience.
3. Gather a crowd
Just like in blogging, in street performing, “the art of getting people to notice you – the build—is fine art in itself” The basics to attracting attention might be promoting your blog on social media, and content. But consider off the beaten track methods like commenting on forums frequented by your target audience, or reaching out and doing guest posts for different websites or publications, all with the intent of drawing them back to your blog, and once there, encouraging them to sign up for mailing lists or subscribing to your blog.
4. Keep your crowd interested
Ideally you will find a niche, street performers usually figure out whether they will do music, dance or magic early on. The goal here is once you focus on one thing, you can improve with each post. Find creative ways to share your story. Street performers try to make each new tricks more amazing than the last, so build a content plan that starts off with relatively simple posts and gets into progressively harder posts as your audience grows. These can be your cornerstone subjects; if your blog is about Arts and Crafts what basics do people need to learn before you get into otherwise difficult projects? E.g. setting up a craft space, where to get supplies, safety concerns, DIY Hacks, quick fixes to common DIY problems. Think of it as creating a beginners class, so that even after hundreds of posts, people can still come back to the basics on how to get started, or your cornerstone categories.
5. Interact with your audience
In the beginning comments may be few and far in between, get in the habit of replying to every comment. Go out of your way to interact with your audience whether on your blog or other channels. If you send out e-mails encourage feedback or replies and respond in turn, it will go a long way to creating that connection with your content.
6. Build audience participation into your act
In busking audience participation makes the crowd happy. You may not have cute kids help with your blogging content, but encouraging guest posts, or even feedback in the comments or minimal effort feedback like reader polls can add the feeling of others paying attention to your content.
7. Sell merchandise
Maybe you are blogging as hobby, or as just a way to let out steam, but consider ways that can help your audience and earn something from your blog –even if it’s just pocket change. Take a step back and look at your blog as more than just an outlet for your thoughts. Once you have built an audience figure out what you want to sell. Seth Godin advocates that bloggers or content marketers should build an audience before they start selling products. Look to make your reader’s lives easier, they will reward you with their loyalty.
8. Keep track of your results
How many site views a day, do you get more traffic on certain days than others? Or what about certain topics? How do people arrive at your site, where are they coming from, what do they click on? Start early by keeping a record of all the blog posts you’ve written it can even be in something simple like an excel spreadsheet. The better you can track your results, the better you can get at fine-tuning your performance.
9. Learn everyday with every post
It’s not enough to learn from which posts do not receive any feedback. Sign up for creative and related email lists and read what others are writing about. Inspiration comes from many sources. This post for example was inspired by an old post on the PureDriven blog (an internet marketing company I work for). Pay attention to what works, but also what inspires. If after several attempts you are audience is not buying into your ideas, then change it up.
10. Keep at it
Street performers do not expect overnight success, neither should your blog. If you plan on generating some money from it then take it seriously and put your efforts into building your audience. Don’t think of selling to them right away, but establishing a connection and trust. Join other support groups to motivate you, print and keep this PDF poster somewhere visible. The rewards may not be immediate, but whatever you do keep writing.
All the great bloggers started out in the same place,, by writing and building their audience one reader at a time. Anybody can start a blog and build a big audience, but if you have a great show you could join the ranks of successful bloggers who turn their passion of writing into a career or side business. If you can entertain, inform or educate people on a continuous basis you can gain exposure and build your brand or business.
So after reading through all these tips and seeing the parallels which act is harder busking? Or blogging?
Image Credit: Flickr-Bondidwhat and Rrrrobie
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About the writer: Daisy Quaker is an Internet marketing consultant. She loves helping small businesses grow through marketing and by telling their unique stories online. She writes about various Internet marketing tactics and strategies. Connect with her on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.