Listen up troops! As a blogger, you have entered a battle zone of content where only the strong and fearless survive. The Blogosphere is a cyber-jungle full of competitors waging war for the same readers as you. The only way to win this slug fust of stories is to take no prisoners, stay ahead of the enemies and fight your way to the top of the search results. In other words, you have to become the ‘Rambo of blogs.’ By taking the Rambo approach, you can be sure to succeed where many others have fallen.
Take Big Risks
If you think you can gain a large and faithful reader base with timid, softball content, you’re dead wrong. These days the Internet has seen people willing to publish almost anything, and the riskiest content usually gets the most views. World famous blogger Tucker Max describes his embarrassing stories about drinking and sleeping with women, and he just got a movie deal. On the Internet nothing is sacred, and just like Rambo wouldn’t flinch at the idea of storming right through the gates of an enemy camp, you too must take bigger and bigger risks to remain relevant. No matter what subject your blog covers, you have to take risks.
Develop A Battle Plan
Rambo never went into a shoot-out without some kind of plan. Taking stock of his environment, (where the best cover was, where the mounted machine guns were, whether or not there were oil barrels to shoot, which enemies he needed to take down first, etc) Rambo planned his basic moves first, and acted soon after. You must take a similar approach to your blog. Develop a basic battle plan to popularize your blog. Know who your biggest competitors are figure out ways to compete. Make use of the social sites, and share your content. Create an editorial calendar, and plan ahead. But, also be sure that you are flexible enough to respond to and write about breaking stories in a timely manner.
Don’t Be Afraid to Work Together
In the blogging world, in-bound links are like weapons: the more you have the better off you are. However, your inbound and outbound links should play a role in your planning. When you write new content, make sure to link to every source you cite. Also make sure to reach out to other bloggers in an effort to generate in-bound links. You’d be surprise how many sites are willing to exchange links with other relevant, topical sites, as it’s mutually beneficial. C0nsider this mission critical. Think of this like Rambo enlisting the help of a small local militia to help give him the firepower he needs to take down an especially big enemy camp. In the jungle and in the blogosphere, it really helps to have allies.
Go To War With Other Blogs
Sometimes blogs are not willing to link to you or help you in any way. These blogs have now become your enemies (competitors), each with a valuable resource: readers. When you identify a blog as an enemy (or competitor) it’s time to take action. Rather than meekly lying down and letting them gather up all of your readers, grab your rocket launcher and prepare to strike. Going to war with another blog is an art form that takes practice to perfect. As mentioned in the previous tip, don’t be afraid to team with other blogs to take down the top dog. If you are able to accomplish this, it’s crucial to work even harder to stay ahead of them by creating the best content. By establishing your site as an important source of useful information, you will eventually convert more readers to your side. These sorts of wars are slow and sometimes lack a definite end, but remember that Rambo would never back down from a lengthy battle, and neither should you.
Rescue Readers From Enemy Lines
The Internet is full of untapped sources of traffic that are in need of rescuing by your blog content. Rambo is known as the action star who leaves no stone unturned, no part of the jungle untouched by machine gun. Similarly, you must scour the Internet for topic ideas and sources of readers by paying attention to the comments of readers in various media outlets and social sites. People will often ask questions in forums , for example, that your blog might answer. With a well-placed comment and link to your article, you can offer these lost readers safe passage to the content they were searching for. By publishing content that answer the specific needs of blog-readers, you can save entire hordes of people from settling on your competitor’s blog. Rambo would settle for nothing less than total hostage rescue, and neither should you.
Break Out The Big Guns
Though Rambo usually did fine with his combat knife and machine gun, tough times called for bigger firepower. When the enemies turned up the heat, Rambo never scampered away in retreat. Instead, he would commandeer enemy machine gun turrets, devastate bunkers with rocket launchers, or clear out rooms with a well-placed grenade. Sometimes in the world of blogging, it comes time to break out your biggest weapons. If you find that the normal content you are producing just isn’t getting the job done, try beefing up your next article with an infographic, stunning images, or embedded video. Not all readers are content with just words, so don’t be afraid to improving and diversifying your content to appeal to broader audiences.
Lead, Don’t Follow
Rambo never cared much for rules or convention, and it was exactly this trailblazing attitude that made him so successful in battle. As a member of special forces, Rambo was taught to think outside the box and handle missions in ways other people could not. When it comes to blogging, this kind of ruthless leadership is key to survival. Never wait for a trend in your field to become popular among other bloggers before covering it yourself. This is the sign of a blogger who is afraid to take risks and lead the conversation in the direction he sees fit. Rather than being one of the many, lead the charge by staying up to date in your field and spearheading new stories that others haven’t yet dared to touch. The first publisher of a major story, or the progenitor of a new Internet trend reaps the most readers, leaving your competitors scrambling to catch up to you.
Get Good At Espionage
If one thing that can be said of blog readers, it’s that they are never shy about telling you what they like and don’t like about content. You can extract valuable suggestions and strategies for content creation by spying on the comments of other sites (ie., blogs and Digg stories). In order to gain insight on what the enemies were planning, Rambo would often sneak around the enemy base and locate valuable documentation or interrogate officials into telling him what he needed to hear. You can reap similar results by taking the suggestions of other readers and turning them into content for your blog. You might uncover entire story suggestions from reader comments, or just learn more about the tactics and styles that readers like and don’t like. A knowledgeable blogger is a successful blogger, and no one should go into battle without a solid understanding of the strategies needed to win.
Rambo was the epitome of the American action hero, and his stories were always bursting at the seam with huge guns, frequent explosions, guts and gore, and over all aggressive manliness. Rambo was an in-your -face-style hero, and fans of action will never forget his name for it. In order to truly be the Rambo of your blog, you need to be aggressive in getting readers to see your content. The easiest way to do this is by offering readers the option to subscribe to your content. If your readers subscribe, your new content can be blasted right into their inbox every time you pull the trigger on a new piece. Through this aggressive approach to blogging, you will remain relevant in your reader’s minds, and they will yearn for new content the way we all look forward for the next installment in the Rambo saga.
Never Forget Your Past
Back in ‘Nam Rambo witnessed many horrific sights hat consistently haunted him throughout the rest of his life. These images were shocking, but they kept him aware of the danger present in wartime scenarios. By constantly remembering his past, Rambo never underestimated the enemy and always prepared for the absolute worst. This is a lesson bloggers need to learn. Keep stock of which of your articles did the best, and for what reasons. Similarly, know which pieces did terrible, and never forget why. By understanding exactly what your readers have historically loved, and what they have consistently disliked, you can always simultaneously improve and avoid making the same mistakes over again.