Sure you can get lost for a lifetime in SEO and audience development and Web analytics and about 1,000 other moving parts — but when it comes down to it, successful bloggers write great content and adhere to several basic principles.
This post assumes that your command of language is stellar and that your grammar skills are up to snuff. Once your “housekeeping” is in order, I recommend that every blog post you write have at least two of these three key elements. If you can incorporate all three, better yet!
Your blog posts must…
Unless you are already an established name on the Web with an impressively large email list, the majority of your traffic is going to come from search engines and social media. Case closed. Every niche will have its tried and true searches – and you should target these using free keyword tools. However, nothing lights up the social media sky than what is happening right now. Not yesterday, not an hour ago – this instant. Write about things that are in the news and tie your existing ideas into things that are current.
For example, when the season finale of a popular television program is set to air, schedule a new blog post smack dab in the middle of the episode. That’s because at that time, thousands, if not millions of people will be searching for information about the show. They will be talking about the characters. So the trick is to hop on the Tweets and the blog posts surrounding a subject at the trough of the wave, and then be ready to publish as it crests. Timing is everything.
Put on your creative cap and you’ll be amazed at how you can tie two seemingly unrelated topics together.
Taking an unpopular or unique stance on a topic and attaching your name to it takes cajones. Maybe not the cajones it takes to get up in front of 2,000 people and deliver a workshop, but balls none the less.
One way to alleviate your blogging fears is to do your homework. Before hitting publish be sure that you believe in the stance you are taking and have the knowledge and willingness to backup it up.
This is a great way to differentiate yourself from the glut of other bloggers out there. Being a good blogger AND thinking differently is a marriage that very few people pull off successfully, but if you can do it successfully, your blog will reap the rewards.
GIVE PEOPLE A TAKEAWAY.
Everyone wants to walk away with something they can apply to their life and instantly make things better. We live in a solution-driven society. Need proof? You need go no further than your favorite blog or bookstore to see the line of content standing by to help.
And I hope this blog posts gives you a takeaway, albeit a very short but important one. Three words:
Write it on a Post-It note. Get it tattooed on your arm. Do whatever it takes to keep these three items in mind with every blog post you write. Do that and you will be a better blogger, guaranteed.