Archive for the ‘Blogging: How To’ Category
Very quickly, if I visit your blog, will it stand out and be memorable to me? Will it separate itself from any of the sixty blogs created in the last minute? What about any of the more than 86,000 that will be created today? What about the more than half a million created this week?
If your blog is going to succeed, it has to stand out and be something other than “Just another WordPress (or other blogging system) blog”. Doing that, however, isn’t very easy not because it’s difficult to give your site a custom identity but because, with so many other sites out there, it can take a lot of work to give your site something that no one, or almost no one else, has.
However, if you don’t do it, you risk your good work and your energy going to waste, getting lost in the endless and faceless crowd that is 99% of all blogs created. For your site to succeed, it must have a “face” and a unique presence, something you’re not going to get without rolling up your sleeves and getting a little bit dirty with your theme, logo and your domain.
It might be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it isn’t half as scary as having millions of twins out there, ready to take your blogging identity in a heartbeat by sheer accident alone.
Like any industry or competitive environment, blogging has its share of superstars and top-tier performers. They are the names every blogger knows and everyone who has installed a copy of WordPress wants to be like.
But while it’s fine and great to have heroes, goals and even people you want to emulate, many of these superstar bloggers have built up a cult of personality around themselves, including empires of ebooks, guides, personal coaching and much, much more.
The promise of these guides is that, often for a price, you can be more like them and learn their system and their approach. The pitches often border on infomercial territory and promise outrageous results for almost no effort and time. However, even the more down to earth systems come with problems and concerns.
As a blogger, it’s easy to get sucked into this cult of personality as the lure of making large amounts of money and building a huge fan base are tempting to just about anyone. But it is a dangerous path to follow and a mistake you most likely can’t afford to make.
Last week, we talked about the difficulties and the pitfalls around building and maintaining trust with your readers online. We talked about why it is important to build trust, how difficult that is and how easily it can be squandered.
However, trust is only one half of the process for building the best audience possible. Though having readers that trust you is key for success, if those readers aren’t engaged and participating in your site, they aren’t providing much more than blips on your Google Analytics.
For most bloggers, the end goal isn’t just to get their readers to trust them, but to get them involved somehow. Whether it’s to have them to support a cause, provide feedback, spread the word about the site or even become customers, trust is only step one.
So how do you take a reader who trusts your site and your expertise to take things to the next level? There are many ways to do that but here are a few keys to making it happen.
Trust is easily the most valuable and most fragile of all the commodities a blogger has to have to be successful.
However, making complete strangers trust you and count on you is no simple task, especially when they will most likely never meet you. It can require years of tireless, consistent work, the ability to repeatedly prove that you are capable of delivering on what you promise and constantly striving to build a reputation for high quality work.
But for all of the work required to build trust, it can be lost in the blink of an eye. One breach of that trust, no matter how small, can set you back months, even years in terms of trust and some incidents can even overshadow your entire history, becoming damaging “buts” to an otherwise stellar reputation.
Learning how to build and keep trust is critical for every blogger. If your readers are going to let you in as part of their lives, no matter how small of a part that is, they need to know what role you’re going to fulfill and that you will do it well. Trust is often what separates the one-off or casual reader from the avid fan, trust is how you build inbound links and trust is how you grow your site.
Fortunately, building and managing trust is easier than many make it out to be, but it isn’t quite as simple as just doing quality work either. To build and keep trust, there are steps you have to take to ensure that others are receptive to your work and will notice your efforts, thus ensuring that your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, 3 new blogs will have come into existence. There can be no doubt that the world wide web in general, and social media sites in particular, are becoming more crowded and more competitive every second.Â The result?Â Standing out from the crowd is getting harder and harder.
Social media marketing is both necessary and extremely challenging. Blogs are an integral part of SEM, but simply building one isn’t enough. You need to get people to read what you write!
That being said, there are myriad resources that have become available which can help you promote and measure the success of your blog. Below you will find a definitive guide to some of the best resources online.
Overview of Blog Promotion
Promoting Your Blog
Some sweet, simple and easily actionable tips for blog promotion from Google itself, although we also love their disclaimer: “This is in no way a science or guarantee; it’s simply a few suggestions with which many bloggers have found success”. If you know little to nothing about blog promotion, it’s a good place to get an idea of the basics without getting overwhelmed.
21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic
SEOmoz offers some great, detailed advice for bloggers who want not just more traffic but better, more targeted traffic. There’s a lot here to help diagnose why your blog might be fledgling, and what to do to remedy the situation. Read More
Good content still sells and is one of the most effective ways to attract valuable links to your site. It is imperative to understand that most people venture into the cyber world looking for information on a plethora of topics, so when you offer informative articles not only do you please your visitors and get more link backs but also you establish a reputation for yourself as a niche expert. When writing link bait articles, it is essential to remember that while what you write is important, how you write it will add chutzpah to your content. So, here are some tips on how to write link bait articles that will keep your readers and the other webmasters coming back for more.
What should you do?
Spice up your articles: A very important contention when writing link bait articles is that most of the stuff that pen will already have found its way on the internet, so you need to ask yourself the crucial question, how can you make your writing stand out?
There are three key elements to remember when writing a memorable article that others will reference in their own writing…
If you blog long enough, it is bound to happen to you, even if you aren’t aware. Someone will take your content and republish it on their site, sometimes with a link, sometimes without, sometimes the full work, sometimes just a snippet. There are a million ways your content can appear on other sites, some ways legitimately and other ways less so, but they are all interesting lessons in how your readers interact with your work and, in some cases, problems you have to address.
Because, while most content reuse is fairly harmless. Some uses, especially by plagiarists and spammers, can have a negative impact on your site. This makes it important to know both how to track your content, what your rights are regarding your work, when is a good idea to step in and, most importantly, what you can do if you find that you need to.
Unfortunately, the issues are far more complex than what we can discuss in a single column, but we can definitely give a good overview of the situation and what you can expect.
There’s an old maxim that says “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” In sort it means that ideas are worthless without execution, which is what gives them value.
That maxim largely holds true for bloggers, that is, so long as ideas are plentiful.
However, if you blog long enough you’ll likely find that, at some point, you’ll run completely out of ideas and your mind, no matter how hard you force it, isn’t able to create new ones.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing in a tight niche or about something as broad as things you see in your day-to-day life, at some point inspiration dries up and you’re stuck with a post to write and nothing to write about.
How you respond to this challenge can say a great deal about you, your blog and the potential future of both, especially if it is to last for any length of time.
So how do you deal with this problem? The answer is surprisingly simple. Read More
At the end of the day, the most basic activity a blogger must do is write.
While it is true that bloggers are, with good reason, expending more and more into video and audio, at some point every blogger is going to have to write something. It might be a description, a bio or even just an advertisement but, at some point, a every blogger is going to have to put words onto paper.
But not every writer has the heart of a poet or the writing skills of a hard-hitting journalists. Bloggers come from all different backgrounds and styles and many have had little training or experience with writing prior to starting up their blog.
The good news is that you don’t need to be the next Shakespeare to be an effective and popular blogger, in many ways it helps not to be, but you do have to be able to write clearly and in a way that is engaging to your reader. It may not require a Ph.D in literature, but it does require that you work on honing your craft and make your writing as good as possible.
Failure to do so can sink an otherwise great blog and make your previous hard work a complete waste of time.
Everyone knows what being a blogger entails but fewer people know what creating a successful blog involves. Far too many bloggers have fallen for the false mantra of “If you write it, they will come” only to watch their traffic, readership and even profits lag behind their efforts.
There is much more to writing a blog than just simply putting out new blog entries. Even ignoring promotion, communication and other activities all bloggers do, there is a simple truth that, for the most part, a great blog can not be simply a great blog.
Nearly all great blogs are something else too and it is important to be thinking about that both as you work to develop the idea for your site and as you grow it. Rather than focusing merely on the daily grind, you need to make sure that your readers have other reasons to both first find your site and keep coming back.
After all, blogs are a dime a dozen on the Web, without something more, your site may not be worthless, but it can sure feel that way.