7 Top Bloggers Tips on How to Create and Grow a Successful Blog
The number of active bloggers on the Internet is increasing each day – it is one of the latest trends in the social media world also. In fact, blogging is becoming an essential part of any social media strategy. If you aren’t quite sure what to write about, how often to publish your blog posts, or how to grow a network of people that will find and follow your work, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here are seven tips to help you with your blogging from top bloggers and social media experts with solid networks of fans and followers and tens of thousands of blog subscribers who regularly read their posts:
Measure the Progress of your Blog
Jay Baer, the founder of Convince and Convert, says that if you are blogging for business purposes you must set some goals your blog should achieve. Without these success metrics it wouldn’t be even fun to write. In fact, it can be quite lonely if you don’t know who are your readers, or if they even care for what you say. There’s a truly great variety of different metrics you can apply to gauge the progress of your blog and selecting the ones that are most relevant to your blog’s goals is an imperative.
At the very beginning it is important to be completely clear with why you are blogging and to understand the core business rationale behind your blogging initiative. In most cases, there are three main reasons:
Content, when bloggers pay great attention to how well their blog is optimized for the search engines to notice and recommend its content and drive traffic to it, including targeted keywords and creating important content strategies to help them increase the number of regular readers. If this is your scenario, you should focus on the search traffic.
Business, when there are financial goals the blog should achieve. Here it’s not about the traffic solely, but about converting that traffic into sales. The traffic from the blog should be transferred to some other web destination which usually is the corporate website or some lead form the visitors should fill in. The metric you should apply here are conversions and leads.
Community, when the purpose of blogging is to interact with other bloggers and supporters of a certain community. The focus here should be on some social outputs.
Select success metrics that match based on your main reason for blogging.
Pursue Opportunities for Guest Blogging
Bloggers can get great online exposure if they engage into guest blogging and blog for other people. According to Rich Brooks, the president of Flyte New Media, you should find the influential bloggers in your related niches, read their posts and get involved with intelligent and thoughtful comments that bring value. You’ll not only get links back to your blog, but if you are interesting enough you might also open some guest blogging opportunities for you in the near future.
The content that you publish on your blog or as a guest blogger must be unique. Duplicates are not well received by the search engines algorithms, and after the Panda update such content can really hurt all your blogging efforts. There are number of tools you can use to protect your work from stealing and to make sure your blog posts are completely original, and there is a great free plagiarism checker you can look into.
Change the Way You Look at Business Blogging
Business blog writers often complain how they don’t have enough time or don’t know what to write about on their blogs. But experts say that here it’s not only about writing – this is one of the best and most powerful marketing tools you can use to distribute your message to a wider audience. Here’s what Denise Wakeman, the founder of The Blog Squad, recommends for you to move away from that negative mode of thinking and schedule a writing time that won’t get lost between all the other activities in your busy day or week:
- Set the writing time in your calendar as busy;
- Plan the topics you’ll write about in advance. You can make an editorial calendar for your content where you’ll write down the titles one to three months in advance;
- Make a list of minimum five subjects you can cover for each of your blog’s categories that are related to your business, brand, products or services you provide;
- Each time you have an idea, or see some something interesting you might want to work through, write it into your editorial calendar. When the time for writing comes you’ll have many topics to start from.
Include Keywords in Your Blog Titles and Posts
It’s easy to write about whatever subject springs to your mind, but Rob Birgfeld from SmartBrief says you should focus on your top-producing keywords extracted from your search data since they are the secret sauce to a successful business blog. You can select ten of the most important keywords and phrases for your business goals and then write some compelling content about each one, scattering them throughout the blog posts together with their synonyms. The important keywords should also be included in the titles and in the selected tags. If you keep to such a keyword-driven blogging strategy you’ll not only build and plan a great editorial calendar, but it’ll also help you reach your blog’s goals employing proven search engine marketing data.
Find and Interview the Best in Your Industry
If you get a videographer and visit some bigger event in your industry to interview the best, most respected and successful people, you’ll have tons of content you can publish on your blog in the following months. Social Media Examiner’s founder Michael Stelzner also says there’s a great chance these big names will share your videos with their networks of fans and followers, driving new visitors and more traffic to your blog.
Create Persuasive Calls to Action
It’s great that you have all that funny anecdotes, provocative insights, top ten lists, analysis and case studies on your blog, but where is the call to action? What steps should the visitor take after landing on your blog? He was probably Googleing for something and ended up reading your latest post on the subject. He may even not know this is a blog, but the fact is you got his attention. Shouldn’t you use this opportunity to market your product or service at the exact moment your potential customer needs it, and isn’t even aware you are selling? Debbie Weil, founder of Social Media Insights Blog suggests adding some persuasive calls to action on your blog like Sign up for our e-newsletter, Download our e-book, Ask us a question, or Follow us on Twitter.
If Video Blogging, Forget about Acting
David Garland, author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper and founder of The Rise to the Top, says to forget about acting if you are making video blogs. Your readers want to see the real you; they don’t want you to pretend to be someone you are not. To overcome this “fear of the lens” you can invite someone you feel very comfortable with to ask you a question that you’ll answer simply. Then ask this person to hold the camera and record you doing the same. You should repeat this until you are completely satisfied. Try imagine you are looking at this close person of yours, instead of the camera lens when speaking – you’ll notice the difference immediately.
Author bio: Sandra Miller