No matter how many new social networks pop-up – including Twitter and the like – blogging still remains very popular. When I’m teaching a session and ask students in the class how many of them read blogs, often only a few hands go up. Want to know why? Blogs are so pervasive that we often read them and don’t know we’re reading them. Most people don’t know enough about blogging to know what a blog is so when you see huge numbers of people who read blogs, these are based on site statistics, not reader polls. Check out some of these stats:
· There are now 70 million blogs
· Approximately 120,000 are started each day or 1.4 new blogs every second
· Bloggers post an average of 17 posts per second (or 1.5 million posts per day)
So how do these super bloggers get such great traffic to their blog and moreover, how do they keep their blog interesting? Here are some tips to not only get you up to speed on blogging, but keep you on track:
1.) Blog frequently: you should blog at a minimum of once a week and ideally two to three times a week. Don’t forget to spell check your blogs, you don’t want to be posting stuff that has typos in it. This will turn off your reader. Your posts don’t have to be long. If you only post in 50-word increments, that’s fine. Don’t force yourself to post longer.
2.) Don’t obsess over stats: Seriously. While it’s easy enough to get caught up in the “my blog is more popular than your blog” mantra it’s not a good thing to spend your time on. Also, stats and subscribers will come and go. Try to limit yourself to checking stats once a week, or once a month if you can hold off that long.
3.) Don’t obsess over comments (or lack thereof): Some bloggers will get comments right away and some will take a bit longer. Just because people aren’t commenting doesn’t mean they’re not reading. This is one of the biggest complaints I hear from bloggers: No one is commenting. Don’t let a blank comment section dissuade you from blogging, but when someone has commented by sure to comment back or just thank them for visiting if their entry doesn’t warrant a response. Also if the reader has a blog, visit theirs as well and place a comment. They’ll appreciate you for it, and it’s a great way to network!
4.) Be patient: let’s face it, blogging takes time. Regardless of how many statistics you see on blogs that get mountains of traffic, none of this happened in a week (or even in a month). The quickest way to talk yourself out of blogging is to be impatient for something to happen. Keep blogging, eventually something will happen. If you do all the right things, eventually traffic and readers will beat a path to your door!
5.) Listen: know what your reader needs and blog on those topics. Knowing what’s important to your reader is a big step in creating a powerful blog that will get traffic. Know what’s going on in your industry, what should you be talking about? What does your reader need help with? How can your blog become a resource? What – or who – else does your reader need to know in order to be successful? Maybe it’s time that you interview other experts on your blog, or at the very least, link to them.
6.) Write good headlines: people judge a blog by its headline and when you’re subscribed to a lot of blog feeds (as I am) you know that readers will pick and chose the blogs they read based on the headlines. Don’t make readers guess what your blog is about, be specific and be benefit driven.
7.) Be timeless: while many of your posts will relate to topics or news items that are going on *now*, it’s also good to write posts that will be “evergreen,” meaning posts that don’t have a short lifespan. For example, I have posts dating back to 2006 that still get commented on and passed around because their topic is as relevant today as it was three years ago.
8.) Posting tips: I generally try to post by 7 am EST (8 am at the latest). Studies have shown that people have more time to read blogs and emails before 9am EST so make sure all your posting is done by then.
9.) No time for the long-winded: Write readable posts. Keep your sentences to no more than 25 words and paragraphs to no more than 7 lines of text. Use lots of bullet points, too, whenever you can.
10.) Get your own domain name early: there’s nothing worse than getting a blog that’s someone else’s property (i.e. Blogger or WordPress). If you wait too long to move your blog to your own domain, you’ll risk losing search engine ranking and traffic. Any blog can be linked to any URL, just ask your web person to help you out with this.
So now that you have your tips, what on earth will you blog on? Here are a few ideas to consider:
Blog on: trends, write reviews, interview experts, comment on news pieces related to your topic, blog on good reviews your book got, blog on your new book, blog on the elephant in the room (talk about the thing everyone seems to be avoiding).
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- 15 Blogging Tips for Newbie Bloggers (shoutmeloud.com)
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- 7 Things to do From the First Day of Blogging. (shoutmeloud.com)