Blog week has covered a lot of ground.
On Monday Dina Behrman explained 7 undeniable reasons to blog for business.
On Tuesday Kassia Gardner outlined a simple strategy to help you get really organised and plan your blog posts a year in advance.
On Wednesday Jo Dewberry talked about the importance of writing content that’s search engine friendly and described some simple techniques for achieving that.
And yesterday I explained why guest blogging is a valuable strategy for improving your reputation and your search engine rank.
What do you want your blog to achieve?
If you firmly embrace blogging as a strategy to develop your business, you will reap rewards.
But don’t be misled.
It’s not just a case of getting new content out there.
After all the internet is crammed with blogs on all manner of topics. So first figure out what you want your blog to achieve. Do you want to be an “authority blogger” or are you blogging to deepen your connection with loyal customers? Are you writing for SEO or are you blogging for traffic?
Whatever you choose, blogging is hard work.
But there are proven strategies that will get you better, quicker.
To help, here are my top four tips.
1. Model the A-Listers
This is a great place to start point.
To get really good at blogging watch the ace bloggers in your field and then learn from them.
Here are my favourites…
Let’s start with Copyblogger. Brian Clark and his team consistently publish topnotch articles that help small and micro businesses write better content. Each post is stimulating, brilliantly written and packed with ingenious insights that improve and increase your skill set. If you want to get better at persuasive writing, @copyblogger is an essential destination.
Next is Stan Smith’s Pushing Social. I love Stan’s writing style and his passionate persistence to help busy business owners blog better. He posts fresh content each weekday and covers everything from the techy side of running a great blog, to content ideas, blog promotion tips and how to write better. Stan has a sharp, creative mind and will fill you with ideas and tactics to improve.
Jon Morrow is cool. If his name is new to you start by reading On Dying, Mothers and Fighting For Your Ideas. Jon is a stylish, eloquent blogger who is a master of filling you with cracking ideas then pushing you into action. Jon’s Boost Blog Traffic blog is packed with insightful, thought provoking posts and his Guest Blogging course is awesome.
Who’s the leader in your field?
2. Write better headlines
This may come as a shock.
8 out of 10 people will read your headline. But only 2 out of 10 people will read the rest of your article.
And so it’s a no brainer. You have to know how to write great headlines that get your blog posts noticed.
Now there is an easy way to do that. And I’m going to share with you two fantastic, free resources that have transformed the way I approach mine.
- Download Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks report. It’s awesome! I have my copy printed out and in a special folder ready to refer to whenever I need some inspiration. You see it’s a mistake to believe you have to be 100% original in your writing. OK that’s not a green light to plagiarise, but it is permission to find out what has worked for other people and tweak it to fit your own situation. Headline Hacks contains 52 headline templates along with an explanation of why they work. Then all you need to do is fill in the blanks on your own blog. Just brilliant!
- Also download Chris Garrett’s 102 Proven Headline Formulas. As the name suggests this invaluable pdf contains masses of headline ideas grouped into different categories. In fact with these two free tools, there’s no excuse for writing another bad headline!
3. Be consistent
The question about how often you should blog always pops up.
There are numerous schools of thought and I think the jury will continue debating the “right” answer.
Whatever you decide, you must be reliable and consistent. You want to train your readers to expect a publishing pattern and then deliver that. For example, here at the Hub we publish each weekday and focus on a new topic every week.
Other A-Lister’s like Stan Smith and Copyblogger post every day. If you have the time this is a good strategy. It means keen reader’s always have new content to digest. The downside is it can be extremely time consuming.
The key is find a rhythm that matches your reader’s desires with your capability.
4. Don’t publish rubbish
If you’re really serious about blogging for business and using it to grow your authority remember this…
Quality is always more important than quantity.
So don’t rush out your words. Pay attention to what you say. Check the spelling and grammar. Check the layout. Make it easy to read and make it interesting. Poor content will not get shared!
Instead write for your reader.
Avoid a hard sell. Cut the self-promotion and work to solve your reader’s pinch points. Offer really useful information. Ask insightful questions. Research to discover what your readers want to know and then deliver it in your own unique style.
Then always look for ways to improve and have fun!
Today’s Micro Action
- Download Headline Hacks.
- Identify the A-Listers in your niche and model them.