50 Blogging Tips To Help You Build Your Platform

A blog is a necessary tool for any business to succeed online. Fresh content on a regular basis is a must. I’ve blogged a lot recently about the necessity of blogging in any content marketing strategy. So what are some of the best ways to implement this? Here are 50 Blogging Tips To Help You Write Better Content And Sell More:

  1. Write Frequently – The goal is to stay front of mind with your readers and customers. A once a month schedule or even less frequently won’t cut it. Write frequently and…
  2. Have something to say – You can’t publish garbage. That’s a recipe worse than not publishing at all. What are your opinions? What information can you share? Write it in a compelling enough manner.
  3. Read more – Take in more industry books, blogs and magazines. Also don’t be afraid to read outside your industry. How can the ideas be related? Connecting two ideas never meant to be connected is a great way to get real creative.
  4. Figure out your mission – You’ll constantly be tweaking and reinventing your image, but it helps to know what you’re doing from the onset.
  5. Utilize a designer – Your logo and graphics are going to be what your readers see every time they go to your blog. It’s what initially catches people’s eye and draws them in. Your blog and your website are your online “home base.” Make sure it’s in tip-top shape. This expense will pay for itself down the road.
  6. Set achievable goals – I hate to burst your bubble here, but you’re not going to wake up and be rich. If you want to see success with blogging, you’ll need to set achievable goals. What does success look like? How exactly are you hoping to monetize your blog? What are you doing to foster more comments? Take small babysteps in the right direction. Look for signs you might be doing things right.
  7. Learn how to write in a compelling fashion – Writers have to work to keep their audience, especially in this day and age when there’s so many options. Make a promise up front in your headline or lead, and then work to keep it. Speaking of…
  8. Write headlines that convert – Invest the time in reading a book on headlines such as Headline Hacks. Use this prime real estate in your blog post to compel your reader to continue. For example, “How To” headlines do really well, but there has to be a payoff. Take the headline on this post. People won’t necessarily care about just writing better. But selling more? That’s what this whole business thing is about.
  9. Pay attention to your lead – That first sentence is a decision making point for your readers. Are they going to want to continue or drop your post like a bad habit? Tell us why we’re reading. Set the scene. Draw readers in. Give us some statistics. Whatever you have to do.
  10. Comment elsewhere – You can’t just build it and expect people to come. It may have worked in an Iowa cornfield, but online you’ll need to participate in other places where conversations are currently taking place. It’s a great way to begin the relationship building process.
  11. Guest post – This is a great way to see your byline in big places. It generates traffic and builds credibility. This could be one of the single greatest ways to build your blog audience. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Don’t be stingy with what you give away, either. You’re trying to build your audience.
  12. Promote offline – When you go to networking events and when you’re talking with clients, don’t be afraid to mention a post that may help people with a specific problem. You’re creating a tool that transforms your website from an advertising piece into an industry resource.
  13. Create an on-site blog – This is just making sure that your blog is part of your existing website. All of the momentum you build will then help promote your Internet “home base.” The goal is to drive all of your traffic online. This helps keep people there.
  14. Link to previous posts – Make sure people understand you’ve been at it awhile. You’ve been hard at work creating a valuable industry tool. When you allude to something you’ve done before, show your readers how they can get more information on the topic. This is all part of educating them.
  15. Link to other resources – Like I said, you’re trying to educate and provide value. If other industry writers have done good work, don’t be afraid to show them. If you’re wondering how you can build a relationship with other bloggers, this is a good way. People take note when you do this. Speaking of…
  16. Build relationships with other bloggers – Talk with them about what they know, and what they do to reach their audience. See if there’s a fit to begin a guest posting relationship. These people can become some of your most avid readers and supporters.
  17. Find your power relationships – Who have you found off your blog that can bring you repeat business? For instance, I’m a marketing writer, so it makes sense for me to team up with marketing and design agencies, with the possibility of writing content for client projects. Your blog can become a tool and open new doors this way, too.
  18. Be yourself – Find your writing voice. Be authentic. Your readers are looking for a real person to do business with. If they can identify with you, things will become easier. Along those lines…
  19. Don’t be an industry typist – OK, you know when you read the same five tips on Joe Shmo’s blog that you read on an industry leader’s blog a few weeks back? It’s frustrating. Come up with new tips. Share opinions on existing tips. Your readers are looking for someone who knows what they’re talking about. Be that person.
  20. Fight off writer’s block – There are proven strategies over there to defeat that lost feeling when you’re staring at a blank, white screen. Get up and take a walk. Read something else. Step away from the computer. Whatever you have to do, beat off writer’s block.
  21. Utilize your social networks – Post your valuable content for your platform to read, but make sure that they see your personal side as well. I’ve had clients who contacted me about thousands of dollars worth of work note talk with me about the fact I’m an avid Bears fan. They’re also anxious to talk with me about my eight week old son. Don’t discount that human connection.
  22. Join groups, communities and chats – It’s not enough to simply post on your social platforms and run away. There are general conversations on your industry that are taking place all over Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. Join them, and participate. This is how you build relationships and facilitate long-term business.
  23. Always work to generate new ideas – You can do this through reading, mind mapping, conducting keyword research or any other countless ways. But exercise that creative right side of the brain. Treat your blog as a creative work of art. Keep generating new blog ideas.
  24. Use an editorial calendar – I use WordPress Editorial Calendar. It’s just a great way to get a visual for your publication calendar. You can also organize your publication schedule by topic or list, if you want to settle into more of a routine. Maybe “How To Tuesday” makes sense for you.
  25. Diversify your content – Create an eBook to give away for your mailing list. Get involved with writing articles or producing podcasts or video. It doesn’t have to become a regular thing. Just do it enough to test the waters and find yourself in front of a new audience.
  26. Write an awesome “about me” page – The first place readers will go if they’re interested in what you have to say is the “about me.” Make sure that it emphasizes your experience and shows off your human side. There should be a good personal touch with it.
  27. Be reachable – Make sure your contact information is easily findable on each page. The whole point of the Internet is to connect. Don’t miss opportunities.
  28. Keep your comment section turned on – Nothing frustrates me more than getting to the bottom of a thought-provoking blog post, and not being able to share what I think. This whole blogging thing is about creating a two way conversation. Not just a megaphone platform.
  29. Filter your comments – No one wants to see broken English comments that point back to a gold selling business or selling handbags. It’s distracting and unprofessional and those jokers don’t deserve space on your site. It’s spam, people.
  30. Personally reach out – Your “thanks for commenting” form is all fine and good, but show people that you actually care. Respond. See what they do. Comment on their stuff. Show them that you care.
  31. Don’t shout – If you try to use your blog as a megaphone to sell, people will quickly figure your motives out. It’s a social tool to build relationships. No one wants a commercial. Next tip…
  32. Figure out your SEO – It’s easier to figure out your strategy for keywords, tags and categories initially than after the fact. I speak from experience on that one. SEO can be a great tool to bring in a new audience, and it’s inherently good. When people use it to sell their widgets in Chicago, Illinois for people who like widgets and are in the market for widget buying, we get into trouble, your readers brains start to hurt. (That sentence was as painful for me to write as it was for you to read.)
  33. Make sharing easy – I use the Sociable plugin, but there are others. Make sure that people have all the relevant links to share your content with their networks. It will make a difference.
  34. Figure out the ways you want to make money – Your blog should help you sell more, but it can do more than just that. You can sell affiliate products. You can sell products and/or ad space. There are a wide variety of ways to monetize your blog. You could also become a consultant, speaker or conduct workshops in addition to your current offerings. Slowly unroll different strategies. Experiment and figure out what else works.
  35. Don’t let your blog turn into a ghost town – When readers go to a blog and see that they haven’t published in months, they begin to wonder if you’re still in business. Keep active.
  36. Monitor your efforts – I use Google Analytics but there are several measurement tools that are available. Figure out what your most popular content is, and link to it. You won’t know how successful your efforts are if you don’t measure.
  37. Build a reader profile – Who exactly are you trying to reach? Is your buying demographic mainly male or female? What kind of economic status do they have? How educated are they? What do they do for a living? Keep these types of questions in mind as you’re determining what to write about.
  38. Build an email list – This is a great way to promote any future offerings. You can use free content as a way to solicite emails. If you don’t want to write an eBook, one idea would be to compile your 10 most popular posts and give them away in exchange for emails.
  39. Write compelling calls to action – Your readers aren’t going to know what you want them to do, unless you tell them. So tell them to fill out your contact form, comment below or whatever other action you want them to take. There’s no psychics here.
  40. Keep it conversational – You’re not writing Wikipedia entries. (Unless of course, you are.) The most successful blog posts are in a simple, conversational tone that your audience will identify with. Picture your ideal reader, and pretend you’re out for a cup of coffee. How would you explain any given topic to him or her?
  41. Think like a journalist – OK, so as a freelance journalist and former staff reporter I’m a little biased on this one. But, I can tell you that journalists have been engaging their readers for years. They know how to write compelling copy that draws readers in, and invokes emotion. They’re also skilled professional writers with a strong command of the English language. Sounds like a good place to be, right?
  42. Remember that it’s quality over quantity – Yes, you need to stay at the forefront of your readers’ minds. But you won’t do that by publishing spammy or bad writing. You do that by being thought-provoking and valuable. That means knowing your audience well, and continuing to practice the craft.
  43. Know where your readers congregate – You’ll need to understand the online habits of your audience, if you’re looking to draw their attention. For example, I aim a lot of what I do at small business owners and marketing agencies. Small business owners tend to be on LinkedIn, where I have a strong profile, and presence in groups. Marketers and designers tend to be active on Google Plus and Twitter. I try to reach them where they’re at by joining their conversations.
  44. Always write for people – It’s like a lightbulb going off in small business owners’ heads. “You mean I can use the same word 50 times in a 400 word document and rank well on Google?” Well, maybe. But you won’t stay there very long, and your audience won’t listen to a word. Always aim your material at the person with the wallet. Google doesn’t buy your product, your customers do.
  45. Make it easy to navigate – Allow your readers to search. Provide popular posts, recent posts, or some other way for them to access more content. There’s a great WordPress widget out there called nRelate, that will give readers a choice of similar content from your website. All of this tempts them to stay on your site longer, which is always a good thing.
  46. Ask your readers what they want for content – This is a surefire way to keep them interested and engaged in the material that you’re publishing. Remember, the goal is to create a valuable resource out of your website. That way, they’ll know where to turn when it’s time to buy.
  47. Subscribe to other great content – Always be looking for other great resources in your industry. Use Google Blog Search and Technorati to find more great content. Sometimes you can find other great blogs just by going through the comment sections on the heavy hitters in your industry. When you find the ones you like, subscribe. That way you’ll regularly see their work.
  48. Remove distractions – If a widget or sidebar item doesn’t serve a purpose or proves outdated, remove it. At this point it’s only going to distract your readers from your stated purpose. Everything on your blog page needs to serve a specific function.
  49. Remember, blogging is social – You have to engage with readers, work to build your audience and continue to provide content that has your audience in mind. It’s about them. That’s how you build business relationships.
  50. Use images – The social web is continuously become more image-based. Using an image with your post forces you to think about the layout and presentation of your post from a visual standpoint. It will also make your work more appealing to share, and that’s the whole goal.

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