So you want to start a blog or you already have one and no one is turning up to read it. Well it’s time to “Just Do It” and make the blog rock.
Below we will show you
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Business
- The importance of passion
- How to find your audience
- Help your audience find you
- How to write and develop content that your market cares about
- Find and use the right technology essential to build a blog with the right foundation
- Different techniques to write headlines that make people read your posts
- Simple ways to produce a video blog
- Secrets on how to use social media to spread your content
- Why you need to grow a substantial Twitter follower base
- Ways to use Facebook to market your blog
- 4 Different ways make money from your blog
- The essential elements to create a personal brand that will change your life and dramatically increase your income
- How to become an expert and thought leader in your industry
And much more. There may be one tip that you can action today
105 Tips To Make Your Blog Rock.
1. Be passionate!! Don’t start a blog if you are not passionate about your topic. Passion will give you the energy and the juice to make your blog and life a success, it is the elixir for being relentless. For more on this read “10 Secrets To Being Insanely Successful” or “How To Blog With Passion and Purpose
2. Read and develop content on industry Trends – where is the industry going, what are the emerging hot segments
3. Find out who your customers are and where they hang out and write and develop content that is then written in their language and publish it to those platforms. If you are writing for Gen Y then you will need to write in their language and publish to platforms like YouTube and Facebook. For more on this read “9 Questions To Ask Your Customers When Creating Content”
4. Write about customers successes – Write up a case study about a clients successful project, they will often let you publish their name
5. Publish content on what not to do! – highlighting where something hasn’t worked (the names shall remain anonymous of course)
6. Create a video blog post by interviewing a successful client – this can a powerful providing authentic evidence of authority and credibility for both you and the client. On how to do this check out “How To Create And Promote Your YouTube Video In 8 Simple Steps”
8. Brainstorm blog post topics with colleagues and management and create a list for future reference and planning
9. Subscribe to the top industry blogs in your market, both company blogs and personal blogs for ideas
10. Look through your latest news releases for ideas
11. Sign up other staff to write on topics in your industry or market that they are passionate about
12. Video interview successful people in your industry. Check out “Social Media and The CEO: Video Interview With Greg Savage Of Aquent”
13. Turn the “how to” blog posts into short videos
14. When you have a great idea, go straight to your “add new” button and write the headline and save it as a draft or write it down before you forget it. ( I also use my notes feature on my iPhone to catch those moments of inspired thought)
15. Include a great iconic image at the start of the blog that catches the eye
16. Case Studies are always popular to write about and not just your own
17. Place Powerpoint presentations on your blog by posting and then embedding links from Slideshare
18. Run polls and surveys on your blog
19. Create great headlines that catch people attention and makes them want to read the rest of the article
20. Add credbility banners such as how many subscribers, number of hits, blog grade and any awards
21. Provide “share this” buttons to Facebook and Twitter as a minimum
22. Implement “subscribe” buttons via RSS and Email
23. Write in bite size chunks and use bullet points so readers can quickly and easy consumption
24. Break up large blocks of text with iconic and interesting images
25. Take screen shots to place in your post using software like Snagit to highlight points .. a picture is worth a 1000 words
26. Be yourself even if it is a company blog.. be authentic.
27. Optimize your blog for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For more on why this is important read. “10 facts Reveal The Importance Of Ranking High In Google”
28. Promote and distribute your posts on to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
29. Make the blog easy to find on your company’s web page with a large bannner or button
30. Have fun, mix up the types of posts and add some humour occasionally.
(Gini Dietrich from Spinsucks.com contributed to the list with the following eleven additional tips)
31. Ask your readers what they want you to write about
32. Let your readers pimp their own blogs in your comments section
33. Ask questions
34. Create contests (which goes along with your poll/survey idea)
35. Install the SEO All In One pack on your WordPress blog
36. Use StumbleUpon to increase your readership
37. Create content for “Associated Content” by republishing your blog posts there (it helps with readership and news outlets will republish your content on their sites)
38. Comment on other blogs and news articles to show your thinking/expertise, but also link people back to your blog
39. Make sure, when you use Twitter to promote your blog post, tweet it more than once.
40. Subscribe to SmartBrief newsletters, RSS feeds, and Google alerts in order to find ideas for new content (that’s how I found this blog!)
41. Post and link your content on the Delicious social bookmarking site. (This will again help spread your content by placing it on a highly trafficked site)
42. Try your hat at a guest blogger or two, this could add credibility to your site , especially if the person is influential in his or her space. Courtney Wiley of iNgage Networks also made this suggestion
43.In the meta tags for your photos, make sure the labels/words are what you want them to be – search engines can’t “read” photos, only the labels/meta tags. Dave Heinrich from WebTechUniverse.com also contributed with this tip which is vital and I do this with every image in my posts
44. When people write a comment actually take the time to email them directly and thank them for the comment and if they ask a question, then answer it. You will find that this will create a WOW factor and spread the word about the blog. If you took 10-15 minutes a day to respond to 5 comments via email you would make great impact on over 1,500 people during a year who would each spread the word to potentially 1000′s more. This could be the making of a tribe!
45. Comment appropriately on the top blogs ranked by Google on the major key word or phrase you are trying to optimize for SEO. This will create a a link back to your site and linking is key to increasing your own rankings with search engines
46. Write a blog post listing some important bloggers in your industry (such as the top 5) and point out how they make their blogs successful and you might find they return the love!
47 Interlink to other posts in your blog when writing a post especially those that are relevant and have been successful (this again is great for SEO)
48. Outsource content development for sections of your blog that are appropriate such as ‘resource’ sections.
49. Update an original post that provides more value to your readers (this post is an example)
50. Take readers comments and include and promote them in your blog (like we have just done)
51. Take a selection of your best blog posts and make an ebook out of it. Then distribute the ebook on the Amazon Kindle Store and Apple iBookStore. This will find you new readers for your blog. And you can monetize it in a whole new way by charging a dollar or two for your ebook. (Thanks to Vikram Narayam )
52. Collaborate with other Twitter users within your niche to promote each others content
53. Make sure that everyone within your company has their own Twitter account and promotes the blog and company social media accounts on that account
54. When speaking or presenting, record it on video and upload it to company YouTube channel. It will be a constant resource for clients as well as adding to your websites SEO.
55. Make excerpts of key points on the video and turn them into short blog posts.
56. On your YouTube channel make sure you have optimized the video for search engines through tags, key phrase in the description as well as the link to your blog in the description section.
57. The SlideShare account where you have uploaded your PowerPoint presentation should also be optimized for search with your blog or website URL in your public profile
58. The Slideshare account should also have your top keywords and phrases in the ”Public Profile” about section so that search is optimized.
59. Keep most blogs short with no more than 400-500 words as most people don’t have much time and will be only spending a minute or two on your blog (average time on this site according to Google Analytics is 1 minute and 39 seconds)
60. If embedding a video in the post again brevity rules with the rule of thumb now at a 1-2 minute video
61. Take each post and post it on the New Digg (20 million visitors a month), it is quick and easy to do and will take you only a minute or two (it involves copying the URL and pasting it to Digg, add the headline and choose the section then hit
62. Take the results of your polls or survey and turn them into a blog post. A lot of people want know the results as over time the blog post is buried in the archives
63. Use a twitter app such as SocialOomph.com (Professional edition) to schedule tweets your posts on a regular basis. Another software application you can use is MarketMesuite.com which allows you to personally brand your scheduled tweets.
64. Collaborate and communicate with other successful bloggers in your niche especially those that enhance and add to your skill set (they will encourage and support you)
65. Implement an email acquisition strategy that includes a pop over form that hovers over the screen for first time visitors (offer free eBook or video tutorial as an incentive and a gift for people giving you their name and email address) . One platform that provides this is Aweber.
66. Another email subscriber tactic includes a suggestion to refer a friend to join the email list
67. Place a video on your Facebook fan page inviting visitors to subscribe.
68. Link to your blog on your Facebook fan page
69. On your email subscriber form don’t ask people for their life history keep it short and only ask for name and email address
70. On LinkedIn Make sure your Profile is public with Your Blog, Website and Facebook pages entered in your Settings (Profile Section) where you are allowed 3 website URLs
71. On LinkedIn make sure you have blog widget loaded (this is at the bottom of your LinkedIn Home page by clicking on the +Add an Application Button) this will then display your blog and the 3 latest posts in a window on your home page for all visitors to your profile
72. Add the Twitter feeds application using the Tweets add on in the same section this will promote your blog posts when you tweet them
73. Promote your Slideshare presentations on LinkedIn using the Slideshare Presentations again in the +Add an Application button (remember your optimized Slideshare account will have your blog URL which will drivetraffic to your blog)
74. Get the latest information and ideas by creating alerts using Google Alerts on your favourite topics. For me that might be something like “Social Media Case Studies” so that any new content on the Web that fits that phrase will be fed to you by Google, either as it happens or daily. (Suggestion maybe create a separate dedicated email account eg firstname.lastname@example.org so that it doesn’t overwhelm your personal or business account
75. Hire a copy writer to hone your content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that your key words and phrases that are important when potential readers and clients go looking online find “you” and not your competitor on Google’s search engine results page
76. Video interview successful people in your industry and then make it easy for them to share the interview with their network (this will surprise you as to how powerful this is in leveraging and spreading your content)
78. Bundle up the best blog posts about about your niche and turn it into a PDF book. You could sell the PDF for lets say $19. (37signals who took its own experiences as a web startup and published them on their corporate blog and monetized that over 2 years into a $750,000 revenue stream by publishing and then repackaging it)
79. Take the PDF and turn it into a paperback at a print on demand publisher Lulu.com. You can sell the paperback for $25 and they make a few more thousand a month on royalties. (37 signals book “Getting Real” was published from the PDF source material and the paperback is currently ranked the 2nd best seller on Lulu)
80.Take the content from the book and produce a conference series. You could hold a few conferences a year and make about $50,000 per conference. (37signals has produced about 5 of these conferences) So if you add this all up:
- $100,000 on The Deck ads
- $350,000 on the “Getting Real” PDF
- $65,000 on the “Getting Real” paperback
- $250,000 on the “Getting Real” conferences (before that they were called Building of Basecamp).
Total $765,000 over a few years off the same content repackaged in a variety of ways.
This content was simply about insight and ideas about how they run their business.
So there it is, over $750,000 from Blog entries, PDF, paperback, and conferences.
To read more on this check out. “4 Ways To Make Money From Your Blog Content: A Case Study”
How could you adapt this model to your industry?
81. Take the content, expertise and network contacts that you have developed from your blog and produce a Webinar. Social Media Examiner have done this successfully twice and have registered up to 2,000 people online and made over $900,000
82. Mount a video camera in your car if you are in an industry that involves getting out and about such as real estate and make a video blog while you are “on the job” (but not driving of course). Ian Watt from Vancouver does this and creates short video blog posts talking about the industry he is obviously passionate about.
84. Offer a premium paid newsletter for a low cost of $1.99. An example here is that a restaurant could offer a monthly newsletter with recipes for seasonal foods or a Gym could offer a weekly newsletter with keeping fit and staying healthy.
85. Use Alltop to promote your content.
86. Put a big button on your blog that invites and makes it easier for people to do “business” with you such as investing in your blog or collaborating in joint ventures..
87. Join as many Facebook active Facebook fan pages or groups relating to your blog topic as possible
88. Monitor your brand with Google Alerts or Tweetdeck so that you can thank people that publish your content and protect your brand from misconceptions.
89. Offer consulting services in your area of expertise that are highlighted and prominent on your blog.
90. “Persist” and don’t give up and your blogging journey may surprise you!
91. Place a LinkedIn share button next to your retweet and Facebook share buttons as a lot of LinkedIn users now have 200-300 connections and a LinkedIn share can potentially have that many impressions per share
92. Consider having more perennial or evergreen content on your blog that doesn’t date and is timeless. The latest news posts are still useful but can quickly become out of date.
93. Write blog posts that answer the problems that your readers and viewers have in your industry niche. To read more on this check out “Why Solving Problems Beats Marketing
94. Write subtitles that keep people engaged with your content. If they just see a wall of text it is easy for readers to turn your blog off and go somewhere else. An example of this can be found at this article “”Why Social Media and Traditional Marketers Should Stop Bitching” – and the first sub title is “The Challenge For Social Media”
95. Write how to posts, that make your site a constant resource for people. This will achieve two things 1. It will bring them back time and time again 2. It will increase readership time on your blog
96. Improve your writing by subscribing to writing blogs or attending writing classes.
97. Obtain a great domain name. This applies if your own name is already taken as a domain name. A writer friend of mine Nicholas Brasch recently started a blog called writer.com.au. How cool is that!! Oh yes check him out he is an awesome writer.
98. Find your writing voice. This is the type and style of writing that suits you and is you. It might be idiosyncratic and you may get critics but it will be authentic and if you write and blog that is what you need to be..”Real”
99. Make it easy for people to view your blog on a mobile phone as more people are read from smart phones that are connected to the internet. There are simple plugins for WordPress that enable you to do this in about 10 minutes. I have just checked my Google analytics and nearly 5% of my readers have raed my blog from a mobile platform in the last week. This trend will continue and the percentage will go up.
100. Install Google analytics (this can only be done if it is a self hosted account) this will highlight things that you can fine tune and improve.
101. Have a “contact us” form on your blog that makes it easy for people to contact you for those speaking, consulting and business opportunities.
102. Continue to follow people on Twitter in your industry niche to build up your Twitter following. This gives you a larger audience to promote your blog to. For more on this read “Today’s Twitter Tip: How To Get Targeted Niche Followers”
103. Read all the time and different styles and types of writers. This will give you great ideas to write about and continue to position you as a thought leader as you continue to learn. Phillip Adams once said “Show me someone who reads a book a week and I’ll show you a good person” and also I will show you a better writer.
104. Write about industry News – whats happening this week, this month
105. Learn how to write awesome headlines for your blog articles. It’s been reported that up to 50% of all tweets that are retweeted are due to the headline only! For more on how to do this read “Have you Been Making This Huge Mistake On Your Blog”
If you find you are getting frustrated and the writing is hard and some days it isn’t happening then remember this quote from Tolstoy the famous Russian author who wrote “War and Peace” .
“I don’t like writing but I love having written”
What other tips would you like to add? I look forward to hearing about your blogging tips.
Image by JAG1 Photos