Blogs are a great way to help grow your business, communicate with potential clients, improve your SEO and position yourself as an expert in your chosen sector. Here are 21 practical ideas about how to improve and maximize the value of your own blog. These concepts are from Jessica Swanson – the founder of ‘Shoestring Marketing University’.
In today’s small business environment, it almost goes without saying that the small business owner needs to blog. But, it’s not quite as simple as it may seem. If you feel that you are up on stage blogging your heart out to an empty stadium, don’t despair.
Here are 21 quick and easy ways to blog like a Rockstar and fill your blogging stadium with die-hard fans.
1. Write compelling headlines. Your headline is how people decide if they’re going to read your blog post or not. So, make sure that it reaches out and grabs hold of your reader.
2. Capture your reader’s attention in the first paragraph. Your first paragraph should draw in your reader and entice them to keep reading. Keep it simple, snappy and sassy.
3. Keep sentences short. Short sentences stand out, are simple to read, and balance out longer sentences. Utilise short sentences throughout your blog for some added pizazz.
4. Omit the fluff. Omit all unnecessary words, especially fluffy, frilly adjectives. Just the facts, Jack.
5. Use keywords phrases. To help the search engines find your posts, use your most important keyword phrase in the first three words of your title. In addition, sprinkle the keyword phrase throughout the body of your post. (The rule of thumb is to insert one keyword phrase for each 100 words.)
6. Use white space. Using plenty of white space throughout your post makes it easier to read. When your readers are faced with a page of dense, black text, they’ll give up before they even begin.
7. Make use of lists. Bulleted or numbered lists make your posts simple to scan. And, since so many of your readers are “scan readers” this strategy ensures that they stick with you until the end.
8. Use bold text and italics. When you want to emphasis a certain point or draw attention to an important word, use bold text or italics.
9. Link like crazy. One characteristic of bloggers is that they link, link and then link some more. They link externally to other relevant blogs and they link internally to their own past blog posts. In addition, links help Google determine what your post is about.
10. Keep your posts short. We’re living in a world packed with people who have short attention spans and overloaded lives. Aim for posts that are 300 – 500 words. Short, sweet and to the point.
11. Talk directly to your reader. As you write your post, imagine that you’re talking to one person in a face-to-face conversation. Your goal is to make the reader feel as if you’re having a conversation with them and only them.
12. Solve your readers’ problem. One of the main purposes of your blog is to help your readers solve some of their most pressing problems. This is how you position yourself as an expert.
13. Don’t preach. Blogs aren’t meant to be a personal pulpit in order to preach to your congregation. They’re a social platform meant for connection, interaction and creating relationships.
14. Have some fun. If you’re not having fun writing your blog, your readers aren’t going to have fun reading your blog. So kick back, relax and have some fun!
15. Forget what you learned in high school English class. Forget the tight-laced rules that you learned in English class. Blogging is more about connecting with your audience than worrying about sentence fragments, run-ons or dangling participles.
16. Proofread. Even though your blog posts can break some of the strict rules of grammar, you still need to adhere to some of the basics. Make sure that you don’t have glaring typos, misspellings or jumbled sentences.
17. Read your post out loud. Reading your posts out loud helps capture your authentic voice so that you sound natural and real.
18. Let your personality shine. Your personality should be a part of every single post that you write. If you’re funny, then be funny. If you’re serious, then be serious. Just make sure that the “real you” is shining through each and every post.
19. Voice your opinions. Don’t be afraid to have opinions when you blog. Let your readers know what makes you happy, what makes you sad and what drives you crazy.
20. Interact with your readers. Since blogging is a social platform, it’s natural to interact with your audience. Use your blog as a way to connect with your prospects by encouraging comments and replying to comments.
21. Provide closure. Never leave your readers hanging. Wrap up your blog posts with a short conclusion that signals to your reader that you have finished.
So there you have it. As you implement these 21 quick and easy tips, you’ll soon discover that you can be a blogging Rockstar!