By: Cheryl Hajjar – July 2013
It was 1999 and while the century was coming to a close and Prince was singing his iconic song , blogging was about to become one of the most used words in pop culture. A blog, as it is known today is a website that contains material of personal experiences and journeys, usually with references to hyperlinks filled with more informative information. If you have thought of starting a blog, you have made a very smart decision. There are many reasons to blog for both personal and business.
Blogging is offering something for free, that is of interest to your reader. I am a business blogger. I blog for my brand, The Indigo Pixies. I offer informative content that is interesting to my readers who are most likely parents of young children. I fill the pages with relevant information that I know they will relate to. You can preview it at : www.indigopixies.com. There is lots of mediocre content out there in cyber space. So how do you differentiate yourself from the average and become part of the blog elite?
Lets take a look at some proven strategies:
If you don’t have a reason for blogging, then your readers will not have a reason for reading. Make your entries compelling, informative and use humor to attraction their attention. If you are an expertise in something, write about it.
USE A CATCHY TITLE
In this fast paced world, you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s attention. You want your headline to create intrigue to entice your reader to want to read the whole article.
Famous bloggers never got popular by playing it safe. Be gutsy with your entries and use your creativity to brand yourself. Don’t be afraid to challenge the norm of what’s acceptable and step out of your comfort zone a bit. Your audience will thank you.
Think of your blog as a abundant source of helpful information. Do not be afraid to include in text links that may be beneficial to your readers. You might think that by doing so you will steer your readers away from your blog, however this could not be farther from the truth. They will thank you by coming back again to read your next entry.
Everyone loves a good picture. Add images and insert them right after a block of content to keep their eyes moving downward. Just use them sparingly as you do not want to clutter up your page.
Although this may seem elementary, make sure your grammar is top notch. The last thing you want is for your reader to get stuck in the middle of a paragraph because you spelled something incorrectly or misused words.
DO NOT PROMOTE DIRECTLY
A blog is supposed to create a good impression about you or your business. It is not a commercial and will quickly become blacklisted if you shamelessly promote yourself or your product. If your subject matter is interesting, your readers will most likely want to learn more about you. Let it be a natural progress.
COMMENTS, COMMENTS AND MORE COMMENTS
A good debate at the end of the page is great for your SEO( search engine optimization ). Google loves comments. They will rank you higher in the search engines, the more comments your blog receives. Responding back to your audience will provide a connection with them that will make them feel great and keep them coming back to your blog.
YOU ARE NOT A JOURNALIST
A blog is not based on fact, yet opinion. You do not have to back it up with references or proof. People will read your blog if they think your opinion is worth listening to. It is always a great idea to insert a few interesting facts to keep the readers mind moving.
TALE OF TWO AUDIENCES
Not only do you need to keep your readers happy with great content, you also need to make sure you feed Google’s spiders that reach out to the search engines and ultimately rank you higher. Today’s top bloggers know the rules of engagement when it comes to SEO. Researching a relevant post or article about SEO for blogging is a must if you plan on becoming a top blogger.
CALL TO ACTION
At the end of a post, include a short statement or a question. For example, “If you want to expose your blog to a more broader audience, try promoting your blog in The Valley Patriot Newspaper”, or “for more information on this topic, opt-in to my newsletter”. Make sure it is not too sales focused, rather give your reader the choice to proceed if they want to.
Lastly, ask yourself these questions. Would YOU enjoy reading your post? Does it provide readers with helpful information they can use? Is your content different from other content on the web? Would you share your blog with friends? If you have answered yes to all of these questions and have applied the 11 tips to your own blog, then you are on your way to becoming a leader in your industry as a blogger. The top bloggers know how important these principles are and apply them everyday.