Saturday, 1 December 2012

20 Tips for Successful Blogging

Everyone should have a blog, it's your most important site. Call it your authority site if you like, as this is the place where people come and find out all about you. It's not really where you should be selling directly, although some would disagree with this.

Your blog helps your readers and subscribers to connect with you, your central hub!
It also helps you promote your products and services, not other peoples. This is all about what you can provide to your readers in the way of information or help.
You can also build a list from your blog. This is ESSENTIAL! You need to build a list of people to follow you and want to learn from you.
If you don't have a blog make this a top priority.
Here are my top 20 tips for a successful blog:
1. Make your blog as attractive as possible - obvious really, if it looks hideous nobody will want to look at it, let alone read it!
2. A nice theme and professional graphics are a must
3. Have an opt-in form and/or pop up on your home page - there are simple plugins to get your sign up page on a blog for autoresponders like Aweber, so there is no excuse. Use a pop up too if you think people are going to leave without signing up.
4. Less is more, avoid bells and whistles - Don't clutter the site with unnecessary nonsense

5. Make your content the best you possibly can - spend time writing your posts to make them interesting and useful.
6. Make sure all the content is 100% original (no PLR) - Don't fill your site with articles taken from somebody elses site. The exception to this is using articles from ezine directorys. If you do this make sure there is still more of your own content on there, and always, always include the author's bio box with a live link to show where you got it from. You have been warned!!
7. Encourage comments - This took a while for me to pick up on, but of course a site with no comments is a dead site. Always put a call to action at the end of your post, even if it just for a comment.
8. Write for people, not search engines - So many people out there try writing their posts by keyword stuffing to try and outwit the search engines - Don't bother, it's a waste of time. If it reads like rubbish the search engines will read it as rubbish too.
9. Be yourself - People like people. If you write your posts with some human elements in it, like humour, those reading it will probably want to read more. Isn't that the point, to have lots of raving fans keep coming back for more?
10. Proofread your posts before they go live - there's nothing that annoys readers more than spelling mistakes. The odd one is okay, but I've read many articles that are littered with them. It's not necessary, use a spellcheck!
11. Add images to your posts - Always good to make your blog look interesting, but keep them relevant to the topic subject.
12. Make sure images are legal - Please don't take images from 'Google images' as these belong to other people and are therefore illegal. There are many photographic sites out there, such as fotolia or photobucket where you can get great images for about $1. Anyone can afford that, so keep your site legal.
13. Consider guest posts - Try finding other experts in your niche and asking if they'd like to write a guest post on a particular subject. If you don't ask, you don't get, and besides, it's more exposure for them too.
14. Try to post at least once per week - I'm not good at this, I know, life gets in the way, but do try and keep some consistency otherwise your readers won't come back.
15. Try to link to other related posts - There's a great plugin that will help here called Zemanta. It gives you the option to link to other related posts that you've written or others pulled from the internet complete with thumnail. It's great to use at bottom of post and Google loves it!
16. Inform your subscribers of new posts - Everytime I post I send an email to my subscribers. Great for keeping in contact with them, but without them thinking you're selling something all the time.
17. Share your post on Facebook - There are plugins to help with this too. The one I use is onlywire. When you submit your post, it also sends a link to Twitter, Facebook and about 20 other social media and bookmarking sites, as long as you've signed up to them first.
18. Reply to comments made - This is just being curteous, and makes your readers feel there is a real person behind your blog.
19. Use social media tools to help your content go viral - As above really, but if you're going to all this trouble to create great content, you want to tell everyone about it, don't you?
20. Ask readers to like and share your content and they will - You must ASK readers to like or share your content. If you don't, they won't, it's as simple as that.
Phew, this is quite a comprehensive list of things to remember, most of which are obvious and straightforward. Don't panic though, you won't get penalised for forgetting something, but if you do make your blog the best you can, the search engines will love you for it, and so will your readers.
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