It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been blogging, how many subscribers you have or even if you’re still waiting to get your first comment — we’re all want to become better bloggers. You want to continually increase your reputation as someone who knows their stuff and set yourself as valuable to readers. With that in mind, here are six tips to help you instantly improve your blog. That’s right; you can significantly improve your blog today.
Grab a pen.
Hone in on your goal: You started your blog for a reason, right? What was it? Often when small business owners blog they’re doing it to increase their search presence, create new content to attract users, increase sales, build a community, become an industry authority, etc. Whatever your reason (or combination of reasons), make sure that stays in the forefront of whatever blogging strategy you create. It’s really easy to fall off course and blog for the sake of blogging, but that attitude isn’t going to help you reach your goals or build your blog. Know why it is you want to build your blog and make sure you’re staying true to that.
Know your audience: Regardless of your goal, your blog can’t survive without an audience. These are the people who are going to soak up your content and help you accomplish whatever it is you’re after. And because of that, it’s in your best interest to really know who they are.
- Who are they on the Web: What sites do they visit? What other blogs do they read?
- What information are they looking for: Will they respond best to How Tos and tutorials or are they looking for meatier, more advanced topics? If you’re not sure, checking your analytics can help answer this for you. Which posts get the most traffic or links?
- What are their buttons: What gets them going? What do they believe in? What industry issues are they concerned with?
Know your topic: The best way to improve your blog is to up your knowledge about your topic. That’s what great bloggers do – they dominate their niche and provide value that readers can’t get anywhere else. Become an expert and then share that. Share what you’re working on right now. Read what everyone else is talking about and then offer something completely different. Become the expert on what you do and give people a reason to seek you out.
Commit to a voice: I’m a firm believer that it’s a blogger’s voice that finds them an audience. You are what makes your blog interesting. There needs to be something about you that draws people in and keeps them on your blog. And you need to be consistent about the voice you’re putting out there to people. Ask yourself:
- Who do you want to be as a blogger?
- What are your strengths? (Humor, journalist, etc)
- How would other people define your blogging style (Don’t guess, ask them!)?
- What kind of personality are you comfortable creating? What kind of personality are your readers most likely to appreciate?
It will take some time to perfect your blogging voice, but as you keep blogging your own personal style will emerge. The trick is to trust it (and not squash it) when it does.
Tell stories: People respond to stories. When your writing has a beginning, middle and an end, it makes it easier for people to follow along. We’ve been trained that way. Make sure that each one of your posts has a point to it (novel, I know) and that you’re taking the proper time to construct a story around the message you want out there. Doing so helps people understand your message and keeps them engaged with your content.
Edit, Edit and Edit Again: The more you edit, the tighter your posts are going to be, and the better they’re going to read to your audience. It’s that simple.
Below are six tips that I think can immediately increase the value of a blog if acted upon. What are some of your blogging best practices?