Your blogging can be improved quickly. The great thing is it is in your own hands. The more you write, and the more frequently you do so, the better it gets. You are part of a daily, live A / B test. The following insights come from writing at least one blog post every day for the last 3 months.
Blogging is different to writing articles for a newspaper, essays for college, or entries for your diary
Your blog is not your diary. Potential readers are just not that interested in you. What’s in it for me? You must think of your reader Apart from perhaps you mother and your stalker, for everyone else, you must offer something to the reader. It must educate, inform, entertain, or enlighten in some way. We have some time to give, but we are very selective about who we give it to.
Snappy, but not misleading titles
You need catchy, eye grabbing headlines. You need a good title. But…… it must be relevant, and not click bait. Ignore this and you will annoy and lose potential readers.
Learn from your favourite bloggers
You can easily see this for your self by looking at your own favourite bloggers. I am finding the following very useful;
- Ramsay Tarpin aka blog tyrant, with good, thoughtful articles about creating successful viable blogs.
- Jeff Bullas, is also useful, writing about how to improve your blog’s impact and reach
- Another one that I enjoy, though much less famous, is Robert Twigger.
It’s easy to work out what a good blog post is
Find blogs you like, follow them for a while. Sign up for the email notification for every new new article written. This will save you having to check their website to see if there is something new. Read a number of their posts. To see what works, and what doesn’t.
Write for your mobile readers
More and more of your potential readers will be reading from a mobile or tablet like device. So make it easy for them. Use shorter sentences. Like this. It’s the same message. Just served in bite sized chunks, to match the screen they are reading on. The numbers suggest over 50% of readers, and rising, are reading from mobile or tablet. Why make it hard for them?
There might not be a usable post every day. That’s fine
There’s no rule that says you must publish every day. Few people deliver 365 posts a year. Yes there are OCD exceptions exist. Grahame Green probably would have been one. However life work balance is important for the rest of us.
Not all posts should be published
They don’t all work. Some I can write for three pages on paper, and then realise it might not work as an actual post. These things happen. Being able to edit your content is vital. Less is more. Don’t publish stodgy daily articles. Miss a day if needed, and then publish a few great articles every week, or even month. Wordpress draft option is great, use it. If it’s not right, then save it for another day. You know when it works. Some good ones fly off the keyboard easily, but if it’s not right, better to walk the dog. Reflect on it, ask someone else what they think.
Don’t just publish your article
Use your social media outlets, twitter, linkedIn, facebook, google +, stumble upon, digg, redit, tumblr,etc. Whatever you feel is right for your content. Existing followers will get notified by email, but it’s worth reaching out, to wider potentially interested people too. You can often choose the subsection most relevant to your content too. It’s easy, and necessary to be both a publishing and promotion phenomena. Readers won’t just come, until you tell them there is something to read / watch.
Video beats images beats words
We are bloggers, we love the power of words. Thing is, as consumers, we often want something quicker, more visual. My most successful posts are the ones with the most images. eg Making A Mandala, made with sea shells & stones When I post videos I have a pretty good idea where it will end up in my all time lists. Even when we create more text based content, it’s still better to be as visual as possible.
Longer articles have value too
When we’re done with the cute kittens and singing dogs we often want to actually learn about things in greater detail. One of my most successful posts was over 5,000 words long. I even put a disclaimer in the title, to warn readers that it was a longer post. Thankfully despite, or actually because of this, it still received good views and engagement from readers. Often content of 400 – 1000 words is about right, however as a reader, I willing to occasionally give more time to some articles. If I am willing to do this as a reader, then it makes sense to create this type of content as a writer also.
Use the many resources available to optimise your posts
Here are 3 great resources to show you, statistically, the best ways to tweak your blog.
- Dan Zarrella really looks to drill into A/B tests to report back what is working best. I signed up for his updates. They are useful, well written, and logically put together.
- Neil Patel, his own blog but also Quick Sprout. It’s possible to register your own blog. You then receive regular emails encouraging you to follow his tips to improve website traffic. I signed up for the challenge to double my monthly blog page view total. I didn’t quite double it, but I came pretty close.
- Dan McGaw KISSmetrics This blog has useful insights based upon their statistical analysis of blog posting.
Encourage feedback and comments
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