Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Five Tips To Become A Top Notch Blogger

Are you building a blog? Are you eager to get success? Then read on! I do not hold the sacred recipe to wealth and glory through blogging, but I've been thinking a lot of thoughts recently, and want to share some of them with you. (Please, keep in mind that quite a few of my own blogs didn't make it big!)

If you're new to blogging, there are a few things that you have to take into account if you want to be a professional blogger, and make money from what you do. First you have to decide on HOW you intend to monetize your blog:

A) I want to make money from ads on my blog!
B) I want to attract customers to my business through my blogging!

Whether you decide on A or B, some criteria for success seem to be the same. First of all your content has to be top notch. Take the time needed to work out brilliant posts, instead of posting numerous posts that only slightly touches their subject. I, myself, tend to forget this piece of advice sometimes. The way to blog, choosing A or B, differ at some points, but in this post we'll only look at the similarities. Let's call them the "Universal Rules of Blogging" - URBs. I think that sounds good!

Whether A or B, I have five "URBs" for you to remember. Let's dig deep:

1) Create quality content, whether it's video, audio or text.
As mentioned above producing quality content is the number one thing to keep in mind when you start blogging. Many of you are not aware how time consuming it is to create content that matters, and you should try and sit down and write a few articles offline about your subject to get an idea. So, you spend half an hour, where did that get you? Did you end up with a result worth reading? Does it add to the knowledge of your readers? All right, fine. Some of you will find it hard to produce quality content in a short time, and most of you that feel that way will stop blogging very quickly ("Being lazy is not a crime", she shouted).

Building a blog takes time. Attracting traffic takes time. Attracting huge amounts of traffic takes forever, and engaging people to make them comment takes even longer. You may spend several hours a week blogging, and feel like you get nothing in return. And that's right: You get nothing in return at first. See all your blog posts as investments in the future. IF you produce quality content for your blog, it's out there forever. Once your blog starts growing and people start visiting it all the quality blog posts you posted a year ago is still there, adding value to their experience when visiting your blog. Also, Google love quality, and well written blog posts can help you attract visitors from organic Google searches even years from now!

Golden piece of advice:
You're NOT a Rockstar. You have to make yourself known.
(if you are actually a rockstar i apologize)

2) Make your readers feel they get something from visiting your blog.
Don't copy other peoples quality content. First of all it's probably illegal and second it hurts you in the long run. Google punishes you for what they call "duplicate content", and your visitors will punish you as well for not being original.

Re-writing of other peoples articles is a common thing in cyberspace, and also in the blogosphere. I recommend you don't do that. Be genuine, take the time needed and write your own stuff. The idea of blogging is to share your thoughts with the world - not to share with the world what other people are thinking. They are probably capable of that temselves as you found their writings out there ;-)

Besides your brilliant blog posts think about offering your visitors something special. If you're a real expert you might want to write an e-book about your area of expertise. Consider giving it away for free to people who sign up for your newsletter, follow your blog or engage in your blogging in another way. Gifts are very popular; that's also a valid fact online.

One thing you should always remember is not to waste peoples time. If you don't have anything at heart, then don't blog. Wait till you got something important to share, and then share it. You don't have to blog everyday if you've got nothing to blog about. Blogging should not be a burden to you - if you feel so then blogging is probably not for you! (seriously, it isn't!)

Golden piece of advice:
Your visitors like to receive gifts!

3) Update regularly; that is the key to keep people re-visiting your blog.
Regular updates are key. Once you got your blog up and running, naturally you want people to come back and visit you again. The motivation for people to check out your blog regularly is regular updates. I stop visiting blogs if they're not updated; even after a few days. Do you keep visiting websites that are not updated? Well maybe you do, but most people don't. Google doesn't either. The more often you post new things on your blog, the higher the frequency of visits from the Holy Google Bot (he who indexes the WWW).

There is a workaround though if you're limited to producing one or two posts a week, and that's social media. We get to that in a moment.

Golden piece of advice:
Google is your best friend, and your worst enemy!
(you can't fight him, so just please him)

4) Answer comments!
I hate it when bloggers don't respond to my comments! The least you can do if people take the time to comment on your writings is to answer them back. Even a "Thank you for your comment" could be enough. It's about people feeling that they too are being heard, and that you appreciate their engagement in what you do.

As we all strive to engage our readers one of the main things to remember is to treat them right. So many people visit your blog without you ever knowing who they are. Those few people that actually make themselves know through commenting should be nursed as were they the reborn Christ himself. Keep that in mind. Your readers are your potential customers; your commenters are those that are already buying.

Golden piece of advice:
When someone talks to you, answer them in a polite way.
(even if they think you're a jerk)

5) Go social! Promote your blog whereever, and whenever, you can!
As I said a moment ago you should consider go social whether or not you're a frequent blogger. Social networks like Facebook and Google are perfect showcases for your blog. Whenever you post something post a link to your social media connections as well.

Some people are holding back when it comes to sharing their writings on Facebook. I don't understand why. I reckon that it can be embarrassing for you to have your closest friends and family read your articles, but think of it this way: These people care about you, and will probably help you promote your blog in any way they can! They just have to know that it exists!

I'll talk about myself a little bit now...
I myself have signed up for Google+, Facebook and Twitter. These three are my main sources of traffic to my blogs. The blog you're reading right now is brand new, and the use of social media to attract attention to it is vital for me. Almost all my traffic these first few days come from social media sites.

Besides from social networds, other blogs are a source of visitors. Post comments that make sense on other peoples blog, and remember to leave a link back to your own. You are often given the possibility of adding a link when commenting on someones blog - take advantage of that! Search the web for blogs about the same topic you blog about and engage with them. It's worth it, and perhaps the best PR you can get out there.

And I almost forgot. Going social is of major importance if you do not update your blog that often. Creating a Facebook Page, i.e., will allow your readers to follow you there. Whenever you actually DO write something post an update on the page and your followers will know about it right away.

Keep in mind that building a large Facebook fanbase takes forever too. Most things does, patience is another keyword worth remembering and a skill worth having when you want to make in the world of blogging.

Happy blogging! Oh, and if you have a blog, post a comment.. I'd like to see it :-)

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