5 Super Strategies to Create a Blistering Blog
Your blog content needs to capture your reader’s attention and hold it
Heck, I need a blog to cover this topic, not some antsy little blog article; there’s just too much to say and so little time and space. And how am I supposed to pick the top one thousand and five, let alone the top five, tips?
Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a shot, and let the dice fall where they may. So, in no particular order, I present 5 random (but highly insightful, says me ever so humbly) super-duper tips to create a blistering blog:
1. If You Can’t Write, Don’t
Have you noticed how the very best bloggers have a way of capturing your attention from the very first word they put on the page? That’s called “writing” and they do it well. Very well.
Or have you had your senses assaulted by the utter cra….. uh….trash you’ve had thrown at you? I’m sure you have. There’s so much out there you would need a c**p-meter to side step it.
How dare these people waste valuable time and make you want to throw rocks at your laptop (well, that’s what happens to me, I don’t know about you…) with their appallingly bad grammar, language skills, spelling, punctuation and sheer adultery of the English language. (Can you tell this is one of my pet peeves?)
If you weren’t blessed with the ability to write something that people not only want to read, but can actually understand as they read it, then I say, go find something else to do other than blogging! Like digging ditches or collecting toxic waste.
Or take a good hard look at yourself and accept the obvious. Your writing sucks.
So, hire a professional writer from freelancing sites like eLance.com or Guru.com; it doesn’t cost much for writing that’s genuinely readable, or shut down your blog. At least that way you’ll save some face and make the blogosphere a more reputable place to be.
2. Wax On, Wax Off, Grasshopper
What does that phrase really mean? I never saw the movie “The Karate Kid” from whence it came, so I’m forced to rely on other people’s interpretations.
But I like to believe it’s ultimately about the little guy triumphing over the big dude by practicing a set of guidelines over and over until you master the skills you set out to achieve.
Don’t be fooled by the “I’ve been blogging for 30 minutes and now I know everything there is to know” type blog hype. Blogging is hard work and there is NO quick fix or magic bullet (even at the amazing, never-to-be-repeated price of ONLY $499), particularly when you’re starting out.
Establish a tactical and strategic plan of attack to make your blog sensational and then practice, practice, practice. Every day, if possible. Every 2nd or 3rd day if first plan of attack is not possible. That means taking actionable steps, not just thinking about it.
Most people are lazy, so they do as little as they think they can get away with, and then wonder why they failed. Duh! Lazy bloggers crowd the blogosphere like blowflies around pumpkin pie, but you don’t know about them because you don’t know about them. Yes, that’s right. They’re out there littering the World Wide Web but nobody knows they exist because they believe that simply by uploading a few measly pages of droll content, readers are going to magically flock to their blog in droves. Wrong!
Successful blogging is about being popular and gathering a loyal following, so like the “wax on, wax off” model, you have to work at building a loyal following by continuously practicing a set of actionable techniques that will pump up your popularity and boost your following.
And you can’t do that by just thinking about it…
3. Passion vs Project
It doesn’t take an Einstein to spot a blogger who is passionate about his/her blog as opposed to someone who has set up a blog because it’s the next big “thing to do”.
If you don’t have the passion then it’s going to show up sooner or later. And that means not only the blogging but the area of interest you’ve chosen to blog about.
Passionate bloggers have a level of dedication, enthusiasm and motivation that shines through everything they do. It may not be the best looking blog and occasionally they might get the wording wrong, but as a reader, you can forgive them any shortfalls because you come to love them like a good friend – warts and all.
One of the huge mistakes would-be bloggers make is creating a blog about a topic they know nothing about, but it’s the latest craze, so they want to be part of the “in crowd”. Then there’s those would-be webpreneurs who have researched Google Trends for the latest trending topics and think they’re about to hit the jackpot with their on-trend blog.
Although it’s been said a million times before, if you don’t have at least the teensiest bit of passion for your blog topic, then that short initial burst of enthusiasm is going to fizzle out pretty quickly and you end up right back where you started – a little poorer and probably not the slightest bit wiser.
People HATE ugly.
Okay, so your blog doesn’t need to be a work of creative genius; but at the very least it needs to look aesthetically pleasing.
a) All the page elements need to be in harmony with each other. Most web designers recommend you use a maximum of 3 colors, 4 at the most. Fortunately, blog templates are freely available and the majority of template designers know what they’re doing. So don’t go messing with the template unless you’ve got a Degree in Fine Arts or know what a color wheel is used for.
b) Use a maximum of 3 fonts, unless, of course, your blog is about typography. A variety of font styles interrupts the flow of the page and is visually disturbing.
c) Sure, we understand you want to make money from your blogging efforts, but don’t assault our senses with a jumble of ads scattered around the page like a 3 year old’s scrap paper collage. Particularly the kind that blink, move or draw attention to themselves with doo-dads and whizzamyjigs.
Opt for quality over quantity.
d) Same goes for text ads like Google AdSense ads. You are NOT going to entice your readers by planting AdSense ads in every available white space on the page. Nor are you going to attract more clicks. It’s just plain dumb and unattractive.
e) Clean works. Avoid cluttering your blog pages with every bit of useless information you can think of. If you want to give your readers plenty of resources, then create a Resources page and move all the links on to that page with ONE link on each page that directs to the Resources page. Same goes for overcrowded Archives, Blogrolls, Popular Posts etc.
5. Become Blog Fodder
In the heavily over populated blogworld, the best way to be heard above the deafening noise is to be provocative.
Sure, for many of you reading this, being provocative may mean stepping outside of your comfort zone, but hey, if that’s what it takes, you gotta do what you gotta do to be heard.
Don’t get me wrong. By provocative I don’t mean a grainy Webcam of you stripping down to your underthings. I mean creatively provocative. Still not with me?
What I’m talking about is :
- Headlines that provoke an instant response, whether it be amusement (funny is always good), shock, empathy, outrage, bewilderment, sadness or any strong emotional reaction. Except maybe hatred, that’s not a good place to go.
Even if it’s a great big fib, you can always start your copy with something like, “Nah, I was just kidding, but at least I got your attention, didn’t I?”
- Fabulously good copy is always going to score you bonus points. If it’s really fabulous, email it to other bloggers with related topics so they can copy it and link back to you.
That’s one way new bloggers can start a viral campaign because you only need one of those bloggers to forward it on, and who knows where it can go from there?
- We all know that posting comments on other blogs is a vital component in your Internet marketing efforts, but just saying, “Hey, great post man!” is NOT the way to go. It’s a waste of space. Get creative and post something that opens up the proverbial can of worms (whether for or against) and gets an active conversation happening.
If you agree with the post, add your point of view, offer up additional interesting information or give your opinion and then explain why.
Same goes if you don’t agree. Explain why with “because”. Studies suggest people respond positively to “because”. Who knew?
However, a note to the uninitiated: provocative doesn’t mean rude, irresponsible, ignorant, nasty or any of the mad, bad responses you may feel inclined to post. Getting a reputation for having a bad attitude will not win friends or influence people, and news travels real fast on the blogosphere.
- Use images that make a statement. Web specialists say that after reading the headline and sub heading, readers go straight to the images, particularly if they draw attention to themselves. Once again, funny is always good and so is quirky.
But don’t litter your page with images. One outstanding image is better than an assortment of big yawns.