As with most things in life, it’s not really that hard but it does take time, effort and commitment.
So what are some of the key features of an award winning Blog? What are the traits of an industry leader?
- Be consistent. If you get people hooked on your Blog and then you leave them hanging by not posting for a while, you lose some of your audience and cred. I’m guilty of this one myself. I guest Blog so often, I neglect my own Blog. I need to get to work on that!
- Be Unique. Be You. Everyone out there reports the same news. When Google updates their algorithm, you can count on an influx of posts that day. Rather than just regurgitate the same info as everyone else, add your personal thoughts and insights. Tell people what the news means to you and how you plan to change things as a result of it.
- Be controversial. Don’t be afraid to stir things up. Propose a different way of looking at things. Question authority and common opinions. Dig dipper and get to the heart of an issue. Don’t argue for the sake of arguing, but never accept because it’s the popular belief. Trailblazers think differently all the time and that’s what it takes to be innovative.
- Be funny. Everyone loves a good laugh, so when it makes sense work some humor in there. Or some pop culture references. The bottom line is your content has to be relatable and although people vary in so many ways, we can all come together and laugh and you want to use that to connect with readers.
- Be creative. Tell stories with your writing. Of course it depends on the topic but usually you can work a good story in to make a stronger point that readers will connect to.
- Invite commentary and engagement. Sometimes people just need to be asked to comment and participate and they will, so don’t forget to ask!
- Be visual. In addition to the picture you paint with your words, be sure to share pictures and video. Everyone likes something they can see and often that helps drive the point home and makes the post more memorable.
- Be bold. Tell it like it is. Don’t be offensive but don’t be afraid to be bold and shake things up. You won’t please everyone, but that’s OK. Stand up for what you believe in and don’t back down because of cyber bullies. Saying “This is what I think and I’m right!” doesn’t get the job done. BUT saying “I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but here is what I think….. and here’s why….” is a great way to go. That way you offer the reason – which gets people thinking. They may not agree with you, but they’ll remember that you stood up and said something different than the usual party line.
- Get active in sharing your content socially. You need to build a strong following. Even the best content is not going to get out there unless you start driving traffic there. Once you establish a core following, it’ll continue to spread and grow.
- Make sure you use guest bloggers so you can expose your audience to different voices and opinions.
- Share your story and your history. People will connect more if they know where you are from, what you believe in and what you’ve accomplished.
- Join the party and engage with people. Meaning get on Twitter and Facebook and wherever else your audience is hanging out and connect with people there. Answer questions. Show them you care about helping people.
- Be transparent, honest and definitely be generous. Many of the most successful “leaders” using social media have connected with existing and potential customers by offering value through resources, tips, insight and information. Yes, you want traffic and you want to sell. But the first step is building up the traffic and gaining an authority status to help you get those sales.
- Write well and edit for typos, you don’t want to lose your credibility on silly errors that could easily have been fixed.
- Test. Try. Review Results. Test some more. Always try new things and see what works. See what people respond to. Try different lengths and topics and styles and calls to action. Keep at it until you find your groove.
- Stay on top of trending topics so you are offering information that solves the problems people out there are talking about.
- Put your picture out there. Let people see the face behind the words.
- Vary the length of your content – not everything needs to reach epic lengths. Short and sweet also gets the job done. It’s less about the size of the post and more about the message you share and what people get out of it. Go for some longer more in-depth posts to really dig deep in a subject and then learn to balance it with shorter, to the point tips. People don’t always have time for long posts. Give them a variety of lengths to sink their teeth into.
- Sink to bribery if you have to! :) Ask people to review your posts or Blog and offer them something in return.
- Focus on strong headlines that pull people in – it all starts with people reading once and seeing the value.
So what tips do you have? I’d love to keep building this list!
With over 13 years in the industry, Jennifer Horowitz, Director of Marketing for EcomBuffet, has amassed much knowledge and experience and has much to say about all things SEO (marketing, copywriting & social media). Always happy to share with an audience, Jenn is now a regular contributor at Level343.