The hallmark of any serious online entrepreneur and creative is having a functioning website or blog. If you’ve visited a blog and wondered how the owner(s) do it to increase their blog's exposure, brand loyalty and success within the blogger-sphere, then this article is for you.
Mark Scheafer of BusinessesGrow.com created a fantastic inforgraphic he titled 10 Maxims for Successful Blogging where he answers the question of how to succeed at blogging. You absolutely have to take note of the graphic if you want to learn the secret ingredients that lead to blogging success.
Below you’ll find Mark’s spot on infographic designed to help you succeed at blogging, but first here’s a commentary of the main points:
With the staggering amount of content being published online every day, it can be difficult to stand out and have your voice heard amidst all the noise and clamor for an audience. Your best bet to stand out and be heard is to be yourself. Don’t try to be anybody else. Tell your own unique story in your own unique way. That is how to stand out from the crowd. After all, there is only one YOU in this world. Dig deep down and discover who you are and what you are all about. Embrace your true self and tell your story as only you can.
You will be ridiculed, criticized and even smeared by some people for the message you put in cyberspace, but stand your ground regardless. If you truly believe in your message and you know what you stand for, then there is no need to falter. Amidst all the negative, malicious people present online there are still good people who share your thoughts and beliefs. The latter group of people are willing to listen to you and follow you if you are steadfast and don’t waver, which leads to the next point…
Find what you are good at; what you are passionate about and stick with it. Once you know what you would like to share with the world, go out and do it. Read widely, study your niche and continuously educate yourself to become a thought leader in your niche. That’s how to shine, build credibility and empower yourself to lead in with authority in your blogging community.
Acknowledge and appreciate those who support you and your work. These are the people who make blogging worth it. For example, when someone takes the time to comment on your blog or share your blog post on social media, acknowledge them and comment back whenever possible. Even a simple Facbook like, Retweet or up vote on their comment shows that you appreciate their support, and that encourages them to keep supporting you.
The infographic says it pretty well…“Negative blog posts are like a car wreck.” It may raise a person’s curiosity to see what it’s all about, but it’s not something a person wants to see all the time. Don’t be the kind of blogger who is a sourpuss—a person who does nothing but criticize others all the time. The world if full of negative people and certainly doesn’t need any more.
All that this means is that you should not give up. Nobody ever succeeded at anything by giving up. Keep pushing on and when you start to feel the pain of blogging, try harder. Don't quit. If your blog posts are criticized, learn from it and try to do better the next time. You will improve, get better and eventually become a master of your trade, but only if you keep trying.
That means content that is: Relevant, Interesting, Timely and Entertaining. Also, break large paragraphs into smaller, easy to follow blocks of text and be as deliberate and as concise as possible with your choice of words. Long-winded paragraphs and sentences are a big turn-off to web readers. Moreover, add eye-catching images for visual stimulation. As Mark says, “being boring can be the death of a blog.”
Tell the truth with your headline and don't deceive or manipulate people to click through only to find a post that is totally unrelated or shallow. Readers don't enjoy being tricked or taken for a ride—you wouldn't either. Just avoid inaccurate headlines because they leave a bad taste in the mouth. Instead, make your headlines catchy without being manipulative. Encourage your readers to continue reading with an equally catchy first sentence (compelling lede) and useful post. That’s how to build your reputation and enhance reader enjoyment.
As Mark states, "The most effective way to grow a community is to be part of other communities." Join relevant communities and groups on social media and online forums. Interact and make friends by sharing ideas, commenting on updates and also engaging the members of your online network in person. This can be in the form of hosting meetups or other get-togethers at your local café. You will be pleasantly surprised to see your network grow steadily and new and exciting opportunities open for you. People feel a connection when they know you are a real person—not a zombie.
The hardest part of starting any new venture is always the beginning stages. You will often wonder if you are doing it right or if people will read or like what you write. That's a normal reaction and you shouldn’t worry too much about it. Just start blogging and keep blogging. Try not to fall into the trap of perfectionism. The only way to learn is by doing it. Every courageous step you take invites another and each step takes you closer to your goal.
Photo via Shutterstock.com
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by Hugh MacLeod
Ever wonder what it really takes to make a living as a creative person in today's complicated world?
MacLeod presents some witty keys for creative success, including "ignore everybody. Why should you "ignore everybody"?
Because, he writes, nobody else can tell you whether your idea is worthwhile. People can give you advice, but at the end of the day, it's your decision. The more original an idea, the less helpful the advice is going to be.
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