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7 (well 8) Habits of Highly Effective Blogging

Blogging, it’s all the rage. The biggest problem with becoming a successful blogger is time and content management. Blogs are cool. Blogs are fun. Blogs are addictive. Blogs are time vampire and energy suckers.

Steven R. Covey’s masterful 7 Habits of Highly Effective People started a trend of listing better ways to do things. Even though cheating isn’t on his list, I’ll go ahead and borrow a page from his book (a great read by the way) and make a list!

Write a blog post everyday. This can become a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be. At least one thing happens everyday that makes you think about how you do things in your area of expertise. For example, today I was going to post on my blog about how it’s important to watch what you say.
The article came to me after I realized that I was naming our revised custom blog pricing packages “Basic BM”, “Bronze BM”, “Silver BM”, “Gold BM” and “Platinum BM”. If you haven’t figured out why these package names aren’t really great for branding unless you’re selling some sort of colloidal or metallurgical solution for folks who don’t eat enough bran, then you may want to have someone edit your blog posts and help you with branding!
Every day at least one “Hmmmm” relative to your blog topic will come up. At least write yourself a note when it happens so when it comes posting time you’ll have a topic.

Create a “series” of posts. This is sort of a follow on to point 1 above. Hopefully your blog provides valuable information that keeps readers coming back for more, or even better subscribing to your RSS feed. If you have a “hot topic” that requires more than 1,000 words to get through, think about creating a series. For example: “Creating a WordPress Blog: Step by Step” could be your series. This could easily be a 10 part series on one topic.

If applicable add some personality to your blog. Ideally your blog is “information for information seekers”, but the fact of the matter is that your readers are people too and will identify with you as the author if you “humanize” your blog posts with some humor, anecdotes or day-to-day experiences.

Use real world applications to demonstrate to your readers the expert advice or information you’re passing on. Given that most of your blog postings are going to be 100% test try to help your readers “visualize” the benefit of heeding your advice by demonstrating a real world example or actual application that you or one of your existing clients have encountered. Try for the “Hey, man, that would solve our problem, too” reaction from your reader.

Incorporate graphics into your blog posts. If you have graphs, charts, image examples or any visual or audio aid that can help your reader get the most out of your post, use it. The more enjoyable you can make the user experience the more valuable they will find your blog, the more they’ll come back, and the better chance you have to convert that reader to a customer.

Utilize the resources at Ezinearticles or GoArticles to add additional relative content to your blog. Make sure you give attribution (don’t delete the links). You’re not the only with good ideas, so don’t hesitate to add other author’s valuable content to your blog. It’s only fair to give them the link back, it won’t really hurt your SEO rankings like a traditional website linking strategy. Ezinearticles is a great cure for writer’s block!

Don’t forget to throw in calls to action for your reader to contact you. Hopefully your posts are valuable and you, the author, are becoming regarded as a “goto guy (or girl) by your readers. Don’t forget to remind them that you are a resource and provide them with effective calls to action to reach you. If you’re unsure about how to make the most effective use of your blog and specific calls to action, or aren’t getting the traction you want on the search engines get in touch with me at www.theblogmill.com and I’ll be happy to help you out. (see how I snuck that one in!)

Make friends with your competitors, utilize your colleagues and encourage your employees or partners to write articles for your blog. Again, give them the benefit of the link. You’ll be surprised what comes out of sharing your blogspace with those around you, and it’ll provide your readers with a better mix of writing styles. Encourage your readers and customers to propose article topics and submit questions. Great for writer’s block.
Well, there you have my 7, no make that 8, Habits of Highly Effective Blogging. Get yourself a copy of Stephen Covey’s book, don’t forget to write down tomorrow’s blog topic and blog away!

Chris

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