I’ve been thinking about how people can better their blogs in 2011, beyond the general “write better content” or “do 5 steps to…” type of advice.
Of all the different types of people who read this blog and the different types of content I post here, one large demographic is people who are in the media / social media space and write blogs to that effect. I read many your blogs – those of you who have commented here at one point or another – and so I feel I have a good idea of what you’re doing and not doing, and thus what would be beneficial to start doing this year.
What follows are 5 things you need to do at least once a month in 2011 to grow your blog, grow your community, and grow your communication skills:
You can’t beat video for getting off of the type of a page and into the personality and charisma of an author. Considering that some of you write long blog posts everyday and yet have never done video, your readers are missing out on vital communication that you need to give them.
This video doesn’t have to highly professional – it needs to be a webcam or mobile phone video of you just saying what you’ve already said before – the advantage being that people get to meet with you and your mannerisms that can’t be communicated through written word.
And if you have an issue with how you look on video – get over it – because if you get those speaking gigs that you’re pushing for, then people want to see video!
2. Practical How To Post
At least once a month you need to be turning out a very practical “how to” post that people can use right away. I’m thinking of one person in particular right now who only ever writes theoretical stuff and so I don’t imagine their readership is going to last long, because lets face it, there’s tons of theory out there.
A practical post on a element of what your blog covers is a great way to distinguish yourself and give your readers instant value from your efforts.
3. Repeat The Past
If you scroll through all the past posts you’ve written, you’ve got some real gold that is now buried and gone and you need to bring it back to the fore for both your new readers, and also to refresh the minds of your regulars.
Once a month, find an old post that was a big hit and re-communicate the truth with a new example. Remember that it’s only when you feel you’re making your point too much that people start to get it. You have to get re-iterating your ideas if people are to consider you to be the go-to person for that topic.
4. Ask Others
I’m big on asking questions in blog posts and my stats prove that when I use question marks in titles, I get far more engagement on a post. Make sure that once a month you ask a question that really gives the floor to your readers to participate and flex their muscles.
I also find that too few blogs focus on other people – particular UK writers. There is so much value in interviewing someone else, having someone guest post, shooting a video with a friend who has a great insight, etc. Do this and you’ll grow your readership and create a decent win-win situation.
This also demonstrates that you aren’t that person who needs to hog the blog with your own ideas every week.
5. Paint The Future
I find that too few blogs give me direction for what’s coming – not necessarily next week – but what technology or ideas will help me over the next quarter. If you can be the person who paints this picture for me, then you become the expert in my books.
This expert content also separates you from the scores of bloggers who keep saying the same thing. When you form original insights and ideas you move out of the role of just plain digital commentary.
Who Does This Well
The person that I know who does this best is Ron Edmondson. Subscribe to his RSS and have a look at the mix of his last 20 posts, and you’ll see it’s all there (well, with the exception of video unfortunately, Ron!)
With that type of mix, Ron doesn’t tie himself into one particular style but keeps it varied and interesting. He also occasionally goes into a series (another great idea) or will do something totally different.
- If you could add one more thing that you need to do every month on your blog, what would it be?
- Which of these are you struggling to do, and why?