What is it about some blogs that you visit and you naturally have a tendancy to want to sit back in your easy chair, read and relax?They make you feel inspired, relaxed, motivated, smart or even challenge your thinking. The best part is as soon as you're done reading, you feel empowered, ready to get out there and rock your own business and life?
If you take a look at the successful blogs and the people hanging out there you'll see some common trends. People are inspired, they are having a real conversation about a real topic, they are open to other ideas (usually) and the blogger or bloggers are usually available for conversation. There is a sense of community and fun combined with real business.
Good blogs are easy to navigate, full of relevant content, and are appealing to the eye. The best ones make it easy to share their content and tell all of your friends about what you learned and what they may find interesting too.
What makes a good blog? How can you rock yours?
Here are 12 easy tips to rock any blog in any industry starting now. You don't need a developer to do most of these. With a little focus on your audience, your online brand presence and relevant content you can take your blog from zero to zoom speed in no time.
12 Tips to Rock Your Blog This Week!
1. Have a plan and stomp those Random Acts of Marketing! You may have just started blogging and really don't know what you are doing, what you want to write about or who is going to read your blog. That's okay and good for you for getting started! However, even for newbies as soon as possible you need to get a plan with specific objectives for your blog if you want it to deliver value for both your readers and your business.
Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) will eat your return on investment for lunch and dinner. Don't fall victim to the random blog list (like this one) without first having a plan with clear goals and objectives, understanding of your audience and target readers and a plan to further align and integrate with your business and marketing goals where appropriate.
2. Get me there in the first place. This is easy but difficult. I need to know your blog exists. This means I need to be inspired by a tweet, social network post such as Facebook, find you via Google search or hear from a friend. One way or another I need to know that you and your awesome content exists. I could write a whole series of posts on this topic but will simply say this is a number one task for you to work on. Triberr is a new social network great for new bloggers. I love what @DanCristo and @Dino_Dogan are doing over at Triberr as they provide opportunities for new bloggers to "get more eyeballs" as Dino always says.
3. Inspire me please. You have about 30 seconds to inspire me once I land on your website or blog. If I don't like what I see, chances are I am gone by 60 seconds if something doesn't spark an interest. Once I make it past the 60 second mark, then I'll look for content that is relevant to my life or business. I want to be educated, motivated, and feel welcome and inspired to stick around longer.
4. Keep me there. The best way to keep me there is to of course do everything on this list. However, I also need to see more than one post or one page of good content. If the front home page or the page I landed on is the only page you have focused on then I am gone within a short time. If links don't work or a share button is broken chances are I won't stick around much longer.
5. Educate me. Tell me something I don't know. Don't tell me the same thing everyone else told me in the thousand other posts I saw on Pinterest this week. Teach me about another topic or a unique way I can use Pinterest for my specific business. Make the content as relevant to your target audience as you possibly can.
6. Help me reach my goals. Don't just focus on the blog content as a topic. Focus on the content in a way that will help me and your other readers meet our business or life goals. Exactly how can you help me learn whatever it is you are teaching or have knowledge in? How can you help me teach my clients or students something? How can you save me time or drive efficiencies in my business? How can you help me be a better boss, friend or partner? How can you enable me to better communicate with my readers, partners or customers? How can you help me take a vacation this year sooner than expected? I'm joking a bit on that last one! Bottom line, make the blog more about me than you.
7. Make it easy for me to tell my friends. This is an easy one any agency or developer worth their logo can help you do. Make it easy for me to share your content. I am shocked how many even big media platforms still don't have a Twitter button that will auto format a tweet with the title of the post. Make it easy me for me to help you help yourself. The more easily I can retweet, post to Facebook, share on LinkedIn, pin on Pinterest your awesome content, the more likely I am to do it. If I have to jump through share button hoops to send a tweet chances are it will never get sent.
8. Acknowledge my existence. If I regularly share your content on Facebook, comment on your blog, retweet your content then the appropriate thing to do is to acknowledge it now and then. Respond to a comment I leave, thank me for sharing your content. Even better, why don't you come check out my blog someday. I might even have something to offer you!
9. Test your blog on a mobile phone, iPad and as many devices as you can. I do most of my blog reading on a mobile phone while at the gym, waiting in line or a million other places. Reason is that most of the time if I am in my office I am working. Any other time I am either with clients or enjoying life with my family and friends. This particular blog you are reading is developed on StudioPress using one of their new Responsive themes. It will automatically detect what device you are reading it from and adjust the size of the screen and most elements accordingly. We're still working through some details with the header and some customization we did. However, I think this is some of their best work yet!
10. Provide a consistent brand experience. Your blog should be an extension of you. It should also be an extension of everything else I see online. If I see you tweeting behind a smiling avatar tweeting nice tweets all day and then I visit your blog and it looks like it was developed by your 8 yr old and you are yelling at your readers via comments, chances are you have just had a major brand equity loss with me. Same goes for your blog and the extension to the other social networks. If your blog rocks then the rest of your online brand presence should eventually rock too. Don't be in yellow and black on one platform and then pink and green on another. If you do such you are missing out on brand opportunities that could be positive. It takes between 6-7 brand touches for someone to remember your brand.
11. Know and implement a conversion funnel. Make it easy for me to know what action you want me to take. If I want to learn more about your services ensure it's easy to find your contact information. If you want me to opt-in to your email newsletter, add an opt-in box to the sidebar of the blog or on the bottom of the post. If you want me to subscribe to your RSS feed, then make it easily identifiable and make sure it works. If you don't know what your own conversion funnel is then there is no possible way I can read your mind and help you meet your business goals. I am amazed how many bloggers have zero call to actions on their blogs, Facebook pages or other social sites. Don't be afraid to ask for something. When you have provided me value, chances are I want to learn more and hopefully take action that will also benefit you!
12. Don't count on social proof alone. Of course I want to see your social proof if it is relevant to your business and what you can do for me. However, let me make it very clear that having a large number of Twitter followers alone is not going to do it. I wrote a blog post about a social media consultant and fraud claims she was making via her email marketing newsletter. She was educating her subscribers that a large number of Twitter followers are equivalent to a quality business ranking. Yowza! No, I am not joking. You can read more here "Social Media Consultant Gone Bad... Real Bad". My point is that you better be able to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Make the social proof relevant, period. Twitter followers alone are not relevant.
What is the state of your blog? Is it rockin? Or could it use a little social rockstar tender lovin' care (TLC)? First step is to acknowledge it needs some lovin'. The second step is to take action based on a plan that is going to bring results! If you just went through this phase and your blog is already doing great things then please feel free to share the tips with others here. Tell us what you did to get to where you are. How long did it take you? Were you working on a limited budget?