Last night I went to an Advanced Blogging class hosted by Boulder Digital Arts. Our instructor, Beth Hayden, aka local blogging guru, gave us many pointers for producing a more popular blog. Some were good reminders for me, but a few suggestions were new. I won’t give away all the details since you had to be there, but I do want to share a few tips that had me thinking.
- Spend time on your headlines. You want your headlines to pop and be attractive for people to click on. They can have a keyword or use one of the formulas for attracting attention: list headlines (odd numbers are best or top 10), how to titles, guide titles (Guide to…), Warning/Alert titles (The 7 Warning Signs…).
- In some blogging software, you can create your own page (post) url, which is also called a permalink, but you want to do this before you publish. Make sure it is memorable and keyword friendly.
- Make your email subscribers feel special by emailing them once in a while with an offer just for them. I loved this idea. If you are reading this via email, do not be surprised if I send a little special something. If you would like to be included in receiving the little special something: You can subscribe here!
- Create incentives to get people to subscribe to your blog. You can create a free download to get people to sign up. I’m not too thrilled with pop-ups, but these can work if not too obnoxious.
- Be sure to use your RSS feed to hook your blog to other outlets. Most social media has the option of sharing your blog this way.
- Comment on other people’s posts and include the link to your blog. Link love can do amazing things. Also, make sure you comment back in a timely fashion to the people that take the time to reply to your posts.
- Ask to guest blog on other blogs that make sense for attracting new audiences. Be sure to research and spend some time looking at their blog content. Figure out which posts are the most popular. If you find a good fit, you can contact the owner and submit a few headlines and samples of your writing. Don’t take it personally if they reject your idea or if they do not get back to you. A softer way of doing this is to ask your friends that have blogs to do a blog post swap. This way, you can help build both your audiences.
- If you ever wonder about making money via your blog, ad programs are not the best route. Instead, develop products (eBooks for example), look for affiliation opportunities (choose products that are a good match), and offer your services as a public speaker on your topic.
- Register on blog directories such as Technorati. You can google “blog directories,” and a bunch of other options show up.
- Use Google Adwords to find the best keywords and then use these for SEO.
Beth went into detail on each of these points. She also talked about some other ideas that were fabulous. Again, you had to be there. I do recommend signing up for her blog. She’s one smart cookie!
The one thing we did not discuss was how to get more people to comment. I would say that compelling, quality content helps boost comments. What do you think?
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Audience Development Specialists
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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”