This is a guest contribution by Adam Smith.
If you are reading this post, I am guessing that you have a blog and at least a few social media accounts or you are just starting out and have a interest in blogging. Right?
Instead of trying things out at first, guessing, hitting a wall and then becoming discouraged, this post is a ten step guide to becoming a better blogger than you are right now.
This guide will get you at the top of your blogging game faster than you ever thought possible.
Here are the ten habits that I have created with my blogging to get noticed and they will work for you, too…
1. Prepare a plan
Is your blog development planned? A plan works for anything that is important to you.
What do you want to achieve with your blog? Include what you want to communicate through your posts to your readers and create the daily steps to get to those goals. List every important thing down to the smallest detail.
Taking the time for this kind of planning will help keep you on track and doing the necessary work to get to where you want to go. It will also inspire you to keep going through the difficult time.
Action: Make a detailed plan for your blog and look at it when you need motivation.
2. Focus on your content
It seems that everyone has a blog these days and each person is adding to the ‘noise’.
The best way to fight for the attention of an audience is to produce quality content over and over again. Content that helps get your readers where they want to be. An easy way to find what content your readers love is to install Google Analytics and research what people are actually reading. You can stop taking a shot in the dark and become more intentional with your content.
Realize that the time you put in is a reflection of what you will get back. You should also know your strengths. There is no possible way that you can be good at everything and people know that, too. Build a blog that people know they can get great advice on a particular topic and they will come back for more. It works for Darren here on Problogger, On Twitip and dPS and it will work for you.
Action: Put in the time to deliver high quality content to your readers.
3. SEO matters
4. Be concise
People’s attention spans and time allotted to read is getting smaller and smaller these days. There is too much to do and so little time.
Write your posts so they share what is needed to get your point across, without rambling. You make a bigger impact when you share your thoughts in a concise way.
5. Be quotable
Being quotable is a really effective way to gain the attention of new readers; it’s more important than who you know.
Clear, clever quotes are easy to share on Facebook, more retweets on Twitter and more repins on Pinterest and when you include a link to your post, you can reach more people than you ever could on your own.
Action: You will get the traffic that you have always wanted from being quotable. Pick out the best quotes from your posts and share them across social media.
6. Grab their attention with new ideas
The first step to having more success with fresh ideas is to be quiet and think.
Carve out time in your day to focus on creating fresh ideas. Don’t repeat what everyone else is saying. Push yourself to find greatness with your writing and then push yourself even more. It is time to find your unique voice and once you do this, stick with it.
Action: Be quiet and write down the ideas that come to you. Take time to do this on a daily basis and you’ll find yourself with lots of great ideas to choose from.
7. Speak with authority
Nobody takes advice from a book that starts every sentence with, “Maybe”.
Learn to speak with confidence in your area of expertise. Become a source of knowledge by becoming confident. Show readers that you take your work seriously by putting your time into conducting research. When you do this, you’ll begin to share your knowledge with a new found familiarity and confidence.
Action: Become familiar with the topic you are writing about with further researc. Learn to repeat these steps even when you don’t feel like it. That is what separates the amateurs from the pros.
8. Don’t have an outdated look
Maybe your content is decent, but if your blog theme makes it difficult to find and your font is hard on the eyes, your readers won’t stick around.
It useful to find a group of people you can have look at your site and give you honest feedback. Sometimes you just need a fresh set of eyes to see things differently and make changes that are better in the end.
Action: Ask yourself, “Is my blog theme up to date?”
9. Don’t forget your marketing
Marketing your blog is essential if you want to attract new readers. After all, how will they know about you if you don’t tell them?
You can entice new readers to subscribe by giving something away for free. In my case, it was a free ebook that began drawing new readers in, but for you it could be something different. This gives you a way to capture reader’s email addresses and it allows you to begin forming your team.
Action: Incentives entice readers to commit. Give free,valuable information away to others and then do it some more.
10. Build a team
Create relationships. Be reachable. Help others. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to others, too. People usually won’t know about you unless you take the time to meet others.
After writing great content for a short time, people will begin to know you for helpful content and your community will naturally form by them coming back for more.
Action: Word of mouth is the best type of press. Find and connect with your core group of followers and encourage them to share your best posts with others.
It doesn’t matter what subjects you write about on your blog, these ten steps will help you develop your blogging plan and propel you forward to finding your “sweet spot” in the blogging world.
My challenge to you is to find those things that work for you and take note of the items that create growth.
Once you create traction with an audience, it can be repeated.
What steps have you used to see a great reaction with your posts online?
Adam Smith resides in the Boulder, Colorado area with his wife and daughter. He is the author of the ebook, Discipline: The Art of Achieving Greatness and also an editor/ blogger at asmithblog.com. You can read more about Adam at http://asmithblog.com/about/.