Do you ever wish your blog were less “meh” and more mesmerizing?
Back when I first started blogging (as a fashion blogger—ha!), my blog posts were terrible. They rambled on and on about nothing, and I was still using the stiff technical writing from my days as a textbook editor.
And if you go creeping through the Archives, I’m sure you’ll find some mediocre blog posts. Just don’t hold it against me, m’kay?
Now I’ve found my blogging groove, and you can too whether your blog is brand new or older than the seldom-used mustard in my fridge. Just how long has that been there anyway?
I had pleasure of attending the creativeLIVE workshop Build a Successful Creative Blog hosted by the talented April Bowles-Olin from Blacksburg Belle.
Anyhoo, the workshop was phenomenal! Me and the other attendees (including my buddy Jennifer Kennedy from Teach Good Stuff) listened intently, took pages of notes, and brainstormed ways to make our blogs shine.
Want to know all the best tidbits that will turn you into a blogging superstar? Of course, you do.
Here are 7 secrets to make your blog stand out.
1. Write for one person.
It took me forever to learn this lesson. You should write your blog posts as if you’re writing to a specific person, say your best friend, instead of writing for a general audience.
It might seem counter-intuitive to narrow your focus, but by doing so, you’ll attract your ideal readers who’ll be madly obsessed with every post you publish.
Answer these questions about your ideal reader:
- How old is your reader? Is she married? Does she have kids?
- Where does she live? Where does she work?
- What does she read? What movies does she watch?
- What are her dreams and goals?
- What’s the biggest problem she has in her life?
2. Break down your big ideas.
I’m all about having a good breakdown, and it’s essential for you to take your big ideas and divide them into many smaller categories. You get more blog posts and can provide more detailed info, which is of higher value to your readers.
What topic do you want to write about next? Can you think of 5 subcategories or different angles you can take with that topic? Would these posts make a good series?
3. Choose catchy headlines.
Your readers make snap decisions about whether to read your blog posts or not, and your headlines can make or break you. No matter how amazingly helpful your blog post is, no one will read it if the headline is boring.
And here’s a secret: April encouraged us to use the word “secret” and other intriguing words to peak the reader’s curiosity. It got you to read this post, didn’t it?
Look at your last blog headline. How can you rewrite it to make it more exciting?
4. Share your stories.
This is the reason most of us got into blogging in the first place—to share stories about our lives! But if you want to grow your readership, you can’t fill your blog posts with mundane stuff like the sandwich you had for lunch or how much vacuuming you need to do.
You posts must provide value. Your readers want to know what’s in it for them. I talk about productivity a lot, but I like to frame my information with interesting stories from me and my clients. It’s easier to understand a complex idea when you relate it to something that happened in real life.
What stories do you share over and over? How can you relate those stories to the information you share on your blog?
5. Build relationships.
One of the wonderful perks of having a blog is being able to connect with people all over the world. You can build relationships with your readers by asking them questions and encouraging them to leave their answers in the comments.
But here’s the thing: you need to respond in the comments too! I see too many bloggers who NEVER interact in the comments…and then they wonder why their readers don’t stick around. I love reading people’s thoughts about my blog posts, and having a conversation with them helps me form relationships and even get new clients.
How can you build relationships with your blog? What can you do to get to know your readers personally?
6. Get an outside perspective.
Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s not working on your blog because you’re too close to it. When we stare at the same layouts, photos, and fonts for too long, we become blind to what’s in front of us.
Getting an outside perspective from someone you trust will help you keep your blog fresh and avoid repelling the people you want to attract.
Ask a friend to tell you her initial thoughts when looking at your blog. What does she like and what’s not working? Is there anything that doesn’t align with your brand and intentions?
On a side note, this photo perfectly illustrates why the first thing people say when meeting me is usually, “Wow, you’re shorter than I thought you’d be!”
7. Done is better than perfect.
This was the unofficial theme of the workshop. It’s easy for us to get caught up in doing things perfectly, but then we’ll end up wasting time and never actually publish a blog post! Consistency is key to having a popular blog, and that means you can’t get hung up on all the little details.
Where have you been procrastinating? What can you do today to move forward on your next blog post? What can you do imperfectly?
This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.
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