1. Be strategic about your headline.
2. Use a branded header. Image is everything. People need to know what your blog is about at first click. Use a colorful header that features your logo, a professional photo and your tag line. Your tag line is the most important element of your header. It should tell your reader exactly what to expect from your blog.
3. Explain your blog. On the front page of your blog — tell people more information about what you can do for them. Be sure and include keywords, your name and any branded materials you have such as a book title. Explain who your target audience is and the credentials that make you an expert.
4. Create a conversation. Use a conversational tone when you write. Do not just give information; let your personality shine through. People love well told stories. They also like to learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t be afraid to take an unpopular position or be brutally honest. Be your authentic self. Tell your readers what you really think.
5. Be original. Teach ’em some new stuff and be entertaining. Your audience wants to find something that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the web. David Meerman Scott author of World Wide Rave says people want to share in something remarkable. Do you have any concepts or systems that you have developed? I developed the Emerson Planning System which is a new approach to business planning. I wrote my book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months (Adams Media, Feb 2010) based on the system. I use elements of it to write many blog posts. That’s my signature content, what’s yours?
6. Be a participant. If you want your ideas to spread or your blog posts to be retweeted you need to spend some time building relationships online. Getting involved in the online communities where people actively share information in your specialty area. It is also a great way to have comments left on your blog. I spent six months on Twitter building relationships, answers questions and supporting others before I launched my blog. It made a big difference.
7. Avoid fluff. In order to have people talk about your ideas, resist the temptation to hype your products and services. Create something interesting that will be talked about online. Readers have many choices available, and they’ll quickly move on from a blog with unnecessary or annoying commentary. Keep your writing focused. If you leave your readers wanting more, and they’ll come back for more.
8. Use multimedia to break things up. Add podcasts and video posts to add depth to your blog. Sometimes when I am interviewed on an internet radio show, I will turn the interview link into a blog post by adding a tip list highlighting key takeaways from the interview. The interview host will appreciate the additional exposure for sure. Keep those video posts short, no more than 3 minutes please. Trust me – less is more.
9. Comment on blogs. Leave comments on other people’s blogs. Doing this will help you get a quality backlink. Blogs need backlinks. They help increase your PageRank and widen your blog’s visibility. The plugin displays a link to your last post along with your picture and your name using RSS feeds. Also use the CommentLuv Plugin on your blog.
10. Always think of your audience first. Whenever you start thinking of a blog topic make sure the information will be helpful to your target audience. Provide information, analysis, interviews and viewpoints on your blog. When you give your audience what they want and need, they will tell others and post your information to social media sites.
For more information on getting your blog to shine join us this wednesday 8-9pm ET on 10/7 for #smallbizchat on Twitter where my guest will be Anita Campbell @smallbiztrends who will be talking about how to take your blog to the next level.
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For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda Emerson “SmallBizLady” is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #SmallBizChat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted resource on Twitter to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 months! A Month-by-Month Guide to Start a Business that Works! is scheduled to be released by Adams Media in early 2010.