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.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
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.
James Avery says
Nice, simple advice, and I think your point about getting a good header to separate your blog out from the crowd is pertinent.
There are just too many blogs out there which really don’t stand out from the crowd, and which just repeat other people’s information.
Time to get back to keeping my own house in order!
.-= James Avery´s last blog ..Last month I made a paltry £10 through blogging. I just want to double this each month! =-.
Thank you for your comment. Unfocused blogs that do not speak to a specific audience consistently, do not help grow your brand or your business. I know what I look for in a blog, so I just tried to share that information so people will have an idea of how to make their blog great other than just writing well.
Good luck with your blog and your business.
Elisa Balabram says
Your article has great tips, and I’m following your advice number 9. 😉 I missed the conversation on Twitter on Wednesday but downloaded the transcript.
All the best,
Elisa Balabram, Author Ask Others, Trust Yourself: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Key to Success.
.-= Elisa Balabram´s last blog ..Small Business Is Big News =-.
I am so glad that you were helped by my series on Blogging for Business. Everywhere you go now people are talking about blogging. I thought that I could provide some how to information that could clear-up a few grey areas. I am so grateful that it helped you. Thank you for your comment.
Good Luck with your blog and your business.
Dr. LaKeidra says
This information is very helpful, especially to the beginner bloggers like myself! I also have your book and am currently reading it! Great stuff! Keep the information coming!
Melinda Emerson says
Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad that this blog ans my book are helping you grow your business.
Here’s to your business success.
Rocket Piano says
Loving this the post as it is in reality the sweetest on this valuable topic. I agree with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your upcoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be enough, for the wonderful clarity in your writing. I will at once grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates
Melinda Emerson says
Thank you for your comment. Blogging is an important part of a social media platform, and I wanted to provide some insight on the subject to help people do their best when promoting their small business.
Melinda F. Emerson