Top Ten Tips For Blogging Awesomeness
I am a lucky man to be able to welcome back Kristen Lamb as a guest in my Expert Series with her top tips on how to be an ‘awesome’ blogger. Be sure to pop over to her first appearance on the blog with Top 10 Reasons To become a Writer while you are here.
Top Ten Tips for Blogging Awesomeness
So awesome to be invited back to the Top Ten Blog. Apparently they haven’t noticed the missing silverware yet. Ooh, inside words stay inside. Where was I? Oh, yes. As a social media expert with two #1 best-selling books, I am here to give you Ten Tips for Blogging Awesomeness.
These methods have been rigorously tested. No writers were harmed in the process. Okay, maybe a couple, but they were weird to start with.
Here are some simple changes that can make a HUGE difference when it comes to blogging success.
1. Make backgrounds easy on the eyes.Â Â
If your background is dark, change it to a lighter background. Dark backgrounds with light lettering look cool, but they are really hard on the readerâ€™s eyes and they will do terrible loading on a smart phone. If you look at my blog’s background, itâ€™s boring.
Here’s the thing. People arenâ€™t coming to your blog to look at your snazzy background; they are there to read your brilliant writing. When we have a light, simple background free of clutter, this encourages people to subscribe, to hang around and read earlier posts, and to even read posts on the go.
2. Break up large chunks of text.Â Â Â
If you have blogs with large blocks of text, break them up.Â Most readers, if they go to a blog and see huge chunks of text, they move on. I read at a computer all day long and that is hard on my eyes.
Guarantee youÂ our readers will feel the same way. Try to put no more than three to six sentences in a paragraph. Readers will forgive a long blog if itâ€™s a) interesting and b) easy to absorb/read.
3. Insert bolded bullet points to break up text.
This makes blogs easy to scan. Remember a lot of people read blogs on the go. They are often reading from an iPhone. Make life easy and they will love you for it.
4. Remove unnecessary clutter.
This is a problem with a lot of web pages. There is too much stuff so the reader moves on. Less is more.
5. If possible, pick blog titles in a way that will engage and spark debate.
One of my most popular blogs to date was titled:Â What Went Wrong with the Star Wars Prequels?Â I gave my two cents worth and then asked others what they thought. I have over 150 comments! But the title just posits a question that BEGS to be answered.
The best blogs are not information, they are conversation. Notice there really isn’t a right or wrong answer, but it sparks some fun discussion. Also, if this title was posted on Twitter, people would want to know the â€œanswer.â€ Titles can be key when it comes to driving up stats and creating a loyal following.
Additionally, this type of approach takes our blog from talking â€œatâ€ people and inserts us right into the heart of a healthy discussion. Now we are speaking â€œwithâ€ others. When we create enough discussions, we form friendships which create community. This activates peopleâ€™s innate sense of loyalty.
6. Make sure your NAME is the blog title.
Few things are more frustrating than when I try to do a mash-up and I have to hunt down a name.
Since I am the social media expert for writers this tip is especially important for those who are blogging to build an author brand. There is simply no sense in blogging if it isn’t building our author brand, which is our NAME. This is working smarter, not harder.
If I am contributing 2000 words a week to theÂ Rainbow Fluffy Kitten Dreams Blog, that means nothing unless I want to change my name toÂ Rainbow Fluffy Kitten Dreams. Our blog is a powerful tool to build our author brand, which is: NAMEÂ + GOOD CONTENTÂ + HAPPY EMOTIONS= AUTHOR BRAND.
7. Insert widgets for others to follow you on all your other platforms.
A blog is all about customer service. If you are also on Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, LinkedIn, Technorati, and Goodreads….I will first tell you that you are doing too much social media.
Get back to writing before I take away your G+. Ah, but after that , I would advise that you insert widgets so others can hang out with you on their platform of choice. Hey, we need to take advantage of the warm happy feelings our readers have after reading our nuggets of brilliance.
8. Make sure you embed widgets to help others SHARE your content on other platforms.
Even if you don’t tweet, make sure your readers can. Embed a widget to help readers share your content withÂ their networks.Â Information needs to be portable to go viral. This is one of the few times, the word “viral” is good. We want out genius wordsmithery to infect the planet and make them our
Â zombie slavesÂ fans.
9. Make sure you embed a widget to SUBSCRIBE to your blog and also to get the RSS Feed.
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and it delivers your blog to a web feed for your reader. This is all about serving the customerâ€”the reader. It’s like pizza delivery. We dig yummy awesomeness magically appearing in our news feed. Also, make sure that readers don’t have to go hunting for the subscribe button. Make life easy. We dig easy.
10. Go through your posts and look for personal pronoun infestations.
If we use a lot of â€œI, I, I, I,â€ â€œme, me, me,â€ â€œyou, you, youâ€ it turns people off. We sound at best like we are lecturing and at worst like we are full of ourselves.
11. Yes, okay ELEVEN tips. I lied :P. Make sure you have questions at the end of each post designed to spark discussion and encourage sharing.
When we get good at enticing conversation, then our blog becomes the cool place to hang out and chat. Blogging is less about great writing and more about being a good host/hostess. I see some really wonderful writers who have crappy blogs.
Hey, I was once one of them. I am here to help you guys take the short-cut to success. I did all the dumb stuff so you don’t have to ;).
Many thanks to Kristen for her entertaining and informative article. Please let us know what you think of her advice! Do you have any tips you would like to share to help us all to reach that blogging Nirvana?
Kristen Lamb is the author of the #1 best selling books, “We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” and “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.” She is currently represented by Russell Galen of SGG Literary NYC. In her free time, Kristen trains sea monkeys for the purposes of world domination….when she isn’t trying to saw through her ankle monitor.
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