7 Days To Become A Better Blogger
Becoming a better blogger
Becoming a better blogger isn’t about getting more people reading your posts, get that idea out of your head right away. Good content makes a good blogger so better content makes a better blogger. Obviously the long term goal is to get more people reading your blog and through becoming a better blogger you will reap the rewards of increased traffic to your content.
Day 1 – Participation and Discussion
It’s a Tuesday and it’s day 1 of my 7 days to becoming a better blogger. I have been a die hard WordPress blogger for many years now. Back when I started I gauged the success of my posts by the amount of interaction it invoked from my audience. Blog participation was just reaching it’s peak back then and commenting was common place, infact if you could stir up an argument or two between the people commenting it could well be the place where 90+% of your returning visitors came from. Nowadays blog commenting isn’t as common (if readers even do comment!) as a ‘share‘, a ‘like‘ or a ‘tweet‘ – the main interaction you are likely to have with your readers is a social share, if you want to engage your audience in such a way that allows you to actually speak to them then your best bet is to be active on a social network they use to share your content.
I am going to be using one of my own sites for this experiment: http://www.gamingnow.info/. That site is my voice in the gaming world and I want it to become an authority site on gaming. To do that I must establish myself as an authority figure in the blogging world and use that to demonstrate my knowledge of the gaming world. How I plan on becoming a better blogger is going to be well documented in my 7 day adventure.
Participation and discussion takes 2 forms. One on the blogger’s end and the other on the reader’s end.
On the blogger’s end you have to research your topic. Researching it online provides a wealth of information and opinions on your topic but it allows you to also pose questions to the people more knowledgeable than you (the authors of your research material) and also discus your opinion with them and others – participating and discussing.
Getting yourself out there amung the people who know what they are talking about spreads your name around with the right people and starts to set your authority on a topic before you even write your post! As a super added bonus to discussing what you research as you read it it also helps increase information retention in your amazing brain without the need for taking notes 😀
Today the reader isn’t someone you can just make one single profile for. You have an actual reader (someone who reads your post), a potential reader (someone you’ve managed to get your post in front of) and a follower or fan (someone who is interested in your topic) just to name a few. Those categories can be broken down even farther – or grouped differently like: Search traffic, (potential reader, actual reader), Social traffic (your fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc). Lets think of them in the 2 groups; search and social.
For today’s purpose search traffic means someone who arrives at your blog via a search engine and finds your post because they are looking for something specific, social traffic means someone who sees your content because they are a fan of your overall topic. In my analogy of the 2 types of traffic the search traffic relies highly on the content but the social traffic relies on the presentation of that content. To make your users participate and discuss your post you need to concentrate on BOTH the theoretical groups. Write good, well researched, content AND present it well for social networks.
To accomplish today’s improvements
Much of what today’s improvements are about rely on having some form of a fanbase. If you don’t already have one don’t worry, today is the first step to getting one. You want to leverage whatever pull you can to get your content in front of (and keep them reading more and more), the people who want it and you want them to share it with their friends and others who may find it useful.
- Start a social following.
- Network with others in the same topic.
What I done today
- Started a Google+ page to try accumulate fans and talk to real people about the things they like. I already have a Facebook page for Gaming Now so I don’t need to create a FB page.
- Posted to the Gaming Now FB page and answered comments.
- Looked up some articles talking about some upcoming games and left comments when I had something to say.
- Found a new website dedicated solely to retro games, ones older than I am lol, and bookmarked the RSS feed to read the articles later.
Follow-up for tomorrow
- Populate the Google+ page with some seed content – it’s no use promoting an empty page.
- Check back for replies to the comments I made.
- Read some of the research material I bookmarked.
Benefits of today’s tasks
The main benefits of today’s better blogger tasks are research and networking. The more you know about your topic the better and networking with the people who are also in the know about your topic can yield growth on both a personal and a professional level.
As a side effect of your research and networking you have also started building a social following, a great source of traffic and also the fastest way, bar none, of spreading your content. The chance of you hitting the viral sweet spot increases exponentially when your getting content shared on social networks.
By commenting on blogs (ones that allow you to include your website) you build a link profile. Links are one of the rating factors used by search engines to determine content authority, if you want to build your credibility and site you need good quality links. Commenting on blogs when researching your post topics gets links from related blogs to your site, providing topic authority before your post is even created, increasing your authority with both readers (because you researched the topic and know what your talking about) and search engines (because you have a link to your site from a related post).
Everyday tasks related to this improvement
- Post new content to the Social Networking pages.
- Reply to comments on Social Networking.
- Bookmark interesting articles on the topic and week out the good ones from the bad ones.