Tuesday, October 18, 2011

how to be a better blogger

Whether you're just getting started as a blogger or you've been around for a while, there is always room for improvement. Maybe you want to gain more followers, maybe you're hoping to increase your page views, or maybe you want to have better content for the followers you already have. Regardless of your goal, it's always good to take a step back and evaluate what you're doing. 

1. Think of your blog as a brand. 
Realistically, your blog is a brand. You are a brand. Let's use Kellogs as an example. What do you think of when you think of Kellogs? Cereal, maybe granola bars, healthy, etc. And you picture a red K or the word Kellogs in a swirly font. Am I right? So, what do you want people to think of when they think of your blog/your name. When I think of Pioneer Woman I think of cooking and excellent photography. Big blogs have solid brands. Define yourself. 

2. Work with what you've got.
Ask people what they think of when they think of your blog. Find out how you've branded yourself already. Then, take the things you like and highlight them and branch off of those things. If there are elements of your current branding that you don't like, down play those and learn how to not portray those things in what you post.

3. Present yourself well. 
When selecting pictures to post, select only the best ones. One great picture is way better than four mediocre pictures. Be positive. Blogs are outlets, so yes, share your sad stories. Rant and rave away. But add in some humor or end on a positive note. Nobody likes a Debbie downer. All the same, remember to be transparent and real. Your life isn't always sunshine and daisies, so your blog shouldn't be either. Simple rule: Ask would I enjoy reading this if someone else posted it?

4. Cross your i's and dot your t's.
Remember, you are your own editor. That means you need to proof read. Make sure you have proper grammar, correct spellings, etc. But also make sure your post makes sense, flows well, and is easy to read. You want people to read your posts, right? Make it easy for them to do!

5. Analyze.
Use the business techniques you already know. Do a SWOT analysis on your blog. What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats? 
Question ideas adapted from here.

Try not to think of other bloggers as your "competitors". One blogger's success does not mean your failure. Good blog friends rejoice in other's success and build each other up. Use your SWOT analysis to pinpoint how you, personally, can improve. 

6. Pay it forward.
The blog community is very giving. We share our favorite posts and blogs with other people. Whether it's a facebook post, twitter, or pinterest. That's how you get new views and followers. Remember, sharing is caring!
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