9 Habits of Bloggers Who Have Huge Audiences

9 Habits of Bloggers Who Have Huge AudiencesThis is a guest contribution from Jeff Foster.

If you’re just starting out as a blogger, you’re probably wondering how to grow your audience.

The good news is that there’s a lot you can learn from bloggers who have already built an enormous following – no matter what they blog about, great bloggers share a number of habits that make them successful. If you’re diligent about developing these habits yourself, you too can build an army of loyal supporters.

Let’s look at why highly successful bloggers truly connect with their audience:

1. They are Passionate About Their Subject

When you’re truly excited, it comes across in your writing – it arouses your audience and makes them feel that you have something worth saying. Don’t pick a blog niche just because there are lots of potential readers, write about something you truly care about, and readers will come flocking. In any case, if you’re not deeply passionate about your subject, chances are you’ll get bored and abandon your blog very quickly.

2. They Take the Time to Make Themselves Experts

People read blogs because they want unique insights and interesting points of view. If you just repeat what other bloggers are saying, then you’re not adding any value.

You need to take the time to become a true expert. If you’re passionate about your subject, this should be a labor of love – not a burden. Read widely and keep up with the latest news so that you have your finger on the pulse of your subject.

Engage in social media – not just your own blog – to build your knowledge and have meaningful discussions. By making learning a lifelong process, you’ll give your readers something that they just can’t get anywhere else.

3. They Create Incredibly Useful Content

Not only are top bloggers experts, they also give their readers genuinely helpful information.

Don’t just focus on expressing your own views – think about what your audience wants to know, and then give them this information.

For example, if you blog about cooking, ask kitchen equipment manufacturers for product samples. Then try these samples out, and tell your readers what you think. On the other hand, if you’re a fashion blogger, make the effort to go to real fashion shows and give your followers a first-hand account of what went on.

4. They’re Prolific

To grow a huge audience for your blog, you need to keep your readers coming back. Sure, it’s important to add new readers all the time, but if your existing audience is drifting away, then you’re fighting an uphill battle.

The way to build a loyal following is to produce lots of fresh content – every day if possible. This doesn’t mean you should write for the sake of writing – fuzz and fluff are useless. You have to deliver concise, insightful material on a regular basis – it’s tough to do this, but the more you try, the easier it gets.

5. They’re Motivated Self-Starters

The great thing about blogging is that you don’t have a boss telling you what to do – it’s also one of the biggest challenges.

No one is going to force you to sit down and write that next blog post, or tell you to go out and interview industry experts. What you do has to come from within yourself. Unless you can get up each morning and tear into life with a fresh appetite, you’re going to struggle. That’s why it’s so important to be passionate about your subject – if you believe in what you’re doing, then staying motivated is much easier.

6. They Know How to Manage Their Time

As a blogger, it’s so easy to waste time. There are countless ways to pretend to yourself that you’re getting useful work done. For instance, you may find it fun to play around with the latest plug-ins for your blog – but you need to ask yourself whether this is the best use of your time.

Successful bloggers look at their time as a precious resource – they plan ahead, schedule activities, and then do what they say they’re going to do. Everything in their plan is there for a reason. If something isn’t in the plan, it isn’t a priority.

7. They Persist

Even the most successful bloggers have setbacks. Not all of your blog posts will hit the mark, and you’re going to get turned down again and again by people you want to interview.

It’s easy to get discouraged, but to succeed you need to carry on. Talent isn’t enough – there are lots of skilled bloggers who don’t succeed because they can’t keep going when the going gets tough. The best bloggers are determined and won’t take no for an answer – if something doesn’t work, they just move on to their next great idea.

8. They Engage in Meaningful Dialogs With Their Readers

A blog isn’t a lecture. The best bloggers listen to their readers and create a dynamic community.

By responding positively to what their readers say, answering their questions, and engaging in meaningful conversations, they make their readers feel like they belong. This in turn creates a deep bond and a sense of trust – turning readers into impassioned supporters.

9. They Build Strong Relationships With Other Bloggers

Blogging isn’t a competition.

Great bloggers take the time to build relationships with other bloggers. They leave thoughtful comments, share other bloggers’ posts and even get in contact with them directly. If you do this, you’ll get amazing insights that you can share with your own blog readers. Equally important, connecting with other bloggers gives you exposure and helps you to build your audience. When you build a relationship with other successful bloggers, they’ll be the first to talk about what you do. Just make sure that you’re completely genuine. You have to truly care about what other bloggers are saying – otherwise you’ll just come across as engaging in cynical promotion, and they’ll spot you a mile away.

Jeff Foster is co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

9 Habits of Bloggers Who Have Huge Audiences

The post 9 Habits of Bloggers Who Have Huge Audiences appeared first on @ProBlogger.


Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships

Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships on ProBlogger.net

In the last episode of the ProBlogger podcast we talked about how to build a sticky blog to keep readers on your site. Today, we’re going to talk about how to find them in the first place by building community, strengthening relationships, and commenting on other blogs.

It’s important that not only you build great content that hooks the reader in, makes them want to read more, and makes them want to share it, but it’s also important to find readers for that content.

Before we get started on today’s episode, I want you to recall what we discussed in episode 29 about identifying where online your ideal readers are. It’s all very well and good to promote your content, but what if you’re promoting it to the wrong people? So if you did the exercises in that episode, you should have a list of places your ideal reader is hanging out: blogs, forums, social networks, who they’re following, the podcasts they listen to, etc – this will be the basis of where you will look for places to be useful and build your profile.

Today I want to focus on two things: prolific usefulness through commenting, and networking/relational growth.

The first idea, prolific commenting, is definitely a low-level strategy that won’t bring heaps of traffic, but it will help you gain confidence and get the lay of the land. It’s also useful for getting your name out there, as people begin to see it and remember you. I talk about this strategy more in episodes 9 and 20, but it’s a really good place to start. I do give extra tips in today’s episode about how to do this well on Twitter and even in YouTube comments.

The second strategy revolves around strategic networking and building relationships with others in your niche that can help to grow your profile. There are quite a few ways to do this, from informal online networking to pitching influencers, and I list the options available to you, and the best ways of making them work.

To listen to today’s episode and to view the show notes, head to ProBlogger Podcast Episode 36 Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships

Further Reading

 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships

The post Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships appeared first on @ProBlogger.


3 Growth Hacking Strategies for Bloggers to Quadruple Their Blog Traffic without SEO

This is a guest contribution from Anil Agarwal.

Who else wants more blog traffic?

Hands down, everyone wants it.

Unfortunately getting traffic to a blog is not easy. Every single visitor counts.

One of the hardest things for most bloggers is boosting their blog traffic. If you have a fairly new blog, it’s definitely a daunting task.

The #1 reason most bloggers quit is because they don’t see any growth in their traffic.

If you’re one among them, this article is for you! We’ll discuss a few growth-hacking tips to grow your blog traffic without actually doing any SEO. Are you ready?

What is growth hacking all about?

Growth hacking is the trending keyword phrase these days. It was first introduced by startup marketer Sean Ellis to redefine the startup marketing role.

Growth hacking is a method of achieving incredible growth by using non-traditional strategies.

In simple terms, growth hacking means driving measurable results by focusing on what WORKS! It is similar to 80-20 rule, identifying the 20% of your activities that will result in 80% of the gain. When you apply growth hacking, you’ll get more results in less time by focusing on the things that matter.

So how can you use growth hacking techniques to increase your overall traffic?

1. Reverse engineer your content creation

The simplest way to increase your blog traffic is to create more content, right?

Wrong.

Posting articles daily is simply not going to help. You need to write content that attracts more links, shares and comments from others. How can you do that?

You simply need to reverse engineer your content creation strategy. Instead of writing posts without thinking twice, it’s better to create content that is proven to work.

This is also known as skyscraper technique, it was the term coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko. And it is one of the most effective ways to increase your overall blog traffic.

Skyscraper technique involves in three steps:

  1. Finding link-worthy content
  2. Making it even better than the competition
  3. Reaching to the right people to get more buzz

Let’s discuss these three steps now.

Step 1: Find top performing content in your niche

I know that finding profitable keywords isn’t easy. But you can use tools like Buzzsumo for finding share-worthy content in your industry. Whether you know it or not, Buzzsumo is one of the best tools out there to help you come up with amazing content ideas. You can discover a lot of high-performing blog posts, videos, Infographics, etc using Buzzsumo.

Head over to Buzzsumo and enter the keyword phrases you want.

For instance, my favorite blog topic is “SEO marketing” and here it how to use Buzzsumo to find content that gets more shares and links.

seo

Instantly after entering your keyword you’re not only provided with lots of articles, but it also shows you the total number of shares including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

In the above scenario, we’re came up with excellent post ideas like “17 SEO Myths”, “15 SEO Best Practices” etc. All of these are great blog post ideas and you can definitely improve them by providing more data, creating Infographics, or doing expert roundups, etc.

On the left side, it also has some filters to help you find what type of content form you want (including articles, Infographics, videos etc).

Buzzsumo is not only free (although it has premium version) but it is amazing way to find high quality content in your industry.

Step 2: Make it even better (create timeless content around it)

Once you have a list of great content ideas that are proven to bring you results, you now need to make it even better.

One of the simplest ways to get more backlinks, shares and comments on your blog posts is to making your content a “one-stop source”. How can you do that?

If you’re posting textual format of contents on your blog, write detailed posts.

In one of his blog posts, Neil Patel discovered an “average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words.”

seo1

Similarly, if you’re creating videos or Infographics, make them better by creating an appealing design. In summary, add something extra to the high performing content in your niche and make it epic.

Step 3: Outreach to the right people to get more buzz

Once you have epic content on your blog, it’s now time to reaching out to the right people in your niche.

How can you find out the people who are interested in promoting your content?

You can again use Buzzsumo. Here’s how. When you enter a keyword on Buzzsumo, it shows you who linked to the top content including the social sharers.

seo2

Now, reach out to them. Connect them on twitter, find out their emails and start creating more buzz. You can also use tools like Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer, ahrefs etc to find all of the links pointing to your competitor’s content. And when you reach out to them after creating a link worthy post, you’ll have more chances of getting links to your sites too by asking them without being pushy.

#2. Using content upgrades to boost your email list

Whether you agree it or not, email list is golden. Having a list of hungry email subscribers is an asset for every blogger.

Having an email list will not only increase your blog traffic but it will also boost your sales and trust with the readers. Email list is the second biggest traffic source for Neil Patel’s QuickSprout blog. And for most bloggers the same is true – email list is their top traffic source!

So why not invest your time wisely on building an email list instead of focusing on SEO? Instead of trying all the list building strategies under the sun, it’s better to go for one crazy idea that increases your list. Content upgrade is one such list building strategy that helps your boost your subscribers quickly.

What is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is an extra bonus that is extremely relevant to your post topic.

For instance, if you’ve a popular blog post titled “10 ways to supercharge your SEO”, you could create something like “on-page SEO checklist” to use as a content upgrade to boost your email list.

A content upgrade looks something like this:

seo3

How using content upgrades can triple your email list?

Content upgrades are usually given away for free to the blog visitors in exchange of their emails.

Content upgrades are extremely specific. Hence, they convert really well. If you want to convert normal website visitors into subscribers, start using content upgrades.

Do they work? Yes, they do.

Brian Dean gives away a post-specific resource on one of his most popular posts.

Did you know that he got a whopping 785% increase in conversions (compared to the previous month).

seo4

That’s A LOT, right? That’s the reason why you need to start focusing on creating content upgrades for your top performing posts or pages.

So how to create content upgrades to increase your overall email list and traffic?

First off, find out five top-performing posts on your blog.

Create a list of posts that got more comments and shares. Also use Google Analytics to find out the top pages that are sending you more traffic from search engines.

Once you’ve the list of popular contents on your blog, you now need to create content upgrades. You can create a bonus, checklist, video or anything that adds more value to the current post.

And you can use tools like LeadPages, SumoMe etc to create content upgrades on your blog posts or pages to grab more email subscribers.

#3. Create an “after post” checklist to get more visibility

Did you know that you’ll get better results when you spend most of your time on promoting your content rather than creating it? Blog post promotion is to get more visibility on your blog posts.

If you’ve creating a great blog post, instead of sitting back and waiting for someone to find your content – it’s way better to create a content promoting routine.

After you publish a blog post, make sure to do the following:

Promoting on social media: Social media is the new SEO. If you want to boost your overall website traffic, be active on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ etc. Almost every blogger on earth use these social media networks, so you’ll get more exposure for your blog posts if they have attention grabbing headlines.

Posting to forums: Find out the relevant forums in your niche and connect with the other bloggers. Share and comment on their links, and whenever you have posted something on your blog, make sure to submit your links. And ask for a feedback from other bloggers. This is the surefire way to get more visibility on your posts.

Submit to social bookmarking sites: Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious – all are social bookmarking sites that have huge readers. If your post does well on these sites, take it for granted that your overall search traffic will also increase overtime.

Leave comments on other blogs: Want to get more comments on your blog posts? Then, start leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs that are similar to your blog’s topic. Use their names while leaving comments and ask intelligent questions to spread your name across the blogosphere.

Here’s a great blog post checklist written by Pat Flynn, although it was written a couple of years ago – but it’s still worth following.

Spend 2/3 time on promoting “others” stuff and spend the remaining 1/3rd time on promoting your stuff. Why?

Everyone wants more shares, likes, tweets and comments. But most people don’t spend much time on promoting others. What happens if you spend most of your time on promoting others stuff instead of yours? Bang!!

You’ll get more attention from the bloggers. You’re also helping the community by promoting quality stuff on your networks like Facebook and twitter. Eventually, you’ll get more visibility, followers and shares on your own posts too.

So where do you go next?

Then see the results and watch your website traffic grow. Increasing traffic to a blog or website is not a rocket science. By following what works, you can dramatically boost traffic to your blog posts.

Check out the growth hack techniques mentioned above, pick anyone of them and start implementing.

The best part about using growth hacking to your content marketing strategy is this: you’ll get results really fast. They don’t take months to see the results. You’ll see the rewards within days or weeks.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and apply growth hacking techniques to improve your blog traffic.

Do you have any more strategies that will increase website traffic without doing any SEO? Let me know if you’ve any more insightful growth hacking tips in the comments.

Anil Agarwal is the guy behind Bloggers Passion blog where he is helping readers in building their first professional blog and at the same time, helping them build high quality traffic to their blogs.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

3 Growth Hacking Strategies for Bloggers to Quadruple Their Blog Traffic without SEO

The post 3 Growth Hacking Strategies for Bloggers to Quadruple Their Blog Traffic without SEO appeared first on @ProBlogger.


ProBlogger Podcast: Turn Blog Surfers into Loyal Readers by Building a Sticky Blog

How to get blog readers to keep coming back for more: ProBlogger.net

When someone lands on your blog for the first time, you want them to stay as long as possible.

In he last two ProBlogger Podcast episodes, I’ve shared some tactics for finding readers by first asking yourselves some really important questions, and by discussing two types of content that you need. In today’s episode, I talk about how you keep those readers there by building a sticky blog. What I mean by that is having your blog set up so there is something that motivates readers to explore it further, making the decision to return and keep connected in some way, which I think is a fundamental component of any successful blog.

I always say it’s much better to find a new reader and hook them into becoming a regular than it is to have to find fresh readers every day. This is really how readership grows over time.

In the podcast, I discuss the ways you can make your blog completely irresistible to first-time viewers. From first impressions to subscription options, I go through all the things I believe a blog needs in order to be sticky. How can you build anticipation? What kind of content works for recurrent traffic? How can you drive interaction from your audience? What are their incentives to stick around?

Click here to listen to the episode 35 of the ProBlogger Podcast and view the show notes, and as always, I’d love to get your feedback on this episode.

Further Reading

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

ProBlogger Podcast: Turn Blog Surfers into Loyal Readers by Building a Sticky Blog

The post ProBlogger Podcast: Turn Blog Surfers into Loyal Readers by Building a Sticky Blog appeared first on @ProBlogger.


Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Greetings from sunny Queensland, where we are hosting the sixth annual ProBlogger Training Event! We kicked off the two days of learning and connecting with our fellow bloggers with some inspiring words from Darren himself, despite a few sore heads in the crowd after a solid night at the Welcome Networking Event last night!. Tonight is our poolside party, which promises to be even bigger. The theme is “shine” and I hear Darren’s got something extremely eye-catching up his sleeve to wear – make sure you’re following the #PBEVENT hashtag on social media to see for yourself!

Read on for this week’s round up of what’s making news in blogging.

Why Slack is Exploding as a Community-Building Platform // Hootsuite

We are using Slack at PBEVENT for all our team communication and while it’s taking some of us a while to get our heads round it, it’s proving to be a popular choice for community-building in general. Read why Hootsuite think it’s an “email killer”.

Is Google Experimenting with Bringing Twitter Into Desktop Search Results? // Search Engine Land

It might be time to dust off that old Twitter account. When was the last time you actively used it? Could be worth reviving…

Want More Blog Traffic? Focus on Growing Subscribers // Hubspot

The email list. The one everyone tells you to have because it’s so important for reaching your readers no matter what social network they’re on. It’s still the biggest tip. Hubspot tells you how to make it a priority.

Periscope Now has 10 Million Accounts – Time for Your Brand to Start Live-Streaming? // Social Media Today

Live Streaming is still the buzzword of the moment. This article explains why you should be jumping on that trend.

How to Optimize Your Facebook Posts with Facebook Audience Insights // Social Media Examiner

We’ve said it all along – the key to Facebook success is knowing your particular audience. Delve into the insights to help you figure out a content strategy that works.

 

So what’s news with you? What article or tip have you found useful lately?

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

The post Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately appeared first on @ProBlogger.


Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

Here we are again! Fridays come around so fast, it seems… which is good, and bad.

There are heads full of knowledge and excitement and ideas after last week‘s ProBlogger Training Event, and it’s thrilling to see people starting to put their dreams into practise. Such a surge of energy and hustle! If you missed out and would love to keep updated about future events, feel free to join the Facebook group to keep in touch, and also connect with the attendees who have formed a wonderfully supportive and informative community.

For now though, let’s check out blog news:

Three Reasons Why You Should Take Snapchat Seriously // Hootsuite

I’m the first to admit I let Snapchat fall by the wayside years ago. But I’ve noticed a resurgence of late and I reinstalled the app. This is just the beginning, they say…

Facebook Now Drives More Traffic to Media Sites than Google // Fortune

And will blogs be next? I know Facebook is the number-one referrer for a lot of blogs – what lessons can we learn from it?

How to Optimise your Tweets for Search // Social Media Examiner

I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THIS! Especially seeing as Twitter accounts are showing up in Google search results.

A Brief History of Internet “Joke Aggregator” The Fat Jew // Mashable

When curating your content, for goodness’ sake, attribute your sources! Goes for images on Instagram and elsewhere, “image via Pinterest” is not enough.

How to Use Evernote at a Conference // Veggie Mama

I know I wrote it, but it’s useful! How you can keep all the notes, audio, and images you take at each session in neat files, and what to do with all those business cards you accumulate through networking. You won’t know what you ever did without Evernote at conferences before!

So what did you learn this week? Care to share? Gonna revive that Snapchat account?!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

The post Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately appeared first on @ProBlogger.


2 Incredibly Innovative Ways to Draft a Spectacular Blog Post

typing hands

This is a guest contribution from Lorraine Reguly.

“Damn. It’s not perfect, but it’ll have to do.”

“Shit. I wanted it to be better than that.”

Have you ever felt that way before hitting the “schedule” or “publish” button?

I bet you have, during at least one point in your blogging career.

Writing is difficult for many people, and bloggers are no exception. Creating a stellar blog post is the goal, but drafting a blog post often takes a lot of time and frustration. Many bloggers know what they want to say, but just can’t seem to follow an outline or compose a post in a logical order on their first try.

Perfectionists, especially, suffer from this. I know this to be a fact, because I am the mother of all perfectionists! Not only am I a blogger, but I’m a writer AND an editor, too.

As such, I have pretty high standards, and I tend to edit as I write. Most of the time, it drives me crazy. I can’t stand making mistakes, and I hate typos with a passion. When I’m writing with a pen, the paper ends up looking like something a six-year-old might write, full of scribbles. When I’m writing on my laptop, the “backspace” key gets hit more than any other!

To tame my perfectionistic ways and combat overuse of that key, I’ve learned to approach writing by creating drafts first, using two incredibly innovative methods.

The first method is by using stream-of-consciousness writing. The second is by blindfolding myself.

Sometimes I even use the two together!

Innovative Method #1: Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

By definition, stream-of-consciousness writing involves writing down whatever comes to mind, ignoring typos, omitting periods, and basically separating the writing from the editing process. Stream-of-consciousness writing does not have to be logical or follow an order. Instead, rules can be broken and complete freedom from writing conventions should be had.

Psst. Let me tell you a secret. I don’t usually swear online. It’s a bit unprofessional, and the vulgarity of cursing often turns people off.

But guess what?

Swearing can attract people, too. Many people curse, and if they see you doing it, they’ll know you’re a real person, too.

Are you the same person online as off?

Do you “pretend” to be a little bit better, a little bit nicer, and end up being – or feeling – just a little bit phony instead?

With stream-of-consciousness writing, the best thing you can do is to be yourself, your TRUE self. Swear as often as you want. You can delete the curse words later. After all, that is what the editing process is for!

When writing this post, I thought of a few different opening lines.

Here’s an example of how I originally wanted to begin this article:

“Here we go again. More f@!*in’ advice from a damn guest poster.”

“Shee-iiit. She’d better deliver the goods.”

That is SO NOT ME!

But you have to admit, it IS kind of interesting. It also probably would have caused you to continue reading, right?

Either that, or it would have caused you to immediately move on to another post.

As you can see, I wasn’t willing to take that risk. Alternatively, for demonstration purposes, I included it in the body of the post. I wanted to show you that you can move things around when you are finished writing. Again, that’s what the editing process is for, and why posts such as how to edit your own blog posts have been written already!

Benefits of Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

1. You will not be burdened by the constricts of grammar and punctuation.

2. You will feel freer once you get into it.

3. You will appreciate and understand the difference between the writing process, the editing and the formatting process.

4. You can drop the F-bomb… as often as you like!

5. You won’t be judged on what you initially write.

6. You will get addicted to the freedom stream-of-consciousness writing affords you, and you will become more productive as a result.

7. The quality of your blog posts will improve! (Well, hopefully, they will!)

Innovative Method #2: Writing While Blindfolded

This is a great option for you if you tend to write and edit simultaneously – like I do!

To write while blindfolded, you would obviously have to be working at a computer in order to create a draft this way. I don’t know anyone who can write with a pen on paper while blindfolded!

To achieve the blindfolded state, there are many things you could do. You could simply take a scarf or a mask of some sort and cover your eyes, or create one using this template.

Closing your eyes isn’t enough; the temptation to peek is too great! By physically covering your eyes, you will be more conscious of the fact that you have to keep them covered in order to achieve your writing goal.

There are many other ways for you to “blindfold” yourself. You could take an old pair of sunglasses and paint them with nail polish so that you cannot see through them. You could tape paper over them. You could use a cut-up tea towel or pillowcase or some other soft material. If you have access to a dental or surgeon’s mask, you could cover your eyes instead of your mouth and nose with that. Get innovative. Make this exercise fun! Blindfolds come in many shapes and sizes!

4 Benefits of Writing While Blindfolded

1. You might feel a bit ridiculous wearing a blindfold, but the benefits that you will reap will be worth it.

2. You will have a better focus on your content, and won’t be distracted by any typos you see.

3. You’ll train yourself to write faster. Of course, you can improve your writing skills by learning how to type faster, too. ;)

4. You’ll have a greater appreciation for the various stages of editing and formatting a blog post.

Relevant links and images can be added when the bulk of your post has been written.

You can re-order the points of your post, fix the typos, and correct your grammar and punctuation then, too. For the third time, that’s what the editing process is for!

(If you need assistance editing your blog posts, you could always ask me for help. I’ve received recognition for my editing services from BookVetter, from a few authors, and from bloggers, and am rapidly building a plethora of testimonials from others for the quality of my services.)

Innovation Is Key

Innovation when writing can help you create better blog posts.

What other things have you discovered that have helped you write better?

Let’s discuss them in the comments.

Lorraine Reguly is an English teacher-turned-blogger who offers both writing and editing services to anyone in need. She has been a guest blogger on various websites, is an author, and is currently giving away a free blogging ebook. She can also help you turn your ebook into a print book! Visit Wording Well for more details.

Opening image of typing hands courtesy of Naypong and FreeDigitalPhotos.net, although altered with text by guest post author.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

2 Incredibly Innovative Ways to Draft a Spectacular Blog Post

The post 2 Incredibly Innovative Ways to Draft a Spectacular Blog Post appeared first on @ProBlogger.


ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

Today’s episode of the ProBlogger Podcast is part two of a mini Finding Readers series (you can find out more about part one here in the Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog), and it’s all about what you’re writing when it comes to getting traffic.

After you’ve asked yourself those two very important questions in the previous podcast, you can move on to fulfilling that brief on your blog with today’s.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the journey I’ve taken in blogging, and as I look back I can see that the strategies and techniques I used to drive traffic weren’t as important as the content on my blog. I’ll talk about what I mean in a few episodes’ time (as you may find those techniques useful yourself), but today it’s all about what you’re serving to your readers.

In this episode I go over the two things I think you should provide to your community which will both help you grow that community and find new readers, and also keep the current ones sticking around. It’s really important, particularly if you are at the start of your blogging journey. I would recommend that if that is you, that you focus on today’s topic 100%, before you worry about anything else. It’s real foundation stuff that will not only help you now, but will reap you the benefits in years to come.

As always you can find the podcast at ProBlogger.com/podcast, and today’s episode and show notes here.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this topic, so feel free to chat here or in the comments on the show notes.

Further Reading

How to Build Your Blog’s Audience with Long Form Evergreen Content
Top Takeaways from ProBlogger Perth Training Event: Content, Blog Design, Social Media, Productivity, and Monetization
Most Popular Posts on ProBlogger 2014: Creating Content
The Nine Ingredients that Make Great Content: Kissmetrics
How to Write a Blog Post –  Your Five-Point Checklist to Rock a Perfect Blog Post: CoSchedule

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

The post ProBlogger Podcast: Two Types of Content to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog appeared first on @ProBlogger.


4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog - tried and tested tips to boost your traffic with some simple changes. On ProBlogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Marie-Eve Vallieres.

Nobody puts Pinterest in a corner. With 73 million users (85% of which are females), an expanding presence outside the United States and upcoming buyable pins, this social media platform/search engine is now more powerful and sophisticated than ever.

After months of pinning diligently and engaging with my subscribers, my analytics exploded, figuratively speaking – Pinterest has become the #1 referral for my blog, bringing a steady flow of high-quality visitors (that stay on my site for more than a microsecond and comment on/share the content) every day.

And that’s the beauty of Pinterest right there: their algorithm is not aggressive in the way Facebook’s is. People are either following your boards or they are not. There is no such thing as playing the Pinterest game or paying for advertisement in the hopes that an infinitely small slice of your subscribers will get to see your post in their feed. Pinterest popularity is entirely a question of how your subscribers engage with you and how easy you make it for them to share your content.

Here a few tested and tried tips that helped me reach over 160,000 followers on Pinterest.

Create bespoke pins

4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

Millions of pins are being shared every minute. Your subscribers are constantly being thrown new information. How could they possibly know that your content is more relevant than the rest?

Think about it: by creating custom-made pins, you will immediately stand out on your subscriber’s home feed because you will present something they’ve never seen before. You want to create something that will, 1: catch their attention, and 2: that will make them want to click through. Spend an hour or two in Photoshop to create a memorable template that you will adapt for each new pin and that your subscribers, in time, will come to recognize and associate with your brand.

There are four “rules” you should follow when it comes to creating bespoke pins:

  • Always opt for vertical images. Pinterest automatically resizes pins to the same exact width. Play around with your image’s length in order to create something big enough to be noticed.
  • Don’t shy away from bright and bold colors. You do want to catch your readers’ attention, don’t you?
  • Clearly state what the pin is about. Opt for concise yet engaging wording that reflects the content of your blog post.
  • Stay in line with your blog’s visual identity. Use the same fonts or color scheme if you have one.

Find out what blog posts are already being pinned

The first custom pins you will want to create are for blog posts that are already being shared on the platform; enhance the appearance of your own popular content in order to make it even more shareable.

In order to find out which posts are attracting the attention of other users, simply follow the URL www.pinterest.com/source/YourBlog.com/ and see what comes up. These are the posts you want to make as Pinterest-friendly as possible.

4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

Be loyal to your online persona

Nobody likes a spammer; don’t be that person who only shares his or her own content. Strengthen your brand’s identity by pinning things that are relevant to your niche or personality that you haven’t created. Identify lacks in your competitor’s strategy and enforce them on your own boards. Engage with the influencers in your community. Participate in collaborative boards. This will ensure that you won’t bore or annoy your subscribers, and that your brand’s presence on Pinterest will be as organic as possible.

Make your blog Pinterest-friendly

It’s one thing to improve your Pinterest interventions directly on the platform; it’s another to fine-tune your blog in order to make it inherently more pin-able. There are two ways to encourage your readers to pin your content (I strongly encourage you use both and not just one of the two).

First is by adding Pinterest buttons to your social sharing plugin – this method will allow your readers to share the post straight to their boards, as the featured image and title will generate automatically.

The second and most effective option is by adding a “Pin It” plugin for your images – this, on the other hand, will enable your readers to pin whatever image they like in the post (a hover Pin It button will appear when they mouse over your images) and create their personalized caption. This technique works particularly well if you use lots of vertical images on your site.

Marie-Eve Vallieres is a professional travel blogger at ToEuropeAndBeyond.com and social media strategist from Montreal. She has been to more than 20 countries, lived abroad in both France and the U.K., and is always on the lookout for authentic experiences wherever she travels – as long as she has WiFi.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog

The post 4 Ways Pinterest Can Help Drive Traffic To Your Blog appeared first on @ProBlogger.


ProBlogger Podcast: Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

2 Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I want to dial back to the basics before we get into more strategic reader-finding missions in future epsiodes.

Today I just want you to ask yourself two simple questions that will get you in the right headspace for further efforts.

I also talk about how I damaged my blog by focusing only on traffic and not on community, the secret ingredients of blogs that can change people’s lives, and my favourite exercised to help you focus on the right reader, not just numbers on a screen.

I promise, it makes all the difference in the world.

Pop over to listen, grab the show notes, and complete today’s challenge. Good luck!

 

Further Reading

Finding Readers: Strategies for Building Your Audience in 2015
Top Three Takeaways from Finding Readers Week: What Can You Do Today to Create Community?
Recording of ‘Finding Readers for Your Blog’ Webinar
Who are You Talking To? How to Create an Ideal Reader Profile for Your Blog: By Regina
Who’s Your Ideal Reader?: Successful Blogging

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

ProBlogger Podcast: Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog

The post ProBlogger Podcast: Two Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog appeared first on @ProBlogger.