How to Create a Killer Blog

21 Tactics Every Successful Blogger Needs

As a blogger what do you have in common with Seth Godin, Brian Clark, and Chris Brogan? Before you tell me, “You’ve got to be kidding me, I have nothing in common with these blogging superstars.” Look in the mirror and repeat after me, “Yes I do!”

You all started blogging at the same place. What distinguishes one blog from another is what you do with your blog and how you build yours to achieve your goals.

What most people overlook is that many superstar bloggers have been doing it for years. As a result, they’ve had time to make their mistakes and learn what works by trial and error.

To give you a boost on building your blog or to take your blog to the next level, here are twenty-one steps to help. Each step includes links to more detailed information to get your blog on track.

  1. Set your goals for your blog. Like any other undertaking, if you don’t know what you want to accomplish, chances are you won’t get there. Here are eight common blog objectives. (Here are some business blogging tips.)
  2. Know your audience. It’s critical to understand for whom you’re writing. Start by developing a marketing persona. Go one step further and determine how your target readers act on social media platforms.
  3. Start your blog on the right path. Self host your blog on your own URL (not Blogger.com or WordPress.com) Here are some blog housekeeping pointers to ensure your blog is as effective as it can be.
  4. Check under your blog’s technical hood. Make sure your blog has the right plugins—short pieces of programming code that adds various features and behaviors to your blog. Installing these plugins doesn’t require your favorite tech geek. Here are twenty blog plugins for the non-geek.
  5. Layout your blog including design. With a blog, you need to think through a number of design related questions upfront. Understand that blog design goes beyond choosing the colors and the logo. Here are twenty-one blog design elements to consider for your blog.
  6. Brand your blog. While your blog may be new now, it will grow up and it’s a good idea to create a brand and stick to it. Branding isn’t for big corporations only!
  7. Write an engaging About page. Readers often check out who’s behind the blog. This is a good place to include your terms of use.
  8. Build your blog team. Writing isn’t a solitary activity.  At a minimum, it’s useful to have a copy editor to proofread your posts and a friendly geek to help with the technical issues. If you’re creating a business or group blog, consider the resources and related processes needed. Here’s a list to get your business blog on course.
  9. Invite other bloggers. Get other points of view on your blog through the use of guest blog posts. Don’t forget to detail your set of guidelines.
  10. Develop an editorial calendar. Plan your posts for the next month or more.
  11. Create amazing content that draws readers in. This translates to compelling content, not just a pile of words to attract search engines. Not sure what to write? Here are seven tips for business blog articles. Blog post success goes beyond the content. Consider blog post length and blog post frequency.
  12. Keep a list of ideas. The goal is to get over the potential Blank Page Syndrome because you’ve got to get another post out. Here are 21 tips to generate new blog posts.
  13. Write magnetic headlines. While you can spend hours writing the best blog post, without an amazing title it can be difficult to lure readers in. Bear in mind a headline goes beyond just getting readers, it has to work on social media platforms and in emails and RSS feeds without the rest of your blog’s context. Here are eight blog headline tips.
  14. Include an alluring photograph. Drawn potential readers in with attractive images related to your content. Remember people are visual beings.
  15. Drive further marketing action. If you want your readers to do something, you need to give them a clue. You can’t assume they’ll know what you want them to do. Incorporate a call-to-action.
  16. Optimize your blog for search. One of the major reasons to blog is to create search friendly content in terms of its architecture and content. (Don’t take my word for it, here’s what fifteen search optimization experts say on the subject of blogs.)
  17. Drive comments. Encourage readers to leave comments. Of course, once they do, you should respond with real informational answers.
  18. Socialize your blog content. Get readers to help share your content with their friends and family.
  19. Build your reader base. Unless you’re only going to use your blog as a personal journal, it’s important to build your audience using the tools you have available both online and offline. Here are twenty-three tips to help attract blog attention.
  20. Measure your blog success. Here are forty blog metrics every blogger needs.
  21. Take a blog vacation. Understand that everyone, including bloggers, needs a vacation once in a while. Take time now and then to recharge and refresh your perspective. This means no blogging or looking at blog related material.

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to get your blog up and running. The challenge is continuing to keep your excitement going as you work to get your blog to the next level.

What other elements would you add to this list and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


PS: I will be at BlogWorld Expo New York this week. Please stop by and say hi!

Here are some related articles of interest.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/furny/2780244486/

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  • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

     Hi Heidi  – I’ve been loving your writings and insights on the social web.

    Thank you : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Jansson/1363341935 Maria Jansson

    Thank you Heidi! Very useful tips.