Blog: Small Actions, Big Results

23 Tactics to Grow Your Blog

Yesterday was Small Business Saturday. Promoted by American Express, the promotion celebrated the virtues of small retailers and encouraged shoppers to support local businesses.

As I shopped at my favorite local store where the promotion attracted lots of buyers, I realized this approach could be applied to blogging.

On your blog, this translates to taking small actions that add up to big results. While one little step by itself won’t do a lot, it’s the cumulative impact of all of them together that yield real accomplishments.

Here are twenty-three blog actions to help your blog achieve bigger accomplishments.

  1. Tweak title to attract more attention. Ensure that your blog headlines are as magnetic as possible.
  2. Focus each blog post on one keyword phrase. Concentrating each post on a specific keyword phrase, helps (Here are 15  SEO tips for bloggers from experts.)
  3. Structure URLs to support search optimization. Use real words to show search engines what type of content is included in the post.
  4. Include link to specific product. A link to your product encourages readers to examine your offering more closely.
  5. Incorporate links to blog posts on your product pages when your blog posts support the sales process. This is a useful way for retailers and other businesses to provide additional information.
  6. Add an image or photograph. Images help attract readers. (Here are twenty ways to optimize your blog’s photo power.)
  7. Optimize post images for search. Describe the photo in the title and alt tags and use descriptive words in the filename to support your efforts.
  8. Post content frequently enough to attract attention. To attract an audience over time requires posting on a consistent schedule so that readers learn to show up for your content. An editorial calendar can be helpful to keep your publishing on track.
  9. Offer enough content in each post to encourage readers to return. When it comes to blog post length, you need to take the Goldilocks approach. You don’t want your blog posts to be too short or  too long since this can turn readers off.
  10. Ask readers and experts to write guest posts. This is a great way to expand your content offering. It’s useful to include a set of guest post guidelines so potential readers understand your house rules.
  11. Craft blog posts for other blogs. Write guest blog posts on other blogs to get exposure to a different audience and a link back to your own blog that will improve your search ranking.
  12. Include a call-to-action. Without asking readers to do something, there’s a good chance that they won’t do anything after reading your post. Think social sharing, commenting or purchasing.
  13. Add bolding to guide readers through your articles. The goal is to dress your blog content for success. Break up your content to facilitate reading.
  14. Use bullet points to facilitate reading. Lists attract readers since they’re easy to consume.
  15. Proofread blog content to eliminate grammatical errors. Misspellings and poor grammar turn readers off.  Even worse they reflect badly on your brand.
  16. Ask readers to share your posts. Recommend that readers share your content without whining or going over the top.
  17. Share blog posts on social media platforms to maximize results. Time your social sharing to increase your results.
  18. Encourage readers to follow you on social media platforms. Get visitors to keep up with you and your blog by having a widget to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. (BTW, I’d be thrilled if you joined me on these two platforms! Please see the widgets in my sidebar on the right hand side.)
  19. Thank participants for sharing your blog content. Give readers who share your blog posts a public shout out.  Show your appreciation for their support.
  20. Comment on other blogs. Commenting on other people’s blogs peaks their curiosity and get them to check out your content.
  21. Ask a question at the end of your blog post. Encourage readers to comment by starting the conversation with a related question. (Here’s how to generate massive comments on your blog.) It’s recommended to have a set of blog comment policies so readers know what type of information can be used.
  22. Respond to each comment on your blog. By answering each blog comment you show readers that you’re home. You also increase the number of comments.
  23. Track your blog results to determine what resonates with your readers. Don’t guess at what your readers want. Use your data to verify it. (Need help? Here are 65 Blog Metrics.)

While good bloggers make blogging look easy, the reality is that it takes work and time to build your blog into a powerhouse. This is accomplished by taking one small step at a time towards your blog goals.

What other small actions, tactics or recommendations to create big results would you add to this list and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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8 Responses to Blog: Small Actions, Big Results

  1. I really liked all the points you shared..

  2. Suzanne Mannion says:

    Heidi – excellent points, as usual! When we counsel clients about blogging, we emphasize that it’s a commitment (#8) and tell them that you don’t need to blog just for the sake of blogging – there should be a strategy behind it, as you point out throughout this post (especially # 12)

  3. joey says:

    if folks like you, the rest of us can at least try.

  4. I especially like the guest or expert writers idea. In my industry I work with a lot of manufacturers who participate in social media. I’m thinking that I could reach out to some of them to write about a particular product or service. The challenge will be to keep it from becoming a “sales presentation” and getting them to understand my objectives for having them do this. But it’s worth further investigation. Thanks for the ideas.

  5. Great points, Heidi. As far as misspellings go, I find that sometimes miss some, even after proof reading. So I use a spell check plug in after I am finished writing and it catches any errors that I might have missed. They work great and it prevents publishing anything with a spelling error.

  6. Hezi Hershkovitz says:

    I am too hesitant on Points 22. I usually disable my blog’s comment feature due to spam and bot posting randomly on my blog post. It’s sad to think that way, but it’s reality. I guess point 1 is exactly what should be the first point. Title of every post plays a great role in blogs.

    • Heidi Cohen says:

      Hezi –

      I used to moderate all of my blog comments until a well known Facebook expert’s comments got caught in my spam folder.

      I’ve switched to Disquis although I don’t like the fact that they refer my readers to third party media. I can still moderate content but it allows readers who comment to get the satisfaction of seeing their comment appear immediately which helps increase comments.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen

  7. Chuck Kent says:

    What, no comments yet (oh, it is a holiday weekend)? Obviously, your readers need to brush up on points 20 and 22, some of the most frequently overlooked in the world of blogging. Granted, it’s easier for those of us without scores of comments demanding response to make this effort. However, if folks like you, Mark Schaefer and Gini Dietrich can be fully engaged and responsive, the rest of us can at least try. On the up side, it also provides a jolt of energy and encouragement to a blogger to have active give and take within the comments section of a post.