10 Ways to Use Your Blog to Build Influence

How To Leverage Your Blog To Expand Your Influence

Influence is important. Each of us wants to feel that we matter and have an effect on others. In a larger sense, we want our fifteen seconds of fame when people turn to us to gain from our insights and expertise. For bloggers it’s one of the reasons we blog.

Since a blog provides a publishing platform where content can be created and distributed, it’s an ideal resource for increasing your influence as well as that of your brand or organization. Here are ten ways to use your blog to build your influence.

  1. Dress to influence. Give your blog and brand a professional look. Just as you’d carefully select your clothes if you were meeting someone important or having an interview, the same holds for your blog. Nothing says unprofessional like having the telltale signs you haven’t modified your blog’s theme. Actionable Blogging Tip: Don’t have cookie cutter blog design. Make your blog and its branding are unique and professional. (Here are 31 blog design tips to help you.)
  2. Cover breaking and live events in your category.  Become a trusted news source by consistently reporting events so that everyone knows who you are and goes to your publication to find out what’s happening. Paid Content started as a the blog about the information and media industry with  amazing coverage of industry events. Actionable Blogging Tip: While it helps to be located in New York, Los Angeles or Washington, build your network and be consistent to become the go-to person people trust.
  3. Host influential friends on your blog. Invite thought leaders, authors and bloggers in your category to contribute posts to your site. Bear in mind that it’s useful to extend online relationships offline so that people get to know you in person. Actionable Blogging Tip: Remember bloggers and others get lots of requests to provide this type of content. Consider sending a set of questions to reduce the work for the person being interviewed.
  4. Provide back stage access. Everyone wants the velvet rope treatment. Remember social media isn’t about you but what’s of interest to your audience. If you’re in a position to gather and share juicy behind-the-scenes information, of high profile people of interest, this will boost your following. Actionable Blogging Tip: Make your audience feel special by giving them the inside scoop.
  5. Borrow other people’s audiences. Write guest blog posts on high profile blogs and media sites. One effective way to expand your reach is to write for other blogs. To this end, write for a selection of blogs. Actionable Blogging Tip: While every blogger only wants to write for the top blogs, understand that bloggers usually look for guest bloggers who work for similar blogs.
  6. Be a go-to source for third party media. Often this is the function of PR professionals. As a blogger, you can leverage your blog as a media resource by responding to articles online and submitting article ideas to writers. Actionable Blogging Tip: Subscribe to Help A Reporter Out and read it for leads. This free emailing is a treasure trove for any blogger looking to get press. (Note: Play by the rules or you’ll get cut off from the service.)
  7. Invite your gang to join you. By getting others to help, you start with a ready made audience. Further, if you make your blog a group effort, there’s less work for everyone involved. (Here 42 tips on creating a group blog.) The 12 Most blog is a great example of how to accomplish this. Actionable Blogging Tip: Set rules around how often everyone writes and shares content as well as responding to comments.
  8. Get behind the podium. Broaden your reach by giving a talk based on your blog’s content. Think local meetups, Chamber of Commerce and conferences. The added benefit is that you get to meet people in real life and the audience may share your content on Twitter or their blogs. Actionable Blogging Tip: Take a tip from Lee Odden who writes about his presentations before he gives them to get potential attendees interested; and after the talks to share additional insights on the topic.
  9. Win attention-getting awards. Nothing beats someone else’s seal of approval to increase your influence. (Here’s Social Media Examiner’s Top Social Media Blogs.) Actionable Blogging Tip: Although it’s helpful to have friends to recommend you, it’s your hard work that’ll get you the award. Once you have it, show it off. Include it on your blog, website, social media profiles and email signature file.
  10. Publish a book. The heft of a print book provides third-party validation of your influence. It also makes a great calling card for new clients. With the ease of ebook publishing, you can self publish. For example, blogger Lisa Petrilli wrote The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership (Amazon affiliate link). Actionable Blogging Tip: Use your blog posts as the initial draft for your book. If there are areas where information’s missing, add these as potential topics for new posts for your blog.

Your blog can help you build and enhance your influence beyond your direct readership. To this end, it’s important to consider what you want to accomplish and how your blog can help you achieve these goals. Don’t forget to maximize the impact of your blog content by including social sharing buttons and engaging with readers who comment.

What other suggestions do you have for using your blog to expand your influence?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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