Set Your Blog On Fire

fireball Your blog topics are getting weak. You had a nice run with passion for a while, but now, you’re looking for better blog topics, more interesting content, and you’re still trying to grow that elusive community. How are you going to succeed? There are many simple tweaks you can make to the way you’re writing that turn posts into punches, and that turn readers into participants, and that should set you up with a chain explosion of added potential for your blog down the line. Here are some ideas.

The Content Itself

  • Build a text file of great potential blog post titles. Work on the titles every few days, sharpening them into punchy titles that convince someone to click.
  • Get great blog topics from reading the covers of popular magazines and from seeing what makes its way to the front of Delicious.com/popular.
  • Make your text punchy. Use short sentences, small words. Be willing to break a few grammatical rules, if only for effect.
  • Pay attention by way of stats as to what posts do the best. Repeat often by writing new posts on the similar theme.
  • Think long and hard on what you want your posts to do for your audience. Want them to link to it? Make a thoughtful piece they want to remember. Want more comments? Ask for feedback.
  • Do something new from time to time. Way new. Totally and completely off the typical radar of your blog. And yet, tie it back to what your community cares about.
  • Use pictures. Go to Flickr and use Creative Commons shared photos to punch up your posts.
  • Deliver USEFUL information, not just opinions. Give people something to focus on.
  • But, have a strong voice, and an obvious opinion.
  • Write for your audience. Write as if you’re them. Write to tug at their thoughts and attention.
  • Finish the post as quickly as you can. Let people move on. (Unless you want it saved in Delicious/popular).

Promoting Your Content

  • Try out Zemanta, a plugin that lets you find related posts (and art and other stuff). I’ve noticed that by using Zemanta, and when others use it, my posts are suddenly showing up as links on other people’s blogs, thus driving more inbound links and driving more people to my site.
  • Write guest posts for related blogs.
  • Bundle your best posts into a free ebook and distribute them widely. Be sure to include links on how to subscribe to your blog within the ebook.
  • Have outposts on all the social networks. (I say this all the time, I know.) Outposts means building a profile there, and being sure that people know how to reach your blog.
  • Keep your eye out for new tools that will spread the word of your blog even further.
  • Make your RSS subscription buttons very visible, and also your social bookmarking tools.
  • Send out the occasional post via email to people who might not read you daily. Be brief and tactful in doing this one.

Above all else, consider who you’re trying to build the relationship with and write in such a way as to deliver that person the best possible experience with your blog they can have. Think like an entertainer in that regard. Give them the best show possible.

Is there anything else I missed? What do you see in your own blog that might be made better by any of the advice above? Look at my last few posts. Am I practicing what I preach? If not, call me out.

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Photo credit, Focal Intent

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