The Smart Blogger’s Checklist: Part 1

blogging tipsDo you blog hard or blog smart?  To enjoy anything, one must not and should never regard it as a chore and this applies to blogging too.  So if you blog hard then stop!!!!  You need to start blogging smart!  Smart blogging is an extension of the 80/20 rule wherein 80% of results that you get with blogging come from 20% of your efforts.

If you thought smart blogging was easier said than done then trust me it can be very easy.  Some simple changes in your approach towards blogging, your mindset as a writer and you are on your way to smart blogging.

Here is the smart blogger’s checklist that I’ve compiled to help you focus, refine and prove that less is more….

Great Titles are Not a Flash in the Pan

I’m starting with this simply because your title is the first point of call between your readers and your blog post.  If your title is not interesting, helpful or different chances are most people will never read your blog post. 

Consider this, the bestselling book “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” by John Gray didn’t generate the interest that it did when it was launched with another title earlier.  Only when the title was changed to the one mentioned above did the book become a best seller.

I am an ardent fan of Yaro Starak (aren’t we all?) and I remember him saying that he works on the titles of the blog posts that his team of entrepreneurs who now blog for him write.  This he says is an art and I would go a little further and say that it is science.  Just as branding is applied psychology, drafting titles that make people sit up, take notice and make them want to read further too is applied psychology. 

Think from a reader’s perspective, better still think of the keywords your reader would punch in to look up information on the topics you are writing about.  This is probably why titles that tell people “How To”, give “Reasons Why” or say “What to do” work well with readers.

Also, people aren’t looking for run off the mill, boring and predictable so tweak your titles accordingly.  Here are some titles of blog posts that I wrote and seem to have hit the mark as far as titles go:

8 Business Ideas Low on Investment High on Potential

Less is More, Small is Big: 4 Reasons Why Simple Business Models are the Way to Go

What a Little Bizsugar Has Done for me as a Business Blogger

5 Tips to Sweeten Your Success on Bizsugar

Capitalize on Domain Knowledge

Why do people read anything?  Well some of them do read to pass time, others read to temporarily go in to a world far removed from reality but most of the time we read to get “information”. 

If you remember this and structure your blog and your posts around delivering information to people then you have found a way to make blogging work for you. 

It doesn’t really have to be some dramatic, unheard of earthshaking piece of information.  People blog about a lot of stuff…their travels, their parenting experience, SEO, blogging tips, marketing, advertising, food, basically, people blog about…EVERYTHING!

You just need to find your domain and blog about it.  Obviously, creating a great deal of quality content for your blog is not easy and there is only so much that you can create.  Blogging about things that you are sure and certain of will help you create quality content. 

So if you are a teacher then blogging about interactive teaching methods, games and even your experiences is a better idea than blogging about food if you aren’t a good cook. 

The point I’m making is…Find your forte and build your blog around that!

Blog Smart Not Hard

You don’t have to post everyday…you don’t HAVE TO but you CAN IF YOU WANT TO.

Always, always remember this, make it your mantra.  Smart blogging is not about spending 24 hours thinking about your blog and what to blog about.  It is not about sweating it out thinking that your readers will not come back tomorrow if you don’t write a post today.

It is not impossible to come up with an idea 365 days of the year but if you don’t come up with an idea today it’s okay.  Basically smart blogging is about understanding the fact that your readers and followers will adapt to your writing schedule.  If you post daily, they will expect to see a new post every day; if you post twice a week they will come back to your blog twice a week.

It is you who controls things so determine what sort of posting schedule you want to maintain. 

Getting people to guest blog is another smart way of taking the pressure off yourself.  There is only so much quality content you can produce so why not give other people the opportunity to share their expertise on your blog?

My blog smart mantra for my business blog is a four pronged strategy:

  • Guest Posts
  • Business Reviews
  • Interviews
  • Affiliate marketing

All very handy for those days when I simply cannot come up with a great topic for a blog post.  Feel free to use these…they work!

 

The 20 Minutes Mantra

You don’t have to write all day long even to keep your blog alive.  The 80-20 rule works perfectly well with blogging as an activity.  80 per cent of the results you get with your blog really come from 20 per cent of your effort.

Set out just 20 minutes a day to write your blog posts.  On days that you don’t feel like writing, use those 20 minutes to jot down ideas for blog posts, frame titles, redraft titles and even list down points for individual blog posts.

Use this strategy and you will be surprised by the amount of work that gets done without working too hard, focusing and slogging round the clock. 

Money Spinner Topics

Looking for a topic to blog about is easy!  Yes!  It is easy!

Here are some money spinner topics that always…always…generate interest:

  • Food
  • Health
  • Weight Loss
  • Finance
  • Beauty
  • Dating and Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Self-help

Having said that, get ready to compete with some well established blogs in each of these arenas…There are no short cuts to success with blogs.  You have to find a way to position yourself as a blogger even if you blog in a niche that is attractive. 

Inspiration

Coming up with topics for your blog posts is easier said than done.  Not always but at least on some days.  Where then should you look for inspiration for your next blog post?

Here are my favorite sources:

  • News paper articles and columns by reputed columnists
  • Advertisements and their tag lines
  • Quotes by famous people
  • Dilemmas or problems that I face or those faced by my students, colleagues, boss and anyone who I come in contact with
  • Television programs

Basically…everywhere!  Inspiration exists in everything that we see, do or encounter…we have to keep your eyes and minds open to receive the message. 

 

Coming up more smart blogging tips in my next post, “The Smart Blogger’s Checklist: Part 2”

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