Advanced Blogging Strategies Stolen From the Pros’ Playbook
A few months ago, my blog traffic started going down. I switched domains in March due to reasons beyond my control, so I had expected blog traffic to fall. But my numbers weren’t just falling – they were tanking faster than BP’s stock price.
Having been a blogger for going on two years now, this was frustrating to say the least. When were things going to get easier?
Looking for answers, I started studying the successful bloggers I knew. In doing so, I noticed that many of them used the same techniques … techniques that weren’t always common knowledge. So I created a list of advanced blogging strategies stolen from the pros’ playbook.
Advanced Blogging Strategies
1. Make a blogging schedule. Mediocre bloggers blog when they feel like it. Successful bloggers make a schedule and stick to it. This ensures that content is diverse and regularly updated.
The pro: Ken Mueller of Inkling Media. Despite being fairly new, Ken’s blog has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 191K — no small feat for a one-man operation. I asked Ken about his blogging secrets, and he replied:
“I’ve gotten into the overwhelming habit of blogging daily, so I try to plan some of the posts, while leaving wiggle room in order to react to what is going on around me.
Mondays are dedicated to educational material. Fridays are dedicated to my concept of ‘others first’ where I promote organizations and causes that I’d like my readers to support. On weekends, when readership seems to be down, I don’t want to waste good content, so Saturdays is usually a throwaway with an interesting video.“
Ken’s advice: plan, but don’t be so structured that you miss the opportunity for a timely blog post.
2. Include a call-to-action in every blog post. One of the biggest complaints I hear bloggers make is that they don’t earn money from their blogs. If you have the same problem, ask yourself: how many calls to action do you have on your blog? If you’re like most people, the answer is zero.
Blogs can be a great sales opportunity, but only if you use them wisely. And that means including a call to action at the end of every post.
The pro: Mark Silver of Heart of Business. For someone who doesn’t come across as “salesy,” this guy certainly seizes every opportunity to sell his services. At the end of almost every blog post, you’ll find a well-crafted pitch for one of Mark’s teleclasses or e-courses.
3. Research your keywords. The better your keywords and phrases, the more traffic your blog will get. But most people have a hard enough time updating their blog regularly, much less researching the appropriate keywords. If you want to be a blogging pro, however, you’ll need to do some SEO.
The pro: Daniel Klotz of YDOP. A local colleague of mine is always getting links from high-authority websites and magazines. I asked him to reveal his secret. Daniel replied:
“I write what I have to say, then ask myself, ‘For the person who would want to read this, how would they search for it?’ Then I use that in the post title and make sure I’ve included the key search term a time or two in the post itself.
“My strategy for blog SEO: Build domain authority, stick to a theme across your posts (for me it’s Lancaster), and then your individual posts will rank well effortlessly.”
4. Promote old posts. Your old blog posts are like money in the bank. But they’ll never generate interest if you don’t draw attention to them once in awhile. Unfortunately, most bloggers only promote a post when it’s new … then let it flounder in obscurity.
The pro: Stephanie Holland of Sheconomy. When I started following Stephanie Holland on Twitter, I was amazed by all the new blog content she was posting. Then I realized she wasn’t just promoting new posts, but old ones as well. I didn’t mind, because it turned me on to some of her great older work.
5. Plan for vacations. Mediocre bloggers simply disappear the week they’re on vacation — and sometimes the week before and after. More responsible bloggers leave a note saying they’ll be gone for awhile, and will answer comments and emails when they return.
The best bloggers schedule content during the week of their vacation, so readers don’t feel like they’re missing out.
The pro: Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media. Writing regular content for Outspoken Media is a big job, so instead of writing seven posts in advance of her week-long vacation, Lisa turned the spotlight over to seven guest bloggers during what she called “Expert Week.” A preview of the upcoming posts gave readers something to look forward to while Lisa was soaking up sun on the beach.
What are YOUR advanced blogging strategies?