Content Marketing

A blogger’s guide to the top bloggers’ blogging tips

There are many tricks that can transform a piece of writing into a blog-worthy article, but they’re not always obvious.

So, I wanted to seek and share  blogging advice from the best bloggers in the business and put some of their ideas into practice. What better way to start than by writing a blog based on their top tips.  I’ve written this post to highlight some of the best advice, from some of the best bloggers.

I’m ready to start blogging. Where do I begin?

Where better than the suggestions of Michael Hyatt? He’s an acclaimed author of many business titles and, according to his website, is named by Forbes as one of the top-10 online marketing experts to follow. He’s been blogging for the best part of 15 years and now gets more than 500,000 unique visitors per month. Blimey!

Mr Hyatt’s podcast, How to write a blog post in 70 minutes a day or less, offers some pretty sharp advice. So (with 68 minutes to go to complete my blog) let me summarise some of his tips in my own words. They include:

  1. Use your downtime to think about your idea.
    (For some reason, it does seem easier to come up with a structure, great headline or opening paragraph while in the shower.)
  2. Switch off distractions such as Facebook.
    (Of course, just as soon as I’ve checked Facebook…)
  3. Turn on some music.
    (Preferably no lyrics, otherwise I’ll start singing along.)
  4. Use a template.
    (This helps me to remember bullet points and other means of breaking up the copy.)
  5. Write without editing.
    (A brain-dump if you will – getting words on paper. Then, I can make a cup of tea and do the polishing bit.)
  6. Read the draft in preview form before publishing.
    (It’s definitely easier to spot typos when I look at my work all formatted and ready to go).

It’s all great advice but it’s also important to point out that we’re all different and don’t necessarily work well under the same set of conditions. For example, I can’t listen to music when I’m writing – even classical or instrumental music as Mr Hyatt suggests. But I do think it pays to get used to working with a bit of background noise. Let’s face it, very few people live in space, so it’s difficult to achieve complete silence in our work environments.

OK, but how do I get people to find my blog?

This is a big concern. How do we get people to find something we’ve written, especially as there’s so much content floating around in cyberspace competing for readers’ attention? Perhaps Seth Godin can help. Seth Godin is another American author and marketer with 18 books and one of the most popular blogs in the world. It doesn’t take long for me to find his 56 tips entitled How to get traffic for your blog.

Many are useful, many are contradictions, as you’ll see. I say this because it’s true, but also because one of Mr Godin’s suggestions is to challenge other bloggers and hope that they respond to you in their blogs. (So if you ever read this Seth Godin, feel free to object). I won’t list all 56 tips here, but instead I’ve chosen a few interesting ones I hadn’t necessarily thought of, and ones that are not so easy to achieve. For example:

  1. Use lists.
    (Numbered lists, bulleted lists – they all help to break up the text.)
  2. Write posts that each include dozens of trackbacks to dozens of blog posts so that people will notice you.
    (Great suggestion. I can do this when I’ve built up a series of blogs, especially ones that touch on a similar subject.)
  3. Write stuff that people want to read and share.
    (OK, it’s easy to feel a bit panicky about this one. Time for more advice…)

So how do I get people to read my blog?

Fortunately, Neil Patel has some great ideas about this. According to his blog, Neil Patel is considered by the Wall Street Journal as a top influencer on the web. He’s also co-founder of web analytics platform KISSmetrics and has played a big part in the revenue growth of some of the most successful companies. His tips for getting people to read posts are simple and achievable for all of us. In his blog, How to get 247% more people to read your content, Mr Patel spells it out perfectly: keep our paragraphs short, our words simple and write in a conversational manner. Neil Patel points to research that suggests the conversational tone could trigger a feel-good hormone in readers. But I’d prefer to think that it’s just common sense to avoid the waffle and keep the tone light.

So, in essence, the way to get people to read our blog is to make friends with readers. Metaphorically speaking, we need to invite them in for a cuppa, then dazzle them with our wit and personality so they want to introduce us to their other friends. And before we know it, we’re in the popular crowd, and the life and soul of all the best parties. That’s the idea anyway.

There’s so much advice from these three top bloggers, I could go on about it forever. But I need to save some info for my other blogs. Besides, this has taken 109 minutes – a touch longer than my target of 70 minutes or less, and I still have a little refining to do. It’s not always easy to get it right, but with the help of our expert blogging gurus and lots of practice, we can all produce better blogs. Finally, at Michael Hyatt’s suggestion, I’d like to finish my post with a question:

Can you add any top tips for creating better blogs?

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