Don’t worry. I’m not about to tout a single secret to blogging success – I don’t think there is one. But I have managed to get twenty-one bloggers to share their very best tips – and that’s a good start.
Every Monday night (8pm-9pm UK time) I co-run #CommsChat – a Twitter-based chat for people with some interest in the communications industry (PRs, journos, bloggers, marketers, writers, community managers). We usually have an expert guest host appropriate to the topic, and around 100 people take part, with anything between 400 to 1,000 tweets flying back and forth.
This Monday 24th January 2011, we’re having a Big Blogging Brainstorm (check out #BBB on Twitter). The premise is simple. Get 100(ish) communications pros together and bat ideas around to create more post ideas than you can shake a stick at. [More info here]
Now I wholeheartedly believe that constantly coming up with new things to write about is a BIG challenge for many, but it’s not the only one. So, ahead of Monday’s chat, I talked to twenty-one bloggers and asked for their best tips for blogging success.
Blog with purpose…
Blogging is great. But blogging with a strategy is even better. – Mark Shaw (@MarkShaw)
Try and have a cohesive theme, an anchor point. – Ben Johnston (@2ftfromfreedom)
Decide on what you are going to write about and stick to it. – Heather Townsend (@heathertowns)
…but retain the freedom to evolve
Know your niche but don’t let it define you. Too often bloggers begin down a very specific path and then find it hard to evolve / adjust because they get ‘known’ for something. – Adam Vincenzini (@AdamVincenzini)
Choose your target audience and write your blog for that audience. – Richard Osborne (@RichardOsborne)
Write on topics, & in a style, that your intended audience will connect with. Put yourself in their shoes & write something that is appealing to them. – Marc Lawn (@businessgp)
…but so does self-belief
Simply write about what you know. – Ben Johnston (@2ftfromfreedom)
Don’t try to emulate another blogger / writer. Be yourself. YOU ARE interesting! – Rob Fletcher (@Tfgrobfletcher)
Be passionate and interested in what you are writing about. – Carli Ann Smith (@Carlir6)
Only ever write about things you enjoy writing about, else you won’t keep it up. – David Lurie (@Setsights)
Don’t try to be someone you’re not, let your own personality shine though. – Mike Garner (@realgoodwriting)
Stop worrying about what people think, write and publish often. you cannot improve your blogging if you do not do it. – Sarah Arrow (@SarahArrow)
State upfront when or how often you will post: every Thursday, twice a week, on the 1st and 15th of every month… This will keep you on schedule. – Catherine Jan (@TranslateTrad)
Go with a topic you like and develop a posting strategy (once a week, once a day, etc) and stick with it. You’ll find that over time it becomes a habit and you will continue to improve and gain confidence. – Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg)
…but favour quality over quantity
Don’t ever think that because a blog post is short and sharp it won’t get as many hits as a full-blown thesis that takes you weeks to write! It’s the insight that counts. – Jon Clement (@JonClements)
Blog sparingly, comment frequently. – Richard Bailey (@behindthespin)
Sometimes the best thing you can do to a blog post before you hit publish is delete it or re-write it. Your readers will thank you for your quality control. – James Ainsworth (@AlterianJames)
Keep your content, style and ideas varied for the sake of you and your readers. – Adam Vincenzini (@AdamVincenzini)
Always add value – don’t just regurgitate. – Trefor Davies (@tref)
It’s important to differentiate yourself. Try to be very creative in order to provide new and different content and don’t copy other bloggers. – Petya N. Georgieva (@pgeorgieva)
…but don’t dismiss what’s tried and tested
Some of my most popular blog posts have been lists. There is nothing people like more than top 5s, top 10s etc so settle on a subject and create a list. It always leads to a debate! – Dan Martin (@Dan_Martin)
Get your own domain and web host right from the start. – David Bennett (@Quillcards)
So if there really is a secret to blogging success, it’s simply listening and learning from those already doing it well.
What are your biggest blogging challenges? And what do you think is the most important element of blogging success?