Do you want to blog better, faster and with more fun? I’ve collected 15 killer tips from successful bloggers.
These tips are from some of my favorite bloggers! I’m sure they’ll inspire you.
Make sure you scroll down to see the fascinating infographic about how to create a blog post!
1. Jon Morrow: Attach the jumper cables
Leave a car sitting idle for a few weeks, and what happens?
The battery dies. Not because anything is necessarily wrong with it, but because no one has been using it.
And how do we charge it up?
We get a car with a fully charged battery, connect the two with jumper cables, and then rev the engine.
Well, people’s emotions work sort of the same way. If you’ve not been using them for a while, it’s hard to get them started again, and often times, we need someone else to give us a boost.
As writers, that’s our job.
2. Pat Flynn: When You Get Stuck
Sometimes you’ll be in the middle of a post and for whatever reason all of a sudden you draw a blank.
This happens to me all the time!
The first part of the post is awesome, but for some reason, something doesn’t click and every new line I write just doesn’t seem right.
When this happened in the past, I used to delete the entire thing and start over.
Now – I do a number of different things when I arrive at this point:
- Take a Break: 15 minutes away from your writing can do wonders for the rest of your post.
- Save as a Draft and Start a New Post: If it’s not working out, save it as a draft and start a new post. You can come back to it later (like when you’re stuck in another post in the future) and maybe you have another idea that’s better for you to write now. Personally, I currently have 12 half-written posts saved for later.
- Get Inspiration from Your Community: Ask a relevant question to your fans on Facebook or Twitter and you might get something interesting or inspiring that can guide the next part of your post.
3. Dean Riek: Use the active voice
In English, readers prefer the SVO sentence sequence: Subject, Verb, Object. This is the active voice.
Passive sentences bore people.
When you reverse the active sequence, you have the OVS or passive sequence: Object, Verb, Subject.
People are bored by passive sentences.
You can’t always use the active voice, but successful bloggers use it more often.
4. Jeff Bullas: When brainstorming, don’t multi-task
If you want to come up with ideas, you need to spend some time just focusing on the task. That means eliminating distractions, and putting your mind only to brainstorming ideas for the coming week.
More often than not, when I start brainstorming and go deeper into the subject, I have 2-5 article ideas instead of one at the end—just because I take time to get really focused when expanding on my initial idea.
Overall, I love multi-tasking (and I usually do) but not when I brainstorm. Scaling your news and trend tracking process is a huge help for getting productive with brainstorming.
Tool for this tip:
I find myself much more productive when I curate social media updates and collect ideas within Cyfe dashboard. You can archive lots of data through Cyfe: Twitter search results, Google Alerts, Google Plus search results, etc. A lot of successful bloggers use it.
5. Neil Patel: Use a Strategic Blogging Plan
This is the blog post structure, or anatomy, that I use for my content:
For each post, I made sure to identify what my readers want to read and to define the problem they want to solve. Additionally, I challenge myself to always produce quality content. That should be your #1 priority.
6. KSue-Ann Bubacz: Crack the technology code
WordPress, an industry standard, was for me a humongous intimidating, scary monster.
As it turned out, it was only one among a million technology creatures. But you have to fight creatures in order to get into the blogging and content marketing game, in a digital kind of way.
So be ready to push yourself. It’s just too important to NOT learn. For oh so many reasons. The responsive design and blog posting capabilities in this platform are just two.
An online business presence and YOU need to get to know each other so you may as well embrace it.
Having your own hosted site and domain name establishes your “real estate” online, as Sonia Simone, CMO and co-founder of Copyblogger Media, refers to it.
Kathryn Aragon calls it your “Marketing Hub” or the anchor of your business’ website content and marketing efforts, too.
So jump in and make your own internet space to work from.
Own it and love it even if it feels like it may break you. That’s what successful bloggers do.
At least that’s my approach. Besides, I refuse to get broken. Ha.
7. Denise Wakeman: Save Time and Energy Blogging
1. Document any and all blog post ideas that you have
Create a Blog Post Ideas document. While you’re out and about, make sure you write down, text, email or record any ideas you have. Make sure they get into your Blog Post Ideas document by the end of the day. This will be your blog post ideas source for those days when the inspiration well runs dry.
2.Find a blogging schedule that works and stick to it
I won’t tell you that you have to publish a post twice per week (that’s my basic schedule), but you need to find a schedule that works for you (or your company). If it’s once/week, that’s great.
If it’s once every two weeks, great. Once you’ve proven that you can meet that schedule, by actually doing it, confirm that goal and stick to it. Put someone in charge of keeping all contributors on track and for making sure that regular blog post gets out. Successful bloggers always publish o time.
8. Gary Korisko: Remember Who You Are
It’s important that you remember who you are.
There’s so much noise in the blogosphere, so many people trying to be seen and heard, that you really need to be noticed as something unique.
And what’s unique in a crowded space where everyone is saying the same things in the same ways?
Be who you are and communicate in your real-life natural voice.
Avoid the temptation to try and impress your readers with your intelligence or your vocabulary.
When I write and edit a post, I read it with this question in mind: “Does this sound like something that would come out of my mouth if I were sitting with a friend having a conversation over a coffee or a cocktail?” And if I can honestly answer yes, I know I’m on the right track.
When you’re learning to master a new skill like blogging, it’s difficult to figure out what makes you unique, but if you want to be a successful blogger stay with it. Your uniqueness will show through if you stay real.
Everyone has something special to offer… including you. Don’t bend to the temptation of writing like someone else. Be conversational and remember who you are!
9. Aaron Lin: Be More Generous With Bolds
Regular blog posts tend to ignore the use of bold text. More often than not, they limit that usage to their headers and sub-headers.
That’s a mistake.
The above image is an excerpt from the top contender for a very competitive keyword “content marketing tips,” which was written by Leo Widrich and published on Convince & Convert.
If you noticed, he bolds several other important points throughout the blog post. It makes skimming and scanning through the article a whole lot easier.
There’s a large portion of your audience that has the habit of scanning through an article before reading deeper into it. Truth be told, styling your blog post in a similar fashion will make it more aesthetically appealing.
But that doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and bold every other word on all your posts. Knowing that you should be bolding is one thing, but knowing exactly what you should be bolding is another.
Apart from bolding, you can use other types of font styles as well, such as
strikethroughs and italics. Here’s a simplified list of instances where you can incorporate the use these three font styles:
- Bolds: Emphasize a point, highlight strong keywords
- Italics: Dampen a phrase to make it sound softer but more articulate
Strikethroughs:Indicate common mistakes and misconceptions
Hold your horses, let’s not get too excited about this.
Don’t even think about using Bolds and Italics in the same word. The entire purpose of Bolds and Italics is so your audience can differentiate certain keywords from the rest of the paragraph. Using it this way would be completely redundant.
10. Charles Bohannan: Stick to One Idea per Post
Think sharp and singular: each piece of writing should cover no more than one main idea. Everything else goes towards supporting that idea.
This is basic and fundamental if you publish on a post-by-post basis, and where some discipline is useful.
Brain Clark of Copyblogger recommends writing the title first, then working off of that. I often like to write first, evolving the idea like sculptor would a sculpture, then distill the title from my finished work.
11. Jeff Goins: Build your platform
Although writers need to write first for the craft, it’s not a bad thing to want to get published. But that’s a byproduct, not a goal (for the real writer, anyway).
Look. This isn’t just something that happens accidentally. You have to work at it. So how do you create work that earns you the attention of publishers, exactly? You build a platform.
These days, a lot of writers use blogs and the power of the Internet to get their writing discovered. There’s no reason you can’t do the same. Here are 10 basic tips on blogging and building an audience that will help you get published:
- In order to get noticed, you’ve got to be intentional.
- Narrow your focus to broaden your audience.
- Learn from copywriters, and write for scanners.
- Engage with readers (get more comments on your blog).
- Be intentional about growing your blog traffic.
- Build an email list (like yesterday).
- Use guest posting to tap into new audiences.
- Write great content, but don’t stop there; build relationships, too.
- Expect haters.
- Help people.
12. Gregory Ciotti: Write to express, not to impress
Communication is a mix of vision and conversation. Having noticed something interesting, you now seek to direct the attention of the reader so that they might see it with their own eyes. What you choose to write is for the use of someone else. Always choose selflessly.
The bloated prose found in academia and “legalese” is a reminder of what’s at stake. In The Sense of Style, Harvard linguist Steven Pinker points out that smart people sour their thoughts through attempts to impress others. They spurn simplicity from a desire to prove that they are not bad scientists, lawyers, or academics—in doing so, they unwittingly prove they are bad communicators.
13. Judy Dunn: Share your backstory
In fiction writing, your backstory usually tells readers what they need to know about the character—experiences and events that shaped her, and impact her thinking and behavior as the story moves along.
Whether you sell products or services, whether you blog or write books, people have a natural curiosity about your background and the experiences that brought you to where you are today.
You might call this your backstory.
I once helped a business coach write her bio. She told a story of going from “broke, busted and disgusted” to becoming an award-winning coach and nationally renowned speaker.
It was an important story because it showed her readers that she gets what it means to be stuck, understands the barriers to growth, and knows how to get people on the road to living a life of passion.
14. James Chartrand: Spend enough time writing
Do you spend enough time writing?
I’m not talking about tapping away on the keyboard. I’m talking about the number of hours you spend on any given post.
Here’s the problem: too many writers still believe they can whip out a post in an hour or two.
And you can do that, sure. But if you want to write really great posts that make other writers sigh with envy… you’ll want to read on.
You know that content on the web has improved. People who used to produce good content a few years ago are now producing excellent content. Some even call it epic content.
Here’s the catch: it takes a lot more time to write that kind of content than most people think.
When I began blogging, the point was to publish lots of content—the more you published, the better.
That content didn’t have to be epic… or even great. It had to be new. Newness was far more important than fine prose.
So you could whip out a post of about 500 words in 30 minutes or so, hit publish, and celebrate. It wasn’t bad content—but by today’s standards, it wasn’t very good.
Today hundreds of thousands of posts are published every day, and just posting something new isn’t enough. Readers have become discerning—picky, even. They want thoughtful, high quality, informative, interesting, well-written content that makes them feel good.
15. Gregory Ciotti: Make em’ feel something
Imagine with me if you will …
You’re watching football, and your team’s quarterback gets slammed with a bone-crunching tackle, and snaps a rib.
Can’t you just feel yourself cringing at the thought?
That’s the power of mirror neurons and how they affect the human mind.
According to research on the subject, these neurons activate when you “observe” something happening, and then transfer some of the feeling (if it’s powerful enough) on to you.
It’s likely that they’re biologically useful for necessary evolutionary traits, such as empathy or “walking in someone else’s shoes.”
Although a majority of the current research on mirror neurons focuses on literal observation, great writers know that strong emotions can be conveyed through words as well.
Think about my first example … if you did cringe at the thought of a man breaking his ribs, you’re already experiencing this effect in action!