1. Write Your Headlines First
I’ve heard this tip over and over, but I never really used it until today. I didn’t really have an idea for a specific article, but I’d just been reading CopyBlogger’s 52 Headline Hacks pdf. And as I read through all the examples, I realized this is something that I never do. I generally write my headline after the article is finished. But coming up with a headline first gave me a question I wanted to answer: What kind of headline would get my article read? And then I thought further to other ways that I could improve my blog articles. You are reading the result. So my goal for today is to write article headlines for the next month. And since writing an engaging headline is the most difficult part of blogging, the rest will be easy-peasy.
2. Solve a Problem That Keeps People Awake at Night
This inspiration came from another article by CopyBlogger in my inbox today. Copyblogger Editor Admits to Sleeping with Readers and Recommends You Do the Same
What keeps your audience from getting a good solid night’s sleep? My audience is small businesses that are just getting their feet wet in the Social Media arena. They’re a lot like me, responsible for much of their social media posting and strategy themselves. I need to increase my readership and email list. How do I do that? By writing better articles that have value and also educate others on the process that I have gone through to upgrade what I am offering to them.
3. Use Evernote to Clip Articles and Photos
After several attempts, I am finally understanding the value of Evernote. I’ve had the app on my iPhone for over a year without making good use of it. Now I have the widget on my browser and I can easily mark articles and photos as Blog Ideas. Just the act of clicking the button to save something was enough to put a little thought in the back of my mind about getting organized to write better articles. Not sure which came first: the chicken or the article. But it worked for me. Try it yourself and be sure to install the browser icon available.
4. Define your Keywords
If you have a list of Keywords that you would like to rank for, it really defines what your blog will be about and keeps you focused on the types of articles and the subject matter that you need to be writing about. I didn’t set out to be a blogger, it’s just part of the territory. As I get clearer on my Target Audience it is immeasurably easier to decide what I should write about.
5. Use Google Reader to View Trending Topics
Google Reader is an invaluable resource. Take the time to set up RSS feeds from the sources you know and trust. Use your keyword list to search for blogs that are in your niche. Glance at the most current feed for topics. This will give you fresh ideas to include in your writing.
Bonus Tip: Speed Dial
Set up the Home Page in your browser to Speed Dial, a Thumbnail View of your most used pages. Set up links to Evernote, Google Reader and your Blog so that they are staring you in the face when you first sit down at your computer. Evernote extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox.
Articles used to take me hours to write and post. From my experience today, after knowing my headline, having saved a couple article links for reference, being clear on my keywords and knowing what topics are trending, I will be (was) able to whip out an article in minutes instead. I owe my thanks to Jon Morrow and Copyblogger for making things easy for me today.
Hundreds of books and pages of blog articles have been written telling you how to be a better blogger. I’m sure there are many other tips that you have used to increase your readership. Please share your experience below in the comments.