I have just finished reading ‘Blogging heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World’s Top Bloggers’, and I must say that Michael A Banks is a GENIUS. I simply could not get enough of it.
Being relatively new to the blogging scene, naturally I was interested in picking the brains of the best of the best – how they started and made it big. Although the book mostly covers the major players in technology, news, politics and lifestyle – and my blog doesn’t have anything to do with any of it- it really is a must read for every new blogger who is dead serious about it.
At the end of each interview, Banks summarizes advice for newbies these veterans have churned out. Here I compile my own list of bits I especially loved from these world-class bloggers.
How to have a successful blog, for new bloggers
1. You don’t have to write everyday
Write when you are inspired and and set up extra material to post at later dates. That way your readers know when to expect your new posts. Dave taylor of The Intuitive Life Business Blog.
It does help to post regularly, this way people are likely to return. Frank Warren of PostSecret.
Readers expect fresh content every time they visit a blog.
2. Go to other blogs
.. and engage in discussions to bring readers to your blog.
Don’t write quickie comments as an excuse to leave your url, its annoying. Add your comment if you genuinely have something to say. Don’t spam other blogs with link to your blog.
Keep up with other blogs. Almost all bloggers admitted to subscribing to 200 or so blogs on average.
3. Find a niche
Chris Anderson of The Long Tail advises to focus on specific interests. You don’t have to appeal to an overly diverse audience. Focused blogs are self selecting…
‘A specific focus or mission is necessary to sustain a blog’. Ina Steiner, AuctionBytes.
4. Cultivate Good Writing
Don’t worry about reporting on new things, find a fresh and exciting perspective instead.
Write descriptive headlines to your posts, especially important for people who subscribe to your feeds. Mark Frauenfelder of Boingboing.net.
Don’t forget other blogs as sources of information and always credit by linking to them.
Use a relaxed and personable style rather than a news style. Ken Fisher of Arts Technica.
Take time away from your blog to get fresh ideas. Credentials are not necessarily indicative of quality of blog posts.
The final 3 tips on blogging are posted here. These also talk about how to build readership – the million dollar question.