If you want to be an effective blogger, let’s face it, you’d better have some good habits. A good blog is a lot of things. One of those things is that it’s “regular.” But regularly updating your blog is only one of many things you should be doing habitually.
Below are fifteen things you can be DOING on a regular basis. Notice that each one begins with a verb. These are not just things to think about; these are things to DO.
1. Create a mission statement for your blog, and reconsider it on a regular basis. Define what your blog is and who your readers are. Reconsider this on a regular basis. (That’s the habit part.) … Keep the goal in mind so that you know exactly what you’re driving toward (it keeps you on track and gives you clarity). This is such a big picture idea that you are likely to forget about it. So set up an email alert to remind yourself to take stock every three months or six months. Develop a checklist of question to go through.
2. Blog regularly – make it a habit. Set out a time for writing and stick to it. Or … don’t set out a time, but blog in small bits here and there. But do it ALL THE TIME. Not 15 minutes one day and that’s it, but fifteen minutes before you check your email, then fifteen minutes before lunch, then fifteen minutes after lunch, then fifteen minutes after you make a phone call you need to make, then fifteen minutes before you turn on the TV, etc. Look for opportunities to make little deals with yourself: “OK, I’m going work on this blog post for fifteen minutes, then I’ll check out what’s new on Twitter.”
3. Engage readers: Use social media, use your comments, use RSS and email.
4. Engage other bloggers on their blogs by commenting and offering to guest post.
6. Participate in forums in your niche. Contribute to your niche through forums. Don’t over-promote, however. Offer value and people will come to you. Forums are also a great place to find what people in your niche are looking for. It’s like having a highly interested and very motivated focus group at your beck and call – for FREE.
7. Do keyword research and SEO your content, but don’t be a slave to it. Put readers first.
8. Link generously. Others will do the same for you. And they will also come to check out your blog once they see that you’re sending traffic to theirs.
9. Analyze your stats – know what’s working, what people like, what they share, etc.
10. Work on your headlines: Grab readers with headlines. This may seem very specific compared to the others, but it’s that important.
11. Remind yourself to have fun. Remind yourself why you’re blogging on a regular basis. It’s not all going to be fun, of course. But if blogging becomes too much of a drag, then it may be time to reevaluate. However that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to give up blogging. It may just mean it’s time to give up thinking of it as if it’s a drag.
12. Take notes when you’re out in the world running around. You may get ideas specifically for your blog, but also just take notes on anything that sticks out to your or you find interesting, odd, or funny. There may be an easy way to work this into your blog topic. Doing so will increase the creativity of your posts because you will likely be coming from a different angle than everyone else, and it’s also guaranteed to be uniquely yours (because you started with something that struck you on a personal level for some reason).
13. Brainstorm. Yes, you may know your topic backwards and forwards. And you may never have problems coming up with new material, but you should still brainstorm on a regular basis so that you keep yourself fresh and don’t get stuck in the same old ruts. You may be happy to be stuck in the same old rut because you find it easy (and possibly even perversely satisfying) to simply go back and forth and back and forth over and over again. However, eventually your readers will tire of it even if you don’t.
14. Set goals. Larger ones and smaller ones. The smaller ones you’ll have to set more often, maybe even daily. Also, remember to review your goals.
15. Look for and celebrate small victories. Use the goals you’ve set up as motivators. But possibly even more importantly, keep track of the ones you accomplish to help build motivation and confidence.
Thanks to Thedailyenglishshow for the image.