June 05, 2009

Want To Become A World-Beating Blogger? Blogging Heroes Reveal Their Secrets.

If like me you are keen to maximize the potential of blogging to build your profile and attract new customers to you business, then you will be interested in the advice that the world’s leading bloggers have to offer.

Blogging Heroes written by Michael Banks, is a collection of interviews with 30 of the world’s most widely read bloggers. Each page is full of encouragement and advice, but because you are short on time I have summarized some of the key points below.

Why blog? The reasons the best bloggers suggest are to find your voice, develop your thoughts and build your expertise. Most blogging heroes started blogging not for money, but because they had something useful to say and a great desire to say it.

The main advice offered is to be authentic and different. You have to be enthusiastic so pick an area you are passionate it will come across through your wri
ting and is essential to engaging readers. Picking a topic that gets you excited is also essential if you are going to keep the initiative going.

If you are going to write a lot then you must read a lot. So set up some R.S.S. feeds to some carefully chosen blogs. Most blogging heroes read between 40 and 200s feeds per day. Follow other people’s blogs quoting them where you use any of their thoughts and putting comments on their posts. Writers are starved of comments so if you comment regularly and add value you can ask for a link to your blog in return.

How to get started? Well the advice is to jump straight in. That is the best way to find your style, to refine your message and so on. Start with a reasonably high volume of posts. Blogging does not have to be perfect, in fact if you strive for perfection you may never get it going properly. So, think of blogging as a work in progress.

Give yourself time to find your voice, and to perfect your style. While differences vary as regards how correct the language, grammar and spelling should be, the blogging heroes do agree on one thing – the need for quality in terms of the content, or information provided. However, it is much different to writing for a magazine, or book, a blog is more of a conversation with the reader.

Most heroes are less concerned with search engine optimisation than you might expect, pointing to good content is the number one key success factor in getting readers for your post. However, they highlight basics such as tags, headings, deeper linking within posts and readable post names as important.

Pretty much all of the bloggers suggest that great content beats search engine optimization and frown on gimmickry. In this way they suggest that blogging is the perfect meritocracy. The advice is to blog for readers, not to get readers. Then when you hit on the right topic your site will go viral.

Write consistently, some of the heros blogged for 40 mins per day, others write all day every day. However, ensuring fresh content every time the visitor visits is important – with most blogging platforms allowing posts to be written in groups and then time delayed for release.

Quality content is the best way to build readers. It sounds a little like ‘write it and they will come’ message, but no matter what way you look at it good content is key. So, don’t just write about what you want to sell, write about what you know and what is useful for other people to read. We are also advised to remember the importance of a good heading, sometimes it is often all that the readers will see before deciding to click on the feed.

Great posts plant a seed in the mind of the reader. Encourage people to comment – ask people to suggest topics – thank people for their comments and always reply. Several blogging heroes suggest that anonymous posts and comments is the source of the web, so make sure to use your identity. And a word of caution about welcoming comments, don’t take anything that might be said personally.

A blog is not just a blog, it is a community, a forum, a online shop front, etc. It does not have to look like a blog and is not just limited to opinion. A blog is a content vehicle, capable of handing your delivering your message faster and in a less formal manner to a wider audience.

The blogging heroes point to the importance of finding the right topic (sometimes this is a matter of experimentation) and of creating original work. The source of inspiration is the dozens of feeds that bloggers read from other blogs and webpages.

Finally don’t exclusively rely on text, always use images and don’t be afraid to experiment with audio and video, etc.

Click here to buy Blogging Heroes

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