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101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger

101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger
Blogging

    I have noticed that the most successful bloggers online have all taken similar steps in becoming great bloggers. After lots
    of research and study, I can also tell you that blogging is much more complex than it seems to be on the surface. However, with a bit of effort, I believe anyone can become a successful blogger.

    Here are 101 steps to becoming a better blogger…

    1. First, I’m going to assume you’re using WordPress. You are using WordPress aren’t you? The built-in SEO and pinging functions make WordPress a search engine machine.

    2. Sign up for Feedburner.

    3. Post at least once a day.

    4. Optimize your blog for the search engines.

    5. Make sure you have an “About Me” page.

    6. Submit your blog to 9Rules.

    7. Submit your blog to NewsNow.

    8. Let your readers see the REAL you. Blogging is more personal than conventional websites. Don’t be afraid to tell a few
    stories from your own life. By being real and personal, you will build a relationship with your readers based on loyalty and trust.

    9. Blog and ping.

    10. Submit your blog to rss and blog directories.

    11. Use trackbacks.

    12. Get involved in the blogosphere. Being a blogger is about being part of a community. Leave comments on other
    blogs and get to know your favorite bloggers.

    13. Give your blog it’s own unique voice… You!

    14. Spend 99% of your time focused on creating unique, quality content. Content is King; or as John Reese says, “content is King Kong”.

    15. Add a large RSS subscription button to your site.

    16. Place an RSS feed link at the bottom of every post.

    17. Set up a MyBlogLog Widget.

    18. Encourage social bookmarking after every post.

    Install these plugins to optimize your blog:

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    19. Akismet – This plugin helps eliminate comment spam.

    20. Optimal Title – This plugin allows you to optimize the title of your blog post in order to improve your search engine rankings.

    21. Ultimate Tag Warrior – The best tag system for WordPress.

    22. Google Sitemap Generator – This plugin will enable you to automatically generate a Google sitemap for your blog.

    23. Show Top Commentators – This plugin encourages feedback and discussion by rewarding the top commentators with a link back to their site in the sidebar.

    24. Related Posts – This plugin will find other blog posts that are related to the current post. This encourages extra page views and keeps readers at your blog for a longer period of time.

    25. Super Archive – One of the best archives system.

    26. WP-Cache – This plugin is an extremely efficient caching system that will make your site much faster.

    27. WP-ContactForm – This plugin allows your readers to easily email you. It also helps avoid spam.

    28. Popularity Contest – This plugin determines which of your posts are most popular and then puts them in the sidebar.

    29. Adsense Deluxe – This plugin makes it easy to implement Adsense into your blog.

    30. Sociable – This plugin helps you spread your content through social bookmarking sites like Digg, del.icio.us,reddit, and others.

    31. Feedburner Feed Replacement – This plugin directs all of your feed traffic to Feedburner, ensuring accurate readership stats. This plugin will also convert any existing subscribers from the old feed to the FeedBurner
    one.

    32. Create a custom blog design. Your blog is a symbol of your brand. Make it uniquely you.

    33. Add photos to each of your posts.

    34. Use tagging.

    35. Share the link love.

    36. Publish a full feed instead of a partial feed.

    37. Consider approaching newspapers with a story about your blog. Remember, journalists are hungry for content and if
    you can come up with a unique twist, then you could get some great coverage.

    38. Persistence is the key. Give your blog at least 6 months before you start expecting great returns on all of your hard work. Believe me, it will pay off in the long run.

    39. Submit exclusive content to high-profile sites.

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    40. Syndicate a press release. Take some time to craft a truly compelling and newsworthy press release and send it to some of the top journalists and bloggers. You can then submit it to the main press release sites, including PRWeb and PRLeap.

    41. Turn your articles into podcasts.

    42. Turn your articles into videos using PowerPoint to create an entertaining slideshow. Submit your video to all of the
    popular video sites, including Google Video, YouTube, and others.

    43. Submit to blog carnivals.

    44. Participate in and submit to social web 2.0 sites, including Reddit, Digg, Delicious, Netscape, and Stumble Upon.

    45. Turn your articles into downloadable reports/ebooks.

    46. Join Blogburst.

    47. Syndicate your articles to EzineArticles, GoArticles, iSnare,
    American Chronicle, and other high-profile article directories.

    48. Exchange guest posts with other bloggers.

    49. Participate in group writing projects and memes.

    50. Create a Squidoo lens that links back to your blog and established you as an industry expert in your chosen field.

    51. Interview industry experts. This is one of the best ways to create original, engaging content.

    52. Offer an e-mail newsletter in addition to RSS. An email newsletter allows you to form a closer relationship with
    your visitors and picks up those who still aren’t comfortable with RSS technology.

    53. Ask your visitors for suggestions on how to improve your website’s content because in the end, it’s really all about your readers.

    54. Create a customized 404 page.

    55. Claim your blog on Technorati.

    56. Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality.

    57. If someone mentions your website on their blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post and send them a thank you note. You can monitor any mentions of your blog using Google Alerts, Technorati, and Blogpulse.

    58. Make contact with related bloggers online as well as offline.

    59. Build up the readership of your blog using StumbleUpon Ads.

    60. Edit yourself ruthlessly.

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    61. Translate your site into multiple languages. This is one tactic that few sites are taking advantage of.

    62. Have your blog reviewed by ReviewMe.

    63. Become a Guest Blogger.

    64. Use Google Analytics.

    65. Validate your feeds.

    66. Claim your blog at Feedster.

    67. Interact with your readers. Blogging is a two-way communication tool. The most successful bloggers interact with their readers. They answer reader emails and comments and ask for feedback and suggestions on a regular basis.

    68. Write about something that you love. You will not succeed if you are working at something you don’t enjoy. As Dale
    Carnegie once said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

    69. Attend blogging conferences.

    70. Invite your readers to submit articles.

    Top Ways to Monetize Your Blog:

    71. Kontera ContentLink

    72. Text Link Ads

    73. BlogAds

    74. Ad Brite

    75. Direct Ad sales & Sponsorships

    76. Affiliate Sales

    77. Google Adsense

    78. ReviewMe

    79. Bidvertiser

    80. AuctionAds

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    81. Some of the best ways to monetize your RSS feed include the FeedBurner Ad Network and Text Link Ads.

    Blog Writing Tips:

    82. Learn to write great headlines.

    83. Make your articles scannable. People don’t read on the Internet. They scan.

    84. Use numbers in your titles to attract attention.

    85. Vary your content. Be unique. Create a quiz. Interview a fellow blogger. Poll your readers. Review a book. Shake it
    up a bit to keep your readers interested.

    86. Edit your writing ruthlessly.

    87. Write like you talk.

    88. Write with passion. It will come through in your writing.

    89. Say something worth reading.

    90. Always write with your reader in mind. Imagine that you are chatting with them over lunch at a local cafe.

    91. Make your important points up front.

    92. Include bullet point lists.

    93. Create a “top 10” list.

    94. Create a “How To” article.

    95. Create a weekly or monthly roundup of great posts from around the blogosphere.

    96. Watch for trends in your industry.

    97. Read voraciously and bring your readers the golden nuggets of everything you learn.

    98. If you ever find yourself with writer’s block, check out 101 Great Posting Ideas.

    99. Leave your readers hungry for more. Give them a quick preview of what you’ll be posting the next day. They
    are much more likely to come back if they are already excited about the next days post. Anticipation is
    one of the greatest marketing tactic.

    100. Have fun! Blogging doesn’t always have to be serious. Feel free to make your posts fun and entertaining.

    101. If you’re still looking for blogging tips, then here are some great resources: ProBlogger, JohnChow, and Successful Blog.

    Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need a Braindump, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and
    Free Yourself From the Inbox.

    More by this author

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    The power of habit

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to make a reminder works for you

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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