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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.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

    How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

    The hardest part of socializing, for many people, is how to start a conversation. However, it is a big mistake to go about life not making the first move and waiting for someone else to do it [in conversation or anything].

    This isn’t to say you must always be the first in everything or initiate a conversation with everyone you see. What should be said, though, is once you get good at starting conversations, a lot of other things will progress in the way you want; such as networking and your love life.

    Benefits of Initiating a Conversation

    First thing is you should acknowledge why it is a good thing to be able to initiate conversations with strangers or people who you don’t know well:

    • You’re not a loner with nothing to do.
    • You look more approachable if you are comfortable approaching others.
    • Meeting new people means developing a network of friends or peers which leads to more knowledge and experiences.

    You can only learn so much alone, and I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of learning from others. Being able to distinguish the ‘good from bad’ amongst a group of people will help in building a suitable network, or making a fun night.

    All people are good in their own way. Being able to have a good time with anybody is a worthy trait and something to discuss another time. However, if you have a specific purpose while in social situations, you may want to stick with people who are suitable.

    This means distinguishing between people who might suit you and your ‘purpose’ from those who probably won’t. This can require some people-judging, which I am generally very opposed to. However, this does make approaching people all the more easier.

    It helps to motivate the conversation if you really want to know this person. Also, you’ll find your circle of friends and peers grows to something you really like and enjoy.

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    The Rules

    I don’t have many rules in this life, for conversation or anything; but when it comes to approaching strangers, there are a few I’d like used.

    1. Be polite. Within context, don’t be a creepy, arrogant loudmouth or anything. Acknowledge that you are in the company of strangers and don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. First impressions mean something.
    2. Keep it light. Don’t launch into a heartfelt rant or a story of tragedy. We’re out to have fun.
    3. Don’t be a prude. This just means relax. This isn’t a science and conversation isn’t a fine art. Talk to people like you’re already friends.
    4. Be honest. Be yourself. People can tell.

    Who To Talk To?

    I’m of the ilk that likes to talk to everyone and anyone. Everyone has a story and good personalities. Some are harder to get to than others, but if you’re on a people-finding excursion, like I usually am, then everyone is pretty much fair game.

    That said, if you’re out at a function and you want to build a network of people in your niche, you will want to distinguish those people from the others. Find the ‘leaders’ in a group of people or ask around for what you’re looking for.

    In a more general environment, like at a bar, you will want to do the same sort of thing. Acknowledge what you actually want and try to distinguish suitable people. Once you find someone, or a group of people, that you want to meet and talk to, hop to it.

    Think of a few things you might have in common. What did you notice about their dress sense?

    Building Confidence

    The most important part of initiating conversation is, arguably, having confidence. It should be obvious that without any amount of self-esteem you will struggle. Having confidence in yourself and who you are makes this job very easy.

    If you find yourself doubting your worth, or how interesting you are, make a few mental notes of why you are interesting and worth talking to. There is no question you are. You just have to realize that.

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    What do I do? What is interesting about it? What are my strong points and what are my weak ones? Confident people succeed because they play on their strengths.

    Across the Room Rapport

    This is rapport building without talking. It’s as simple as reciprocated eye contact and smiles etc. Acknowledging someone else’s presence before approaching them goes a long way to making introductions easier. You are instantly no longer just a random person.

    In my other article How Not To Suck At Socializing, there are things you can do to make yourself appear approachable. This doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to flock to you. You’ll still probably need to initiate conversations.

    People notice other people who are having a blast. If you’re that person, someone will acknowledge it and will make the ‘across the room rapport’ building a breeze. If you’re that person that is getting along great with their present company, others will want to talk to you. This will make your approach more comfortable for both parties.

    The Approach

    When it comes to being social, the less analytical and formulaic you are the better. Try not to map out your every move and plan too much. Although we are talking about how to initiate conversation, these are really only tips. When it comes to the approach, though, there are some things you should keep in mind.

    Different situations call for different approaches. Formal situations call for something more formal and relaxed ones should be relaxed.

    At a work function, for instance, be a little formal and introduce yourself. People will want to know who you are and what you do right away. This isn’t to say you should only talk about work, but an introduction and handshake is appropriate.

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    If you’re at a bar, then things are very different and you should be much more open to unstructured introductions. Personally, I don’t like the idea of walking directly to someone to talk to them. It’s too direct. I like the sense of randomness that comes with meeting new people.

    However, if there is rapport already established, go for it. If not, take a wander, buy a drink and be aware of where people are. If there is someone you would like to talk to, make yourself available and not sit all night etc.

    When someone is alone and looks bored, do them a favor and approach them. No matter how bad the conversation might get, they should at least appreciate the company and friendliness.

    Briefly, Approaching Groups

    When integrating with an established group conversation, there is really one thing to know. That is to establish the ‘leader’ and introduce yourself to them. I mentioned that before, but here is how and why.

    The why is the leader of a group conversation is probably the more social and outgoing. They will more readily accept your introduction and then introduce you to the rest of the group. This hierarchy in a group conversation is much more prevalent in formal situations where one person is leading the conversation.

    A group of friends out for the night is much more difficult to crack. This may even be another topic for discussion, but one thing I know that works is initiating conversation with a ‘stray’. It sounds predatorial, but it works.

    More often than not, this occurs without intention. But if you do really want to get into a group of friends, your best bet is approaching one of them while they are away from the group and being invited into the group.

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    It is possible, like everything, to approach a group outright and join them. However, this is almost an art and requires another specific post.

    Topics Of Conversation

    Other than confidence, the next thing people who have trouble initiating conversations lack is conversation! So here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:

    • Small talk sucks. It’s boring and a lot of people already begin to zone out when questions like, “What do you do?” or “What’s with this weather?” come up. Just skip it.
    • Everything is fair game. If you are in the company of someone and a thought strikes you, share it. “This drink is garbage! What are you drinking?” “Where did you get that outfit?”
    • Opinions matter. This is any easy way to hit the ground running in conversation. Everyone has one, and when you share yours, another will reveal itself. The great thing about this line of thought is that you are instantly learning about the other person and what they like, dislike etc.
    • Environment. The place you’re in is full of things to comment on. The DJ, band, fashions; start talking about what you see.
    • Current events. Unless it’s something accessible or light-hearted, forget it. Don’t launch into your opinion on the war or politics. If your town has recently hosted a festival, ask what they think about it.

    Exiting Conversation

    Although I’d like to write a full post on exiting strategies for conversations you don’t want to be in, here are some tips:

    • The first thing is don’t stay in a conversation you’re not interested in. It’ll show and will be no fun for anyone.
    • Be polite and excuse yourself. You’re probably out with friends, go back to them.  Or buy a drink. Most people will probably want to finish the conversation as much as you.

    Likewise, you could start another conversation.

    If you’d like to learn more tips about starting a conversation, this guide maybe useful for you: How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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