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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 April 8, 2019

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

    Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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    1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
    2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
    3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
    4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
    5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
    6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
    7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
    8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
    9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
    10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
    11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
    12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
    13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
    14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
    15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
    16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
    17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
    18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
    19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
    20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
    21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
    22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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