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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 January 21, 2020

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

    This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

    The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.

    The Keys to Learning Anything Easily

    Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

    Curiosity

    Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

    People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

    Patience

    Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

    When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

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    Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

    A Feeling for Connectedness

    This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

    A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

    The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

    How to Self-Taught Effectively

    With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

    1. Research

    Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

    Learning the Basics

    Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

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    Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

    What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

    Hitting the Books

    Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

    Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

    Long-Term Reference

    While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

    My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

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    2. Practice

    Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

    A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

    Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

    Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

    3. Network

    One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

    These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

    Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

    Here find out How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

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    4. Schedule

    For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

    Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

    Final Thoughts

    In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

    If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

    At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

    More About Self-Learning

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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