As anyone whose ever lost weight, written poetry, painted a picture, or been in a long term relationship will know: little tweaks make a MASSIVE difference.
In fact, little tweaks are so important that the Japanese have made a philosophy out of it. This is called Kaizen, which means small, continuous change.
Kaizen is the idea that tiny changes, put together, one after another, can make massive improvements to a business, a person’s life, or even a blog.
Kaizen is Toyota’s secret of success. It can be your secret of success, too.
Make a series of small tweaks, and before you know it, you’ll see your blog grow far more than you thought was possible.
These are little tweaks, because as all bloggers know, blogging takes enough time as it is.
1. Get an Email List Already
Ask any serious blogger the biggest blogging mistake they’ve made. All of them will tell you the same thing. Their biggest regret is failing to set up an email list as soon as they started their blog.
These days, you can’t hide behind any excuses. Money isn’t an issue, nor is the difficulty of setting up a list.
Adding a sign up form to the side bar of your blog is simply a case of copying and pasting some html code. You’ve gone as far as setting up a blog, so you can surely manage that.
Infographic Courtesy of iContact.
2. Go Self-Hosted
Okay, this isn’t exactly a tiny tweak, as it can cost up to $100 a year for a self-hosted blog, plus you’ve got the hassle of moving all your blog posts from your current blog to its new location.
However, with support from WordPress, moving your blog could hardly be easier. And with most hosting providers, getting WordPress up and going is as simple as a one-click install.
Once you go self-hosted, you’ll never look back. You’ll wonder how you managed without all the themes and plug-ins that are available to self-hosted bloggers. Seriously, these make your life way easier, and they give your blog the professional touch.
Even if you only go self-hosted to remove ads from your blog, it’s worth it in terms of reader experience.
3. Focus, Focus, Focus
Most bloggers I know have wide and varied interests. We’re great people to know, and typically we’re broad-minded and willing to plunge ourselves into anything.
When it comes to writing a blog, this leaves us with a dilemma. Do we stay true to ourselves and write about all our interests? Or do we segment ourselves, and only write about one part of our lives?
The answer is both. Choosing a clear, tight niche is vital if your blog is to have any chance of success. Sure, there are examples that break the mould, but they’re few and far-between. For the most part, blogs succeed because they’re focused.
That said, just because your blog has a focus doesn’t mean you should leave the rest of yourself behind when you come to blog. It’s vital to be yourself, to open up to your readers, and to use everyday examples from all areas of your life when you’re illustrating what you mean.
Talking of connecting with readers, you also must remember to…
4. Write like a Human Being
At school, you’re taught writing like it’s some special, magical process with special rules. You’re taught how to write in a specific style, and with certain structures, to produce cookie-cutter stories and essays.
What’s rarely taught at school is how to write for real human beings, and how to be engaging to real people. This is exactly what you need as a blogger.
Write your blog like you learned to write to at school, and your blog will chug along like a busted steam engine. You will struggle to gather momentum or attract a wide readership.
Instead, write for real human beings. Which, when it comes to it, is really simple. To write like a human being, write like you speak. A top tip here is to dictate your blog posts into your smartphone. Then you can’t help but write like you speak.
And when you write like you speak, it helps you in another important aspect of being a successful blogger…
5. Learn the Art of Speedwriting
Blogging is all about content. The faster you can write, the more you can write. The more you can write, the more content you produce. The more content you produce, the quicker you’ll attract readers.
It sounds obvious, but time and again I see newbie bloggers treating their blog like it’s the next Great American Novel. They’ll spend hours over a single sentence, making their prose articulate and flowery.
If you want to write literature, go write literature.
If you want to write a blog, write like you speak. When you write like you speak, you can write at lightening speed. The typical person speaks at around 100 words a minute, so if you talk a blog post, you can be done in just five minutes.
Of course, not everyone can type that fast, and you’ll need to do a little editing, but there’s no reason you can’t start and finish a typical 500-word blog post in under 30 minutes.
6. Remember SEO
I know, I know, SEO is boring. Who wants to worry about keywords when all you really want to do is write, write, write?
Try this trick: instead of fretting over keywords before you write, write your blog post first. Write from your heart. Then, when you’re done, add an SEO friendly headline, sub-headlines, and metadata. You can also tweak your first paragraph to be SEO friendly if you like.
Writing first then mixing in the SEO later helps you keep the inspiration and ideas flowing, and stops you getting blocked. At the same time, paying some attention to SEO ensures your blog has fresh readers coming in every day.
Infographic Courtesy of WhiteFire, an SEO Company.
7. Build a Community
Good blogs are about a charismatic individual. Bloggers, by the power of their personality and writing style, can attract a wide following.
Great blogs are about a community. If your blog is a community, your readers will spread the word about your blog for you. Your readers will feel invested in what you’re doing, and connected to other readers.
How do you build a community? By engaging with your readers. Talk to your readers on Twitter. Reply to comments on your Facebook Page. Ask questions. Most importantly, reply to any comments on your blog, and leave comments on your readers’ blogs.
5 Ways to Bond with Your Blog’s Audience
How to Write Faster
SEO Basics: 8 Essentials When Optimizing Your Site
Search Engine Watch
Tribe Marketing: How To Build A Tribe Online
Social Buzz Club
For More Tips + Tricks
- Content Marketing Institute
- The Daily Egg
Over to You
What little tweaks have you made to your blog that have created massive improvements?
Like this? You can find more social media tips and tricks in the Social Caffeine Collection, a collection of 24 books on social media marketing.
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