7 Blogging Tips You Can Apply Today

By Yaro Starak
37 Comments

seven-dices

About a month ago I wrote an email to all the columnists on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com with some advice on how they could achieve more rewards from their writing on this blog and also some tips to improve performance of their articles.

As I was writing the email I realized much of the advice is good old fundamentals for successful blogging. I decided why not share some of the points with you and the rest of the E-J audience to help with your own blogging efforts.

Some of this might seem obvious, the same old blogging advice you have heard before, but since most bloggers don’t follow even the most basic of advice I recommend you read over these points and ask yourself if you are on track.

7 Steps To A Better Blog

1. The Call To Action In Author Boxes

This particular piece of advice refers to the little author boxes we use at the end of articles on this blog, which detail information about the author of the article (you can see mine at the end of this article). This is the primary tool columnists use to entice readers to visit their website or join their email newsletter and continue to gain from having a relationship with that particular writer.

Chances are you don’t have the same box at the end of your blog articles, especially if you are the only author on your blog, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider adding them. They make great calls to action at the end of each piece of content you publish.

Even if you don’t have these boxes, this advice is relevant for any area where you are trying to encourage your readership to sign up for something or click a link – any kind of call to action.

Here is some of what I sent to the authors about how to improve their author boxes…

Your author box is one of the best places for you to promote your own websites and offers, as well as describe your specialities and history.

Although you are welcome to use this space to talk about yourself, you will reap more reward if you use the space to offer something of value (a benefit to the reader) and prompt the reader to click your link to get access to it.

If you have a free report, or audio series or newsletter – anything you use a first entry point lead generator – your author box is the place to talk about.

For example, if I was going to use the author box to generate leads, I would use something like –

“Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a free report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can access the report from here – http://www.blogprofitsblueprint.com”

I recommend offering something like this that has only one link to click (focus is important), not too much text, a clear and tangible benefit and offer, that leads the reader to your best first impression.

I derive the most value from my email list, hence I promote my report as the opt-in benefit for joining my list. You might prefer to promote a different page or offer of your own.

2. Use Case Studies and Stories

You may have noticed many of the best articles on EJ, based on audience response, are when I explain what I do or what someone else does, to get a result.

Talking strategy, theory and tactics are great, but people really engage when you combine these with a story to illustrate exactly what someone did. EJ is successful (as are many other blogs), because the writers focus on explaining what they did and what result they get, using specific details. The more specific and real world you can be with your case studies, the more the readers will respond to your writing and follow your work.

3. Be Specific, Avoid Generic Advice

Continuing on from the previous point, whenever you teach or tell stories avoid being generic. People like it when you say things like –

“I spent $151 in Google Adwords to buy traffic from the following list of keywords –

  • how to grow tomatoes in winter
  • growing tomatoes in winter
  • grow winter tomatoes
  • etc

The result of this was 3546 visitors over two weeks, delivering 543 opt-ins to my newsletter”

I could have simply written –

“I spent some money on adwords to get traffic to my newsletter”

The first explanation is a lot more specific and thus interesting to the reader. People want to know details, it gives them direction and clarity and makes you a much more valuable resource to them. The more value you give them, the more they will listen to you, pay attention to your work, click your links, and all the other things you can ask people to do when they actually pay attention.

4. Create “Top List” Articles

If you really want to produce a very successful article the single best format I can recommend is a “Top List”.

A top list is usually a Top 10 but might be a Top 20 or even 50 list. The idea is to come up with a list of top “somethings”. It’s especially effective if you focus on people. For example for this blog some good ideas might be –

These types of articles work really well if you include photos of each person in the top list, then email them to let them know they are in the list. This can take a bit of research, but the rewards are significant as top lists are always shared around the web.

You might consider making a top list in regards to whatever your specialty is. For example EJ team member Neroli who focuses on creativity in her column, might come up with a list of the “Top 10 most creative business ideas of the 21st century“.

You don’t need to have the absolute definitive top 10, this is simply your opinion based on your research and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to upset some people who don’t agree with you, this will do wonders for how popular your article becomes because of the controversy.

5. Write As If You Are Talking To One Person

Although this blog has thousands of daily readers you should write to one person only when creating your articles. Only one individual actually reads the article in their head, so talk to them individually.

For example, use singular words like “you” and “your”, not “people” or “readers” or “all of you”.

I find this works best for me when I think that I am talking to just one person when I write my article. Apply this to your articles and you will foster a stronger connection with your readership, one reader at a time.

6. Respond To All Your Comments

Comments left on your articles, especially the solid comments with questions or feedback, should be responded to as soon as possible. This shows that you care about the person who was interested enough in your article to leave a comment and are listening to what they have to say.

Commenting facilities two-way communication, and all your readers will feel like you are more present if you respond to their comments, fostering better engagement.

I’ve noticed several of the EJ team already do this and you can see the difference it makes, so great work. I have to admit that I have been very lax with this piece of advice in recent years myself. During the early years of EJ I was very diligent with comments and I know that is one of the reasons why this blog took off. In recent months I’ve increased my own comment replies to practice what I preach.

7. Be Consistent With Content Production

This last tip I include because seven tips makes for a better headline than six, although it wasn’t sent through to the columnists originally because they are already well informed about the importance of being consistent with their column if they want results (it’s in the agreement they make when they come on board!).

You already know content is the key to success with a blog. You also know that consistent content is key, yet this is where so many people fail.

If you have ever done any article marketing campaigns you will know that without volume it is difficult to have any success. The same applies here.

It goes back to the principle of “owning” more of the Internet. The more places you appear, the more exposure you have to your audience, the more people you reach. Don’t forget that just one exposure to one of your articles is not enough to convince a person to do something – they probably won’t even remember your name!

It takes repeat exposures to build up some form of engagement with your audience, and no one person is the same. Some might read one of your articles and never read another, while others will come back and read everything you write because the first article they read of yours was so good.

You can’t control when people read your work, or what article of yours they read first, or what situation they are coming from when they find your article, yet all these variables impact how well your content performs.

The solution to this problem is put your best foot forward and keep walking – in other words, always produce amazing articles and do it again and again and again if you want to make a real impact, and down the line, reap rewards.

Keep up the good work,

Yaro Starak
Still Blogging About Blogging

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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37 Comments

  • Greetings Yaro – it is a pleasure to see you writing after a little long time –

    After going through your article, I have developed a small acronym which can help any one to rembmer the 7 points shared by you. The word is CoST CORt

    C for call to action
    (o for making the word cost)
    S for Stories & S for specification
    T for top post writing
    C for consistency
    O for addressing one person
    R for responding to comments

    I would like to ask you that if some one has just appreciated the post, is it a must that that person is responded in comment too?

    Your last comment of adding consistency point is interesting, particularly the comment: As seven is better than six. Could you enlighten if there is some research on using odd number instead of even when head lines are composed?

    Lastly, I would like to add one C i.e. conversation with the person making comment. You might have seen that my comments on Neroli’s post resulted in an interesting blog article!

    thanks again and best regards

    Malik Mirza
    http://wisdomfrombooks.com

    • Hi Malik, I’m not aware of research into the number, but I suspect many split tests have been done in the marketing world comparing which numbers work best. Most of those tests of course will not be published research documents.

      Don’t forget the bible made the number 7 significant too – I suspect there is something to that.

      I wrote about “7” a while ago in this article –

      http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/259/the-rule-of-7/

      • Thanks Yaro – I will take a look into Gladwell’s book. At the same time, it is also quite interesting that there are 7 days in a week & 7 skies and 7 earths as per scriptures

        http://wisdomfrombooks.com

  • I have to agree with what you said in the very beginning Yaro.

    These are good fundamentals for blogging.

    Now with that being said, I work with a few coaches (life, business, etc) who are using their blogs as a tool to get coaching clients. The questions I get from these coaches is a bit frustrating at times because they keep asking me the same questions and expecting me to give a different answer…. as if there is some *magic* bullet to successful blogging.

    What I believe is that most people aren’t willing to have the patience and the persistence to master content production and blog marketing so that the magic bullet shows up for them… {because it will!}

    I remember listening to you when I first joined Blog Mastermind in 2008 and I thought, “this is going to be awesome!”

    Then I started to get to work… a few hours each week. I really struggled in the first 6-8 months because I was learning how to build the habit of writing content and marketing my blog. Once I got that concept, it completely transformed my idea of what blogging was and how it really worked…

    I’m not so sure how many *other* bloggers out there are ready for that transformation…

    Steve

    • Hi Steve, – you are correct, and most bloggers unfortunately never will make the transition. That’s a sad thing if they have more ambitious goals, however not every blogger wants a massive audience so blogging now and then merely as a way to express themselves may be enough.

      For people who read this blog of course I expect a lot more since you want big results. I’m glad to hear you were able to stick to it despite the months you spent struggling.

  • More words of wisdom from the person who truly changed my life and gave me more freedom both of my time and financially than most people could ever dream of. In any event, it is all about keeping it simple, sticking to the basics and taking calculated chances and be willing to put failures in perspective and think of those things as just one piece of a larger puzzle. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like with my content here but hopefully I can at least get into a regular pattern, I know it all starts there. Without content you have nothing to relate to the readers with, no reason for people to come to the site, and of course, no reason to return. As for the rest of the bloggers out there, if you truly apply these principles, you will undoubtedly succeed. It is a building process and it all starts with a basic but sound foundation.

    • Wattup Mitch. Haven’t seen you in a while. Hope all is well. Lets connect sometime soon!

    • Hey Mitch, thanks for your props man – I appreciate it.

      You know we all love seeing your words on this blog, your style is unique and your success too, hence it’s so valuable to hear from you.

      I look forward to your next article.

  • Hello, Yaro,
    It’s quite a long time reading from your write up. It is nice hearing from you. How is your mum? Hope she is getting better.

    • Hi Alphonsus, mum is still in hospital in basically the same condition. There are small improvements but it’s a big mountain to climb. Thanks for your comment!

  • Yayyyy, Yaro’s Back :)

    Hey, thanks for a great article. This is actually a good refresher on what works, when it comes to blogging. It’s funny that the 7 steps seem so simple, but we tend to overlook its simplicity. So many systems out there try to overcomplicate things, but these tips are mad simple, and relatively easy to implement.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • Thanks Leslie, looking forward to seeing those videos soon :-)

  • Excellent Tips Yaro. Following all the 7 tips is a great way to improve our blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Nice Article Yaro.I was myself thinking to add an author box below my posts but now it is the next thing I’m going to do after finishing this comment.In your earlier posts also you have emphasized the importance of “Top List” articles and after writing some of these articles I can say that you are right these.”Top List” articles act like a magnet for readers.Thanks for this nice post

  • RR

    Thanks for continuing to be one of the most honest and helpful internet Gurus out there – and a very Happy B’day., Yaro…hey it’s still the 19th here. Here’s to another fulfilling year ahead!

    RR
    follower since ’09 & still inspired

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes RR and the long term support!

  • Jacques Snyman | Siyavuna Development Centre

    Greetings Yaro!

    I haven’t visited your blog for quite some time, and it is very interesting to see how you have evolved over the past year and a bit….it is refreshing to see all the guest authors and the information they have to share…..with the Yaro backbone still there.

    Good One Mate!

    • Thank you Jacques, I’m glad you like the entire EJ package. Welcome back!

      • Jacques Snyman | Siyavuna Development Centre

        The personal touch is also much appreciated……thank you Yaro!!

  • Hello Yaro,

    You are absolutely right those are really tips I can apply today. On many blogs I usually I see a lot of info that I cannot directly apply at all, or atleast look like things that I might do sometime somewhere in a distant future.

    An Authors Box is a great example of something that I can do for my Blog. Also the other tips look very practical.

    Thanks,

    All the Best,
    To your Happy - Home Business – Inspiration,
    HP

    • Hi HP – Glad you liked the tips and good luck with the author box on your blog.

  • My favorite is the creating a top 10 list on your blog.. That sounds like it will attract some people to websites..

    Thanks Yaro for those tips. They will definitely be put into action

  • I for one always preach consistency as a way to build trust with the readers, especially those that are returning readers to any blog. Once you start updating your blog consistently, your returning readers will fall into the pattern of expecting those same great updates to come out again. Its a huge pet peeve of mine whenever I see a blog updating every now and then, and still trying to claim as being the number 1 resource for a particular topic. Then they themselves apologize constantly for failing to update the blog on time. Its okay if you miss an update from time to time, no one is a machine but when I see it being said every 2 weeks, now thats bad!

    -Jean

  • Another great article Yaro!

    I always enjoy your content.

    Michael

    ps

    Remember me from MTG in Brisbane in late 1990s?

    • Hey Michael, what is your last name? I knew a few Michaels from the MTG days.

  • […] Are you maximizing the effectiveness of your blog? Yaro with Entrepreneurs-Journey.com gives us 7 Blogging Tips You Can Apply Today VN:F [1.9.3_1094]Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.3_1094]Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)VN:F […]

  • Yaro,
    Great post! Super tips. I’m sharing this with the blogging club.

  • […] 7 Blogging Tips for Small Business: If you own a small business, chances are you have a blog. (And if you don’t, you probably should!) Here are seven tips from Entrepreneurs Journey to keep in mind if you want to make your blog successful. […]

  • Great tips from the great blogger. On the Author Bio, I never thought about it this way. I think I’ll have to implement it asap. Thanks for your tips.

  • Nice work Yaro!, I like the blog post title tip… ;]

  • Hey Yaro, I just tweeted about you, your blog was one of the first blogs I ever got into, a friend of mine recommended you when I was in OZ looking for a new direction, which has now led to me running a social media management agency. I’ve learnt a lot from you and your blog, for that I thank you…

  • Great tips here! If aspiring bloggers were to read this then they won’t make the same mistakes that are made by most bloggers today.

  • Quite possibly the best blog writing advice I have ever read. Not only does this advice work for blogs, it works in day-to-day business correspondence. I have found that few blogs actually utilize the “call to action” opportunity in the author’s box. In the few that I have come across, I actually do follow through with the action.

  • It’s all so bl00dy time Consuming :-)

  • Hi Yaro,

    It’s the first time to your site and I’m coming to you from my good friend Ryan Biddulph.

    I can’t agree with you more in your article. Two things you mentioned in particular really stood out to me and for several reasons:

    1. Specificity – too many blogs don’t say anything, mean anything or really help anyone because they are so broad I have no idea what the point is they are trying to make. When I was in undrad and graduate school I had a speaker coach for six years. I learned the best speeches are written for one issue / problem and talk to one person.

    If you try to say it all in one blog you’re robbing your audience and your own online efforts. Why not write several detailed articles on a subject and then link them all together as a series? It helps the readers and it helps a search engine as well.

    I can’t tell you how many articles people comment on my blog where commentors share they take something from it that applies to them. It’s because it’s specific. It happens when I speak as well, if there are a hundred people in the room inevitably 20 people might ask me how I knew about their situation? I don’t, but the content did.

    2. Reply to comments – I visit nearly fifty blogs per week and I won’t leave a comment if I see that the author does not reply to comments. Why have comments even enabled if there is no intention to engage and further a discussion? I see it way to much and I do think it’s rude if someone takes the time to leave a comment, especially if it’s clear someone took the time to read the article, and then there is not even an acknowledgement.

    I really enjoyed the article and I look forward to being a regular follower of your blog now that I’ve found you.

    I hope you have an incredible upcoming week!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Thanks for dropping by Don.

      Yes specificity is a challenge, which I believe stems back to a lack of clarity about their target audience, and how they are trying to help.

      I started out much the same with my own blog – not exactly sure whom I was focused on and what I wanted to help them do. Over time I gain clarity and my content thus became more specific too.

      Thanks again!

      Yaro

  • Hi Yaro,

    Simple works, and I beat the simple drum every freaking week lol….because most bloggers ignore simple, then call me lucky when I show off my island hopping life, then I go and tell them I keep things simple, sticking to the basics, and they’re like, WHAT? ;)

    Love these tips!

    I’ve doubled down to respond to each comment. Comments are content. Each response is content. Here’s the kicker for me; I’m going in-depth. I used to respond with 1 or 2 words. Now I do 2 or 3 paragraphs or more. Or, 1 long paragraph ;) Readers who dig your blog tend to stray to the comments field. What a way to show that you care, right? Publish in-depth responses to comments to add content to your posts and to build a thriving community on your blog.

    People are watching. Impress the pants off of them.

    My readers love when I get specific because it adds order to their minds. Those numbers you note Yaro, they instantly brought order and clarity to my mind. People love order, and clarity, in an inherently chaotic, unclear world. Keep dropping big numbers too; big numbers are like crack to readers. Just make sure the big numbers are legit ;)

    Yaro, thanks for bringing your unique style of clear blogging to the online world!

    Ryan

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