The 10 commandments of successful bloggers

The blogosphere is changing fast. Many blogs have turned into powerful media thanks to brands’ attention, loyal readers and new web designs. Most importantly, bloggers have discovered new ways to approach their audience and smartly compete for attention. They do most of the 10 things that follow to succeed.

Do not write only by inspiration. You risk writing about something no one cares about. Ask yourself if your story can help anyone, is entertaining or has universal emotions or values other people can see themselves reflected in.

Do not publish without carefully reviewing your post. I know you want to see the traffic growing asap, but reviewing everything after 24 hours can make your post much better.

Don’t be shy at changing the order of paragraphs or try a whole new approach to your topic if when you wake up and read again what last night seemed a piece of art does not feel good enough today.

Pay special attention to the first lines of your post, those that you will not be able to change once you hit “publish”:

  • Is there any hidden mispelling?
  • Are they real attention grabbers?
  • Do they convey what your post is about?

Once your post goes live there is no going back for these as Facebook and other social networks pull them to build a snippet.

Add good quality pictures. There is a ton that you can use for free in different sites. I come back to this article very often to select mine, it has a lot of free websites that offer beautiful pictures that can play well for my topic. As always, make sure you give proper credit.

Include a picture in the body of your post. 650 inches wide at least, so social networks have more visual options when pulling your snippet. They could ignore your featured image.

Structure you post with paragraphs that are not too long, bullet points, bold fonts. This helps the reading and search engines seem to value your efforts for making things easier to digest. Eventually they may include you in a knowledge graph, which guarantees top ranking.

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Do your SEO: Review keywords in title, url, first paragraph. Your best keyterm, the one you think is the reason why people would look for your post in a search engine, is it in all theses places (title, url, first paragraph)? The SEO by Yoast plugin offers a simple verification process.

Include hyperlinks in your body copy, not just a trail at the end. Read 8 tactics for good SEO.

Preview in your cell phone to check if the post performs well in mobile. Sometimes, pictures get stuck together in a weird way or texts are not well aligned when you check in your phone, even if you are using a responsive design.

Follow the principle of mobile first. If you are not mobile optimized by now, do it asap.

Find your niche. Among all your content there are some pieces that really drive the visits to your blog. Is it the topic? Is it the type of content (photos, for instance)? Pay attention to what is successful and you will find what your audience really wants.

Look at natural search: What made people who were searching in the web click on your post? If your title is great, take a look at how many seconds visitors stay on the article when they click on it and improve the content if necessary to deliver on expectations.

Schedule your promos. Your ultimate goal is to share your great content. Be consistent at scheduling promotions of your posts and write good teases that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Be consistent. Keep a topics calendar, make posting a routine and be consistent with your posting schedule. Do not post one month every week and never post again until 3 months passed and you felt “inspired” again. Some people recommend to post at least once a month so you don’t damage your traffic and lose followers.

Let´s summarize:

  1. Write with a purpose
  2. Proofread
  3. Review the first lines
  4. Add good pictures
  5. Format your post for easy reading
  6. Do your SEO
  7. Preview in mobile
  8. Find your niche
  9. Schedule promos
  10. Be consistent

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Clarisse Céspedes

Journalist and Content Strategist. SEO, sponsorships and video. Follow me on Facebook and @ClarisseCespede.

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