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5 Tips for Getting More From Your Blog

notebooksIn a further continuation of my series of quick social media tips (check out 5 Tips for Getting More from LinkedIn, 5 Tips for Getting More from Facebook, and 5 tips for Getting More from Twitter), I’m returning to my old pal the blog.

Seems like blogs have kind of made it into the main and don’t get talked about as hot social media plays, but in my mind, a web hub of education based information, easily created and housed on a blog, is the ultimate social media foundation element and probably the key to success when you engage prospects in other social media platforms.

1) Read, follow and listen - you probably won’t get much in the way of results from blogging until you know what and how to write. The best way to do that, and by the way something I’ve done and continue to do daily, is read lots of blogs, follow lots of people who point out interesting reads and listen using RSS, bookmarking sites like delicious, and every question your prospects and customers voice. Use an RSS reader such as Google Reader to make it very easy to listen to lots of content and then get a little notebook and carry with you at all times so you can jot down every question customers and prospects ask.

2) Write what people search – If you’re one of those folks who’s resisted blogging because you don’t think anyone would read your blog, don’t worry, they probably won’t. Most blogs aren’t read like a magazine, or like you might view it, they are found. In other words post the answers to the questions, problems, and challenges that you know your market is asking and seeking and your blog content will become the single greatest online lead generation tool in your mix. Discover the exact phrases people in your market are using when they search and write valuable content around that and people will find your blog before they know your competitors exist.

3) Ask for participation – Blogging is one of the first ways to build an engaged community. People talk about building community on twitter and other social sites, but few things can compare to the engagement that can surround healthy debates, reader generated content and suggestions in blog comments. Write your blog posts in ways that invite people to comment, ask for their ideas, and even ask them to give their opinions. Often, some of my points are amplified and made better through the comment stream that can surround them. Over time, you will build community participation and you may find that blogging is more fun when it becomes a conversation.

4) Engage your comment community – When people take the time to offer thoughtful comments take the time to respond when appropriate. If a debate is in order it’s okay to start one. Visit the sites of your comment community and engage in their writing. Link to their content in your blog posts and on twitter. You might also find that using comment enhancing plugins such as Disqus – the commenting system I use or Top Commentators, which shows a list of the people who comment the most, can make your comment community more active. (I wrote a post long ago called 7 ways to get more blog comments that you might also find useful)

5) Amplify your message – one obvious way to get more exposure for your blog is to post links to twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with each new post and, as long as that’s not all you do, this can be an effective traffic strategy, however, another great way to amplify and broaden the exposure for your blog is to guest blog. Many, sometimes high traffic, blogs welcome well-written content from guests. Look for blogs that should have your same type of reader and offer samples of your writing. Be sure that your posts will receive a byline and link back to your blog and then also promote the heck out your guest appearance.

Image credit: Dvortygirl

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  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

    I think that engaging with your community (visiting commentators blogs, getting to know them, supporting them, responding to comments, etc.) is one of the best things that you can do to build a bigger/better community!

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      Amen Ricardo and it's certainly something I could do a better job with too.

      • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

        Hehe… We all could I suppose. But it's hard to when you grow and contribute content in many other ways (your newsletter, your book, etc.). You do well and providing so much more to your community so there ya go :-)

  • http://twitter.com/RevelnConsults RevelnConsulting

    Great tips, shared!

  • deborahrichmond

    I watch my blog stats for the phrases that people are using to find me. This way I find out what people are searching for that brought them to me and now I will write more posts that further flesh out that area of my blog.

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      Debra – great advice but sometimes it's also helpful to use some outside research to find the phrases people are using and not finding you – people search for stuff using terms we may not even consider.

  • websuccessdiva

    Such a great tip, about blogs being found and writing with keywords. People confuse how audiences find and read blogs, this tip is the most important for all bloggers (from small businesses to service professionals) that can make or break the effectiveness of their blog …. (besides valuable content of course) :-)

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      So true, everyone online has read a blog at some point whether they know it or not.

  • http://GotFreeBusinessCards.com/ steve

    I have been searching out good Google terms every time I begin a post lately to boost traffic. I have seen some positive results.

  • http://www.delanceydesign.com/ Jane_DeLancey

    #2….great advice and can be used in places other than blogs. Moral of the day: make it easy to find you!

  • phollows

    Don't forget to boost circulation by adding alternate subscription options such as email via FeedBlitz or FeedBurner.

  • paulwaltz

    Hey John this is a really useful article. Would you mind if I post a link to it on my blog?

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      Go for it

      John Jantsch
      Sent from my Duct Tape phone

  • http://www.brand5.com Mark Faggiano

    Good stuff. Point #2 is dead on. It's all about casting as wide of a content net as possible. The more ways (pages) you can create to help people find you, the better. A blog is the perfect way to cast a wide, but relevant, net.

  • http://www.astramatch.com/blog pemo

    Great post, love yr blog toolbar below. Would love where to get it? Thanks Pemo Theodore, AstraMatch Blog

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      The toolbar is from WIYBIYA

  • Robin_Dickinson

    Instant value from these “DUCT TIPS”, John.

    I'm off to implement them, immediately. Can't believe what I've been missing out on.

    I really appreciate how you cut to the chase with your expertise. Grab-and-go value is so useful.

    Best, Robin

  • Avedillo

    These tips are great especially for those newbies like me who wants to use blogging as their main marketing strategy. Your tip #2 clearly says it all. If you're going to write a post, try connecting it with current hot topics (like Economy is like 9/11.. etc). Also, this is where SEO tagging comes in.

    Let me just add the tip I have found from Cheryl Clausen's post “Your Potential Buyers Want to be Heard”, she said that we also should take note of time we can invest in this kind of strategy.

    Thanks for the post!

  • http://www.clarkstonlegal.com/ Timothy Flynn

    John: As an active blogger juggling 4 lawblogs, i found this post to be right on the money; great job.

  • http://www.VickieSmith.com Vickie Smith-Siculiano, PMP

    Love the post – especially #1, read follow and listen. How can you know what people will want to hear unless you know what they're listening to? It's like getting on stage – your set has to be chock full of enjoyable/useful content – only in stage, people have to come to your show. With a blog, people can tune in MUCH more easily, but also tune you OUT just the same. (Sorry, it's the former jazz vocalist in me) – you are awesome – thanks for the tips! Off to tweet, now.

  • mas1916

    It is amazing how many really strange phrases people will use to reach out to you! Every time I think I have a cool 'catch phrase,' no one searches for it – even though the analytics tools say that many people do.

    I think another key is just a good bit of fairly diverse content. That way when folks search for odd things, you have a better chance of appearing.

    http://seoconsultantsdenver.thewebinfocenter.com

  • http://twitter.com/Khetani Ashok khetani

    Yeah ! You also could do a better job too to build a better community.
    http://www.adventuretravelguides.us/resources.html

  • http://www.wrightplacetv.com/ Dr Wright

    great idea, writing about what people are searching about or what is trending makes your blog attractive.
    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

  • http://twitter.com/virtualvip Jeff Yablon

    EXCELLENT article. And it hits all the bases.

    Of course, the real story, HOWEVER you do it, is to KEEEP DOING IT.

    Jeff Yablon
    President & CEO
    Virtual VIP Computer Care, Business Coaching and Virtual Assistant Services

  • http://www.marketyourstartup.com/ Maeva

    Hello John,
    Thank you for this very informative and interesting post. I liked how you underline the importance of finding “the exact phrases” your audience search for. At Market Your Startup we believe that key words research is a very important tool to use in Social Media Marketing.
    Thanks again for this post.

  • http://twitter.com/tgruber Tamara Gruber

    So great to see you calling attention to the link between SEO and blogging. Let's face it, not many people subscribe to small business blogs unless they are engaged customers. (maybe I'm wrong, happy to hear differently) BUT, your content will be found if you are relevant and using the right keywords. Who knows, you might even hook them enough to get them to subscribe. I've read posts about how much time you should spend on a writing a perfect headline and I think this is a point often overlooked. I will also say that it can be discouraging as a reader to post comments with a specific question/comment that is just begging for a response and to not see one. If you can take the time to write a blog, take the time to read what people think about it. Ok?

  • nickejilah

    Seeing good relevant blogs and commenting on those can be of good use to you and your website.

    http://www.shopzipcode.com/

  • teamtherisetothetop

    Great tips for improving your blog, I know it can be scary at first but people are always looking to blogs for information about random things so if you think you have something to contribute to the conversation then why not start a blog of your own and use these tips to amp your readership.

  • http://free-and-rich.blogspot.com/ stephen

    These are wonderful tips on getting the best from your blog.
    All the points mentioned will enable you to build trust and respect with your blog. endeavour to repackage existing ideas too. Thank you
    http://free-and-rich.blogspot.com

  • martintobias

    this is all blog 101. what is new here?

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Why does there have to be anything new – are you doing any of this?

  • rgoldstein

    John,
    Do you have any favorite methods for figuring out what people are searching for RIGHT NOW? I know trending topics on twitter is one good way, but what's another good way to find trending topics in the blogosphere? Particularly those that are specific to an industry or topic. I've referred some clients to Technorati to do this research, but so far they find it too confusing.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    I like http://regator.com/ and they also have an iPhone app

  • http://www.ben-lang.com/ Ben Lang

    Great tips thanks!

  • http://www.inin.com/productsolutions/pages/interaction-dialer.aspx Predictive dialer

    Blogging is one of the first ways to build an engaged community.

  • http://www.inin.com/productsolutions/pages/interaction-dialer.aspx Predictive dialer

    Blogging is one of the first ways to build an engaged community.

  • http://www.inin.com/productsolutions/pages/interaction-dialer.aspx Predictive dialer

    one obvious way to get more exposure for your blog is to post links to twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with each new post and, as long as that’s not all you do, this can be an effective traffic strategy, however, another great way to amplify and broaden the exposure for your blog is to guest blog.

  • teickohuber

    Great post. It is wonderful to see how you consistently provide high value information for entrepreneurs.
    I hope to see you write more about how businesses execute blogging as a lead gen appraoach

  • donnasweat

    Thanks for the info,always good to know something new.

  • mas1916

    I never would have believed some of the odd ways people have found my blog content. Occasionally, a search on an obscure phrase used within the body of a blog post is what brings a new viewer to the site.

    So… writing lots of useful content only increases your chances of attracting new viewers.

    MAS
    http://seoconsultantsdenver.thewebinfocenter.co

  • http://www.cnshoes007.com/ nike air force 1

    thank you for telling me the tip about the blog.

  • http://www.cnshoes007.com/ nike air force 1

    This way I find out what people are searching for that brought them to me and now I will write more posts that further flesh out that area of my blog.

  • http://www.cheapclothesshop.com/ cheapclothesshop

    Amen Ricardo and it's certainly something I could do a better job with too.
    ed hardy

  • azy

    Great Tips . Will be really useful for a blogging newbie like me :). Thanks again .

  • jasoncott

    We've recently begun our own blog, and of course are working to find out own blog voice, and which topics to write about. Our focus is on the extrusion and die cast industry, and we're working to strike a balance between industry-specific and general advice in business and management.

    I would certainly appreciate your thoughts on how to do this.

  • andeesellman

    Great points as always.
    I really like the point about engaging with your commenters.
    All of us who have a blog enjoy getting comments but obviously to attract more we need to engage in the comments

  • http://wgcommunities.com/blog Roy Peter

    Great marketing ways to earn money through blog. Thanks a lot. Roy Peter – Internet Marketing

  • bobtracz

    Write what people search… start all posts based around keyword searches that are important to your readers. No problem, no audience. cheers

  • bobtracz

    Write what people search… start all posts based around keyword searches that are important to your readers. No problem, no audience. cheers