Tag Archives: how to blog

Guest Blogging is the New PR

batman-shirtWhen the Gotham police department wants to get Batman’s attention, they have it easy. Shine the Bat-Signal on the clouds and hope he’s not sleeping it off somewhere. When bloggers want to attract attention, they have to do a bit more work.

Know we all know that guest blogging can help you build traffic to your site, but let’s think a bit outside the box for a second. Many freelancers don’t have enough business to write full time…yet. Some freelancer who ARE full time have steady contract gigs that keep them busy like a regular day job (that would include me as editor of Cheap Today) but who use mad time-management skills and a massive influx of caffeine to keep the off-duty output higher than a kite.
Continue reading Guest Blogging is the New PR

Top Five Ways to Get More Clicks with Hot Headlines & Subheads

You might not consider an investment website like The Motley Fool to be a place to learn how to blog effectively, but think again. Learn by example by taking a good, long look at their great article This Week’s 5 Dumbest Stock Moves. Let’s break it down–why is this piece so excellent? How can you learn from this post? It’s simple, really:

1. An eye-grabbing headline makes you want to read more. Why are these stock moves so dumb? What makes the writer think these companies are wrongheaded and silly? You’ve already got a million questions and you’ve only just read the headline. Brilliant.

2. The use of “Top Ten” and other numbered lists ala David Letterman is a proven winner when it comes to getting your attention quickly.

3. Each entry in the top five gets its own goofy, but still clever subhead. Corny as they often are, you get an idea of what’s to come without duplicating the content in the first paragraph. Well done, Motley Fool!

4. The meat of  the writing under each subhead is easy to understand–OR is explained in layman’s terms to help the uninitiated. ThisFool.com blog post is a very good example of writing clear, concise material for an audience of varying levels of understanding of a complicated topic. The subhead teases you, but the paragraphs themselves give you plenty to chew on without choking on the finer points of investing.

5. The article is chock full of relevant outbound links to help you further understand the piece. Note that some of the most relevant outbound links are very close to those clever subheads. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

Take a lesson from Fool.com and watch interest in your next blog post rise.

Your Blog Sucks: Five Reasons Why

Are you struggling to find an audience for your blog? Do you see a flat line on the chart that’s supposed to indicate your growth? It may sound mean-spirited, but chances are your blog sucks–or the blog in question is missing the boat on some very important issues. Or both.

A lot of bloggers see successful, long-lived sites breaking the following rules and assume they can get away with it too; the key in studying any successful blog is to be mindful of the things that caused the success. Those factors somehow outweigh the broken rules. Can your relatively unknown, traffic-hungry blog afford to break those same rules without sacrificing readers? Here are five reasons why YOUR BLOG SUCKS:

5. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY. Even personal blogs have a point, regardless of how ever-changing it may be. Let’s take a look at the successful Livejournal blog by author Poppy Z. Brite as an example. PZB doesn’t have a book project currently underway and she rarely does signings, talks or tours these days (a bummer on all counts). Yet her blog is continually engaging and interesting to read. She sometimes rambles, gets on the occasional soapbox and posts images of her cats. Sounds like 99% of the personal blogs out there, doesn’t it? Yet PZB always has SOMETHING TO SAY. There is A POINT. Even when just to say, “This is pointless”.

It is painfully obvious to most people when a blog goes up simply to entice people to click affiliate links or to sell a product. Blogs are meant to DISCUSS THINGS. Selling should be considered a pleasant side effect of the success of your blog.

4. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER. Personal bloggers can skip this one, I’m talking directly to writing Continue reading Your Blog Sucks: Five Reasons Why