I’ve met many writers in my life. Some have incredible writing skills; their grammar and spelling are impeccable. Their creativity was remarkable. Many are successful business owners and senior officers in corporations. The same is true for many business owners I know. Their English speaking, writing, grammar and spelling skills are far superior to mine, and in many cases, they’re very creative and disciplined. Yet both of these groups of talented people often have less-than-stellar writing success when it comes to blogging.
What is the magic formula that separates a successful blogger from those who tried and failed?
Why have some people had short-term success and then their results plummeted?
|Courtesy of Google|
If you’re looking for the magic formula for blogging success, you’ve found it. Ok, magic is a little bit of hyperbole, so I won’t portray it as magic. However, this formula produces impressive results if you follow the entire process, without trying to cherry pick its components. So read on and take notes as we as we explore how commitment can succeed when talent fails, in this article by Working the Web to Win.
So what is commitment?
Commitment is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as: “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; specially: an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date…”
At Working the Web to Win, we think of it as, “D.W.I.T.,” for Do Whatever It Takes. We believe doing whatever it takes consists of 12 very important Elements of Commitment. Together, they provide a system based on principles that always produce greater results when used together than when they’re cherry picked and used individually. We believe these 12 elements create a synergy, which makes for powerful results. Results don’t just happen; they’re forged into existence because their synergy exceeds the sum of their parts.
– Practice improves performance. Be willing to write articles and publish them to online magazines
. This will force you to improve your skills and to focus on a particular subject. The best athletes, writers, musicians and professionals in any industry all practice their craft regularly. It’s great to have talent, but practice makes talent even better. Plus in the blogging world, this practice can be published!
– Consistency helps build your habits and grow an audience. Regularity helps improve
practice as well as your skill level. There’s no substitute for consistent, regular and methodical practice, because in writing, it becomes your finished work. In this instance, your practice evolves into your finished work that you publish on your blog or submit to an ezine. Plus, regularity allows you to grow your audience. Without consistently producing quality, authoritative content that interests readers, no audience will ever grow. Consistency builds confidence and trust that you will be there. Make sure you publish at the “same time and same place”, with more, useful and quality content that followers are interested in.
|Courtesy of |Persistence
– Perseverance, stick-to-it-ness, not giving up, whatever you want to call it ? in and of itself ? means you haven’t failed. Many blog authors fail because they’re inconsistent, which yields poor results. Poor results due to an inconsistent publishing schedule leads to discouragement, which often leads to quitting altogether. Again, if you stop blogging, or are inconsistent in any way, you’ll produce a mediocre following at best. At worst, you will lose your audience altogether. So even if you stopped or missed a week, get back in there and write something. Find a subject you’re passionate about and post an article that will inspire you to keep going.
– You must test and measure. You have to measure who is following you, who is sharing, what articles did well, and which ones did poorly. Track page views religiously; you’ll learn a lot from doing so.
Don’t Go it Alone – Get a blogging buddy, find a good editor, read what other successful bloggers are doing. Read what’s current in your industry, research what’s trending, writing down and outline your ideas, and ask others what they’re looking for. In the writing world, like in most others, two heads are better than one. Three Heads (yours, a blogging buddy and editor) are best.
Use the Best Tools
– If you’re using an old version of MS Word orWordPerfect
, get the newest one. Don’t be cheap. Invest in the pro versions of Ginger
. The pro version of Ginger will even read the article aloud, making it much easier to catch certain type of grammatical mistakes. Also, there are models you can follow. Ezines articles online provides a full course on article writing. They even offer a set of article templates an author can use to structure their ideas, focus their efforts, and improve their overall professionalism. Many writers I know also use reference books and websites such as the Associated Press Stylebook
Be Willing to Share
is a community. If you blog, acting as if you’re the only blogger on the planet will yield minimal success. There are probably thousands of writers that share your passion for the subjects you care about. Read and share their articles. Share them at the end of your blog. Better yet, create links to their articles inside your content. This act of sharing gets noticed and often leads to the reciprocity of sharing your content as well.
Tricks of the Trade
– You have to learn them. These include how to create catchy titles, adding surprise to your articles, adding humor when appropriate, using subheadings and pull quotes to grab attention. Learn how to write both evergreen and seasonal articles, along with articles that are designed to piggyback on trends. And don’t forget the importance of adding multimedia elements such as pictures, videos and podcasts. A good article can be greatly enhanced by adding visual or auditory elements. These hold readers’ attention longer and encourage people to continue reading your article. Also, don’t forget to learn how to write articles of different lengths. This skill will help you fill different niches and needs as well.
Give Others Their Due
– Never plagiarize someone else’s work. Always give others their due in your blog and on your social nets. Even with photo credits. If you scratch other influential authors’ backs, they’ll reciprocate (as long as your finished product is adding value as well). Breaking this law will have real consequences. Plus in many cases it’s illegal and could initiate a lawsuit.
Be Willing to Recycleagain. I’m not saying to publish it every day, back-to-back over and over again, until you have exhausted its value. I’m saying that you can post an article to your social nets several times, especially if you spread out the time and dates that you choose for the recycled post.
– Once an article is published, don’t be afraid to post it to your social nets
An example would be to post it in the morning around 8:30 when the early readers start their day, and then again at 9:45 at night, when the late readers often check their posts after they’ve put the kids to bed. My rule is to not post the same article more than twice in one week; and then not again until 60 days have passed before it’s recycled. I wrote a whole article on how and when to post. We’ve researched and tested this posting formula extensively. In fact, our blog’s page views now total over 110,000 and our monthly average is over 15,600. Here’s the article that includes a whole section on how to implement our posting formula that is guaranteed to triple you page views in 60 days or less
Be Humble and Appreciate Your Audience – I write with the belief that it’s a privilege to publish my work. I know we have freedom of speech in the U.S. (at least for now) and that anyone can publish a blog on the Internet for absolutely free. They can say anything they want, in any way they want. For me, I try very hard to communicate my ideas, thoughts and beliefs in the easiest way possible. I don’t try to show off by using big words or claim expert authority as if I were some celebrity blogger. As a matter of fact, I’m always amazed and humbled by the readership we’ve amassed. I avoid profanity, racial slurs, salacious language and hate speech, not because it’s against the rules, but because it’s shows one has little or no decorum. I never forget that my audience determines the value of my writing. Many people write to soothe an itch they have. I write to leave a legacy of what I have learned in my short life. I write to help others learn from my mistakes and my success. In essence, I use my writing to teach others what I have gleaned from living on this planet for 60 years.
Never be Afraid to Return to Square One
– If what you’re trying to write is a blog and it doesn’t seem to be working, or if your blog is all over the place? Perhaps it’s time to stop and re-think your whole idea. For me, my square one starts with outlining and asking the six “reporter” questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? And Why? I go back through my outline and answer these questions before moving on. I try to keep my blogs coherent by choosing the top elements relevant to the subject at hand. I’ve learned that there are key numbers in writing. Especially if you write articles that contain lists. List articles contain verbiage such as “the three most important things…” or “the seven best items…” or “the 12 rules that always… ” etc. You get the idea. Confining my ideas to a list helps me with my outline. It also helps with layout, bullet points, subheads, pull quotes, multimedia elements and a whole lot more. Sometimes starting over is the best way to ensure the quality of your work bearing in mind that your audience always wants quality work!