8 Keys to Blogging Success

social media viewpointsAre you considering starting a blog? Maybe your blog isn’t working for you? Blogging is one of the hottest ways to build business online.

It’s changed considerably from the early days of “dear diary” and “angry conspiracy theorist” blogs. Even Time Magazine has started honoring their “Best Blogs” of the year.

Here are eight questions to ask–keys if you will to blogging success.

#1: Are You Passionate?

In The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott urges would-be bloggers to “be passionate about and want the world to know about” their subject. If you need copy written for a corporate blog and you don’t have a fire in your belly for the subject matter, delegate to or hire someone who does.

Even if your business is extremely traditional, readers expect some degree of humanity. They want to know that these posts aren’t generated by a soulless office drone trapped in a cubicle who also writes for 12 other blogs, and gets confused.

#2: Are You Patient?

The saying “If you build it… they will come” only worked for the Field of Dreams movie. People don’t just migrate to interesting and well-designed blogs. Bloggers have to network, repurpose their content in as many places as possible and comment frequently elsewhere online, such as other people’s blogs and LinkedIn discussion groups. Give people a reason to want to know what you’re talking about.

if you build it they will come.jpg

"If you build it... they will come" doesn't work for blogs!

#3: Are You Clear?

What’s wrong with this?

It’s critical for your blog, as a value-added proposition, to go forward, push the envelope, and sociably grab the low-hanging fruit via a second-to-none, seamless integration. At the end of the day, bloggers must hit the ground running, think outside the box and bring a lot of value to the table for their readers.

Did that mean anything to you? Avoid “business-speak.” It’s a turn-off to potential readers because it’s so overused and vague. Seth Godin created a fun business cliché rating system that’s worth a look.

encyclopedia of business cliches.jpg

Some things are better left unsaid.

#4: Are You Brave?

Saying what you really think can be difficult, even when you’ve thoroughly researched your subject. Having an opinion and being able to share some of yourself as you defend it are crucial to building trust with your audience.

The other part of being brave is dealing with confrontational commenters. If you’re putting yourself out there with an opinion, odds are good that people who disagree will respond.

Responding to these people fairly and gracefully takes mettle and humility sometimes. They might have fascinating points that you didn’t consider.

This has to be done to foster honest and real thought development on a subject. We bounce thoughts and ideas off of one another, and while it’s usually invigorating, sometimes it can be scary!

blogging isnt for chickens.jpg

Blogging isn't for chickens!

#5: Are You Seasoned?

Do you understand your subject matter well enough to discuss it in your own terms? Chefs learn the basics before they go on to create their own mind-blowing recipes. You should too. Beginner’s luck is highly overrated.

Read as much as possible and take classes from the very best resources in your business. As you build a better framework of understanding you’ll be able to offer your readers much more than warmed-up leftovers from somebody else’s blog.

This also builds trust with your audience when you have the integrity to voice your own thoughts instead of ripping off someone else’s. If you love what somebody else is saying on your beloved topic, then please do quote and link, give attribution, celebrate his or her savvy, but don’t quietly copy. Get seasoned and say something of your own.

#6: Are You Helpful?

Via the Third Tribe, Chris Brogan once told me that the heart of good blogging is addressing people’s pain. Most of us are familiar with the saying “People don’t Google aspirin; they Google headache.”

Are you the kind of person who really enjoys helping people? This will be hugely helpful in writing posts that more people want to read.

Social Media Examiner is a phenomenal success story because it reliably publishes detailed posts that help people navigate social media.

Are you eager to help people with the “brain itch” that afflicts them in your subject area? If you want to blog about organic gardening, are you excited about dealing with all the “brain itch” questions that will inevitably come if you’re popular? It’s necessary to WANT to explore these issues as they arise. It will inspire your content.

#7: Are You Organized?

Blogging doesn’t require a spotless desk or a rigid daily schedule, thanks to the ability to schedule posts. Some people write them in advance when they know they’re going to be out of town or busier than usual.

Every successful blogger is organized enough to put something of value out there on a periodic basis and to respond to every person who is gracious enough to comment, whether it’s confrontational or friendly. Decide how often you will write and stick to it so that you can develop trust with your readers.

time management

Can you blog consistently?

#8: Are You Focused?

dartsAre you able to stay focused on that one subject that keeps you up at night because you’re so eager to tell the world about it? Are you able to hold your course when people start asking about everything from technical reviews of the latest gadget to your opinion on experimental Asian cuisine?

It’s tempting to bunny trail off into whatever people are asking about but it’s a dead end because you probably have to generate excitement for those topics and it derails your blog’s purpose.

Stay true to yourself and to the desperate need to share what you know that started your blog. You’re going to need it to power you up to skip TV programs, get up early, stay up late, do what it takes to create and maintain a good blog.

After reading all of these questions, you’ve probably got a lot better sense of whether you’re going to be happy blogging or not.

What do you think about these? Leave your comments in the box below.

All photos from Shutterstock

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About the Author, Lori Randall Stradtman

Lori Randall is an online marketing strategist specializing in social media and WordPress sites. She often asks, "What truth about your brand makes your heart pound? Then work it!" Other posts by »




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  • René Power

    Great post Lori. I can’t endorse points 2 (about driving traffic) and point 7 about sticking to a calendar and a frequency that suits enough. I wrote a little post back in November called Why Writing a Blog is no longer enough when it comes to blogging http://marketingassassin.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/why-writing-a-blog-is-no-longer-enough-when-it-comes-to-blogging/ that might echo your points even more.

    For my sins I signed up to the WordPress postaday this year; 17 days and still going strong.

  • talktherapybiz

    Hi Lori–

    Thanks for the easy-to-understand tips. I think #2 is super important. Blogging is a labor of love, and it takes a long time to establish trust and credibility. I’ve seen some talented people fizzle out within a few months b/c they expected instant success.

    I agree with Rene about consistency. In April 2010 I set to post once a week and have stuck to it ever since. I also post on Wednesdays so it gives me some structure and fire under the seat.

    Even though I joke with my friends that I never engage in “offline reading” anymore, I’ve learned so much from the wealth of info via social media.

    Thanks for the reinforcement,
    ~Linda

  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Lori..Time is what I tell most people about..time is what sets you apart from the crowed..you must be able to use your time wisely to get things done..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

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  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Rene!! Congratulations on your commitment to the blogathon!! :D It’s good to let go of in inner critic and just start writing – even if it isn’t 1000 words long and perfect.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Linda! :D I always tell my clients that at least once a week, same day and time, is a really nice way to build trust and momentum. Well done with keeping your promise to yourself!!

    And yes, I know what you mean about having trouble fitting in “offline reading.” Maybe we should slip off to coffee shops occasionally to see if that helps. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    You just said a mountain of meaning there Black Seo Guy! Don’t you find Social Media can tick away the minutes like nothing else unless you’re got a timer running? I do!

  • http://twitter.com/churchstages Church Stage Ideas

    Great article! staying the course it the number one reason I’ve seen people stop blogging. They don’t get 100 people instantly reading their posts so they get discouraged and stop.

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Blogging, that’s hot. ~Paris Hilton Ok..maybe Im misquoting Miss. Hilton but I love the way you opened the post.. “Blogging is one of the hottest ways to build business online.” .. never quite heard it said that way but I like it :-)

  • http://www.marketingm8.co.uk Peter L Masters MCIM

    To me PASSION is key! Who wants to read boring stuff? No one! Boredom is the reason people are moving away from TV and getting into Social Media. Enjoy and be honest too, people can tell and always write about what you know. I read The Marketing Assassin’s blog (Rene Power post one) and it’s very, very good and that’s why I continue to go back to it! I wrote a Blog article entitled “Facebook groups and Social Media etiquette, who gives a Tweet?” and it was, perhaps, a tad controversial; I considered not publishing it, but I did. Why? Because I was passionate about the subject and that’s what makes good reading! Keep up the good work, I’ve got you guys on my Facebook favourites because you are so good and consistently accurate. Thank you.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for the mention of Seth Godin’s business speak chart. It brought back fond memories of my father, who worked for a major U.S. aerospace and defense contractor back in the 60s. One day he brought home a “buzz word generator” that one of the younger engineers devised.

    It consisted of three columns of engineering and scientific terms, nine words in each column. When one of the more senior staff members (who usually didn’t know his a** from a hole in the ground) was riding the younger engineer’s butt for a useless report, the young engineer would sprinkle artificial buzz phrases throughout the paper.

    To create the phrase, you simply thought of a random three-digit number, let’s say “391.” Then, you take the third word from the first column of words, the ninth word from the second column, and the first word from the third column. String them all together and presto!… a term the senior guy never heard of, but never inquired about because he didn’t want to appear like the younger guy knew more than he did.

    My favorite was “time-phase contingency factor.” Means absolutely nothing but sure sounds good! I still have that folded up piece of paper somewhere in my files.

  • Maschrock

    That you so much for this post! It’s reminded me why I started blogging in the first place :)

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  • http://metaphysicsetcetera.blogspot.com Leigh Harris

    Entertaining post, Lori.

    I particularly like the link to business cliches – I passed this on to my writing group.

    And #6 has good perspective. We don’t blog about the solutions people already know, we blog about the problems they have, and we attempt to provide unique solutions.

    Thanks!

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    #6 Kiiiiiiinnnnnnda speaks to this, but I think #9 should be: “Do you know who the hell you’re talking to?” Because without a clearly defined target audience, you don’t know what to say or how to say it. And you won’t know what they care about, because there is no “they” unless you have a specific ideal reader in mind.

    Thanks for the great post! :)

  • http://www.irisemedia.com iRISEmedia

    All your points above are dead on. But if I had to choose the three most important they would be numbers 1, 5 and 4, in that order. If you are passionate, seasoned (knowledgeable) and brave, the rest falls into place.

  • XeBiis.blogspot.com

    Thank you Nice Post :)

  • http://www.taylorstudios.com Betty Brennan

    Excellent tips. I have blogger block often. Reminding myself about Passion will really help keep me going when I’m struggling. I believe in plowing forward and it will come.

  • http://www.wordtracker.com/academy Ken

    Excellent post Lori. I really appreciate it when people who know what they’re taking about take the time to explain their thoughts clearly and simply. You did that in spades with this post. Good job.

  • http://www.easyonlinevideotips.com Hani Mourra

    Great post Lori. I love the line your statement that “Blogging is one of the hottest ways to build business online” – I totally agree!

    Coming from an online video specialty, I like to add that one of the best ways to showcase your online videos is to post them on your blog.

    Combining online video and blogging creates the ultimate marketing tool for any business. Video adds a third dimension to your blog and engages your readers and increases the time they spend on your blog.

    Cheers,
    Hani

  • Lisa Gorham

    This is a helpful blog post, thanks Lori! It’s hard to pick out one point over another, but #2, #3, and #6 jumped out to me. Thanks for a great post!

  • http://conniemcknight.com Connie McKnight

    I especially liked your point “Are you patient?” This is so on the mark. Just because you built it, doesn’t mean they will come.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Well said! :) That’s why the love of the subject has to drive you. Even if nobody seems to be interested at that moment the satisfaction of getting it out there for future reference can be satisfying. Thanks for responding!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Dino! I was eager to avoid the inevitable legal fees that would ensue from using Ms. Hilton’s trademarked verbiage. LOL! Seriously though, thanks!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Now I’m all intrigued Peter! Who gives a Tweet? I must have a link to this. Thanks for your impassioned reply!! :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    This is brilliant Jeff! We must put together one for “Social Media Speak,” involving meaningless ROI teasers, SEO baloney, and hard sell tactics… Wait a minute. Should I have said that out loud? Somebody might take me seriously. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    So glad!! How long have you been blogging?

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Leigh! Isn’t that link a gem? It’s just so wonderfully entertaining while being seriously informative. Glad to share it!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    I love your point Michael! In marketing especially it’s crucial to know who “your people” are. When I had a boutique it took a little time to figure that out. Started out thinking it would be one group but a whole different crowd took to my shop like groupies and I started going to market to buy gifts just for them to see. We struck a chord together that was really sweet. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Very nice!! This makes a lot of sense. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting!!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Happy to, thanks!! :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Betty! May I suggest silencing your inner critic when you go to write? At least stuff in proverbial earplugs and it can really help. Most of us struggle with trying to make something perfect that’s meant to be less than perfect. After all the fact checking, attribution, and getting the facts right, Blogging’s wonderful because it’s human.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    You are very kind!!! Thank you Ken! Do you blog? If so, where?

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Yes, yes, yes!!! To what you said!! I absolutely love graphics and especially video. Have been doing lots of video tutorials because showing is so much better than telling, right?

    Where do you suggest people host their videos these days? YouTube’s the cool kid on the block, but lots of people seem to be migrating to other hosting services as well.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks for your kind words Lisa!! Are you blogging now?

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Isn’t that the truth Connie! It really helps to comment on other like minded people’s blogs who use either Disqus or CommentLuv. That way you leave a yummy trail of breadcrumbs back to your blog for those who enjoy your comments! And it just builds good community. I love visiting my Social Media blogging friends’ blogs. Who else wants to talk about this stuff? ;)

  • http://twitter.com/EncinoMomcom Lisa Keating

    Tight post, Lori. Thanks!

  • http://www.easyonlinevideotips.com Hani Mourra

    Most definitely Lori! I LOVE creating online videos…especially How-To type videos. I use video to teach about online video and how fun and simple it can be :)

    I am still in favour of hosting most of my videos on YouTube. Those videos seem to get the most exposure, which results in more traffic to my blog since each of my videos contains an active (click-able) link…usually in the first line of the description.

    As of today, YouTube is my number 3 source of traffic (just after Google and Direct traffic). YouTube rewards you for being social as well. The more friends you add and the more comments you leave, the better your YouTube channel will rank within the YouTube search engines.

    Cheers,
    Hani

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Fascinating! Makes sense that they’d reward the same activities that they reward via Google, except that their algorithms are different, which makes it extra cool for SEO.

    Thanks for the inspiration! So far I’ve used it mainly to look up information or to host Social Media tutorials. I’ll be looking for you on there! :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Lisa!! Just trying to tell it like it is. :D

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Great Info Lori..

    I also enjoyed your brave opening statement – Blogging is one of the hottest ways to build business online. We are on fire ;)

    I answered YES to all of these..

    Would also add one Question; Are You Having Fun?

    Cheers.. Are

  • http://felixrelationshipmarketing.com/ Juan Felix

    Hi Lori, 8 points to get us bloggers in shape. Thanks. I’ ll add a number 9

    #9 are you able to write red hot content that everybody wants to read?

    It’s always a challenge to carve and shuffle words to create Sticky posts.
    Hopefully one day I will succeed.
    Juan

  • Devin P Boudreaux

    Great read! I’d write my response but I actually wrote a blog response instead. Feel free to check it out at
    http://devinwriteswords.tumblr.com/

  • http://superbadinternetmarketing.com SuperbadIM

    So many articles talk about the technical aspects of how to succeed – SEO, social media tools, etc. This article really boils down what it really takes to succeed. If you don’t have some combination of the above qualities, it’s gonna be hard to rise to the top. Great article!

  • BefoundonGOOGLE9287422556

    Online branding may be outsourced or executed with inbound effort. In crave for achieving blogging success often people spent enormous time before the computer. Which is not always a necessity.

  • http://elainefogel.net/ Elaine Fogel

    So true about #5, Lori. I’ve read many blogs whose writers say incorrect things or are misleading. Readers who aren’t knowledgeable in the content may accept it as fact. I think it’s perfectly fine when bloggers admit that someone’s comment has enlightened them, or thank others who correct their errors. It’s about being human and genuine.

  • http://internet-marketing-scripts.nikmaya.com/ Free Internet Marketing Sripts

    I think the most important is point number 6. It is very essential for blogge. Help other to get success

  • http://www.marketingm8.co.uk Peter L Masters MCIM

    OK Lori, here it is http://bit.ly/finUHe and I would be very interested in your comments. Someone mentioned that Blog articles should be shorter but why? If you’re into a great subject and the keyboard is rattling happily, why stop the momentum? I’d like to hear what you think about that too please! You might also like ‘Social Media is only Media if you’re NOT Social. Content is just words and pictures without an audience!’ http://bit.ly/eqIKms I look forward to hearing from you Lori, all the best from the UK!

  • http://www.marketingm8.co.uk Peter L Masters MCIM

    Totally agree!!!!!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707158016 Mark Murphy

    Thank you Lori I am a small business owner and am looking into starting a blog. The information here was very helpful. I’m big into podcasting also so I can’t agree more with point #7. I feel that creating and publishing content on a regular basis is one of the key things that some people miss with any social media platform. This is why I’m a little hesitant to start my own blog because I don’t know if I will have time to sit down and right on a regular basis. Thanks again!

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com Andrew @ Blogging Guide

    I totally agree with “If you build it… they will come” not working for blogs. Having and maintaining a blog involves a lot of things that you really need to give your time and energy. This is the reason why if you are not passionate about it, you may tend to give up easily.

  • http://www.charlesstone.net Cmstone

    loved your post

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  • tgg

    Thank you for your advice on successful blogging. I’ve recently started a blog and found out that everything you’ve mentioned was right on target!

  • http://www.hollybaumannphotography.com Holly Baumann Photography

    Mark and others considering starting a blog: All I can say is, I put it off, and off, too…and once I started, I was kicking myself for waiting so long. It makes a HUGE difference to my business as a photographer having a blog. It snowballs. Get going and you won’t regret it!

    Questions: I cannot seem to get people to leave many comments on my blog. Very sporadic. Anyone have thoughts about how to do that? I’ve hit some sort of plateau with readership and commenting that I can’t seem to break through. Thoughts?

  • http://cindyeckhart.com/ Cindystwc

    Thank you for great advice for this new blogger!

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    Holly, the biggest reason why bloggers don’t get comments is simply that
    most people don’t comment. More traffic helps a lot, but aside from that,
    ask yourself: does anyone have a compelling reason to comment? Are you
    creating and giving them reasons to comment? What drives people to comment
    is: fun, an opportunity to help, a feeling of agreement or a feeling of
    disagreement.

    Another important point to keep in mind is that you are not a “pro blogger.”
    You are a business blogger: you’re a business owner engaging in blog
    marketing. Your blog is designed to capture leads and get gigs (or at least,
    it should be). This is far more important than comments. How visible and
    easy is it to hire you? How easy is it for prospects to contact you? These
    goals are far more important than comments. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Love your additional question, Are! A little fun makes everything easier. Or a lot. ;)

  • http://www.sugarpinerealty.blogspot.com/ mikec

    Passionate, Patient, Clear, Brave, Seasoned, Helpful, Organized, Focused. I passed the test! I also like what Michael Martine said about comments. Thx for your post, Lori ;D

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Juan!! I love the way you collect interesting and useful stories and share them via your Social Media Experts Daily! It’s a different kind of content creation, but very useful and growing in popularity.

    It has its place, too, as a different kind of blogging, IMHO. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Devin! I’ll check it out!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Wow!! Thanks Superbad!! (Love your name, btw) I do feel that it’s going to take some combination of these qualities in order to maintain a successful and solid foundation. The technical goodies take second place. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Very true! Daily or at least weekly maintenance goes a long way. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://twitter.com/tpisolutionsink Carrie Grove

    Lori, these are great tips! I’ve been blogging for my business for about six months now, so still getting the hang of it. My goal for this year is to be consistent. I’m constantly reading online and off line and looking for inspiration. Thanks for your encouraging tips!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Elaine!! I agree with you completely. Who wants to converse with a know-it-all who doesn’t require a response? Human and genuine are a lot more appealing.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!! :D

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks!!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    HI Mark!

    Sounds like you have a definite desire to start blogging so may I just suggest that you take the plunge to publish once a week and give yourself permission to do it badly and not have to look like somebody else in your field who’s already successful at it. Lots of creative people find that just allowing themselves to do it badly, horribly even, builds a bridge right over any creative block and that you do end up creating quality content that resonates with people.

    I always start a big project with the stated intention of creating pure garbage. It takes off all the pressure to perform and then I can just write/design for the joy of it. And it comes out better than garbage. ;)

    Give it a try! :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Holly!! Good advice!! I’ve gotten a ton of business via blogging. It’s quite honestly taken my breath away how effective it can be.

    Concerning comments, that’s tough to say without knowing more about your blog dynamics/content and whether you’re driving traffic to your blog via Facebook, Twitter, and other places online.

    But I can say that breaking away from any kind of formula you’ve been using and getting more involved with people helps. Ask them what they’re interested in knowing more about and share your expertise. Comment a lot of other blogs related to your kind of Photography and it will help cue you in to the kinds of things that your kind of readers generally respond to.

    Hope this helps!!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Michael! These are all great considerations!

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting here. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Andrew! You’re so right! Effective blogging is indeed a labor of love. People can sense when there’s genuine feeling behind it.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Charles!! :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    You’re very welcome, Cindy! What kind of blog are you starting?

  • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Justin Germino

    Patience is a huge requirement, you won’t get noticed overnight and it takes weeks or months of constant work before you will likely start seeing fruition from your efforts.

  • Musicbiz

    the Old saying of if you do not promote something terriblw will happen…. NOTHING will always be True !,…Joseph nicoletti consulting/Promotion p.o.box 386 Laguna Beach,California USA ph 949-715-7036

  • Musicbiz

    Sorry about the Type “O”. that word is Terrible !,..Keep your Dream alive Never Stop promotion,..even if you have a Small budget !,.. success never sleeps,.. Joseph Nicoletti consulting/Promotion p.o.box 386 Laguna Beach California 92652 USA ph 949-715-7036 e-mail musicbiz@cox.net

  • Musicbiz

    the Old saying That if you “DO NOT Promote” something Terrible will happen,,… “NOTHING”…… will always be TRUE! no matter what technolgy year or Galaxy…………Nicoletti Consulting/Promotions p.o.box 386 Laguna Bch,CA 92652 USA ph 949-715-7036 e-mail musicbiz@cox.net

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    I really appreciate this information. It is so very easy to become side tracked, especially when you wear multiple hats. I have come to realize that what got me going is what will sustain me. Focus is the name of the game.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Lori, finally a moment – been looking forward to the read. As usual, you’ve delighted with content, you’ve probed with great questions, and the graphics are great! Wonderful job — thanks for providing some additional fuel!! :)

  • http://www.aureliustjin.com Aurelius Tjin

    Well said Lori. Thanks for the Tip. I do agree, these are all the ingreidient to have a succesful blog. While reading these, from one key to another just made me think that # 1 Becoming passionate to what you are doing is really something that we shoulder be considering first. This applies not only to this specific topic but to every endeavors in life. Keep it up and hope to see more blog from you.

  • http://soldiersheartranch.blogspot.com/ Debra LeCompte

    I think I will do well at this, each and every point made in this guide I have been doing just as a part of who I am, and I love the self expression of blogging… connecting through words, whether written, spoken, or signed is the essence of the human experience…

  • http://www.90daystoanewme.com/ 90DaystoaNewMe

    Wow such a great post. Seems simple but often times we can get off into our own lil world and forget our responsibility to our readers and fellow bloggers who follow us. Random, unorganized, unfocused material does nothing more than waste EVERYBODY’S time. Thanks for this…

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    I’m happy you enjoyed it Mike! :) Where do you blog?

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Carrie! Glad to be able to help! :) Twitter has been a huge source for inspiration. Follow interesting people and the rest follows!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    True words, Justin!! Thanks for your read and comment!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks for your read and comment! :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Donald! I love what you have to say about this. Blogging has been the hugest boost to my business. And I’ve been guilty of neglecting it for a day or two sometimes (because it’s fun) in order to work. Silly girl… :) Never neglect the goose that lays the golden eggs!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Oh Wow Keri!!! Thanks!! I’ve loved your writing over at Idea Girl Media. Your wit and depth of research are a winning combination. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thank you Aurelius! I wholeheartedly agree. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Debra! Sounds like you’re on your way! :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Happy to help get you back on your blogging track!! :)

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Aww, thanks! Also appreciate your help and great example! :)

  • Reena

    Thanks for the encouragement, Lori. Sometimes I am discouraged about the amount of time I spend (while walking or doing laundry) trying to figure out good topics for my niche blog. In the long run it’s worth it– provides topics that may interest the readers and keeps me developing new points of view and things to write about.

  • http://www.tvstinks.com TV STiNKS

    Thanks, Lori! I’ve seen #2 to be true for me. I write about something that people have definite opinions about but haven’t been able to generate an audience (www.tvstinks.com). I guess I’ve got to get my message out other ways and I’m grateful for your suggestions and words of wisdom.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks Reena! Sometimes just doing a little research into you topic will spark off all kinds of new ideas/points of view. :)

    Thanks for your feedback!!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi TV STiNKS!

    Cute name!! Sometimes sharing on your Facebook Page (if you have one) can be handy via Networked Blogs if you have a large enough audience. Good luck! :)

  • http://www.annemariecross.com Annemarie Cross

    Great post Lori!! And, being a highly visual person – I loved your graphics too :)

    Point number 3 – Are you clear, is so true!!

    In fact, I’ve recently completed a copy writing course and during the course we were constantly reminded to keep our Flesch Kincaid score to 7.5. Anything higher could mean that your copy would confuse your readers. Keep it clear and simple – keep it to 7.5 or lower.

    Thanks again for the great reminders Lori!!

  • Jocelyn Wing

    Thanks Lori for asking those 8 questions. It made it clearer to my mind about the topic I wanted to keep on writing about.

  • Jenn

    It’s amazing you reply to everyone. I also do the same but sometimes I don’t like to reply anymore because some readers of my blog act as if they’re my long time friend. For example, I post about a book I love. One’s immediate reply? “Let me borrow please!!”

    How do you deal with this kind of people?

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    So glad you enjoyed this Annemarie!! And Congratulations on completing your copywriting course!!

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    So glad, Jocelyn. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Hi Jenn! Thanks! :) You must actually be very engaging indeed if your readers feel like you’re a long time friend. That’s awesome!!! Concerning the book borrowing or off topic sorts of remarks, just keep it light.

  • http://hindiakoto.wordpress.com Jenn

    By the way, this site is awesome. It has a lot of useful articles. And the theme is lovely. :)

  • http://samsunmonu.wordpress.com Samuel Sunmonu

    This is a great list! Although right now I am blogging for personal reasons, many of these ideas still apply. The one thing I’m trying to do more of is be more “helpful”. A good laugh or an interesting story is nice, but useful content keeps readers coming back for more.

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  • http://thierry.andriamirado.netsika.net/ Thierry Andriamirado

    Absolutely! Here in #Madagascar I allways say that a website/blog is an important but ‘just’ a central item in an overall System formed with other Social +Medias+. #2 is so important, talking about web 2.0 / Marketing.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Thanks!! Social Media Examiner’s done a terrific job with their branding. :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    I agree Samuel! Glad you’re having fun with it!! :D

  • http://agreetodisagree.me Ryan Mason

    Fantastic post, Lori! I used your 8 keys in my last presentation to our associates who are all learning how to blog and use social media to nurture and create business online. They all were quite receptive to it, as well. Thanks for your insight.

  • Lisa Gorham

    HI Lori,

    I manage the Jean Peterson Design blog http://www.jpdadchat.com/ (the graphic design company I work for). Additionally I have my personal blog, http://www.thatwineismine.co/ that I have fun with. I find that one can never read enough on social media! Thanks for the great posts.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Wow!!! Thanks Ryan!! So glad to be able to help. :)

  • http://www.mobilecubix.com iPhone Application Developer

    If someone used all these techniques in own blog and it’s not achieved that goal then what he do?

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  • http://www.joomlaconvert.com Frank M

    Patience is key to setting up a successful blog. thanx for the tips.

  • http://odtaa.co.uk/ Paul Odtaa

    There can be one of three problems

    Not patient enough – though your traffic numbers should be increasing gradually at the very least.
    If the traffic is flat then there is another problem.

    The second, is that you need to promote – this is the problem for most new bloggers is that they don’t promote enough – leaving good comments, submitting to free article directories, guest posts etc.

    The third area to look at is the content. Think – why would someone want to read my posts? Why would they come back? What’s in it for them to subscribe to my posts or newsletter?

    It’s tough moving from just being a blogger to being a blogger with traffic – but it’s worthwhile when you succeed.

    I’ve seen so many blog die at the stage when they are just about to take off.

    Good luck

  • http://www.mobilecubix.com iPhone Application Developer

    Many blogger told me that write a good content but first research the consumer mind then write,otherwise you lose your consumer.It’s right Paul

  • http://odtaa.co.uk/ Paul Odtaa

    You’re absolutely right. Knowing your consumer is very important and writing in the language and style of that consumer.

    The other thing is that if you want to keep that consumer is at the end of each post you should have a call to action – in most cases that’s encouraging them to comment and to supply links to other related posts on your site.

    I even uses link outside my site as that shows confidence and I believe it helps search engines such as Google rate the page higher.

  • http://www.theextremegym.com Fitness Franchising

    I must say blogging for personal use is one thing but for business purposes, branding, revalent content and contextual backlinks is essential to your blogging success.

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    David, you said a mouthful! Thanks for reading and commenting here! :)

  • http://agreetodisagree.me Ryan Mason

    Just in case you’re curious, here’s the video of my (edited) presentation I gave on your blog post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc3AllxnKUg Thanks again for your solid insight.

  • http://twitter.com/qarchive_org QArchive.org

    I like every post of SocialMediaExaminer.com!
    Trying to promote our blog http://www.qarchive.org/lab/ in connection with our FB fanpage, I collect the gold thoughts from your web site. By the way, because I have to read tons of information I use the annotation service http://www.diigo.com. Try this one. And for promotion as well ;) .

  • http://asdfhost.com blog

    I like this blog.It is very informative for me and I’ll share it with my friends.
    Thanks fro sharing this information.

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  • Gdlloyd

    Very good post about the effective use of blogs as I have recently started my own talking about what I am passionate in with social media being one of them. http://glloyd75.wordpress.com/

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  • http://dylmiel.tumblr.com Miel B. Abong

    This was tremendously helpful! Thank you for writing such an informative article :)
    Prior to my current blog, I ran a strictly fashion blog. Although I loved fashion, it still wasn’t enough for me. So I ditched the old and came up with http://dylmiel.tumblr.com where I’m free to write anything I want under art and lifestyle. I thought I made a mistake because the original blog already had a strong following, but even though I’m just getting started with the new one, it seems more worth it because it’s something I go to sleep dreaming about each night. Again, thanks for writing this! It really affirms all my efforts and surely enough it keeps my hopes up that my blog will work out just fine if I keep at it with a passion :)

  • http://www.social-media-design.com/ Lori Randall Stradtman

    Love your enthusiasm!! :)

  • Brendan Carr

    “People don’t Google aspirin; they Google headache.”
    i didn’t know anything about this, but it does make sense. 

    i’ve been looking at some of the blogs who’ve commented on your blog 8 months ago from now, they’ve seem to come a long way!!

    thanks for your help, i guess it about the need… 

  • http://www.tipsinablog.com Daniel

    Great article,  Lori.

    You pretty much summed up all the qualities needed for a blog(site) to become successful.

    The hard part is putting it all into practice,  especially when large scale hurdles appear.

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  • Anne

    Great post!  Passion and sticking to that one area of passion are so important in building a reliable blog and a fan base that will trust you.  In the area of a “brain itch” it can be helpful to find what questions others are looking up and can’t find on Google, and then answer it in a blog post.  For example, while examining the analytics from my blog (http://www.annestravels.net/), I noticed that someone was looking for “What four states can you see from the top of Bear Butte?”  I looked it up on Google, and no one seemed to answer that question, but plenty of people were asking it.  So I posted the answer. It’s a good way to satisfy people as well as get them onto your blog.

  • Anne

    Great post!  Passion and sticking to that one area of passion are so important in building a reliable blog and a fan base that will trust you.  In the area of a “brain itch” it can be helpful to find what questions others are looking up and can’t find on Google, and then answer it in a blog post.  For example, while examining the analytics from my blog (http://www.annestravels.net/), I noticed that someone was looking for “What four states can you see from the top of Bear Butte?”  I looked it up on Google, and no one seemed to answer that question, but plenty of people were asking it.  So I posted the answer. It’s a good way to satisfy people as well as get them onto your blog.

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  • http://www.mobilityaidsdirect.co.uk/ Tim Carr

    Writing is a skill in itself. Listening to feedback from readers on your writing can help you improve your results drastically.

  • http://twitter.com/CashFlowsToo CashFlowsToo.com

    I love your thought process.  You help focus my thoughts. I know many others have passionate blogs success desires.  You have simplified the process.  The key of passion is essential to the success of the blog.  But the idea of being helpful, organized, and focused are fundamental.  The one thing I add is be obsessive.  Difference between passion and obsession is the difference between a fan and a player.  

    The love is apparent when fans have season tickets, to the game.  They wear the uniform of their favorite player.  They watch the games when they can’t attend. They name their children after their favorite player.  They know the team will win even when they lost the fist 15 straight games of the season.  

    The obsession is clear when you are signed to the team in the first round.  You become the first rookie to be the player of the week in your first game.  Obsession shows when you hit a grand slam in your first at bat.  Obsession shows when you loose in the championship an then come back the next year and say “I learned more in that loss than in any win”.

    Obsession allows you to work pass the pain that your passion helped to create.  Obsession allows you to clarify your thought, and focus with and organized approach to your clearly defined desires. To me passion helps your succeed.  Obsession helps you become legendary.

  • Skylarkcob

    Thanks for your post. It’s very useful with me.

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