26 Essentials for Blogging Success: What You Need to Know

social media how toDo you want to be a more successful blogger?

Are you keeping up with the newest developments in blogging?

Whether you are new to blogging or you have been blogging for years, you will find insight in this article.

It covers 26 blogging essentials, in an A–Z tour of the blogosphere.

Each one has a full explanation, along with a link to further reading in case you want to know more.

Note: For simplicity’s sake, I assume you’re using WordPress as your blogging platform. Many of these essentials, though, apply to other blogging platforms as well.

#1: Akismet: Anti-Spam Plugin

One problem that every blog faces is spam. Shady Internet marketers will attempt to promote their products through spam comments and trackbacks, which create a poor impression for your readers. (Imagine seeing a building covered in graffiti and scrappy posters: it wouldn’t give you much confidence in the company that owns the building.)

Some hapless bloggers spend hours every month deleting a never-ending stream of spam. But Akismet, a powerful anti-spam plugin, will do all the hard work for you. By stopping spam comments and trackbacks, Akismet ensures that your blog comments section always looks attractive and welcoming to readers. As they explain:

Akismet monitors millions of blogs and forums, watching the methods and tricks used by spammers in real time. We know all about their spambots, comment factories, buffer sites and social engineering tricks.

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Blogging Success: How to Create Content People Love

Do you want to drive more traffic to your website?

Would you like to create content that people would go crazy for?

To learn the secrets of attention-grabbing blog posts that generate traffic, I interview Michael Hyatt for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael StelznerThe Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and the host of the This Is Your Life podcast.

Michael shares his experiences as a successful blogger and content creator.

You’ll learn why headlines and photos are the most attention-grabbing aspects of your articles.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

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7 Effortless Ways to Find New Ideas for Your Blog

social media how toAre you struggling to come up with articles for your blog?

Are you looking for ways to generate new content ideas?

To keep your blog audience engaged, you need to continually generate new content.

In this article I’ll show you 7 easy ways to help you find new and interesting content ideas for your business blog.

#1: Look Into Bottlenose

Bottlenose provides live social intelligence for you by analyzing activity across all of the major social networks. It allows you to “surf the stream” and discover what’s trending in social media in real time.

To discover what’s popular right now on the various social networks, use the free Bottlenose Search.

Here’s how:

  1. Open Bottlenose Search.
  2. Type your topic directly into the search bar OR select a popular topic from the list that’s provided.

    bottlenose search

    Bottlenose searches for real-time mentions of your topic in social media.

  1. The Now tab will show Top Trending Links, Trending Topics, Recent Comments and Recent Images. The articles you discover through these links can serve as inspiration for topic ideas for your own blog content.

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How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

social media how toIs your blog slow?

Do you want to improve the experience for readers?

In this world of instant gratification, speed of content delivery really can impact your business.

Keep reading to discover ways to increase the speed of your website.

Why Website Speed Is Important

First impressions matter.

One way to see how fast your website is loading is to use Pingdom.

speed test

With Pingdom, you identify what areas of a web page are fast, slow or too big, what best practices you're not following and so on.

When new visitors come to your site, the first thing they notice is the load speed and then the design.

Even if you have a fantastic website, if your page doesn’t load fast enough, visitors might leave before they see your website design.

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21 Business Blogging Tips From the Pros

social media how toDo you blog for your business?

Are you looking for exciting tips to streamline your blogging experience?

If so, keep reading.

We spoke with 21 top experts to find the hottest business blogging tips you need to know today.

Here they are…

#1: Treat Each of Your Articles as a Product

sme contributor leo widrich

Leo Widrich

Here is a tip that completely changed my blogging game recently. A friend sent me an email, stating that the quality of the posts on our Buffer blog was declining—and yes, she was right!

Since then, the whole team sat down and rethought our blogging strategy from scratch. What we came up with is something very simple, yet extremely powerful: Treat each of your articles as a product.

Since we started to do this, our traffic and our comments are going through the roof, and our overall feeling of happiness is too. Here are some of the points we derived from this:

  • A product is only useful if you know others want it. Validate an idea for a blog post in the same way. For example, before posting an article, we tweeted a question about whether anyone was interested in learning more about multitasking. The outcome? They sure were, and the post was a big hit.
  • A product is something that people would potentially pay for. Would they also pay for your articles? Simply starting to think, “Would anyone pay for reading this?“, immediately changed the quality. We started to add research on topics instead of just opinions, many more examples and in-depth coverage. That’s the only way we could provide value that someone might pay for (even though we don’t charge for it).
  • A product needs continual iteration. So does a blog post. Hit Publish, even if you have grammar mistakes, formatting errors and so forth. You can correct these things along the way. We had also neglected to reply to comments, which triggered less overall engagement such as tweets and shares. The simple solution—don’t!
box shipping in a warehouse

Treat each of your articles as a product. Image source: iStockphoto

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Community Driven List Posts: A Tool for Bloggers

social media toolsMost bloggers quickly discover that posts that contain lists are popular.

Unfortunately, list posts usually require a lot of work to write and are rarely updated after they’re published.

What if there was an easy way to create list posts and keep them up to date?

List.ly can help you do this. Plus List.ly offers you a welcome bit of social interaction.

Create a Community-Driven List Post

List.ly is a collaborative list-building tool. You create the initial list on the List.ly website and you can embed it as part of your blog post. Embedding means that it appears as if it’s in your blog post, but it still resides on List.ly.

What’s cool is that your community can then add and/or vote for items on the list. This can be a useful tool to engage with your community and discover more about their interests.

naked marketing example

An example of a list created within List.ly. Notice the branding image at the top of the list and the number of positive and negative votes for each item on the list.

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Blogging for Business: How Content Can Improve Your Sales

Are you wondering how a blog can help your business?

Are you trying to figure out how content can improve your sales?

To learn more about the connection of blogging and content marketing, I interview Marcus Sheridan for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Marcus Sheridan, founder of The Sales Lion and author of the ebook Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy.

Marcus shares insights into the struggles marketers have to get results from business blogging. You’ll learn what to focus your efforts on and a few simple tactics that will work.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

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3 Ways to Create Highly Valuable Blog Content

social media how toDo you struggle coming up with content ideas for your blog?

Or maybe you create plenty of blog posts, but they get few views and even less engagement?

If you find that creating engaging content is challenging, keep reading.

This article will identify some of the best tips, tools and tactics for creating blog content that helps grow your business.

#1: Be the resource your customers really need

What’s your ideal customer’s biggest problem? Your blog is not about your business, it’s about your customers.

If you want to attract and engage your prospects and lead them down the sales funnel, you need to focus on them and their problems.

The more you create content that helps your prospects succeed, the more engaged they’ll become with your blog.

So how do you know what your audience is struggling with?

Ask.

If you’ve been in business for a while, chances are you already know a lot of what your customers are struggling with.

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4 Tips to Better Manage Multi-Author Blogs

social media how toDo you have more than one person writing for your blog?

There are a number of unique challenges when it comes to writing content for multi-author blogs.

For example, you may be in a position where you need to give feedback to your contributors, or you may be wondering how to leverage the audiences of your individual writers to drive more overall traffic to your blog.

Here are 4 power tips you can implement on your blog to make sure your writers get the feedback they need and provide your blog maximum exposure at the same time.

#1: Use a Screenshot Utility to Provide Feedback to Writers

On a typical WordPress blog, you can see a revision history for any given article. That’s a list of versions of the article being written, based on incremental changes that are made from one version to the next.

revision history

Revision history for a WordPress blog article.

The trouble is, although these versions give you the time and date that changes were made, they don’t tell you the actual changes that were made.

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