Anyone can write a basic blog. It’s not that hard. And I’ve talked for hours, whether at seminars or at a one-on-one “brain picking” session about basic blog writing. But I rarely get the chance to talk about advanced blogging, the secrets that I use to improve my blog, and make it stand out from the hundreds of thousands of basic blogs.
Here are 10 advanced blog writing techniques we use for our clients and ourselves.
- Use WordPress.org: I don’t have anything against platforms like Blogspot.com, WordPress.com, or Posterous.com (I have blogs on all three). But WordPress.org is what a lot of the pros use, because it’s extremely customizable and you can improve its functionality with a few plug-ins.
- Use a search engine optimization plug-in: We use All in One SEO Pack and Zemanta. Both of these let us do some additional optimization on our articles, which is something the other blog platforms don’t do as well.
- Choose 1 – 2 keywords or phrases per post: Stick with the mantra, “one idea, one keyword, one post, one day.” This post is about the keyword phrase “blog writing techniques,” and nothing else. Not about choosing topics, not about winning readers, not about whether video or photos help with readership, it’s just about how you actually write posts. By doing this, I not only boost my SEO efforts, but I don’t overload people with information.
- Write catchy, dramatic headlines: Your headline needs to be catchy, interesting, and compelling. Include phrases like “10 Secrets” or “5 Tips” to fire peoples’ interest. Also, be sure to use your exact keyword phrase in the title for better SEO.
- Use keywords in your anchor text: If I’m writing about blog writing techniques, I need to link that phrase to another article about that phrase (which I just did. Sneaky, huh?).
- Watch your keyword density: Density means the percentage ratio of keywords to copy. This particular article has about a 1% keyword density (1 keyword every 100 words). If the number is below 1%, search engines might not realize what your post is about. Anything over 2 %- 3% could be seen as keyword stuffing, and the search engines could drop you. Shoot for 1.5% – 1.99%. Divide the number of keywords by the total number of words to figure density.
- Automate your cross-posting: Use services like Twitterfeed.com and Ping.fm to promote your posts to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, and 40 other social networks. It will save you several minutes every time you publish a post.
- Use analytics to determine how your effectiveness: This lets you see where your traffic is coming from, what brought them there, and how long they stayed. You may learn that a particular keyword is getting a lot of traffic, so you write about that topic again. Or that a particular website is sending a lot of traffic, so you work to get published on that site again. I like Google Analytics for solid analytics.
- Publish your blog 2 – 3 times a week: Everyone who starts blogging has great intentions, but life intrudes and this resolution gets broken like it’s January 3rd. If you want to excel at blogging, you must write more than once a week. Schedule an hour a day to write, or schedule a three hour block, and write all your posts in advance.
- Become a fast writer: Writing fast means being able to find the best words and assemble 400 of them in 20 minutes. If you can’t do this, focus on those things that are holding you back, and work to overcome them. Being able to write fast will also help you publish more frequently.