If you are serious about writing, your blog should be going well for you right now. Isn’t it? Oh! You don’t have a blog? That’s a drag because there are 5 good reasons why you should have a blog.
On the eBook Revolution Podcast, I recently interviewed blogging expert Bruce Langford (co-author of bestselling book ‘Cracking the Success Code‘), and asked him for his top 5 blogging tips for new writers. So without further ado and in no particular order here is some free advice from the master.
1: The title of your blog is critical. You can have great content but if the blog title is no good you won’t be visible in the search engines. You need to make your blogs title appealing and enticing but also make sure its a great title that ranks easily in search. You don’t want to be writing sensational content that no-one never sees. Get your title right.
2: Put a survey on your blog. Ask your readers what they would like to read about on your blog. You can ask them anything, the point is to get some engagement. Ask your readers what tools they use when they write. It’s a great way to learn interact with your followers. It’s also a great way to create credibility and get to know your fans.
3: Post a video. Video is incredibly important these days and really drives social engagement. It’s personal and informal and lets your readers see you. It can also be easier to post a quick video on a topic then craft a blog post. You don’t have to get hung-up on production standards. You can shoot hi-def video on your iPhone these days. A webcam video is fine. Try posting a video twice a month. You could talk about the book that your currently writing to generate some fan interest.
4: Get to know other bloggers. Leave comments on other sites and invite other bloggers to guest blog on your site. It’s a fantastic way of generating a sense of community because writers should be helping writers.
5: Make sure you promote your blog. Don’t be afraid to let people know what you’ve just written on your blog. Share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Instagram Pinterest or any other social media that you’re comfortable with. Put a link to your blog on your email signature so you’re always getting the word out there.
The subject of website hosting also deserves a separate mention.
It’s important to choose a robust hosting provider because if your server is misconfigured or if it’s overcrowded with users, your website’s load times will suffer.
Why does this matter? Because there’s a strong correlation between page load times and visitor bounce rates. For example, a study conducted by Pingdom revealed that a page that takes five seconds to load is abandoned, on average, by 38% of users before the page even loads.
There’s a lot of additional traffic that a website can gain from improved load times, and it all starts with proper web host selection. Here’s what to look out for:
1. Server response times.
This is the time it takes a server to respond to a request from a website user’s browser. The shorter the response time, the better. You can test the response time of your website using GTMetrix.com.
2. Server resource load.
The cheapest hosting servers have decent response times when there are only two or three visitors browsing a website. It usually isn’t until there are at least 5-10 active users that potential server resource problems begin to surface, resulting in slower response rates and increased load times. Mark Berka has done extensive traffic spike simulations on some of the most popular hosting providers as part of his research into the best website hosts.
3. Hosting support team quality. Sometimes, a website’s load speed will suddenly deteriorate for no apparent reason. In such cases, a responsive and knowledgeable support team is the quickest way of restoring performance. “Managed” hosting plans usually come with the most extensive support, so it’s a good idea to pay a little more for the privilege.
If you haven’t started blogging yet, there is no better way to start to engage with your existing readers. The discipline of blogging regularly will also make you a much better writer.
Finally, if you start the hard work now, building your tribe through blogging and social media, you’ll have a platform when you finally launch your book.
Make sense? So get blogging!