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How to Blog Like a Boss

Updated on December 27, 2012
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If you're here, it's because you want to add power, sassiness, and that special sauce to your blog. You want to rock your readers' worlds until they come back for more, time and time again.

Well, unfortunately, it's not easy. With these tips, however, you can make it happen.

Blog on!

First, a definition:

What do I mean when I say "blog like a boss?"

A boss blogger connects with their readers, sees continuous growth, and creates a following.

This doesn't mean you'll make money, but a strong, capable, and growing blog has no reason not to in the long-run.

1. Embrace the ego.

To blog successfully, you need a blog personality. That might be of you, or a version of you, but there's a person there. People will read for your content, but they'll come back for the personality.

You need to share that identity through your writing style, social media, layout, and more. Embrace this mentality, and use it completely.

If you're edgy, be edgy. If you add in this soothing, easy-going voice while you try to be a "world rocker," it might confuse your readers.

Tip: Write out a list of 5 key adjectives that describe this personality. Incorporate those whenever possible, and only write in a way that embraces at least one or more of those at all times.

2. Be the main contributor.

When your blog grows and becomes more popular, it can become more work. Then, many bloggers start reaching out to guest bloggers to ease the load.

Bad idea!

There's nothing wrong with guest bloggers in theory, and they can be great if you want to network and spread the word.

But, your readers want you. In fact, they might stop reading entirely if you aren't the main contributor.

If you can't be in charge of 90% of all content, you need to slow down a little so your needs and goals match what is possible on your schedule. Don't outsource your voice or your readers will go away.

Get a writing pad.

Use a notepad to list out post ideas, do research, and create an editorial calendar.
Use a notepad to list out post ideas, do research, and create an editorial calendar. | Source

3. Write regularly.

Whether you write once a week or once a day, you need to write regularly. Develop a set schedule. Do publish at least once a week. Anything less is too little.

My tip: Create an editorial calendar. Focus on publishing once or twice a week for now, and draw out a map of specific titles so as to hit all of your key topics each month. Otherwise, your blog may become too heavy in this area or another.

4. Write smoothly.

Writing for the web is not the same as writing for your English classes. It takes an entirely different set of skills, including web design, marketing, PR, aesthetics, and more.

Here are 5 tips to optimize every post:

  1. Always have a strong title.
  2. Write about one clear topic (don't use your post to catch up on a variety of topics).
  3. Range between 500-1,500 words in each post.
  4. Add unique or engaging (and legally attributed) pictures (at least 1).
  5. Optimize every post for search engines (For WordPress: install WordPress SEO by Yoast.)

Darren Rowse: "Differentiate Yourself as a Blogger"

5. Use the Call-to-Action.

To blog like a boss, you need a following. There are people who will want to follow you, but they might not know it.

Create the following by converting the energy and excitement you've already created by utilizing the call-to-action (CTA). You need at least one that's static. For example, prompt readers to sign up for the email list or Like your page on Facebook in the sidebar.

But, you also need to add a CTA to the beginning and/or end of every post (end is best for now). Ask the reader a question, and tell them to comment below. Recommend them to read the next post, or sign up for your email list right there.

Readers are often open to these ideas, but they don't necessarily act unless you say so. You're missing these great contacts if you don't engage the enthusiasm your readers already have.

6. Do not write for money.

Why do you blog? Are you there for the money? Well, stop it.

The money might come eventually, but it usually takes over a year of hard work and even then, it might be $10 here or there. It will not be right away.

Instead, focus on building your blog and its persona. Take advantage of social media, and create custom, killer content. In the meanwhile, go ahead and add Google AdSense to learn how it works. Stick to one ad, and don't clutter the screen.

A note on ads: optimize for your audience. This is why I recommend Google AdSense. Google can optimize ads for each specific reader, which increases conversion. You might like your hosting company, but your readers might not be in the market for such a service.

Meet your reader, wherever they may be.

Source

7. Focus on the reader.

Before you write, think of how each potential post can help your reader. Why would they read it? What would they want to know?

Before you publish your website, think of how your reader would navigate your site. Is it clunky? Does it look good? Is it self-explanatory? Are your posts easy to find? Do you use a weird lingo?

Focus every inch of your blog on your reader, then lace everything with a strong personality.

Everyone's selfish. Readers are selfish. They won't keep reading just to be nice. Give them a reason to come back time and time again, and you'll find success.

When it comes to blogging, clean and simple is best.

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8. Aesthetics matter.

One of the biggest mistakes I see on the web is that bloggers neglect to value aesthetics.

Focus on simple, straightforward, and minimal designs when in doubt.

You do not need 5 different fonts, 10 different color schemes, and pop-up ads. Instead, build your website so that everything falls into its own place. Don't add anything more than you need.

If your readers get a headache looking at your screen or plugins overlap in an unsightly way, they'll disappear.

And yes, it is harder to have a simple site. You have to make concessions, especially with advertising. But, in the end, it will make it much more enjoyable and easy-on-the-eyes for your fans!

Will these make me a boss overnight?

Unfortunately, I cannot promise that all of these tips will make you super amazing over night. Again, blogging takes time and practice. But, these are some simple ways to set yourself apart from the other bloggers in your pool.

9. Feed it.

Hopefully by now, you've realized the value of an email list. It can be difficult to decide what to do. Here's how I manage the need for email subscriptions, email marketing, and RSS feeds.

Here's what I do:

Instead of RSS feeds, which very few of my readers use, I burned a feed on Google's Feedburner.

Then, I integrated that feed with my MailChimp email subscription list. Now, my readers get a customized, visually-appealing email with each update instead of the more simplistic Feedburner options available.

The extra plus: now your RSS list is linked to your email list. You can now use these email lists to send updates, like holiday letters, special offers, or new events.

In the past, you might have all of these things woefully separate. By linking your RSS feed to your email list, you can simplify everything, generate a far more user-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing email, and build an email list.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how and why I do this in my article, "How to Jump Start Your RSS Feeds with MailChimp."

How do you rock your blog?

Hey, not every blog or blogger or audience is the same! What works for me and my fellow bloggers might not work for you.

What is one thing you've found that increased your blog following?

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    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 3 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Oh, I so need to try the feed burner thing. I love building blogs, and am slowly gaining enough stories to build a niche one soon. I noticed in the side bar we had 22 mutual followers, glad I decided to read your hubs. So very glad I did. I am learning so much already. Thumbs up and shared.

    • cmcarter724 profile image

      No More Secrets 4 years ago from North America

      Very informative. Thank you for this blog.

    • rmcleve profile image
      Author

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      thedigitalmom, I'm glad I could help! Welcome to HP. :)

    • thedigitalmom profile image

      Patricia 4 years ago

      Love this. Just started on Hubpages so this will be useful for me :)

    • rmcleve profile image
      Author

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Thank you, teaches! Let me know if you need any help blogging in the future. I enjoy it a little too much. And, thank you for being a wonderful support! I love your articles and insights. Happy 2013!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great tips for blogging. I have one that I will be paying more attention to in 2013. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

    • barkindmind profile image

      barkindmind 4 years ago

      Nice Tips, Thanks for sharing :)

    • rmcleve profile image
      Author

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Thanks for reading, dailytop10!

    • rmcleve profile image
      Author

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Thank you so much, Tonipet! Feedburner (especially when you combine it with an email marketing program like MailChimp) is one way to punch up your blog, but it isn't required. Happy New Year to you!

    • dailytop10 profile image

      dailytop10 4 years ago from Davao City

      Great tips! Thank you for sharing.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 4 years ago from The City of Generals

      Informative and very useful, thank you for this Rachael. Learned a lot... just not sure about the Feedburner thing. Guess I'll have to go back I can recall that I once did something like this, I'll go check if I did that right, lol. My votes up, useful, and I'm sharing. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your family.

    • rmcleve profile image
      Author

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Thanks so much, Suzie HQ! Turns out I know quite a bit about blogging, and I just couldn't pass up this great title! Let me know if you get in a pickle at any point. :)

    • rmcleve profile image
      Author

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Wow! That's amazing, Bill! I can't wait to hear more about that! :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rachel,

      Killer article here which I am definitely going to bookmark for my venture into the world of blogs. I have never done one let alone 3 like my good buddy Bill but I really want to start doing more on my writing as a career. Thanks Rachel, voted up ++++ shared and pinned!! :-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was my goal, to do 365 hubs in 365 days...five to go and then my goals change. :) Happy New Year to you too my friend.

    • rmcleve profile image
      Author

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Thank you for the read! You're that close to 365? Crazy! If you ever want any insight on how to make your blog work for you, just let me know! Happy New Year, pal!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very useful my friend. I have three blogs but honestly I don't give them much attention. That will change after the first of the year after I have finished my 365 hubs for HP. Then I will start to balance my writing to include my blogs and give them the attention they deserve. Thanks for these tips.