Warning: Ignore These 10 New Year's Resolutions for Bloggers at Your Own Risk
"No one's ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that's abandoned by February," says Suze Orman, personal finance guru. Failure to plan leads to abandoned resolutions for change. Here are 10 easy tips for creating blogging resolutions you will not forsake.
Resolution 1: Write More
Is writing more blog posts a simple solution to making more money? It is if you use good goal setting techniques; if not, you might get frustrated and cast off your resolve.
Here's what to do. Set a specific goal, determine a way to measure it, and set a time limit. To help you narrow your focus, ponder questions like:
- How many articles will I write each month?
- How often will I publish them?
- How long will it take me to write them?
Challenge: Write a goal statement for this resolution.
Example: I resolve to write 12 new blog posts monthly. I will spend no more than two hours on each. I will publish these on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays on my blog."
Resolution 2: Write Less but Write More
Write fewer posts, but make them longer and loaded with value-added information, charts, graphs, tables and other reader-friendly content. For example, if your standard post is around 300 to 500 words, challenge yourself to double the word count. Neil Patel, a top 10 online marketer according to Forbes, says higher word counts may increase your conversion rates and search engine rankings.
How many words should you write? According to Patel, Google likes "content rich sites" with longer articles. Read "How Content Length Affects Rankings and Conversions," for more information, but the point is, writing quality content versus quantity blog posts generates more income.
Challenge: Write a resolution that spells out how you will write and publish high quality, compelling content this year that your readers will want to bookmark and share.
Resolution 3: Show Instead of Tell
Podcasts and video tutorials are interactive ways to re-energize a blog and attract new readers and subscribers. Additionally, they appeal to the visually oriented consumer looking for consumable bites of information to process quickly.
Pat Flynn of The Smart Passive Income blog is an example of a blogger leveraging podcasting's power. His podcasts have been downloaded over 3.5 million times, says Louise Julig in "Prpof tht Podcasting Will Benefit Your Business." She also enumerated podcasting benefits like:
- Improves and increases audience engagement
- Increases site traffic
- Increases exposure to networking opportunities
Video tutorials are another way of attracting new visitors, offering additional services to current customers, and increasing site traffic.
Challenge: Write a resolution about how you will include podcasting or video tutorials in your blog content management strategy.
New Year's Resolutions: Reality vs. Resolution
Resolution 4: Start Blogging
Did you dream of starting a blog but failed to do it? Resolve to start a blog this year—for fun or profit—and remember to set a realistic goal for creating, populating and monetizing it. Make yourself accountable with a specific deadline.
Challenge: Write a resolution that answers the who, what, where, when, why and how of your blogging dream.
Resolution 5: Write Guest Posts
Guest blogging is a controversial subject so feel free to skip this tip if you feel it is risky. There has been negative press about it, and if not done correctly, it could cause trouble with Google. However, guest blogging does offer benefits like:
- Establishing your reputation as an expert
- New audience exposure
- Increased blog traffic
Tips for Success
Do your homework before agreeing to guest post. Check the other blog's page rank and integrity. Will you be proud to have your work posted there? Is the linking relationship organic or forced? If in doubt, it is probably better not to do it.
Challenge: Identify five blogs with content relevant to yours. Write a resolution specifying who to contact, how/when to contact them, and what topic ideas to offer.
How To Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick
Resolution 6: Reinvent Existing Content
Are you reaping the full benefit from work you already did? Have you used prior posts to create:
- White papers
- Slideshows and PowerPoint presentations
- Newsletter content
- Written, audio or video tutorials
Projects done with existing content make blogging easier so you finish faster. It's an easy way to make additional money from previous time and effort.
Challenge: Write a resolution spelling out how you to repurpose, reuse and recycle your blog posts.
Resolution 7: Use an Editorial Calendar
If you don't use an editorial calendar, try it this year. Coming up with creative ideas for blog posts can zap your motivation, especially when your creative energy tank is running on empty.
Editorial calendars are versatile because you can plan for a week, a month, or even a year's worth of posts.
Does planning a year's worth of blog posts sound overwhelming? Make it easier by downloading an app like BlogEnergizerto your smartphone. Each day, you'll receive a blog idea with a usable headline, a topic, and tips for fleshing out your post.
No smart phone? No worries, you can find the same ideas online at BlogEnergizer.
Challenge: Write a resolution about how, when, and why you will incorporate an editorial calendar into your content production schedule.
Resolution 8: Work Smarter
How can you streamline your workflow? Are there apps or free time management tools you can use? What other ways can you get more done without working more?
Here are two quick tips to get you started:
Use downtime wisely: Stuck in the doctor or dentist's waiting room? Use the magazines to research posts or discover ideas. Trapped in line at the post office or store? Use your smartphone to respond to blog comments or generate new blog topic ideas.
Outsource jobs you hate: Hate writing headlines? HubSpot's free blog topic generator is a no-hassle way to get a week's worth of ideas with attention-getting headlines. Need more? Exchange your email address and some basic information with them to receive a year's worth of free topics/headlines.
Challenge: Brainstorm 5 to 10 ways for working smarter, and then write out your resolution stating which methods you will use, when and how you will implement them, and how you will measure your results.
Recommended Advertising Programs
- Cost per Click (CPC)
- Cost per Action (CPA) advertising
- Intext advertising
- Text link advertisements
Resolution 9: Monetize Your Blog
If you haven't monetized your blog, do it this year. You may not make much money at first, but as your content achieves search engine ranking and is shared via social media, your residual income will increase.
Adding an advertising program like Google Adsense, Chitika, or an affiliate program such as Amazon or Commission Junction to your blog requires few technical skills and is a dependable way of blogging for money.
Other Revenue Streams
Is your blog already making money? Good for you - but have you exploited all these moneymaking options:
- Affiliate programs
- Selling intellectual properties
- Selling services: coaching, mentoring or teaching
Whatever methods you choose to monetize your blog, do it right. Avoid any techniques that might generate a Google penalty, or even worse, cause your blog to be de-indexed by Google.
Challenge: Choose one new revenue source for your blog. Write a detailed resolution about how you will use that source to generate more income from your blog.
Resolution 10: Devise a Content Marketing Strategy
What comes to mind when you think of content marketing—tweeting your posts or sharing them on Facebook? These are good methods, but do not limit your options to just these. Here are two tips for marketing your content you may not have tried:
- Email marketing: Stop pushing products and services. Instead, hook subscribers with a curiosity-raising headline like this example—"Doctor Says, "If This Were a Drug, It Would Be the World's Best-Selling Product" (from Mercola.com)—and a teaser snippet with a link to the full article. The leads and sales will follow naturally.
- Media Downloads: Offering free ebooks and whitepapers is a smart content marketing move. It generates new email subscribers and increases your credibility as an expert source. Besides, everyone loves getting something free.
Challenge: Write a resolution mapping out three to five new ways to market your content this year. State your implementation strategy and deadline for getting them in place.
Thomas Edison is credited with saying, "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time." No matter how many times you've tried and failed, you can break the cycle of making and breaking New Year's resolutions.
Try to just one of the challenges listed here or tackle all ten. No matter what the outcome, you set yourself up for success by trying again.
- BrainyQuotes, accessed 01/03/2015, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/suzeorman465800.html
- Ibid, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_a_edison.html
- DiSilvestro, Amanda, "The Pros and Cons of a Guest Blogging Strategy in 2014," BirdBrain Logic, accessed 01/03/2015, https://www.birdbrain.com.au/
- Patel, Neil, "How Content Length Affects Rankings and Conversions," Quicksprout, 12/20/12, accessed 01/03/2015, http://www.quicksprout.com/2012/12/20/the-science-behind-long-copy-how-more-content-increases-rankings-and-conversions/
- Julig, Louise, "Proof that Podcasting Will Benefit Your Business," SocialMedia Examiner, 06/19/2013, accessed 01/03/2015, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/proof-that-podcasting-will-benefit-your-business/
© 2015 Donna Cosmato