Every Friday I break down and comment on an article I’ve read recently that inspired me, enlightened me, challenged me, or otherwise made me think. I also share some of my favorite links from the week that was. This is: The Friday Response.
9 Ways You Can Build a Blog That Matters by Benny Hsu on Get Busy Living
Benny recently wrote an article that will without a doubt inspire you to either 1) start blogging or 2) make your blog better. I’ve shared before that I believe starting and maintaining a blog can completely change your life. It will introduce you to people you would’ve never met. It will open the door to business opportunities. It will make you smarter. It will change your perspective. It will open your mind to new ideas. It will give you solace. It will spark conversation. It can inspire change. And overall, it feels damn good to write about something you care about.
Benny hits the nail on the head in a very real and tangible way with these nine tips:
(1) Write epic shit: Without good content, the other 8 steps won’t make a difference. My biggest piece of advice? Don’t worry about narrowing your focus TOO much. Don’t over-think things. Allow yourself to be a bit random, but above all, write with passion. Passion is relatable, interesting, and compelling.
(2) Have a nice blog design: It matters. Trust me. If you pull up a blog that’s still sitting on Blogger, it could have the best writing in the world, but I may never pay attention because I’m automatically de-legitimizing simply based on the look and feel of the site. I know, it’s judgmental, but it’s the way our mind works. It doesn’t have to involve a huge investment, but it’s very much important to have a nice place to house your great writing. (Also, I can help with that)
(3) Leave comments: Leaving comments not only allows you to build conversation with other bloggers, colleagues, and peers, it’s excellent for building links back to your site, which is huge for SEO.
(4) Reply to comments: Want to spark and build conversation on your site? Make time to reply to those who have made time for you. Plain and simple.
(5) Make it easy to share posts: Self explanatory. If I can’t share your post with the world, at least on Twitter and Facebook, it’s not going to get shared. Even piece of great content needs to be marketed and shared, it’s (very rarely) going to share itself.
(6) Show some of your personal side: One of the most important points Benny makes: Be personal. This is what people want. You’re not going to be the first to write about Apple’s innovative approach, but your unique perspective makes it interesting. Be yourself.
(7) Share other people’s content and expect nothing in return: Part of building recognition for yourself is in being a thought leader and information sharer. It’s not always a “I scratch your back you scratch mine” approach, instead, it’s about being relevant and present in the community you’re focused on.
(8) Build your tribe: Your “tribe” are those who are closest to you – the one’s you can count on to help you promote and share things you need shared. The one’s who are always there for feedback and creative brainstorming. Above all, they’re your friends. The blogging game is filled with ups and downs, mostly fueled by self-doubt and second-guessing – build a tribe that will be there when you need the nudge to keep going.
(9) Always keep learning and improving: In other words, don’t get too comfortable. Keep learning. Keep trying new things. Expand your niche. Don’t worry about writing about something that is out of the realm of what people expect. The beauty of blogging is it’s value in self-discovery and finding out things about yourself you never knew existed. Discovering new passions, and sharing them with the world.
What were the best things you found this week? Share them in the comments below!