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Building a Better Blog in 2012 – Chapter 4: Understanding Your Blog as a Product

Building our blogs in 2012

“Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant.” – Sufia Tippu

I’ve partnered with a group of bloggers to follow the advice from the super duper amazing guys at Problogger, to follow the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog book together – And I am SUPER excited to take on this challenge! {Use the code FBWO33 at checkout to get $10 off!} To make sure we all have a great foundation to build on, we’re going through the Guide to Your First Week of Blogging book first – {Click here to view more details} – If you’d like to follow along with us – join the linky at the bottom of this post, and I’ll make sure to invite you into our fun Facebook group too!

Chapter 4: Understanding Your Blog as a Product

For this first series, I’m following along by using Misty’s notes, from CEO of Me, Inc. – Read her Chapter 4 notes too, if you want to get a great overview of what the book covered. After reading Misty’s notes, I realize that her and I really are so much alike – Like her, I too LOVE marketing and branding. I can already tell that this chapter is going to be a fun one….

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” – Steve Shearer

Just like a crafter is selling their handmade jewelry, or a baker is selling amazingly delicious cupcakes – You’re selling yourself, and your content. Maybe you’re not actually charging per piece, the way a crafter or a baker does. But if you want your blog to be your business, and you intend to earn an income from it, then you must think of it in a more businesslike way. The systems that have been covered in the chapters so far help set you up with a plan for your business – If you’ve been following along, you know have a checklist system to use with each post, a folder packed with creative post ideas, and an editorial calendar with scheduled posts set up. That is a great basic foundation to start building on, right?

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

To really boost your business, you need to be able to reach people. And one of the most important first impressions that people have is when reading your headlines. If someone is scrolling through their Twitter stream – What is going to make them stop and choose YOUR post to click on? Learning to write more powerful headlines is on my list of blogging to-do’s this year, and I absolutely LOVE Darren’s exercise in this video – Check it out…

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.” – Unknown

Your blog content is totally unique – just like you. There really is no wrong or right – just what makes YOU excited, and what you’re passionate about. Make sure that those posts you put so much effort into creating actually get read by taking the time to learn how to write effective headlines. {And check out another cool exercise from Darren that uses magazines to help you become a better blogger.} If your blog is your product, make sure that your content is good enough to make people want to buy into it – Meaning, subscribe to your posts, follow you on social media, and become the kind of involved readers that we’re all wanting to connect with.

Planning Your Content

Ok, so now you’ve got an idea folder filled with future posts, the tools to write great headlines to help people find those posts, and a calendar for your blog all set up. Well, just like a magazine posts different types of topics, so should you. Make sure as you continue to fill your blogging calendar with scheduled posts, that you have a good mix of different types of content – Some short, some longer and more in-depth. Make sure to post about different angles of your topic – If you write about recipes, make sure you share a good mix of different types, and not 6 days in a row of dinner recipes featuring chicken – know what I mean?

“Breathe. Know that the Internet has no eraser.” – Liz Strauss

As your content improves, so will your traffic. People will begin to be drawn in by your totally compelling headlines, intrigued by the genius posts that you’ve put together – {yes, a post about your toddlers finger painting CAN be the most intriguing article ever written :)} – and will tell all of their friends that they simply MUST visit this amazing new blog that they’ve found. That’s your goal, and that’s great. But – never get to a point where you think your work is over. Continue to network with others, find new connections, meet new faces. And a great way to do this is by sharing the content of other bloggers.

So today, end this chapter by stopping by a few of your favorite blogs – if you see a post that you like, and you think your readers would be interested too, share it!

This accomplishes a few things – The blogger who see’s that you shared her link on Facebook will be flattered, and may return the favor. Your readers will appreciate that you share great content that’s relevant to them – even when it’s not your own. And maybe you’ll build a little bit of a connection to that other writer, that could lead to something cool down the road. There is a lot of negativity to be found on the web – so try to add something positive each day.

Wrapping it up

  • Want to read more about this week long challenge, and follow the chapters too? You can buy the First Week of Blogging ebook here – or for an abbreviated version, check out Misty’s notes for each chapter so far.
  • We’re almost done with this 7 day book – then we move to the real challenge – the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog book!
  • If you’d like to join our 31 day challenge, buy the ebook, and add your name to the linky below! The challenge starts on Monday, January 16th – and the more, the merrier!
  • You can read my take on each of the daily chapter challenges and task here – Build a Better Blog in 2012 Intro.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark


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