A guest post by Jennifer Brown Banks
Good bloggers are a dime a dozen. But great bloggers? They reign supreme in the ever-growing blogosphere.
You know the ones—their guest posts saturate the top Blogs, and like Box-office movie stars, they bring a certain “celebrity” and name recognition wherever they “headline.”
Their cameo appearances garner great comments, elevated Google rankings, and they even come with their very own groupies.
If you’d like to join this “A-list” of elite bloggers, and have readers worship you too, here’s how to win friends and influence people through your guest posts:
- Hook ‘em with hype!– Much like T.V. viewers, Internet surfers have to be drawn in right away. You don’t want to risk them “channel surfing.” With so much information out there, there’s only so much time to stand out amidst the competition and have your work read. Start with a headline that makes a bold claim, asks a provocative question, or promises to deliver something useful to your audience.
- Walk the talk – Speak with authority and authenticity. If you make a claim, prove it with statistics or examples. Consider, why should we take your advice? Become a blog scholar. Read industry publications devoted to blogging. Visit and evaluate other sites. Reflect upon your own experiences. Have an “informed opinion.” Remember to study to show thyself approved.
- Don’t be afraid to court controversy – Tackle controversial topics, if it fits your fancy, and you feel the need to take a big stand on a small issue. Don’t be afraid of a little disagreement or disapproval. It’s how we inspire dialogue and earn respect. Not to mention, as artists it helps us grow. For example, some time ago I wrote a column on relationships that created a buzz and a brouhaha. In it I addressed how modern day women were doing themselves a disservice by going 50/50 on dates during the courting stage. I expressed that this growing trend was contributing to the decline in chivalry. The piece entitled “Why I don’t do Dutch” created both fans and foes! In fact, one fella sent me a “nasty-gram” that would shock even Howard Stern. Hey, sometimes it’s important to forego popularity for principle.
- Captivate them without holding them captive – Have you ever attended a speech or a sermon that dazzled you initially then later caused you to seek the nearest exit because it was too long and failed to hold your interest? Timing is important. Know when to say when. Don’t overstay your welcome. A good target for blog posts would be about 300-800 words. If your piece requires further expansion, consider presenting as part 1 and part 2.
- Speak you-nique – Say something different, or put a new spin on an old topic. Infuse your own personality and style of expression in your work. Distinguish yourself from the crowd. In today’s competitive environment, both online and in the “real world,” it’s important to stand out, stay relevant and be remembered. Approach blogging like e.e. Cummings did the poetry world. e.e.Cummings abandoned tradition and common rules of spelling by stylistically changing words that would normally be capitalized (like common nouns and the first word in sentences) and instead spelling them in lower case. Here’s a man who often used his “creative license” to the fullest.
- Be groovy to your groupies—Never fly so high that you forget those who contribute to your popularity. Respond to comments and questions posted in a timely fashion, and in a way that gives value to your readers. The whole purpose of a blog is for hosts to be interactive with their readers. Even if your response is brief in nature, acknowledge other people’s time and input. It promotes good karma.
- Think strategically-–For real reverence in the field of blogging, it’s important to be strategic. Gone are the days when blogging was purely recreational, or for those seeking an audience for their vent sessions. Today blogging has become an art form used to build authors’ platforms, get gigs, and potentially strut your stuff before an audience of thousands, maybe millions. Assess what it is that you do best. Play to your strengths. Establish your true niche. What blogs are best suited for your voice, style of expression and expertise? Decide then deliver.
Follow these seven tips to blog like a God, and you’ll soar to greater heights, elevate your visibility and increase your popularity exponentially in the blogosphere. And that’s the “gospel” truth. 🙂
What would you add to this list?
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer and blog God(dess) who uses her “powers” for good to promote positive karma and enhance communications in the Blogosphere. Her guest posts have appeared at: Pro Blogger, Daily Blog Tips, Men With Pens, and other influential sites. She is Managing Editor, Coffeehouse for Writers and a columnist at Technorati.com. She blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com/