Every day when you start your day, you expect a miracle to happen and get tons of traffic and exposure to your Blog. In nutshell, you want to see your blog as a top notch blog. I have one question here: What Blogging practices you are implementing on your blog to make your blog stand out from others? Are you offering unique and creative content? Are you engaging with your readers? Is your about page talks about your blog ideology? Do you have all essential element of a Successful Blog?
If you are a new Blogger, you might make tons of blogging mistakes and learn from it to reach to that level, or you can take a shortcut and spend quality time analysing top and successful Blog. There are many top blogs like Problogger, Dailyblogtips, Labnol and many more out there. All you need to do is sit down, open these blogs and try to find out whats common in them. What strategy they are putting to create a top blog and not just another blog.
Each time you visit a top notch blog in any niche, you come across some common practices that are being followed. And sadly, you are left with two options:
- Either to mimic the blogging practices that are being followed, or,
- Sit back and complain, “Oh, each of them is just so similar.”
Here I’m talking about few practices which you can implement on your blog today to make your blog stand out and give a direction to A Blogger list.
This post helps you get a better picture of this situation by providing insights to such blogging practices followed by well established blogs. Ofcourse a backdoor insight, but do not jump to conclusions, without reading the complete post. You will have a clear cut idea about which option to follow, and which one to forgo, for being a top notch blogger too.
So, let’s begin with some of the common blogging practices that make you feel that the blogosphere is unbalanced and unfair to budding bloggers.
1. Success begets success
People arguably believe that the top ranked pages for a keyword draws the maximum traffic. Well, it’s true that readers hardly look for the second page in search engines, but that doesn’t mean they click on the topmost link in the search engine page results.
I rather prefer scanning the URLs and settle for the one with which I am more acquainted. For instance, think of the blogging niche and you enter a keyword say “Blogging Practices”. Then would you opt for a less known blog ranked higher, over Shout Me Loud or say CopyBlogger. And with more number of such mindsets, ultimately the blog post of successful blog starts ranking higher. That’s what branding does.
2. Alexa ranking obsession
Ofcourse we are not new to how flawed is Alexa ranking, favoring the websites that install the Alexa toolbar or write reviews for Alexa or even use the premium Alexa services. Inspite of all this, advertisers still, give high priority to Alexa ranking, and so do blog owners.
3. Dedicated SEO implementation
It is always debatable about how much SEO is optimum for a blog?. Do we have to focus on content or SEO or both? And with advanced offsite and on site SEO techniques, even blogs with questionable content go a long way. Even if you are not into hardcore SEO like Keyword optimization, Readability, On page optimization, Keyword research but there are few things which you should take care.
For example: If you would notice any blog post on mashable, you would realize they smartly target Keywords using WordPress Permalink. They remove all stop words and keep their permalink Keyword optimized. This is a small practice but again, one of the best SEO practice. If you would notice content here at ShoutMeLoud, you would notice proper usage of Heading tags like H1, H2 and H3. Takeaway here is, SEO is not only they key to success but a good SEO practice will ensure that your blog will stand out of the crowd.
4. Premium Themes & unique design Impact
Yes, premium themes too are closely related to search engine optimization. With more powerful SEO optimized premium and custom themes powered by Thesis or Genesis framework, the top notch blogs become even more invincible.
More over, along with using a Premium theme framework one thing which is very common about these top notch blog is using a Custom design for their blog theme. Most of the top blogs are using a unique design to brand their Blog. This is not only highly recommended practice but a must have for serious Bloggers.
Needless to say, a Blog can’t be famous without quality content. Depending upon your content stratagy, you need to ensure that you are not only offering quality articles but its’ also informative. Publishing article which your reader expect is another great strategy. For ex: Check out question and answer section of ShoutMeLoud, where Harsh answers Blogging questions of his readers.
6. Important Pages:
Pages like About page, Contact page, Privacy page, Comment policy page are very important part of any Blog or Website. They work as a get to know me element for your Blog readers. More over, all the top blogs have a dedicated about page which not only talks about blog ideology but also give a personal touch by adding editor bio. An example could be seen at ProBlogger about page.
7. Social media integration:
Another common thing about Top notch blog is utilizing the power of Social media. There is no doubt about benefits of Social media for Blogging, and property like Facebook, Twitter, Google plus gives extra exposure to your Blog. Just creating a Facebook page, Google plus page is not enough, you should use it for user engagement and make sure your user can find the Social media subscription box quickly to connect to your blog on Social media front.
- Check out: Facebook Fan page Promoter pop up Plugin
8. Subscription options:
Most of the top Bloggers like JohnChow, Darren use the power of Email marketing to the most. Most of these bloggers are using premium Email marketing solution like Aweber, Getresponse, Mailchimp or free Feedburner. It doesn’t matter which service you use, but make sure you offer easy ways for your readers to subscribe to your Blog. Here are some of the must have Subscription option for your Blog.
Another Blogging practice followed by top blogs is: Allowing guest posting. This may not be common for all the top blogs, but still one of the technique being used by A list bloggers to create a community arounf their Blog. When you allow others to guest post on your Blog, it’s more like inviting them to be a part of your Blog family. You can check out SML earlier guide on How to convert your WordPress blog into Multi-author Blog.
You can also consider having your own team of writers, which will help you to create content consistently and keep your blog updated. Though, as I mentioned it all depends upon your Blog content strategy and kind of Blog you are running.
10. Author Bio box:
A Blog post without an author bio is more like a post with no identity. When you add an author bio box, it increases the credibility of an article and readers can connect to the article. As I mentioned above, most of top blogs allow guest posting and author bio box is something common in them.
11. Over to you:
These are just few of the hundreds of common blogging practices followed by top-notch blogs and instead of writing all, I’m handing it over to you. Why don’t you go ahead and analyse few popular blogs in your niche, and try to find what’s common in them and let us know via comment.
Blogging Practices Bottom-Line
Having said that, does each of these blogging practices followed by top notch bloggers, make any sense. Fortunately, we belong to the era of Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple. And from him, we all have learnt a few valuable things about awesome presentation skills and their importance. In the transient and highly competitive blogging world, a blog needs to stay ahead of the curve each time. So branding and blog marketing makes sense.
- Check out : 12 Lessons Steve Jobs taught Guy Kawasaki
Apart from rich content, presentation too matters a lot. It’s because online viewers, specifically blog readers see what they want to see. One needs to constantly lure the readers and fool the search engines for being successful. But, don’t overdo this blogging practice, otherwise both are smart enough to see through it.
And yes, let me clear the air. I too am in favor of these above mentioned blogging practices and find no reason why a blogger should not employ those for a slight competitive edge. But, what about you? Do you too feel the same or still lamenting the fact that, such common blogging practices give some probloggers an unfair advantage?