40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content

rock scream You’ve got a chance right now. While everyone else has their eyes on celebrating the holidays and doing all their year end rituals, you can make a commitment. You can make your New Year’s resolution almost a full month early. Here’s what you can commit to for 2009: you’re going to have a killer blog. You’re going to write the kind of blog people post, tweet, link, and even print to stick up on their office wall. Your blog in 2009 is going to be the kind of blog that people use to power their own change. This is your chance to get out there and kick ass.

You can do this. You can deliver with the impact you want, and build on the work you’ve already done. I don’t claim that I know every little secret, but I tell you this: I get a lot of decent results with what I’m doing so far. You want some ideas from my side of the page? Here: take 40 of them. And if you want, add to them in your own blog post (pointing back to here). Ready?

40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content

The Basics

  1. Brevity rules. Can you say it briefly?
  2. Start at the main point, then work the story up. (Make the main point in the first paragraph.)
  3. Use small words. You don’t have to impress people. You have to be clear.
  4. Analogies help people understand things better.
  5. So do stories.
  6. You don’t have to write complete sentences, even though your teacher taught you to do that. But treat it sparingly. Like this. Like a condiment.
  7. Keep paragraphs small, if possible. We balk at large blocks of text.
  8. Make your point from the reader’s side of the fence. Who is your audience?
  9. Depending on how you write, go back and see if you can cut out more. Reduce. Reduce. Reduce.
  10. Use the word you’re thinking about, not a fancier, or more polite word.


Concepts and the Bigger Picture

  1. Set up series of posts, even if you don’t call them a series. Make a post that brings up follow-on points from a previous post, and link back to that post to reinforce the original content.
  2. Get your inspiration from reading. #1 source for my ideas comes from other blogs not in my space. Not sure what to read that’s NOT in your space? Alltop, my friend. ( see also).
  3. Think strategically, if this is for business or a cause. Ask yourself what you want your reader to do next. Try to write from that point of view.
  4. Theme-wise, writing very helpful things that people can use is way better than writing thoughtful things that make people think and just walk away. You can have thoughtful but not helpful, but you’re striving for helpful and thoughtful in the same piece.
  5. Never write the me-too blog. Look to be ahead of the wave and feeding backwards, not behind the wave and eating someone’s wake.
  6. Look for ways to think forward, but that tie to your business interests. When I write about the future, I’m also inviting someone to make that future with me.
  7. Mix it up. Keep an editorial calendar and note what kinds of posts you’ve written lately. Thought posts? Lists? Interviews? Make sure you’re mixing up the type of post you’ve written lately.
  8. Consider the occasional dip into Google Trends to write a story that might draw new audience to your conversation. Don’t do this all the time, because the gimmick can wear off quick. Again, think condiments, not meals.
  9. If you don’t have anything interesting to blog, skip a day. Don’t skip many days.
  10. And never never never (raise your hand and repeat this with me) “I” (state your name) “solemnly swear never never never never ever to post another ‘I’m sorry I haven’t blogged lately’ posts ever again. Ever.”


Overdrive

  1. Consider your audience but write from your passion.
  2. Don’t mince words. If it’s a “pissing match,” it’s not a disagreement.
  3. Ask questions. Blogs are conversations starting and flowing. Ask. Questions.
  4. Link to people. If you write about Steve Garfield, link to Steve Garfield.
  5. It’s not all about your blog. Get out and comment on other people’s blogs. Often.
  6. Leave a few ideas unfinished. Ask for input. It always improves a piece. Blogs are great for that.
  7. Use tags. Lots of tags. Make sure you claim your blog with Technorati, and submit it with Alltop.
  8. Make sure your blog’s URL is everywhere: in your email signature, in Facebook, in Flickr, in Twitter, in every outpost you can think about.
  9. Don’t email, DM, and otherwise push every blog post you write to other people. Share the best ones. Let the others be found on their own merits.
  10. Always know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Question yourself often. Look for ways to improve the game.

thesis is my wordpress theme

Encore

  1. Comment back to the people who have left comments.
  2. Follow those people’s links sometimes and go explore their blog.
  3. Look for ways to empower the community you inspire.
  4. If you haven’t found your community yet, keep looking, searching, and connecting.
  5. Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It’s no longer okay not to know even the most basic things.
  6. Find great Creative Commons photos and use them for your post (with attribution).
  7. Deconstruct what your favorite writers do, and try it your own way.
  8. Occasionally, try something completely different.
  9. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid of not being interesting enough.
  10. Write as if someone believes in you, because someone does. (me!)

And if that’s not enough, here’s my best advice about blogging.

What do you think? Any questions? Anything I left out?

Photo credit, motorpsykhos

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  • http://www.bebizzy.com BeBizzy

    Excellent list!

  • http://secretagentmama.com/blog/ SECRET AGENT MAMA

    I absolutely, wholeheartedly, totally agree on all the points!!

  • http://secretagentmama.com/blog/ SECRET AGENT MAMA

    I absolutely, wholeheartedly, totally agree on all the points!!

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  • http://lbdcommunications.blogspot.com lydia

    Great advice, especially the part about editing yourself – or not. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://lbdcommunications.blogspot.com lydia

    Great advice, especially the part about editing yourself – or not. Thanks for sharing.

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  • http://twitter.com//davebenjamin David Benjamin

    Awesome content. I doubt I can add anything new that someone else hasn’t already said but I really appreciate you sharing. As someone who is in the midst of career transistion into the social media world, I really value learning from those that have been there and are making a difference.

    Look forward to reading and learning more from you. I will be referencing this many times as I finish writing my next KILLER post.

  • http://twitter.com//davebenjamin David Benjamin

    Awesome content. I doubt I can add anything new that someone else hasn’t already said but I really appreciate you sharing. As someone who is in the midst of career transistion into the social media world, I really value learning from those that have been there and are making a difference.

    Look forward to reading and learning more from you. I will be referencing this many times as I finish writing my next KILLER post.

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  • http://criverapr.blogspot.com Carlos Rivera

    Thanks for the great tips.

  • http://criverapr.blogspot.com Carlos Rivera

    Thanks for the great tips.

  • Anonymous

    Great list of tips and wonderful comments. I suggest don’t hesitate writing information that is part of a product or service you market. Offering value on your blog does not diminish the opportunity to market that in exchange for money.

    Steve Pohlit
    The Profit Expert

  • http://stevepohlit.com Steve Pohlit

    Great list of tips and wonderful comments. I suggest don’t hesitate writing information that is part of a product or service you market. Offering value on your blog does not diminish the opportunity to market that in exchange for money.

    Steve Pohlit
    The Profit Expert

  • http://adamcovati.com Adam Covati

    Great stuff. I need to get better at lists. So much great content in once place.

    I think I’m always too busy trying to organize thoughts into large, all-inclusive blog posts. Getting information out there quickly is better than polishing it off completely. It’s better to start the discussion than to own it.

  • http://adamcovati.com Adam Covati

    Great stuff. I need to get better at lists. So much great content in once place.

    I think I’m always too busy trying to organize thoughts into large, all-inclusive blog posts. Getting information out there quickly is better than polishing it off completely. It’s better to start the discussion than to own it.

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  • http://luigicappel.wordpress.com/ Luigi Cappel

    Great post, thanks for the tips. It’s nice to know that I’m doing most things right. Also thanks to gerd Leonhard for sending me a link to your blog:)

  • http://luigicappel.wordpress.com/ Luigi Cappel

    Great post, thanks for the tips. It’s nice to know that I’m doing most things right. Also thanks to gerd Leonhard for sending me a link to your blog:)

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  • http://www.algarveguesthouse.com Mary Cave

    Really helpful ideas. Practical and creative at the same time. Will be using them fro now on.

  • http://www.algarveguesthouse.com Mary Cave

    Really helpful ideas. Practical and creative at the same time. Will be using them fro now on.

  • Amrita

    Hi Chris,
    That was a very inspiring post. I love #39. I’ve been planning a blog for ages. Finally going to get going with it.

    Thank you.

  • Amrita

    Hi Chris,
    That was a very inspiring post. I love #39. I’ve been planning a blog for ages. Finally going to get going with it.

    Thank you.

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  • http://greenbuildingideas.info Steve

    I just started a new blog a few weeks ago using many similar ideas. But you have just confirmed that I headed down the right path.
    Thanks
    Steve

  • http://greenbuildingideas.info Steve

    I just started a new blog a few weeks ago using many similar ideas. But you have just confirmed that I headed down the right path.
    Thanks
    Steve

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  • http://www.kombrink.com Kris

    Excellent article, one I will definitely print out and take a more in-depth look at!

  • http://www.kombrink.com Kris

    Excellent article, one I will definitely print out and take a more in-depth look at!

  • http://openmode.ca Malcolm Bastien

    Awesome. Every blogger needs to read posts like these, if only to shore up their confidence and to put them back on the right track. It’s easy to get off track while trying to keep everything in check.

  • http://openmode.ca Malcolm Bastien

    Awesome. Every blogger needs to read posts like these, if only to shore up their confidence and to put them back on the right track. It’s easy to get off track while trying to keep everything in check.

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  • romanohenry

    bookmarked and content copied for my personal reference.
    This is one of kind.

    thanks for sharing it. :)

  • http://www.takefreeonlinesurveysformoney.com/ Paid Survey Sites

    Great point about making your writing clear and concise, don't write to impress people. Also about keeping paragraphs small. Everyone hates reading large blocks of texts, it just turns the reader off immediately. Very helpful post.

  • http://josephratliff.com JosephRatliff

    I like the theme you're illustrating here Chris. I'm reading Trust Agents right now, and this is the first time I've visited your blog. Great book, great post, now it's time to follow #38 on my blog again. :)

    Thanks for the great content and book Chris!

  • NeuronOutlaw

    Chris,

    I am writing a post about hand writing and keyboard writing and remembered a post you wrote a while ago about writing by hand first and then doing a second draft on the keyboard. I wanted to quote you but couldn't find it. Any Help?
    Mike

  • http://www.writingmomof3.com marythewritersblock

    This is so helpful and inspirational! Thank you for the great tips.

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    It's got to be #13 – think strategically particularly when you're blogging for business.
    Take time to think through these questions:
    1. What do you want to achieve by doing a blog?
    2. How will the blog do this?
    3. How does it fit with the rest of your marketing?

    Then prepare your content to fit