Set Your Blog On Fire

fireball Your blog topics are getting weak. You had a nice run with passion for a while, but now, you’re looking for better blog topics, more interesting content, and you’re still trying to grow that elusive community. How are you going to succeed? There are many simple tweaks you can make to the way you’re writing that turn posts into punches, and that turn readers into participants, and that should set you up with a chain explosion of added potential for your blog down the line. Here are some ideas.

The Content Itself

  • Build a text file of great potential blog post titles. Work on the titles every few days, sharpening them into punchy titles that convince someone to click.
  • Get great blog topics from reading the covers of popular magazines and from seeing what makes its way to the front of Delicious.com/popular.
  • Make your text punchy. Use short sentences, small words. Be willing to break a few grammatical rules, if only for effect.
  • Pay attention by way of stats as to what posts do the best. Repeat often by writing new posts on the similar theme.
  • Think long and hard on what you want your posts to do for your audience. Want them to link to it? Make a thoughtful piece they want to remember. Want more comments? Ask for feedback.
  • Do something new from time to time. Way new. Totally and completely off the typical radar of your blog. And yet, tie it back to what your community cares about.
  • Use pictures. Go to Flickr and use Creative Commons shared photos to punch up your posts.
  • Deliver USEFUL information, not just opinions. Give people something to focus on.
  • But, have a strong voice, and an obvious opinion.
  • Write for your audience. Write as if you’re them. Write to tug at their thoughts and attention.
  • Finish the post as quickly as you can. Let people move on. (Unless you want it saved in Delicious/popular).

Promoting Your Content

  • Try out Zemanta, a plugin that lets you find related posts (and art and other stuff). I’ve noticed that by using Zemanta, and when others use it, my posts are suddenly showing up as links on other people’s blogs, thus driving more inbound links and driving more people to my site.
  • Write guest posts for related blogs.
  • Bundle your best posts into a free ebook and distribute them widely. Be sure to include links on how to subscribe to your blog within the ebook.
  • Have outposts on all the social networks. (I say this all the time, I know.) Outposts means building a profile there, and being sure that people know how to reach your blog.
  • Keep your eye out for new tools that will spread the word of your blog even further.
  • Make your RSS subscription buttons very visible, and also your social bookmarking tools.
  • Send out the occasional post via email to people who might not read you daily. Be brief and tactful in doing this one.

Above all else, consider who you’re trying to build the relationship with and write in such a way as to deliver that person the best possible experience with your blog they can have. Think like an entertainer in that regard. Give them the best show possible.

Is there anything else I missed? What do you see in your own blog that might be made better by any of the advice above? Look at my last few posts. Am I practicing what I preach? If not, call me out.

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  • http://kevinsgreatadventure.blogspot.com Kevin Cimring

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the great info. Could I ask you to share some advice related to analysing blog traffic. Currently, I am getting different information from Feedburner to the info I get from MyBlogLog, for example. Could you suggest one comprehensive analytical tool that shows traffic to the site, page views, offsite clicks etc.
    Kind regards
    Kevin

  • http://blog.angelaconnor.com AngelaConnor

    I always know I will get something useful here, Chris. Thanks again. I am walking away with new ideas. I will also be blogging about your Personal Branding e-book in the next week or so. It’s a must-read.

  • http://blog.angelaconnor.com Angela Connor

    I always know I will get something useful here, Chris. Thanks again. I am walking away with new ideas. I will also be blogging about your Personal Branding e-book in the next week or so. It’s a must-read.

  • http://clubblogger.com Larry

    Tks for the Info, I have been concentrating on just putting up posts. I need to change my writing to get visitors involved.

  • http://clubblogger.com Larry

    Tks for the Info, I have been concentrating on just putting up posts. I need to change my writing to get visitors involved.

  • http://www.heidiandlenser.com Lindsay

    Thanks for the info! For a new blogger like myself this is really helpful.

  • http://www.heidiandlenser.com Lindsay

    Thanks for the info! For a new blogger like myself this is really helpful.

  • http://jaxtr.blogspot.com JimAtJaxtr

    I think a big part of keeping a blog going is just setting aside the time for brainstorming. Getting the ideas going on a regular basis helps continue them. Plus, just reading other blogs helps me spark my own creativity.

  • http://jaxtr.blogspot.com JimAtJaxtr

    I think a big part of keeping a blog going is just setting aside the time for brainstorming. Getting the ideas going on a regular basis helps continue them. Plus, just reading other blogs helps me spark my own creativity.

  • http://www.brandthunder.com Kevin Dwinnell

    I’d offer “go beyond your comfort zone.”

    I’ve been surprised that the blog posts getting the most feedback are the ones I thought “should I post this?” Not that its anything controversial, just beyond the low-key/conservative approach I’d normally take.

  • http://www.brandthunder.com Kevin Dwinnell

    I’d offer “go beyond your comfort zone.”

    I’ve been surprised that the blog posts getting the most feedback are the ones I thought “should I post this?” Not that its anything controversial, just beyond the low-key/conservative approach I’d normally take.

  • http://www.passitonplates.com Pam Hawk

    Brill-E-Ant.

    I’m saving this post for reference. Also checking out Zemanta – what a handy tool.

    One thing I do to find topics is: Since I’m active at http://www.etsy.com, I check the forums to find out what kinds of questions people are asking over and over with only vague answers. I do a little research, post a solid answer, then post a link to my informational blog post on the forums. I have gotten more than a few comments from readers thanking me for the information and tips.

    Thanks again Chris!
    One of your regulars,
    Pam Hawk

  • http://www.passitonplates.com Pam Hawk

    Brill-E-Ant.

    I’m saving this post for reference. Also checking out Zemanta – what a handy tool.

    One thing I do to find topics is: Since I’m active at http://www.etsy.com, I check the forums to find out what kinds of questions people are asking over and over with only vague answers. I do a little research, post a solid answer, then post a link to my informational blog post on the forums. I have gotten more than a few comments from readers thanking me for the information and tips.

    Thanks again Chris!
    One of your regulars,
    Pam Hawk

  • http://blueduckcopy.com Jamie Simmerman

    I was just reading a draft of a blog post and wondering how to add more punch. I think it’s important to fire tings up every once and awhile. Thanks for the post.

  • http://blueduckcopy.com Jamie Simmerman

    I was just reading a draft of a blog post and wondering how to add more punch. I think it’s important to fire tings up every once and awhile. Thanks for the post.

  • http://klbns.wordpress.com Kool Beans

    Chris,

    You do great work. I don’t go one day without reading your blog.

    I have been in IT for 20 years and own my own business but I am new to internet marketing and social media. Your articles have become an essential resource for developing my business plan.

    If you what to “Set Your Blog On Fire” check out http://www.chrisbrogan.com everyday!

  • http://klbns.wordpress.com Kool Beans

    Chris,

    You do great work. I don’t go one day without reading your blog.

    I have been in IT for 20 years and own my own business but I am new to internet marketing and social media. Your articles have become an essential resource for developing my business plan.

    If you what to “Set Your Blog On Fire” check out http://www.chrisbrogan.com everyday!

  • http://www.dot-design.co.uk Gareth Coxon – Dot Design

    Great post as ever Chris! Have now installed Zemanta plugin and used it on my latest post, cheers, Gareth

  • http://www.dot-design.co.uk Gareth Coxon – Dot Design

    Great post as ever Chris! Have now installed Zemanta plugin and used it on my latest post, cheers, Gareth

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  • http://www.trumpetgroup.com Tiffany Starnes

    Great post. I find http://www.alltop.com is a great resource to browse what other bloggers are talking about in my industry for inspiration and appropriate link throughs. http://www.popurls is also a great place to see what’s happening in pop-culture.

  • http://www.trumpetgroup.com Tiffany Starnes

    Great post. I find http://www.alltop.com is a great resource to browse what other bloggers are talking about in my industry for inspiration and appropriate link throughs. http://www.popurls is also a great place to see what’s happening in pop-culture.

  • http://mousewords.net mousewords

    Great post! I’m already using its advice. :-)

  • http://mousewords.net mousewords

    Great post! I’m already using its advice. :-)

  • http://www.gosmart4u.com/ Candis Hidalgo

    I love the practicle, put-into-action advice here about starting a text file of titles and keeping track of mag cover titles. That’s something I can go and do right now, and it’ll make an impact.

    Stopped at the Zemanta booth at BWE and have been meaning to check it out ever since… sounds like it’s a great tool.

  • http://activerain.com/blogs/candees Candis Hidalgo

    I love the practicle, put-into-action advice here about starting a text file of titles and keeping track of mag cover titles. That’s something I can go and do right now, and it’ll make an impact.

    Stopped at the Zemanta booth at BWE and have been meaning to check it out ever since… sounds like it’s a great tool.

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine, Blog Consulta

    Outstanding, Brogan. Here’s a thought I’d like to share that I feel can add to this: provide opportunities for others. It’s an amazingly powerful thing to do, with massive rewards for the people who take those opportunities and run with them. And that comes back to you in the form of good karma and further opportunities for yourself.

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine, Blog Consultant

    Outstanding, Brogan. Here’s a thought I’d like to share that I feel can add to this: provide opportunities for others. It’s an amazingly powerful thing to do, with massive rewards for the people who take those opportunities and run with them. And that comes back to you in the form of good karma and further opportunities for yourself.

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  • http://chetztv.com/love-money-fitness Chetz Yusof

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the post. I’ve always had a notepad with me but never written any blog post idea on it. I’ll start now! I think I have to make it as a habit. Usually when I got an idea, I told myself, “I’ll write it later when I have my laptop in front of me”, but then I never did! Tsk.

    Chetz
    ChetzTV.com – Love, Money & Fitness Blog

  • http://chetztv.com/love-money-fitness Chetz Yusof

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the post. I’ve always had a notepad with me but never written any blog post idea on it. I’ll start now! I think I have to make it as a habit. Usually when I got an idea, I told myself, “I’ll write it later when I have my laptop in front of me”, but then I never did! Tsk.

    Chetz
    ChetzTV.com – Love, Money & Fitness Blog

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  • http://www.aceonlineschools.com Peter

    Chris,

    Awesome post. I’m helping start up a new blog right now, and your tips will absolutely come in handy.

    One idea that’s worked for me in the past: Come up with a theme that will allow you to write a handful of related posts — say, like a couple of chapters of the same book. Post them all at once, with prominent links between them for cross-traffic. Market them in slightly different arenas, and your traffic will be compounded.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.aceonlineschools.com Peter

    Chris,

    Awesome post. I’m helping start up a new blog right now, and your tips will absolutely come in handy.

    One idea that’s worked for me in the past: Come up with a theme that will allow you to write a handful of related posts — say, like a couple of chapters of the same book. Post them all at once, with prominent links between them for cross-traffic. Market them in slightly different arenas, and your traffic will be compounded.

    Cheers!

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  • http://www.sikisizle.in SikiÅŸ izle

    Thanks for the info! For a new blogger like myself this is really helpful.