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41 Blog Success Tips from 10 Years of Blogging You Can Learn Today

Blogging Tips
photo credit: jurvetson

I have been blogging for over 10 years, longer depending on your definition.

Perhaps my 1996 science fiction site was my first blog? Perhaps it was my online diary in 1998?

Whichever definition you use, while there are constant innovations in blogging, some things I learned from the start remain true today.

Here are 41 tips from my years of blogging that you can implement and benefit from right away:

 

  1. Read – The more you read the better writer you will be. Being a blog reader helps you understand the mind of the blog reader. What they want, how they like information to be presented, what turns you off. Read good blogs and note your thoughts.
  2. Take one step – Chunk it down. Don’t be overwhelmed, take one step at a time and keep going.
  3. Be interesting – Readers want to find fresh, valuable, entertaining remarkable information. Make an effort to deliver more than just facts. Make it about them, not you.
  4. Get your point across – Style, grammar, spelling all count for nothing if your audience doesn’t get your meaning. Make sure you are understood.
  5. Deliver the goods – Being valuable is more important than following any rules
  6. Be consistent – You are only as good as your last post
  7. Prioritize quality over quantityFewer kick-ass articles are better than many so-so posts
  8. Develop expertise - You might not be an expert now but you can be. Dive into your subject and hoover it up. Share what you learn and know.
  9. Hold on to passion – Keep the fires burning, don’t let your subject turn into a chore.
  10. Communicate fascination – If you love your subject then let your readers know, share your enthusiasm, make it contagious
  11. Write better – All of us can improve our writing but it takes effort and motivation
  12. Grow your experience – Do new things, broaden your horizons, stretch yourself
  13. Share your experience – When you learn something new, tell your readers about it. Case studies are excellent content.
  14. Explore and experimentKeep trying new things, never stagnate
  15. Be unique – If you are the same as everyone else, why would anyone visit your blog?
  16. Look good - Appearances count, both in terms of your blog design and your posts. Make your content zing!
  17. Make a great first impression – Do new visitors know what your blog is about in under 10 seconds? Can they navigate easily? Where is your best content?
  18. Build momentum – Keep pushing every day, do not be content, it takes less effort to keep going than to stop and start over.
  19. Optimize – Keep tweaking, continuously improve
  20. Write with focus - Don’t squander your readers attention, give them what they came for
  21. Build your reputation – Know what you stand for and deliver it consistently
  22. Go for keywordsFind out what your readers are looking for and write about it
  23. Write compelling headlines – Get attention, promise a benefit, provoke interest
  24. Offer full feeds and email – Attention is more important than page views. Aweber is the best email newsletter service.
  25. Interview – Supplement your knowledge by interviewing experts
  26. Break news - Be first to a story, let everyone know and see the links flood in
  27. Run contests – Contests are fun and build awareness
  28. Research, survey and poll – Research results are newsworthy and differentiate
  29. Toot your horn – Celebrate successes, send out press releases
  30. Monitor your stats - Stats tell you the health of your blog. Where is traffic coming from? Can you do more of what works? Is your blog growing or sliding? There are many free services.
  31. Comment and answer comments - Nurture your audience, make them know they are valued. Comment on other blogs.
  32. Link generously – If you want links then you have to first give them
  33. Join forums – Break out of your bubble, meet people where they are
  34. Give stuff away – You get what you give. Free downloads get rewarded with links and traffic.
  35. Make friends - One of the pleasures of blogging and also a route to success
  36. Guest blogWrite brilliant content for other bloggers and see your brand grow
  37. Ask questions – Curiosity is a virtue
  38. Twitter – Constantly communicate and get to know people. Anything too short for a blog post can be delivered in 140 characters
  39. Stumble – Train yourself to discover, recognize and share brilliant content. What you can identify you can imagine, what you can imagine you can create.
  40. Rebel – Break the rules, go against the flow, zig when others tell you to zag, do your own thing your own way
  41. Enjoy – Keep doing what you do until it stops being fun. When it is no longer fun, bring the fun back.

Let’s not let this list end at 41, please share your tips in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Whoo…quite a lot for me to read up. Great work, Chris!

  2. Whoo…quite a lot for me to read up. Great work, Chris!

  3. I wish all bloggers would follow tip #24, for their sake, as well as mine. You’re going to have to write a *really* interesting introduction to warrant me reading the rest of the article as it’s such an inconvenience.

    On the other hand, if I read an interesting full article then I’m more than likely to check out the original post to see if there were any more insights to be gained from the comments.

  4. I wish all bloggers would follow tip #24, for their sake, as well as mine. You’re going to have to write a *really* interesting introduction to warrant me reading the rest of the article as it’s such an inconvenience.

    On the other hand, if I read an interesting full article then I’m more than likely to check out the original post to see if there were any more insights to be gained from the comments.

  5. Paul Short says:

    Dugg! Nice read. Really nice. I’ve been blogging for quite a while myself and this is probably the most comprehensive list of blogging how-to I’ve ever seen. I need to print this out….

  6. Dugg! Nice read. Really nice. I’ve been blogging for quite a while myself and this is probably the most comprehensive list of blogging how-to I’ve ever seen. I need to print this out….

  7. Very comprehensive list Chris. I totally agree with Adam – hate those partial feeds with a passion. #7 is a good one too. People get so hung up on feeling they have to post every day, but your readers will actually be much more loyal if they know that all your posts will be quality, no matter what the frequency. Thanks for the link love too – much appreciated!

  8. Very comprehensive list Chris. I totally agree with Adam – hate those partial feeds with a passion. #7 is a good one too. People get so hung up on feeling they have to post every day, but your readers will actually be much more loyal if they know that all your posts will be quality, no matter what the frequency. Thanks for the link love too – much appreciated!

  9. I’ve been blogging for almost as long (about 7 or 8 years — not exactly sure!) and this list is right on. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves about the basics, about what’s true.

  10. I’ve been blogging for almost as long (about 7 or 8 years — not exactly sure!) and this list is right on. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves about the basics, about what’s true.

  11. Hi Chris.

    A great list. Although in essence you have already mentioned it, I would add persistence.

  12. Hi Chris.

    A great list. Although in essence you have already mentioned it, I would add persistence.

  13. @Sumesh – No rush, just take one point at a time :)

    @Adam – I have reduced my feed reading a couple of times and one of the criteria has always been to keep full over partial. One exception is Scott Adams, but there will always be exceptions :)

    @Paul – Thanks, I am sure there are still points missing but I think it is a start :)

    @Randa – Yup, a couple of times I squeezed a post out in a rush and wish I had spent more time on it. Sometimes while the idea is sound you are better off leaving a post until you can implement it well.

    @Michael – Exactly, as I say (a lot), common sense is seldom common practice :)

    @Amrit – Yes, sticking with it is a big part of success

  14. @Sumesh – No rush, just take one point at a time :)

    @Adam – I have reduced my feed reading a couple of times and one of the criteria has always been to keep full over partial. One exception is Scott Adams, but there will always be exceptions :)

    @Paul – Thanks, I am sure there are still points missing but I think it is a start :)

    @Randa – Yup, a couple of times I squeezed a post out in a rush and wish I had spent more time on it. Sometimes while the idea is sound you are better off leaving a post until you can implement it well.

    @Michael – Exactly, as I say (a lot), common sense is seldom common practice :)

    @Amrit – Yes, sticking with it is a big part of success

  15. Nice list – I’d add that it’s just as important to get outside your blog as it is inside – meaning that you must post comments, email other bloggers and build a reputation and a relationship.

  16. Nice list – I’d add that it’s just as important to get outside your blog as it is inside – meaning that you must post comments, email other bloggers and build a reputation and a relationship.

  17. 90% of everthing is just turning up…so #41 is right on the money.

  18. 90% of everthing is just turning up…so #41 is right on the money.

  19. I said it on Twitter and on SU but forgot to come back here and throw my two cents in. But I really think that consistently implementing this entire list would turn just about anyone into a power blogger.

  20. I said it on Twitter and on SU but forgot to come back here and throw my two cents in. But I really think that consistently implementing this entire list would turn just about anyone into a power blogger.

  21. Blogging is odd, and I like it. I relate to #41. It is important to remain true to yourself. The Web make the world seem much smaller. I did try Twitter and Stumble upon a few times, but don’t quite have the time to navigate those venues yet. Thanks for your list. E

  22. Blogging is odd, and I like it. I relate to #41. It is important to remain true to yourself. The Web make the world seem much smaller. I did try Twitter and Stumble upon a few times, but don’t quite have the time to navigate those venues yet. Thanks for your list. E

  23. Mark McCullagh says:

    Great resource here Chris. Thanks for that.

    I will be referring to it quite a lot over the coming months, I’m sure.

    The advice you give in #1 is so true. I have found that when I am not reading much, my vocabulary really suffers. I guess it’s true that the brain is like a muscle that needs exercise.

  24. Great resource here Chris. Thanks for that.

    I will be referring to it quite a lot over the coming months, I’m sure.

    The advice you give in #1 is so true. I have found that when I am not reading much, my vocabulary really suffers. I guess it’s true that the brain is like a muscle that needs exercise.

  25. Great post here. I think it’s very cool for you, having so much experience, to share your advice so openly. You’ve got a great site here, keep it up!

  26. Great post here. I think it’s very cool for you, having so much experience, to share your advice so openly. You’ve got a great site here, keep it up!

  27. Every day I search for good guides and tips about blogging (bcoz I’am a beginner :)). So this list is so important to me. Thanks for it. I think there are so many think for beginners in those articles pointed by you.

  28. Every day I search for good guides and tips about blogging (bcoz I’am a beginner :)). So this list is so important to me. Thanks for it. I think there are so many think for beginners in those articles pointed by you.

  29. Thanks for Great Tips on blogging.
    I like your blog.

  30. Thanks for Great Tips on blogging.
    I like your blog.

  31. Thanks for the great tips. I have been blogging for a couple of years. Initially, I had no idea what a “blog” was, but I needed to communicate with family and friends when I was in China. Recently when I returned home last November and decided to be a full time artist, I started a couple more blogs. Your tips are especially helpful for someone who is jsut starting out or who has been blogging!

    I also agree with no. 12, Mark’s comments on your vocabulary slipping. This definitely happened to me while in China with very few people speaking English!

    Great blog! MaryAnn

  32. Thanks for the great tips. I have been blogging for a couple of years. Initially, I had no idea what a “blog” was, but I needed to communicate with family and friends when I was in China. Recently when I returned home last November and decided to be a full time artist, I started a couple more blogs. Your tips are especially helpful for someone who is jsut starting out or who has been blogging!

    I also agree with no. 12, Mark’s comments on your vocabulary slipping. This definitely happened to me while in China with very few people speaking English!

    Great blog! MaryAnn

  33. Very good advice contained in the list. I’m just starting out blogging, however I also would like a large amount of faithful readers. I’m sure that the tips on this list will help out.

  34. Very good advice contained in the list. I’m just starting out blogging, however I also would like a large amount of faithful readers. I’m sure that the tips on this list will help out.

  35. This is a great list!…I specifically like numbers 1, 13, 35, 38, 39 and of course 41..^^…You just can’t leave it behind..^^

  36. This is a great list!…I specifically like numbers 1, 13, 35, 38, 39 and of course 41..^^…You just can’t leave it behind..^^

  37. Great List! So much to learn, a challenge for a technically illiterate. I’ll take your list to heart and try to make the most of this generously given valuable info. Thanks!

  38. Great List! So much to learn, a challenge for a technically illiterate. I’ll take your list to heart and try to make the most of this generously given valuable info. Thanks!

  39. Oh my god! ive seen 17,21 and 30..but 41! wow…i think my blog need to do some adjustment..i love 34…im planning to do some contest in my blog..the prize..500G HDD maybe…

  40. Oh my god! ive seen 17,21 and 30..but 41! wow…i think my blog need to do some adjustment..i love 34…im planning to do some contest in my blog..the prize..500G HDD maybe…

  41. Blogging is both an art and science. This is a great list, however, at the same time, our intuition is capable of helping us to create new approaches and consider alternative ways of generating readerships. Regards, Keith Johnson, Author “365 Great Affirmations”

  42. Blogging is both an art and science. This is a great list, however, at the same time, our intuition is capable of helping us to create new approaches and consider alternative ways of generating readerships. Regards, Keith Johnson, Author “365 Great Affirmations”

  43. I am just getting started in the blogging world. And I must admit that it is quite unique and so much out there. I feel that this blog has much information helping to make one a successful blogger.

  44. I am just getting started in the blogging world. And I must admit that it is quite unique and so much out there. I feel that this blog has much information helping to make one a successful blogger.

  45. Chris,

    What a great article. I am glad I found your blog via Performancing. Keep up the great work.

    Bill

  46. Chris,

    What a great article. I am glad I found your blog via Performancing. Keep up the great work.

    Bill

  47. Love the list. A question though.

    For a new blogger is it best to get about 5-10 pages of pure content and then start going for quality over quantity or should one post infrequently, but with fantastic posts, right out of the gate?

  48. Love the list. A question though.

    For a new blogger is it best to get about 5-10 pages of pure content and then start going for quality over quantity or should one post infrequently, but with fantastic posts, right out of the gate?

  49. Hi Chris,

    Very Helpful and encouraging list.

    I’m new to blogging so it all helps!

  50. Hi Chris,

    Very Helpful and encouraging list.

    I’m new to blogging so it all helps!

  51. Thanks for this. I love short explanatory bulleted lists. Gives information without too much dancing around the subject.

    Maybe you should add that as another bullet ;)

  52. Thanks for this. I love short explanatory bulleted lists. Gives information without too much dancing around the subject.

    Maybe you should add that as another bullet ;)

  53. I am fairly new to blogging and i have read several tips on effective blogging and this is the most comprehensive and most practical I have seen. I wish you had more to say about #32 since I know I have to do that but I have no clue how. Any tips?

    thanks

  54. I am fairly new to blogging and i have read several tips on effective blogging and this is the most comprehensive and most practical I have seen. I wish you had more to say about #32 since I know I have to do that but I have no clue how. Any tips?

    thanks