11 Lessons Learned from 500 Blog Posts

Sometimes we surprise ourselves. I didn’t imagine there would one day be 500 posts on Work Better, Not Harder when it started back in 2010. I wasn’t thinking beyond the stress of getting that first post published. Yet here we are and I’m feeling a little emotional… in a good way.

It’s not easy to pinpoint one or two blogging success factors so I settled on eleven – down from a much longer list.

1. Give value to your current/potential customers plus referrers.

People who know me are surely tired of hearing me say this: figure out what would be useful or interesting to your target market and give them that. Writing for your current customers is a great way to get started.

2. Watch your stats frequently.

Pay attention to what readers are interested in and do more of what gives you the best results. If something isn’t working, ditch it and start something new. If you aren’t watching your stats at least weekly, you won’t know what’s working.

3. Just start.

Don’t let technology hold you up. If you don’t know the best way to do it, find someone who does. If you can’t afford the best, find an interim solution. There’s nothing about blogging that can’t be redone or improved on later.

4. Learn to write better.

Sure, being a great writer is helpful but not essential. It’s easy to work on improving your writing skills if you really want to. Check for free and paid courses online as a start, ask someone who writes well for some pointers, and practice lots.

5. Have a strategy for guest posts.

Since the first guest post went up on Work Better, Not Harder, I regularly get requests from total strangers to write articles for my blog. I have worked hard to build my blog following so giving strangers access has never been part of my strategy. I do, though, solicit articles from colleagues and clients now and then – but they are always highly relevant. Know what you’re going to say when someone asks to write a guest post for your blog.

6. Use keywords and phrases your target market will search.

Think about your customers and the questions they ask. There are others looking for those answers, too. Even if you’ve been blogging for a while, check to make sure you’ve answered all the questions you can.

7. Link from one post to another as often as it makes sense.

Keep people reading after they have finished one article by giving them links to more on the same topic. After writing a new post, go through it and add links to past relevant posts. Aim for 3 links per article.

8. Have a call to action on every post.

Whether it’s part of the post, in your author bio, or in the sidebar, make sure to include a call to action. You have someone’s attention when they’re reading your article; next you need to ask for more attention or it’s a lost opportunity.

9. Make it easy to share and ask people to share.

Depending on the blogging platform you use, this may be easier said than done but there are lots of separate apps and tools you can use. Having your posts shared is the best way to get new readers you can turn into fans.

10. Follow other blogs that give you inspiration.

Who are your blogging heroes? They might be in your industry or not but find other bloggers who you can learn from just by watching.

11. Be consistent.

Keep showing up. Keep the commitment you make to yourself and your fans. Feel the pressure to write regularly. If you are consistent, there’s no question your skill will improve and your results will improve.

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