Thursday, June 27, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 25: Ask Your Readers A Question

Asking readers questions is a fantastic way to grow your blog.

1. It gives readers a sense of community

2. Readers feel engaged.

3. Reader comments give you a means of entering into conversation with them.

4. Question posts are good for helping you gauge where your readers are at with certain topics.

5. Reader answers can fuel future post ideas.

Some bloggers might be scared the question will go unanswered. This can be disheartening, but you can answer your own question giving the post value all its own. But here are some tips to engage readers into commenting:

1. Keep on topic to the blog.

2. Ask questions that are answerable. Yes, I know that's a "duh" response, but you'd be surprised--some questions are just too hard to answer. Choose your question wisely.

3. Ask a question readers want to know the question to.

4. Follow up on frequently asked questions on other blogs or your own.

5. Ask people what they do in their own lives concerning a topic. 

So here's my question...

Does anyone have a book they want me to buy, read and report back on? Let me know!
ProBlogger Book

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 24: Use A Magazine To Improve Your Blog

Intriquing. What do magazines have to do with blogs? 

Well, to me, blogs have rather that magazine feel with their informative articles and beautiful or interesting pictures. So we can learn a lot from old media. Respect your elders!

1. Pick a magazine. Hopefully one in the genre you blog about but others can give you ides too!

2. Thumb through it. Tag what catches your eye.

3. Notice design, colors, pictures, text style everything that you notice right away.

4. Look at ad placement.

Absorb the magazine. It is a media that places things that yells BUY ME! Remember that Respect your elders? comment--well magazines still have some good ideas.

Magazines can give you ideas for posts, design, and can get the creativeness going. They also are a different form of media that allow you to keep up on your niche (Day 10 comes to mind).

Now, go over those things you tagged and pay special attention to detail. Format, pictures, content, design--all that stuff. 

At the very least, you'll absorb some good articles to post on!
Darren Rowe's book on blogging

Friday, June 21, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 23: Call Your Readers To Action

Click Here
READERS! Here are some Calls to Action
1 ~ Make your own blog amazing! GET DARREN'S eBOOK.

2 ~ Make a call to action for your readers!

Most readers are passive. Especially when there is no call to action. You might get 1% to make comments. But there is an art to the CTA request. 

Mix in some of your own personality, make it pretty, make it easy and be clear on what to do. Sounds oh so simple! 

Check out this post on How to Get More Clients and Stop Sucking at Business. And at Baseball. Maybe.   

It's all in the ask.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 22: Pay Special Attention To A Reader

Haven't we gone over this? Well, maybe we have in Day 5 and maybe it's just really important to let your readers know you care. Which is what Darren says in the book. He says...When you create space on your blog to highlight readers in some way, the impact can be quite profound--particularly if you do it regularly.

Now, of course Darren doesn't forget the start-up people. He say if you have no readership yet, then try making another blogger famous by writing a post that links to them and highlights them.

For me, it's a no-brainer to do this. This is what my blog has become in the last months. Every time I post, it's to celebrate someone else. Nose Droppings has become something more of value and not just my thoughts on a variety of topics.  I've since thought of buying blog books and writing books and making this the go to place for wonderful new ideas on blogging/writing to attract readers.

But on to how to make a reader famous:

1 ~ Promote a comment to a post. Did someone have an insightful comment? Explore it more. Highlight the wisdom of the reader who made the comment.

2 ~ Write a post about the reader's blog. Write what you like about a reader's blog. Fix a link to your resources page.

3 ~ Have a Reader of the Week. Choose a different reader every week to highlight in a post.

4 ~ Invite a reader to post on your blog.

5 ~ Conduct an interview with an interesting reader.

6 ~ Create an Introduce yourself post. Write a post inviting readers to introduce themselves.

7 ~ Ask a question on twitter and highlight their answers on your blog.

I whole~heartedly agree with Darren's's about recognizing everyday readers. The people who appreciate your work and value your advice, and are most likely to become loyal, regular readers.
But today, I'm highlight Darren Rowe and his book...
Click for the link to grab Darren's advice

Monday, June 17, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 21: Conduct A Policy Review

This was my first WTH question to Darren. Policy for a blog? Oh hell YES! 

Darren goes into all the legality that made me a bit confused until he explained it at the very end. He didn't make it sexy, so I am. 

Here's why policies are sexy~

       1. Policies help keep decisions easy when you have situations come up.
       2. Policies protect you from making blunders.
       3. Policies help you stay consistent.
Policies are blog condoms. For the safety of you and your readers, put some on. Here are some policies to think about~

  1. Do you respond to all comments good or bad?
  2. Do you allow all comments good or bad?
  3. Do you approve comments?
  4. Do you have a copyright policy?
  5. Do you allow ads?
  6. Do you allow fellow bloggers to post on your behalf?
 Of course Darren has further reading about How does your comment policy affect your readership so check out his book
Click HERE for the book!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 20: Leave Comments On Other Blogs

I feel the need to warn you...this needs to be done the right way with the right frame of mind.

Do not expect people flocking to your blog--

  • Give value on your comments even on your competitors blog.
  • Do it because you have something to say.
  • Do it because you want to contribute.
  • Do it without expecting others to give back.
You have the added benefit of researching your competitor, keeping up with your niche, getting ideas for topics, and finding people you can help.

What TO DO:
  1. Comment regularly. Do it from the heart. Commenting regularly will give you the familiar factor.
  2. Keep on topic. Don't stray and try to make it in the direction of your blog.
  3. Give your opinion. Don't just regurgitate what the post said, actually think about the post.
  4. Add another point the blogger didn't mention.
  5. Ask relevant questions.

  1. No SPAM. Putting "Great Post" with a link to your blog is spammy.
  2. Don't just say anything, be authentic.
  3. Don't give open and close comments, leave the door open for conversation.
  4. No blasting other comments. The comments are for conversation not a lynching.  Trolling might get you a reaction but do you really want to deal with the blow back?
  5. Unless sarcasm is your persona, and even if it is, please leave it behind. Negative vibes don't bring you readers. 
Definitely get this book:
What to do? Get this book!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How To Build A Better Blog Day 19: Write An Opinion Post

Wrong on so many levels
You've got one, don't hide it. 

Opinion's that is. 

Now I've seen obscene opinions and I've seen boring clinical opinions. I've seen opinions that think they are opinions but really are trying to please everyone. Wishy-washy opinions and OMG opinions flow in that too. So here's a novelty--be authentic.

You have an opinion. Even your opinion's have opinion's and sometimes they contradict. It doesn't matter. Show both sides as an opinion. 

But don't excuse, fear, shun or shy away from your opinion and especially on a blog. What you think matters. What you care about will show in your writing when you put your two cents in. What you're really doing is finding your reader. 

Those who feel the same as you do will feel a connection. Those who don't will either respect you for voicing your thoughts or leave. If they leave, they aren't your reader anyway. If they write a scathing opinion of their own you can turn your blog around and DELETE COMMENT if you so choose. 

You've gotta fight, for your right, to paaaarrrrttaaayy. And that's just my opinion!

Go forth and write!

And get Darren's book!
Buy the book HERE

Friday, June 7, 2013

How To Build A Better Blog Day 18: Create A Sneeze Page For Your Blog

Photo Credit: Greg's One! via Compfight cc

As in don't sneeze or you'll miss it? 

As in nothing to sneeze at? Hmmm....No.

Darren made-up that term for "...a page that propels people deep into your blog by highlighting the best posts you've written."

Okay, that sounds like the wordpress plug-in for most popular posts or related posts. But a sneeze page doesn't seem to be exactly like that. It's blogs you know are your best content.

Darren says: "One challenge many bloggers face is that over time the archives of their blogs fill up with hundreds of posts. the problem is a blog generally only highlights the most recent posts that you've written."

And so, that post you love so much--why not make it "sticky"?

A sneeze page can be a page or a post. I see it as a way to review content you may have forgotten. Call it "The Best of..." post or page.

And, of course the plug...
Purchase the book HERE!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 17: Watch A First Time Reader Use Your Blog

Photo Credit: frequencyness via Compfight cc

I'm sure you get the idea!Invite a friend/family member/abductee in your home, in front of your computer and subject them have them read your blog!

Watch ~

  1. Where they click.
  2. What gets their attention.
  3. how they navigate your blog.
 After about 5 - 10 minutes ask them ~

  • What were their first impressions.
  • What did they think your blog is about.
  • Was it easy to read? Navigate? Understand?
  • What did they feel?
  • What suggestions do they have?
  • What questions do they have?
  • How would they describe the design.
  • What are the main elements they remember?
 Now this is great and getting someone who doesn't really know your field to give you feedback is wonderful. But also, I see if you can get someone remotely interested in your blog topic, it would be even more helpful. Readers that have no interest in the subject might not be the best judge. 

ACTION ITEM: Pull someone off the street Get a friend to help you with the above!

Click HERE!

You know I love him! Get Darren's book ---------------------------->

Monday, June 3, 2013

Build A Better Blog Day 16: Solve A Problem

Solving Problems is a good way to get readers. Here's my question ~ Am I solving your problem with these posts?

If you can answer yes, then I'm doing my job! 

So--this is going to be a LIST post. (Click HERE to go back and review Day # 2)

1. Solve your own problems. 
My blog is Nose Droppings. Of course I'm going to pull out some really good problems and write about them! Sometimes I don't get resolution. But solving your own problems shows others, it's been done before...and here! Look--it's already solved! People pay money for that kind of stuff. Heck, you could be a problem solver and get readers! 

2. Look for questions to answer. 
Okay, here's where Darrin gives you five different ways and says the same thing. Darrin gives you three points that tell you: 

~ Search referrals in you analytics. 
~ Look for problems on other sites. 
~ Use social media to gather questions. 

If you've been active in other blogs, groups, social media, you might already have answered a few questions to become an authority. Why not take one of those questions you answered and post it. 

3. Ask Readers.
Yeah, if you're starting out this isn't as helpful. Refer back to #2. If you do have a following -- ask them by:

~ Write a post asking for questions. What do readers want type post.
~ Email recent commenters. This is reminiscent of Day #5. 
~ Set up a contact form that acts as a questionnaire. Right on! That serves both parties. 
~ Survey your people.
~ Run a poll. Seriously don't know the real difference between a poll and a survey but I believe in you. I'll let you run with it.

4. Ask friends/family.
Privacy is a concern, but if you change the names of all involved, it could be all right! Friends and family have problems too. Maybe you can help them AND your readers! 

ACTION ITEM: Answer a question! 

Yeah, Darren is much better at answering all this! You should buy his book!