Blogging Can Be A Lot Like Riding a Bike

Sometimes blogging is just like walking your dog

New to blogging? Read this post, which includes tips on how to write for your audience.


I live in the U.S. and on Labor Day my husband and I went for a bike ride.

Now, I hadn’t ridden my bike in a year so I wondered whether I would topple over as I took off.

I didn’t!

When we ride our bikes, we take the same 17-mile path every time. While the path may be the same, the environment changes, so it’s never boring.

Sometimes we see egrets and during the winter the creek can crest and spill over. Then there’s the pesky squirrel that loves to take a sprint in front of us.

So every time we ride, we notice something new.

Don’t you find blogging to be similar?

You can take a break from it and when you return, the steps are familiar. However, each time you write a new post you cover new territory, have new insights, and share new facts.

And each time you approach a new blog post, you need to explore topics that your audience wants to or needs to learn about.

Are you answering your audience’s questions or helping your audience learn something new or interesting? Or, are you simply writing an article that meets your needs, which can be as simple as “getting something out there” because someone said blogging is good for SEO.

You wouldn’t do that, would you?

In you are still new to blogging I recommend you read this post by HubSpot, which provides an useful formula to follow. Even if you’re not new to blogging, you may find their suggestions helpful.

Now let’s talk about your audience.

Frances Caballo - Blogging Just for WritersHow to Write Blog Posts Your Audience Craves

Unlike HubSpot’s template, there isn’t a formula for knowing how to reach your audience with your blog. It takes work, patience, experimentation, and perseverance. However, I can suggest these tips:

  1. One way to find your audience is to read blogs written by authorities in your niche. But don’t just read them; leave comments as well. As you build a relationship with these experts, pitch a guest post to them. The more often you write guest posts, the quicker your blog email list will grow and the faster you’ll expand your audience.
  2. Use Survey Monkey to ask your readers what they most want to learn from you through your blog.
  3. Then there’s the issue of length. Some say blog posts should be brief; others say they should be at least 1,200 – 1,800 words. Seth Godin, a master blogger and marketer, doesn’t abide by any of these rules. What I’ve learned is that there isn’t a correct answer. Write posts that most appeal to your readers in topic and length. You’ll know that you’re reaching your audience by the comments your readers leave,  the social media shares you receive, and the blog subscriptions that grow.
  4. Use visuals. Our brains can process visuals much faster than text and images provide a break in the blocks of text, which is a welcome relief for our eyes.
  5. Think about expanding into podcasts and videos. People love to listen to podcasts while they travel to work. Then publish the text of your podcast as a blog post. For video interviews, you can embed the html code from YouTube to your blog and provide a summary of the interview’s content.
  6. Each time you write a post ask yourself, “Will this post serve or help my audience?” Think of just one member of your audience and write a post for that person. Imagine what that person tells you that he or she needs to learn and write a post as your response.

Consistent blogging isn’t easy. You need to commit to the task, stick to your posting schedule, and stretch the boundaries of your skills. Read posts on the blogosphere, continually further your education, and strive to learn as much as you can about your audience so you can better meet its needs.

Blogging Topics for Authors

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Not Sure How to Blog? Follow These 4 Steps

Not Sure How to Blog? Follow These 4 Steps
Blogging. It’s wise for all authors to do it. Are you wondering how to blog? Keep reading.


Authors, who write a lot either as a passion or for a living, often seem stymied when it comes to writing blog posts.

I commonly hear the following comments:

“I said everything in my book.”

“My life isn’t that interesting.”

“I don’t have time.”

Well, as someone once told me, it’s not that we don’t have time; it’s that we let other tasks take priority.

Blogging can be as painful and as rewarding as gardening. Yes, gardening is hard work. You have to dig with your fingers into the recalcitrant dirt, get dirty, take risks with those rose thorns, and suffer the pain of bee sting.

But you can also enjoy fresh tomatoes for your salads, flowers for your vases, and the deep sense of appreciation that you created this marvelous symphony of colors and edibles.

Now you might have heard that fiction authors don’t need to blog. I don’t adhere to that philosophy. I know that blogging signals to Google that you have a dynamic website and offers another opportunity to connect with your readers.

As a fiction author, there are so many options you can pursue. You can review other books regularly or whenever you have the inclination. You can share your marketing tips. You can tell your readers about characters who never made the final edit of your book or share back stories on your main characters.

You can talk about how you got the idea for your latest novel. You can even talk about the death of a pet, your plans to move, explain where you write, and discuss why you write.

And you can do a mix of all of those topics.

Fiction authors have a wide open field of topics to select from. With those many options, why wouldn’t you want to regularly blog?

4-Point How to Blog Blueprint for Authors

Here are my best tips for creating blog posts that will light up your website and generate new traffic.

how to blog

Step One:  Write Your Content

If you’re looking for ideas for your blog, be sure to read this post: 34 Blogging Topics Just for Writers. Here are some additional ideas:

  • When you’re really stuck, use HubSpot’s blog topic generator. Type in a few words and Hubspot will give you several ideas.
  • Read other blog posts. I’m not suggesting that you steal other blogger’s topics, however, I do suggest that you check out who’s writing what and how those posts fair in terms of social shares. Maybe you can take a contrary view or expand on that topic.
  • Use BuzzSumo to see what’s popular.
  • Have you read a post that you don’t agree with? Explain why. I did once and it was so popular that CreateSpace included my post in its newsletter for authors.
  • Check out the types of comments other writers leave in blog posts you read. What questions do they ask? Then write a blog post that answers those questions.
  • What questions or comments do your readers leave on your Facebook page? Answer those in a blog post.
  • What questions do your readers ask in your blog comments?
  • Subscribe to a lot of blogs and read them. Yes, this will help you to generate topics.
  • Conduct a survey. I’ve done this and then used the survey responses as my editorial calendar.
  • When all else fails, go for a walk. That tactic always helps me.

how to blog

Step Two: Create Your Visuals

Once you write and upload your new post to your website, your next job is to create your visuals.

Here’s what I do. Using Canva, I take a shortcut by sizing the image of the top of my post using Twitter’s dimensions because those dimensions also work for Facebook.

Then I create a larger visual for Pinterest.

There are many types of visuals you can insert into your blog posts:

  1. Photos
  2. Infographics
  3. Graphic illustrations
  4. Videos
  5. Screenshots

Visuals improve your SEO (search engine optimization) because they become another way to add your keyword to your post. It’s also a fact that color images improve the reading of your post and multiple images keep people reading.

Also, when you share your post on social media, your visual will automatically be picked up and shared along with your headline and link. Updates are social media attract more readers and shares increase when you include an image.

Face it: creating your visuals are as important as writing your blog post.

Step Three: Determine Your Best Headline

Headlines are critical. They have to deliver a punch, attract a reader’s attention, and pique curiosity in your social media followers.

You want a headline that rocks. But don’t start your new post by writing a headline. The best time to write a headline is after you’ve finished the entire post and figured out your keywords.

Write a blog headline that rocks via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

It’s also important to test your headline using an analyzer. There are various free tools on the internet to use but the one I like best also measures the emotional impact of your headline. Here’s the link for Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer.

how to blog

Step Four: Promote Your New Posts with Social Media

I use a cool social share plugin called Social Warfare. On the text side of my blog, Social Warfare enables me to upload the images I want to use on social media, including Pinterest.

Here’s an example of what Social Warfare looks like when it’s in use on my website.

Social Warfare plugin example by Frances Caballo

As you can see above, I also have the options to write my Pinterest description, social media description and exact tweet. So whenever someone shares my post using my social share icons, the images and messages I’ve prepared appeared automatically.

In addition to using Social Warfare, I use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. This plugin allows me to set up Twitter cards. A Twitter card is the image that accompanies the tweet.

So there you have it, my four steps to perfect author blogging.

Blogging Just For Writers by Frances Caballo

A terrific and practical book for writers who want and/or need to blog. Ms Caballo knows her stuff. Her suggestions are sensible, doable and down to earth. Loved it. ~~ Vicki Stiefel 

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s has written for  TheBookDesigner.com, Jane Friedman, Joanna Penn, BookWorks, and other blogs. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

In today’s post, I want to share some of my best Pinterest Tips for Writers.

Whenever I feel beleaguered from reading email, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates, I sneak over to Pinterest and feast on the images.

Opening Pinterest is a well-deserved break from the blocks of text I normally read on blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts.

Don’t mistake me; Pinterest isn’t just a vacation for my eyes. It’s a powerful social media network that, research indicates, nearly rivals Facebook in terms of traffic referral.

I take time to use it professionally and value its power.

In fact, according to Shareaholic, Pinterest accounts for three times more traffic referral than Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn all together. Wow!

If you thought Pinterest was for the DIY, beauty, and crafts aficionados, think again. Men are discovering Pinterest and there are numerous ways for writers to use Pinterest to market their books and connect with readers, prospective readers, and colleagues.

10 Quick Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Create a pinboard for your blog and save the images from your blog to your pinboard. Whenever you save images from your website or blog, the web address will attach to the image. Then when users click your image, they will travel to your website and read your post and hopefully navigate to other pages on your website. Below is an example of a video I pinned to my pinboard of blogging images. Yes, you can save videos to your pinboards!

Sharon Hamilton2. Do you have trouble getting your writing started in the morning? Create a pinboard of visual writing prompts and share them on Twitter and Facebook.

Pinterest

  1. Repin images that represent the venues where characters in your novels and stories live and travel to. This board of mine is titled Barcelona and I created it for a future novel.

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Find images that represent the clothing your characters wear and the meals they enjoy. Here’s an example of a dress a character might wear in a historical fiction novel.

Historical fiction novel

  1. Create a pinboard of your favorite books.

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Create a pinboard of books your colleagues have written. This will help your colleagues’s books enjoy greater awareness on Pinterest. Here’s a book cover from my friend and colleague, Sharon Hamilton.

Sharon Hamilton

 

  1. Do you love bookstores? Create a pinboard of beautiful bookstores from around the world.

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Writers love libraries, right? Create a pinboard of libraries from around the world.

 

libraries [Read more…]

Blogs and Podcasts I Read and Listen to Every Week

We all have our secret list of favorite blogs and podcasts we prefer. I base my preferences on whether or not I learn anything new and, especially in the case of podcasts, whether there’s an entertainment value.

Don’t get me wrong; solid information is what keeps me coming back week after week. But when it comes to podcasts, the audio has to be clear, the guests interesting, and the topics need to resonate with my struggles or interest. I listen to podcasts while I’m on the treadmill so if an episode doesn’t hold my interest sufficiently, the exercise can become unbearable.

I thought you might want to find out which bloggers and podcasters I pay close attention to. Well, here they are.

Bloggers I Read

Anne R. Allen

I adore Anne’s blog. Aside from being one smart lady, her mix of sass and education is priceless.

Buffer Blog

The folks at Buffer write in-depth posts that always teach me a new skill. I rely on this blog to keep my social media skills sharp.

BookWorks

I’m proud to be a blogger at BookWorks, but that’s not why the blog is on this list. I enjoy the other bloggers, including Penny Sansevieri, Carla King, Helen Sedwick, and Joel Friedlander, who write sharp posts. I always learn something when I read a new post, which is why I read blogs in the first place.

TheBookDesigner.com by Joel Friedlander

Blogger, author, and entrepreneur, Joel Friedlander is a masterful blogger and businessman who blogs on Mondays and has guest bloggers appear on Wednesdays. I always look forward to seeing what’s new on his site. Be sure to read his monthly reviews of book covers. You’ll learn a lot.

Jane Friedman

Jane is an author, former publisher of Writer’s Digest, and astute marketing maven. I always enjoy seeing what she has to say or one of her guest bloggers.

Digital Pubbing

Sabrina is a writer, ebook developer, and blogger at DigitalPubbing.com. I enjoy her interviews, posts, and compilation of top posts on specific topics. I wouldn’t miss an issue.

Podcasts I Follow

Serial

The reporters from This American Life are the hosts of this show. They dissect a story to its core, using their investigative reporter skills. If you can learn something from this podcast, it’s how to tell a story in an engaging, entertaining manner. But these stories are real so while they are entertaining, they can also be quite sad. I love this series. I’ve listened to the first two seasons and am eagerly awaiting season three.

Self-Publishing Formula Podcast

Mark Dawson and James Blatch co-host this podcast. Mark Dawson is a thriller author who hosts trainings on online advertising for indie authors. James Blatch is a former BBC News journalist who is currently writing his first novel. Together they form a formidable team.

Smarty Pants Book Marketing

Chris and Becca Syme, a mother-daughter team. Chris is a marketer and Becca is a hybrid author. Together they interview guests and share marketing strategies.

The Author Biz by Stephen Campbell

Stephen Campbell loves to analyze figures, so his guests often arrive at the show with spreadsheets noting how much they’ve spent, how much they’ve earned, and how many books they’ve sold. It’s always fun to hear about another indie author’s success.

The Creative Penn

This is my favorite podcast. I adore Joanna Penn’s personal ramblings at the beginning of the show, and she can make even the seemingly most boring topic fascinating. She’s bubbly, positive, and informative – a winning combination.

Frances CaballoThe author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for WritersThe Author’s Guide to Goodreads, and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Avoid Social Media Time SuckGet a free copy of Avoid Social Media Time Suck from Smashwords!

11 Ways You May Be Spooking Your Readers on Social Media

Don't Spook Your Readers on Social Media by Frances CaballoAs a child, I would frighten easily. I never entered a haunted house, and I hated clowns.

More accurately, clowns scared the bejeezus out of me.

And on Halloween one year, I visited neighborhood and when I knocked, instead of seeing a welcoming parent answer the door, a horrifying wolf did. (In reality, it was a tall boy wearing a scary wolf mask.)

I dashed down the stairs and across the street and narrowly escaped being hit by a car.

Do you have similar stories?

Now that we’ve all grown up, you might think that it would be difficult to scare others, especially your readers. Well, that’s not exactly true.

You may not frighten them to the point they scream with horror, but you can do things that will chase them away.


Not sure when to post your social media updates? Get the Cheat Sheet than tells you when. Download now!

Free Social Media Cheat Sheet by Frances Caballo


 

Don't create a Facebook author page and then abandon it via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

Let’s look at eleven situations that might be scaring off your readers, especially new readers.
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Unsure What to Do? 5 Questions Authors Need Answers To

Answers to Authors' Questions by Frances CaballoI’ve gathered a list of questions authors have asked me during the past five months, and I’m providing my answers so that everyone can see them. If you want to see an earlier post in which I published an author’s FAQ, you can see it here: Indie Authors’ FAQ on Publishing and Marketing.

Without future ado, let’s get started.

Kindle Unlimited is hurting my sales.

I heard this complaint at a meeting recently. An Indie author who published his first novel a year ago complained that providing free e-copies of his eBook through Kindle Unlimited caused a drop in book sales.

The author said he planned to withdraw his book from the program as soon as possible.

My response? Don’t do it.

[Read more…]

How to Blog Like a Pro

10-20-14 How to Blog-2
Would you love to know the secrets of blogging queens, kings, princes and princesses? You know, those who have hundreds of comments on their blogs and receive thousands of retweets?

Well, Denise Wakeman recently interviewed digital marketing expert Rebekah Radice of Imagine Wow whose topic was how to blog like a pro.

First some background.

If you haven’t come across Denise Wakeman online yet, you might want to connect with her on Google+ and subscribe to her weekly Hangout called Adventures in Visibility.

If you prefer podcasts, you’ll find her on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud as well.

Every week, Denise interviews top pros in the field of online marketing. Her program is consistently good, and she has quite a following.

How to Blog Like a Pro

Rebekah started blogging in 2004. As she explained, she’d always been a writer and at first blogged for the fun of it. Then she saw what an opportunity blogging provides for marketers.

Would you like to know this social media whiz’s secret to great blogging? It’s pretty simple, actually.

Develop a habit. Yep, that’s it. Years ago she knew she needed to be consistent in her blogging, and she wanted to cover big-picture topics while also providing the nitty-gritty details. So she committed to posting one, lengthy blog post every week.

She doesn’t miss a week either. Whenever she schedules a vacation or travels to a conference, she knows that she has to write those posts in advance.

After all, consistency is a major key to blogging. Here are other important factors to successful blogging:

  • Grab people’s attention.
  • Don’t be too wordy.
  • Focus your points and provide as many tips as possible. People love bullets with tips.
  • Create an editorial calendar for the next three months but be open to accommodating new topics.

Now let’s turn the question around. What contributes to a blog failing?

  • Lack of Consistency.
  • Lack of Goals.
  • Lost of focus
  • Not knowing what you’re passionate about
  • Not establishing a blog calendar.

10-20-14 2nd image Frances Caballo

How to Get Your Audience to Share Your Content

Rebekah’s number one tool for increasing shares is that she endeavors to build a relationship with her followers.

That’s the beauty of social media. Unlike any other method of marketing, blogging and social media enable authors to get to know their readers.

When we blast our content, and never ask questions, we relinquish occasions to learn about our audience.

Select one typical person in your audience. What does that person need to know? How can you help that individual? What challenges face that person?

Michael Hyatt describes his audience clearly. He writes for men of a certain age and a certain income bracket.

Rebekah says that once you determine who that person is, it becomes easier to write for that person.

Social Buzz Club and Triberr

Rebekah also mentioned Social Buzz Club and Triberr. Triberr is an app that enables Twitter followers to form groups. The purpose of the groups is to share each other’s content communally.

Similarly, Social Buzz is another collaborative network of professionals who blog. Communities form to engage in reciprocal sharing.

Further Your Brand with Images

As you may have noticed, I’ve been creating a lot of my own images for this blog. Listening to Rebekah, I discovered what I’m not doing: being consistent with the colors of my brand and the font.

That needs to change.


 “There’s enormous value in niching down.”

Rebekah Radice


Finally, she encourages people to “niche down.” Not everyone wants what you have to offer and besides, when you don’t define your specific niche you don’t reach anyone because it’s impossible to market to an unruly audience.

Further Reading:

Blogging Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Blog Promotion, SEO and Twitter for Writers

Blog Promotion, SEO and Twitter for WritersThis week’s Roundup encompasses the Holy Grail of book promotion: blog promotion, search engine optimization, Twitter for writers, and social media in general. These articles will help you to better understand SEO, improve traffic to your blog, keep you updated on changes with Twitter, and educate you about the science behind hashtags. I hope you enjoy them!

The Definitive Checklist For Effective Blog Post Promotion from Blogging Wizzard: We all want more eyeballs on our content right? But, the challenge that we all face at some point is that it’s just not as quick and easy as we would like. Sometimes, in the pursuit of promoting blog posts better, it’s easy for us to feel like we’re just spinning our wheels, not really getting anywhere fast. I’ve been there, we all have. The truth is that without a solid checklist to work through – we’re just throwing our time away.

3 Twitter Basics You Probably Don’t Know About from BookPromotion.com: Twitter is hands down my favorite platform for authors. Again, and as always, not for tweeting BUY MY BOOK links repeatedly (which is not only annoying but also against The Twitter Rules we all agreed to), but for connecting with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers, as well as other authors. There are few tools I find particularly helpful when it comes to sharing my work and the work of my clients on Twitter.

Content Creators Ranking Checklist: How Quality Scores Influence from Search Engine Watch: Scoring influence has never been so important, as brands, consumers, search engines, and social networks figure out ways to rise above the content clutter. It all started when everyone voted content king. It goes like this: Content creators need to pay attention to emergent authorship, as Google, LinkedIn, and other media companies continue to focus on actual content creators versus an entity (business or website). Great content creators (that includes public relations professionals) and marketers recognize that original, engaging, and informative content by real authors may be the future of SERPs.

7 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to Get More Blog Traffic from The Write Life: So you’ve been blogging for a while, you post on a regular schedule for a budding readership, and you’re sharing valuable content. Now what? Once you have an established blog with consistent posts, it’s time to examine how to get maximum impact from your site. Make the most of the eyeballs that land on your blog to draw attention to your work. After all, the goal of blogging is to showcase your writing abilities and other services, right? Here are seven easy ways to make sure each of your posts gets as much exposure as possible.

A Scientific Guide to Hashtags: How Many, Which Ones, and Where to Use Them from Social Media Today: Internet language has evolved considerably over the past few years as social media has taken off. Hashtags are a huge part of this evolution. What once was a telephone button is now a social media phenomenon. No wonder people are curious.

 

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo credit: itsmeritesh via photopin cc

20 Blog Post Must-Haves for Every Writer

1-13-14 BlogRecently, Lorraine Reguly asked me if I would take a look at her blogging ebook. I agreed with no promise to review or mention it on my blog. However, guess what? I love her ebook. It contains all the essentials, links to more information, and even some search engine optimization tips. And all of this information is contained in an 18-page ebook.

20 Blog Post Must-Haves by Lorraine Reguly

 Let’s admit it, coming up with blog post ideas can be difficult. As you scan the Internet it is sometimes difficult to determine what you can say that someone else hasn’t already written about, right?

Well, Lorraine starts her ebook with a strategy for addressing every blogger’s dilemma: What should I write about next?

This is her strategy. Create a mind map, check Twitter to see what’s trending, or think of a subject you would like to learn more about and research the topic and write about it. Chances are if you have a question, so will your readers.

Here are some additional tips she offers:

•    Identify a need

•    Picture a reader

•    Break out of the echo chamber

•    Write something that matters to you

•    Write something topical

•    One topic per post

•    Plan ahead

Here are some of her personal methods for discovering new topics to explore on her blog.

•    Jot down an idea for a post topic in a text document and place it on your desktop.

•    Scan your “ideas” document and look for topics that resonate with you.

•    Brainstorm points that you could write about, title ideas and think particularly about reader needs.

Lorraine recommends these blog posts for further reading on this topic:

•    How to Write a Good Interesting Blog

•    5.5 Tips To Write Amazing Blog Posts Even If You Are A Newbie (SEO without SEOing)

Are you still stuck? Lorraine suggests that you read 24 Things to Do When Stuck for a Topic to Blog About.

How to Write a Must-Read Blog Title

Lorraine doesn’t specifically cover blog titles in her ebook so I’m going to share my best tips with you.

•    Tease Readers with Keyword-Rich Blog Titles—Blog titles need to attract attention, have zing, and appeal to a reader’s curiosity. Think about the teasers at the top of newspapers. Their purpose is to entice you to drop some coins into newspaper racks and read the stories below the fold and on the newspaper’s internal pages. The next time you write a title for your blog, try to write teaser copy. Use words that will lure your readers in.

•    Use Google Adwords—Find keywords particular to your niche, and use them in your title and in the post. Use “long-tailed” keywords, terms that include two or more words that are unique. For example, if you were to type “social media” into your favorite search engine, you would see hundreds of thousands of pages of results. However, if you were to type “social media for mortgage lenders,” the results would narrow.

•    Use numbers in your blog title—People are more likely to click on a title if it contains numbers— especially odd numbers. Would you be able to resist a blog with this title : “5 Ways to Master Facebook”? Isn’t it tempting to click on that link to find out how you can master Facebook in just five steps?

•    Make sure your title is eight words or less—Again, think about the teasers above the masthead and try to mimic them. The next time you’re at a checkout stand at your grocery store, scan the tabloids for teaser copy.

•    Write your blog title after you write your newest post—Writing can sometimes take you to a different destination than you planned. Flow with the words, let them take you wherever they may, and write your title last.

•    Avoid titles that appear catchy to you, yet convey no meaning to a wider audience—For example, instead of using the blog title “On Your Mark, Get Set, Tweet!” use this one: “5 Reasons Every Writer Must Tweet.”

For additional information on how to write great blog titles, Lorraine recommends these posts for further reading:

How to Write Effective Headlines

Writing Headlines That Get Results

Writing Headlines that Grab Attention

10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work

5 Quick Tips For Writing Headlines That Work

9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like Crazy

5 Easy Tricks To Help You Write Catchy Headlines

The Four Best Practices to Writing Magnetic Headlines

How to Craft Post Titles that Draw Readers Into Your Blog

The Power of the Double-Whammy Headline: How to Increase the Chances of Your Content Being Read

To see her resources on where you can find images and learn other tips she includes in 20 Blog Post Must-Haves, you can download it for free here.

What is the hardest part about maintaining a blog for you?

 

Also see:

3 Essential Tools for Writers: Marketing, Twitter and Blogging

9 Social Media Apps to Help You Be More Social

21 Apps for Your Tweets, Posts & Updates

How to Curate Your Best Content

Social Media Tips for Writers (And Reluctant Marketers)

8 Social Media Tips Just for Writers

 

Social Media Just for WritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapterthe San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc