Content is the lifeblood of any blog and arguably the single-biggest factor that draws traffic to a blog. An effective content writing style gives huge leverage to the blogger and keeps readers wanting more.
Bloggers are always looking for ways and means to create more content, present it differently, look for engaging the reader and thereby increase traffic, and improve conversion.
The key to improving your writing style is of course to write more. The more you write the better you get. But improvement does not happen by accident. You need to know where you are going, keep measuring and analyzing your style in relation to the various metrics you monitor.
Like most bloggers, I also subscribe to a number of other blogs on topics that interest me. And my mail-box gets flooded every morning with periodic emails from these subscriptions.
What makes these bloggers (and their blogs) special? Why does their content attract such a large readership? What are the secrets of highly effective bloggers?
1. They’ve been writing for years – I have been reading each of their blogs for several years now. Seth has stated that he has been “showing up” daily for the past seven years! And too, with valuable content. This takes some serious dedication. And patience. Yes, they are in for the long haul.
There is no “quick” solution to building a successful blog.
2. They have been putting out valuable content FREE for years and continue to delight their reader (ME!) with every new post.
I remember participating in Victor’s testimonial contest for his book Case Interview Secrets at the time of publishing. Victor made the pricing strategy discussion for his book public, and finally gave it away for free at the time, surprising everyone.
3. They each have a unique style of writing and engaging the reader
Victor’s posts are well thought-out, complete and logical. The MECE (mutually-exclusive, collectively-exhaustive) concept is starkly evident as you read each of his posts.
Brian writes long(er) posts, mainly interviews on successful people who have successfully made an entry into banking. He is the most entertaining of the 5, not afraid to discuss TV shows and his experiences from living in Asian countries.
Seth is a no-nonsense “no more than 200 words” blogger. He writes on an everyday basis. Short, sweet and punchy. For a while now Seth’s post has becoming my morning coffee!
Darren’s info-graphic on the ways he monetizes his blog is a classic. His post on when his team messed a bulk email, and how they corrected it, I thought was a masterpiece. First of all, they need not have apologized. Secondly, they need not have made that issue public.
I thought this was a great strategy to build trust in your readers. Screw up, apologize and tell them the whole story – even though they wouldn’t ask.
Mark writes about board-room discussions, startup CEO issues, fund-raising for startups and other related topics. He has a very straightforward style, not afraid to use expletives and gives you great tips to run your startup business. His post on how to nail a group presentation is extremely useful.
4. They focus on a particular niche, i.e. they know their product (subject-matter expertise). They know their readers well and are happy with a small bunch of readers who are interested in what they have to offer.
5. They have a product(s) and use their blog very effectively to sell
I have bought their books, subscriptions, other books and even purchased gifts based on their recommendations. All this has happened because they have changed me to trust them. TRUST = SALE.
6. They are quite open even with their personal lives, giving us a good view of their personality
Reading their blogs for a few years gives you an insight into their personalities. I can very easily describe each one of them to you (although I have only once seen Seth speak in person) and I declare that my description would not be far off the mark.
The point is they do NOT hide behind a cloak of anonymity that the internet can offer. As we are finding out, letting your readers and customers know you and your personality is one way of breeding trust in them.
7. They have a mailing list and continuously keep their readers engaged
Every now and then I get a mail from either Brian or Victor and I get the feeling that it was written to let me know that they are still around. Seth, Mark and Darren write more often, but Victor and Brian (I assume) are working on other products and other aspects of their businesses.
But they want to keep their “mailing list” engaged to expect continuous feed of relevant and valuable content.
8. They use technology very well.
Seth’s latest marketing course is offered on SkillShare. Very early in 2014, Darren turned away from guest posts (which used to be the primary method of blogging on his site for a time) in response to Google’s new policy. Victor uses InfusionSoft for all his mailing list and product management. Mark Suster has very recently re-designed his site.
These successful bloggers have embraced technology and harnessed its power to reach out. Without technology, I would say they wouldn’t be half the success they are today.
In the next post, I will highlight a few more best practice followed religiously by these bloggers.