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Blog 2.0: Take your Blog to the Next Level in 7 Steps

take your blog to the next levelHow can you turn your starter blog into a major-league influencer community?

Community vs Website

Note the word, community. To take your blog to the next level we need to focus on transforming your blog into a community. This community could be your YouTube subscribers, Facebook page fans or your regular blog visitors. The common theme is that this group of people see your blog – and, you – as a trusted thought leader.

To be trusted as an influential thought leader is what you aim for.

How to get there?

In an earlier post “Write Your First Blog Post or Vlog Script Today” we examined the steps to standing up a starter blog quickly. In another post “A Step by Step DIY Site Audit Guide for Bloggers” we then saw how you can do a temperature check of your blog.

If you haven’t seen those posts or if you are starting out, I would recommend you to read – and implement the steps – in those posts first before you continue here.

If you are good with the basics, then let’s examine the pro secrets which will catapult your blog to the next level.

The Pro Bloggers Checklist:

Here are the 7 steps to help you take your blog to the next level.

  1. Define your mission statement.

    Cheesy and trite as it sounds, your mission statement is vital to your success. Be crystal clear about what you want to accomplish in your blog. Examples:

    • I want my blog to be the best place on the internet for travel in rural China.

    • I want to make my blog to become the go-to destination for information about AI in healthcare.

    • I want my blog to be a catalog of my PhD work with African Mbuti tribe.

    • I want my blog to be a successful eCommerce site for selling my illustrations and other art products like prints, stickers and photo-zines.

  2. Lead with the heart, not the mind.

    What emotions or feelings do you want to create in your reader? What do you want someone to come away with after reading your blog or viewing your YouTube video? Examples:

    • I shall have fun comment contests and cool prizes once a month to boost audience engagement.

    • I shall share stories about my own work including my successes and challenges to inspire my audience. I shall encourage them to ask questions of each other and share their stories.

  3. Reboot your content strategy

    Focus on one type of content to start with in one single niche. Dominate that niche before you step to another niche. Always keep in mind some content best practices. Examples:

    • Text content – minimum 2000 words, focus on copywriting and SEO

    • Video – 10 minutes max., no rambling. Slideshares – 20 slides.

    • Most Important – Collect eMails!
      Include with each post, some free additional content (e.g. pdf checklist) which requires email sign-up.

    • Include a call to action with each post asking people to comment, share or download the additional content by providing their email address.

    • Define “How, When & Where”

      How frequently will you post, when will you post and where will you post. Here is an example: I will post 3 pieces of content each week. I will post 2 posts on my blog and 1 video on YouTube. I will post the blog posts on Mon and Thur and the YouTube video on Fri evening.

  4. What is unique about your blog?

    You don’t need to invent a novel niche. Choose a tried and tested blog niche – which appeals to your heart, AND also has money-making potential. Then, infuse your unique personality into your blog content. Examples:

    • I shall use storytelling to make my blog posts more interesting and relatable.

    • I shall include actionable checklists with my blog posts instead of just fluffy advice.

  5. Crystallize your target persona.

    Describe the attributes of a fictitious person that you wish was in your audience. Examples:

    • Sabrina is 27 and loves to travel. She likes to backpack to exotica places like the rural hinterland in Asian countries. Since these places are not well mapped in mainstream media, Sabrina relies on authentic, first-hand advice from trusted travel bloggers. Sabrina is single, travels with a childhood girl-friend and works in a waitress.

    • What are Sabrina’s goals? What outcomes is she expecting from visiting your blog?

    • How can you create a personal connection with someone like Sabrina? Why would she trust you?

    • What places on the internet does Sabrina visit and who does she trust – e.g. Quora, National Geographic

    • Focus on one persona at a time. Develop your blog for this persona in your niche and then develop other personas.

  6. Who is your competition?

    • Find the most popular blogs in your niche which can serve as benchmarks for you. As an example, if you plan on starting a travel blog for single women then “Adventurous Kate” or other such blogs can provide inspiration. For other niches, search on google and look at the top 20 blogs which show up in the search results.

    • Examine your competitor blogs: audit their traffic (how many external links), study the comments from their subscribers. Reverse engineer their revenue sources (e.g. do they have affiliate links, do they sell products?) – how do they make money?

    • Are there partnership opportunities with these superstars in your niche? Here are some suggestions: joint YouTube streaming event, interview other bloggers in your niche and post the interviews on your blog, request for guest posts. Write and ask how they can help a budding blogger like you.

    • Do the competitor bloggers in your niche sell books and courses that you can learn from?

    • What are some things which these blogging superstars not doing, that you can do?

  7. Set measurable goals and monitor your progresss.

    It is vital that you set measurable goals so you can adjust your strategy. Here are some examples:

    • I shall grow blog traffic to 1000 visitors per day in the next 12 months.

    • I shall have 25,000 email subscribers by in the next 6 months.

    • I shall reach 20% open rates on my email newsletter by 2020.

    • I shall aim for 10,000 YouTube subscribers by 2022.

    • You can monitor not only traffic, email sign-ups and subscribers but also comments and shares on your blog and vlog.

In Conclusion: Take your blog to the next level

The 7 steps we discussed above for advancing your blog apply to your YouTube channel as well.