1. Be shy.
Tell your friends on Facebook, send out a tweet to your followers, and share the news with your Google circles. If you have a soapbox lying around, get on it and shout! Now’s not the time to be bashful. Be proud of your new endeavor and let your fans spread the word for you. If a blog starts in the woods (and by “woods” I mean a heavily forested region with a decent wi-fi connection) and no one hears it, is it really there?
2. Love yourself too much.
While being shy is a bad thing, gushing about yourself or your company is just as bad. Find the right balance. Be proud of your company’s accomplishments and your own hard work but realize that visitors to your site are not a captive audience and may grow tired of hearing about how great you are. Your ideal reader is successful and celebrated in his or her own right, treat them as equals.
3. Try to be something you’re not.
Be yourself and be open. Your potential clients don’t necessarily need to hear all the details of the bachelor party in Vegas you just got back from, but they will probably appreciate your honesty. Don’t use your blog as a way to promote some idealized version of yourself or your company. Don’t try to copy your competitor and their site. Be true to who you are and what matters most to you. Odds are, you’re not alone. Plus, nobody wants to listen to a robot.
4. Be afraid to take a position.
Be confident and declarative, show your authority. Don’t use qualifying phrases like “I think”, “could be”, “possibly”, “maybe”, or “might”. Your readers value your business expertise and come to your site to learn from you or to be entertained (and in a perfect world both). Give them what they want by writing about topics that you care deeply about, have experience in, and are relevant to your industry.
5. Post something just because there’s a deadline.
Having a set schedule for your blog posts is great. Writing a boring post on a topic that doesn’t interest you because you’ve committed to a deadline is not. Consistency is necessary if you’re going to develop your readership, but even your most ardent fans will forgive you for taking a week or two off if it means no drop off in quality. Don’t put yourself (or your readers) through the unpleasant experience of a phoned in, last minute effort.
6. Forget your Fans.
You’ve written a super informative, witty, and actionable post. There’s a catchy headline, crisp copy, and people are sharing the link and talking about it all over the place. You need to join in the dialogue. Respond to comments on your message board, thank people when they share your content on their social media, and make yourself accessible. Engage your supporters and have fun.
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