Unlike most bloggers who dip their toes in the water to see if blogging is right for them, I dove straight into the pool.
My startup (Rabbut) needed a copywriter, a GOOD copywriter. Someone who could inspire people to make the changes that usually get postponed for days, months, even years. Someone who could weld words to touch people’s emotions and get them curious to know who I am.
To be honest, I had none of those in me. My writing was far worse than a 5th grader’s because my logic didn’t make sense. In fact, I had to take ESL class during my freshmen year of college even as a native-born American (embarrassing I know), because my answers on the English placement test drifted far from the question’s core. To this one point, I started to believe that maybe my genes barred me from writing something good.
But because we were short on manpower, I decided, why not give it a shot?
*Fast forward 6 months*
I wrote the first blog post I finally felt proud of: Things I’ve Learned About Blogging | My First 6 Months.
*Fast forward 4 months later*
I hit the top Medium stories twice:
What I’ve achieved to this day is nothing more than writing everyday, for at least 30 minutes.
But then I realized there was a lot more that contributed to my success. And I only wished that I did these things early on to speed up my success on blogging.
So if you’re a serious blogger like me, want to improve your writing and get more people to read your work, here’s what you have to do:
1. Ask for feedback
As simple as it sounds, many writers shun others from going over their work because they fear the brutally honest truth.
But the thing is, if you always shield your ears from people’s feedback, you will never know what you can do to get better. So ask for feedback. Realize your flaws and correct it. You might not notice it at first but every time you take a moment to tweak your writing, you become a better writer.
2. Engage with like-minded bloggers
Unfortunately, I started late on this and only focused on myself and on my blog. In return I only got 2–4 recommends per post. But after dropping comments on other bloggers’ stories (usually similar to mine), I gained a ton more traction to my blog — most of them already followers of the blogger I’d engaged with. As a result, I got more followers applauding my work.
3. Collect emails
Thanks to our 8 second attention span and the daily distractions that overrun our schedule, it’s no longer easy for us to remember what we’ve read. That’s why it’s important to remind your most enthusiastic fans, those who’d go back to reread your stuff and share it with everyone they know, with this one tool: An email subscription box.
By collecting emails, you are building a solid following for your blog. That’s better (and easier) than writing a new post everyday — that’s if your ultimate goal is to attract and retain more readers.
That’s why I’m now putting Rabbut on every one of my blog posts. Because I know that one day if I am to create my own blog, launch a new product, or make a huge announcement, I already have a fan base to reach out to.
4. Use platforms to mass-distribute your content
The quickest way to spread your work is through social media: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Quora. But instead of manually linking your article to each platform, why not use tools that can mass-distribute your work in one click? Or recycle your content so you don’t ever have to again?
Let me introduce you to:
IFTTT — Allows you to create ‘recipes’ that automate repeated actions and tasks.
Ex: Every time you recommend a story on Medium, that story gets tweeted on your Twitter.
Zapier — Allows you to automate two tasks (similar to IFTTT)
Ex. Every time you tweet, it gets posted in your Facebook timeline.
Buffer — Lets you schedule and share your post on 4 platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+).
Note: You can only schedule 10 posts at a time for free. $10/mo applies after that.
TweetJukebox — Recycle your posts for Twitter.
Note: You get 2 jukeboxes that can store up to 300 tweets on a free account.
5. Read more
When you read, you have more to say. More perspective to share in your blog post. And when there’s a gazillion ideas waiting to be typed on the post, you write a lot faster.
It’s just natural for us to write something we are genuinely interested in and have superior knowledge of.
That’s it on my list. What about you?
What are some things you wished you’d done to speed up your success on blogging?