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7 Powerful Ways to Get Your Blog Post Noticed

Posted By Guest Blogger 11th of December 2010 Writing Content 0 Comments

Stanford obsesses about how to get passionate people’s blogs noticed and promoted at Pushing Social.

Great posts often get ignored.

It shouldn’t happen. Literary masterpieces should be revered but that just isn’t the case in the blogosphere.

On a blog, a post has a few seconds to capture and pull in a reader. The writer needs to state their idea and immediately begin to persuade, entertain, and motivate.

For many, writing a successful post is a game of chance. They write hundreds of posts only to see a few do well. On the other hand, some seem to have a gift a supernatural ability to publish one blockbuster after another.

What’s their secret?

After spending more hours than I can count analyzing popular posts on top blogs, I’ve been unable to unearth a pattern. I saw that the best writers consistently followed a blueprint for increasing their post’s chance for success.

After studying this blueprint, I found seven factors that can immediately pump more power into your posts. Take a look…

1. “I” focus instead of “you” focus

One unsavory quirk about human beings is that we instinctively focus on ourselves first. This means that your visitors immediately start scouring your blog for posts that mean something to them. If you start your post with:

“I just spent the day washing my kitchen floor.”

…your readers will ignore it. After all, the post is about YOU and YOUR kitchen floor and not about them.

Try this instead: Start your posts with a statement or question that uses the second-person perspective:

“Do you hate washing your kitchen floor? Is a mop the last thing on Earth you want to hold in your hand?”

See what I mean?

2. A focus on solving problems

Human beings are natural-born problem solvers. From the moment we wake-up to when we lay down to sleep we are finding answers to problems. Your readers will adore you if you can solve a problem that has been haunting them. Work hard to find these solutions and offer them often.

On the other hand, if your blog posts are getting ignored, it’s likely that you are solving your own problems and not your readers.

Give this a try: take out a sheet of paper and write down 11 big problems that keep your readers up at night. Now think of five posts that you can write for each of those problems. Sit back and look at your list of 55 blog posts. That looks like a solid editorial calendar for 2011, doesn’t it?

3. One idea per post

Research has shown that most people can’t hold more than one or two ideas in their head at one time. The more ideas you try to stuff in, the more likely you are going to get ignored.

Focusing on one idea is a sure-fire way to immediately boost the punching power of your post. If you have more than one then consider writing a series of posts. But, whatever you do, don’t shoehorn a thesis into your post. That’s a certain recipe for obscurity.

4. Excellent packaging

You know what? Blogging is a visual game. If your post is packaged well, it will get read. I’m sure you’ve found yourself reading a poorly written post wrapped in a great package! So, at least spend a little extra time to clean up look and feel.

A few pointers: use short paragraphs and one-line sentences to make your paragraphs visually interesting. Add mini-headlines throughout your post to help people who skim before they read. Last, find a picture (preferably of people) that grabs attention and helps tell your post’s story.

5. Down-to-earth practicality

Blog readers are a practical bunch. Like you, they want to be able to use what they learn. That means, they absolutely hate Ph.D. dissertations in blog-post clothing. Dense, fact-laden, verbose, diatribes repel readers and get ignored. Save this document for the place where it belongs: in an academic journal.

On the other hand, work to place relevant and practical information in each post. Your goal should be to illustrate your point in simple how-to pieces. Not only will people thank you in the comments, but they will also share your content.

6. Careful research

I’ve made the mistake of thinking that my readers shared my interests. I was wrong. The ghost town around my blog post provided all the proof I needed.

Research is the process of pinpointing what interests your readers. These days, research is pretty simple to do. You can simply ask for topics on Twitter, do a Google search with your topic and the word “help”, hang out in online forums, or survey your own readers.

Once you get the research right, you’ll soon be perceived as the go-to person in your niche. You’ll have the answers and your posts will attract eager readers by the bushel. Trust me. (By the way, if you are competing in a competitive niche, research is the number one way to get an advantage)

7. Rapport

When I started writing professionally, a mentor told me to write as if my reader was sitting on the bar stool beside me. That advice has been worth a fortune to me.

The best way to build this type rapport is to write with your natural voice. You know, the voice you use when you talk to yourself in the shower. The voice you use when you want to say something snarky but think better of it. Yep, that voice.

Once you start using it, your posts will stick in the minds of your readers. Lurkers start commenting and people start sharing. Got it?

Can you do this?

Did you put your finger on a few things your can improve in your next post? Which one of these “pitfalls” causes you the most problems? Comment below and we’ll chat about it.

Stanford obsesses about how to get passionate people’s blogs noticed and promoted at Pushing Social… except when he’s fishing for monster bass. Follow him to get the latest about his new ebook “Get Noticed.”

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Many of these suggestions apply equally well to brochure copy….I often suggest my smalll business clients read their content with two pens in hand.. A red one and a blue one.. As they read, and 1st person references I, us We, our company, even “our clients” are first person references and should be circle in red.

    You, your, your business, ….. are second person and should be circled in blue.

    When you are done, read the content. If you see more red circles then blue, go back and rewrite.

    I just never thought about applying the same idea to blog writing, which I always think of personal.

  2. Very helpful advice Stanford, thank you. Even more so, I appreciate how your tips here go into more depth and explanation about common blogging tips that we bloggers and writers hear 10 times a day, over and over and over.

    As for my own experience, I’ve found that boiling down ideals and big ideas into practical, accessible terms really engages the reader, as you mention. Coupled with a “problem solving” blog post title, you’ve got a nice piece on your hands already.


    Dave Ursillo

  3. Focus on the reader and not on ourselves ….. makes a definite point.
    The same thing can be written in a manner which makes the reader ask questions and connect to the idea…
    Definitely going to use that.. and maybe will change my writing style a bit.. for Good!

  4. Again an excellent post!

  5. Great advice. I need to frame my articles more on solving a problem for the reader.

  6. I love these specific suggestions. One of my biggest problems is being consistent. Never thought about doing a “blog calendar” of sorts. Don’t know why not, magazines use them all the time. Thanks for this suggestion as well as all the others. ~Nita

  7. Great tips that I am definitely going to apply to my blog especially #2 Focus on solving problems.

  8. wow – these really are great tips, already doing a few, but looks like we still have a few things to add to our weekly articles.

  9. Great advice, I have to work on my “I” to “you” definitely.

  10. I’m going to take a slightly different track here, my blog doesn’t get any comments at all, and that doesn’t really bother me all that much, the point is though, I think it’s because I do already write in my natural voice, this for me is probably not good thing as I tend not to hold back, if there is going to be snark, I will let it rip, if someone is going to be offended by what a write, I don’t and will not try and couch it in politer(sp?) terms.

    I don’t do it in my day to day life so I won’t do it when writing a post on my blog, the blog is there to portray my personality and my thoughts/feelings on whatever I post.

    Maybe this is a bad thing, but it’s the way I am.

  11. When reading this post, i noticed that the option Excellent packaging said applies absolutely to this post, everything is in small topics, so if i want to skip some topic, i can follow the next headline. However one concern is there, free blogs generally display advertisements, however if you provide the information in best possible format and nothing else is missing, who is going to click on ad?

  12. I totally agree with the point that blog readers are a practical bunch. I think that is what differentiates a blog from other sites on the internet; you go to a blog to get information from someone like you who can give you practical solutions.

  13. Solving a problem is the answer that can make you successful, if you can find the answer to someones problem and to that info to them first..then you got an recipe for success.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  14. “Solving Problems” is the tip that I learned from the most. I know it seems simple, but sometimes it’s easy to get in a rut with posts that get away from solving a problem. Having a good mix keeps the blog lively.

    Any suggestions about finding problems that you can solve.

  15. Solid advice but if you really want to get noticed you will have to fill an emotional space for the reader as well…..there has to be a key emotional driver…for example the brand of problogger is salvation from 9 to 5 jobs and freedom with money online….this emotional subtext underpins every post on this site….solve practical problems and own the emotional space as the reader in addition to looking for practical advice is also looking for confirmation and resolution ….

  16. Ingenious tip on how to change focus onto the user. I always feel guilty starting a post with “I.” Hard not to though isn’t it when you’re writing for your own personal blog?

    It’s tough keeping to one idea per post as well. I find that once you start copywriting it’s hard to stop yourself. That said, it’s made me realise I could have had five or six blog posts out of the last two I wrote and made my writing go further.

  17. This is always fun because we tend to think that everything we write is pure gold.
    I have a nice trick for those longer posts… Get a draft and ask your list or followers to “proofread” it. Be sure to tell them that it would mean a lot to get their insights (because it will) and at the very least, they are still reading the material.

    Excellent post. Please don’t ever stop!
    Big D.

  18. It’s always good to keep your reader a priority because it will show that you cater to them firsthand.Everything else seems to fall in place after that.Keeping your readers attention can be hard for many just starting out in this venue. Well written post and advice I can use. keep it coming.

  19. These are all true once you get to a certain level, but in my experience, when you’re just starting out, even great posts that follow all these rules (and more) can be ignored. People are lazy, and only 1 in 20 people may share your post with someone else, which means you need hundreds of initial eyeballs before you can have any hope of a viral spread. This is really tough to bootstrap for beginning bloggers. My big lesson from 2010 was to focus on subscribers. Having a group of people ask to be notified when you post is the absolute best way to make sure your posts get noticed. Once you get to a certain level, those people will use social media and their own blogs to spread your post even further.

    These 7 tips still apply, but in the early stages, they might not be enough.

    Also, there’s a typo in the 6th paragraph: “I’ve been *unable* to unearth a pattern.” (I assume you mean “able”)

  20. I really appreciate the writing lesson, and hope that your readers will give this post some deep thinking rather than a passing glance.

    The one word/term you used here that I have seen grow in popularity over the past 45 days… “snarky”. Not that it has been overused but I had to look it up, and feel it is a “tone” that writers must be aware of when they reread their posts.

    • Funny. I think “snarky posts” is entirely a social media phenomenon. It’s rare to see a corporation taking a sarcastic and derisive tone in public…well except Steve Jobs at Apple :)

  21. Great advice focusing on the reader. I have heard that before, to use the word “you” in the first sentence. It is good to reinforce that. Thanks.

  22. Thanks for the great info. I will continue to work on my tone while writing my blog posts. Thanks again for the great advice.

  23. I definitely agree with the “Solving Problems” aspect of this. Everyone comes to a blog or an article with some type of question that usually comes from an issue or dilemma they’re having. If you can help them, help themselves – you are golden!

  24. Great Post Stanford!
    What you mentioned are typical points for new bloggers and also for some young’s too! Thanks a lot, this article teach me to change my view of blogging… :)

  25. Oh this one goes right to the core for me! Just wrote a post about this last week, and it addresses the issues in your #1, #3, and #4 points. It’s all part of growing from writing a journal to writing a blog, I think.

  26. Great tips – thanks for sharing them. I definitely fall into the ‘I’ trap – will be focusing on the ‘you’ from now on. I also liked the bit about solving your readers problems rather than your own – really insightful stuff – thanks.

  27. Thanks for the info Stanford,
    in my blog I have to focus on “you” instead to “I” definitely.

  28. Good post. Actually #5 doesn’t bother me. I rather a post be more academic in nature than too down to earth. I guess it depends on the reader having a good balance of both angles.

    Love the tips. Thanks.

  29. Great article!

    I used to recommend bloggers to avoid the “second person”. Now I believe that some bloggers write their best focusing on “I”, instead of “you”. It feels more natural and less corporately for them, and their readers agree.

    The two most recent posts on Copyblogger are written in first person, since the first line:

    I think it’s a matter of trying what works the best for you.

  30. I like point #3 and I have seen the results of following this tip. When I stick to a single idea, I can review my stats and see that the posts with a narrow focus did better than the posts where I had too many thoughts, opinions, ideas, etc.

    Plus…if you have more than 1 idea, why cram them all into a single post when you could save it for future content?

  31. I really appreciate this kinds of post. I´m a new blogger from spain and this is very much good stuff than i see around in others blogs. I think that first 3 points are the key to develop a good or very good post, difficult tought. I always try to write problem solving posts but it is complicated because i don´t know if i´m focusing in “I” instead to “you”. Lot of thinking around this…Thanks.

  32. I’m so glad I’m not the only one that talks to myself in the shower. Many a great blog idea has come to me that way.

    Thanks for your easy to read post. I’m going to copy down the subheads and put them in a post it on my desktop and make it my checklist.

    A great tip I once found for a strong ooenjing is to review your post and your into. See if you can cut out the first two or three paragraphs. Chances are they are extraneous. The real meat and main point is burrows. Cut off the fat at the top and you’ll have a snappy start that gets right to the point.

  33. Your 2nd suggestion has inspired me to take action. I just wrote a list of problems companies face when doing their inventory management, and I’m going to spend several blog posts answering them one by one. I’ve been trying to figure out what I’ve been missing in my blog posts and I think that’s it. I want to help solve problems. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I write for the Fishbowl Inventory Blog, by the way.

    Robert Lockard

  34. Wow, fantastic post! Thanks so much for this great information. Truly one of my all time favorites. Why? It’s highly relevant to me, so I find it interesting, and it’s really good stuff! I will definitely begin using these tips, they are valuable. Great advice, great info, and fantastic article, thanks again!

  35. Thank you very much, very valuable tips!

  36. Great material by you, man. I have read your stuff before and youre just too awesome.

  37. Dear Wisely Written,
    This post is one I should read often. After all, you can’t grab someone without touching them. There are a gazillion blogs out there and you want people coming back over and over to yours! You HAVE to write the things they want to read. Making The Prairie Hen blog less about me and more for the reader is an idea that has been floating about in my busy brain… I NEED TO GET RIGHT ON IT! Thanks for the inspiration… I’ll try to pass it on!

    Type A, B, C in NE

  38. Hi Stanford, I like the idea of 1 item per post, keeps it simple and easy on the brain. If you have 5 simple tips for the same idea, you have 5 posts.
    Would it work if you say wrote a list post, then followed up each item in the post with it’s own post highlighting the benefits to the reader. A top ten list would give you 10 posts, if it was really compelling it would bring your readers back daily.

  39. I think the last one, establishing “rapport” with the reader, is soooo important. My first few posts had good content, but were very boring to read. I realized that the blogs that I read all the time used a writing style that was very conversational, as if they were talking to me in person. I think people read blogs for fun, for a quick bit of information presented in a lighthearted manner, and I started using the same conversational tone with my blog. Really, I just started having more fun with it, and not taking it so seriously. It really works, and regardless of whether or not anyone else notices the difference, at least I’m having more fun writing posts!

  40. Great Post! I had totally forgotten about this great site, I remember seeing 1 or 2 seo videos here at problogger long time ago, I’m glad I re-discovered this site.

    I’m starting a new blog and I’m pretty sure your articles will help me to rank high on Google.

  41. I made all these mistakes and continue to at times. Such a good reminder. Spot on and excellent post. It is the discipline of doing it that i find hardest. Sometimes you just want to rant. but it is right in that it gets you nothing!

  42. Great advice. I will use it today!

  43. Great tips! Thanks. They all seem so obvious :)

  44. Completely agree with the Packaging concept…need to keep it short n sweet in bite sized pieces. Same with the one-idea per post.

    What about ‘entertaining’ your readers? In some way virtually all blogs need to entertain…if not they will fail to capture the readers attention…and willingness to come back for more!

    – The Virgin Backpacker

  45. I could do more with the ‘you’ voice and I love the idea of the 11 big problems your reader has and expanding from there. You’re rights that 2011 sorted :)

    I’d also like to add the importance of a great headline for getting people to click.

  46. “Write as if your reader was sitting on the bar stool beside me” – Love it! Will be keeping this in mind as I sip my latte and compose my next post this afternoon.

  47. Whoa.. It is a good tips. A down to earth concept is great. We must know some of readers are better than us so let’s interact with them.

  48. The idea about 1 item per post is great. Then you will have more post to write..

  49. This was by far one of the most helpful pieces of advice I have had. Thank you very much also for breaking down the important points to make them easy to digest. There are definitely things that I can point out for myself to improve. I’ll work on those.

  50. I really feel strongly about your 2nd point. Key for me is always to add value for your readers and solve problems for them. That for me always brings the most succes. Good post and keep it up !

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