10 Blogging Commandments for a Successful Year

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iStock_000014171440XSmallTomorrow starts a new year and another 365 days to achieve your business and blogging goals.  There are many things you will need to do this year, but there are a few must-do’s, let’s call them commandments to get the most out of your blog.

Let’s discuss each one –

#1: Thou Shalt Write Every Day
Words are your hammer and nails.  Know how to use them and they will build your blog and your business.  They only way to master writing is to write a lot.  So set aside time every day write a few paragraphs.  Over time you’ll find your unique style and voice.

#2: Thou Shalt Publish Once a Week
I have neglected this commandment and suffered.  A blog is a living organism, it must be fed with new content.  A blog without fresh content will get ignored by readers and Google, drying up your traffic, leads, and sales.   Your traffic will increase as you post more frequently.  Be careful to balance frequency with quality.  No one will return to a blog with shoddy content.

#3: Thou Shalt Build an Email List
You must identify readers who want a deeper relationship with your content. These readers will become sharers, leads, and sales.  Even if you don’t plan to sell your readers anything, still collect their email address.  Your email list is your first and most important business asset.

#4: Thou Shalt Track Everything
Install Google Analytics on your blog.  Get comfortable with the reports and tools.  Understand who is sending you traffic and which posts attract the most subscribers, leads, and sales.  Without this data, you’ll take unnecessary risks, bet on the wrong content, and overlook valuable opportunities.

Tip: Google Analyticator a WordPress plugin makes it very easy to install Google Analytics with a few clicks.

#5: Thou Shalt Sell Something
This is simple.  You can’t earn an income from your blog if you have an empty cupboard.  If you sell a product, find ways to pre-sell your product with helpful posts.  If you offer a service or advice, use your blog to explain your approach and demonstrate your techniques.  You are not in business until you have a product and customers.  Work on your product now.

#6 Thou Shalt Use Social Media Wisely
I’ve watched many blog suffer and die because their owners spent more time tweeting than creating content, building a list, and selling a product.  Social Media is the new town square.  This is where you go to have meaningful conversations with likeminded people.  But, conversations aren’t sales. Use your time wisely.

#7 Thou Shalt Look Great
Listen, your blog has to look great.  There are thousands of great looking professional themes out there that will give your blog an immediate makeover.  Most of the best themes can be bought for less than $100.  Don’t expect your visitors to invest in your blog if you won’t.

#8 Thou Shalt Ask for Action
It’s hard to ask your readers to take action. But, you must do it.  You won’t start getting subscribers, comments, retweets, or clients until you learn how to ask.  The secret to asking for action is to share/give valuable information you can first.

#9: Thou Shalt Love SEO
Google will likely be your most reliable, long-term, traffic source.  Every post you publish will get indexed and potentially lead more readers to your blog.  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an evolving collection of tactics to get top rankings in Google search results.  While SEO can be confusing at first, it can bring you tons of targeted visitors.  Make learning SEO a goal and watch it pay dividends in the new year.

Tip: This post will get you started.

#10: Thou Shalt Remember That Your Blog is A Marketing Tool Only
Some believe that Social Media and blogging is magical.  Sprinkle a little blogging dust and you don’t have to build a great product, market it, and hustle for customers.  This isn’t true.  Your blog is a powerful tool but just a tool.  Learn how to use it to achieve your overall business goals.

We’ll be talking about these commandments more in the coming year.  Let me know what you think about the commandments in the comments below.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

19 thoughts on “10 Blogging Commandments for a Successful Year

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  5. Ocha

    Hey Stanford, If there is one other thing I would add it would be “Thou Shalt Have Fun” for if thou are not having fun, what’s the point. I always enjoy your insights.

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  7. Winithemes

    Great list! My favorites are #7 and #9, another good advice is to have all your content distributed widely, so you’ll have not only a great resource of content but also a well known resource of content. Regards!

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  9. Maria Lucassen

    Hi Stan,

    just came across this post through a LinkedIn group. Since a month I have a blog, but have not yet posted a lot and the website is not finished either. Your top 10 for Blogging is spot-on and a great tool for starters like me. I noticed that you got a few accolades from other bloggers, hence I am looking forward to future posts on everything ‘blogging’.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Mignon

    Hi Stan,
    Thanks for this post. I am pretty new to blogging & I know I have much to learn. I like the 10 commandments approach, nice & easy to read & hopefully remember – I am going to write them down & put it up near my computer to remind myself.
    Looking forward to future posts from you. :)

  11. Herrin Larkan

    Great overview of some very important blogging tips Stanford. I like the way you reinforce real substance over any ‘secrets’ or ‘techniques’. Have a great 2013!

  12. John Reeves

    “Over time you’ll find your unique style and voice.” My voice was always hindered until someone invented “spellchecker”. I have found that there are enough “tools” for all “voices” to be heard.
    Keep up the honest and informative “voice”.

  13. Carmelo

    Hey Stan,

    Sounds easy enough! Now for the doing, right? Also, thank you for the ideas and wisdom you impart here. All the best to you and your family.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Amie Igou

    Hi Stanford. I’ve been following you for about a year. I am a fairly new blogger and always look forward to your insights and wisdom. I already do most of your listed commandments but lack some skill in the more techy stuff. On my list to get more informed this year. Thanks, Amie

  15. Todd Wilson

    Stanford, I have been following you quit a bit over this past year. One of the big reasons is you get to the point. I like that and try to do the same with pretty much everything I do, especially blogging. This is a quick and powerful commandment list and one I will print out and implement into my daily power readings. Cheers and a very Plenitudinous 2013 to you and yours.

  16. Chip Valutis

    As usual, your “commandments” are on the money, practical and to the point. I have followed your counsel for a while now and it has paid big dividends for me! I look forward to your council in the year ahead.
    Thanks for keeping it real!

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