My Top 5 Tips To Build A Thriving Blog

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Danny

The most common email I get in my inbox is the one that asks a question about blogging.  “How do I grow?”  “How do I get more followers?”  “How do I network with others?”  There are so many of these questions that it is easier for me to answer via a post instead of responding to each of them individually.  I believe that growth comes for some and not for others.  I do not believe that just any blog can be popular, but I do believe any blog can build a following; and the two are vastly different.  With that said here are 5 tips I focus on  to build a thriving blog:

  1. You must interact.  Unless you are incredibly SEO savvy, you are going to have to spend the majority of your time building your blog with grass-roots tactics.  The way I achieved this was by using tag searches and then going through that feed and reading new pages.  I also spent time reading the pages of those people who decided to follow my page.  I then comment and like as I see fit and try to interact on a real level.  I avoided commenting just to show up in notifications as I think this is a bit fake.  I only comment if I feel compelled to comment.  If not I will always leave a LIKE to show my support of said blogger.
  2. Build a community.  When I started seeing my numbers grow it was because I began focusing on building a network of blog friends who cared about the same types of things of which I cared.  They didn’t have to think like me, but they definitely had to share some common bond with me.  To date that bond has been twofold: multiple sclerosis/chronic pain suffers and/or inquisitive people who enjoy getting inspired.  One of my most popular posts day in and day out is the Let Me Ask You a Question post.  When you surround yourself with people who believe what it is that you believe, now you are building a community.  After all, why should anyone care?  When you tap in to getting people to care, half the battle is over.  Next all you have to do is give the a reason to want to return.  Make sense?
  3. Publish content that people want to read and produce it on a regular basis.  Sometimes people don’t engage with a page because the blogger produces crap content.  This is not easy for some people to hear, but in some cases it is the tough truth.  And next of course you must produce regularly scheduled content.  Publishing posts once ever 2 weeks is simply not enough unless the blogger has incredible SEO skills and is driving hundreds of thousands of views via search engines.  I don’t know a lot of top bloggers who don’t produce content on a daily/weekly basis.  And the content MUST add value to people’s lives.  Why should they visit your page?  There are tons of blogs on the internet.  If you are not producing relevant, value-adding content then maybe you need to adjust your focus?
  4. Connect with bloggers that have what it is that you want.  What you want depends on you and your goals.  If you want a blog that gets tons of interaction, then email a blogger you know who gets a lot of comments and build a relationship.  Watch what they do and use their example as a way for you to develop your own plan.  Ask them if it is okay if you email questions so you can learn, but be careful not to overstep your welcome.  I have learned that it might take you emailing quite a few bloggers so don’t get discouraged if the first few don’t respond.  When I first began blogging, Jason over at Harsh Reality took me under his wing so-to-speak and allowed me to email on a regular basis.  He taught me some of the finer points of networking, producing content, SEO, Alexa tips, etc.  We talked about a lot of stuff and I took copious notes every time he opened his mouth.  What I wanted was to have a huge following and at that time he had 50,000 followers and I had a few hundred.  Because of Jason’s help and a lot of hard work I am now over halfway to my goal of reaching 100,000 followers.  But you will have to determine what you want for your page and then befriend someone who has what it is that you want; which might have nothing to do with the size of the blog.  That is the beautiful thing about a blog…you can make it whatever you want it to be!
  5. Stay active, stay consistent.  This is the toughest tip of all.  Why?  Because this requires a blogger to blog every single day.  Blogging for me is not a part-time interest.  Since I started my page in November 2014 I have never taken a day off.  I’ve had days of lower activity, but never a day when I ignored my page.  Also, blogging is not writing as some might think.  Blogging is a verb which includes producing content, reading other pages, commenting on friend’s posts, liking posts, finding new pages that interest you, etc.  Blogging is a verb which means it is so much more than writing.  I believe writing and blogging are completely different things which is why so many authors struggle when it comes to blogging; you don’t have the luxury of publishing a post and then watching the masses flock to your page.  As a blogger you must be present on a consistent basis.  Think of your blog as a store front in a mall.  If people are in the mall and your shutters are pulled shut, then people will walk past.  But if the doors are open, people will more likely step in and say hi.  You must be present and you must participate every single day.

If you interact, work to build community, publish content that people enjoy, connect with successful bloggers and participate in blogging every day, then I believe you are on your way to building a blog that will thrive.  All you need to do is define what you expect from the word “thrive” and you will be off and running.

One last bit of advice.  Be patient.  Blogs are not built overnight.  It takes time to reach blogging goals so keep at it and stick to your plan.  You’ll get there, but it’s not magic; it will take time.  Have a wonderful Saturday!

DR

Email Bag: Why Do You Have Blogs In Your Sidebar?

DreamHave you ever noticed the blogs listed in my sidebar?  If you have awesome!  If you haven’t then I want you to consider taking a moment and visiting those Partners and helping show your support.  When I first began my page I learned, from bloggers like Jason at Harsh Reality, to build a community.  My belief is that if each of us focus on building a community then it makes every blog that much stronger.

Take a few minutes and visit those bloggers in my sidebar and say hello.  I guarantee you most of them will return the effort and engage with you!  The more you network, the faster you will grow!

The Staircase Effect

This morning as I was praying about this post, I was reminded of my first position as a school leader.  I worked in a comprehensive high school with lots of stairs. Each set of stairs had a color, so it was really important to know…

Source: Better Twogether

Danny’s World: I’m Not A Personal Development Blogger or Guru-I’m Just Me

Danny's iphone 022The other day I received an email in my inbox in which the person stated I am their favorite personal development blogger.  I was incredibly appreciative, of course, and told this reader how grateful I am.  The funny thing is I don’t label myself as a personal development blogger or guru.  As a matter of fact, I try to distance myself from those types of bloggers.

It is interesting how we see ourselves and how the world sees us.  The only thing I try to do is help others who might be struggling in the same ways I struggle. The personal development pages I follow leave out one important thing: being personal.  They want to give life tips, but rarely do they ever reveal anything personal about themselves.

I see myself as a guy trying to be a better person who makes a lot of mistakes, but who truly cares.  If that makes me a personal development blogger in other’s eyes then I guess I am.  The truth is I would rather people simply label me as Danny.

Cog Fog and Brain Zaps?!

Tripping Through Treacle

I continue to be off work for the time being, awaiting my Access to Workreport regarding adaptations and aids that may support me to remain in work. All this time off has done the world of good for my MS, I have to say. Unfortunately, I can’t say that my symptoms have magically disappeared, but Ihavefound them a lot easier to manage, as I have had the time to rest, sleep and stretch as much as my body needs to. Whether it is because I have had more time on my hands to think, or because they have been changing, I am unsure, but I have been much more aware of my symptoms over recent months.

I have writtenbeforeabout how my MS affects me, both physically and psychologically. Over the past year, since taking up blogging, I have had the opportunity to make new ‘MS…

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Danny’s World: A Few Blogging Tips

Danny's iphone 022It has been quite some time since I posted anything about blogging tips so I thought I would take a few moments and answer some common blogging questions I get via email. Here goes:

Tags – More Isn’t Better!

Some of you don’t know that WordPress limits tags to 15 including a category designation.  If you use 16+ tags it’s like using zero.  Don’t use more than 15.

I think I write good content, but why do people not seem to want to engage with my page?

There is no hard, fast rule here.  I have 2 basic principles based on other pages I have followed to help you with this: 1. post content which appeals to the masses, or 2. write specific content which appeals to a specific group of people of which there are considerable numbers.  I’m not sure where I fall in this paradigm, but I believe I would be more along the lines of option 1.  With that said I follow a page called Lucky Otter’s Haven which appeals to people dealing with narcissistic relationships.  The content is incredibly informative and Otter gets a ton of views each month.   Regardless, your content still must be helpful, informative and high-quality.  

How do I grow quickly?

For those of you who do not want to wait you must be willing to reach in to the change purse.  The route to fast growth is to operate a self-hosted blog, use Google Adwords, practice incredible SEO tactics and advertise on higher volume blogs.  Then, connect your page to every possible social media site and be active.  Then (and probably more important than any of the previous stuff) you must produce relevant, helpful, quality content.

Why don’t you visit my page more often?

I get this question a couple times per month.  The truth of the matter is I try to get to every blogger’s page who follows me.  But even if I could read 100 blogs per day, it would still take me over 3 months to read every page.  This brings me to a tip on engaging with your readers…Each day I visit 50 pages and I select those pages directly from my notifications.  I recommend you use this tactic as well.  After all, it is a good practice to engage deeply with those who are choosing to comment and like your posts. Then engage with those bloggers who you follow in Reader.  If you use these 2 tactics you should be able to cover a lot of ground and do so efficiently.

What can I do if people are not commenting and liking my posts?

There are many reasons why we blog.  Some do so to vent and purge.  Others want to make an impact on the world.  Some people want to display their poetry.  Etc, etc, etc.  But we are all here to have others look at our stuff.  If this were not the case then we could simply keep a journal in a notebook instead of displaying it for the world to see.  If you want people to comment and like your content, then you need to write content worthy of receiving a comment or like.  I think a lot of people miss this simple point: people are under zero obligation to read anything a blogger writes.  They are under zero obligation to engage or care.  The blogger must give people a reason to care; a reason to engage.  You must be unique.  You must be profound. You must be informative.  You must be engaging.  You must be creative.  If you are not one or all of these things then you are…….INVISIBLE.  Getting people to your page is easy. Keeping them coming back is not.  Getting them to engage is nearly impossible in a crowded digital world.

 

Last, but not least, remember this one point…

…blogging is a verb.  Blogging is all about interaction.  When I first started blogging I thought I would write great content, hit publish and people would flock to my page to read my wonderful views on the world.  The truth is blogging is action.  In order to get comments, you must comment.  In order to get LIKEs, you must first LIKE.  In order to get interaction, you must first interact.  If you sit back and wait, you will spend your whole life waiting.  Get active.

 

I hope this helps a little.  If you have any questions for me you can always contact me through the contact page here.  Have a great Tuesday!!

Danny’s World: A Common Question

“How do I grow my blog fast?”  This is the most common question I receive via email.  As a matter of fact it has become a back-n-forth email game Jason (Harsh Reality) and I play. The reason being is that the requests for help get incredibly forward and sometimes downright aggressive in nature.

Danny's iphone 022Currently a quarter of my followers (around 10,000) are bloggers themselves so it makes sense that bloggers want help growing their network.  I sought help when I first began and OM was gracious enough to help me understand the nuances of blogging.  He is the person who taught me the meaning of “blogging is a verb”. And to this day most of what I know I attribute to his tutelage.

The answer to the question is not a secret.  Growing takes a lot of work.  Growing requires time.  Growing demands dedication.  When you put in the hours, grind it out day-after-day and give it time, growth will occur. But it’s more like watching a tree grow than a house being built.  It takes years not months.

When I first started blogging I worked my blog around 60-70 hours per week.  I started early in the morning and I continued until late in the evening.  I adjusted my daily schedule so I was always attending to the blog.  I have always tried to give my page a “live” feel by responding quickly to comments, keeping new content posted and sharing other bloggers’ pages to provide a variety of information.

I hope this helps those of you interested in growing.  You must be active and patient; in time growth happens.  Tomorrow I will have a brand new post with blogging tips so be sure to check back in the morning!

 

Let’s Talk About It

Peace From Panic!

Peace from Panic

“What should I do if my friend is having a panic attack?” “If you have anxiety, will you get depression when you’re pregnant?” “I know my friend is depressed, but she won’t admit it. What should I do?” “Can you get panic attacks while you’re sleeping?”

These are some of the questions I was asked last week when I spoke to a class of 36 high school juniors. I presented a program called Ending the Silence, developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The purpose is to raise awareness of mental illness and help end the stigma.

I love to speak to high school students and bring attention to mental health. If I attended something like this when I was a teen, maybe I wouldn’t have waited so long to get treatment for anxiety and panic attacks.

Mental illness is a difficult subject to discuss, and can be…

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Today’s Featured Reblog is…Don Massenzio’s Blog!!

Don Massenzio!

Author Don Massenzio

This is a reboot of one of my most popular posts from 2016 in my blogging incarnation. The words in this post are just as true today as they were when it was posted. I’ve made some updates based on what I’ve learned along the way.


indie If you are like me, you are aware of the thousands of other authors that are in the indie-author universe on social media platforms. We all belong to groups on Facebook and we promote our books, blogs, giveaways, and events. We start to see the same names over and over relentlessly touting their work.

As I first entered the indie author world, I viewed all of these authors as people that were competing for my readers. I wanted to out-promote and out-sell all of them. Over the past two years, however, my view has changed. Instead of viewing my fellow authors as competitors, I have come to…

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Today’s Featured Reblog…Chronically Grateful Me!

Chronically Grateful Me!

Chronically Grateful Me

Every time I’m planning a trip away from home for a day, weekend a week or even just a long day of errands, it kinda scares me, especially when I’m traveling alone, because, to put it simply, I just don’t trust my body some days I like to have fun and yet because my body doesn’t always have the same ideas I do I feel like I am disappointing others, holding them back, you know a stick in the mud.

Somedays It’s really hit or miss ifmy body will cooperate or be a big fail. I try plan the best I can,but hey we all knows things can often go very wrong.

I don’t always know that my bones will be in sync with the rest of me,especially my back ,will it hold out and I’ll be able to walk all the places I need to be. Or just be…

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