21 Lessons I Have Learned From Darren Rowse

When we talk about “Blogging Tips and Tricks” the first name emerges in our mind is Darren Rowse from Problogger. As you might already know that he had written a book titled “31 Days to Build a Better Blog.” Here is how he described it:

The idea is simple. By the end of this challenge you’ll have learned 31 aspects of blogging and put them into practice. It is designed not only to fill your head with knowledge ABOUT blogging, but also to give you some concrete things to actually DO something with the knowledge.

Basically you had a teaching and a task each day. The teaching would give you the concepts and theory, and the task would force you to take action on what you had just learned. Now without making any preface here are my tips, which I have learned from Darren’s book……

1. Focus on a niche topic. The more you narrow your blog topic, the better it is for your blog’s potential. It is better for your SERP’s and to attract readers and subscribers. A specific blog topic allows you to become an expert in the field and your readers know what to expect from you. It is also easier to monetize a narrow niche. Remember don’t try to be “A Jack of all trades & Master of none.” Try to build unique brand of your blog.

2. Write List Posts. Using lists has always been a popular and effective technique among bloggers.If you look at pages like the front page of Digg and Delicious and you’ll see that much of the hottest content on the web is written in list style. Because lists are scannable, it keeps post succinct, it looks clean, it can be persuasive and comprehensive and it goes viral.

3. Write Link posts Writing posts with the outbound links to other useful resources not only build readership on your blog but it also give something of value to your readers and build your credibility and relationship with other bloggers.

4. Interlink your old blog posts. Try to build this task into your daily posting schedule. if you have a lot of content that you’ve never interlinked before start with the most popular posts. This technique gives opportunity to your readers for further reading and to stay more on your blog.

5. Create a Sneeze page for your Blog. Sneeze page is a page in which you list posts of your blog in some categorized order, it helps you to show off your archives and to promote old posts. Linking to old posts can help grow your search engine ranking.

6. Write Review posts. The Web is increasingly being used by people for research to help make purchasing decisions. You can write a review on a book, any website on your niche, any article from magazine, a tool relevant to your niche etc. You can also use any affiliate link associated with what you are reviewing. A well written and balanced review can be very good for driving sales.

7. Extend your old posts. One of the biggest challenges bloggers are facing that after few months they think it hard to come up with fresh content on regular basis. You can extend your old posts by picking up a question or idea a reader ask in comments, by exploring opposite point of view, by explaining something which was not adequately explained in previous post etc.

8. Find some blog Buddies. Bloggers who work together often last longer and have more success in the building of their blogs. Having your blogging buddy you can: share each other posts with social media and with other bloggers, encourage each other through commenting, share communities, guest post for each other, etc.

9. Don’t Shy, promote your Blog. If you want success of your blog don’t be passive, get out there. Find your target audience and connect with them. Show that you are the expert. Promote your blog wherever you can, whenever you can.

10. Analyze & Follow the Probloggers. Analyze top blogs in your niche, Follow them, see how they write articles, when they write them, how often they are posting, how they style them, what complaints readers are making in their blog comments etc. Don’t necessarily only listen to what they say, but analyze how they say it and why.

11. Join Forum and Social Media Services. Join a forum and social media services like twitter or, if you’ve already joined one, spend 10-15 minutes participating in it. Your forum posts and activity in social media services would bring in dozens of visitors every day. Even if you have various subscribers already.

12. Plan your blogging activity schedule. Make a plan what you have to do i.e. frequency of publishing posts, specific days for some specific posts, specific days for admin, editorial and promotional tasks, a day for readers (for emailing, answering questions etc), specific days to analyze stats etc, So grab a calendar and map out specific tasks that you want to achieve over the next month.

13. Be aware; try to Breaking news in your niche. Bloggers should be aware what is happening in their niche. It gives ideas to you about your new blog posts and if you break some news in your blog it build your credibility very fast. Setup alerts for your blog, for this purpose you can use Google Alerts.

14. Analyze your readers deeply. Do some analysis of what is the first impressions of your blog on your visitors. Analyze where they navigate, where do they click, where do they pause to read, where do they skip over, which keywords they search in your blog etc. For visualizing the user experience on your blog CrazzyEgg is a great tool.

15. Ask questions to your reader. Try to ask some question from your readers in your post, as it is the fantastic way to grow your blog. It gives readers a sense of community and participation, it increases blog stickiness moreover reader answer can fuel future post ideas for your blog.

16. Make active your passive readers. Motivate your readers to go beyond reading and take some kind of action for this purpose ask your reader to write some comments, vote a poll, vote for you social bookmarking sites, persuade reader to subscribe to your feed etc.

17. Promote your readers. Make your readers famous by Choosing one or more of your current readers and do anything to encourage them, shows them that you value them, and highlights them to your other readers. For this you can promote a comment in your post, write some post about their blog, choose reader of the week, invite guest posts etc.

18. Be SEO friendly. While writing your posts take SEO into consideration, Search engines can send you a lot of traffic, allow them for it by changing blog permalinks, title of post and description of your post to include your post keywords in them. Remove broken links. keyword density in your post should not be more than 5%. But remember don’t write your posts just for search engines, readers should be given first priority.

19. Monitor your Blog statistics. Keep an eye on your blog’s statistics and see what you can learn from it. Make sure you have some metric package installed in your blog. Analyze your total visitors, most popular posts, referral sites, traffic sending keywords, bounce rates, visitor’s avg. time on site etc. Google Analytics is the best tool for this kind of information.

20. Be Consistent and Unique. Consistency doesn’t mean you have to publish posts daily on your blog but it means to setup a schedule and publish your post according to this, be aware plans often remain just plans and don’t become reality, so don’t just plan follow it strictly. Moreover content on your blog must be unique duplicate content i.e. posts copied from other blogs, would bring down your Search engine position.

21. Don’t just spend your time online. Success in Blogging takes a lot of hard-work. But it’s not the only thing you have in your life. Learn to enjoy your life, give time to your family, go out and observe what is going on around you, read books, enjoy your weekends. It will improve your energy levels and will keep you and your mind sharp.