Can you claim your blog to be award-winning? What kind of prize do you think you’d get if they put you on a best blog list? Most original? Best resource for time-saving tips? Most helpful, profound, smart? Funniest?
The first time I got onto Joe Pulizzi’s Top42 Content Marketing Blogs, back in 2007, I was kinda surprised. And extremely flattered, since I was in the company of some of the top blogs I look up to for inspiration, like Copyblogger, Online Marketing Blog, Conversation Agent, and Web Ink Now.
Now, 3 years later, the pool has quadrupled, and I’m still in the top ten… This quarter, this blog ranks #5. I’m very proud, but more than that, I’m grateful. Being on this list has added more than a few smart readers to the subscriber list, and put me in contact with some great people.
It is also makes getting up early to write everyday worth it, it contributes to my motivation and inspires me to write better.
I want to share with you what the benefits of being on an award list, and what I’ve done since to try to stay on the list. I think there are some good lessons for other bloggers.
If you can’t find a list to aspire to, start your own list in your field. That’s what Joe Pulizzi did and it catapulted him to a leadership role in the content marketing niche. When you name the top ten, or 20 or 42, blogs in a niche, you immediately become recognized, you connect people together, and you build search engine power through linking.
Here’s what it’s like to be on a top blog list:
- Prestige factor increases
- Adds credibility
- Builds trust
- Connects you with more people
- More opportunities to work with others
- Opportunities to help more people
- Earn more money from new clients
- Increases the numbers on your marketing database
- Improves brand recognition
Here’s what you need to do to earn a position on a list and stay there:
- Focus topics in a niche
- Focus writing to appeal to a target audience
- Use same keywords frequently in headlines and posts
- Report what others are doing in the field, and link to them
- Blog more frequently (minimum 3 times a week, daily is better)
- Write key content pieces that address readers’ challenges
- Write original stuff, with your own ideas, own spin, own personality
- Share your own stories, show why you care
- Be authentic, transparent, and real
- Don’t be afraid to go against popular trends and rock the boat
- Pay attention to what others are doing, write and link to them
- Join the conversations on Twitter
Lists aren’t necessarily popularity contests, where the coolest kids get together and decide what’s “in”. Many lists have specific criteria. But one criteria is often Google Page Rank. As far as I understand it, you can’t get a good Page Rank without people linking to your pages.
So obviously popularity comes into play, but I think of it more like when a book is really good, many people will talk about it and check it out of the library. The author may be ugly, but if the ideas are interesting, it’ll get circulated.
Your blog writing should also strive for popularity, but not because of the usual “cool” factors kids in high school seem to think necessary.
This is all subjective, but here’s the key: if what you write is helpful and relevant to a specific group of readers, word will get out. Your blog will get spread around and your “popularity” will grow.
Of course, there are a bunch of things you can intentionally do to try and help spread the word. None of them count more than writing great stuff that helps other people, that makes their work and their lives easier, faster, and more enjoyable.
I’ve said it before, a business blog is quite simply the best darn marketing tool on the planet! How are you using yours?