Did you know that there are an estimated 500 million blogs on the web?
If you are looking to create a blog—or better yet, an award-winning blog—then this poses some good and bad news. Firstly, blogging is not dead. Even though many people might want you to believe this, blogging is still in the process of taking off.
But, some things have changed since the early days. Competition has skyrocketed, and with that, quality standards of content have also risen. To create and run a blog that stands out from the crowd enough to win an award is harder than it used to be back when each niche was only home to a few dozen blogs.
If this sounds disheartening, relax. Because all it means is that we are all pushed to put forth better and better blogs that provide the highest amount of value. And we are about to share with you just how to go about doing this so that you can create your own award-winning blog.
Simply read on friends.
1. Write About What Turns You On
The first thing you need to decide when embarking on creating a blog is what you are going to write about.
There is a saying in blogging and that is ‘go niche to get rich’. This roughly means that the more specific and targeted your content, the easier it is to gain a following.
For example, if you love watercolor painting and create content around this, your blog might be more successful than if you blogged about art in general—or worse your pets, kids, and some art in between.
But what if you want to be able to write about anything and have a lifestyle blog? Okay, but even lifestyle blogs can fall into micro niches.
For example, if you start a lifestyle blog – what is your unique angle? Are you always after the most environmentally friendly products, or do you travel a lot? Or maybe you are an efficiency freak, organizational expert or are obsessed with downsizing or saving money?
Or, perhaps you want to blog about cooking and food. In this case – are you into healthy eating, time-saving cooking, or gourmet dishes?
See, already you can get a feeling of how one can niche down into your actual passion. And this is truly the most important part. Even if you settle on a broad or saturated niche, if you are writing what truly turns you on, lights your fire, gets you going or makes you tick—your blog has a higher chance of turning into something that people just can’t get enough of.
2. Teach Yourself How to Write
If you’re reading this then you can probably read and write. But there is a big difference between writing, and writing in a way that will keep people reading and coming back for more.
Transforming ideas and information into engaging, clear, and addictive content is something that takes time and practice. Thankfully the internet is awash with great tutorials from writers and bloggers on how to improve one’s writing and make it better and better.
(Psst, can you spot that the above writers are probably nailing tip #1?)
So, make it a top priority to seek out some of these sites and resources. Bookmark, sign up for writing newsletters… do whatever it takes to elevate your writing from okay to irresistible.
While this might sound like a lot of work, this is the kind of thing that could bag you one of those coveted engraved glass awards that are the stamp of success for any blogger.
3. Become a Pro Headline Crafter
Do you know what is even more important than blog posts? Headlines.
Without good headlines, good blog posts will get lost in the ether. On the other hand, good headlines have the power to catch people’s eyes and literally compel them to read your post. Good headlines are also a lot more shareable.
As an example, here’s a headline for the same or similar post, just worded differently
A Guide to Keeping Your House Tidy
How to Transform Your Home into an Organizational Masterpiece That Will Make Your Friends Jealous
Which one is more compelling?
If you don’t want to promise as much as the second headline is offering, you can also go with something like:
Lifesaving Tips for Keeping Your House Beautifully Tidy
Do you see how the words ‘lifesaving’ and ‘beautifully’ give this headline more punch?
4. Write Long Form
According to research, most bloggers receive the highest level of engagement with content that is around 1500 words in length and over. This is termed long-form content.
Additionally, according to SerpIQ, Google might even favor long-form blog posts, as the average length of content within the top ten Google search results is almost 2500 words.
So, instead of writing short pieces of 300 words, design your content strategy around producing long, detailed and informative pieces.
5. Find out Who Your Audience Is and Engage with Them
Once you know what your niche is and what you want to write about, find out who your audience is. You can use website analytics to determine their demographics, you can pose short questionnaires to your audience, and you can make informed judgments based on reader comments and shares. Once you know who your audience is, you can write content that is targeted for them.
Just as importantly, make sure that you engage with your audience whenever possible through blog comments and social media.
6. Connect with Influencers in Your Niche
Influencers can give your blog a big boost. But how to connect with them and get them to share your content? Well, first off by following and interacting with those that you like within your niche.
Once you get to know them, start creating content that is in their best interest to share. For example, if you write about something positive they have done/created they will be motivated to share it. Or, you can even ask to interview them, as an interview is something they will be sure to share.
7. Make Your Blog Look Slick
The last tip for making your blog one of the blogs to follow… is to make it look slick baby! No matter how great your content is, if your site is cumbersome, ugly and looks like it needs some TLC, nobody is going to stick around too long.
So make sure that you have an attractive theme/layout, eye-catching images, and media, great branding, lots of negative space and appealing fonts.
Guess What? You Now Know How to Build an Award-Winning Blog
Who would have thought that creating an award-winning blog could be distilled down into 7 simple steps? Well, it can, and now that you know about them there is nothing stopping you from unleashing one of the best blogs yet.
Unless of course, you still need to get a website up and going. If that is the case then check out our list of free website platforms and read our guide on how to create a site. Our blog also has heaps of resources so be sure to explore it.