The new year is right around the corner and with it comes a world of potential to make new habits, break habits, and create goals that you can slay like a boss. This week we’ve created a list of ten challenges for you to consider in your blogging strategy for 2017.
Post once a week
Get started now by creating a brainstorm list of ideas to post about. Each month find two posts that relevant to the season or annual events. Find out of the box opinions, ideas, and creatively told stories that you can blog about any time of the year. Mark these ideas on a calendar and VIOLA, you have an editorial calendar ready for the year.
Got a Facebook page but no real traffic? Don’t know the difference between a Facebook profile and public page? Make 2017 the year you learn the ins and outs of running your own public page where you can grow an audience that will spill over into your blog traffic.
Interview someone in your community
If you’re a parenting blogger then consider interviewing someone who works with kids and families. If you’re a food blogger consider interviewing a local chef. If you’re an outdoors blogger, then consider interviewing a registered Maine guide. Make it a point to get out into your community, meet people, get your blog name out there, and share what you learn with your readers.
Pitch your BDN blog to another publisher for syndication
This is a FANTASTIC way to grow your audience because you are republishing your BDN content on a bigger site like Huffington Post with link backs to your BDN blog. This also helps to give your blog byline, even more, credibility and can lead to lots of wonderful opportunities.
Learn how to properly edit pictures
Make 2017 be the year that you no longer publish shoddy images, sideways images, pixelated images, or bad stock images. Go to sites like Canva.com or Picmonkey.com and spend some time learning how to use the free tools available to help your boost your blog images to be polished and professional looking. Readers will share your posts if they look appealing.
Clean up your language
Use the free version of Grammarly for Chrome, which is a Chrome extension that automatically checks your spelling and grammar when you open a new post in WordPress. You can even upgrade and pay for the service, which gives you more tools for better writing practices.
Upgrade your headlines
Take some time to practice writing headlines. Go through you 2016 posts and rewrite headlines until they look professional. At the BDN we use headlines that clearly tell the reader what the story is about without spoiling the takeaway, use all lowercase letters except in the case of proper nouns and the first word of the headline. Use Co-Schedule’s headline tool to get better practice.
Enter a writing contest
Did you know that a lot of online writing contests will let you enter blog posts you have already published? Did you also know that you can win money? It’s true! Start looking for writing contests that fit the genre of your blog and apply. This is a fantastic way to meet other writers, get your work seen by new readers, and if you win then BONUS!
Join writing groups
There are hundreds of awesome writing groups online. Poke around on Twitter or Facebook to find a couple of groups that fit your needs. Some are all about promotion and other are all about connecting with writers and supporting each other by sharing questions and coming up with group answers.
Ask a friend to apply
One of the best parts of blogging is having a friend blog with you. Consider inviting a talented friend to apply to the BDN blog network. You can be a mentor, have a friend to guest post with, and create your own little online hub of writers who you trust and feel creatively inspired by.