I was browsing social media guru Chris Brogan’s website when I came across this absolutely fabulous how-to article on better blogging called 27 Blogging Secrets to Power Your Community. The 27 secrets are so good that I have decided to implement each and every one of them on my home business blog, and to share my “consumer report” experiences with you. I’ll be implementing 3 secrets on blog posts each Monday and Wednesday for a total of 9 posts. I’ll tell you which secrets are easy, which are difficult, which are impossible (there are a couple that look dicey to me), and which make the most difference! I will also tell you home much time and dinero I spend on implementing each secret. Hopefully this will help you if you decided to implement any or all on your own blog!
Today, I’m testing out secrets number 1, 10, and 14 on my home business blog, which cover titles, themes, and other people reposting your stuff.
Secret #1: Create a Great Title
Chris starts out his list with a secret about titles. He suggests going with an “intriguing title” to draw people to your blog. If you’re stumped on how to make the title interesting, he suggests using weird or odd numbers, like the number 27, which he used for his own list.
For this home business blog post, I picked a title that I hope is both intriguing and odd. Chris Brogan is a social media guru with a well-known reputation, and making the title “The 9 Days of Chris Brogan” might make people curious as to what is happening on those 9 days related to Chris. I’m linking back to Chris’ post and I’m putting his suggestions into action, so I don’t feel that using his name in my title is poor etiquette. If anything, most people will probably check out his post to see all 27 secrets.
Time Spent: 7 minutes
Dinero Spent: $0
Secret #10: Use a Clean Blogging Theme
Chris recommends using a nice clean theme for your blog and strongly recommends Thesis. Thesis is a WordPress theme created Chris Pearson and it costs $87 for a single-user license. I’ve been using the free WordPress themes and altering the style sheets to fit my needs but I had been getting a little frustrated with the amount of code I had to change every time I upgraded to the latest WordPress version. I decided to take the plunge and buy Thesis to see what it could do for me.
I love it. Once you install Thesis (a matter of 2 clicks) you just choose it as your theme in your WordPress administration panel. You can then alter the number of columns, add and subtract widgets (like Categories and Recent Posts), and even add rotating pics, all in the control panel. The simplicity is pure genius. Best of all, Thesis provides a custom stylesheet where you can make changes that will remain permanent even when you upgrade to the next version of WordPress or Thesis. I have to say, I did go a little crazy with the customized style sheet so the time I spent on this blogging secret was longer than anticipated, but you could get away with much less if you are not as picky as I am.
Time Spent: 2 hours (but you could spend 30 minutes and get a great looking blog theme)
Dinero Spent: $87 (but WordPress has lots of free themes that are clean, too!)
Secret #14: Prevent Content Theft
If you encourage people to repost your stuff, which Chris does, and you are afraid that people will just steal your content instead of giving you credit for it, then Chris suggests adding a few links in your post that point back to your site. That way, wherever your material ends up, when people click on the link they will be redirected to your site and see where the material originally came from. The links can point back to the very same blog post. Pretty cool trick, if I do say so myself. (And by the way, you are free to repost my material with proper credit!)
Time Spent: 5 minutes
Dinero Spent: $0, but lots of possible dinero saved in the stolen content department
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this first installment of The 9 Days of Chris Brogan Blogging Secrets. Thanks to mavericks and leaders like Chris who share their secrets so the rest of us can get a clue about blogging, social media, and whole enchilada of digital interaction.