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15 ways to become an influential blogger

September 18, 2007

The author of Skelliewag, a site about creating content your site’s visitors will fall in love with, guest blogs at North x East about 15 ways to become an influential blogger.

Click here for the whole post, but here’s a number of the 15 I liked the best, with my two cents added.

  • Play to your strengths. The saying “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none” rings true when it comes to blogging: the thinner you spread yourself, the less likely you are to achieve prominence in any one area. Pick your core strength and stick with it. As I preach to lawyers, most everything you write should be focused on enhancing your reputation as a leading authority in your niche.
  • Develop a consistent style.What kinds of posts do you do best? Developing a consistent approach, voice, and formatting style will help to develop a style of blogging with your trademark on it. It’ll take some time, but even lawyers with full time jobs will develop their blog styles with a little practice.
  • Be everywhere. Well maybe not everywhere, but guest posting, commenting on other blogs and networking with the media by referencing their news stories in your blog will start to get you broad exposure. A blog is just the start – you need to use it proactively to get out there.
  • Make friends in high (and low) places. Bloggers who like you are more likely to link to you, co-operate with you, or let you guest-post for them. The bigger your blogger friend’s profile, the better this will be for you. On the other hand, many low-profile friends can be just as powerful as one high-profile blogger. By referencing others’ blogs, commenting at their blogs, thanking them for writing about your blog posts or commenting at your blog, and asking folks to be in your professional network at LinkedIn, you’re reaching out for a virtual handshake. In time, without ever meeting these folks, they’ll feel like friends – and friends are great sources of referrals and testimonials.
  • Respond to criticism with dignity. Every blogger with a readership will be criticized at some point. The way you deal with such criticism will leave a distinct mark on your profile, so make sure that mark is a positive one. Getting involved in a tit-for-tat may cause your credibility to spring a leak. As LexBlog’s Creative Director, Greg Storey, would say, don’t be an asshat. Lawyers are known for infighting. The blogoshere is not the place for it, word of it spreads far faster and wider. At the same time, defend your ground with passion, the blogosphere respects people with a spine.
  • Use an authoritative voice. And no, that doesn’t mean talk like a police officer. There’s a common trait amongst most influential bloggers: they write well, they write fluently, they care about things like spelling, grammar and expression. They write with clarity. The more people who can understand you and ‘get’ what you’re trying to say, the further your ideas will spread.
  • Get interviewed. If you don’t think anyone would ask you yet, team-up with a blogger friend and interview each-other. Why? Because we associate interviewees with people worth listening to. Being interviewed will lend you some of that aura. We’re doing more and more of this at LexBlog. People like being interviewed and it makes for great content, especially when you’ve snared a five question and answer email with a well known authority in your area of the law. Serve yourself up for an interview – at LexBlog even.
  • Walk the talk. Many influential bloggers have built their profiles on remarkable real-life credentials. Sit down and write a list of reasons why you’re qualified to be influential in your niche. As a lawyer practicing in a specific area of the law you’ve been around the corner, you’ve got street creds. No need to claim you’re the world renowned expert on the subject (unless you are), but don’t sell yourself short.
  • Give something of yourself. You can’t form a meaningful connection with information alone. We’re human, and we connect with other humans. I know Darren Rowse lives in the same city as me
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