5 steps to achieve a “hot” blog

by William Smith on October 30, 2009

Megan Fox

smiththumbLet’s face it, we aren’t all blessed with the looks of Megan Fox. I’d imagine that by simply posting her picture with this post I am guaranteed another 100 or more visits (we’ll see!). For everyone else, here are a few tips for making your blog “hot” in the eyes of your readers.

I’ve already told you how you can create a professional looking blog through email by utilizing Posterous, but what if you have the resources and interest in building a more customized, permanent outpost on the web? Easy, look to WordPress.

1. WordPress

WordPress is hands-down the most capable, extendable platform for blogging today. The price isn’t bad either – free. You can either host a WordPress site on your own domain (recommended) or utilize WordPress.com’s own hosting solution. You’ll have more flexibility to add the fun plugin’s and widgets to your site if you host it yourself, but in a pinchWordPress.com will work well.

2. Custom Themes

For the sake of this article, we’ll assume you are interested in downloading and installing WordPresson your own site. While WordPress comes with some basic themes, you will probably want to customize the overall look and feel of your site. Thats where custom themes come in. WordPress has a browser which lets you select and download new styles for your blog, or you can visit WordPress theme sites which either have free themes for download or professionally designed themes for purchase. Most themes cost under $100 and can really help to make your blog stand out from the rest.

3. Blog Smarter with Zemanta

So now you have your own WordPress site with shiny new theme. What you don’t have is content. Where do you start? How about using a tool like Zemanta to help you spice up your content with interesting links and imagery? Zemanta is a Firefox plugin which watches as you pen your blog posts, scanning the text and suggesting media you may want to include to make your posts better. It makes blogging a snap, and can help to build readership to your blog as well.

4. Involve Your Readers

Sometimes inspiration just doesn’t come to you when you want, and finding new topics to blog about can be difficult. During these times, query your readership through social media or even on your blog using a widget like the one Skribit offers. On my own site I have started to ask my readers for suggestions on what types of posts they like to read. Those readers can now participate with the site by submitting ideas and voting on the ones they like best. In my opinion there aren’t enough site doing this. WordPress sites also have the option of adding a custom greeting to each of their visitors through the use of the WP-Greet Box plugin which can detect where a visitor comes to your site from and provides a custom welcome accordingly.

5. Spread the Love

Want to know the key to making your blog really take off? Easy! Spend a lot of time commenting on other people’s blog posts. You will be amazed at the number of new links and readers that come you way if you give more than you take. Don’t just leave a comment with a link to your own site – people can see through that kind of self-serving promotion. Instead, comments on blogs and posts which truly interest you, and where you can offer some type of value.

Link to Facebook Marketing Review

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Davina K. Brewer November 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm

To #3, Blog Smarter–SEO, SEO, SEO. You can have the smartest, hottest, bestest blog in the world, but if no one can find it… not gonna work.

To #5 I’d add: BackType and its WordPress plugin. As you suggest, I read, comment on many other blogs, so having a tool that tracks my comments elsewhere and shares them back on my own blog just rocks.

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