Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.
A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:
– World News
These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.
Benefitting From Your Own subreddits
Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.
The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.
Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.
It’s easy to get hung up on the words you write. As a top blogger, you’d be foolish to not at least consider them. After all, words, sentences and paragraphs are your bread and butter.
But once you’ve worked out what to say and the tone in which to say it, do you take the time to consider the format?
Because if the layout of your copy isn’t readable, nobody’s going to stick around to see what you’ve written. And that renders all your well-chosen words redundant.
So read on and learn the secrets that are going to ensure your target audience is going to read all the way to the end.
The Seven Secret Steps to Irresistible Blog Posts
Master the Art of the Paragraph
We all remember when we’re obliged to start a new paragraph. When you change topic, change time or change place. That’s what your teacher told you at school, so you just keep ploughing on with the same rambling paragraph until you’ve exhausted the topic, run out of time, or moved to sunny Tijuana.
You credulous buffoon. Why on earth did you think your teacher was right?
Here’s the one time you need to change paragraph. Doesn’t matter if time, topic and place are still the same, there’s one point when you need to hit that return key.
When dramatic effect demands it.
A quick, single sentence paragraph is visual shorthand for “this bit is important”. So make use of them when you’re sharing something groundbreaking. And watch as your reader starts to scroll down looking for the next one.
Or for something just as arresting…
Hit ’em With a Hail of Bullet (Points)
What have great bloggers and successful gangsters got in common? Other than a penchant for whisky cocktails and jaunty hats?
That’s right – they both know how to fire bullet points with deadly accuracy.
Why are bullet points so effective?
- Visually arresting – a bullet point hits you like, well, a bullet between the eyes. You can’t ignore it. You stop and read.
- Clear and concise – it’s impossible to ramble on a bullet point. You’re throwing out pure, distilled information
- Breaks up blocks – people won’t read a wall of text. Liberally scatter your bullets, and your layout remains fresh and interesting.
Stop Skimmers by Sprinkling in Subheadings
Skim readers love subheadings. It’s pretty much all they’ll stop for.
And you want a skim reader to stop, because if they don’t, they’re scrolling all the way to the bottom, off the page and out of your life.
So unleash a few content speedbumps to slow them down. Enticing and enlightening subheadings help your readers to find the content they find most useful or interesting – so they’ll make a bee-line straight for it.
And then they’ll read it.
And if they’ve slowed down long enough to read a whole subsection, they’ve slowed down long enough to write a comment, hammer out a tweet, or buy your eBook.
Not bad for a bit of bolded text.
The Internet Can’t Say No to a Funny Picture
By now, the reader’s concentration is beginning to flag. All the typographical tricks are keeping them on the page, but you need to cut them some slack.
So throw in an illustration or two.
Preferably one that backs up your points – and don’t forget to add an amusing caption, just to re-enforce your message. Because long after they’ve forgotten the exact wording of your advice, they’ll remember that the funny monkey told them just how to keep people reading.
Beef Up Arguments With Block Quotes
By now, you’re coming around to my way of thinking. You’re plotting sublime subheaders, and coming up with cunning captions.
But something’s nagging at the back of your mind. Wouldn’t this post be truly, completely irresistible if you could just see a second opinion?
Block quotes are a great way of providing a second opinion. As they’re generally from another authority on your subject of choice, they carry weight.
And because they’re visually interesting, they fulfill the same role as bullets points and subheaders – they force the reader to slow down and pay attention!
Mr603 – Outspoken Member of the Twitterati
Yeah. That’ll just about cover it.
Think About Your Font
I can say with some certainty that you’re probably not going to have a clue. Which is frankly ridiculous if you want to create a truly irresistible post.
The art of font creation is a huge subject that I don’t have space to get into here. But prove the power of the font to yourself. Copy this post into a word processor.
Now set the font to Comic Sans or Vivaldi.
I think that proves my point. Don’t you?
Follow the six secret steps, and you’ll have framed your content in an absolutely irresistible way. But don’t rest on your laurels yet, dear blogger.
Because you’ve still got a final chance to throw it all away. By irritating your readers and driving them from your site, never to return.
Irritating blog quirks could fill a whole post to themselves, but there are two content killers that you’ll need to avoid at all costs:
- Pop Ups: I know you want your reader to sign up to your mailing list. But please don’t hurl a pop-up at them after they’ve just started to read. It’ll break their concentration and raise their hackles. Just don’t take the risk.
- Pagination: We’ve all got mouse wheels. So don’t split your post into seven chapters across seven pages. Because a blog reader will scroll for miles and miles to read your content. Just don’t expect them to click.
So there you have it. The seven secret steps to making your blog’s content truly irresistible. You don’t need to use all seven techniques in everything you post, but keep all of these techniques in your locker, and you’ll find your audience to be far more responsive.
And who can blame them? You’re totally irresistible.
This is a guest post from Jeevan Jacob John. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
What is your Ultimate goal, as blogger who blogs about blogging (or something that is associated with blogging)? Or, what should be your goal?
If you ask me, I would tell you that the goal should be to guide your visitors in the right path. Most visitors of a marketing blog are looking for marketing tips that they can apply to their blog. They are looking to you, as a guide. They are expecting you to help them to “walk” in the right path.
Hi, My name is Jeevan Jacob John and in this blog post, we will talk about long term goal(s) – for your blog – and some analogies to get you started 😉
Let me ask you….
When you visit a new place (for sight seeing), you would need someone to guide you, right?
Same is true for blogosphere. When a person is new to the field, he is like a tourist. He needs someone to guide him to the right path (to success). He may later decide to settle on (start blogging), following your (as a guide) advise. So, your mission is to guide your visitor through the right path. Give them honest reviews. Be honest about what you say in your blog. Tell them the shortcuts (in the case of blogging, specific techniques to manage a blog).
A successful blogger is the one who guides his visitors through the right path.
Let me give another example:-
Bloggers are like teachers. The best teachers are the ones who are able to teach, effectively. Teachers use different techniques to get their students’ attention (or to encourage students to listen and take action). Like teachers, bloggers should also use different techniques to get the visitor’s attention and “make them” read your post 😀
So, Is your Blog a Kick Ass Guide?
Is your blogging success in guiding your visitors? The best option to answer this question to is ask your readers itself. Have a poll. Now, if you don’t want to do that, there is another option for you. You could just look at your traffic analytics and compare the bounce rates of your visitors (new vs returning) (Note: Thanks to Ana Hoffman of Trafficgenerationcafe.com for this idea). There are many elements (from design to content) that determine your blog’s success as a guide. Let’s take a brief look at all those elements:-
- Do you have an indicator (At the beginning of the post) that specifically tells your reader what the post is about? Yes, traditionally titles have been the indicators of the topic. But, it is always better to go a step ahead and describe what your post is going to be about.
You could add your own style to the indicator. For me, I use “In this blog post, we are doing to discuss about…” format. Adding a call to action is also a good thing to do (helps your reader to make the best choice, to read or to not read).
- Do you specifically highlight the main parts of your post? I don’t do this a whole lot of time, but I think, it would be really great if you highlight the steps that your readers needs to take (like post takeaway etc.)
I like to read the post take-away/bulleye/conclusion because it usually tells me what the post is about (in a deeper sense) and what I need to do (it especially helps when I don’t really have time to read the entire post).
- The standard rule of dividing your post into different paragraphs.
- Using different techniques like call to action to get your reader’s attention.
The call to actions, that are in the beginning of the post, serve only one purpose: to get your readers started. You need to use various techniques, in the middle of the posts to keep your readers on the page and to follow along.
- Use examples and analogies to explain your post (like I did at the beginning of this post).
It makes the post interesting and easy to understand.
- After you have done with the post, tell me what to do next (Share, comment etc.). You could personalize the call-to-actions to make it unique and interesting.
- Add a navigation bar to your blog (category bar). It will help your readers to browse through the topics and find what they want.
- The traditional rule of having a Search bar.
- Do you highlight your best posts? Yes, create a page in which you highlight the best posts you have written so far (it doesn’t have to be the ones with most comments/shares). Highlight the posts that you think are the best. Link to them.
A map will only be useful (to a tourist) if it highlights the important places of the city. Likewise, your blog needs to highlight the best posts you have written.
- Link to your guest posts. Add a separate page in which you can show off your reputation, as a writer, in various sites. This helps the reader to classify your blog in their reading list.
- When it comes to overall design of your blog, you need to use “eye-pleasing” colors. You also need to make your blog user-friendly (less clutter, more speed, better colors).
When it comes to list subscription, people tend to subscribe to lists that they find useful (in other words, to lists that are owned by successful blogs – guides). So, viewing your blog from a “Guide” perspective, helps you to become a better blogger.
What else does a Guide do?
- A Guide is also polite to his clients. His as a blogger, you need to be polite when commenting, contacting, messaging etc. [to] your visitors.
What are things are you thinking about right now? Would you mind to share it with us? Did you like the post? If so, what did you? What can I improve on?
Let me know of all your comments and thoughts about this approach on blogging. Thank you! Don’t forget to share because this post is part of the guest blogging contest 😀
Image Edited. Original Image : Credited to the author.
Comments. They’re the lifeblood of blogging. Without this ability to interact with the author and other readers, blogs wouldn’t be blogs at all. They’d just be standard, boring, static articles.
When the subject of blog commenting typically comes up in SEO conversations, it’s usually related to link building. And while commenting can be a part of your link building strategy, the benefits of commenting extend far beyond link building.
Here are a few of the true benefits of leaving comments on other blogs.
- Getting Your Name Out There- The first step to building your reputation online is to get your name out there. It’s not enough just to stay on your little website or blog. You have to visit new blogs in your niche, leaving insightful comments that add to the conversation. In other words, don’t leave comments like “Good post. Come check out my blog!” Take time to digest the post to think of a fresh perspective to add in the comments. Try to write comments that demand someone replies to them.
- Building Relationships – Social media is all about building relationships. That’s why you shouldn’t just leave a comment and leave. Always check back to see if anyone has responded to your comment. Interacting with the author and other readers is the key to building strong online relationships. These are relationships that you’ll be able to leverage down the line to get guest posting opportunities and to attract readers to your blog.
- Gaining Authority- If you make a habit of making insightful comments that add value to the conversation, you’ll start to build authority over time. No matter how big the blogosphere might be, if you focus on blogs within your niche, people will start to recognize your name and take your comments seriously. It really is a small world. Remember, every comment you leave affects the way people see your brand. Always put your best foot forward by making each comment great.
- Learning from Others- Blog commenting isn’t just about getting your ideas out there; it’s about learning from others as well. I can’t tell you how much interacting with others online has helped improve my marketing education. You don’t know it all. Take the time to truly listen to what others are saying, and you’re sure to learn something new. Never stop learning. The moment you do is the moment you’ll become irrelevant.
- Generating Ideas for Your Blog- Often times, ideas come up in the comments section that need to be fleshed out fully. In short, you might be able to turn one of your blog comments into a full post for your own blog. I don’t have to tell you how difficult it can be to come up with fresh ideas for blog posts. Hanging around in the comments section could be the perfect cure for a case of writer’s block.
Now that you understand the importance of commenting on other blogs, I’m going to leave you with a list of what NOT to do when leaving comments. Avoiding these mistakes will make you a commenter that earns respect.
What NOT To Do When Commenting
- Don’t leave brief comments that add nothing to the conversation
- Don’t be overly self-promotional…it’s not always about you
- Don’t immediately discount other people’s opinions
- Don’t forget to follow up on your comments
- Don’t be controversial for no good reason
- Don’t forget to proofread. Typos and poor grammar make you look less than intelligent
- Don’t talk about something you don’t know about
Do you have any opinions or insights regarding comments? Please let us know in the comments below.
So, you’re starting a company blog, and you want to know how to get the most out of it. If you’re new to the blogosphere, the first thing you need to understand are the mistakes many others often make. By learning from others’ mistakes, you can avoid them and have a more successful blog.
Here are 7 deadly blogging mistakes to learn from.
1. Ignoring SEO- While you don’t want to turn your blog into a bunch of keyword-stuffed filler content, you also don’t want to completely ignore SEO. Remember, the search engines crave fresh content because they want their search results to be as relevant as possible. By optimizing your posts for relevant keywords, you increase your chances of grabbing high search engine placement.
2. No Personality- The internet is brimming with blogs. There are over 100 million of them. How can you separate yourself from the pack? The best way is to use your personality. Blog posts aren’t like typical articles. What makes blogging so popular is the interactivity of it. That’s why you need to showcase your personality—to connect with readers. If you can connect with your audience, they’ll be likelier to continue coming back and to comment regularly on your posts.