Blogging 101: Insights to capture the hearts and minds of your readers

Murray Newlands moderates blogging panel

Murray Newlands moderates blogging panel: To his right are: John Rampton, SEJ, Alexey Semeney, AtContent, and Rohit Vashisht, Sverve

Reach new readership and control your content

Remember, above all else, in order to grow your blog, increase organic traffic, and expand readership, you must share, share, and share again your content! That was the overriding theme of the recent Social Media Marketing Monitoring Engagement Meetup held at the Microsoft store in downtown San Francisco.

Last week I provided a summary of Tiffany Jones Brown’s presentation on how Pinterest creates its unique voice. This time I want to recap the main themes espoused by the blogger rockstars on this particular presentation. To begin, Murray Newlands moderated the panel. Murray advises various UK and American companies on their social media marketing. John Rampton, Managing editor at Search Engine Journal (SEJ), Alexey Semeney, CEO at AtContent, a blogging platform that displays bloggers’ content on other websites, and Rohit Vashisht, CEO at Sverve rounded off the list of speakers.

Find your niche!

If you’re going to develop a blog, find your niche. Rampton made it clear that even though he writes and edits for a site that gets more than 500,000 uniques a month, it’s still in the site’s interest to engage their readership by offering guest blog posts. Rampton said SEJ allows up to 30 guest blog posts a day on its site. By featuring guest posts, the site is able to continually feature fresh content and attract new readership. Murray encouraged new bloggers to invite guest bloggers to post on their blog.

Produce less and share more!

Rahit stressed that bloggers should be producing less content and sharing more of what they’ve already created. Because of the plentiful social media channels in existence today such as Google +, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon (to name but a fraction), bloggers can easily share and spread their content far and wide. In doing so, they increase their level of visibility and more easily find their niche audience.

Optimize your content

SEO and the optimization of content! Rahit made sure to include SEO and optimization as essential components in every blogger’s toolset. If you’re not using Google +, for example, you risk getting alienated by Google itself and your post won’t rank as well. If you haven’t created a google authorship profile for yourself, do so now.

Identify trends to take advantage of

When it comes to producing content, you should get good at identifying trends. Rampton said he relies primarily on his own personal network when it comes to identifying scoops like when he broke the story that Digg was delisted by Google.

Your personal networks on Twitter and/or Facebook are excellent sources for trending topics but you can still use Google Trends to help you identify what keywords people are searching for on the Web as well. Rampton made it clear, however, you can’t beat a personal network of friends and associates who share your particular interest and can tip you off at any time.

How to handle copyright violations

A person in the audience asked about copyright and how to prevent scrapers from stealing your content. Alexey said any violation of copyright is a problem of technology and his company, AtContent, is one solution (it helps to distribute content without content duplication and provides backlinks) but just as important is to always insert a link to your article within your blog. That way you at least get that backlink in the event your post is stolen and featured somewhere else.

How to overcome blog topic fatigue

But what if you make the decision to blog about a topic that’s already been blogged about by hundreds if not thousands of times already? Newlands came to the rescue by suggesting you look for arguments or differences in perspective among the blog posts already featured and bingo, you can find a new avenue or approach towards the same topic.  Newlands recommends taking screenshots of arguments or differences in opinion “in action” and use them when crafting your next blog post.

Another great suggestion from Newlands was to identify the moment that any influential blogger is about to release something important or significant, in the form of an eBook or video, for example. If you follow that influential blogger carefully, you can time it just right by asking if they would consider promoting their eBook or video on your blog.

Stalk your favorite blogger

Finally, if you’re looking for your next juicy blog post and seemed tapped out on just what exactly new and original to say next, go stalk a blogger you respect. Timothy Ferris, famous author of the Four-Hour workweek book series did this to perfection by attending numerous conferences and meeting with the bloggers he wanted to get to know. Rampton said once you’ve stalked your blogger, politely introduce yourself and establish a relationship. Once the blogger feels comfortable getting to know you, go ahead and ask if it would be possible to feature an interview with him or her, or just feature a guest post on your blog.

There you have it!  A fun-filled session for all, including for this fine young gentleman named Rakesh.

Rakesh tries out the PSiO 1.1

Rakesh tries out the PSiO 1.1


Rakesh works for Locationlabs and blogs at and was trying out a funky gizmo by called the PSiO 1.1. This looks exactly like what more of the overworked workers of the world should be doing. Zoning out and recharging their batteries at the same time!

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