by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Founder of the EmpoweringSites.com Network
Blogging is a great way to share your expertise and build your online reputation and personal brand, but it also requires a dedication and time commitment that many people simply don't have. Don't believe it? While there are more than 100 million blogs according to Technorati, only about 10 percent post regular updates.
Just getting started with the notion of blogging? Read my article, So You Want to Start a Blog: Tips for Blog Publishing Success.
Once your blog is up and running, how do you keep it going -- even when you are passionate about the topic? How do you find new things to write about that your readers will find useful and relevant -- blog posts that will actually help your reputation rather than hurt it.
1. Use search alerts. Determine the most relevant keyword(s) for your blog's mission and message and register for a news and blog alert from Google and a Twitter alert from Twilert. Between the two, you'll have a wealth of tips and topics to investigate and write about.
2. Create a blog idea tickle folder. Keep a file for ideas for future blogs, tearing out pages from magazines and newspapers and printing out copy from Websites and other blogs.
3. Conduct interviews. Track down experts or other folks relevant to your blog and request they participate by answering a series of questions that you can post to your blog. You can either do one blog post per person, or spread it out even more by having one answer per blog post.
4. Find stuff to review. Every topic area or industry has new sites, books, products, services, and the like that you can review for your blog -- providing both a source of news and analysis to your readers.
5. Compile lists and links. Develop compilations of the most important Websites, blogs, people, companies, tools, and the like for your industry, profession, passion. Don't just list them, but when you can, also provide a link to them.
6. Respond to questions from readers. Use visitor generated questions -- or make up your own (and slowly build a blog FAQ) -- and provide insightful and helpful answers that showcase your knowledge and expertise.
7. Comment on current events. Follow news relevant to your blog's mission and provide interpretation and insights on news, trends, and other stories.
8. Develop case studies. Write a short, but detailed accounts of relevant people, companies, or events.
9. Serialize something you've written. Use articles, monographs, tutorials, books, or other lengthy publications that you've written and republish them in smaller bites in your blog.
10. Develop expert tips. Prepare a series of tips relevant to your blog's topics for a wide range of readers, from people just entering the field to advanced users.
Just remember that you don't have to write daily blog posts, but you should strive to have at least several new posts weekly. If you're struggling with the writing, try creating much shorter posts temporarily until you get back into the swing -- but keep in mind that most blog posts are relatively short (200-400 words).
Once you've posted a new blog entry, ping the major search engines so your post gets spidered. Even better, include the link to your latest blog post in your Facebook or LinkedIn status as well as send a tweet about it to your Twitter followers.
Finally, remember to regularly read other blogs in your niche -- it will help with your professional development and you just never know when something you read will inspire you to write a blog post of your own.
Web Marketing Guru Dr. Randall S. Hansen, CEO of EmpoweringSites.com -- a growing network of highly ranked educational and inspirational Websites -- has been empowering people his entire adult life. He is also founder and publisher of EmpoweringRetreat.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. He holds a doctorate in marketing and has been involved in marketing his entire life. Learn more at his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.