There's more to this thing called blogging than meets the untrained eye. Most folks start their blogging adventure from a soapbox, hoping someone will respond. But it takes more than a blogsite to engage in the conversphere.
A) Analytics is more than one score- There is more than one metric to measure your success. If your page views are down, but your feeds are up, that's a good thing. If your comments are light, but lots of sites are linking to you, that's also good.
B) Begin with listening in mind- With any conversation, listening is always the best foot forward. This is why I always teach reading feeds before blog posting.
C) Comment elsewhere, often – The ratio we shoot for is at least 5 comments on 5 different sites per week and track your comments. If your reading your feeds, this should be a piece of cake.
D) Diversify your influence - I speak often about reaching out to the fringe. The range of conversation makes you smarter and sometimes, the fringe will introduce you to your target.
E) Eye rests in your posts - I can't say this enough. If you're blogging with your reader in mind, you'll include eye rests. They'll slow down to read your post — and even if they don't, they may grab a memorable portion on the fly-by.
F) Form relationships – Write emails to those who comment on your blog, or perhaps email a blogger sharing your appreciation for their work.
G) Goal setting – Know what your writing and readership goals are right from the start. When you have a goal, you're more likely to reach it, yes?
H) Hit it or Quit it – Blog or don't. This "let's give it a try" baloney never works – so don't waste your time if it's not all in.
I) It's all about the "Us" - If you're all about what blogging can do for you, drop it. It's about the "us" (yes, you're a big part of the team). Together we're smarter.
J) Jump into the pool - I used to say "Let's dip our toes into the water first" – but not anymore. Best way to learn how to swim is dive in.
K) Kingdom of Community – Content may be king, but community is the kingdom it serves.
L) Learn from everyone – Learn from everyone. Writing styles, image placement, what you like or dislike. Remember that behind every blog is a human being you can learn from.
M) Makes Mistakes – If good is the enemy of great, perfection is the enemy of good. Mistakes are tuition. Embrace the opportunity to make mistakes.
N) Never Give up, Never Grow Old – You might hit a dry spell. You might get to a point where time to blog is difficult. You might think nobody's reading. Forge ahead. Try new things. Have fun. But never, ever give up.
O) Outbound Links Often – It's the core of our mantra. Find relevant links and link out. Frankly, it's a great way to get new eyeballs, but more importantly — it's sharing resources with your readers.
P) Participation as a Practice – Participate in Blog Carnivals, group writing projects, Tweetups. It's a great way to cement the relationships you've built.
Q) Quick. Write. Now. - I watch some bloggers wrestle with words while writing. It's like they're stuttering. Just spill. Then edit. Don't edit while you're writing.
R) Rigor is not a 4-letter word – You're may struggle at first. You'll wonder if it's worth it. It is. Struggle is the welcome mat to breakthrough. With hard work comes great reward.
S) Seed your field – If you have an abundance pie mentality, you'll reach out first to bloggers with like minds, even those in your field of work. You'll be thrilled with the collaborative possibilities and the great relationships that come out of the conversations.
T) Talk Write – If you can talk, you can write. The best compliment you can get about your blog is, "You sound just like your blog!"
U) Understand your mission – Know your purpose for blogging
V) Variety is the spice – Remember the term multimedia? Use text, images, video, audio, sketching, poetry, charts, and various other software or content types to deliver your thoughts.
W) Work Smart, Not Hard – Blogging should synchronize your communication, not add to it. Get smarter faster. Reach more people with less effort. But remember, it is work.
X) X-Factor – Things change. Always. Embrace change before it tackles you.
Y) You are the key – Be yourself.
Z) Zones of Writing – Discover your writing territories and use them as a compass and roadmap to continued blogging success.
What's missing? Pick a letter (or the whole alphabet) and engage here (or better yet — on your blog).
Note: While A-Z lists are not original and many more will come, a good portion of this list was inspired by the wonderful book, Classroom Motivation: How to Engage Your Students in Learning by Barbara R. Blackburn.