1. Pay attention. Know your audience. Know which topics appeal to your audience. Know which topics don't. Develop posts that answer your audience's most pressing questions. And most importantly, demonstrate your appreciation for the people who follow your blog.
2. Be yourself. Blog about what you know and love. Don't write to please everyone. Cover the stories that inspire you. Be true to your voice. And remember, you're going to encounter critics no matter what you do. Wouldn't you rather be ten people's shot of whiskey than everybody's cup of tea?
3. To deliver clickable headlines, be the tease that you hated in high school. Headline writing is a balancing act. You need to pique enough interest for the viewer to click through, without disclosing too much too soon. So be explicit. Tell the viewer exactly why your post will add value to their life, and then leave them wanting more.
4. List your key points (as I have here). People have short attention spans and will riffle through your posts. Facilitate their skimming with numbers, letters and/or bullet points.
5. Aim to keep your posts within the ballpark of 300-600 words. You'll know that you're done editing, not when you have nothing more to say, but when you have nothing more to take away.
6. To boost social media engagement, adorn your posts with photos, GIFs and videos.
7. Publish fresh content as frequently as possible. Viewers are hungry to consume it. But don't underestimate the importance of establishing distribution channels for your content. While content remains king, "distribution is queen and she wears the pants." Consider funneling your posts through email lists and social media platforms. And keep in mind: each social platform has a unique audience. You'll need to respect the voice of whatever platform you're exploiting.
8. Amplify your message with influencer marketing. Social media stars are ideal resources for promoting your content. They've amassed millions of dedicated followers who will devour whatever content the influencer shares.
9. Be relentless and competitive in your search for publication. You might submit your articles to 20 publishers before one responds. Don't let this discourage you. Let your confidence and passion lead you to the doors that will open just for you at the perfect time. Your writing belongs where it's appreciated.
10. Don't forget to have fun. It's easy to obsess over engagement metrics and forget why you started blogging in the first place. If you're anything like me, chances are, you started a blog to tell your story. Don't lose sight of that. Share whatever makes you unique with the world. Even if nobody is listening, a falling tree most definitely makes a sound.