The Blog of the Year Awards (BOTYs, if you will) are in full swing and the NEPA BlogCon squirrels have been busy reviewing your nominations! If you haven’t submitted your blog (or a blog you love!), do it now before we close nominations on September 15. Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge.
But anyways, back to the Blog of the Year Awards. We’ve been so thrilled with the response we’ve received, not to mention, the nominations you’ve submitted. If your blog was nominated for an award so far, congrats! If not, no worries – there’s still plenty of time to turn your haven on the interwebz into an award-winning hot spot. Here are a few of our tips on how to turn your blog into something that’s red carpet worthy.
Find Your Tribe
Blogs that win awards (and not just BOTY awards!) usually fit a specific need or niche. Bloggers who write for a particular tribe usually find dedicated followings and have a greater sense of community than some other types of blogs that may be more broad or less focused. If you have a niche that you already write for, look to find your tribe. Check out Dee Culp’s presentation from NEPA BlogCon 2015 on how to do just that!
When you have a blog, you have limitless potential for learning and growing. By using social media and your content to engage people in conversations, you can further the greater conversation about what’s happening in your niche – or at least get to know what people are talking about! From there, you can create even more powerful content that people will love. Michael Lello shared his strategy for doing that back in 2013 at NEPA BlogCon.
Strive for Better Writing
The best bloggers are ones that continue to develop their writing skills. They always look to get better and to find new and engaging ways to tell their stories. Donna Talarico talked about this in her presentation last year. If you’re looking to strengthen your writing skills, give this video a watch!
Cultivate a Community
When you have a community of advocates around your blog, it’s easier to share your content as well as get feedback from the people who appreciate what you create most. Community management and engagement was the subject of Lauren O’Nizzle’s session back in 2012. Give it a peek!
Build a Strong Brand
Award-winning bloggers have brands that are instantly recognizable and leave a good impression. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes, take a page out of Shenee Howard’s book. This branding expert shared her best branding tips with our attendees at NEPA BlogCon in 2012!
Consistently Produce Great Content
Coming up with great content and being consistent about sharing it can be a daunting task – but it’s well-worth it! Luckily, finding those great ideas and topics can be easier than you thought. Brittany Thomas shared her tips for generating new content ideas in last year’s NEPA BlogCon. If you’re stuck on what to write about, give this session a watch!
Want to Grow
It’s easy to build a blog – but it’s hard to actually grow it. Bloggers who dedicate time and effort in continuing to grow their audiences, their reach, and their brands often see the greatest success. It takes a lot of hard work and determination, but it’s possible to build truly remarkable brands when you do it. Check out Christina Hitchcock and Jaime Karpovich in their presentation from 2013 on how they grew successful blogs over time.
Besides Google Analytics, there are countless data points you can incorporate into your blogging strategy by simply listening and observing what happens in your community and to your content once it’s published. In 2014, Suzanne Kelly showed us how her non-profit used social media (and its reporting) to reach millions by listening, learning, and leading the conversation.
When Shane Burcaw took the stage in 2014, he challenged attendees to think of positive solutions for obstacles. From his first blog post to his present day success as a non-profit leader and best-selling author, Shane has overcome challenges by making conscious choices. As bloggers and content creators, we can do the same. We may not be able to solve all of the world’s problems, but we can use our blogs to be vehicles for change.
The one thing all of our keynote presenters have in common is fearlessness. When it comes to building a successful, profitable, or award-winning blog, their best advice is to be fearless and to take big risks. They’ve stuck it out through thick and thin and they consistently push themselves to challenge the status quo. Always. Check out last year’s keynote speaker, Ashley Ambirge, as she shares her incredible journey to becoming an online sensation!