How to Build a Better Landscape Blog: 9 Traits of A-List Bloggers
A landscape blog can be an effective way to attract attention and build your reputation both locally and within the Green Industry.
Blogging is also a great way to share your experience and expertise.
And, yes, blogging can lead to more business--that has been proven over and over again. But, it takes work and commitment.
Fortunately, others have paved the path to a popular blog for you. Studying what has made these A-list bloggers successful will allow you to do the same with your landscape blog.
Here are the nine traits of A-list bloggers:
#1 A-list bloggers are persistent
The most popular and successful bloggers are persistent. When Leo Babauta's wife was the only person reading his ZenHabits blog, he didn't get discouraged and quit. He just kept on writing.
When you begin your landscape blog just assume no one will read it for the first six months. Just keep on writing. Which leads to trait #2.
#2 A-listers are consistent
You need to match your persistence with consistency.
A-list bloggers typically stick to a regular blogging schedule. For your landscape blog this could mean posting once each day or once each week every Tuesday morning.
Consistency shows commitment. This commitment leads to more readers and a vibrant community for your landscape blog.
#3 A-list bloggers are authentic
A-list bloggers don't hide behind a curtain--they put their personalities, views and flaws on display for all to see.
Is this a bit daunting? Sure. But it beats being boring.
How do you create a landscape blog that won't put readers to sleep? Easy: Blog about other things besides "landscaping"--most importantly yourself. Share your true feelings, views and experiences with your readers. This will lead to trait #4.
#4 A-list bloggers cultivate a sense of community
A-listers understand who they are writing for, and maybe more importantly, who they are not writing for.
If you write for everyone, you will appeal to no one. The most successful bloggers understand this.
Who is your community? Who are you writing for? Are you writing for your Green Industry peers? Or are you writing for a potential client down the street?
Who is your ideal reader?
#5 A-list bloggers are collaborative
You can't sit in a dark room tapping away at a keyboard and expect to attract readers all by yourself. It takes the help of others to become successful.
The quickest way to attract more eyeballs to your landscape blog is by writing "guest posts" for popular bloggers within your niche. Many A-listers started this way, including Leo Babauta.
Collaboration also means inviting others to guest post on your landscape blog as well as linking to and commenting on other blogs. You've got to give your attention before getting attention from others.
#6 A-listers understand SEO
You've got to be found in search engine results. A basic understanding, not mastery, of search engine optimization (SEO) is all you need.
SEO basically comes down to this common refrain: Content is king.
If you add great content consistently to your landscape blog, other people (your community) will link back to it. The more links you get and the more keyword-rich posts you write, the higher your rankings will be.
#7 A-list bloggers value design
The surest way to lose visitors to your landscape blog is by having a lame design.
An appealing design (or theme) will keep eyeballs on the page and encourage visitors to dive deeper into your landscape blog (and hopefully subscribe).
You can get all the traffic in the world from other bloggers linking to you and by utilizing solid SEO practices, but you will lose it if your blog has an unappealing design.
#8 A-listers educate their readers
People read blogs for three main reasons: To stay informed, to be entertained or to learn something.
You are an expert. So, share your expertise and experience on your landscape blog. Be a teacher, not just a landscaper. "How to..." posts are effective as are "How to..." video tutorials.
#9 A-listers are pragmatic
A-list bloggers don't make money by being prolific writers. They leverage their popularity and reputation to sell products and services.
You can take the same approach with your landscape blog. Many landscape and garden bloggers have done exactly this by attracting other writing opportunities and even speaking gigs as a direct result from their blog's popularity. In turn, they have converted these opportunities into more business.
Are you going to take the leap and start a landscape blog? If so, follow the path already paved by the A-listers. If you are already blogging, what traits or habits have you found to be critical to your success? I'd love to hear your comments--you can leave them below!