You want your blog to be a thriving link hub to boost your SEO; but somewhere along the way, your blog has become an unrecognizable monster that’s getting no link action.
An undead blog will slowly eat away at your SEO potential.
Sure, if you keep posting new content, search engines will pat you on the back a little, but you want more than that.
You want your blog to be shared among the living so you gain those valuable inbound links.
Zombie blogs not only destroy your link-building potential; they’ll eventually infect your readers, bankrupt your blog, and lead to the end of civilization.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to combat zombie blogs -- and they don't require chainsaws, cricket bats or voodoo…
1. Stop Writing Words.
We’re asking a lot when we present our readers with line after line, page after page of 11-point font.
Liven up your blog by posting content through a variety of mediums, such as:
pictograms and infographics
If you’re sticking to the words-only format, vary the lengths of your posts from long (700+ words,) to medium (350 words), to micro posts (100 words or less).
You can also handwrite your posts and scan them to your blog to achieve that personal touch.
2. Get Over Yourself.
Readers just want to, uh, read about subjects that matter to them.
Some dead bloggers write at the user as the boring subject expert, versus writing toward their interests.
If you’re focusing on how sophisticated you’ll sound (rather than on the topic at hand), your writing will feel staged.
Readers can see right through ego and insecurity. Take yourself out of it and focus on the reader’s needs.
Once you realize that no one’s really thinking about you, the author, you’re free to dive into what really matters: the subject of your blog post.
3. Admit That You’re Not Funny.
Oh sure, among friends we may be able to crack a few good one-liners at the pub; but comedic writing is a whole different ballgame.
Hokey attempts to get a few laughs can send readers running.
Skip the forced set ups. If you’re funny, the world will let you know. Otherwise, don’t push it.
4. Pick a Side.
People tune into blogs because they want someone else’s perspective. Give it to them.
Wishy-washy writing is for political speeches. Spine-up and let the cards fall where they may.
Although you want to make a point, allow room for other opinions. Present your position and give them a chance to weigh in. Engage your readers by asking them specific questions and creating polls.
5. Read a Book.
If you’re throwing down at least a book a month, you’re probably a solid writer. If you’re skimping on your reading, it’s probably showing.
We’re all guilty of being too busy to pick up that book, but reading is a vital component to writing well.
Read up on the news, too. Remain relevant by commenting on current events and dropping the occasional pop-culture reference.
Reading not only strengthens our vocabulary, but it also strengthens our understanding of language, boosts our confidence as writers, and wards off zombie writing.
The Last Resort.
If you find your content to be especially dull, another way to breath life into your blog and attract links is to place "zinger" words like zombie in your titles. Just be prepared that you might let your audience down when they realize you’re not really writing about zombies.
Note: This guide is birthed from what I have to remind myself of every time I turn on the computer. I don’t claim to be very interesting, I desperately want to be funny, I really need to finish that book, and I’m always riding a fence. I’m sure I contradicted myself a few times in here.
I’d love to hear how you write to engage readers and gain links.
Meaghan Olson is a writer and digital marketer living in Chicago. She's a believer in the power of words – and in the technology that makes those words matter.
Meaghan is the SEO Director at MyUS.com and she runs a site dedicated to giardiniera, the most delicious and under-appreciated condiment in the world.
On the weekends, you can find her in section 157 at U.S. Cellular Field cheering for the White Sox.