You might not have heard of Ellen Yin (yet), but trust me: She’s a force of nature.
The woman successfully created a work-from-home dream internship that didn’t exist, then did it so well it became her full-time position. She also paid off almost $20,000 of student loans before graduation day…even though she only started actively working down her debt junior year.
(Have I mentioned that she’s crazy nice and totally gorgeous to boot? Ugh, Ellen, can you not?)
So when I heard she was taking on the blogging world, I had no question she’d do it well.
I did have other questions, however.
Because although I’m not new to blogging and I’ve pretty much always been a writer, my people skills are a little…well. Let’s just say I’m an introvert and leave it at that.
Yin, on the other hand, just spent two years doing public relations.
And I knew she’d have some great writing secrets from the PR world to help us bloggers put our well-crafted words to work.
7 Blogging Tips from a Public Relations Expert
Although she’s not planning on making her blog her full-time job (yet), Yin’s marketing experience has given her a host of valuable information that any blogger can apply — even if the word “networking” makes you cringe.
So whether you’re hoping to increase your revenue, embiggen your audience or just have a better-looking blog, here are Yin’s seven tips for bloggers, straight from the mysterious world of people-ing professionally.
1. Create a blog slogan
Understanding your audience is the first rule of any writing — and creating a slogan is a handy way to encapsulate your blog’s mission. It’ll help you get clear about “who the blog is for, and what people can expect to find in your posts,” says Yin.
Take Yin’s slogan for example: A fitness and lifestyle blog for the everyday girl.
“New visitors immediately know that my blog is a destination for fitness and lifestyle tips and resources,” Yin says, “and that the information is relatable to the average woman, not just athletes or fitness competitors.”
That’s a lot of work for fewer than 10 words!
2. Keep your posts as organic as possible — even if you’re being paid
When I asked Yin what brought her to blogging, her first answer wasn’t about her personal brand or marketing or even cash. What she said instead sounded familiar:
“I’ve always loved writing.”
Yin started her blog because she wanted a creative outlet for sharing what she’s learned — and actually helping others. And if she ends up making money off it at some point, even better.
At the end of the day, though, the writing itself is the purpose of blogging. And if you stay true to your voice, your vision and your readership, everything else is a lot more likely to fall into place.
3. Always offer a clean call to action at the end of your piece
It might be a set of relevant links, a newsletter subscription button or just a simple question.
But by prompting your reader to take action at the end of your post, you’ll keep them around longer, make them care more and ultimately get more of your words seen!
4. Engage with your audience
Don’t let that comment box be a moot point.
“Ask questions,” suggests Yin. “Reply to every comment, if possible.”
Leave comments on other blogs, too! By participating in meaningful conversations and providing good feedback, you’ll naturally pique your readers’ interest…
… to say nothing of the fact that you might make a friend or two.
5. Don’t neglect your email subscription list!
Yes, you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Your email subscription list is the most tangible, specific, permanent audience you’ll ever get.
And if you do it right, it can also become a great source of revenue down the road.
“Your product is your blog post, but your distribution channel is your email list,” says Yin. Get started building it as soon as possible. There are tons of easy-to-use tools, like MailChimp, to help.
6. Write guests posts
Want more readers? Write more — and elsewhere.
“This is a great way to cross-promote and build your audience within your niche,” says Yin. Plus, writing guest posts does double duty: Not only do you get more eyes on your work, you grow your professional network, as well.
“When you pitch another blogger on this idea, focus on how you can contribute to and help grow their blog. Give, give, give before ever asking for something in return.”
6. Buy your domain name
OK, this one’s not about writing, per se.
But if you’re serious about creating a freelance business and establishing an online presence, it’s crucial.
Yin’s PR position mostly revolved around Instagram for marketing and promotion. But when you build audience and engagement on social media, you’re taking a risk. If the platform shuts down, poof: There goes your content with it.
When you buy your domain name, “your blog is your own,” Yin says. It’s a “permanent hub” for building your brand and your audience — and expressing your creativity. “It’s something that’s yours to control.”