How to One-Up the Best Blog Post Ever!

By Guest Author

This is a guest post by Justin P Lambert. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

There.

You knew when you put in that pithy final line, just punchy enough to ensure a ton of comments and at least 200 retweets. You sat back, cracked your knuckles, sighed deeply and click “Publish”.

And sure enough, a few days later, you’re looking at 348 comments, 1235 retweets, a ridiculous response on StumbleUpon, and a personal e-mail from Daniel Scocco asking you how you did it.

You know without a shadow of a doubt: that was the best damn blog post you’ve ever written, bar none.

And that’s when it sinks in.

“Oh God. How am I going to top that one?”

Blog readers are an awesome audience, especially if they’re engaged in the conversation, willing to bat your ideas around and really bring some solid ideas of their own to the floor. But they’re a nervous and flighty sort too, sometimes.

Just like any online audience, their attention spans can waver. Their patience can wear thin. Let’s face it:

They can forget you.

So that’s why you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into cranking out reams of killer content from the day your blog launched! Isn’t that enough?

Well, no.

Killer content is absolutely vital. That’s what brings the readers to you and keeps them coming back. That’s what builds up the conversation and the social media cyclones that can dump insane amounts of qualified traffic on your site over and over again.

It’s what feeds the blogging machine!

But even with the most incredible content out there, the average blog reader can begin to tire of your content if you’re not careful to do one equally important thing.

This one thing can mean the difference between hitting your peak with that “best post ever” and continuing your meteoric rise to blogging stardom. And, sad to say, most bloggers never bother to do it.

Are you ready?

Ask your readers what they want next.

It’s really that simple! Ask your readers what they want to get next from you.

They’re at your blog because your awesome content brought them there. If they’ve subscribed, they’ve invested their most valuable commodity, their time, with YOU and your blog. If they comment, they’re sharing their thoughts and feelings with you on your home turf! If they’ve dugg, retweeted, stumbled or liked anything you’ve written, they’ve put themselves out there as an advocate for you and what you stand for.

So what’s the logical next step?

Find out why. Why do they like you THAT MUCH? Why do they keep coming back? What is it they would absolutely LOVE to see more of? What do they keep wishing you’ll write about that you haven’t yet?

Give them the chance to be heard, and then actually ACT on what they say, and you’ve made an advocate for life.

So, the next time you run into that delicious problem described above, and you’re sitting there wringing your hands wondering how you could ever top that last uber-post… just ask.

They’ll let you know.

About the Author: Justin P Lambert blogs daily about writing, speaking and being awesome at Words That Begin With You. Subscribe so you don’t miss any of the good stuff! Or, join him on Twitter @justinplambert.



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23 Responses to “How to One-Up the Best Blog Post Ever!”

  • Robert Latchford

    I Love the way Daniel has got guest posts placed onto the blog – adds a lot of credibility to the whole blog. Have already been taking some of the advise and making improvements to the various blogs I run.

  • Peter J

    I’ve never really considered that one, next time i should ask what people think i should write next on my blog.
    Thanks for this 😀

    • Justin P Lambert

      Peter,

      Glad I could spark a new outlook! Thanks for the comment.

      Justin

  • Personal Development@planetnaveen

    A blog post can become incredibly successful if it is able to connect or influence reader’s life in one or the other way. I feel killer blog posts are addictive, read again and again and bookmarked.

    Online readers are like magic numbers. You never know which post appeals whom. Once your one post appeals to them, your other posts could be generally well received.

    This post by you throws great insight into understanding blogger’s mind and heart.

    Keep posting.

    • Justin P Lambert

      Thanks very much. I agree that one good post will help the rest shine even if they don’t improve upon it.

      I don’t know about “great insight”, but I’ll definitely keep posting! Thanks for the comment!

  • Mandeep

    Interesting post. It can be overwhelming to think about however, I think if you just do what you are doing, more than likely you are going to get a better post sooner or later. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Justin P Lambert

      Mandeep,

      Could happen. But why leave it chance if you can push yourself to bigger and better things? And asking guarantees you’ll head in the right direction!

      Justin

  • Justin P Lambert

    Jason,

    Absolutely. And sometimes, it really is “forcing” isn’t it? I know I’ve run into what feels like a brick wall at times, but soldiering through that feeling and really pushing yourself makes the end result all the more gratifying!

    Thanks for the comment!

    Justin

  • jason

    This is a great post, because I completely agree with forcing yourself to always acheive something greater than your own expectations. It’s difficult to imagine somethings to be better than what you’ve already produced, but if you are able to push yourself, then it can be done, and regularly at that!

  • Alan @ Work From Home

    Great tip, Justin. I need to do more of this as there are times I sometimes wander what I should write about, and who better to get ideas from? What I’ve been doing lately is taking emails I get from people asking questions and turn them into posts, because most likely someone else has the same question.

    • Justin P Lambert

      That’s a great idea, Alan. Right on target. It’s true that if one person asks the question, there are at least nine others who want to know the answer but didn’t have the guts or the energy to ask it!

  • Joe

    This is another area where the perfectionism bug can prevent progress. I think a lot of us (it’s not just me is it?) get hung up on trying to write absolutely perfect posts and articles.

    Many times I’ll have an idea that seems great, start writing about it, and after writing and rewriting get frustrated with the way it’s coming out and begin to wonder who’d ever want to read it anyway.

    The good thing about your suggestion is that you know people who already like you writing are interested in the topic.

    • Justin P Lambert

      Joe,

      I’ll agree that perfectionism will kill productivity every time. I try to remember, and I have to tell myself over and over again, that I’m not shooting for “perfect”, I’m shooting for “excellent”. Excellent is a moving goal because the bar always goes up with each “best blog post ever”!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Justin

  • Christina ( @CashCampfire )

    I’ve heard this same little bit of advice from various sources lately, and I think it might be a sign of something. Maybe, to ask my readers what they want to hear about next?

    Though, I had originally planned to increase my reader count first so that more people can participate in the conversation. However, I’ve been putting it off for far too long.

    I’m just going to do it to see what happens. Thanks for the nudge.

    • Justin P Lambert

      Christina,

      Absolutely! Start asking your current readership what they want. Then, when you start working on increasing readership, people will be coming to a raving fan base instead of a quiet blog! Thanks for the comment, (and for following me over to DBT from MwP!) 🙂

  • Keith Davis

    Hi Justin
    Well written post… super easy to read.

    “Ask your readers what they want next.” – you know I might actually do that.

    Do you ask them at the end of a post or is the post all about asking them what they want next?

    • Justin P Lambert

      Keith,

      It could always work as a reminder at the end of any post, especially if you’re constantly looking for feedback from your subscribers. But if you’re looking to build on a specific success, or perhaps looking to develop a new information product, it would probably be best to isolate that as a post of its own, or – even better – an e-mail out to your list separate from the blog itself.

      Interestingly, after I wrote this post, but before it published, I got an e-mail from David Risley (I subscribe to his blog) who did exactly that: he’s planning an upcoming product and asked for our opinions of what we’d like to see included. I’m sure he got a thousand responses. I know he got mine. 🙂

      • Keith Davis

        Thanks for your reply Justin.
        Appreciate you taking the time.

  • Samir@Cool SEO Tips

    Absolutely true. Writing something like “100 ways to drive targeted traffic to your blog” followed by “Why I don’t eat spaghetti” is bound to drive away almost all your readers! (unless of course you have a pretty “useful” reason for that 😛 )
    Having read a brilliant post shared by hundreds of people you subscribe to a blog, and the very next day some crap greets you in your inbox. Would you not simply unsubscribe?

    • Justin P Lambert

      Samir,

      I agree, with one additional clarification: it might be really interesting for your readers to get thrown a curve now and then, as long as you’ve built up trust with them and you don’t leave them hanging at the end of your “weird” post. If you can logically explain why refusing to eat spaghetti will help them improve your blog, maybe that’s the PERFECT follow up!

      Justin

      • Alex Dumitru

        You are both right, but if you manage to get hundreds of RTs, shares and comments, it seems you’ve already had a pretty big readersbase, because an unknown blogger can achieve that in the beginning.

    • Dot

      I guess it is a case of the customer (reader)always being right. If you don’t give them what they want they aren’t going to keep coming back!

      • Justin P Lambert

        That’s the bottom line of it, yes. Thanks for the comment!

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