Blogging is an incredible platform for writing your heart out, promoting your business, leading for a cause, or to make money from.

Blogging is easy to start with, but that invites a lot of competition. The blogosphere is flooded with new blogs everyday and there are more to come. If your blog isn’t making an impact, it isn’t doing anything to help you at all.

Your writing should seep down into the mind of your reader. Your thoughts, expressions, and opinions should ring a bell, strike a chord, and make them think. You can piss them off sometimes too.

How do you do it? Here are a few ways to make sure you are writing for maximum impact:

Read like a maniac

James Altucher has about 33 unusual tips to being a better writer and when you write like that, others just have to read! I specifically wanted to pick a couple of points he mentioned for the purposes of this post:

  • Read a lot
  • Read before you write

Most self-made billionaires, popular authors, social media mavericks, and almost every successful blogger have one thing in common: they all read like it makes them money per word.

Make reading an obsession. Go ahead and put up crazy goals like reading about a minimum of 8 books a month (which is 96 books a year). That’s just books. Add blog posts, short stories, essays, and magazines, and your reading list just got bigger.

There’s no way you can blog without getting inputs. Reading is your input. This is one habit that can change your life.

Write until your fingers bleed

If you were expecting something of a secret, I’m sorry to disappoint you.

The truth to better writing is this: write more.

If you aren’t writing at least five to six thousand words a day, you aren’t getting anywhere. Online businesses (blogging in particular) are completely “writing” businesses. The only thing you have to do succeed in such businesses is to write. There are no off-days, vacations, or cute excuses such as “writers’ block.”

Find a way to write everyday: give yourself daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.

It’s hard to write when there’s nothing on your head sometimes. Often, you’d just stare at the computer screen. You could scratch the wall and bite your nails. We’ve all been there. God knows, we still aren’t far from there.

For all the leg stomping, there’s just no excuse anyway. We can all go through our motions, kick the dog, scratch metal, scream, and then come back to the desk to start writing from where we left off.

Set goals. Gain inspiration. Push yourself to write until your fingers bleed.

Research until your brain goes numb

The secret to powerful writing is research. Some bloggers know this and depend on it for writing. The hallmark of good writing is to know when to wedge an expert’s opinion in the running list of opinions you provide within your posts. With the Internet available, there’s no way you can’t find information directly or indirectly.

Setup tools such as Feedly, FlipBoard, and LinkedIn’s Pulse to stay abreast of some popular “go to” sources depending on your blogging niche. Google is your friend for digging more into research. You may also use whitepapers, reports, and ebooks for extra information. Now, all of this is direct research.

Often, you might have to do some indirect research for information that might not be available easily. Questia and High Beam are online research tools that put an entire library of informational resources at your disposal.

Tools are available for practically any kind of research. If you’re searching for information in a particular niche, rest assured there’s a website and an app for it. Moreover, there’s a ton of tools available even for researching your competition’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, you can track the AdWords and search marketing campaigns of any site using Spyfu or SEMrush.

You could get some first-hand information and opinions by asking direct questions at sites such as Quora.

Give credit to others’ intellectual property

Inevitably, you’ll be referring to other bloggers, adding citations to your blog posts, mentioning others on the web, allude to books, and picking up information from magazine articles. You might also grab a photo or two from creative commons or other royalty-free stock photos.

If you mention other bloggers, use others’ lines, or use an image shared elsewhere, make sure you give due credit to the original creator or owner of the content asset. That’s just a decent thing to do.

Plus, it gives you some traffic; it pulls in some blog magic by showing your permalink on the source (the other blog you linked to, for example); and even gets you traffic. Meanwhile, you are still following blogging best practices and general goodness.

If you choose to avoid this, you’ll never know when someone could slap an IP lawsuit on you. Of all things, you don’t want that, do you?

Do impactful marketing

You could read and write all you want. You could research something until it comes apart to write a small blog post. You might give all the credit to others, and it’s indeed a good thing to do. Yet, you might not make it. Your blog posts should reach out for success to happen. Unless others know that you exist, there’s not much impact to speak of, is there?

Give as much focus to marketing as you would for writing blog posts. Make it a mission to get your blog to the eyes and hearts of as many people as possible. Of course, you want to reach out to your ideal audience. You want to make an impact for a particular community of people with common passions or interests; you don’t want to write for everyone.

That’s all there is to impactful blogging. Read, write, give credit, and spread the goodness around. Digression from your goals is almost like a malady. Get off it.

How are your blogging efforts paying off? Did I miss any worthy tips for impactful blogging here? Please share in the comments!

Tracy Vides

Tracy Vides

Tracy Vides is a content marketer and social media consultant. She works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Tracy has built up a good online reputation for herself, with posts featured on leading online publications, including Business 2 Community and the SAP innovation blog. She is @TracyVides on Twitter.