Congratulations, you have a blog! Or are thinking of starting one. Here are ten tips to keep in mind while blogging.
1) Post Titles
When writing a post title, it needs to be specific and interesting as this is what will be used in your title tag and what will be used to draw in readers.
Bad: Old Barns and Houses
Good: Minnesota Historic Barns and Farm Houses
Thinks to keep in mind are ‘What would people search for?’ ‘Is it specific to a certain person, place or thing?’
Yes, use paragraphs. Keep them short and split up different thoughts. It’s much easier to read four small paragraphs rather than one large block of text. Even if they do contain the same information, this will make it easier for the visitor to read.
Categories are a must for blogs. If someone visits your site and is looking for information related to barns and you don’t have categories, or you lump everything under “general”, it will be hard to find what the visitor is looking for.
Think of it like the library. There are different sections for different kinds of information. Categorize it and make it easy on the visitor.
Does your blog have character? Sure it’s harder to do when there are no voices to go with the words, but it’s all in how you write.
Not as good: Google announced GCows this week. They are a new breed and look interesting.
Better: GCows from Google?! Yep, that’s right. The company that does it all has announced a new breed of cows. I wonder if they’ll come in Google colors too. Myself, I’d like a green one.
If this new GCow announcement came on the 14th of June and you decided to post about it on July 1, you better have a good story. A simple announcement of what everyone already covered won’t be interesting to readers. If it’s old news, spice it up a little with reviews or some sort of commentary that the visitor can view as valuable.
Yes, your blog is all about you (or your company) but blogs are supposed to be interactive. You have the control, but visitors love to leave comments if they agree or disagree. Giving a little room for others to voice their opinions can keep them coming back and make it more informational or entertaining to other visitors as well.
7) Moderate your Comments
Yes, comments are great, but someone will post about unwanted topics, curse or, better yet, tell the world how great you aren’t. So take the time to install some anti-spam and moderation tools (or just learn how the ones you have work) and keep your comments under control. People will judge you by your comments. If you don’t take the time to keep them in order, or respond to comments, they may feel that you just post and don’t pay attention to feedback.
8) Post Frequently
A blog isn’t a magazine. It doesn’t come out once a month with a bunch of great articles. You should post once every other day to keep it fresh and alive. Preferably once a day for best results. Only going to post once a week?! It better be a good, original and well thought out post as it has to last for seven days.
9) Invite Others to Post
Some blogs are better done as a community effort. The more people, the more opinions and the more frequent the posts. Some blogs I read have many authors and it works because they work together.
If you are getting people to your blog, you want to keep them coming back. One of the easiest ways to do that is to add Chicklets to your blog. Chicklets are those icons that add your blog feed to MyYahoo, MyMSN, Feedster or many other feed reading services. The easier you make it for people to subscribe to your feed, the more readers you’ll have.
Need Chicklets? Check out the Chicklet Creator (Version 2 coming next week.)
Those are just a few tips to help you get getting going on blogging. There is no golden rule on how to get readers, but the more interesting your blog is, the more people will find interest in it.