As I said in my Blogging post, this is the first attempt at a blog. I’ve played around on Blogger a couple of times but nothing serious. When you think about it, writing a blog should be easy. Just write whatever you’re thinking. Right?
Well I thought so too until I read an excellent article on blogging on the InstaBLOKE site. Now if you haven’t read any of his posts then I suggest you go over to his site now and have a read and then come back here. There are some excellent tips on how to create a successful blog on there and I’ve been regularly reading the site since I decided that a blog was the way forward for Twenty Steps.
Now considering that this site is called Twenty Steps and that InstaBLOKE has put up 20 tips on how to write a successful blog, well it would be rude not to share wouldn’t it? The full lists can be found by following these links : Bloke’s Tips for a Successful Blog: Part 1 and Bloke’s Tips for a Successful Blog: Part 11. Below are my interpretations of InstaBLOKEs tips.
- Post consistently. Aim to write something every day or at least every other day. You need to keep your readers interested and coming back.
- Avoid using poor grammar and spelling and don’t overdo the adverbs and exclamation marks. InstaBLOKE suggests, and I totally agree, you should write in a conversational style.
- Add character and style to your blog. Make it interesting.
- Make your blog visually appealing and functional. Casual readers will probably only give you a couple of seconds before surfing on so keep the loadtime down and the quality high.
- Take time to learn a little HTML. Almost everyone will start by using a template (like I did with this site) but then tweak it. If you can use the template for free so can anyone else and there’s nothing worse than seeing identikit blogs. I recommend picking up a copy of HTML for Dummies
- Be passionate about your topic and be original. Don’t just recycle what you’ve seen somewhere else and claim it as yours. Hmm…hope I’m not breaking the rule by posting this.
- Remember that you’re not just writing for people but you’re also writing for the search engines. Think about basic SEO as you’re writing your blog so, in simple terms, include the keywords in the title of your post and include those frequently in the top third of your post.
- Find your niche and stick to it. Don’t try to be too broad with your subject matter and spread yourself too thin. It’s better to be an expert on one thing than know a bit about 100.
- Promote your blog. Visit other blogs which relate to your subject matter and leave comments and trackbacks. Listing on the search engines and directories is not enough. I tried this with a jokey blog I was writing and after 2 days of leaving comments on similar blogs my hits increased by over 200%
- Buy your domain name. If your blog becomes a hit in the blogosphere, the chances are someone will grab the name and try to sell it back to you at a premium.
And here are the next ten tips to creating a successful blog
- Let the readers know more about you. A bio and a photo go a long way. If you’re an expert in a field don’t be shy of telling people. The opposite is true in my opinion too!
- When you’re linking to another site, don’t just have a bland “click here” option. Let the reader know where they’re going by describing the link. Hover over this link to see what I mean.
- Include links in your navigation to your best posts.
- Include lots of external links too.
- Be lucky. Sometimes you have to manufacture your own luck. That could be getting the right incoming link. Remember – you’ve got to be in it to win it.
- Don’t be afraid to share your own personal feelings and experiences. After all, isn’t that what blogging is all about?
- Make sure your post titles are short, to the point and accurately describe the content. This not only helps the reader but will score points on the search engines too.
- Never write in ALL CAPITALS. It’s the online equivalent of shouting. If you feel you need to emphasise a point, use some other method like bold text or italic text to make it stand out. Just remember to keep it consistent throughout your blog, though. It’ll confuse readers if on one post italics signify a direct quote and then on another it’s because you’re wanting to draw attention to your post.
- Regardless of whether your blog is generating traffic and/or money, keep on blogging. Enjoy blogging. Blogging is good. Blogging is your friend.
- Remember that creating and maintaining a successful blog doesn’t happen over night. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, it takes work.
Using InstaBLOKEs excellent tips and maybe some of the stuff you’ve picked up on Twenty Steps might just make it rewarding in the long run, though.