Jul 02, 2015 • Susan Hinds • Blog
Across the abundant Internet scene, there seems to be a blog for everything these days - from educational blogs like National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog to hilarious blogs such as the Pinterest Fail blog. There are even blogs about blogging and blogs that offer daily tips on what it takes to be a successful blogger. The TV show "Arrested Development" even takes a funny jab at blogs – the attorney on the show blogs for “Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog” (read quickly and you’ll get the joke). “If a blogger is anyone who blogs, ever, professionally or not,” then based on some rough approximations and a little guestimation (because without the need to use a tool to blog, the numbers are tough to tie down) the Washington Post estimates there is somewhere near 106 million bloggers in the United States.
Why blog? The reasons are plentiful for thought leaders and businesses alike. Throughout the year we've talked a lot about blogging. What we haven’t yet covered is the blog creation process. Here are some of my top tips:
- Decide on your mission. According to Social Media Bible, this is an important first step. What is the point of your blog - to educate, entertain, inform, open up communication or promote your bloggers as experts in their field?
- You’ve got to have great content. My associate, Sheri, recently wrote about enhancing your blogging content to attract readers. Write about what you know or what you’re curious to know about and do the research. What peeks your interest and keeps you coming back? Tailor your content to your audience.
- Be yourself. As Social Media Bible puts it, “Don’t write like you’re writing for the Encyclopedia Britannica.” Use everyday language and let your personality shine.
- Find a blog home. Will the blog live on your company’s website? Do you need a domain, can you create a custom URL?
- Don’t forget to do your research and provide appropriate citations. These two speak for themselves and no one wants to be caught in this predicament.
- The rule of 80/20. We strongly believe 80 percent of your content should be unique, genuine, thought-provoking while 20 percent (at a max) can be promotional. Don’t focus on “me, me, me,” because your readers are asking, “What’s in it for me?”
- Capture attention. Use catchy titles, pictures, and humor if appropriate. Make the post concise and easy to scan—we tend to have short attentions spans when it comes to websites.
- Write for the web. My colleague, Hannah, provided tips on writing for the web in a recent blog. Remember, writing for the web is much different than a letter or an email.
- Pay attention to SEO. When we are young, we’re taught that using the right words increases the odds of getting what you want. The same applies today as SEO is critical to increasing your search engine rankings and building blog traffic. The rules of the Internet and almighty Google are always evolving. Keep up to date on the latest SEO insights and the value they provide to your content and site.
- Engage with your audience. If you enable comments on your blog, read them, respond to them and provide engagement. Perhaps link to your social media pages to carry on the conversation.
Link back and forth. Link to bloggers and sources you enjoy, to your friends, to applicable sites, etc. Share links to promote your blog across your social media platforms and create a free-flow of positive link backs. A linking strategy is key.
Keep it up. One of the cardinal sins of social media and blogging is to start something and not follow through. Make a commitment you can stick to whether it’s one blog a week or one a month. Having guest bloggers can help fill voids. A successful blog requires a basic cadence. Don’t give up!
Strive for originality and helpful content. What tips would you add to the list? Interact with us in the comments section below. Happy blogging!