26 Blogging Tips
Blogs stand at the crossroads of social media and content marketing. In addition to providing a content marketing platform for businesses and individuals, blogs provide an outpost for social media participants in Chris Brogan’s view.
For newbies and oldtimers alike, bloggers are always looking for new insights to help take their blogs to new heights. Here are more than twenty-six blogging tips.
- A is for advertising bloggers use to monetize their blog. Bear in mind blog ads can wear out faster due to the frequency with which readers visit. Therefore create contextually relevant ads that change over time. A is also for affiliate marketing, a form of merchandising that leverages the content on your blog. Archives are the ever-growing collection of posts you’ve written over time.
- B is for the blog and its blogger at the heart of the blogging process. B is also for blogosphere, the entire blogging community. Additionally, B is for blank screen syndrome, the paralysis that hits bloggers when they’re sitting in front of an empty screen with no idea of what to write for their next post.
- C is for the comments every blogger wants. For many bloggers and executives alike, comments are a sign your blog is popular. (Unfortunately, comments don’t necessary translate into sales.) Respond to blog comments to engage readers in a conversation and fully leverage the social media potential of this format. Categories are the major topics around which a blog is developed. C is also for call-to-action that informs readers of what to do.
- D is for design elements. When you start a blog, there are lots of design decisions required that determine your blog’s presentation. So don’t skip this phase.
- E is for editorial calendar around which you plan your blog posts over time to ensure coverage of specific topics. E is for engage which bloggers do by blogging and responding to comments. (It also helps to comment on other blogs.) E also stands for email address lists that allow you to deliver your content via email.
- F is for frequency referring to how often you write posts. While some bloggers subscribe to the when-the-spirit-strikes school of blogging, research shows you should blog at least two to three times per week. What’s most important is being consistent in your timing so readers can develop the habit of visiting your blog.
- G is for goals. Blogging like any other marketing strategy requires goals. In short, what do you want your blog to accomplish? G is also for guest posts, the articles you write on other people’s blogs or that other people write on your blog. It’s a great way to broaden your audience.
- H is for hat tip. In blogging-speak, this is recognizing someone for their help. It’s important since it acknowledges people whose content you’ve used or who’s thinking influenced yours.
- I is for inspiration that every blogger needs to keep turning out post after post. I is also for infographics. These graphics compile information and present them in an easy-to-digest format. I is also for interviews, a great way to create content where the person who’s interviewed provides content and ideas (another “I” word).
- J is for the joy you feel when your blog starts to take off and gets recognition, whether it’s a tweet or a comment. J is also for jump, a way of continuing a story on another page.
- K is for keywords that are at the heart of search optimization. Having relevant text provides context for the words you use.
- L is for links, the way blogs communicate with each other by referencing the original or related content. L is also for lurkers who visit you blog and read your content without sharing it or leaving any comments.
- M is for metrics related to your blogging activities. As with any marketing initiative, track results back to your goals to determine your progress. What you measure should provide insights into to how to improve content and marketing.
- N is for newbie, the same place everyone starts.
- O is for original content. This element is critical for keep readers coming back for more.
- P is for posts, the articles on a blog. P is also for photographs that draw the reader in and create a relationship. Pingbacks come from other blogs. Permalinks are the permanent addresses of your posts. Pillar articles are long, structured blog posts that provide helpful information and build blog authority.
- Q is for questions used at the end of each column to get readers thinking and engaged in the conversation.
- R is for RSS or Really Simple Syndication, a funny name for feeds. It’s a way of distributing your content on a regular basis. R is also for repeat visitors, the people who like your content and keep coming back for more.
- S is for social media. Blogs are a form of social media that provide a publishing platform or CMS (content management system) allowing a variety of content formats. Social sharing icons make it easy to distribute blog content and expand the readership. S is also for comment spam. And finally S is for your blog’s sidebar.
- T is for titles. Having a killer title is critical to pull readers in and keep them reading your content. T is also for traffic that every blogger wants. T is for typos. It’s critical to eliminate them since your blog reflects on you, the blogger and your brand. T also stands for tags to categorize your content based on how readers organize it.
- U is for useful content. While you may believe that you’re writing for yourself on your blog, the reality is you’re writing for your audience. Your objective is to provide them with the content they want or they’ll stop visiting.
- V is for Visitors, the people who stop by your blog to read your content. V is also for videos that provide another way to convey your content and engage your audience.
- W is for widgets, the small bits of code that add special functionality to your blog. W is also for word count, the length of your post. I recommend publishing posts that are at least 550 words and less than 1,000 words unless you’re providing highly useful content.
- X is for (e) xcellent company you’ll find amongst other generous bloggers. Bloggers are a community that shares and engages with others.
- Y is for you as in the blog isn’t about you. Yes, at the end of the day, it blog consists of your hard work and writing. But it’s your readers who make it come alive and give you purpose.
- Z is for zero, the number of readers every blog starts with (even Seth Godin!) When you start your blog you’re at the same point as every other blogger. Like them, you have to find your own way along your blogging path.
Regardless of the type of blog you write, blogging is a journey that takes place one post at a time. Blogs provide a way to create and share content seamlessly to help you achieve a wide variety of goals whether you’re using it to build your business or provide guidance in your life.
What would you add to this list of blogging ABCs and why?
Hat tip to Blog World Expo LA. Wish I was there!
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/3288906696