A blog can be a terrific way to express your creativity and connect with other people. It can also be used to promote a business and generate revenue for the blogger.
However, a blog won’t help you accomplish your goals unless you build an audience, and you won’t be able to build an audience unless you write engaging content that is well promoted.
With this in mind, here are a few blogging do’s and don’ts that will help you get started on your journey.
Do: Find a Niche
If you are writing a business blog, your niche will be the industry you are writing for. If you are writing a personal blog, you will have more freedom, but it’s still advisable to establish an identity for yourself. This will make you more relatable to like-minded people.
Do: Find Engaging Topics
Finding a topic to write about can be challenging, especially when you have already written blogs about the most obvious topics.
If you are running out of ideas, here are some tips that can help you become inspired.
- Search on Google: Enter a keyword based on your industry or niche and look at the results to find a topic you can use.
- Look at Social Media: Go on social media to see what people are talking about. Adapt these topics to your blog to find a clever angle.
- Look at What Other Bloggers are Writing: Look at other blogs on relevant topics. It’s important not to steal their material, but you can adapt it to make it your own.
Do: Write Well
Write in a tone that is simple and engaging. Use a sense of humor and personal experiences to draw people in…without going off topic.
Start with an engaging intro and end with a thought-provoking final paragraph.
Use short sentences and paragraphs to keep readers’ attention. Readers tend to get turned off by big blocks of text.
Using headlines will also make the article easy to read and it will help you keep your thoughts organized.
Be sure your spelling and grammar is correct. Use a tool like Grammarly to scan for your mistakes before publishing.
Do: Publish on a Regular Basis
Many bloggers wonder how often to publish. There is a fine line between maintaining visibility and annoying your readers. Publishing too often can also cause you to run out of ideas and if you’re trying to keep to a busy schedule, the quality of the work will also suffer.
Bloggers should publish blogs at least once a week. They can go from there to determine reader response and see if blogging more often would be beneficial.
Do: Promote Your Work
The key to blogging is to gain readership and the best way to do this is to promote your work. Many blogging platforms give you the option to share your blogs on social media directly through their site. This is probably the easiest and most effective way to gain readers.
You can also promote your blog through forums. Sharing links with other bloggers can be a good way to network and get your articles noticed.
Do: Include Images
Images are a great way to attract readers. They break up the text and make the blog look more attractive overall.
Remember, many images are licensed, and you can get into a lot of trouble if you are found using them in your blogs. To keep this from happening, get images from stock photo sources like Pexels and Unsplash.
Even when using these sites, it is good etiquette to credit the photographer.
Do: Use an Engaging Title
Nothing works to bring in readers like an engaging title. It has been said that a good title includes the following elements:
- The promise of something the reader will get out of the article
- The suggestion that the article will be informative, entertaining or provide cutting edge news
- Numbers, as in the top ten reasons why…. This makes the article more fun to read and also suggests information will be easy to find
You can also use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to determine how effective your blog’s title will be.
Do: Make Blogs SEO Friendly
Business blogs will be aiming to get their blogs on the top of search engine pages, but this can also be a terrific way for personal bloggers to get noticed.
Including keywords is a big part of getting your blog to the top of search engines. There are several keyword finder tools available that can help you find the keywords that will get your work noticed.
Once you find the keywords that will work best for you, be sure to include them in headlines, the beginnings and endings of your blogs and your picture captions and descriptions. This will be the most effective way to boost your rankings.
Other strategies to boost SEO include using internal and external links in your text, including meta-descriptions and tagging your blogs appropriately.
Don’t: Ignore Comments
Most blogging platforms give readers the option of commenting on the article. This is a great way to keep a conversation going and build excitement around your blog.
If someone is commenting on your blog, make sure to answer them. Not only will this help keep readers engaged, it can be a lot of fun, especially when multiple bloggers chime in.
Ending your blogs with a thought-provoking question is a great way to encourage commenting.
Don’t: Write Just to Attract Followers
Of course, attracting followers is the name of the game, but don’t let it get to the point where everything you do is targeted on increasing readership.
It’s important to write from the heart and to write about things you know. If you don’t follow your gut, readers will detect the lack of authenticity and this will work against you in the long run.
Not only is plagiarism illegal, it can hurt your search engine rankings.
Even if you unintentionally steal a few words from someone else’s blog, it can set off plagiarism detection tools.
It’s a good idea to run your work through a plagiarism tool to make sure you’re not ripping off someone else’s work accidently. Grammarly is just one of the many platforms that provide online plagiarism tools.
Other than that, try to be as original as possible.
Don’t: Let Trolls Get the Best of You
Trolls are all over the internet and if they have found your work, congratulations! It means you are gaining popularity.
Now we all know trolls write hurtful things and this is completely intentional. They do this to trigger you so it’s important not to give in and resist the urge to respond.
If things get ugly, it can also look bad to readers.
Don’t: Overthink Things
It’s a good idea to read a post over once or twice, but if you start getting obsessed, decide whether or not you want to publish it and move on. Trying to make it perfect will be a waste of time and productivity.
Now that you know some basic blogging do’s and don’ts, you are ready to start your blog. You can also use this knowledge to boost the readership of an existing blog. Good luck getting your articles noticed on the worldwide web!