We’re wrapping up blogs month at OurChurch.Com, so what better way to end it than with a list of blogging tips. Sure, there are lots of blogging tips articles out there already. I even found an entire series of 30 articles each on a different tip for bloggers. What I want to do, though, is boil it down to the best, most important, absolutely essential blogging tips. So, here are my top 12.
- Write about what you know and are passionate about. Just as the people who are best at their jobs are those who love what they do, the best bloggers are the people who write about what they’re passionate about. Write like you’re on a mission to change the world.
- Be unique. If you’re blogging or thinking about starting a blog, chances are someone is already writing on the same topic. Read those blogs and ask yourself, “Why would someone want to spend their precious time reading my blog with these other blogs already out there?” It could be your experience, unique perspective, contacts, writing style, or something else. Lean into whatever that is.
- Write great titles. Write titles that will spark interest and make people want to know more. I probably scan the titles of at least 100 blog articles each day but only read a dozen or so. Which dozen depends entirely on the title. Additionally, include keywords in your title that people will search for. New people read our Is MySpace Safe? article all the time because it’s #5 in Google for Is MySpace Safe, a phrase that is searched about 300 times a month.
- Write great articles. I can hear the Duh’s echoing across the Web already. Maybe it sounds obvious, but here’s the difference between a good blog article and a great blog article: after you read a good blog article you’re glad you read it, after you read a great article you bookmark it and email it to your friends.
- Encourage comments on your blog. People love to share their thoughts and opinions. Encourage your readers to do so. Not only will it help them connect with your blog, but your readers will also benefit from the additional insight and varying perspectives. Don’t be afraid to ask for comments or end an article with a question.
- Interact with your readers. When someone comments, don’t just leave them flapping in the breeze, post a comment in response. You might also encourage readers to contact you by email, PM, IM, or contact form if they have something they want to say privately.
- Link generously to other websites and blogs in your articles. Sourcing information will add credibility to your articles. It will also help your readers get more in-depth info on a topic. And when you link to other blogs, it makes them more likely to link back to you.
- Write regularly. Regardless of whether you write one article a month or 5 a day, be consistent so your readers know what to expect. Personally, I think it’s best to write at least once a week, but quality is more important than quantity. People will continue to read your blog if you post one good article a week, but if you write 1 good article and 6 stinkers every week readers will unsubscribe.
- Facilitate RSS & email subscriptions. People will not remember to check your blog every day. You have to let them let you remind them by offering RSS and email subscriptions. I recommend both because while RSS is not really mainstream yet, it is mainstream with hardcore bloggers and you want to accommodate them.
- Register your blog in search engines and directories. When you do, register it in the area of your topic not in the Computers/Internet/blogs category. Especially register your blog with blog directories like Technorati.
- Comment on other blogs and in forum discussions related to the topic of your blog. Often you can include the name and URL of your blog in your post, which will bring visitors to your blog and (assuming you don’t sound like a total idiot 😉 ) build your credibility.
- Be patient. Unless you already have a high-traffic site or are famous, it takes a while to build up an audience.
So, there you have it, the top 12 blogging tips of all time! If you follow these tips you will become a world-famous, unbelievably successful blogger… or not… but definitely one of the two (to paraphrase a former local sports radio host). Agree? Disagree? Got one more you think ought to be added to the list? Post a comment and let us know.