Saturday, October 22, 2016

Blog Writing Tips to Success

One of the most frustrating things about writing a blog is how slow most tend to be to take off.  You can write blog after blog post but nothing seems to happen. (Read my second post to this blog from Dec. 26, 2008) You hear about some bloggers who have followings into the thousands. So why doesn’t anyone want to read your blog? There can be several reasons.

First, let’s separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Big-name bloggers usually have large followings because of the controversial topics which they cover. Celebrity bloggers have their ear to the ground and follow every gossipy lead. Then there are the do-gooder bloggers who are out to change the world with their posts. There are many blogs on every conceivable subject.  So your blog may not be standing out in the crowd because there are so many others like it.

When planning your blog, set some realistic goals. Know your schedule and abilities. There’s no rule that says you have to post every day. Start out by posting weekly. Successful blogs don’t have to appear daily.

One of the biggest mistakes beginning bloggers make is that they write on and on. Your readers don’t have time to read long, involved articles. If you have something to say, say it—in 500 words or less. If a topic is too complicated to cover in that amount of words, divide it into two parts. (See my first posts on blogging of August 1 and 8, 2014.) And if you can say all you need to in less than 500 words, do so. Don’t try to pad your blog.

Another mistake beginning bloggers make is not proofreading their work. Nothing turns off readers like spelling and grammatical errors. This isn’t Facebook or Twitter. Correct any mistakes as soon as you discover them. Remember, if you’re aiming at a large audience, you need to make your blog as professional as possible.

Be positive. Don’t air your personal grievances publicly. Look at what’s happened to the presidential campaign. Negativity turns readers off. Offer your readers supportive, inspirational, and informational material.

When writing a blog, avoid using longer paragraphs. This isn’t academic writing. You should be writing in a conversational style. Break your content into shorter paragraphs. And don’t forget to use subheads when appropriate.

Do whatever you can to make your blog come alive. Always look for new angles on your subject. And don’t be afraid of writing on the same topic at different times. A new angle on it is always good. When you really get rolling, you may even consider inviting guest bloggers to post to your blog.

One of the most important things you can do to make your blog successful is to be yourself. Write as you talk. Don’t try to sound intellectual. Find your voice. While it’s your content that draws readers, it’s your personality that keeps them coming back.  Let your readers get to know you.

To get more people to read your blog, you’ll need to include links within your posts whenever possible. You can link to past posts on your blog, other blogs, and Web site that provide more information. Remember, links help to increase search engine rankings.

Every blog, even this one on writing, benefits from at least one image. Images are a part of the social media experience, so use them whenever you can.

Don’t forget to respond to blog comments. Check your comments periodically if you get a few and more frequently if your posts generate a lot of them. While not all comments deserve a response, do respond to those that do. You may even want to respond with a “Thanks for reading my blog.”

To spread the word, post your blog to as many social media outlets as possible. But don’t’ post to just any outlet. Make sure the people following those you post to are interested in your topic. Facebook and Twitter are the two best. Google Plus is a close second.

Now get blogging! Using these tips will help your efforts become a success.