Friend and former cohort in news Tracy Pratt asked me this week for some tips and best practices on blogging to share with a blogger from the community that she’s recruiting. I pounded out a bullet list in no time. It also got me thinking about all the blog newbies I know. So I’m pushing out the list here for all to enjoy.
Like my earlier post on social media tools, advice on building a successful blog abounds. Fellow bloggers with experience, please share your tips for best practices, too.
Note: These tips are more about building brand and audience development for a blog than how to write one. A wealth of advice exists in the writing category and can be easily accessed at your nearest bookstore or Google search bar.
- Blog 2-3 times a week to build and maintain an audience. You can certainly blog more than that, but 2-3 times a week would be the minimum goal for maintaining your audience’s attention.
- Find bloggers who speak to the same or similar topic as yours, comment on their blogs and link back to your blog. This helps build your audience.
- Allow comments on your blog and — most importantly — respond and engage with folks there. If you don’t engage with your audience, you’ll lose them.
- It’s OK to set rules for commenters about civility and niceness. It’s also OK to delete comments that break the rules, but you should be clear about what the rules are.
- Give credit where it’s due. Attribute information you get from elsewhere. Even better, link to original source. Research shows that links out of your site can help build traffic. (It also helps search engines find you.)
- Speaking of search engines, keep headlines short (5-7 words) and avoid abbreviations to make it easier for search engines to find you. A Web user is more likely to search for “Iowa City accident” than “IC accident,” for example.
Image by Toni Lozano
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