10 Tips for Blogging

Here are 10 Tips for Blogging I developed for a presentation to Bay Area Travel Writers. There’s a lot more to say about each point, but the list provides a starting place for thinking about your blogging strategy and tactics.

1. Define your objectives:
• Decide on your goals for your website/blog
• Determine scope and themes
• Focus and stay on topic

2. Establish trust and credibility:
• Include an “about” section
• Post regularly
• Keep pages, numbers, statistics up to date
• Get your own domain (not blogspot.com)
• Include your photo

3. Be reader-friendly:
• Provide useful and/or entertaining information for your readers
• Give, give, give. Don’t be afraid of outgoing links.
• Put “news you can use” at the beginning of the post
• Write specific, benefit-driven copy

4. Maximize scannability (80% of readers scan rather than reading online text).
• Short paragraphs, subheads (“chunk” the copy), white space
• Short and simple sentences
• Bulleted or numbered lists
• Bold text
• Use links for background or explanatory information

5. Be search engine-friendly:
• Use descriptive post titles, custom title tags, and meta-descriptions
• Use keywords effectively
• Use tags selectively
• Include captions and alt-text for multimedia files
• Avoid puns and clever headlines

6. Organize your information:
• Use categories judiciously
• Make evergreen articles easy to find, or list your top ten posts
• Many e-zine themes make organization easy. Use “sticky” tags
• Be clear about where links go

7. Be accessible:
• Include an RSS feed
• Consider an e-mail sign up

8. Think twice before posting:
• Your parent, child, or a future employer may read your posts
• Once you post, it’s archived, cached, and indexed (you can delete, but not re-call)
• Be respectful of others

9. Show your personality:
• Use first-person conversational style
• Write about what you care about
• Quirky, specific, and focused are all good

10. Have fun!
For obvious reasons. Plus, your readers will appreciate it.

 

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