Whether you’re looking to start a brand new blog or you want to refresh what you’re already got, these are my top 10 tips for blogging.
1. Make it Purpose Driven
The most important question to ask yourself before you even attempt to start a blog is why are you doing this? If you don’t know what you want to achieve through the blog, then quite simply you’ll never achieve it.
2. Think Creatively not Technically
I have known people say that they want to set up a blog because it will be good for their SEO. Whilst this can be true, it is a terrible reason for starting a blog. If your blog is driven by a technical purpose, then you’re not focusing on your audience. SEO is a great by-product of having a blog on your website, but think more creatively if you want your blog to actually be read. Surely, after all, that’s the point.
3. Choose a Theme
The more people understand something, the more they will buy into it. Having a random set of blog articles on your website may attract the odd visitor here and there, but deciding on a theme and creating content around that theme will help you build a readership. If people understand what information you’re giving to them and why, they will be far more likely to tune in.
4. Choose a Target Audience
Thinking back to your purpose, decide who your blog is aimed at and always write for your audience. The more focused, clear and consistent your blog is, the more chance of readership.
5. Plan Ahead
Before you even start to write one word of your first blog, create a content plan. Planning 6 months in advance is ideal, but at least plan for 3 months. Planning has so many benefits. Firstly, you will know whether you have enough ideas relating to your chosen theme. Secondly, it will keep you on top of things. You may be able to write a bunch of blogs all in one go, so you’re setting aside one day to do it rather than trying to fit in writing whenever you can. And finally, it will eradicate the terrible situation of knowing you need to blog and not knowing what to say.
As part of the planning, think carefully about how often you want to blog. With so much media for people to choose from, blogging too much will mean your audience simply can’t keep up. Blogging once or twice a month is more than enough, although the most important thing by far is to have good content. People don’t read because you have a blog, they read because you have something interesting to say.
7. Word Count
Blogs that are too long can switch people off. A good length to aim for is around 500 words. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit longer, as long as the content is constantly engaging throughout, but definitely don’t make it any shorter. Once you’ve put in your introduction and conclusion, 500 words isn’t that many.
It’s really important to think about formatting. If your reader at any point trips over poor layout or grammatical issues, then you’ve lost them. The ideal reader is one who gets drawn into your words. You could have the greatest talent for writing but still turn off your readers if your formatting is all over the place. Putting in subheadings helps to break things up so it’s less daunting, and never put spaces between sentences, only between paragraphs.
Double check everything before you think about posting your blog. Grammatical errors can be very off putting for the reader. If you’re not the best with words, then ask someone you trust to proofread it for you. It can make a huge difference to how professional you look.
There are multiple blogging platforms out there, but if you have a website then always put your blog on your website. This will help with your SEO, it will mean that if your audience is interested then they have all the other information about you at the simple click of a button, and it will also give you the added bonus of measurement. Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can track whether you’re achieving what you set out to do. If not, then you have the right information to make a change.
If you’re about to start blogging, best of luck!
Lindsay Woodward is a Chartered Marketer and author of 6 published novels. Marketing and writing are her greatest passions. For more information on help with regards to either of these elements, please contact us.