Tips For Bloggers
ARRRGGHHHH!!! That was me screaming when I first started to blog, so much advice, by so many people saying so many different things and always all about the same thing! It is no wonder people find that first blog hard. Lots of this blogs readers have been asking for blogging tips when really I know very little about it, so this page is for all us bloggers because by learning from each other we can all improve, even myself.
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Do you have some advice to offer people? Well if you do just drop me a comment right here or drop me a E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will not only place your tip here but I am happy to also give you a link back to your own blog so people can see how good you really are! So the first 3 are from mine and the rest of these tips for bloggers are written by some of the best bloggers around! So please do get in touch because this page is for EVERYONE!
Tip (1) = Is your blog not getting the traffic you want it to?!? Well here is a news flash for you, unless you are already famous your blog is not “The field of dreams.” If you build it they will not come. But if you go and get people and introduce them to it them I’m sure they will love it! So go on Twitter and FB and find people who love talking about blogs relating to yours. All social media sites have a search option, so search for the things you like “craft, sci-fi, UK” whatever and follow them, become friends with them! Only then will you start to grow. You already have a public blog so go out there and SHOUT ABOUT IT!
Tip (2) = Pick a lane and stick to it! You only see crazy drivers all over the roads so why do it with your blog!?!? Just stick to what you know and DON’T CHANGE IT! If you just want to blog random things about your life then do it because loads of people including myself love to read them. But in the same week don’t start talking about how to make money using twitter or some junk like that. One road + one path = One Goal!
Tip (3) = Don’t give up the day job! Blogging will can only make enough to live on for a VERY SMALL amount of people who to be fair to them were mostly already famous writers or famous in their chosen area of writing. Can you make money blogging? Yeah sure! But unless you are one of the already mentioned ‘Famous’ or ‘Expert’ people there is only one way to do it and here is the absolute truth…IT TAKES YEARS OF HARD WORK!!!
Tip (4) = my initial readership dwindled when my computer was broken…after a few months I replaced it…I started posting again but no one was visiting…so I rebooted the blog this year and that seems to have worked…so I would say post regularly and stay relevant.
Tip (5) = if you don’t get as much attention as you expect when you try your best – don’t give up. Find another reason for blogging apart from generating traffic (such as proving that you can commit to something on a long-term basis, etc) and stick to it. And then all the attention will eventually come.
Tip (6) = If you want to increase your readership one way is to read other people’s blogs and leave comments. Try and engage other bloggers and contribute to their debates. You will soon find bloggers reciprocating and your traffic will start to rise.
Tip (7) = My tip is to do what I am doing today. Spend some time looking at other blogs, liking and READING other people’s posts, commenting when it moves you. Then have a look at the blog directory widgets or links that people have. Are you listed? If not, then spend a bit of time adding your site and the reciprocal link. One of my earlier posts resulted in someone reposting me to their site (BlogDogIt.com), and since then we have become reciprocal fans. I send him traffic, he sends me traffic. We appreciate each other’s efforts. To me, that is the key. Networking with real people. Sincerely. That is how you get long-term readership, and friends.
Tip (8) = How do you expect to receive anyone to come to your blog if you don’t announce it to social networking websites? That’s like having a yard sale in the middle of the woods. Unless you live near the city or a reasonable suburban area, you might find that browser or blog surfer (homeless bum or hiker) walking through.
In addition, it’s quality over quantity. I have written roughly around 60 blog posts that have an average word count of 999 words per post. Now, this sounds like a lot to read. Well, that’s another thing to consider. Should you post every day for an entire month? Well, is your content worth coming back for more? Lastly, your restaurant might serve the best food in the world. Does it look promising on the outside? Although looks can be deceiving, make your blog reasonably presentable. I think just my layout alone can attract people to continue reading.
Tip (9) = My tip is one that may not be popular with some bloggers — don’t be afraid to go personal. I was told once to stay away from the personal. While that is partially true, because reading a far too personal blog can be downright scary, it also makes a blog real. It helps keep your blog focused because, well, you are writing about what you know best (hopefully) which is yourself. Care must be taken, however, when writing about the other people in your life. They may not appreciate being thrown unknowingly out into the very public world of the web, so you had best be cognizant of your family’s wishes. Otherwise, you may be in for a world of hurt!
Tip (10) = Don’t be afraid to be controversial and write about topics some might be uncomfortable reading about (I frequently write about gay rights/marriage for instance).. but just make sure anything you’ve written has been done in a well thought out way, makes sense, and isn’t an attack on other people’s beliefs (whenever possible). If you’ve posted something that is somewhat intelligently written with clear opinions/explanations/debate points, then there should be no reason for someone to get offended by what you’ve written.
Tip (11) = Have fun with it! It’s sometimes easy to get a little stressed about making sure you post regularly, having good content, checking stats, increasing readership, etc. But don’t lose sight of the fact that you should be having fun writing your posts and connecting with other bloggers!
Tip (12) = Add depth by adding topics or categorizing your post. So you are interested in politics, technology, family AND like to keep up with the latest memes? By categorizing your posts you can feel free to step outside of your comfort zone and experiment in areas that may otherwise have your current readers scratching their heads, wondering who has taken over your blog.
I try to keep several topics going on my site and find if I get bored contributing in one topic area I can shift gears and focus on one of the others. If I can’t stay interested I can’t expect my readers to be for long. By offering categorized posts you allow your visitors to “change the channel” with-out leaving your site.
Tip (13) = Be original. Not many people want to look at a blog that is just a copy of another blog. This is hard because of the number of people that blog, and the number of topics that are blogged about. Pretty much, don’t make an exact replica of someone else’s blog with the same theme, the same topics and other stuff. You could make a blog that goes into more detail than another person or focuses more on one thing, but don’t outright copy their blog.
Tip (14) = Customise your page. I’m not saying go out and spend $100 to have you own custom design page through wordpress, but instead change the settings on the free page layouts to make your blog more personalised to you! It will make your page seem much more original until you can afford to go crazy on your own page design.
Tip (15) = Find a catchy but original Title for your blog. Make it stand out from the crowd. Make sure that it’s the right title to match the lane that you’re currently driving down. People will see the title and say and say to themselves, “this is something I’m interested in.” You have to get people coming past and interested and the first thing they read is the title of your blog. If you don’t get their interest from the title how do you hope to get their interest from the content of your posts?
But once you have your interesting and original title do a search for that same title. Probably there are already blogs out there using that same title or very similar. Either run with the title because it still covers exactly what you want to say or make changes to make yourself stand out so that people can see there is a difference.
I thought I was being really original calling mine, “Listen to me Write!” as it is about me using the speech recognition tool Dragon Naturally-speaking to do all my writing. A search reveals half a dozen or more using pretty well the same title although as far as I can see I’m the only one where the title relates to speech recognition. Searching beforehand might have helped me come up with a different title that was unique and still covered my theme.
Tip (16) = Short isn’t always bad. Don’t post one or two sentence posts but you can be concise I often don’t like or want to read 1-2 thousand word posts. Just an interesting, thoughtful paragraph or two will do it just fine.
Tip (17) = A picture speaks a thousand words. Try to illustrate your post with something visual – a photo or drawing, for instance, and give it a good caption that’s relevant to the subject of the post.
Tip (18) = (Blog layout) – Critically evaluate your final layout. Can your reader navigate easily around your site to find your latest post, your archived posts, your “About me” page? Having got them to your site, make sure they don’t leave because they can’t find other posts and pages.
Tip (19) = (Writing posts) – keep your post content vibrant. Most people won’t stay to read a long tome with thousands of words and no images. The web is about color, images and information. Combine these things and keep your posts to a reasonable word limit and your readers will stay to the end.
Tip (20) = When first starting out, there is the desire to make your blog completely special and unique. News flash! Someone is probably already doing what you want to do! Go forth anyway. Once you develop your voice, it will be unique. No one is saying what you say in exactly the same way. People will choose to follow your blog over another with the same idea because they like your style. And be genuine. Folks aren’t afraid to unfollow if your posts leave them with a bad taste in their mouths.
Tip (21) = Spell-check, spell-check, spell-check! And find a friend who will glance over your writing before you post. A lot of people (me included) won’t take you seriously if your words are littered with wrong spellings and grammatical errors, no matter how catchy your prose.
Tip (22) = Blog about what you care about most on the morning of writing your post (for me it’s weekly). Much like catching the tail end of a dream on waking, my ‘hunch for the day’ is a springboard for the post, and keep it my focus. There are always other things I could write about, but by letting a bit of serendipity in, the post benefits. And close editing helps.
Tip (23) = Get your readers involved! Encourage them to share their thoughts and experiences relating to your post in the comments. If you’re stuck for a topic to write about, ask your readers for one. That guarantees that your post will have at least one reader. Also, respond to their comments so that they know you actually read them.
Tip (24) = Establish yourself as an online brand. Personal branding and self syndication can go a long way towards generating sustained traffic volumes. Taking myself as an example, I’ve chosen to brand myself online under the label “SoftwareByDefault”. My WordPress blog forms the core of my brand, supported by various online profiles under the same title. I try as far as possible to reference my WordPress blog when engaging in online activities. My blog is focussed on software development, I therefore maintain profiles on sites like MSDN, Codeplex, SourceForge, CodeProject, O’Reilly Media, Twitter, Github, StackOverflow and a few more, all labelled as SoftwareByDefault.
Tip (25) = Dont forget performance management is key to a good ranking as well. Measure, analyse and improve. Do it as a monthly task. If using WordPress cache your website, if you want managed services performance consider http://tinyurl.com/aa2r4nr
Tip (26) = Don’t mislead people. Your title is a headline just as in journalism. It should grab the attention of people interested in your post. If it’s tailored to attract people who probably aren’t interested, then you have brought someone to your blog who’ll be looking for the “I really hate the way this blog has wasted my time” button instead of the “Like” button. You don’t get a follower, and you’ve been very, very annoying. Same goes for tags and categories.
Tip (27) = Punch up the number of your followers instantly by enabling notices of your WordPress blog posts to your Facebook, Twitter and LInkedIn accounts. In the 12 days I’ve been blogging at http://www.ladyflowersbysusan.wordpress.com I have posted 9 times. I have 28 blog followers from WordPress, 661 Facebook followers, 36 Twitter followers and 95 LinkedIn followers. WordPress sends a short notice to my contacts on the social media sites with my avatar, the name of my post, the first sentence or so of the post and a link to the blog post. Many of my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn contacts follow my blog avidly now that they receive automatic notices of new posts.
Tip (28) = Pick a time to write at. For example, you could write posts daily, weekly or even monthly. This should make your followers and you happy !
Tip (29) = Always keep your views in the loop.Like,if your going on holiday,tell your viewers so they will be happy and will know when you come back.I you don’t,they might not come back.
Tip (30) = Learn basic SEO,it’ll really help you in the long run.
Tip (31) = Try and get your readers involved with a poll or something. This lets your readers get involved with your blog more
Tip (32) = Don’t just add lots of writing to your blog, because that will just make your readers bored! Try uploading some videos or pictures or something like that.
Tip (33) = Before guest blogging or asking a blogger to guest for you, always check out the guest’s site, first! You don’t want to find out that their values are grossly different than yours after asking for or giving a commitment. In other words, look before you leap!
Tip (34) = My tip is find a room of your own you feel comfortable in and make it your sanctuary to write – as Virginia Woolf wrote, all writers must have a room of their own where they can ruminate and create. Well, she didn’t say it exactly like that, but I think that’s what she meant!
Tip (35) = “Follow the visual hierarchy. If you look at Apple’s website or if you go to http://www.splashthat.com, you’ll find not just stellar typography but near-strict adherence to this rule.
The basic rule of thumb with the visual hierarchy is that your second-most prominent feature needs to be half as “heavy” on the page as your first-most prominent feature. And then your third-most prominent feature needs to be half as heavy as your second (or one-fourth as heavy as your first.
In other words, your first feature is the general that gets “paid” the most (gets paid the most attention that is). You second features have not worked hard enough to get to that first rank though, so it only earns half of that pay, and etc. for the third, and fourth.”
From: An Apple A Day
Tip (36)= Add your blog address to your signature when using email, to let people know that you are blogging.
Tip (37)= When I started blogging, I used wordpress for writing and reflection, google plus for photographs and fotopedia for themed photographs. This approach was too complicated. Stick with one vehicle, even though it means you run out of free space on wordpress.
Tip (38)= Don’t be so hooked up on the number of views in you stats page, especially when your blog has just started. Instead, watch for trends and take note of them. If your content appeals to your viewers, they will likely come back. The key here is patience. You can’t expect results in a week, much less overnight.
Tip (39)= If you’re going to blog, you need to develop thick skin. This is especially true if you’re presenting information from the point of being an “authority” on the topic. When you receive a sarcastic comment, how you respond will affect how your readers view you – and if they are going to continue to follow you, as well! Besides, your readers will more than likely come to your defence!
Remember, a soft answer turns away wrath. In my case, my first attempt at blogging was shut down because of one such comment. Thin skinned, I decided that I didn’t need that kind of hassle, and quit; but not before I thanked the person for their opinion. In part, he had a valid point, so I edited the post – and credited him for the correction at the top of the article. Then I used my reply to further explain my point of view for my readers.
To my amazement, in his reply, he stated that he wished he could respond to his critics in such a way. He still didn’t agree with me, but the tone of his comments changed.
Every person who visits and comments is considered a guest, in my book. I treat guests in my home with courtesy and consideration. My blog “home” is no different. If my followers go on the attack, I may privately e-mail them, thank them for their support, then explain my philosophy about guests, and ask them to respond in that spirit.
A blog that feels like a knock-down, drag-out fight is not inviting. I rarely go back to visit ones that are tense.
Tip (40)= Write about the things that you love and blogging would be a breeze but you can take it to the next level by doing a little bit of SEO. You can start by using keywords generated from Google suggest — those search terms automatically generated by Google when you start typing to their search box. That way, you can determine what people use to search for a particular topic and use it to your advantage. What I do is use a suggested phrase as part of my article’s title.
Tip (41)= Join in “blog hop” events or “blog party” events, or create your own with help from a few like-minded blogging friends. They get you out there to a wider audience who potentially share similar thoughts/opinions/beliefs/whatever. Try and be consistent with participation – if there’s a monthly blog recommendation/suggestion, do so, even if it’s just a few lines on the theme. Make it a pictorial entry if you can’t come up with words. (Pictures and thousand words adages!) A really good example of the blog party is the “Practical Magic Blog Party” run by Frosted Petunias – http://pmparty2011.blogspot.com.au
Tip (42)= If a fellow blogger nominates you for an “award”, thank them by participating, and creating a link in your response to their blog. Display the image somewhere on your page if possible – if nothing else it makes for interesting side-bars. If you really don’t want to participate in the entire process, at least head back to their blog and thank them. They clearly felt your blog was something worth sharing around to others, even if you perhaps don’t feel the same!
Tip (43)= Make sure you add your blog web address to your Gravatar page so that people can link back to your blog. The page does not automatically have it, you have to add it yourself. That way, when you leave a comment on someone’s post, when they click on your image and get taken to your Gravatar to check you out, they can follow the link to your blog as well. It is surprising the number of Gravatars I have clicked on, only to find no link back to their own blog page.
Tip (44): If you are offering downloads and look like you may run out of free space on your WordPress blog, open up a free gmail account and store your larger files on Google Drive. Upload smaller thumbnail images only on your blog, then get your readers to download the image in full resolution from Google Drive.
TIP (45): I find that no matter the topic, you have to have fun writing it. Readers will always know. And if you have fun, so will they!
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