Since I’ve never really talked about blogging, and since I have a little bit of experience with it, I’ve decided to offer you my top ten tips for writing a blog. Keep in mind this is just my experience and should not be viewed as rules that must always be followed.
1. Act Like a Professional, Not Like a Robot. A professional business blog is probably going to be different in themes and tone than an online diary would be. That doesn’t mean that you should only stick to “serious” topics, but do remember that every post you write reflects you and the services you are selling. Just from my own experience, the business blogs that I have been the most interested in tend to feature voices that are unique, personal, and relatable. In other words, they aren’t a robot. They talk about their own interests and are able to be themselves. The blogs that I have been the most turned off by are the ones that do nothing but try to sell their products in every blog post. I think it’s fine to mention when you have a new product out, or to give your viewers updates as to how your product is going. (Some novelists have even found great success in blogging about their work-in-progress.) But if all your material is used as a way to sell your product (“Like Great Literature? Come Read My New Book!”, “I Just Wrote a Wonderful Book!”, “Click Here to Buy a Great Book—It’s Mine!”), viewers will quickly see through your act and most likely won’t return.
2. Don’t Fear Variety. Some people are going to argue against this, saying that you need to stick with your description in order to be professional, and this is true to a point. You’re not going to want to call your website Real Celebrity Photographs if you are only going to talk about stray cats you find in the back of alleyways. However, I have seen a lot of websites that write about a few side topics that do not necessarily fit with their theme. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this so long as you mention at the start that this is not what you usually blog about. (That way, first timers who read your post won’t feel confused as to what your theme is.) If you know you are going to want to talk about different topics on a continual basis, you can create different sections so that viewers can select which category they want to read about.
3. Pick a Website Title That Represents The Focus of Your Blog. This can be one of the more challenging aspects of creating a blog, because you’re going to have to balance finding a suitable name for your blog while avoiding names that have already been taken. This may take a lot of time to create. The title is pretty important, since it may be the first thing that viewers seen when they log on to your website. As described above, it should also have something to do with your website. If you are stuck, you can use an expand/condense trick. Start out by writing everything that your blog is or might be about. You can write as many words, sentences, paragraphs as you want. Then start to condense the list. Go word by word if you need to. Look for words that have the same meaning, or can be grouped under the same category. For example, “nails”, “wood”, and “hardware” could all go under “construction.”
4. Remember Your Competition. One way to see how much competition you will face is to Google your proposed title. If you want to title your website “Beauty Tips”, just know that there are 436,000,000 results that come up when you Google that term. You can use that title if you want, but your blog may get lost in all of the other websites. However, if you Google “facial tips”, only 106,000,000 results come up. Keep that in mind when trying to pick your title.
5. Know Your Limitations. This tip is more about design. If you know that you are not talented enough to design your own website, you can take classes and learn how to do it yourself, but you may also want to consider hiring a web designer to help you out. The keyword should be “help” and not “control.” Before hiring, make sure you and your web designer are on the same page about how much control you wish to give your web designer. You are paying them, so it is okay to give them direction if you have ideas about what you want. (At the same time, assuming they are professionals, listen to their feedback. They might have some valuable advice to give you.)
6. Consider Your Personal Schedule. Unless your blog name specifically mentions the number of times viewers should expect a new post (Ron’s Daily Computer Tips), don’t feel pressured to always post on the same schedule. But it helps to know your own schedule and how much time you are willing to spend each week towards your blog. If you can do daily posts, great. If you can do daily posts, but will create better posts publishing once a week, go with once a week.
7. Focus on Quality, Not Perfection. This is not a bowling game. You are not shooting for 300 points. Blogs are a lot more subjective than, say, sports, and so pretty much everyone is going to have a different idea about what constitutes a perfect blog. And if perfection is subjective, then it can’t truly exist. Don’t shoot for it. Create posts that you feel are meaningful and that are the best you can do given time and schedule constraints.
8. Be Clear About What You Don’t Want. If you are having a lot of trouble coming up with topic material for your blog, write down everything that you are not interested in. Sometimes it helps to visually sort out the “good” from the “bad.” There are no official rules about what you shouldn’t post on your blog, but my advice for all blogs is to stay away from ranting and hate speech of any kind. The world has enough of both. You don’t need to add to it.
9. Keep in Mind Evolution. Everyone changes. There are very few people who start out writing great blogs. It can take time. Assuming you are not world famous and don’t have millions of people expecting your blog, you will have few, if any, viewers at the start. This is preferable, as it gives you time to get used to blogging and to develop your own voice.
10. Wait Before You Start. There will be no world collision if you suddenly decide that you don’t want to continue blogging. People stop all the time. However, blogging does take work, especially at the start. If you just had the idea to start a blog five minutes ago, wait. Then wait a little bit longer. Give yourself time to make sure that this is something that you actually want to do for more than a week. If you are still interested in blogging two weeks after you had your initial idea, and you are willing to accept the work that comes with creating and maintaining a blog, then step into the world of blogging.
Do you have any tips that you didn’t see listed? Feel free to add them in the comments section down below.