With the ever-increasing popularity of the blogosphere, it can be hard to keep up with the competition. However, there are a few tips that can propel your blog to the top of the heap. Here are my top 10 blog writing tips.
1. Make it your own. This is the absolute number one item to remember if you want a loyal readership. Never claim someone else’s work as your own. Too often today we do a search for a specific article key phrase and half a dozen articles pop up that are exactly the same but attributed to different authors.
While there are many authors that will sell the same article with private label rights to anyone, it is usually not a good idea for a blogger. In order to draw a loyal following and gain your readers trust, you want a blog post that is unique, original, and all your own. You want your readers to come to you as the expert.
2. Write for your reader. Don’t write for yourself. While it is certainly easier to simply write about what you know, you also want to write what your reader wants to know. Take the time to do some research if your readers want information that you aren’t already familiar with. By venturing into areas that your readers are looking for, you will only make yourself a better writer.
You may also need to adjust your writing to your audience. Different blogs will have different levels of readers. If you are a mature adult writing for a children’s blog you will need to use a different type of writing. Adjust your writing for your readers or you will lose them.
3. Choose your niche. This can be a very fine line. While a wide niche may draw more readers initially, they will eventually move on when you blog about a topic they aren’t interested in. Remember, a blogger can’t be everything to everyone.
In the same vein, you also don’t want to have too narrow of a focus or you will simply run out of things to post. You may also turn-away potential readers if you don’t broaden your niche.
4. Keep things simple. Don’t make things overly complicated. You want your blog to be easy to navigate and easy to find. Don’t clutter it up with ads or overused sales gimmicks. Provide the information your readers are looking for and that they will find valuable. Don’t clutter your sidebar with icons or overly long blogrolls. Use a simple color scheme and avoid large graphics. Blogs are not websites and the two are distinctly different. Keep them separate and keep your blog simple.
5. Always respond. Respond to comments and questions as soon as possible. Even if you disagree with a comment post a response. This is the essence of blogging. Free exchange. Not everyone will agree with your views but, if they take the time to disagree, you must take the time to respond.
You must also make sure you answer any questions that are posted. Your reader would not have taken the time to ask the question if they didn’t expect an answer. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Do some research and then respond but don’t simply ignore the question.
6. Use a personal touch in your writing. You will gain a loyal readership by adding that personal touch. Blog readers will come to see you as a trusted friend. They will be able to identify with you if you chat with them as a friend would. A personal touch doesn’t mean to “get personal” it simply means that you don’t need to be too formal with your readers. Formality is not needed when writing blog posts. This can be difficult for some writers who have been formally trained and work hard to ensure there are no grammatical errors in their writing but it is important to present your own personal touch.
7. Check out other blogs. Spend almost as much time reading other blogs as you do writing your own. Don’t be afraid to mention them in your postings and don’t be afraid to present your own counterpoint to someone else’s blog post. This is a great way to get links and trackbacks for your own blog.
See what is working (and not working) for others. Expand upon their success by adding more value to your own blog. Discover what is missing on other blogs and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. Blog writing is a continuous learning experience. Don’t ever stop learning.
8. Blogging is about writing. Remember that blogging is not about sales. Don’t use your blog simply as a self-promotion tool. It is about providing information and value to your readers. Don’t worry about graphics and logos and ads. Use the written word effectively and you will have an effective blog.
You must also remember that blogs are short. Don’t waste words. Make sure each word is necessary and that you get your point across succinctly. If your words don’t relate to your topic and add value to it then leave them out. Readers don’t care if you’re late for work and haven’t eaten breakfast.
9. Have a clear priority. Don’t try to cover too many topics in one post. If you have twenty things you want to write about, don’t try to cover them all in one post. It is usually acceptable to write about two or three related topics if they fit nicely together but more will simply create confusion. Blog posts are short and to the point. Save those twenty topics for other posts. Twenty topics should give you between ten and twenty posts. You may even find that one topic is broad enough to provide you with the content for several posts.
10. Clean up your old posts. Your blog writing will inevitably improve as you gain experience. As you become a better writer, go back over your original posts and clean them up. In addition to improving the post, a refresh may bring new life to it and bring you increased traffic.