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Anyone can blog, but what makes a blog successful? That’s the question. Why does one blog take off and another fail? Blogging isn’t just about putting something out there – the secret to success – is providing content people are actually interested in checking out. Give ‘em what they want! It’s what most successful businesses already know, so why not apply that same principle to blogging? Obviously, there’s more to blogging than this very simplistic principle, but it’s definitely a big part of the equation.
I’m trying to become a better blogger, but with so many factors to consider things can seem overwhelming at first.
“One of the great blessings and also a curse of the Internet is the opportunity to tune in on what both expert and novice voices are saying … The problem … what voices do we listen to and for how much time each day … it’s a challenge … to be selective and to limit what comes into our heads (Loertscher, 2013).”
What have I learned so far? Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, but it may pay to focus on those tips that appear on multiple blogs. If more than one person has picked up on something, it only stands to reason, it may be a lesson learned through experience. Take advantage of these lessons learned by others and apply them to become a better blogger.
Top 5 Blogging Tips:
1. Titles Matter
Believe it or not, there’s a lot wrapped up in a blog post title. When searchers or subscribers are scanning the internet or their RSS feeds for something noteworthy – you need to grab their attention. Titles should be short and snappy. They should also contain one or two relevant keywords from your blog post.
Related Article: Content Strategy: 9 Secrets for Awesome Blog Post Titles
2. Make Your Blog Reader-Centric
Who’s your target audience? What are they interested in? Your blog isn’t about you – it’s about who’s going to be reading it. Who are you trying to reach with your blog posts? Give ‘em what they want! If people aren’t buying what you’re selling your blogging efforts will be all for naugt.
Related Article: It’s Not About You: Four Tips To Make Your Blog More Reader-Centric
3. Make Your Blog Readable
How your blog is laid out is just as important as the content provided. You can choose the best title, include the best content and still fail if the layout is unreadable. Internet content, this includes blogs, should be scannable (i.e., readable) if you’re trying to grab someone’s attention.
Related Article: How to Make Your Blog Content Scannable
Nothing makes a visitor click away faster than a page that’s too text heavy. Adding visual appeal will help to draw people into your blog. Hopefully, they’ll stay a while and read your post, maybe they’ll like it enough to share it. To make your blog post shareable, it’s important to use high-resolution images that are large enough to share on sites like Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Thumbnails are fine for certain purposes, but it’s important to include larger images as well.
Related Article: Use Photos to Enhance the Visual Appeal and Shares of Your Posts
5. Make Regular Updates
A regular blogging schedule will drive traffic to your blog and hopefully turn visitors into “loyal readers” over time. It’s like your favorite TV show that you tune into every week without fail. When there’s a rerun or when the show changes their time slot the ratings often suffer. Believe it or not many people like routine, so don’t lose readers by failing to provide regularly updated content.
Related Article: Why Should You Blog Regularly?
Amir, N. (2013, February 5). Use Photos to Enhance the Visual Appeal and Shares of Your Posts. Retrieved from http://howtoblogabook.com/2013/02/05/use-photos-to-enhance-the-visual-appeal-and-shares-of-your-posts/
Cole, M., Gray, C., & Romaine, C. (2012, January/February). Blog Impossible. Computers In Libraries, 32(1), 12-18. Retrieved from Library Literature & Information Science Full Text. http://proxy.lib.wayne.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=llf&AN=71966196&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Fitchter, D. (2007, September/October). Top Tips to Build Blog Readership. Online (Weston, Conn.), 31 (5), 50-53. Retrieved from Library Literature & Information Science Full Text. http://proxy.lib.wayne.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=llf&AN=502921706&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Flickerty, T. et al. (n.d.). HowTo Make Your Blog Content Scannable. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Blog-Content-Scannable
Gold, T. (2013, January 23). Content Strategy: 9 Secrets for Awesome Blog Post Titles. Retrieved from http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/01/content-strategy-best-blog-post-titles/
Kumar, A. (2012, May 14). How To Get Your Content Shared More On Pinterest. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223545#
Loertscher, D. V. (2013, February). Personal Learning Networks and Your Personal Expertise. Teacher Librarian, 40(3), 53-55. http://proxy.lib.wayne.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=llf&AN=85445399&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Reich, D. (2011, March 11). It’s Not About You: Four Tips To Make Your Blog More Reader-Centric. Retrieved from http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/03/reader-centric-blogging/
Risodkar, S. (n.d.). Why Should You Blog Regularly? Retrieved from http://www.smartbloggerz.com/2010/01/why-should-you-blog-regularly/
Scocco, D. (2008). What Is A Blog? Retrieved from http://www.dailyblogtips.com/what-is-a-blog/
The articles above were pulled from the web and the WSU Library databases , which require a valid student account. Similar databases (like EBSCOhost) may be available through your local public library, which requires a valid library card.