You’ve decided to join the world of blogging. You’ve heard it can help you spread expertise, solve problems, and give your SEO efforts a boost. This is all true, but only if you’re also willing to follow blogging best practices like these. You can have great blog design and user experience, but none of that is any good if people don’t engage in some way with your blog.
How do you promote engagement? You don’t have to spend two-month’s salary on a virtual diamond ring to give to your readers. You just need to be yourself. Be authentic. The instant you try to be something you’re not on your blog will be the instant that your readers will start reading what the competition has to say.
1. Abandon the Thesis
Blogging tends to be extremely formal or extremely conversational today and both really aren’t very beneficial. A best practice is to keep the information presented at a conversational level, but to cite your source materials to prove that you’re not making up 90% of your statistics. Abandon the formal thesis statement and transitions that lead back to it for a more conversational tone and subject arc to achieve better results.
2. Number the Points
Visual orientation is extremely important to the modern user of the internet. Because there is so much data that is readily accessible, people won’t read a website like a newspaper was read in 1904. If someone read every article in a blog or website, they’d never get anything done during the day. Skimming is the rule of the day, which means you need to break up your content in some way.
Numbered lists, bullet points, and other forms of indentation will naturally draw the eyes of readers to these key points. If the visitor likes these key points, then they’ll read the rest of the content.
3. Brush Off the Crumbs
Posting content when people are available to read it is also a blogging best practice. You could theoretically post content at any time and have it read, but your core demographics aren’t always going to see this post. New content gets buried in news feeds, stacks of spam, and numerous RSS notifications. You need to know when your core readers are online because if they catch your post while being active on the internet, they’ll be more likely to read the content.
For most blogs, this means creating a post that will go live around the 11am-2pm mark of the day. Most people read their favorite blogs while eating lunch. Keep your geographic targets in mind as well because a post targeted to LA will have a 3 hour difference than a posted targeted to NYC.
4. Smile For the Camera
If content is king of the internet right now, then images must be the emperor. People are visually attracted to photographs, graphic designs, and infographics because it is information that is easy to consume. It’s like having an information IV jammed up into your brain.
Don’t take shortcuts on this one. If you just scrape images from other websites, people will notice. Look to create original images, graphics, and designs so you don’t generate the reputation of being old and boring. Include a snippet or overview of your content as well after smiling for the camera and you’ll be following one of the most critical blogging best practices right now.
5. Check the Ego At the Virtual Door
Even though you might be blogging for personal reasons, it is important to remember that a blog isn’t about you. You might be writing about yourself, but you’re doing it for your readers. Do you constantly visit your blog to read all of the content every day? Ok maybe you do, but so do lots of readers. They need to know that you care about them more than you care about yourself.
Check the ego. Even if you’re angry, maintain neutrality to keep the peace. The goal should be to win over people with ideas instead of virtual blunt force trauma.
6. Just Do It
Blogging frequently is the best way to get noticed. Some people write a week’s worth of posts on a Saturday night and schedule them throughout the week. Others will write them on the spot. Just be consistent with your posts and you’ll start to develop conversations. Those conversations then develop into relationships.
These blogging best practices will help you carve out your own little breakfast nook to enjoy on the internet. Implement them today and your blog might just get the attention you know it deserves.
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