A guide of best practices in blogging.
This is the fifth article in a series of informational posts about blogging successfully. Do check out the introductory post, ways to generate ideas consistently, ways to grow your audience, and how to earn through blogging, if you haven't already.
"With blogging as with life, emulate the best practices and avoid pitfalls."
Your blogging journey would be an adventure and as with any adventure, you would find hurdles to cross and achievements to mark your success. But there are certain guidelines which you could follow from the start itself so as not to reinvent the proverbial wheel and to pursue a relatively smoother path. Let us take a look at some essential dos and don'ts of blogging to create an amazing blog.
1. Structure your blog well - Your blog and your posts should have clear structures with headings, subheadings, and pointers for better readability.
2. Informative - Fill your posts with all 'relevant' information. Create a context, develop the post, and conclude effectively. The reader should be able to take something of value after reading your post.
3. Stick to your strengths - While you may post occasional random posts, try sticking to your essential subject. That is what attracted your audience and that is what they'll stay for.
4. Market yourself - Be out there! Present yourself to the world. Tell everyone about your blog. Share your work on every platform available. Make yourself visible to the online audience.
5. Build an email list - This cannot be emphasized enough. Start building an email list of your readers by requesting them to subscribe. An email list is an extremely valuable asset for any blogger.
6. Be accessible - Respond to the comments on your post. Be accessible to your fans. Try and initiate conversations with them. And most importantly, refine your content based on their feedback.
7. Use multimedia - Your blog need not be completely text-based. Use videos and images in your posts. Use audio-visual elements between your words to emphasize your point. It adds variation to your post and makes reading enjoyable.
8. Interlink - Keep a track of your posts. While this may get difficult as you write more and more, develop a habit of interlinking your post. It allows for better visibility during the search as well as adds more views to your blog.
9. Write like a storyteller - You are expressing something which has a beginning, a middle, and an end irrespective of the subject. So, write as if you were telling a story. Entertain your readers as you inform them.
10. Try to express, not impress - Write in a way that reflects your desire to express your thoughts. Style without substance is rejected by readers so keep yourself clear, concise, and readable.
1. Don't plagiarize - Never, ever plagiarize. Be inspired, sure! But never copy other people's work. As you start writing, you would understand the effort which goes into developing content and plagiarizing stands against every value a writer should possess.
2. Don't give in to negativity - Do not be bogged down by negativity. Success takes time, building an audience takes time, developing content consistently takes time. Do not be disheartened. Keep writing.
3. Don't make grammatical mistakes - Try to be as distant from grammatical mistakes as possible. It is true that some mistakes would definitely creep in at one point or another but change that with sharp editing.
4. Don't be boring - As harsh as it may sound, readers quickly move away from content which is boring irrespective of how informative it could be.
5. Don't limit yourself - Do not define your word limits or post numbers. You have started a blog to write so do write more. As long as you can keep the readers engaged they would love to read even a million words, so do not be miserly with your words.
6. Don't expect quick returns - Do not set unrealistic goals for yourself. Doing so will set you up for failure. Be ambitious but realistic and a balance between them would help you find success.
7. Don't publish for the sake of it - Do not publish just because you have to. You need not be 100% all the time. Take a break, rejuvenate, and return fresh. But publishing sub-standard content because you have is a mistake you shouldn't make.
8. Don't compare yourself with others - It is completely alright to have role-models and to aspire to their success, but do not start comparing yourself with them or anyone else for that matter. Each blogger has a different journey and different struggles, be yourself and just keep working hard.
9. Don't ignore readers - Do not ignore the needs of your readers. They are who you are writing for and they are the ones matter the most. Be respectful towards your audience and appreciate their time they spend reading your posts.
10. Don't stop learning - Never stop learning. Read more, research more, refine your content, fine-tune your writing skills, tackle harsh criticism and take it all in your stride.
So go ahead and start writing. Your blog and your readers are waiting for you. Cheers!