So, you’ve decided to start a blog… congratulations! If you’ve been following mine, you know that having one can help people get to know you, help your SEO, and become an outlet for you to communicate your priorities. If you’re just getting started, however, it’s hard to know how to go about it and how to find blogging tips. I have a few clients who are starting blogs, and I was thinking of putting together some ideas to help them. Here are some blogging tips that can get you swimming in the right direction.
1. Know Your Content
First, you want to make sure you know what you’re talking about. Read other blogs that discuss similar subjects, reference outside sources, and back up what you are trying to say. Just making a point is not enough… link to articles and other information that supports that point. I always sit down and do some research before beginning any blog post so that I can be educated on my topic. Having outside links also helps your search engine ranking. Nobody wants to read your blog if you’re not a trusted source.
2. Write an Amazing Headline
Face it. Nobody’s going to even look at your post if it doesn’t have a headline that makes them curious. That’s why having a good word balance and “grabby” headline holds so much value. I love using CoSchedule’s Headline Generator to try different headlines and see how well they score.
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3. Beef Up Your Post
One of the blogging tips that many overlook is the optimal length of each post. Most sources agree that a post should be at least 300 words to rank higher for search engines… I Googled this and saw it as a consistent answer. In fact, the SEO plugin that I use for WordPress will alert me if my post is has fewer than 300 words. This doesn’t mean that your post should ramble to fill in that number. If you genuinely know your content, you’ll be surprised at how easily you can reach that count. If you use WordPress, there’s a handy word count at the bottom of where you’re typing your post. It says I’m already over 300. Score!
4. Organize Your Content for Easy Scanning
Face it… we are impatient people. If someone opens your post and just sees a bunch of rambling paragraphs, he or she will probably not take the time to read it. When you have things organized into headings, numbered lists, etc. people will scan it to see if it’s worth their time. Consequently, if that first scan proves that the post holds valuable content, readers are more likely to go back and read the entire post.
5. Use Images
One of the most important blogging tips, and probably the easiest to fulfill, is the need to use images. Never publish a blog post without an image of some kind. It will make your post more interesting and inviting, and can help your SEO with the proper use of alt tags. The importance of visual content has grown even more present in the past year. Statistics consistently show that posts with visual content fare better than those with only writing.
You don’t have to be a perfect writer to have a successful blog, but spelling should be a priority. USE THE SPELL CHECK FEATURE on your blogging software. Once you’re done, read your post and then read it again. If you don’t think your writing skills are the best, that’s ok… just don’t be afraid to ask someone else to read your post before you publish and give you honest feedback. Another great thing about most blogging programs is that you can edit after you publish. If you find a mistake after you’ve finished, you can (and should) go back and fix it. Your blog has more authority and will be taken more seriously without spelling mistakes. There are some online tools such as Grammarly that can help with this if you need it.
7. Share Your Content
Once you’ve put all that work into your post, you want people to read it! Never publish a blog post without sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social media sites you use. If you don’t serve as a cheerleader for your content, neither will anyone else!
It can be slow going at first, and it takes time, but having a successful blog just means following some simple blogging tips. There’s more to remember, but these first six should get you off to a great start. Get blogging, and keep swimming along!