Be A Blogging All-Star: Part One

Blog. It’s kind of a funny-sounding word, isn’t it? The word “blog,” has not been used in our vocabulary for very long — fifteen years to be exact. Growing in popularity since 1997, blogging has turned into something that was rare for companies to do, to almost being a necessity in today’s online sharing-based world. So, what can you do to ensure that you are making the most of your professional blog? Below are some helpful tips to get you started. If you’re a WordPress user, you’re in for a treat — stay tuned for part two of this post where I’ll share some top WordPress plugins!

 General Blogging Tips

• This is the number one tip that I always give to individuals interested in blogging: Read as many blogs in your area of interest as you can! The more you read, the more you can study what is and isn’t working for those bloggers. While you’re on these sites, be sure to leave thoughtful comments. Building a rapport with other bloggers is a great way to draw steady traffic and comments back to your own blog.
• Focus less on constantly promoting your business and focus more on publishing original, interesting content that your readers will look forward to reading each week.
• Proofread your posts for proper spelling and grammar. Then, proofread them again! The writing style of a blog should be relaxed, but not relaxed enough that your high school English teacher would be disappointed in you.
• Make your content SEO-friendly: Give your posts unique and descriptive URL titles, add alternate text to all of your images, include tags that relate to your content and use social media platforms like Twitter to help bring your blog articles to the top of search engine results. This article from Yoast.com has some great SEO-boosting tips for blogs.
• Engage Your Readers: Have you ever spoken to someone who kept going on and on about themselves and never let you get a word in edgewise? Don’t let your blog be that kind of person! Involve your readers by asking for their comments, opinions and suggestions. An easy  way to do this is to conduct short surveys or polls. If readers leave comments, be sure to respond to them promptly to show that you value their involvement.
 Provide Various Ways to Stay Updated: Having a button linking to an RSS feed version of your blog and providing a “subscribe” box somewhere noticeable is pertinent to gaining and maintaining readers.
• Have fun and don’t give up! If you consistently write blog articles that are entertaining and interesting, it will only be a matter of time before you pick up more readers and subscribers. Even the most popular blogs started off with a few readers at one point, so don’t get discouraged if you’re not getting 1,000 hits per day right from the start.

Are you a blogging expert with valuable advice to add? If so, leave us a comment and we’ll include your tips in our part two article!

Image courtesy of FoxTongue’s photostream

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