1. Create a Content Calendar
Any successful blogger has a list of topics and ideas they want to eventually write about. Creating a Content Calendar is one way to get ahead of the game. By preparing a calendar of your blogs in advance, you’ll always have a topic lined up and you can better strategize other content, like social media, to correspond with your blog entries.
2. Write for Your Audience
Whom are you speaking to? Make sure your blog is targeted to your audience. Thinking about your audience throughout the writing process is a good way to keep focused on the task and what they want to see as the final product.
3. Remain Consistent in Voice and Tone
Also pay attention to the voice and tone you take in your blog writing. If you typically take a conversational approach, keep doing that. If your audience is used to another voice or tone and you do a 180 on them, they may get confused and run the other way. Make sure you remain consistent.
4. Spend Time on the Title
Your title, in some ways, is like a first impression. It needs to be enticing enough to catch your readers and give them enough information on your topic without giving away all the details. You’ll know when you’ve got something good, but it might take a few hours and you’ll undoubtedly go through many, many options before you find it.
5. Tell a Good Story
Once you’ve got your title (or are at least on the right track – it takes time…), you need to think about how you want to write your story. It’s easy just to sit down and start writing, but you should really outline your blog. Your introduction should catch the reader and tell them what you’ll be talking about and you can use bullets to dive into some points you want to go over. No matter what method you choose, get organized before you start writing and the process will be smoother.
6. Include Appealing and Relevant Visuals
As long as your images are relevant and appealing (some stock photos just aren’t…), you’ll want to include them when appropriate. Visuals like photos, infographics and even videos will break up your text, which can help maintain a reader’s interest.
7. Don't Plagiarize
Need we really say more? Yes, because you may be plagiarizing without even knowing it. Plagiarism is more than just copying and pasting another person’s content without giving credit. Even paraphrasing without giving credit to a source is considered plagiarism. In other words, when in doubt, give credit when using someone else’s ideas, phrasing, comments, or other elements of source content.
Again, need we say more? Again, yes! Editing may seem like an obvious step, but it’s also one that doesn’t receive enough attention. After you’ve done the first round of edits, have a friend or family member review your work; fresh eyes may see something you missed. At the very least - use spell check, ok?
9. Consider Keywords and Links
You want your blog to be found, right? That means you’ll need to work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to ensure you show up in search results on common engines like Google and Bing. If you’re using a blogging platform such as Wordpress, it may have a plugin to assist you with SEO. The things that you want to be mindful of are proper tagging, overriding meta-title and description tags for optimal lengths, and linking to other relevant resources for general references. Keyword density is important but should happen organically, so focusing your efforts in these other areas is a good place to start.
10. Share Your Work
After taking the time to follow the tips above, you should share your work where appropriate. If you have a Twitter following, share your blog there. If you have Facebook friends interested in the content, create a post and get their feedback on it. Backlinking is another way to share your blog, and it’s as simple as commenting on a forum or other source and linking to your content.
It is important to keep these rules of the road in mind as you begin your blogging journey. In the long run, your content, your blogging experience, and your sanity will benefit.
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