With all the gazillions of blogs online, isn’t it crazy how people think they can do it poorly and get away with it? I mean, why should anyone want to read your blog instead of someone else’s? What do you give them that makes your blog special?
I totally have some ideas about that, and I’d love to share them with you now. Let’s take them one-by-one:
1. Have the ability to write. If you don’t know how to string cogent sentences together, then don’t even try. I won’t read your blog. Instead, create videos, audios, or even load images with a little bit of description (OK, so a little writing involved, but less chance to screw up.) If you can be engaging in another way, it doesn’t have to be with the written word.
2. Determine what the purpose of your blog is. Know your audience and write to them. Are you a gardener? Then, only write about gardening. Writing about your cat is off limits, unless you can tie the story into gardening in some way. Stay on topic!
3. Don’t try to sell things in blog posts. Blogs aren’t for selling, unless you do it from your sidebar with a banner or two. Just remember that people want information, not sales pitches, Plus, with Google’s Panda update, it’s not good to have too much advertising for SEO, so keep advertising messages to a minimum. A product review blog is the exception, but come on… we still know you’re trying to sell us something! We’re not dummies!
4. Post regularly to your blog. Being consistent is important if you want to keep readers. People want to know that they’re going to come to your blog every day and find a new post. Example: CopyBlogger.com or Seth Godin’s blog — great stuff, every day, with consistency. That’s what loyal readers really want.
5. Be sure that every post you make is top notch. Don’t just slap something together to put it up there (and I think we’re all guilty of that now and again), but you should craft each post with clear research when needed and lots of heart all the time. People can tell when you’re faking it.
6. Weed out spammy comments. Sure, there’s a lot of spam out there, and some comments are in disguise. They look like compliments, which make all of us feel good. Stop preening. Unless the comment is specific to your post, it’s just people trying to get a backlink from you. Watch the number of spam comments rise with your page rank.
7. Answer thoughtful comments that apply to the post. When you feel that someone has taken the time to give you a legitimate comment… answer it! Don’t allow the person to feel unloved and unnoticed. They’re spending their time; you should be spending yours, too.
I could probably continue on here for days, but the bottom line is to be a good blogger and not a so-so or downright negligent blogger, who’s just adding to the noise and confusion online. Treat your audience as you would like to be treated. Speak to them from your heart, stick to the topic, and when all else fails? Do something else entirely. Blogging just ain’t your thang, and that’s OK.