Are You Blogging Effectively?
Perhaps “blogging” isn’t such a graceful word. For me, personally, it sounds like a worded drudgery the way cereals can be soggy, skies can be foggy, and the way minds can be groggy. But for now, it’s too late to rename this shortened word for web-logging. Widespread blogging is nevertheless one of the most engaging Internet developments of the past few years. As a medium it gives rise to many new and worthy voices and plays a new and vital force in shaping opinions, political realities, trends, and even our language.
I believe that a blog is simply a tool to use for someone who’s got something to say. Let me be clear in saying that a blog is a poor choice for someone who needs a megaphone to scream out to cyberspace in order to elicit a meaningful response from Internet users. If you want attention and want it now and expect blogging to bring it to you, then this will surely be a disappointment. However, if you like to write and engage others on subjects of which you have some command or experience, then it’s a wonderful application with which you can interact with people who share similar interests as you. The hype is well founded.
Anyway, here’s a list of blogging tips…
1.) Be topical.
Cohesiveness in message is not optional. Readers may or may not be interested in your topic, but if your message is haphazard that few will bother remembering to return to your blog because it essentially would offer nothing to remember. This doesn’t mean blogs can’t jump from subject to subject. For instance, a blog with a humorous focus has all the leeway in the world for subject matter, but it would be foolish for such a blog to turn the humor on and off. In such an example, the aspect of humor would be content’s glue, the strength of the blog. The beauty of staying on point and on topic is that eventually, due to the nature of the Internet, you will find those interested solely in your topic. (as opposed to online diaries. There are millions of them on the internet, few have any readers. Email me with examples if I’m wrong and I’ll be able to show you why you’re showing me a blog and not a diary.)
2.) Refresh your content
Create a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don’t create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs and RSS feeds are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don’t want to lose them due to lack of communication.
And remember, what’s old is not new and, for blogs, thusly not interesting. 2006 isn’t the time to rail against Enron or Vanilla Ice. Insight doesn’t matter much to yesterday’s news.
3.) Clear Language Counts.
Blessed is the blog with a clear line of logic. Write without inside jokes, clique-y catchphrases or ambiguous logic. First time readers need to be close to your message. They are more likely to return to blogs that strike them positively. If the first read is confusing there will not be a second read.
4.) Feed the Spiders.
Search engines take notice of active blogs and blog search engines are especially sensitive to activity. If nothing else, search engines are smarter today than they were yesterday and are only getting smarter. In constantly improving they are seeking to aggregate quality; quality blogs are updated several times a week, if not daily, as opposed to once or twice a month. I don’t mean to scare you but a big spider is watching, so dance for them.
Think of RSS like a magic to blogging world, because that’s the effect it’s had. RSS feeds are a way to exponentially sound your voice to the interested. These feeds are a great means to increase the distribution and readership of your original content.
6.) Spell check.
Hey man, use the spell-check. I do — if I didn’t you probably wouldn’t have made it to #6. It only takes a minute and can save you from looking like a hack.
Your weblog audiences will be small at first. And, frankly, that’s the way it should be. Who are you to think that half the internet will flock to you after three or four posts of your blog, anyway?
Keeping you’re blog up to date is one of the most important aspects of blogging. This is so important because regular blog visitors expect new postings on a regular basis. Not all visitors expect to see a new post as often as once a day but most blog readers expect the content on the blog to be updated on a regular basis. In most cases visitors expect new content on at least a weekly basis. However, depending on the subject matter the visitors may expect updates on a basis which is either more frequent. Similarly visitors may not be interested in receiving this type of information more than a few times a year. Blog owners should be aware of the frequency of which readers expect new posts and should make an effort to oblige the readers with updates this often. This article will discuss methods for keeping a blog up to date including scheduling a regular time to post blogs, using publishing tools wisely and hiring guest bloggers when necessary.
Finding Time to Post Daily
One way to help to ensure a blog remains up to date is to schedule time to post blogs on a daily basis. This is especially important when blog readers expect new posts on a daily basis or at least several times per week. Bloggers who allot a specific block of time each day to researching, writing and publishing blogs are more likely to have a blog which is up to date than bloggers who plan on accomplishing tasks when they find time to do so. There may still be days in which the blogger is unable to publish a new post on the blog but these days will be less frequent than if the blogger does not have a block of time strictly dedicated to keeping the blog up to date.
On days in which the blog is unable to devote time to blogging, the blogger may wish to at least publish a short message explaining why it was not possible to post a new blog entry. This will let readers know you are aware of their desire to read more information but are simply unable to publish a new blog post. As long as this does not become a regular occurrence, blog visitors are not likely to stop viewing a blog simply because the blogger skips a day or two.
Taking Advantage of Publishing Tools
Some blog publishing tools enable bloggers to write blog posts ahead of time and specify when each post should be published. This is an excellent feature for bloggers who want to publish new posts daily but are unable to dedicate time each day to writing blog posts. This way the blogger can dedicate a block of time each week to write blog posts and have the posts published throughout the week. This is often an easier method for many bloggers because they are able to be more efficient this way.
Hiring Guest Bloggers
Bloggers may also want to consider hiring guest bloggers to assist them in keeping a blog up to date. This can be a worthwhile method for bloggers who are not only having difficulty keeping their blog up to date but are also interested in providing readers with a little variety. However, blog owners who opt for this message of keeping their blog up to date should carefully consider how the dedicated blog readers will react to this change. This is important because some readers may not be interested in reading blogs written by a guest blogger. Therefore the use of a guest blogger can actually be more detrimental to the blog than not updating the blog regularly. Bloggers can gauge reader reaction to the use of guest bloggers in a couple of different ways. The simplest and most straight forward method is to poll the readers about the use of guest bloggers. This can be done by asking readers to comment on the issue and tabulating the comments received. Another method to gauge reader reaction is to introduce a guest blogger and compare the traffic the guest blogger receives to the traffic the blog owner receives.
If you tough it out while maintaining quality, readership will materialize. You will link to good, relevant blogs and, in turn, they will to you. While your voice may be unique, your niche likely isn’t and if your content is emitted smartly to the Internet those relevant readers will respond through readership and interaction. That I guarantee.
To your Blooging succees
David M Jones
CEO,Global Digital Affiliate Marketing