A How-to Guide to Blogging
By Beverly Melasi-Haag
It’s never been easier to connect with an audience and get your message heard … but are you engaging in the conversation? We all have something to say. Blogs not only make that possible, they make it easy. If you are thinking about blogging for a living, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before you sit down to write.
There’s a Formula
Yes, there really is a foolproof formula to writing an outstanding blog. Following these steps to help you build a strategy to get the most out of your blog. One example is to write strong headlines. Headlines need to be lively and interesting to draw in your readers.
Your List of Dos
You only have a few seconds to convey your idea, so it must be clear.
· Begin with a simple graphical header.
· Use taglines to communicate what your blog is about.
· Make navigation simple. With every click to a link, you will lose some readers.
· Pick a Niche Topic – business-focused blogs stick to a subject, or just a few related topics. This is so you can attract and keep readers interested in your subject.
· Create Useful Content - Write with your readers' needs in mind, rather than your own. If you don’t know, take a poll and ask them.
· Use Blog Style – Blog posts are different from magazine articles because of how people read. Good blog post paragraphs are short, often just one or two sentences. Posts with bold subheads, bulleted or numbered lists are easy to scan, and often enjoy higher readership.
· Make sharing easy – You need readers to spread the word with one-click sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook and other popular social media platforms. You should be active on these platforms, too. Build relationships with influential people who have large followings.
· Start Guest Posting – One of the fastest ways to build your blog audience is by guest posting on popular blogs with lots of traffic. Your guest post will give you a link back to your own blog and allow new readers to find you.
· Many top blogs accept guest posts- look for writers’ guidelines on their sites.
· The big secret to making money from blogging is to get serious about marketing.
· Build an email list – the best way to stay in touch with readers is via an email list visitors are encouraged to join.
Who’s Going to Read It?
If you want readers to find your blog post online, your headlines must have key words and phrases that relate to your topic to help them rate well with Google searches. You can do Google research for free on http://www.googlekeywordtool.com/
Whether you're writing to promote your books, working as a paid blogger, or just blogging to keep your writing fingers nimble, these rules are universal and will help you stay focused and productive.