Do you want the greatest blog ever?
I have been taught by many very knowledgeable people "in the business" a few points:
- Keep it Short. When you write a post keep it under 400 words. "No one reads anything long."
- Stay to the point. Don't ramble. Pick a topic and stick with it. No rabbit chasing. Focus.
- Make it applicable. People want to read what they can use or relate with for a purpose.
- Ask a question. If you end with a question, you are more likely to receive comments.
- Give away something. People love contest and love to win something for free!
- Post Regularly. People are more likely to read your blog if it has a scheduled date for publishing.
- Stay with your blog theme. People will sign up for your blog if the theme interest them.
- Keep post positive and encouraging. No one wants to feel beat up or ready to fight after reading it.
- Proof before you post. Reading your blog out loud to yourself is very helpful in catching errors.
Now don't expect me to follow those rules or use my blogging as a good example. I can't keep it short... I ramble.... I tell details no one probably needs to know or cares about. I let my heart pour out "on paper". I am not sure I ever really have "a point". I really just like to talk and share. I figure there has to be a few good points in what I post somewhere. I am known by my family as someone "who will talk to a lamp post" if no one is around or listening.
I try asking questions but most of the time my readers feel it is a rhetorical question to be pondered, not answered. I seldom have something I think anyone would be interested in getting even if it was free, and when will I have time to run a contest? Read on and you might get to be my first contest winner!
I have a full schedule. My personal blogging just doesn't happen to make it to the top on a regular basis. And while I love encouraging people, I also like speaking the truth, which can sometimes not come off as uplifting to all readers.
And finally, proofing! Ugh! I am always so excited to push the "publish post," giddy that I finished it and can move on. I would be much more professional in blogging if I would hold on to it for a second or third read-through before I publish. But now, it gets embarrassing, because I am a copy editor for a magazine, so I must improve in this area. (as I laugh to myself - how did I become a copy-editor???)
You have a wonderful list of what to do if you want to try for "The Greatest Blog Ever" in 2011. If you think you have a blog, list it in the comments so I and others can come visit. If you have a website instead of a blog, list it. If you want feedback, let us know in your comment.
Here is my try at a contest: if you list your blog and write a post linking back to me, I will enter you into a selection for a copy of the new book (I just happen to have an article in), Out Of The Overflow. Over 100 contributors are featured in this book including Bruce Wilkerson, John Van Diest, Pam Farrel, Florence Littauer, Vonda Skelton, Doreen Hanna, Susan Titus Osburn, and ME (ha!). I will get back with the winner and get your address. Contest ends January 1, 2011!
Do you already have a great blog? Do you use some of the tips listed? Do you want help? Let me know. I want to check you out.