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Top Tips

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Ten Blogging Tips - prepared by James Cherkoff from the blog Modern Marketing


1.  Do You Need A Blog At All?

Blog is a widely used word and its definition has become a little vague.  It means a website that is designed to foster two-way dialogue among a community of people interested in each other or a specific subject.  Does that sound like something that you might find useful?  Then great.  If not there are plenty of other ways to become involved in social media.  A blog can be useful but only if it's going to be used in the right way.

2.  What Will Your Blog Be For?

Having established that a blog might be useful, it's vital to understand what it might do - before you start.  You don't need to go into too much detail.  However, if you can't explain in a single sentence what the focus of the blog will be, then it's not likely that many people will want to join in.

3.  Start A Conversation

Starting a blog is similar to starting a conversation or a debate.  The good news is that we all know what a good conversation feels like - and that goes for a bad conversation too!  The crucial aspect is you think it's a conversation that will still be of interest six months after you start.  And most importantly one that will sustain your interest - as you'll be the one who has to keep it moving along.  If, honestly, it's not something you feel very passionate about, then it's unlikely that anyone else will find it that interesting.

4.  Keep It Small

It's not a good idea to start a blog expecting the world to arrive at your door.  It will be great if they do, but make sure your expectations are realistic.  A better approach is to try and target a few people who are interested in your area and are likely to spark a stimulating conversation that others will want to join.  In blog world, conversation is king!

5.  It's Not About You!

Blogs are not intended as a way to fan your ego!  They are there to create a community of interest.  So while your views are important don't forget to listen to what people are telling you.  Indeed, you should look to promote the views of your readers before you promote your own.

6.  Link, Link, Link

Linking is the lifeblood of the blogosphere.  If your blog is going is going to be promoted by Google, other people will need to set up 'inbound' links pointing at it.  And if you aren't linking out to anyone else, it's unlikely they will link to you!  And you could end up talking to yourself which won't be much fun for anyone.  Linklove is the name of the game!

7.  Promote Your Blog

It's very likely that you already know a lot of the people that you would like to be leaving comments on your blog.  So tell them about it, but also, show them how it works and explain why you are doing it.  Furthermore, ask people what they feel strongly about and if they would like to write something for you as a guest blogger.

8.  Half Of Blogging Is Reading

If your blog is going to be relevant and part of the bigger conversation, you need to know what other blogs are saying.  That can be done by keeping an eye on twenty or so blogs (or more) that are covering the your specialist area.  It's very likely that two or three blogs in each subject will be leading the agenda, so it's important to identify them and read them regularly.  This is best done through a RSS reader such as Google Reader, Bloglines or Netvibes.

9.  Leave Comments

A good way to raise the profile of your blog is to leave thoughtful comments on other popular blogs.  This will signal to people that you are an active community member and not just an organisation looking to use the blogosphere as an advertising medium.  You may even enjoy it!

10.  If It's Not Working, Change It

The blogosphere is a lively place.  However, it can be hard work keeping a blog going if the formula isn't quite right.  If it feels like a drag, then try and change the recipe.  Ask a few people what they think of it.  Check out popular blogs and try and work out what they are doing well.  Take a look at blogs like ProBlogger for tips.  Or consider using a different way of building conversations such as video or podcasts.  You need to find a style of your own that is effective and suits your particular situation.