Blogs – The New Social Revolution (Part II)
April 9, 2009
Ten Steps For Writing Successful Blogs In my last post, I discussed mainly about what a blog is all about, why its become so popular and the types of blogs being written today. In this post, I will attempt to show you how to write successful blogs that can be noticed by the readers as well as search engines. Most of the basic rules about writing articles are applicable to writing posts for blogs. But, there are some minor differences which make blogs different from typical articles. If one keeps these similarities as well as differences in mind while writing blogs, one can surely come up with some readable and noticeable posts. Here are the 10 principles for writing blogs:
Rule # 1: Stick to a topic
When you create a blog, be it a personal or a corporate one, always try to stick to a general theme or loosely defined area of interest. Suppose your blog is about the game of cricket, then your readers won’t expect you to post the next one on interior designing. A defined theme can definitely create a list of loyal readers. Avoid covering too many topics in just one single post. If you want to say about twenty different things, split it into two to three blog posts. Blog posts need to be short, crisp and to the point. If the topic you want to cover is too broad, segregate it into more specific topics and write several posts.
Rule # 2: Make it rich in information
For creating a positive impression amongst your readers write from the reader’s prospective. Make the posts valuable and worthwhile as readers primarily look for information in a blog. In case your blog is about a specific industry to sector, keep yourself updated with the latest happenings and trends particular to that industry. Informing the reader about a new music album three months after its official release can make the reader question the authenticity of your blog. Hence, before posting anything, be sure to check the facts and figures as your reputation and the value of your blog is at stake.
Rule # 3: Maintain a schedule and stick to it
Readers look forward to your blog posts and thus you need to post on a regular basis. Hence, it is essential to create a schedule and stick to it. If you don’t have the time to write on regular basis, be specific on this point from the beginning itself. Developing a loyal group of readers is not easy but if you are irregular with your posts, you can easily lose any readers you may get. It is true that blogging requires time and effort. Readers do understand that once in a while delay can happen for new write-ups but not always. When readers come across obsolete content, they will move on to find other blogs with fresher and better content. There is a constant stream of new blogs appearing on the net, and competition is cut throat to get noticed.
Rule # 4: Keep things simple
Simplicity can help your blog go a long way. Hence keep the posts simple, clear and easy to understand for your readers. Just write like you’re speaking to your friend or to yourself. Provide the information your readers are looking for in a language that they understand. Try to make what you want to say in your blog in the first 200 words itself. Also keep in mind the golden rule of 5 W’s and H in the first paragraph: Who, What, Why, When, Where and How. In the online platform you have just about three seconds to capture your reader’s attention. If the user does not find the post interesting in the first paragraph, you’ve lost him.
Rule # 5: Give importance to keywords
To make your blog popular in a global way, use appropriate keywords while writing. Think about keywords that people might use to search for your post and include them in the body text and headers. Write-ups with keywords can help your reader know exactly what you are writing about. If possible also use related keywords in the title of the blog to increase its visibility. Be sure that the keywords used in the blog are taken after proper research so that it helps your blog to show up in the search results. The use of the keywords “web development” might not get you good response in a blog search, but if you give stress on unique combinations of keywords such as “web development India”, you will get a totally different result. The keyword placement must look like natural. Don’t try to stuff the write-up with keywords or your blog will start looking like spam.
Rule # 6: Respond to comments
Blog is an online journal where readers can communicate with the writers by commenting on the write-ups. As an author, you must always respond to comments and questions as soon as possible. In case you have a different view as compared to the readers, post a response regarding that. This is what blog is all about, commenting, responding and thus sharing a communication. Never simply ignore the question asked by a reader. Your readers take the pains to post a comment or question because they expect an answer from your end too.
Rule # 7: Spell checking and proof-reading
Before you hit the submit button, re-read your post to look for spelling and grammatical errors. You need time to write a new post and thus it makes sense to give a few extra minute to read it once more. And these few minutes can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. Respect your readers by polishing up your stuff. Remember that whatever you publish on the World Wide Web can be found and archived. And anything published wrongly will create a bad impression amongst readers. Show the best of you through your blog to visitors by avoiding spelling and grammatical errors. Readers don’t like frequent spelling mistakes and it questions your credibility eventually.
Rule # 8: Use a personal touch in your writing
Add a personal touch to all your blog posts. This will help you to gain a loyal readership since you can establish a direct rapport with your readers. By the way, a personal touch doesn’t mean to “get personal”. It simply means that you don’t need to be too formal with your readers. Keep the formalities aside while writing blog posts.
Rule # 9: Originality rules the web
Original content will always win you readers. By being original, you can show that you have the potential to be a good blogger and you are sincere about what you are doing. Even if you don’t write well, the attempt to say it in your words is always appreciated and welcome. And in case you are quoting someone or some figures, make sure to credit your sources.
Rule # 10: Be easy on the links
Links are often used in blogs to direct readers to more information related to a topic. On the other hand, proper use of links are also helpful in search engine optimization as majority of the search engines give more weight-age to linked text as compared to non-linked text. But never use too many links as it can have a negative impact on the readability of your blog. If you find something interesting online tell your readers about it by posting a link of it. Your readers will love it and appreciate your sense of sharing information. Keep these tips in mind and start blogging today.