8 Tips for Great Blogging

Post by guest contributor Ciera. Photography by Fredric Schwhartz.

1) Blog about what You Know

The most important aspect to growing your blog is to focus on what you love and what you are passionate about. This insures that you will have valuable content.

Tips & Actions:

  • Determine the purpose of your blog and stick with it
  • Don’t feel the need to do it all, or try to imitate somebody else 
  • Post quality content frequently 
  • Don’t post what you think people want to hear 
  • Teach a webinar or create a blog series focused on your talents

2) Get Personal / Be Real

People want to know the person behind the blog. People will read your blog if they like what you have to say.

Tips & Actions:

  • Enjoy what you’re doing, and don’t get wrapped up in the details
  • Share something personal (this can be as simple as sharing your favorite book) 
  • Write the way you speak  
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously 
  • Add a photo of yourself to your about page 
  • Be accessible (either list your email address or add a contact form)

3) Create a Space Worth Following

Not only is your content important, but your actual blog design is as well. Maybe it is just the designer in me, but I am drawn to simple layouts with big pictures.

Tips & Actions:

  • Have a blog design that you love and that feels like “you” 
  • Use images in your posts (preferably original imagery) 
  • Develop your own style and have a consistency to your design, writing style, content, and photography
  • Only have pertinent information in your sidebars

4) Take Time for Online Networking

Online networking allows you the opportunity to engage your readers in real-time conversations, and allow them get to know you a little better.

Tips & Actions:

  • Get active in online discussion groups and chats 
  • Comment on other blogs  
  • Respond to comments on your blog 
  • Never leave a mean comment 
  • Get to know your readers 
  • Participate in blog hops or link-ups 
  • Tailor your posts for each social network

5) Learn from the Best

Spend time researching your favorite blogs and make sure to follow other blogs that inspire you.

Tips & Actions:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask others for help 
  • Find 5 bloggers similar to you; study how they use networks and learn best practices from them 
  • Reach out to bloggers you admire

6) Guest Post and Sponsor

There are three main perks to guest posting: it introduces you to new communities; it builds relationships with other bloggers; it’s great for search engine optimization. Guest posting gives you the opportunity to give new audiences a little sneak peek into your blogging style and content. Sponsoring is also a great way to promote your blog to new people. Many blogs offer ad spaces in their sidebar and will introduce your blog to their readers throughout the month.

Tips & Actions:

  • Sponsor one of your favorite larger blogs  
  • Sponsor a few blogs with similar readership numbers 
  • Ask a blogger that you are friends with to guest post

7) Give Your Readers Choices

You may assume that everyone reads blogs the same way you do, but that is not the case. Someone may only follow blogs on Facebook, so you need to have these options available and easily accessible.

Tips & Actions:

  • Give your readers more than one way to follow you, and add easy to find links on your site 
  • Start an e-mail newsletter 
  • Put links in your email signature and wherever potential visitors are likely to see it

8) Network Offline

A lot of times we get so stuck on networking online, we forget that we can promote our blogs in real life!

Tips & Actions:

  • Conferences are great for connecting with others who have similar interests 
  • If you have extra time try to join a non-profit organization 
  • Make sure you have business cards, and hand them out when you meet someone new 
  • Find some local groups to join through MeetUp.com  
  • Create an elevator pitch (a 30-60 second short summary that quickly and simply defines what you do)

Great blogs are products of a passion for life, and a lot of hard work! Don’t let others fool you, blogging takes time. If you write about what you love and grow yourself first, your blog will follow!