20 Tips for the Blogger Newbie

With 120,000 new blogs being published every day, what can you do to make your blog stand out? Here are 20 simple suggestions to keep you from making timely and annoying mistakes when blogging,

1. The message:

The message of your blog is critical to its success. When developing your blog, it is important to remember content is king. Do you have a specific audience you are targeting, such as photographers or knitters? Are you focusing on one specific point or message or are you writing just to hear yourself talk? Have a clear purpose for your content and stick to it. It is also important not get sidetracked and off-message.

2. Be different:

With millions of blogs out in the blogosphere, strive to make yours different from all the others. Be unique. Do you have a targeted niche or particular style of writing? Does your unique sense of humor and wit stand out? Are you controversial? Sometimes, controversy sells. Strive to be different.

3. Prioritize:

Although bringing traffic to your website may be a top priority for some bloggers, focus on the content of the blog first. The actual content, what you say and how you say it, is what will bring your readers back. Focusing on the content should be your top priority. No matter how much traffic your blog receives, if the content isn’t there, the viewers will not return.

4. Flashy may not be best:

Now that you have focused on the content of your blog, experimenting with the appearance and look of the blog is lots of fun. While bright and flashy background colors, font colors, photographs and music can definitely add to the appearance of your blog, those very same attributes can also be distracting and make your blog difficult to read. The viewers must be able to read what is written or they will not return.

5. Navigation:

An easily navigated blog is crucial. It must be clear, concise, and easily accessible. If a viewer has to spend valuable minutes searching, they may not return.

6. Contact area:

It is important readers have a way to contact you privately, making sure the area is easy to locate. If it is not easily accessible, they may simply give up and go elsewhere.

#7. Biography:

Many blogs do not include a biography. Viewers want to know who you are. A short biography with your picture, is an excellent personal touch.

8. Blogging routine:

This is a very important step for successful blogging. Decide how often you want to update your blog, determine a blogging schedule, then stick to it. Your regular readers will be counting on that routine.

9. Proofread:

Before publishing, make sure to use a spell and grammar checker prior to posting. Keep in mind, not all spell checkers catch all mistakes; some may be missed. Double check your work.

10. Responding to comments:

Blogging is interactive. Being able to communicate with readers is what blogging is about. When readers take the time to comment on your blog, it is important you quickly respond. After all, comments are the fun part of the blogging experience. This is the time when you get to interact with your audience. Make sure you respond to your readers in a timely fashion.

11. Load time:

As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. If your blog takes a long time to load, you will lose your readers before they even get a chance to see your work.

12. Check links:

Check all external links every-so-often, making sure they still work. If not, remove them.

13. Don’t focus on the money:

Focus on the content, the appearance and bringing traffic to the site before focusing on generating an income. Many people get into blogging for the bucks. If you are new to the blogosphere, get your feet wet, get established, then go for the money.

14. Advertising:

If you are going to use advertisements, the placement of the advertising is very important. Be prepared to experiment. Besides the importance of advertising placement, keep in mind that flashy ads are annoying to readers and very distracting. Make sure the ads do not distract from the actual content of the blog.

15. Annoying pop-ups:

Pop-ups, like some advertising, are very distracting and annoying. If possible, keep them at a minimum.

16. Registration:

Although it may be beneficial to know exactly who your readers are, having them register prior to reading the blog is an extra step and a real turn-off for many.

17. Keywords:

Keywords are key to bringing in traffic. Read tips and suggestions, experiment and find the right combination of keywords for you. There are many online tutorials that will help guide you in this area.

18. Sources:

Make sure to properly cite all sources. Give credit where credit is due.

19. Getting the word out:

Get your name out there. Network. Join other communities and viisit other blogs. Leave comments. In the world of blogging, it’s acceptable to promote yourself. Tell your friends. Add your website address to your email signature. Don’t forget to submit your blog to search engines.

20. Commitment:

Blogging takes commitment, time, and hard work. Like many bloggers, there may be times when you suffer from writers block and burn-out. Give your blog time. Practice patience. And mostly, have fun!

Happy blogging!

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