Sunday, 28 June 2015
8 Basic Blog Tips
The past 5 years has seen me blogging under various guises and in that time I have read a lot of blogs, varying from the brand new to well established bloggers.
I have gone from writing to my heart’s content about anything and everything that was on my mind to producing content for other bloggers.
When I started the sole purpose of my blog was to write for myself, now I write as part of a blogging community.
Finally, after 4 years I decided to use everything that I observed to try and push my blog forward; something that is never ending and always evolving!
If you’re new to blogging, been doing it for a few months or even longer there is always something that you need to learn.
Where ever you feel you are placed there seems to be a common drive to improve what and how you are writing; this lead me to writing this post on some of the basics of blogging.
1. Read Your Posts as if you ARE the Reader
Have you ever actually sat and read what you’ve published? Taken a moment to view you work from a readers’s point of view?
Quite often this is the biggest and most important thing to do.
Once you are reading, ask yourself the following:
1. How easy was it to read what you have written?
2. Is your blog easy to navigate?
3. Does it look appealing?
4. Have you broken your writing up in paragraphs for easy reading?
2. Quality over Quantity
I read, on average, 30 – 60 blog posts a day and one thing that has stood out is the amount that people write.
For me, reading a post that is shorter is far more enjoyable. It is easy to sit at a laptop or computer and ‘just write’. With your mind moving and your fingers typing away it is easy to look up and realise that you have written a post that has over 1,500 words. Your reader might just want to have a peak on their lunch break not sit with a cup of tea and have a serious read!
Have you considered a word count? Back to point 1 READ your post and then crop it. Then read it again.
I restrict everything that I write and, subsequently, publish to a word count of no more than 850 words. The more you do it the more concise you become.
3. Grammar and Spelling
I am Mr Grammar with other peoples writings though I have to admit that I am, at times, terrible for my own grammar and spelling; despite the fact that I have re-read what I have written a few times.
It is exceptionally easy to skip over a mistake if you have written it but try and be conscious when proof reading. Get someone else to read for you if you can.
As a reader it is completely understandable seeing the odd mistake but when you have sat and read 4 or 5 mistakes you can become disheartened in the authors writing.
I touched on this briefly in my first point but it is something to cover in more detail.
Is your blog easy to read? I struggle reading posts that have bright and vibrant colours, Bright Turquoise background with a Bright tangent Orange font colour might seem like a good idea at the time but trust me it isn't. There is so much choice but often the best blogs are those that have black text on a white background.
When viewing your blog then ask yourself if it is easy to read or distracting your eye. You want readers to come back not click off after reading the first paragraph because it hurts their eyes.
Pictures are such a useful tool in your writing as they allow the user to visually engage with what you’re talking about, you break the text up and engage the reader. But question the quality of them; bad pictures can be as much of a click away as the bright turquoise background.
6. Be consistent
One of the most helpful things I ever read about blogging was make a personal schedule and stick to it. Most bloggers give up in three to six months and most of the ones who ‘make’ it, simply last longer than the others.
Make consistency your goal, you don't have to post every single day but do make sure you are posting consistently, even if it means you only post on a Monday, do it every Monday.
I read a lot of posts a day and in no way am I telling you to read as much as I do but it is beneficial to read what others have written. You pick up styles, tips and can learn a lot from others. Even if you find just one blog that you love!
8. Have fun!
Don’t take blogging too seriously. If you stick to it and work on your writing, you can meet a lot of really cool people and have a great time; this, in truth, is the one lesson that I have to constantly remind myself.
I might have been blogging for 5 years now but I quite happily admit that I am no expert. I am constantly learning new things and trying to improve what I am presenting. However, these above points are ones that I often use every time I sit at the Keyboard.
What would be your helpful tips for writing blog posts?