When I started blogging, it was purely for fun. Along the way, I became more focused and now, write three of my own. That I sometimes run from pillar to post is an entirely different issue and makes the topic for another post. Today, I’d like to share a few tips I’ve learned. Small things – but you know how the little things add up.
You’re probably practicing some or all of these. I do hope you’ll have an a-ha moment or two and I would love it if you share your own amazing tips in the comments.
Blogging is more than writing a post and hoping the whole world will find it. And don’t believe those who claim they don’t care about visitors or comments. Whether they admit it or choose not to, there is a reason why some blogs are very successful and others are not.
Here’s a partial look into my “blogging tips” folder in random order.
- Post title: I don’t have to tell you to make it catchy and keep it short. What I do want to say is:
Avoid apostrophes, dashes and hyphens in your post title. Let me show you an example:
Let’s say the title you want is:
You’ll Love The Artful Parent’s Book of Art & Creativity Ideas
But what everyone sees is something like this:
You & # 8217 ; ll Love The Artful Parent & # 8217 ; s Book of Art & Creativity Ideas
Not so nice, eh? Have you experienced this?
Worse still, they tweet it as it is. Who has the time to edit?
Please don’t go back and change your old post titles now – if you do, it will result in a “404 error” with a Page Not Found.
- Composing: I usually compose my posts in GMail in compose mode and then copy paste it into the “html” or “text” tab in the “Add new post” on the blog. Sometimes I use Windows Live Writer – a fabulous offline editing tool to compose your posts and preview how they’ll look once you set it up. Do not compose in Microsoft Word and copy-paste it directly in your post editor. It adds a lot of gibberish to your post. You’ll find loads of junk code in the code when you see it in html/text mode.
- Post body: Write from the heart and write in your voice. Tip: Please do split your post into paragraphs, with sub-titles, just to make it easier to read. Yards and yards of running text is boring to read. Even blog posts need breaks or they’ll put the brake on the reader’s interest! Add a photo or two (if they are not yours, make sureyou have permission to use them and credit them properly). Where possible, engage readers by asking a question at the end, inviting answers. And you have to TELL them to share it in the comments.
- If you link to someone, don’t forget to prefix the link with http://
Without the http the links don’t work and often just get appended to your own blog URL leading to a “page not found”
- Don’t forget to add the “Search description” in Blogger and “meta description” in WordPress – that’s the snippet that shows up when you share your link or when your post shows up in the search engine results.
- When you link to someone, link to a specific post, not just their blog URL. Better SEO value that way (helps your search engine ranking).
- Always acknowledge, give credit. You benefit from good links too. And pay it forward.
- Want people to comment? Make it easy. Kill the captcha. If you’re worried about spam, it is a lot easier to moderate comments than not have any at all!
- Reply to comments (note to self!) Google loves a good conversation.
- If you are on WordPress, use commentluv and reward your commenters by letting them show their post links. I find it very useful when I reply to comments as it lets me visit their post, make a comment and come back and say more than “thanks!”.
- If you’re on Blogger, no problem. Click through their name and connect with their blog.
- Just try and say more than “great post”. Read before you comment. Read more commenting commandments at Shilpa Garg’s blog
- On Blogger blogs, enabling Name/URL option in the comments form is a good idea. While commenting with the Google/Blogger profile the linked name leads to the Blogger’s profile, from where you can arrive at the home page of their blog, from where it can be a hassle to choose the post to comment on. What if, like me, they write more than one blog? Visit all of them? Ideal situation, but will they? I am sure they intend to check everything out, but depending on the time available, they’ll probably move on. Long story short, enabling the Name/URL option could solve this.
- On Blogger blogs there are times when, after commenting and hitting “publish”, the page refreshes to say “leave your comment”. Has this happened to you? How frustrating to lose a comment, especially if it is a long one. Tip: Once you compose your comment, copy it somewhere so you can retrieve it easily.
Sharing / Social Media:
- If you use sharing buttons for Twitter, please add your Twitter handle. It can drive those of your readers who care to share quite crazy when they realize there are no social media icons on the blog inviting readers to connect. (Now is a good time to add your social connect buttons to your blog’s sidebar.)
- If you’re using Shareaholic, replace the via @sharethis with your own Twitter handle in the settings.
- If you’re using AddThis, you can tweak the code.
- On Blogger’s native sharing buttons you can’t tweak it. Sigh.
- If you have a Facebook Page for your blog, add the widget, and make it easy for people to “like” you and connect with you there.
That’s it for now!
Were there any you didn’t know / already knew?
Do add your own tips in the comments!
P.S.: Have you signed up for the Write Tribe Festival of Words scheduled for September 1-7?
Yes? Great! No? Do it now! Sign up here.
Picture credits : Creativity Den and Dashburst