It’s easy to get frustrated or lose interest in your blog and, therefore, let your blogging skills fall to the wayside. That won’t help you or your blog succeed. That’s why today, Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB), has offered some basic blogging lessons that will help you keep your interest up and your readers visiting your blog.
Do you feel like everyone is blogging these days, and, therefore, your audience is dwindling before your eyes? Are you feeling obligated to blog instead of inspired—and not keeping readers as engaged as you once did? In any profession, it’s normal to get a little complacent, disenchanted, and stop putting in your best effort.
This post is a wake-up call!
It’s time to go back to basics and adhere to these eight essential blogging best practices. If you don’t, your readership may soon fade away like the hot summer sunshine turns to the cool, blustery winds of autumn.
Start with an Eye-Catching Title
It all starts with a strong title. A catchy title is what sells your content. It is vital in helping you successfully be found in internet searches and on social media. You must also keep your titles concise and short. The ideal length for a blog title is between eight and twelve words and under 70 characters.
Use Keywords and Optimize SEO
Many books have been published about how to optimize your website and posts for SEO. It’s impossible to cover the whole subject in one paragraph, but it’s an important part of blogging. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Adwords Keyword Tool are both a good place to start. Once you identify the best keywords for your post, make sure that use them throughout your articles.
Keep Paragraphs Short
Another blogging best practices principal is to keep the length of your paragraphs to under 100 words. If your paragraphs (and sentences) get too long, your readers start grabbing their phone to check their tweets or Instagram feed. Americans have a very short attention span these days, so keep your words and paragraphs short and concise.
Include Internal and External Links
The longer you engage your audience in your post, the better. One effective way to do that is to include internal and external hyperlinks to additional helpful information on a topic (like we did above for the Google Adwords Keyword Tool above). Your readers will appreciate more information on the topic and hopefully bookmark your page to return over and over again.
Use Brilliant Photos
Nothing grabs attention like brilliant eye-catching photos or entertaining videos. There are many incredible sources for free photos on the Internet. Websites like Flickr, Pixabay, and Google images provide a plethora of professional quality photos. Remember, though, to always check the copywriting information and to give proper attribution to the photographer.
Engage Your Audience with Emotional Language
Holding your belly and wiping tears of laughter from your face is a visual description of laughing. Telling someone that she fell to her knees and screamed in agony is far more effective than saying she was devastated by the news. Blogging best practices teach us to show, not tell. Use visualization and emotional language to connect with your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Edit Again and Again
Once you complete an article, edit it over and over again before posting it. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger is to submit and post content full of grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes. You must go beyond spell check. Copy and paste it into an application such as Grammarly or Hemmingway, then make the suggested changes.
It is also a good idea to have a friend, or family member, read your post before publishing. Get their feedback, but don’t take criticism personally. It’s all part of the profession, and you will never be perfect. Practice leads to progress, not perfection.
Keep the Topics Fresh
Another common blogging mistake is to keep posting about the same topics all the time. Be consistent, but not boring. Try to find a new spin for an old topic. For example, if you have a travel blog, instead of always writing about destinations, maybe post an article about an interesting person you met on your travels. Switching it up a little is the best way to keep your content fresh and exciting.
Just as people in the corporate world need always improve their skills and knowledge, so do bloggers. Fight the impulse to get lazy. Your competitors are getting smarter and better, and so should you. If you don’t, your readers will go somewhere else.
Keep your skills as fresh as your topics, and follow these eight essential blogging best practices. If you do, you will attract new followers and keep your current followers interested
How do you keep your blogging feeling fresh and your skill level high? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.
Photo courtesy of shy_kurji / Pixabay.com