I have been blogging for over 10 years, longer depending on your definition.
Perhaps my 1996 science fiction site was my first blog? Perhaps it was my online diary in 1998?
Whichever definition you use, while there are constant innovations in blogging, some things I learned from the start remain true today.
Here are 41 tips from my years of blogging that you can implement and benefit from right away:
- Read – The more you read the better writer you will be. Being a blog reader helps you understand the mind of the blog reader. What they want, how they like information to be presented, what turns you off. Read good blogs and note your thoughts.
- Take one step – Chunk it down. Don’t be overwhelmed, take one step at a time and keep going.
- Be interesting – Readers want to find fresh, valuable, entertaining remarkable information. Make an effort to deliver more than just facts. Make it about them, not you.
- Get your point across – Style, grammar, spelling all count for nothing if your audience doesn’t get your meaning. Make sure you are understood.
- Deliver the goods – Being valuable is more important than following any rules
- Be consistent – You are only as good as your last post
- Prioritize quality over quantity – Fewer kick-ass articles are better than many so-so posts
- Develop expertise - You might not be an expert now but you can be. Dive into your subject and hoover it up. Share what you learn and know.
- Hold on to passion – Keep the fires burning, don’t let your subject turn into a chore.
- Communicate fascination – If you love your subject then let your readers know, share your enthusiasm, make it contagious
- Write better – All of us can improve our writing but it takes effort and motivation
- Grow your experience – Do new things, broaden your horizons, stretch yourself
- Share your experience – When you learn something new, tell your readers about it. Case studies are excellent content.
- Explore and experiment – Keep trying new things, never stagnate
- Be unique – If you are the same as everyone else, why would anyone visit your blog?
- Look good - Appearances count, both in terms of your blog design and your posts. Make your content zing!
- Make a great first impression – Do new visitors know what your blog is about in under 10 seconds? Can they navigate easily? Where is your best content?
- Build momentum – Keep pushing every day, do not be content, it takes less effort to keep going than to stop and start over.
- Optimize – Keep tweaking, continuously improve
- Write with focus - Don’t squander your readers attention, give them what they came for
- Build your reputation – Know what you stand for and deliver it consistently
- Go for keywords – Find out what your readers are looking for and write about it
- Write compelling headlines – Get attention, promise a benefit, provoke interest
- Offer full feeds and email – Attention is more important than page views. Aweber is the best email newsletter service.
- Interview – Supplement your knowledge by interviewing experts
- Break news - Be first to a story, let everyone know and see the links flood in
- Run contests – Contests are fun and build awareness
- Research, survey and poll – Research results are newsworthy and differentiate
- Toot your horn – Celebrate successes, send out press releases
- Monitor your stats - Stats tell you the health of your blog. Where is traffic coming from? Can you do more of what works? Is your blog growing or sliding? There are many free services.
- Comment and answer comments - Nurture your audience, make them know they are valued. Comment on other blogs.
- Link generously – If you want links then you have to first give them
- Join forums – Break out of your bubble, meet people where they are
- Give stuff away – You get what you give. Free downloads get rewarded with links and traffic.
- Make friends - One of the pleasures of blogging and also a route to success
- Guest blog – Write brilliant content for other bloggers and see your brand grow
- Ask questions – Curiosity is a virtue
- Twitter – Constantly communicate and get to know people. Anything too short for a blog post can be delivered in 140 characters
- Stumble – Train yourself to discover, recognize and share brilliant content. What you can identify you can imagine, what you can imagine you can create.
- Rebel – Break the rules, go against the flow, zig when others tell you to zag, do your own thing your own way
- Enjoy – Keep doing what you do until it stops being fun. When it is no longer fun, bring the fun back.
Let’s not let this list end at 41, please share your tips in the comments!