Last week I began covering what I have learned from my first year of blogging. To be true to the “keep it short” maxim for blogging, I am continuing my discussion in this post. To read the first part, click here.
This leads me to lesson #9:
9) Be yourself. I am a professional writer and communicator, but I have other interests as well. My blog on making Thanksgiving dinner reflects the importance of knowing your audience even though the theme was not directly professional. My blogs sometimes get personal. Let readers get to know you. This is, after all, social media.
10) Find out what people care about and write about it. Of course, this is part of knowing your audience, which is the most important first step towards enhancing communication. My blogs on social media and workers’ compensation generated the most hits. Whenever I cover workers’ compensation, I am sure to get at least 300 hits in the first week – not bad for a one-person effort. Google hits on workers’ compensation topics I covered six months ago.
11) Don’t write for search engines. Write for people. I never did include fancy coding to get the attention of Google and other search engines. Since I focus on providing substance, Google delivers hits to my blog daily. Google and other search engines are also programmed to avoid too many attention-getting devices and strategies as well.
12) Make sure your tags are consistent and manage them well. I recently went through all my blogs and found areas where I forgot to tag or where two terms can mean the same thing. Do this from time to time.
13) Refer readers to your other pertinent blogs on the same or relating subject. This is not just a service to your readers who want more information. It also encourages Search Engine Optimization.
14) Use other social media outlets to drive readership. After reviewing my blogs, I located statements I can tweet to encourage blog readership. It’s OK to post tweets on blogs you ran a while ago if the information is still current. This is also an excellent way to reach new readers.
15) Effective bloggers are passionate about their topics. Write passionately and you will attract an audience. Want to see passion? Check out my blog on my “new” IBM Selectric.
16) Write evergreen blogs for those busy times. Make a list of topics you want to cover and start a folder with notes and information so you are always ready. Develop a “bank” of pre-written blogs.
17) That said, while you need to write regularly, search engines and your followers will forgive you if you take a break. Between vacationing, moving into a new home in August, getting married and client work, I did not have time to blog. I don’t believe it suffered because there was already a lot of published content.
Stay tuned until next week when I finish my series on 21 Lessons Learned from My First Year of Blogging.
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