Like many writers, you may want to blog to enhance your career but don’t know how to go about it. Here are tips I give my readers.
Find a Focus: Just a general site, where the author posts about a little bit of everything, is rarely successful. There are exceptions, but most readers begin visiting a blog because of the topic, not the person. Start by writing potential blog posts. This is the time to try out different things. Think of it as auditioning topics. Keep all your posts in a file, and when you have around twenty-five, take a look at them. Within these posts, you’ll find your focus, and it will be time to go live.
Choose a Name: I recommend you use your name for your blog url. If you can’t get your name, use something as close as possible. You’ll write a lot of different things over the course of your career, but your name will remain consistent.
Keep a Schedule: Aim for once a week when you’re just starting out. A schedule is important because you will expect those who follow your blog to visit regularly. Well, shouldn’t they be able to expect you to post regularly? Blogging is a two-way street.
Encourage Interaction: Of course this means answering any and all comments on your site. But it also means beginning the conversation by ending every post with open-ended questions. It’s up to the host (that’s you) to facilitate good conversation.
Make it Easy to Read: This means choosing a sans serif font and making sure it’s large enough to read comfortably. Also use block formatting (no indentions and an extra blank line between paragraphs), bullet points, lists, and bold headings. Don’t forget to include images to help break up and illustrate the text—just be sure the images are legal to use.
Make it Easy to Return: Make sure you have a way for your readers to either sign up for email updates or use an RSS reader. You must have both because people are picky. They keep up with blogs either through email or through a reader, not both.
Encourage other Connections: Don’t forget to include all your social media links so your readers can connect with you in other places.
These tips will help you grow a viable site and make connections with readers as well as other industry professionals.
Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.