1) Keep your posts relatively short. Having researched blogging to a great degree – then 500-800 words seems to be a good benchmark.
2) Keep your posts varied. Have some posts that are very factual – drawing on information that will help the users, for example our posts focus on the company formation sector. Make some light and humorous comments so that the user understands that whilst you know your stuff, you’re not taking life too seriously and they get an insight to your personality. Make some posts a little controversial or challenge the user – to stimulate conversation.
3) Always watch your spelling. Poor spelling really does hinder credibility.
5) Create interesting headings. Write the headline imagining that the user won’t even see the article. So the headline has to grab attention and tell the story.
6) Use keywords where you can – in headers and throughout the content of the article.
7) Keep it going. Stick to a tight publishing schedule. Blogging pays off over time – it’s a marathon rather than a sprint and it takes time to build up relevant and optimised content.
9) Claim your blog on Technorati – Google Blogsearch and Technorati are the two main ways that people search for blogs. That way others can find your blog.
10) Promote links to your blog on your website and in email footers, business cards and other off and online relevant marketing materials.
11) Get your blog noticed by publishing links on social media vehicles such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn (all social spaces relevant to your industry).
12) Try and provide one piece of practical ‘how to’ advice in each blog post. That way the user will learn that you are always going to provide something useful.
13) Don’t focus your posts around selling your products – users will switch off to this. What you should be focusing on is positioning yourself as someone, or a business, that is able to share advice, news and information which will prove useful to your readers. Remember, blogging is not about directly ‘selling’ your services – it’s a platform where you can advise and share information and knowledge about your products, services or expertise. Perfect ‘conversational’ marketing.
14) Be creative with where you procure your content – if you have published materials offline, then recreate them online. Duplicate content is a spider’s web of uncertainly but what is clear is that you can post links to your site – and encourage the user to read the entire post via your site. (Hence why a great attention grabbing headline is necessary!). Top 10, 20 lists are good (hey, we’re practising what we preach) – but keep your posts mixed, don’t make every post a list! (Back to point 2 above).
15) Write short excerpts of your blog post – not duplicating the content – but summarising what your post and blog is about. Creating a short excerpt which is unique content each time, is a good tactic for giving users a taste of what the blog post is about, enables you to use keywords within the excerpt – and you can post this to social media sites to share news about your blog in a safe (non duplicate content way).
16) Follow the leader – if you find a respected and popular blogger/expert who focuses on areas you are interested in, your business area, subject etc – then write a post commenting on their post. Always cite the name of the author and provide the URL directly back to the post you are talking about. This way you are joining ‘high volume’, relevant and targeted conversations. And if your views matter – then they will be picked up on by others reading the ‘leaders’ blog.
17) As well as having a formal call to action – such as subscribe to blog, always ensure you include a link at the bottom of your blog post encouraging the user to subscribe and citing your blog’s URL. PS. (don’t forget to use the http:// before the www. URL to ensure it links).
18) Be prepared to review lots of blogs, see what’s working for others and learn about blogging the hands on way.
19) Join relevant forums and start joining in conversations.
20) Always keep the user in mind. Remember, people are more interested in what you can do for them than what you do – so add value via your blog posts – and they will come and keep coming…