Eight golden rules of blogging that every blogger should know
By Simon Horton
Blogging is a phenomenon which has rapidly grown in a span of five years, outgrowing all other trends of our times. It covers most platforms ranging from social to corporate websites. Businesses that utilize blogging as a means to market themselves noticeably increase their sales.
Here let me take you through the eight rules of blogging that will mark you as a successful blogger.
A Title Is Very Important
Generally people decide to read a post based on its title. The first place people look up for any query is a search engine. And the search engine mechanism works like this–the search algorithm picks keywords from the query and delivers all the posts containing those keywords. All the results are displayed along with their title, and therefore the most visible part of a post is its title, which is always projected in strong and bold. A clear and concise title prompts the reader to explore the entire article. According to Iris Shoor, VP of Product and Marketing at Takipi, titles that contained a set of specific words like ‘no,’ ‘not,’ ‘stop,’ ‘kill,’ etc. were shared more over the Internet. Whether you relate it to peoples’ taste for negation, but including these words generated more website traffic than others. Nonetheless blind trend worshiping is not something I would advocate.
It is said a first impression is the last impression, and this dictum applies here most. A good title is the one that precisely conveys the article’s message and utility to the reader without misleading, to enable a quick reading decision. While a unique title may pique user interest and get you loads of traffic, an appropriate title will just get you the relevant traffic.
You should frame your title according to your blogging purpose, using strong and definitive words that assert your authority either as an authentic writer or a knowledgeable figure in the given field.
Pay Attention to Blog Layout
Whether you call it aesthetics or reader convenience, the layout of an article invariably affects readability. This blog aspect is often neglected by writers, who mainly focus on content, overlooking its appearance. It has been observed that posts that are bifurcated in columns are easier to read. A single column post is difficult following from left to right on wider screens; and therefore working a bit on a blog design elements can render it an effective appeal.
A variety of blog templates are available to choose from. All you need to do is identify the basic elements of your blog. The header and footer, the content body, image, fonts you choose for title and body, other links and menu–all these elements make up a blog’s structure. A good user experience recipe cooks all these components to create a delectable dish.
Platforms like WordPress provide you with the option of switching blog designs. Naive bloggers are often inexperienced when it comes to selecting appropriate blog designs that suit their purpose and message. A regular blog theme which is adopted by most bloggers is the simple Header-Body-Footer layout that incorporates all the blog components as shown in the below image.
Choose font and theme colors that reflect your style and harmonize with your domain. For example, food blogs like iamafoodblog.com and smittenkitchen.com have colorful images with hues of vibrant red and purple, whereas techie blogs like gizmodo.com and shopintegrator.com that discuss the latest updates in information and technology flaunt a white-grey or white-blue theme.
Keep It Comprehendible
A danger signal is projected in dark red for people to recognize from a distance, and warning announcements in companies start with a siren to draw people’s immediate attention. Similarly, an article should be appealing to draw attention and easy enough for people to read and interpret. People on the Internet invariably suffer from a lack of patience; while curating a post keep this in mind. Create bulleted points that are easy to comprehend and display-friendly for all devices. An engaging post easily makes its way into social media discussions and forums. This proves that the reader is that center around which your wheel of writing revolves. And to be sure, it is recommended to take a third party opinion.
Define Your Goal
The sole purpose of your writing should be clear in black-and-white. Your writing style, tone, message build-up, references, etc., all are subject to your blogging objective. This will determine your approach and length of the article. The audience which you aim to target through your writing needs to be spotted roughly. A clear objective will prepare your blogging framework.
Let your writing style sync with your purpose. For instance, an informative blog that deals with data and statistics can adopt a straightforward tone but a generic blog for light readers should adopt a casual, informal style. Simplify your writing by segmenting it into paragraphs; this engenders readability to your post helping your readers to assimilate information easily. Always review your work as you finish writing–there may be some incomplete ideas which you can polish later. Also, formatting is an important facet that can frustrate a reader if overlooked. An ill-formatted post, however authentic content it presents, will never motivate the reader to read past the first paragraph. To learn copywriting basics you can also refer to popular content writing blog Copyblogger.
Identify your audience
Search the entire web for sites that post content like yours. This will help you identify the target audience which you are trying to reach. Don’t just aim to increase your follower count; follow them (audience) in return to get their feedback and reviews. Know how they connect with your blog, and their perception of your writing skills. Do they want you to cover any specific topic, or do they want you to adopt that new style of writing they have become accustomed to reading on Internet, or do they want you to elaborate more while making points? Take all these opinions into consideration next time you write something.
Unless there are people to eat the food, the cook’s efforts are all vain.
If you have defined your topic, there surely must be some keywords around the subject. During your research you will come across keywords bordering your topic. Make sure you include relevant keywords for gaining visibility, as every subject has a set of words that people expect while scanning any article. This certainly does not imply stuffing keywords that do not relate to the topic but are trending on the web. With the entire web overflowing with posts and articles, readers hardly skim through the topics; therefore it’s wise to include words in your copy that build reader confidence.
Planning is important in every job you undertake. It helps you organize work. Mondays are full of enthusiasm and activity, but when it comes to Fridays the same enthusiasm takes a second seat. For these days your schedule will keep you hooked to your work; even if you forget, a timetable will remind you of your day’s assignment.
If possible, create a schedule that you can follow consistently and not one that just looks ideal on paper. From one-post-a-day to one-post-a-week, your output depends on your writing capacity and objectives. Whatever you select, stick to it. If you are new to blogging it will take you time to judge a post’s cycle. But as you get the hang of it, organize your publishing schedule.
Along with building your credibility with readers, a schedule will also maintain your productivity cycle.
Innumerable blogs emerge everyday like raindrops. To sell your blog in this rain forest is a tough fight. Nonetheless, consistent efforts in the right direction will earn you the fruits of your labor.