Ten Top Tips
Daren Rose (left) of Problogger is running "31 Days to Build a Better Blog" throughout August. He’s asking readers and bloggers to come up with tips. So in the spirit of ‘Bloggers of the world unite!’ here’s our top-ten tips.
1)Try to avoid blog jargon, or try to explain it when you use it. We are still sinners here, but we are working hard to eradicate ‘RSS’ ‘Trackback’ ‘Blogroll’ etc, at least when it is out of context. A recent poll showed that many web-surfers don’t know what a blog is yet – so how can they comprehend this sort of lingo?
2)When you write, imagine that you are talking to a friend in the pub or the coffee shop. Blogging is supposed to be informal. This tip is especially aimed at business folk who tend to slip into corporate speak as soon as they sit behind a desk and a keyboard.
3)Avoid endless lists of links in your sidebar. When I worked at the BBC, my colleagues at BBC Online maintained that a stack of seven links is the maximum that the eye can take in. So break up your links with headings.
4)Try to enclose a small picture in at least some of your posts. It’s okay to lift a company logo if you are writing about the company. That’s not theft, it’s like a quotation. Pics give your page a lift.
5)This is one I’ve just discovered. Google’s toolbar has an excellent spell checker that’s really quick to use. It’s great for writing posts. I’m a terrible speller, so this tip is dedicated to me.
6)If you haven’t got readers, keep plugging away. Most bloggers don’t make the distance. They just give up. Keep on at it, and stamina will get you there in the end.
7)Read other blogs for inspiration. The idea of blogging is that everybody links to everybody else. So try to take other bloggers’ ideas forward. This post is a prime example.
8)This one would be wonderful if you can do it. I’d love for us to manage it, but we haven’t yet. It would be great if your blog was an unfolding story. At least, if your idea or theme develops day by day, people have a reason to come back to see what you say next. Daren’s doing something like it with his month of tips. Each day there’s more.
9)Blogging is essentially social – so try to think of ways to use its networking power. It’s good to think of a project or an event that gets other bloggers involved and linking to each other and most importantly to you.
10)Get in touch with other bloggers because they are usually friendly and interaction with them is the nicest part of blogging.
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