Meme: Tips for better blogging

By Katharine Swan On Monday, January 14, 2008 At 2:16 PM

Michele got me back for tagging her for the roaring writers meme: She just tagged me for another meme. The point of this one is to give tips for better blogging.

As a little background, I started this blog in December of 2005, but at that point I already had six months of experience as a paid blogger. But no matter how long you have been blogging, I think there is always more to learn.

Here are my tips for better blogging.

1. Write in a conversational tone. The blogosphere is all about being laid-back. When you blog, imagine your audience as a bunch of your buddies.

2. Keep your posts short. A good guideline is to write posts that are about 300 words in length — long enough to contain useful or entertaining information, but not so long as to lose the reader's interest. (Okay, so this is something I don't always do myself. However, I figure other writers are more likely to read a long post than your average blog reader.)

3. Interact with your readers. Encourage readers to comment on your blog, and respond to comments promptly when you get them. This creates a welcoming atmosphere and encourages readers to come back more often.

4. Mind the fine line between allowing opposition, and allowing your blog to become a hostile place. While as a writer, I'm all about the right to free speech, you also can't allow your blog to become a war zone. Set boundaries, and enforce them by moderating comments.

5. Be keyword-conscious...but not obsessed. The best places for keywords are in your title and the first paragraph of your post. However, if you pay too much attention to keywords, your blog posts will be stilted and uninteresting. Although I write keyword-focused blog posts for clients, I don't pay much attention to it on my own blog — for one, it's more personal than commercial, and for two, I figure if I write about writing, I'll probably get at least a few of the keywords anyway.

6. Read this book: Publish and Propser: Blogging for Business. Although I've blogged about it before (here and here), it's worth mentioning again, as it is an excellent resource for bloggers at all skill levels.

7. Have fun. Yes, blogging can be a great marketing tool. It can improve your site's ranking and drive traffic to your site. But it is also an enjoyable writing exercise and an opportunity to network with the online community, so have fun with it!

I'm tagging:

1. Kathy Kehrli — with a fun blog like Screw You!, she ought to be able to give us some interesting advice!
2. Debbie Ridpath Ohi, who in addition to her Inkygirl blog, does one of my favorite Wednesday diversions, Will Write For Chocolate
3. Kristen King of Inkthinker

I can't wait to see what tips they have to give!

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Blogger Michele L. Tune - Writing the Cyber Highway Says:  

Wow, what fantabulous answers! I've only been blogging since July so I might have to check out that book. :-)

Thanks for participating. I love your tips!

Smiles,
Michele

P.S. I can't wait to see the answers of those you tagged either!

 
 
Blogger Jessica Anne Elizabeth Says:  

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD:

http://jmwriting.blogspot.com/2008/01/giving-away.html

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Michele,

Glad you enjoyed the tips. I highly recommend that book -- it has information for beginning and more advanced bloggers. Quite useful.

Jessica,

Thanks for letting us know about your book and VHS giveaway. I totally know what you mean about needing to clear out closet space -- I feel like I'm constantly getting rid of stuff myself.

I'll publish a blog post about this today, so that it gets more traffic than it would in the comments.

 
 
Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

Thanks for the tag (I think LOL). I'll add this to my roster and let you know when it goes live.

 
 
Blogger Tina Coruth Says:  

I'm glad I followed Michele Tune's link to this post!

I feel silly admitting that I never thought about keywords and blogging. The book sounds very interesting - I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for the great tips.

Tina

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Tina,

I didn't think about it in the beginning, either. I think most of the reason I realized that keywords are important in blog posts, too, is because of the work I do for clients. The book discusses it too.

Thanks for visiting my blog -- I hope you come back again soon!

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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