This post aims to highlight some simple but valuable tips you can use to develop or indeed enhance your blog.
1. Start from the blog itself
Choose a nice template and make use of the header to visually display what your blog is about. Be careful with colour – you may like dark grunge or psychedelic bright but will these colours be off putting to potential readers of your blog? Add a tagline to convey the theme of your blog posts. Create an About page and tell people about yourself and the purpose of your blog.
2. Be social
Consider your voice and tone and try to aim somewhere between informal and formal. Develop a social body language that comes over as friendly. When a post is inspired by others include their name and a link to their work which could be an article or book they have written, their blog or website; or a video they have created or are recorded in. Add links to the social spaces you use and invite readers to connect with you.
3. Encourage readers’ comments
To develop interaction with readers a call to action can be useful. Encourage readers to share their thoughts and experience. Add a simple question at the end of the post to encourage discussion. However do be sure to listen out for comments and respond where appropriate. You can choose to screen readers’ comments before publishing (therefore diminishing the risk of the odd spam that may come your way – simply delete unsavory comments).
4. Have a clear purpose
Having a specific niche area will help you to build loyal readers who share an interest in the area you are writing about. Think about your audience and write posts that will engage them. Posts don’t have to be long – consider quality over quantity. Create additional pages to share further information.
5. Offer tutorials and how to posts
What may seem simple to one person is a stumbling block for others. Write step by step guides, integrating screenshots where appropriate. Where it is more complex consider creating a screencast video and adding this to the post. Respond to questions raised by your community.
6. Promote your blog
People won’t read your posts unless they know about them. Add the option to get email updates on your blog. Use a variety of social media to share your posts and reach potential readers. On WordPress it is easy to link your blog to Twitter so that auto tweets are created each time you release a post.
7. Add sharing buttons
When someone reads and enjoys your post, make it east for them to share via social media by adding sharing buttons. People are less likely to take the trouble to copy and past the title of the post, add the link and a summary and then share via their social networks. Make it easy for them!
8. Write findable content
You don’t need to be an SEO (search engine optimisation) expert to increase the chances of your posts being found via Google. Include the keywords people would use to search for that topic in your post and in the title.
9. Ensure your blog is mobile friendly
Check that you have enabled the mobile theme on your blog (In WordPress go to Appearance and Mobile Options). Readers will then see an adjusted screen view to suit the device they are using. Don’t make readers have to stretch the text to be able to read sections of your post!
10. Proofread before posting
Read through what you have written or better still get someone else to read through the post before your release it, It is so easy to miss the odd typo.
What would you add to this list?
This post was inspired by an article written about blogging for business by Social Media Week.