Blogging Do’s and Don’ts: 10 Commandments
There are some things to consider when blogging, so I decided to write a 10 commandments of blogging, with 5 do’s and don’t.
I. Thou shan’t have a URL that is hard to spell – If your site’s address is something that cannot be remembered by the World Spelling Bee champ because you decided to get TOO creative, then you’re going to lose out on readers because they won’t be able to find you. How much traffic do I get from people who type in my URL? 30%. So if my link was like www.supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.com, 30% of you would be home scratching your heads and NOT cackling at my foolishness.
II. Thou shan’t go color crazy – Blogs with crazy fonts on crazy backgrounds get clicked right off by me. How am I supposed to concentrate on your content when your blog looks like a recreation of every bad MySpace page from 2005? It’s visual tourette’s and no one is here for that. So NO pastel green backgrounds with rainbow colored font. Lest you want to get a bill from my optometrist and a sternly-worded letter.
III. Thou shan’t have half-feeds if just starting your blog – That’s when you only give people a teaser and make them click through to read the rest. Unless I know your blog is THAT BUSINESS, I will exit your page rather than click that link. Really. Get a strong following that STANS for you before doing that. Even then, you best think long and hard.
IV. Thou shan’t use excessive profanity – This isn’t because I’m trying to be your mama. No I will not be offering to wash your mouth out with AJAX. But most people who read blogs read them from work, and some jobs have filters for websites that are deemed to have adult content. Unless you want all your potential readers blocked, chill on the cursing. Get creative and use asterisks or make words backwards. Kcuf aint a cuss word. Neither is *ss.
VI. Thou shalt reply to your commenters – When people DO grace your eCrib with their presence, let them know they are appreciated. It could be one word, it could be a paragraph. But people do like to be acknowledged.
Sidenote: I know for a FACT I can be better at this, and I’m making the vow now to be better with replying to your comments. I read every comment but there are some I don’t respond to. iSuck. No other excuse. That changes NOW.
VII. Thou shalt give credit – Plagiarism isn’t what’s steaming in the cul-de-sac. Make sure you give credit to those that deserve it. This is done by linking to content that you’ve borrowed from.
VIII. Thou shalt use simple and catchy entry titles – The title is the first thing people see about your blog, so make it eye-catching. Also, depending on the words you use in your headline, your blog can become more findable with search engines. (i.e. The day I wrote about the VMAs, I got a lot of traffic from Google since my title had “VMAs” in it and some folks who searched the term stumbled here).
IX. Thou shalt market thine blog – Don’t think that “If you Blog it, they will come.” That isn’t it. The masses won’t just stumble upon your content. There are a gazillion blogs out there so for yours to stand out, you’ve gotta shout it from the rooftops. You’ve gotta put yourself out there. How so? Here are 5 ways:
- Get Twitterfeed so everytime you post your blog, the link is posted on Twitter
- Add your link to the end of your Facebook statuses
- Comment on other blogs (relevant comment. Not just link drops. That will get you side-eyed heavily and your comment possibly deleted)
- Guest blog for some established bloggers you’re cool with. Traffic reciprocity FTW! (and yes, you will have to ask. Unless they think you’re so awesome, they approach you)
X. Thou shalt be conversational – Loosen up and speak TO your blog readers, not AT them. No one wants to be lectured. You can blog formally with an informal tone. Talk to your readers like you’d talk to your friends. With just less TMI and with more coherence, and all will be well.
Above all, be yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously.
So what have I left off this list, y’all? I know I’m missing tons since I left it at 5 Dos and 5’s Don’ts.