When new clients come aboard or old clients are interested in giving their websites make-overs, discussions often lead to questions about blogs and blogging. Specifically, would-be bloggers would like to know if there are guidelines for when and how to blog. While some marketing consultants suggest hard-and-fast rules for blogging, here is the truth: There are no rules for blogging other than to meet the expectations of the blog audience, which is no different than any well planned marketing pursuit. There are some best practices, however, and suggestions below address them.
There are great blogs, disastrous blogs and every type of blog in between. Good blogs have a few things in common. First and foremost, they provide relevant content. The Internet is a place where content is king. Blogging just to blog fills the airwaves with static so pull back if you find yourself writing about what you’ve eaten for lunch (unless of course it’s relevant to your audience). Second good blogs demonstrate the personality of their author, A.K.A. they have a unique voice that readers can appreciate. Third they are regularly kept, which leads to the second question …
It’s quality over quantity. The questions to answer are how involved would you like your users to be. If your content is strong, people will be involved, but what steps must you take to keep them involved? What do you need to do better? Doing things better isn’t always the same as doing more. For example, a post that describes a triumph of the human spirit is much more engaging than a lengthy discussion about dryer lint (unless your blog is targeted at dryer lint affectionados). The other question is time, how much do you have? If you can block off a few hours every other week to write a quality post, do it. If you only have a few minutes every other day, use them wisely. Are you personally rewarded in producing content? If you’re bored by your own blog, can you expect other people to be excited about it? Lastly if your blog posts are getting no traffic and you’re spending many hours writing posts, it might be a good idea to reevaluate your blog’s purpose or consider some steps to drive traffic to your blog.
Most likely, people come to your blog because they followed a link that a friend shared. As a blogger, your primary strategy for improving your visibility (after writing content people want to share) is to build links to your site. The more inbound links, the more relevant your content appears, which also increases search engine optimization because search engines tend to rank relevant content hirer than irrelevant content. There are lots of ways to build links, the easiest is to first create some outbound links with folks who are happy to return the favor. Good bloggers watch their analytics and know when someone refers traffic their way. There are also directory services through which you can register you blog. Be sure to include your blog’s address on all your social networking and get your fiends chattering about your content.
Most people blog for love, not money. A blog is a great way to gain respect as a trusted expert in a select field, the value of which can be calculated by evaluating people’s trust in your opinion. A small number of determined people can make some spare change buy dedicating themselves to their blog. Some options are to sell ad space either directly to people who wish to purchase ads or by installing an ad network like Cox Digital or Google AdSense. There are also options for selling your well-written content through syndication services like Demand Studios. If you’re willing to spend some time managing ads — and provided your site gets lots enough traffic to generate revenue — small monthly earnings are possible.