Here are 8 useful tips to peruse and return to as you embark on your blogging experience.
1. Blog regularly
There’s nothing worse than returning to a beloved blog to find that the author hasn’t posted in over a month. Readers will remain loyal and see you as credible only if you’re posting relevant content on a regular basis.
How regular is regular? A good benchmark is 1 post per week. Posting less frequently will leave your readers feeling under served—and they’ll leave you to find a blogger who’s more passionate about the subject.
2. Know your purpose and personality
Each blog should have a specific purpose, point of view, and personality. People are attracted to other people—they want to see your humanness and quirks. And they want a consistent experience with you whenever they return to your blog.
Create a short purpose statement that explains why you're blogging, your point of view, and how you want people to feel when they read your posts. Write it down, and make sure each post is helping you fulfill that purpose.
3. Think about your audience
Whenever you sit down to write, think about your readers.
If it helps, create personas of the kind of people you’re trying to reach. Some avid web writers will even give their personas names and characteristics so they have specific "people" in mind as they write.
Think about and make space for the unique views and feelings of your readers. While it’s good to state your opinions and encourage critical thinking, don’t fill your blog with rants and complaints.
4. Use headings and short paragraphs
Like it or not, most web readers scan to find the content they want to read. Instead of forcing your readers to wade through a lengthy post, help them out by making your content scannable.
Use headings to let readers know what you’re covering in your post and to help them discern if it's worth their time. Break long sections into paragraphs. Break long sentences into shorter ones.
One-sentence paragraphs are perfectly acceptable on the web.
5. Link meaningful words
A link shouldn’t be a surprise party. Make sure your readers know exactly what they’ll find before opening the door to a new page or site.
Instead of linking the words “click here,” give your readers context by linking relevant words. For example, if you’re directing readers to a great article on ant farming, use the name of that article as the link or simply link the phrase “article about ant farming.
6. Read your post before you post
Always read through your post one last time before publishing. Check spelling, check for missing words, and make sure links are working. Read your post out loud to catch awkward wording.
7. Keep up with comments
By default, all comments posted to your blog will require your approval. To show that you're responsive and that you care about what people have to say, make sure you check on comments daily (if not multiple times each day).
If you change this setting so that all comments are published to your blog without approval, you must check your blog every day. Spamming bots love lazy bloggers. And if they find you, they'll litter your blog with offensive text and images.
8. Remember the Bethel logo
All of our blog designs display the Bethel logo. While you may not be writing on behalf of the university or your department, your words shape readers’ perception of the Bethel community.
Since Bethel is providing this platform, make sure that you preserve the institution’s integrity and your own.