Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Blog at Your Best: Useful Tips for Your Blog (Part Two)

Define your blog’s focus

Your blog will suffer without a clearly defined purpose and focus. If you want to generate a community of readers, subscribers and fans (that you may someday nurture into paying customers), you need to give them a reason to keep coming back.
Decide on a focal topic of your blog. Spend some time figuring out what it would be, and keep that focus in mind every time you create a blog post.

Offer content variety to your readers

It is said that variety is the spice of life, so start spicing up your blog by varying the content. Brainstorm a style bank of different types of content you can create for your blog. Below is a list of some ideas to get started.
  • Charts or graphs
  • Audio (podcast content, interview recordings, etc.)
  • Cartoons
  • Infographics
  • Guest blog articles (from other industry bloggers or experts)
  • Industry-related book reviews
  • Videos (interviews, screencasts, instructional how-to’s, entertaining/funny videos, music videos, news-style videos, etc.)

Encourage engagement and conversation

Blogging is social. Remember that your blog’s readers are crucial to the success of your blog; hence it is advisable to treat them as such. By publishing a blog, you’re also creating a community of potential customers, and this prospect is one to be aware of.
So keep comments open, monitor and reply. At the same time, do not moderate comments, as there is no need to fear negative opinions if you respond appropriately.

Reach as large an audience as possible

Keep in mind that the easier you make interaction possible for your readers by putting options right in front of them, the more likely they will share your content and become engaged.
Here is a sampling of items that you should make sure to include in your blog.
  • RSS/Subscribe Button: Add an RSS button that links to your blog’s RSS feed to the top of your blog’s sidebar so it can be easily located by readers. Also add an option to subscribe via email, since not everyone uses an RSS reader to consume blog content.
  • Social Sharing: Make sure every blog article you publish is equipped with social sharing buttons to make it easy for people to share your content in social media.
  • Photos/Images: Adding photos and images to your blog content is one of the simplest ways to increase engagement and interest in your posts.
  • Search Box: Encourage readers to spend additional time on your blog by enabling them to easily search for other blog content.
  • Tagging and Meta Descriptions: Adding tags to your content will help your readers sift through your content.
  • Social Media Connection Options: Consider adding buttons with links to your corporate Twitter account, Facebook Fan Page, etc. to encourage people to follow and connect with you in social media.
  • Facebook Social Plug-ins: Add the Like button to your blog as a way of spreading your content and attracting more readers.