If blogging is a form of self-publishing, then is writing a blog post the same as other writing? Well, yes and no. While there are similarities, there are also some key differences.
If you want to blog, here are seven blogging tips to be a successful blogger:
1) Make Your Title Search Engine Friendly
Forget clever titles. They may work well in a magazine, but they fail to work in the online world. Instead, aim for SEO (search engine optimization) and to get readers’ attention. If search engines don’t like you, no one will find you.
2) Have One Point Per Post
The point of this post is how to blog successfully. The sub-points reinforce that. Anything else is a distraction.
3) Keep it Short
Our online attention span is fleeting, so keep posts succinct. Since search engines need about 300 words to index a page, use that size as a minimum. Lengths of 300 to 500 words is a good goal—unless your readers like long-form content.
4) Use Lists
Numbered lists or bullet points make your post easy to read. (Like this post.)
5) Be Scannable
People tend to scan while reading online. The careful use of bold text aids in scanning. Sometimes italics helps, but avoid underlining because it looks like a link. And skip using all caps because it looks like you’re SCREAMING.
6) Link to Your Blog
When you make relevant comments on other blogs, link back to yours. But never spam them or leave generic feedback; it will end up biting you. Also, link from one post to another, as I did in the opening sentence.
7) Ask For Comments
Blogs are about engagement. Ask a question to start the conversation. Though I vacillate on this, if you want comments on your blog, you need to encourage readers to share their thoughts.
Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.