In 2017, blogging is completely mainstream. Everyone, his kids (and often his dog) blogs today. As you may know, I look on blogging as “instant publishing”. So in that spirit, let’s look at my top three blogging tips you must use today.
Before we start on those, a suggestion.
Keep an on-going list of blogging tips, and focus on one each week
I adore blogging. I’ve always loved it, because I spent my early writing years WAITING. In my romance novelist days, communication with my literary agent and editors was via air mail. Phone calls to and from London were expensive and rare.
It’s still completely amazing to me that I can write something, hit the Publish button and instantly, people all over the world can read what I just wrote.
The operative words are of course are “can read.”
What if you don’t have readers?
Writers tell me “no one reads my blog.” My advice to them is: blog anyway, because just one reader can change your life as a writer. You don’t need thousands of readers every day.
That said, of course you want them. 🙂 The easiest way to get more readers is to give your blog more love. Create a list of blogging tips. Add any useful tips you find to the list. Then, each week, choose ONE tip, and act on it. Your readership will grow.
Now let’s look at the blogging tips you must use today.
1. Use your blog as a focus group to find out what sells
What are you writing? Over the past year, posts on fiction writing get more attention than anything else I post on this blog. I’m not surprised. Fiction has become a profitable income stream for professional writers.
The major benefit of blogging is that your blog will show you what sells. Since 2006, I’ve suggested to writers that if they wanted to know what would sell, they should start a blog on the topic. If you get traction, you know that that endeavor will be profitable for you.
Today, having multiple new blogs means that you’ll spread yourself too thin.
Keep everything on one blog if you’re a new blogger, and use your blog to build your writing career.
If you’re writing:
- Content, blog about writing content. You’ll get clients;
- Fiction, blog about your short stories and novels. Post the occasional short story for your blog’s readers. You’ll sell more fiction;
- Nonfiction, blog your topics to see what gets traffic. Then write ebooks on that topic. The ebooks will sell.
Your blog can be a free focus group, so use it.
2. Never, ever delete a post: every post is a gateway to you and your blog
Occasionally a writer tells me “I deleted my blog, because…”
That’s a tragedy. When I read or hear that, I wish that smelling salts were still in fashion, because I need them.
NEVER delete a blog post, much less an entire blog.
As David Meerman Scott says, your content should live forever:
Want to know an SEO secret that almost nobody will tell you? Do not delete old content! Nearly all of your web content should live forever. It’s free to save pages on your site, so why delete them? Yet so many people do.
As we’ve said, just one reader can change your life as a writer. Every post on your blog is a gateway for that one reader to find you.
Keep your content.
3. Create an image for every post, and add meta data to the image
Images grab attention. They’re evocative, and essential in today’s online world. They’re also a way for someone to promote your content. It’s beyond frustrating when I find a blog post I’d like to share on Pinterest or Twitter, and there’s no image.
Equally as important as adding at least one image to each post is adding meta data to that image. An SEO plugin like Yoast makes adding a meta title and description to each image easy.
While I’m on the topic of a title and image, please don’t describe the image. Your image’s title and image refer to the blog post’s content, and not to the image itself. Adding a meta description like: “little boy and his mother” is beyond useless for SEO purposes.
Here’s some good advice on image meta data.
Your blog is yours, so build it on your own real estate — and keep blogging
As I said in blogging dangerously:
That’s the lesson to take away from all those freebie blogging platforms which seem amazing, but over which you have zero control, and which are — POOF — gone. Your blog is just a single decision away from closing — a decision which is made by someone else.
I know it’s tempting to blog on Facebook et al. It’s better than not blogging at all. So if you decide to go this route, do make sure that you back up your content.
But if you possibly can, blog on your own real estate — and keep blogging. 🙂
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