10 Rules for Successful Blogging

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With Blogger, WordPress, MySpace, and Facebook, its easier than ever to start your own blog. However, there’s nothing easy about creating a GOOD blog. It takes time and effort but I’ve come up with 10 rules that should make it just a bit easier.

  1. Update frequently – Look, nothing is worse than having a great blog and then abandoning it. You lose momentum, any buzz you might have generated and most importantly, you lose readers. Its not easy (and to be honest I need to follow this rule more often) but a lame post every now and then is much easier to recover from than going two months without posting.
  2. Cite your sources – Everybody and their dog has a site now. No seriously look. So, linking out to a few authoritative sources to help support your claims might not be a bad idea. It gives you more credibility with your audience and shows that you actually put a little bit of work into the post.
  3. Be controversial – There’s nothing like a little controversy to help promote your site. Take a stand on a controversial issue, and then write intelligently about it. People who agree with you will link to you to in support of their arguments, and people who disagree with you will link to you as they attack your position. Just remember not to take disagreements too personally.
  4. Images help keep the readers attention...oooh shiny!Include images – We live in a society of over stimulation. We’ve got flashing billboards, instant information at our fingertips, and about 15 different forms of media on our phones. So, if you can break up your posts with a picture or two, you might be able to retain those of us with shorter than average attention spa…
  5. Stay on Topic – Along the same lines as the previous point, nothing is worse than trying to wade through a rambling post. On a website, it’s not exactly like you’ve got a captive audience. Most people will click the back button as soon as you start to bore them. (See that? I probably just lost 6 readers right there)
  6. Link to other sites – This one is pretty simple, the more you link to other blogs or sites, the more likely they will be to link back to you.
  7. Be original – As we talked about in point 2, there are a ton of blogs out there. Don’t just rehash the same stuff that every other blog in your area is talking about. If there is a major news story, don’t just post the news; post your take on it. Take a different angle. Do something to set yourself apart from the mass of other blogs. Be original.
  8. Headlines make all the differenceGrab them with the headline – Just like a newspaper, the headlines are critical. If it’s interesting, people will check out your post. If it’s not, they’ll ignore it. It’s as simple as that. And, just like in newspapers, there are some words and phrases that are attention grabbers. “Top 10…”, “How To…”, “Warning:”, or any other alarming words work great in headlines.
  9. Remember that its public – Have you ever heard the saying “Say it words but not in writing?” That holds true on the internet. Always remember that whatever you write is instantly public information. So, it might be unwise to slam your boss, badmouth your company, or hit on someone else’s wife via your blog (or any other internet medium for that matter).
  10. Tell people – So you’ve got a great blog post. Now what? The last rule for blogging is to tell people about it. Mention it to your friends and family, ping sites such as pingomatic.com, and submit it to social sites such as digg.com, reddit.com, fark.com, or any other appropriate site. Sure it’s a bit of self promotion but if you wait around for someone else to do it for you, you’ll probably end up blogging to yourself.

Disagree? Did I miss any? Let me know!