Blogging is no small feat. It takes a long time to make money from a blog and for the first several months or even years, many hours every week have to be devoted to your labor of love. Over time, you’ll eventually gain a following – assuming your material is of high quality and interesting – and you may start making money from advertising and backlinks.
In the meantime, though, you have a lot of work to do. Your blog may go through several stages of growing pains before you really settle into your niche and deliver content that your audience wants. Even the most experienced blogger has to switch up their tactics from time to time to stay relevant, interesting and appealing.
Whether you’re just starting your first blog or you’re a seasoned blogger who’s looking for a change, learning a few new things is always good. These insights will change the way you blog from here on out.
1. Instead of thinking of your blog as the one and only important website out there, think of yourself as part of a blogging community.
If you put time and effort into the community, you’ll be rewarded in return. Link to other websites that you love or that you get your inspiration from. Comment on other blog posts and link back to your own site. The tight-knit blogging community will end up getting your blog new readers as long as you stay in the mix.
2. Take your time writing the headline to each blog post.
The post’s headline is the first – and sometimes the only – way to grab your potential reader’s attention. Lose them here and they may never come back. Snag them with the headline and you could have a brand new return visitor.
3. Fight through a creativity block so that you can post something today instead of putting it off.
You won’t always be inspired to write, but that doesn’t mean your regular visitors aren’t checking your blog for the latest post. When creativity is at a standstill, spark it yourself by reading, listening to music or taking a walk through a new neighborhood. The last thing you want to do is not post at all. Your readers will eventually stop checking for new posts even after you get back on a regular schedule.
4. Some people opt to write short posts because they don’t think their readers’ attention spans will last through a long post.
Other people choose to write long posts because it is, after all, your blog that’s meant for your thoughts. More important than the length, though, is what the post looks like to the naked eye. A big block of text is scary and will almost always be bypassed. Break up the post into small paragraphs, enlarge interesting quotes, italicize and bold certain words and put images between paragraphs.
5. Let your readers weigh in.
Sometimes there’s nothing worse than being talked at instead of talked with, especially when the topic of conversation is slightly taboo. If you’re going to open the flood gates, at least let your readers respond. Don’t shy away from negative comments, either. Your readers have just as much a right to express their point of view as you do.
6. Keep your blog current in two ways:
1) by regularly updating it and 2) by posting about timely, relevant topics.
7. Learn the difference between plagiarism and attribution rights.
One does not necessarily ensure the other. Simply acknowledging that you took information from somewhere covers you by verifying that you didn’t plagiarize a work. If you don’t have the rights to use or display that work, though, you could be in breach of attribution rights. Always look for works, like pictures and music samples, that have a creative commons license. This means that you can use it on your own site, as long as you attribute it, without breaking any rules.