Piaras Kelly PR has 12 tips for writing content for your blog which has been linked to by a few people today. I’d actually agree with most of it – but would also recommend a little caution with a few of them. Let me make a comment on each one.
1. Use catchy titles – there is debate over this. I personally prefer titles that say what the post is about. While catching titles might get you some readers – if you’re looking for traffic from Search Engines a title with your keywords in it that says what the post is about might actually be better than a catchy or criptic title. This goes for RSS feed readers also.
2. Be unique – this is a good tip. Think about how many blogs are out there that look, sound and operate the same as millions of others. Standing out from the crowd is important.
3. Make sure to credit your sources – After my last few posts I think I’d better not say any more about this.
4. Think before you post - This is a definite must – however on some blog topics speed can mean the difference of being the ‘go to’ blog on a topic or being just another of many that are followers. If your blog is on a competitive news topic then speed can be important.
5. Stay on topic – I agree with this. Keep 99% of your posts on topic. An occasional diversion can be ok – but if your blog is on a specific topic – keep to it. The only exception is where you have a wider topic for your blog. The key is to not change mid stream what your blog is about. Your topic can be very wide – but its best you don’t chop and change between wide and niche topics too much.
6. Link, it’s polite - Linking to others is what blogging is all about.
7. Be conversational in tone – I’d agree with this in the majority of cases – but would argue that a consistent tone that reflects your personality is probably more of a key than a conversational one. While I’m as conversational as possible here at ProBlogger – some of my more successful blogs are less conversational. Instead it can be appropriate to be more authoritative on some topics. Again – the important part is being consistent – find a tone and stick to it.
8. Respond to comments - this is a great point – many bloggers don’t do this. Of course it’s easier said than done when your blog attracts a lot of readers..
9. When to post – the argument here is to post in the morning when people are going through their subscriptions. Nice idea – but when is ‘the morning’ when you’re not in the same place as most of your readers? I do think about when I post (for me late at night is a good time for readers) but I’d not get too worked up about it. I do agree that weekdays can be better to publish key announcement or pieces though.
10. Be controversial – This can work for you – but it can also detract from you. I personally don’t get into the controversy thing too much – I prefer a more positive constructive approach to blogging. If you go the controversial route – make sure you have thick skin and are willing to disillusion and even lose some readers. Controversy can build readers in the short term but most blogs need a mixture of positive content as well as critiques, rants etc (of course there are some exceptions).
11. Blogging is not email - Good tips for newbies.
12. Assuming makes an ass out of u and me - ‘Don’t assume readers are familiar with your product/service/pastime.’ – true – it’s worth remembering that your readership is a fluid thing. Not everyone reads everything you write so when you write about things you’ve written about previously you might want to either explain yourself or link to explanatory pages. Also highlight your about page to give people some of the basic information about you.
found via Micro Persuasion