My dad started a blog a couple of days ago which got me to thinking about what I’ve learned in these 20 months of blogging. And so, like many before me, I thought I’d give my tips on blogging and building an audience. If I were Brian I’d be blogging about blogging about blogging (gauntlet thrown).
In the meantime here are some insights in no particular order:
1) Blog 3-4 times a week. More is clutter. Less is too long a wait.
2) The best posts are 300 – 600 words long. Much longer and readers give up. Shorter and you haven’t really said anything.
3) Blog for at least two months without stopping. Consistency reassures readers you’ll be around.
4) Post at about the same time each day. Mornings give people the most time to notice and read your post.
5) Write whenever you want. That’s what scheduling a post is for.
6) Skip Fridays.
7) Always post on Monday.
8) Make it easy to follow your blog. Use the widget.
9) Use 5 tags for each post.
10) Like books, the title and first sentence are what grab readers.
11) List posts look easy but take longer than you think.
12) It’s a blog, not a diary.
13) Follow and comment on other blogs to find your audience.
14) Keep your blogroll short and selective. It should reflect the blogs you think are worth reading, but should not be a list of everywhere you’ve been on the web.
15) Write for 40 minutes, then stop.
16) Don’t go back and change old posts unless there is a glaring error.
17) Don’t obsess over stats. They are often random, and only give a clear picture after a long time.
18) Reblog sparingly.
19) Tweek the site periodically as you learn new tools.
20) Reply to comments whenever you can.
21) Don’t moderate comments unless you start seeing abuse.
22) Many of your followers are bots. Don’t worry about it.
23) Take breaks when you need them but let your readers know. Try not to take more than a week off.
24) Keep an ideas notebook for slower days.
25) Don’t be afraid to break from theme, but remember your audience.
Hope this helps. Any other tips you guys have?