So, uh, I’m new to this whole blogging thing. But, I recently attended a “Blogger Summit” hosted by Center for Civic Policy. Below are some of the tips (style, soliciting comments, strategy) I picked up from folks who know a lot more about this than me.
General Style tips:
- Short paragraphs – you’re not writing your magnum opus. Keep in mind that many readers of online content tend to scan rather than read closely.
- Posts that explicitly solicit comments, “Hey what do you all think about…”, are considered cheap. Instead, consider something like: these are my thoughts, they’re not fully formed…
- Acknowledge the comments that you do receive!
- “Hit” your readers where they’re at. Meaning, your posts should reflect the mindset and interests of your readers.
- Have a “give” together with an “ask” – don’t just take, take, take. For example, you might provide a post on how to set up a solar water heater along with something about pending legislation related to water scarcity.
- The tags or keywords you want to associate with your post should be reflected in the title or at least the 1st 80 words. This is makes things more search engine and RSS friendly.
- Use catchy titles!
- Offer functionality for tracking authors, like NM Independent.
- Make references to previous posts.
- Write about shared, universal experiences like rising gas prices or quoting people you and your readers know.
- Tie into the latest public obsession, like this title: There Will Be Blood, SunCal Style.
- Watch your stats, both the day and time (heard that Thursday and Friday at 1PM are very good) and learn from them.
- Don’t save up your posts and publish them all at once, but rather phase them throughout the day.
See this related post.