How to Blog: 10 Tips from Shine

blog keyDo you blog?  Would you like to learn how to blog more effectively?  Read on.  Yahoo has a new blogging platform for women called “Shine,” and they were at BlogHer promoting the site. They distributed “10 Steps to Writing a Better Blog.” These are great tips, so I thought I would share them on “The Fletcher Prince Blog.” I’ve edited them a little for brevity, and added my own comments.  Adhere to these tips and you will be an expert blogger!

  1. Blog about what your passionate about. That’s what this blog is about — we are passionate about these topics and we’re eager to share what we’ve learned. I could blog about investor relations, which is a public relations topic, but that is not an area of interest for me right now.
  2. Read and comment on other blogs. I regularly post comments on these blogs, myself.  And when you comment, you can say “great post,” but 95% of people do that, and how does that keep the conversation going?  Add your thoughts, resources, and experiences, even disagreements, to the comment.
  3. Create a blogging plan. At Fletcher Prince, our blogging plan involves posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is easy with WordPress, because we can blog ahead and schedule the posts. A predictable schedule important for SEO (because the spiders will crawl you more frequently), and it’s important for building reader loyalty.
  4. Pick a topic that is relevant to your readers. And how do you do that? Well, we do a lot of networking and we attend a lot of professional development workshops. If I hear the same question or concern being raised over and over, I know that’s something people want to know more about, and I will make that a blog topic. The same is true for client questions. If I have a question my clients ask, that will make it into the blog. Then the most compelling blog topics get blended into our monthly email newsletter content.
  5. Write effective headlines. As I tell my interns and staff, you have to write headlines for your posts that are interesting, but that will also be understood by a search engine. Cryptic or quirky headlines with lots of punctuation will look odd in an RSS reader. The headline should contain at least one keyword that is related to the main idea of your topic. “How To,” “Tips,” and other instructive style headlines will get more clicks.
  6. Focus on one topic per post. Anytime you start going off on a tangent, that’s an indicator that you need to make your post into two posts (or more). Blog posts that are very focussed are easier to understand.
  7. Humanize your post. Your points will appear more genuine if you write in a conversational tone, as if you were talking to a friend. Another tip that BlogHer staff provided to me was the importance of using your real name and photograph on your blog posts. It’s important to write in your own voice, but that doesn’t necessarily mean profanity, jargon, or slang. If there’s one problem I have with some social media bloggers, and I just called one onto the mat for this, it’s getting unnecessarily vulgar or profane in a post. That doesn’t add anything to your point. I also get enormously frustrated with posts that are excessively glib or hipper-than-thou. I think blogs — especially business blogs — should be have a more welcoming style. We really strive for that on our blog.
  8. Don’t make the post all about you. My internal editing tool is: would I want to read this if someone else was writing it? Would it be meaningful, informative, or useful to my readers?
  9. Make sure your post is adding to the conversation. Their point was don’t just rehash the same story. In the Fletcher Prince Blog, we do take several articles and sources and boil them down to what can be applied in marketing or public relations projects for the typical small business or nonprofit organization. But we also infuse those posts with our own expertise, experiences, resources, commentary, and critiques.  Just as I am doing now!
  10. Craft posts that are easy to read. People scan online content to see if the post is worth reading. You can make your post text scan-friendly this by adding sub heads, using bold face type, breaking up lengthy paragraphs, using bullets and numbers, or adding video or photo images.
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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on June 15, 2009, in Blogging Tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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