Successful blogging tips

by Julie on October 7, 2009

Well-used tips.

Well-used tips.

When it comes to blogging, most people focus on content. What will they write about, how they will write it and what comes next. And while content is critical, here are some other tricks, tips, tools not to be forgotten:

Link to old posts. Remember that while you will develop a steady flow of regular readers, people will also find you via organic search or a shared link and happen upon your latest post today. If you can link any of the information in that post to older posts, you’re 1) offering added value and information to your readers, and 2) inviting them deeper inside your site creating a stronger relationship and connection. This task requires significant work, but it’s not so bad if you keep up with it by looking for linking opportunities as you write each post. For instance, it would now be appropriate for me to link to this post I wrote about blog formatting.

Link to other blogs. Google alerts, anyone? I know when my blog or my name is linked to from another blog, and I always go check that blog out with the desire to connect with or thank the author. When you link to other blogs, you’re sharing the wealth and really connecting the silken threads that create this blogosphere.

Use pictures/media. I’m a huge fan of Creative Commons for picture finding because it gives you access to images on Flickr, Google, and Yahoo, as well as other media from blip.tv, jamendo and spinXpress. Media extras layers to every post, providing additional meaning and new perspectives. Don’t forget that while some of your readers learn best by reading, others learn by looking and listening. Remember to always give credit to the owner of the image.

Leave comments on other blogs. Many people these days have plugins such as comment luv on their blogs, so that every time someone leaves a comment, a link to their last blog post shows up by their remark. A catchy headline is likely to grab a fellow reader/commentor’s eye and send them to your blog. Also, the owner of that blog, if interested in your comment, will want to check you out (I do that all the time). Finally, it’s just good manners. You can’t expect people to leave comments on your blog, if you don’t leave them on theirs.

Strategize to gain comments. There’s no sure fire formula to get comments, but posts that are dry, boring, non-controversial and one-sided are sure not to get comments. Your blog might not be the place for controversy, but you can always strive to make your posts two-way conversations. Ask questions, challenge your readers to contribute, request their views. For instance, we’d love to hear the strategies that you use to make your blog full of juice! Please add to this list in the comments below. (Seriously, I’m not just showing you an example, I really want to hear from you!)

Image credit: laffy4k

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 natalie October 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Really good tips, thank you! I’m finding I get a lot of visits, but almost no comments. Perhaps ending my posts with an open ended question would encourage more interaction.

2 Linda Beal October 7, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Thanks from someone who has been dipping their toe in the blog pond, but still finding it difficult to dive in!

3 Stephe October 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Love the crayon photo, Julie. A real eye-catcher. Clever segue.

It’s to my understanding that most people who comment are people who would feel safe to do so. Most either know the writer ~ thus feeling safe ~ or maintain enough anonymity on the Internet to feel safe. I’m not a psychologist, so I’ll spare you my further guess-work LOL.

But most folk just speed-read and run. That’s how it goes.

On my blogs, the juice is simply whatever feels juicy to me at the moment, and my whims can change like the wind. Whether or not other people read or comment is not high on the agenda. However, with regard to your blogging advice here, I do hope to create interesting blogs. Time. Do people know how much time it takes to create an interesting blog? I can spend hours conceiving it in my mind and at the keyboard. They give it a visual quick-scan looking for keywords and highlights of their own liking ~ and then they go. LOL

Anyway, thanks for the advice!!
Came in here through your twitter, btw.

4 PamelaMKramer @A Renaissance Woman October 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I think feeding your blog to Twitter and Facebook are very useful. I get a lot of comment generated from those sites.

5 Mark Sherrick October 7, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Feeding your blog to other sites will get you hits, but it won’t necessarily get you comments. I have a huge list of blogs that I read that have sent me hits in some way, but very few of them do I comment on.

I myself am struggling to get comments to my blog, and have used the outlined techniques to a very small show of support from a large pool of unfortunately slim repeat readers. If you can’t keep loyal readers, you won’t get comments. I’m not proud to say that my blog is a living example of what not to do for the most part, but at the moment it is.

6 Jackie October 13, 2009 at 3:01 pm

One great way to get more comments is to make sure you ask for them. At the bottom of most of my posts I ask for comments ~ whether it’s questions that people may have regarding the post, or asking for people’s opinions or thoughts on the post. This has worked really well for me. I’ve never really gotten a lot of comments on my blog, but now most of my posts get some comments and I have more and more posts that are getting 20 or 50 comments.

7 Tara @ Feels like home October 25, 2009 at 9:48 pm

If I had to write a top 5 tips, this would also be my top 5.

One thing that I’ve noticed over the last 6 months or so is that my most informative and helpful posts get the least number of comments. And then, the comments that they do get are things like “Thanks, this is great!” which are nice to read but not good for generating a conversation.

On the other hand, the posts I write that are ridiculous stories spur lively conversations. It doesn’t matter whether they are tragic or funny, as long as they are emotional.

On the other hand, my informative posts are the ones that generate the most search engine traffic, so I guess the answer for me is a mix of both kinds of posts.

One last thing! I think a threaded comment structure is helpful in generating a community around your blog.

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