Starting a Blog? Here are 10 Things to Keep in Mind.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when you start a blog. This excellent post by Jamie Turner was featured  on his excellent blog 60secondmarketer.com and is now republished here, with Jamie’s kind permission …

Are you thinking about starting a blog? If so, there are several things you should keep in mind. Here are the top 10 tips you should keep in mind before you launch a blog.

  1. Be Specific About Your Goals: Oh, sure, everyone knows that you should have an objective for your blog before you launch it. But most people aren’t specific in their goal-setting. Do you want it to attract customers? Do you want it to add personality to your brand? Or do you simply want a channel to communicate your take on the latest headlines? Be specific.
  2. Think Backwards: Jerry Brown was a great advertising man who decided the best way to sell a product was to get inside the mind of the customer. He called it Thinking Backwards. When you’re Thinking Backwards about your blog, ask yourself “What’s in it for my reader?” Nobody comes back to a blog unless they get tools, tips or techniques that improve their lives in one way or another.
  3. Write Headlines that People Will Google: If you want traffic to your site, then write headlines that are Google-able. People don’t Google “Engines,” they Google “How to fix a 1954 V-8 Chrysler engine” or “V-8 Chrysler engine.” Write your headlines the way people Google. That’ll ensure better traffic and readership.
  4. Vary the Length of Your Blogs: A lot of people wonder how long a blog post should be. The correct answer is as long as you want it to be. That said, your readers will appreciate it (and come back for more) if your posts vary in length. Remember, variety is the spice of life.
  5. Use Guest Bloggers: Eventually, all bloggers need a break now and then. You can keep your ideas and your writing fresh by taking time off and stepping away from your blog. Make a policy of having regular guest bloggers. That way, you can maintain the quality of your work without sacrificing quantity.
  6. Blog 3 to 5 Times a Week: Some people won’t agree with this, but we’ve found that unless you blog 3 to 5 times a week, Google, Yahoo and MSN won’t rank your blog as high.
  7. Know Your Blogging Platforms: The most common blogging platforms are WordPress, Drupal, Typepad and Google’s Blogger. They’re all good. We use WordPress and love it. Drupal has a more graphical interface. Typepad has been around a long time. And Blogger is good if you’re a beginner.
  8. Enhance Your Blog with Plugins: Plugins are mini-software programs that make your blog more user-friendly. No matter what platform you use, be sure to check out the Plugins. Your visitors will have a better experience that way.
  9. Stay on Topic: It’s easy to get distracted on your blog or to write about off-topic subjects. But your readers aren’t interested in off-topic subjects. They’re interested in whatever it is you specialize in. So stay on-topic as much as possible.
  10. Ask Questions: To encourage reader-engagement, you should ask questions at the end of your posts. Don’t ask just for the sake of asking. Ask because your readers probably have a lot of good ideas and comments you haven’t thought of.

Does that make sense? Is there anything we’ve left off? If you were giving advice to a new blogger, what would you tell them?

Please share your thoughts and add your questions to the comments below. I’ll try to provide as many answers as possible in my future online videos, seminars, workshops, masterclasses and blog posts.

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