The Rules of Blogging: Dos and Don'ts
There are no fixed rules for blogging, of course, but there are best practices, which experienced bloggers have collected over the years and which can be very helpful for beginners.
Do: Passion and Fun
Good bloggers love to publish regular content over a long period of time about new ideas and new products in their market. You’ll only be a successful blogger if you enjoy your own blog topic and the writing itself. Think only about money and you’ll soon lose interest and give up.
Do: Be Honest, Stay Focused
The lure of quick-and-easy money is always lurking on the internet. There are many ways to make money online, but none are fast or easy. These ‘Get Rich Quick’ schemes are often referred to as ‘Bright Shiny Objects’ and are a constant distraction. Ignore them and instead, ask what you need to tend to in the medium and long-term to generate income. In the main, this is writing about information on your topic and also writing honest product reviews– be honest with yourself; ask yourself what you would think about the product and then inform your visitors. This approach will invariably build up trust with your reader.
Do: Write for Readers
Before writing new articles, think about the requirements of those you want to read them. Your content should respond to their interests and problems: if you answer their questions, they will learn to trust you more.
Do: Write Regularly
A big problem many new bloggers have is that they don’t publish new content on a regular basis. Readers are looking forward to new products and high frequency of posts is rewarded. In addition, if you’re always blogging, you’ll improve your skills and stay on the ball. So create a timetable, a reward system, a reminder or way of prompting yourself – whatever works for you and ensures you write and update content as regularly as possible.
Do: Tell Stories
Factual writing doesn’t emotionally engage your readers. If possible, you have to try and awaken and stir emotions. The time-honored way of doing this is by telling stories. Storytelling in articles ensures your writing will be based on your own experiences and will use practical examples, comprehensive arguments and more to illustrate the focus of the article. If you can integrate your own experiences and examples, it will increase your personal bond with your readers.
Do: Keep It Brief
We don’t mean just write a few sentences. Longer articles with plenty of information can go down well with certain readers and with the search engines, too. But don’t pad out an article for the sake of it – stick to what’s important for your reader.
Do: Text is one Part
Blogging is often equated with writing articles, but remember, you can enhance your articles with video, audio and images – not just text. This can help make your content more engaging and memorable to a reader.
Do: First Impressions Count
Content is the main reason to visit a blog, but one should not underestimate the first impression your site makes. It’s especially important for new blogs to take care of these factors: the layout, colors, headings, loading time and other factors influence new readers’ perceptions, long before they’ve read a word of text.
Do: Remember Marketing
Content isn’t everything. If no one knows about your great article or product review on your blog, no one will visit. Don’t neglect basic SEO measures, and be active on social networks. Only those who actively pursue marketing opportunities will make the most out of their blog.
Get in contact with other bloggers, discuss ways of sharing links, working together, leave comments on posts, and more. Not only will you develop new marketing opportunities, you’ll expand your horizons and become a better blogger.
Don't Copy Content
Unfortunately, again and again, aspiring bloggers simply take content from other blogs, make a few basic changes and publish it as their own. It’s a poor strategy; it’s also illegal – at worst, it’s punishable by law and at the least, it’s frowned upon by the entire online community.
Don’t: Be Unscrupulous
Some bloggers present exaggerated claims or untruths as factual content on their blog. They may also write product reviews which claim something is great simply to make money, which is a really short-sighted strategy. In the long run, your online reputation is all about being credible and if you lose the trust of your visitors, then your credibility goes with it.
The internet is relatively anonymous; unfortunately, this emboldens some bloggers to write disrespectfully of others or offend readers. Again, this may bring some positive effects from the short-term attention, but in the long run, it will burn many bridges and have serious drawbacks.
Don't: Cheat Google
Some bloggers try to find shortcuts or tricks to fool the search engines like Google: typically, this involves practices such as buying backlinks to your website in an attempt to persuade the search engines that your site is more popular than it is. These tricks seldom, if ever, work and can be a disaster for your website, resulting in it being removed from the search engines altogether.
Don't: Just be in it for the Money
You can earn good money by blogging. Many bloggers make a part-time or full-time living. But these bloggers have one thing in common – blogging is not just for the money. Building a successful blog for many years by regularly blogging and staying tuned-in to your area of expertise is a strenuous and laborious task. If money is the only motivation, you’ll quickly lose it. So instead, have fun and be passionate about what you are doing and the money will come.