A Quick Checklist to an Effective Blog
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There could be a million reasons why you blog, but a blogger’s top concern is that a blog does what it is intended to do. Whether you are in the planning stage or seeking to enhance your existing blog, there are easy ways to make sure that it is effective. Aside from offering interesting content, your blog will benefit from a few tricks that can pave its way to becoming a must-read.
Pick the right name. The name you choose must be clear and fairly easy to remember, as well as give a clue to what the blog is about. If it is about your company, then use its name or that of a specific product you want to promote.
Write an introduction. Most blogging sites allow for an “about” section or info box. Use it to properly introduce your blog and its writers, so that readers will know what to expect.
Write clear headlines and posts. Have you ever tried doing a web search for one topic and getting a totally different result than expected? Your reader may face a similar dilemma if your headlines are misleading and your posts are ambiguous. A blog must be able to sustain the reader’s interest, so try to be entertaining but straight to the point.
Avoid long posts. If you have no intention of boring your reader or cause computer-related eye strain, then it is best to keep blog posts short. Leave long articles to printed material, or put up a separate site for them.
Update often. Give readers a reason to check back regularly. This will also help boost popularity for your blog as it gains followers, particularly in its early stages. Three or four times a week should be enough to keep your blog fresh.
Simple is better. When it comes to your blog’s design, a simple layout is vital to highlighting its content. Be sure to have links to your archives, most recent posts, categories and tags on the side bar to allow the reader to easily navigate your site. Having all of your posts on the front page without links can pose the challenge of tedious scrolling, and lose your reader’s interest altogether. When you can, avoid cluttering your site with irrelevant widgets or ads that may confuse your reader.
Build links to build readership. Perhaps more tragic than a poorly-written blog is a well-written one that practically nobody reads. Once you have put up your blog, spread the word to your network. Take the time to read related blogs and leave relevant comments, along with a link to your blog. Also, use links in your posts to either refer readers to your previous posts or direct them to other sites that are relevant to the topic.
Interact with your readers. Reply to readers’ comments to add to the discussion. More than posting often, knowing and responding to your readers can increase your blog’s chances of rising up the search ranks, as it raises the likelihood of more people linking back to your site.
Manage readers’ comments. Keep an eye out for spam posts and remove them quickly, as some may be distasteful or annoying to your readers, or just not helpful to your blog at all.
Place ads strategically. Sure enough, many readers would rather avoid ads and visit ad-free blogs. But if you absolutely must host ads on your blog, take the time to plan and research proper ad placement. You don’t want to crowd the homepage with ads and leave little space for your content. If done properly, ad placement can enhance your blog and make it reader-friendly.