At the end of last year, just before breaking for the holidays, I had a conversation with my co-worker about our New Year’s resolutions, and we got onto the topic of our “work resolutions.” We both mentioned that we wanted to do more writing and blogging both for Engaging Times and our own personal brands. We agreed we’d be sort of a support system – like gym buddies, except for blogging.
There are countless benefits to building one’s personal brand. You raise your profile, along with your company’s. The goal is to be considered a thought leader in your space and develop a significant online and professional network.
Well, it’s now mid-March, and while I’m still no gym rat, my blogging resolution is where I have slacked the most. So in order to give myself and fellow blogger wannabes a jump start, I decided to put together a list of basic tips to follow when blogging.
1. Keep it short. A blog post doesn’t need to be more than 3 or 4 paragraphs. We’re used to getting our news in 140-character bites, so a blog post much longer than 500 words isn’t likely to keep your readers’ attention. Think about when YOU start to lose interest when reading an article online.
2. Make it easy to read. Use bullets, bold font and short paragraphs to help your readers identify key themes and navigate easily through your post.
3. Choose a catchy title. What will people be searching for? Many will decide if they want to read further just based on the title, so make sure it grabs their attention.
4. Use links. You can keep the length of your post under control and enhance your content by linking to external information, rather than going into detail on your blog. Let the reader decide if they want to learn more. Choose to have your links open in a new window or tab so visitors aren’t taken away from your page.
5. Please, for the love of blog, PROOFREAD! I catch some flack around here for being the “grammar police,” and while I don’t expect everyone to have an AP Style Guide on hand at all times, you can avoid silly mistakes. Use spellcheck. Have a friend proofread. Don’t force me to write another post on the difference between their/there/they’re, your/you’re and its/it’s.
6. Choose a topic to blog about consistently. What subject is interesting to you personally, and how does that relate to your professional life? For those who don’t know me, I’m the resident PR girl. I’m interested in social media and digital marketing, so expect posts from me on how those themes interact. What topic is relevant to you?
And there you have it – I’ve just publicly shamed myself into contributing regular blog posts, so check back for more. What other tips would you add to this list?