Blogging has become an integral part of online business as it is a fantastic way of attracting traffic to a site. Saying that, however, when you first start out in the world of blogging there is a lot to get to grips with. That is why I decided to put together a set of unofficial rules of blogging for newbies to help them out.
1. Always Respond To Comments
Every site’s priority should be to try and build a community of people around their website. There are numerous ways in which you can do this, but one of the very best is via the comment section. Comments are essentially the lifeblood of any site so you should really make the most of them.
One thing that I see quite often and, that if I’m quite honest annoys me terribly, is when site’s don’t respond to any comments. I can come across a well written blog post with plenty of comments left by readers, but none have been replied to by the author. This is just wasteful!
If people have taken the time to leave a comment, ask a question or ask for help, etc. then it is your job to reply. Not only is it simply polite, but it can also greatly benefit your site by doing so. New visitors to your site will see that your website is active and that it is somewhere that they can go for genuine help/advice. This can really help to build a community around your website and slowly build your readership.
2. Get Involved With Commenting
Sticking with the “commenting” theme, it is equally important to get involved on other people’s sites. This can help spread the word about your blog and help people to recognise you online. As well as that, if you can prove to be helpful on other people’s sites, they will be more willing to visit your own site.
Try to stick to sites within your own niche as this way people in your target audience can get to know you. It can also help to get to know other blog owners by doing this, which leads nicely to my next point.
3. Acknowledge Other Bloggers
Don’t be reluctant to mention and link to other people’s content within your own posts. Not only can this be beneficial in the eyes of the search engines (as they value content that links to other high quality content), but it can also encourage others to link to your content as well.
4. Share & Share Alike
Social media is a huge component in the blogging world. In the same way that it is beneficial to link to and mention other people’s work within your own posts, it is also beneficial to share (Tweet, Like, +1, Pin, etc.) other people’s content with your own followers.
Whilst this may sound counter-intuitive, it can really help to build your following. People generally dislike profiles that just self-promote themselves. If you can mix it up a bit and share with your followers links to other high quality, relevant posts, then they will appreciate that. Similarly, other bloggers will be much more willing to share your posts with their audience if you do the same.
5. Quality Is Always Better Than Quantity
One question that always crops up online to do with blogging is “How often should I post?”
There are many varying opinions on this, but most would agree that quality is always better than quantity. Instead of trying to publish as many posts as you can simply for the sake of it, focus more on producing high quality content that people want to read.
6. Longer Posts Are Better Than Shorter Posts
Another common question that comes up a lot is “How long should my posts be?”
Again, there are varying opinions on this, but most would agree that longer posts are much better than shorter posts. Much of this comes down to quality, as you can’t expect to include that much detail and helpful advice in a really short post. Longer posts allow you to be much more descriptive for your audience and cover a subject in more detail.
It has been suggested that Google tend to favour lengthy posts, as articles of 2,000+ words ranking much higher than much shorter posts. This is another reason why you should try to make your posts much longer.
At the end of the day though, there is no “magic number” that you need to aim for in terms of word count. Your posts should be as long as they need to be, just remember to put more emphasis on quality.
7. Forget About Stats
Statistics are something that a lot of new bloggers love to look at and keep checking on a regular basis. Whilst stats are very important for sites to monitor in the long-term, they are practically irrelevant to brand new sites.
New bloggers often wrongly assume that their site can sky-rocket to getting millions of hits within a few weeks. In reality it can take a while for a site to begin to build an audience online, which is why constantly checking stats is a waste of time. You are probably better off just forgetting about them altogether for the first few months and just focusing on getting your site up and running. If anything, it can be demoralizing to see little to no growth when you first start, but like I say this can be quite common for the few months.
These are just some unofficial rules that came to mind when writing this post. Ask other bloggers and I’m sure they would come up with some additional ones. If you follow these though you will be on the right path to building a successful blog for the future.
What blogging rules do you live by? What good advice have you been given to do with blogging? We want to hear from you so please get in touch below.