whether it's your blog layout, the content, finding your niche or the frequency of posts, we can all use a tip or two from the blogging pros. enter: the expert panel. i've called upon a group of my favorites to collectively give us the tools we need to better our blogs. they are small online business owners and/or bloggers whom i read daily. i am inspired at how they've each made a name for themselves online. thankfully they agreed to answer my hefty questionnaire. they have passion in their posts and write words that matter. so, without beating around the bush–i asked them straight up–what are your top 3 tips for blogging like a pro? here are their fantastic answers.
1. Write a separate post for separate thoughts. Example, don't lump a story about your dog in with a cupcake recipe. Separate posts will make it easier for another blogger or twitterer to share something that interested them (the cupcakes) to new potential readers without confusion. Both topics may be great and have a place on your blog, but will have more "online life" as separate posts.
2. Use photos. Not every post needs a photo, but images will help break up the words and may grasp the interest of new visitors to your site. If you are taking photos, put time into composing images. Be sure to credit when you are not using images that are your own.
3. Stay true to yourself. Blogs have become resumes for who you were and who you are. No one is perfect and your blog certainly will not be, but if you remain honest and "real" your blog will accurately represent you. When I was in college and applying for jobs, I worried that my blog might hinder me in finding a new career. Now, after four years of blogging (and a bit of a positive shift in how companies perceive bloggers) I am proud of the site I have built and encourage companies to see my scope of work on my blog. Before you hit publish on every post be sure it is something you are proud to share.
- elise blaha | enjoy design
1. Don't start a post with an apology for how boring your post is going to be.
2. Keep paragraphs short so there's plenty of "white space."
3. Let YOUR personality shine through.
- marty | travelin' oma
1.) Finding your niche. Don't try to cover ever single topic under the sun, find your focus and stick to it. 2.) Consistency in posting. If you only want to post once a day, that's fine but stick to it. Your readers expect it from you and you don't want to disappoint your audience. 3.) Fresh material. No one wants to see the same thing in 800 places around the web. Do some digging and be the first to introduce something to the blogosphere.
- Kelly | Design Crush
• Play nice. When on other blogs remember it's as if you are a guest in their home. If you don't like what they have to say, politely leave. Nobody likes a bully.
• Don't ever take a reader for granted and understand that they are blessing you with their presence...not the other way around. Be honest, and genuine and true to yourself and you will attract a readership that appreciates it.
• Step outside the box. Take a few risks. It is hard when you are blogging in a particular niche, often you are discussing the same topics, and working on similar projects. Don't be afraid to do it your way, with your voice, and your heart...by doing that it will more than likely set you apart.
- destri | the mother huddle
1. be connected.. to your readers. to other bloggers. write and respond and get acquainted with the people you see in your daily blog stops. once i started to see the blog realm as a community, i enjoyed it all the more.
2. be real.. blog about things that really and truly interest you. i like how marta says this workshop is about heartfelt blogging. she's spot on. don't force it. be yourself. you'll soon find readers who are uncannily like-minded and it will be loads of fun.
3. be consistent.. just keep at it. without letting it become the order of the day. live your life, blog on the side.
- summer harms
Blog every day. Post photos. Write in a voice that is natural to you.
- kal | love life
• Anything that works at a party will work on a blog. Flirt, be considerate, confide, entertain your friends' interests, be trustworthy and cheerful, and thoroughly enjoy yourself, it will show.
• Satisfy your own curiosities, solve your own problems, and follow your own passions, and you'll find you are satisfying others as well.
• Always be open to discovering what you do well, where you add value and feel passion. Be on the lookout as you begin to develop a visual identity. It will emerge naturally. When your readers see it they will recognize it, like recognizing the voice of a good friend.
- amber | givers log
thank you for the excellent tips, panelists. follow their links to see the experts in action. note their layout, their unique voice in the way they write and the vibes their blog sends out. what pulls you in? how can you be inspired by their advice? tune in tomorrow as they tackle the subject of maintaining a small business online.