This list is based on what has worked for me in the past but is by no means a definitive list and there will of course be items on the list that people disagree with and are outraged by but this is my blog and I'll tweet links if I want to :) Writing your blog is a commitment though and although you don't need to follow all of these rules you will have make an effort to start posting on a regular basis and interacting with your readers. You have a real chance to make your little corner of the web something special but it is going to take a lot of hard work and some patience. Here are some of our tips to help make your blog something special...
1.Build your blog on Wordpress. It really is the easiest and most straightforward platform and there are 100s of great plugins and services built around it to match your every need. You will have a blog up and running in under 10 minutes even if you have no technical knowledge.
2.Write about subjects that you know and are passionate about. It doesn't matter if your passion is pig farming in rural Scotland or pole dancing in China as there will always be an audience who find what you write interesting.
3.Don't bother writing posts for the weekend, everybody is off having fun.
4.Don't waste your time or your reader's time by starting a post with.....Sorry I haven't blogged for X amount of time because I have been too busy.
5.If you think a post is OK, decent, not bad, grand or will do for today then don't publish it, aim for quality.
6.Spend some time adding some SEO plugins to your blog, this is a great way to attract new readers, there are some easy tips for beginners here.
7.People like short blog posts, read over your posts and cut out the fluff, get to the point.
8.If you are writing a business blog use stock imagery to make it look more professional. You can also use creative commons pictures from Flickr if you need a cheaper option.
9.Don't sit on the fence and take the easy route when blogging. Write posts that get your point across no matter how controversial, they will cause divide and get comments and discussion going.
10.If you don't already get yourself a Twitter account. They are great for building a community around your blog and getting some easy traffic to start you off. Add A Tweetmeme button so as people can spread the word on Twitter easily.
Sticking To The Plan
1.Set yourself a posting timetable. It might seem drastic but you need to stick to what you set out to do. If you can only post twice a week that is fine, but stick to it.
2.Make constant use of bookmarking sites like Delicious, Stumbleupon and Digg. Use them all as they should be used and don't just spam them with your content.
3.Write original content that will add value rather than copy and pasting or lifting content from other sites. This will take time but ultimately be worth it.
4.You should count yourself very lucky if even one person cares enough to leave a comment on your post so make sure to answer them as often and as thoughtfully as you possibly can.
5.Embed some dynamic content like Photos, Polls, presentations or YouTube videos to help engage with your users and offer them something compelling.
6.Promote your blog everywhere you go including on your business cards, in email signatures, on your other websites and on your social networking profiles.
7.Write some really good lists (you were attracted to this one) or best off posts as people love these.
8.Always include internal links to your own blog to relevant content, for example people reading this post will probably be interested in reading the ultimate guide to twitter.
9.Always link out to other blogs and websites. You shouldn't see it as people leaving your blog as if you provide them with good quality posts and relevant information they wll be back to your blog.
10.Comment on other blogs in your area of interest. This will take up time but it is essential to get involved in your community and build a presence.
The Hard Slog
1.Be available in as many ways as possible including email, twitter and phone. Chances are a journalist or other blogger will want to contact you at some stage about featuring your blog so don't make it hard for them to find you.
2.Blogging takes a lot of hard work (some of these posts take 3 hours) but you will start seeing results if you stick at it. Don't just give up after 3 months when you don't see any comments.
3.Network in the real world. There are tons of events for bloggers and Twitterers and people will be more likely to read your blog if they can put a face to it.
4.Spend 10 minutes thinking about the title of your blog post. They grab attention and usually decide if people will read the post or not.
5.Make your posts easy to scan with headers and bullet points. People scan through content on the internet so posts should be short and snappy rather than a long babbling mess.
6.Tag your posts like crazy and make usre to add them to places like Technorati and Alltop
7.Ask for help from your fellow bloggers. We all remember when we were starting off and had no idea about how to grow our blogs so reach out and ask for help. Even the biggest bloggers will likely oblige if asked.
8.Be yourself instead of writing words you think are posh or sound better.
9.Get a really simple design and stick with it forever. Spend your time creating content rather than tinkering.
10."Nothing gives an author so much pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned authors." Benjamin Franklin
Do you have any blogging tips that you would like to share with other? If so leave them in the comments and let us know what has worked for you?