7 Ways To Improve Your Blog
We are big believers in including a blog on your website. It gives people a reason to come back to your website. It also gives you something to use for email marketing to your clients. In addition, a blog is big time SEO juice. However, for many people, maintaining a blog is something they have a lot of trouble with. For this reason, it ends up falling off the radar, which is bad for business. A blog that isn't updated is far worse than no blog at all. Here are a few tips to help you get off on the right foot, and keep things going.
- Block out time to write. If you mark writing on the calendar Tuesday from 9 to 10 am, that makes it just as important as any other meeting you have in your weekly schedule. Stick to it, and you won't have the excuse that you didn't have time because you planned it ahead.
- Don't write and edit at the same time. This is a quality thing. When I write, I almost always let the content sit until the next day before I proofread it. This enables me to look at it with fresh eyes. Whenever I proofread and edit right after I write the content, be it for a blog, web content, press release, or something else, I always miss something. Without waiting until the next day, I tend to skim over the article and say "yep it's good".
- Do your research. The great thing and the horrible thing about the web is that anyone can post anything they want on it. Spend your time researching whatever you're writing about, cross-referencing across different reputable sources, and double checking every fact. you don't want to be the guy putting false information out there. It just makes you look bad when someone catches your mistakes.
- Write multiple posts at once. While you're in writing mode, keep going. I will often write 3-4 blog posts at a time, or several pages worth of website content for clients over a span of a few hours, before I move on to other projects. It's much easier to keep going on a similar type of work than to keep switching around. Many blogging platforms (like the one we use) allow you to schedule when the post will go live, which makes it easy to stay ahead of the game.
- Eliminate distractions. Don't check your email, turn off the sound on your phone, close the door and put a pair of headphones on. Every time you stop to communicate with someone else, it slows you down because you have to get your train of thought back before you continue. Writing really is one of those things you need to concentrate on to be effective.
- Read other blogs. Not only does reading help your writing, other blogs can be great for helping you come up with ideas to write about. I use Digg Reader to subscribe to blogs I like, and its clean interface makes reading them easy and pleasurable. I can also flag articles I want to reference later.
- Use a plagairism checker. Too often, people just copy and paste stuff throughout the internet. Just yesterday I came across the same article on two different websites, with different titles. Google hates this. Part of the algorithm for determining search rankings is the uniqueness of the article. Some duplication for common phrases is expected, but try to keep as close to 100% as possible. I don't publish anything that isn't at least 95% unique.
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