twitter facebook youtube pinterest gplus linkedin rss

Our Blog

New Blogger

Top 5 Best Practices For Beginner Bloggers

 


[Updated May 1, 2013]

Best Practices for Beginner Bloggers

 

Are you just starting to blog, and don’t know where to start?

Or are you ready to take your blog to the next level?

You need some “Blogging Best Practices” to get you headed in the right direction.

 

New England Multimedia’s 5 Best Practices for Beginner Bloggers

1) An “I’ve Gotta Read This!” Title

Your title is the first thing we’ll see, and in the ocean of voices clamoring for our attention in RSS feeds, inboxes, the news, and all our social media feeds, we’re looking for something that shouts, “You don’t want to miss this!”

Think of the headlines that grab you on the cover of a magazine. The ones that make you want to open and read. The number one blogging best practice is to learn to write awesome, attention-grabbing headlines.

Look through your Twitter feed and notice the kinds of titles that grab your attention.

These blog post titles make me want to click:

“Don’t Stalk Me: A Customer Experience Cautionary Tale”

“Is Procrastination Killing your Productivity and Profits?”

“Alien At a Tattoo Convention”

“5 Ways Using Controversy As a Content Strategy Backfires”

“Taking Out the Twitter Trash: The How and Why of Unfollowing”

 

What appeals to you about these titles?

 

2) Think Search! Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

What keywords would you use to search for the topic you’re writing about, if you were a reader looking for that information? Get those keywords in your title, and as close to the beginning of the title as possible. The second blogging best practice (and many would say it’s the top one) is to pepper those keywords throughout your post. Don’t ruin your writing flow in your endeavor to be keyword-rich, but write (or rewrite) thoughtfully, with search-related keywords in mind.

If you want to get really SEO-minded, use a keyword tool like Google AdWords Keyword Tool. The post “How to Use Keyword Tools to Brainstorm Blog Topics “ is an excellent primer on keyword research. Read it.

 

3) KISS (Keep it Short and Simple)

In this soundbite culture, the more information we have to digest, the less likely we are to read, listen, or watch. The third blogging best practice? Do everything you can to keep your blog posts short and to the point.

Tips for those times when you just have too much to share:

a) Break your post up into pieces on the page with headings, and subheadings if necessary.
b) Use images spaced throughout your post, centered on the page, to provide breaks.
c) Can you break a long post up into several posts about a particular theme, and create a series?

beginner blogger

4) Use an attention-grabbing image

Once you get the reader on your page, an image can make him want to spend the time to read the whole post. Seeing a page of nothing but text can be daunting to those of us with to-do lists a mile long. Using an image to break up the monotony of black on white, popping in a caption or quote that’s interesting, and placing it strategically in the post always works for me. See the image I used at the top of “Advice for Entrepreneurs: When Your Customers Don’t Pay”? The quote and image are designed to work with the title to arouse emotional responses, so you’ll read the post.

Tagging and titling your images is also a best practice for SEO (search engine optimization). I’ll write a post about that another time. If you’ve written a best practices post about SEO and images, let us know in the comments.

 

5) Don’t fill in every blank for your readers, ask for input!

You want comments, dear blogger. Comments mean people are reading, and will hopefully share your blog post with others. Even better — a blog post written in reply to yours, with a nice, juicy link back to your page. For me, that’s the holy grail of blogging, especially when it comes from a blogger who gets a lot of traffic.

To get comments (and maybe even an exciting backlink with a post written in reply to yours) ask questions at the end of your posts. Ask for help, advice, input, additions to a list you’ve compiled — let your readers know that you want to learn from them as well! Isn’t that what the blogging community is best for? I could’ve written “10 Best Practices For Beginner Bloggers,” but I want to leave room for others to share, and give them a platform to link back to their own websites (that’s why we use CommentLuv for our commenting system).

 

And now, it’s your turn! What tips would you add to this list of best practices for new bloggers, or for those who are ready to take their blogging to the next level?

 

About Author

Michelle QuillinMichelle Quillin is content creator and social media manager and consultant for New England Multimedia. An A+ BBB member, we create mobile-ready Wordpress websites responsive to all devices, and produce HD video for broadcast and internet use.View all posts by Michelle Quillin →

  1. Catherine Marshall
    Catherine Marshall07-01-2014

    Speaking of keeping it short and simple, your blog post was the perfect example for that. Those are definitely my favorite posts, the ones that get right to the point and keep your attention til the very end. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Diana
    Diana06-19-2013

    Thanks Michelle! I’ve been looking for a concise way to explain best-practices to my crew, who is about to start blogging for our company. I’m forwarding this to everyone.

    • Michelle Quillin
      Michelle Quillin07-03-2013

      That’s great news, Diana! Thank-you for commenting and letting me know!

  3. Yaikoh
    Yaikoh05-28-2013

    Great advice you have here! It’s a refresher for me and I will definitely share this to my friend who is planning to do some blogging the soonest.
    Yaikoh recently posted..Creative Housing | Creative RenovationsMy Profile

  4. Gia Saulnier
    Gia Saulnier01-03-2012

    I think another tip I can give is this: Write what YOU know or are passionate about. Since I mostly write my blog for either the faire(s) we put on or on other Renaissance Performers and Merchants, I try to stay on those topics AND theme.

    I would also say if you can to POST your blog on Facebook or use the Networked Blogs app to post and SHARE your Blog – this way people can actually find you and know that you are writing.

    • Michelle Quillin
      Michelle Quillin05-01-2013

      “Write what YOU know or are passionate about.” I agree, Gia! It’s hard to get readers fired up about a topic if you’re not fired up about it yourself.

      And yes, social media is a must! My favorite platform since day one has been Twitter, because it’s so easy to connect with our target audience there. But wherever your blog’s target audience is hanging out, that’s where you need to be sharing your blog!
      Michelle Quillin recently posted..Top 5 Best Practices For Beginner BloggersMy Profile

  5. TJ McDowell
    TJ McDowell10-12-2010

    I’d completely agree with about leaving room for the reader to add more to the discussion. Realistically as blog writers, we’re not the expert on everything, so why not include others in the discussion? It promotes community involvement and benefits that whole group of readers.
    TJ McDowell recently posted..Photography Using Personality MirroringMy Profile

    • Michelle Quillin
      Michelle Quillin10-12-2010

      Right on, TJ!

      Community, dialogue, and the open invitation to share our experience and expertise are what drew me to the blog world years ago, long before blogs and social media became marketing tools for business. Back then it was about homeschooling and youth ministry, believe it or not!

      I find that the comment sections of popular blogs are as important as the post themselves.

      Thanks so much for commenting — I’m checking out your blog now!!

  6. Jayme Soulati
    Jayme Soulati09-23-2010

    Michelle, didn’t know my Q this a.m. on Twitter was going to push you into writing this post, but thank you! Now the post I’m planning will include this amazing piece that is tremendously helpful to all of us.

    Good reminders for anyone blogging. I need the push on the photos b/c that’s my hardest part to add that step.

    And, I love the CommentLuv plug in, too! I think that’s a great added feature for bloggers.

    Will share the post when I get mine done for tomorrow.

    Thanks for this!
    Jayme Soulati recently posted..SBT10 Twitter Fodder for BloggersMy Profile

    • Michelle Quillin
      Michelle Quillin09-23-2010

      Hi, Jayme!

      Your question this morning leads to another “Best Practice” for bloggers — when an answer to a question, a reply to a comment, or a comment on a blog will be really long, write a blog post instead and share the link to it with whomever it was intended for!

      Every opportunity you have to write a quality blog post that even one person would be interested in, take it and run with it. I’ve gotten tons of traffic from doing so, via several channels — backlinks, Tweets, Facebook shares and retweets.

      I’m so glad you asked the question!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge