50 One Sentence Tips for Bloggers

50 One Sentence Tips for Bloggers

The blogosphere is stuffed with tips for bloggers, but if you don’t have time to sift through 100,0000 articles, this quick-hitting post is for you. These suggestions are based on my eight years (and counting) of intense business blogging.

I hope they help you.

Structure and Composition

When starting on your blogging writing  journey you will make a lot of mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Suck it up. Don’t wait to be perfect.

Write, edit and hit the publish button.

Construction and doing is where you learn and not the watching from the sidelines. Nothing happens until you start.

  1. Don’t use two sentences when one will do the job.
  2. Clearly convey your main point in the lead.
  3. Don’t start writing until you have a main point.
  4. An informal style almost always works best.
  5. Imagine your post is an email to one person who represents your main target audience.
  6. Use subtitles to convey core ideas and why they matter to the reader.
  7. To get comments, don’t tell the whole story and end with a question or two.
  8. Blog posts can be informational or editorial, detailed or high-level summaries, but not all of the above at the same time.
  9. Informational posts must cite authoritative sources for key data points.
  10. Editorial posts must be well reasoned.

Search Engine Optimization

When you kickoff the blog the search engines will not notice you until you have built up some credibility and authority. As you progress and build the blog content, Google will start to take notice.

Done right it will be your biggest traffic source. Guess what? It’s free.

Don’t ignore following these tips from day one. It will work but you have to earn it through awesome content and ongoing optimisation for search engines.

  1. Meta title tags, which usually serve as the post’s title as well, should contain important keywords, and clearly and accurately describe the content of the post.
  2. While Meta description tags have little SEO value, they spark interest in search results and should be written carefully.
  3. Writing guest posts on relevant and authoritative blogs produces high-quality links to your blog, raising your site’s authority with Google.
  4. Google wants to give highest search visibility to content that is authoritative, relevant, useful, readable and shareable.
  5. Participate actively in the Google Authorship program.

Tech Stuff

Technical work can be time consuming and a distraction. If you aren’t good at it then contract it out. There are great resources like Freelancer and Elance to help you with this.

Sometimes it’s best to stick to what you are good at. Writing, marketing and engaging with your readers and viewers.

  1. Use WordPress unless you have very good reasons not to.
  2. Hire a qualified programmer to handle updates, troubleshoot, install all necessary plugins, add functionality, and keep plugins playing nicely together.
  3. Don’t force visitors to log in to leave a comment.
  4. Allow visitors to subscribe to comments.
  5. Post URLs should display the post title.

Layout

There are some best practice layout principles that produce optimal results. These are as simple as ensuring that the most important elements are prominent….such as where you place your email subscription box.

Don’t overlook these as it could be the difference between success and failure.

  1. One sidebar positioned on the right is a highly effective business blog format.
  2. RSS and email subscription sign-up boxes should appear near the top of the sidebar.
  3. Blog search, categories, recent posts and the blog archive are essential sidebar components.
  4. Avoid cluttering the sidebar with whimsical, distracting elements.
  5. The blog header should convey some idea of what the blog is about, who it’s written for, and why those people should read it.
  6. Post images are most effectively placed at the top of the post or at top right.
  7. Image captions increase the image’s meaning and persuasive power.
  8. Font style and size should be easily readable.
  9. Black text on a white background provides the highest contrast and best blog post readability.
  10. Avoid ads and pop-up windows unless you have a very, very, very good reason to use them.

Creative

Finding inspiration and your creative side comes from within and without. Read a lot, watch what other top bloggers do and steal their ideas. Picasso, David Bowie and Steve Jobs did.

Persist and you will become creative.

  1. Always think: How can I put a new twist on an important idea?
  2. Essay form is effective for business blogging, but a great story is even better.
  3. When you borrow an idea or gain inspiration from it, give credit (and a link) to the source.
  4. Find your groove for brainstorming topics, whether it’s in your kitchen at 6 AM or throwing ideas around with a buddy after work.
  5. Customer FAQs are a treasure trove of topic ideas.
  6. Never cheat the reader by giving a pointless post a provocative title.
  7. Strive toward finding your real voice and thematic niche, but don’t feel as though you have to accomplish these things in a matter of weeks or even months.
  8. Rather than fretting about hitting a particular word count, say what you have to say and then stop creating. 

Marketing, Community and Engagement

What are two keys to blogging success? Contagious, liquid and viral content that begs to be shared. And making sure it gets noticed by your fans and followers….that’s called marketing, promotion and community building.

Here are some tips to help you with that.

  1. Community building takes far more time than writing.
  2. To build productive business relationships on social media, share other bloggers’ content as well as your own.
  3. Too much self-promotion on social media is a big turnoff.
  4. Promote your blog in your email signature, business cards, collateral, and anywhere else eyeballs land in your sales and marketing universe.
  5. Inviting high-quality bloggers to post on your blog, and guest blogging on other blogs, are terrific ways to jumpstart community building.
  6. Responding to comments lets commenters and other readers know you care, which builds loyalty.
  7. Leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs in your niche brings lots of attention to you and your blog. 

Miscellaneous

Here are some final tips I couldn’t fit into a category box.

  1. Rather than being enslaved by a rigid publishing schedule, publish when you have something to say.
  2. The best way to improve is to read bloggers you admire.
  3. Bloggers are generous and will help you if you ask.
  4. Bloggers are generous, so help them if they ask.
  5. Be willing to (thoughtfully) violate every one of these tips, because in blogging there are no rules.

What about you?

Those are my top 50 tips for bloggers, but surely I’ve missed a boatload.

  • Veteran bloggers: What tips do you have for new bloggers?
  • New bloggers: What questions do you have for Jeff’s blog community?

Guest author: Brad Shorr is Director of B2B Marketing for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency headquartered in Chicago. He is an experienced content strategist, respected blogger, and SEO copywriter. Connect with him on Twitter @bradshorr.

 

Learn how to make your blog a success

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 185,000.

Download and read it now.

Comments

  • http://www.socialmediapearls.com Shirley Williams

    Great tips!

  • http://www.ncwiseman.com/ Teddy Burriss

    Thanks Brad & Jeff – Good list. Now I need to review my blog and see what improvements or corrections I should consider.

    Thanks

  • Victoria Garcia

    Wow! This is awesome.

  • Jennifer Henczel, Marketing Mo

    Jeff, this is the mosy outstanding and thorough, yet concisely expressed, guide to blogging I’ve ever seen. Perfect for newbies and a great refresher for the experienced blogger too. Thank you for posting it. I’ll be sharing this one egerywhere.

    • http://www.straightnorth.com Brad Shorr

      Thanks! I’m really glad you found it so helpful.

  • Rajesh Asarpota

    Thanks Jeff.. Always on the lookout how to improve, and if can even do 50% a gr8 improvement

  • Mike

    Great post. I always enjoy reading your stuff but this one opened my eyes to a few things I need to do to bring my food blog to the next level.

    Thanks, Mike @ http://www.GraciesRavioli.com

    • http://www.straightnorth.com Brad Shorr

      Best of luck with your blogging!

  • treptalks

    Excellent post. Learned a lot of things. I have a question: You say “Don’t make people log in to post comments”. Just like you I use Disqus. Are there any plugins etc. you recommend that work best for commenting purposes?

    • http://www.straightnorth.com Brad Shorr

      I’ve never used them, but the standard WordPress commenting system has always worked well for me.

    • mediameridian

      Treptalks…you asked a question I have been finding answers for.Recently I launched my website/blog and I use Tumblr. People have to log in to put their comments. This is anoying because personally I would not like to login to leave comments on anyone’s post. I need easy and simple and quick commenting system where I can just post my name/email/website to comment. I guess Disqus works on the login principle. Mr. Shorr can you help us out here?

  • http://www.cody-frew.com/ Cody Frew

    Thanks for the categorized list! A lot of lists out there with 100+ tips have no categories and it can be a little mind-numbing.

  • http://imeraapp.com/ imera

    Thanks Jeff, so thorough. I will bookmark this and refer back!

  • Tutors Nirvana

    Thanks for sharing such valuable tips, Jeff! Great post for newbies and seasoned bloggers, too!

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Amber King

    Excellent tips Jeff. I think you have discussed everything that bloggers need to know.

  • Sarah Johnson

    I love your point about telling a story. Stories keep you reading because you want to find out how they end. I always try to find a way to tie my topics to various stories that my readers can relate to.

  • http://minimees4.com/ Rose Bush

    Good stuff as always!

  • venkyiyer58

    What is “collateral” in item 4, Marketing, Community and Engagement?

    • http://www.straightnorth.com Brad Shorr

      Hi – I mean sales brochures, sales slide presentations — any marketing materials used by sales people.

  • Erin Singh

    Great post Brad. I would love to add a comment box like the one Jeff is using here as well as the ‘Sign In With’ etc. How would I go about installing this on my own blog? I also would like to know how I am able to stop spamming too.

  • http://www.claibornehouse.net/ InnkeeperVA

    Great Stuff! I have shared it. Your article is so full of info I almost need to print it. The sidebar share links are disrupting my train of thought. Worth mentioning since the article is about blogging.

    Shellie at The Claiborne House B&B of Virginia.

  • http://www.markevans.ca/ Mark Evans

    I’m a big advocate of quality vs. quantity, and how companies should focus on the former as long as it also features consistency. As well, companies need to remember the blog needs to meet the needs of readers, which means backing off from writing about each and every corporate development and feature.

  • Chris

    Good stuff- lots of great advice and tips here! As a developer, I often find myself struggling with the “blog mentality” and creating engaging content, as I am more suited to code. I am definitely going to take this information to the bank!

  • troublesometots

    Blogger tip – don’t make it hard to comment in general (pet peeve of mine anyway). No moderating comments, no captcha, etc.

  • http://navneetsau.com/ NavNeet Sau

    Brilliant tips to become a successful blogger. I appreciate for Marketing, Community and Engagement section in this blog post. Thanks for sharing your great thoughts.

  • Varela Melissa

    Awesome tips. I have been blogging since April and have definitely seen an increase in my visitor numbers but needed some advice with social media. Appreciate this, Jeff ! http://www.melsnightlife.com

  • Erin Singh

    You are welcome. Thank you for your tip. :)

  • http://www.thewordenreport.blogspot.com/ Worden Report

    I’m curious what your thoughts are on using “subscriptions only” on some posts in order to monetize without advertising. Eg. http://www.thewordenreport.blogspot.com/2013/09/is-blogging-marxist-activity.html

  • Amy

    Hi Brad. I really enjoyed reading this and found it helpful. Could you share some tips on how to ensure privacy in regards to children and location etc and keep readers feeling connected and respected?

  • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

    Jeff,

    You say don’t force readers to log in to comment. Do you feel using Disqus abides by that tip? Don’t get me wrong, I love Diqus and use it too.

    Great stuff here. I just did something very similar on my blog: http://feldmancreative.com/2013/09/benefits-of-blogging/

    Readers, you might pick up a few additional tips by reading that post.

  • http://www.cloudstaff.com/downloads/contentmoderation Thelma Case

    This is a great article article for bloggers. These tips are indeed very helpful in content creation. Thank you for sharing.

  • mediameridian

    nteresting title always brings a click. Indeed, the list is succinct and perfectly precise. Good job collecting all these tips @ one place.

  • Nikhil

    Great Post Jeff,
    You cover all the point in one single post for all newbie bloggers. All this tips are most useful ad great. Thank you for providing such an informative data to us.

    Nikhil :)

  • shaybear

    I make income from blogging and getting traffic http://bit.ly/17CqZXd
    Any other suggestions?

  • http://www.prosemedia.com/ Justin Belmont

    Short, concise, and informative. As we have learned at Prose Media, knowing how to say it is as important as knowing what to say. Make your writing more polished by avoiding these ten words: http://blog.prosemedia.com/10-words-to-cut-from-your-writing/

  • http://tea-journey.blogspot.ca/ Katherine Bellman

    Thank you this helped a lot. Great points.

  • MD Golam Rabbani

    Nice tips for the whole blogging community. I should apply some tips from you. Only quality content is the king I agree with you. Thank you.

    Welcome to my site: Blogging Tips and Tricks

  • MD Golam Rabbani

    Hey There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. This is a really well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful information.
    Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

    You are welcome to my blog: SEO and Blogging Tips

  • Taiwo Adepoju

    Woah Jeff – this is so loaded and highly informative.

    Thank you for your generosity – clearly accenting to the fact that whatever good we bring to the fore always ends up building us.

  • Karan

    Hi Jeff, thanks for the great list. You ought to make each of the points shareable via Twitter or LinkedIn

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Yes, I should!

  • http://www.extra-cash-online.com/ Robert Connor

    Great post brad!

  • Elna Cain

    Great post. Something that I have on my blog posts is CommentLuv. It’s a good way to market your posts while still commenting on my posts. I also have a “you might also like” on the bottom of my posts. These are suggested posts for readers and helps market old posts.

  • http://www.sociosquare.com/ Afroz Siddiqui

    This is a great list of blogging tactics from some of the best in the blogging field. Thanks

  • http://www.myoptimind.com/blog/ Jennevie Corre

    Hi Brad! Thanks for these very useful tips. I am loving this: Always think: How can I put a new twist on an important idea?

  • Allen Loucie

    Beginners need to post 2 post daily on there blog, but posting is not enough they need to share it on various

    social media platforms to get maximum exposure to the content..

    BloggingRex

  • Mydeswebsite

    Great post to share. Definitely have a blog today is helpful. We are thinking to create one for my website but we though it will take too much time.
    But whit reading this article changed my mind!
    Thanks for sharing this information.
    Have a nice day!
    http://www.mydeswebsite.com

  • http://www.uncharted101.com/ Uncharted101

    Great post and I’ve learned a lot. There are some things I needed to implement in order to get a better exposure and thank you for all the time and energy you spend in creating this post.

  • Masakaj ja

    Sentence correction is possible in
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    possible through online.So online is a better place for doing everything

  • Penguin Wanderlust

    google authorship program no longer exists

  • Penguin Wanderlust

    I don’t like Discus. Then having to have the email address confirmed. Then it still needs to be approved by you. Very bulky comment process.