10 Quick Tips to Boost Your Blogging Skills
When it comes to blogging, writing articles or just producing content in general, quality is king. Without quality what’s the point? No one likes to read something that they can’t understand, is misleading, or generally sucks. This post is going to show you some minor tweaks and changes you can take up to boost the quality of your writings.
1. Strive to Establish a Relationship With the Reader
Whether the reader is a random viewer on an article submission site that you’ll never see again or is your most loyal subscriber on your blog; establishing a relationship is something you should always strive to do. Encourage comment discussion (such as Intense Debate, Disqus and WordPress) address the reader’s needs and connect with readers through commenting and email. Remember that a relationship starts with you; you have to take the initiative and cannot expect them to automatically be engaging, inviting and personal.
2. Don’t Post Fluff
A big mistake a lot of new bloggers make is the need to upload content. They feel that they should post content just for the sake of posting and often do not really have a meaningful topic. As a result of this you get “fluff” stuff that is there for the sole purpose of taking up space. Remember the old cliche of quality over quantity. This is never more true than posting on the internet. A handful of well thought out and crafted articles can generate traffic.
3. Utilize Headings
Break up your post. If that means doing things as simple as using bold text to create sub sections or using everything from h1 to h5 it all helps. One thing you should realize is that most people are not going to be reading your content word for word. In fact most people start by skimming the content to very quickly decide whether it is worth their time. If they are confronted with a large block of text they will more than likely will not want to deal with it. But by creating breaks, sub headings and simple text modifications you can get your message across to people just glancing at your content. This is going to increase the time your readers spend on your posts and on your blog.
4. Keep it Flowing
This is more for people with their own running blog. Grab a plug in called YARPP or Yet Another Related Post Plug-in and activate that on your blog. This will produce similar posts below (or above, your choice) your content so that when a reader finishes your post they don’t hit a brick wall. By including related content, displaying your categories and utilizing some sort of post footer option you can keep your reader on your blog for much longer.
5. Outline Your Thoughts
Though it may seem like I am taking you back to grade school grammar class; outlining your thoughts is actually one of the most overlooked tactic to posting quality stuff. By outlining your thoughts you will bring structure to your thoughts and lower the risk of leading your reader astray. It takes but a few minutes to do and will actually save you time in the long run. I usually bust out a bubble chart, you know the kind where you just plop idea after idea on a piece of paper and see what connections you can form.
6. Add Some Font Editing
Font edits bring attention to certain sentences. It could mean the difference between getting your point across to someone that’s skimming your content or losing them forever. Mess with your options, make stuff red, outline the background, underline some bold text and (+)spruce things up(+). Certain sites you may be blogging for like Ezine for example likes to keep things simple. Though just because things are simple doesn’t mean you have no options at all.
7. Write in a Conversational Tone
Not many people realize that good writing means conversational tone. Note that conversational tones do not entail poor grammar and sentence structure. You should always have correct spelling and proper use of punctuality. But a conversational tone is much easier to read and smoother to digest than a rigid monotonous one.
8. Be as Resourceful as Possible
Your posts shouldn’t just be about you. Value should be brought to the table on each occasion, and you should address the issues of your readers at all times. Really make an effort to help your readers in each post that you do – believe me when I say that every extra bit of effort on your part is magnified on the reader’s end.
9. Build Channels of Traffic
Utilize the key Web 2.0 resources out there right now like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and such. “If you build it, they will come” does not apply on the internet. You can build something majestic but if you’re not pushing it in the right places at the right time no one may come. You’d be surprised how an extra channel of quality traffic can do for your blog. If you’re on Twitter already then check out Digg, and if you’re on Digg already sign up for StumbleUpon. There are dozens of hot Web 2.0 sites out there you can plug into and start increasing readership.
Summing it all Up
Adopting one or any of these blogger hacks will not only increase your quality of content but will build your reputation online. On top of this, remember that you should strive to establish a relationship with the reader in every way possible. Since tweaking my posts on my current blog I have seen a dramatic increase in subscribers, time on site and returning visitors. It really is some easy stuff you can do to increase your monetization potential of your blog and the view counts to your posts.