Sunday, May 30, 2010

7 Blog Publishing Tips

Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” If all bloggers asked themselves these 7 questions (via Kevin Martineau’s post) before hitting the “publish” button, life would be so simple and great.

Oh, and FYI, before I published this post, I actually asked myself all of these questions. :)

Here we go:

1) Have I read the post in its entirety after finishing it?

When you were a child, do you remember connecting the dots to form a picture in your coloring book? If you do, then you know that if you didn’t connect the dots in correct numerical order, the image would look… weird. The same goes for blog posts. Reading the entire post allows you to link your own dots between your ideas and opinions to create a concrete message.

2) Have I chosen by title carefully?

There are millions of blogs out there. It is you against the millions. Therefore, you need a compelling title. Before a person even reads your introduction, all they see is your title. So, give them a reason to stick around. Let them know with your title what they are getting out of your post.

Titles with numbers (5 Simple Steps to Getting Your Business on Twitter) or that pose a question (Got Ethics?) attract readers. Also, very funny or attention-getter headlines, such as Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die! is sure to make some heads turn.

3) Have I proofread it?

Blog posts are public; it will be read. So, you don’t want to seem unprofessional or unintelligent, do you? Proofreading is one of the many ways to avoid that stamp.

If you just really hate or have no time for proofreading, try this: Treat a blog as if it’s a paper worth 30 percent of your grade. You wouldn’t turn in an important essay without proofreading it, right? Maybe you would, but I sure wouldn’t.

4) Have I linked to one or more of my older posts?

If you have been blogging for years, you probably have some really great and insightful posts that have been acquiring dust. Linking posts allows you to let those older posts shine while also providing content for your current posts. Plus, this gives viewers the opportunity to read some of your older work. With any luck, they will rummage through more of your old stuff.

P.S. I did this in question 2.

5) Have I made sure that all my links are working?

A post titled Top 6 Ways Sexist Bigots Drive Me Crazy catches your interest. The neurons in your brain begin to stir. You start to read the introduction. The blogger is talking about the portrayal of women in the media. Then, the blogger links the post to an article listing 25 Horribly Sexist Vintage Ads. You go to click, and you are taken to an error page. You think: Just great! I am taken nowhere!

The bottom line is if you add a link, take that person somewhere.

6) Have I included a captivating image?

An image is one of the first things a reader notices. So, it should entice and draw a reader in. Perform a Web search for stock photography, and you will find websites for free or low cost photos.

7) Have I included one or more ways to engage with my readers?

You started a blog to share your thoughts; however, you should also let your readers share theirs. You can make it easy for them by posing a question or a call to action. In addition, making it debatable or controversy may attract more readers.

Remember, blogs are meant to create dialogue and provide networking opportunities. When you write, have this in mind.

Photo by Xurble

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