Plenty of bloggers will tell you about the habits you have to build to be a good, successful blogger. Not very many talk about the bad blogging habits. Especially not the ones that they themselves are horribly guilty of.
Which may be why I’m choosing to talk about my bad blogging habits. I’m weird like that. Today’s bad habit (not hobbit, which I typed first) is being Consistently Random.
Any blogger will tell you that in order to be successful you have to be consistent. This is so your readers will know what to expect. If they know that you post new content on Wednesdays and Fridays, they will come to your blog on those days.
Now being a bad (not to be confused with badass) blogger, I am consistent. But the only thing I consistently do is randomly post. So much as I try to blog regularly and often, real life tends to get in the way, so I often do a couple of posts and then disappear for awhile only to return with another couple of posts sometime later. Rinse and repeat.
So what can a blogger do to better serve her readers?
Make a List
Nothing fuels my brain better than keeping a list of interesting topics handy so that I can sit down and write something up from those ideas. This post was one of many that is sitting in Windows Live Writer as a title and/or a few notes or links to kick off something I realized I wanted to talk about. But even a sheet of paper, a cell phone or some other place to store notes will work.
But make sure you have enough written down to recognize it later on after it’s been awhile since you last touched on the topic. Nothing makes less sense than a handful of words that have no meaning.
Set a Schedule
A good blogger sets a consistent schedule by posting regularly. It doesn’t even have to be often. If your readers (and eventually you should be able to attract readers) expect entries every Wednesday, by all means be sure to have post pop on Wednesday, even if you’ve written it on Sunday. One of the best feature ever to happen to social media was to be able to schedule posts, updates, tweets, etc. You can write now and post later while still meeting the expectations of your readers.
Sit Down and Write
You have all your ideas written down for reference. You’ve decided that you want posts to show up at 4 PM every Thursday. Now you have to actually sit down and write that content. It can take some effort and maybe a little time. Are you going to go with a particular angle in your discussion? Are you just going to discuss the basics? There are a lot of different ways to spin a topic.
When you write your post, you might need to do a little search engine optimization (SEO). There are tools you can use to help you select the right keywords, but you might also ask yourself how you would search for the topic you are writing on. What search terms would you use? Use those phrases in your writing where appropriate. This will help attract readers.
Being a good blogger takes some work, but the biggest factor is writing good content that will engage your readers and prompt them to strike up a conversation with you. Connecting with other people is what keeps them coming back time after time. It takes work to make a bad blogger go good. We’ll discuss another bad blogger habit soon.