Blogging DOS and DON’TS

Whether you are a brand new blogger flexing your writing muscles for the first time, or a more seasoned wordsmith, it’s always helpful to go over the critical rules of blogging. 

That is why in this post we will cover all the things it’s vital to do for blogging success, as well as the stuff you should avoid if you want to provide your readers with the best quality posts possible. Read on to find out what they are. 

Picture located at Pexels – Licence CC0 

Do Start With A Strong Headline

Just like a thumbnail on a YouTube video, a strong headline is crucial when it comes to attracting attention to your post, and ensuring that readers not only click on it but read on too. 

The good news is there are plenty of strategies you can use to forge a strong headline that is bound to capture the attention of your readers. One tactic is to write a basic headline such as:  

“Ways To Improve Your Website” 

Then add an impactful adjective like the examples below, to create interest and draw the reader in, such as:  

“Clever Ways To Improve Your Website” 

“Genius “Ways To Improve Your Website” 

“Essential “Ways To Improve Your Website” 

Signalling confidence in the words you choose to use in your blog post title can also be very helpful. For example: 

“How to improve your website” changes to “This is how to improve your website” 

This kind of heading leaves no doubt in a reader’s mind that they will find the answer to the question and valuable information from an authoritative expert in the post.  

Do Pay Attention To Structure 

Another important thing you should always pay attention to when blogging is the structure of your piece. Indeed, if you have ever come across a blog that is just one long wall of text you will know exactly how off-putting and difficult the information contained within is to read and digest. 

With that in mind, using the proper structure of headings and subheading is crucial to the reader’s experience. By splitting the information up into smaller, and easier-to-understand sections you make it easier not only to understand but also for the reader to scan for the info that they need especially. 

Additionally, by correctly formatting the heading and subheadings structure with H1, H2 and H3 title tags (in conjunction with the right keywords) you will help optimise your post for SEO, ensuring that it ranks higher in the search engine results and more people can find and read it. 

Do Include High-Quality Visuals 

Blogging is all about writing, right? Well yes and no, as visuals are also pretty important when it comes to creating a dynamic and interesting blog your readers will want to consume. Adding visuals such as photos, illustrations, vectors, infographics and videos can all help add to the reader experience by illustrating your written points, and even by adding additional information that you do not have the space to cover in your current blog.

However, it is critical to remember that visuals should always be of the highest quality when you choose to include them in your blog. Also where possible visuals should follow a theme such as colour, style or content so they create a more cohesive experience for your reader. 

Happily, there are plenty of places you can source images to use in your blog including free stock photo sites like Pixabay.com, and Pexels.com. It’s also possible to embed social media posts into your blog, including YouTube videos which can help make your blog even more interesting and dynamic. 

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Lastly, where possible it’s always a smart idea to use your photos when blogging. This is because images of the blog topic you have taken yourself will not only be original but will help to reinforce the expertise part of Google EEAT which are the criteria by which they judge your blog page’s ranking and quality score. 

Do Tend Towards Longform Content 

If you have been keeping your blogs at around 500 words, it may be time for a rethink. This is because long-form content (over 1200 words) provides several important advantages. The first of these is that long-form blogs offer better reader engagement. Put simply, the longer the post, the longer the reader will be on your page, and if you are hoping to monetize your site through ad revenue this metric matters. 

Additionally long-form content provides a better experience for the user, as it (when written well) supplies in-depth information that can help answer their queries. Long-form content also offers increased opportunities for backlinks, which can help raise the overall domain authority of your site, which in turn can boost your blog’s SEO. 

Although, when composing long-form blog content it is crucial to remember that it needs to remain high quality all the way through. This means that it’s readable, well-written, and structured, as well as informative and that it thoroughly covers the topic at hand. 

Do Link To Other Posts 

When it comes to things you should always be doing when blogging, linking to other posts is also a must. Linking to your other posts on your website, also known as internal linking is vital because it helps show the search engines clearly what topics you are covering, and the structure of your website, which in turn can help increase your ranking in the SERPs. 

Additionally, outbound external linking is also crucial, as it adds value to your post for the reader by directing them to another page that they are likely to be interested in.

Backlinks are also important when blogging. Backlinks are the opposite of outbound external links in that another site links back to your content. The value of backlinks is high because if a site with a high domain authority links to your blog, Google interprets this as a signal that your blog is trustworthy. It acts like a reference for your blog, helping to push it up the SERPs. 

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Although, securing backlinks can be tricky, with some bloggers even paying for them. A practice that is seen as less than favourable and inauthentic by many. Instead, if you are looking to get backlinks from high authority sites the best approach is to write the highest quality and most thorough content possible, as this will increase the chances that others will want to link to/reference your work. 

Don’t Forget To Write Authentically 

Now we’ve been through the dos, it’s time for the don’ts, and the first of these is that you must never forget to write authentically when blogging. What that means is writing in your voice about something you have direct experience with or a strong personal opinion on. 

Good examples of how to do this well are bloggers that include reviews on their sites. Some will publish reviews (often ones that are sponsored) that are biased in favour of the product and that ignore all of its downsides and negative features. The funny thing is that readers will be able to pick up on this, and it can hurt the blogger’s relationship with them in the long run, because they no longer know whether they can count on their opinions. 

Contrast this with a blogger that published open and honest reviews of a product detailing both the good and bad things, and comparing them with others on the market. This second blogger provides much more value because they offer their honest findings which the reader can then use to help make their decision on whether to purchase a product or not. 

Don’t Forget To Include Keywords For SEO 

You mustn’t neglect to include keywords for SEO as a blogger either. This is because using the right keywords at the right density throughout your blog post is one of the ways you can increase the chances of it ranking higher in the Google search results. High ranking is important because most people click through to one of the first three entries in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), which means they get the most traffic. 

Now, you are probably wondering how to know what the right keywords are. Well, the short answer is to get an SEO professional to do some keyword research for you as working out whether to use high or low-volume terms, long tail keywords, and keyword difficulty scores can be pretty complicated at first. 

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Don’t Forget To Always Edit Your Work

Bloggers should never forget to edit their work. Editing refers to checking a range of things that every blogger must go through before they publish and display their work for readers to consume. 

For example, it makes sense to edit a blog post for accuracy, by fact-checking it. This means making sure that anything you have claimed to be true like a statistic, quote, or statement is backed up by evidence. In blogging, linking to the evidence that backs up your claim is good practice both for validity, and it should help your SEO too. 

Editing your work in terms of structure and flow is also good practice when it comes to blogging. A great question to ask yourself while doing this is how does the section I’m reading through now answer the question / relate to the topic that this blog is about? If you can’t answer, then it’s probably best to prune that section rather than keep it in. 

Other factors that bloggers should edit for include spelling and grammar mistakes. They may not seem like a big deal to you, especially if what you are trying to say is obvious, however, they can take the reader out of the flow, and make it much harder to consume the information you have provided! 

Don’t Forget About Design 

It’s easy to get caught up in the nouns, adjectives, verbs and the like when it comes to blogging. Yet if you want your blog to be a success, you will also need to think carefully about design. Indeed, strategies such as using visual hierarchy are important, not only because they make your blog look more aesthetically pleasing, but because they make it easier to read and understand from a user perspective. 

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Similarly, choosing a colour pallet and sticking to it for each blog post, and for the site you use to host them will make consuming the content you have provided that much easier for the reader. 

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to incorporate design best practices in your blog, even if you are not a graphic or web designer. This is because it’s possible to use drag-and-drop website builders to create professional effects, even as a beginner. 

Don’t Forget To Share Your Blog On Social Media

When blogging it also makes sense not to avoid sharing your post on social media once it’s been written and edited. Indeed, blogging and social media are not the same and you will not be able to share the entirety of a long-form post, you will be able to share a snippet and then a link to the rest of your post. 

The benefits of sharing your blog posts on social media are many and include helping you to reach a larger audience, encouraging engagement with your audience, as well setting yourself as an expert in your field, and so providing more opportunities for things like guest posts, and additional paid writing work. 

Don’t Forget To Engage With The Comments 

Once you have written, edited and published your blog, it can be pretty tempting to forget about it. However, it’s best not to do this, and instead read and interact with the comments you get. 

One of the most important reasons to engage with the comments you receive on a post is that it can help you build a stronger community around your site or blog. Your interaction shows you care about what your readers have to say, which will encourage them to come back repeatedly. Similarly, you can learn a great deal about what your target audience thinks about certain subjects by reading and engaging with the comments. This data can then be used to tweak your future approach and ensure it is as suitable for your readership as possible. 

Lastly, Google loves activity when it comes to ranking your blog. That means if it’s between two blogs of equal quality and one has recent activity in terms of comments and replies, that blog will rank higher in the SERPs.