When it comes to blogging, there are no rules. What works for one person may not work for another. In general, though, there are a few key points to keep in mind when you first start a blog.
Write about what you know. People who have a passion for a particular topic will find it much easier to write on that topic than something they don't really care about. It also helps to narrow the focus of your blog. For example, instead of trying to write about sports, you could center a blog entirely on Minnesota teams or even on one team.
Post often and consistently. Blogs that are updated frequently and at the same time every week generally have higher traffic than bloggers who post infrequently. If you don't feel you have the time to commit to blogging right away but would still like to try it, shoot for updating once a week on a specific day. You may find that once you start, you enjoy doing it and make time to update more often.
Ask questions and encourage reader input. Blogs that actively include their readers and spur comments and additional discussion are usually the most highly trafficked blogs. It helps to end your blog post by asking what your readers think about what you wrote. You can also use polls to get a sense of your readers' opinions on a subject.
Cross-promote your blog. If you don't have them already, create a Facebook and Twitter account and use them to post links to your new blog posts. You can also use these social networking sites to join discussions about your blog topic and learn from others who are also interested in that topic. At the same time, make sure you promote your social networking accounts on your blog. Set up an automatic Twitter feed and have a clear link to your Facebook page prominently displayed on your blog.
Have fun! Blogging isn't meant to be a chore. If you don't enjoy doing it, then something isn't right. Refocus your efforts and see if you can make it fun again. The best bloggers are the ones who come across as sincere and passionate about their topics.
Give it a try!
Follow our newsroom blog
For a behind-the-scenes look at the West Central Tribune newsroom, visit our blog, The Inside Scoop, at insidescoop.areavoices.com.