I used to be a Bad Blogger. I'll get to that.
A lot of people ask me about blogging for business these days. Some are excited to learn a new way to use technology. Others are frustrated because blogging is just one more thing they don't have time for. I feel both ways depending on the day.
But it's a fact of life that new technologies will continue to emerge and only those businesses that make the most of them will survive. While blogging isn't exactly new, it is enjoying renewed acceptance as a credible business tool and I want to help as many people as possible learn to use it.
I used to be a Bad Blogger. In fact, I was so bad that MSNBC business blogger Eve Tahmincioglu recently blogged about what a Bad Blogger I was. Now, I'm a better blogger, even helping other people launch their own blogs. If you want a detailed overview of blogging and how it can help your business, don't miss my 4-part Blogging For Business Tutorial. If you don't have time right now to read that much, here are some things you can do to keep from being a Bad Blogger.
1. Use pictures in your blog. If you haven't already, invest in a digital camera. You can get a good one these days for a few hundred bucks. Take it everywhere you go and snap photos that you can use to give color and life to your words. I use pictures from all over in my blog. I take many of them while my husband takes others. I also use images from royalty free websites like Photos.com and 123 Royalty Free.com. A blog without pictures is boring and stale.
2. Invite readers to comment. A blog should be conversational so where appropriate, invite people to comment on your posts. Even if they don't accept the invitation, extending it creates a welcoming atmosphere. Most blogging platforms allow you to remove spam and close the comment section after a certain amount of time.
3. Write from a personal perspective. I'm not saying you can use bad grammar and get away with it. But being stiff and overly formal can be a turnoff. Also, while a blog is a personal form of communication, be careful not to make it so personal that it makes readers uncomfortable.
4. Use short, easy to read paragraphs. Respect your readers' eyes. It's hard enough to sit at a computer screen for hours, even though everyone does it. Break text up into bite size chunks of interesting material so it's easy to digest.
5. Add audio and video. Spice up your blog with entertaining audio and video links. You can make them yourself or copy them from other websites (with permission of course) to make a point in your blog.
6. Choose the right blogging platform. There's a lot about that here.
7. Visit other blogs. This will give you a chance to learn what others are doing that works or doesn't work. When you find something that makes another blog appealing, adapt it to your style. Read competitor blogs and transform what works for them into what works for you. Create your own style without becoming a cookie cutter copy of someone else.
8. Create catchy post titles. Idioms, rhymes and familiar phrases grab people's attention and entice them to read further.
If you have questions about blogging, or can add tips based on your blogging experience, use the Comments section below to join the discussion.