DO the following:
- Choose a domain name that’s short, easy to spell and memorable (no dashes in the URL)
- Keep it simple, focused and relevant (in other words, write to the type of audience you want to attract and ditch everything else)
- Show your authority (you do this by writing what you know – think How To’s and other tutorials)
- Publish often (remember, consistency matters)
- Enable comments (a blog is a two-way dialogue between you and your site visitors, it shouldn’t be a just another Press Release)
- Comment on other blogs (you can’t expect people to comment on yours if you don’t comment on theirs)
- Make it easy to share your content (Read this post from OutSpoken Media)
- Make it easy to subscribe (email subscription should typically be above the fold on the upper right-hand side)
- Make it easy to connect (I should be able to find your contact info on the homepage, your About page, and your Contact page - if I can’t, we have a problem)
- Take breaks and quit beating yourself up (sometimes it’s hard work and it’s ok to take a break to recharge)
DON’T do the following:
- Moderate comments (moderating for trolls and comment spam is one thing, holding a comment hostage in the moderation cue is another)
- Don’t publish just for the sake of publishing something. Remember, it’s needs to be simple, focused and relevant. Or as @unmarketing likes to say: “people don’t share ‘meh’ content.”
- As a rule of thumb, every blog post should have (at least) one photo. Images help make long, dry text, readable.
- Don’t overdo it with with widgets in your sidebar (too many widgets makes your design look cluttered)
- Don’t overdo it with plugins (too many plugins makes your website load slowly)
- Don’t overdo it with keywords in your post titles (keyword stuffing to an extreme is more damaging than it is helpful)
- Add 100 pages to your site navigation (seriously though, keep navigation to a minimum. I’ve seen websites with 23 pages in their navigation which is way too many if you ask me).
- Copy-paste content from other sources (that’s stealing and frankly, it’s boring. I’d rather read the content from the original source)
- Wait 6 months before publishing another blog post (if readers see that your content is outdated, you’re effectively giving them zero reason to come back)
- Obsess over the stats (you’re not going to go from 0 to 1,000 subscribers over-night). It’s good to monitor your stats to look for growth and other trends, but there’s not need to obsess over them daily (that’ll just drive you crazy).
What would you add? What are some of your best tips for newbie bloggers?