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- Wait 6 months before publishing another blog post (if readers see that your content is outdated, you’re effectively giving them zero reason to come back)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?
Brad Yzermans says
This is a great do and don’t list. I’ll be sharing your link with others. My pet peeve is people not even allowing comments on their blog or holding back my comment because they never moderate the comments. I
had one RE agent who tells me has been blogging for 2 years about 3-5 days a week and he is really frustrated his blog isn’t getting much traffic, not ranking well on google for keywords, or generating many leads. I told him it might be because he re-syndicates content from other sources and never writes original content. He paid $3,500 for some company to set it up and waits for leads to hit his inbox. For real?
@Brad Yzermans Ouch indeed. Here’s the thing most people don’t realize, in order to make it work, you have to spend almost as much time *promoting* your content as you do writing it (and researching it) to begin with. Blogging isn’t one of those “if you build it, they will come sort of things.” That’s especially the case for new blogs that are starting out and trying to get established.
Original content is interesting. People want to read YOUR perspective. Otherwise, why not read the content you copied at the source? Also, original content actually *shows* that you know what you’re talking about. Too often though, our inner critic keeps us from really putting ourselves out there. Once you learn to silence the inner critic and accept the fact that it’ll never be perfect, you’re good to go.
Thanks for the comment Brad and for the discussion 🙂
@Ribeezie any chance you can suggest services that pull together solid industry benchmarks in real estate? If you don’t’ know no one knows!
Many of these are no-brainers, but I’m sure that, even as a veteran blogger (I have a personal, tongue-in-cheek blog called kissmysass that’s been around since 99), I still am probably guilty of at least one of the “Don’ts”.Thanks for sharing them…ultimately, we can all learn something from blogging, sometimes just takes practice and checking out others’ blogs to see what’s acceptable/the norm and what’s not. I can tell you for a fact that one thing to make me leave the site in a heartbeat is DO #7 – I recently added a “Like” share button to my posts, because I know that if I find something I like and want to pass on/read later, nothing frustrates me more than having to copy an address bar URL to do so.PS – Found your blog via CoWorking group on Facebook. Thanks!
-BJ aka (e)BEEJ
Many of these are no-brainers, but I’m sure that, even as a veteran blogger (I have a personal, tongue-in-cheek blog called kissmysass that’s been around since 99), I still am probably guilty of at least one of the “Don’ts”.
Thanks for sharing them…ultimately, we can all learn something from blogging, sometimes just takes practice and checking out others’ blogs to see what’s acceptable/the norm and what’s not. I can tell you for a fact that one thing to make me leave the site in a heartbeat is DO #7 – I recently added a “Like” share button to my posts, because I know that if I find something I like and want to pass on/read later, nothing frustrates me more than having to copy an address bar URL to do so.
PS – Found your blog via CoWorking group on Facebook. Thanks!
-BJ aka (e)BEEJ
@BobbiJoWoods Ha, I like the title to that one Bobbi 🙂
As for sharing, I’ve seen people copy-paste images of social sharing buttons on their sites. That, or the person overdoes it with too many sharing icons which just creates clutter in my mind. At the end of the day, the easier you make it to share your content, the better the chances that it will actually get shared. Like you, it’s just too much an inconvenience to copy-paste the url somewhere. Unless I’m really…really compelled.
Anyway, nice to meet you and thanks for the comment!
@MichelleBarna @Ribeezie – http://t.co/12Ews7h Hey! Idk what ur looking for, but these guys might do. they r the largest RE consultancy biz
All very good points and a must for those just starting out. I see a lot of start-ups just wing-it.
These tips are extremely beneficial. These are things that anyone can easily do to improve a blog. It seems self-evident to write what you love, to direct your content toward your community, etc. but these simple goals can often be pushed to the side in pursuit of sheer number of readers.
@maddencorner Hopefully, it’s a quick and fresh reminder to some 🙂
@OnlineBusinesVA Agreed. Sometimes, we tend to over-do and over-think things. Hopefully, this serves as a fresh reminder on the things to do and not do.
This was a great post! There’s definitely a lot of “how to (blog)” posts out there but not many that discuss the dos and don’ts in the same space. Can you elaborate on plugin rule, i.e., how many is “too many”? Do plugins that aren’t currently active count as well?
Chris Aprea says
I read point 6 on the “do” list and felt obliged to leave a comment 🙂
In regards to email subscriptions what do you think is the best platform? I see that on this website you’re using the feedburner email subscription. Do you like it? Have you tried out any others?
@TheBigDebowski Yeah, I like to razz him and make fun of him, but @Ribeezie is pretty much the bomb. 😉
@PaulHemminger @Ribeezie Thanks so much for the help Paul!!!! Truly appreciated 🙂
@Chris Aprea Heh, I really didn’t notice till now 🙂
In regards to email subscriptions, two things come to mind:
1.) Feedburner – as your standard blog to email delivery tool. Note, you can’t customize newsletters and really send any content other than your blog content. But you can track subscribers.
2.) As for newsletter, Aweber. Which can handle both (blog to email) and you can customize the content to send out a newsletter. Right now, I’m running both actually. I have a pretty good list on the newsletter and I’m using Feedburner to deliver the blog content only (mainly because I’ve been using them for so long).
@socialhospitality Absolutely! As for how many is too many? Good question. I’d say to make a short list of “must have” functionality for your website. Then, do what you can within the limits of the theme. Everything else, look for a plugin that helps manage that for you. One site I looked at the other day had 30+ plugins installed and was running slowwww (and I mean *slow*). They were running too many outdated plugins and just in general, they weren’t all that necessary.
– Add only what you need to (less is always better)
– Make sure all of your plugins are updated (for security purposes)
Hope that helps!
Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 says
Very sharp to the point list Ricardo!
One of my favorite lessons I’ve learned from Eben Pagan in relation to DO 2 and 3, was the idea that if you want to have the biggest impact in information marketing, you want to be speaking primarily to beginners. There’s a ton more of them out there than there are experienced pros who’ve exercised the discipline it takes to become a seasoned vet and are eager to learn about and implement the super advanced strategies and tactics.
And this isn’t to say you can’t make it happen speaking to and connecting with pros. But if you’re gonna do that, make it known, make it a place where they feel at home instead of trying to make a hybrid site, trying to please two masters.
Thanks Ricardo for this nudge of reminder to keep me on target! I’m glad I stopped in today. 🙂
@staceysoleil lol, very true! Making fun of @Ribeezie will always be allowed 😉
@Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 That makes sense to me – yes, there is a vast market out there for folks who need “getting started help.” At the end of the day, it’s best to identify that audience (your audience) early on, and focus day-in and day-out on delivering content that’s helpful to them. Period.
Thanks for the comment Lewis!
Great post, Ricardo! You really hit the nail on the head with this one!
These are great tips. I hope I am following them!
@DanikaSM why thank you
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