When it comes to blogging there aren’t many rules. You will find blogs that are generally photo galleries, some are personal writing pages that are tailored for friends and family, and some have specific audiences with more professional purposes. However, the blogs that maintain high traffic and are successful share some key strategies and conventions.
As with people, we are affected by our first impression of a blog, so it is important to have an aesthetic page. It is also pleasing not to be bombarded with massive amounts of information or stimulation upon the first visit, so simplicity is another key. The simplicity and aesthetics force bloggers to consider the color schemes they are going to use, the font of their headings, if they are going to use drop down menus, or categorize blog posts based on content. Most, what I’d consider professional, blogs have tailored brand logos that are unique to them, and play into the theme of their site.
On the front page it is important to learn to use the “Insert Read More Tag” function. This is a great way to market and article, because the author is able to create good introductions that offer just enough to draw the readers attention, but then in order the read on the reader must click and be directed to the post. This is a very good strategy when using social media as a means of marketing, because a good feature image will cause users to stop and they read available text. A good blogger will make clicking “Continue reading,” near irresistible.
Another important aesthetic factor goes into the size of the text blocks. People are generally detracted, especially outside of academia, by extremely lengthy paragraphs. For this reason, as you will find in newspapers and magazines, professional leisure journalists and newspaper journalists write in shorter blocks. It is convenient and less intimidating for audiences to approach an article that they can take down in small sections rather than get lost in a sea of words.
Along similar lines, the posts tend to be between 300 and 800 words in length. Again, considering the type of audience reading the blog, we assume that they are not reading for academic purposes. It does not take a lot of time or investment to read a 500 word post, but it’s much more time consuming and involved to sit down and follow a 2,000 word essay. This is not to say that these don’t have a place, that they don’t exist, or that they are not successful, but that careful understanding of the audience is required when choosing the length of an article. 2,000 words is the length of a feature article in a professional magazine such as National Geographic.
One of the last things and most important to touch on is the way to use tags. I have mentioned this more than once during this project, and I have done so because it warranted me the best results–by far. I went back through my old posts, I had 11 followers, and I added multiple tags to every single post that I had published, and within 20 minute I had 288 followers.
I have also found that implementing links that direct to websites that you wish to get sponsorship from helps because most of them have click trackers, so if say Black Diamond was a brand that you really liked and wanted to get endorsed by you can make a link for readers to click which will direct to that site and they will see that you are generating traffic. If successful this can turn a passionate blog into a sustainable source of revenue. Don’t quit your day job, but maybe you can enjoy some nice free gear and write about how good it worked for you.
In the end there are not really any rules, but the takeaway should be this, and it can be summed up in three suggestions:
- Write about what you’re passionate about.
- Write frequently, daily if possibly, and publish on a consistent weekly basis.
- Interact with your followers when they comment.
If you decide that you want to start up a blog contact me. I’d be happy to be your first follower.