3 Blog Takeaways from the Trenches

I have been writing this blog for a while now.  And, I have learned a few lessons that I hope will help others with their blogging efforts.

Seek and Follow Advice

I have read many blog posts and articles that offer blogging tips. The advice I have followed has paid off. Among the tips I have followed that have proven to be accurate:

  • Post early in the day. Earlier posts garner more views and are more likely to be picked up and listed in other sources.
  • Include images. Images make posts more lively and interesting to read.
  • Use keywords in titles, heads and subheads. Posts that have the keywords people are searching for in these areas are more likely to be found than posts that have catchy – but keyword-free – titles.

You Have to Offer Original Content to Engage

One disappointment with my blog is the lack of comments. I have done a number of things to try to get more interaction: leave out part of a story to hope a viewer will supplement with a comment, cross-post on sites like Social Media today, and even outright ask (beg, really) for comments.

Looking at the few posts that have received comments, the takeaway is clear. The posts in which I offer an original thought or opinion are the posts that are most likely to earn visitor feedback.

The purpose of my blog was never to share my own thoughts per se. My goal was top be an aggregator of sorts — to share research, stats and thinking around online communication in one central location. In my life as a communicator, I have always valued resources that connected me with this type of information.

So, it appears that I need to alter my strategy and share more original posts, or just accept few comments as appropriate for the type of blog that this is.

Blogs Are a (Mostly) Manageable Grind

Blogs are hungry beasts that always need to be fed new content! A blog needs to have good content on a regular basis to be relevant. When I make regular posts, my views go up (on all posts) and my posts are more likely to be referenced by other sources. When I blog less frequently, all those metrics slide downhill.

I’d like to say the last several weeks of few posts have just been a grand experiment to validate this takeaway. Truth is that I just have not seen much to share lately, and I have not had the time to sit at the computer to share the few things I have found. Regardless of the intent, sure enough, all my metrics for the last few weeks have taken a plunge.

However, I have generally been successful keeping a healthy readership, through these strategies:

  • Post at least 3x week
  • Use the WordPress publish feature to write several posts and have them publish throughout the week
  • Invite others to guest blog
  • Post blog content automatically on LinkedIn and twitter to keep those sites lively and to reach visitors at the sources they like to monitor

Until Tomorrow

I will continue to look for advice to keep this blog strong and relevant. (I welcome yours in comments here.) I appreciate the opportunity to share as well as the lessons learned. For now, the grind continues to be outweighed by the rewards.

Thanks for reading!