Blog Like a Pro

header laptophandsWhether you have been blogging for a while or you are new to writing posts, you should always stay updated on the latest best practices. Here are my top recommendations for managing a great blog.

Have a plan. Take time to document your goals for the blog. It may seem basic now, but when you are struggling to manage your time, being able to reference your goals can help you make decisions. It is also helpful to document your desired posting frequency and editorial process.

Make a calendar of topics and posting dates. When you are developing content, it’s good to know what specific topics you want to address and when they need to be posted. Most blogging tools let you schedule posts into the future and this can be an important way to stay on schedule.

Build contributors. Most blogs benefit from a variety of perspectives so consider inviting guest contributors. Allow contributors to link to their websites and/or blogs so that their efforts on your blog is a win for their online efforts too.

Follow a style guide. You may think you are consistent with your writing and editing, but look at just about any blog and you will see variations of style that can detract from the content. Pick a style to follow like the AP Style Guide or document your own. The important thing is to be consistent.

Use visuals whenever possible. Most templates call for large images because visuals attract the eye. Videos also consistently get more view time than text.

Cross link your posts. Build widgets into the template that highlight recent or popular posts. Take the time to link to one or two related posts within the content of each post to encourage visitors to spend more time reading content on the blog.

Monitor available metrics. Most blog platforms have a dashboard of key metrics or consider setting up Google Analytics. At a minimum, you want to understand how much traffic each post gets, what visitors are searching for, the amount of time visitors are spending on the blog, and how visitors are finding your blog All of these metrics will help you understand how to increase the readership of your blog.