Blogging is a pretty simple communication tool. It can seem pretty complex if you focus on the many possible nuances, but when it comes right down to it, there’s just four things to keep in mind to have an effective blog.
- A topic that matters to you and your target reader. The difference between a blog and an article is that when you are blogging you need to write many short pieces that are related in some way. Each posts adds to the body of knowledge and information offered by the blog, adding value for readers. Focus in on a topic that you are very interested in; even if you have to do some research to compose each post, that interest will keep you writing and your readers reading.
- Write regularly. “Regularly” means different things to different people. You can define this for yourself, but you need to be consistent. Publishing a new post once a month can be fine, as long as you stick to a schedule. Your readers need to know when they can expect to learn more. All publications have a schedule, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. A blog is no exception.
The length of each post is also up to you. You may find that you have a lot or a little to say on a particular topic. Either ways is fine. You don’t need any more words than the number needed to say something meaningful to your readers. People will read a lot or a little if the content is interesting. Keep in mind that you do need to provide enough text that Google and other search engines can crawl your article and pick up sufficient context to properly index your content.
- Use consistent keywords. You need to know what words people use to search for the topic you are covering. These are your keywords and you need to use them often in your writing. Keywords can be single words or short phrases.
[Related: Getting Keywords Right (for Free)]
There are several places in your post that you can use your keywords. I list them here in order of importance in the eyes of search engines: in the title, in the header(s), in the paragraph text, in the alt text for your image, and in any meta fields. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that keywords are most effective when they are visible on the screen.
- Have structure to your posts. Blogging tools like WordPress and Blogger don’t give you a lot of formatting tools, but they do give you easy access to add structure like headers and bullets. That’s because structuring your posts makes them readable, to both humans and search engines. Both scan your writing, and headers and bullets make your text jump out. People are more likely to read an article that is broken up into logical sections.