Are you interested in blogging, but feel like you still need to get your bearings on “how to” before you dig in? If so, check out this well-detailed blog post by Debbie Hemley, 26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts, which was recently published on the Social Media Examiner blog.
Hemley offers some great tips that capture 26 important blogging principles that you want to keep in mind whenever you blog. I like that she includes techniques to help you get your story out of your head and onto your blog. Isn’t that what most often stops us cold?
There are a few things about Hemley’s blog post that I do want to highlight for you:
Don’t take the long way home when the short way will get you there just fine: (See Hemley’s #23: Word Count.) With your audience in mind, I maintain that it is important to keep your blog post down to a reasonable length.
Readers tend to graze the internet, browsing through pages more often than reading any one page deeply. At more than 3,000 words, Hemley’s post goes far beyond the 300 – 1,000 words that I would ever recommend. Of course, I’m not sure you could possibly do “26 tips” in fewer than 1,000 words, so she serves up a great example of how to manage a long post – and does so nicely by jumping into her tips immediately, and then organizing the post clearly to keep the information under control and easy to browse. While her post is long, she remains concise and succinct, creating a structure that works well for her quantity of information. Still… I caution you to only go against the length guideline when you know you’ve managed it well.
Your own blog is not required: Henley is a frequent poster on the Social Media Examiner’s blog, though she has her own blog at Debbiehenley.com. If you want to start blogging but are intimidated by the challenge of starting up an entire blog site, consider starting out as a “guest blogger.” Talk to your friends, colleagues, and customers who have blogs, and ask if they’ll let you post. Even better, find out if there are any non-profit organizations you can affiliate with and blog through. (Example: The International Coach Federation of New England blog is maintained solely by guest bloggers.) Benefit of being a Guest Blogger? Instant audience!
Don’t aim for perfect: Hemley doesn’t talk about it, but I suspect this is the biggest thing that stops novice bloggers more than anything else. I’ve been blogging for awhile and I still have to remember this one. It can be hard to consider a blog post complete & ready to be posted. The thing is, if I aimed for perfect, I’d never post! I’d also never sound like me. Worry less about perfect; focus instead on being you. Be authentic. Use your own voice and your own style of writing. That’s the point: To get your own ideas out where they can be heard (read), in your voice and your style.
Do you want to blog but can’t quite get started? What do you think is stopping you?
Write your answer in the comment box below!