Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blogging Tips - Get the most out of your blog

There is a cool blog post by Dave "Tweaking your Blogger blog" that motivated me to share my own thoughts on blogging.

I will add some of my own tips, that I have learned over the past one year or so since I started blogging.

1.Think who will be reading your blog.

For me, I see my blog readers falling in one of two groups. The first group is of the people I know and they get my blog feeds and the other group of the people finds my blog while searching Google (oh yeah I mean Internet, Google is now a synonym to Internet search, something that I do not like, self-prophecy effect, more on this sometime later). So for the second group of people (net searchers) see if you can provide some background information and summary/conclusions. Such additional information might be obvious for first group but it will certainly help others in getting the message right.

2.Write in small paragraphs,

Personally I would close the window if I visit a blog/article with the page long paragraphs. With very less time available to us, it is really hard to read each and every line on such pages. Most of the times we will already have some partial information on the topic and will only be interested in picking up the right pieces from the blog. Breaking down your blog in small para and putting meaning full para headings will make your blog readers quickly pick the relevant information.

3.Write on latest technologies/trends

Attempt to stay ahead of the curve and while browsing net in your free time look what's new and related to your blog. Learn yourself and then share it with others. It is a great way of learning, by writing it down what you have learned. You will also get more hits on such posts. Also if you have some hard found solution for one of the problems you recently faced then that makes it a strong candidate for a blog.

4. Avoid posting your personal activities (for professionals)

Unless the topic of your blog your own/family life avoid posting posts like ' I went to the dinner", "I had great holidays"... and then describing your experience in lengths. Keep your blog focused. It is hard to get someone read your blog so don't bore them with something they are not interested. I mean who cares what I did on the weekend? Few sentences for fun are fine but If you need to put the details then better setup a separate blog for such posts. Don't make your blog a junkyard, full of stuff that is hardly useful for someone.

5. See if you can break lengthy articles into parts

That will help in two ways. First when you plan to write on something in details, you plan , plan and plan and wait for enough time to write it and then you never get chance. Second it will also help the readers in consuming it and they will come back for the next parts if they find it interesting. Another way of writing such lengthy articles is to use a blog writer, I prefer 'Windows Live Writer', it allows me to write long articles in parts, whenever I find sometime I will open up my draft post and add more.

6. Socialising on net, read other people's blog and develop your circle

Almost everyone is aware of the new ways socialising on net. So read the other people's blogs, leave comments, discuss with them topics of interest and increase your network. I love my personalised page , it allows me to have feeds from a number of blog posts on my home page and also is full of goodies (like feeds from CNET, technology news and funny Reuters:Oddly Enough) that will keep you update on latest trend and technologies.

7. Do some pre-reading

To make sure whatever you are writing is authentic and makes sense, don't write on simply hearing some rumours. Verify the information you are putting on your blog is correct and will provide value to the reader. I prefer to Google and verify the contents of my blog before posting it.

8. Be informal

You are not writing a report for your client, so relax and have a friendly tone in your blogs. Attempt to simulate as if you were talking to your close friend. It really makes blog interesting and fun reading.

9. Use your spare time to think about blog

Do you drive too far to reach work? do you take long train/bus rides? If you spend your time in looking outside window or taking a nap then see if you can think of something interesting for your blog. If you carry laptop/pda then you can blog then and there.

10. Blog regularly

Avoid disappearing from your blog for long periods, blog regularly, even one para each week/fortnightly would make you appear a serious a blogger (and you want to be a serious blogger!) .