No matter how skilled a writer you may be, writing is not blogging. There’s a steep learning curve when it comes to learning how to write for the internet and attract a readership to your blog. There’s a lot of good advice available but there’s lots of bad “canned” advice too.
Whether you plan to blog as a hobby or you envision making big bucks from blogging, my advice is to take a deep breath and learn how to write for the web.
This is where many print writers utterly fail to become bloggers – they simply post material written in their usual print style for stand-alone, one-way consumption by readers, and make no effort whatsoever to leverage the context of the Internet.
As a beginner blogger I made many mistakes and learned how to correct them after the fact. I’m including a short list of mistakes I made in this post because I want to share what learned.
- Not developing an About page and an effective blog description.
- Investing too much time and energy on blog appearance (not enough time for content creation).
- Not developing a strong enough focus on content creation and a social media time management strategy (distraction).
- Not developing a commenting policy (no plan for dealing with negative comments).
- Not checking my sources and resources closely enough (links to bad neighborhoods.)
- Including too many images (slow page loading time).
- Including too many animated icons, embeds, widgets, etc. (slow page loading time and distracts readers from content).
- Not maintaining links ( 404 page not found links ie. broken links lead to reader frustration and negative SEO impact).
- Not updating frequently enough (losing readers).
- Creating a lengthy blogroll (reciprocal links).
I dove into the learning process and found that we scan web copy and read print copy.
I learned to set my intention, become organized and focus on creating scannable web content regularly.
I discovered that continually publishing content that engages an online audiences is both a skill and an art. I accepted the fact that blogging over the long term requires takes passion, purpose, productivity, people skills, planning, persistence and becoming a willing student, because the learning never ends.
In Writing for the Web by Rogier Gruys and Faye Hoffman feature these three main guidelines in their presentation:
- Be Succinct
- Write for Scannability
- Use Links to Your Readers Advantage
Leveling up means making a move in your life or career for the better and that may mean doing something different. 10 Guidelines for Writing Engaging Posts will help you improve your writing for the web. If you haven’t accomplished the basics and don’t have a clear vision of where you want your blog to be, then you won’t be able to plan how to get there.