Welcome back to another blogging tips post. It’s been about a month since my last blogging tips post and they’re always well received, so I thought it was time for another. I am only about a week or two from hitting the six month mark, so I know that I am not an expert by any means but I have learned a lot of things over the last six months of this journey. I’ve heard it said that the six month or yearlong mark is a big milestone for bloggers to pass as many give up by that point. I can certainly understand that because developing a blog and being serious about it takes a boatload of time and effort. It’s easy to suffer blogging burn out. That said I am in this for the long haul and excited to see where Frugal Rules goes in the next year or two. Anyway, on to some more blogging tips that I have picked up along the way.
Respond to Comments
I know this can be a touchy subject for some bloggers, but for many that run their own blogs it’s about wanting to create a community. You spend hours creating your website and fashioning posts that you hope others will read and find helpful. That is a big reason why I started Frugal Rules – to help people avoid the financial mistakes I made early in life. Once you finally have people come by your site and leave a comment, it behooves us to respond to their comments. I know that I am NOT perfect by any stretch of the imagination and have not responded to 100% of the comments I receive, but I read all of them and respond to as many as I can. In my opinion, not responding to comments shows a lack of care for the people who took the time to add their input or ask questions. Responding to comments offers readers a personal response and is one of the main differentiators between blogs and news or purely commercial sites. The ones I typically do not respond to are those that are simply two word comments which does not really leave open a way to respond.
I know that blogging takes time, but does it really take that much time to thank someone and respond to their thoughts? By responding to comments, you help nurture that community that makes people want to come back, which in turn, creates a loyal readership base. I even know that some will go so far as to not come back if their comments are regularly not responded to and I am in the same camp. Eddie at Finance Fox touched on this in his post a few weeks ago and I have to say that I agree with Eddie, if you want to grow your blog and really keep them coming back then responding to comments is generally needed. Otherwise, it boils down to simply ignoring those who spend time on your site.
Simple Blogging Tips – Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
I wrote last time about how an editorial calendar has been a lifesaver and I would highly encourage it to anyone who has not given thought to it. As someone who runs his own business in addition to running this blog, I am always looking for ways to be more efficient with time. If I could only find that magical 26 hour day then I would be a happy person, but then again who would not? One of the things that I have found to be of immense help is to schedule my day out in terms of my blogging. I do all of my commenting and social sharing of posts for a part of the morning and any writing I must do for the blog or our business is done during the rest of the day. I respond to comments at certain points of the day so as to avoid a massive backlog of comments and to streamline my time. Before establishing my schedule, I was simply wasting time by checking email all the time and responding to comments as they came in. I soon learned that being more disciplined with my time was of utmost importance, both to myself and the blog. Throw client meetings on top of all of this and you can imagine why scheduling is of such importance in regards to my blogging tips.
I’ve not touched on SEO in my previous posts because I admittedly am still learning a lot about this. When I started I knew nothing and am just getting past that mark. You have people that are in the good content camp (which, by the way, content is of major importance!) and you have people in the SEO camp. I tend to find myself in the middle. While SEO is important, I have found there is a balance to be had. There are differing accounts as to how optimized your posts need to be in order to get love from the big G and I have come down on the side of going with what looks and reads most natural. It’s next to impossible to optimize every post and ultimately it’s difficult to get a lot of links to all of your posts. So, keep that in mind as you write your blog posts. I recently purchased Long Tail Pro in hopes of further streamlining my SEO attempts and will probably share more in the future regarding what I learn.
I’ve not covered round ups in previous blogging tips posts, but only because they can only be so long. This is another one of those things that might be considered touchy in the blogosphere. No one wants to read a massive 50 post link dump and that is not what I am really talking about. The beauty of blogging is that, for the most part, you can do what you like with your own blog. Some bloggers will do a blog round up once a week, some once a month etc. I fall on doing it once a week for a number of reasons, but really it comes down to the fact that I don’t know everything ( I know, what a shocker!) and I find it beneficial to point my readers to other insightful blog posts that might be of help. The other reason is that I view it as a way of paying it forward, for a lack of a better term, to others within the blogosphere. Thus, pointing back to the whole community aspect that is possible in regards to blogging. There are no set rules on how often you do them or how many posts to include. Some do three to five posts and others do 20 or more. I tend to fall somewhere in the mid to high teens, but it varies from week to week and in the end it’s your own blog so handle it how you wish.
If you’ve managed to stick around for this near 1,200 word post on blogging tips, thank you! What are some of your newly learned blogging tips, or are there any you’d like to see me cover in an upcoming post?
Photo courtesy of: Krappweis