10 Principles of highly effective blogging

May 22, 2006 – 12:40 pm

by Darren

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I thought I’d rise to the challenge and respond with a post concerning Problogger’s Writing Project, which is a group effort to outline truly effective blogging methods. While the basic ideas may vary, I would still expect that this might result in numerous similar posts, but we’ll see. The whole point of collaborating is to see how different people approach the same problem. Here’s a number of principles which apply to blogging

1) Have patience and be systematic in your approach to blogging. Bloggers don’t generally rocket to the top based on one post. Many bloggers who are extremely successful have been posting for 3, 5, or even 10 years! You better believe their current status is hard earned and you won’t get a free ticket to the top. Be patient, but never back down.

2) Blog often and blog well. You won’t become a blogging superstar by making “one incredible post” that wows the world with the true magnificence of your blogging prowess. More likely, you’ll sneak up on people like a car-jacker, only with a much happier conclusion ;) People don’t generally become aware of a person or thing all at once, but rather they have a gradual awakening.

3) Proofread your posts. Always double check what you’ve written before going live. I struggle with this a lot myself, because I know I’m generally “pretty accurate”. That means I only goof on grammar or spelling 10% of the time or so. This still can make for scary reading, and might hurt you with an intended audience. I try to remind myself to always double check my posts.

4) Be generous in your attributions and never be afraid to link out. People who are selfish about linking generally don’t rank as well as websites who link out a lot. If you found an idea interesting, make sure you’re fair to the source of info. Any pictures you may download, etc, should be clearly sourced to wherever you commandeered them from. If you smile at the world, the whole world smiles back.

5) Be true to yourself and honest to your readers. You might feel like embellishing a little, or maybe even flat out lying at times if you run out of things to say, but it will only hurt you in the long run. The integrity of the information presented is paramount to the success of any website.

6) There are no rules about blogging, only guidelines. Don’t follow the gurus, and make sure you always experiment and make your blogging something unique, like your smile, or your fingerprints. You can always get great ideas from reading the words of others, but don’t take them all as gospel. All bloggers put there pants on one leg at a time (I’m sure there’s an exception), so don’t deify every idea you hear.

7 Think for yourself. Don’t get bogged down in group-think, or you may find yourself very lonely in the midst of a crowd who’s been stampeded off the internet. By the time you pick on a new trend, it may already be played out. Always think critically of your actions and ask yourself, will what I’m doing advance my cause as a blogger?

8) Stay on topic. Sure, it’s easy to wander off your chosen path, but don’t do it for too long. Your blog most likely specializes in something, and your readers have come to expect a certain level of quality from you. Too many off-topic rants might make it look like you’re losing your focus.

9) Utilize RSS to its’ full potential. Use RSS as a tool to maintain contact with your visitors and to keep your customers or prospects up to date on all your doing. The best part about RSS is the voluntary nature of it. People will likely never feel mad about RSS the way they might about email marketing. RSS offers a blogger a great way to expand his reach.

10) Make sure to build a business model into your website from the beginning. Sure, you won’t have much traffic at first, but you need to have a plan for how to monetize the traffic that you will inevitably get by following highly effective blogging principles. There’s no point in volunteering to blog if you can get paid. It’s easier than ever to get paid for blogging, but give it some serious thought before your build too many pages.

Any of these principles should help the average or above average blogger to increase their revenues. The more effective the blogger, the higher the expected rate of return. Good luck with your blogging.

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    1. 12 Responses to “10 Principles of highly effective blogging”

    2. Nice blogging tips..

      Thanks and keep them coming!

      By Heather on May 22, 2006

    3. Darren, great job here. I’ll post my little secrets up at Business Blog Wire and we’ll see how we compare. :)

      P.S. My favorite principle of yours is #7 - “Think for yourself.” Amen! There’s nothing worse than a perpetual re-blogger - or, more broadly, a person who refuses to be original. Of course we’re always taking ideas from others and responding to them - but the effective blogger is one who ADDS to the global corpus of knowledge by offering something new, original, different.

      By Easton Ellsworth on May 23, 2006

    4. You aren’t kidding, Easton. It’s not easy being original, but it’s well worth the effort. Otherwise, what do you really have to fall back on?

      By Darren on May 24, 2006

    5. Darren, Thanks for a great post for the ProBlogger project. I especially appreciate #6 - “There are no rules about blogging, only guidelines,” but all your tips are great. Well-written, refreshing & informative! (Oops, can’t seem to get the reviewer out of me ;-) Live, Love & Laugh, Sherri

      By Sherri - The Rebel Housewife on May 24, 2006

    6. Sherri, thanks for much for the kind words.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for replying.

      By Darren on May 24, 2006

    7. Hi there from Australia.
      This is a very interesting list and you make some very good points. In my opinion the toughest one is #1 Being patient. I read so many blogs that go fine for two or three weeks - or even a month or two - before falling into cyberspace cemetary. Effective bloggers are in it for the long haul - and that means years of effort, not just weeks. Expecting quick results is symptomatic of our instant culture.

      By Trevor on May 28, 2006

    8. Hello Trevor,

      Thanks for reading and hopefully all is well in Australia. You aren’t kidding about the lack of patience. The high quality of current bloggers means a new blogger will have to “cut his teeth” and learn the craft. With this many people participating in a global market, it takes continued excellence to be noticed. And even that isn’t necessarily a guarantee that your blog will be successful. But it’s a start.

      By Darren on May 28, 2006

    9. The post was wonderful, especially #1. It’s so easy to get discouraged when first starting out.

      By Ellie on May 28, 2006

    10. i like tha calm yet authoratative manner of blogging:) i’m going through the entire blogging habits list, And i found some of your ideas useful, especially about being yourself.

      i think i’ll subscribe.

      By i-ming on May 30, 2006

    11. i-ming,

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the post, and I’m definitely happy to welcome you as a subscriber. Thanks for visting.

      By Darren on May 30, 2006

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    2. May 23, 2006: Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers - Reader Submissions - Part 1: ProBlogger Blog Tips
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