3 Top Blogging Tips

You can become a successful blogger - but there are
a few things you need to know right off the bat.

First, let's address the difference between a blog and a blog post.

A blog is the whole kit n' caboodle.  If you look at Freelance Writing Tips, it's a blog.  If you're reading a particular entry, you're reading a blog post.  (I know, it seems silly to address this - but believe me, it's necessary.)  What you're reading right now is a blog post on my blogBlogging is the act of writing a blog post on a blog.

That said, there are several types of freelance writing services and blogging is one of them.

If you want to become a successful blogger, there are 3 major things you need to keep in mind:

  • Blogging is less formal than web content, articles or press releases.
  • Blogging still requires proper grammar and spelling.
  • Blog posts have to be aesthetically pleasing (and provide the right amount of information) if you want people to read them.

Blogging Tip #1: Shrug off the jacket, but leave your shirt on.

Although blogging is less formal than other types of Web writing, you still have to blog with authority.

By less formal, I mean you can - depending on your clients' preferences - write in the first person, use less-technical words and generally write like you'd speak.

(If you're a writer, I hope ain't is not part of your vocabulary and you never use the word don't the wrong way.)

A blog is a way to connect with readers; blog posts do that in a way that web content never can.  Blogs should be designed for interaction, and your goal is to evoke some sort of response from your readers.  Although they don't always respond, readers are what makes a blog successful - and you need to write blog posts with the reader in mind.

If you don't know it,
Blogging Tip #2: Say it, don't spray it.

Even though blogging is less formal than other types of freelance writing, you still have to write right.  We all make spelling errors - but that's what SpellCheck is for.  Almost every household in America has a dictionary - and if not, there's Dictionary.com.

When you're writing a blog post for a client, check and re-check for grammar, spelling and other errors.  Sometimes I print my clients' blog posts out, step away from the computer and attack them with a pink highlighter in my living room. 

The point to blogging tip #2 is that you can't just sit down and spew everything out without thinking or checking - especially when someone is actually paying you to write them a post.  Depending on your client, you may need to worry about keyword density, too - and then it really helps to print your blog post and evaluate it on paper instead of on a computer screen because every single instance of awkward SEO jumps right out.

Blogging Tip #3: Don't be a waste of space.

Blog posts should be useful and relevant.  I'm not talking about your personal blog, where you can write about anything you want (unless you're using it to showcase your work to potential clients).  Your blog posts should be easy on the eyes - if they're confusing, cluttered or messy, no one is going to bother reading.

With a blog post, you have about eight seconds to capture a reader's attention - and if you're writing a blog post for a client, their goal is to get people to read.  After you've captured their attention, you can't fill your blog post with useless information that doesn't do anything for them.

Think about using bulleted lists, big headlines and pictures in each blog post.  The more aesthetically pleasing it is, the better.  Make sure everything's lined up as best you can and ensure you're packing as much useful information into it as is possible.

However, long blog posts don't generally go over very well - I think, and this is straight from my own experience, that blog posts should range from 300 to 800 words.  If you need to write more than that, expand in another post (which you can tell your client, who will appreciate the fact that you're looking out for her best interests).

What blogging tips do you have?  What do your clients prefer when you're writing blog posts for them?

Follow me on Twitter, join me on Facebook or subscribe to this blog via e-mail.

© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on FreeFreelanceWritingTips.Blogspot.com, it's stolen.

Creative Commons License

Freelance Writing Tips by Angie Papple Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at freefreelancewritingtips.blogspot.com.

"Cool" image courtesy of nikhilstar at stock.xchng; "Spell Check" image courtesy of SailorJohn at stock.xchng; "Enough Pollution" image courtesy of ZatRokz at RGBStock.com.