Blogging Best Practices – 7 Tips for Better Blogs

Simple best practices that do make a difference.

Blogging is an incredibly effective means of helping to drive more traffic to your web site.  Because I’m a big believer in the value of blogging, I’ve written a number of blog posts recently to encourage and help others to blog more frequently and be more effective with their blogging.

The best blog posts are those that are simple and pack a lot of punch in terms of educational and valuable content.  But in order to get people to actually stop and read what you have to say, the post itself has to also be visually appealing and inviting.

Here are 7 blogging practices that are more about presentation than they are about actual content.  After all, if it doesn’t look interesting, few people will read it:

1. Decide what post length works best for you and your audience.  As a general rule, about 300 words is adequate to convey a list or hard information.  Keep in mind that when we read online, we like short digestible snippets of information, and we have a tendency to skim read.

2. Keep your paragraphs short.  No more than 3 or 4 sentences.  We’re kind of lazy so keeping the paragraphs short makes the post easier to read and more appealing for the skimmer.

3. Lists are extremely effective.  Lists of things to do, tips, reasons to avoid something, reasons why one option is better than another.   Try not to use more than about 7 items in your list and if you like to make a much larger list, employ single lines of content rather than a few sentences explaining each one.

4. Number your lists or use bullet points.  Bold the items in the list to allow for them to stand out and for easier skimming.

5. White space is good.  White space makes your post more visually appealing.  When we see only a wall of text, we’re less likely to read it because it looks time consuming and difficult to get through.

6. Add at least one image to each post.  Images will also make your post visually appealing and break up the text making the piece easier to read.  Images can also add color which makes the post more inviting.

7. Try to include at least one link to another blog post.  Adding links into your pieces adds credibility to your information because gives people the opportunity to view some additional information related to the topic that might be helpful in conveying a point.  Adding a link to a previous post that you’ve written also helps to drive more traffic around on your web site and demonstrate that you are an expert on that topic.

I’ve found these practices particularly useful in improving blogging effectiveness.  When you read blog posts, are there other techniques that you find make blog posts more inviting to the eye?

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