Blogging presents a wealth of opportunities that speak to many human values, from expressing ourselves to sustaining ourselves. People use blogs to tell their stories, ask questions, and even make money. Blogging is a strategy that can draw attention, but everyone is competing for attention in the same places. If you search the web for blogging resources, you’ll find them. With so much information available, it can be hard to know where to start.
In chapter 7 of Writing and Editing for Digital Media, Brian Carroll shares a list of 10 steps to better blogging. According to Carroll, these are some of the best habits to practice while blogging. The index ranges through many reminders to keep in mind while blogging, from using an authentic voice to taking the time to learn new software and visual hierarchy standards.
Whether you consider the final result successful or not, getting in the habit of writing every day is essential to building a regular process.
Schedule your blogging time
Whether you produce your best words in the morning, at night, or any other time of day, knowing when you will write helps establish a new habit.
Creating an authentic voice through blogging can be difficult, especially when each post requires a set of choices and decisions that may not truly reflect how we act in reality. We are humans using digital systems, so don’t be afraid to share that human side.
Carve out a niche
People generally find blogs to answer questions or connect with their interests. The most successful blogs maintain a focused perspective.
Be curious and take lots of notes
Not every thought is ready to become a fully public blog. A great practice to help organize your thoughts is to keep a notebook or folder archive to collect bits and pieces of information and references as you encounter them. A great practice to help organize your thought is to keep a notebook or folder archive to collect bits and pieces of information and references as you encounter them.
The whole point of social media is to be social. When you get comments and questions from your audience, respond to them.
Learn the Software
While you don’t need to be a professional developer to launch a blog, it’s a good idea to understand the platforms you use. Setting a time to watch tutorials and double-check for quality control on your site can only make your blog better.
If you hesitate to share your blog with potential readers, expect them to do the same. Don’t hold back from sharing content you are proud of, and likewise, don’t create content you don’t feel proud to share.
Break up the text
Use headings, lists, graphics, and formatting options to help your readers find what they need from your posts.
Know your honor code and stick to it. The Internet is full of people excited to read your thoughts and people who may disagree with you. Make a plan for when and how you plan to engage with issues before you encounter them.
These steps alone are great advice for blogging but taken as a whole; they hold even more value. I invite you to save this list and look back on it regularly as you develop your blogging practice.