8 New Blogging Rules for Writers

9-1-14 400If you read Search Engine Watch you might have seen 8 Blogging “Rules” You Should Probably Ditch. It was a catchy title that easily tempted me to find out which hallowed blogging rules I could now drop.

Here are the “old” blogging rules and the corrections.

8 New Blogging Rules for Writers

1. Post Five Times a Day to Increase Traffic

I’d never heard of this rule, thank goodness. I don’t think I would have had time to write my books if I’d been focused on writing five blog posts a day. What I have heard, and I believe it still holds true, is that bloggers need to be consistent. If you can only add new posts once a month – which isn’t ideal – then stick to your schedule.

However, if possible, attempt to post once a week at a minimum. If you can squeeze in another post and write twice a week, that would be ideal.

Sign up for Google Analytics to determine how your posting frequency affects traffic. Does posting twice a week double your weekly traffic? If you post three times a week, does this triple your traffic or does it not have any affect? Review your analytics to determine how the frequency of your posts impacts your website traffic.

2. Leave Blog Comments

Apparently, Copyblogger no longer accepts comments on its blog. It instead encourages its followers to start a dialogue about a post on social media. Alternatively, followers can start a conversation on their own blogs and refer back to Copyblogger.

This doesn’t make sense to me. A blog post is the start of a conversation that continues in the comments. To take the conversation elsewhere seems to defeat the purpose of creating a community around the blog.

Copyblogger cited spam as a reason for its new policy and this is understandable. However, you can use a plug-in to quarantine those messages. Or you can do what The Future of Ink has done; they installed a Google+ plug-in for its followers. The comments then appear on the blog and on each follower’s Google+ account. CHECK THIS

3. Outsource Your Blog to a Professional

As someone who writes blog posts for clients, you might think that I am going to be biased and say, “Of course you can outsource your blog posts.” Well, I’m not.

It’s always best to write in your own voice and no one can do that better than you. If you have trouble fitting blogging into your life, then hiring a professional to write it for you is a better than not having a blog at all.

If you decide that you don’t have time to write your posts then I suggest that you work closely with the professional writing articles for you. For example, my clients and I discuss article topics and agree to an editorial calendar. Before writing the post, I check in with the client to ascertain I’m still on the right track.

After I write the post, my clients review what I’ve written before I add it to their websites. This is their opportunity to edit and revise it as they see fit.

4. Always Write 100% Original Content

Writing original content trumps repurposing, but that takes time. If you wrote a nonfiction book, rewrite and update the chapters as blog posts. If someone wrote an article about some great tools for writers, select the ones you like the best and write a post about them. Your content doesn’t always have to be 100 percent original.

9-1-14 blogging rules

 

5. Not Every Post Needs to Have an Image

This is a rule that needs to be tossed with the trash. Always use images on your blog and when possible, use more than one. We are increasingly moving toward a visual social platform so don’t get left behind by neglecting to include a variety of imagery with each of your blog posts.

6. Stick to One Type of Format

You might have noticed that I included a short video in one of my recent posts. Soon, I plan to start podcasting and will include a link to those recordings here on my blog. Use video, SlideShare and other forms of media on your blog to reach a wider audience.

7. Write a 500-Word Blog Post

I have never subscribed to this rule. My posts tend to run about 750 to 800 words. I’ve even written 2,000-word posts for Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer. The length of your blog post should be dictated by how long it takes to cover your chosen topic. Just like your book.

8. Don’t Publish Your Articles on Third-Party Sites

I have completely ditched this rule. As soon as LinkedIn made publishing an option, I started adding my blog posts. Within six weeks, I more than 2,000 people following my blog on LinkedIn. So if you write a blog, don’t forget to add it to this platform.

There is a caveat to this new rule and I suggest you follow the advice from Search Engine Watch: “Promote your content on reputable third-party sites, which provide a link back to where content was originally published, and also give an author bio tied in to your G+ profile. You can wait a week or two before giving your content for republishing. That’s enough time for search bots to know where and when the original article was first published. Include links within your article that point back to your site to drive traffic.”

What blogging rules do you adhere to?

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About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

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Comments

  1. This is a fantastic post, @CaballoFrances. @ArticleW is sharing this on its social media platforms today. We’re particularly intrigued by No. 8. Have you written anything about publishing on third-party sites (or on LinkedIn)? If you have, we’d love to share it. If you haven’t, then let’s set up an email interview for @ArticleW or @Nimble_Media!

  2. Like this set of rules, Frances! I think each blogger has an inner set of “rules” that matches who they are, like a fiction writer’s Voice. I’m allowing my blogger voice to emerge organically (fancy for Trial and Error), and once I’m confident in it, I plan to be consistent, i.e. have a “brand.”

  3. This is a great article. I started out blogging once a day, I think I’ll try to hone that in to twice a week and also update my website. I’ve been feeling lately like I would discontinue, as I have not received much traffic. I think I’ll stick it out for another month. Thanks Frances!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m very new to the blogging/tweeting experience and I’m happy to find any advice regarding what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be worried that I’m not doing. Very helpful article! I’m finding my way around the social media sites, but it feels a little frustrating and sluggish. I have a novel that I’ll be self-publishing soon and I’m trying to get everything set up before I launch. Thank you for your article!

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