Like the 3 R’s of academics (reading, writing, & arithmetic), they don’t all start with R (only one!)…but when you want to start blogging, there are a few things to focus on.
You don’t have to follow rules. Never!
You can pick a topic and just go.
You can feel an emotion and run free.
You can specialize and only have one general topic throughout your blog.
Personally, I like reading and writing blogs that showcase an entire person. Not just a writer, not just a freelancer or entrepreneur or developer or writer or businessperson.
I like that I know you have hard days and that you tell the truth and see and talk about how entrepreneurship can be hard and lonely. I like seeing your pets and your life outside of work.
These are 10 rules of blogging that I have learned in my over 6 years of blogging regularly and my business as a full-time writer, editor, and blogger for companies. These rules will help you showcase an entire human behind the writing, but still keep it professional and interesting.
The 6 R’s of Blogging are:
The Other 4 Rules are:
- Posting regularly
- Interaction and engagement with your audience
- Proper grammar and punctuation
There you have it. These are in no particular order, they are all necessary.
When it comes to writing, you want to have topics that inspire you and answer questions. You want to rant, rave, and inspire others. This can be anything from ranting about our current political climate to raving or reviewing a book or product or an author you love, to researching and reporting on topics that interest you, and just writing.
I write a lot about writing as a business: pricing yourself, not working for free, finding clients, what ghostwriting is, what I think is the hardest part of writing a book, and even being very open an honest about my anxiety and the loneliness that can come with entrepreneurship.
When I make a statement or reference a scientific idea or study, I confirm it with research and link to it. I don’t just make things up and state them as truth. And not everything is a story. Some topics are easier explained in a reporting fashion, it depends on the topic and whichever makes it easier or more fun to read and understand. There is nothing wrong with reporting or factual blogging. This post on Irony vs. Coincidence is straight reporting and not told in a personal story or more creative way, but is still good information and factual.
Ranting and raving is great, too. It is opinion-based and just shows more about who you are. This is a rave AND review of the new Gilmore Girls I wrote for Huffington Post. Here is a rant about Trump I wrote before the election last year.
Reviewing books, movies, shows, and anything else is a great way to build an audience. When you review and can tag popular topics, you will broaden your audience while also staying on timely and relevant topics.
While the majority of my posts are about freelancing and writing and finding clients and the like, a decent chunk is about projects, things that interest me, my cat, and more.
I want to show a full and complete person, not just the face of a business. Business is not always seamless and rarely only fun stuff. Everything has its challenges.
Those are the 6 R’s.
The last 4 rules are a bit less R in nature and a bit more technical.
You need to post engaging and interesting content regularly in order to take advantage of the Google search algorithms and come up higher in their rankings (known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO). New and valuable content also encourages site visitors to stay longer on your website.
In order to engage people, you want to be commenting and engaging with other similar blogs, replying to people who comment on your blog, and interacting with your audience. Answer their questions, address issues that effect them, and comment back.
Proper grammar and punctuation is just a part of being a good writer. It is also a learned skill. Read up on MLA rules or run your writing through software like Grammarly to catch grammar issues.
Passion for what you do is always important. You won’t enjoy writing every day or even regularly if you have no passion for it. You won’t be able to fight through any blocks to dig and find inspiration and still write. You won’t have fun, and honestly, readers can often tell if you aren’t enjoying it, which will make them lose interest.
What do you think? Are these 10 rules to blogging true for you? Did I miss anything?
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