Blogging Tips c.2011

Bold the most important sentence in each paragraph. Why? Because people scan before they read. You need to sell them on the surrounding content. If you aren't going to do this then make sure you really do the next one... 

Shorter is better. Write what you want then cut it in half, let it sit for a while, review and then cut again.

Write for humans not Google. Focus on winning hearts and minds not searches. Nothing wrong with a little SEO once you've finished the post but don't litter the Web with empty but well optimized content. Leave the Web better than you found it.

Build your network. Creating content without first creating community isn't going to work very well.

Harvest blogs from emails. This blog actually started as an email I was sending to a friend/colleague who asked for some input on blogging. I decided to turn it into a post and email him a link. Hey!

Broadcast your posts. Hitting submit is not enough. Even while you are creating community you can use share tools to broadcast the posts via Twitter, Facebook and your email accounts. 

Leave comments on similar blogs. Find other posts relevant to yours and leave comments and even links back to your related post. Stay engaged when others respond to your comments.

Don't sell. Provide value and expertise but stop short of a sales pitch. No-one trusts a salesman. They trust subject matter experts. 

Ask questions. Ever notice how hard it is to not answer a question? It creates, almost forces, engagement with your readers. By the way, who's your favorite blogger? 

When possible, be funny. Humor builds bridges and opens doors. It lowers our inhibitions and resistance. I wish I had something funny to add here but...I don't, firing blanks from the funny gun. 

Take a position. Relaying facts is for Wikipedia. Take a stand on something then cede ground if needed in the comments. Again, this will increase engagement.

So what do you think? Any other useful tips to add?