Cat got your tongue?

Obligatory kitten picture

So, here’s the deal.  There are exactly 306 hours till my graduation ceremony starts.  That’s only 12 days.

There are several key best practices to abide by while blogging, and keeping to a regular schedule of content creation is surely one of the most key.

I had wanted to set this site up for quite some time.  When did I finally choose to do it? Yeah…probably the worst time EVAR!  Leading up to graduation there are HUGE projects that have to be wrapped up, meetings to be held, etc.  Needless to say, close the busiest time of my life.  I barely have time to sleep let alone, blog.  So, having violated one of the key strategies for a succesful blog I felt like this would also be a good time to think about other strategies that are integral to a blogs success.  (Admittedly, some are just things I like in a blog :) )Some of these I use, some I fail at, and some I observe others doing.  But all of them, in my opinion, have a great deal of value.

  1. Shut your pie hole: Rarely do long winded, overly lengthy posts ever get read past the first several paragraphs (at least not by me).  Unless you’ve got some epic story that somehow involves, kittehs, Dave Matthews Band, cute shoes, AND ponies, I am quite unlikely to stick around too long.  Most recommendations for blog length I’ve seen have been between 500-750 words.  I tend to like this length, but of course there are always times when exceptions are necessary/appropriate.
  2. Show me your world: Use pictures!!!!!! A page blurring with nothing but text is boring and won’t grab your readers attention.  Your page may be turning your readers off before your writing even has a chance to be read. Your images can help to set the tone for your post as well so use them and use them appropriately.
  3. Don’t Play Stoopid: I almost always have someone else look over my work before hitting send/publish in order to catch errors that I may have missed.  Sometimes all you need is a pair of fresh eyes.  You don’t want something going out with accidental errors if its avoidable – this has your name on it after all.  Misspellings….there/their types…..missing words.  The whole bit.
  4. Stock up for Winter: Have some work in the bank for those times when you are too busy to sit down and crank one out, or for when you’re drawing a blank and have no ideas.  Obviously this is one of those tactics that I am currently failing at. :)
  5. Make it Purdy: Utilizing lists, bullet points, and other formatting tools can be a great way to increase the readabililty of your post.  Many readers end up scanning things they’re ‘reading’.  Including these types of items on your page can help them get the jist while they’re flying by.  I’ve also found that it helps me to organize my content into a logical structure as well.
  6. Immitate Your Favorites: Look through your blogroll or reader.  What are some of your favorite blogs.  Why?  There are undoubtedly an inumerable number of good strategies for a blog.  By observing and taking notes from the people you admire you can pick up new ideas for your own site.

I am by no means an expert blogger like many others are.   These suggestions are mostly based on my personal experiences visiting  blogs and writing for others.  But the bottom line is to target your audience and give them what they’re looking for.  Some of these strategies may go against what is standard practice for your niche so consider your approach carefully.

Now that I’ve gotten rid of the guilt I had for not posting in almost a week, I have got to hit the books.

Thanks for reading!

PS…some time when I have more time I want to do a more in depth look at some of the better blog strategies I’ve come across in my travels.  If you have any you’d like to see included let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to include them with full attribution!