12 Blog Tips for 2017

As you can tell, I've been doing other things since the first of the New Year instead of blogging.

What Things

1. Packing away the Christmas decorations. Every year I cull the holiday decorations. Once I had enough Rubbermaid containers to fill a small room.

Now I have it down to 6 large containers, and one of those is labeled Archive and a smaller one is labeled Retired Angels for the part of my Christmas Angel collection that has become too worn and fragile over the years.

2. Getting ready for tax season. We have the forms and returns for our LLC, my writing business return, and our personal income tax return. That's a lot of accounting and requires a lot of organization to make sure everything can be filed as soon as possible.

3. Deciding on the books to write this year.

4. Making a list of items that need to be done like updating my website and blog.

Updating SlingWords

So that brings me to what I want to talk about today. I need to clean up the various pages and make sure the links are still good. I also need to make out an editorial calendar for the year.

A blog is a lot easier to maintain and a joy to write if you just do a little of planning. So here are...

12 Blog Tips for 2017

Take 1 tip each month and work with that tip. You’ll be surprised how much your blog will improve and how your audience will grow with just a few changes in your blog habits.

1. Start a blog if you don’t have one or if you have learned that the one you have doesn’t serve you well. If you already have a blog, then give it a makeover. A blog, when carefully structured, will draw in visitors who are not just other authors.

2. Make a commitment to blog a certain number of times each work. More is better.

3. Write about things that stir your passions, not things that you think you should cover.

4. Set up an editorial calendar that lists the topics you’ll cover. You can keep this private or post it on your blog. This will keep you from wondering what you’ll write.

5. If you want to keep expenses low, use a free blogging platform. Blogger is easy to customize and maintain. Others say the same thing about WordPress. I've used both and find Blogger more user friendly.

6. Use your name as your blog URL. Example: http://YourName.blogspot.com. I learned this lesson the hard way. By the time I realized I should have used my name for my blog title, SlingWords was already too well-established to make the change. A few years ago, I tried to switch it over to my name, but I abandoned the effort when I realized how many portals run my blog feed and how a name change messes that up.

7. If you want to shell out a few bucks, buy your own domain name and set it up to point to your blog. Make sure it’s your name, not something descriptive.

8. Be consistent. If you say you’re going to blog 3 days a week, then follow through. Consistency builds a blog audience.

9. Although the bar is set lower for blog posts, do proofread your posts carefully.

10. Interact with your audience. Always respond to a comment left on your blog.

11. If you have Comment Verification turned off, then check every day to make sure you’re not getting spammed.

12. Avoid using elements on your blog that are listed as “most annoying” by web visitors: music, wacky fonts, black or very dark backgrounds with white or light-colored fonts, broken hot links, and content that isn’t formatted correctly for web reading.

Blogging should be fun. Adopt that attitude. Never look at blogging as a chore. It should be like sitting down with a friend for a nice chat. Build your blog that way, and you’ll build an audience fast.

Takeaway Truth

Blogging should be fun. Adopt that attitude. Never look at blogging as a chore. It should be like sitting down with a friend for a nice chat. Build your blog that way, and you’ll build an audience fast.

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