10 Useful Tips for Better Blogging

Last Friday (11 November 2011), I was invited by Vidster of Defrosting Cold Cases to join a live chat discussion on Twitter about blogging.

The tweets from the discussion were collated under the hashtag #cclivechat and reproduced in full in this recap by Vidster shortly afterwards. As noted on Friday, not all topics were covered due to a lack of time (the hour flew in), but nevertheless it is worth summarising a few of the blogging tips which emerged:-

1. Bloggers should add value

There is always potential to contribute and add comment to debate etc through blogging. Not sharing useful information is one of the biggest mistakes bloggers can make. Having said that…

2. Some information should never be shared

Remember to protect your intellectual property and client confidentiality where necessary.

3. Keep a document called “blog ideas”

It is useful to keep a document called “blog ideas” or a similar tool for those posts you don’t have time to write. I think that, as with a lot of bloggers, I haven’t published nearly as much info as I could/should have, but by keeping a Word document on my desktop with recent blog ideas, I have a chance to write blog posts which may have otherwise slipped through the Net.

4. Think about the type of blogger you are, or the type you would like to become

Scottish lawyer and author of The Time Blawg, Brian Inkster has, for instance, written about the different types of blawgers here and ProBlogger has also written about the types of bloggers here. Nevertheless, it’s important not to try to pigeonhole your blog into a certain category, or indeed categories, too much.

5. Anonymous blogging is, in most cases, best avoided

I started Scots Law Blog anonymously last year. I thought that the mystery and (to some extent) greater ability to post controversial opinions would be attractive. But one of the biggest drawbacks for me was the ability to post authoritative views, develop a personal brand and develop relationships with real people through blogging.

6. Keep your blog posts fresh

There are many ways to keep your blog posts fresh, such as by sharing older posts with your social networks if still relevant, by recycling old content into new blog posts or even by updating old blog posts themselves.

7. Consider and re-affirm your motivation for blogging

It is useful to consider and re-affirm your main motivation for blogging. For me, my main motivation for blogging is to help share information and connect with people from around the world. Making money from doing so is secondary but it is good to get paid for something for which time and effort is spent. For others, making money with their blogs is the primary objective. I don’t think those blogs will ever succeed as much as those which have a greater purpose.

8. Try to maximise shares of your blog posts

To maximise shares of your blog posts, the main focus must be on making the content as good as it can be. Then blast the piece out to social media networks. My main social media networks that I like to use are Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, although many other social networks are relevant to tie-in with blogging.

9. Ask for feedback and give feedback to others

I think it’s important to receive feedback on your blogging, for instance in terms of your blog’s layout or its content. It is also important to give feedback to your colleagues on their blogging activities. There is always room to improve.

10. Protect against spam

It’s important to protect against spam, for instance through using Akismet, which helps to stop both comment spam and trackback spam. Additionally, it is useful to monitor comments before approving them, rather than auto-approving all comments. I think most readers understand the need to protect against spam or undesirable comments.

Get in touch

If you would like to add anything to these tips please do share your thoughts in the comment section below or on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. And as noted on last week’s #cclivechat, there should be a future session looking at other aspects of blogging, such as search engine optimisation (SEO). In the meantime, I’d like to thank Vidster again for inviting me to join him and other #cclivechat regulars. Again, the full text from the #cclivechat session on blogging can be viewed here.

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