In my own opinion, I think that blogging has gone beyond writing for Google bots and readers. It’s become something big, and needs some rules and laws to keep the game straight!
I like to see bloggers as managers, because you are responsible for all the people that read your contents. So a high degree of caution needs to be taken to ensure you don’t loose out of the game. One thing I have come to know about managers is that they live by rules, and it’s the rules that make them. Bloggers are not exempted from having rules to follow. Having passion is great, but what is passion when there are no rules to guide it?
I don’t really know if this question or rules of blogging exists, but blogging and writing is all about being innovative. Creativity also is one of the key qualities of a good blogger. This is the reason why I came up with this post to serve as a checklist for bloggers.
What’s the plan?
The title says “41 Indispensable Rules of Blogging” so we are going to apply the “3 E’s method” – experience, expertise and exposure in our blogging career to make a good discussion out of this post. To kick start the discussion, I will be listing 41 rules which I feel every blogger should abide by and you can either criticize them or recommend them for further actions. Again, I am not an island of knowledge, I barely came up with these 41 rules and I will seriously be needing more from you in comments. Okay, let’s see them:
Rule 1: Adopt a working style for yourself
Be unique in your own way, try as many styles as possible and adopt the one that works well for you. Never compare yourself with other bloggers, be unique in your own way.
Rule 2: Be consistent
Consistency means a lot, traffic, trust, and fame. Blogging gets interesting when you are consistent with posting. Don’t ever keep your readers waiting, keep them updated at all time.
Rule 3: Do your keyword research before writing
Keyword research is the key to writing contents that are Google compliant. Always do a keyword research with Google Free Keyword Research Tool, this is essential in terms of ranking or appearing on Google first page on – SERP.
Rule 4: Write in simple English, “KISS”
KISS means – Keep It Simple and Straight. Don’t use too much vocabulary or ambiguous words in your contents. The best performing blogs are those whose readers read conveniently without consulting dictionary or visiting Wikipedia.
Rule 5: Make contacting you very easy for readers
Learning more about your blog or contacting you shouldn’t be hard for readers. Write a clear and understanding “About” and “Contact” page to draw your readers and visitors close to what you are doing.
Rule 6: Do not pay for links, build legitimate back-links through guest blogging
There is no gain in fishy links. Google will penalize you seriously for paid links. If you must build links to your blog do it via guest blogging. It’s a safe and most recommended way of building credibility and authority for what you blog about.
Rule 7: Write a converting Guest Post landing page
A guest post landing page is very vital to how readers act when they land on your blog the first time. Write a converting landing page and keep it only for first time visitors from blogs where you have guest posted.
Rule 8: Write a converting “Author Bio” or “Byline” when submitting a guest post
A well written and converting author bio has a lot it can do you for you. This is where potential clients, buyers, customers and readers will read before deciding whether to click on your site link or not.
Rule 9: Seek feedback on your performances
You are not an island of knowledge or a know-it-all. Always seek feedback on your performances from the people who read what you write about.
Rule 10: Do not disrupt readers or stuff your content with ads or banners
You want to make money? I am not against that, but do it wisely. Do not disrupt your readers or stuff your blog with ads or banners. Information and content delivery is the primary thing in blogging.
Rule 11: Reply to comments as early as possible
Comments are what makes blogs engaging more than the normal static pages or websites. Readers are meant to drop their opinion on any post you write, and replying these comments is very important. Readers love blogs where the man behind the writing steps out and join them in discussion.
Rule 12: Read and welcome reasonable ideas of your fellow bloggers
You cannot know it all. Ideas varies, and so welcome reasonable suggestions and ideas from reputable bloggers in your niche.
Rule 13: Share or write only what you know
I believe in this rule so much. Build an authority blog by sharing only the things you have experienced or know about. You will be respected and valued for it.
Rule 14: Get serious with blogging by hosting your own contents
There are free blogging platforms where you can create free blog and start blogging, but one thing for sure is that you can never have assess to your contents, your blog can be deleted at any time because you are not paying for hosting. Get serious with WordPress and enjoy the freedom of blogging by hosting your own contents.
Rule 15: Have a posting calender
Don’t just post any time you feel like, draw a posting plan and decide on when to post, how many times to post a week or month. Remember you are not the one reading, so work out the best posting calender to avoid spamming your readers inbox with your posts.
Rule 16: Ask visitors to subscribe to your email updates
A blog is not just a reading portal, it’s also a place where you grow community of followers or readers. So asking them to subscribe to your email updates or feeds is not bad.
Rule 17: Use paid themes to stay safe from malicious codes
There are many free WordPress themes out there, but have you considered the threat you are exposing your blog to? Some of these free themes have malicious codes which have the ability of stealing your traffic or giving access to hackers. Protect your work, you have invested much time and energy in creating them.
Rule 18: Desist from Plagiarism – Don’t steal or copy other people’s content
Google owns the internet and they seriously frowns on Plagiarism – the act of copying another person’s ideas, text or other creative work and presenting them as if you were the one that created them.
Rule 19: Give credit to contents if you choose to share them on your blog
This is very simple. If you must share other people’s work on your blog, seek permission first and if granted give due credit to the real owners of the work.
Rule 20: Do not over-optimize your contents, use SEO plugins to guide you
While it’s important to optimize your blog contents, too much of it may result to Google penalizing your blog. Keep it simple, you can get guided by installing an SEO plugins that guides you in real time during and after writing. I use SEOPressors and at the end of writing any post, it scores me and advices me on whether the post is Google compliant or over optimized.
Rule 21: Don’t claim the boss, ask your readers when necessary
Nobody is doubting the fact you are the owner of your blog, so don’t always sound like the boss. When it’s necessary to ask your readers for a help do it, it’s worth it.
Rule 22: Write titles that are Google sensitive not those of news headlines
Keyword research is not just enough for a Google complaint content, sensitive titles with compelling keywords adds up. Don’t write titles like the headlines of news blogs, you are not writing news but writing for a group of people who have identified with you.
Rule 23: Use pictures or images, they speak much about your contents
Images or pictures gives readers a clue of what your content is all about at a first glance. Apart from that, it’s professional to add pictorial representation of what you write. However, while using pictures, make sure you seek permission from the owners or designers and also give due credit to them.
Rule 24: Keep your blog monetization simple
Don’t be too ambitious in terms of making money, money will come when you do the right thing. Rules 2, 3, 5, and 22 will supercharge your blog income.
Rule 25: Build trust for your blog by delivering when you promise
Readers like it when you say it and do it. Keep them reading your blog and trusting you by delivering whenever you promised to do so.
Rule 26: Treat reader’s comments with caution, don’t bad-mouth your readers
In addition to Rule 11, always treat comments dropped by your readers with caution. Some readers can be harsh with their words, but be guided and tolerant, do not bad-mouth them. A blogger should be open minded and must welcome all kinds of comments. All you need do is use your admin power and decide which comment gets approved.
Rule 27: Read and drop reasonable comments on blogs in your niche
If you have not been reading other people’s work, then start it right now because it’s part of what makes you a blogger. You are not a know-it-all, reading reasonable blogs in your niche can be an edge for you. You never can tell who gets the news before you!
Rule 28: Don’t write only for Google bots, write for readers as well
Every business has its stakeholders. In blogging, the stakeholders are the readers and so much attention is meant to be given to them. Be guided while writing those SEO contents and make sure you are writing not only for Google bots but also for the stakeholders who happens to be your readers.
Rule 29: Respect the opinions of other bloggers
Blogging is a network, opinions of other bloggers matters and you should respect and treat them appropriately.
Rule 30: Recognize when you are loosing it and seek motivation
As a human, there are times when somethings may appear different from the way they used to be. The road is not always straight, so know when challenges come and seek ways of motivating yourself.
Rule 31: Share case studies and make sure they are really case studies you are sure of
In addition to Rule 13, always make sure you share case studies to give your readers proof of certain things you write about, but make sure you share case studies you have personally tested or have knowledge of.
Rule 32: Respect your subscribers privacy, keep their emails safe
In Rule 16, I talked about asking visitors to subscribe to your email updates. What happens after their subscription is very sensitive. When you have gathered a list of your loyal readers be guided not to spam or tamper with their emails. Respect their privacy and keep their emails safe.
Rule 35: Be real, don’t blog anonymously
Make yourself known to your readers, don’t be an anonymous blogger. Readers find confidence in blogs where the owner shows his face and comes out to join activities on his blog. Rule 5 is another way of making yourself known to your readers.
Rule 36: Don’t be carried away by your blog traffic stats
Don’t put your mind on your blog traffic stats when you’re just starting new in blogging, you might be discouraged at what you see. Keep working hard and applying the rules in this post, and every other thing will be added.
Rule 37: Love your blog
Passion is not just enough, you must love your blog for the flame of passion to ignite. You can only devout much time to something you love, this should always be your mindset.
Rule 38: Make blogging fun
Blogging is not a do or die affair, it must not sound over serious or strict to its readers. These days, learning is best done with helpful aids, it becomes more interesting when the man behind the teaching makes the learning process fun. Don’t be too strict with writing, make it fun but do it professionally.
Rule 39: Write epic contents – contents people would want to read
Epic content is a content written with love, passion and transparency to really inform and educate readers without any strings attached. You can only write epic contents when you have applied Rule 37.
Rule 40: Don’t be too quick to publish a post
Once you hit the publish button on your WordPress dashboard, the news of your blog update gets across the internet. You never can tell who is reading your content or who might be considering hiring you so make it count. Always check for spelling errors and proofread your work before publishing. Read through your content and ask yourself if the content is fit to compete with the ones published by your competitors. Be the first to preview your posts before others starts reading.
Rule 41: Pick categories around which your blog should be centered
Never make the mistake of starting a blog without writing or picking categories around which your contents will be centered. This is very necessary and helps to guide readers in their reading or selecting what to read.
What am I missing?
Remember I said earlier, that I am not a know-it-all, so this is the time to make your own contributions and criticisms. What have I not added in the list? Let me know it in comments…