By Antony Mayfield, Head of Social Media at iCrossing
1. Write it yourself
There’s no point having a blog if you aren’t going to write it yourself. By all means, write your posts up in a Moleskine notebook with an old-fashioned fountain pen first; you may even go so far as to get an assistant to type your thoughts up, and perhaps upload them to your blog. But if the original words didn’t come straight from your mind to the screen unedited, then it isn’t your blog — it’s someone else’s.
2. Start a conversation
The whole point of blogging is to start or participate in a conversation. If you’re blogging well, people will want to respond to what you say, and talk to you about your thoughts. A comments section is a prerequisite for any blog. So consider how you will manage the conversation — will you moderate comments? Will you get someone else to moderate on your behalf? Or will you let discussion happen without moderation?
3. Read a lot
The best bloggers read a lot — it’s where they find the material to inspire their own posts. A really efficient way of organising your online reading material is to use a feed organiser. If you are not a big reader of online content, then try to keep your reading as broad and wide-ranging as you can.
4. Save your ideas as you go along
Once you’ve found something that you think may be good to write about you need to save it somewhere. Microsoft OneNote is ideal for this if you’re a laptop kind of person. But a good real world notebook will do just as well if this is what suits your habits better.
5. Don’t write too much
If you are blogging in a corporate or official capacity, most of your blog posts should be concise: somewhere between 50 and 150 words. If you feel your thoughts on a subject can’t be contained to that, think about drafting an article for the website or for one of your other corporate publications, and then you can link to it with some further thoughts on your blog when it is published.
6. Edit your stuff
Once you’ve written your post it makes good sense to re-read and proofread it. If you’re unsure, or need a sanity-check, show it to someone else whose opinion you trust before you publish. Don’t forget to double-check that you’ve included links.
7. Develop a thicker skin
Don’t worry if people are negative. Either they are being useful by challenging your thinking, or if they are malicious in the comments section, you can delete them.
8. Blog regularly
If you stop blogging, your blog dies.
9. Never blog in anger
Remember that anything you blog is effectively on the permanent record of both you and your company. Even if you were to delete a post, it could still be visible in the Google cache, or via someone else’s blog reader. If you’re unsure about the wisdom of publishing something, run it by someone you trust, or come back to it later.
10. Think of your blog as a place to think out loud
It’s not a burden or a duty – it’s an oasis, a place you get to actually think about what is happening in your world.
These tips are taken from his new eBook, ‘How to Start Blogging: A Guide for Business Bloggers’. You can find it at http://www.icrossing.co.uk/ebooks.