9 Ways to Create and Maintain a Successful Blogby: PaulaYou took the advice and started a blog, and there you are – staring at the screen of the newlyopened post, cursor blinking and your mind blank - what on earth are you going to do now? Image via WikipediaThe beauty of blogging is there are so many things you can do, and once you get organized youshould have no trouble scheduling posts and keeping your content fresh and interesting. In order toblog effectively, it’s not the actual topics you write about that matter as much as posting to your blogat least three times a week, ensuring that your blog is regularly updated. You can’t grow your blogand readership without having content that brings people back again – and again – to your blog.Continually adding content is important because search engines like Google and Bing always seeknew content; your blog will grow as the search engines discover more new content on your site toshare. Then, your blog will benefit by moving up higher in search engine results, making your blogand you easier to find online because you will show up sooner in search results for your topic.Once you have your blog posting down pat, you can use social networking sites and techniques tohelp spread the word and gain more readers. To get started, here are some ways to keep your blogcontent fresh: Image viaCrunchBase* Blog on your industry. As an author, the publishing industry is always ripe for commentary. Whatdo you think about e-book pricing? Is Amazon killing bookstores? What do you think about the latestbook deals? All of this news that you can comment on is available for free at siteslike http://books.alltop.com andhttp://publishing.alltop.com. You’ll find a roundup of top news from avariety of blogs and websites there.
* Your “industry” could also include your area of expertise. Even a fiction author may find thatwriting about 17th Century China opens the door to blogging about conditions/news/issues in thatcountry today. As a nonfiction author, your topic is fodder for blog posts – breaking news, trends,opinion pieces – the sky is the limit. Set Google alerts on those topics so you can see what’s goingon.* Blog on hot topics. That’s one sure way to get more readers to your site. See what’s hotathttp://www.google.com/trends for instance, or blog on what everyone is talking about. Be sure toencourage others to share their thoughts so you will have some lively and timely comments on yourblog. Image by churl via Flickr* Write about writing. Even fans of your writing will enjoy learning about your writing process: whatare you working on now? How do you handle writer’s block? What are your tips for getting yourwriting done? What have you learned from other blogs, writers, experts that you can share?* Hold contests. Have readers vie to name a character in your book. Or hold a contest for a signedcopy of one of your books. Post polls – these could be on topics related to your books, the industryat large… whatever you like. Check out sites like http://www.simple-polls.com/ andhttp://www.surveymonkey.com/ for options.* Have a wordless day. Post an inspiring, thought-provoking or interesting photo. You’d be amazed(or perhaps not) at how a photo can get your readers commenting!* Invite guest bloggers. Perhaps there are other writers, publishing pros or writing experts whoseadvice you’d like to share with your readers. Or you’ve read a blog post that you just love – why notask the author if you can reprint the piece for your own blog? Most bloggers are happy to have theirposts picked up (as long as they receive credit of course), and you might receive a guest post offerin return.* Keep it Short and Sweet. Another area that trips up bloggers is the myth of blog post length – youdon’t have to write 500 to 1,000 words every time out. In fact, 250 to 500 words is just fine for theaverage post. But you can also post quick tips and observations of one to three paragraphs withlinks to something that you find interesting, or photos â€¦ so you don’t have to drive yourself crazythinking you have to generate a lot of material for every post in order to maintain your blog. Sit downand brainstorm some ideas so you can work ahead and before you know it, your blog will be buzzingalong, bringing you readership and ranking. You can also do a post that is a roundup of news oritems of interest from the week – having something like that on your blogging schedule takes someof the pressure off you thinking you must write fresh content for every post.
Image by topgold via Flickr* Spread the Word. You can help spread the word about your blog by using sites like Twitter andFacebook; in fact, you can set up your blog feed so that new posts are automatically posted toTwitter and Facebook as soon as you hit “publish.” You can also join free siteslike http://www.stumbleupon.com,http://digg.com and http://delicious.com – where users sharecontent – and make sure your blog posts feed through those sites as well. As you grow yourfollowers, you’ll have a new batch of readers for your blog! You should also follow other blogs andmake sure to schedule time to stop by your favorites and post a comment. Blog commenting allowsyou to join the conversation, leave a link back to your site on other sites, and it also helps you growyour own site as bloggers love comments and many, if not most, will want to visit your site to returnthe favor.Also, make sure you submit your blog to directories like DMOZ, http://www.dmoz.org/,Yahoo,http://dir.yahoo.com/ and Best of the Web, http://botw.org/. You want to make it as easy aspossible for people to find your blog online.You’ll spend some time up front planning and scheduling and joining some social networking sites (ifyou don’t already belong), but once you get your blogging underway you’ll find it’s a great way tokeep your creative juices flowing, attract new readers and branch out professionally. Happyblogging!Related articles How Writing Can Increase Traffic to Your Affiliate Website (networksolutions.com) The 7 Harsh Realities of Successful Blogging (davidrisley.com) 21 Steps Towards Creating An Effective Business Blog (simplyzesty.com) SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE NEWSLETTERIf you enjoyed this article, subscribe below to get free email updates! First Name Email Address Join Us!