If you’re looking to start up a blog — or spruce up an existing one — you might consider searching for tips and tricks on the internet to help you find your way. This is definitely a good place to start, especially considering the sheer amount of information available these days.
It’s important to remember, though, that not all advice is good advice, and there are several oft-repeated tips that simply don’t stand up when considering the nature of today’s blogosphere. Below are three pieces of tips about writing that you should take with a hefty grain of salt.
1. Avoid Long Posts
It’s not surprising that the public’s attention span is shorter these days: People share their thoughts in 140 characters or less on Twitter and get their social fix through quick text messages. This is why so many blog experts advise that you keep your posts as short and sweet as possible. This notion, however, is false.
When it comes to blog length, there’s no way to peg a particular word count as the most effective at keeping a reader engaged. The truth is that your blog should only be as long — or as short — as needed to get your point across. Write as straightforwardly as possible, but don’t skimp on quality to make your posts look digestible.
At the end of the day, the readers who are interested in your content will forge ahead because they want to hear what you have to say, despite an elevated word count.
If you require a lot of words to say what you want to say, try to break it up visually so that it doesn’t appear as daunting for those scrolling through. You can do this with pictures, subheadings, and bullet points.
2. Design on a Dime
Some seasoned bloggers may reminisce about the day when they started their now-bustling blog, and just how tacky, boring or hard-to-navigate their first site-design was. They might even tell you that the look of your new blog doesn’t matter if you have good content, because that’s all you’ll need to break through the fray. In today’s day and age, though, site design is very important.
Just as breaks and pictures will make a long post easier on the eyes, a site design with plenty of white space will ensure readers don’t become visually overwhelmed. This applies whether you’re selecting from free templates or working with a designer to create a personalized one. Opt for a design that draws the eye to the content, not away from it.
This is particularly important for bloggers whose sites present an artistic interest, such as interior design and furniture, architecture or photography services. A client should be able to look at your site, see its pleasing design, and trust your creative instincts.
3. One Platform is King
Perhaps you’ve decided to host your company’s new blog on Tumblr. You sit down to lunch with a social media-minded friend and share the news. She falls silent. “WordPress,” she finally says, “is the best platform. You’ve made a mistake.”
You probably won’t encounter a situation quite so dramatic, but many bloggers will tell you that “x” platform is your best option. But with so many blog platforms available today, there’s no way to say which one is the clear and definitive winner.
There are several blog platforms that have provided web-based writers with success. Your best course of action when choosing a platform is not to simply go with what everyone else uses (which obviously would be impossible given that there are millions of bloggers on a myriad of websites). Instead, research the many available options and choose the one that best fits your vision for your blog and your business.
Blogging is one of the more personal forms of social media. When viewed as a form of self-expression, it’s easy to see why there’s no clear-cut path to the perfect page — not everyone’s message is the same. The best way to build a blog that reflects who you are while simultaneously drawing in readers is by focusing on the message you want to get across, and then by using the best post length, design, and platform for doing so.
We’d like to think that’s a great piece of advice.