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Saturday, June 14, 2014

How to create a successful blog

Your question:  You seem to have a pretty successful blog here.  Can you give some tips on how to start a blog and write good posts like you do?

My answer:  Thanks for the kind words.  There are a few keys to starting up a blog that I think other bloggers would agree with.

1.  Think of a pithy name for your blog that is relevant to your content.  For instance, I put "Respiratory Therapy" in my header so that it would come up in searches for "respiratory therapy."

2.  Create a header for your blog that will catch the eye of anyone who clicks on your blog and reveal what the blog is about.  You can actually create your own headers by going to Google documents, click on file, click on new, and click on drawing, and click on page set up.  In this space you will type in pixels the dimensions of your header.  These can be learned by right clicking on the top of your blog, clicking on "page elements" and the html of your header will appear, revealing the height and width of your header.  Type in these dimensions into "page set up."  Then you can go to Google images to to select pictures for you header, or take your own pictures.  You can then download the images to your header, separate into layers, crop as desired, and type in your blog name and subheading if desired.  Similar programs are also available on Microsoft Word and other programs you have to pay for, but this one is free and easy.

3.  Write content that is related to your blog name.  Since mine is about respiratory therapy, I try to make most of my content relative to respiratory therapy.  However, at times I expand this to medicine and hospital life in general.

4. Write a minimum of three posts every week.  If you write any less readers who discover your blog may lose interest.

5.  Keep posts pithy, which means that each post should only cover one subject.  Make a point, and, whenever possible, add your opinion to posts.  Surely people will come to your blog for facts, but they also want your opinion, which is the purpose of a blog.

6.  Tell people what they already know but never get to say or read about elsewhere.  Like Rush Limbaugh or not, what he does is tell conservatives what they already know and never get to read about in newspapers.  It is this approach that has made him the most listened to voice on radio.

7.  It's okay to write facts.  Facts are your friend. It's one thing to form opinions, but opinions based on facts are the most interesting and most reliable.

8.  It's okay to state your opinion, even if it's about politics:  While facts are important, people come to your blog to hear what you have to say about things. You can write about politics from time to time, and you can let people know what your political views are.  This will not throw people from your blog so long as you don't over do it.

9.  Keep old posts hot by linking to them:  Blogger makes it easy to link to older posts.  This also helps to keep your readers on your blog, making them more likely to come back and read more.

10. Link to other blogs, news items, studies, etc. that are relevant to your post.  This helps show your credibility and reliability.

11.  Use spelling and grammar checks:  You do not have to be excellent at grammar and spelling to be a good writer anymore.  All you have to do is use the tools that are available for free.  You can place your post on a Google document page, or you can just use the spell check provided by Blogger.  I recommend doing both.  Correct grammar and spelling sows you are serious. Besides, there are people who will tune you out if you have too many errors.

12.  Take the time and make the time  Take the time to sit down and write, especially when you have a good idea.  Keep a notepad on you at all times so you can write down your ideas and don't have access to your key board.  Then make the time when all your other chores are concluded and write.

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