Ten tips: How NOT to Blog

By Melanie O | @melanieobar on Twitter

A blog is a great way to get the word out about your organization, letting people learn about the goods and services you offer. What’s more, by posting regularly to your blog, you have a better chance of appearing fresh in the view of search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Your blog will help you attract the attention of potential customers, clients, investors and members of the news media. A company blog is also useful for bringing current employees up to speed about your operations, as well as serving as a promotional tool to help you recruit new job candidates.

Here are the first 5 tips on how NOT to blog (the second 5 will be posted separately).

1. Don’t Always Rely on the Free Stuff

While it can be tempting to use freebies such as blog themes or even free hosting for your blog, prudent webmasters soon realize that it’s not always wise to rely on freebies.

For one thing, if you use standard blog themes, you run the risk of your organization’s blog looking just like hundreds or even thousands of other blogs that are already publishing. There are plenty of good web designers out there with very reasonable prices for blog designs. Have a look at WebDesign-Inspiration.com for some brilliant design inspiration.

Self-hosting your blog can ensure reliable service and excellent tech support, but only if you choose wisely. You can use WhoIsHostingThis.com to assist you. This is a free resource that enables you to quickly find a better or even the best web host for your blog, by reading informative reviews from genuine users.

2. Don’t Skimp on Research

Offering bland, low-density content or irrelevant material is going to discourage people from reading your blog. You need to set aside some time to do research for your posts to help make them vital and interesting and relevant to your readers.

This doesn't have to take hours or cost a fortune. Just by checking your site on Alexa.com you'll get an idea of who your audience is and in turn what content you should be writing. Sign up for a Pro account to get more in-depth information.

3. Don’t Post Rambling or Vague Material

Plan each blog post. Think about what other content your readers might enjoy and why. It's more than likely that whatever it is, it's well written. Ensure your posts are to-the-point, but that doesn't mean skimping on depth; write about what's useful and interesting too.

Hiring someone who is experienced in writing copy would be beneficial, but if you've not got the budget, Moz has some super copywriting tips.

4. Don’t Forget to Tag Each Post

Use tags in each post to help people find your text more easily when they are browsing and searching the Web.

For example, use “product demonstration” as a tag when you are writing about how to use a new product, or use a tag such as the name of one of your products to index them in your blog. When someone clicks on a tag in your post, he or she will see a list of other related posts for further reading.

5. Don’t Ignore the Power of Social Media

Don't be shy. It’s important to promote your blog. If you haven’t already set up social media accounts for your organization, you will want to do so immediately.

Every time you put another post on your blog, tweet about it, post about it on Facebook and Google +. Help spread the word about your blog and get on all the social media platforms you can - and maintain them. Allow your readers to share your content by adding social buttons to your blog. ShareThis.com enables you to easily choose what social buttons you want.

Five more tips are coming soon, so stay tuned.