Rules for blogging? Of course! There are rules for everything, but just as that has been said, there are rules that are meant to be broken! But for every pet blogger out there, chances are you don't want to be writing in a void and these rules might just help you get more readers to your posts, and that's what it's all about, right?
While there are truly no hard and fast rules you need to follow with your blogging other than to be engaging, enlightening and to use proper grammar (!) here are ten "rules" I do try to keep in mind when formulating my posts:
- Publish frequently and consistently. Posting at least three days a week is ideal but if that’s not in your budget, time-wise, then at least choose a day of the week and post regularly to that day. If your readers know that they will see a new post every Tuesday they will become regulars.
- Guest post. It’s a great way to get your name known to a new audience and to gain a following with said new audience. Approach individuals you know as a way to break the ice on your guest blogging then move up to the big dogs!
- Be social. Update your social media pages frequently, especially when your blog post goes live. If people don’t know it’s there, they won’t read it.
- Be friendly and comment on other blogs. If you have blogs you visit regularly, leave a comment. Know how good it feels to know someone is not only reading, but commenting on your posts? Offer that feeling to a blogger you follow!
- Thank your regular readers. If they comment on your post, respond and then check and see if they have their own blogs and return the favor!
- Make certain your blog content is consistent. If you’re a cat blogger, then your readers are looking for posts about cats. Blog about iguanas? That’s what your readers will anticipate. There’s no reason you can’t shake things up occasionally, but if your readers come to you for a particular topic, chances are if you’re not meeting those needs, they will look elsewhere.
- It’s not all about you. Yes, you wrote the post and you pushed publish, but when all is said and done, it’s about your readers. Treat them like the gems they are! Also, remember, if they’re following you on social media… be social… don’t be constantly salesy.
- If possible host a contest. Do you have a few bucks in your bank account this week that will allow you to pick up a few fun toys at the pet store? If so, offer them up as prizes to your readers. Do a random drawing based on comments left on a post you write. Select a winner, ask him or her to send you a photo of her pet enjoying the gift. Post that photo on your blog!
- Have your readers read everything you’ve written? While you may not know how long your readers have been with you, chances are they won’t mind a reminder of the great material you have in your blog archives. Highlight popular posts, use an archived post as social media fodder, etc.
- Don’t slack off. Yippee! You’ve got readers and they’re commenting! Your work here is done, right? Um, not so fast! Just because you’ve got them doesn’t mean you will keep them if you slack off. Continue to provide the content they know and have come to love!
What are your ideas for getting readers to your blog?