I get a number of e-mails from people who are interested in starting a blog and asking for advice, so I thought I’d throw a few general tips out here. I hope you guys will add to this list in the comments.
In no particular order…
- Find a domain/URL that isn’t too long or hard to spell.
- Don’t use the name of your blogging software in your URL. Lots of people moving frmom Moveable Type to WordPress are now having to move their sites from example.com/mt to example.com/wp. Using example.com/blog or example.com/journal is a lot more future-proof.
- Write what you know/like and your audience will find you. Don’t jump on hot topics unless they really interest you and you have thoughts of your own to add. If you aren’t true to your interests, your content will ring empty.
- Become active in the blogosphere: read and add comments to posts that interest you on other sites, write your own posts to trackback other people’s posts, etc. No successful blog is an island.
- Don’t just spew out links to other posts/stories as the majority of the content for your blog. If you do want your blog to be primarily links to other sites/posts/stories, add your thoughts or explain what you find interesting about the post you’re linking to.
- Remember that anything you put on the internet is permanent. Think twice before you post.
- Find your own voice/design/look and make your site your own. Take the time to make your site work the way you want it to. Think about learning a little about the language your blogging software is written in, it will open up all kinds of options for you.
- Have a syndication feed, you’ll reach a larger audience.
- Don’t apologise if you skip posting over a period of time. I guess this is probably just one of my pet peeves, but to me it smacks of self-importance.
- Don’t e-mail random people you’ve never corresponded with and ask for links. People that know you will link you when they want to.
That’s a start… I look forward to seeing what you all contribute to the list.