6 Sure-Fire Strategies for Better Blogging

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I first began blogging a little less than three years ago and I have certainly come a long way in this field since that first post. At first, it was a passive hobby, something to satisfy my knack at web and graphic design while at the same time being able to express what I was learning. Yet now, I love the passion of writing and the excitement of encouraging and challenging others.

A very large portion of my audience here at Site Sketch 101 is composed of other like-minded bloggers. Many of you find yourself somewhere along that same journey that I have been taking. Many of you want to improve your abilities to influence others through your blog.

It is important to begin with content. Many other attributes of a blog, including design and marketing, are useless if you cannot provide your readers with quality entertaining, challenging, and informative articles. In fact, you may have the neatest design in the world, yet without great posts your readership will only be mediocre. Follow these guidelines to begin transforming the quality of your blog.

sketch-pad

If you write it…they will come!

Okay.  Let’s be honest.  Simply building it isn’t enough anymore.  You’ve got to build it well with the perfect blend of style, content, engagement and more.  Here’s a few things that you absolutely need if you want to attract readers to your blog.

1. Quality Grammar

When I write articles for Site Sketch 101, I often make reference to my High School grammar textbook. I keep it right near my computer so that I have easy access to it.

You see, the easier your blog is to read grammatically, the more likely your readers will return. In this age of electronic spelling and grammar checkers, there is no reason to produce poorly written content. Yet many solid blogs are filled with distracting errors. Don’t get lazy. Take the time to take your writing to the next level!

2. Fresh Content

Most professional bloggers recommend that you update your blog at least three or four times per week. If you produce fewer articles than this, readers feel like your site is not worth visiting because each time they come there they only see information that they have already read. The more you update, the more readers you will attract.

Note: Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. It is better to produce two excellent articles than four that are poorly written.

3. Targeted Content

Choose your niche. Although I invite anyone to read this site, here at the Site Sketch 101, I cater most exclusively to bloggers and website designers and I try very much to create content that will be the most helpful to people in that category. If your blog topic is too broad, then often times you will not really attract anyone.

4. Creative Content

As they say in the corporate world, ‘Think Outside The Box!’ Or as they used to say at Taco Bell, ‘Think Outside The Bun!’

When you create headlines and articles that are unique and eye catching then you grab the readers attention. Don’t follow the same mold that everyone around you seems to follow. Be bold. Challenge people to think differently. Use personal and creative stories to illustrate your articles. Be different.

The more creative you can be, the more effective your writing will be.

be-creative

5. Original Content

Although it is certainly alright to publish entire articles that are ‘copied and pasted’ from a chain email or from another website, many readers become bored with these posts. Try to limit these ‘copy and paste’ articles to less than 10% of your content.

Most people read your blog because they want to read your original content. If you can provide your readers with content that they can’t find anywhere else then you are giving them a reason to keep coming back.

6. Entertaining Content

We all love great entertainment whether in the form of a fun game, an exciting movie, or a good joke.  If you can find a way to promote your blog’s topic in a way that is fun and engaging then you will absolutely capture the hearts of your readers.

Tell a story.  Laugh at yourself.  Share a joke.  However you decide to do it, simply entertain.

Group Reflection

Think about these tips for a few moments and then add your own for the rest of us to consider. I’ll see you in the comments!

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51 Vibrant Comments

We would love to hear yours!


  1. November 18, 2009

    Steven said:

    Hey Nick,

    these are great advices! You’ve hit some good points by saying that design of the site and promotion isn’t enough with enough quality posts. Another good point you brought up is that quality > quantity.

    I try to only write my posts when I feel like I have a strong urge to write, otherwise the quality of my posts are often mediocre when I am not feeling inspired.

    My rule is that to never write a post when I feel like I NEED to write one, only write one when I WANT to.

    Steven
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Want Motivation? – Then Scare Yourself S***less =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Steven –> It’s good to only write when you feel like it, but it’s even better to be able to find inspiration even when you don’t want to write. I write every Saturday morning whether I want to or not. But when I need to, I find a way to inspire myself and connect with people as I write. It’s difficult sometimes, but necessary.


  2. November 18, 2009

    izzat aziz said:

    But sometime i think the topic in blogging niche has reach it limit.. there is nothing new to talk about.. it just same old, but with fresh style.. I think write differently is important to make sure you stand up among you busy niche.. 🙂
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Four steps to great articles =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Ron Boracay said:

      There will be no limits in terms of writing and blogging, as long as you think outside the box (or buns?).
      .-= My Latest Blog Post: Two Seasons Boracay =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      izzat aziz –> I think that with any niche there is room for new bloggers. You simply have to set yourself apart with a greater level of passion and entertainment than what your peers can provide. This is what I believe sets me apart in my niche.


      • November 18, 2009

        izzat aziz said:

        that what i mean by write differently, we may talk the same thing.. but with different style and people look at it as a new fresh topic,

        for example strategies for better blogging is common topic.. but the way you put everything make it unique 🙂
        .-= My Latest Blog Post: Four steps to great articles =-.


        • November 19, 2009

          Nicholas Cardot said:

          izzat aziz –> Thanks and you’re right. People are attracted to our blogs by our personalities and writing styles as much as they are attracted by our content and information.


  3. November 18, 2009

    Renz said:

    I understand your article very clear. I hope you could write another article on how to choose your niche. Until now, I’m undecided about my niche. Thanks.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Neobux Scam or Not? =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Renz –> I might just do that. But in my opinion, choosing your niche is more about finding where you can express your passions than it is about trying to fit in somewhere that you can maximize profits. You’ll make more writing what you love.


  4. November 18, 2009

    Vinish said:

    I find Quality Grammar as the most difficult as English is my second language. I am trying to become more creative while writing. Thanks a lot for such a nice article.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Advantages and Disadvantages of Debit Card =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Vinish –> You’re grammar seems great but always keep improving it. A know a lot of native English speakers who become incredibly annoyed when trying to read a blog that is poorly written. If you blog is in English, you should work to make it very easy and enjoyable to read. I think that you can definitely do it as you easily accomplish that task here in these comments.


  5. November 18, 2009

    Vikas Gupta said:

    Site design, layout, font size etc. should also matter. I have seen many celebrities in India who do not give spaces between paragraphs and use small fonts and it irritates me so much! But then a celebrity can get away with that.

    Your fontsize and gap between lines is so cool; effortless reading!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Gender Sensitization Against Sexual Harassment in Campuses: Role of Student Community =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Vikas Gupta –> Thanks. I’m glad that it makes reading here so easy and enjoyable. I definitely had that in mind when I adjusted the font and the font size on this site. It’s all about making it as fun and as easy as possible to read the articles.


  6. November 18, 2009

    David | ilcantone.com said:

    I agree with all the points you stated above. I’m trying to improve my writing skills every post I do. Your tips will help to take my writing to the next level, at least I will try to do my best.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: HOW TO OVERCOME ANY CHALLENGE YOU FACE || 4 STEPS METHOD =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      David | ilcantone.com –> You can do it. Keep trying and keep growing. Life is as much about the journey as the destination. I have more respect for a young blogger who’s working to improve himself than the professional blogger who isn’t doing anything anymore. At least the young blogger is headed in the right direction if he or she is growing.


  7. November 18, 2009

    chandan said:

    Hi Nick, I have read your ebooks that you read on blogging, You have mentioned some nice point there.

    I think you work hard for your blog except in your soldier life.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: What can you expect by doing work from home? =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      chandan –> Thanks. I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed the ebook. I can’t wait to get it all launched.


  8. November 18, 2009

    Robomaster said:

    Yet another great post Nick! I like how you pointed out that if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no-one.

    Another thing I find important to blogging well is to actually know English if you are writing a blog in English! This may sound ridiculous but you don’t know how many bloggers try to write a blog in a language they can barely understand, much less write.

    I can understand that they are trying to get their message out to a wider audience, but if they are that eager to, they should probably learn English before starting to blog. 😉

    Off that note, my website, CoolAppSite, is under development! I plan to make it as awesome as possible, but at the moment the site looks terrible – I am tweaking, writing, and editing like crazy so it should be ready for the world within a month or two!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Welcome to CoolAppSite! =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      David | ilcantone.com said:

      I know what you mean. The building process is hard because you’d like to start publishing your articles and getting visitors but you can’t do it yet. I started to “promote” my blog when I had 15 posts.

      See you.
      .-= My Latest Blog Post: HOW TO OVERCOME ANY CHALLENGE YOU FACE || 4 STEPS METHOD =-.


      • November 18, 2009

        Nicholas Cardot said:

        David | ilcantone.com –> I did a similar thing. I actually raced to write posts into the past. I launched this site on June 14th, but on that day I posted an article a day dated on the 13th, 12th, etc. for about five or six days. Then, of course, I started writing articles every day for the site and watched it grow and develop into what it is today.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Robomaster –> That’s very true. Most native English speakers become very annoyed when reading blogs that are not well written. It’s incredibly important to make our messages fun and easy to read.

      I can’t wait to see your site’s full potential as you grow it and develop it.


  9. November 18, 2009

    Gabe | freebloghelp.com said:

    We all know that the field of dreams motto doesn’t work for bloggers.

    It’s more like if we build content in a optimal way, promote it regularly, incorporate an elegant design, and make it usable, they will come.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The top 3 biggest myths of FTC disclosure =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Gabe | freebloghelp.com –> That’s exactly right. It can be a lot of fun building a successful blog, but we have to do more than just throwing some words up on the screen.


  10. November 18, 2009

    Chris said:

    I think one of the biggest weaknesses of my blog is that it isn’t niche focused. I do try to cover a lot of different topics but that’s only because my interests are wide-ranged and I haven’t found one specific topic to blog about.

    It isn’t really a bad thing in terms of search engine traffic, but it may be hurting me as far as attracting a certain type of reader. Thanks for the great tips.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: My Top 10 Favorite Al Pacino Movies =-.


    • November 18, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Chris –> I certainly don’t mean to sound unkind, but that really is a weakness for a blog. Thinks about this. If a visitor visits your site who likes movie articles and they read a great one and then return to find a post about about camping, a post about iPhones, a list of jokes and an article about writing skills, then they’ll probably be annoyed at all the other stuff that they’re not interested in being in their way.

      If you write like that then you sort of have chosen a niche. You’re only going to attract readers who go to the movies, camp, have an iPhone, like jokes and are writers. When you find the person who is interested in all of those categories then you might be able to keep them as a regular visitor.


      • November 18, 2009

        Robomaster said:

        Very good point Nick. Chris, if you aren’t initially focussed on what your writing topic will be for your blog, it will be nearly impossible for you to succeed. Not only will you never be able to rank for all the terms you are writing about, you will also drive many potential readers away: nobody has interests in EVERYTHING; we find certain things enjoyable and other things boring.

        Thus, if you try to write about too many topics, you’ll try to please everyone and end up pleasing no-one.

        Remember, if you find a niche and write well only in that niche, people who are interested in that topic will find you.

        But if you write about everything, chances are no-one will find you.
        .-= My Latest Blog Post: Welcome to CoolAppSite! =-.


        • November 19, 2009

          Nicholas Cardot said:

          Robomaster –> That’s right. You would be better to write two or three different blogs so your readers can decide which topic they want to follow. Of course, if you do that it then becomes difficult to consistently create the amazing content that’s necessary to attract people.


          • November 19, 2009

            Robomaster said:

            Yup! The best decision (in my opinion) is to have one and only one blog, so you can concentrate all of your energy and mind into it. (It’s awfully hard to be equally passionate for 3 or 4 blogs, don’t you think?)
            .-= My Latest Blog Post: Chrome OS: Update from Google =-.


            • November 19, 2009

              Nicholas Cardot said:

              Robomaster –> I do agree. I think that once you grow and develop your blogs and build strong readerships then it’s possible to develop secondary blogs. Darren Rowse, for example has a couple of top quality blogs and he’s very successful.


              • November 19, 2009

                Robomaster said:

                Agreed. If you have spent enough time and effort into a blog that it’s self-sustaining (eg you have crowds of capable writers who’d love to do a guest post for you, and you’re earning a steady income), then it’s completely fine to go start another one.

                Just don’t start 5 blogs without having one successful one.
                .-= My Latest Blog Post: Chrome OS: Update from Google =-.


                • November 20, 2009

                  Nicholas Cardot said:

                  Robomaster –> I agree with that. I’ve seen people’s blogspot profiles and noticed some people who have 5 or 6 blogs that have hardly any readers on each one of them.


  11. November 19, 2009

    designfollow said:

    very useful

    thank you
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: 39 Free Buttons And WebDesign Resources From Deviantart =-.


  12. November 19, 2009

    Elena said:

    What can I say Nick? You are on a roll with your blogging tips. It’s so true about keeping your blog updated. Sometimes, I find myself bogged down and will get something up a little late. I think the more consistent you write, the more consistently you’ll will attract more visitors.

    Props to you for another great post. Cheers!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The Final Four =-.


    • November 19, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Elena –> Thanks for the praise. I like to think that I’m on a roll all the time. Well I suppose I’m not all the time, but I try my hardest to provide what I think will help the most people and I’m always thrilled to hear that people are enjoying the articles.


  13. November 19, 2009

    Bundesliga Live said:

    Really great article, you´ve pointed out the most important reasons. I think fresh content and correct grammar is the most important thing. Content is and will be king!!!

    I have another question! Where did you get those nice pictures like the first one?

    Best regards,
    Oliver
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Bundesliga Live – Mit Viagogo live dabei sein! =-.


    • November 19, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Bundesliga Live –> I find pictures all over the internet. I get them from Flickr, Google Images, Pixmac, and many more places.


      • November 19, 2009

        Robomaster said:

        How do you resize them to fit the blog size? Do you do it manually each time or have some other method?
        .-= My Latest Blog Post: Chrome OS: Update from Google =-.


        • November 20, 2009

          Nicholas Cardot said:

          Robomaster –> I manually resize every image to be exactly 300px wide by 175px high. I also have a program built into this theme that resizes the images dynamically to 150x by 88px for the smaller images that you see lower down on the home page.


  14. November 19, 2009

    clippingimages said:

    Awesome post . Very informative. Thanks for sharing this nice post. 🙂


  15. November 20, 2009

    Michelle Minch said:

    Thanks for mentioning the importance of using good grammar. Incorrect grammar is very distracting and can make it difficult to read a post from start to finish. I understand if English is not the author’s first language, but for those who were born and raised with English, a little bit of effort in this regard will make your posts easier and more enjoyable reading.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Pasadena Architectural Salvage 3-Day Holiday Sale =-.


    • November 20, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Michelle Minch –> You’re welcome. Even those who don’t speak English natively should constantly be working to hone their skills or else the vast majority of English speakers won’t read their work.


  16. November 21, 2009

    Jeevanjacobjohn said:

    Thanks for this wonderful post ! I have a suggestion for quality grammar.If people check for grammatical/spelling mistakes, I am sure that most of the mistakes can be corrected. The problem with grammatical errors begins with high school. I am sure that most of the people around the world don’t speak proper English. so we have to encourage proper English speaking. That way we can avoid most grammatical and spelling mistakes.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Google Chrome OS To Launch within 1 week =-.


    • November 21, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Jeevanjacobjohn –> That’s true. We should always encourage the highest possible standards. Everything that we make an excuse for will only lower the quality of our sites and reduce the number of readers that stick around. Let’s lift the standards high and work to produce amazing content.


  17. November 29, 2009

    Gonzo the Great said:

    Hi Nick,

    Great resource you’ve got here! I’m always trying to follow these points in my mind, but it’s good seeing them all together in one post.

    Will bookmark this so I won’t forget! Cheers for sharing, Ciao ..!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: What’s in a Brand? =-.


  18. December 4, 2009

    Kok Siong Chen said:

    You have provided a lot of good advices for me. I love your blog’s design. One problem i always facing is the quality grammar. Do you have any advice for me to improve my english grammar? Thanks!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Cytogenetic Studies in Malignancy Cancer =-.


    • December 4, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Kok Siong Chen –> The best advice I can give you is to find English websites that are written well and read them slowly and pay attention as you read.


  19. January 25, 2010

    Self Improvement said:

    Content is key! Hey Nicholas, I wanted to ask you. How did you start attracting readers to the site? Where did they come from and where did you promote? I noticed you also said that you’ve been blogging for 3 years and I must say, your knowledge really shows.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: How To Get More From Life This Instant =-.


  20. August 4, 2010

    Susan Deichsel said:

    I was browsing your examples of business cards in your (is this a blog?) site. This was forwarded to me by my son-in law. Tom Terrific who along with my new social media coach are trying to show me how to do all of this. Gorgeous cards. I hope I am ready to take my site to another level, but for practice will be looking in at the (blogs?) of other related businesses in my area to see what I can do to help them.


  21. May 26, 2011

    Thomas Frank said:

    I love how you list quality grammar as the your first criteria! Bad grammar is a huge pet peeve of mine, and I strive to always make mine flawless (without sacrificing my conversational style).


  22. June 21, 2011

    Thomas L said:

    Hi,

    I m kind of new blogger from France and I’m asking myself:
    Is video blogging better to bring more readers on my blog than usual writing posts ?
    Because I would like to make videos for the company I work for, and I don’t know if it will help to increase the number of readers and followers.
    If someone has some informations, or experiences, I would love to read from you.

    Cheers




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