Do you have a good blog? Do you consider yourself a good blogger? I am not talking about any specific category of bloggers or blogs. It does not matter whether you have a personal or a business blog. These are the general questions for all the bloggers out there.
Blogging is one of the most loved hobbies, these days. There is a lot of competition between bloggers trying to reach the top. In such a competitive environment, is your blog good enough to make it in the blogosphere?
You have a good blog if your blog has the following attributes:
- Clean template : This is the very first step in blogging. A blog should have a clean and elegant template. If we have something useful to say but people cannot read it easily then it’s ineffective. The color contrast in a template should be fairly high and comfortable on the eyes. It is a bad idea to choose a white template with yellow font. Although some consider it “cool” to display their posts on a dark background, many readers find it difficult to read white or gray text on a dark background.
- Niche : It is really essential to have something particular to write on- a specific category of topics, such as technology or home decorating or “observations on human nature” – which can have some similar sub categories, such as cell phones or kitchens and bathrooms or people-watching in a street café. A blog is known by its niche. It lets readers easily distinguish a blog from others in the blogosphere. A good blog is not one which integrates something about everything, it’s the one with everything about something.
- Easy Navigation : Blog readers should be able to navigate through the blog to their desired category or post. Easy navigation can be easily accomplished with the help of Sitemap, Tags, Categories and more.
- Terms Of Service (TOS) : TOS is a set of rules which a reader must agree to in order to use the stuff provided on a blog. It lets readers know what they can and cannot do while using any service, and what can happen if they violate the terms. These rules should be carefully written, not too nonindulgent, and acceptable by a user’s point of view. TOS should include issues like copyright notices, republishing content and more.
- Professional Style : Professional style can make readers feel that they are on a trustworthy and secure place which is maintained by some professional organization or person. I think an excellent template combined with clear Privacy and TOS statements can also help a blogger to look like a pro.
If you can manage the above in your blog then of course you have a good blog. But, is having a good blog enough to make you a good blogger as well? What else can make you a good blogger?
You are a good blogger if you:
- Do not plagiarise : Plagiarism is the act of stealing and publishing (or representing as your own) someone else’s content without proper credit and permission from the author. Plagiarism is so unfair and shameful that it can easily harm the image of an other wise good person and algorithms like Google Panda are good enough to make discovery of the crime easy.
- Write for people, not search engines : Have you ever tried to unnecessarily include some keywords in your article title or body which are your blog’s main keywords? Or do you just invariably keep working on how to come out at the top in search engines? A good blogger is supposed to help others with what he or she has to share. Always try to write something that people are looking for and not finding. SEO becomes easier when you focus first on people, and writing to solve their problems.
- Don’t blog just for money : It’s quite clear that blogging is a source of income for many bloggers out there. But most didn’t start blogging just for money – there are easier ways to earn a living. If you start a blog with a mentality for earning money only, then I don’t think you can be a good blogger ever. But if you blog to help others fulfill a need or solve their problems, then you may earn money easily.
- Have knowledge : It is the key to success. You can write well only if you know something specific that others want to know. A good blogger is never stuck thinking what to say next. So first you have to figure out what you know and care enough about to build your blog around.
- Have writing style : This includes the way you speak your mind with words and images. Being humorous is not adequate. You should be able to make your readers understand easily what you are trying to express.
- Are interactive : Good bloggers are interactive with their readers. You should write in a way that makes your readers feel you are talking to them. Reply to their queries or ask them something in your posts to encourage them to reply to you in the comments section. A good way for keeping interactivity is to allow commenting and reply to your readers.
This is not a comprehensive list. You should always be on the lookout for ways to improve your blog and your abilities as a blogger. Continue to work on your writing skills and your technical knowledge of the blogging platform you’ve chosen (WordPress, Blogger, etc.) Be open to feedback from your readers, because they are your customers – even if you’re not really selling anything.