"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Big Reveal...8 Ways to Make Your Blog "Book-Mark" Worthy!

First, I'd like to start off by welcoming my new followers.
What a pleasure to have you join us!
I'm tickled pink that I've gained numerous new "peeps" to Pen and Prosper within the last week. Yay! I hope you'll feel free to jump in any time with questions, comments, or an informal introduction of who you are and what brings you here. No pressure. :-)
You'll find a welcoming community and a broad range of topics covered.

Okay, on to today's topic...
You've started a blog. Broken through your blog "fog" to determine your theme, blogging frequency, and target audience even.

From time to time you've also managed to land a guest post on other sites in your niche.
Now what?
How do you get "repeat business?"  Get folks to not just check you out, but to come back again, settle in, and stay for a while?
To have an audience interact and engage with you...to create a community of support.
Especially given the fact that there are a gazillion other blogs out there vying for their attention.

Well, besides paying them, begging, or offering up your first born, here are a few practices and principles you may want to consider, based upon my many years of experience, (blogging for myself and others).
By the way, these tips work equally well for those of you who are contemplating starting a blog, but need a little guidance on what to do to maximize your efforts.

1. Have a passion for your subject matter.
Passion is an important "intangible" that can be felt and easily detected.
It inspires and engages others. It's contagious. Don't "fake it til you make it." You'll cheat yourself and your potential fans. Choose a subject that keeps you up late at night and gets you excited about waking up in the morning. Writing and helping others does that for me. For you, it may be cooking or crafting, or education even.

2. Stay focused.
Though there are different schools of thought here, I'm a firm believer that blogs that have a consistent, designated "theme" fare better than those where the blogger tries to tackle everything from art to zoology. Of course, this doesn't mean that from time to time you can't deviate just a little--but when possible, still try to tie in your post with the original purpose of your blog. Remember the K.I.S.S. Principle.

3. Provide take away value.
A common mistake that many bloggers make is making their site all about THEM.
Though it should be a genuine reflection of your thoughts, your goals, and your preferences, at the end of the day readers really want to know this... What's in it for them? Deliver. And they'll come back.

4. Be "multi-lingual."
Depending upon the mood and my intended "message" you'll encounter everything from "geek speak" to "street speak!" I may use a little Ebonics, Pig Latin, and I even know a little Espanol. :-)
Most of all, make sure that your tone is categorically conversational.

5. Speaking of language---Invite a few guest posters to add their "voice" and their unique message.
I always love having other writers and poets to share "quality" guest posts and expertise here at Pen & Prosper. Though I have a diverse publishing background, there's always room for growth, achieved by useful tips and info provided by others. And I'm proud to consider myself a life-long learner. How about you?

6. Make sure your site is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate.
A clean, uncluttered design with a font style that's simple and large enough to be read by those who may not have 20/20 vision often works best. And please, don't have loud music that begins when folks click on to your site; if it's not expected it can be scary and compromise their experience.

7. Be consistent.
There's nothing I hate more than to get hooked on a good blog, come back for more, and find that the blogger is M.I.A. Hello? Where are you?
No matter how "interesting" you are, I'm not interested in playing an online game of "hide and seek."
Value your readers' time. :-)

8. Tickle their funny bone.
We live in serious times. True? Unemployment. Inflation. Health care issues. Failures in education.
Discrimination. Natural disasters. The list goes on. Allow readers to escape the gravity of it all, by sometimes infusing a little humor in your posts, when applicable.

And remember, If you labor over your words, readers won't have to.
So, be sure to check for typos and grammatical errors before you hit that "publish" button...

Follow these timely tips and you'll have more readers to follow you.

Your turn?
Agree or disagree? What would you add?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Jennifer--Thank goodness when we do find an error, we can go back and edit and pray that no one saw it before you did...

  2. Amen to that! Hmm... you might find one in this one. :-) Thanks for your time and input, Sioux. :-)

  3. Wonderful tips, Jennifer! Thank you! :) Sharing this link in tomorrow's post.

  4. Karen,
    Thanks to you and people like you sharing my posts, I've been getting some awesome traffic these days. Much appreciation! :-)

  5. Stay focused is definitely a great tip for me :)

    Today I actually did 'prune' some blog posts for more focus, Btw. did I tell I have an easy - one click - bookmarker on my blog ?

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 25, 2015 at 1:20 PM

      Thanks for sharing this, H.P.