Thinking about starting a blog? Don’t know where to start? Blogging is not as intimidating as you think. You can write about anything you want, whenever you want. After all, it’s your blog. Although they vary widely in their length, writing styles, and topics, there are some basic blogging dos and don’ts.

1. Don’t just advertise your business

If you run a business and want to set up a blog as a support for that business, be careful. Simply writing posts that advertise what you do is not blogging, it’s advertising. Of course it’s great to post once in a while about an offer or other related info, but make sure that’s not the majority of what you write about.

2. Do ask for advice from your readers

Unsure what to write about? Ask your readers! Questions like, “What would you like to see on this website?” open the line of communication between you and your audience. And, the next time you post, you’ll know your readers will be engaged.

3. Don’t leave long lapses between posts

Some people blog a few times a week. Some blog once a month. When you start your own, you’ll get into the flow and figure out a posting schedule that works for you. However, once you set up your blog, it’s best not to lapse between posts. Readers who are used to getting a new post from you every week/month will be disappointed and may not bother to check for the next one. Also, an unreliable blog may lead your readers to think you run an unreliable business.

4. Do post the same content more than once

Chances are your blog won’t gain an immediate following. In fact, you may have a few posts at the beginning that no one has ever read. Once you get a readership, don’t be afraid to repost some of that old content. It will give you a break from writing and will allow your readers to see something new.

5. Don’t include too much information

When writing a post, don’t ramble or include too much. If you have a lot to say about one topic, divide your content into several posts. Each blog post should concise no matter the length.

6. Do keep your tone consistent

Before you begin your blog, take a moment to reflect on how you want people to see you. Do you want to be the friendly small business owner? The driven artist? The technical computer geek? Think about your image, but also be yourself. If you’re naturally sarcastic, don’t hide that! The same thing goes if you’re naturally shy or modest. People read blogs to get to know the authors. Without your personality, your blog won’t aid your business.

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