Blogging is great! It is one of the most liberating, democratizing activities of the 21st century. It is so broad in scope that almost anyone with any interest or expertise can do it. Yet being so broad, it is difficult to define.
Blogging can be anything from long-form Twitter posts to citizen journalism. A blog can cover what you had for lunch. Or it could cover the news from a world-changing event. It can be casual humor or serious discourse. It is just as valid when done by an untrained individual as it is when done by a multi-billion dollar, international corporation.
Blogging is a way for the average person to have a voice on the world stage. The motivation can be personal or business related. Whatever your blogging ambitions are, here are a few essential tips to make it more successful:
Make It Secure
Whether casual or substantive, you should not consider putting up a blog until you have thought out all the security ramifications. This goes double for blogs with commercial aspirations. The security and regulatory implications become exponentially greater. Trend Micro cloud security experts put it this way:
Not having the right security as you migrate to virtual and cloud environments can lead to security gaps, lost ROI, performance lag, and difficulty proving compliance. You can secure critical data and applications across your cloud and virtualized environments with effective protection that maximizes their operational and economic benefits.
While a personal blog may not require this level of security, it will still need to be secured against common threats. If you plan to require any type of login, you are responsible for some type of encryption that secures this information. All too often, people reuse important passwords for unimportant logins.
You are not necessarily doing anyone any favors by requiring strong passwords. How many strong passwords can you remember? Assume your clients can remember even fewer. By requiring a strong password, you are practically necessitating that they use a single password for everything. If your blog can do without it, try requiring no login credentials. The less personal information you gather, the less you have to secure.
Mind the Ads
I offer the same advice for ads as I do for logins: If your site does not require ads, don’t include them on your blog. Your dream of making easy money by dropping Google AdSense on your blog is highly improbable. You are not likely to get 100,000 unique visitors a day clicking ads.
What you will do is inconvenience a lot of your potential readers with no clear benefit. Additionally, you will expose them to the kind of ads that plant spyware trackers, use up a lot of expensive data, and slow down the experience of them trying to get to what it is you have to say.
You can’t just blame it on misbehaving ad networks. It’s your blog. You are personally responsible for what your users encounter on your site. Mind your ads. Or don’t include them.
Inconsistency is the death of any blog. It doesn’t matter if you post twice a day or once a week. You just need to post consistently. A regular posting schedule:
- Keeps content up to date
- Keeps you focused
- Builds trust with your readers
- Improves SEO
If a person takes the time to bookmark your blog, they expect fresh content when they visit. If they do not get updated content they will stop visiting, or worse, remove the bookmark and forget all about it. Inconsistent blogging is a little like having a business that you open on random days. When a customer comes by, maybe it will be open, maybe not. This is no way to run a business or a blog.
Take your blog to the next level by making it secure, minding your ads, and improving your consistency. Oh, and have fun. Did I mention, blogging is great!