I’ve been blogging for almost three years now on Disney in your Day, and a year prior to that with another blog. I’ve learned some things about what makes my blog successful and what doesn’t. And I will admit that I’m by no means an expert, but I wanted to share some basic tips on what I found works. Keep in mind that these are really things to improve the quality of your blog – not just drive traffic to your site. In my mind, having a good quality blog is the most important thing, and the traffic/monetizing will come later.
1. Include photos
In this day and age, nothing is more boring than a huge block of text without any pictures to break it up. Maybe this is a sign of our society’s short attention span, but photos are a way to help this. I use my own photos whenever possible, but there are lots of places to get free photos as well that you are allowed to use. Some people are more visual than others, so photos will help them relate to your blog posts.
2. Use headings
This is kind of similar to the point above – having headings or lists in your blog post helps break things up and allows people to find what they want to find. For example, when I wrote my post about Busch Gardens I included headings for the different things I wanted to mention. If someone wanted to read about all of it they could, but if they were just looking for information on the food they could scan for that heading. It makes your posts more accessible.
3. Reply to comments
If people are taking the time to talk to you on your blog, you should take the time to talk back. Especially if you have a really interesting topic that people want to discuss – interact with them! It’s also handy if you have a button on your comments page that allows people to be notified by email when someone responds to your comment. I think WordPress has this automatically and commenters can check the box if they wish to.
4. Write about something you care about
I know everyone mentions this, but it’s absolutely true so it’s worth talking about. If you’re passionate about something, it will show in your writing. Don’t write something just because you think it will get page views. If you do that, you’ll get sick of writing for your blog because you won’t be as invested in it.
5. Share you opinion
There are hundreds of places on the internet where I can find the price of a Disney park ticket. But you are the only one that can share your unique opinion on a topic, such as whether or not visiting Disney is worth the price of that ticket. Facts and information can be useful, but I always like to see blog posts that combine them with opinions. It makes your blog stand apart from the others.
6. Stay focused, but don’t be afraid to branch out
Overall you should have a general focus for your blog. This one, for example, is about putting Disney into your everyday life: whether that’s through the theme parks, watching the movies, decorating your home, etc. Having a general focus helps your blog establish its niche, but don’t be afraid to branch out a little. For example, I will occasionally write about running even when it’s not at Disney, because I know there are a lot of readers who are interested in that and it interests me as well. On the other hand, I won’t share a review of a book I just read if it doesn’t connect to Disney at all.
7. Have good grammar and spelling
It doesn’t have to be perfect. There will always be typos or small mistakes, but hopefully they won’t distract from the overall content. However, if you’re continually spelling things wrong or your grammar is so awful that it’s difficult to read, you need to work on that or it will turn people away. I once read a blog written by someone who apparently had never heard of a comma. Even though she had interesting things to say, it was impossible to get through so I gave up on it.
8. Connect with others
One way to keep your blog fresh and interesting is to connect with other people who are writing on a similar topic. There are lots of ways to do this, but one of my favorites is a blog hop. Some blogs host a hop, where everyone writes on the same topic on the same day, and then you can read about what others have to say about that thing. There are many interesting Disney blog hops: I have participated in Kill, Refurb, Marry from Mouse on the Mind, and I’m joining the Blogorail next month. Having people guest post is also a great way to get content you might not otherwise have access to – for example, Lisa just wrote this post on how to brighten a cast member’s day from the perspective of a cast member – something I have no experience with!
Do you have a blog? What tips have you discovered from making your blog the best it can be?