New Blogger Checklist

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Here is a quick checklist to get you started on the road to successful blogging. Add to it, expand it and tailor it for your particular situation.

1) Goals – what do you want to accomplish with your blog? Who needs it? What good will it do? What purpose will it serve?

2) Audience – who is the audience? Describe them. Paint a picture of them in your mind and write each post as if they were sitting in the room with you.

3) Content – How does the content support the goal? Is the content readable, interesting, accurate, entertaining, and targeted at your audience?

4) Design – What colors should you use? How many columns? Is the blog navigation easy and intuitive? Do the design choices support the content or call attention away from it?

5) Frequency – Decide on a publishing schedule. Post regularly and decide what resources you can legitimately set aside for the blog to make sure you keep your schedule.

6) Community – Decide on whether or not you want comments or other feedback and then decide on what vehicles you will use to engage in and respond to any conversation that starts because of your blog.

7) Writing style – Decide on a style and stick to it. Will you use AP Style? How about the Chicago Manual of Style? Pick one and live with it. Make sure your writing is clear. Establish a voice that lets readers know who you really are. Check for good grammar, spelling and punctuation.

8) Organize – Use categories (if your blogging platform supports them) to help readers find older topics. Decide on easy, one-word titles for your categories.

9) Promotion – Build a marketing plan. Tell the world about your blog. List it with search engines and on blog directories, comment on other blogs, etc.

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