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The Ultimate Writers Guide to Improving Your Blogging Skills

Oct 20, 2009

The best way you can improve your blogging skills is to blog. There are many free tools online available to help you write a better blog. This writer's guide offers tips and tools for writing blog posts, publishing and promoting your blog and increasing blog traffic.

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Publish Your Blog

blog

Focusing on blog publishing is the first step to improving blogging skills. It is important to create a blog that will hold your interest and the interest of other people. It is also essential that you find a blogging platform, advertisements, and widgets that are a good match for your blog.

Create a Blog

  • Blogging Basics 101 - Created for beginning and intermediate bloggers, Blogging Basics 101 provides advice on creating a blog and encourages questions from confused bloggers.
  • About Web Logs - This About.com site is dedicated to providing information on starting, growing and monetizing a blog.
  • Creative Commons - The Creative Commons website is a good place to find licensed works that you can legally share, remix or reuse.

Choose a Blogging Platform

  • Blog Platform Statistics - Pingdom.com shows which platforms are used by the top 100 bloggers.
  • WordPress - WordPress is an open source blogging tool and publishing platform. It's free to use and easy to download.
  • TypePad - Unlike some blogging platforms, TypePad charges a subscription fee. However, there are extra features that come with the fee, such as more control over content and additional ways to make money through blogging.

Add Widgets and Ads

  • ProBlogger - ProBlogger is an excellent place for writers who want to learn how to add income streams to their blog. The site offers informative articles, a job board and other useful resources.
  • Google AdSense - Google's AdSense is a quick and easy way for any blogger to earn money by displaying ads that are relevant to blog content.
  • Widgetbox - Widgetbox is the best place on the web to find and make free widgets for your blog.

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Write Your Blog

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The blogosphere is a highly competitive place. If you want people to visit your blog, you will need to master basic writing skills, come up with interesting topics and update your blog on a regular basis.

Master Basic Writing Skills

  • Grammar Podcast - Mignon Fogarty's free grammar podcast provides weekly tips for remembering grammar rules.
  • Journalist Style Guide - Given to all of the journalists at the Economist, this style guide offers writing do's and don'ts, punctuation tips, capitalization rules and much more.
  • OWL - Purdue University's Online Writing Lab provides writing resources and instructional material for writers around the world. Resources cover everything from grammar and punctuation to research and citation.

Find Writing Topics

  • Skribit - Designed specifically for bloggers who are having trouble finding topics to blog about, Skribit taps into your blog's readership for post suggestions.
  • Google Trends - The Google Trends Lab makes it easy to find out what people are searching on Google. You can view the top 100 trends or conduct searches of your own.
  • Twitter Trends - You can also research trends with the Twitter search engine. The engine lets you know what people are tweeting about.

Find Time to Write

  • Writing Productivity Resource - This Lifehack writing guide provides a list of more than 60 free productivity sites, tools, and apps for writers.
  • How to Write Faster, Better and Easier - This free guide from Pick the Brain may be a couple of years old, but it still provides valuable tips for bloggers who want to learn how to pump out more content in less time.
  • EssentialPIM - The free version of EssentialPIM makes it easy to schedule writing time, plan blog posts, create to-do lists and much more online.

Promote Your Blog and Increase Traffic

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Good writing alone may not be enough to make your blog successful. Promotion is also important. Using proper SEO, networking with other bloggers and encouraging reader comments are all great ways to promote your blog and increase traffic.

SEO Tips

  • SEOmoz - Dedicated entirely to SEO, this blog provides free SEO tools, guides, advice and much more.
  • Google Keyword Tool - Google's Keyword Tool makes it easy to get new keyword ideas for your blog.
  • 55 Quick SEO Tips - The Search Engine Journal provides 55 quick SEO tips that every blogger can use.

Networking with Other Bloggers

  • Blog Catalog - Blog Catalog is a social community for bloggers. It is an excellent place to connect with other bloggers and participate in blogging discussions.
  • Scoutle - Scoutle is an automated social network that scouts out similar blogs so that you can connect with other bloggers and find more readers.
  • Authority Blogger Forum - This forum for bloggers offers a place to connect with other bloggers online and discuss various topics.

Encouraging Comments

  • Disqus - Disqus is a universal commenting and moderation system for blogs. It provides real-time posting and updating as well as tools to help spread the discussion all across the social web.
  • CommentRight - CommentRight provides an eclectic collection of images and messages that are meant to encourage comments on blog posts.
  • MyBlogLog - MyBlogLog is a Yahoo! service that allows you to find out who is visiting your blog and connect with your readers.
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