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24 Guidelines For Blogging

Your writing should be natural and to the point. However, keeping the following in mind will help your post get found and get read more often:

Blog content and writing:

1. Topic and title: Write about just one topic. If your blog post turns out to be over 1,000 words, or more than one topic, consider breaking it up into several posts.

Once you’re finished with your post, make sure your content still matches what the title promises. For example, if your title is about ‘writing’, but your post talks mostly about ‘blogs’, modify the title to match the content better.

Use the main keywords of your post in the title. Keep the title concise and try to keep it under 50 characters. To find relevant keywords and keyword phrases, check our for tools.

Using variation of words in the URL is OK. However, do not modify the URL after your post is published. Titles are usually automatically formatted with the h1 tag on a blog.

2. Sub-headers: Create at least one sub-header for every 500 words. This breaks up the text and makes it easier to read. Use the h2 tag. In a long blog post, use 1., 2. etc. for your sub-headers and reflect this on the title, like “7 Ways to …” . Use keywords in titles and sub-headers and avoid generic titles like “What’s new today.” The reader should be able to see right away what a specific part (or paragraph) is all about.

3. Facts: Check your facts via the web, or if possible, per personal contact. If well known news sources state the same facts, you can assume they’re probably correct.

Always state your source for information you write about. When quoting statistics, quote or link to the original source of statistics if possible, and not simply a news source. Use a source that’s less than 12 months old. (This isn’t always possible with statistics.)

4. Content and Style: Avoid words such as “always” and “never”. It’s OK to be a bit vague as opposed to hitting your reader over the head with your opinion.

If you find yourself using a phrase too frequently, or you don’t like how you word specific topics, or answer questions, actively work on identifying the problem and then find ways to modify your writing. For example, avoid writing: “you will want to” “you want to” “some will want to” and similar.

5. Links: First, make sure each post links to at least one other post within your website. This assures a solid linking structure within the site (which helps with SEO) that doesn’t only rely on links from blog categories and outside links.

Only link to outside sources when necessary, for example, when quoting statistics, news or anything else where the reader might want to check the facts. When linking to outside sources, link to articles that are less than 12 months old – the newer the better – and only to sites that are either easily recognizable as a trustworthy source like a popular newspaper, or check a third party service for estimated visitor numbers. Keep in mind that third party sites are usually vastly off when it comes to lower traffic sites, but get more accurate when a site has hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Also, scrutinize the site itself: does the site look like it has recently been updated? Does the site have a privacy policy or terms of service? If you’re not sure, find a different source to link to.

When adding links to external websites, add them later in the post and not within the first paragraph. (For internal links, it’s OK to link within the first paragraph.) Add target=”_blank” to the a tag, to open the link in a new tab. Link to individual blog posts as opposed to the homepage; you might even receive a link back in form of a trackback. Also, avoid using any trademarks in your link text and use keywords instead.

6. Opinion: If you post your opinions, you are legally responsible for them. You are the one who is personally liable for them, not your admin, not anyone else, but you, the writer of the post. So if you believe you have to post your scathing opinion, you will do so at your own risk, because you can be held personally liable for any commentary deemed to be defamatory or libelous to anyone.

That doesn’t mean you can never express your opinion, but you have to be cautious when it comes to exaggerating, guessing, using ‘colorful language’, being obscene or making derogatory remarks.

7. Confidential Information: Obviously, do not post any information you do not have the right to post. If you work under a contract, read your contract! And don’t post your own personal info info either.

8. Duplication: Search the site you’re writing for first to see if there are already articles posted on the topic you’re planning on writing about. If there are, make sure your title differs and your article has a different angle on the topic.

9. Categories: File each post into at least two categories. Do not use ‘uncategorized’ – instead try to find categories that match your blog post topic the closest. If your post doesn’t fit any category, consult with admin about creating an additional category. Have 10 categories at most – from a SEO point-of-view fewer is better.

10. Tags: Use about three descriptive keywords and/or keyword phrases for each post. Tags aren’t that important any more for SEO, but might come in handy for any blog theme features.

11. Take advantage of the preview feature and preview every blog post before deciding if it’s ready to be published. Click on every link you’ve added to make sure it’s working, check spelling, formatting and how it wraps around any hard coded ads and pictures.

12. Copy and paste from Word: Simply cutting and pasting text from Word into a website might add all kinds of junk formatting tags which can distort the way the text is displayed and make it hard for edits. Avoid using Word altogether and use a simple text editor instead, or save everything in ‘simple text’ first, copy it into the website and then format it.

If you’ve already pasted a document that contains all kinds of tags, be sure to delete them first in ‘HTML’ view before saving. In any word processor or text editor, be sure to turn off ‘smart quotes’ or ‘curly quotes.’ You can see all formatting tags in WordPress by using the ‘Text’ view.

13. Comments: Allow comments and trackbacks on each post (this should be the default.) Scrutinize all incoming comments to your posts, including trackbacks. Make sure comments and trackbacks don’t link back to spam or scraper sites. Mark all such links as ‘Spam’ instead of simply clicking ‘Delete’.

Even if you don’t have to approve comments, make sure to check back on your articles occasionally for a few days after it’s been posted to view any comments. You might be able to answer questions, or gain insights on your writing.

Marketing your blog post:

14. Create at least two alternate ‘titles’ for your article. Use the original article title first when posting about it on social media. If your article doesn’t get shared enough and can’t seem to get any traction, use the ‘alternate titles’ for social media. However, it’s not necessary to change the title on your blog post and do Not change the URL (slug) of your post!

15. Have multiple sources post about your article. If possible, have more than one person/account post links to your article. Perhaps other writers on the same blog.

Using text, graphics and images:

16. Do not use and copy and paste any text and images from other blogs, websites or printed materials. In other words, do not take other people’s property, even though you may think that ‘everybody does it’.

17. It is usually OK to quote (use blockquote tag) a short snippet of text in order to write about it or respond to it. Quote no more than about 5 lines at a time. If you want to use any related images, you have to ask for permission first. It’s usually OK to link to the full text.

18. What kind of image should you use? You’ll have to be the judge of this, but at the very least, the image should be conceptually related to what you’re writing about and also appeal to your main demographic. If you’re not sure if an image is appropriate, use a different one.

19. Do not use images from ‘sharing’ sites or ‘free sharing’ sites as some of these sites simply take pictures from other sites and mark them ‘free’. Most images on social media sites are ‘All rights reserved’, which means you are not allowed to use them. does have a search feature now that let’s you search for images that may be shared. You can also try finding relevant images on

Also, do not use images from printed sources as these are also copyrighted. If you are challenged by the owner of copyrighted images, the burden is on you, the end-user, to prove that you have a license to use the image.

20. Do not use images from sites that require that you link to them. This will eventually create a large amount of outgoing links to unrelated sites.

21. If you decide to buy images from stock sites, be sure to read the conditions under which you’re allowed to use the images.

22. When using an image with permission, be sure to add proper credits in the caption. Important: Maintain a file to save information, licenses and proof of permission, like a screen shot for such images. Sometimes the license will change from ‘OK to share’ to ‘All rights reserved.’ Maintaining a copyrights file will protect you and give you proof that you are in fact using the image with permission.

23. When using images that you’ve created yourself, add your copyright stamp before posting them. If you’re blogging for someone else, answer this question: will you give the right to use the image to the owner of the blog when or if you stop working for him or her? Figure out what will happen to your images before you post them on a website.

24. For general guidelines on copyrights and using other people’s text and images, read , or visit for comprehensive info on anything copyright related.

There is also an excellent blog on all things photo copyrights at .

Adhering to these guidelines with every blog post is important, as it will not only help your post be found, but also ensure that others’ work is properly credited and prevent legal issues. Furthermore following blogging guidelines like these will keep formatting uniform on a blog with multiple writers and assure a higher level of content and writing.

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1 Comment

  1. jakes
    May 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    These are the best most comprehensive blogger guidelines I’ve seen on the web. Cool.

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