There are many tips out there to improve your blog. There are just as many people out there who claim to have found the one true way to maintain a blog. Over the last 10+ years I’ve run a blog in some form or other, I’ve read it all. So why would I read yet another book that claims to offer the magic formula for technical blogging?
For one thing, “Technical Blogging” by Antonio Cangiano is published by The Pragmatic Programmers. A publisher I hold very highly when it comes to technical books.
The table of contents is also much more extensive than I would have thought. Writing a post is pretty much a given. The book is about everything else.
Technical blogging has a little bit of everything. Which is both a good thing (it has everything!) and a bad thing (no details on x). I enjoyed the book as a good summary of what it takes to write a blog.
The book will certainly appeal to starters, but it may also appeal to people who have been writing for some time and now want to take it up notch.
If you have a blog, here are 10 things I took away from the book that you can do right now to improve your blog:
- Make sure you are blogging for an audience. When starting your blog, it’s good to build your audience as quickly as possible, using any means possible. The fact of knowing that people are actually reading your blog will keep you motivated when “writing about cool stuff” isn’t enough.
- Have an “about” page. I used to have one, now it’s back and updated.
- Promote your blog posts. It’s something I should certainly do more of (follow me on Twitter or the Streamhead page on Facebook)
- Create a resource page. I actually just did. I truly believe in everything that’s on there, so check it out!
- Have a contact form. I removed my contact form after I got too much spam. I must admit the spam has already restarted, so I’m doubting this decision.
- A mailing list is golden, keep those most loyal readers up-to-date.
- Keep people on your site with related posts and cross-linking in posts and get them back through your mailing list. Here’s random old post.
- Make your site attractive and fast. I’ve disabled all plugins that aren’t needed and taken a good look at what is still enabled. I’ve moved to WPEngine.
- It’s best to blog regularly. I’ve tried and in the end I started to hate it, so, while I know it’s not a good idea, posts will still appear very irregularly.
- Promote your content. Yes, it’s already mentioned in 3, but I’m putting this here so I remember.