Becoming a blogger is easy nowadays: you register an account at Blogger or WordPress, start publishing your articles, and there – you are a blogger. Building a good blog is another matter completely, though – there are some things you need to keep in mind to create professional content for your publication. Here are some tips that will help you achieve that.
1. Use the right plugins
This one is for those using self-hosted WordPress on their blogs. I know there are lots of exceptional plugins out there, each one with its great features, but over-using them will give you a hard time: they will slow down your blog, and will most likely mix things up at the admin side as well.
Here is a list of some must-use plugins, besides the ones needed by your blog to function the way you want it to function: Akismet (Automattic’s own spam filter, weeding out inappropriate comments), Broken Link Checker (to find links in your posts that don’t work any more or YouTube videos that were deleted since you embedded them), Cleaner Gallery (to replace the ugly and stuffed code generated by WordPress’ gallery with a clean, easy to load one), Video Thumbnails (to extract thumbnails from YouTube/Vimeo videos and use them as featured images for posts) and WP SuperCache (a must use if your blog gets a lot of attention).
2. Use the right text formatting
Some content creators use multiple methods to emphasize on various parts of their texts. Some use either bold or italic text, others prefer to underline their texts, yet some like to use a different text color. These are all good methods, but only if one of them is used in a certain text.
There is nothing uglier than mixing normal text with italic text and bold, or mixing bold text with various colors, or any combination of the above. Using only one method for emphasizing certain parts of a text makes it much easier to read for users, and shows respect toward the readers.
3. Format your images right
One of the most frequent mistakes I encounter on various blogs is that they publish the photos directly downloaded from their cameras / smartphones, at the size the camera takes them. Besides being utterly unnecessary, this practice is also very annoying, especially when reading a blog on a mobile device. Remember – your mobile users are billed for every megabyte they consume, so forcing them to download a picture that has several megabytes is just wrong.
Take the time to re-size your pictures to one that will not take much time to download – a 1024×768 JPEG image looks just as good as an 1920×1080 one on a normal screen, and it is much faster to download. Again, respect toward your users.