Today I'd like your help discovering the rules of blogging as we know them so far. Not for personal or political blogs (which fall under different guidelines) but for professional blogs (set up for your business or to link and promote you to other people that have chosen the same profession).
Time for a completely unrelated but ridiculous picture about rules:
Now, without further ado these are the guidelines that I can think of, that I have learned, or that I have observed/heard from my fellow bloggers:
1. Post consistently: Whether it be once a week, every day of the week, or Tuesdays and Thursdays, pick a schedule. Your readers will know when to go to your site for updates. If they come back often only to find out you haven't updated...they will eventually stop coming.
2. Find your niche: What's the purpose of your blog? Did you establish it to connect with others? To promote your work? Define a niche and stick with it.
3. Post purposefully: If your blog is for elementary school teachers and is set up to help others learn new teaching methods then it is probably best not to discuss the Kanye drama for three days straight. One mention is sufficient...and try somehow to tie it in to your purpose.
4. Speak well and find your blog voice: Perhaps (just perhaps) your professional blog is not the best place to display your sailor vocabulary (get it?) or talk mercilessly about the things you dislike (the Lakers, the Cowboys). It is however the place to develop your unique voice. Let your character show; people will continue to read/visit you because of who you are and what you have to say. Take for example fellow blogger Marsha, she has established a certain voice that I love to go back to again and again.
5. Share the love: Visit and comment on other blogs; you don't blog in a bubble. When you reference someone else's blog that you are a big fan of (like my online writing buddy Bethany) then provide a link to their page.
6. Involve your readers: Ask your readers questions and give yourself the opportunity to learn from them. Poll your readers to see what they find most useful, or what they want more of. A person who is really great at reader involvement is Jennifer J. Bennett who usually asks a question or two with every post (or at the very lest gets you thinking).
7. Promote yourself: Link to your posts from your facebook or Twitter account. E-mail your friends. Add your blog/website to the listing with both Google and Yahoo! If you go to http://www.google.com/addurl or http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html you will be allowed to submit your URL (which may look like this - http://exampleurl.blogspot.com) to the Google and Yahoo! search engines. This can improve your visibility when people search for your name, or search topics that you cover on your site.
So, I know I missed a lot. What else would you add to this list of Blogging Professionally?