Blogging heralds the new age of self-publishing. I’d like to define self-publishing as the intention and ability to publish whatever you want.

You might publish with the intention of establishing your expertise, help others learn something you are good at, dispense information, earn money from blogging, gain massive readership, or just for the plain thrill of seeing your blog among the greats such as Techcrunch, Mashable, and Endgadget.

There are, however, a few problems with most people when they begin to blog. Knowing these will help you blog better. Here are a few of them:

Put your game face on

Plain facts, a neutral language, and presenting information as is – that’s the staple of academic papers. When you are blogging, you dispense information too but no one reads blogs if they read like academic papers. You need to put your game face on. Show some attitude. Be confident in yourself and your ability to communicate. Some of us have this kind of attitude already and many others will have to work towards it. But it’s an important frame of mind to start blogging from.

Blogging is all about sharing opinions, not just facts

When you post on your blog, you opine. Now, opinions can be dogma or it can be formed based on your knowledge, experience, and wisdom. For some of us, what we do, how we are, and how we talk can have major cultural underpinnings too.

So be it. You don’t have to change a thing about your culture or try to come across as an “acceptable” persona because there’s no such thing as that. Shred facts, form your own opinions, and dare to share it with others.

Don’t write blog posts if you don’t have an opinion. Period.

Number of words, Keyword Density, and SEO: take a break, will you?

SEO is overrated. Don’t get boxed into rules when you blog such as number of words per post, keywords or key phrases, keyword density, and other such SEO tactics most bloggers spend an inordinate amount of time on. Take it easy on yourself. Do what you should and move on. Focus on nothing else but the quality of your posts while you stick to SEO basics.

I am not saying SEO is not important. God knows it is. My point is that obsessing over teeny-weeny details like:

  • Keyword should show up in title
  • Keyword should show up 6 times in the article – 2 out of 4 sub headings, first sentence of first paragraph, last sentence of last paragraph.
  • Maintain keyword density of 3.6789%.

“Attached nonchalance” is a helpful trait to have

Let’s say you publish high-quality articles that inform, educate, and engage readers. You are also well-informed, opinionated, strong, independent, and a forceful communicator. Your blog posts will reflect all this. Now, there might be readers who might not agree with what you say. Readers have meaningful conversations that add to the information pool here. Yet, some will have varying degrees of disagreement – all the way from mild to vehement.

The big secret: just learn to let go. Accept the fact that 20% of your readers will disagree with whatever you post. Seek to inform, engage, and network but don’t go overboard and get emotional with negative comments, hate mails, and other such “blogger blues”, as I like to call it.

What are the other overlooked points that bloggers will do well to remember? Please share your comments here.