There are thousands of blogging dos and don’ts. This list is specifically for business bloggers and is focused on dos and don’ts that help build relationships with your visitors.
1. (An obvious one.) Do have an opt in and an RSS feed so people can follow you or choose to hear from you again. Even better, offer something for free when they subscribe. I suggest having both of these. Some may just want to subscribe to your RSS, so offer both.
2. Do put Archives & Categories in the sidebar or footer. Many times when visitors come to your blog they want to know what else you blog about. Give them easy ways to browse so that you can engage them and keep them there longer.
3. Do define your area of specialty so people know exactly what you do. If your tag line is too general, you won’t capture your audience’s attention. Be specific. It pays.
4. Do create banners/ads for your own products/services. This tells people what your business offers. Products you sell are your business. Featuring other people’s products suggests that they are the expert, not you.
5. Do highlight other places you’ve blogged at. This reinforces your expertise and builds relationships with other bloggers.
6. Do invite guest bloggers to post. This also helps build relationships with other bloggers and shows visitors that you are part of a bigger community and that it’s not just you (solo-preneur). It’s a bonus to show different points of view and get free content.
7. Do show social proof (ie: number of subscribers, testimonials). Showing social proof lets people know what others think of you.
8. Do reply to every comment and use plugins to notify commenters of responses. One plugin for this is called “Comment Reply Notification.”
9. Don’t have ads for other people’s stuff if you are selling your own. You’re basically telling your potential clients to go somewhere else. Of course, if you’re not selling anything yet, then creating something to sell should be a priority and until that day, using affiliate products is fine. But not for long
10. Don’t stop and start. Keep it consistent. Create an editorial calendar and schedule posts ahead of time. Inconsistent posting is like not calling a friend for a year and expecting your friendship to remain the same.
11. Don’t make it difficult for visitors to get your free stuff. Make it easy to download or view videos. Having optins that are only available to subscribers makes your readers jump through hoops. Most of them will give up rather than subscribing. Let them decide to subscribe after they decide they enjoy your offers.
12. Don’t sell in an email. This is slightly off topic, but emails and blogging shouldn’t be about selling. That’s what landing pages/sales pages are for. Definitely link to those pages from a blog post, but don’t try to sell right in the middle of your blog.
13. Don’t be anonymous. Have a great “about” page that shows people who you are and or what your business is all about. Be unique and original. No one likes boring.
There you go. Now start developing relationships with people that come into your virtual world.