Following on from my earlier post how to blog your gardening landscaping business . Here are 10 guidelines worth considering if you intend to keep a gardening or landscaping Blog
1. Write what you know about, you can waste valuable time and effort spending hours on a topic that appears lightweight and inaccurate.
2. Keep your posts short, punchy and concise, use as few words as possible to put your points across and use white space as breather points that allow readers to pause, but still remain interested. Use a photo with a descriptive title to illustrate what you are writing about.
3. Try not to patronise, you want to share your knowledge and views but don't ram it down your viewers throat. Stimulate a debate. You are really winning if someone feels comfortable in responding in the comments section at the bottom of your post.
4. If you get something wrong don't hide it, correct it quickly and if it is pointed out by a commenter, thank them. You want your audience to know you are 'only human'.
5. If you are writing about a project as work in progress, make sure you update the blog regularly. If you add ten 'before' photos on day one of the project but fail to add or even take any further images until you are over half way or when the project is complete, your audience (or potential customer) will lose interest. They want to see how you are doing, how efficient you are and how you combat problems along the way.
6. Organise your site to look balanced and appealing. If you are hoping to add to your income by inserting Google Adsense code then put it in a prominent position. Blend the colours of the ads so that they appear part of your site. Google ensures that the viewer is always aware that it is advertising but you are giving them the option to research further by looking for related adverts.Bear in mind that if you are selling yourself as a service or a product, using adverts can distract potential clients and you could even send them elsewhere without engaging with you.
7. If writing about a current work project on a blog, Google and other search engines indexes the pages and words on your site. Try to ensure that you you utilise the right keywords so that search engines have enough 'juice' to find your content and send interested searchers to your site.
8. What ever you do, update regularly. There is nothing worse than leaving a blog dormant for weeks. Readers and potential customer will get bored. If you have a digital camera then use it - a picture tells a thousand word (don't forget the image title).
Editing is easy with MS Paint or an on-line editing photo editing software like Picnik or something more powerful like Adobe Photoshop.
9. Add local place names which relate to what you are doing. If you are a landscaper or gardener in Hampshire and wish to attract enquiries within a certain radius then write about places, suppliers or events in that area.
10. Enjoy your blogging as much as your day to day work. If you consider your on-line diary as a chore after a busy day, then it will be reflected in your writing.
Avoid sentences like: 'It rained today so we finished early' because it is not inspiring - pack it out a bit and consider how you can make the most mundane and uninspiring things engage your readers and keep them hooked. Add a photo for fun of the rain dripping into a bucket full of water for example.
Consider something along the lines of this 'Today's task has been made all the more challenging by heavy rain. Not to be put off, my team and I decided that a clean up of the work area would be beneficial and a chat over a cup of tea, concerning the planning for tomorrow, will make the day easier before leaving early so that all of us will be refreshed and ready for tomorrows challenge'
OK I have exaggerated a bit but hopefully the point is there.
Always bear in mind that your blogging diary is an extension of your work ethic, creativity, professionalism and personality.