1. Do it. Ideas for posts, subject areas to explore, ideas for new blogs need to translate into action in order for them to be effective.

2. Carry a notebook. I read that Richard Branson, head of Virgin Airlines carries a Moleskine notebook, one of those little elastic banded nifty noteies, and jots down ideas, reminders, things to do, everything. He says he has to have it, that it’s one way he gets so much done. I’ve adopted the same method. Even when I’m on the computer, I often grab my notebook and make handwritten entries to remind me of variations on ideas that come to me in my online reading and surfing.

3. Write what you need to know. If you want to learn something, research it and put what you find, think through, and discover on your blog. Or, if it doesn’t fit your blog, find someone else’s blog where it does belong, and post it there as an appropriate comment. Or, email the blog owner, share the info and ask for a link back, or offer to write a guest post about it.

4. Innovate off email messages you’ve written. Go back through your own personal email archives for goodies you’ve shared and turn them into blog posts, updating and adding to them. Same goes for other people’s email messages, not copying their work, but sharing info that is available online, and innovating on the subject area. Scan your bookshelves for book titles that lend themselves to blog post titles, or innovate on them to create new and relevant post titles for your blog’s subject area.

5. Take a break. Don’t be a drudge blogger. Get up and move your body, eat, drink plenty of water. I’ve found I have to watch that, that I can go for hours online without realizing I’ve not eaten nor had any liquid.

6. Look up from your screen often, resting your eyes by looking at something in the longer distance. Stretch. Shift your position at least every twenty minutes, avoiding repetitive strain problems. Keep your body happy.

7. Create a link stable in an email message that doesn’t go anywhere. Save it and label it in your out box so you can find it easily. Click on the live links to do your research, making notes under the link, and deleting them when you’ve written the blog entry for them.

8. Talk to your reader as though they are in the room with you, and you two are the only ones there. If it helps, create an imaginary reader you write all your posts for, someone you like and respect, maybe even a close friend, maybe a mystery person far away.

9. Don’t apologize when you’ve taken time off, maybe don’t even say anything about it. If you do, make it direct and a statement of the facts, “I’m back from my mini-vacation, and here’s what I discovered while I was gone…”

10. Keep on writing, take time off, but remember to come back and share more good things with the world. You do have something worthwhile to offer, your voice is unique. Your potential readership is unlimited.

11. Read more habits for effective blogging in the ProBlogger.net series of posts by many contributing bloggers.

One way to bring readers back repeatedly to your blog is to write a series of posts on one topic. Darren Rouse at ProBlogger has a series called Battling Bloggers Block. A reader and commenter on that series has spun off a series of her own, 20 Posts In 20 Days Marathon, at It’s So Fantastic! which I’ve picked up to do on my Noodling blog.

It’s So Fantastic! has used a graphic image to mark each of her blog posts in that series. I thought that was a particularly good idea, so created one of my own for the series of 20 posts I’m doing on Noodling.

Advantages I’ve thought of in having a visual graphic to identify series posts:

  1. Readers have, in addition to the content of the series posts, and topic, a visual reminder to return.
  2. You don’t have to limit yourself to series posts and do them only until you’ve completed the series. By adding the visual graphic you can easily indicate which posts are part of the series and which are not.
  3. A graphic symbol adds a bit of class and quality to your posts. Makes it look like you’ve put some effort into the series, more professional looking.
  4. The graphic can indicate at a glance what the topic is all about, or expand it beyond the title of the series.
  5. Even when the series is long past, the graphic will lead later readers to look for all the posts. And, I think, it helps persuade them to continue on to the next one. The longer your readers stay on your blog site, the better, not only for recurring visit motivation, but for any ads you have there to generate income.

What other benefits are there to adding a graphic, that I’ve not thought of?