9 handy tips on better blogging

Want to make your blog the best you possibly can? That goes without saying, but what’s slightly more difficult is how to do so. With that in mind, we’ve put together these nine handy tips to help boost your blog.

Keywords boost visibility: Frontload your headlines with keywords, such as proper names. Sure, it might mean using the passive voice from time to time, but what's a possible style faux pas in light of a big traffic upswing?

More after the jump: There are many schools of thought on how much text should be offered in RSS feeds, ranging from simple headlines to entire posts. Compromise by offering all the pre-jump text: Anything that can be read on the front page of your blog without clicking the "more" link should be offered in your feed.

Cite your sources: Always credit your sources. There is such a thing as blog karma, so most successful bloggers subscribe to the "do unto others" school of thought.

Post early – and often: While it's not a great idea to post simply for the sake of posting, even the best written blogs have trouble retaining audiences with sporadic or infrequent updates.

Dazzle them with fine art: Pictures, pictures, pictures! Nothing says "read this post" quite like an intriguing piece of artwork.

Include more: Following on from the above tip, you can also break up the monotony of text-only posts by adding video – it’s dead easy to embed a YouTube video (you’ll find the embed code on the site, under the Share tab). Use both pics and video to liven things up.

Are questions useful? Ask questions in your posts. It will prompt user discussion, and there's no better way to build a community than by fostering active comment sections.

Tags foster browsing: Include tags on posts as often as possible. Giving users the ability to search within your site will only serve to increase traffic.

Flaunt your opinions: They might scream "print media" to some, but columns expressing strong opinions are a great way to develop voice and authority for your blog while generating feedback.

Check out firstsideguide.com for tips and tutorials on how to get yourself started online.