Have you ever stumbled upon a blog that inspired you, challenged you, or made you want to do something extraordinary? We are all inspired by something, and sometimes we want to share it with the world. Round-up posts allow you to do just that, by creating a collection of links to blogs and posts by other authors. They are also a great way to share information that you find interesting or helpful. (Plus, they can facilitate traffic and relationships with fellow bloggers.)
Although round-up posts are popular, that doesn’t mean they are all successful. A poorly executed round up can actually put you on the outs of the blogging community. Check out our list of round-up blog dos and don’ts to make sure you’re on the right track.
Do keep it simple. Although it may sound like a great idea to choose the 100 best DIY fall decorations, it can become overwhelming to the reader, and they are likely to lose interest. Keep it simple by posting a reasonable number (think top 25 and under) with brief descriptions to keep your readers’ attention.
Don’t forget to cite your sources. The very nature of a round-up blog is that you are highlighting content from other sources in order to share the information, but don’t think that means you don’t need to cite your sources. It’s important to make sure your audience is aware of who posted the original content, and you should always link back to the post when possible. You can quickly find yourself in trouble if you’re not giving credit where credit is due. HubSpot has a helpful post about How Not to Steal People’s Content on the Web, which provides an in-depth look at citing and linking to content in your round-up post.
Do read as much as possible in your industry. No one blogger can be an expert in every subject—that’s why round up blogs are so exciting! You can share ideas that have inspired you with your readers, even if they are not your original concepts.
Don’t post content you haven’t read (then read again). Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a blog post by its title. Never include a post that you haven’t thoroughly read (we suggest more than once) to make sure the content is something you want to showcase to your audience. Remember that your reputation is on the line when you link your readers to content.
Do keep it consistent. As you build your blog, you may notice a pattern in your posting. Round-up blogs work best when they are routinely featured. Readers like knowing that you will provide a certain type of information on a regular basis. Top Sales World publishes their Top 10 Sales Blogs weekly, so readers know where and when to expect to find content about the best sales-oriented blog posts. You can create the same momentum behind your round-up blogs by keeping your posts consistent.
Don’t add content without a unique spin. With an abundance of round-up blogs on the web, it might feel redundant to create your own. But, by putting a unique spin on an old favorite, you can make it new again. Check out PBS’s take on round-ups—Ten Food Blogs You Should Be Reading, But Might Not Know About. We’ve all seen lists about food blogs, but by adding an extra element (food blogs you may not have discovered), the blog is framed in an original way.
Do add value. Along with adding your own personal spin or framework, you want to add value to the content you are sharing by including a review of each featured element, your opinion on the topic in question or your own expertise. The Next Web breaks down the best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet by weighing the pros and cons, and providing a verdict. Adding your thoughts and/or opinion is critical component of a successful round-up blog.
Don’t hide your associations. You may have ties to a blog that you want to include on your round-up. That’s okay, but it’s important to let your audience know about your potential bias (even if you truly believe they are one of the best blogs of 2014). Being upfront with your readers will help create a relationship built on trust, which will add value and weight to your opinions.
We’ve shared our tips for creating a successful round-up blog—now it’s your turn! Tell us your own dos and don’ts in the comments below.