So a couple friends of mine have created blogs this year and I think that’s very cool, especially considering they didn’t think they were the blogging type of people before they started them. But they have asked me advice about blogging because they think I’m the type of person who’d know the ins and outs of the whole blogosphere. I’m flattered but I don’t know if I’d consider myself the Expert Bloggess or anything.
But it got me to thinking about what makes a good blog and what I like to see in other blogs as well as my own. I thought that jotting a few words down about what I think about blogging and maybe it’ll help my friends and others who are blogging or even thinking about blogging. Granted, these things that I’m about to write are my own thoughts and opinions. What I like to write and see doesn’t necessarily work for another blogger. Take what you will of it and dump the others for others to pick through and decide for themselves.
1. Be passionate about your posts.
I think this is the most important advice that anybody could get about blogging. If you don’t like what you’re writing about and only writing it for the views or because you know it’s a trending topic but not something you feel connected to, people are going to notice it. They’re going to think you’re only in it for the money (figuratively and literally) and probably won’t follow your blog. Some people have niches while others write about whatever comes to mind, a true journal in the sense of the word. Whatever you decide is completely fine and if it ends up transforming into something else completely, then that’s okay too. Blogs change as people change.
2. Use categories and tags, but don’t overuse them.
I like to think of categories as filing systems and tags like those little tags that you stick in books when you’re studying and wanting specific pieces of information. For example, let’s say I wanted to talk about character development. It’s part of the writing process, so I’d stick it under the category “Writing.” This is a broad term in the search engines so adding tags can pinpoint you post more clearly. Words like “characters,” “character development,” “character writing,” and “fiction writing,” would be tags that I use.
Of course, you can do whatever you want in organizing your posts, but that’s what I’d do. I’ve also gone to Google and typed in words like “character” and “character writing” to see what kind of search engine words people have used to look for what you’re writing about. Of course I’m not the one would use a million tags, but just enough to give your post a chance to be seen.
3. Make sure your blog theme/color scheme is the way YOU like it.
I’m one of those indecisive people who can’t decide on anything. I’ve changed my blog theme so many times in one year that I think I’ve frustrated my readers to no end. I wasn’t always like this. For the first year I had the same theme and completely enjoyed it. But then I started reading about how to create a better blogging experience for the reader and I started changing my theme around. First I wanted mine to look professional, so I’d change it to a professional theme. But after a while I realized I thought that my theme was too cold for the content that I was writing, so I chose a more fun theme. But then I thought it was too frilly. And so I went on until I finally found a theme that made me happy. It’s both fun, cozy, and a little bit of professional all at once.
Obviously, you don’t want to put a bunch of crazy graphics, headers, and writing styles to the point that the reader goes cross eyed and can’t notice your content for all the jazz, but you need to find a theme and color scheme that makes you happy and works well with what you want to convey.
4. Get inspiration from other bloggers, but don’t let their work be the end all.
There were a couple bloggers that I looked up to. I wanted to do everything that they were doing on their blog. I started copying their writing style and tried to focus in on one niche or topic. Soon I lost my voice. When I started writing the way I normally write and being myself, I found my best work coming through. When I became myself, I found that more people wanted to come to my blog and read my thoughts. It’s okay to get ideas and tips from others, but down let their stories drown your growth.
5. Be a part of the blogging community.
This means following other blogs and commenting on them. Real people have taken the time to sit down and write what you’re reading. If you enjoyed it, tell them what you liked about it. If you don’t like it, just tell them in a polite way why you didn’t like it. I found that people appreciate others taking the time and commenting on something they worked so hard on and when you do, oftentimes they’ll go to your blog, comment and follow back. This is how you build followers and community. I’m guilty of not doing it all the time, but I try my best to every once in a while.
6. Use social media.
I have my blog attached to Twitter and Facebook. It automatically uploads my posts onto my accounts so that I don’t have to worry about it. Using social media will allow others to follow you if they don’t have a blogging platform to add your blog to their feed. And it gives them other ways to interact, as well.
So I don’t exactly know what else to write about blogging, but these are some main points that I thought about. Maybe if I think of some more or if you guys liked this post and want to see more, I’ll make another Blogging Tips post. What are some blogging styles you use to connect to others that worked well for you?