What is it?
This darn, mysterious thing called a blog. What’s it really all about? Is it about spewing off? Teaching? Learning? Baring you soul? Steeling your resolve? Maybe you see it as a brag thing? Is it for selling? What are you selling? Yourself? Your book? 🤦🏻♀️
The simple answer to all the questions–is yes.
Yeah, a blog can be what ever you want it to be. It’s all yours. Share as little or as much as you choose–and same with the content. You get to define and shape it. How exciting is that?
Know that blogging isn’t for everyone and that’s okay.
What is The Goal of Your Blog?
This may be a more difficult question to answer, but really it’s the crux of what you do.
If you just want to blah, blah, blah… to get things off your chest–Hey go for it. This could probably be one of the healthiest things you do all day. More power to ya. Even with this, you’ll find people who can relate to your content, but that’s not important in this case.
Or is it?
As human beings, we want to connect. Even if your blog is a blah blah rant five times a day, you still want people to read it, or you wouldn’t have published it.
We all want validation. A reason to exist and be. We want to know we’re not alone in our convictions.
Think about it.
You could write it and keep it to yourself, but you choose to put it out to the universe. That’s called blogging. Yes, you’re a blogger.
Set a goal for your blog related to the reason why you’re doing it. It could be:
- to promote your business
- to promote yourself
- to monetize and get rich 🙄
- to put yourself out there
- to teach readers something
- to build an audience
- to find and connect with like-minded people
- to build a platform in order to become an “expert”
- to inspire
- to network
All of these have a common theme…
Writing a Blog is Really About Connection.
Once you’ve decided that you in fact want to blog, then you obviously want to connect. This can be a really good way.
I’ve met people through my blog that I would now consider to be part of my writing community. That’s pretty cool.
Connection doesn’t mean getting together for coffee and sharing a donut. This is an online platform that allows you a worldwide audience, but remember, memories are short and there’s a thousand people to take your place.
Unless you’re blogging to simply spew, take a little time to clean around the edges prior to putting it out there. It really does make a difference as to whether that connection is made or not. (please see my pet peeve below about long paragraphs…)
Sometimes I suffer from the Bloggin’ Blues where I just don’t want to do anything, I don’t think anyone is reading, I want to whine and feel sorry for myself, BUT then I read something that makes me realize I may actually be on the right track.
Let’s chat about blogging…
A few weeks ago I tripped upon this article about blogging in the Writer’s Digest newsletter. Well… I had to stop and take a look. The title is The 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Blogging.
Writing a blog can be fun, but if you don’t know the dos and don’ts of how to write a blog, you’ll never attract a bigger audience. Here are 12 essential tips”.Author Brian A. Klems; March 15, 2012
As a writer and blogger I’m always interested in creating a better product and learning what I can do differently.
You can go read the article. It’s got great points. I’ll give you the gist but I want to concentrate on a couple that really stand out for me.
According to Klems:
The Six Do’s and The Six Don’t’s For a Blog Success
- Be yourself
- Use links
- Use Pix
- Respond to comments
- Post your blog to social media.
The Six Don’ts are:
- set unrealistic goals
- limit your word count
- make grammar errors
- be negative
- use long paragraphs
- don’t avoid trying new things
In article each of these are broken down and discussed. The author shares some great information and I’d highly suggest you read it.
I’ve done a lot of reading about blogs and these are the ones that really stood out to me. First off, I need to work on doing more links and shares.
Don’t Forget the Links
This is about doing the links to other blogs or even back to your own posts.
One thing about stats on a blog are the “clicks” count. If that’s important to you then make sure you link more and encourage clicks. For me, it’s more about getting the information out there.
For me, using these links allowed me to direct my reader to pertinent material that was my own.
The thing is that I often forget about other people’s stuff. I seriously need to do more of that.
Connecting Via Sharing and Ping Backs
This is like ringing someone’s doorbell to remind the other bloggers that you’re around, you’re reading their stuff, you appreciate the community, and their stuff is worthy of sharing.
To share other peoples blogs that resonate with me on some level, is something I need to start doing more of.
This not only shares what I see as good material and/or information, but also showcases the author to my blog followers. To me this is the ultimate support in being able to share my audience with a colleague who has something worth saying.
The other part of this is having another blogger offer a link back to my blog (which notifies me via a pingback–doorbell. Thanks for visiting. 😄). I have this enabled so I know if my site/post has been linked and I get a request to approve.
I’ll admit, it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but with that being said, I don’t do too many links myself. I’m going to make a note to change that.
The one thing that stood out to me on the DON’T LIST is:
Long Paragraphs Really Suck… Seriously.
OMG!! I swear I’ve said this ten million times….break up your paragraphs. My attention span (not to mention patience) is shorter than short.
I hate to say it, but I’ve gone into sites where the title has really interested me, only to back out and not read the first sentence.
Why? Huge, squishy paragraphs that never frikken end.
Ugh…my brain can’t handle that.
Plllllleeeeeaaasssse…..break them up like I’ve done here.
The reader needs to be able to scan and get the gist. I know, I know… some will read and hang on every word and even I sometimes go back and read the post again so long as it doesn’t scare me away the first time.
The other DON’T that caught my attention was about goal setting.
Always Be You… It Suits You.
When I started, I blogged once a week and wondered where all the readers were–I seriously thought they’d be flocking to read my wisdom and wit.
This wasn’t very realistic in that I wasn’t blogging enough. I learned and adjusted my goals.
I have two blogs: Auntie Says… Advice and opinion for All and My Twisted Writer Brain which is All things Writing.
They’re very different, so I decided to blog twice a week per blog, and then do a fifth entry on the weekend that was more relaxed and informal. Until recently, it worked very well for me.
We all need to step back sometimes. A break is needed or other things become a priority. The nice thing is that I have a lot of material already written. I can revamp, freshen, and repost to save time. This is still not a complete fix, but it helps.
Build up that base of good, strong posts.
Evergreen content is very important to have. “Evergreen” covers topics that never really change or go out of style. While they may require a fresh look, the base is strong and can carry its own weight.
Blogging is Not for the Faint of Heart
Blogging is hard work. To build an audience and to maintain a connection with others, takes time and energy.
I don’t think many understand how difficult blogging actually is and it’s evident with the many blogs that only have three posts in the last year. No one’s fault… its just a fact of blogging life.
I’m know I make grammatical errors (oops–it happens), spelling mistakes, and typos but that’s okay. I’m human and sometimes I make mistakes. Oh man, oh man…I hate commas…a personal issue that probably goes back to grade three. Grrr…. Ugh…I digress.
Set the goal. Know the outcome you want. Put in the work.
Be Realistic and Try to Have Some Fun
To blog, means letting go of the drive for perfection.
If you’re stuck there, you’ll never get anything done.
We all have Do’s and Don’ts in our work and it’s good to be aware of them, but don’t let them change who you are.
Sometimes it’s just the process of learning and moving forward in your craft that will bring success in its own right.
Enjoy. Have some fun! Put up great pix that you take and share a little of yourself so people can see the real you.
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