I’ve been thinking a great deal about blogging lately – probably a good thing, since my family owns a Blog Publishing biz and I have 14 of my own. Like everything I’ve ever done in my life, I’ve been learning as I go along – and, yes, over a year into the venture, I’m still learning. Learning’s a good thing, so I’m happy.
Anyway, below are the ABC’s of Blogging as I see it. They’re just some observations I’ve made from blogging, myself, and from seeing others do it. I’m not claiming to nail all of them – in fact, as I was working on the post I’d often think, “Oops, need to do that…” and ”Ummm, I never do that..”
A. Affiliates – if you want to recommend a book, read it first…a movie, see it first…a coffee, drink it first.
B. Be honest. Not only with your facts, but with your feelings. If you’re dead-on for the war, say so. Don’t worry about visitors who may be turned off by your feelings. If you’re dead-on against it, say so. Again, don’t worry about turning people away. Think about it – if they’re the sort of people who’d abandon someone for having different views, do you really want them hanging around anyway? Go after the ones who appreciate and applaud all views – even those different from their own – they’re the most interesting people!
C. Comments? Don’t stress over them. If you don’t get many, it’s not a biggie. Different people in different niches comment more than others. It’s funny, with all of my blogs – I get tons of more e-mail than I do comments. Fortunately, I LOVE e-mail – love getting it, love responding to it. Most of the time, though, the thoughts are so fantastic I wish like mad they’d leave them in the comments, too, so everyone could read them!
D. Don’t try to be an imitation of someone else – let your personality and originality shine through. They’re the best things you have going, show them off to the point of strutting. Afraid that people won’t get you? Face it, some won’t – but many more will. And even the ones who don’t will keep coming back and trying if you keep things interesting. They’ll see it as a challenge…maybe even a game they look forward to!
E. Okay, this peeve’s a pet. Put your e-mail address in plain view! Afraid of spam? Manage it. Overwhelmed by contact? Handle it. Afraid of people? Get out of blogging. Blogging’s all about people connecting with people. If you don’t want to be “bothered” by your readers, don’t bother them! (Sorry for the bold – but I’ve had to search one time too often for e-mail addresses.)
F. Frequently post. The more often you do something, the easier it becomes. A lot of people tell me, “I want a blog but I don’t know what to say..” My response? You’re talking now – you can do it then. The trick is to keep at it. Every post doesn’t have to be a work of brilliance – thanks be to God on the truth of that phrase!
G. Try to stay on top of grammar problems. I’ll admit, snap happens – sometimes a : will come out when you needed a ” or you’ll type to when you know full well a second o was called for. (By the way, a quickie: “Too” is the the word that can be used interchangably with also or as well….”My favorite actress is Keira Knightley, but I like Angelina Jolie, too.” That’s two beautiful actresses and I linked to one of them. I don’t have an Angelina blog to link to….I have a Keira one, and I’d like an Angelina one, too!)
Check up on yourself – but having said that, let me re-emphasize yourself. Don’t go grammar policing other people’s blogs – uncool. Some people are typing in a language that isn’t their native language….I’d like to see me typing in Spanish or French! I’d be able to say good day, good night, and I love you. Short blog.
H. Be Helpful – try to actually serve a purpose. Whether you have a save the world fixation that no one can talk you down from (I see you out there, my kindred spirit..) or not, be helpful to someone other than just yourself. Self-servers can be seen coming a mile away, which is good because it gives you plenty of time to run in the other direction.
I. Include links and credit when necessary. Treat other people’s info as you’d want your own treated – we’d want credit, a link, and name-dropping that left a thud!
J. Just keep going. DON’T STOP AND DON’T SLOW DOWN. When you take that first week off, the next one’s easier…then the next one’s the easiest. Before you know it, you’re working on your Patriot’s Day post – and your last post was about New Year’s Resolutions. Just talk. Just share. Just post. And Just keep going.
K. Keep it legal, baby. Keep it all above board (as in the legal board). Legal headaches are headaches you don’t want – the asprins cost way too much.
L. Link Leak. What’s link leak? This is Link Leak>>>>
M – Z = Tomorrow! Why? For one thing, to break up the post so you don’t have to read for two forevers….for another, Q’s proving Quite problematic.
P.S. If you have any questions about blogging – e-mail me at Joi @ selfhelpdaily.com.