- Internet & the Web
How to Blog
I've been blogging for 4 or 5 years now and I've learned quite a lot since my days as a newbie blogger. I've actually got two blogs that I maintain: my own personal blog (which is more or less a journal of random thoughts) and a blog for men who have questions about intimacy (I cannot link to it from here as the blog is quite racy and frank with adult vocabulary -- if you want to read it, you can find it via my personal blog). I use different strategies for each blog because I've different goals for each blog. I may get more into that in a future article but for right now I just want to give a few pointers to those of you who may be new to blogging, or those who've been blogging awhile but aren't happy with their results thus far. Try some of these blogging tips.
Get a blog
Obvious enough, right? You don't need your own domain name and you don't need to pay for your blogging platform. I have been using Blogger since I started and I would not change that for anything. Some people prefer WordPress and that's fine, too. I've tried both and I'm more than pleased with Blogger.com
Customize your blog design
You don't need to do this, but it does help. My Blogbunnie Blog Design portfolio has lots of examples of different blog template styles. People like to look at pretty things and blogs are no exceptions. There are very few people whose blogs I read that have dull blog templates. Dull blog templates are boring and if people are searching blogs they are looking to be entertained, not bored. That said, if you're very famous people are unlikely to care about the way your blog looks, as they already know you and want to read what you have to say. But if you're an unknown it's very helpful indeed to have something else to reel them in with initially.
If you're just looking to journal your thoughts, make them interesting, as people can bore themselves at home without your help. Being interesting does not mean you have to be funny or clever or witty; it just means you should be able to say something in a fashion that will keep your reader's interest.
If you're blogging because you just want to share information like recipes and news and things like that, make sure you provide info that people want. And do it consistently within a niche or select group of niches. If you're a mommy blogger this may span everything to do with parenting and that's fine. But if you suddenly start posting about muscle cars six months into your blogging you may confuse or even put off your readers, so do be aware of your audience!
Do not ramble
2000 words is not a blog post; it's a proper headache for your readers. Fascinating though you are, no one wants to read that much in one sitting unless they know you personally and happen to be riveted by the subject matter. Most of us won't be, sorry! If you've got 2000 words break it up over a few days posts.
That said, irregular posting can be frustrating for readers. Try to keep on a schedule of at least 2 or 3 posts per week. Every time I fall behind in posting I notice a lack of readership over a prolonged period of time. If you're a new blogger you can't afford to do that, so try not to.
If people take the time to read your posts and then take the time to comment, you had better be willing to reply to those comments. If not you will likely make those people feel ignored and undervalued, which can result in their finding someone else who better appreciates them. If you're getting 1000 comments per day and you can't reply to all of them, fine -- if you're getting a handful of comments there's no excuse for not interacting with your readers at least on a weekly basis. You don't have to reply immediately but you should try to do so within a day or two if possible.
Visit other blogs
Go visit your readers' blogs if they've got them. Blogging is a give and take, it's not a lecture. If you're not interacting with your regular readers in this fashion, you're either a snob; too famous to care (snob); or utterly clueless about manners and relationships.