I am new to the world of blogging and at the time of writing this particular post have only posted 4 others. Over the last few days I have scoured the internet with keen interest in the hope of discovering what constitutes a good blog and how can I become a better blogger?
It seems there can sometimes be a certain snobbery attached to blogging as some writers find the medium to be somewhat lacking. However, issues with grammar, spelling and punctuation aside blogging provides an amazing opportunity to get yourself heard. Whilst not always able to stand up to the scrutinsation of professional writers blogging can often prove to be interesting and entertaining enough to attract a following of regular readers.
Once you have started your blog of course you would like people to read it….it can be a lonely world blogging when the only person reading your posts is yourself. Seasoned bloggers offer the following advice to capture the attention of potential readers:
- Find a style and tone which fits appropriately with the theme of your blog.
- Try and post often. People wont be encouraged to come back to a blog that never updates.
- It’s a good idea to allow your readers the opportunity to be able to comment on your posts. Not all bloggers favour this feature however, its well worth considering as it enables you the opportunity to interact with your audience.
- Do make an effort to keep an eye on comments as spammers often use this as an opportunity to generate free marketing opportunities so ensure you have the ability to delete unwanted or offensive comments.
- Try to be a little ‘fearless’ if you have a strong opinion on something don’t be scared to share it. Do your best to stick to the facts and try to leave personal attacks at the door but remember its YOUR blog.
- Your posts might not always make you popular but you have to decide, are you writing a blog to share your opinions or are you ‘trying’ to be liked?….see my earlier post on ‘Is it really so important to be liked?’
- Remember you can’t please all the people all the time but if your blogs stir a passion in people, whether they agree with you or not and opens up the opportunity for discussion and debate then surely that’s what a good blog is all about….isnt it?
All the widgets and gimmicks in the world are no replacement for an interesting read. Whilst the theory of writing your thoughts down appears on the face of it to to be quite straightforward this isn’t always the case when you try to put this into practice so here are a few tips I have come across to help you in finding your ‘voice’….
- Try and imagine you are talking to someone, possibly a friend or colleague and write with that person in mind.
- Take time to read other blogs that share the same writing style and interests as you. Reading other blogs really helps to judge the length that posts should be (im still learning) whilst also helping to give you food for thought and interesting ideas that will hopefully offer you some inspiration (be careful not to plagiarise).
Personally I tend to get ideas from reading the newspaper, magazines and from my general observations on the day-to-day goings on in life. Often just having a random chat with friends and colleagues will get me thinking and it’s those thoughts that are stored away in the back of my mind which will hopefully be used as inspiration for future blogs. Anything that captures your attention long enough to make you want to stop and read it will in theory also be of interest to others.
Something I hope to do in the future is to have a guest blogger. There are many benefits to doing this with one of the main ones being it takes the pressure away from yourself to create a constant stream of posts. We all have weeks where there really isnt a lot happening or maybe you are suffering from ‘blogstipation’ (see blog abbreviations below) therefore having a guest blogger can add a different area of interest for your readers and could also create the possibility that you in turn may become a guest blogger for them some day.
When entering the blogosphere you may well be confused by some of the abbreviations used so I have copied a few below to help other newbies such as myself to understand what some of them mean….
- Blogroll – this isn’t bogroll misspelt its a list of blogs that a blogger recommends.
- Blogstipation – this sounds a little uncomfortable but apparently refers to when you need to blog but just cant get the words out.
- Blogorrhea – this refers to a long boring post
- Bleg – to use your blog to beg and plead.
- Hitnosis – when you hit refresh repeatedly to see if your hit counter or comments have increased (can you imagine doing such a thing?) 😉
- Blogroach – a commenter who is rude when commenting on others posts
- Blogorific – aka Blogtastic – apparently this means terrific.
- Blurker – a blog reader that doesnt post anything but lurks around quietly.
- Reciprocal Links – aka link love – you link to mine and I will link to yours – this helps with search rankings
- Blogstorm – when a large amount of activity is generated due to a controversial post aka Blog Swarm.
- Blogsnob – it means refusing to blog comments from people who are “not friends”.
- Blogophobia – a fear of blogs and blogging.
- Bloggerel – when the same opinion is repeatedly posted online
- Blaudience – your blog audience
- Blook – a book created from a blog
- Blammer – Blog Spammer
- Blogiday – this means you are taking a holiday from blogging perhaps brought on by suffering from a touch of Blogstipation 🙂
After my brief delve into researching what makes a good blogger it seems that its important to write about things that capture YOUR interest, write often, try different things and don’t be afraid to break the rules occasionally, nothing is set in stone in the world of blogging so don’t feel you have to stick to what you think people want to read. It’s your blog afterall so enjoy the freedom of being able to express yourself freely in a world where your refreshingly allowed to do so.
The most important advice of all is enjoy it…..if you don’t enjoy writing you can’t expect anyone to enjoy reading what you write.
I will leave you with this thought….
The greatest compliment you can receive from someone who has read your blog is that you inspired them to create their own. I aspire to receive such a compliment one day.