(Post from 2013)
TA DA! (TWEET, TWEET!) WE MADE IT!
Happy 50th post on this website. I was kind of surprised that it sneaked up on me. But I’ve learned a lot since March 2nd, 2013 and I want to share what I have learned with any would-be writers or bloggers —
10 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging
- Trust yourself. People who are meant to find you will find you, so don’t waste time trying to be someone you’re not. Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman, then always be Batman 😉
- ‘Tag’ your posts. The world is wide and tags really help like-minded people find you. And be open to tagging anything — in the beginning WordPress suggested ‘Mental Health’ for some of my inspiring blogs and that was a great idea I’d never thought of. I also got a ‘re-blog’ link because I mentioned ‘The Simpsons’ once but I’d added a tag for it.
- Stick to a few topics. Catherine Ryan Howard had that advice in her ‘Self-Printed’ book and it has worked well for me. It also guarantees that people who like one post will probably like more down the line.
- Do your own thing but also find out the needs and desires of your audience. I write mostly about how to live an inspirational life, writing, and self publishing. But people really like the inspiring life bit (they like me even more, but that’s just coincidental 😉 ). So I keep that need in mind and try to help people, even a tiny bit, on their journey toward their dreams.
- Post regularly. If I had one tip, this would be it (along with be yourself, be interesting etc). The keys to the kingdom. Catherine Ryan Howard suggested three posts a week but for a long time I was ‘too busy’. But when I got serious about posting more often (I aim for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) then people really started getting interested. I did recently take a ‘birthday week break’ because, well, I’m only human (Skyrim!).
- Get great titles. The number one thing I see when I look at blogs is a lack of inviting titles for posts. Everything doesn’t have to be ‘How To Make A 10 Tips List To Drive Business’ but I see a lot called ‘Blah Blah, Dreary Day’. And maybe that’s great and maybe it’s funny, and maybe it’s only meant to be cathartic, but I’m not that interested. I saw one just called ‘L’ and the first line was ‘I guess this is really happening’, and I had to see the rest of that post. I lot of times I’d pick a title, write the piece and find a better title in one of my lines, more original, more dramatic, and I’d use that.
- Pictures, Links, Ponies — whatever it takes. People respond to great pictures and quotes (at least I do). And links not only promote things you love (like my recent Frank Turner post) but they are also added valve/fun for your fans.
- If you can, proofread your ‘preview’ before you publish. I have found seeing the post in its final form makes catching the error easier (warning: you will still find errors).
- If you Google something and can’t find the post you wanted — jump on that. I was looking for a certain kind of list of ‘how to move to the next level as a writer’ for my Athens Writers Association meeting and I couldn’t find it! So I wrote my own thing to bring to the group and it turned into a very successful post.
- Dream (and think) big. Act successful to be successful. I had no idea I’d have so many followers by my 50th post but I wasn’t put off when I had just one either. I just sent my best, most professional work out into the world and hoped to find a few people who liked it. Thank you all for being so kind as to be part of this wild ride with me. Onward to 100!