I haven’t been blogging for very long but I certainly know more now than when I started. I thought I’d share what I’ve learned. Don’t laugh. I really had to learn some of these.
1. Share. I’d like to think I knew this one before I started blogging, but it was new to apply it to the internet. I find that I make the best connections and most touching friendships when I share with other bloggers and check out their blogs. This one also applies when I share helpful things I have found.
2. The more I write, the more I write. It’s hard to say what inspires me to write. I used to think that I had to sit there and wait for my muse to appear, like a lightbulb going off. I’ve learned, through writing almost daily posts, that the more I write, the more inspiration I find, the more I write and so on. Keeping a blog helps me write more.
3. A blog needs a purpose. When I finally realized this one, things crystallized and it was easier to find topics for posts. For me, my blog serves a purpose. I’m not just blogging for fun (though how much fun would that be!). It’s going to help me become a better author. That purpose helped me stay on track and have good content.
4. Answer every comment. I heard that before I had even started my blog. It makes complete sense to me. If someone took the time and effort to write a comment, the least I can do is answer back even if only to say thank you.
5. Be kind and positive. This I learned after finding a blog that was just full of hatred. Forget swear words, this person was really, really angry…at everything. I looked at the page and felt like I had come into someone’s tsunami of rage. It was awful. For me, the internet is not a place to vent. That blog made such an impression and, for me, it was so unprofessional, that I vowed to say something positive or say nothing at all.
6. Have a back up post ready. I got sick one day and I couldn’t imagine getting out of bed with my head the way it was to post. That’s when I thought: I need to have a couple of back-up posts ready to go (as drafts). One or two, maybe even three. That way, if life happens (and it does) then I can go to one of them and keep the blog alive (gotta feed the thing).
7. Keep the writing light. I don’t want to go to a blog and read massive paragraph after massive paragraph of a PhD dissertation. I figure others don’t either. It’s a blog. I want small, easy paragraphs. So I write like I’m talking to someone and add a funny twist or a picture to give something back.
8. Be patient. This was particularly hard for me because I did a big no-no. I watched those blog stats night and day. Finally, I started to get some perspective. Writing full-time is my goal but it’s not going to happen overnight. I’m working towards that slowly, while keeping my day job. Besides–what’s that old saying?–I can’t control those blog stats and trying will only drive me crazy. Time for a little perspective. I learned to be patient.
9. Be myself. Very tempting to try to emulate what I thought would work, another writing style or another blogging style, rather than staying true to myself. Thank goodness I stayed away from that pitfall. I figure, if I’m meant to write and the books are going to sell, then they will. If they’re not, nothing I can do will change that. Acceptance is key. So I took the honest route and just wrote my way. So much easier!
10. Keep it fun. After all is said and done, I have to enjoy this or I’ll never do it. That’s why I indulge and add posts of my silly doggie and my hubby. Things that I find funny and want to share. They are posts that will probably not add to the stats or the value of the blog, but they’ll help me keep blogging because they’re fun.
What about you? Did you learn something in blogging you want to share? I still have to learn how to back up this thing…Backing up a blog is really important…but a topic for another post. Phew!