Sunday, June 5, 2011

a few blogging pointers.

I feel like I've been around long enough.
So here's a nice big list of pointers from me and a few other bloggers.
Hope it helps!

1. You WILL get better. I promise.
When you start, don't expect to be automatically good at it. It takes a while to develop a unique style and voice in your writing.
But if you stick with it, you'll improve.

2. Readers are more important than Followers.
I know it's tempting to do the whole "Follow me and I'll follow you" jazz, but it's really not worth it. People who follow you through that, might not actually read what you write. And don't expect them to comment either.
Don't get discouraged. People will follow you if they like what you have to say.

3. It's alright to be a bit different.
I've admitted things on my blog that I would've never told anyone in person.
I've found that bloggers embrace uniqueness. It makes things they post more interesting.

4. Write because you want to write. 
There's no point putting in the effort of blogging if you don't actually enjoy doing it.
Don't do it only because you think it's going to get you famous or make you rich. Most people who write because of that quit after the first few months.
Blog for yourself. Do it because you genuinely like doing it.

5. Comment on other blogs.
People aren't going to find your blog just because you want them to. It just won't happen.
If you want to get noticed, make an effort to go blog hopping. Look at other blogs that you like and make relevant comments. This gets your link out in the open, and will get more people to look at your writing.


6. Quality over quantity. (Contributed by Phil and Ted)
Focus on writing for quality, not quantity. 5-10 great posts each month is better than an "okay" post everyday. With that said, though, not every post is your absolute best, so you need to find a comfortable standard where you feel like your post is good enough for your blog.

7. Replying to comments on your blog is key.  (Contributed by Phil and Ted)
Reply to every comment on your blog. This helps your readers to learn who the writer is, and encourages them to comment and return to your blog.


8. Have a good layout. (Contributed by Phil and Ted)
Make your blog easy to navigate. Don't hide important things or your followers gadget at the bottom. However, don't put to much in the top, either. The sidebar is best for gadgets. Consider if you really need every gadget on your blog. If it isn't helping your readers, and it is there because you think it looks cool, it is probably slowing your load time down.

9. Autoplayed music drives people away. (Contributed by Dirtycowgirl)
Don't have instant music. It's highly irritating and very presumptuous to think that readers share your taste in music.

10. Please, no adverts. (Contributed by Dirtycowgirl)
Unless you have a well established blog with thousands of readers there is really no point in adverts. Three posts and ten adverts is not good. Plus they make your blog slow to load and you look like you're blogging for the income. It's a hobby not a job.

11. Think about what is necessary. (Contributed by iZaynab)
If you don't need it don't post it, as in Widgets. Don't add a million game apps in you sidebar. If the reader wanted to play games they would be on Miniclip.  {Unless you have nothing in your bar ~ Cause it will L A G your page }

12. You will be judged by what your blog looks like. (Contributed by iZaynab)
Please pay attention to the aesthetics of your blog ~ Just like your pictures, people will judge you based on what your layout looks like. Don't choose colors that are too bold. Don't choose patterns that are too wild. Don't choose typefaces that are too hard to read.

13. Give credit where credit is due. (Contributed by iZaynab)
Source your pictures and content and always link back to other blogs if you get an idea or inspiration from them. You do N O T wanna deal with going back to re-link pictures cause one person got mad for you not giving them proper credit.

14. Write your own content. (Contributed by Leah)
NEVER copy. Make your own blog posts.. based on your own experiences, your own thoughts.. your own words. It is what makes your blog your own.

15. Actually read things you comment on. (Contributed by Leah)
Try to read before you comment. Skip-readers.. Those who leave comments, just for the sake of having their links out in the open. Try to read and understand the posts. 

16. Keep it simple. (Contributed by Leah)

21 comments:

Fang said...

Two and three are really major guys, pay attention!

Rachel said...

I used to be really into the "you follow me and I'll follow you" thing, but I soon realized it was comments that actually made me happy.

Now, it's more like "You comment on my post and I'll comment on your post."

I think that works better.

Phil and Ted said...

I think these are also important:

6. Focus on writing for quality, not quantity. 5-10 great posts each month is better than an "okay" post everyday. With that said, though, not every post is your absolute best, so you need to find a comfortable standard where you feel like your post is good enough for your blog.

7. Reply to every comment on your blog. This helps your readers to learn who the writer is, and encourages them to comment and return to your blog.

8. Make your blog easy to navigate. Don't hide important things or your followers gadget at the bottom. However, don't put to much in the top, either. The sidebar is best for gadgets. Consider if you really need every gadget on your blog. If it isn't helping your readers, and it is there because you think it looks cool, it is probably slowing your load time down.

Hope those also help,

- Phil

dirtycowgirl said...

Agreed....and

9. Don't have instant music. Highly irritating and very presumptuous to think that readers share your taste in music.

10. Unless you have a well established blog with thousands of readers there is really no point in adverts. Three posts and ten adverts is not good. Plus they make your blog slow to load and you look like you're blogging for the income. It's a hobby not a job.

Furree Katt said...

I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING! (including the added points in the above comments)
i hate it when people get annoyed that they have less followers right when they start blogging. it takes time and good quality writing to gain readers.

these are going to be super duper helpful to new bloggers. yay, Fiona! ♥

iZaynab said...

S U P E R agree ~
Aha iWas going to write #9.
Please do not do that - ___ -

11. If you don't need it don't post it, as in Widgets. Don't add a million game apps in you sidebar. If the reader wanted to play games they would be on Miniclip. { Unless you have nothing in your bar ~ Cause it will L A G your page }.

12. Please pay attention to the aesthetics of your blog ~ Just like your pictures, people will judge you based on what your layout looks like. Don't choose colors that are too bold. Don't choose patterns that are too wild. Don't choose typefaces that are too hard to read.

13. Source your pictures and content and always link back to other blogs if you get an idea or inspiration from them. You do N O T wanna deal with going back to re-link pictures cause one person got mad for you not giving them proper credit.

Jodie-Ann said...

I agree with them all :)

Gabi said...

Comment. xP
But really, I agree with these.
I like this blog. The posts are manageable and give me little things to think about.

ZoeWrites said...

This is really helpful! Thankyou. Keep up with the blog!

mayen said...

really nice tip fiona very helpful and I agree with everything you say. I like number 4. a lot. Write because you want to write, blog for yourself.

thanks for this fiona!

Natalie said...

these are great blogging tips for sure. i have 68 followers on my blog, but not very many readers. i used to get really discouraged about that, but then i figured it didn't matter as long as i was happy writing what i wanted to write.

AZ said...

Wow all the tips by fiona are really good! And of course the comment tips are great too! really helpful :)

InnocentlyGreen said...

This is a very good post. I've only started not even a month ago. Some of the tips here I've figured out myself, others I saw differently.

I am a bit unsure about nr 3, as I figured the blog would need to have a sort of consistency, to speak in a certain way of certain things. This got me a little blocked lately. But I will take your advice and see what comes of it :)

Nr 4, well I noticed a lot of bloggers wish to one day have published books and stuff, but I don't. I have written before but never with the intention to become famous or anything like that. So I think that one, along with with nr 2, 5, 7 and 10 I got covered.

Leah said...

So true. I agree with you, Fiona. . especially on the number 2. I used to do that.. during the first month of blogging.. The follow-me-ill-follow-you thing.. And yeah, I'd have to admit that it did work. I gained a lot of followers.. but very few readers...

I'd have to add a few more..

#14. NEVER copy. Make your own blog posts.. based on your own experiences, your own thoughts.. your own words. It is what makes your blog your own.

#15. Try to read before you comment. Skip-readers.. Those who leave comments, just for the sake of having their links out in the open. Try to read and understand the posts.

#16. Keep it simple.

I guess, that's that. :)

ishashime said...

i have to agree with everything, even the tips other people commented. :)

ShuShu said...

Thanks for this! And the first point is sooo true. I wanna get better, but the process.. is just tiring ya know?

Hazel said...

All great tips but I think it takes time for new bloggers to get into their stride and its very easy to fall into the "I'll follow you, you follow me" scenario. In my experience it can be disheartening not having that many readers/followers but I'm slowing getting over that now and just writing for me! I want the unicorn that this comment saved by the way...

Fiona said...

Fang: I would agree that those two are pretty important. [:

Rachel: That's true. I think comments are so great because it lets the blogger know that someone actually read what they had to say.
And that's a really nice feeling.

Phil and Ted: Those are all really good. I'll probably add them to this post.

Dirtycowgirl: I love #9. It irritates me SO much when there's instant music. Ugh.

Furree Katt: Your point on how it takes time to get readers is so true. You have to actually put effort in.

iZaynab: #12 was really good. I can't STAND blogs that have this unlegible font that I have to copy and paste onto a word document to read.

Jodie-Ann: :D

Gabi: Ahahaha.
And thank you for the compliment. [:

ZoeWrites: Thank you! Keep up with yours too, because it's amazing.

Mayen: No problem, and I'm glad you liked it.

Natalie: That's the spirit! :D

AZ: I'm glad that I could help!

Innoncently Green: As in "being a bit different" I don't mean pretending to be some creep that eats weeds on the side of the row.
Different as in being who you actually are, and not being afraid to say what you actually feel.
And I'm like you in the way that I don't really have this huge desire to publish a book. I like writing, but I don't really aim to become famous.

Leah: #15 and 16 are good. I've seen some blog posts that were so complicated that I had to read a paragraph three times because of it's sheer wordiness.

Ishashime: [:

ShuShu: It is a bit tiring, but I think it's all worth it in the end.
It's fun for me to look back at my first few posts and seeing how much I've improved.

Hazel: The comment your unicorn saved is now happily grazing on lush prairie grass in the Safari. You did a good deed. :D
And it really does not feel good to not have that many followers, but everything takes patience. [:

miya said...

Totally agree with everything you said here :) You´re really an inspiration :)

thinkellen said...

These are ALL really good points!

But the biggest one for me is number 2, which I realized in a sudden epiphany just a week ago.

And dirtycowgirl's tip #9 is SO TRUE. Thankfully there are relatively few blogs out there that do it, but the ones that do annoy the cucumbers out of me!

Jade said...

Totally agreed ;D great blog thanks for the tips :)