This is post number 200 on this blog. Never thought I’d get this far.
But what with getting 50 followers and hitting the one year anniversary of blogging not long ago, I think I’ve done enough thanking for now (that is to say, another post of gratitude may seem superficial at this point). So instead of extending my gratitude to whoever reads this, I’ll instead impart what little wisdom I’ve gained from blogging thus far. It isn’t much, but it helped me have a far more successful blog than I ever thought I’d have – well, when your expectations are zero, anything and every response surprises you. So maybe what I’ve learned may help you too…it probably won’t, granted, but what the hell.
- Include pictures/photographs in your posts. People like looking at visuals more than they do a wall of text. A lesson I should perhaps take to heart more sincerely. However, I have noticed that I get a lot of “likes” and subscriptions driven from posts in photography. And make your blog look good. Contrary to what you learned as a child, looks do matter.
- Post as much as you can on current events, while it’s still actually current. Another one I should consider more seriously. But yeah, when something big happens in the world, people are prone to google it, and believe it or not (I certainly didn’t), your blog post will actually show up in results. It’s a great way to get a lot of hits on your blog. And if you’ve done a good job with the post, maybe some of those unsuspecting viewers will become regular frequenters.
- Know what you want to post. Especially when posting on current events, keep in mind what you’re trying to convey. It’s easy to want to recount the whole current event, but remember that people are reading your post not for news (they have way more reliable sources for that) but for an opinion. So don’t skirt around the issue too much. Get to the issue, and drive home your points early and often.
- Write professionally. This may be something I prefer more than others, but I think it really comes down to common sense. While it may be tempting to resort to slang and be informal, you’re not impressing anyone with your cringe-worthy spelling and grammar. Blogging is all about impressions, and the better you write, the more people will actually want to read your material. No one wants to read the work of a grammatically inept fifth grader, so don’t make yourself come off as one. That being said…
- Be humorous. Be it jabs at political parties, mocking historical events, or a deadpan delivery, everyone likes a bit of humor. It can be hard to do considering I just said to be as professional as possible, so it takes some practice to get right. If you are going to resort to informal slang, do it only to make a joke. It’s difficult, which is why I don’t do it much, but pimping aint ez amirite? A couple of my friends are really good at it. Put it this way: of the handful of posts from friends I actually remember, humour is the reason I remember them. So add a healthy dose of comedy to your posts, while maintaining as much professionality as you can. Practice helps.
- On the relative length of posts…it’s up to you. Some posts are meant to be short, while some are meant to be long. Because it’s your content, it’s your decision.
- As much as you can, keep it interesting. Titles, pages, posts, everything. If you’re like me and have no creative prowess, then use some of these other suggestions to help you along. No one’s going to read something boring. So be opinionated, controversial, and honest – the interesting part of it will naturally follow.
- Swearing – I don’t do it much, because it detracts from the professionality. So when I do use some language, it’s to convey a very strong opinion. Use it very sparingly, and only to emphasize something greatly.
- Being spontaneous v. regular in your posts…again, it’s up to you. I like to introduce as much variety as possible in my blog, but it’s really your decision. Once you have something going, stick to it. Or change it up to keep it fresh. Up to you.
- Nothing helps with writing as much as reading does. Counterintuitive perhaps, but true nonetheless. Read, a lot.
- When deciding how much to care about the opinions of others when you write…it’s a balance, and really varies depending on your content. Maybe I’ll post on it soon.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to be yourself when you write. It’s cliche, but when it comes down to it, you’re writing more for yourself, not for others. It’s why you started your blog. So just stay true to yourself, and don’t try to be something that isn’t uniquely you. You aint ’bout that life.
Keep in mind that my blog is far from what you can call successful, so this advice may be worthless for you. But it has helped me get this blog to where it is today, which I don’t think is too, too bad. If you try any of it, I hope it helps!