Wednesday, October 22, 2008

5 tips for blogging that I do not follow

This post is in response to various books, blogs, and websites that give tips on blogging.

1. Stay on topic

I have read, in several places, that it is best to only have one topic for your blog and to stick to it. This is probably good advice; though I'm not very good at following this bit of advice. I could create multiple blogs for each topic that I want to write about but the thing is I am a lazy person and would rarely update each blog. I occasionally feel like writing stuff, but it is not generally on topic. I write when I feel like writing, on what I feel like writing about (more often on forums or as comments at other blogs/sites). I do use labels for navigation so if a person were interested in only on topic but not the others they could just hit that label. If I were to write multiple blogs the updates of the various blogs would be very irregular.

2. Keep it short 250 words or less

There are several reasons for this. People have short attention spans, long posts take much longer to compose, short posts are more memorable, etc. I'm not that good at this. I am a slow typist and look up additional information via books and the web (fact checking is good) so writing a blog post takes me awhile. I often want to write more, most things I can think about writing about can have a lot more written about them than I feel like writing. I do mean a lot. At least one of my blog posts, at one time not sure if it is on this blog or not (too lazy to look), is over 10 pages long (if put on open office/printed out) and a few others are/were nearly that long as well.

3. Update regularly

This makes sense, a regularly updated blog will have more readers, especially regular readers (the best type). I'm not that good at this either. Blogging is a hobby of sorts that I just do when I feel like it. I would like regular readers but I don't go online everyday, feel like writing something, and am not that good at scheduling a hobby.

4. Make friends and leave comments

There are several ways to promote a blog/get readers. I would like readers but I'm lazy. Submitting it to various search engines will get some readers, but not all that many. Most will come for just one post and never come back (one post on this blog receives something like 80% of the hits, according to statcounter, and that is not a well written or even very interesting post). If you write interesting, informative, thought provoking, somewhat opinionated, and well written (good grammar and spelling) posts it will keep readers coming back, but generally won't draw them to the site in the first place. To get real repeat readers, you have to advertise, draw them in. I'm not really that good at doing that. Submitting your blog to blog communities like Blog Carnival will draw readers. The best method though is to make good comments on other people's blogs and in forums. If your posts on various forums and their blogs are good they are likely to come to and make comments on your blog. Basically the point of this post is you have to network and make friends, which is not something I'm good at. I'm on a social networking site, care2, and have only a relative as a friend. I had tried other social networks like myspace but did not have any friends in them either. I generally comment anonymously on reviews and blogs and sometimes use one of my other aliases.

5. Link a lot
I've seen in various places that you should link a lot. This does make sense. If you write a post that relates to another post you've written it makes sense to link to it. After they read the one post they'll go to the other. Linking to other blogs and websites will cause people to back track to your site. The most important and best links though are to additional information and annotations. Having good sources and references for your post will give notability to your writing and cause the readers to view you as a good source of information. I occasionally do link to other sites but not that often and I rarely list my sources of information, though they are reliable. I do occasionally do so - for example if I state a percentage or statistic I will generally say where I obtained that information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i prefer your blog to other people's who supposedly follow these rules. Why bother... rule 1:

Write something interesting.