Blog Advice

Originally made as a post on my blog after I read Dont’s “Get Known” guide but decided to post it here instead.

Was thinking we could have a thread only for advice, and then maybe throw it all together into one super-mega Blog Advice thread. Write your own advice, or disagree with previous ones if you think otherwise. These are just some I came up with, and no one is perfect.

Introduce yourself

Introduce yourself on Blog Warhammer. Everyone there is a blogger which can give good feedback. Do however write a few good posts before you introduce yourself so that people might get a measure of you. A “hello world” post is not enough. If people just have one post – but a really good one – on their blog, I will subscribe, and others probably also will. Quality > quantity, always.

Comment!

Comment on other people’s blogs, because people who read and and write comments on blogs are usually very much into reading blogs, and they will definitely notice and visist the link in your comment. If the blog owner don’t know about your blog yet he will follow up on your link (I know I do), and maybe add it to his blogroll.

Think however about what you write. If you write a comment with as much substance as a bag of air people might get the wrong impression of your blog. If you write a long, interesting and argumentative comment people might visit and subscribe to your blog since they liked what they saw.

Space out your post

I’m using a simple “one post per day” formula, which I think is pretty good for me. Sometimes I can only come up with a post every second day, and sometimes I can write several on one day, which means I can save the extra ones and post them on days when the inspiration just won’t come. It’s better to spread out 5 posts over 5 days instead of 5 posts on one day and then none on the other 4 – inactivity can get people to unsubscribe. Some people are overflowing with creativity all the time and can post several post per day, all the time, which is nice if you can maintain it. It’s ok to throw in some “fluff” post once in a while if you have frequent well-thought posts.

Do however space out your post properly, so that the really interesting post that you want readers to pay attention to don’t get pushed down by the “oh and by the way” post you just had to write an hour afterwards.

Everything becomes easier the more you do it

While I had trouble coming up with new posts in the beginning nowadays I can form entire posts in my head while I’m in the shower. Everyone starts on the same rock and it just get easier the more you do it, never harder. Coming up with posts, writing, spelling, grammar, titles, images, etc.

Are you having trouble with spelling and grammar? Always check the spelling in a program like Word and pay attention to your most common errors, I am definitely better at spelling and grammer now than I was when I began blogging. Further, just writing correctly is not always enough. Read a lot of books to get the “feel” in which they are written. My English (which is my secondary language) was pretty horrible back in school, but when I started reading all fantasy books in English (because having to wait a year for the latest in a series to get translated, and paying double the price on top of it, was not that fun) my reading and writing improved from bad to, what I would like to think, really good. Who need school anyway? Of course it didn’t happen overnight, it was a slow process over many years that I never noticed until I compared my reading and writing to other peoples.

Be open to critisism

Some criticism are valid, most are junk, but never instantly reject all of it because of your ego. Never censor just because they don’t agree with you. It might save you from some “bad publizity” right now, but it will always come back to you. Maybe I have been lucky but so far I have only censored one comment.

Don’t get full of yourself just because you have X amount of visitors per day. Maybe someday I will earn my own Blog-O-Steria Achievement Badge, but hopefully it will never happen. However if I did recieve one I would put it up in sight so that it always remind me that I’m just a guy who write stuff on the interwebs.

Don’t write just to get more visitors

Now I put “just” in there for a reason. All bloggers love visitors (if they tell you otherwise they are lying), because visistors is a visible indicator that we do something right, but don’t just write to get new visistors, write also for yourself. Write with a passion and it will show

I’d like to think of blogging as a kind of journalism, but without the satanic editors, catchy titles (Man Bites Dog), and generally writing only want we think everyone wants to read. What I do think blogging has in command with journalism is the basic fundament: sparking debate and change. We might not cruise in the same leages as NYT writers who expose corrupt politicians, but we do have something to say about the game we play and we want to help make it better. Or atleast better in our own view, because even if everyone is disagreeing with us we love debate. A lot of the blog readers are the “silent” types, who only stop to comment if they think it’s a very interesting topic, so I measure the success of my blog in the amount of comments, not in page views, subscribers or visistors. If a post get a lot of comments, linked a lot, and generally spark an uproar (or even better: change) it was a perfect post.