Yeah! I’ve recently been awarded two blog awards! Today I’m celebrating the Beautiful Blogger Award by talking about Blogging Basics. Thanks SO much to Bridget Whelan for nominating me. Bridget’s creative writing class (my first), was a real catalyst for my writing career. She currently teaches Creative Writing Classes in Brighton and London. A Good Confession, her first novel, is a cracking good read and check out her website http://bridgetwhelan.com/ Muse, News and Views – it’s packed with writing tips exercises, updates on competitions, all peppered with a good dose of Irish anecdote and humor.
The Beautiful Blogger Award allows you to write either 7 things about yourself or 7 things you know. Bridget wrote about 7 books that influenced her. http://bridgetwhelan.com/2012/11/20/beautiful-blogger-thats-me-seven-things-you-didnt-know-you-wanted-to-know/
I’ve decided to write 7 blogging basics I’ve learned of the past year. A big thanks to everyone from the Bloggers Helping Bloggers Group on LinkedIn who have been so supportive, particularly Sherryl Perry who manages the blog sharing section.
7 Blogging Basics for the Beautiful Blogger Award
1. Quality Content. Content is King. Kick-ass content. You’ve heard them both a million times. Whatever your style of writing, you need to grab the readers attention in the first couple of sentences. Once you have it, whatever your style, be creative rather than formulaic. Add some heart, and make it personal. Your readers want to now a little bit about who you are and what makes you tick. Most of all they need a reason to return. Rich content will bring your readers back to your blog time and again, whatever the subject. Make every word count. Check out Leora Wenger‘s resource filled post on creativity.
2. Relevance. Your blog is a reflection of who you are, your brand, company or platform. Keep your content relevant for your readers. If someone’s coming to your blog for writing tips, they don’t want to read how to change a spark plug unless it’s part of a yarn. Some bloggers have a variety of blogs under one heading. But they need to be relevant. e.g. Jeri Walker-Bickett has a great blog mix: Indie Interviews, book reviews and writing tips. They’re distinctly different posts, but all relevant to her subject matter. Treat your taste buds at Susan Cooper’s blog – different subjects with a common thread. If you’re all over the map, people won’t have a clue who you are or what you’re about.
3. Reply to Comments. Always reply to comments. If a reader’s taken the time to read your blog and make a comment, reply to that person. Its simply good manners.
4. Write, then write again. Do you always feel inspired? No, neither do I. Freewriting is the best way to limber up your writing muscles, whatever the purpose. Pick up a pencil or a keyboard and write non-stop for 5-10 minutes without thinking. Your subconscious will take over. At the very least you’ll end up knowing what subject you want to write about.Unless you sit down and write, nothing will ever come up on that screen.
5. Look Under the Hood. Learn about SEO, keywords and plug-ins. Unless you have a webmaster, you need at least a basic understanding of tools that help your blog to run smoothly and increase it’s ranking. I’ve learned so much from Leora , Sherryl and Patricia in this area over the past year. There’s lots of resources out there. Learn from the best. A great website design is an important way to catch people’s eye, so make sure it’s the image you want to project. Will it make up for not having quality content? You know the answer to that one.
6. Choose your Social Media. Using social media is essential to get your work out there, but keep it simple. Choose one or two. Unless you do nothing in life but market your blog and sleep a few hours a night, you’ll be spread yourself too thin, and your efforts will be ineffective.
7. Share the Wealth, Share the Love. The internet is all about sharing information right? So think collaboration not competition. Think Guest Posts. Bloggers need support from other bloggers as well as readers. Make connections. Share information and goodwill with your online friends and you’ll find it comes back tenfold. Mention them in your posts (be sure to give back links), reciprocate comments, share their posts on social media sites. Thanks to Sherryl Perry I use CommentLuv for my comments which gives a link to the commentors last post. That gives them exposure on my site, and I can click on their blog to reciprocate the comment. Win-win.
Now it’s my turn to nominate the next Beautiful Bloggers. Hop on over to check out these great sites and congratulate the new nominees.
Doreen Pendgracs Doreen’s two blogs are a delicious blend of chocolate, writing and travel.
Rolando Garcia Writer of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, romance and horror.
Patricia Weber A Courage coach for the reluctant marketer. For introverts and extroverts alike.
Adrienne Smith Internet, affiliate and network marketer, and resource for blogging and social media.
Tasha Turner Social Media coach and writer of Jewish Vampires!
Billy Rat Chitwood Blogger and Novelist.
What would you add to a list of basics for blogging? Come join the discussion, and please share this post on your favorite social media.