Saturday, September 10, 2016

Blogging Tips

My friend, A, wants to start a blog. I thought I'd post some tips to get her started.

It helps to think how/why you want to blog: advertise your business? show off your work? talk about a hobby? share recipes? keep an online journal? rant? review books/movies? all of the above?

Picking a name. If using your blog as a platform for business, it's best if you use your name as your brand. As much as I loved The Pony Express, it didn't make it easy for people to find me. Btw, that blog is still out there, but a reader will be re-directed here.

There are lots of blogging platforms. I like Blogger. It's easy to use. Readers don't have to have Gmail addresses to read or comment. You can schedule blog posts ahead of time. (I don't always do this). You can schedule your blog posts for a certain time of the day. (If I've schedule a post, I use 4:30 am)

Try to blog every day or on a schedule your blog readers will come to know. Some people blog week days only as no one really reads blogs on the weekend. Some blog Mon. Wed. Fri. However you choose to blog, be consistent. Missing an odd day every now and then is no big deal, but you'll lose readers if there's no fresh content.

I've found it helpful to have certain days be about certain topics. It's a way of always having new content on the blog. Wednesday is Wordless Wednesday, where I post a picture or cartoon. The wordless refers to the fact I keep my mouth shut for once. I follow the meme Throwback Thursday (#TBT) posting memories from long ago. Another meme was Friday Five (e.g. five favorite movies, songs, things about me) that evolved into The Friday Five Good Things as a way for me to focus on positive things. Lots of memes to use This Day in History, Quote of the Day, Joke of the Day.

Try to always include a picture with your blog post. Pictures are eye catching and make the post more interesting. Imnsho.

Try to use copyright free images. Your own pictures are best. You can find copyright free images at The Graphics Fairy or The Morgue File

Include blogs your follow on your blog roll. Most often they'll reciprocate (you can always ask if you're not too shy). It helps drive blog traffic.

Build a dialogue with your readers. If they post a question, answer them either on the blog. Or use their question as a new blog topic.

Less than 10% of readers will leave a comment. Don't be discouraged. Either they don't know what to say, are too shy. Look at your blog stats, you'll see people are reading. It takes time to build a tribe.

In your blog comment settings, you can moderate comments before you post them to your blog. It does help keep out internet trolls. I haven't had issues with that so I don't  moderate comments. Only if the blog post is several days old.

You can restrict your blog to only people you know. Through settings add their email addresses. I don't do this.

Any setting you make, can be undone if you change your mind.

Include a LinkWithin widget on your blog. It will show random, past posts. Might entice new readers to stay on your blog longer.

Ditto popular posts.

Your blog is  your home. You make the rules.

Have fun!

Anyone else have tips for A?


  1. My main advice is - do it for yourself, not for comments or page views. If you find it becoming a burden, stop doing it for a while, or for good.

    My minor advice - not everyone with a successful blog does this, but I like to reply to any comments individually.

  2. Great points! (I didn't know about the LinkWithin widget, thanks!)