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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

[NBI] 8 Blogging Tips Which They Don't Tell You

I’ve wanted to put together something like this for AGES. In fact, since about 5 minutes after I started my blog. I thought it might be somewhat arrogant for me to post it then, but I think I’ve matured and learned enough now to put together a rough list of some of the pieces of advice which have really helped me in my past year and a half of blog-discovery. I’m not a blog expert, by any means, but I’ve been doing it a while and I think I can probably claim to be a journeyman at least. I can’t pretend it also isn’t inspired by Syp and his great work with the Newbie Bloggers Initiative, and Hunter, Gank and Ravious’ latest posts on the subject. So, here they are - a short list of the lesser heard (but no less important) blogging tips.
  1. You aren’t going to be rolling in “innernet mo-nays!” within months of setting up your Google adwords account. When was the last time you clicked on an advert on a webpage? Exactly. The fact is that unless you’re getting hits in the many thousands daily, you aren’t going to be raking in the cash. That isn’t to say it can’t be done; just don’t expect to be living off the income within your first few posts.
  2. Posting your link to Twitter, Facebook, forums and other blogs is a good way to get exposure – that’s true. But having other people do it is better. Keep putting out funny, insightful and interesting content and encourage your readers to share it among their network. Start some discussion across media platforms – that’s where the real traffic comes from. Tooting your own horn is all well and good, but it is far more effective when other people toot it for you.
  3. Don’t be surprised if, after your initial blogging-frenzy, you run out of steam. A lot of blogs disappear under the waves after a month or so – there are vast blogger/wordpress graveyards occupied by good intentioned blogs which have dwindled and faded away. When I first started, I was posting almost every day, after a while I realised I simply couldn’t keep up that kind of pace, and had to rein it in and set myself a more realistic posting schedule. Don’t worry if you feel you need a bit of a break from writing, the internet (bar impending zombie-apocalypse) isn’t going anywhere.
  4. If you do have a bit of a break (we all need it sometimes) try to avoid popping in for an “update” post: “Hi guys, sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I’m still alive!” The fact is that people won’t usually notice a few weeks break if you don’t point it out! I know that sounds a little cold, but it’s the truth. These “update” posts are usually rushed and without any substantive content or purpose, and no content is better than bad content.
  5. Remember that once you release something onto the internet, it will not go away. After all, what has been seen cannot be unseen! Everything you write will have ripples – some bigger than others. So while I and other writers might encourage new bloggers to write for themselves and enjoy the freedom, that doesn’t supersede the concept of being measured, reasonable and realistic.
  6. With the above point in mind, don’t be afraid to be controversial when you feel it is necessary. As long as you aren’t inflammatory then the reasonable viewing public, even if they don’t agree with your point, will respect you for it.
  7. Even if you follow the above two points, not everyone will like you. Be prepared to deal with trolls and flamers. Some of them might even call you a "haughty windbag" - a moniker I’m actually quite fond of.
  8. For the love of god, use correct grammar. If you noticed the hanging preposition at the end of point 7 then you’re on the right track. You don’t need to be a grammer-nazi, but at least avoid 1337 speek and common spelling mistakes like your/you’re, were/we’re. Also, please don’t use the phrase “I could care less”, it is wrong, and it makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty lemon zester.

3 comments:

  1. Haha, number 8 was definitely my favorite. "I could care less" is one of those things that always aggravates me. Anyway, these are all great points to take to heart if you are about to start a blog.

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  2. The slightest bit of criticism = hater.  How can I write a blog entirely devoted to something and not mention the bad points?  Oh well.  If there is any place in the gw2 community that is full of haters....

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  3. Haha this is awesome. thank you

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