Better Blogging: Things I’ve Learned

1. Preach at yourself. Change those inspirational exhortations from “you” to “I”. Example: “God is present in the little things; you just have to open your eyes” — that sentence is more relatable and impactful when written this way, instead: “God is present in the little things; I just have to open my eyes.”

This is a phenomenal little tip; I don’t understand how it works, but it *does*! Shannon Popkin over at Tiny Paragraphs taught me this, when I submitted to her Yellow Ball feature. It totally goes against the way I write naturally but she is so right—it really does have a more powerful and personal effect when you write in the first person.

2. Keep it short. I actually learned this back when I tried vlogging—videos under two minutes got a lot more views than the longer ones, and as a viewer of vlogs myself, I rarely watched more than the first two minutes. It had to be reeeally engaging to keep me past that point.

Blog posts are the same: if they’re not engaging enough and/or if my readers are short on time, the majority of my writing gets lost. When I write, I assume all readers will be short on time, so I try to write for two minutes of reading or less. Of course, sometimes the subject doesn’t allow for that, but usually, it’s *also* engaging enough to compensate.

3. Don’t try to write if there’s a poopy diaper within smelling distance. That is to say, don’t try to write during distractions! If I can smell a dirty diaper while I’m writing—and worse, if the smell wafts in and out, my thoughts will likely be fragmented, hurried, and inarticulate. I do better if I confront various distractions first and then sit down to write. (Although, as a stay-at-home mom, there are rarely NO distractions; but I can usually minimize them. i.e. “Honey, can you change Bubby’s diaper?” ;))

Have you discovered techniques that make for better blogging? Please share them here or, better yet, write your own post and link me to it—we can hold a potluck of sorts, tips galore! :)

_____
These tips are from Kina at Human In Recovery. I thought they were quite excellent.

1) Add visual interest: Using photographs you’ve taken yourself or make sure you are using “borrowed” pics according to legal fair use and copyright laws, If you have several pics, utilize the embedded slide show feature, or link to a YouTube relevant video, preferably a song that connects to the content in some way. Use spacing and formatting to break up text and give the readers’ eyes a break.

2) If you can’t keep it short (800-1,000 words max) try to break it up into a series of posts. Then you can add visual interest and keep the reader engaged and wanting to come back.

3) Get interactive and involved with your readers. When you notice a comment, like, or follow try to respond in a timely manner. Go visit their site and leave a comment or like of your own (as long as it’s sincere and authentic). If you read something on someone else’s blog that gives you insight, makes you think, or inspires you to write a post of your own, include that information with a link back to their content, don’t just re-blog. Ask questions on your posts that invite your readers to comment. If you receive an award or invitation to participate in a game of blog tag and you aren’t able to play or you feel it isn’t in alignment with what your blog is about, give the one who tagged you the courtesy of a reply. By tagging and linking to you, they just sent their readers to your site.

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12 thoughts on “Better Blogging: Things I’ve Learned

  1. Fae,
    I really struggle with the keep it short piece, as I’m sure you’ll notice as you slog through, now that you’ve decided to follow me. ;) Thank you, by the way.

    Since I started participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I’ve had the opportunity to read a lot of tips and see how a lot of blogs are put together. Here are a couple of things I’ve noticed and been incorporating, and I’ve started using them too.
    1) Add visual interest: Using photographs you’ve taken yourself or make sure you are using “borrowed” pics according to legal fair use and copyright laws, If you have several pics, utilize the embedded slide show feature, or link to a YouTube relevant video, preferably a song that connects to the content in some way. Use spacing and formatting to break up text and give the readers’ eyes a break.

    2) If you can’t keep it short (800-1,000 words max) try to break it up into a series of posts. Then you can add visual interest and keep the reader engaged and wanting to come back.

    3) Get interactive and involved with your readers. When you notice a comment, like, or follow try to respond in a timely manner. Go visit their site and leave a comment or like of your own (as long as it’s sincere and authentic). If you read something on someone else’s blog that gives you insight, makes you think, or inspires you to write a post of your own, include that information with a link back to their content, don’t just re-blog. Ask questions on your posts that invite your readers to comment. If you receive an award or invitation to participate in a game of blog tag and you aren’t able to play or you feel it isn’t in alignment with what your blog is about, give the one who tagged you the courtesy of a reply. By tagging and linking to you, they just sent their readers to your site.

    Oops, guess I wrote my post in your comments.

    Be well,
    Kina

  2. I know this was already said, but “keep it short” is always in the front of my mind when I’m blogging…but rarely am I able to achieve it. :( I have much learning to do, haha! Anyway, I love this post- it’s very true, and helpful.

  3. Those are fantastic tips! I am a songwriter, and “preach to yourself” thing works for lyrics writing too – it’s easier for the listeners to relate to the song when it does it patronize them, but rather just sharing a personal experience with them…

  4. Preach at yourself, yes indeed! That needs work over here. Sigh…

    Another great tip I’ve heard is to simply write what’s on your heart on the days when you don’t have a “Blog Post Idea”. It often strikes home better than any preconceived idea.

    • That is such a great tip and one I really needed to hear! I’ve been “finding myself” as a blogger and just can’t figure out what my bottom-line goal isor if I even need to have one! I keep not blogging because I feel like I’ve blogged on a certain topic too much or no one is going to care about xyz or [insert angsty excuse here].

      So, long story short, thank you for this tipI needed it. ;D

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