Sunday, August 31, 2014

Six Months Already?

After blogging for only six months, I'm a relative newcomer to the scene; therefore, I'm not qualified to give advice on the subject. I do, however, have several observations for those who want to blog, those who already blog, those who read blogs, and those who are simply patient enough to follow my posts.

1. Everyone who enjoys reading blogs should give writing one a try. I tell people how much I enjoy it, but they look appalled when I suggest that they start a blog of their own. I understand their unwillingness/fear. I, too, didn't think I could write anything worth reading. But once I got started, I got more comfortable and found my voice. Find a way to ease into a blog. Plenty of topics that don't require much writing such as Wordless Wednesday and Finish My Sentence Friday are available online. If you don't want strangers reading it, make your site private until you find your voice.

2. If you want your post to get read by lots of people, write a blog about food and/or crafting. I love to look at food/recipes and dream of the day I’ll have time to craft. Presently, I don't actually cook any of those beautiful recipes since I don't really cook anymore; however, I keep collecting them in hopes that I will be inspired to cook again. The one time I posted a recipe for blueberry cobbler, I had lots of readers. This post probably won’t get many, and I’m ok with that.

3. Don't start blogging unless you have time to read other blogs. The blogging community is extremely helpful. They answer questions, help newcomers and host share sites where other bloggers can post and get readers. They really work at blogging and deserve readers who comment and share their words.

4.  If you do write a blog, do a print-worthy job. Write, revise, have someone else edit, revise, and on and on. Writing is work and presenting a clear message to your readers is vital. Check and double check everything. Condense sentences. Get rid of dead construction and wordiness.

5. Include lots of pictures. I’d rather look at pictures than read words which is weird since I’m an English teacher/language lover. My mind has gotten lazy! I’d rather you show me than tell me. The irony here is that I didn't include any pictures, just Google images, in this post. It's 3:34 a.m. and I have procrastinated on writing this post. No excuse -- just how it is many times.

6.  Learn every means of social media. I’ve got a good handle on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest; however, Twitter still confuses me. I tweet links to my posts but rarely get readers via Twitter. I’m putting Twitter on the “’I’ll do this when I’m retired” list.

Six observations – one for each month I’ve been a blogger. I look back at what I have written over those months and am impressed with the quantity. I’ve never written so much. I’m embarrassed by some posts but extremely proud of others. With each one, I hear my voice getting stronger and more self-assured.

Blogging is a great endeavor, one that more and more people are trying. Why not you?