What is blogging?
That seems a valid question for which the answer is never just black and white. Prior to jumping into the world of blogging, I’d not had had any sort of answer. Today we are talking the Art of Blogging. Before I became serious about it, I really wasn’t versed on its ins and outs. In the two years prior, I read perhaps two or three max, and was impressed that they were not “professional” web pages but “merely” writers who shared their fandoms or passions. These writers did not just provide a place where I found helpful information but they were an inspiration to my aspirations of someday writing more “seriously.” Following my nearly three year blogging journey, it seemed like a fun test to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Plus I figured the fact that I began this blog post exactly a year ago meant I should either ditch it or hit that intimidating “publish.”The Art of Blogging #FWarchives Click To Tweet
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Tips, feedback and your own stories would be most welcome in the comment section. (And thanks to Juju’s comment below, I’ve tweaked some of my thoughts that I didn’t express as clearly as I intend too.)
THE ART OF BLOGGING
One thing in blogging that keeps cropping up is the importance of being inter-active in the circle you’ve designated as blogs you are inclined to trust or enjoy. I hear this in many social media avenues and think it also applies to blogging. Don’t be afraid to join in conversation. Or to share a differing opinion – so long as it’s respectful of the writers and fellow commenters, there is nothing wrong with that. Introduce yourself as a new reader and/or follower. As a friend recently phrased it, “you talk, I talk.” In
other words, my stance on comments and conversation is personal. If you take the time to read these ramblings – and many of you offer lots of conversation, which I enjoy, plus I’ve found many dear bloggers and friends. If you are not willing to be someone who gives feedback to the bloggers who ask it of you, then the expectation to be given the same curtsey is unrealistic.
This never used to be something that I thought was necessary to blogging and perhaps I should specify that it’s one thing that works best for my blogging. My motto has become something about blogging being a reflection on each individual writer and that it should be whatever the writer wants of it – and I still believe that 100%. However, for me consistency is something to consider prior to setting up a blog. Are you the sort of person who will have material to post twice a week? That’s not to say that for 52 weeks, you should post twice a week but there does need to be some form of patterns. It proves you’re “serious” about what you share and also informs your readers when and how often there’ll be new material. If there are ideas floating in your mind, find the time when you get the most writing done and get some posts written up; even if they aren’t “exactly” what you want to say at least you’ll have something to work off of. Let the schedule tool be your friend, too.
For example in addition to having review archives from before blogging, I find I do all of my best “new,” most efficient writing late at night. I pop in the earbuds and have no other “daily” distractions.
Here is a subject that will have many different creative conclusions, which is great since we all like something different. I like simple; the simpler a design, the better. In browsing, I’ve seen some that are nothing more than a white background with only their title scrawled at the top in a neat font. Don’t underestimate the “power” of the white. I do love a “welcoming,” personal feel yet whenever I contemplate a background, I go back to that white space. Uncluttered sidebars are best yet should have any pertinent information easy to find. Keep the design classy, uncomplicated and simple. In the end, it makes easier reading.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. From personal experience this started out as an impersonal web space to post archives of film reviews. Now, I feel like it’s something more. There’s some personal scribblings written (which I would like to expand on if only I could get past my nerves!), and the interaction that the readers show this blog also helps in opening my mind to some new things; and to share a more personal side. It’s been a real pleasure and I thank you all for being a part of that – you inspire me!
If you visit a blog with a neat idea (say a meme) or an idea that you’re curious to expand on, unless the blogger holds a patent, don’t be afraid to ask if the idea is something you can use. When I’ve “stolen” bloggers (after asking) concept, most of them are happy for another blogger to run with their ideas. However I do want to clarify, I don’t in any way think it’s right to use someone’s work as your own. This is simply an idea to consider with permission.
I never thought I’d say this but social media is a great asset to any blogger. If you want to drive more traffic to your blog, it’s a huge incentive to be on Twitter or even Pinterest. As a reviewer I appreciate using it to assist authors in any small way in getting
word out on their recent novels. Plus so long as you have discipline not to let Twitter become an unhealthy obsession, it’s a wonderful place to interact; or ask questions about certain issues that may have you stumped. Issues related to blogging or various technical snags on favorite websites (like password lock-outs or the like).
So, these are some of the things that have helped me – and are my own thoughts on what works. What “the art of blogging” tips do YOU have? Anything you have learned or feel is important to share with fellow bloggers? The comments are all yours!
All written text © Copyright Rissi (RissiWrites.com) January 28th 2014