By Guest Author, Susan who blogs at blogs at http://piedtype.com
I’m not the best person to advise you about blogging. I’ve broken most of the basic rules: Have a purpose, have a specific topic/theme, publish on a regular basis, etc. I confess I haven’t and don’t do any of these things. I started a blog to please myself. Period.
For me, writing is a way to get my thoughts in order. It forces me to do that. It slows me down, makes me organize my thoughts and extract some order from the chaos, like arranging cards on a table. In addition, I’m a retired editor/publisher and just plain enjoy writing, editing, designing, publishing. It’s fun, a habit I can’t break.
I didn’t give much thought to having a specific theme. At least, not with my current blog. Originally I had several blogs — one each for politics, religion, the environment, etc. But that meant when I wrote something I had to decide which blog to put it in. It meant my efforts to design and maintain an attractive blog got diluted and spread across several different blogs. I found it so time-consuming that one day I threw up my hands and combined all the blogs into one. There! Now I could write without having to decide where to post it. I could design and tweak and improve just one blog, not three or four. Trust me, if you can focus on one topic, one theme, one reason for being, you’ll be ahead of the game. You’ll have a great blog about blogging, like timethief has here. Or maybe you’ll become known for having a great cooking blog, or a helpful blog about crafts or music or movies. Do you, and do it as well as you can
It’s a good idea to publish on a fairly regular basis. Some bloggers maintain a strict schedule, publishing at whatever specific intervals they think they can maintain. Twice a week, once a week, whatever. It helps build readership when fans know the schedule and when to expect the next post. Excellent advice. But I don’t follow it. I write when I feel the urge to write, when I have something to say that simply must be said. Luckily that happens several times a week and sometimes several times a day. I’d fail with a schedule because I often write about current events — and they don’t stay current very long.
Perhaps if I’d followed all the rules and good advice, I’d have a much larger readership by now. But there were no rules or advice in the beginning (2002), so I was just winging it. My readership has grown very slowly, but I can look at the stats and see that I have indeed made progress.
My writing is less self-indulgent now; I’m usually thinking in terms of what might interest my readers. And I also make a point of replying to all comments. I want visitors to know I’ve seen and appreciate their visit and the time they took to comment. Besides, that’s the best way to encourage more comments. With luck, a discussion might ensue. For me that’s as good as it gets — publishing something interesting enough or provocative enough to attract readers and get them thinking and talking about it.
Of course, if they didn’t come, I’d keep writing and publishing anyway. Because that’s just what I do.
Pied Type is a news magazine blog where you will find well written articles under a wide range of interesting subjects.
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