by Guest Author, Disperser, (Emilio J. D’Alise) who blogs at http://disperser.wordpress.com
As a new blogger, you need to adjust not only your thought process, but your writing, too.
We live in a Twitter world, you see. Brevity is the key, even at the cost of clarity. No one has the time for anything more than sound bites.
Me? I am a dinosaur; the longform is not only my friend, it’s what my creative process requires. Even writing this piece is a challenge.
600 words, or less? That many fall out just by opening a document.
The other advice for successful blogging is to make it visually striking. Speaking of visually striking . . .
The photo has nothing to do with this post per se, but it increases the chance someone lingers to examine it, especially if there is only one photo in the post. You see, many people use the Reader, and the Reader will pick a photo at random to show in the summary of your post. By having only one, you control what it will show.
That’s why many bloggers only use one photo per post; they know the rest are wasted since rarely does anyone clicks to read the entire post. I, on the other end, post upwards of forty photos per posts, and I don’t mean in a gallery. By my count, I’ve ‘wasted’ 8,327 photos.
Assuming you get someone to look at the photo, they might read a few sentences before and after it, but don’t count on it.
Photography is one of my hobbies; the other is fiction writing. It’s tough getting people to read stories that are multiple thousands of words, no matter how good the accompanying photo.
Some bloggers resort to ‘flash fiction’; short and interesting vignettes. For example, a vignette in seventy-seven words:
“We’re lost, aren’t we?”
“No, just got turned around a bit.”
“Want to look at the interactive map again?”
“No, that’s what got us here in the first place. I’ll ask the locals for the way.”
“You? Ask for directions? I’m impressed. Do you think it’s safe?”
“Yeah; they look peaceful enough.”
The cows ignored the spaceship landing, but grew attentive when what looked like a straw bale exited the ship and started walking toward them. – Directions (copyright 2014 – E. J. D’Alise)
While not my preferred form, it’s a challenge I sometimes accept.
So, what should new bloggers do to get noticed?
Some bloggers (urged on by the platform providers) try competing with Twitter and Facebook in the form of 365-days project (a photo a day for a year, often with few, if any, words), and its many variants. Others join challenges, sometimes themed to current events. For example, Halloween photos will be coming up soon.
Writers can write 140-characters-or-less Halloween nano-stories, like these three examples:
“His Black Belt training kicked in when the kids startled him by yelling ‘Trick or Treat!!’”
“His wolf teeth ripped the coyote’s throat open. He had warned The Pack to let the kids be on Halloween Night.”
“The growl was scary, the raspy voice chilling, and the rancid breath sickening, but Old Man Miller always had the best candy”.
As a plus, those will fit within the 140 character limit for Twitter.
But I say onto you . . . Nay! Do not follow that path!
For one, you can’t compete with Twitter and Facebook; they are well-established; you might as well use the two services themselves.Two, here’s the real secret to getting your blog noticed: it’s …
Sorry; I hit the 600 words limit.