Monday, March 14, 2011

Secrets to Blogging

Happy Monday! Hello to all the newbies and all the fun peeps that stick with me!

So the A-Z Blogging challenge is around the corner. For those of you who don't know about it click the button on the sidebar for more details. The simplified version: 26 days (excluding Sundays) - 26 letters in the alphabet - a new letter every day.

Some people have been nervous about joining in. The commitment being too much. The pressure of coming up with a topic starting with the letter X (or any others you might fear). Visiting all the blogs.

So let's discuss some tips. These will be useful for the A-Z Challenge as well as regular blogging.

1. To Blog. I set my posts up on Sundays. Think of 5, write up down, schedule them. Allows for more writing/reading/commenting time throughout the week. If this isn't for you just be sure to keep a bucket of ideas for when you run dry.
2. Creative. Leave the whining at the door, or if you choose to incorporate your bad day or troublesome mind on the blog turn it into a story or a lesson. Those who whine get less attention. Make your posts interesting and full of flare. Just like your writing, don't forget your voice.
3. Bore Me. Long posts, yawn. Fewer words, more attention. If you want people to CONTINUE to stop by keep your posts short for the most part. You can get carried away at times but keep those days to a minimum.
3. Comment. People want to know you heard them, you liked their posts. Saying 'great post' isn't going to gain you followers. The blogger needs to know you're listening, make sure your comment means something when you visit. Compliments are key.
4. Comments on YOUR blog. People need a reason to comment talking only about yourself won't get you comments. Ask a question to help get the follower involved. Give them tips, advice, whatever it is your passionate about leave it on the blog.
5. To Follow. If you are only following in hopes they'll return the favor, stop. Think about what you get out of blogging. I love the relationships, the conversation, and the freedom to write what I want and have people listen. Those who follow just in hopes to have me follow I find disrespectful. I want relationships. Know the meaning behind the follow.

85 comments:

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Well said Jen! Looking forward to the challenge very much:)

Bish Denham said...

Once I learned about scheduling posts blogging became a whole lot easier! (I'm up to M.)

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm not participating in the A to Z challenge, but I'll enjoy the posts. They were fun to read last year.

Have a happy week!

Melissa said...

Great tips Jen -- and we know they work, look at your success!

My fave thing about blogging is the relationships too. Meeting awesome people is the best part about blogging, for sure.

Good luck with the challenge!

Laura Pauling said...

Great advice! I love having my post done or almost done for the week before the week starts - it really does free up time to comment.

Anna Zagar said...

These are great tips for newbies. Blogging can be a time suck and take away from valuable writing time. It's important to plan ahead your posts. I need to be better about that! Looking forward to the challenge, but might not be able to participate.

Jessica Bell said...

Excellent tip for the newbies, Jen! :o) I'm freaking out a little about the challenge. I'm had considered writing poems so that I could incorporate my poem a day into it. You know kill two birds with one stone? But do you think people might get bored of poems? What if I write tiny ones which perhaps describe something and I challenge reader to guess what it's describing? You think that would work? Or you think that'll take too much brain power?

salarsenッ said...

Great suggestions!! So just to be sure, all we have to do is blog with that particular letter in mind, right? (Y am I stressing over this???) Hah...

Liz P said...

Great tips, and they definitely apply beyond just the blogging challenge. Scheduling posts is key for me. Unfortunately I do not have time during the week to put up a post everyday. It's my favorite blogging feature. :)

Rebecca Bradley said...

I'm really looking forward to this challenge and have been posting more regularly since joining up, in practice for the month. I think I should be able to do this. My mind never seems to shut down! What I may struggle with is making the posts letter appropriate!

I do like the tip on keeping the posts short.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great points, Jen! I have a habit of scrolling down to see how long a post's going to be. If the first paragraph doesn't hook me, then I move on. The only exception is when the person leaves a comment on my blog, then I feel like I have to read the post. But I will check out the one before it just in case it was shorter.

I write my MW posts on the weekends too (Friday's post is written on Thursday night). Whenever I get an idea, I write it on a Post It and put it near my computer. Saves me from OMG-what-am-I-going-to-write-about moments. ;)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

As a total noob, I gobble up tips like these. Thanks for sharing! My blogging Yoda, you are :D

KarenG said...

Here here on the relationships. People may follow me but unfortunately I rarely notice unless they comment as well, and then I jump over to their blog and follow. I'm looking forward to the Challenge so I can hop around to a lot of blogs I've been missing as well as new ones.

Hannah Kincade said...

Great post, Jen! Hahahaha! Kidding or am I? I agree with keeping posts to a nice and easy to read length. I mean, no one has that much time. No one. Also as Alex said last week? Remove the word verification, it makes commenting so much easier and faster.

Matthew MacNish said...

I love that you're covering this right before it gets started Jen. You're one of the most skilled networkers I know.

I won't be taking part, because I don't have time, but I will be having a great time watching!

Liz Fichera said...

Great tips, Jen! Particularly the one about post length. Sadly, if posts are too long and/or don't get to the point straightaway, I move on.

Mary Vaughn said...

Very good tips. Relationships form that are wonderful. Short is best especially in A-Z with 500 participants.

Jemi Fraser said...

Terrific tips - I'm looking forward to the challenge - the posts were such fun last year!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I've thought about doing this challenge but I've been nervous about signing up. I'm terrible at writing up posts beforehand - I tend to fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to my blog. Maybe I should incorporate these tips and give it a whirl.

Summer Ross said...

I have been coming up with ideas for this challenge. I am thinking along the lines of short poetry or something since there is an online poetry challenge for every day in April. Keeping ideas handy is a great tip- I usually keep them on a untitled document saved on my computer or in a draft saved on blogger.
Have a terrific day!

lynnrush said...

Great post! Your advice is spot on! :)

Christine Danek said...

I have to really start scheduling my posts. I've been trying to write a bunch at once so I'm not scrambling. Great tips.

Teenage Bride said...

if anyone is going to give blogging tips... it should be you! Look how successful yours is!!

Thanks Jen

<3

Michael Di Gesu said...

Relationships ARE the key. That's why I blog. I am a people person and I get crazed when a person follows and doesn't leave a comment.

Who are you? Who sent you? How did you find me?

How will I ever know. Bloggers should leave a comment. It's common courtesy.

A-Z is going to be a blast. I haven't started any pre-post yet, but I will hopefully after this week. I still have to write posts for two blogfests.

Michael

Angela Felsted said...

Great advice, every piece of it. Wish I could say I followed everyone of those pieces, but I don't.

There are only so many hours in a day. I probably won't visit every blog every day, more likely I'll come up with a rotating schedule, do my best and try not to beat myself up over the people I occasionally miss.

Jen, you're amazing. You have so many followers, and I really don't know how you manage to visit them all. Just that you do. I see your name all over the place in just about every blog I comment on. Seriously, you're my hero.

Katie Mills said...

Lots of great tips there! I've joined the A-Z and yes, I'm feeling a little queasy about it but I'm determlined to see it through! Great post!

Joanne said...

This is all really good advice. I think the best is to write several posts well ahead of time. I do that in one sitting, and am amazed at how it really does free up time for other writing.

Tracey Neithercott said...

Great tips. Writing all of your posts at the start of the week is a great idea. I might have to try that. Now if Bloggers' "schedule a post" feature actually worked...

Thomasina said...

Great ideas Jen! I can't stand reading posts that are long and drawn out. I enjoy the posts that tell a story. I've started my own list of posts for the a-z challenge, but I'm still a little nervous too!

Heather said...

Great post!

hahaha j/k!!

Sometimes I do just put great post or thanks for sharing because it was just really a great post and I can't really improve upon it.

I'm undecided on the A-Z. Mainly because of how hectic things will be in April. Will have to sleep on it! Have a good week.

Jess said...

Great tips~ I look forward to reading the posts!

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

As always, great advice. I need to get my ideas down more often so I'm not staring at blogger the night before with no idea what to say.
Have fun with the A-Z it's going to be awesome to read!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent tips Jen!!!!!

csdaley said...

I should have done this last year. Now I am coming off two years of not missing a day of blogging and this is suppose to be month where I ratchet down to not writing every day. Must resist temptation.

Carolyn V said...

AWESOME!!! I'd say more, but I think theses are perfect! =D Thanks for the tips Jen!

KatieO said...

Great tips, Jen, and great advice. I just realized today that I should start thinking of post ideas since I signed up and all... but all of your suggestions are good ones for general blogger etiquette. Thanks for all the reminders ;-)

Lana D said...

Thanks for all the tips, Jen. On my "To-Do" List today is to figure out the scheduling thing for the blog posts. I have several of my A to Z's written out in long-hand, just waiting to be posted. How nice it will be to have them all set up and ready to go!

Stephanie said...

I agree with the brevity suggestion - a block of text doesn't do it for me. Thank you dear, food for thought!

Nicki Elson said...

This are EXCELLENT tips. I've been teetering on the fence with this one---worried about being able to keep up with it. But I love your suggestion to pre-schedule posts Sunday and then visit throughout the week. You may have just convinced me...

Laura Marcella said...

I'm so excited for this April blogfest! I'm glad I can join in this year. I'm looking forward to meeting new writers and bloggers!!!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome tips! I'm all about short posts. Love to read them, love to write them.

Talei said...

Most excellent advice! I definitely like your last point, its important to have some rapport and make a connection with your blogging buddies. Happy Monday! :-)

E. Elle said...

Excellent tips, Jen, as always. I've implemented all of these into my blogging life but I still can't break that (rounding) 200 mark. Boo. Maybe it's just me.

So glad I could start your Monday off well. Hope you'll stop by again!

Ann said...

Great advice Jen. Looking forward to the Challenge. I do have a tendency to scroll down on posts to see how long they are. A failing of mine. I hang my head in shame!

Ellie said...

As always, awesome advice Jen! I'm actually looking forward to the challenge because having hopefully pre-written all the posts, I'll have more time!

hot girl said...

cute.

Lisa Gail Green said...

Jen - these are fabulous tips! I agree with every one of them. I think I'd add that you should only do it if it's something you TRULY enjoy or you won't make it over the long haul.

Christina Lee said...

I agree on all points, my dear! I shall enjoy the blogging challenge from afar (I remember you doing it last year)!!!

Abby Minard said...

Great Post!

Haha, just kidding ;p I mean, not kidding because it really was a great post...but you know what I mean ;p

I think those are some great rules, especially for the people participating in the a-z, so they can have some rules to go by. Especially the short post thing. Ihave to admit if I'm in a hurry, If I see a super long post, I won't read it.

Amy Saia said...

This is getting exciting! Rules are good, because it helps keep things things focused. Very nice Jen!

Ashley Stone said...

Nice tips. I used to be a great blogger... now I totally fail! I haven't been making the time I would like to for it lately. Sigh... oh well! ; )

Tess said...

ooooo...look at the pretty stuff over here. and pink hair? love it!

Catherine Denton said...

Thank you for sharing these! I always learn so much from your blog. I especially like the idea of writing a week's worth of posts on the weekend. That sounds like a time saver.
My Blog

Janet Johnson said...

Lots of great tips!

I'll be gone most of April, so I haven't joined the Challenge, but it seems I'm one of the few. Have a great time!

Kaylie Austen said...

Great tips! I enjoy your unholy level of awesomeness. =)

Austin James said...

I agree with all of these tips.

Marsha Sigman said...

I keep a post-it note with a list of topics I jot down when they cross my mind.

Now if I could just read my own writing...

LTM said...

from the maestro herself! Very good tips, and keeping it short. My fave... :D <3

Kristin said...

Great post!

Just kidding. Well actually it was a great post, but I'll go on to say that these are some really great tips. I know I'll be trying to follow them as I venture into the A to Z Challenge. I'm getting so excited and am planning posts in my head. Plus I can't wait to see what everyone else has to say :)

Talli Roland said...

Fantastic tips, Jen. I'm all for short posts! Makes it easy to read and easy to comment.

li said...

It actually took me a week to decide to join the challenge. And just like my school days when I did my homework on the AM bus ride, I'll write most entries first thing in the AM. (Some things never change.) Good tips about following and commenting! I want people to follow cuz they are actually interested, not as a "courtesy" follow because they feel obligated. Blogging/reading should never be a chore!

Robyn said...

Hi Jen,
Thanks for your comment on my blog (I agree about small towns), the welcome to A-Z (which means a lot) and these helpful pointers.
Have a great week.
xoRobyn

Brigitte said...

Great advice! Meeting passionate people on blogger is great. When I see successful people on here, too, it motivates me to work hard on my own passions. I love reading about other artists' - whether they draw or write - developments. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jen .. great tips .. and I love everyone's comments about clicking the following - please leave a comment too .. just helps identify you & I know .. and make a point of coming over ..

It'll be fun .. cheers for now - you are the great networker as someone higher (that's probably true too!) up the comment line mentioned .. Michael perhaps .. Hilary

RaShelle said...

Such great advice, Jen! I'm nervous about the AtoZ challenge in a good way. LOL it'll be fun.

Cheree said...

Great advice, especially number 1. I'm constantly running out of ideas. I'll have to start thinking a week in advance so I'll know what to post.

Jamie Burch said...

Thank you for these tips! I won't be participating in the challenge, but I'll be lurking. Keeping this advice in mind for general blogging.

Hope you have a fabulous week!

Sheila Siler said...

Thank you for these tips. I'm going to take them to heart and also share them with my SIL who is a brand new blogger and signed up for the challenge. Thanks also for stopping by my blog earlier today and becoming a follower. Thank you for being a cohost on this challenge. I'm looking forward to it!

Donea Lee said...

The formatting on your blog titles is new, right? CUTE!!! :)

And you've got some great tips, here. Relationships are wonderful to gain through blogging. We've got such a kick a** community of writers, why wouldn't you want to take advantage?!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Excellent advice, Jen.

Btw I love your font - it suits the blog and your voice so well.

Colene Murphy said...

Can't wait to see what you come up with that month!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Great advice.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm with you. I don't want to read long posts when I have to read many posts. It's funny how we know when people actually read our blog posts.

Eliza said...

Thanks for the tips, I have an ever so slightly whiny post done, maybe I'd better review it!

Kiernan said...

Great tips! Now to get back to blogging instead of just reading blogs... :-)

Ella said...

I love all your tips, the voice one is huge! And who doesn't love compliments ;-D Great post~

randine said...

Thanks for that, great tips. I totally hear ya, re: long posts. It's not that I don't like them, exactly, it's just that I don't really have time to read them, so then I just skim them, but then I don't really know how to comment.

Anyways, looking forward to your A-Z posts. That's a very ambitious endeavor.

Lynn said...

You have an exceptionally successful blog Jen! So your tips are ones to take seriously! Good luck on the A-Z challenge to you and all the participants!

Meredith said...

I love this advice! Following definitely needs to be about the relationship--what's the point if not to build a relationship with another blogger? And yay for short but sweet posts!

Surendra Singh said...

Wow Lovely posting and cool ideas . i like it and great story shared in the post. really fantastic this post
Hotel in Brugge

Rachael Harrie said...

What fantastic tips Jen. Can't wait for April!

Hugs,

Rach

Bee said...

It's no wonder you got such a popular blog going. You know just the right things to do. Thanks for sharing :)

Ghenet said...

These are great tips. I always write my posts ahead of time and schedule them. It makes my life so much easier. I also agree about short posts. I tend to skim or skip really long posts, especially if there aren't enough paragraph breaks.

I'm not going to participate in the challange because I have to focus on my WIP but it sounds fun!

Diana Mieczan said...

Those tips are so fantastic!!! Have a sunny and fun morning,sweetie

alberta ross said...

any tips on how to read them all? or did I miss that answer? - I'm worried I'll miss a really great blogger - theres no time to read 500+ every day!