10 Tip For Writers On Blogging

Blogging.  How hard can it be? Writing is writing, right?

For the most part, I think yes, writing is writing.  But is it?blogging

In a novel or story, you focus on the arc and the character’s evolution. You also keep an eye on the pace, labor over crisp and realistic dialogue, show and not tell. You want the reader to turn the page again and again until reaching the end. I could go on, but you know the drill. Blogging is another beast altogether. It’s speed dating and not a long-term romance.

The title of your post will seduce a reader to follow the link to your blog, but after that, it’s the content that will keep them from bouncing. How to hold the reader engaged once they’ve made the journey past hundreds of hundreds of thousands of other Blogs, finally landing on yours is your writer’s challenge and nightmare.

I’ve been blogging for a few years and still consider myself a Blogger on training wheels. My challenge is the content. I have stories aplenty, but I am never certain which posts will resonate with my readers.  It’s a gamble. As a writer I am expected to be open and honest, share tidbits from my life, invite the reader into my virtual home. But if I hesitate to confess the number of lovers that I’ve had to my best friend, you can imagine my reluctance disclosing the size of my bum or my feelings on tofu on the virtual page. Publishing a post week after week requires moxie, fearlessness, and a willingness to experiment. My bum is way bigger than I want it to be.

I like blogging because it gives the writer in me exceptional latitude.  It’s not like the novel where I am a slave to the daily world count.  The blogger isn’t expected to write a novella or even a short story.  A writer, however, is expected to limit the word count, entertain and inform. Sometimes, blab at length on our passion and the tricks of the trade we’ve customized to work specifically for our unique process. We’re prone to confessing our sins at the slightest interest, even over sharing our insecurities (we’re nervous when it comes to professing our doubts but sometimes it helps to rid ourselves of the darkness) and known to wax poetically on writing.

It’s the how and what that challenges the writer living inside the blogger. The weekly post can freeze the fingers of even most prolific writer hovering over the keyboard.  Following a cheat sheet of sorts can help.  Mine is modeled from one Ann Handley created.

  1. What is the goal or aim of your post? Why would anyone care?
  2. Is the content of your post something your reader wants to read?
  3. Do you have examples or relatable anecdotes, something your reader can relate to? This is the time to share your dark moments and how you overcame the doubt, conquered something.
  4. Think through the content, try listing out what you want to cover in your post. Organize and reorder the list until you can see the words taking shape on the page.
  5. When possible, walk away for a while before writing the draft.
  6. Write your draft.
  7. Rewrite it.
  8. Name it.
  9. EDIT (If you have a copy editor living with you, that’s a plus.) I’m not so lucky and have to read my post aloud a few dozen times. A text to voice app is helpful.
  10. A final read. Are the paragraphs short? Are lists bulleted and numbered. Are your words honest and identifiable with your voice? Is your content lively and heartfelt? Keep it real.

Finally, you’re ready to publish.

Blogging showed me that writing is writing. It uses a different creative muscle. I’ve also realized the secret to the art of writing is to show up every day at the appointed time. Keep the date with the blank page and never stop pounding. For the weekly blog post, keep it fresh. Brave the unknown, experiment, give yourself permission to have fun. Take risks.

What techniques or secrets have you uncovered on your blogging journey?

by

I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

19 thoughts on “10 Tip For Writers On Blogging

  1. Great tips! I also struggle to “keep it real” on my blog but still reveal who I am as a person. I’m not so sure if it’s interesting to my readers and that’s a struggle. Why would anyone care about what I have to say?

    I applaud you for continuing to blog. I’ve been doing it for 8 years now and still doubt myself all the time.
    Lori Sizemore recently posted….Rules I Live By: The Third Child Has It BestMy Profile

  2. The post was very interesting. I don’t blog because I’m very tech challenged. I do guest blogs when my books come out, but I’ve never been great at designing thing like that.

  3. Vicki Batman

    I love to blog and show off handbags on my site and other things like books, writing tips, travel, recipes. Things girls like me are interested in. I agree the title makes a huge difference.

    • Vicki – I’ve never shared handbags or recipes and I love both equally. I have a bag fetish, but not for fancy purses. I am fond of the practical sort I do not have to carry in my hand. Titles! The. Most. Important.

  4. Your list of tips for blogging is superb, Brenda! Years ago, a friend gave me similar tips, and it has helped my blogging immensely.
    And yes, writing a blog is different than that date with our novels or poetry. When I’m writing fiction, I find myself in a wholly other mindset, willing to let the fancy free as the words pile up. I’m much more constrained and disciplined when creating blog posts.
    Blessings, my friend!
    Martha Orlando recently posted….The Earth is the Lord’sMy Profile

    • Martha – it is very different writing, yet it has to be compelling. I’ve tried many voices in my posts. Some work better than others, and sometimes I just want to have fun and not have a purpose. It’s a tough gig to be a writer today.

  5. I’m not much of a blogger, I’m freely admitting one of my darkest fears. I think, for the most part, I get hung up on the part about “who would want to read this” and “why would they care.” Therefore, I limit my blogging episodes, it’s not something I’m proud of, but just being a guest blogger drives me nutty. Now I see why, your tips made me realize that I’m not just a “blogger in training,” I’m a blogger in diapers. LOL Your comments are right on, and should be printed off and constantly referred to by people like me. Great job, Brenda, on breaking down the process and helping us wanna be bloggers!!!

    • Hebby – Honestly, I think it’s a crap shoot. I am always surprised by what tickles the reader’s imagination. The ones I think are brilliant don’t fly and the ones I hardly labor over are the ones that take off. Blogging is a tough practice to keep at. Always glad to help.

    • I’m not sure blogging keeps me focused, to be honest. It’s a weekly task I am sometimes want to skip and have, but of late redrafting my writing blueprint.

  6. Brenda, these tips are great even for seasoned bloggers! It’s always good to brush up, especially after a long hiatus like the one I just took. I’ll be sure to incorporate these in my future posts. Thank you for sharing! :)

  7. Great tips!!! I blog all day for businesses, so my personal blog is my “fun writing.” I’m trying to do a little more of that “fun writing” for pay for online magazines, but that requires pitching and getting rejected, which we all know is NO FUN!

    • Hi Stephanie – wow! All day long? Day job, I’m assuming. Rejection is never easy. Even after all these years at writing I still hate it.

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