I’ve been blogging now for over eight years. Back when I started I followed a few blogs including Scripting News which is still one of my favorite blogs. None of my friends or family had any clue what a blog was so I had to use words other than “blog” to describe what I was doing. Telling my guy friends that I kept an online journal was the equivalent of admitting I kept a secret diary in my lockable Hello Kitty notebook. It just wasn’t very cool. But around 2004 more people started to take notice and I could use the word, blog, in most settings without risk of embarrassment and confused stares.
I figured I’d throw together a few things I’ve learned over the years about blogging. Here are my top 11 blogging tips:
- Your writing is more important than your blogging platform, theme, plugins and style sheet. If your writing is top notch, nobody will care how ugly your blog is.
- Starting a blog is easy. The first few weeks or even months is exciting. But after a while, it takes time and dedication. Most will bail, but the best will push through.
- The A-List Bloggers talk about the same topics, so don’t worry about subscribing to more than a couple of them. More than three or four and you end up with content overlap. They attend the same conferences and hang out in the same circles.
- The best way to grow your readership is to read and comment on other blogs.
- Keep your posts as short as possible while still getting your point across. Posts are like resumes: after a page I get bored and move on.
- Linking is good. Linking to new or lessor known bloggers is better. Like this one.
- Take a stance. I come to your blog looking for your take on things. Tell me what you think, even if it’s controversial. Don’t tell me the plot of the movie. I want to hear whether you enjoyed it or not and why.
- Take your own pictures. A picture you took is 10x better than one you found on GIS.
- Admit when you made a mistake or changed your mind. I’ve been ripping Vista for over a year. But recently changed my mind after a good experience with it on a new laptop. It’s OK to say, “A while back I felt this way, but now I feel different“.
- Encourage and help others start a blog. I’ve helped my wife, mother-in-law, father and numerous friends start blogs. Some have quit while others have created blogs I consider better than my own. This is awesome!
- Write today. Write now. Just write!