Writing 101, Day Nineteen: BLOGGING: LESSONS LEARNT.
Today’s Prompt: Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.
URGENT VERSUS IMPORTANT.
Blogging is like everything else we do in life; we get back what we put in.
Sounds simple, but it’s a very complex notion.
We live very ‘fast’ lives. Everything is needed ‘ten minutes ago’. We rush through the ‘urgent’ daily chores which we must inevitably do, quickly, but we forget that although urgent things can and should be done quickly, important things take time.
We can whip up a sandwich in seconds, but roast lamb with baked potatoes and fresh greens will take much longer. We can drink ten shots and feel sparked in minutes, but some bottles of wine drunk over a long, meal with friends, will make us merry for hours. We can send a text message in seconds, but when we ‘need to talk’, we need more time.
Sometimes a sandwich, some shots, and a text, are all we need, and that’s fine, but other times we need much more than that. Our wisdom lies in distinguishing what’s important from what’s urgent, and approaching each aspect accordingly.
So, where does blogging fit in? What’s blogging to you? Is it something you do for a few minutes a day? A week? Occasionally?
When I started blogging more or less regularly last November, I thought a post a week was more than enough to keep a blog going. I was wrong, but you’ve got to start somewhere, and it was a start. So I had about 9 followers from November 2013 to April 2014.
When I started blogging I thought I didn’t need to read anyone else’s blogs: I want people to read my blog, that’s why I’m blogging. I was wrong again. Blogging is like any other type of writing; you need to read first, during and after, if you want to write well.
Blogging is a ‘social media’, that means you need to be sociable. it’s not a one-way street in which you communicate and others listen. it needs to be reciprocal and friendly.
Sure, I used to read blogs occasionally, for specific information, but I didn’t follow many, I didn’t want my mail cluttered, did I? So I hardly read any blogs regularly, except a few fellow writers. Wrong again. Who’s going to read your blog regularly if you don’t read anyone else’s?
In the last two months, since I started being an ‘active’ blogger, I’ve gained almost 80 new followers.
If you want to be an ‘active’ blogger, I suggest you:
- Read other blogs
- Follow other blogs
- Interact with other blogs by commenting on other blogs
- Always reply to comments on your blogs,
- Log in every day to see what the people you follow are doing, (preferably download the app on your smartphone and get instant updates)
- Interact with other bloggers regularly by taking part in challenges, (thanks for Writing 101! It’s been a real eye-oponer)
- Make sure your blog looks nice, you need plenty of visuals
- Spend time looking through tutorials, and playing around with the layout, menus, widgets, etc.
- Write regularly, at least 3-4 times a week (preferably every day)
- Don’t be shy. Meet people and make friends, as in life, people aren’t going to talk to you if you ignore them, or if you only talk about yourself, are they?
- Write about whatever you like, but preferably, be varied. No-one likes talking to someone who only talks about the same thing all the time, do they? It doesn’t matter what you talk about, as long as you are honest with your feelings, posts and comments.
- Be polite, even when some people aren’t (and that happens so rarely, it’s hardly worth even mentioning. I come across more rude people in the ‘real’ world in one day than in the last eight months blogging!)
Remember, blogs aren’t urgent, they’re important.
As with all important things in life, blogs need your time, and care, and love, and affection.
What do you get back? Personal enrichment through a connection with people on this planet you would never dream of meeting otherwise…
Would you like to read some other posts on Day 19?