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…

Happy blogging!

 

Would you like to read some other posts on Day 19?

25 thoughts on “Writing 101, Day Nineteen: BLOGGING: LESSONS LEARNT.

  1. It is so hard to do when you gain lots of followers to actively keep up with all of them. When I got up to 200 emails in a day. I was at a loss. I had to thin them out. Now I rotate friends through mail and catch as many as as I can in my reader. I go through my reader twice daily for fifteen minutes. I can catch everybody, but I keep trying.

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    1. I haven’t got so many followers, but you’re right, it is time consuming. I have the app on my phone and try and answer as they come in, but sometimes there’s no time! You’re right! Thanks for the advice 🙂

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  2. Your post summarizes everything it took me time to realize. I recently gave this advice to a friend who had a moribund blog, and he’s getting into the swing of things! I do spend more time visiting blogs now, but they give me inspiration and support and help me focus. Keep it up, sister bloggers..oh, and brother bloggers!

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  3. I have followed some blogs for months without any effort of checking out my site. Very disheartening for sure. But I have learned exactly what you have posted. If you read and comment on my blog, I will be more than delighted to return the favour. Excellent post!

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  4. NIce, I had the same experience as you. I started slow, I though blogging wasn’t for me. But before I give up I discoved the photo challenges, I love them! Now I’m blogging almost everyday.

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    1. That was lucky. I agree with you. As everything in life, it’s about finding your ‘niche’; the place where you’re comfortable, and the people you’re comfortable with! I love photo challenges, too! Thank you for reading, sharing, and comenting. 🙂

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  5. These are great blogging guidelines which you posted, Lucia. Writing is a solitary activity and blogging allows me to see what others are doing, to be inspired by them, to experience joy when my own posts are appreciated. We need to be read and a blogging community permits that to happen. I’ve learned so very much by reading other blogs. It opens doors and provides me with motivation for my own posts. It’s a great way to connect. 🙂

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  6. A great post Luccia and so true. I struggle to visit as often as I’d like due to lack of time but it is definitely the way to go. I am addicted to posting and love the challenges but I am planning when my first year is up in August I am going to try to cut back on the posting and spend that extra time in visiting. Sounds like the blogging 101 has been worth doing. 🙂

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    1. Yes. Writing 101 has been great for me. I had never taken part in anything like it. It’s been an eye-opener on blogging and I’ve met many interesting bloggers. I’m really glad I made the effort to take part. Next year I want to take part in the famous April writer’s challenge.

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  7. Wonderful list! I love blogging … but as a mom to five kids, it’s hard to make it happen consistently. Yet, when I am consistent, that’s when my blog stats go up. Go figure! 🙂 Thanks for a very encouraging post.

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  8. This is great insight. I love this concept of important versus urgent–it’s perspective that resonates with me and makes me pause for thought. Thanks!

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  9. Great post and list but isn’t it an endless frustration those others who don’t get the need for interaction ! I passed on a particular award recently and it was only the writers in our rather lovely circle (I think you know them all by now) who bothered to comment on the post where I nominated them! One of the others is even a close friend! Would she ignore me if I paid her a compliment in the street? Highly unlikely 😃

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    1. Yes, not everyone is into blogging to the same degree! I had always assumed everyone likes ‘honest’compliments, too! But I have learnt that some people don’t like nominations for awards, so now I usually ask first, just in case. Yes, you are a lovely circle I’m enjoying getting to know 🙂

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