Thoughts on Blogging…

A few days ago, WordPress featured this blog post on the front page of their website in the “Freshly Pressed” section. It discusses some helpful blogging tips and tricks for the beginning blogger. As an individual who has been blogging daily (mostly) for the past 61-days, I can confirm that most of these tips would be incredibly useful for beginning bloggers. In fact, if I were to start a new blog (which I plan to do after this blog-project is finished) I would definitely follow some of these tips. Here is a couple of additional tips I have for new bloggers:

1. Buy Your Own Domain (ex. http://www.yourblogname.com)

If you want people to read your blog, then you need people to find your blog. The easiest way to get people to find your blog is to buy a domain name. Not only do you lose the silly _______.wordpress.com tag, but you also make your blog appear more legitimate. People see the __________.com as a sign of a legitimate website. If you use WordPress to host your blog, you can also still keep your blog info on their servers. You only have to pay about $15 (yearly rate) to buy a domain upgrade on WordPress too, so it’s fairly cheap. Your blog’s popularity will jump immensely from this investment, and you’ll also find your blog more easily on Google searches.

Buying your own domain isn’t necessary for blog success, but it does help. If you don’t have the budget to spend money on your blog, you can still write a popular blog for free with some of the other tips below. (And no, WordPress is not paying me to advertise their domain upgrade service.)

2. Advertise

As mentioned above, to get people to see your blog they need to know about your blog. Advertising is key for getting people to view your blog. You don’t have to pay for it either nowadays– simply advertise your blog in a wall post on Facebook or in a tweet on Twitter. You’ll obviously need friends or followers for your advertisement to be seen, but if you have a lot of friends on your favorite social networking site, then posting a link to your blog will get them to check it out. It’s free, and as long as you don’t go overkill on the advertising (aka SPAMMING), most people will at least check it out once or twice. It’s up to you to write good enough content to keep them coming back.

3. Set a Regular (and Reasonable) Updating Schedule

If you write good content, people will want to see more of it. To keep them coming back, you need to update your blog on a regular schedule. As mentioned in the link at the top of this post, updating your blog daily is not always the best choice. When you start blogging, you will have tons of ideas for blog posts and you’ll feel an immense urge to let everything flow out of you at once. The key to maintaining a successful blog is to keep this flow running at a steady enough pace so that you can get your ideas out without draining the entire flow of ideas all at once. As enticing and rewarding as updating a blog daily seems, it’s actually quite challenging. Trying to come up with fresh and interesting ideas to post about on a daily basis is hard,  and some days impossible. Life can get in the way of posting everyday, and some days you won’t feel like posting anything. Posting every other day or every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is a more attainable goal. Try to post at the same time during those days too (like 5:00 P.M., for example)– people like regular schedules.

4. Stay Motivated

Once you start a blog, you have to agree to continue until the end. For example, I agreed to update this blog daily until the end of the summer. Some blogs don’t have a scheduled ending date though, so you have to continue to post year-round. If you want to maintain an audience, you have to keep posting. People want fresh content, and they also want good content. If you can’t deliver, they’ll tune out. Staying motivated to post fresh and interesting posts regularly is key to the success of any blog.

So that’s it. Those are my four main tips for blogging success. There are numerous other tips and tricks that beginning bloggers can find all over the web, so utilize search engines like Google or Bing to find other good advice before you dive into the world of blogging.

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Today was another glamorous day in the life of the grounded. I woke up late, watched a lot of Futurama, mowed the lawn, installed a new sun-shade on the lawnmower, got some ice cream and typed out this blog post. Tomorrow’s an early day, and it looks like I’ll be getting only a few hours of sleep once again. I’m going to end it here so that there is a mere chance of a good night’s rest.

Thanks for reading, and remember to leave your comments, questions, suggestions, etc. below.

– Will

P.S. If you don’t really care if people see your blog, then don’t start one. Start a personal journal instead. Not only can you write about whatever you want to without worrying if other people will find it interesting, but you don’t have to censor yourself either. You can write down your thoughts and opinions with total honesty without fearing what others will think about it. It’s like your own personal book of liberation. Use it well.

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