Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five Things I've Learned About Blogging

We're leading up to the great A to Z April Blog Challenge! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, head over to the A to Z Blog and get the facts. There are 1,085 people signed up so far...and that means you could make at least 1,085 new blogger friends during the month of April. If you already know about the challenge, you can sign up here.

Okay, now back to five things I've learned.

1.  If you miss a few days of posting your words of wisdom, the world will not end.

Of course, that doesn't apply during the month of April if you're A-to-Z-ing. You need to stick to the schedule or risk falling hopelessly behind.

It's usually a good idea to warn readers you'll be gone or check in briefly. Some followers will actually worry about your absence.

2.  Putting the links to your posts out to the world via social media is critical. I use Facebook and Twitter, and I'm busy learning the ins and outs of Goodreads and Google+.

Now that I'm co-editor at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog, I'm doing a lot of that link posting. I figure once a day is enough for Facebook and Google+, but I send out 3-4 tweets per post in an effort to catch folks watching their follow stream go by.

3.  If you don't visit other blogs and leave comments on a regular basis, they won't come to your place for a chat either. It's all about give and take.

When I get busy and neglect my blog-hopping sessions, I can see the results. We engage with the bloggers who connect with us.

4.  Giving back to the writing community by hosting guest authors, especially debut authors, is fun and rewarding. I've made a bunch of new friends this way!

This is especially tough for new writers who are just learning about the art of promotion. Search for the authors who interest you, make the first contact, and lend a helping hand.

5.  Making your blog look attractive is almost as important as offering fun and or interesting content. 

Although my website is in a hopeless state, making it high on my priority list for a makeover, I've tried to keep my blog tidy, easy on the eyes, and up-to-date. If you're not sure about your own blog, ask your regular readers to give you a little feedback.

I'll be talking more about the art of blogging this month as I get ready for the April Challenge. Monday, however, is a guest day.  Mystery author Shannon Baker will be here to talk about the research that led to her new release, Broken Trust.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent points, Patricia! The third is so true. It's the Golden Rule.
I have made so many friends the past four years of the Challenge!

M. K. Theodoratus said...

I always admire those who have the organizational fortitude to blog everyday but Sundays. Creativity also has something to do with it.

Kudos to all of you guys who persevere.

Mason Canyon said...

Patricia, great points. I'm in awe of you bloggers that participate in the A to Z Challenge. It's always so interesting to follow.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - I couldn't agree with you more! Social media is so important. So is connecting with other bloggers. And I give you a lot of credit for doing the A-Z challenge. I look forward to what you'll be posting.

mooderino said...

Good tips. It can be quite time consuming but as with most things, you get out of it what you put in.

Moody Writing

Julie Luek said...

It's a balance, this blogging thing. I try to keep perspective that a blog is, in a way, your visible resume. It's a way to promote your writing, form a supportive community and play with your writing a bit too. Great tips here.