On Blogging

by Valerie on July 17, 2009 · 2 comments

Lately, I have gotten some emails and tweets from relatively new bloggers (and bloggers-to-be) asking me for advice on blogging. First, thank you, I am terribly flattered considering I am by no means a veteran blogger.

That said, I have blogged continuously for 2+ years, so I thought I would share with you all some of the advice I have given. Whether you are a new or veteran blogger, please share your thoughts in the comments.

1. Write regularly and continuously– that’s the most important thing. So often bloggers set up a blog with a great concept, write one, two, three, ten posts, and then just stop.

2. Set modest goals – when I started blogging I had a goal to post 3 times a week. I generally recommend that to new bloggers as it’s just enough to start a momentum but not too much. Eventually I upped the goal to 5/week or 20/month. Lately I have been writing 7 posts a week because the writing has been flowing, but don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself early on.

Which brings me to ….

3. Recognize blogging is cyclical – sometimes you’ll have the inspiration to write 5 posts, sometimes you’ll be pulling teeth for one. You may have zero interest in blogging for a few weeks, then miss it. To that end, you will want to….

4. Always have some back-up content – you don’t need a ton, but those days you write 5 posts effortlessly? Don’t publish them all. Save a couple, especially if they are not very tied to a specific day/holiday/event. That will come in handy for a week where you just don’t feel like blogging, but still want to put up some new content.

5. Figure out what motivates you to write – is it knowing you have readers? Where they visit you from. Personally, seeing what states and countries readers visit me from makes my day. So I like feedjit and statcounter – it’s not the number of hits that matter as much as the where you all are coming from and what brought you here to visit me. And comments make my day every more. Just in case you are wondering whether to leave a comment or a question. Anyways, back to statcounter t ype tools….

6. Don’t worry about the numbers – I mean that. This isn’t 2004 anymore, where there were like 10 food blogs and a handful of beauty blogs and certain types of blogs didn’t even exist (I think fashion blogs are a fairly new phenomenon, but let me know if I am wrong and there was one five years ago). There is a lot of competition in terms of the sheer number of blogs. Focus instead on the readers you have and on enjoying what you write about – somehow that always brings readers. I have found that if something interests you it will invariably interest someone else. As for what to write about, it’s completely up to you, but here are some of my thoughts:

7. Your blogging should reflect your interests – it’s that simple – I hate to use the word should, but let’s face it if you are not interested, you won’t keep writing, and that means no new content, which is a problem. You don’t need to have new content every day, but regular new content is important.

If you don’t know which of your interests to pick then…

8. Pick a broader blog topic at first and experiment Pick a couple of posts from all the things that interest you, write them, and see how you enjoy writing them and also the kind of response you get from people. If you love writing about it, that’s the most important thing, but if you are not sure, see what the response is. Here’s an example – I wrote this post about Audrey Hepburn last year. I found it hard to write, and after that pretty much decided a piece like that was not something I would write often for the blog. Yet, the response was incredibly warm and positive and really made me think about how I wanted to handle fashion topics in general on the blog.

Oh and, speaking of fashion…

9. It’s ok to make changes on your blog – it’s your blog. I wanted to write a Fashion Friday every week – it was just not happening. Instead I wanted to write about other things, so I did. My first few monthsblogging I actually only wrote about beauty products and I actually got sick of them. I know my makeup maven friends are probably horrified about this, but I did. So I focused on what posts I had written and what made me happy to write and this blog was born (I did import a lot of my old content). And yes, I tweak and change – right now I am experimenting with My City Girl Life instead of City Girl Lifestyle as a title.

10. Don’t stress too much about the template/appearance/eye candy – sure, it’s important, but it’s also easy to use that as an excuse to not write.

I will do a part 2 of this post at some point with some blogging resources. In the meantime, do leave questions in the comments, please.

Picture by ning.blog.com

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melita July 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

all very good recommendations. wish i would have access to this list when i first started blogging (4 months ago now – man, time flies). although i think i've done pretty well i can always use a refresher :)


2 Kiki July 18, 2009 at 7:18 pm

This is excellent advice – very thoughtful, but also very thought-provoking. I never seem to have posts in reserve, which is a huge mistake.

Our blogging concepts are always a work in progress, evolving as our blogs evolve, but I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on that. Besides your tips #7, 8, and 9, what other ideas do you have on solidifying one's blogging concept? Is the ideal more niche, or broader than that?


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