Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blogging for (Dummies) Novice Folk

Do you blog?  Is your blog still a work in progress or do you feel confident it could win a Top 10 Blog Award?

It has been just over six months since I started this Blog and presented my first post, When Dreams Wake You Up.  Six months have given me an edge over what I knew then but I still have a ways to go.  As a fairly new blogger, I would prefer to label myself a novice rather than a dummy, although I do enjoy the Dummies and Idiot’s books offered to readers for any subject under the sun. 
Oddly enough, I haven’t thought to buy a Dummies book on blogging.  I believe this is due to how much advice I have been able to gain from other bloggers; advice that is always available at my fingertips whenever the need strikes me. 

And the need strikes me quite often. 
Recently, I posted about various projects I’m working on in The Construction Zone, including my book cover and conversion of my book so that I can sell it as an eBook.  But I also mentioned making changes to my Blog.  At this point, the changes may not be immediately noticed and it is still a work in progress.  One cosmetic change I made was to add a tagline and I also reduced the amount of labels, actually cutting the number to half of what I had. 

But there is so much more to blogging then how the home page looks. 
I’ve been reading, researching, taking in advice, some of which I’ll use and some I’ll ignore.  I’m still sifting through all the material I have obtained so that I can figure out how I’m going to put it to good use.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a few posts I’ve read with regard to blogging and the advice offered by others.

First, how to manage your blogging style…do you know your blogging style?  After reading this post on 8 Blogging Styles You Can Use Today by The Book Designer, I am most certainly a Newbie blogger.  My favorite part about this label is that I can “fail without penalty” as I pass on my experiences to readers. 
How about the focus of the content for your blog?  Jeff Goins offers a Helpful Writing Exercise to Focus Your Blog Content.  My focus is hopefully clear enough and I think my new tagline explains it well enough…I work to live but I dream to write and I am making my dream a reality.   My subject is writing and how I am managing the time to write as a busy mom with a full-time job and I want to share with readers my experiences as a write and move towards publication.

Speaking of finding the time to write…that’s a hot topic for me as I juggle work, writing, kids, blogging and so much more.  Many of the bloggers who offer tips about blogging also tend to offer tips about time management.  However, here’s a post with a different spin, How to Write a Blog Post in 30 Minutes or Less.  More than finding the time to put together posts, this blogger gives you tips on spending less time with each post.  While 30 minutes might not always be possible, I have to agree with most of the points in the post because without preparation and discipline, it’s easy enough to spend two hours on one post.   
If the focus of your content gets blurry or you tend to feel unprepared and out of material, you could be facing content-writing burn-out.  Some can write daily, others just a few times a week and some only once a week.  I prefer a few times a week; more than that would just be too much.  However, if you blog and you feel burnt-out, try these tips from Daily Blog Tips in the post Five Ways to Avoid Content-Writing Burn-Out.

And finally, there is advice on how to avoid blog traffic killers and how to keep the attention of your readers.  Jane Friedman has offered great advice ever since I first found her blog and she offers simple advice on the Top 10 Blog Traffic Killers.  Judy Lee Dunn, full of advice about blogging, shared her tips on the 21 Things I Did to Get My Blog to Top 10 Status.  This post offers very good advice with easy ideas on how to improve your blog and reach more readers.
While this is only a small portion, a tiny fraction really, of the advice out there, these blogs are some that I frequently visit due to each bloggers’ sound advice and experience.  I’m doing my best to make use of the advice they have offered and while it is certainly not a quick fix, I look forward to what I can do to improve my Blog as I follow the advice of others who are willing to share what works, or doesn’t work, for them.

Now, on to the next six months of blogging…

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