I’m a sucker for reading blogging tips, because:
1. They distract me from blogging.
2. They distract me from blogging while educating me on how to make the process easier or more efficient or somehow better for me and the reader and quite possibly the aliens who excavate this blog in the year 5000.
So when I peeled back the writing curtain of a fellow scribe and discovered Nina Badzin’s post from 2011 titled Blogging Tips: What I Know Now, I eagerly read it.
Here, paraphrased, is what this now-seasoned blogger thought she knew about blogging when she started out, versus what she discovered a year later.
#1. She thought she needed a cute or catchy blog name, and now knows: “You don’t.”
Uh-oh. I’ve got the cute or catchy blog name. But I must admit, I love forcing people to say “squirrels in the doohickey” aloud, especially the folks in technical services when something goes amuck on my server. However, I don’t like having to spell “doohickey,” so she might have a point.
#2. She thought family and friends would read her blog, and now knows: “They mostly don’t.”
Boy, is that the truth! Other than my aunt, it appears my family and friends have better things to do than read about the nutty stuff I do when confronted with the stuff that drives me nutty. Which, come to think of it, makes it fair game to blog about them regularly.
#3. She thought the blog would suck up every minute of writing time, but now knows: “It doesn’t.”
What!? How is this possible? Well, according to Nina, she posts once a week so she can spend the rest of the week on fiction. I noticed she’s also an advice columnist and contributing writer and essayist and WAIT A MINUTE…how does she find time for all that writing!? I post once a week too, but by the time I’ve drafted a piece in my head, typed it up, revised it fifty times, and realized the revisions are worse than the original draft, I’ve blown a good five hours. I need a time management plan. But who’s got the time?
#4. She thought her readers would return to her blog to see her response to their comments, but now knows: “Most do not.”
Since my aunt is the only person leaving a comment, I don’t have this problem. Okay, I’m lying. More people than my aunt leave comments. Three. Okay, I’m downplaying the truth here. There’s five. And two of them are friends, so I lied about that, too, and while I’m coming clean, my pops reads my blog, and comments via telephone. But I digress.
While I’m digressing…
I usually get somewhere between 1 and 70 hits on my blog per day. And then, on Friday, August 21, 2015, I had 928. That’s nine hundred and twenty-eight hits! Was this spam? Was this some underpaid computer genius in the Ukraine wasting company time? Or was this one of those five commenters checking back to see if I’d responded to their comments? No, these visitors came from Facebook. I’m not even on Facebook. But someone who is on Facebook and has a ton of followers (or a ton of aunts) ,“liked” my post (the one about introverts wanting to avoid becoming party poopers), and 450 more introverted Facebookers “liked” it, and the whole thing snowballed. And continues to snowball! Now, before you tell me this is a Facebook glitch: don’t. Let me bask in the delusion that 928 people other than my aunt actually read my work on Friday, August 21, 2015. And if you, dear reader, are the fairy godperson who initially started this snowball effect, please announce yourself so I can send you a lifetime supply of gratitude.
But did any of those 928 people leave comments?
#5. She thought she would be the kind of blogger who offered giveaways, displayed badges, sought ads, etc., but now knows: “I’m not.”
Okay, I don’t even know what badges are. And giveaways? Of what? Aren’t my demented ramblings enough?
#6. She wishes she had set up a self-hosted site from the get-go.
Score! This I did. Self-hosting from the start is a must. I got that tip from Nina Amir (another seasoned blogger), the author of How to Blog a Book.
So, those are Nina Badzin’s tips. To find out why she knows what she now knows, (or knew), in 2011, here’s a link to the post, which I heartily recommend reading. Leave a comment while you’re there.
And as a bonus for reading this far, here’s two more tips, from me:
#7. I thought I needed to come up with a new post every week, but now I know that I can re-purpose somebody else’s post and add my goofy comments. But only with the best intentions and utmost respect and prior permission.
#8. I thought I wanted readers in the thousands, but now I know that if thousands of readers left comments, all of my free time (which is zero) would be filled trying to respond to each and every one (even though Nina Badzin advises against such madness, and rightly so); still, I would drive myself to respond, all the while yearning for the good ‘ol days when my aunt was the only person who read, and commented on, my blog.
Feel free to leave a comment about this post. And “like” it. Let’s see if we can top Friday’s numbers!