Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Help Needed: Blogging

I don't often talk about my day job on here, and to be honest, I'm not about to start now. However, I've been tasked with delivering a masterclass session about blogging for those foundation degree students who need to set up and produce a blog throughout their time here. I'm doing it because, being a writer with an active social media presence, I'm deemed to know what I'm talking about. OK, so a lot of my experience has come within blogging as a writer, not a designer, but the skills are transferable.

BUT. It's difficult to remember what it was like when I set up my first Blogger blog back in 2009 (first ever post is here), and a lot of what I know has been steadily accrued over that time. I've covered the likes of use of images (and copyright) and how to find blogs to follow, as well as drive traffic to your blog, but what I want to know is...
  • Have you got any specific questions about blogging that you want addressed?
  • What do you wish you'd known when you first got started?
  • What do you worry you're doing wrong?
  • What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Any answers will be helpful, just to make sure I give the students everything they need to start blogging and, more importantly, enjoy it!

8 comments:

M. Leon Smith said...

The specific question I had when I started is 'Why?'. Why was I doing it, specifically.
The only advice I have to a new blogger is blog about something that is true to you. Blogs are used as promotional vehicles and a blog written solely for that aim will come across as contrived and won't attract readers.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I have to echo M. Leon, I haven't have many questions when it comes to the logistics. Blogging is fairly easy. I think new bloggers should know why and how to choose a platform that works for them. And why they are blogging for. Like M. Leon said, if what they want is sale something, they will have a difficult time if they approach it from the front, the best things is to keep it personal, real, and within a niche.

When it comes to technicalities about blogging, you can always check out http://www.problogger.net/ he seems to know everything and then a little more ;-)

Great luck with your lecture.

Icy Sedgwick said...

You've both raised really good points - I don't want them to feel like they HAVE to blog (although they do, it's a requirement), I want them to feel like they WANT to. Thank you!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I have to agree with everyone here... write what's in your heart. Otherwise, there's no point.

Tony Noland said...

Be consistent. Post regularly. Respond to comments. Be polite. Don't tolerate asshattery. Give credit. Use metrics to monitor your traffic. Proofread before posting.

alannahmurphy said...

Hope I can give you a different point of view...

I began to blog in 2010 because I was told that as a modern writer, you HAVE to, so there I went, writing a blog. I have to admit, most of the time, it was like pulling teeth. I hated talking about writing, and at times, I'd write about other things, such as music, because I am a former rock musician.

Anyway, fast-forward a year, and I finally came to the realisation that I didn't care I HAVE to write a blog because I'm a writer, and decided to change my blog to music ONLY.

Now, I'm really enjoying having a blog, it's given me something to do that I actually ENJOY. Will it get me 'readers' for my novel? Probably not, but I don't care, I can't make myself write about writing just to get readers...

Sorry for the long post...

Tim VanSant Writes said...

I think alannahmurphy hit a really important point: find a way to enjoy it. A blog is not a permanent thing. I use mine as a playground and I have changed the design, content, focus, and schedule several times. I'm planning more changes too. Even if you're using it as a sales platform or a part of building your brand, don't be afraid to change it and try new things.

flyingscribbler said...

I see my blog as a useful writing tool: a) it gets me writing in the first place. b) I can try out new writing styles when I feel like it and write about different things, fiction and non-fiction. c) It can help me to connect with other bloggers and writers. Basically, it's all about the writing. Oh and, d) Ignore your stats. The depression will stop you in your tracks.

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