10 ways to make your blogging more effective : my take

 

Photo by Leo Reynolds

Photo by Leo Reynolds

 

My prof mentioned these 10 tips to make your blogging more effective in the class. I’ll list it down here, plus my own take on the tips.

 

1. Have something of value to share with other people
I would like to add something on this. Besides value, remember to give in your sincere effort for each post. Copy-pasting a valuable post from other blogs will give value, but not sincere effort. So I think the best thing is to have value AND sincere effort. Having only either one doesn’t work that well.

2. Post by some fairly regular schedule (have a tiny element of predictability) 
I can’t agree more on this. Some people might not use Google Reader or similar RSS reader (and some people who don’t even know what RSS is….) and those people will frequently manually open your blog address. If they don’t see new posts in your blog for too long, they will get bored and in the end will never open your blog again. Of course this also applies to people with RSS readers too. Some people get bombarded by hundreds of new updates everyday (sounds familiar…? :P) and if you don’t update often, you will basically get forgotten

3. Comment on other blogs 3-5 times as much as you post on yours
Online presence is important, and with thousands and thousands of blogs online, you have to make some effort to get remembered. Commenting is one good way. If you regularly comment on a blog, the owner might (or might not… oh well) go back to your blog and gives comment too.
Ok I’ll make it even simple : build a relationship.  Take note! This also means that whenever people comment on your blog, take your time and reply them. Visit their blogs and comment too as a token of appreciation. I guarantee, this will make you liked by many 😀

4. Linklove~
Haha I swear that was what I wrote in my notes. Ok the point is when you are referencing something, refer to that. It’s the web! With HTML you can literally link everything! (See what I mean?)

This brings two advantages. The first one is that you add value for your readers, so that they can read up more if they want to know more. The second one is that if you link to somebody else, who knows he/she returns your favour! In this recent trend of paid links and advertisements, free links are rare.

5. Craft attention-grabbing headlines
This is the same thing that goes for traditional journalism. And the same basic rule applies : Don’t be misleading! People in online world are cruel, really. Accept the truth. So don’t make them feel cheated and not coming back to your blog ever again.

6. Write for easy quick read/skim (keep your paragraphs/sentences short, use active verbs)
This is the top tip like seriously. Through my years of blogging I have found out that making posts scannable is really the trick. Also, adding images. And headings! Ok I won’t elaborate much, let Problogger explain it to you. Seriously, read that up. That’s good stuff. Additionally, also read the guide of how to polish individual blog posts by the same man.

7. Put the most important information first (in the first sentence)
This goes with the tips #5. Basically, make your readers glued to your post. Readers might be a very busy person, no time to really read up all thousands posts posted online. So make sure you grab his/her attention and make his/her attention worthwhile. In case you want some element of surprise, use my own strategy : put a beautiful image on top! Find some in Flickr or Deviantart. Please be wary of their license though, don’t get yourself in a legal mess.

8. Tag Wisely
Actually I’m still guilty on not really utilizing tags so I can’t comment much. The prof said that it might bring you traffic, but maybe that’s more relevant if you’re blogging on a public blogging service (like WordPress.com and Blogspot) where you can browse blog under the same service. If you’re blogging in your own personal domain, though, it might be more useful in terms of organizing and finding your relevant blog posts (and aid the readers to find relevant posts too!).

9. Join Blogging Groups
The prof mentioned ping.sg which I think is a good and prominent community meta blog in Singapore. Bear in mind, though, that even though this type of community site will be a good marketing tool, don’t abuse it too much. As a ping.sg member myself (for quite a long time already), one of the things that irk us (the members) the most are the people that use ping.sg just to advertise. The point of blogging groups is the community it builds, and how we can find new posts (and new friends!) from there.

Do not worry though, we at ping.sg people are friendly people 😀

10. Manage your persona
My prof explained this in one sweet, short, and simple sentence : “Do people want to share a conversation with someone like you?”. As for me, be wary, is all I can say. Not all people is nice in the blogosphere. Daryl Tay, a fellow blogger (who is also a senior of mine in SMU) wrote about this before. And also, remember what I said : Blog what you want, but blog responsibly.

 

My tip that is not listed here is.. Take your time. Blogging is a habit. A habit takes time to form. All you need is to repeatedly encourage that forming of habit.

Hope this will help you for your blogging! (And help you to remember your stuff in COMM215, for my fellow students. :P)

Do you yourself any other tips to share? Do leave it in the comment! 🙂

Dear Bloggers

I wrote this to be published on my personal blog, but I realize that it’s still in line for this “special” blog.

Dear bloggers, hear what I think..

***

Remember what defines you as a blogger.

If you have a blog and you update it regularly voluntarily (under no pressure of other people or rather money pressure), you’re a blogger.

This is my personal opinion, but after muddling around the blogosphere for years, this is the best term that I think defines a blogger.

And you better believe me rather than those people blogging since 2007 or later.

A blog is your space. Your personal space. Your proof of claim of that tiny space in the cyber world. It is yours. It’s read by everybody, but it’s yours. Your content is yours. Your words are yours.

And whenever you want to update your blog, there are only two rules:

  1. Blog what you want.
  2. Blog responsibly.

Yes, blog what you want. Blog about how you tried to trim your dog’s nails but it refused so it scratched your arm. Blog about your chance encounter with some hot guy in the fitness center. Blog about your grandma who told you her old stories from the war time. Blog about your hot night out with some friends.

No, blogging about technology stuff and gadgets doesn’t make you instantly cool. Blogging about social media doesn’t get you into the “top bloggers” list instantly. Trying to teach people about how to make money doesn’t make you compelling. Talking about the latest update in politics doesn’t make you smart all of a sudden.

Only blog about stuff because you WANT to. Sure, blog about that new gadget that catches your fancy because it has the cool feature you’ve been longing for. Blog about social media because you’re so excited that it can help your business’ next marketing project. Blog about making money scam you’ve encountered (oh come on, there’s a lot). Blog about politics because you study political science and you think what you studied doesn’t really apply in the real politic world.
(note that the reasons are not exhaustive, in case there are some real ahem… less intelligent people who think so)

Don’t ever feel forced. Don’t fall into peer pressure. You know what happens to the teenagers who took drugs because their friends took it too.

And secondly, blog responsibly. Now that you can blog whatever you want, be responsible. This mainly concerns your readers. Let’s just assume your blog has readers, unless it’s somewhere out there locked by password that only you know (now that, I don’t know if it’s still a blog). As I mentioned before, your blog is yours but your readers are not. And your readers’ perceptions are not yours either. And since the words are yours, they will always be attributed to yours and you can’t deny them.

Sure you had a boring day in office and your boss scolded you for not finishing your work. Well we all have our bad days don’t we? But saying “Working in ABandC Company sucks! Don’t work here” won’t be a responsible thing to say, no? Sure you met an annoying person in the bus this morning. But talking about the race of that person and labelling that race as inferior is not a wise move, right? Sure you had a big fight with your parents today but flaming them behind their back and letting out family secrets are not in any way good, are they?

You might eventually apologize and take down the post but in some readers’ memory (or in Google cache, or in screenshots), it will stay and you’ll still be labelled as irresponsible blogger.

Don’t defend your stand because of “It’s my blog and who the heck cares!”. In whatever you do, not only blogging, think about the impact of your actions. In either online world or offline world you don’t live alone, and stop pretending that you are.

There’s no gauge for good or bad blogger. There are only popular bloggers and they all have many different things that made them popular (sadly, preference to flame people and showcasing unnecessary skin included but no, you don’t have to do that, really)

I’m a blogger. You’re a blogger. Together we make the blogosphere. Not only 1 or 2 or 3 popular bloggers. We’re included too.

We are the blogosphere.

Not you too, you’re too cute

o rly?

I swear that was the real thing that Hillary said to me.

Hillary says I'm too cute

hillary saying

The plurk is here.

Anyway, If you’re too lazy to open the plurk, I was asking for opinions for a niche I can blog about. I mean, I’ve blogged about many things in my personal blog, mainly because I have too many interests. I initially wanted to talk about web 2.0 and social media, but to be honest I’m quite tired about them and I don’t want to be seen as “following the trend”. Let me talk about it later.

Suggestions came in. Krisandro mentioned accessory making, which I enjoy so much doing, but lately I have too little time to make those trinkets. Malique mentioned about simple and easy recipes, but I don’t really cook and thus I’m not really able to churn original content. Paced mentioned about movie reviews. I like movies and I like reviewing them, but the problem is I don’t watch movies that often anymore. Hillary recommended about fashion. She said I got good imagination with fashion (which is actually unproven). Well, I can write about fashion of course, but no one will really be interested I think, unless overweight girls fashion is on fire.

The reason why I didn’t want to blog about social media was that.. I believe in original content. Sure I can browse through the blogs talking about social media and then write articles similar to them. In fact I can blog about anything if I want to. Information in the Internet is endless and a bit too much. Found this, found that, copy-paste, put image, a blogpost done. But no, that’s not what I want.

So the important question is.. Why did I finally decide to blog about social media/web 2.0?

This is because.. I realize I have unique stories about social media/web 2.0. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been muddling in web 2.0 for quite some time but well.. I’m not really those prominent bloggers who has thousands of followers/subscribers, who always blog regularly (notably with lists) about “Things in Social Media”.

I’m not.

But I’m inside.

Remember this guy?
linguini
This is Linguini from the movie Ratatouille. Before he ever became the famous chef (or rather.. “chef”), he was just the cleaner in the kitchen. He’s not cooking for you, no, but he’s inside, he’s part of the kitchen/restaurant.

If this guy blogs..
head chef
(this is the head chef, by the way)
What will the blogpost be?

In restaurant business, the important thing is to bring smiles to the customer. So no matter who the customer is, no matter how weird their requests are, they’re still number one. So today I encountered this customer that sent a special request to the kitchen asking for roasted duck, but the duck must be female. You can either 1. freak out or 2. find a way to talk to them. The tactic of this is ……

But when the cleaner boy is blogging, what will it be?

You know what the most important thing in restaurant business is? Somebody who can be told to do anything impossible! Like calling duck meat suppliers and ask for female duck meat. Not just any duck meat, must be a female duck meat. So I went frantic and dealt with them and …..

This blog will contain the stories like these. Ok, not that extreme, but something you might not have heard in the middle of this social media abyss.

So keep coming back for more. For the very first time, I’m going to open up about what I think about social media/web 2.0.