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! 🙂

web 2.0 and me

Let’s backtrack to my history in web 2.0 to see whether I’m credible to talk about web 2.0.

I’ve been muddling around web 2.0 for years now, after started blogging in my MSN space. But that blog had just 2 entries and thus I don’t think I need to link it 😛 I then moved to Friendster Blogs and was blogging until about 2006. I then moved to Blogger. At this point of time I was still blogging in my mother tongue (Indonesian). After I moved to Singapore in 2006, a friend encouraged me to move to a self-hosted wordpress site. After messing around with sites, I firmly stay in My Grey World.

And this was the time when I knew about web 2.0. This was the video that made me understand what web 2.0 is.

I wrote about it here in my personal blog.

Anyway, after a while, I found out about ping.sg. It was initially a desperate plea to get traffic, but after that I found out about their shoutbox and through that, I joined their outings after outings and soon after online friends become personal offline friends. Yes apparently it can happen. Give me another post to talk about this later.

And after reading so much rave in ping.sg and other sites, I joined Twitter. And became addicted to it quite instantly. Especially for the fact that I can update it via phone/sms (provided I have enough credit for international sms – yes I still use pre-paid cards). Blogposts in my personal blog decreased – since posting short updates in blog is no longer necessary (which I did often actually). After Twitter, I joined the hype again : Plurk. It’s microblogging with conversation, perfect for me.

I also joined del.icio.us and digg but I don’t really use it that much nowadays. Another web 2.0 “thingy” I like is StumbleUpon. It’s more like a time-waster,
a stumbler's day

but I have discovered a lot of great sites (and great procrastinator tools) through it. Since I’m a music person, I also joined last.fm, and later a late adopter of imeem. I like to take pictures so I joined Flickr and even became a pro member, but I left it eventually since I realized I don’t really need it that much.

And what’s web 2.0 without Social Networking, yes? I adopted Friendster quite early, and it was the “in” thing when I was in high school. Along the way social networking sites sprouted out and I joined liveconnector, hi5, myspace, and maybe other sites I forgot. (you can see the list here) At SMU Facebook seemed to be the hype so I joined and quite hooked on it since. I make use of a lot of applications and I have about 400 (real) friends there.

So there you go. Web 2.0 and me.

The question is still unanswered though. So am I credible enough to talk about web 2.0?

My personal answer is : perhaps. Web 2.0 (or a bit narrower, social media/new media) consists of a lot of things and while all those things are extremely interesting and useful (in some sense), I don’t use them all.

Ask me something though, and I’ll be glad to share.