A couple of months ago, I received some very helpful tips on blogging from Bree Despain, http://www.breebiesingerdespain.blogspot.com/, and Brodi Ashton, http://www.brodiashton.blogspot.com/, both successful bloggers, writers, and twitterers. The advice was timely and captured my attention, for I was looking for something to help improve my skills.
Though, both, Bree and Brodi, thought some of their advice obvious, it was most enlightening for those of us, who, are new to the whole concept of blogging and twittering.
I took copious notes, read through the handouts they both provided, and tried to implement what I have learned. And walla, a tiny bit of success. My followers have increased as well as the hits to my blog. So I thought I would share a few of Bree's and Brodi's great advice.
1. Join the conversation. Give tips, answer questions. If someone is talking about something you're interested in, jump into the conversation and add to it. Leave comments on other's blog posts. Invite people to comment on your blog. Ask your readers questions to encourage them to comment.
2. Keep it positive. Don't put negative energy out into the world.
3. Be yourself as much as possible, but still be professional. Readers follow your blog/tweets because they want to feel like they know you. And if they feel like they know you, then they'll want to support you. People will love to read personal stories about your life as a writer (especially funny stories).
4. Think of Twitter like a micro blog post.
5. For Published authors: Don't just blog a list of announcements and upcoming events each week. People want content---whether it's a funny story about something that happened to you at a book signing, writing tips, or a contest. You have to give something to your readers if you want them to come back.
The Twelve Steps to becoming a Blogaholic. a.k.a. The things I do that work for me.
1. Keep a strict Schedule
a. Post schedule on sidebar
b. Always post on those days
c. If you aren't going to post, get a guest post.
2. Add pictures and links
a. So it's not just a large chunk of text.
b. If you mention someone else, or talk about someone else, link to them.
3. Acknowledge comments
4. Comment on other people's blogs.
5. Carry a notebook around for ideas.
6. Don't be afraid to look stupid
a. Some of my most popular blogs have been when I've said something or done something ridiculous, etc.
b. One blog everyone mentions is when my friends and I went to a conference and then walked to dinner. I could've blogged about every little thing that I learned at the conference, but instead I blogged about a spot of red liquid we found on the ground, and how we tried to determine if it was blood, and how we dipped a piece of paper in it to check for viscosity and how we then threw that paper at a lawyer's office for no reason. Believe it or not, this blog made people want to go to the SCBWI conference.
7. Despite looking stupid often, I try not to do anything that is unprofessional
8. Your Author Blog is not a Family Blog
9. Always blog like it might be someone's very first time reading it.
10. Can't think of anything to blog?
a. Just like writer's block, sit down and type.
b. Start typing about what you did last week, and what you have planned for this week. Things will come to you.
c. Consult your notebook
d. Look at your iphone picture folder or your recent photo card. You'll find things to blog about. There's a reason you pulled out your camera to take a picture. Use it. As a related note, take lots of pictures.
e. Have you found anything interesting on the Internet or other people's blogs? Copy it, and make sure to attribute it and link to the original source.
11. Host giveaways or contest.
12. Ask people to follow.
To them, I say, "Thank you." To you, my readers, I say, "Hope you find this advice as useful as I did."
Keep on blogging. I love reading your posts!