It’s a Learning Curve
Since starting a blog I have been on a steep learning curve. So steep that sometimes I think I need climbing boots and some grappling irons.
Here are a few pointers that I’ve gleaned which will hopefully save you time when crafting your own blog:
Keep to the Subject
Do not, for example, start a blog about art and then write random thoughts about your life, your problems and your favourite comedian.
Readers of online articles are fickle with short attention spans, eager to skip to the next exciting article so you need a relevant engaging picture to keep them on track. Rather like a picture book for a two year old.
Search for relevant images which make your blog both beautiful to look at but also are relevant to your article ie. don’t put in images of horses just because you like horses.
No, I said DON’T put the horse in.
Creative Commons will be a Big Part of your Life
Search for images that you can legally use on your blog.
Please be aware that you may need to spend the best part of your weekend searching for an example of John F Herring Snr’s paintings that you are certain you can use without infringing any copyright issues and failing miserably.
Copyright versus Shopping
Please be aware that you will also have to delay your weekend shopping trip while you read reams of articles about the legality of copyright. Then once you’ve read up on it, you’ll probably be too worried about including any images you’ve found, just in case you end up being sued and paying vast amounts of damages. Then you may as well include that image of a horse anyway to brighten up the page. But better make it a photo of your own horse taken with your own camera by yourself, just to be on the safe side.
Oh, alright, put the horse in.
Include a Call to Action
Bloggers insist that this point has to be followed – but blogging instructions are never that simple – should you include one (and make it a big one) or should you include several?
All agree however that, when writing a blog post, you should never include too many! Never.
What is a Call to Action?
Incidentally if anyone actually finds out what a Call to Action is, let me know. (Whenever I’m at a loose end I google it but I keep getting it mixed up with a Call to Arms which is something completely different.)
Money, Money, Money
Monetize (is that a word?) your site.
If the aim of you blog is, possibly, to enable you to quit working in an office, you are going to face it and read all those emails WordPress send you about monetising your blog, and this means advertising.
Put a Price on Your Soul
For some, this may be equivalent to selling your soul to the devil. You don’t have to do it, but then don’t come crying to me about the fact that you still have to work in a boring office.
Write High Quality Posts
(See Keep to the Subject above)
Read Other Blogs
You may think you do not have the time, but you must MAKE time to read other people’s blogs, like them, follow them and comment. You need to connect with other bloggers to widen your network.
Timing is Everything
Time your posts to be published at the optimum time to catch readers. This is a difficult one for me as I live in England but most of my readers seem to live in Italy or Canada or Khazakstan. Do not embark on an epic blog writing journey in the summer when you actually would be better off going out and mowing the lawn.
Length of Blog Post
This is a matter of opinion and subject. For example, if you were writing a blog about Neighbours it would probably consist of one word – Hell. This would be sufficient, but if you are writing about other subjects you may want to aim for a minimum of 500 words.
Keep a Copy of your Blogposts
Do not rely on WordPress to save your work.
I get days when my blog posts in WordPress autosave, days when I get the message ‘You have unsaved changes. Are you sure you want to leave this page?’ and despite pressing save I am continually told that I haven’t. At worrying times my draft pages mysteriously appear blank and then my heart is gripped with terror at the thought of all those lost hours of work; then I shut down the website and reopen and, hey presto, there are all my lovely blogs posts again!
Sometimes my blog posts autosave, sometimes they don’t! Who knows why but it sure is fun living life on the edge.
So always copy your blog posts into Word as a backup.
Read Some Good Posts about Themes
Here are some on another highly successful blog: Best WordPress Themes
Sharing and Spreading the Word
Ask people to share your blog posts on Pinterest, Facebook and wherever they want to. (Beg, plead and maybe lay on the ground and grip their ankles if necessary.)
Well, that’s it in a nutshell – please excuse me now; I am going back to my office job to have a rest.
© Michelle Le Grand
PS . Here’s some more horses…..