You are welcome to Week 3 of our “So, You Want to Blog?” series. Yay!
In Week 1, you got the extra ginger you needed to get started. In Week 2, we talked about choosing the best blogging platform for you. I believe we are ready to move on to the main, the main, blogging itself.
You know what you want to blog about- pick anything, how does the spirit lead? My first post on this blog was so creatively titled ‘First Post’, haha, so no pressure. I’m going to leave that bit to you. It’s your blog remember?
Today, I am here to share a bunch of things you should keep in mind as you prepare, and blog your content. Rules to live or blog by, so to speak. 🙂
- Choosing Your Theme
Pick a theme with a font that’s easy on the eye. A font that’s not too small and doesn’t look like calligraphy.
- As Little Clutter As Possible.
When a blog/site looks like too much is going on, it’s very distracting and doesn’t make for a very captivating experience. On sites like WordPress, there are like over 30 widgets for you to choose from, you don’t need them all. Strive to have a space as clear and easy to use as possible, and if you don’t really have an eye for aesthetics (it’s okay, really), you could ask someone you know that does, or even a stranger.
- Write what you know.
This may be a writing cliche, but it is so true. If you think about the topic and you don’t know much, I’m not saying you should trash it. It means this is an opportunity to know more, so get to it. Research. It’s important.
- Have a word limit
If you’re not an experienced writer, I think it’s a great idea to have a word limit for starters. Why? So you don’t get tired, and also, so you can self-regulate yourself, and not go on for so long. In a post with no photographs, 1000 words is a lot. 500-700 words is a great limit. You may go over sometimes, but try. Less can be more too.
- All the simple rules of grammar still apply.
If you don’t work in a field where you are supposed to dot your T’s and cross your Is, refresh your memory. You may think that this is a given, but I’ve read blogs with zero punctuation, and no care for little things like beginning sentences with capital letters. The rules still apply, please be guided.
- Edit, Edit, Edit!!
On the average, it takes me 3 hours to write a single post. This does not include the time spent thinking about the post, or planning for it, outlining the structure of it. I mean, the time spent to bang out a post and do the first set of edits. Editing is important- to catch your errors, as well as to eliminate what’s redundant. When you’ve done yours, you can leave it and come back to the post, or do like I do, ask a friend (MeeMee) to look at it with fresh eyes.
- Keep a blog book.
I’ve been making notes about my blog since I really started blogging frequently in 2013- notes about ideas I had, things I’d seen and I wanted to research. At first, I would do it in whatever notebook or paper I had on me at the time (I always have writing material!) or on my phone, but I became more organized when I set aside a little notebook for it. The last 2 years, I have used little black moleskines that I like to call “My Little Blog Book”: haha, get it? There’s a teensy joke in there. No? No? Sorry. So, okay. Just make notes. Cassie Daves beat me to it, she launched her blogplanners this year! Getting one would be a good idea, she has got quotes and stuff to inspire you, help you plan your posts. But, any book or any form of note taking remains fine.
- Link back!
Give credit to whom credit is due. This is a cardinal rule of blogging or writing anywhere! DO NOT lift material indiscriminately from other people’s sites. Quoting a few lines (3-4) is fine, but anything more than that is not. State the quote, and link back to the original article. Anything more and you need to ask for permission to reproduce. To not link back is to steal, and that’s not cool.
723 words so far, haha. This has been long enough. We aren’t done though, so please be back next week when we continue our course. There’s more to talk about: amateur blog photography, sure fire tricks to drive traffic to your blog (this doesn’t apply to newbies alone!), how to make blog friends- amongst other things.
I hope this has been helpful so far. As always, I appreciate your feedback, so if you think this is boring- say so. If you are enjoying this, let me know too. Share with your friends! If there’s anything you’d like to add to today’s subjects- Appearances & Writing, please share your wisdom.
Alright, see you next Wednesday!
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