Listography: tips for bloggers

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I’ve now been blogging for six whole months. I’m not sure if that makes me a newbie or an old pro. Does six months give me leave to give blogging tips? Probably not. Oh well I’ll do it anyway.

There is so much I still don’t understand about blogging. What is it? Why is it so addictive? Why is it called such a stupid name? How do you improve your stats? Why on earth are bloggers (or mummy bloggers at any rate) so obsessed with gin, its gross. However I’m modestly pleased with my stats and ranking after six months. For what it’s worth, these are a few things I’ve learned. Learn from my rookie mistakes, or just have a laugh at the stooopid newbie.

1.  Before you start, be careful, blogging can be very addictive. It is a bit like being taken over by a cult or a new religion. One minute you’re spending your evenings reading, watching television or binge drinking; normal pursuits. The next you’re spending every waking moment tweeting, commenting and blogging. It must be disconcerting for a blogger’s family. As with any new religion, you find yourself telling everyone all about it and boring them silly. You look in the mirror and the face that stares back at you has the eyes of a zealot and the dark circles of someone who hasn’t been to sleep at a decent time for weeks. Life suddenly seems pointless unless you can write a post about it. What is the point on doing anything which won’t be viewed by 259 people and receive a handful of comments? It’s at this point when you may realise you have a problem. Your family look at you differently and you hear dark mutterings about an intervention. You have a forced few days when you can’t access you’re computer and find yourself getting the jitters. Or maybe it’s just me. Anyway proceed with caution.

2. Think long and hard before you give your blog a name. If it’s too baby related you may have to change it in a few months when the baby gets bigger. In my case, I had no idea that at some point I would attend blogging events. At said blogging events I would be wearing a name badge. Therefore on my chest I would have a label saying Here Come The Girls. Perhaps if I were somewhat more voluptuous in the chest department I would flaunt said badge with pride, as it is it feels a bit like false advertising.

3. Get a domain name for your blog straight away, otherwise you will be in the position I’m in at the mo, of not being sure whether to change and lose any ranking etc or just stick with it. Of course when I started I had no idea what ranking was so didn’t want to fork out for something I might never use.

4. Decide what you want from blogging. I’m still not sure about this one. I just find writing is a compulsion.  You might want a personal log of your children growing up in which case you’re not really going to care about stats or any of that business. You might want to be Britain’s top blogger. You might be blogging as a form of therapy. You might just want to bag a load of freebies. Everyone is different after all. What seems fairly consistent is that what every blogger wants is comments. If someone takes the time to comment then they’re read what you’ve written enough to form an opinion, and what writers of every ilk want is people to read their writing otherwise they might as well just write a diary marked private. The way I’ve found to get comments is to take the time to read and comment on other people’s blogs. I only comment if I have something to say but it does mean people sometimes return the favour.

5. OK. This one is none of my business. So far I’ve only talked about my blog. I don’t feel I have any right to say anything about anyone else’s blog. The thing is I’m a teacher and I know quite a few other bloggers are teachers or journalists. Anyway you can take the teacher out of the classroom but you can’t take the classroom out the teacher and there’s one thing that has me itching to get out my teacher’s marking pen. However, as it’s none of my business what anyone else puts on my blog and I am not the blogging police I’m going to say it very quickly and apologise a lot. Sorry sorry, sorry, but please use a capital for I. Phew that’s been bugging me for weeks.

There we go. Can’t wait to read the other tips over at Listography. Let’s see which things I do annoy other people. Maybe blog about blogging perhaps?

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