Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to Improve your Blog by Kimberley Payne

Lisa Wojna entered the wonderful world of blogs with her Mom Again blog. She asked other bloggers for their thoughts and advice on making this adventure a grand success.

Bruce Atchison suggested that she add something of value in each post. “You could pass on tips and use your experiences to back them up.”

Violet Nesdoly has been blogging for over five years and has offered these five tips:

1. Focus your blog - which you've done. You know you're going to be writing about the grandparent/parent experience.

2. Decide on frequency and blog regularly so your readers aren't disappointed when they come for their expected read.

3. Do a variety of posts - always with the reader in mind. We blog readers are a selfish lot. If we don't find something of value to us (like humor, advice, news, anything relevant to us) we'll probably soon check out.

In this vein, in addition to your personal experience pieces, I'd suggest things like:
- interviews of other grandparent-parents to illustrate how they cope.
- links to articles and resources designed to help the grandparent/parent.
- links to news stories that relate to your topic + your reaction to them (it's a blog, after all).
- links to web sites that offer help and resources to people in your community (to across Canada - if there are such organizations).
- reviews of books relevant to your topic.
- practical things you do to make your life as a grandparent/parent easier.

4. Publicize your blog in places where people of your age group and interest gather. By publicize I mean read and comment on other blogs that speak of similar things. Join blog carnivals, and networks, and generally do some hanging out where the grannies with kiddoes are found. Become one of them. Because blogging is as much about community as it is about getting people to read your posts.

5. There's lots of advice out there about blogging. One of the best blogs on blogging is written by Darren Rowse from Australia - Problogger. He talks a lot about making money with a blog - but also about getting and keeping readers, blog etiquette and a whole slew of things.

Janet Sketchley agrees with all the tips Violet provided and added this tip, “If you register your blog with Facebook's NetworkedBlogs application, then each time you make a new post it will show up on your FB profile. The setup instructions are simple.”

Karen Toews offers some final thoughts on blogging, “As writers we strive for literary excellence with our work - but sometimes the only way a blog gets done is to just write it and get it out there. This two-edged sword can be a deterrent for consistent blogging (speaking to myself) but on the other hand, I've seen other bloggers' writing improve by that very exercise. Blogs often include photographs - one of you sitting cross-legged on the floor, or doing your workout would add some real punch to your post!”

Do you have any other suggestions on making a blog a grand success?


Peter Black said...

Kimberley, you do it every time - and you've done it again! That is, you've provided practical and useful tips from our friends to help your readers improve their skills.
Great post!

Kimberley Payne said...

Thanks Peter. There's so much great information available right in our own "backyard".

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