I wish I knew more about blogging.
Seriously, I assumed I would have this blogging thing figured out by now. TMTF has been around for two and a half years. I’ve written nearly two hundred fifty posts—not counting a novella, some short stories, dozens of geeky commentaries, a handful of guest posts for other blogs and a series of reflections upon the Christian faith.
In all of this, I somehow managed to avoid learning anything.
All right, I may have learned a few things, but I want to learn more. I want to be a better blogger, and I’m asking for your help.
Today, dear reader, is your day! Today is the day you share your blogging wisdom! Tell me: If you have ever contributed to a blog or website, what is the most important insight, lesson, tip or trick you have learned?
I want to hear what you have to say! I ask, implore, beg, command, dare and/or defy every blogger reading this to share at least one piece of blogging advice. I especially want to learn how to build a stronger platform, so insights into reaching a wider audience are particularly appreciated!
Share your advice in the comments below! If you prefer not to comment, use this blog’s Contact page or find me on Twitter to share your thoughts. I want to hear what you have to say!
Ladies and gentlemen, the floor is yours. Today I am your student. Take it away!
I think good expansive blogging always starts with connection. Connection via Twitter, commenting on other blogs, etc. This is something I’m still working on, but it makes sense that if I don’t connect with other bloggers they’ll be less likely to connect with me. That’s not to say I “have” to connect, because I do truly “want” to. I never want to leave a thoughtless “that’s cool!” comment on someone’s blog and not actually say something of substance. Since this whole writing thing is the heart of my life, I want to surround myself with others who share this similar heart (slash burden).
Aside from connecting, I’m learning to be all about the SEO when writing/publishing my posts. Do you have the Yoast plugin? It’s helped me so much in writing easily searchable posts. I’m just now learning to check my search terms regularly and write posts based on what people are coming to my blog looking for.
When I was at Donald Miller’s Storyline conference last October, I also learned some “no-brainers” like writing blog posts with intriguing/shocking titles, using bolded words/headings to make posts more scan-able, and asking thoughtful closing questions to stir discussion in comments.
It’s all a big long slow process, but I guess the main thing is consistency! If writing is your heart, then you must write. 2+ years into this blogging journey, just like you, I can look back and be proud of a (mostly) consistent posting schedule. Striving to keep that going no matter how busy my “real life” gets.
I’ve actually been meaning to find more blogs to follow! There are just a handful I read regularly, and I’d like to follow more: particularly on the subjects of faith, writing and geek culture. Any recommendations?
I’ll do a little research and check for the Yoast plugin. I know hardly anything about SEO, so I guess that’s not a bad place to start.
Thanks for your thoughtful response! 🙂
I don’t really have any blogging wisdom, but I feel obliged to comment. I have to say, I rather like your blog. I like that you update regularly; I like that your posts are well-written and relevant with dashes of humour thrown in.
I wonder if blogging is something like figuring out what to have for dinner: no matter how many years of practice you have, you never get good at it.
Thanks for your kind words! I think you may be right in wondering whether blogging can really be mastered. I suppose we can only try!
Don’t know about any words of wisdom or how to build a platform, but I will say that I found your site because you guest posted for SCL.
I’ll always be grateful to Jon Acuff for letting me post on his site! If only I could come up with another idea for an SCL guest post….
I will commiserate with you Adam; I know next to nothing about this whole blogging thingamajig. All I can do is nod my head in agreement with everyone else.I will add my voice to Alyssa’s – I really appreciate your consistent updates (even with your hiatuses), it’s something I need to work on, but you’ve got down pat. But I think TMZ’s point about connecting is key, after all, that’s part of why I stuck around here. Of course, I’m terrible at that as well – problems of being extremely introverted. I lurk far more than comment on sites.
But if you want recommendations, here are a few:
Christ and Pop Culture http://christandpopculture.com/
Looking Closer http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lookingcloser/
The Rabbit Room http://www.rabbitroom.com/
I may have mentioned this somewhere before in a comment, but check out Jeff Goins, he writes about building platforms/blogs/whatever, and his story is pretty inspirational (barely any readers 4 years ago, now has an email subscription list of over 200,000, and publishers asking him to write books for them). He’s also handled Jon Acuff’s blogs before, I think.
He has a whole page devoted to blogging tools, tricks, and tips:
Thanks for the recommendations! I will certainly check them out.