Advice to new bloggers

by Richard on July 23, 2007

In which Richard lights his pipe and settles back into his rocking chair as eager new bloggers gather in anticipation of his wisdom.*

So you’ve got a new blog. Congratulations! But what will you do with it? These are my few tips for making your blog all that you want it to be.

First, what are you going to be writing about? If you decide to take a ’scattergun’ approach, writing about whatever comes into your sights, that’s fine. I do that. Most blog-gurus seem to advise exploiting a niche, and that’s an approach that works well for many. But don’t try to mix the two forms. If you’re writing your blog about say, ferret-keeping in Wales, don’t put in random posts about Iranian cuisine or Scout-troop politics. Feed your audience with good stuff, they’ll keep coming. But don’t make them hunt for the things they want. Most of them won’t bother.

On the subject of audience, don’t pretend to yourself that size doesn’t matter. All the bloggers I’ve ever known would rather be read by 10 people than 2. But if you really aren’t troubled about your readership numbers, don’t write posts about them. You’ll sound self-contradictory.

If you’re writing from a very clear perspective, make sure that what you write doesn’t undermine that perspective. Lets say you blog as “Welshferretkeeper” and have a headline about being a champion ferret-keeper in Wales. Don’t then write lots of posts about how rotten most other ferret-keepers are, and how the Ferret-Keepers Association of Wales is a disgrace to Mustelidae. It would be much better to write positive posts about the joys of ferret-keeping and your advice on the best way to keep ferrets than to write negatively about how badly others do it. Share your knowledge. Try not to sneer.

Lastly, be yourself. Your blog is your own and your readers will want your personality and individuality to come through. Unless you’re joyless and over-bearing. Then it would be better to pretend to be someone else.

*Something like that

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1

John Meunier 07.24.07 at 3:02 am

Thank you for the wisdom, sensei.

Your last two points are especially well made.

2

BD 07.24.07 at 3:34 am

Well said, however I demand a new keyboard, I sprayed tea on it reading the fine print. Not good for all those spring things inside.:^)

Speaking of little critters, how are yours doing?

3

Kim 07.24.07 at 7:55 am

I just googled “ferret-keeping”. Very interesting. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll now do a “Ten Propositions on Ferret-Keeping”.

One proposition will be on how ferrets survived the Great Flood (I shall hypothesise that Noah kept a pair down his trouser-legs). Another on the levitical teaching on eating ferrets (I suspect that my research will show that they are cultically unclean). Another on how we should not throw our pearls before ferrets. I’ll expect a lot of hate-comments.

By the way, I saw a video-recording of an old Taggart last night. The police took a suspect’s PC apart and discovered that he was a regular visitor of “coneXXXions”. It was a very naughty blog.

4

Richard 07.24.07 at 9:32 am

You mean you have time to watch television?! Shame on you.

I’ll look forward to the 10 Propositions though. Will they be specific to ferets, or will you include all elongated carnivorous mammals?

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