First, I would say, APPRECIATE YOUR READERS. There are millions of blogs out there (I've seen a figure of 152 million). You've come to my blog. You've gotten to the second paragraph. Thank you!
I've published some of these observations before, but good advice never gets old. Here are six things I learned (expressed as wishes) from all my years of blogging.
1. I wish I knew there was such a thing as blogging challenges when I started. If you want to grow your readership (and who doesn't want followers, for either personal or business reasons?), this is one of the fastest ways to increase your readership. In turn, by reading the blogs of those in your challenge, you will quickly learn what works - and what doesn't.
I blogged for over two years not knowing about challenges, and I would not be blogging today if I hadn't been told (by a friend who is a writer) about them.
2. I wish I knew that consistent posting is key. I highly recommend daily posting, at least for the first month or two of your blog. Once you establish yourself, what becomes necessary is not daily posting, but, rather, consistent posting. If you don't want to post daily - and many bloggers don't want to, or can't - then it helps your readers to know that you have a schedule. Then stick to it.
3. I wish I knew there is no such thing as a perfect blog post. Perfection is not necessary. Passion IS necessary. If you don't like what you write, your readers won't, either.
If you love something, work that into your blog posts. If you couldn't care less about that topic, don't bother. Blog about something you love. I can't emphasize this enough. That dislike/boredom/lack of passion will show right through your writing.
4. But, you must know what your readers want. A blog is not all about you. It is about your readers, too. My readers seem to love pictures of snow (in the winter) and flowers (the rest of the year). I've been a bit distracted recently, but if you stick around until tomorrow, I promise you some snow.
5. I wish I knew how important blogging comments are. Those comments are more valuable to a blogger than breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even good chocolate. For example, a couple of years ago I wrote a post about fall. Where I live, fall is a big deal - it is our premier season. A couple of my readers gently reminded me that much of the world does not experience quite the same fall as upstate New York (where I live). My sin? I had taken my readers for granted.
Even now, when things get busy in my life, I forget to respond to my commenters - not a good practice.
If you do disagree, which is fine, please, please, please, be respectful. There is a person, a living, breathing human being with feelings, on the other end of that blog post you like or dislike. If you lurk, please comment on some other blog posts today!
6. Be real. Be you. It's not as easy as you think, but it is worth the effort.
Did you enjoy this challenge? Will you do another one?
|Some flowers for you, my readers|