March 10, 2010

Blogging 101: Christa's Top 10 rules of starting a blog

A friend requested yesterday that I talk about blogging.
So here's my tips of being a successful blogger
I might not have this biggest following out there but I have learned a few things along the way.

Let us begin.....

1. Have a Picture of Yourself.
Unless you're going for an anonymous blog such as "Waiter Rant" which in the end he even revealed himself. Then you're forgiven :) I recommend a photo in your header or in your profile. If you need help with this, send me an email and I'll show you how to do it.

2. Be Honest
Be true to who you are, don't pretend you love fashion magazines if you don't. Don't pretend you're a vegetarian if you have KFC on speed dial. Not everyone will agree with you or like you but it's your honesty that will keep readers coming back.

3. Keep it PG
Please please please put an advisory somewhere if you're going to have nude photos or a potty mouth.

4. Meet Expectations
If you're going to blog every day then great, if you think you can maintain a good blog by blogging once a week then meet your readers expectations and only blog once a week. If the Monday thru Friday blogging works for you (this "tends" to be my style) then do it, if you're a weekend only blogger then do it. Find out a schedule that works for you and STICK TO IT!

5. Keep it Anonymous
It is okay to talk about your husband if your husband is aware of your blog and writing style. It's okay to talk about your kids (please no nude bath tub photos out of respect for your child in their older years, in the family album sure, but on the internet for the world to see, no)
However, if a neighbour is getting on your last nerve, somehow disguise your rant in some way shape, or form. Otherwise count on having an even worse neighbour along with hurt feelings. Even if they seem like a gremlin. You NEVER know who's reading your blog.

6. Be Consistent
What's your blog about? It is about food, a charity, life in general? Keep with the program.
My friend Myrna has a blog, I think of it as a double edged sword. It's called Confessions of a Chocoholic. Are all her blog posts about eating chocolate? Definitely not....but her blog is about confessions of her life, which includes a weakness to chocolate, a battle with her scales, and even more honest confessions about ex-boyfriends, not shaving her legs, and up rooting her family to start a small business.

7. Be Positive
Nothing worse than using your blog to whine, complain and be the victim of your own life. Everyone has enough of their own problems. They don't want to hear about yours too. However, if every now and then you're having a bad day and looking for the support of your readers, go ahead. It goes back to the being honest part. They'll appreciate that you have real feelings and not Kathy-Lee Gifford.

8. Stop Apologizing
If you miss a week of blogging, and then do a post and then you miss a month and then do a post. Do NOT start each of these posts with sorry I haven't written in a while, or I'm a such a bad blogger.....blah blah blah. Boring! Don't do it. Just be consistent as mentioned above, if for some reason your MIA which is out of the normal for you then an apology every now and then is okay. Again this goes back to Meeting Expectations. If you don't stick to your schedule....your problem...stop apologizing about it.

9. Read your Blog post Before Publishing
Yes we'll all make spelling errors, grammatical errors, and so on but please give your post a final read before posting. Sometimes you might catch a major error or realize it's a really bad draft and needs some revisions.

10. Have Fun
If you're dreading doing a post and feel like every time you sit down to write it's like pulling teeth. It might be time to admit you're not a blogger and do not enjoy doing so. There's nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs to be true to who they are.

I'm no pro at blogging but as a seasoned blogger and an obsessed follower of blogs, these are my tips that I feel would help any beginner. I hope it does  :)
Happy Blogging!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. I will definitely use them. :)

spiffykerms said...

Great tips! I hate it when people apologize about not blogging! lol. I don't really notice that they don't blog for a while - to be honest! Everything gets read via Google-reader/rss thing.

Myrna Hynes said...

Great tips!...I guess I'm guilty of apologizing for not blogging...oops! :)

Christa said...

@ Myrna: I think an apology sometimes is okay if you haven't been blogging to your regular schedule. BUT if you never blog to a schedule and then every random blog post starts with an apology...then in this case...don't do it! :)

Tara said...

GREAT post Christa...I hope I follow all the rules???