Random Ramblings: April 7, 2018

Some Tips for New Bloggers

I’m not the best blogger out there; let’s get that out of the way right now. Yet I have been blogging since 2011, have posted over 3,700 times and have more than 250,000 hits, so, I do have a little practice. I realize that for many bloggers, that’s nothing, but it’s considerably longer and more than I ever expected, and I thought I’d share a little of what I’ve learned for anyone who may be interested.

Tip 1: Followers are a very good thing.

I know bloggers who say that they don’t care how many views or followers they have, but if we’re honest, most of us are writing because we feel like we have something to share. You can post the best content of all time, but if nobody ever sees it, what good have you done? As a Christian blogger, this is even more significant: We should be trying to minister to others, so building your following is the way to reach others with your message of inspiration and hope. If you don’t know how to get followers, then I would start by looking at the suggestions that Word Press has in the help guide. Their suggestions are easy to find, easy to do, and while not all of them will apply to you, follow as many as you can. Start by doing a couple of them, and as they become second nature, then try a couple more. As I recall, their first one is use the Reader to find other blogs of similar interest by choosing tags that you would use for your own posts. For a Christian blog, try tags like “Jesus”, “Christian”, “Bible” and “Faith” for starters. Leave comments and likes where appropriate; be generous and kind, and people will want to visit your blog, like and follow.

Tip 2: Always tag your posts!

If I forget to tag my posts, I have very few views; the difference between tagged posts and untagged posts for me will be in the hundreds of views. Use relevant tags and search them in Reader because some tags draw viewers more than others, and when you get more views, more people will have the chance to like your posts and follow you.

Tip 3: Keep it short.

My average word count per post is about 500 words. Of course, some are very short, and my Photo of the Week may have no words, yet my typical goal is 450-750 words. Unless you are a very good writer, views will drop quite a bit after 1,000 to 1,200 words.

Tip 4: Keep your writing style light.

When I was in school, most textbooks were really hard to read. It wasn’t because the language was hard or because the subject matter was difficult, it was because the writing style simply didn’t draw my attention to the subject and reading them was like carrying a very heavy load around. History books were the worst, and I would toss the textbook aside and go to the library and read a whole book on whatever the subject was about instead, because it was written in a way that seemed so light. That made history fun, and to this day I’m a history nerd.

I just checked my word count… 547, so one more tip and that’ll be it.

Tip 5: Be kind in your posts.

Nobody likes a jerk, so be careful how you “talk” to your readers. Remember that written language is harsher than spoken language. You might write something with a smile on your face, but your reader can’t see the smile and then take what you said the wrong way.

That goes double for comments, by the way.

Be aware of how your words will affect your reader so you don’t put them off.

Well there’s a few tips, I’d love to know what you think. If you think I’m dead wrong about something, please set me straight. If you have questions ask, and if you want some more, drop me a comment and let me know, and I’ll write a part 2 for next week.

Have a great weekend!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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14 Responses to Random Ramblings: April 7, 2018

  1. wmhny says:

    In this day and age of political sensitivity, beware the rants too. A FB friend went off on a more ignorant lie rant and we got into it. Got me tickets off, whale in on him, we are no longer friends. He also runs a good 70’s and 80’s music page. I am probably kicked off that too.

    Less emotion and more composure the better.

  2. Wally Fry says:

    I really thought # 4 was great. Most folks, me included, are pretty simply of mind. I know there are those who love deep obscure theology, but more the most part folks like stuff that makes them go…”oh yeah, that makes sense!.” In light of that, when it comes to Bible teachings, I think an application is something most people really want. How can I use this in my life?

  3. Savanna says:

    Great tips! Thank you.

  4. Stefan says:

    Thanks for the advice, Don! And you are a great blogger! Keep up the good work!

  5. Rebeca Jones says:

    Don, these are great! I’ve bought the ‘I’m a writer’ courses and flirted with the pro tips, but in the end, it’s simply not my season of life to devote to writing/blogging. Nevertheless, these are excellent tips that I’m going to ponder. I especially like tips #4 and 5. Being of similar temperament to you (MBTI-INTJ), I have a tendency to get too intense or sometimes complex in my communication. I hadn’t thought about the fact that written communication can be harsher than spoken, but it makes perfect sense.

    I enjoy your writing immensely. It’s encouraging to me, a fellow ‘NT’, to see how you take complicated subject matter and distill it down without being condescending. Perhaps one day I will find my mission and my voice as well. I would love more of your insights on this if you have more tips to share!

  6. photojaq says:

    Love tip #1. As a Christian blogger I should try to minister to others, to inspire and give hope. I’m just now trying to come up with a blog post for my (non-Christian) critique group. I was running with a fun – and probably popular – theme, when suddenly it became “tarnished in my spirit. Making money; BIG money with your first book. It was to be tongue-in-cheek, then turned detailed and intense.
    Oh Lord that I may only encourage others and glorify you in all my writing.

  7. C2HM says:

    I’m new in the blogging community but you have some excellent points here!!! The goal for my page is to have a collection of writers with one focus (God). I don’t need the credit or the glory so multiple writers helps capture different parts of different people. Tip #1 is spot on! Glad to have found your post and looking forward to more blogs from The Life Project 🙂

    God Bless,

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