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 thousands of times and have lots of hits, so at least I 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 people 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 to 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 and to “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… who knows?… I might just write up a few more soon.
Funny, was just thinking about this. As a new blogger I thank you for the tips. Personally, I don’t find WordPress all that intuitive. I’m still not sure if I’ve answered any comments or approved shares. Guess it takes time.
It gets much easier with practice; hang in there!
Yes, please give more tips. I’m just started doing a blog on my own after being in a “group” blog for years, and, truth be told, it’s harder when it’s just you.
Hang in there Beth Ann, it gets easier! Oh, and I’ll give it some thought 🙂
Thanks Don, great tips, I agree about lightness and totally relate on reading whole books on certain subjects outside of school, so true how to be kind and gentle
Hey, Don, that’s excellent advice.
I’ve come to see blogging as a lot like having pen pals around the globe, if that doesn’t date me too much. (Yes. that means real mail, with envelopes and postage stamps.) The concept of sharing with others is the core. We may not know each other’s faces, but it’s still personal. Forget about having thousands somewhere “out there” salivating for your latest utterance! Blogging is essentially like getting together with a few others over coffee or tea. Maybe at midmorning, when the light’s just so.
I would also add the concept of scheduling to your advice for Newby bloggers, who often drop four or five new posts in a single day, which is far more than those of us in Reader mode can pick up on. Pace yourself to one or two a day, via the publication choices when you’re uploading.
And with that, welcome to our circle! We do look forward to meeting you!
You are right about scheduling Jnana- it’s a tool everyone should use, and posting at regular times as well. Of course, you’re also right on the mark about blogging being like a group of friends sitting around the kitchen table with coffee or tea, in fact, several years ago, I was part of a group of bloggers from all over who held group chats on skype every week; it was great. Finally, I’m happy to report that I also recall those old pen-pal days! 🙂
Thanks for this. I tend to write very bluntly. Sometimes I have to go back and soften my words.
all the best to you as you improvise and grow your
Very well said brother. Thanks for sharing your insights.
Wonderful advice and tips. Also good reminders for those who have been around for a while.
Hi Don, this is great advice. I would add be patient – it takes time to build a following. The reach of my blog is much smaller than yours but when I see where people live who are following me I realise how my readership has grown over the years. Also, I find the chatty posts are the ones which draw people in. I am tempted to give up my regular daily posts in favour of the chatty ones, but I have a few readers who read the daily ones every day and I don’t want to lose touch with them. I start to serialise one of my Christian novels on Friday – I am excited to see how people will connect with it. Maybe it will get me a few more followers. To new bloggers I would say – Just keep going. Even writing for one or two people may change a life.
Very well said Mandy. The funny thing about the chatty posts, for me at least, is that they really do bring people in as well as make the writer seem more human, like getting to know a new friend But, I’ve tried writing chatty posts on a regular basis and I find that I run out of chattiness in a hurry and then I’m just staring at my keyboard and my mind is blank. Maybe that’s why I don’t enjoy parties; I can’t do small talk very well 🙂
But your writing style is very easy to read, as well as the content being excellent. I am not surprised you have as many followers as you do. (I am not good at small talk either. Perhaps that’s why we write)!
Hmmm could be!
powerful thoughts Mandy….
Thank you! Such good sound advice and inspirational. God bless you.
you said it so well
Thanks for the tips! Definitely appreciate any help in this area.
Thank you for sharing this with us. I am here to share my faith with the world too. I hope to get inspiration from my fellow brothers & sisters in Christ too. Do check my page, I will be highly encouraged!
welcome Elizabeth….look forward to read your posts sometime soon…blessings to you for what you are doing….
Great tips, thanks 🥰
Thank you very much for the tips – I always skip the tags and your examples make it clear for me – much appreciated
Thanks for inspiring us Don. You really have a knack for uplifting others and it’s such a joy to read through your content, it’s easy going and has a nice flow….very impressive follower list to vouch for it and i’m thrilled to see your success…keep rising higher….be blessed as you continue to bless so many…..
I just started writing after a 30-year hiatus, and blogging is new to me. It’s different from writing for the papers, where readership is guaranteed. Here, we have to find our tribe. Thanks for the tips, Don!