This Friday, November 19, will be my blog’s two-week anniversary. So, for those of you out there who have been contemplating writing a blog, here are my Top Ten tips from my past two weeks’ blogging experience. Obviously, I need to do a lot more blogging to give advice to non-nubes. But what I learned in my first two weeks is very fresh, so I want to pass it on to those of you in the midst of what can be a rather scary process! As my experience grows, I will be adding more suggestions. If you’re a nube at this too, by all means send me your comments!
1) Read others’ blogs to get a lay of the land. Blogging is a time suck!
2) Set aside time to write at least two times a week. The week goes by quickly! Blogging is a labor of love. One of my friends with an award-winning blog takes her laptop on vacation to make sure she gets her new posts uploaded on time!
3) Use a simple, free version of WordPress or Blogspot for your “beta site” (Silicon Valley jargon for “testing site”) to see if you like it. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice—lots of it! The upside to a free blogging site: less time to get accustomed to the templates and software. The downside: WordPress is sandwiched in between the blog title and “.com”. My blog had the middle name “wordpress” (www.unhealedwound.wordpress.com) until I hosted my own website.
4) When you graduate to wanting a blog without the word “wordpress” or “blogspot” or whatever blog hosting site you are on, then you have to go to the trouble of re-entering all the information onto your own hosted site. I use www.godaddy.com because their customer service is outstanding. This costs money: about three times as much for a two-year contract. So, make sure you want to do this!
5) On your own website, make sure you look at it frequently to see if the appearance and content are what you like. Again, read more blogs by others. See what you like and ask yourself why.
6) Set your “comments” section to “needs approval” first. I was so excited when I got comments from people who were not my friends. However…
7) Comments need to be screened! I received requests to be guest bloggers. When I tried to respond by email with follow-up questions, my email bounced back—a bogus email address! What’s up with that?!
8) Some comments from strangers seem really nice, even complimentary. Go to their URL address (if given) to check the commenter’s background. I did. One was a porn site!
9) For possible strategic alliances read blogs and links you may want to be associated with. Be careful out there in cyberspace.
10) Most of the blogging tips online are still too technical for me. For additional tips here is one website I found that’s down to earth and really helpful: www.toptenblogtips.com.