[Last week this time, I met my mum and son at a local bakery for coffee and chocolate éclair. We discussed our plans to travel to Central Australia. Next day, new cases of covid 19 were detected, and the following day, the state went into lockdown. Not sure if we will be able to travel to Central Australia now.
So, while we once again are confined to our homes, time to tackle the challenge of launching into the world of blogging…
Here’s part 2 of How to Blog (without reinventing the wheel)]
Part 2 — Connecting with Others
- Right, Content — As with any publication, be respectful and avoid anything that might be offensive. A turn-off for some is offensive language. Too many words of the four-letter and “F” variety, and some people won’t read or follow that blog. The Oxford English dictionary has officially 171,476 words, so surely, a writer of substance can find more effective alternatives to vent their frustration. Just my opinion. Another turn-off is the eternally looo-ng post. 500 – 1000 words has worked for me, both ways.
- Right, Networking — Think of your own life and how you live it. If you sit in your room and never go out and about, never go to parties or gatherings, never join clubs or interest groups, how is anyone going to know that you exist? I was out the other day with my mum and cousin. My cousin and I are both extroverts and have wide-ranging networks. At the restaurant, I bumped into a friend from art group. And at the bookshop across the road, my cousin met a friend. ‘I’m amazed,’ my mum said to my cousin and me, ‘everywhere we go, you meet people you know.’ It’s the same with blogging. It’s a worldwide community. But how is anyone going to know that your blog exists, if you don’t promote it? The simplest way to develop an online presence is to visit other bloggers’ websites and blog posts, like and comment. I have found that as I do this, Word Press (my platform of choice), sends the blogger a message to invite them to check out my blog post/website.
- Right, Views — Photos, ones that grab attention and draw the reader in have worked in my experience, especially for my travel blogs. Readers love that virtual travel adventure, particularly at the moment with our nemesis Co-vid stifling travel. Well, for us Australians who can’t travel overseas and bans on travel into our fair land. However, keep the photo files down around 1 MB, if posting a number of them. Otherwise, the post can take forever to load. Which can put off some readers.
- Right, Guest Posts — What about inviting other bloggers to be a guest author on your website? I haven’t done this personally on mine, except for a few re-blogs of posts from other bloggers. But I have been a guest author on other bloggers’ websites and it has worked for me to increase my readership. It works both ways, though. A guest author gives fresh content and attracts more readers to the website. One website that works well for this is a website belonging to Mohamed Al Karbi.
- Right Links — Facebook and Twitter do this well. There’s buttons and tick boxes in settings to set this all up so it happens automatically. Instagram, meh, hasn’t worked for me as it won’t link to my WordPress posts. The main advice here is to stick to one platform and allow the links to feed into it. It all depends on your audience and how they manage their social networks. These days I regularly get views from readers through Facebook, but most of my readers still come from WordPress.
Finally, this whole WWW thing is constantly moving and changing. Rather than give up and crawl into the foetal position under your doona, get out there, connect with others online, face to face, and as the Japanese (since it’s the Tokyo Olympics) say, “Gambatte, kudasai” (persevere and do your best).
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021
Feature Photo: Sheep ready for shearing, South Australian outback © C.D. Trudinger circa 1995