Deb’s Tips on the Care and Feeding of Your Blog
1 – Establish a focus. Is your blog for readers, writers, or both? Maybe it’s a personal journal. Put a short description at the top so readers know what to expect. Examples –
- Daily or Not – Cait London’s take on writing, reading, and life
- History Hoydens – Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research
- Petticoats and Pistols – Romancing the West
- Murderati – Mysteries, Murder, and Marketing
2 – Personalize your template. Many of the free templates offered by WordPress and Blogger can be made your own by customizing the header and/or sidebars.
3 – Give it identity. Post a short bio. Link it to your other site/s.
4 – Post often to keep it fresh. Daily? Weekly? Bi-monthly? A regular schedule establishes connections with those who start to anticipate your postings.
5 – Offer extras. Keep your sidebar links appropriate, neat, organized, and up-to-date. Check regularly for “dead links.” Periodically groom them, trimming and adding new. Add a link to your photos so that clicking them brings up an appropriate “extra” to the article.
6 – Show your style. Let your postings reveal your voice.
7 – Post pictures. Use photos you have taken to complement your writing. If you don’t have a digital camera, beg, buy or borrow one and learn to use it.
8 – Don’t clutter with ads. Personal bias here. If the purpose of your blog is to sell your name and establish your brand, why clutter it up with annoying, inappropriate ads? Like everything in your writing life, keep it professional, and focused.
9 – Install a counter. StatCounter.com offers one of the best free counters I’ve come across. It offers visible or invisible counters. You can then log on for other useful statistics.
10 – Visit others. Comment succinctly, always making sure there’s a discreet link back to your own blog.
Feed your blog, but don’t let it become a monster that takes over your writing life. Used appropriately it can become an asset to your career.
→ Please share tips you’ve learned about blogging with other writers by commenting below.