After all the recent activity concerning the referendum, I decided to have a rest from that this morning, and consider the subject of blogging once again. With lots of new bloggers starting out every day, and many others wondering whether or not to start a blog, perhaps the experience of my own small blogs might be of some value.
Over the last few weeks, my views and followers have continued to increase in number, despite my not really changing anything about how I blog, or what I write about. I had a look through the most-read posts, and checked the views for many that receive a lot less attention too. This is a far from scientific study, and is based purely on personal observations.
1) Write about your local area. Describe the nearest town or city, the shops, surroundings, and amenities. What it is like to live there, and if you would recommend others to do so.
My own posts about Beetley Village and Dereham Town are read every day, without fail.
2) Add photos and images of the things you write about. They will attract twice as many readers as text alone.
3) Think carefully about categories and tags. These will be searched by those looking for similar interests, like Photography, Cats, Pets, Cars, or Writing. Using the tag ‘Blogging’ (when appropriate) will always attract a lot of views too.
4) Like and Follow blogs similar to your own, or about things that interest you. Build a community, and others will search you out, from your comments or gravatar.
5) Use a photo or eye-catching image for your gravatar. Choose something appropriate for your blog, perhaps a national flag, or your favourite photo.
6) Be wary how much you give away about yourself, and your personal details. Don’t include the registration number in any photos of your car, or any address details in photos of your house or garden. Not all bloggers can be trusted, though the majority are perfectly safe.
7) Don’t expect personal thoughts and recollections to naturally attract views or followers. Remember that it is a very international community, and what you did as a child, or how you got on at university, may have no relevance to someone on the other side of the world.
8) Remember to warn of any bad language, subjects that some may consider offensive, or images that might not be thought to be acceptable. State this at the outset, so as not to upset any potential readers. Likewise with reviews of films, plays, books, or similar. If you are going to reveal plot twists or endings, warn of spoilers at the very beginning.
9) If you intend to post fictional stories, or poems, bear in mind that the blogging world, and the rest of the Internet, are inundated with these. Do so by all means, but don’t expect too much, as you may get lost in the crowd.
10) Specific or themed blogs are very popular. Video gaming, cookery, fashion and beauty, all these are very common, and the most widely-read. If you are considering a similar blog for yourself, read lots of the others first, and try to do something a little bit different.
As an aside, I am personally very pleased to see that one of my own short stories has actually achieved the highest views on my blog this week. That was a long time coming, but feels rewarding.