How to be the Bestest Amateur Blogger you Can Be. 8 Tips

There are professional bloggers. They have a cast of thousands following them, hanging on their every word. They feature in TIME magazine, get interviewed on Oprah and earn golden dollars from their blogging. At the other end of the spectrum, is me. And bloggers like me. We start a blog because we have a few things to say and then a couple of people stumble upon our mumblings and dont mind listening so we find a few more things to say and then yay! It’s official. We’re bloggers. Amateurs but bloggers nevertheless. I stalk a lot of professional and amateur bloggers and have learned a lot of things from my stalking. Here’s eight tips for making your blog even better than it already is.(From one amateur to another.)

1. Blog interactively. Invite interaction and engagement. If you wanted to keep a diary of deep thoughts, then you probably shouldnt have started a public blog. Some of our blog posts can be like a person standing in a crowded room talking really loud, to themselves. People listen but there’s no room for them to say anything. Fun blogs to visit are ones where bloggers start conversations and readers leave comments. Some of the running commentary can be more interesting to read than the actual blog post itself! To invite reader participation in a post, sign off with an open-ended question. And then follow up on every comment. This is crucial. Nobody likes to be ignored, so dont make the mistake of ignoring your readers.

2. Blog friendlier. Take the time to get to know your readers. Its wickedly paradoxical that many bloggers are actually hermits in real life. “Socially awkward” is how my little (meanie) sister once described me.Yet in the blogosphere, we make virtual friends with more people than we have fingers to count with. When someone takes the time to follow you or to leave a comment, click on their profile, visit their blog, read their posts, get to know them. Thanks to SleeplessinSamoa, I have ‘met’ some amazing people that make me laugh and pause to think hmmmm. I chat with them on Twitter, we share chocolate cake recipes via email and I cant wait for the chance to hang out with them in real life one day.

3. Blog or Die. To build a super blog, you have to blog. Regularly. Once a month doesnt cut it. Commit to 1,2,3 posts a week, whatever you can handle, and then stick to it. How else will your readers be able to rely on you for great reading if you aren’t consistent>

4. Blog SHORTER. Most of us can write oodles in our sleep, no problem. So we sit down and shoot out a PhD thesis length post capturing our every funniest thought we’ve had over the past week/month/year. And then we have nothing to say for another two weeks. Oops. Keep your posts short. Choose ONE incident/thought/experience/observation to explore in a post. If you’ve got more great material, then put it into another 2,3,4 separate posts. Most people dont have the time to read loooong posts.

5. Blog Smarter. When you’re in a writing flow, do 2,3,4 blogposts all at once and then schedule them to feature on upcoming days using the Blogger “Post Options” (at the bottom left hand side of your New Post page.)

6.Blog Nicer. Remember that not everyone has broadband. So dont cram your blog with 101 photos or blinking gadgets,flashing widgets and assorted pretty buttons. Honestly? Readers come to your blog to read what YOU have to say. Not because you’ve got the most Xmas lights on the blogging block. There are bloggers whose writing i enjoy – but I rarely visit their sites because they take far too long to load.

7.Blog Wider. Expand your horizons. Dont be afraid to venture into uncharted waters. There’s a myriad of different kinds of blogs out there: book review blogs, cooking/food blogs,parenting dramas and tips, writer’s charting their book journeys,music and art bloggers etc. I follow a fruit salad of assorted delicious blogs. I learn something new every day and get inspiration for my own writing.

8. Blog generously. Share your blog posts with friends and family via email, FB, Twitter and word of mouth. And when you find someone else’s blog post that you really enjoy? Share that too. Tell others about great bloggers you enjoy. Share links to their superb posts.

Have you got any tips for us on how we can blog better? We’d all love to hear them!

Thank you for helping my blog host a record 18,000 visits last month. My YA urban fantasy romance Telesa:The Covenant Keeper is now avail. from Amazon for US and intl readers. Check out the reviews and see if this is a fire you would like to read more of…

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15 comments

  1. Some are born to blog. I know my limitations. Im born to just micro blog 🙂 … BTW, Im going to be the Grammar Nazi for a moment and point out that point 8 is not in bold font :p

  2. These are such fantastic tips Lani. I think tips 2 and 3 are especially poignant. Blogging is meant to be an interactive forum and if bloggers don't follow these two steps then I don't feel like it's really a blog. Just a place where they can dumb their thoughts. I think I'm preaching to the choir though, you are without a doubt the coolest person I have met through blogging. Hands down.

  3. I am sorry that I don't have anything to share since I don't have a blog ready for public consumption but would like to thank you for your tips about how to be the best blogger I can be! You have definitely inspired me Lani and who knows, I may actually start a decent blog before the week is up! Keep up your great blogging – I love reading your posts and I have noticed your open ended questions at the end of your blogs which make me feel a little less of a stalker and more of a welcome reader lol.. Your replies to some of my random comments are much appreciated : )

  4. LOL love this blog and will heed all your advice – like keeping it short and not blogging what I've done in the past 2 months in one long essay hehe. And I didn't know you can do 3 at a time, and schedule them to post at a later time. Very interesting. Will definitely do that, as I'm sure you can see, I am guilty of 3 posts at a time and then a drought for 2 weeks lol.

  5. Toa Gabriel I need more Grammar Nazis in my life. Can i please just appoint you as the Honorary Grammar Checker and you can proof every post i put up here? Because some of them are just shameful reflections on my English teaching career. (no wonder I cant get a job)Hey Lan, writing is usually such a solitary/isolating 'career choice' that we writers would NEVER meet each other if not for blogging. We would all sit in our caves drinking diet Coke and too many cookies. ( well, thats what I do anyway…) Thanks for the positive feedback.Anonymous – I am going to keep my eyes peeled for your blog and I insist on a personal invitation when you launch it. ( and as Rock Fob and Coconut girl will tell you, I will then harass you to death whenever you miss too many days without a new blog post!)Talli, I was realizing that THIS blog post is rather long …as I advise people NOT to blog too long. (So typical of me not to follow my own words of wisdom.)Im glad to have been of some help Coconut Girl. Scheduling will help when the unexpected comes up with sick little ones and other everyday stresses. Which reminds me, you better write and save up HEAPS of blogposts for when you have that baby. How will we get our coconut girl fix if you abandon us in those crazy few weeks of New Baby in the House?!

  6. Great tips, Lani! You have a wealth of knowledge and experience in blogging. Your blog has been a great find…well, I didn't really find it since you stalked me first 😛 Ok, ok, I get the hint – blog up large and schedule them for publishing. Then I'll be free to log into Twitter again without fear of getting pounced on…LOL!!Great blogs and baking, laughs (LOTS of these) and tears, plus general coconut craziness – that's what I get from reading yours and others' posts. Keep it up! Your insanity validates mine…hehehe.One tip pointed out above – proofread 😛 [Note, just a suggestion. I won't be proofreading this comment. Lol!]

  7. Thanks Bina – because Im trying to maintain a suitable facade of genteel decorum and restrained elegance and maturity…I cannot speak out loud what WONDERFULLY enticing things I always look forward to in your blog. Just want to shout out to everyone who passes through here that Bina over at RockFob is one raging hot and funny blogger. (oh yeah, and stalk her on twitter too. She's trying to be all "incognito" but we wont let her. WE CAN SEE YOU BINA!)

  8. Great tips Lani. Though had to feel guilty that didn't get back to your comment on my blog earlier. I had limited internet access in Samoa- I hope you saw that I have now (finally) replied. More interactive blogging following your tips to follow.

  9. i continue to learn each and every time i blog!. so thanks for sharing!. its nice to know there are people out there who are nice enough to impart some of there wisdom to us newbies. 🙂

  10. Libertineine Dreams, dont worry, Im guilty of it all the time. For most writers our problem is not finding stuff to say…but figuring out what to CUT out lol. Im always struggling with that one.Hi there Aussie Teine Samoa, Im always looking for more blogs by Samoan/P.I women and i was thrilled to find yours. I didnt know who you were though, until i had a chat with Peta. Glad you found the tips useful and Im looking fwd to more blogging networking from all of us lolJoAn, we're all newbies really. But isnt newbie blogging fun!

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