This is the second in my two-part series on advice for new bloggers from Bamboo Project readers. In Part One, I shared what my readers had to say about getting started with a blog. In this post, we'll take a look at their advice for maintaining your blog.
Spread the (Link) Love
Readers seem to agree that linking to others is a key part of blogging. As Rob O said:
"Give link love & credit often! Do this not for the PageRank or LinkBack benefits - do it because it makes you a responsible and generous netizen."
Maya Norton echoed this in her follow-up post on the topic:
"Credit, credit, credit. Overdo it if you are not sure which way to go. Acknowledge “tip offs” if you get your post idea from another blogger. Link if someone else is talking about what you are and you want to add them to the conversation. Cite your fellow bloggers’ interesting projects and good ideas. I consider it best practice to use the author’s name, the full blog title, and an article link when citing."
The ability to link to a variety of conversations and ideas is one of the beauties of blogging. It's also a big part of the culture of the blogopshere. Linking is the currency of the social web.
Content, Content, Content!
Readers had lots to say about content.
Glen Ross had a whole list of content-related thoughts:
- Just write, darn it!
- Try to keep your posts below 400 words.
- Post frequently.
- Cornect punctuation and good grammer r important
- Have a good reason if they list you on their blogroll & you don't return the favor.
- Be ethical in your writing and the way you represent yourself.
- Always, Always, Always, root for the Dallas Cowboys, never for the Washington Redskins.
- When you make a mistake, admit it quickly & emphatically--Dale Carnegie
- Learn about SEO but don't let it dominate your writing style.
- Don't say "blah blah," when "blah" will do.
- Don't be afraid of your sense of humor.
And Bronwyn suggested that you not get too hung up on having to be the "expert":
". . . don't think you have to be an expert on *everything* in your subject area. Do assume you're an expert in the things you know, and that part of your job as a blogger is to encourage others who have areas of expertise that complement yours to comment on your blog."
Lance had a couple of interesting thoughts in this area:
I have problems coming to terms with the fact that what I am thinking/writing will be of interest to others. The reality is that somtimes it won't be - deal with it. But at other times, you will hit on a topic that, for one reason or another, will generate interest.
As a beginning blogger, this can be one of the hardest things to get through. You post something that you think will be a hit and it isn't. In other cases, something you just threw up for yourself turns out to generate a lot of interest. Sometimes you just can't figure it out.
Lance also struggles with the length of his posts:
I have had to restrain myself at times to prevent rambling for too long. I was given some good advice by Sue Waters - break it up into a number of posts.
Lance--I hear you. That's why this post is actually two posts--I was starting to ramble.
Watch Your Brand, Create Community and A lot of Other Tips
Two readers went above and beyond in their advice-giving.
Maya Norton wrote an excellent follow-up post that includes some great advice on how to make blogging a conversation and how to brand your blog.
And Pablo Pabla shared his 25 Pointers for Beginning Bloggers--an excellent set of tips.
Shout-Outs Are Good
In the spirit of good blogging karma, I want to once again thank all of you who contributed to this thread. Some great advice and ideas and I appreciate all of your thoughts. Now I'm off to share what you had to say at my conference--giving credit to all of you, of course!
I'll try to update while I'm there, but if not, I'll be back Sunday. Have fun while I'm gone, kids, and be sure to keep things neat around here.