Blogging Tips 101: Becoming A Better Blogger
It is both rewarding and frustrating.
You will see it as a good investment of your time and a gigantic waste of your time all in the same week.
You may want to give it up and you will think you can’t live without it.
Welcome to the world of blogging. Can we sign you up?
I started this blog back in 2010 with my very first post, Whatever Happened to the Message of The Cross? Since then, we have posted hundreds of articles and had thousands of comments and conversations. I have experienced every single one of the things mentioned in the first paragraph of this post! Yet I am still here, typing out my thoughts. Even after all this time, I still love blogging!
If you are reading this, you are either new to blogging or you have been doing it a for a while. Either way, I want to help you become a better blogger. I am not talking about writing better blog posts. Rather, I want to share my thoughts on how YOU can become a better blogging person! I am going to assume you already know what your topics are, and where to go to get help to become a better writer. I want to help you become a better blogger so that your experience blogging is as enriching and rewarding as it can be. So here is my advice:
1. Follow and Read Other Blogs!
I have a basic commandment I live by: If you follow my blog, I will follow yours! It is a courtesy that has made blogging fun. If someone likes your writing enough to actually follow your blog, they must have some redeeming qualities! Follow them back. You don’t have to agree with their point of view or be interested in the topics they write on. This does two things. It guarantees that you will get some very interesting posts in your feed! Some of those posts will even get you to engage in a discussion with the writer. It will also encourage another blogger. We all feel better when we discover that someone values our writing enough to follow it.
2. Like Other People’s Posts
We all spend a lot of time pounding out our thoughts on a keyboard and then sharing them with the world. That is the nature of blogging. Write it out, hit send, wait and see what happens. We all have something to say and that is why we write. One of the MOST frustrating things about blogging is that sometimes, nobody notices. I have spent hours on topics that I felt were life changing ideas, which I anticipated would illicit vigorous discussion, only to hear crickets. That is frustrating.
When you read an article by some one else, drop down to the end of the post and at least like it. You can pretty much “like” anything. I will “Like” articles I disagree with if I think the writer did a good job presenting his ideas. By doing this, you are making the blogging experience better for another blogger, and becoming a better blogger in the process!
3. Comment On Other People’s Posts
We all have something to say and you don’t necessarily have to say it on your blog! Believe it or not, the comment section is there for a reason. Use it. I think I speak for all bloggers here: We LOVE comments. They give us an opportunity to interact with other people and hone our own thoughts. I especially like comments from people who want to challenge my conclusions. It fosters healthy debate and makes everyone enjoy this whole blogging thing a bit more.
Commenting on other blogs does at least three things. First, it encourages another blogger. That is more important than you might think. A lot of great writers quit because they think nobody is listening! Comments can change their outlook.
Commenting on other posts often leads to other people finding and following your blog. That is a second benefit. To be clear, I don’t comment on other people’s blogs to make this happen. But I have found that it absolutely does happen! If you want more traffic to your blog, start commenting on other people’s posts. Period!
The third thing that happens when you comment on other blog posts is that you end up making friends and having some great conversations. THAT is makes blogging a lot of fun.
One of my favorite blogs is called Restless Pilgrim. It challenges my world view! He’s Catholic, I’m a Protestant who has wandered far, far, far from home! We have great conversations about theology and early church history, which is the kind of stuff I like and write about. He does too. David comments on my blog and I on his. I am not sure who interacted with who first, but whoever did, made blogging a lot more interesting. I have lots of stories like that and you will too if you “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
4. Respond To Those Who Comment On Your Posts
If someone is engaged enough with your writing to comment on it, it is a good idea to at least acknowledge it. Thank them for their comments, interact with what they said, especially if they are challenging your conclusion. Think about it this way:
Your post started a conversation.
His/her comment keeps the conversation alive.
If you say nothing, the conversation is over and who wants that?
When others comment on the comments I leave on their site, it makes me want to follow their blog. It encourages me to see what else they have been talking about. When my comments are not even acknowledged, I typically don’t come back to their site. I am not alone on this one. Ideally, blogging is a conversation and many of us won’t waste our time with those who don’t want to converse. Don’t be that person!
5. Strive for Clarity Not Agreement
This won’t be a big deal if you write a cooking blog or something along those lines (if you do check out our world-famous On the Border salsa recipe. Yes, it is all over Pintrest but it started here). However, if you write an opinion blog this is a MUST!
The fact of the matter is that people will disagree with you! Don’t beat those people down trying to get them to agree with you or beat then up for simply disagreeing. Instead, seek to understand where the disagreement lies, consider the opposing point (it is at least theoretically possible that you hold the wrong view. Unless you’re a Calvinist :)) and discuss it cordially! Some of my BEST discussion on our site have been with those I disagree with. At the end of the day we simply say “I understand your point, and I simply disagree with it” or “You have given me a lot to think about!” What could be better?
Blogging is a lot of hard work and it can be a lonely endeavor at times. However, it doesn’t have to be. Put some of this friendly advice into practice and watch what happens. May this year be the year you become a better blogger. See you in the comment section!
Posted on December 29, 2014, in Christianity and tagged blogging, blogging tips, christianity, entertainment, How to blog, humor, inspiration, leadership, Life, news, Not For itching Ears, spirituality, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.