I've learned quite a bit through all my years of blogging (and it's been years) and I've realized how much I've grown and how far this blog has come. I know I've mentioned before that the design and the "look" of your blog is really important - and it is - but that's all pretty simple once you know what you want it to look like and how to organize and make your blog easy to navigate. The hardest thing is your content: what you write about and how you write it.
If you've been blogging for some time now, you may start to notice that some days are better than others in terms of traffic and reader interaction. Take a look at your most popular posts and compare those with posts that didn't get as much love and take note of the differences. Was the popular one a DIY? Did you write about a deeply personal experience and pour your heart out? Was the not-so-popular one full of sponsored links? Did it go on and on and have lots of spelling and grammatical errors and also a ton of run on sentences that may have confused some people who aren't used to your writing? (See what I did there?)
Now I'm not saying I'm the best blogger in the world - hell, I've been gone most of the past two months - but I know what kind of posts I enjoy reading and commenting on and the kind of posts that make me cringe inwardly and make me want to delete that blog from my feed. I'm still learning and growing as a writer just like everyone else (we bloggers are always trying to improve) so here's a few post tips that I try to follow.
Before hitting that publish button:
1. Proofread! Tell those spelling/grammar Nazis out there to fuck off by proofreading your shit! It's not hard - those squiggly red lines are there to help you.
2. Ask yourself: Is this something I would read? (My homegirl Helene can testify to that.) Usually, if you yourself aren't feeling it, chances are others might not be feeling it either. Don't half-ass it just to get something up.
3. Give your readers an opportunity to engage by asking them a question (or two or three) at the end that's relevant to your post. Sometimes even if you've got a great post, it's hard for readers to get involved and comment with something other than "great post" so a little nudge doesn't hurt. It's like saying, "Well, enough about me, what about you?" BOOM. Blog friendship acquired.
4. Understand your writing style. This one is tricky since our writing styles can change every once in a while, but the easiest way to figure it out is to write it how you would speak it. If you throw in sarcastic jokes when you're having a conversation with friends, by all means, show that in your post! How else are we supposed to know that you have a sick sense of humor like we do? If you cuss in real life conversation, then what the fuck - type that shit out too! Showing your REAL self through your writing helps us to connect with you on a more personal level and makes it seem like we're actual real life friends. I don't know how many of my conversations start off with "My friend from [insert state/country where blogger lives]..." these days because of all the awesome people I've "met" through blogging.
And that's it. Four simple things to check before publishing a post. Like I said earlier, I "try" to follow these but sometimes I'm in too much of a hurry to proofread or I've just got to meet a post deadline for certain sponsored posts and that's fine. There's no surefire way to get more followers or comments or write great posts and not everyone is going to like what you have to say, but that's okay. It's all about learning and growing, baby. Learning and growing.
Also, I just had to take a tip from one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah, and throw this one in since we're all about learning and growing and sharing today. Fill in the blanks and tweet to share what you write about and show off your best post!
I'm ___________ from ____________ and my best post was ______________. #frikkenfriends
But tell me, what does your publishing process look like? Do you have any tips to share? What was your most popular post and why?