Hey y'all! Thanks for coming to my 2 year bloggiversary party! Oh, what? You didn't know it was party day? Well surprise! Hope you're wearing something fancy.
Anyway, in honor of this here blog becoming a toddler and probably getting ready to start a lot of trouble and maybe flush some socks down the toilet or something, I thought I'd share a couple of tips for anyone who juuuuuuuuuuuuust started a blog or has been thinking about starting one but hasn't yet. (pre-tip: do it. So. FUN.).These are super basic because, as I said, my blog is only a two year-old. I'm not, like, a pro blogger or anything. Alright, initiate party sequence!
Make sure you blog address and your blog title match. I don't know about starting a blog in Wordpress (or any other platform), but when you start your blog in Blogger, the first thing you do is find a web address. Well, the first 700 things you check will already be taken and you'll be tempted to stick with the title you originally came up with but just have a different web address because by golly THE TITLE I JUST CAME UP WITH IS SO GOOD! Don't do this. Your readers will be confused, it will be harder or them to find you later, and it will ALWAYS bug you. then years later you'll be so sick of it, you'll have to do a whole crazy switch that will stress you out. Just ask Charlotte.
Speaking of Charlotte- that is her real name. And I like it. Not only her name but the fact that I KNOW her name. See, the thing about blogging, the best thing, is the relationships. People simply won't be able to develop a relationship with a blogger named Busy Mama or That Girl. Don't blog anonymously if you want interaction and are trying to develop relationships. If the idea of blogging with your real name scares you then maybe starting a blog isn't the answer to whatever question you have? Or, maybe you're not blogging for relationship but rather just to keep a journal and you don't care about interactions? If that's the case, y u no stop reading this post!?!?!??
So you start your blog and you sign your name and you say "Okay! Ready for comments!". And no comments. Why? Probably because you've got captcha verification on. You know those insane letters combined with the blurry numbers that make you feel like you're on a psychedelic journey through a ghetto apartment complex? Yeah. Get rid of those. No captchas on your comment forms! It's hard enough to do those things on the computer, but if your readers mostly use their phones you can forget ever getting comments from them if you're using comment verification.
Okay- blog? check! Name? check! Easy commenting? check! Where are your readers? Well, have you told your friends and family about your blog? Ah. I see. You're embarrassed. Well all I can say to that is: ain't nobody got time for that! You've got a blog! It's like an extension of your living room! If you want people to visit, they have to know it exists. If you keep it a secret, no one will come see you. So you gotta pick- hop out of your comfort zone and tell people about it and get visitors or keep it a secret and don't get any visitors. Now, don't constantly inbox-bomb people. That's just annoying. But go ahead and send a message to people you know will be interested. Share it on your facebook page. Shoot out a little tweet. You see where I'm going with this.
Speaking of sharing on facebook! Here's the deal. If you don't put any images in your post (oh my gosh. Put an image in your post), facebook will give you a selection of images from your sidebar to choose from. If you didn't take the time to put an image in the post, I'm guessing you won't take the time to select an image from your sidebar, which means that every link you post on facebook will look exactly the same. And even though they say different words, people don't read words first. They look at pictures first. If they're seeing the same image over and over again, they won't be clickin'. They just won't get that it's a new post each time. So put an image in your post. Even if it has nothing to do with what you're writing. Like this:
|check out those thighs, baby! nom nom nom nom.|
It will make your blog more fun to read and seriously- people need fun.
Are you ready to level up? Heck yes you are! Now it's time to not have one of those stock templates on your blog. Because here's the thing- there are 2 or 3 stock blogger templates that everyone picks. You know, the one with the books in the back, the one with the grass growing at the top, and the one that's dark blue with the polka dots? Yep. I think I used all three of those before I realized "Hey! I can get free blog templates from special websites devoted just to free blog templates!". Seriously. Google "free blogger templates" or "free wordpress templates" and differentiate your blog from the other zillions out there. Plus, it is so fun to do. I'm warning you- messing around with your blog's design might become an obsession in and of itself. Oh man. It's fun.
And above all, be authentic. People talk about key words and search engine optimization and all this stuff, but following a crusty old formula that stilts your natural voice takes away from the you in your writing and therefore limits the potential for true relationships to form. And also...it sounds stupid. Can you imagine if you came here and the first sentence you read was "Blogging is an exciting hobby and blogging can be a great way to make friends so if you've thought about starting a blog you've come to the right place because blogging is the thing this blogger is about to talk about...". Um. Vomit. Ehow anyone? So painful. So don't do that. Or the 5 paragraph essay. Don't do that either. Just chat with us. People love a good chat!