February 10, 2011

BLOGGING 101

Everybody is talking about blogging and that you HAVE TO have one if you don't already. But there is such a big learning curve involved with running a successful blog. It really does take a lot of your time. And most of the time, what do you write about anyways to keep people wanting to come back for more? Plus, there are so many awesome blogs out there, who would want to come and visit my blog?
Nonsense, all of us are interesting people. That being said, we all have friends who think that we are pretty awesome to hang out with. And I know that each and everyone of us holds a special gift that God has given us, just ready to be shared with to the world. Plus, I bet that you are one of those types of people that others run to for advice all of the time...am I right? How many times a day do you do something that no one else knows how to do or can do? Do you see my point? We all have a lot of interesting things to share, so never discount yourself..EVER!!!

Here we go...let's start. I will break it down to you in easy segments and steps so that you will not be intimidated by the world of blogging anymore. After this small lesson, you should feel confident enough to venture out and at least start a blog (if you don't have one yet), or brush up your existing blog.

LESSON ONE: What do I write about?
Oh, the million dollar question. I think that most people when confronted with whether to have a blog or not get stuck on this question. And most of us think that we have nothing interesting to share and that who would want to read our blog. I want you to erase ALL of that negative thinking out of your mind. Know (not just think or believe), you must Know that you do have many interesting and unique experiences that you can share with the rest of the world.
Ask yourself these questions:
What are my interest? What do I find interesting?
What am I good at? What do I do that I am an expert at?
What makes me happy? What gets me so excited?
What do you do for a living? If you are a stay at home mom...that is even better. Write about your experiences as a mom. Give mommy advice. Gosh, do you know how many people out there needs mommy advice? Or people who needs parenting advice, or how to take care of a baby?
If you juggle being a mom and working a full time job, write about that. You have so much in common with most women in America, so why don't you let your voices be heard.
Write about specific events that has happened in your day, week, month. Life experiences, these are priceless.
If you are a professional like me in your day job, write about that. If you are a lawyer, give legal advice. If you are an accountant, give tax advice. If you are financial expert, give financing advice. If you are a marketing and consulting exec like me, then give business advice.
Share what you know.
Talk about your hobbies. Do you like to cook? paint? do pottery? sew? knit? play music? etc...
Share techniques about anything: craft technique, how-to, d-i-y, how to fix-it. It can be as simple as decorating your room/house and writing about the processes that you had to go through to get that look...go into detail...talk about your experiences of going through the paint isle picking out the paint color...which materials did you decide to use and why?
Many people would share an idea or technique but never go into the the break-down of the processes that they went through to achieve A to Z...this is so important.
Write about what interests you?
I love shoes and handbags and anything bling bling...so if I see a cute pair of shoes, I might snap a picture of it (when no one is looking, of course, so I won't get into trouble..(wink, wink) and post about my delicious pair of shoes that I have been eyeing forever and why it is so great.
Treat your blog like a friend...talk to it. Because your audience should feel like they are having a conversation with you and not just reading something. Make it personal and relatable.
Write about something that you want to know about. Research it and write about. Think about how many articles or how much information your brain takes in, in 1 day...hundreds and thousands. Our brain are silent thinkers. Think like your brain when you are writing your blog.
Write about what your brain came across that day/each day/week/month/etc.. What did you read/hear/see about that was interesting? share that. Write about your lifestyle and what is important to you. If you are a vegetarian, write about that. If you are an expert on organic foods and farming, write about that. Think about the topics of things that attracts your attention that day/week/month, and write about that. Did you go somewhere cool? an exotic destination, or some crazy adventure...OMG...you have to write about that. I can go on and on...but you get the idea. If you or someone you know is struggling with a life challenge, write about that. There are so many people who can relate to that.

Okay, now go through this list and I have already highlighted the important points for you. So now you have NO more excuses. If you go through my list of topics to write about everyday, you will NEVER run out of topics because it is all already stored in your brain. And each person is born with (on average) 9-13 Trillions of Brain cells, in which we don't even use 90% of our brain capacity. So refer to this list everyday for ideas and inspirations to get you going.

LESSON 2: WHAT BLOGGING PROGRAM SHOULD I USE?
There are so many blogging programs out there...you should do a Google search for "free blogs."
I use Blogspot from Google because I find it convenient and easy to use. But if you prefer to use something else, that is up to you. I have no bad or good reviews to give you on the many different blogging programs because I have only had experience with Blogspot. And it has a pretty darn good experience (so far).

A really great source for blogging is www.shabbyblog.com
This website is great. They have video tutorials, free backgrounds, templates, icons, buttons, graphics. Have your website looking professional in NO time! and they are FREE. The creator of the website shares the same theory in life as I do...provide free knowledge and share with others.

LESSON 3: WHAT ARE THE RULES OF BLOGGING?
There isn't any rule to blogging, except don't use profanity or bad languages. Don't be rude to others, and never use your blog to bully someone or sully their reputation. If you are unhappy with a service or product and you don't want others to be ripped off, then you can write about your bad experience with the product/service...but you don't have to be unprofessional about it. Do you get my point? Ok, good.

How Long Should My Post Be?
It should be as long as you want it to be. There is no set rule on how long a post should be. But people don't have a lot of time to read and weed out the important info from the non-important ones. So it is your job as a blogger to do that for them. That is why most people read blogs and not pick up a huge book about 1 topic. So be to the point and don't wonder off the topic too much, unless it helps to paint a picture for your readers. I always try to paint a picture for my readers because I am a more visual person. Plus, your eyes pick up the information faster than it takes for your brain to read the info and then try to process and understand the info. If you can, always provide a good picture or diagram of what you are trying to explain.

The etiquettes of blogging:
NEVER plagerize, or claim someone else's work as your own. If you see or read something that you like from someone else's blog and would like to add that to your own blog...here is how you should go around doing that:
1. When in doubt, ask the author/blog owner.
2. summarize the idea of the article/post and ALWAYS give credit to the original author.

I have seen this done alot: Copy/paste what you like from the original author. And at the end of the post, make sure you site your source. Meaning that you should always indicate the author, website, original ownership of the materials. Most bloggers online usually have no problem with you reposting their stuff as long as you give them, their website, and/or blog the credit for the content. Most bloggers would appreciate a link back to their blog/website because it gives them a higher ranking on the google scale. ***When in doubt, always ask permission from the original content owner/s.

How Often Should You Post?
You should have Fresh content daily. And at the minimum weekly. The more content that you have and the more often you keep your content fresh, the more readers you will get coming back to check out your wonderful blog. Plus, Google really likes pages that are up to date and are relevant to the topic. So the answer to this question is to post whenever you have a good idea for a post and as often as possible. It can't hurt you having 10 posts a day. But having 1 post every month or every other week is really going to hurt you. Your readers will get bored and will go elsewhere for their information.

Does Blogging really work? Does it bring traffic to my Facebook, website, shops, and other blogs?
Of course blogging works! It might seem like an elephant of a task to manage a successful blog, but it will be well worth it in the long run. You might not see any instant success or sales/traffic/clicks resulting from your blog when you first start out. But give it a month of everyday blogging and I promise you, you will see a difference. It might be just a small difference in the beginning but success does takes time. So hang in there my friend.

When you have a blog with good content that other people would want to read, it builds trust in the online community. Your readers will see you as an expert in your field of craft or business. And that is HUGE. Who will they go to the next time they have a burning need for something...you of course! Make sure you make yourself easily accessible. Some blogger makes it hard for their readers to reach them...and that is not good. Make it easy for your readers and customers to reach you. Provide links, buttons, and icons on your site to lead them to where they can reach you, see your shop, and check out your website. Help them help you.

Make time for your blog:
Treat your blog like a daily chore that you must do. But I don't mean a bad kind of chore. I think that eating breakfast every morning feels like a daily chore, but I must do it. Set out a few minutes each day for your blogging. You can even write your blog in advance when you feel inspired about a topic and post it later. Every morning, when I wake up, with my cup of hot coffee in hand, I would spend at least 15 minutes to write my blog while I enjoy my morning coffee. This is my daily routine. What is your daily routine?
And I also have a smart phone, which there is a blog app for that. So google your brand of smart phone and see if there is a blog app available for your phone. I spend the time it takes me to wait in line to blog. Or while I am in between meetings, I blog. On a long road trip, I blog. Waiting at the airport, I blog. So instead of wasting a few minutes here and a few minutes there doing nothing but waiting, I blog. And every little seconds adds up. I hate wasting time and not being productive.
I also keep a calendar of topics that I want to talk about each day. I like to keep my blog organize. My blog is designed to help people become successful in their business ventures, so it is designed to be user friendly in mind. I want my readers to be able to follow my blog smoothly and one lesson at a time. I have spent many years privately tutoring and volunteer teaching, so that skill has come very handy to me when I designed my blog.

The BEST part about blogging:
The best part about blogging is that I get to write about whatever my brain fancy. I have many interests and hobbies that I would love to share to the world. And this is a great way of doing that. It's like I have my very own stage to perform on and a blank canvas to paint on it whatever I want to paint. If you read my blog and find that the information here-in are helpful to you, please write me some comments to let me know how some of my tips, tricks, and how-tos have helped you. It makes me really happy to know that I am able to be of help and service to my fellow readers, fans, and friends.

Creative Ways To Promote Your Blog:
Coming Soon!

A great resource for blogging: http://www.adorigraphics.com/2008/07/tutorials.html
**Thank you to Waterrose on Etsy for her advice**

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up.