This is my 299th post here at Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such. I have been at this blogging gig for over two years. I have now gathered almost, but not quite, 500 email and WordPress followers. With this in mind, I thought I would do something a little different. A once-in-a-blog kind of thing. Something I don’t usually do. Give out some blogging tips as to what I believe works for moi. I certainly am no ‘pert in the blogging universe but maybe they will be helpful to newbies. So away we go.
1. SCHEDULING. Recently I was down and out with the flu. I could barely crawl out of the old bedsky. It was a comfort to know that I had my posts covered. The WordPress software provides a scheduling tool I have used from the beginning. I am usually three or four weeks ahead with my posts.
This sounds like my posts might grow stale. But they don’t. At least, I hope they don’t. I re-read each a night or two before it goes live. If I am not happy with the post, I can pull it and substitute another.
2.CONSISTENCY. From the beginning of this blog, I made a commitment to post at the same times on the same days each week. From time to time, I re-evaluate this, asking myself if I am doing too many posts or not enough.
Before I do a Follow, I check the consistency of the posts. If the postings are erratic, I usually don’t Follow, even though I might like her blog a lot.
3.VARIETY. I try to give my Readers some variety. If I post a musician for my Friday’s Creator Corner, it will be a while before I post another. If I have post a piece of satire one Sunday, it may be several weeks before another satire appears. This brings an element of surprise to my Readers. And sends the message that you might not like this one but just you wait.
4.THE ABOUT PAGE. I love the Elwood line in “The Blues Brothers”: “We’re on a mission from God.” Uncle Bardie may not be on a mission from God. (Then again, he may be.) But he does have a mission statement for his blog. That can be found on his ABOUT page. Too often bloggers, especially newbies, ignore this most important tool, the About page.
Ideally an About page will have a picture of the blogger or an avatar. This lets the reader know there is a human being posting. In 500 words or less, The About page will state the theme of the blog. It should also include credentials if the blogger offers expert advice.
5.PLANNING. Before I began posting, I gave some thought to the nature of this blog. I thought a lot about the who, what, where, why, when and how of blogging. During that time, I came up with a pretty good definition of what a blog is. My blog is my letter to the universe. Each time I have added a new feature, such as the Monday “Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week”, I ask, “Is this something that I can get excited about> Is this something my Readers will enjoy?” If I get a yes on both, then it’s a thumbs up.
6.FOLLOWERS. I treasure my followers. I read every comment and acknowledge each comment. When a fellow blogger first follows, I check out their WordPress blog if they have one. If there is an About page, I thank them for the trouble they have gone to.
There is one exception to this. Marketing networks or those trying to build a marketing network. I do not care much for your follow. I don’t use my followers and I don’t appreciate being used. If this is your mission, stay away. I don’t need you.
7.COMMUNITY. Not everybody gets Uncle Bardie nor appreciates his awesomeness. That’s okay. A lot of blogs out there are not my cup of tea either.
I do enjoy the tit-for-tatting back-and-forthness I have with my Readers and with those I follow. I love the comments and the praise. Constructive criticism is welcome. Unlike his Donaldness, Uncle Bardie is humble, always striving to get better but not perfect. Perfectionism is a self-defeating proposition.
Most weeks I spend three of four hours reading the posts of others. And I find there are so many great blogs out there. Time only makes me limit those I follow.
I have found that blogging, and reading the blogs of others, is the best of all social media. Bloggers are a real community. Unlike Facebook, they are not posting the latest meme or repeating the same thing for the 3,013th time how much they love what they love. They are creating content that is very personal. You don’t spend hour after hour thinking about your next blog and not care. And also take risks and be just a little bit vulnerable. In a post, the real you, and me, are revealed. Unlike Twitter, we get enough words to have a real conversation. For me, that’s the best.
8.DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY. In other words, don’t worry about growing followers. Plant your garden. Weed it. Water it and nourish it. Provide good content. As they say in the movies, “If you build it, they will come.” If they come, they come. If they don’t, they don’t. It’s outside our control like the weather. But if you make your establishment a hospitable place, I am sure they will come.
I hope these handy/dandy tips have been helpful. Good luck and happy blogging.
Any special tips you have for blogging?