There is really nothing like two days of undeniably awful blog posts to make you feel like a horrible friend, is there? You guys are always here for me and I wasn’t here for you. For that I am deeply sorry. Maybe it would have been better if I disappeared from the blogosphere for a while, but I was determined to let you know I didn’t leave you out to dry (or get cold in the snow).
I thought I’d revive the Adventures of Alex & Emily with bang:
I have been asked by several people over the past few months for advice about starting a blog. My initial reaction was a sound that went something like, “psh” because why the heck are they asking me (?!) but then I realized that I should probably take it as a compliment. They want my advice! Like, totally awesome.
YES! You should start a blog!! The part of you that thinks it would be
“so much fun” is spot on. It’s a great way to express yourself. BUT it is a lotta work.
Back in the day, my
blog got maaaaybe 4 views in a 24 hour period (shout-out to my die-hard fans: mom, Viper Pilot’s mom, sisters…). That was over two years ago. As my blogging abilities improved over the years, my page views increased exponentially. I’m really not sure why or how it happened, but I know that I have YOU to thank! I couldn’t have done it without you guys!! Look at you smiling over there…yeah, you know you’re awesome. 🙂
I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I am so proud
of what me and my little chunk of the blogworld have become.
The key to blogging is content. What do you want to share with the world? What do you love about your life that you want to share with others? Are you really good at something? What are you passionate about? Inspire your readers with what you appreciate. A blog is your blank canvas to write and create whatever you want!
Isn’t that invigorating?
- What do my readers actually want to read about?
- Anything and everything that you’re knowledgeable about! A blog is a great way to share your wealth of expertise and experiences. It is okay to hint at your personal life just a little…people are nosy by nature. :^)
- How do I want my readers to feel? Is there a mental state that you want them to experience after reading your posts? How can you use those emotions encased within your posts to keep them coming back?
- A positive despondency is ten times out of ten better than a discouraging one — there is already enough bad in the world. Pictures can help. Blogs are b-o-r-i-n-g if there are no pictures. (Personal opinion.) When a reader looks at a picture, an emotion is instantly stimulated in their brains, because after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Make the reader smile, laugh, or drool with a picture! They really set the tone of the blog.
- Use backward design when you write your posts: think about how you want your readers to feel after reading your work. What do you need to do to achieve that?
For example, I like to think I
know a little something about the military lifestyle, I love to cook, travel,
and live healthy so writing about these things comes naturally. Your blog content should always be a reflection of you and should never be forced.
I’ll admit I’m guilty of trying “force my content” on occasions when there just plane and simple isn’t a whole lot going on in my life (hey now, we all have our flaws). But usually I end up completely deleting the post and eventually I am able to find a new approach. My inspiration is all around me. It isn’t difficult for me to find something to write about in an appealing and entertaining fashion; everything from random thoughts I had today to an outta-da-park recipe to a cool castle I saw. It’s okay if you get “too busy to blog.” It has happened to me a LOT but I’m finding new ways to fill in the gaps when I’m busy, busy, busy:
- I keep a database of posts so I have one ready to go if I don’t have time to write one on the spot.
- When I have an idea for a post, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I immediately jot it down so I can build the post later.
- I post pictures from my day and leave it up to your imaginations what I’m up to. I usually elaborate in a later post.
Do you know how to be careful with your content? You can’t throw just anything out into the blogworld. In the military, that’s called OPSEC (operational security). I only blog about the happy things in my life and keep a personal journal to write about things I want to keep to myself. I am not trying to convey to my blog readers that I live a picture perfect life. Quite simply: my life is far from perfect, but I’m very blessed and happy with our crazy life and the way things are <– and that is what I want to share with readers.
Case in point:
Two reasons why:
1) This blog is a happy place and I want my readers to leave feeling anything but depressed or sorry for me because I had a “bad day” and vented about it in a post (there is a time and place for that and it’s also why God gave me a mom and sisters) and,
2) My personal life is personal. There are just somethings you don’t need to know about me. Sorry I’m not sorry.
Finally, I always remind myself that it is my blog
so it’s okay to share a few personal opinions but never preach – I choose my words
carefully – for example, if I want to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy
Holidays, I do. But I tread lightly around more sensitive topics and don’t even touch subjects like abortion, gun control, etc. because not everyone sees the world the way I do and my little blog isn’t going to change anyone’s opinion. Nor do I want it to. I just want to do my thing and post cute pictures of my dog.
If a reader
doesn’t agree with my content (whatever it may be), I completely respect that he or she has their own beliefs and opinions, but it does not give them a warrant to leave hateful comments on the blog. Who
are they to criticize me? So, new bloggers, you have been forewarned: no matter what you write about, there is a good chance that you will get some nasty, mean comments from people who don’t see eye-to-eye with you even on the most neutral topics. It happens at least once to everyone. Monitor your blog comments and if you get nasty-grams, IGNORE THEM and DELETE THEM. It’s also possible to redirect their IP address to this WikiHow page when they try to visit your blog and you can consider it a random act of kindness. Moral of the story: leave out the contradictory stuff and only talk about the good stuff.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to start your blog? I’m a blogger.com gal myself, check it out to get your blog up and running! I would love it if you shared your blog with me. I (obviously) love to read blogs!!
Are you already a blogger? Or just looking to get started and would like more information? Would you like to try your hand at blogging to see if you like it? If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, let me know. I would be more than happy to discuss and possibly work something out with you! 🙂
Also, if you really want to pick my brain, I’m always open to reader requests!