Monday, June 20, 2016

The Ten Commandments of Blogging


1. THOU SHALT POST REGULARLY. Once a week shalt thou post. Thou shalt not post less than once a week. More than once a week may thou post, but too many posts too often too soon shalt thou not make, lest thou vex thy soul and thus hate thy blog and destroy it. Seriously, though, if you want a consistent readership, you have to make consistent posts. Commit. Write. Grow.

2. THOU SHALT LET READERS KNOW THY SCHEDULE. How shall they read thy blog lest they know what day upon which thou postest, prithee? And don't get discouraged if you don't have 200 followers right off or comments on every post. Bloggers more successful than you and I still have low-comment days. Embrace the first fruitless months as a part of growing pains. You'll see results soon enough, but only if you keep going.

3. THOU SHALT ASK READERS' OPINIONS. Set up an improvement questionnaire (I created mine with Google docs) and make changes according to your readers’ feedback.

4. THOU SHALT SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Because bloggers and blog readers are social people. They’re internet people. Social media websites are where social internet people hang out. It’s not too complicated. If it is...online videos are a great way to learn how to use social media. Remember to make your posts shareable. Install a gadget/widget/app/whatevertheycallit on your blog to make sharing easier for your readers.

5. THOU SHALT NETWORK. Host/share/support others' content via your blog and social media. Reply to the comments on your blog. Strike up conversations. Comment on other blogs, make friendships, build relationships. Relationships, people. That’s what blogging is about. Readers don’t want to be a number. They want to be your friend.


6. THOU SHALT SCHEDULE POSTS AHEAD. Do yourself a favor and write/schedule your posts the week or month or several months before you want them to go live. Set aside a block of time for writing, develop a post template, whatever saves time and encourages you to be consistent. 


7. THOU SHALT SET GOALS. Think about what you want your blog to look like in the future. A year from now. Five years from now. Fifteen (if we still have blogs in 2031). If you don’t make a plan to succeed, you’ve already failed. Put your blogging dreams on paper and grab them by the throat. Or bribe them with marshmallows. Dreams are finicky like that.

8. THOU SHALT CREATE A BRAND FOR THY SITE. All colors, fonts, logos, blog headers and photos should create a sense of continuity and theme. (I’m still working on this one, folks. All in good time.)


9. THOU SHALT TELL READERS ABOUT THYSELF. I’m working on this one, too. It all goes back to the friendships thing. Hard to develop a relationship with someone you don’t know, right? P.S. Wanna get to know me better? Ask me a question, any question, in the comments of this blog, and I’ll try to answer them all in a blog post on July 18th. Make it silly, make it serious, or make it nerdy. I don’t care. You can satisfy your readerly curiosity, and I’ll have material for a new blog post. Win-win! :)

YOU’LL NOTICE THERE’S NO #10. That’s where you come in, friends. :} I need your help to finish writing this post. I want to know what you think is the tenth commandment of blogging. Get on your soapbox. Think I’ve got this blogging thing all wrong? Speak up! I can’t wait to hear from you.




Tweetable:
The Ten Commandments of Blogging by Natalie Monk (Click to Tweet!) 
Thou Shalt Blog This Way (Click to Tweet!) 
10 Simple Tips for a Better Blog by Natalie Monk (Click to Tweet!) 

7 comments:

Amber Schamel said...

Fun post, Natalie!

What does your writing schedule look like? Do you write every day, or just once a week?

Amber Schamel said...

Fun post, Natalie!

What does your writing schedule look like? Do you write every day, or just once a week?

Loretta Eidson said...

Goodness, I need to print and frame this. Busted!

Natalie Monk said...

Amber! So good to see your lovely face again! :) Adding your question to the post bank. THANK YOU!!!

Natalie Monk said...

Loretta, I wrote this post weeks ago, but I just reread it and feel so behind on things, lol. When summer fades out and things calm down, this gal has got to get this blog in shape!

Diwakar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
englishmysteriesblog said...

I love this post!! So true and so encouraging--the only other point I would make would be to make your blog visually interesting. This is something I have been working on, and I confess it is hard work, but worth it in the end. Of course, this is where other people's thoughts come in--without the help of friends, my blog would be very boring. Other people have given me ideas on what I could add to my blog, and life in general gives you inspiration on what to post each week.

Natalie, I love the idea about thinking ahead too. I post once a week--sometimes twice--and every Saturday seems to come around quicker than the one before. Sometimes I'm not sure what I want to post, or I don't have my pieces done in time. I think going forward, I'm going to use this tip and plan out my weeks a month at a time. Thanks girl for the great info!

Heather :)