Blogging Tips

Now I’m not a hugely popular blogger, so take everything I have to say with a grain of salt.  That said, I have been keeping a blog (or online journal) in some form since 1999.  Yeah, I was an early adopter.  No, I don’t have the archives here.  No, they aren’t coming back anytime soon.

But here’s what I’ve learned over the years.

More Comments – Want more comments on your blog?  Ask questions!  Post on other blogs.  Encourage interaction.  It definitely works.  Also, check your comment settings.  Do you only allow people to comment if they have accounts with sites like WordPress and Blogger?  Consider adding a Name/URL option.  I don’t use or anymore (though both are great sites) and so prefer to not use those accounts to post because it won’t link back to this blog.  So when I see those options, more often than not, I don’t comment.  Check out your settings and make sure you make it easy for people to comment!

More Readers – Want more readers?  Again, comment on other blogs.  Promote yourself on Facebook and Twitter.  But don’t go overboard.  If you only post on Twitter when you update your blog, I’m probably not going to follow you.  If you post every blog link eight times a day, I’m probably not going to follow you.  Twice is good – once in the morning and once in the evening.  Don’t spam your followers.  That just gets annoying.

Link To Other Blogs – Did someone write something that inspired you to write a post?  Then do it, and make sure you link to the blog that inspired you.  There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from someone else – but there is something wrong with stealing.  I try to always give a hat tip to someone who pointed me in a certain direction and not only does it acknowledge the source of the idea, but it also links to another blog, increasing the likelihood that others will follow the idea and link to you.

Write About Something You Enjoy – You can follow all the above tips and still not get readers if you’re not creating good content.  That doesn’t mean you have to have to be the world’s best writer.  I’ve found that the best way to write well is to write about something you love.  It’s probably best if you have a general topic, rather than just “my life.”  Focus on something specific in your life, be it running or scrapbooking or raising kids or your dogs or…  But that doesn’t mean all of your posts have to be on that subject.  It’s just another way to draw readers.

See, that’s not so hard, is it?  It’s all very simple, but it’s a great way to get started and find your niche.  And then get hooked!


The earliest bloggers

I admit it.  I love Neil Patrick Harris.  I have loved him since Doogie Howser, M.D.  Come on, this man has done some amazing things!  Doogie Howser!  Starship Troopers!  How I Met Your Mother!  Dr. Horrible!  And some other things that I can’t remember off of the top of my head.

Nothing makes me laugh more than the Halloween episode of HIMYM when there is a knock at the door and Barney reaches in, starts a boom box, and appears in the door dressed as Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  I laugh and laugh and laugh.

I read a comment recently that someone thought Doogie Howser was one of the first bloggers.   At the end of every episode, he typed up his journal entries, discussing his thoughts of what had gone on over the past few days.  Sure, he wasn’t posting it on the internet, but he was posting it for everyone to see, in a way, if you break the fourth wall.  Not only was he a child prodigy, he was years and years ahead of his time.  Tragically, his computer was a bit behind the times.

It makes me want to revamp my templates to resemble Doogie Howser’s computer.  Everyone wants to read green text on a black screen all day, right? 

I wonder what Dr. Howser is up to nowadays.  I liked NPH’s opinion that he was probably an angry drug addict limping around a hospital on a cane and torturing his fellow doctors.