When I started this blog I was a young mother stuck in a lonely cabin in the woods with not much to do but write about the natural world that quietly hummed all around me. I have been a writer all my life, but I started blogging without having a clue to what I was doing. I figured it would be a way to write and maybe get known as a writer. Later I discovered there might be ways to get paid or influence the world or sell my book when I finish it. Only just today have I learned how to really kick off my blog.
So for now I will suppress my exciting stories of turtle tracking, entomology, and primitive skills (I will post those soon so stay connected) to share with you some tips I learned about blogging this weekend. As many of you know I work at the Ozark Natural Science Center, and many of my blogs come from experiences there. This weekend I helped Bethany Stephens at ONSC host the Arkansas Women Blogger's Unplugged workshop. In turn for helping out I was able to drop in on some great classes and these are some of the highlights I learned. (I am not a professional at this, I am learning, so I am merely sharing what I learned. We will get back to nature writing shortly :-)
1. Create Social Media Accounts
· In this web driven world it is important to get yourself out there. So I developed a Twitter and Linkedin account to go along with my Facebook account. Then I made a Hootsuit account which helps me manage those three accounts.
2. Keep your social media accounts current
· Don’t hang out on twitter or facebook all day or people will think you’re a lazy yapper; nevertheless, it is important to keep a consistent stream. Also, you need to comment on other people’s tweets and posts.
3. Titles are Important
· A good title will catch people’s attention and they will go to your blog while a simply descriptive title is not so good. Also refer to the keywords in your title throughout your post.
4. “Earn the right to whisper,” Bethany Stephens said.
· You are shouting into a sea of noise on the internet with your blog. So earn respect and admiration instead of buying a megaphone. Be respectful and aware of everything you say, not only on your blog but also on social media.
5. It is not all about you.
· Even if you write a personal blog, it is important to bring in other people, mention other websites or blogs, and comment on others work. If you talk and focus only on yourself then people will walk away from all your ego boosting.
6. Get to know your followers
· In connection with number four, you need to follow those who follow you and comment on bloggers who comment on your blogs. Develop relationships in the blogging community both local and in your field of online work.
7. Be consistent
· Few people have time to write every day and that is fine; however, whatever frequency you choose, be consistent in it. Once a week is good. But try not to overload your blog with posts one week and then not update it for a month.
8. Spelling and grammar counts
· I am bad at this one, so call me out on it if you see it!
9. How to blogs are popular.
· Maybe this post will generate traffic J
10. And lastly, asking questions at the end of a post often brings in comments.
· So, what tips do you have for me? Are there ways I could improve this blog? (I am obviously working on all the tips I listed here, for I am guilty of most.) Can you think of ways I can get the word out? Is there something you would like me to write more/less about? Please comment!