November 8th, 2012 | by Beth Barany
Please welcome new columnist, Irish writer, Annmarie Miles. She’ll be writing about blogging and her writer’s adventures.
I absolutely love my blog! The more I realize how much I want to write, the more I love blogging. Maybe it is because it’s an outlet for this great desire. Maybe it’s because unlike my M.A. work, I don’t have write for anyone’s grades or approval, except for that of my few but loyal followers.
Blogging has given a voice to many aspiring writers like me. And it has given us a place and an opportunity to practice and get feedback, to share things that mean something to us and also to get involved in Global events such as the recent Blog Action Day.
I’m really enjoying Writer’s Fun Zone. As I’m just starting out on my writing journey, not everything is relevant to me. It’s great to know it’s there and that as I continue to develop, it’s one of the places I can go to for more help and encouragement. The 5 Day Writer’s Motivation mini-course was great! If you haven’t done it – I recommend it!
I’m no great expert on writing. I have been blogging for 5 years. I started to take it more seriously in the last 2 years and about 8 months ago I realized that I wanted to devote some real time and effort into developing my writing.
When it comes to blogging, I have learned a few things that I wish I’d when I started. If you’re thinking of starting a blog, or want to be more organised in your blogging, you might find these tips helpful. I may be ‘teaching my grandmother to suck eggs’, but here we go…
1. Think carefully about the title of your blog.
I changed the name of my blog a few times. This frustrated me a little as I was trying to get people to read it and link to it. Not easy when it kept changing!
The address of your blog www.etc, doesn’t have to be the title of your blog. So keep the address simple and then be as creative as you like with the title
2. Decide how often you want to post and then stick to it as much as possible
I used to post everyday for 10 days and then nothing for weeks. Friends presumed I’d given up and then… ‘oh there she is… oh no, she’s gone again.’ Now if I do feel like I have 10 posts in me I write & edit them all, pop them on the blog as drafts and then publish them in more regular intervals. By all means if you’ve got stuff to write… write it! But don’t feel you have to post everything straight away
3. Make sure to keep your ‘About’ page updated
I’m always disappointed when there’s hardly anything in the ‘About’ page of a blog. I’ve also read some that are wonderful but way too long. Treat your ‘About’ page like one of your posts. Keep editing it until it’s exactly as you want it. (NB I’m still not happy with mine…!
4. Use photos to brighten up your blog posts, but be careful…
It’s great if you can find an image that illustrates a point you’re making but you shouldn’t just search the internet and grab the first picture you see. You may get into some copyright trouble – even if it doesn’t explicitly say the image is subject to copyright. If you see an image you LOVE, ask permission to use it. The worse that will happen is they’ll say no!
And always add a caption or note somewhere on the blog to say where you got the image from, even if you took it yourself
5. Read other blogs and connect on social media!
You’ll learn a lot from other blogs, so read plenty of them. Leave comments, click the ‘like’ button and share blog posts that inspire & encourage you. Make sure to reply to comments left on your blog. The stats report tells me that my blog is being read, but it’s great to see that someone has enjoyed a post enough to leave their mark on it!
Then connect with fellow bloggers on social media. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. There are a number to choose from. Twitter seems to be the most popular and active for writers. So start there if you feel you can’t do them all.
My only other piece of advice… enjoy it! I certainly do
Where to find Annmarie:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
Personal Blog: www.auntyamo.wordpress.com
Fiction Blog: www.ficticiousamo.wordpress.
Annmarie Miles is 40 yrs old, Irish, Christian, married, and proud to be all of those things. She loves words, music & chocolate! She mostly writes about the things that life has thrown at her and how she has tried to learn, love and laugh at it all along the way!