Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lessons Learnt from Blogging, Phase 2

I started blogging in 2005. I was barely past my second year in college and undoubtedly young and naïve. Over time, the focus on blogging has waxed and waned. As regular readers of the blog must have noticed, there has been a sudden flood of posts on this blog. I’m calling it blogging phase 2.

Some lessons have been learnt from over two months of posting each day. Two months might not seem that long but writing one post every day isn’t easy. I admire those who write more. Here’s what I’ve learnt.

1. Be regular. The most important way to maintain your readership is to be regular. As a reader, I myself do not like bloggers who are irregular or sporadic. Decide a posting frequency for yourself and stick to it. I do one post per day. Some bloggers do twice a week. Other, highly prolific ones post several times a day.

2. Say something interesting. Put yourself in the shoes of a reader and imagine what they’d find utterly boring. Then don’t write that.

3. Pay attention to the design. Design your blog with care. Make it pretty but not gaudy. I’ve chosen a minimalist design which emphasizes the latest post and recent comments. Do not cram your blog with non-essential widgets and make it ugly.

4. Find avenues to promote your blog. Twitter and facebook are okay but they often get limited to just your friends. Find other avenues to promote your blog. Avoid sites that are too big. Go for medium sized ones. I found that indiblogger.in was very useful for me. It is a network of Indian bloggers.

5. Maintain privacy. I have posts from my younger days that I’m embarrassed of now. Most often these are about friends or people I know. Be careful while mentioning people on your blog. What seems like a good rant today might become embarrassing when your anger has cooled down or 5 years later when you can’t even remember the person you wrote about.

6. Do not stare at statcounter. Staring does not bring more readers. Go do you work. Let statcounter do its.

4 comments:

  1. Great advice! I especially loved the last one about not staring at the statcounter. It's nice to know that otehr people have done that, too. :-)

    I wish somebody told me that blogging existed in 2005. I only discovered it in 2009. It would have been so great to have this outlet while I was suffering through grad school!

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  2. @Clarissa: Ah yes, blogging is wonderful.

    Despite my own advice I check statcounter at least 5 times a day! :P It's a common disease.

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  3. Statcounter is one of the most frequently visited sites according to my browser :P It's not from the blog, but mainly because of the plot digitizer I wrote.

    As for blogging, and as for writing in general, I have a tendency to forget that someone other than me is going to read it and how they are going to respond to it. Also, I end up posting stuff on Facebook rather than writing up a proper blog since things on Facebook get a much better audience. I think a lot of people do that these days.

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  4. @Ankit: Yes, but on facebook you get limited to just your friends. Blogging is more public.

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