Remember when you were a kid and your parents read you the riot act before going to visit someone? I’ve come to the conclusion that some of those same rules will help you make a success of blogging. When I send my daughter out, I find myself saying some of the same things that my mother said to me when I was a kid. Here’s how these rules can apply to blogging.
Speak When You’re Spoken To
Blogging is a conversation, so when people take the trouble to say something to you, it’s polite to say something back. Bloggers can do this by responding to all comments on their blog posts, as well as emails from readers. Although I no longer reply to each comment in a separate window, I always acknowledge every comment, especially the ones that add value to the conversation. Often, that leads to people coming back to say something else and it might even lead to posts on other blogs. As an example, a post I did on productivity led one of my regular readers to follow up on a resource I listed and review it.
There’s always a temptation to be stingy with the link love. After all, if you do a lot of linking out, aren’t you sending your readers away? In fact, it’s the opposite. Blog readers love to find out about new stuff in the blogosphere. They will often come back to thank you, or leave a comment on the new blog saying how they found it. Either way, you earn some brownie points. So when someone else has written something relevant to your post, link to it. Better yet, tell them you did it. There are enough readers to go around.
Don’t Get Distracted
In blogging terms, this is about having a plan for each blog post and sticking to it. Like any other form of writing, a post has a beginning, which should grab the reader; a middle, which should provide information; and an end, which might be the point of the post. However you choose to structure your post, make sure that you’re making it easy for the reader by avoiding tangents and non-essentials.
Even if you disagree with someone, you don’t have to be rude to them. As a writer, I like to think that I can express a difference of opinion in a polite and constructive manner. This leads to debate rather than flaming. Someone once said (help me out if you know who it is) that politeness is the oil that greases the wheels of society. I think it works for the blogosphere too.
For me, this is the most important rule. If you’re not having fun, why continue? You wouldn’t stay at a party if you weren’t enjoying it, would you? I think that being part of blog conversations, sharing the link love and engaging in constructive debate all make blogging fun, and that’s why I keep doing it.
What did you learn as a kid that helps you in your blogging life?
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