Blogging 101: A Guide to Successful Blogging

Blogging 101… Blogging for Dummies

 

blogging-101

blogging-101

Image copy-pasted from myfhamortgageblog.com

A number of readers have emailed me over time, asking me questions like, what inspires you? Well, life does. Wherever I go, there is always something worth blogging about. Whatever happens in my life can always be put into a certain way so that it’s interesting to read. As you should already know: it’s not the story, it’s how the story is told.

That being said, most of the emailers (if I may call them so) wanted advice on how to blog, what to blog, and such like tips. I’ve decided to compile my top ten blogging rules:

1. Passion

Blog about something you are passionate about. Be it sports, the weather, your wife and kids, your job, your life. That way, you won’t run out of steam over time, you can write for years and years about your subject/main theme. Sometimes you may want to blog about an event/show/elections or anything temporary. That is also okay, some blogs are only relevant for a time. I choose to write about my life because as long as am alive, there will always be something to write about.

2. Regular Updates

Make sure you update your blog frequently, either weekly or bi-weekly. Unless you are very very interesting, no one is going to come back more than twice if they come and find the same stuff they left. Also, ensure there is a subscription button on the blog so people don’t have to come to your site to check for updates. Blog updates will be sent directly to their mail.

3. Writer’s Block: What to Do

I just talked about regular updates above. So what do you do when you have a writer’s block or you’re too busy to sit down to write a proper post? Well, wordpress helps. Google too. Just search these two sites and you’ll get tones of advice.

Personally, I like to get a captivating picture, like the one below, or I copy-paste an interesting email forward, such as this or this.

Tiger Woods stars in Broke Black Golfer

4. Patience

So you start a blog and you expect to get 1000 hits per minute. It’s not gonna happen that way. Unless you’re Paris Hilton posting a sex tape. Don’t worry if at first, there is no traffic to your blog. It takes time (even a whole year) to build traffic to sustainable levels. Do not give up if you find no one visited your blog for a week. As I said, it’s all about passion. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll continue writing about it even if no one is reading.

5. Motivation: Reason for blogging

If you’re looking to make money from blogging, I think you’re choosing the wrong hobby. If making money from your blog is your main reason for blogging… I don’t have words for you. Honestly, I blog because I just have to write, and right now, I wouldn’t dream of putting up ads on my blog.

However, I’m not saying you can’t make money from blogging. I’m just saying that’s like a side benefit, a byproduct of good blogging. I know money makes the world go round, so find a day job.

6. Publicity

The main challenge in blogging is generating traffic. First you let your friends know, then they’ll tell their friends who’ll tell their friends. There is also facebook and twitter, which are very important in generating publicity to your blog. You can have facebook automatically import your new posts as you publish them. Share the link on twitter and tag people if you have to.

Reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments on the posts you read together with a link back to your blog is also a good idea, kind of like a network of blogs, you know? My earliest readers were other bloggers.

7. Response

When your readers leave comments, it’s only fair to respond to them. That way, they feel appreciated and loved. Okay, maybe just appreciated. Even the haters, I think the moment you have your first hate comment, that’s when you know you’re becoming a successful blogger. Provide an email address so that readers who want to say something to you can do so.

8. Originality

Do not take credit for something you did not write. If you copy-paste from someone else, or lift photographs from a certain site, please give credit to the original authors/creators. Do not copy the format or the way some other blogger does their writing, bring something fresh and new to the blogging scene and we’ll keep reading your work.

9. Platform/Theme/ Layout

Choose a blogging platform that’s awesome, like wordpress. Or blogger. Or I don’t know what else. Choose a short but memorable URL- that’s the address of the blog.

When picking a theme, find one that’s easy to read. One that matches your theme. If you’re doing gothic poems, perhaps a dark theme would be suitable. If you’re writing about sunshine and sugar and spice, choose something nice and bright.

The layout should encourage readers to explore your blog more. Have a calendar with recent posts, and an archive/tags/categories so readers can find something else to read apart from the main page. Experiment with the widgets and pick those that work best for you.

10. Be interesting

I saved the best for last. Ultimately, the only reason people will keep reading your work is because you are interesting. There are so many boring bloggers out there… I feel like shooting myself every time I have to force myself to even go past the first paragraph. Keep your posts short if you can’t be interesting. Longer posts can only be read if there is enough suspense/good flow. Your friends will lie to you, saying you’re a wonderful writer but you can tell the truth with time. Someone out of nowhere, someone you don’t know, will email you/leave a comment telling you they enjoy reading your working. If it happens more than 5 times, you can be convinced you’re interesting. Use pictures to add flavor to your posts.

That being said, I’d appreciate your feedback on this. If you have any more blogging rules/tips, you can leave a comment. Here’s to happy blogging.

This entry was posted in Blog, Other Blogs, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Blogging 101: A Guide to Successful Blogging

  1. mrsmwiti says:

    First of all, this is a great post!

    Second of all, you won’t believe this! I have a post that has been in my drafts for like a couple of weeks now called ’10 Lessons I have learnt blogging’. I was going to post it, and tag you in it along with a few other people who inspired me to start a blog.

    You have put it simply and very well.

    Merci. I inspired you to blog? You just made my evening mademoiselle (am throwing in some random French words to impress). I’d love to see what you got in your drafts… maybe add onto what I have.

    Like

  2. shekyn says:

    This is priceless information. Every blogger new and old alike must read this. Kudos Savvy!

    spread the message 🙂

    Like

  3. woolie says:

    Is it ok to say that I agree 100% with the first two comments? Savvy you write so well. Good writers grab the reader’s attention by spinning the tale so that it is seen from the reader’s eyes – thus this is no longer a lecture on blogging but 10 useful tips from a friend who has played the game before.
    Thanks and Happy blogging to all.

    Can you imagine writing a boring blog about blogging? The ultimate irony.

    Like

  4. Sleek says:

    Well writ Savvy

    you’re an inspiration Sleek, thanks.

    Like

  5. Jacquendinda says:

    Valuable lessons, very valuable lessons…. I could have added , but thats pretty much it..

    glad you appreciate them..

    Like

  6. cesky cess says:

    You left nothing out. And yes, it takes months to get visitors. At first, I could not even tell people that I blog, I thought I was doing it wrong. But I have since learnt there’s no right way. You just have to find your own style.

    true. no right or wrong, just be interesting.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Tribute to a great woman | I can explain it… here are my 5 good excuses

  8. Elyas says:

    I dont understand the correlation between you kenyans and this obsession with westernization. I’ve read your blog and you talk about is party party. Arent you afraid you gona catch AIDS.

    AIDS from partying?!

    Your an African female. As an African female you should be readying yourself for marriege not for parties and sexual endeavors.

    WTF?!

    You need to get back to your roots and stay true to your africanism. Have you forgotten that your grandma was born under a tree not even in a hospital. And here you are championing another peoples culture….oh well..follow my wisdom at..deleted blog url, this is not a forum to promote your blog

    So you want us to stop going to hospitals and give birth under trees? Hospitals and good health are western culture? Your arguments are so effing shallow!

    Like

    • Eva Kitheka says:

      Loooool.
      Which world is this goon from?
      Isn’t his comment a tad out of place, thought we were learning how to blog here..jeez!
      Anyhow, thanx a mil’ for your help, I’m planning to start my own blog as well:)

      Like

  9. OtienoHongo says:

    Good post. What stands out for me are the points about patience and motivations. When I started blogging I was slow to get the hang of it. I tried writing political opinions, stuff at work etc and nobody seems to be reading, at least that’s what I thought. I also thought that it is immodest to shout on facebook and twitter that I am blogging, this is my post etc. Then at one point I decided that I am going to write for myself and I was no longer going to be concerned about trying to tell anybody out there anything. I even changed my blog name to reflect on what my focus would on. That is when I started to experience a turn around, getting more traffic and comments for myself. Another thing is that I spent more time reading others blogs and it is true that eventually people return the love (not that it is the intention but rather it is that I find their blogs interesting. I am always on the lookout for interesting blogs!)

    I’m blogging less personal stuff now that am done with campus, if I go out at night, I’ll skip the details (which are the most interesting parts) because I’m becoming more famous (true 🙂 ) I feel like I need to blog responsibly. You never know who could be reading my blog.

    True about motivation and patience.

    As for shouting out on twitter and FB , it can be done subtly, not all the time but once in a while.

    Like

  10. Is it okay to post part of this on my page if I post a reference to this webpage?

    Of course it’s okay, knock yourself out.

    Like

  11. I just added this site to my bookmarks. I like reading your posts. Thank you!

    you might be a spammer but I’ll let this one pass.

    Like

  12. hotels in shimla says:

    do you know of any android app which will update me everytime you do a new post?

    try google reader

    Like

  13. george says:

    hey
    just started this blog the other day and your guide is quite insightful..here a link

    http://www.mwakenya.net/apps/blog/

    You’re welcome. Looks like an interesting blog… will be checking it out.

    Like

  14. After I discovered a blog http://www.savvykenya.com I was really inspired to start a blog of my own.my favorite post is “a tribute to my ideot” Coz I also own one.thax to for the guide on blogging a was able start my own blog without much hustle.here is a link androiddoctors.blogspot.com

    Like

  15. After I discovered a blog http://www.savvykenya.com I was really inspired to start a blog of my own.my favorite post is “a tribute to my ideot” Coz I also own one.thax to for the guide on blogging a was able start my own blog without much hustle.here is a link androiddoctors.blogspot.com

    Like

  16. Louie says:

    It’s not every day that you get some credentials on your paid effort. I tend to get tired of writing at least once or twice a week because nobody cared anyway.

    Like

  17. i will use these tips to improve mine,

    Kindly : could go thru my blog and give me some advice…am the lazy type of blogger. 🙂

    Like

  18. Cheekilychic says:

    Thanks this i really helpful…..i started my blog last week and so far I’ve had 428 views. I’m hoping to get more readers as i continue….
    here’s a link to my blog: http://cheekilychic.wordpress.com/

    Like

  19. Philos Mudis says:

    With regular updates, one also gets the advantage of learning more about what people are looking for on their website, by looking at the incoming searches using any of the paid and free analytics tools available to most publishers and advertisers. And with these keywords, a blogger can decide to create more content, delving deeper into a topic and giving readers more of what they seek for.

    Like

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