Listography: Top Five Tips For Bloggers

The fabulous KateTakes5 has come up with a cracking theme this week for her listography!

1. Use the same name on your blog as all your social media platforms.

Building up an identity is essential to helping people remember you easily. I follow several people on twitter who use a completely unrelated nickname to that of their blog, and then have a Facebook account that uses their real name. It's really difficult to remember all three, especially if they have obscure spellings. If you want people to find you easily then use the same name for all platforms, make it easy to spell, different to others (there's a lot of 'mummy' names out there) and preferably under ten characters long (saves space on twitter for conversation within 140 characters). And yes I know my name is eleven characters long, but there you go! Do as I say, not as I do.

2. If you want comments, make it easy for your readers.

Don't use word verification like captcha, etc. It is a big, fat inconvenience for your readers. If you are on blogspot, they'll probably give up halfway through because it is a ridiculous process to comment: write comment, fill in details, press publish, enter word verification, press submit, press publish again. It's not encouraging is it? Install Disqus and your readers will love you forever. If you don't have word verification and don't want to use Disqus, then enable the name/url option for commenting, self-hosted blog-owners will appreciate the effort.

And while we're discussing commenting; if you want comments, then you need to comment on other blogs. It's a two-way street!

3. Consider going self-hosted for more freedom

This depends entirely upon your reason for blogging, and the range of subjects that you blog about. I started blogging on 5th December 2010 and within a month had started the 365 photography project. I quickly realised that I wanted the posts on a separate page to my written content, but wordpress.com doesn't allow for separate posts to be made to any page other than the home-page. It was pointed out to me that by photograph 150, it was going to be difficult to find the comment box, and to know which photo each comment related to. By mid-January 2011, I'd transferred to wordpress.org which is self-hosted. It allows me to set up categories/pages and post to them separately, with individual posts and individual comment boxes per post. I hope it's easier for my readers, because it certainly is for me!

4. Subject matters!

Ha, like the pun? Please don't make me explain it to you!

In all seriousness, your blog is for you, yes. However, I strongly disagree with anyone who says that they only blog for themselves, and have had several discussions about this. If the only person that you wanted to read it was yourself, then why not keep a diary? Or make your blog password protected if just for family? The minute you press publish, then you are opening your thoughts up for anyone in the world to read. To think otherwise is naive (meant without offense).

Therefore, think really carefully about what you put on your blog. If you don't want someone to find you, blog anonymously. If you don't want to be open to criticism, then don't post controversial content. If you want your child to still talk to you when he or she is twenty, then don't post that photo of them naked in the garden. If you don't want your child to be the subject of ridicule in the playground, then don't divulge about his problems wetting the bed. If you don't want your in-laws to know about something going on in your life, then don't press publish.

5. Engage with your readers

Use twitter and become a part of the blogging community. I was using twitter before I started blogging, and I thoroughly blame MammyWoo and The Moiderer for getting me into blogging in the first place. They are two of the first 'real' people that I started following, apart from my husband. If you install a 'Follow me on twitter' button in the sidebar of your blog, then it will make it a damn sight easier for people to know who you are and 'talk' to you in 'real' life.

Another way of engaging is to install a plugin which enables your comment replies to be e-mailed directly to your readers. I saw GeekMummy had this and copied her. I've been told that it was a pleasant surprise to have my reply e-mailed across, and it opens up a dialogue and will encourage return visits.

And because it's my blog and I can, I've done another one!

6. Enjoy it!

It's a competitive world out there, full of stats and rankings. It's incredibly easy to get upset if you've found that you've dropped in the rankings, or haven't been invited to a major PR event in London that the world and his wife is going to, but don't. In all reality, could you make it to London for an event that lasted only an hour? Would you want to? Will the drop in rankings stop you from blogging? When you rise, someone else falls and think how that makes them feel. When I climbed 200 places in the Tots100 and made it into the actual 100, I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. Until I found out that one of my real-life friends had fallen 150 places. Swings and roundabouts see?

Do you have any more to add to the list?

Photobucket

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sign up for latest news


powered by MailChimp!

Comments

  1. Circusmum says

    I really like your tips! Thanks for sharing, I'm really curious about the self hosting and have been toying with the idea for some time, funnily enough for the same reason you mentioned regarding not being able to have posts on different pages.
    I may bug you with a few questions over twitter if you don't mind too much xx

  2. says

    Really handy tips, so true, still need to sort my twitter handle out, its not that I mind people misreading aresidence as arse, but it isn't logical. Add to the long to do list of stuff to sort now I'm self hosted on wordpress. P.S aresidence.co.uk is my URL just in case you were following me via my old blogger URL x

  3. says

    take two as I pressed delete!

    I love your tips, I am still hoping to go self hosted but have forgotten all teh IT i was taught in Uni and so it may be a step too far! Blogger and disqus are driving me mad though so something needs to change.
    I don't post anything I wouldn't want my family or children to read and won't post nude pics of anyone bar a teddy bear or doll on my blog.
    I have set up a facebook page but have no time to manage it so will be letting it go by the wayside.
    I have no idea how to do automatic replies so will loook into that one
    I try not to get hung up on stats especially as I am dropping most months, I am happy to blog and am slowly gaining readers etc so thats good enough for me.
    Thnaks you have been such a fantastic support to me!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I do nothing to my Facebook page apart from have networked blogs set up.It automatically posts by blog-posts to my wall and hopefully extends my audience. The replies are an excellent form of communication, shame it's taken me so long to get around to doing them on this post!

  4. says

    Some really great tips here, I especially like the one about comments and since I'm on blogger I'll be changing a few things to help my readers with easier commenting. Sometimes it's something you never think about but it's so obvious isn't it!!

  5. says

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!!! This is an excellent list. I totally agree that the same handle (and logo/gravatar if poss) should be used across all platforms. Such a sensible idea. And make comments easy for readers, engage with reades, etc all really great tips.

  6. says

    Love your tips!! I didn't know about the ability to post on diff pages on self hosted, so that's how it's done! I am ocassionally tempted to move to self hosted then think "meh" and carry on blogging on my current one. I'll do it one though coz i want to give it a bit of a shake up and change the look of it! And captcha really gets on my wick… Its sooooo annoying!! Grrrr!!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Captcha is pointless, especially alongside comment moderation as well! I'd only go self-hosted if you want to start categorising your posts, if you're happy doing the writing thing then don't worry.

  7. says

    Yes to every one of them! Brilliant list. You're the first person to mention the streamlining your name thing. I find it so confusing when people have different aliases – it's hard enough to keep up with everyone as it is. Thanks for joining in – off to tweet you post now!

  8. says

    On point 1, that would be me then lol. :o

    I've had Honie B as a screen name in one capacity or another over the years and Facebook is for my friends and family to find me I guess (it's bad enough for old friends that my last name has changed – never mind using a screen name). The blog is, I guess, named after what it's all about (mostly).

    Can't see me changing it – it probably would be easier if all the same for Tweeters – but not for those who kow me on FB. I sometimes reply to comments with HonieBuk & HonieMummy in the box.

    I totally agree with all of the rest – I'm not struggling with WordPress.com (yet) but will consider that.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      No, I don't think it's you; you have a similar titled blog to your twitter name. It's when they are completely different that it gets confusing!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I started paying £25 but with increased storage needs and bandwidth requirements, I now pay about £50 a year. My husband paid £3 for the domain name for two years. It is well worth the money!

  9. Pinkoddy says

    Not a bad price I guess but as I blog for nothing it seems quiet a lot. I used to have a domain name when I ran a forum.

  10. says

    I couldn't agree more about the comments, I've lost count of the amount of times I've given up trying to go through the process of using the Blogger comment form, or have written a long comment only for the form to balls up and lose everything.

    As for self-hosting – I'd love to. Trouble is, Mum's the Word as a URL seems to be taken in just about every reasonable format. What annoys me most is that mumstheword.co.uk is parked and the bastards want £9.95 before I can even make them an offer. Grr.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current ye@r *