100th Post

29 Mar

Yes, you CAN believe your eyes! I am typing at this very moment the 100th post on my blog. And instead of going with my first idea (randomly listing 100 things I like) or with my Kindergarten teacher’s idea (wearing a t-shirt with 100 objects attached to it) I thought I’d commemorate this milestone with blogging lessons I’ve learned so far. And we’ll go with a more manageable number like 5 or 10 lessons, depending on how inspired my brain is this morning. I can’t always count on the thinking power to produce a 10-item list every day, but I’ll do my best. And without any more rambling, I present to you my 100th post blogging retrospective. Yaaay!

This picture of Buster’s ponderous relaxing position is free! Enjoy!

Content Tips

#1 – Variety

A baking post is always fun!

When pressed, I describe my blog as “an eclectic lifestyle” blog. What’d you think? Is that accurate? I guess when you consider I’ve blogged about everything from emerging technology, social media, movies, TV, books, restaurants, fashion, Buster’s issues, house hunting, decorating ideas, favorite recipes, budgeting tips and vacation reviews, (takes breath) that fancy phrase might just cover it.

So if you are thinking of starting a blog, don’t limit your subject matter! Unless, of course, you want to base your blog on an awesome and eternally interesting theme like gourmet cooking (think Julie/Julia), fashion trends or entertainment reviews.

I like to mix it up, because I think I’d feel too limited in a narrow theme. If you can, and I’ve never been able to do this, you could establish a schedule of variety. Like posting a recipe every Wednesday and a movie review every Friday, but that hasn’t worked out for me yet. Although I can definitely see how that would help with the subject brainstorming process.

#2 – Interesting to you (the blogger)

I can't help sharing my reading habits. Sorry.

If you are going to share posts with the internet world, write about subjects that comes easily to you. I think genuine interest comes across in writing and makes a post easier and more exciting to read. This isn’t an assigned essay on Romantic Poetry (although, that’d be fun for some English majors to compose); it is a post that gives your readers a little window into your perspective and world. Blogging should be fun! Don’t forget it!

#3 – Helpful to your audience

I think several readers tried out my Nell's Cheesy Chicken recipe. That felt good!

Although blogging should be fun, try to consider your audience as well. Before I commit to a blogging subject, I usually ask myself a variation of ‘Why would anyone want to read this?’ before spending the DOZENS OF MINUTES writing it up. I think posting a recipe people can try or giving my true opinion about different entertainment options is helpful to people beyond the first time they skim (yes, I realize people may not memorize your posts) my blog.

#4 – Establish your own tone

Although I may not have mastered this element, I suggest creating a consistent persona. Not a lie, but just the blog version of yourself. I generally write in an upbeat conversational style based on timing and little joke asides. I don’t consciously follow a formula, but I do write in my casual tone as opposed to my academic essay tone or my business email style. And I do enjoy having light happy conversations with people, but I don’t always operate in blog mode in real life. However, your blog tone should be a valid component of your personality.

#5 – A Little Bit Personal

That's really me and Ike!

And my final piece of content advice? Don’t be afraid to get a little bit personal. Although they may not be my most popular posts, I do share things that really only have to do with me and my goals. Like my New Year’s Resolution status reports or the true lessons I learned from Disney. I think that a few injections of real struggles and lessons add a sense of reality that light, playful reviews can’t.

Spreading the Word

#6 – Consistent

I get more readers when I put out 5 blogs a week, and get them posted sometime in the mid-morning. So blogging does take some discipline. I guess consistency in your posting schedule helps readers make your blog a part of their routine. If you miss a couple days of posting, they may move on to find new blogs during their slow moments. So try to blog often. But again, it is supposed to be fun, so don’t put too much pressure on keeping a perfect schedule. Quality ultimately wins over quantity.

#7 – Perfect – ish

Speaking of quality, don’t forget to re-read your post before you publish and share it. I KNOW that each of my posts probably has some little typo, but I really want them to be clearly communicated and as error free as possible. My secret? I get my husband or mom to read through my post before I publish them. If you want to blog, find your own helpful and willing editors! It will save you a lot of forehead slapping mistakes. Trust me.

#8 – Shared (or in blogging colloquial ‘pimped out’)

Each time I publish a post, I tweet the link and sometimes share it on Facebook. If people don’t know about your blog, or remember it is there, you won’t get as many hits. So find the best outlet to share your blog and don’t be afraid to do it.

#9 – Pictures are worth…something

My Buster is a frequent star of my 'real' pictures.

I’m not the best at this, but I do try to add pictures and captions to break up my text. My blog is based primarily on the writing, but pictures do help. And although I don’t do this as much as I’d like, I think real pictures of me or things I’ve seen (as opposed to those found via Google image search) are more meaningful to the post. That means if you are going to be a blogger, you need to keep your camera with you at all times! You never know when something post worthy is about to happen.

Ok! Looks like I have the brainpower for 9 blogging tips. I hope they were helpful! And I hope I have a 200th post retrospective in my future. Thanks to all my consistent readers. Until next time…

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