Archive for the Category »Writing Tips «

Since blogging basically has no rules,

it’s time we stop believing it does.

~Barbara Swafford

Before our first post is published, we’ve usually done enough homework to educate ourselves on blogging; from choosing our blogging platform (WordPress, Blogger, or other) to what we’re going to write about.

The rules of blogging or the lack thereofIn the process, we’ve probably learned a little about what blogging is, what to expect and what not to do.

Today’s Lesson

Depending on from where or whom we learn about blogging, often determines how often we blog, the theme we use, how we build our blog, plus much more.

Some bloggers believe the magic bullet is to follow the rules of “abc”, whereas others proclaim it’s “XYZ”.

So, who’s right?

Neither.

What’s happening is bloggers are sharing what works for THEM. Since we’re not THEM, there’s no guarantee what they do will work for us, no matter how hard we try.

Granted, we can learn the basics of blogging and tips from others, however to stand out from the crowd and to feel authentic, we need to be creative, step out of the blogging box and ask ourselves questions such as:

  1. Do I really need to publish a post every day? Week? Month?
  2. Does my theme reflect who I am, or am I copying someone else?
  3. Is guest posting all it’s cracked up to be? Or am I better off showing my writing talents or knowledge in a different venue?
  4. Is it really necessary to market myself and my blog on Facebook and/or Twitter, or is there a better way to promote my work? Or, do I want to (self-promote)?
  5. Is commenting on other blogs helping to drive traffic to my blog? If not, does commenting have any benefit?
  6. Does it matter if what I post might go against what others believe? Do I care?
  7. Instead of just looking at my blog as a place to share, can I use it as a vehicle to propel me further? If so, how?
  8. Is the time I spend socializing with my online friends helping me to advance? Or is it just a distraction which keeps me from my fulfilling my dreams?
  9. Are affiliate links the best way to monetize my blog? What about Google AdSense? Or do I even want to monetize my blog?

How we blog and why we blog is up to us. Let’s remember that and learn to enjoy the journey.

Happy Blogging! 8)

Today’s Assignment

What “rule(s)” of blogging have you found to be false?

Have any “rules” you’ve followed proved to be true or beneficial?

Care to share?

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“What will I blog about?” is a question we ask ourselves when we think about setting up a blog.

Some of us have a topic picked out, whereas others know they want a blog but have no topic in mind.

Today’s Lesson

Like magazines, some blogs contain a variety of information about a broad subject.

Other blogs are very succinct and only include articles about one specific topic.

When setting us a blog, some experts say a blog should be topic specific and named appropriately by including the “topic” in the name of the blog.

That sounds all well and good, however if the name of our blog is overly descriptive, we could limit ourselves with regard to what we feel we can blog about.

So, what’s a blogger to do?

  1. Use one blog, regardless of the name and share whatever we want?
  2. Set up a new blog for each topic we want to discuss?
  3. Create a blog with a name that could encompass any topic?

What do you think?

Today’s Assignment

Should a blogger post whatever they want on one blog, create a new blog to encompass new topics, or chose a name for their blog which allows them to be more versatile?

Care to share?

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Bloggers' Rights at EFFSensationalism sells.

Outrageous headlines. Unbelievable claims. Photoshopped pictures. All published in hopes of gaining attention, making money and/or other.

And it works.

Today’s Lesson

Sensationalism can silence people, too.

Look at these headlines:

  1. Student Photojournalists Arrested; What Are Their Rights?
  2. Governments Increasingly Targeting Twitter Users for Expressing Their Opinion
  3. Marine Facing Discharge for Criticizing Obama on Facebook Says He’s Only Guilty of ‘Being an American’
  4. Oregon Church Sues Ex-Members Over Online Criticism
    Julie continues to blog about her experience.
  5. Andrew Breitbart Dead: Conservative Blogger Dies Suddenly At 43
    He is quoted as saying, “I do what I do because the mainstream media chooses not to do it.” (His blog/website lives on.)

Some might see these titles, read the articles and say to themselves, “They have more guts than I do.”

But, is it lack of guts?

Or is it fear that stops us?

Even though we know we can exercise freedom of speech: our first amendment right, if we hear of or experience an injustice, many don’t.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Instead of practicing freedom of speech, some wait for others speak up. Carry the torch, so to speak.

After all, WE certainly don’t want to be labeled as a radical thinker, an activist, whistle blower or end up with OUR name on some list.

Instead, we just shut up and silently complain how “that’s just not right”, or believe one lone voice cannot make a difference.

When that happens, the bad guys win.

Just as they had planned.

All because they knew they could instill fear in (most of) us.

Today’s Assignment

Do you fear posting your viewpoints online, especially if they could be viewed as controversial?

Or do you speak freely, not worrying about what others think? Not concerned about the consequences or the backlash?

Care to share?

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