I’ve been blogging for over two and a half months now and it’s been a great experience. It’s given me the chance to get out a lot of the thoughts and ideas that have been floating around in my mind, just looking for an exit. In that sense it’s been a great experience.
I’ve also had some struggles. Blogging has forced me to work on my editing skills and get better at phrasing and sentence structure while still keeping a personal feel to things. That’s hard. Very hard at times.
Here are some things that I’ve noticed from blogging and from reading other bloggers’ posts.
- Make one point, your one big idea. Focus on that one big idea that you want to communicate. By the way, this works well in public speaking as well. Focus on that one big idea and reinforce that you have one main idea to get across. See?
- It’s probably a good idea to not write more than 500 words in a post. I get lost after about 400 words or so and it sounds like I’m starting to repeat myself. I’ve read multiple posts on other blogs that number well over 1,200 words. If I can’t get out my one point in 500 words or less, I either need to edit more or break the post into two or more posts. Leave your readers wanting more.
- Keep it real. Usually if I’m sharing some thoughts on an article or an excerpt I have to fight against sounding too academic and stilted about my thoughts on it. Speak from where you feel the strongest and be personal about it.
- Trying to be “thought-provoking” all the time will give you a headache. Make it fun, that’s why I have the Friday List.
- Use shorter paragraphs. Use short sentences. They force you to be concise. They challenge your editing skills.
- If you’re going to skimp on grammar, be selective about where you skip. Misspelled words? Still not cool. Choosing a preposition to end a sentence with? More forgivable. I’m still not advocating bad grammar but as a writer you hold the reins to how much of a Grammar Nazi you want to be.
- Not every post is going to win a Pulitzer Prize. On the other hand, don’t post for the sake of posting. Know why you blog and stick with those reasons.
- Respond to comments quickly and personally. This may not work for everyone but I’ve found that it means a lot to the people who took time to comment. With over 144 million blogs on the Internet, they took time to comment on yours. Recognize that fact.
These are a few of the lessons that I’ve learned over the last few months of blogging. I’m still very much a beginner but it’s been a great journey so far.