blogging, writing

Seven Simple Blog Tips

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Who am I to give you tips? No one, from nowhere. I have, though, been blogging for over ten years. And during that time, I’ve been a reader of blogs. I’ve looked at hundreds, and I know what I like and what I don’t.

Following are things that I notice—things that determine whether I come back. Yes, they are my opinions. But a reader’s opinion is important, right?

  1. Posts should be well-written.

I know that everyone says that. I also know that many bloggers don’t seem to care.

At least read your draft slowly a couple of times before posting. I go as far as to read mine out loud. It’s amazing how much easier it is to find problems when reading aloud rather than reading silently.

  1. Posts should be broken into small paragraphs.

A reader is intimidated by long posts with no paragraph breaks. When I click through and see a block of writing that goes on and on with no breaks, I rarely continue reading. It’s just easier to read smaller blocks.

  1. Posts should have a purpose.

Even if the purpose is to entertain. If you have nothing to say, it’s okay not to post. If you have writer’s block, just don’t write. You don’t have to write daily posts saying that you have nothing to say. And you don’t have to begin a post with the acknowledgement that you haven’t written in a month. That signals, from the beginning, that you still have nothing to say.

  1. Pictures help.

Pictures help but aren’t as important as some people say. If your writing is good, I don’t need a picture to come back. Sometimes, though, the picture is what makes me click on the post when scrolling through WordPress reader.

Mind the quality and content of the photos if you do use them. A middle-aged guy like me will find no benefit from posting pictures of himself; stock photos of nicer looking people, or kittens, work better.

  1. For recreational blogs, domain names don’t matter.

Unless you want your blog to become a money-making business (which is a valid goal and another story), it doesn’t matter if you are BillyBobBadass.com or Billybobbadass.wordpress.com. If you want the more professional domain name and can afford it, go for it. Just don’t feel like you must.

I made the mistake of paying to drop wordpress.com from my previous blog. When I lost interest in it and decided to no longer pay for it, someone else purchased the name. They then copied all my old content and added lots of embarrassing advertisements. There was nothing I could do; my creation became an advertisement for some creeps hiding in a basement in a dark corner of the world.

  1. Increase traffic by interacting.

I was better at this when I had my first blog, God rest its soul. Nowhere Tribune came to life in 2012, kind of. Well, no, not really. I created it in 2012, and for the next six years never visited other than to publish something once every three months or so. Nor did I visit other blogs. The result? Unless someone happened to find my blog through a Google search, no one knew it existed.

In the last year, I’ve started interacting, through WordPress reader, with other bloggers who have similar interests or writing styles, and I’ve built my own community. I read and comment on their blogs, and they do the same here.

When you leave an honest or sincere comment on another blog, that blogger, and others, will often visit yours. If they like the content, they will come back.

I like to search posts that use tags I commonly use: satire, hiking, running, weight training, humor. By doing that, I find people with whom I have something in common.

  1. Don’t ignore your readers.

I will only comment on another blog two or three times if I don’t get a response. I’m looking for other writers to interact with; if they are unwilling to interact, then I quit trying. That’s friendship building 101.

If you get a notification that Little Sally Two Shoes followed your blog, at least check hers out. If it’s decent, reciprocate by following. Later, if you realize that she only blogs to promote her hatred of the Golden Cheeked Warbler, you can unfollow.

And yes, you can have “blog friends.” In real life I don’t know the bloggers who I routinely interact with on WordPress. And, for me, that’s a good thing. My wife says I’m not very likable. Also, they may all be crazy. But it’s readers like them who make me want to write. And it’s writers like them who have blogs I follow.

 

What are your tips?

Do you have any tips for this site in particular?

Thank you for reading!

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.

Discussion

50 thoughts on “Seven Simple Blog Tips

  1. These are some of the best tips for growing your blog in our community! Interacting and commenting with others play a part in growing followers and making online friends. 😎

    Posted by Darnell Cureton | March 12, 2019, 10:51 pm
  2. MOAR tales of 90s high school days and 94.5 The Edge 🙂

    Posted by Stacey McStationary | March 12, 2019, 10:51 pm
    • Ha, Stacey! I’ve been telling too many stories lately and thought I needed to take a break. Nice to see you again!

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 13, 2019, 8:24 am
      • Good to see you too my dude. Your tale of a dark country road in the middle of the night resonated here. #90s #churchvan #countryliving

        Posted by Stacey McStationary | March 13, 2019, 8:42 am
  3. All very useful tips, in my view, that I wish more people followed. And speaking of following, I suggest only following blogs you intend to read. Don’t follow blogs for the sole purpose of getting bloggers to follow you back. To me, that is strange and artificial. And don’t worry much about getting lots of followers. You don’t need many to build an enjoyable circle of blogging buddies. Of course, this assumes that your purpose for using social media is to socialize.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | March 12, 2019, 10:53 pm
    • Good point, and I agree. From time to time I clean out the list of blogs I follow the same way I clean out my closet–if I haven’t used (read) it in a while, out it goes.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 13, 2019, 7:50 am
    • I totally agree with that. I don’t follow anyone I don’t intend to read, comment and interact with. Drive by likings aren’t my style.

      Posted by rivergirl1211 | March 19, 2019, 8:06 am
  4. Tags—so it hits the WP reader in seven or eight categories. POSTING IN ALL CAPS IS A GREAT TIP TOO. hehe

    Posted by jim- | March 12, 2019, 11:44 pm
  5. Some good advice! Always pays to reread what you wrote, especially the part about reading aloud. I often dint do that enough.

    Posted by TheCovertAtheist | March 13, 2019, 12:27 am
  6. Good points here and I agree with you all the way. I like to read posts written by a human being for human beings, by someone who likes to write – like you obviously are: I can tell by the way you express yourself and the care and thought you’ve put into the post. I read posts that are edited (not full of typing mistakes) and that have paragraphs. Posts that are too long don’t tempt me at all and I’ll only read long ones if I know the blogger well and have faith that it will be time well spent! About commenting: that’s my pet peeve! Bloggers who don’t respond to comments come off arrogant and unattractive – and they are also missing out on the best part of blogging, interaction! 😊 Great post! Happy blogging!

    Posted by The Snow Melts Somewhere | March 13, 2019, 8:42 am
    • Thank you for the comment, the compliments, and also for being part of my group of “blogging friends.” Yours is a very good blog, too, which is why I’m often there. And yeah, I agree–bloggers who ignore comments do seem arrogant. Happy blogging to you, and I hope it’s warming up there.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 13, 2019, 8:45 am
  7. I’m embarrassed because I have two posts that are rants about birds. Maybe Little Sally Two Shoes and I would get along.

    As for your site, keep doing what you’re doing! You even made blogging advice fun to read.

    Posted by Shayne | March 13, 2019, 10:07 am
    • Please, be nice to the birds. In my paragraph about my “blog friends,” I originally named about five, and you were one of them. I took that out though in case I was forgetting someone.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 13, 2019, 10:13 am
      • I’ll do my best, but they wake me up too often. Thanks for the almost mention! It still means a lot 🙂

        Posted by Shayne | March 13, 2019, 10:37 am
  8. Great tips. I always look forward to reading this blog, no matter the topic.

    Posted by Brandon | March 14, 2019, 10:08 am
  9. Excellent points.

    So much of this is common sense. I’m a social person so it’s easy for me to interact. I always respond to comments. Not everybody does but that’s just me. I enjoy conversation.

    Another thing I do is contact anyone who follows my blog. I always thank them and I always follow back. I will always see a person following my blog as an extremely kind gesture and I let them know how thankful I am.

    Posted by Bryan Fagan | March 14, 2019, 3:28 pm
  10. I like talking and what not…I just need to perhaps carve time to sit and read other blogs on a more frequent basis. I’m just such a hummingbird bird though 🤣

    Posted by Sassyfitnesschick | March 14, 2019, 4:10 pm
  11. Great tips. Thank you!

    Posted by Snowbird In Training | March 15, 2019, 11:38 am
  12. Holy crap, you had your entire blog stolen? That sucks. When I had a business and website, someone stole all my content, copied the layout and replaced my name with theirs. My web developer went in and found out who it was and their contact info and I threatened them. They took it down. Don’t know if one can do that nowadays… this was back in the early 00s.

    Posted by Clever Girl | March 15, 2019, 12:05 pm
    • I contacted wordpress, but they were no longer the hosts, so there really wasn’t anything they could do. Whoever it was took it down after about a year. What happened to you sounds a lot more serious. By the way, is any of your live comedy online anywhere?

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 15, 2019, 12:55 pm
  13. I try to follow all those rules and not bore my readers. But have a purpose? I struggle with that one. My blogs are the epitome of purposeless drivel.
    😉

    Posted by rivergirl1211 | March 19, 2019, 7:51 am
    • From what I’ve read, your purpose often falls under, “to entertain,” which is where many of mine fall, too. I’d rather read some funny, sarcastic “drivel” than a “how to” any day!

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 19, 2019, 7:58 am
      • I hear you. The volume of self help blogs is staggering on WordPress.
        Come to think of it, the amount of those followers I have makes me wonder how broken I really am.

        Posted by rivergirl1211 | March 19, 2019, 8:02 am
  14. Your design for your blog appeals to me. About writing a post, I like seeing what issues the Grammarly app finds in what I’ve said. The worst of it, I try to edit out.

    When it mystifies me, it’s time to throw caution to the wind and risk looking foolish. WordPress lets you do updates anytime without disturbing much of the original you’re editing. All that said, though, it feels the best when the Grammarly app can’t find one solid thing wrong with what you’ve written.

    Posted by odell01 | March 19, 2019, 11:24 am
    • Thank you, Odell! It is great when the proofing app says, “No writing errors were found.” That doesn’t happen very often for me, though. I use a passive voice too much for the liking of wordpress.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 19, 2019, 11:51 am
  15. Well written and good advice – thank you!

    Posted by lowlyj | March 24, 2019, 3:27 am
  16. Thank you so much for sharing these tips with everyone. Wow you have been blogging for over 10 years now. That’s a lot of years of experience under your belt. It is great that you have kept the fire burning after all these years

    Although those tips sound so simple, they are very realistic and quite helpful in building a blog.

    Although it has not been too long since I started. What I find most enjoyable about blogging is the interactions and connection you build with fellow bloggers. Like you have said friendship 101.

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one to share these thoughts. Glad to have stumbled into your blog 😊

    Posted by Eva | April 16, 2019, 9:48 pm
  17. I needed this! Thank you 🙂

    Posted by Mollie Ryerse | April 17, 2019, 10:47 am

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