As the rest of my course knows, blogging is not an easy thing! I admire those that can write about news and still keep an entertaining and witty air about their posts. Or even those that can bring together several stories, connect them in a way I never thought about before, or tell them to me in an engaging way. I’m still a blogger-in-training and one of the tips I keep reading is that I should read other blogs and see how they write and maintain an audience. This, I claim, is research. I’ve written up my impressions of them below, in a suggested order for those seeking inspiration.
- Get Focused by WordPress Sent to me in an email when I first joined WordPress (for my other, semi-defunct personal blog), “Get Focused” is less about coming up with an individual post and more about focusing your blog in general. I tried the activities for my personal blog and ended up with more-or-less the same thing as I had already decided my blog was. That blog remains, alas, an unfocused mess. I’m about to apply the techniques mentioned here to this blog and will hopefully be pleased by the sudden clarity and focus my mind has achieved!
- How to Write When You Don’t Feel Like Writing by Melissa Ford
This was one of the first blog posts I visited. I’ve tried one of the techniques (“pretend someone asked you a question”) and it was less than successful. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it out yourself! It’s a short entry, but offers some quick tips for someone struggling to even come up with a topic, as I know many of my fellow DMP classmates are. And, I guess, technically I’m following one of her tips right now: “Read some writing advice [. . .] Then respond to that writing advice.”
- 10 Ways To Ignite Your Writing! by Kludgymom
Don’t dismiss it because it’s on a blog written for parents. I found this post really helpful. Instead of the usual “Write what you know” and the aforementioned “Pretend like someone asked you a question and answer it” tips (which help… a little.. or not really at all), Kludgymom actually offers insights on how to make you REALLY BORING POSTS more interesting. Got a post about your day written in the style of Mrs. Dalloway and you’re not Virginia Woolf? Kludgymom knows what to do. I’m not kidding. I’ve tried some of her techniques on here on my 5 Things I Learned This Week… and One Thing I Didn’t post.
- How often should you write a blog post? by Lilach.
A helpful post as it makes you realize, 2-3 times a week is a significant amount to deal with to begin with. Lilach found a blogging coach (they exist? Where can I get one!) who had her writing every day in order to boost traffic to her site. This is encouraging if only for the fact that it means not blogging every day is okay! I don’t mind only getting 1 hit (probably Matt) every time I post a new entry. Any more than 10 people and I think I’d get stage fright.
Hopefully these posts prove to be insightful and maybe even a bit helpful to my friends who are suffering from writer’s block! I’m off to conduct some actual research about online databases and consumer magazines (for unrelated topics).
Au revoir and good night!