This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to us by the Broke and the Bookish is a bit less book related than usual, at least for me. The topic is the top ten tips for new (book) bloggers. Given that this is not a book blog and I am not a book blogger, I would need these tips as much as the next person. So, I am going to do the top ten tips for new bloggers… Even though I am still sort of a new blogger. It is more of I wish that I knew what I know now (cue theme song).
- Stop procrastinating and just do it. This sounds like a tip that should be the last one on the list. But, I am putting it first because I was really scared of actually putting myself out there and writing stuff down, despite my enjoyment for writing and fascination with the blogging world. So, first I say, do, then I say figure the rest of the stuff out.
- A lot of sites say to pick a theme and a topic and stick with it to get the most readers. This is probably true. But, I have readers and I have no theme or topic of choice… And people still read my blog. I do, however try to stick to a certain theme or topic for a post. Otherwise things might get really confusing.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself. I was really scared at first to be honest about my profession and my faith, especially both at the same time because often I feel like being a Christian and a future physician puts me in some sort of ridiculous minority. But, honestly, it brings about good conversations. And you meet people in the same place as you.
- Plan ahead. Patrick describes me as a time Nazi (sorry, if that is offensive to some). I am rather time and planning obsessed and I like to be prompt about everything. Including my goal to write a post daily for the year. This does take some planning. You can pre-write and schedule posts. Or have some extra material ready in case a day gets too hectic.
- A quality post does not have to be a full length dissertation. When I first started writing, everything had to be well thought out and argued. That in and of itself is good. But writing a term paper sized post on everything is neither condusive to gaining readership, nor is it condusive to having a life. Posts can vary in length. Some days, you might just not have a lot to say. Quality, rather than quantity.
- On a quality note… Use spell check… And grammar checks. Nothing bothers me more than incorrect spelling or improper grammar. I have done it. I am not perfect, but I try to go back and fix errors when they are picked up. They are distracting. Please, fix them.
- Write down ideas of what you would write about in the future. Sometimes I swear I am already developing dementia. Though, one might argue that it is just life sucking up space inside my crammed brain. Either way, I often will see or hear or do something that seems blog worthy and then I forget. I find if I make a quick note in my phone, I tend to remember it later when I am trying to think of something to write about… Even if it is something as simple as “orange pop,” “hipster” or “bowel flowers.”
- Read other blogs. I can’t overstress this enough. I have learned a bunch about all kinds of things from reading other people’s blogs about all sorts of things (often unrelated to what I write about). Or, I at least get a good laugh. Plus, if you read and comment on others’ blogs, they might just check yours out. But, be warned: reading other blogs becomes a giant time vacuum. Be careful. I can waste hours reading blogs. It is a good thing, but limit your time, especially if you are studying for board exams and would much rather do anything else.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends about your blog. I was. In fact, I kept it secret squirrel from everyone except Patrick for weeks. But, it came out. And lo and behold, some of them like it… And read it regularly. Pretty cool. And a great way to stay in touch when you live far away.
- Numbers aren’t everything. I still need to remind myself of this…. I am obsessed with my blog stats and get disappointed when readership is down or when I see that almost everyone has more followers than me. The thing is that I am doing what I love and that it is being read by some people. Plus, I choose to not publish to Facebook or have a Twitter account or anything like that for some personal and professional reasons…. So, you have to accept that numbers won’t be as crazy when you make choices like that.
So, those are my top ten new(ish) blogger tips… From a new blogger. Any other suggestions or ideas for new bloggers or the book or other variety?