Sunday, June 15, 2008
Advice For Bloggers
I have been blogging for more than 3 years. Many bloggers come and go. Many do give it a go. Many lose interest quickly or run out of things to blog. Many will not be able to blog consistently. Having a sustainable blog requires a lot of dedication. Considering that most bloggers get nothing to blog. It can quickly turn into a chore rather than a redeeming habit.
I think out of every 100 new blogs started, only 10 will be around after 6 months. Most just die a natural death from it being a chore or from infrequent updates. Its very close to the closure rates for new restaurants.
I have to always refresh my LINKS as I will need to delete those blogs that have "passed away". If you blog for social reasons, its different, because your audience is already limited. If you blog on a subject matter such as politics, technology or business - your audience is enlarged, and you have something worthwhile to say, at least most of the time.
Below are some useful advice for aspiring bloggers:
a) You should have frequent updates. Weekly is the bare minimum. Even then, it is usually insufficient to attract most readers. I would suggest at least twice to three times a week. Daily would be the best.
b) Should you use your real name or a nick. Depends on the subject matter. Some people think there is less sincerity and bravado if you use a nick. It all depends on your current situation. Maybe your job is sensitive, and the blog may compromise your career. Hence no hard and fast rules. The other side of the coin is that some will say using your own name is self-promotional. You cannot win over everybody. Damn if you do, damn if you don't.
c) Can you be rude, sarcastic, vulgar, etc. .. that's the beauty of blogging. Its your blog. If you are rude, sarcastic and vulgar for no good reason, people will be turned off - soon you will blog to empty internet space. Its not an English test paper presentation, its your blog. But it should be clear, concise and have points to make. Rude words, sarcasm or vulgar words should be for clarity and emphasis. They should be able to carry the mood and your character. You cannot please everyone.
d) Its your blog. You cannot aim to please everyone cause then you will be writing for the lowest common denominator. The blog must please your own self first. There will always be critics. There will always be people who criticise your style of writing and your views. Answer them as best you can. Ignore them if you want. Its your blog.
e) For a blog to make sense for you, it has to mean something to you. You must have something to share. You hope that something has value in it. You have to have an almost altruistic bent as you will probably get zero returns. It is a good mechanism to voice your views, and indirectly release some stress. Its probably the next best thing to writing and publishing a book. Everybody wants to have a book published for egotistical reasons - a good blog goes a long way to satisfy that "desire", I guess.
f) Your character should come through your blog. I know most readers think I am curt in most of my replies, or impatient with silly questions - still am, but that's who you are. No need to paint a superhero alter-ego.
p/s photos: Supaksorn Chaimongkol