In the same way that I once (still do) read anything that comes to hand (except porn) to give me an idea of how writers write, as a rank beginner in Blogland, you’d want to be checking out different blogs and analysing what makes them good.

Whether it’s novel writing or blog writing, there’s a lot to absorb and a variety of opinions to take on board for future reference. To consider one opinion only on any issue limits you as a writer and as a human being. Some things date. You’d want to take note of what and why so you can escape the same.

You might copy what others do at first, but as with the novel writing (or in my case article and short story writing) you soon develop your own style. That’s always best. When you’re imitating somebody else you are working a lot harder. People pick up on that.

Blogging is visual. I can’t be bothered with photos or cartoons or illustrations, and I know that this is my downfall. I did try for a while but it just isn’t me. But I do understand their worth and can appreciate them elsewhere. Illustrations are the pollen to your flowery words. So don’t do as I do, do as I say.

When I began this blogging lark I wanted lots of followers, still do (by that I mean regular visitors not those people who click ‘follow’ and hardly ever visit). The people who come regularly to see what I’m up to are also the people I visit. I try to find (new) like-minded people to add to my collection. That doesn’t mean I’m only bothered with other writers. I have a lot of recipe places that I visit and recipes that I try. I like the immediacy of it. You can go back and say it didn’t work and find out why or ask about the ingredients when you haven’t heard of them and get an immediate response. There are people who are cataloguing their journey through exotic places (for me because I’ve never been anywhere). They give me a chance to see the most interesting architecture and people and to be an armchair traveller.

Despite all this good advice, there are times I feel dispirited (as evidenced in my previous piece, ‘Looking for love in all the wrong places.’) That’s when I think I might just give it all up. But then I realise that I’m never going to give writing up, so it might as well be the blog rather than the bottom drawer of my desk or on file on my computer. If I get the occasional click, I’m okay with it. So, we’ve come full circle. Yes you want followers or visitors, and yes, do whatever you can to lure them over to you, but if it’s all too slow then ask yourself if it’s the writing that counts with you the most or not.
Good luck.


Today’s Prompt: Give your newer sisters and brothers-in-WordPress one piece of advice based on your experiences blogging.

20 thoughts on “Don’t do as I do, do as I say

  1. Pingback: Patience and persistance | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me

  2. You do the daily writing prompts – have you considered some of the other writing projects at WordPress. One I see often is Friday Fictioneers. A new photo is used every Friday, and you have to write a 100-word story based on the picture. It’s flash fiction, and it’s not easy to tell a story in 100 words, so it’s a real challenge. There are a lot of people to meet in the group as many people read the work of the others participating. Here is the link for the picture this week: http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/
    If you’re not interested, that’s ok, too. You are so insightful, I thought this might be a nice fit for you.

    • I might have a go when things aren’t so demented here. But I have to tell you I find even longer stories hard. I’ve been working on one of the prompts about meeting the mysterious person in the elevator. I have an interesting idea, but the dialogue is letting me down. Onwards and upwards.

  3. Mary, blogging has helped me understand that there’s an audience out there for each one of us. It isn’t the whole world, or even a big chunk of it. It’s a slice. And as you said, it takes time for writer and audience to find each other. But the opportunity is there, more than it’s ever been there. We just have to let go of that American Idol, instant gratification mentality. “I’m never going to give writing up, so it might as well be the blog rather than the bottom drawer of my desk.” Exactly — because you never know who’s out there, and who might bump into your work.

  4. This post and your previous post ‘looking for love….’ gave me cause to have a look at my blog from a visitors point of view. I had previously done a little reading of WordPress advice in the name of engaging more visitors and had looked at my greeting etc.
    I’m fairly okay still with what I have on my home page and ‘about me’ page. I think (hope) any visitor will have a bit of an idea of what to expect if they go looking. I might add a couple of specifics to help though. That may or may not help things!
    I also remind myself of why I started the blog in the first place; it was for me. If others like or dislike what I write about I guess that is beyond my control.
    Naturally I hope they do like some or most of it and a million or so hits a day would be pretty good but not going to happen.
    Most of my visits are not from followers and I’m okay with that.
    I don’t expect any follower to be interested in everything I have to say nor do I expect them to like or comment each time they do visit.
    I don’t get a huge amount of time to read blogs either, they get squeezed in with other bits of reading and homelife. I know that if I had a large following I’d never get to them all.
    Anyway, there we go. I will still think about my blog from a visitors point of view so they know what I’m writing about and whether it interests them enough to start reading some posts.
    Good one Mary. This comment only took me 2 hours.

    • When you take two hours to write and revise a comment you know that you are a writer.
      I’m not the expert on how to get readers to visit. I’m trying to expand my portfolio and write about what catches my fancy rather than sticking (as I did in the old days) to granny type pieces. Possibly if I stuck to a theme, I could get more people in. I suspect you are the same. I like your posts, Bruce..

  5. I am one of those who just does what moves me for the day…between daily prompt and road trip I just sort of do my own thing in between…thank you for sharing.

  6. You are your best blog audience and I am mine 😛 and yes, pictures are good but sometimes, I can sit through longform too (though seldom). Cheers!

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