Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tips for starting a blog.

I am now a month into putting up posts on my new blog It's News 2 Them™, which tracks the cover stories from the tabloids. The original idea was to stay with the stories that can later be confirmed or denied, but already the blog's mandate is suffering from mission creep. It was supposed to be about romantic break-ups and reports of celebrities near death, but I couldn't pass up some stories that added categories like the You So Crazy Alerts™ and the Enboobening Alerts™.

There are lots of places you can go to get advice about how to blog successfully. It's arguable whether we can call Lotsa 'Splainin' 2 Do a successful blog or not, but I get about 3,000 hits a week. This is slow and steady progress from how I was doing even a year ago.

There are long lists of advice about how to make a blog work, but for me one thing has worked better than anything else.

Blog regularly. It's not always easy, but it helps to have new material every day. There are more popular blogs than mine that take the weekend off, but I try to post something new at least seven times a week. I have the Random 10, which I first saw over at Padre Mickey's blog, so that is a day when I don't have to do much work. There's Wednesday Math, and now that I've done over 100 of them I'm starting to feel like I'm running out of material, but I almost always get an idea for something new every week. My fall back positions if I can't think of anything are lolz and videos from YouTube.

When I got the inspiration for the new blog, I figured the one post a day rule was going to be easy to keep, and that's certainly been true so far. I go to a local newsstand on Thursday or Friday, scribble down some notes from all the supermarket checkout magazines and tabloids and I have all the material I need for a week, parceling out the headlines at a rate of about two a day. Sometimes tabloid stories happen and get reported by the legitimate press, like Gary Coleman's arrest. These are easy bonus posts.

I went back to look at how the new blog is doing in terms of readership compared to this blog in its first month, and the pace of increase looks about the same, except for one huge week of viewership when I first started this blog. Back in 2007, people first noticed that Elizabeth Kucinich was a super fine honey, and I put a link to here up on the website BuzzFeed. Instead of about 200 readers that week, I had about 1,600. It was just a one week spike, but it gave me the idea of starting the Gigantic Child Bride feature, which gave me the courage to come out of the closet and become an ambassador for My People and Our Agenda.

Given my experience of nearly three years, I can distill what little I know about blogging into three pieces of advice.

1. Blog as regularly as you can, aiming for at least once a day.
2. Try to get some good linkage from bigger websites.
3. Pander.

You will notice that I had to make quite a stretch to include Elizabeth Kucinich in this post. I think you will also notice that very few readers will complain about this.


Fran said...

You were part of my own early inspiration for blogging and you know I get a little gushy over you and all. Sorry, that is how I roll.

That said, you have great advice. I just simply can't follow it anymore.

Which does point out that pandering is not at the root of my gushiness!

And mad props on the EK inclusion. She makes for a winning post, no matter how far you had to stretch!

Matty Boy said...

Yes, it had been way too long between posts featuring Miss Elizabeth. Any excuse was good enough.

And as for success, you have more followers than I do and get more comments on average, so obviously you are doing something right.

namastenancy said...

Hey, in my eyes, you are the poster boy for blogging success. You are funny, relevant and post lots of photos of gorgeous women. Plus, good political commentary from time to time.
My GURU! I can't always follow your advice; writing an intelligent post on art takes more and more time because I am more and more critical of myself. But I do get the hits and the invites to preview art shows so it's all good.
Plus meeting fellow bloggers - now that's the biggest treat of all.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Ive been blogging since 2001 and I don't pander enough.
Thanks for the reminder. ;)