There are a heck of a lot of blogs about blogging. How to start blogging. What to blog about and so on. The thing is though, if you don’t know what to blog about you shouldn’t be blogging. You have to have some idea what you want to talk about, some subject or interest that’s close to your heart, otherwise, what’s the point?
My blogs are pretty diverse but generally they are funny or at least mildly humorous observations on life. They usually get serious when I talk about things like the Bobby Kennedy shooting or the JFK assassination or even when I look at my writing or film heroes like James Hilton or Woody Allen.
Blogging is something that I started just to promote my book, Floating In Space, and my blogs are mostly written in the same style as the book so they give the reader a sort of taster of what they will be in for if they decide to purchase a copy but now I’m starting to feel almost like, well a professional journalist! I have my deadlines, well my deadline, my one deadline and that is to have something written ready for Saturday when I post. Throughout the week I’ll usually jot something down then edit it into something like a readable piece of work prior to Saturday, and when I say prior to Saturday that usually means Friday night!
Recently I returned from six weeks in Lanzarote and I had planned to write so much and in fact did so little. I started work on another book and another radio script as the last one was rejected by the BBC (what do they know anyway!) I didn’t make much headway in either of those areas but what I did do is a huge amount of networking and I boosted my twitter profile and quadrupled my followers and signed up to Linked In. Actually I was already on Linked In but never used it that much but there are quite a few writers’ and bloggers’ groups worth joining. I’ve also started posting my blogs on Google+ which has substantially increased my network presence. Has it led to more buyers for my book? Well, the exposure has certainly helped with my free promotion but sales are still not quite where I’d like them to be. I’m reading lots of blogs about blogging and book promotion but I’m sorry to say that the chap who promised that he could boost my sales by 1667 % in seven days did not deliver! Well, I did follow most of his advice but stopped just prior to the bit where I should hand over a substantial amount of cash for even more help!
Anyway, after over six months as a blogger here are a few handy tips!
1. The important thing I’ve learned about writing is this: be disciplined. If you plan to write on holiday then choose a time that is good for you and try not to be distracted by e-mails or the internet. In Lanzarote I’d get up early, switch on my laptop with all the best intentions and then start checking e-mails and tweeting and so on. What I should have done is set aside a time for that later, switch off the internet, write for an hour or two hours, or whatever your allotted time is, then go to the internet later.
2. Try to have something visual in your blogs to catch the eye of a potential reader, even it’s only a graphic showing the blog title. There are plenty of places online where you can sort out a graphic, places like www.picmonkey.com, www.pinstamatic.com or www.quotescover.com. You might even want to create a video. Take a look at one of mine made on the www.animoto.com site, created from still images.
3. A good headline pulls people into a newspaper and the same is true for a blog post. Think about your title as much as you think about the content. You also need to get some vital keywords in the title too, just so google can pick up your post, so if you’re writing about motorcycles, get a snappy title in there using ‘motorcycle’! 10 things you should do before starting your motorcycle engine! Try that one and if you’re stuck for a headline title or even content, try this site at portent.com, tap in a few keywords and it’ll come up with a title for you!
4. Create a blogging schedule. There’s a reason why your favourite TV show is on every Friday at seven thirty: So you’ll know when to tune in. It’s the same with a blog. Some people write every day, some people knock out a random blog every so often. My blog comes out once every week, on a Saturday so my small band of followers know when to look for a new one!
5.One final thing you might not have heard of, it’s the ‘call to action.’ So what’s that? Well it’s the thing you want your reader to do, buy your video, buy your product, or even, buy your book, so it might go something like this . . . .
If you liked this blog, why not buy my book? Click the links at the top of the page for more information.