Happy New Year 2017! As with every other year, you have no idea how happy I am to see you. Well, maybe you are aware for obvious reasons but 2017 is shaping up to be an epic year of change. For TNN, 2017 will be a year about transformation in… health, finance, travel and life! So to ring in this lovely new year and as a Happy Anniversary to TNN (yes we are celebrating our 2nd) here are 6 things we’ve learned (and wish someone had told us) about blogging in the past 24 months at the keyboard.
Six Tips for Newbie Bloggers
Beware of the Weirdos On The Internet!
Everyone from my mother to my banker warned me of the weirdos on the internet. Be wary of the criminals and pedophiles, don’t get cat fished or pulled in by scams they cautioned. I get it. Putting yourself out there subjects yourself to some very bad people. That line “don’t speak to strangers” we familiarize our children with to keep them safe, ya well hard to do when a) your blog requires you to engage others and b) you don’t really know who’s on the other end of the wi-fi.
Although I have met my fair share of crazies, my experience has been that most bloggers have been genuine, decent people just trying to spread the word (whatever their word may be) or sell something. So don’t be paranoid when reaching out on the world wide web. If you come across a nut job, just unfollow, unfriend and/or ignore. Oh and just so we’re clear, there are no weirdos among my readers 😉
Blogging Isn’t Just for Business
While most of us look at blogging as a way to promote a product, service, brand, company (you get my point), many people use personal blogs as a form of therapy or a collection of memories (diary). Mental, physical health, relationship woes and trials of life, blogs become an outlet and are used just as often for healing as they are for selling. The net has given everyone an opportunity and a soap box to vent and get shit off their chest. And you know what, that’s ok!
Carefully Define Your Categories/Tags
A trap most newbie bloggers fall into is not clearly defining their categories and tags well before building the blog/post. A common mistake and one TNN is still cleaning up from. Refrain from the urge to have a million categories. Too many and your blog becomes cluttered. Tags are a subset of categories and should be chosen wisely, again something TNN is working on correcting in older posts (and let me just state it is a pain in the arse to fix this crap after the fact). The message or niche of your blog becomes lost or confused when there are too many categories, not to mention your posts will rank low if they rank at all with poorly chosen keywords. And for those newbies, there are tools that help you decide which tags to use (just google “keyword tool”).
Blogging Is All About Social Networking
For those who may have just cracked open a tablet or computer for the first time this century, blogging is about social networking. Minus those we spoke of before whose corner of the web may be more personal in nature in which case they may care less about socializing, but for the rest of us it is imperative we comment, like, repost and promote our fellow bloggers. Its how we engage and build an audience in WordPress, Facebook etc, etc.
And as much as blogging is about meeting others, it’s also a time to reflect inward and what I found was shocking! I’m anti-social by nature and therefore horrible at social networking but the computer added an element that has made it difficult at best for us (Q and I are both guilty of social network slacking).
You see, Q and I have spent our entire careers in IT. When you spend day, night, week, weekend, holidays etc on computers, the last thing we wanted to do was socialize on them. So this anti-social person, who has never been on any social media had to learn it all in about a day! Hence, now you all know why I’m so horrible at it!
You Gotta Be on All Social Media
Keeping with the social theme, lets talk about the different media outlets that there seems to be an endless cesspool of: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest the list goes on and on and on. When TNN was but a wee paragraph in this author’s mind we were given the same message by everyone offering advise.
GO BIG or GO HOME
We were advised to be on every social channel known to mankind. We started to build a presence on every channel and feed, and although we built it… they (the readers) did not necessarily come en mass. I think certain social media platforms align better with specific types of blogs (like Pinterest and Photography) and some platforms are just annoying or hard to use. Just remember that social media are tools to build the following of your blog. If they are too cumbersome or don’t make sense for your type of blog, ditch them. Better to have no presence on a social platform than a crappy one.
Content Is King
I know every blogger out there will say this. And what most will actually mean by this statement is that good writing is what will get you noticed in the blogosphere. Some bloggers may repeat this sentiment because they’ve heard it stated. Others will believe it without any doubt but consider this. You could be Shakespeare himself, but if no one is looking for the content you’re writing, it doesn’t matter how elegant you are with the quill… er typewriter… er keyboard, because no one will ever find it! So although I do agree you have to be somewhat of a competent writer, what you write about is more important if you are trying to attract followers. Example, I have seen blogs with no followers but the blogger is a brilliant author. They can write circles around the best of us with their charm and use of the English language. But no one is searching for “how to pick fly shit out of pepper” so these brilliant writers go unnoticed and their blogs reader-less. On the other end, I’ve found blogs that are wildly popular and the author might be as charismatic as a gnat! So remember, it’s not just how you write, but what you write about!
And this should be obvious but, create your own material! I have read blogs posts that were plagiarized and it was obvious. How? Because I found the other blogger’s post with the identical written word just different photos and no it wasn’t a reblog or guest post. Don’t be an idiot and steal another’s work. It’s illegal and eventually someone will notice.
And finally the last and most important lesson we’ve taken away from our two-year tenure at the helm of True North Nomad? That we love this thing called blogging! Cheers to you all and happy blogging in 2017!
~True North Nomad
What special tricks of the trade have you learned about blogging? Tell us in the comments below!
To write, or not to write… That is the question – enter your email address top left, bottom right or bottom centre of this post and click “Follow” and never miss an impassioned tale again!