Ten Tips For New Bloggers

Blogging, like anything else, can be difficult to get in to when you don’t know what exactly to do and how to do it. Writing for a blog, and writing in general, takes practice. Writing my first blog was a much slower process than writing blogs are for me now. With all that I’ve learned, my writing is much more fluid. I’m no expert on blogging but I hope that what I share with you helps to some extent.

  1. Blog about something that interests you. If you can freely choose what to blog about, then pick something that you like or would like to know more about. It makes the process much more fun.
  2. Be yourself. Let your personality shine through your writing.
  3. Get to know the blogging platform you are using. When I first started using WordPress, I was lost. With the help of others I learned how to set up my blog and where the essential basic things were. From this basic knowledge I explored a few things and was able to enhance the appearance of my blog and my writing.

    Ryan "Jingles" Seecrest updating Twitter

  4. Comment on other people’s blogs–your friends’ blogs and professionals’ blogs. I probably wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t required for class, but I learned its value over time. When you comment on other people’s blogs, you create conversation that builds a connection and stimulates growth. Being assigned to comment on other blogs got me reading blog posts that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I learned a few things. It also felt nice to receive comments on my own blogs, especially when one of them was from a complete stranger (ie. someone who wasn’t required to comment). Read the post I wrote on commenting if you want to learn more.
  5. Incorporate multimedia. That is one of the advantages of digital writing. You can add pictures, videos, slideshows, and sound to make your posts more engaging.
  6. Write short paragraphs and bullet or number things where possible and appropriate. People scan when they are reading off a computer screen.
  7. Try to post regularly. It will keep others coming back and like I said before the more practice you have, the better you get at writing.
  8. Give credit to where credit is due. Cite where you get ideas or quotes from.
  9. Use proper grammar and proofread. It’s good to write conversationally but that doesn’t mean you abandon sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and other grammar rules.
  10. Use tags and create categories. They will draw people to your posts and categories keep your blog organized.

Commenting Like a Pro

Commenting on blogs adds a whole new dimension to blogging. As Barbara Nixon says, “Respond to others’ posts. Become a part of the blogosphere. Blogging should not be lonely.” Having the option to comment gives the reader a voice. It turns your writing into a conversation if the comments are thought out and go beyond the simple, “I agree,” or “That’s dumb.” As Kipp Bodnar notes, “Its true value lies in the opportunity to build long-term relationships. Leaving thoughtful blog comments can be one of the best ways to start a relationship with an influential blogger in your industry.” (Click here to read more of Kipp’s advice when it comes to commenting on blogs.)

Here are a few tips for writing blog comments:

  • You should be specific about what it is that you are responding to.
  • Elaborate on why you agree or disagree.
  • If you aren’t sure how you feel about a blog because you were confused by it, ask the author of the blog to try to explain what they are saying in a different way. This could even motivate them update their blog in order to clarify what they are saying.
  • Ask questions. Questions bring about new ideas which further conversation.
  • Proofread your comments before posting them. The comment section does not mean you have permission to slack off when it comes to grammar.

Often bloggers can be more bold than they would have the guts to be in person. It’s like they have a virtual safety forcefield. As a Christian, I believe what the Bible teaches and one thing that it teaches is that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. If this is true that our attitude/tone in comments, no matter how different the viewpoint, should be loving. When it comes to controversial issues and hotly debated cultural issues it is important to comment with grace and truth. Stand up for what you believe in, but do so in a manner worthy of saying you love God and all of his creation.

What are some of your favorite professional blogs to comment on?