On Blogging – Part 5: Go for It?

blowing off the dustFor the past few days, I’ve discussed my experience with blogging, so have RAFrenzy and Servetus. So the question remains Dear Reader – should you blog? Some would say no; there genre is already too crowded with inane chatter and poor writing.

To that I say, so what? Every blogging experience is both deeply personal and unique. It’s a form of expression like any other media. It can be good, as well as bad. I think if you have a need to find your voice, to express your opinions and interests, to tap into your creativity in a relatively safe setting, then blogging is one of the ways to do it. Of course some unwanted commenters may find their way to you but the joy of it is you have total control over your blog; you can moderate, including and excluding as you see fit. You have license to speak and do whatever you want within legal reason; it’s your space.

That’s not to say that blogging doesn’t have its downside. As I said at the beginning of this series, blogging is much harder than it looks. It takes determination to start up and keep going. Even if you blog long enough to acquire readers and hits, sometimes you just don’t feel like writing. It’s important to set a schedule of posting daily or every other day or weekly so that readers will return expecting to see a post. Set your mind to it and stick with it.

Also be sure to have a specific purpose in mind. Is it about a crush, an interest, a hobby, a goal? It’s best to keep a focus so that you don’t chatter inanely and eventually peter out, resulting in the blog going defunct. It’s also the best way to keep the interest of your readers and become a good blogger. Do you have to be a talented writer? I would say you need to be grammatically competent in the language of your intended audience and to think logically, but you certainly don’t have to be a Stephen King.

After you decide your purpose, you need to find your own voice and style. Look at other bloggers. While it’s okay to borrow ideas when you’re first starting out, continuing to copy others is a bad idea. Readers want to discover something about *you,* not something rehashed from another blog. Hence it’s important to evolve your own voice. How do you do that? Experiment, mix it up. Does it work? Don’t be afraid to try and discard different ideas. If it feels right and clicks with you, it will do the same with your audience. You will also be able to maintain your voice if you plan your posts ahead, at least a day or two. If the post reads rushed, tired and unoriginal, it is.

writingprocessRemember you’re writing for yourself. Even if the subject isn’t personal, the insights, experiences and opinions are yours. Is it something you want to explore and share? Then, that is what you need to discuss. You may ask “what about the audience? They have to read it.” Well, does the topic interest you? Is it something you would want to read? Then more likely than not, it will interest your audience. It’s natural to worry, but don’t place too much concern on how many viewers you’re getting when starting out. Once you’ve found your voice and focus, interested readers will come. Really.

Also, take pride in your blog. It’s a representation of you. Make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing with an appealing format. Use pictures and video to break up long text. Keep posts relatively short unless the subject warrants otherwise. Proofread, proofread, proofread even after you’ve published. (I’ve caught more mistakes after going live.) Nothing ruins a good post more than bad grammar, poor spelling and typos. Would you be proud to be given a bound copy of your blog? Then you’re doing a good job.

Of the thousands and thousands of bloggers on the internet, can you be a good blogger, even a great one? It’s hard to say unless you try. Don’t be in awe of your favorite bloggers too much; they had to start somewhere, usually with an goal and the will to write. You may succeed, you might not. But as the saying goes, if you don’t try, you’re guaranteed to fail.

18 thoughts on “On Blogging – Part 5: Go for It?

  1. I’ve found it a really rewarding genre to write in, much more so than academic publishing. Knowing how many more people read what I have to say about Richard Armitage than will ever read my academic articles has been a real shot in the arm.

    Good tips.

    • I agree. At first I was floundering but now that I’ve found my voice, I’m actually proud of this blog. Producing something everyday has a fulfilling quality too.

      • yeah, you feel like you’ve done something. That would be a huge tip from me, though I got it from Robert Boice, Professors as Writers.

  2. It’s also good to remember that a blog doesn’t actually NEED an audience. It can simply be a private diary that you don’t really mind if other people read. That works for some people, doesn’t work for others.

    • I’d even argue that that is the real strength of the blog genre. Once you start writing “for” other people primarily, it loses its charm as a place to be open in a way that you can’t otherwise.

    • That’s true. It least that’s way I’ve been approaching it. Plus posting things I’d want to see in the blog instead of what others might necessarily care to comment upon.

  3. Hi Judiang,

    This is a very nice summary post! I loved your series on blogging and bloggers! I’m so glad that Bcc Mee encouraged me to start my own blog. I’m a relatively newby–I just started it 8/24/11–but I’m having fun. It took me all of three posts to get to my main focus topic–that of Richard Armitage. I was “shy”. Ha!

    And I do find that blogging is a different kind of creative outlet for me than my fiction story writing is–a bit more analytical or silly, as the mood strikes me. Humor is always my fall back position. And I find that I do try to reach a happy balance between my “focused” Richard Armitage posts and my more general posts. So, I do try to have different flavors. And, I’m trying to improve on the post length issue. But I’m afraid brevity is not my strong suit. Ha!

    I admire bloggers, such as yourself, who post every day. This past week, I’ve done a post every day and it was rather all consuming for me. So, I think I’ll have to drop back to an every other day blog poster–just so I can work in my fiction story writing and my Facebook group moderating, let alone tending to my hubby. Ha!

    Thanks again and Cheers! Grati ;->

    • Thanks! Daily blogging can be grueling but I found having a cushion helps. Also, what took all evening to draft, I can now do in a couple of hours. It becomes like a discipline. Congrats on your blog and self-discovery. 🙂

  4. Very useful advice, judiang. As for those who have considered blogging but think the market is saturated, I say go for it! You’re unique and unlike anyone else on the planet so you will have your own voice.

    • Exactly. For example I tease you about saying more on your blog, but you’re strictly focused on vids and gifs, a unique niche; you’re own voice. 🙂

  5. Was “Then you’ll doing a good job.” deliberate? 😀 I agree, though, when I read through my posts once they’re published, I tend to go “oh hang on” and have to go back and correct myself. Oh well, it’s all learning. You’ve put together some very useful advice here! Thanks! 🙂

  6. I think every blog has an audience. The RA world has been my main experience of being a blog audience. Except for a niece, who throughout her oddyssey through China & S.E. Asia – dubious ferry trip from China to Japan, couch-surfing, motorcycle taxis and FOOD! Have loved reading the RA posts, and ensuing discussions. I’d rather like to try blogging, except for some tech expertise (lack of). Case in point, logged in last evening to check mail; entire contact list had gone to dinner. Must have been a merry one: when they returned, the laptop proceeded to lapdance, chasing the mouse, who did the mouse thing and froze in place…

    All good things must come to an end (or new beginning?), but I trust Confessions and the others will continue a good long time.

    • Your electronics have away more fun than mine. Maybe you need to them to boot camp to learn some discipline? 😉 Rest assured Confessions isn’t going anywhere soon. 🙂

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