After spending much of last month ‘lost’ in my A-Z Film Challenge, I am back to normal blogging with yet more thoughts and opinions about the state of blogging in 2017. This is hardly a scientific process of course. I am only basing it on my own small blog, and those that I follow, but I hope that this will be of interest to new bloggers in particular, and those thinking of starting out on the blogging road.
1) Unless you have posted something yourself, don’t follow other blogs just using your blogging name, or WordPress title. This is now reaching epidemic proportions, with apparently non-existent blogs following mine on a daily basis. Most of you seem to be real people, so why do you do this? If you want to follow a blog without writing anything yourself, then just follow by email. It couldn’t be easier. Nobody is going to follow your blog back based on a Gravatar symbol, believe me.
2) Please don’t seek to promote your latest book by serialising it disguised as a number of blog posts. Use other social media instead; perhaps send it to publishers, or set up a newsletter promotion. This is not really blogging, is it?
3) If you write a poetry blog, try to remember that poetry is very personal. Something that is hugely important to you may not have been experienced by others. Please try to make your poetry universal in appeal, and to touch the hearts and minds of readers all over the world.
4) As I have said before, if someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts, give them the respect of acknowledging that with a reply. Even if their comment was not to your taste, the least you can do is to engage in debate. If a comment is offensive to you, then don’t approve it, or move it to your trash folder. It’s very simple.
5) Please do not be a ‘serial follower’ of communities. It is very transparent to a blogger when you just click on their blogroll or hovercards, then follow everyone who follows them, and so on…
Just following hundreds of people for the sake of it is not blogging, and is unlikely to get you followed back.
6) Something else that warrants further mention. If you are VERY religious, and feel the need to spread the word of your religion, blogging is not really the place for that. You are unlikely to convert someone on the other side of the world, especially if that person is irritated by the fact that you call your blog something like ‘Sweet Rosie’, instead of ‘I love God’.
7) If you have a company that sells things, don’t assume that because someone has written about a ladder incident or their love of cats, then that means that it is OK for you to follow their blog with a link to your ladder company, or cat food shop. It is just plain annoying.
8) Stop asking for money and contributions for ‘continuing’ your blog. It is free to blog, and we all know that. So, ‘begging by blogging’ is not acceptable. (I exclude bona-fide charities here)
9) Another repeat request. Stop copying other bloggers. By all means take on board the best aspects of certain blogs, and get inspiration from them. But using the same theme, the same set-up, and pretty much copying the style of that blog is just plain lazy.
10) Ask for help. if you are struggling with something, or cannot get your head around WordPress, ask other bloggers for help and advice. Email them directly, or put up a general post about your problems, and link it to savvy bloggers. Or just cast it out into the world of WordPress. I have done it, and so have many others. Remember, above all it is a community, and we all know how they work, don’t we?
Ten more thoughts on blogging. My intention is not to upset anyone, I assure you. Just to help.