Becoming a Better Blogger

There are more than 157 million blogs on the internet! Why would someone read yours?

This morning I took a course with  Cendrine Marrouat at the McNally Robinson Community Classroom. The class was about blogging and how to attract more readers for your blog. I learned I’m doing some things right and some things wrong when it comes to blogging.

My first mistake is I cover too wide a variety of topics in this blog. It would probably be better for me to have several blogs; one just devoted to stories about Winnipeg, another for book and movie reviews; another for my travels and then a personal blog. Different audiences are attracted to different topics and you need to specialize and focus on a particular niche for a particular audience.

Another mistake I’m making is that I’m not reading other people’s blogs enough and making comments on them. This will draw readers to my blog too. I also need to be careful not to write about myself too much. Cendrine said we should follow the 80%-20% rule. Only 20% of our content should be personal. 

I’m doing a few things right. I use lots of images and an easy to read consistent font. I write regularly, usually managing a post every day. I try to break up my articles into short paragraphs which Cendrine says is a good idea. I respond to comments and even do a post once a month or so featuring feedback and responses from readers. I share links to my blogs on Facebook and Twitter.

Cendrine gave us some excellent tips about labeling images carefully to attract more blog readers. She suggested adding links to other related articles we’ve written at the end of each post.  Having a title that has a WOW factor will capture readers’ attention. Cendrine also suggested we try guest blogging on other sites. This will attract readers to our site and give us more exposure and visibility. She told us we should consider customizing our e-mail signature to include a link to our blog. 

Cendrine discussed some common myths about blogging. She told us you don’t need to be a great writer like William Shakespeare to blog. All you need to do is get your message across in a clear way. Cendrine also addressed the myth that you can get rich writing a blog. While a blog can help to bring writing assignments your way and attract advertisers, you shouldn’t necessarily depend on it as a source of substantial income. However, there are people who do make money at blogging like Darren Rowse, an Australian minister, and laborer who began blogging in 2002 and now makes $20,000 a month as a blogger. It is also a myth that you are a successful blogger if you attract a large number of readers. The quality of your readers is just as important as their quantity.

I learned some interesting things today, like how to add podcasts and videos to my blog and all about SEO-search engine optimization. 

I wholeheartedly agreed with Cendrine when she said that ultimately blogging is about recording and responding to the human journey. A blog is a way to build relationships with people. 

Other posts about Community Classroom Courses at McNally Robinsons…..

Chocogasm

Winnipeg Fact and Fiction

Western Canadian Female Artists

 

6 Comments

Filed under Education

6 responses to “Becoming a Better Blogger

  1. MaryLou, thank you so very much for this article on the class! I am so honored you took the time to feature me and talk about the tips I shared! I feel all special now.

    I will mention your article on my blog.

    Thank you once again!

    I look forward to seeing you again in a future class or elsewhere.

    Cendrine

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    • Dear Cendrine,
      Your response proves that you follow through on another important tip you gave us of expressing gratitude to people who read our blogs or write about us. I appreciated how well prepared you were for the class and the many ideas you gave us. The class was definitely worth my time. Thanks again.
      MaryLou

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      • That’s the magic of Google Alerts! 😉

        I truly appreciate your kind words and loved having you in the class yesterday. Your comments were great, especially the one about the weekly roundups you write about comments from readers of your blog as well as the emails they send you. You taught me and the rest of the class a very good tip!

        I sent you an email a minute ago.

        Like

  2. You are taking the right class and on the right track girl! This is an amazing article. I am a friend and colleague of Cendrine’s and my blogging passion for cars led me to a full time career as an auto journalist at Autobytel.com. So find your blogging passion, dream big and make it happen! Also, Cendrine knows what she’s talking about.

    Like

  3. Brenda Penner

    MaryLou, I rather like the eclectic topics you cover in your blog, as well as the personal information you put in. I don’t read many blogs but I do enjoy reading yours for exactly those reasons.

    Like

    • Thanks for the affirmation Brenda. I like writing about lots of different things too and I think I’ll keep doing that, even if it is not the best way to increase blog traffic. My purpose for having the blog is to discipline myself to do some daily reflection, practice my writing skills, record events so I don’t forget them and make connections with people. With that in mind I’ll need to keep writing about a variety of things. Have you ever thought of starting a blog with your photography Brenda? You’ve posted some amazing pictures on Facebook.

      Like

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