Michael D'Agostino of A Life Examined has a great Question of the Month for us.
Michael wants to know, “If a friend came to you looking for advice on starting a blog, what three pieces of advice would you give them?”
That's a great question, Michael. Here's my advice:
1. Allow your blog to evolve to suit your needs and the needs of your followers.
My blog began in December, 2009, as Dumped First Wife. What if I were still complaining about my ex-husband and exploring my divorce? It was good therapy for me at the time, but it would be old by now. Next, my blog became WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME. Lola was the character, or persona, who wrote the posts. She was pretty sassy. A persona more similar to me took over: Janie Junebug. When I realized how many bloggers wrote books, my blog became Janie Junebug Righting & Editing because writers are hungry for tips on grammar and publishing.
What will my blog be called in two years? I don't know, but I'm open to change.
2. Write as clearly as you can, but feel free to be creative.
In spite of my grammar-obsessed self, I don't think your blog has to follow every writing rule. It's fine to write the way you talk. Be casual and conversational if that's your style. What's important is that your followers understand what you mean. Make an effort to avoid distracting errors, such as misspelled words or using "should of" when you mean "should have."
I make missteaks, too. Perfection doesn't have to be the goal. Clarity does. What good is writing if people don't understand what you mean?
3. If you take some time off from blogging or decide to stop blogging, then please let us know.
Before long, New Blogger, you will have loyal, devoted followers. Abandon them, and they'll worry about you. I don't know how many bloggers I've followed who have simply disappeared. We don't know if those bloggers are okay.
I take regular blog breaks. I try to post a message if I'm sick and need time to recover, or if I'm editing a book and don't have time to blog. Usually, when I say I can't blog because I'm tired of it, then suddenly, I'm in the mood to blog. I use reverse psychology on myself.
Well, all righty then, Michael and company. I hope you like my three pieces of advice. This is a bloghop, so you can sign up to join us, and I hope you'll visit other participants.
Infinities of love,
Participants in the Question of the Month: