01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: What makes a good blogger? 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

What makes a good blogger?

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I have been following a blog by a lady called Karen Andrews (www.karenandrews.com.au).
She is an award-winning writer, author, editor, poet, teacher and publisher currently living in Melbourne.  I subscribe to her newsletter because I like that she writes about a lot of different things but mostly I follow her because she radiates warmth. 

Lately I have been consumed by thoughts about this blog. What can improve this blog?  This is a question that plays over and over in my mind along with others like why don’t more people subscribe or even just make comments?  Are we missing something in our blog?  How do other bloggers succeed so well? Are there things that can be done to make things better? Karen’s newsletter arrived and as I do most mornings I read my emails and mark ones that offer ideas for a closer look when I have more time.  This morning however I did not do that with this particular newsletter.  How could I when the words better blogger were jumping from the page. See the thing to understand and probably don’t like to admit is that if you aren’t getting results you have to look at yourself.  

This post is to do just that, look at myself. On my first read of the Ten Tips Karen talks about I surprised myself with my subconscious diligence in adhering to the ideas discussed.  On the surface it appears I deserve a pat on the head but, and notice there is always a but, doing and doing well are two separate issues.  I need to look at whether I do this consciously with my full attention and heart because if I am doing it unknowingly I am just bloody lucky and sooner or later luck runs out. We get so blasé about life these days and forget to focus on the whole picture and the details needed to maintain it.   We accept limited time as an excuse to give less so easily. Our busy lives shouldn’t mean we give less otherwise that same whole picture is like a piece of knitting with a dropped stitch – a potential for disaster.  We need to look at all the bits and pieces and ensure that they are in working order.  

Back to this blog and more specifically this post I knew I needed to verbalise what it was I wanted first before moving forward. If I have been questioning things then I have to understand where I was coming from or this post would serve no purpose.  The answer is not something complex at all.  I want a successful blog and that entails more readers, happy readers and to have that I have to work harder consciously. 

Karen’s tips are a timely reminder to check that I am willing to do what is necessary to have that successful blog.  Her first tip is Passion. It is a key, a vital key.  People feel it and respond to it. Years ago in my Real Estate career, I managed to talk my way into being an exclusive agent for a house that every agent in the area had fought to have on their books.  I had to ask why. Please don’t think it was because I felt insecure as I loved my job and was good at it but the truth was I had pipped agents with a proven reputation at the post, and I needed to know how I had done that in order to keep doing it.  Her answer made a deep impression. She said I had shown passion for her home, real passion in the way I looked at everything the house had to offer.  She knew without doubt I would bring her the right buyer and with it the right money.  I did.

Have I then invested in this blog with passion?   I mean a passion that will go the distance so that my readers can trust in me not to walk away.  Does this sound like a relationship? Guess what? It is exactly that.   In all honesty I have that passion but I may need to demonstrate that better by stretching me more.  My lack of confidence in technology stops me giving readers a better experience and I can work on this.  There is also a mention that having the courage to be personal demonstrates passion and this had to be considered carefully.  You either decide to commit fully or you don’t. There is an excellent quote in Karen’s post about having the courage to be seen.   A writer owes this to their reader.

The second tip is action.  If you have the passion follow it up by reading, using media, subscribing, talking, in short doing whatever it takes to reflect your passion. This is time consuming but it is the way to find your voice or what can be described as the ability to say what you want the way that you want but in a way that still allows your audience distance to understand and proximity to connect. If you express doubt for instance, own it as your own.  It is the reader who chooses to resonate. Don’t lose the purpose of the blog.  Don’t write just to blog.  For instance I am writing this post because I want to clarify what I need to do to improve the blog for my readers.  If they read this they hopefully may even have suggestions that keep me on track.   This is why I try and vary what I write about.  I want it to resonate on many levels just as Karen’s post has resonated in me. So far so good I am thinking and then I come to the next tip - great content is essential and in a flash my confidence starts to quiver and shake and I feel a jelly moment.  It’s subjective. I may think it is great but I am me, what about you?  What do you think?

There are as you know three of us that contribute to this blog.  We act as individuals but agree on trying to make material as timely, relevant, useful and engaging as possible but it is subjective. We want to be compelling reading, entertaining reading; we want to please our readers.  The three of us are fledgling writers who blog to learn more about our readers, and what they need from us.  To do this properly we need reader input?  To get this we need to be better at blogging.  It is a cycle; an endless spinning cycle and I say thank goodness for our next tip that says we are allowed to get tired.    It’s a creative process and that burns energy, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Being reminded I can step away is a welcome relief. And, it renews the passion.

By now you have probably concluded that the tips are very basic and simple ideas that we are already acquainted with.  You’re absolutely right but humans are contrary beings that need reminding and prompting about things we know.  I personally like being reminded of things.  I have to be truthful and admit I do sacrifice quality at times for quantity.  Ironically it leads us to the next tip - its good to be regular. That last phrase is calling out for a smart comment but I will refrain.  How often should you blog? Some say weekly, monthly, every day, make it shorter or make it longer....????????? Will quality be the sacrifice to maintain a regular consistency? I like keeping in regular touch so if as readers you disagree please let me know because I agree with Karen.  I like consistency with my friends, family and colleagues so why not with readers and never at the cost of quality.  Readers and their input keep us honest to our goal just as input in our lives gives us movement to grow in strength.  And this fits in beautifully with our next tip - don’t be afraid of change.  Keeping consistency and opening up to change is a fine balance but reader input would keep the blog fresh.  Changing together keeps us together.   

Everything so far is pointing to the next tip - value your readers.  Give us a chance to show you by taking a chance and commenting or making suggestions because we will reply.  It is something I have seen all good bloggers do no matter the blog subject but for writers it is even more vital. Your words make writers better so appreciating you is not hard at all and in fact can only be bettered by our eighth tip which says we should get to know your readers.  I need to check my blog traffic more so I know what you like and then it is easier to give the content that is most enjoyed.  What can we add?  Let us know!  Tell us something about you and what you want to hear about.  And, this may be a rash promise but I for one will make a better effort to use the vast array of blogging tools to improve the experience.  But if you don’t mind, please be patient as I am just a baby at all of this.

So now we are ready for our tenth and last tip.  Karen’s says a good blogger creates a vision for themselves.  She says therewas a time when I wanted to create a vision for myself on the blog, a place where I could openly – and don’t forget publically – declare what I wanted to achieve in my life. This vision became my Living List.“  When you first read this you question how this you makes a better blogger? It seems quite selfish but when you look deeper you realise it makes good sense, or it did to me.  My vision is to grow my audience by providing them with reasons to come back to me. This is about them and not me even if it is my vision.  I like this idea a lot. Now comes the hard part – being a better blogger.

Alla prossima


Barb

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