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Friday, September 16, 2011

BBAW: 10 Tips for Bloggers

Topic:  Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.

Today is the end of the BBAW. It was so much fun. I met some new bloggers and learned a lot from their posts. So I decided to make my last post for the BBAW practical and easy by making a list of ten things of practical tips and tools for blogging. 

Tried and True Practices and Blogging Tools :
  • Comment on other blogs ~ As I said before in my other post (How Do You Find Community), be reciprocal and leave a comment when you visit a blog. I read on some other blogs that comments should be thoughtful, meaningful and blah, blah, blah. But really just say, "hi, I am new to your blog and was lurking around and decided to comment" or whatever you feel like saying. I prefer a brief comment over no comment. And sometimes people just don't know what to say. If they say nothing, I don't know they exist and I can't reciprocate in commenting. 
  • Be Consistent ~ Try to be consistent in all your blogging and posting. Blog as often as you can. And set a minimum and maximum number of posts you will do each week. And then let your readers know that's how often you will be posting. I for instance blog 3-5 days a week. Generally 3 if I'm not participating in a hop.
  • Be Present ~ Even on the days you don't make a new post on your own blog. Use some of that time to visit other blogs instead. You may not have anything new for them to come back to and comment on but they will remember that even on your off days, you made the effort to come by their blog and visit; that's how you nurture relationships.
  • Following and Gaining Followers ~ Don't feel obligated to follow blogs if you aren't truly interested in them. If you join a blog you likely won't go back to, all you really did was make your list longer in your feed or add  to the amount of email you'll get. Secondly, don't get swept into the hype of needing large amounts of followers. If you comment and participate, they will come. But don't feel like you aren't productive if you don't have a lot of followers. For instance, have you ever visited a blog that had over 1,000 followers but not a single person commented on any of their post that week or the week before? It's usually because the blog owner dropped the ball somewhere and didn't nurture the followers they received. When I say drop the ball, I mean they didn't reciprocate. They didn't follow the people that followed them. They didn't comment on other blogs, they didn't reply to comments on their own blog or they weren't consistent in posting. Now I have been to blogs with 50 or 60 followers and they have a healthy 10 comments or so on each posts. That's a healthy blog. The owner is nurturing her blog in some form or fashion and her followers are receptive of that attention or he/she has something really important to say in their posts. As I said before I'd take a quick comment over no comment at all. 
  • Ask a question ~ If you want comments, ask a question at the end of each post. Some people don't comment because they don't know what to say because you said everything already, you didn't pose a question or you didn't challenge them to come up with something different than what you already stated. 
  • Great tools to use ~  Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuite, Goodreads, Shelfari, Book Blogs, Google Reader and StumbleUpon. I use each of these. But I consistently use Facebook, Twitter, my Google Reader and StumbleUpon. Now I don't actually use the Twitter site often, I use Hootsuite instead. It allows me to access my Twitter account and view it in an easier format. It also lets me schedule my tweets weeks in advance. So if I know I'm running a giveaway for a week then I will schedule my tweets for that entire week in advance. How to: After I make my posts, I'll schedule my tweet to post every hour on the hour for the entire week (you can also schedule every fifteen minutes). It lets my Twitter feed look up to date and I can concentrate on just replying to tweets instead of plugging my links. I admit it takes a little time, about an hour to schedule all of them for the week. But once it's done I can concentrate on other things. StumbleUpon lets you find other interesting articles or blogs as well. It also allows you to upload your own post from your blog so others can "stumbleupon" them. I would like to utilize technorati and digg. I haven't gotten the hang of them yet, but I'm trying to use these more consistently. But I also know I can't spend all my time visiting social sites. So it hasn't been a priority yet.
  • Give blog love ~ Whenever possible, spread the blog love around. Tell your followers about other great blogs you visit. This can come back to you in ten fold. Linking to another blog increases the chances of that blog returning the favor in the future. It also increases traffic to your blog. Also update your blog roll or blog feed. We like to see which blogs you like, but don't list blogs that haven't posted in 3 months or so.
  • Participate in hops, memes and giveaways ~ I find that I have garnered most of my followers through events like the (Armchair BEA), hops (such as the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop) and my own personal giveaways and other blog giveaways. I don't usually gain many followers through memes when I have participated. But some say it works for them. Some good memes would be In My Mailbox Monday, Feature and Follow and Waiting on Wednesday. I normally stick to hops and giveaways. You can find giveaways and hops by visiting other blogs by looking in their sidebar for buttons and announcements. Go to some of the blogs in their blog roll and see what's going on there. You have to search out other blogs to get info.
  • Be you ~ Be yourself. Don't try to imitate another blogger. Just let people know the authentic you and if they like that person they'll stick around. But if you try to copy other bloggers in design, concept, etc, eventually you will burn out. It's always easier and better to be you even on a bad day, then it is to be someone else on a good day.
  • Guest posting/ blogging: Try asking other bloggers if you can guest post on their blog and vice versa. It's a great way to gain new followers, get a new perspective on your blog for a change and it's nice way to get a break from posting even if only for a day.
  • Bonus Tip: * Balance* ~ When it comes to blogging there is no such thing as balance for me. It's all about prioritizing. To say balance would mean making all things equal or giving each thing equal time. And that doesn't work for me because that's not how I live. I have a list of what's important and what goes at the top of my list. Blogging is not at the top of my list. At the top of my list is God, my family and my writing career. So I make decisions based on that and I fit blogging in where it needs to go. If I can't do something related to blogging, I just don't do it. I've found if you take a break and let your followers know your going on hiatus, they'll respect that and most will jump right back in where you left off once you return. So don't stress about it. And don't forget to enjoy yourself. Blogging should be fun.

Do you have any practical advice, tools or tips to share for blogging?


  1. Hi Lena, Wonderfully written. I concur with this post.
    I would like to highlight it on my blog if you don't mine. stop by and check it out, if you are not pleased i will delete it of course.

  2. Thank you Sidne. I'd be honored. Please do share on your blog. :-)

  3. These are great tips, Lena. I will have to check out Hootsuite. Never heard of it before. Thanks!

  4. Good tips, I've tried scheduling tweets, but I'm not consistent with that. I see how it is a good time saving device, though.

  5. Oh and cute picture of the dog. He actually looks like he's reading. :)

  6. There's no way I can respond to all your great advice without writing another post of my own -- really nice! StumbleUpon is one of those tools I haven't even begun to figure out, though it intrigues me. Guest posting is another I've avoided, feeling too shy to try it out. I haven't thought about either for a long time, so I thank you for the reminder, and for the encouragement!

  7. Wonderful tips!

    As our blogs are reflect our personality, we all look out for different blogging tools. One should go for that which suits her/his blog. One should always keep the reader in mind. After all, we all want readers on our blog. And comments!

    Here is my post:

    BBAW 2011: Blogging

  8. Thanks Karen, Erin, J.L. and Gautami for commenting. I will have to come and check out your post for today. I'm sure you all have some great tips as well.

  9. I tell you … your blogging tips are right on the money. Couldn't have said it better myself. I love the concept of a "healthy" blog that is being well looked after and not neglected. It is a hobby that takes some serious time and effort and I think people often don't realize that when they start and their poor promising little blog starts to wither and die from neglect.

    Balance … as with all things in life … is key.

    And one reason I switched to a self-hosted Wordpress blog was so I could have a more flexible commenting system that sent my responses to comments to everyone but also posted them on the site. A good commenting protocol is key to a healthy blog.

  10. I think you pretty much covered it here and in your other post. All very good tips to 'blog' by. I've been wanting to try stumbleupn and digg myself. I'll have to check those sites out.

  11. Excellent list of tips - thanks so much for sharing them! Glad you mentioned StumbleUpon, which I have been very inconsistent about using and probably don't use very well even when I DO use it - gotta work on that!

    Thanks for visiting my blog this week, and I apologize for not getting over here sooner :-).

  12. Fabulous tips. You didn't forget anything, congratulations! As for facebook and twitter being fantastic tools ... I've got my doubts. They are time consuming and distract people from blogging. They don't drive much traffic to blogs, aactually. Who loves twitter or facebook usually doesn't care much for blogs. At least, this is my impression. I'm on both of them as well as goodreads. I like the latter more. Nice place you have here! Love it.

  13. But don't feel like you aren't productive if you don't have a lot of followers.

    Oh yeah! Quality not quantity!

  14. Some Sage and wonderful advice here, thanks.

  15. great advice...and I just love that dog he yours?

  16. I am very bad about posting questions at the end of my posts. I need to start doing that! The rest of your post is right on!

  17. I just want to thank you for all the tips. I've been blogging for about 7 months now. All your tips were great ... and the picture at the end totally made my day!

  18. Thank you all for the compliments. I'm glad I was able to offer some tips that could be useful.

    I love the doggie photo, but he's not mine. I just found the photo some time ago and use it every so often. He's a cutey though.

  19. Sometimes I read blogs and don't really have time to comment, but other days I try to comment on every post that I read.

  20. It's so hard not to play 'lets compare' with the followers numbers. I almost admire those who blog on a service that doesn't use them or they don't put that widget up. I'm addicted because it keeps me connected.

    Which is why I so loved your comment on 'healthy blog' versus just lots of followers. That is a very sage piece of advice.

    So glad you helped me find your blog! Love it and can't wait to read your stuff!!

    PS - Go for the QR code on your business cards. every little bit helps!

  21. I love stumbleupon but have never tried Hootsuite. Love the tips. I concur. I think being present is very important.

  22. I'm with you, I much prefer a brief comment than no comment at all :)

    Shelleyrae @ book'd Out

  23. Great advice!

    I'm loving the dog reading photo! :D

  24. Be consistent is great advice! Even if it's just one or two posts a week, knowing that I can check in on a blog regularly and read something new is important to me. I've found that being consistent helps me be a better blogger, too.

  25. You've shared some wonderful tips and I agree with them all! Balance, I feel it the most important one - blogging shouldn't feel like work and you shouldn't miss out on life either.

  26. Consistency is key. Also, I use Twitter, not a whole lot but enough to see how it brings readers to the blog. It is also a great tool for interacting with other bloggers. I've been meaning to use Stumbleupon. Thanks for the tips.


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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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