The kind people at WordPress.com have just sent me a link to my ‘Year of Blogging 2011‘. An opportunity to review my activities on my blog. When I read through them I must admit to be a little disappointed in myself and then I realised that I could easily do better. I haven’t been as active on my blog as I could have been and I have regularly posted about ‘doing better’ or ‘writing more’ and have yet to achieve both of these aims. So why promise something if I’m unable to deliver?
Well, it’s because I believe in the value of blogging not only because it exposes me to a wider audience but because it helps me gather and clarify my own thoughts and opinions. There are some actions I could do more frequently and more effectively to make my blogging activities really count.
1. I could write more frequently – I have to admit that I’ve found it difficult over the last couple of years to know what to write about, mainly because I work across so many different areas and I have a huge number of interests too. Deciding at the beginning of December that I would move all work related ‘stuff’ on to my business web site has been a huge step forward and should make it easier to write in the future.
2. Comment on other peoples blogs – I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis but only comment on a few of them. Often I will think something along the lines of ‘I’ll come back to that and write a comment later’; but I rarely do because I forget, I move on to another task or I forget how I found the post in the first place. The solution then is to write my comment when I read the post!
3. Use Twitter more effectively to identify the blogs and bloggers that I would like to follow myself – I love Twitter, it’s immediacy when I have something on my mind is brilliant for a butterfly like me who is forever travelling around the web gathering ideas.
4. Work with themes – it’s something I regularly suggest to clients but is clearly a case of ‘do as I say, not do as I do’. When you have a theme to write about it becomes so much easier to find subjects within the whole that deserve short (or long) blog posts of their own. For instance, I could write about the art of writing, I could write about the speeches I give at Toastmasters, I could write about how I’m doing with my current and my next novels ….. the list is endless, I just need to make it effective.
5. Create a blogging calendar – this is another suggestion I regularly make to clients but have rarely followed on this particular site (I have done it when working with client blogs though which is a defence in my favour y’honour). The calendar will be dependent on your own particular interests but for me it might include writing competitions, NANOWRIMO, toastmasters events, presentations I give, or even the world of women’s health (think Breast Cancer awareness month in October).
This time next year, I will review how well I’ve done against my five tips to help me blog more effectively and I’ll keep you posted as well.