Writer, Brand Thyself: Blogging Tip Sheet & Twitter Intro

I’ll admit, I purposefully made this week’s post easy on myself because frankly, it’s hard coming up with thoughtful, serious content on a time schedule, especially when everything else is in a state of temporary chaos. So here’s a condensed list of blogging tips that I hope will be helpful, and a little assignment for you to complete before next week’s post on getting comfortable with Twitter.

Blogging Tips

– Use a simple design that’s easy to read.
– Post at least once per week, two or three times if possible.
– Establish regular posting days, so people know when to visit your site.
– Post content for the audience you want to attract.
– Make it about your readers just as much as it’s about you.
– Reply to comments left on your blog as much as reasonably possible

Blog Networking Tips

– Find new blogs to follow through the comments left on your blog and others
– Use feed readers or email subscriptions to keep up with the blogs you’re interested in.
– Make sure your site has rss feeds enabled, and links to both the feed and an email subscription.
– Keep a blogroll on your sidebar to promote blogs you find particularly interesting or useful
– Make some time daily to genuinely comment on posts at other blogs that speak to you
– Leave your blog address with all comments made, unobtrusively.
– Try to connect with one to two bloggers you haven’t interacted with per week.
– Connect with bloggers on other social sites.
– Use other social networks to advertise your blog.

To that end, an optional assignment for anyone interested in next week’s introduction to Twitter. If you don’t have a twitter account, go sign up for one this week. Then click the link under my photo up there to “follow” me, and post a message to me that looks something like this “@JamieDeBree Okay, I’m on twitter. Introduce me!” If you’re already on twitter, I’d like you to choose three people you follow to recommend to others in the comments here next week. And if I’m not following you already, send me a message so I know who you are.

Has this series on blogging been helpful to you? Do you have any other tips to add for others who might just be getting started?

Next week: Tackling Twitter

4 comments on “Writer, Brand Thyself: Blogging Tip Sheet & Twitter Intro

  1. Samantha Hunter

    This is all great advice — I do try to do most of it. I sort of consider a lot of this just what a person does as a good internet citizen/socializer, not necessarily for promo etc. If you want to be out here, be social, you know?

    What’s your opinion on protected Twitter accts, Jamie? I think it’s kind of strange — it’s a social environment, so locking your account seems odd to me. I know people do it to cut down on spam, but I have over 500 followers now and none of them are spam — I simply cull my list and check/accept/block any new follower — it only takes a minute. Anyway…

    I haven’t figured out the RSS thing on my blog yet. It’s a widget, I just don’t get how it works…

    Nice, concise, useful post, though, which is why I list you on MY blogroll. 😉

    Sam

  2. Jamie DeBree

    Yes. That’s kind of my whole point – promo follows naturally when you’re genuinely involved online, without much added effort. Just being involved online is “branding” yourself, whether you’re selling something or not. Unfortunately a lot of people just don’t really know the basics, so they get overwhelmed with it all. I’m trying to sort of “demystify” the basics for those just getting started. 🙂

    Protected Twitter accounts – I understand why some people use them, but I think they really hinder the social aspect of twitter. I almost think it would be better to sign on with a pseudonym rather than closing yourself off to possible new connections (personally, I don’t follow anyone if I can’t see their tweets first, or at least click a web site link). It’s not like anyone on Twitter can get any info about you that you don’t choose to share, so I guess I’m more on the side of just watching what you say, rather than making yourself “exclusive”. If you’re hiding from someone, you’re going to have to do it all over the ‘net – easier to just go anon.

    I can’t seem to get an rss feed on your site- maybe there’s a setting you need to check/uncheck in the management tools before that will work?

    And thanks for the link (you’re linked here too, of course) – most of my posts are anything but concise though. LOL

  3. Kristin Callender

    It is hard coming up with regular content on any subject, but you’re doing a good job with it. I can’t wait to see how you handle Twitter. I have to agree with the protected tweets. They don’t make much sense to me, especially if you want to connect with people. I’ll be back next week 🙂

  4. Carol

    Good tips Jamie! I’m really looking forward to your post about twitter. 🙂