February 20, 2011

How to Improve Your Blog - Kimberley Payne

Lisa Wojna entered the wonderful world of blogs with her Mom Again blog. She asked other bloggers for their thoughts and advice on making this adventure a grand success.

Violet Nesdoly has been blogging for over five years and offered Lisa these five tips:

1. Focus your blog - which you've done. You know you're going to be writing about the grandparent/parent experience.

2. Decide on frequency and blog regularly so your readers aren't disappointed when they come for their expected read.

3. Do a variety of posts - always with the reader in mind. We blog readers are a selfish lot. If we don't find something of value to us (like humor, advice, news, anything relevant to us) we'll probably soon check out. In this vein, in addition to your personal experience pieces, I'd suggest things like:

- interviews of other grandparent-parents to illustrate how they cope.
- links to articles and resources designed to help the grandparent/parent.
- links to news stories that relate to your topic + your reaction to them (it's a blog, after all).
- links to web sites that offer help and resources to people in your community (to across Canada - if there are such organizations).
- reviews of books relevant to your topic.
- practical things you do to make your life as a grandparent/parent easier.

4. Publicize your blog in places where people of your age group and interest gather. By publicize I mean read and comment on other blogs that speak of similar things. Join blog carnivals, and networks, and generally do some hanging out where the grannies with kiddoes are found. Become one of them. Because blogging is as much about community as it is about getting people to read your posts.

5. There's lots of advice out there about blogging. One of the best blogs on blogging is written by Darren Rowse from Australia - Problogger. He talks a lot about making money with a blog - but also about getting and keeping readers, blog etiquette and a whole slew of things.

Janet Sketchley agreed with all the tips Violet provided and added this tip, “If you register your blog with Facebook's NetworkedBlogs application, then each time you make a new post it will show up on your FB profile. The setup instructions are simple.”

Karen Toews offered some more thoughts on blogging, “As writers we strive for literary excellence with our work - but sometimes the only way a blog gets done is to just write it and get it out there. This two-edged sword can be a deterrent for consistent blogging (speaking to myself) but on the other hand, I've seen other bloggers' writing improve by that very exercise. Blogs often include photographs - one of you sitting cross-legged on the floor, or doing your workout would add some real punch to your post!”

Do you have any other suggestions on how to make a blog a grand success?


  1. Blog regularly is probably the advice that I come across most frequently. Speaking personally, as a blog reader, I prefer short blog posts (something I can read in five minutes and then go chase my toddler) and PLEASE put in paragraph breaks. It's so hard to read a blog post that is 750-1000 words (or longer) with no white space in there. On a page in a book, that's fine. On a computer screen, there needs to be a break, like this

    to give your eye a break. Especially if I have to make sure that my girls aren't fighting and then come back to reading a blog and there's no paragraph marker for me to find where I was reading before.

  2. Oh, and in response to Karen's advice... I started blogging as a way to make myself write regularly and it has worked. I now have a schedule where I post MWF and just having that deadline (even self-imposed) makes me think about what I'm going to post. The routine of writing somehow generates inspiration.

    I have a friend who blogs daily and she says she's never short on topics because she knows that when she sits down at her computer at 9 in the morning, she has to write a blog post... and the idea meets her there.


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