Alternative titles for this post:
- “How NOT to be a better blogger”
- “Beaten by the Gas Man” (which appealed to my saucy Scorpio side).
Yes, I’m taking on a new monthly challenge entitled Better Blogging. I have committed to writing 3 new blog posts every week and I will be experimenting with different formats and styles. This challenge is organised by Judith Morgan, who blogs at judithmorgan.com and Marion Ryan, who blogs at onlinebusinessgym.com. The group is now closed, the candidates chosen and so the work begins.
Here are 5 things I consider important on being a better blogger:
1. Be Who You Are. The beauty of the world of blogging is that everyone has something to say and everyone has something they’re passionate about. Think of any subject, however diverse, and I bet if you google it, there’ll be a blog on it. Share your expertise, your knowledge, your hobbies and if this makes you stand out from the crowd, so much the better. The English love an eccentric and so do I.
2. Make It Personal. I had a lovely reunion over Xmas with a friend who lives in the US and who I hadn’t seen for 10 years. He’s a successful web designer and creative type so I was keen to ask him what he thought made a blog stand out. His immediate response was “make it personal”. People, even clients, love it when you write about your own life. It creates empathy. Humour’s good too.
3. It Doesn’t have to be Perfect. Perfectionism is Virgo’s domain (or anyone who has planets in Virgo!). Let’s face it, many of us have a perfectionist tendency which probably stems from having to be right as a child (I see this in my 11 year old daughter). It doesn’t have to be right, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it helps if it’s out there. Are you 90% happy with your blog? Great, post it immediately.
4. Don’t Procrastinate. Procrastination may not be the exclusive domain of any one of the star signs (although Pisces’ love of fantasy and the imagination can divert them off course more than most). We all know how easy it is to make yet another cup of tea, check what’s growing in the garden, text, gossip on Facebook, etc. etc. Two tips which help me stay on track are to think in 45 minute blocks, “I will give myself 45 minutes to focus on writing this blog post and do nothing else”, (try it, it works!) and only check my emails at the beginning and end of the day. Find what works for you.
5. Yes, but… (one of my daughter’s most widely used phrases)…and this is where the gas man comes in. Yesterday’s plan to write my monthly stars for February, post them online and send them off to the Better Blogging group didn’t happen. At 4pm I was collared on the run home from school by the gas man. Envisage my daughter and I at the kitchen table wrapped in blankets as she did her homework and I tried to be creative, as the gas men moved our gas meter from inside the house to outside the house, i.e. no heating and the front door open most of the time. This took 3 hours so in the end I gave up on the writing, made the very cold gas men cups of tea and helped them clean up. After all, they wanted to be at home, and in a warm home, too.
So my no. 5 tip is “When life sends you other plans, be kind to yourself and others, as tomorrow is another day”.
Thank you for all your kind words. More creative ideas brewing as I write. Loving this challenge. Sally x
Sarah J Allsopp says
Some top tips there, thanks Sally. I know all about procrastination – nice to know it’s a typical Piscean trait – I certainly have diverting off course down to a fine art! Then again, even when we are at our most focussed life can get in the way, so I particularly love tip No. 5, “When life sends you other plans, be kind to yourself and others, as tomorrow is another day”.
Hi Sally, what a great post. I especially liked the Pieces comment, being one myself – all true. Tip no 5 is my favourite because life is always sending me other plans. Thank you Jan
Pieces or Pisces?! I know what you mean. Thanks for the kind comment, Sally
Yvonne Halling says
Great advice Sally, thank you. I sometimes shy away from writing about myself because I believe that people aren’t interested in me. But if I can empathise with how their feeling through something revealed about myself, then we have a connection. Brilliant! Thank you again
Very true, Yvonne! Thanks for the comment, Sally
Kerry Hales says
Oooh and btw I am a Taurus Rooster!
Jupiter’s in Taurus until June,2012. Make the most of it; take risks, expand, accept new opportunities, etc. Oh, I think you’re already doing that! Good luck. bw, Sally
Kerry Hales says
I loved this! As your fellow ‘Better Blogger’ I loved the way you set it out and I will be very excited to see what else you do this month – oh I have soooo much to learn!
Janet Swift says
Great reading this and seeing how personality traits afforded us by our birth sign can interfere with our daily performance. I’ll be a regular reader as it’ll be great to discover how I’m getting in my own way. Loved the way you cared for the chilly gas man, instead of showing him anger as many would when similarly inconvenienced. Lovely.
Marion Ryan says
Such wise words, Sally, and something we’d do well to remember in our blogging, rather than trying to impress people with how smart we are, just be ourselves.
And how typical for you to think about the poor gas man (as well as just your freezing child.).
Looking forward to reading more. Marion x
Marion, it makes blogging seem so much easier being who we are! Thank you for your comment, Sally
Judith Morgan says
Congrats on your first post within the BB challenge and what a corker.
That gas man did you a favour in more ways than one.
You are a good writer, we need much more from you – you have set the bar high!
Now I’m looking forward to reading my February stars for Taurus even more than I was already.
Hope you enjoyed February stars, Judith, and thank you for the compliment! Sally