Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How to be a Good [and Happy] Blogger

I have been hanging onto this link to My Domestic Church until I could get a few minutes to jot some thoughts down. She has eight basic guidelines for effective blogging.

As opposed to the blogging tips that you usually read that are designed to get you the most page hits (as if we're getting paid for each hit or something), Elena has really hit the nail on the head. Her reward? I'm shamelessly stealing them and then going to adapt them. Sorry girl! But thanks for the idea!

  1. If you have comment sections - MANAGE THEM!
    Don't let commenters beat each other up, and don't let the majority opinion beat up on a dissenter. If someone is being inappropriate and rude, delete their entries, edit them or and ban them. Have a comments guideline and stick to it.

  2. If you don't have a comments section ... for Pete's sake make your email easy to find.
    Or make it clear that you're incommunicado with no email at all. When I think of the time I've wasted looking for email addresses ... usually to simply ask a question or give a compliment. And if you have a separate email address for your blog, CHECK IT often. Don't make correspondents wait for weeks until you remember that other address.

  3. Don't keep changing your URL.
    It's fine to do it every two years or so if you absolutely have to, but other than that it's a pain to keep changing the dead links and keeping up with you!

  4. Have a sense of humor.
    There's a reason Jeff Miller has 92 blogline subscribers. He takes the news and finds the humor to it. Remember it's just a blog...

  5. Share a bit from your life.
    I'm always fascinated when The Anchoress gives us the scoop on Buster. Everyone in St. Blog's was able to watch with pleasure while Dom Bettinelli got engaged, married, and became a new father. Mike Aquilina recently broke away from the Church Fathers to talk about his own father. It doesn't have to be a lot but that is what gives dimension to the blogger behind the posts.

  6. Write about what you want to and damn the hits counters.
    I see people agonizing over their status in the Ecosystem or worrying about hits on the site meters. Again, people, it's not as if we're getting paid for these things. If you love the blogging then it doesn't matter if you have 1 regular visitor or 100. It is not a popularity contest and although some people seem to be keeping score I find that they tend to be the less happy bloggers out there.

  7. Have a point.
    I can't believe Nehring had to mention this one but he's absolutely right. Whether your passion is movies, your family, geeky gadgets, or .... hmmm, let's see ... your faith, you need a focus. You can veer away or come back to it but your interest or passion for your subject is what will make your blog interesting and worthwhile for you to spend time on (and for others who drop by to read it). Oftentimes in watching people find their "blog voice" aka the focus of their blogs, you will also be watching them realize what adds zest to their lives. It's interesting that way...

  8. Have fun!
    If you're not enjoying blogging then quit or change what you're doing. But don't sit around complaining about it. Your blog is entirely in your control and life is too short to let it control you.
I'm sure I'll be adapting these myself somewhat but that's a start...

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