Friday, September 10, 2010

Blogging Tips

Wow. This week has been epic. But next week is going to be EPIC. Make sure you come back for some major Epic EPICness, okay? Okay.

Today is the last day of The Blogging Trifecta. It's been a good run. I could give a million (okay, maybe not a million) more tips on blogging. I'm not going to. I think you've got the gist of what I've done and continue to do. So I'm just going to leave you with a few things.

My Best Five Tips:
1. Poach.
2. Be Authentically You.
3. Write Short Posts.
4. Give Back.
5. Make Reading Your Blog Easy.

That's it. If you make your blog enjoyable and fun and easy to read, people will come enjoy it, have fun, and come back again.

What are your top five tips for blogging?


Vicki Rocho said...

I have trouble with that short thing. Such a rambler don't ya know?

One of these days I'm going to experiment with the poaching and see what the results are.

Thanks for the series. Have a great weekend!

Laura Pauling said...

Ah, you make it sound so easy. :) Thanks for all the short, easy to read posts!

The Golden Eagle said...

Very good advice!

I tend to write long posts--oops.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

And turn off that annoying verification code. It cuts into my blogging time. Especially turn it off if you're going to moderate your comments. It's totally redundant!

Great advice as always, Elana. :D

Ted Cross said...

Okay, okay, I'll try to do more short posts. **grumble**

Christina Lee said...

You've got it covered, girl! Have a good weeeknd!

Hello. My name is Elizabeth. said...

I want to know what is EPIC!!

*throws tantrum*

OK, five tips for blogging:

1. Have something to say. It can be silly, poignant, benign, stupid...but don't waste peoples' time just 'cause.

2. Black text on a white background. Yes, I know blue on red makes your blog stand out. It also makes it impossible to read with these 27-year-old eyes of mine.

3. Less is more. One or two glitter images are OK. Twelve glitter images (or a glitter background) is not. No MIDI music. No trailing cursor tails. No pop-ups. No slow-loading anything. Your words should be the star of the page. Everything else should fit around them, not vice versa.

4. Excessive blog-pimping is akin to Spam.

5. Don't be a douche. This one should be simple. Conjure up the douchiest thing you can think of in terms of blogging, and then don't do it.


Renae said...

Great advice Elana! As usual! Have a great weekend!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL - make a genuine effort! Something I've not done well this summer due to family situations.

Lola Sharp said...

What Stina said!! :)

If you want lots of comments, turn off the word verification! It's so time consuming.

I know this falls under your: make reading your blog EASY.
It really does help save time. I can get around to comment on more blogs with the hour of blog time I have/day.

Have an awesome weekend Elana...and everyone! :)


Jen said...

I loved this!!! Now I feel like I gave WAY TOO MUCH... man, you're such a pro!!! No wonder this was such a success!!! :)

Elana I had so much fun!!! Can't wait to see what we all have happening on the 24th!! It's going to be quite the awesome experiment!!

Christine Fonseca said...

Great series as always...looking forward to more epicness next week!

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

oh I love experiments! The 24th is going to be interesting for sure! Great tips!

I sent the hubby here to learn the ropes. He just started a techie blog and is CLUELESS!!! I feel superior at the moment lol! Teack him the way Elana so I don't he he.

Bish Denham said...

This has been great. I have only one thing to add. That would be:

Erinn said...

I struggle with short posts but I TOTALLY agree about making it east to read. Nothing is worse then a blog that's got a dark background and dark font. aurgh!

Tom M Franklin said...

1. Post questions to encourage comments. Blogging should not only be All About You monologues, but should encourage conversation and build community. Like anything, building a blog takes time so you'll need patience. One of the best ways to keep your enthusiasm for the blog and your patience up is to get comments from readers. (And then respond to those comments!

2. Write what you'd like to read.

3. Set a regular schedule for your blogging. You need to be consistent to have people come back to your site.

4. Include RSS feed links on your blog. Make it easy for people to get to your content.

5. Be yourself.

Corey Schwartz said...

I think you totally nailed it! Short and authentic in particular!

C. N. Nevets said...

Essentially the same tips as for good writing, in other words.

Judith Mercado said...

This is an excellent series which I have now emailed to myself to read with more care. And, yes, to implement. Thanks, Wise Woman Elana.

Margo Kelly said...

Thanks. :)

Jess said...

This has been SO helpful to new bloggers like me--thanks to you ladies for putting on a fun/educational series!

Linda Kage said...

Thank you so much for all the blogging tips lately. They've helped me feel better about keeping up with my post, plus given me ideas about how to improve.

You rock!

Matthew Rush said...

1) Encourage reader involvement by asking questions but also by actually incorporating their responses into what you write about.
2) Promote the blogging community by featuring guests and by being one.
3) I don't do contests because I'm not organized enough, but they seem to work for others.
4) I don't do awards because ... well I'm just lazy I guess, but they also seem to work for others.
5) I don't (often) do blog fests, but I love to read them, so go for it if it's something you find interesting!

That's all I've got right now. Thanks Elana!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Encourage involvement.
And as Simon tells us, allow snark.

Summer Ross said...

I like your top five until I can find my own lol

Michelle McLean said...

I think you pretty much summed it up - I try to make my posts relatively short, as interesting as possible, and I poach, a lot LOL

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Great series, Elana! I definitely second Stina's comment, too - hate those verification thingies (and contests with too many hoops to jump through). And thanks, by the way, for commenting on my post yesterday :D

melissa said...

I'm no expert on blogging, but I definitely agree with all your points.

My only tip is to keep posts short and to the point. I browse blogs on my downtime at work and need to be able to read a post in a short amount of time. Sometimes I'm reading and I think to myself - man, how much longer is this post? I have to get back to work!- that's never good!

melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Talei said...

Ooh I like your top five! I'm working on the short posts - I tried my hand on at a Haiku this week. ;)

I'm coming back for somemore Epic Epic Epicness. Thank you for sharing and have a fab weekend!

Talei said...

Ooh I like your top five! I'm working on the short posts - I tried my hand on at a Haiku this week. ;)

I'm coming back for somemore Epic Epic Epicness. Thank you for sharing and have a fab weekend!

VR Barkowski said...

Man, there is some awesome advice here, not only in your post, but in the comments! I would add the "follow rule." Follow anyone who follows you. It's not only good etiquette, it's an awesome way to find outstanding blogs.

See ya next week for some [more] epic EPICness. :)

KarenG said...

1. NO MUSIC. (Unless it's the Cure) Otherwise PLEASE NO.

2. If someone follows & comments on your blog, introducing themselves, and comes back and comments again, then why aren't you following them back? That is just beyond rude.

3. Not a lot of glittery, sparkly stuff to distract from your amazing posts.

4. Ads? You don't make enough of the Google-supported ads, so why put them there to cheapen your blog.

5. Too many images in a post make it really hard & slow to load.

Thanks for the opportunity, Elana! And for this informative blog week!

Justine Dell said...

1. Drink
2. Write
3. Post
4. Curse
5. Start Over

Oh, wait, that's how I write my novels. Kidding. ;-)

I love your new profile pic!!! And I'll be back next week for all that epic-ness!


arlee bird said...

Succinctly you've nailed it.

This was a great blog event with you, Alex, and Jen and I enjoyed it.

With what you've said and what has been in the comments, there is not too much to add.

My approach:

1. Try to write what you enjoy in a way that the reader will enjoy.

2. Create a readable page (avoid the 1000 word block paragraph).

3. Get the reader involved by offering things to think about and prompting comments with questions for the reader to answer.

4. Acknowledge the comments you receive with a response.

5. Visit other blogs and leave a comment with substance so they'll know you read their post.

Tossing It Out

Theresa Milstein said...

I agree, an epic week.

My list:

1) It's not just about YOU.
2) If you do a blogfest, keep it no more than 500 words.
3) Don't put up too much of your own fiction writing unless it's brief.
4) If someone comments on your blog, make an effort to comment back.
5) (I'm stealing your #4) Give back.

I wish I could do short posts. I try. On my last post, I wrote about querying, but at the end I had a Snarky Rejection entry I'd written that won a contest. A few people may have not stuck around to read it. Probably should've been two posts. I've got to learn to edit. And maybe my comments are too long too!

Jared Larson said...

Elana, you've been an amazing help. Awesome post. Awesome advice. Awesome week. Your awesomeness has just been Awesome! Thank you for doing this.

Carol Kilgore said...

I think you covered all the most important points. Great series.

Jennie Englund said...

Thanks so much for the tips!

I'm working on it -- especially the "short" part (think I blew that today).

C.E. said...

Tremendous help! Thanks for the time you put into the Trifecta, been amazingly informative!

lotusgirl said...

I like your list. I think I'll poach it.

Ishta Mercurio said...

My top blogging tip is to read your posts from this week. Also 2) comment back, 3) pay attention to what successful bloggers are doing and do what they do.

I don't have any more.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

~ get rid of black backgrounds
~ get rid of word verifications
~ keep it short
~ have fun
~ go easy on yourself

Karen Lange said...

I think you have summed it up nicely! The only thing I'd add is to leave the reader with a question. I like to get a conversation going, for not only is it enjoyable and informative, but I get ideas for posts from it.
Happy weekend,
Karen :)

Carolyn V. said...

My tips:

1. Block out time to do it.
2. Be nice.
3. Learn to read fast.

Liza said...

I am regularly impressed by how often and how well you give back. Thank you once again!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Your tips are great.

I'd just add to post when you plan to take a vacation from blogging. Too many people just disappear and I think they lose followers. You do a great job of letting us know when you're taking a break.

roxy said...

The trifecta has been great, Elana. I am also looking forward to taking your class on blogging at the LUW Roundup. My tips for blogging are simple: be nice, try to be funny if you can, and share something new and inspiring. Thanks for showing us how to do this well.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Well, I'm uplifted :

I do everything wrong :
My background is elegant, disapproved black.

LONG is middle name - my first is TOO.

But hopefully I engage my readers, make them smile, and perhaps give them a pat on the back.

I'm looking forward to EPIC!!!!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I definitely keep my blog posts short. Other than interviews, that is. Sometimes I even worry that they're too short, but sometimes I only have a few minutes to dedicate to a blog post. Although I'm going to steal Jen's idea of devoting one day to writing a bunch of posts all at one time.

Mac said...

Include pictures of your dog(s)!

Sandy Shin said...

Thank you so much for all the wonderful blogging advice this week, Elana! :)

Krispy said...

I'm getting that POACHing is a big theme here. :)

I definitely have done some of that, and the give-take philosophy works too. Most people reciprocate kindness.

Thanks! As usual, I'm excited when you say something epic is going down because it tends to live up to the hype!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Excellent way to sum it up! I love that you can say so much, with so few words. I so need to learn from you! :)

ali said...

And that, dear friend, is precisely you are the Queen at what you do. I ♥ you!

Susan R. Mills said...

Be sincere. Be sincere. Be sincere. Be sincere. Be sincere. Those are my 5. Thanks for all your tips this week.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Great best top tips. There are some good ones in the comments here too.

As to not be redundant, here are a few things that bother me when I'm blog touring...

Don't clutter up your blog.

If you had to ad ads, don't put them every possible place.

Don’t have music automatically playing. If you want music there, tell us it is there and let us choose to play it, but PLEASE don’t force it on use.

Don’t get crazy with add ons, some of them crash our browsers.

Please don’t tell me you have nothing to blog about and that’s it, just don’t blog that day.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great advice. I wish I had some tips...the only thing I can say is have fun, blog from the heart and, if in doubt, chocolate always livens up a post :)

Elana Johnson said...

Susan, I love your five! Be sincere is a great one to add. Maybe I should make mine a top 10.

Ishta, I'm trying. I get to a lot of blogs, and I always (always) seem to miss some. I mean, seriously. Who can get to every single one? But I'm trying.

My inbox was so full today, you guys, I simply deleted it. Wiped it out. Empty. I feel like a weight has been lifted, but I'm going to try to get to all the blogs later today. This week has almost killed me. Not because of the blogging, though. I *heart* blogging!

paulgreci said...

Thanks, Elana.

I don't know that I have five tips right now but I like short, specific, meaningful, honest, with a splash of humor posts.

Kelly said...

Excellent concise summary!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Nice. You clearly have tip 4 perfected. Thanks for the excellent series.

Sonia Gensler said...

I've really enjoyed this series, and will be bookmarking it for future reference. Thanks, Elana!

Jill Kemerer said...

Yep! That's why we keep coming back to yours. Nice tips, Elana!

Jemi Fraser said...


I always try to keep posts short and fun, and ask a question at the end.

I've loved the week - thanks!

Myrna Foster said...

Those are great tips, Elana!

Jennifer Hillier said...

These are fabulous tips. I've really been enjoying all your posts about blogging!

The only thing I'd add to this list is: Remember, blogging is supposed to be FUN!

Melissa said...

Taking all of this into consideration for sure. Thank you so much for this week Elana! Can't wait for what you have in store for us next week.

Kelly Dexter said...

Could it be possible that you're teasing the same epic WriteOnCon news that Shannon posted about today . . .? The suspense!

Thank you for putting together this series and sharing your insight. It has been greatly appreciated, and I plan on recommending it to any new bloggers who sign on looking for advice.

lisanowak said...

You give such great advice, but I've realized that having a successful blog must be a mixed blessing. Who has time to read 70 comments a day? Or visit 70 blogs? I'd rather be working on my book. I come to the whole social networking thing with some reluctance. It's not that I haven't made some good friends and learned some helpful things, it's just that I never have enough time for all I want to do, anyway.

Rachael Harrie said...

Elana, I LOVE your blogging tips!!! They've inspired me so much I've launched a Writers' Platform-Building Crusade (, so aspiring writers and beginner bloggers can join together, support each other, and pay it forward (and increase their own followers at the same time!). Love you to come check it out...(and congrats on Possession, yay!!!) :)

Fiona said...

Thank you so much for writing all this information to help beginner bloggers like me know how to start!!

Great job

Gail Shepherd said...

You guys, what is "poaching"? Also, I loved this advice:
**Encourage reader involvement by asking questions but also by actually incorporating their responses into what you write about.

Yes. In other words, these questions/comments can feed into future posts. Great idea.

Darryl Tay said...

"Here are my five tips for blogging:
1. Create a catchy and interesting title.
2. Don’t lose your readers with a bad first sentence. Be creative!
3. Maintain the ABC: Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity.
4. Don’t just write! Let your readers see and feel what you are trying to convey.
5. Linking! People enjoy opening links within a blog post. It can also increase traffic to your blog.
I hope these five tips could help bloggers out there! Enjoy blogging!" #Darryl Tay

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