Confessions of a new blogger – what I’ve learnt so far (or not)

I’ve been blogging for about four months. This is what I have learnt (or not) about the art of blogging.

bloggerWhen I first looked into setting up my own blog /web site I did my research and visited a wide variety of blogs.  The consistent message that came across was ‘keep at it’.  Also that for the first six months it can seem like you’re talking to yourself.  Well, I am keeping at it and although I’m not quite talking to myself my weekly visitors can be measured in tens rather than hundreds.  Not that I’m not grateful to all those who have taken time out to read my blog or short stories.  I also hope that some of the links I have included are of help/interest and I will keep updating these.  One blogger on twitter was bemoaning that his visitor count was down to around 500/week.  I was in awe.  His advice – again – keep plugging away.

As for content I have tried to vary this from discussions on writing itself to themes and ideas in science fiction and, as I said early on, things that simply amuse me.   None of these appear to have been particularly more successful than any other.  The one that elicited most interest was a review of the merits of various chocolate biscuits for writers!

Trying to illicit comments has also been difficult.  I guess from my own experience when I read blogs I actually comment on very few even when, as I try to do, they ask questions or ask for input.  So if you are reading this perhaps you could make an exception and let me know what moves you to add a few words at the bottom of a blog?

I guess one of the most difficult aspects for a new blogger is how do you get it out there.  How do you make people aware and how do you attract them to read it.  Around the same time I started blogging I joined twitter and I’m slowly building a following.  The downside of twitter is that I never realised how distracting it can be.  Also if most people are like me and the more people you follow, the more you skip a lot of the content.  I have learnt the power of the ‘#’ and aiming at specific groups such as #scifi, #writer or #blog etc.  So, yes, I do advertise my blog on twitter (I also try not to overdo it) and it does result in visits, but I am aware of its limitations and that I need to do more.  The question is what?

Then there is the whole world of getting yourself on search engines and the like. Now this is something I perhaps need to look into more.  And any advice in this area would be gratefully received (yes I know that means leaving a comment).  I have signed up to the RSS feed ‘feedagg’ and maybe I need to sign up for others?  Although I have to admit I’m not sure I understand how this works or how successful it’s been?.  I have also set up a presence on ‘Blogger,’ referring to my web site.  But again I’m not sure how good an idea this is?

I know there’s more I could do.  I’m just not sure what or how (any advice?).  I guess more research is needed.  If anything is particularly successful I’ll let you know.  I promise I will keep plugging away.

Thank you for reading.  Now, comments?

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

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