Monday, February 23, 2009
Posted by Peter M
I've been food blogging since for almost three years and what I thought was going to be a passtime has turned out to be a passion, a living entity and something that consumes alot of personal time.
If you're thinking about starting a blog, there are no real rules but there are some things you should consider, some tips to better blogging and some behaviour you should avoid.
So, you've started a blog - GREAT! Congratulations. What's your blog's purpose? Who's your audience? Do you have the time to write? What will the frequency of your posts be? There's a blog for everybody and for every interest so now that you've started a blog, you have some responsibility. There will be followers of your blog who expect a routine, a schedule or some regular posts from you. Set the pace of your blog early.
Stay on topic, don't make your blog too long winded and be yourself. Don't try to discuss something beyond your boundaries/limits and if you do...do your homework. If your blog has photos, try and use your photos and if using others' photos, seek permission before using and heaven forbid...DO NOT use something elses' writings and pass it off as your own...you'll get busted real soon and your blog will be viewed by little.
Everyone wants traffic, comments on their blog, right? We all want attention, encouragement, acknowledgement. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. When I first started my blog, no one knew I existed...until I started commenting on other blogs. Circulate. Leave comments, leave genuine comments on posts that truly interest you. That's one of the best and easiest ways to draw traffic to your site. It's time consuming but it works. Once you've developed a knack for content and photography, you'll rely less on "marketing" your blog.
If you're going to choose controversial topics, expect to take some heat and be prepared for the good, the bad & the ugly. It's your blog, you do what you want but sometimes one can stray into dangerous territory. I recently got notice of a blog that dared to discuss the topic of circumcision and sure enough, a flame war commenced in the comments section and talk of banning people, deleting and name calling ensued. Not cool.
Which brings me to the topic of leaving comments. As a blogger, most of you will write posts and also visit other sites and leave comments. Give opinions, be a critic, correct an erroe and of course, give praise but whatever you do, behave as though you were a guest in someone's house. Being rude will get you uninvited, so to speak.
One general type of behaviour that will alienate you is to leave lame comments that are barely sentences and thir only purpose is to draw traffic to your site. People can see righ through a comment like, "This is delish and you should come visit me at www.mysite.com and the link below". For all intents & purposes, you morphed from a blogger to a SPAMMER.
The majority of bloggers in the food community are wonderful, nurturing people and I have qualms with few but with every community, there are some bad apples. The majority write entertaining, informative posts, some delicious foods, decent photography and posts are written at a consistent clip.
Find your niche, be yourself, be honest, treat your readers like your entertaining at your home, you'll find your style, you'll find an audience and ultimately you'll have a living, breathing entity called a blog with fans, readers, supporters. A little nook in the corner of the blogosphre.
This post was written by Peter Minakis
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