guest post -> alison {mama’s weeds}

by Holly on August 29, 2011

in guest posts

At the very beginning of this lil’ blog, there were only three readers…my mom, my sister + Alison. Literally, Alison {and author of one of my FAVORITE blogs, Mama’s Weeds} has been there from the beginning, and even though we’ve never met, I consider her to be a true friend. Please enjoy this guest post as my blogging homegirl shares her tips on what both of us do best…blog.

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I read a statistic recently that some 20% of blog readers are blog writers. Actually, I can’t remember exactly what the percentage was. Doesn’t really matter – 69% of statistics are made up on the spot anyway.

Whatever the case, there’s a decent chance that if you are reading this blog post, you’re a blog writer yourself. And if you’re not? Hold tight. I bet there’s another guest post on the way shortly.

So if you’re a blogger or if you’re a reader who’s ever considered starting a blog of your own, here are some blog writing tips I’ve found helpful during my own journey into the blogosphere.

1. Make Your Posts Skim-able

Not every reader is going to be able to relate to every single post that you write. And we’re all busy – loyal readers included. We don’t always have time to read every word or every post that you put out there, especially if you post frequently.

Do your readers a favor and make it easy for them to skim your posts.

Plenty of people will still read the entire post, but if you make it easy for busy readers to speed read (new visitors especially) you make it easier for us to see if your post is something we want to make time for. Better yet, something we want to share and pass on to others.

So how can you make your posts easier to skim?

2. Write Lists

  • (people love lists!)
  • use bold to make your most important points stand out (but don’t over do it either)
  • Larger Font For Sub-Headings within your post can help
  • bullets can help too
  • See item #3 below

3. Keep Your Sentences Short

Reading on the computer is different than reading a book. Short sentences make your posts easier to read. Whether we’re at your site for the first time, a regular reader who hangs off your every word or are breezing through the posts in our feed readers, easy reading is good for all of us.

4. Keep Your Paragraphs Short Too

Don’t be afraid of that Enter key. Just like short sentences make your post easy to read, short paragraphs do too. You gotta break that shizz up.

5. Think About the Posts You Like to Read

and then write them all.

Write long posts. Write short posts. Write funny posts. Write serious posts. Write crazy posts. Write posts with no words and just pictures. Write posts with all words and no pictures. Post links. Write lists. Post lists of links!

When you’re thinking about the posts you like to read, also think about your favorite blogs. What is it exactly that keeps you coming back? Chances are good that if it’s your favorite blog, it’s probably somebody else’s favorite blog too. They are probably doing something right. Pay attention.

6. Be Nice.

Once after ending a relationship with a long term boyfriend, I had a mom-like coworker attempt to comfort me by saying I would find another boyfriend soon because I was “nice”.

Because I’m nice? I’M NOT NICE! I just broke up with my boyfriend! I’M MEAN! I know I’m mean BECAUSE I WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS SOMETIMES! AND CAPITAL LETTERS MEAN YELLING! NICE PEOPLE DO NOT YELL!

We all have our not-so-nice moments, but being nice really is important and I’ve come to see how that little piece of wisdom applies to blogging too.

Try not to complain too much. Proceed with caution when making fun of anyone but yourself (celebrities included). Write posts that leave people feeling happy. Better yet, write posts that leave people feeling really good about themselves.

7. Tell Stories

People love stories! I remember this time when someone was telling me a story and it was SO entertaining that I didn’t even realize I was learning a little lesson about storytelling until after the story was over.

8. Don’t Be Boring

Get off the computer and go do interesting stuff so you can come back with interesting ideas and interesting stories to share.

9. Exercise

If you are a healthyeverythingtarian reader, you are probably no stranger to exercise. Did you know that exercise not only does wonders for your butt, it can do wonders for your blog as well? Aerobic activity stimulates the right side of your brain. (That’s the creative side.) Being active keeps your body AND your mind in great shape!

Creativity is a key component to being a successful blogger – so go get sweaty and then come back and write an incredible post.

10. You Can’t Please Everyone

And that’s OK. You want readers who get YOU. Some people aren’t going to like what you have to say or aren’t going to be able to relate. We’re not all perfectly compatible – that’s just the way human relationships work. And yes, a blog is like a pseudo-relationship on many levels.

If someone doesn’t like what you write or your writing style, don’t sweat it. Readers who can relate to you and feel some connection with you are the ones you want as readers. They’ll be the ones that return and the ones who share your content with others. Write for those people. The best way to do that is to be yourself and don’t think twice about the people who don’t get you.

11. Read Blogs About Blogging

If you want to get good at blogging, you need to read about blogging.

In fact, read all sorts of blogs. Step outside the blogs where people write about the same stuff that you do. It’s a great way to find fresh ideas and new inspiration to spice up your own content.

12. Learn about SEO

That is, Search Engine Optimization. There are books and blogs devoted to SEO, so we can’t even begin to scratch the surface here. But learning how to make your posts and pages more search engine friendly is a great way to draw new readers to your site. There are a bagillion people out there who don’t read blogs, but just about everybody uses a search engine. Play your cards right and some non-blog reader might google themselves right into your little space on the world wide web and could very well become a regular reader by “chance”.

13. Guest Post

Guest posting is a great way to stretch your writing legs, get your name out there and best of all, a great way to practice writing valuable content.

It also helps out your blog host by giving them content when they are being swept away by all sorts of summertime fun but don’t want to leave their readers hanging. The host typically links back to the writers site which sends new traffic their way. And when you link back to your guest post from your site, you send new traffic their way too. Readers from both sites are given the opportunity to find a new site they might enjoy.

It’s win-win-win.

14. break all the rules

don’t be afraid to do the exact opposite of what I’ve written here because I don’t know the what heck I’m talking about you jerks I only read this stuff on the internet so it must be true because run on sentences are awesome

15. Content is King

At the end of the day, if you write valuable content that teaches us something you know, entertains us for a few minutes of our day or helps make our lives easier or better in some way – the rest will fall into place.

And remember – be patient. If you write it, they will come.

Any bloggers out there with other words of wisdom? As always, sharing is caring!

{ 13 comments }

Shannon [Tropical Eats] August 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm

2 thumbs up for this!!! :)

very helpful, creative tips. Thanks!

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List August 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm

As a new blogger, I needed to read each and every tip. I’m going to become a “bolding” maniac. I’ve already got the list thing going for me, so that’s a plus.

Alison August 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm

You are da bomb Holly Girl – you just make it so easy and fun to keep reading! Miss you tons and can’t wait til you’re back with us… the guest posts have been great fun read, thanks for the opportunity to contribute and play along!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm

blast from the past…ALISON!!!! HI!!!

Love the post and everything you had to say!

My words of wisdom are this 5-part series called Blogging 101
http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/05/blogging-101.html

Sorry to link drop on ya Holly!

Caroline @ Out of Liney August 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Great advice Alison! Way to go Holly for recruiting some stellar guest posters. Have to be honest, a link to a link is way beyond me, and I’m completely SEO-challenged, which is probably partially why I still have 3 readers, including mom and boyfriend. At least they love me!

suki August 30, 2011 at 1:20 am

Great post! I also like to include a photo or two or three to keep the post visually appealing. :) Having paragraphs to break it up a bit helps too.

Aine @ Something to Chew Over August 30, 2011 at 3:14 am

Great tips! I think the most important thing is to enjoy your blog – if it feels like a burden or something you ‘have to do’, what’s the point? Have fun with it!

Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby August 30, 2011 at 10:59 am

hahahahahhahaha i love the capslock typing fest. such a great post! :)

Danielle @weightsandmeasures August 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Great post! As a newish blogger (about 6 months) I needed to hear much of this. Great advice1

Vegetarian in the City August 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Thanks so much for this great advice!

I just started my blog this month and have been trying to get my foot in the blog world door. Thanks!!!

Hillary August 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I agree with everything here, especially to get out and live life so you actually have something to blog ABOUT! Great post, Alison!

Parita @ myinnershakti August 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm

GREAT post! I’m a relatively new blogger, and I find that when I focus on quality not quantity, I feel the best about my posts and get the best response. I definitely don’t think you have to blog everyday, never mind 2-3 times a day, to have an awesome blog. Will be taking all of your tips into consideration…thanks so much!!!

Willow @ My Own Trail August 31, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I am a regular reader of Alison’s blog, which is how I ended up here. I think I have a new blog to read! :) I’m also a very new blogger, and this post was very timely. I’m trying to figure this whole blogging thing out, and I sometimes worry that no one will ever read my blog. However, I know that if I keep writing (well, as long as it’s interesting), I should eventually get readers. But, I have to actively pursue readers. They’re not just going to stumble across my blog. I’m slowly learning how much work (and fun) blogging is.

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