Monday, March 15, 2010

The A, B, C’s (and D, E, F’s) of Blogging

On March 16th I’m speaking to the Charlotte Writer’s Club about “Targeting Your Blog.” Since I didn’t want to make 80 copies of my notes for the participants, I thought I’d post the notes here. This way they’re accessible to the Charlotte Writer’s Club as well as to anyone else contemplating starting a blog. Here are some easy points to remember when you begin your blog:

A is for Audience. When Kay McSpadden first asked me to speak to the CWC she complimented me on how focused my blog was. I can’t say I did that on purpose. All I knew was that I wanted to share my thoughts about reading and writing. From the beginning I expected that my main audience would be teachers and home school parents. Now I hope it also includes people who are interested in the novel I'm writing. My passion and my audience continue to shape what I post; I try to offer information that benefits these readers.

B is for Blogs. Visit other people’s blogs and think about what you find attractive or unattractive about them. One of my favorite blogs belongs to Joyce Hostetter. She uses pictures and videos well, shares herself, and writes succinctly. When you visit someone else’s blog, leave a comment. If someone visits your blog, check out theirs. It’s an unwritten rule in the blogosphere, but it generates enthusiasm, good will, and readers.

C is for Learning Curve. Be patient with yourself as you play and experiment. It takes time. Rome and blogs weren’t built in a day.

D is for Do’s and Don’ts. Do learn how to include pictures, graphics, and videos. This will make your blog more interesting. Don’t make it too personal unless that’s your purpose. Remember, whatever you post online is available for the world to read.

E Is for make it Easy to find information. Use tags (words or main points in your blog) which people can use to search your blog, or by which they might find your blog. Last summer when I attended the Highlights Writers Workshop I was pleased when Boyds Mills Press editor Carolyn Yoder, told me she had read my blog. She had found it one time by googling “historical fiction.”

F is for Focus and Finish. Make sure each of your blog posts is focused. Don’t ramble. And when you’re finished, print it out and reread it several times before hitting “publish post.”

Go ahead, get started. And when you do, post a comment here and let me know where I can find you online!

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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Looks like someone is after you. I get that character sort of comment every so often. I don't think it's a good sign.

If they can read my blog enough to comment on it then they could comment in English - right?

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Do you actually print yours out first? I've never done that. But it is amazing how easy it is to miss typos even with multiple proofreadings. I tend to notice them more once they've been published. Nice that they are so easy to fix.

I like your ABC-DEF idea! Great advice - like don't get too personal. And focus - that's a big one.

And thanks for including me and my blog.

Carol Baldwin said...

Yeah, not sure what the chinese means. Thought it was a random thing, it's happened before. It's amazing how many more typos I find when I print it out! And you're welcome about including your blog. I've learned so much from you!

John G. Hartness said...

Nice post. I'm sitting in the back of said panel discussion right now. :)

Carol Baldwin said...

well, you certainly were multi-tasking! thanks for coming tonight. It was lots of fun

elysabeth said...

That Chinese is a spammer. Very easy to delete the comment. Just go to your dashboard and view this posting and then go to the comments and below each one is a trash can. Just click it and delete the comment. I've had a few of them crop up on me.

It is a great posting. I've been trying to think of an article to post about virtual book tours and blogging etiquette; may use your posting as a jumping off point. Thanks for sharing. E :)

Bonnie J. Doerr said...

Carol, thank you for continuing to share your wisdom and experience.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Elysabeth for the suggestion of deleting the comment. I hadn't thought of that. And glad the blog might have inspired your lead into your blog!

Rick Rotondi said...

Hi Carol,

I really enjoyed meeting you and Jerry last night and participating together on the panel.

I benefited from your insights and your writer's passion; you remind me that words are worthy of our care and time and love, and are far more than another commodity to be packaged for sale. (This is a necessary reminder for sales and marketing folks like me!)

Carol Baldwin said...

Rick & Bonnie,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments. Bonnie- I don't know how "wise" I am-- just trying to pass along what I have learned!
I enjoyed meeting and working with you too. You added a perspective to the discussion that I couldn't have provided at all! And yes, as writers we believe that our words matter!!

Jessie Carty said...

it was a pleasure hearing you speak at the writer's club :) i posted some photos on facebook and a short video clip on youtube. thanks for coming out to speak to us!

Russ Case said...

Hi Carol. I certainly enjoyed listening to you and the rest of the panel at the CWC meeting. The whole meeting dynamic was sonething to behold. I don't know when we've had so much audience participation.

Your writings are cetainly spot on. I'm going to add your blog to the links on mine.

My blog is

Carol Baldwin said...

Glad to have been part of a great give and take. This blog might now have the highest amount of comments I've ever received and my Site Feed told me this morning that I was close to 300 this week-- thanks to CWC I think!

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