A is for Awareness Alert – Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 3 of the series Build a Better Blog

We’re working through the alphabet looking at ways to Build a Better Blog. The previous post was an Introduction to the Series. Today we begin with A. 

A is for AWARENESS ALERT

  • People need to be aware of you

As writers, we’re always hearing of the importance of “branding”, or making it clear what type of writer you are. Readers need to know about you, about your brand, and what you’re doing. Blogging does that for you. It gets you out there, sharing your brand, without consciously having to think about it.

  • Others need to know about your posts.

There is no point in blogging in a vacuum. If you’re a writer, the more people who know about you, the better. If you’re writing for family and friends, they need to know when, where and how to keep up to date with your posts. There are a number of ways to help your readers be aware of your posts, and we’ll look at them over the next month.

  • Life happens.

We need to be aware of how many worthwhile posts we are capable of writing and publishing. The answer is to work in advance and schedule your posts to appear on the planned days. More about this in future posts.

  • Consider your own abilities and available time.

Many insist you have to blog every day. That may have been true when blogging was in its infancy, but with 152,000,000 other blogs in competition? I don’t think so! (See Introduction – previous post.) Who of us is capable of following more than one or two blogs a day? Once you’re aware of what you’re capable of, set a schedule. This obviously has its exceptions, such as the A to Z Challenge. But you don’t want to commit yourself to this tight a schedule indefinitely—unless blogging is your life of course.

Be aware of yourself as a blogger and a person. Click To Tweet
  • Avoid burnout.

You may keep going with a daily post for a few months, but sooner or later you’re going to run out of steam. Besides, don’t you have other things you should be writing/doing? So be aware of your limitations, then set a schedule that you’re capable of sticking to. Don’t offer a daily post and then find you’re not able to keep up. Rather say you’ll write weekly, and then throw in a bonus when you’re able.

  • Update regularly.

If you update less than weekly, you are not likely to build much of a following.  I recently read a blog that was really good. Then I saw a small notice in the margin: I blog once a week on Fridays. Once a week I could handle. I signed up to follow. I wouldn’t have signed up for a daily blog. Not ever!

  • Be aware of your regular readers.

What interests your readers? Look around your previous posts. Which of them had the most visitors? Did you get feedback on them? Don’t forget to check the comments, which of course you should also reply to. Look out for topics or questions that garner interest, and explore those in your blog. Another way to be aware of your readers’ topics of interest is to survey your readers. I recently asked a series of questions about Instagram on Facebook. Based on the answers, I wrote a blog post looking at what people had said about Instagram. The post has been well received.

  • Make sure you have an avatar –

this is an image that appears next to your name when you make a comment on someone else’s blog. This will make other readers of that blog aware of you and able to find you if they wish. See Gravatar for one that works well on most platforms.

Over to you

How do you make others aware of your blog? Will you commit to blogging at least once a week following a theme? Why not go with the alphabetical idea? You don’t have to join the challenge and do it every day. It’s fun to look for topics on your theme each week, and it gets you thinking of subjects you might not have thought of otherwise.

If you do decide to blog regularly, type the address of your blog in a comment below, and I’ll follow you. If not, just say “Hello” and tell me where you’re from. (Did I tell you? I live in sunny—VERY sunny today—South Africa.)

“Become aware of your feelings. Observe them. Get to know why you feel the way you do.” Kevin Keenoo

#blogging As bloggers, we need to be AWARE of our readers and our own abilities and limitations. Click To Tweet

Please Note:

I plan to turn this into an eBook when I’m finished, so is there anything I haven’t covered under the various headings? When you read, please comment if you think of anything I should include. Thank you!

I’d love you to leave a comment or question at the end of each post. If you include a URL in your comment, I will get back to you.

Coming next: Blog a Book!

Introduction to Build a Better Blog. Start reading today. Click To Tweet
These posts were originally posted as part of the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Because I’m re-posting them with updates, I have reverted the originals to draft. I apologize if this causes any problems with missing links, but all the posts WILL repeat – on an approximately weekly basis.

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37 comments on “A is for Awareness Alert – Build a Better Blog

  1. Hi Shirley excellent advice to start your series with. I started to try to blog 5 days per week which has been okay but you are right about burnout. I also try to have a theme for the month which my readers can relate to. I co-host 3 link parties which help but are a little time consuming because I like to leave a comment on everyone. I would love your feedback on how I could improve my blog awareness if you have any advice? Have a great day and looking forward to ‘B’

    • Sue, I always love visiting your blog. You’re way ahead of me when it comes to hosting link parties. In fact, would you be interesting in doing a guest post for me on the subject of hosting and participating in a link party? The why and how to’s.

        • Hi Sue,
          Sorry I missed this comment. Thank you for following me up with an email. Have a wonderful holiday and come back refreshed. 🙂 I’ll be waiting. There’s no hurry for this. It’ll probably come under L so take your time. I’m excited to read what you have to say on the topic as I know NOTHING about it!

  2. Really enjoyed this and plan to follow your A to Z, Shirley. I started out with a theme of Lessons Learned and had a Blog2Print made of the A to Z Challenge 2016. Now I’m committed to once a week on Friday. I’ve set up different catagories: AtoZ, Flashback Friday, Guest Bloggers, Kindness Challenge, One-Inch Picture Frame, Sharing Life Stories, Six-Word Challenge and ReBlogs. It gives me different options to turn to when I get stuck.
    http://www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

  3. Hi Shirley! We have visited each other earlier and I like what you blog about. I created a new blog last month after blogging for almost four years on a personal blog at Blogger. I moved to WordPress and have created a lifestyle-cum-inspirational blog which I named Metanoia.
    I schedule my posts twice a week – Monday and Thursday – and on Saturdays I post an art work. I visit almost 7 to 8 blogs every day so as to get readers to my blog! And, most importantly, I am enjoying writing much more than i ever have! I guess it’s the magic of the new blog,
    I am going to follow your posts closely, so thank you for all the help and motivation you give your readers!

    • HI Shilpa, thanks for the visit and the encouragement. Yes, I try to post Mondays and Thursdays on this blog, but I have a second website, Rise and Soar (https://riseandsoar.com) where I attempt to post on Tuesdays and Fridays, but often don’t make the grade with that one. That’s the problem with having a dual niche.
      Blessings on your writing!
      Shirl

  4. Oh, I really enjoyed that read – with a lot of useful advice – that made me think:-) Thanks a lot Shirley, will come by for more:-)

  5. This is a damn good post Shirley and I look forward to reading more. I blog once a week and put in about 1-2,flash fiction between. Would be glad to have your feedback

    • Thank you for the visit, Akshata. I look forward to reading your posts and your flash fiction. I’m way too wordy to write flash fiction. Good for you! 🙂

  6. Great advice! These tips are very useful for YouTubers as well! I agree that it is fun to look for topics for my next video / blog post. Finding topics and writing is what’s most fun, that’s what I think. O, I forgot … I’ve recently realized that promoting my videos and blog is very fun and rewarding too! 🙂

    • You know, that’s something I forget to do. I promote the articles when I first publish them, but I rarely go back and mention them again. Even my books. That’s so wrong!! Thanks for your visit, and for your prompt, Cecilia

  7. Shirley, I currently have three blogs.

    As Grandma Says http://www.asgrandmasays.wordpress.com is the place where I introduced people to my grandmother who was the impetus for my devotional gift book of that name. When the book was new, I tried to update it weekly. Now it gets whatever my grandmother would have approved when I think of it.

    My personal (when I think of it) blog is Ephemera Captured – Thoughts that nearly got away. It, too, is very sporadic. It gets thoughts that have elevated my ire or piqued my curiosity or tickled my fancy. http://www.ephemeracaptured.wordpress.com

    My real blog is Garment of Praise, http://www.praisegarment.wordpress.com. This is my Friday devotional. I’ve kept it running since 2009. For one year, I made it a daily devotional based on the One Year Bible in Chronological Order. But that year was a stretch, so I’ve cut back to weekly. That’s about as often as anyone wants to hear from me any way.

    And if that’s not enough, I write a weekly (Thursday) blog for my employer, DuMond Printing. Titled Working With Your Print Shop — More Effectively, you can find it at http://www.wwypstips.wordpress.com. In it I tackle educating our clients about the things they can do to work more effectively with their print shop and the decisions they should have made before they come here.

    Whew! That’s probably more than you wanted to know. Sorry for the long comment, but you did ask.

    • 🙂 Thanks for this, Judith. And yes, blogging can keep you very busy and can in fact distract you from your other writing. I’ve had to cut back drastically or I’ll never get anything else published!

      • I’ve learned to do the blogs in a one-sitting, leave it, edit later that day, and let it go. If I tried to perfect them, I’d get nothing else done. Most of these are literally first draft, one-offs.

  8. Totally agree Shirley. We set a schedule and we stick to it now and works well for us. We found that one every 3 days works quite well as you have the time in between to promote each one. I cannot imagine trying to promote one like made every single day!

    • Thank you for the visit Natasha! I have two websites, each with blogs. I have set the schedule of posting to each one twice a week, which is still four posts a week. But I’m going with one new post and one that I bring out of the dusty old archives and give it a new look. (I knew NOTHING about SEO when I started so it’s really a new article by the time I’ve done it. But it’s fun that way and eases the pressure of four new posts a week.

  9. I have a problem with all the Internet noise and attempting distinctly not to be part of it. I don’t currently blog with a plan at all. It is a hobby not a job. Hoping to keep it that way. If I started to hate it, what would be the point? I get the appeal of finding your audience. I want to put myself out there but I want people to follow because they are interested, you know?

    • Thanks for the visit, Claire. I totally get you wanting to keep blogging as a hobby and not a job, and wanting folk to follow you because they enjoy your content. Thanks for making this observation. Have a great week.

  10. Good advice. I used to keep 4 blogs active with weekly or more posts. Had to stop that. One blog is plenty for me for the time being. At least I know what I could be capable of if that’s what I wanted to do.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • Thanks for the visit Arlee. Yes, life circumstances change. There may be a season for working on more than one blog, but I think we need the common sense to know when not to even try!

  11. On my blog, I blog daily (and have since 2011) but I have themes for most of the days of the week i.e. Music Monday, Skywatch Friday, and so forth – so you can just read what interests you and skip the rest. Consistency is the key, as you correctly point out. I realize my daily blogging may overwhelm, but I do the daily blogging for personal reasons, and when it no longer suites me, I will cut back.

    • Yes, Leanne. I have two blogs and I tried to write to both three times a week – so 6 days a week. There was no way I could keep it up. I’m also writing a series of e-books at the moment, hence I decided once a week was my limit.

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