Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires. - Lao TzuEditor's Note: I wrote this for my poker blog and it's geared to new poker bloggers out there. I figured some of my tips might be helpful for all bloggers. So I'm reposting this here...
I read new blogs more frequently than older ones. I understand it take time to come into your own and get excited when people fall into their own voice. Here are six quick tips for the new (or old) bloggers out there who are kinda feeling a little bit lost or caught up in a funk. I hope to get a few established bloggers to add their suggestions in next week's post when I will give you a second round of tips.
- Introduce yourself
- Define your objective
- Post regularly
- Less is more
- Sometimes being interesting means being yourself
- Spell check is your friend
Who are you? Tell me about yourself. What is the story behind your online name? What do you do when you are not playing poker? How long have you been playing? Where do you live? What do you play? These are basic things that give your readers a chance to know you are. A lot of times people read specific blogs because they have other common interests.
Define Your Objectives
What is the significance of the name of your blog? What do you hope to achieve by starting a blog? What are your poker goals? Do you plan on posting about stuff other than poker? If so, please tell everyone up front. When you visit Al Cant Hang's blog, you know right away what you are getting yourself into... "Random thoughts about poker and booze. Mostly booze."
Tell us how frequently you intend on posting. Your readers will know if they should be coming back once a week or every other day. You do not have to post everyday but you should post regularly. Set a realistic schedule and stick to it. That's how you get readers coming back. Posting a few days a week is also a way to improve your writing skills.
Less Is More
Leave the uber-posting to Iggy. The majority of your hits will average about 90 seconds at the most. People will be reading your blog either at work or while they are playing online. Their attention span is short. So keep your post quick and to the point. Don't say in a paragraph what you can say in one sentence. If you want to post a hand history, then figure out how to use a converter and post the results. It takes up a lot less clutter. Why publish one huge post a week, when you can break into three segments? If you do, make sure you let people know it's a two-parter or a series of three or four posts. If it's an interesting story, it's a good way to create repeat visitors.
Sometimes Being Interesting.... Means Being Yourself
I think it's self explanatory. Try not to create a false online character from scratch. It takes too much work and people know when you are bullshitting them. We're poker players after all, right? Be yourself. To me the most interesting blogs are people who are speaking from the heart. If you are not naturally funny but an astute thinker... let that come through in your blog. Allow your own personality to be expressed through your words. If you are a grouch, then let those rants rip. If you are a complete geek... then geek us out with your geeky observations on poker and all things geeky. If you are a fall down drunk, give Al Cant Hang a call.
Spell Check Is Your Friend
I'm a horrible speller. I also type super fast so a lot of the times, it's more of a typing error than spelling error. Anyway, blogger has spell check imbedded in the software. Use it. If you have a huge post, ask your wife/girlfriend/spouse/roommate to read it over. It helps get them involved in your hobby. It also shows them that blogging is not as simple as they think and that you are very serious about improving your poker play.
OK, I'm pressed for time. I hope this helps. I just came up with all these off the top of my head. I hope to write about more specific tips on blogging next week. If you want help privately, feel free to email me. If you are a blogger and have any suggestions, send them my way so I can compile a list of tips to publish next week.
I'll see everyone tonight for the WPBT event. In the meantime, visit Tony Pierce's blog. He has several kick ass tips on blogging. He wrote a hilarious post on how to leave comments. Check both out.
Editor's Note: Tony Pierce stopped by and was cool enough to give me the correct link to his post on how to blog. Thanks dude.