Cornerhouse Digital Reporter Suzy Brown picked up a few tips on blogging…
There have been hundreds, maybe even thousands of times where I’ve found myself muttering ‘I really need to blog about this. I need to share this experience because people need to know!!’ and then I’ve completely forgotten about it. This can be a bit disheartening, so I turned for some inspiration to Manchester’s queen of the blogging scene, Kate Feld, in a workshop hosted at Cornerhouse earlier this month.
I managed to pick up (and apply) some sensible ideas that are uncommonly handy for the modern blogger. Kate’s advice is something to heed because she has a lot of experience and also pens one of the most well known blogs in the Manchester, Manchizzle. Kate also started the Manchester Blog Awards and is co-editor of Creative Tourist. Kate refers to herself ambivalently as a ‘lost’ Yankunian, but lucky for us, she is far from it!
A Yank myself, I stumbled across Creative Tourist a while back and praised its resourcefulness and wonderful goodness to my little, but solid group of Yank-abiding friends. I enjoy exploring the Top 25 UK Arts and Culture Blogs and investigating the rumbles around Manchester’s creative scene.
Here are a few tips gleaned from Kate Feld’s years of blogging. Thought it’s worth bearing in mind, these tips apply to those already blogging. They don’t cover the basics on how to start a blog. Naturally, that will be hosted through Cornerhouse (Cornerhizzle?) at the start of next year.
Do’s and don’ts for blogging mastery…
- Do promote your blog using social media. Kate says Twitter is key and that most bloggers these days have a Twitter account. You can have an amazing blog, but if no one is reading it, then it’s kinda like a tree falling in a forest.
- Don’t just display text. Use visual images to illustrate and add texture and depth to your blog. Don’t forget about creative commons – credit the photographer and follow the rules. If you don’t extend the proper credit, it might just come back to bite you in the bum when you’re famous.
- Do create an online community. Frustrated and moaning because nobody reads your blog? Well, get out there and read other people’s blogs! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and make some friends. Create a blogroll of your favourites, comment on other people’s blogs and enable others to comment on yours. It leaves a blog trail for fellow readers to follow and reciprocate.
- Do update regularly. Don’t do what I do and just say you will. Attempt to write about interesting and entertaining topics.
- Don’t make lots of grammatical and spelling mistakes. This is not a good look for anyone. It drives me CRAZY. I am sure I am not the only one.
- Do use a masthead that you really like since you will be looking at it everyday. It adds a sense of design consistency.
- Don’t be afraid to use links and plug-ins. Kate says to be generous with links because they are what really make a blog. She suggests that if you read a blog you like, link to it because it’s good for your karma. Dismiss the idea that a link will send people off your page; if they really like your blog they will link to yours etc…
- Do enter competitions to drum up interest in your blog and attract more readers.
- Do take time to get comforatble with your writing style and develop your own voice.
- Don’t forget to stay tuned for more workshops like this at Cornerhouse!