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Sunday, January 30, 2011

What's A Blog and How to Become A Good Blogger

I write this in reference to Xiaxue's Guide to Life video on blogging, in which she shares tips on how to become a popular blogger, which she is. No haters please. She's a bombshell of talent and personality.

The definition of a blog? Urban Dictionary says:

Short for weblog. A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life.


A place where people bitch about their daily activities which nobody is interested in.

I'll only say that the people who wrote these definitions are complete idiots who hasn't seen a real blog and has never bothered too. I'm pretty sure that they have blogs in which they 'bitch about their daily activities' too.

Whereas Wikipedia as another, more technical definition:

A blog is a type of website or part of a website which are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events or other material.

The less technical definition of a blog is a webpage that allows publishing of certain material, be it daily photos of life, music, controversy, etc.

There are many different ready-to-publish blogging websites, such as Wordpress, Xanga, Live Journal, Blogger and Tumblr. To publish material (aka post) is called to blog. The person who publishes the material is called a blogger. Hence, you have the activity called blogging.

From what I've heard, Wordpress is the best for blogging. My favorite local blogger moved from Blogger to Wordpress. Personally, I've only tried Blogger and Tumblr. Tumblr is cute, and pretty functional, but a tad bit bland. I seldom visit Live Journal and/or Xanga blogs. I guess what you could do is do a test run on every one to see which is best. I personally prefer blogger.

Before you even start to imagine how great your blog will be, you'll first have to think of an interesting or catchy blog name, which doesn't sound or look cheesy and/or stupid. Xiaxue's other video (though unrelated) explains a bit about this. You could change it later, but it would be better to start off nice. Your blog link should be of similar quality.

And you'll have to think about what you wanna blog about. There are people who blog only about food, makeup, their family, etc; and then there are also people who blog about anything and everything (something like Xiaxue and myself =P). Your blog name and link should be matching with your content, though mine clearly doesn't.

Think clearly before starting a blog - are you gonna update regularly? And if you are, please don't tell me you're gonna talk about some stupid emo shit (though sometimes blog-complaining is acceptable) all the time. If you're planning on updating once a month and/or write about moody emo crap, then please, use that time that you're using to type that emo crap and go study or work, or whatever.

To achieve a high number of readers, post (interesting / nice) pictures as often as possible, whether they were taken by your shitty phone camera or searched and saved from Google or Photobucket or wherever. Your layout should also be content-oriented - if your posts are going to be more text than pictures, use a colorful designed, easy-on-the-eyes layout; if your posts are more picture, than go for a simpler layout, with toned-down colors so that your pictures stand out more.

Make sure your text is well spaced. Like me, my paragraphs are fairly long, so I put at least 2 spaces in between each paragraph. Please keep in mind that what you blog are for people to read (whether you like it or not) and reading an entire, single-spaced paragraph with around 100 words would be a headache.

Keep your paragraphs simple, and if you really feel the need to add detail, simplify it. Especially if you know you're gonna have lots to write, categorize what you wanna write, write down the important points and treat it like an essay - simple, yet detailed.

Now your blog has lotsa pictures and is getting pretty good numbers, but the numbers are slowly declining. Why? This is perhaps your content is getting boring. Your text, your pictures, anything you put in your posts.

How do you improve your blog traffic? By reading - novels and popular blogs. Popular blogs are popular because they know how to simplify information/content and keep things interesting. Instead of using the same words repetitively, they switch words every now and then.

Also, plan ahead as you write. Planning your blog post would ensure that your content is in order and more understandable. The past me used to just blab whatever that came to my head, and when I read my own posts later on, I found that my content was sometimes completely unrelated and yet were in the same paragraph.

If you were to blog about something that involves titles and subtitles, opt for bold text, different fonts / color or increased size for the titles and/or subtitles. This was it's less easy to confuse your content.

Wanna link something? Just type your sentence normally, find the keyword and highlight it. Click the 'add hyperlink' icon or button, then copy and paste in your link (it would be safer than manually typing in, in case you make a typo).

The hard and fast rules of blogging:

  • never ever copy other people's content and post it in your own blog claiming that it's yours. It's immoral and it's effing embarrassing if you get caught.
  • always think of the consequences of what you write. If you're gonna fuck the shit outta someone, think about how it will affect your image.
  • don't be afraid to speak your mind. Let out your opinions and/or feelings, but keep watch on the context and language.
  • please don't put embedded music on your page. Imagine you're enjoying this new track that you've just ripped from your brand new CD, you click onto this blog and suddenly your music is mixed with the other person's embedded music. It's annoying. If you wanna share your musical interest, put them in links, pictures, or those little thumbnails that you sometimes see on some sidebars.

The few things I hate about some blogs is that their content is completely stupid - they have bad English, but they try to act as if their English is professional and use the words wrongly. Then there are some whose blogs which consists of their camwhore pictures and only that - the main text, on the header, in the sidebar, all over the place! No text, no captions, everything is only very ugly photos edited by a noob.

I don't really mind embedded music 'cause I don't always listen to music when I'm blog-walking, but sometimes some people have different music tastes than mine and their music embedding site is crappy.

So - interesting content, nice photos, good organisation, no copy-and-pasting, no embedded music. That's how you can become a good blogger, but keep in mind that it takes all kinds to make the world, and not every one thinks the same. What may be alright to you may be offensive to other people, so look at things from every possible angle.

To be even more well informed, watch the first linked video up in the first line. Then you can start blogging. I hope this was helpful to the people who are new to blogs and those who are experiencing decreasing blog traffic.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a professional blogger nor do I claim to be one. These are just tips that I gathered from various websites and personal experience that I wish to share.

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