What else can I do to celebrate the By All Writes blog’s third year of existence except host a (virtual) birthday party?
When my blog turned one, I purchased the most unusual birthday card I could find. And when Baby Moonlight Blog entered the “terrible twos,” I felt compelled to honor it (her?) with another humorous birthday card.
Now that my blog is a full-throttled toddler, I selected an age-appropriate, licensed-character card. The result of my birthday-card shopping spree is off to the right. I hope it doesn’t disappoint!
And with another year of blogging comes more wisdom gained. Weekly (and weekly), I compose at the keyboard, sourcing background information and click-worthy links. I’m so grateful I have yet to be ejected from a store or other venue whilst “snapping” (swiping?) custom photos with my iPhone.
For my readers who are bloggers, I hope this celebratory post provides you with a helpful tip or two. For my readers who are blogger wannabes, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the form of a question if you need a gentle push toward ending your bloggerly hesitation. And yes, “bloggerly” is a word of my own creation. The WordPress spell check can go ahead and “kiss my grits.”
These aquamarines (i.e., March’s birthstone) of wisdom come from the digital mouth of a three-year-old blog:
Take Advantage of Archived Blog Posts–Repurpose Your Content: I read/share articles about repurposing blog posts all the time. When you can’t create a new blog post, repurposing of content is a time-saver. And just maybe, an even wider audience will notice your awesome content.
But here’s the truth: I do a lousy job of acting upon this common-sense advice. As my slightly inebriated French professor (freshman year, Rutgers-New Brunswick) used to say, “Scandaleux!”
The few times I haven’t released a fresh blog post (due to illness or a delinquent SJ Spotlight guest), Armageddon didn’t occur. With hindsight, I should have dredged up an archived post and promoted it à la “we dip into the By All Writes vault this week…”
The pressure is always “on” to continually crank out new content. But it’s a good thing to take small, intermittent breaks. As long as your mini-sabbatical doesn’t continue endlessly, your existing content can do the heavy lifting for you. Come back soon to see if I finally take my own advice during spring break’s vacation gauntlet!
Blog-Post Promotion on Twitter Requires Proficiency with Hashtag Days: Twitter hashtag days can be good friends to bloggers. But it takes practice to become proficient with these hashtags and earn the loyalty of online friends. A cool tweep I know via Twitter, Paula Nancarrow (@prnancarrow), published a great post last fall regarding hashtag days.
(I made my own attempt to identify useful hashtags for bloggers in a recent By All Writes post. I like Paula’s entry better!)
While I was already aware of the fabulous #MondayBlogs, I’m still getting familiar with #wwwblogs. (This hashtag translates into Women Writer Wednesday blogs. Sorry, gentlemen, it’s for ladies only, but RTs are always appreciated.) And thanks to Paula, I’ve begun experimenting with #SundayBlogShare and #ArchiveDay (this one occurs on Saturdays).
I’m not quite sure how bloggers promote themselves on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, but I hope to find out one day soon.
Is It Worth It to Continue Taking Your Own Blog-Post Photos? Hell, Yes!: I know that many bloggers use a variety of “free” (or mostly free) online resources for images and photos they can then embed into their posts. I don’t doubt these resources save them valuable work time.
But I’ve scrolled and scanned through these stock-photography libraries. And, I’ve come to one immutable conclusion: tailoring the perfect image(s) to each blog post demonstrates creativity and a quirky sense of humor. To capture more eyeballs beyond your clever headline, a photo you take yourself can be worth the extra sweat equity.
Additionally, you will protect yourself from the potential pain of legal trouble. This happens when you unwittingly (or perhaps quite wittingly?) “borrow” a proprietary image/photo, triggering a cease and desist letter (or a request for an outrageous royalty fee) from the image’s rightful owner.
For those of you who’d rather give someone credit (i.e., a statement of attribution) for your embedded images, here you go.
Don’t Be Shy About Sharing Your Blogging Wisdom with Non-Bloggers: Here’s another valuable lesson I’ve learned as a blogger this past year: When you talk about your blog with a high level of confidence, people identify you a subject matter expert (SME). And oh, what a thrill it is!
Not only that, people will mention you to their friends as someone to talk to about blogging. Also, they might ask you to give a presentation regarding this labor of (blogging) love. Finally, offering snippets of free advice to aspiring bloggers in your local business community is a great way to build goodwill and (potentially) gain a new client or two.
I do this all the time. I will continue to do it. And I will gladly do it for you, as long as you don’t ask to “pick my brain.” If you want to engage in that grueling activity, it’s called a consultation. And, oh yes, there is a fee associated with it. (Please click the “pick my brain” link for more details…)
Connect with Nearby Bloggers by Starting a Meetup in Your Little Corner of Blogging Heaven: It’s grand to connect with bloggers of all topics and professions around the globe via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. But honestly, there’s no place like home for locally grown connections with other bloggers.
Guilty reveal: I have yet to tap the full potential of Meetup. I’ve tried a few business-oriented Meetups in the South Jersey area, but as a blogger, I feel like I’m smoking a peace pipe in a teepee built for one. As Dale Carnegie would say, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.”
So, calling all South Jersey bloggers–how about I start a Meetup this summer just for us? I envision gatherings where we trade helpful advice regarding WordPress plugins, editorial calendars, online promotional opportunities, and the like. Who’s with me? Anyone? Please don’t say “Bueller…”
Random Blogging Wisdom (to Myself, to You) for Future Birthday Parties:
Stop procrastinating and pony up for a blogging conference in 2015. It’s time to meet new (blogger) friends and influence more readers…
Make a commitment that this is the year I implement a work-around solution for sharing my blog-post content on LinkedIn’s publishing platform without causing Google to penalize me for duplicate content. (Yes, I’m tempted to merely copy and paste whole posts into LI, but I’ve read it’s not the best of ideas…)
Related to the previous point, make time to update my LinkedIn Groups and become more involved with some blogging-centric ones. I’ll save the full-feature blog post for a rainy day…
Seek out strategic relationships with other bloggers–offer to promote their blog posts (via social media) if they’re kind enough to do the same for me.
(Oh, almost forgot: Um, how about that little detail known as subscribing to a blog by e-mail? How have I managed to get away without it for so long?)
And so ends my virtual birthday party for the By All Writes Moonlight Blog. No need to help me blow out the (pretend) cake’s candles or sweep up the (imaginary) confetti.
If you’re a blogger, how do you celebrate another year of baking fresh (blogging) baguettes each week (or multiple times per week)? What blogging goals are in your strategic plan that remain unrealized?
Remember: Blogging on behalf of your business means never having to say you’re sorry, so treat yourself like your best, most beloved client. But also remember: Blogging is not an intermittent, sporadic activity–it’s a digital codependency. Blog long and prosper, fellow bloggers!
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business-to-business (B2B) writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print or web marketing and educational copy. Please call Lori Shapiro at 856-810-9764 or email By All Writes LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation project quote today!