I’ve started my blog in late 2013, and my first terrible post (well, I guess that’s what everyone says: we learn as we walk) was published on 18th November last year. I tried – and failed – to post few times a week, and it soon became a few-times-a-month affair before I went “blogless” for the next few months. Once I was back, I committed myself to write at least one post a day.
When I finally decided to write actively, I had only one goal in mind, and that was to reach out to readers who would buy my eBook. Gradually, in the course of writing, I made friends with few fellow bloggers, and it soon turned into a hobby incorporated with the elements of reading, making friends, and appreciating posts written by good writers who are not yet discovered. The whole writing thing spun me into a positive environment called blog-o-sphere (seriously, people, how did this name come about?)
My first post after I returned was written on the 6th June, and today, 9th July, marks a little over 1 month of active blogging. In this 1 month, I’ve learnt more than I ever could if I were to write once a week for 1 year (exaggerating? Maybe), and today, I am sharing what I’ve learnt so far.
#1 WRITING DAILY INCREASE THE VIEWS FASTER THAN YOU THINK IT’LL BE
This is very real. I did not pay attention to this advice when I started blogging, but it turned out to be true for me. Let me show you my stats for the past few months:
Apparently, active blogging gives you better exposure than passive blogging. To put it in a way easier to understand: Active/regular posting keeps you in the top of the list when readers search for certain keywords that you have tagged in your post(s). That said, you’ll have to tag your posts correctly, and not tagging “fuck” when you used a word “fuck” as an expression in your post.
If you write about blogging, then tag the word “blog”. It’ll reach out easier because Andy Lawson says so.
#2 YOU’LL FIND REAL PEOPLE IF YOU SHOW THEM YOU ARE REAL
This is another advice given by many bloggers out there that many are not following.
We all know – you have a lot to speed on about the Internet if you don’t – that bots/fake accounts are like ants crawling in the nest under the soil. All you have to do it to pay $5 and you’ll get thousands of fake Facebook users to “like” your page, and when you thought you have “built” a group of followers, you’ll realize that there are no engagements because all those are accounts registered for the sake of getting paid through “liking”.
I’ve said this before, and I’m saying this again: gain your followers by being real; show them that you are human by engaging other writers through reading their posts and commenting (like them if you really do), and it’ll be just a matter of time before real bloggers engage you (in return).
“To get, first you must give.”
– Awesome quote by Andy Lawson.
#3 THERE ARE NO RULES
This is not something to be taken literally. Try writing about bombing, and you’ll soon find agents blowing down your front door and you being pressed down on the floor screaming, “ANDY LAWSON SAID THERE ISN’T ANY RULES!”
I’m going to be under your cell’s bed if you mention my name.
What I mean here is, there shouldn’t be rules when it comes to writing.
“Do I use satisfaction or contentment to describe how I feel when I ended my deed with her?”
How about using the word orgasm?
Creative juice should be allowed to flow the way you want it to be. I’ve written 4 stories (read them here, here, here and here) from the prompts I saw on Daily Post, and I used none of the conventional ways in any of the stories I have written. They’re still getting read, and the responses were pretty ok in my context. I gained increased readership, broke my highest views and most likes last night, had a 700% jump in followers since a month ago, and the best of all is my readers were all from around the globe.
That pretty much sums up what non-conventional writing can achieve.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you can do, or what you cannot do. Just write the way you like, such as…
#4 WRITE LIKE YOU SPEAK
Another way to say “Find Your Voice”. It’s not a hard thing, really. Don’t let it scare you in any way.
I read books that speak to me, and similarly, I write the way I speak to others. I mean, if I were to describe a castle I’ve been to in two ways:
In the stormy night of thunderous noises and gale, the key held in my hands shook to the trembles I felt. I pushed the key into the hole, feeling it as I inserted through the vibrations on my fingertips. The howling wind creeps the dark with unknown presence surrounding us, and it was the night I could never omit from my spine-chilling memories.
It was dark; thunders were clapping and “bad weather” is the most apt description of that night. I held the keys in my hands, trembling as I thought about what would be ahead after the door was opened. The howling of the wind did not make any one of us feel better; I think I would never be able to forget this night of horror.
Which one do you prefer reading?
I don’t know about you, but I’ll usually dump the book aside if it was written like the first example. I once stopped reading a (few) book(s) without finishing the first chapter(s) because the author(s) put too much focus on being “Shakespeary without cussing”. Too flowery; too difficult to read.
Write as how you would speak in front of a group of people, and usually, it’ll bring you better engagement. Trust me because I say so.
#5 YOUR PAGES WILL BE LIKED – IT’S JUST TIME
Now, how many have been to other blogs and admired over the number of likes they have in their “About” or other pages?
I too, was once envious of the attention other bloggers were getting, and I wondered with tears in my eyes (don’t believe that) every night on why there wasn’t anyone interested in reading my background story, or other pages that I’ve spent time writing.
As a matter of fact, they did not get the attention over night. No one did. It all came through the years of their active blogging. It’s all boils down to how long it’ll take for readers to go around different pages of your blog to read what you have written elsewhere.
#6 WHAT YOU READ DETERMINES HOW YOU WRITE
Have you ever wondered why, sometimes you just couldn’t get into the mood to write something interesting, or why was it that on certain days, you could go on and on flooding your posts with similes and metaphors? Very much like how guys wanted an exciting evening but erection just wasn’t possible?
That’s because what you are reading affects your mood without you knowing.
Read about how someone lost his or her family member to an illness, and you’ll find yourself writing soul-stirring articles about your inner thoughts.
Read Andy Lawson’s Guide To Starting A Blog and you’ll find yourself motivating a goldfish and turning it into a shark by the end of the post.
If you have chosen humour to be the selling point of your blog, then you should start following blogs that can help you in triggering your funny bone. If you wish to write about subjects that are emo-centric, then you have to search for blogs that circle around topics of that nature (sorry, I can’t help with that because I don’t like it when I don’t laugh).
#7 SHORTER POSTS GET MORE READERS
Oh, the irony. I’m seeing 1346 words by the end of this sentence. Take it as I’m naggy, but this is realer than real.
Most readers lose their concentration after reading around 750 words, so it’ll be best to keep what you have to say within that number of words. Also, break your post into points or paragraphs, because it is very taxing to the eyes to read chunks of words with no breaks in between.
Andy Lawson is the average man on the street that you’ll not even trouble yourself looking at him if he passes by you. He’s sensitive to bullshit, and he hates mediocrity in most people. He is the author of his self-published book: Facts and Fiction of Fengshui: Facts that Masters are NOT Telling You. He doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because he hates to be associated with people who tend to be passive-aggressive online, but he does have a very limited set of vocabularies, terrible grammar, a twisted mind that makes himself God in his own twisted world and an ability to communicate with people who wish to be his friend.