This post is based on a speech I gave recently at my Toastmasters club.
In 2014, I read We Are Not Alone, by Kirsten Lamb, author, and social media expert. WANA was about how to navigate social media for authors. (*Note, I think this book is out of print now, but contact the author.) Kirsten advocated that authors should have blogs. She said that when we have to write an 800-word article a week, it is another form of writing and a discipline, one that helps us develop as authors. Before starting my blog, I read this advice and wondered how it would help. But having spent nearly a decade writing a post a week, I see what she means. When I go back to my earliest posts, the prose doesn’t sound like me, and I can see that writing my weekly posts is helping me develop my “author’s voice.”

Where do you start? You start by choosing a blog publisher. When I started mine in 2014, I was on Blogger. What I did not realize was that Blogger had no facility for “likes”. When there is no facility for “liking” a post, most people will read and move on without doing a thing. That makes it hard for the author to see what sort of traction they’re getting. And, it can be lonely.
Why do we blog? We have something we want to express, communicate, or sell. No matter your reason for blogging, no one wants to speak to an empty room. After a year and a half, I jumped ship to WordPress and had to start again from the ground up. But it was worth it because suddenly, I could get likes on my posts. Yay! You know there are people out there, receiving you and responding to you, which is a nice feeling. The week or two or three when I was unable to post over the last nine years, I missed it. It’s a chill and super fun part of my week.

For me, it’s not about building an empire but creating and maintaining connections with people. Treating readers with respect. The next day after publishing my posts, I like and comment on each reply. I make sure to visit the blog of each person who left a like and respond in kind. You are building a network of friends – an online community – and friendship is never a one-way street.

Where do you start? You start a blog by deciding your niche. Create a name for your blog and then check that no one else is using it. It’s helpful to have a subtitle as this clues visitors into your content. Design your blog appearance and title around that. Try to make your homepage as appealing as possible. Too often, I visit blogs that look dull. Make a blog visit pleasant for your readers, put a little creativity into your home page.

How often should you post? Blog as often as you like. Kristen blogs three times a week. Writing more often can build a blog fast. I find one post a week is ideal for me. Try to put your posts out on the same day each week, and then you can be relied upon by your followers to be consistent.

What else should you do? Join a blogging group. There are lots of them. I belong to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. A blogging group like this will run regular events called blog hops, which you can participate in, and it will help build your connections with other bloggers. It also means that on one day of the month, you don’t have to come up with the idea for that post. It’s a win-win and again is about that online community.

Try to put your best foot forward. With your posts be as professional as possible, check for spelling and grammar, etc. I edit mine endlessly. Put out the best posts you can. And have fun!
What pitfalls should you watch out for? Realize there will be trolls. They are out there and will sometimes visit. I use the same policy I do with nice commenters, I like the troll’s comment but with trolls, I never reply. Treat them with the same respect as anyone else but do not engage. Don’t give them a reason to stay and argue with you.
There will also be pirates who will steal your work and publish it as their own. Make sure you put a little piece at the bottom of your homepage about copyright. (Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited, and so on.) Update it every year to make the year of your copyright claim current and include the copyright symbol. Also, protect yourself by regularly every second post or so linking back to one of your earlier posts within your content. That will filter out a number of the bad guys and help protect your blog’s integrity.
That’s all for now, folks.
Happy Blogging!

Talk to you later.
Keep creating!
Yvette Carol

“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.” – Gary Vaynerchuk.


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  1. J M Negi says:

    Crisp and to the point. Sounds very helpful for amateurs. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree with all the above.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you Yvette for your weekly post. I so admire your courage and stamina to write to me humble follower and speak your encouragements and advice across continents.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] on from my Toastmasters speech series – and subsequent blog series, see Blogging 101 – I am back with another post on blogging. As mentioned before, in the beginning, I started […]


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