Archive for May 25th, 2009
Mood - Crabby

Mood - Crabby

(Laughs) This is Ms.Aya who is about to reveal a slice of her blogging tips!

The tips that I’m about to expose are strictly empirical and not from the mouth of a Blog Idol. So don’t complain when my tips don’t work for you. It depends on how you perceive and execute it.

Just so you know, I’m not going to announce my blogging tips to other bloggers in Innit. My tips are meant for those who have been following my blog faithfully (whether out in the open or in silence). (Laughs) So consider this a golden privilege and keep this to yourself.

Shall we continue?

By the way, my tips are mostly to help personal or online diaries. <^-^>/

Baa~♥

On your marks — Get set —- GO~!

#1 Be fully acquainted with your blog’s content.

I’ve already dedicated an entry (which is “What or Who Inspired You to Blog“) as the first stepping stone to refreshing your initial interest and motive to blog. By now, you should know what type of blog you have.

It is very important for you to know what you blog and how it can benefit your readers. The content that you cater to your readers determines the type of readers/visitors you’ll get. You cannot have this greedy mindset where you expect every visitor to be converted to be your fan/reader. You can’t convert everyone into recurring readers just like you can’t force the Nazis to embrace the Jews. ← I can’t think of any similarities, gomen.

Therefore, you need to have a specific audience.

For instance, if you start a blog based on J-rock bands, then the type of readers you’ll get are J-rock fans (and lots of screaming fan girls).

If your blog consist of make-up and fashion tips, likely you get female audience.

And suppose you blog about gossips and controversial topics, you can expect angry mobs, haters and spiteful spams by anonymous readers a.k.a cowards.

Ultimately, you have to decide the consistent subject of your blog. Always think of what you can deliver to your reader’s benefits before you expect rewards.

About personal and online diaries… (like mine) — First of all, you need to know HOW PERSONAL and OPEN your blog is.

There are 2 types of personal blogs as far as I can tell:

1 – The “Only Me & My Friends” blog

2 – “Public Diaries” blog

  • The “Only Me & My Friends” blog

The content is mostly about the blogger’s hangout with his/her friends. Usually this kind of blogs consist of 75% of photos and the remaining are captions. Even when they post an entry covered with 100% of text, they are either filing complains or some mushy-emo poems — dedicate to their friends of course.

To what I noticed, these blogs don’t get many comments and hits. When they do, it is from their friends whom they know in person that leaves the comments.

You see, their blog entries circulates among their friends and their hangouts with them. If you minus their friends, the blogger displays no individuality (other than emo-ing about his/her breakup or so). Basically, the blogger has nothing to blog other than his/her friends. With that, there’s nothing interesting about these blogs.

Ok.. Maybe a stranger stumbles upon such a blog. He enjoys browsing through the photos and wants to leave a comment. But 75% of photos aren’t enough to safely tell if this blogger is friendly enough to welcome readers apart from her own network of friends.

Face it! Although we are interacting behind the computer’s window, we can still feel shy. When we get nasty comebacks, we can feel hurt and cry over it.

For this reason, some readers prefer to read in silence.

I do follow blogs of people whom I do not know. Though they only blog photos or events relating to their friends and families only, I still visit once in a while. But I never leave any comment in this type of blogs nor link to them. Somehow I feel we don’t have any relation and there is no room for me to say anything.

With that said, how can you expect to rake in readers other than your friends and family members?

  • “Public Diaries” blog

This type of blogs contains articles, reviews, general topics which are express through the blogger’s personal thoughts and views.  Despite that it’s a diary, they blog about stuffs that makes it easy for readers to identify with. Above all, these bloggers leave ample room for their readers to voice out their opinions.

Example, you blog about your life as a graphic designer. You provide your own tips on how to do designing and occasionally, you share with everyone how’s it like to be in your position. Other graphic designers or art fanatics will totally understand you and they know you are blogging to them hence they reply you. (If you’re not blogging to them, why would you take the trouble to blog out your tips? Who are you sharing with then?)

Whenever you discover something useful and practical, you recommend it to your readers and they will definitely appreciate it.

Note: Those of you who keep their tabs on my blog, you should know by now that I tend to address to my readers (not friends) and I always leave questions or something for you to answer. Furthermore, I read and reply to you!

#2 – How to Write Fresh and Exciting Entries!?

Well, this totally reflects upon your individuality. If you’re a fun person, your funkiness will enthuse viewers — and then vice versa.

Get this straight: You may have a mountain of topics and you blog daily… BUT! This isn’t your triumph card.

Not every topic you churn out will entice your readers. Your entries has too be practical and cater to your readers’ interest.

“It’s my blog, I can write whatever shit I want!”, you say.

Well, don’t forget… Your readers can also choose to read shit or not. Carry on with your shitty and fucked up attitude only when you want to lose your readers.

Actually, I do have plenty of things to blog however — I’m very well acquainted with my readers and their interest so I sort of know what will interest them or not. (It does pay to visit your readers’ blogs, you know)

That said, I’ll narrow down my topics, slash out the unnecessary edges and then blog~

Are you clear with my meaning here? Ok, let’s proceed on how to write fresh and exciting entries!

1. Write general topics.

You don’t have to write a full-fledged, formal article. Or go through bizarre means to get a story. Your stories can be personal. You can share your outings and attach a general topic to them so that people can relate to it.

Eg: You befriended with an elderly woman. And it occurred to you that elderly women/aunties are attracted to you. Then you can write or express the feeling of getting to know such people and why you think it’s a good thing or whatever — Your choice. (Laughs) I wrote an entry on this before.

2. Generate your own content.

Are you good in handling Adobe Photoshop? Do I see a nod there? Then by all means, share some of your tips!

Do you know something about girls that most guys don’t? What are you waiting for — Blog it out!

They are good and beneficial information!

I love bloggers who write their minds and hearts out. It displays the bloggers’ personality and it makes their words so real. By that, I mean you sense some reality behind the computer screen. You know there is someone, a human being writing to his/her readers.

I came across some blogs that don’t provide their own content. Instead, they ripped from others and just put it there. Whenever I read such blogs, I feel like it’s a bot operating behind the screen — as in a person with no opinions, no say… No brain, no heart. It shows how shallow the blogger is.

I know they just want to share their discovery, however — if a credit needs to be given, it should be the rightful owner.

I have a section where I post cosplay pictures right? Well, I stopped doing that already solely because I don’t own them. I do provide the links to the owners but majority of the pictures I found are scattered everywhere with no trackbacks to the original sites.

It is in my principles to attach the owner’s link because: 1) The photos belong to them. 2) I figured the readers would appreciate the links to the rightful owner’s website/album.

So if I can’t get the links, I have no right to post the pictures let alone receive credits.

Back on track…

Sharing your discovery is not wrong. It would be better if you also share your opinions and thoughts.  At least, your readers will response to you and not just heap on the stuff you found, right?

Come on, tell me how can anyone comment when they blogger did not say anything to begin with?

3. Write simple, shove the jargons aside.

Sad to say but not everyone is a rocket scientist or have a wide range of vocabularies. You may have all the big and flamboyant words ready to disperse at your finger tips, but if the message does not get across to the viewers — What’s the point then?

Fancy words/phrases are excellent but don’t over do it and try to impress people. You’d only make them feel dumbfounded and oblivious. Your aim is to deliver your message across — and this can be achieved using ABC 123 standard!

Oh yes, don’t forget to split your paragraphs. Clustering all your words into one paragraph is an eyesore.

4. Include pictures.

Pictures are exciting and a great way to minimize your usage of text for a picture paints a thousand words on its own.

On a daily basis, I’d checkout some Japanese blogs and in spite of the language barrier, I will still load their blogs because I like to see their photos. It’s like a window to their lives; what they did today, what they ate, the sky they are under.. etc.

I’m happy to get a visual glimpse of their lives.

You don’t have to camwhore, look absolutely stunning or overload your blog with photos; just a handful of pictures is good enough.

Personally, I like raw photos as in presented the way it is and no special effects and enhancements made. It makes it seem like it was taken by a normal person whom I can relate to. Whereas those professionally edited photos, I don’t fancy them as I find them to be rather too good to be true. Plus, somewhat cold.

I follow a blog that posts pro-like photos. He edits them nicely, unfortunately — I don’t see anyone complimenting or cherishing his expertise. Sometimes I get the urge to praise him but I always hold back. The blog doesn’t look too friendly in my opinion.

I kind of wonder… How can friends be so cold not to be supportive and encouraging?

5. Simplify your blog layout.

I have no idea how some bloggers have the heart to use extremely small fonts and invisible colors. Why? Is there a secret text which you don’t want people to read?

No? Then why the fuck for?!

I rather exit the blog than to spoil my eyesight.

Bottom line is — It is your duty to make your blog readable.

Sure it is up to your preference and likings but let’s not forget that your visitors also have their own preference. They might not like small fonts.

So don’t whine about how cruel your readers are not to read your oh-so-dramatic life. YOU had them running away to other ‘friendly for the eyes’ blogs with your puny fonts.

That’s why… I always choose black text on white background. You can never go wrong with this!

#3 – How to get comments (and relevant ones!)

… Where do I begin?

Well utilizing the tips above should get you comments. Apart from that, it depends on how you ask your readers for their response.

Constantly begging and pleading for comments at every end of a post is not the right move. It displays how desperate and hard up you are. People can be very stingy by nature. Although leaving comments does not require people to fork out money, they still wouldn’t do until they see your worth. And desperation only demerits your value.

Ergo, stop begging!

What you can do is:

  1. Write topics and leave room for comments.
  2. Write something that arouses curiosity and questions.

Blog about something that excites them enough to want to share their point of views!

Speaking of POV’s, it is important to let your readers know that you’re listening to them as well as willing to reply to their questions/compliments/whatever.

Because why will they want to comment if no one is going to read or response to them? No one likes talking to the wall.

Baa.. Do know that there are pathetic assholes out there who might want to argue with you.. Be prepared for that!

Another type of comment leavers which you better be aware of are the ones that wants to rob your readers.

I dislike this kind of bloggers. Here’s what they do:

They leave a really unrelated/brief comment in your article and sitting beneath their comment is their blog/website URL. This is one more hard up method you should never resort to.

The reason is:

These people who leave their links hope to gain traffic and convert your readers. True.. They will get some traffic but only for a period of time. Why? We all get curious about who reads our blog and leaves comments. So automatically we would want to know who they are. That’s about it. No more reasons to revisit.

Furthermore, these people only comment once in your blog and the comment is not relevant nor interesting.

In fact, a 1 time, 1 line comment already reflects on how boring and how much this fella can think of what to say. What’s so enthusing about this fella that I and my readers would want to check out on a regular basis?

If the person thinks your entry is boring hence 1 time, 1 line comment is enough, then why bother to leave a comment in the first place? It shows the motive of the blogger.

The following are symptoms of a blogger who posts comment(s) in your blog but clandestinely attempts to convert YOUR readers into their own:

  • Symptom 1 - Hinting about their blogs, often telling you to visit.
  • Symptom 2 - Deliberately leaving their blog link.
  • Symptom 3 – Namedrop themselves and their blogs out in the blue.
  • Symptom 4 - Boasting about themselves and telling you to read their full POV in their blog.
  • Symptom 5 – Pestering the blog owner to link to their blogs (exchange links)
  • Symptom 6 – Leaves irrelevant comments and never returns again.

Seriously, how do these people breath?

Now.. How to deal with them?

  1. Delete their comments.
  2. You are not obliged to visit, link and leave comments in their blog even if they do the following for yours. If they are sincerely your fan, they would still want to follow you regardless of networking with one another. You don’t have to apple polish them for their return if you don’t like their blogs.
  3. You can reply to their comments but if it’s a short one, you can guess he/she is not coming back.
  4. Remove their blog’s link.
  5. Black list them.
  6. … Just don’t feel obliged to pleasing them. It’s ok to loose visitors like these. You only gain 1 visitor but they claim all of yours!

I like those who don’t namedrop themselves until I ask them for their blog links. Introduction is necessary but giving sly hints/impelling one to visit their blog is a major turn off.

I like those who keep sharing their opinions and comments regularly. It makes me want to know them better and read their blogs. They sort of proved themselves to be genuine and not ought to divert my traffic.

That said, comment with attitude — Don’t be like a spam bot!

Oh ya… If you want juicy comments… Get rid of your Cbox. Having that thing there will only encourage short ones. For real convenience, make your comment section friendly and available! How about that huh?

#4 – How to Get Traffic to Your Blog?

Try joining blog archives/directories such as Blogarama, Technorati, Buzzfeed or any of your local network.

Stay active and people might develop interest in you.

You can also join forums too. Just remember not to show signs of desperation. Interact with attitude and vibrancy. Don’t talk about your blog until they ask about it.

Using Tags

Tags describes your entry’s content and files them under a specific category. Be it 1 word or a string of words, whatever. You have to keep in mind that you tags should be specific and has relation to your content in order to make it highly targeted.

Here’s one thing I don’t understand about certain people: ↓

Why do people like classifying their post under “Random”?

Randoms means “without a plan or done without a regular pattern”. Perhaps you can’t think of a suitable title so you label it as “Random.”

Then again…

Who actually googles or click on tags for “Random”?

What can a random entry benefit the readers?

What does a random post even consist of?

I mean — even if a person does the above, that person will get random results. Chances are you’re in that pile of random results and will not make it to the front page because there is no regular pattern and it’s not targeted.

You want to target an aim instead of shooting randomly that gets you nowhere.

Another thing that does not make any sense: ↓

Including friend’s name into the tag

Unless your friend is famous and is a celebrity — Who the hell will search for your friend? Why are you promoting your friend and not yourself?

Crazy…

The right usage of tags is to highlight the purpose and subject of your content. Take this as an example:

You blog a tutorial on how to draw manga for beginners.

Your tags should be:

  • How to draw manga for beginners
  • Easy tutorials on how to draw manga
  • How to draw a full body – beginner’s guide
  • Manga tutorials
  • Drawing tutorials

There’s no harm in being specific and meticulously labeling your tags.

IMPORTANT! → Never ever lie, deceive and mislead people by including popular tags that has absolutely no relevance to your content.

You may have briefly mention something but if it does not entirely based on your post’s subject, do not include it in your tags. Visitors can get flabbergasted for reading your whole entry just to find 1 line of miserable info.

So yes, this is how you use tags — properly.

A Brief Summary on My Blogging Tips

DO NOT —- ↓

  • Copy people’s style of writing.
  • Claim others content as your own.
  • Name drop yourself.
  • Force people to visit and leave comments in your blog.
  • Go overboard with your criticism.
  • Expect too much.
  • Count your traffic and comments.
  • Blog selfishly.

DO — ↓

  • Be original.
  • Content savvy.
  • Write proper information.
  • Reply to questions.
  • Address to your readers.
  • Post a reasonable amount of photos and text.
  • Write topics that your readers can understand and relate to.
  • Be comment friendly.
  • Enjoy as you blog!

Phew… If I have to write any more tips than the above, sheep has to start charging you all. (Laughs)

My back hurts… <x_x>

I currently have 2 pending artworks: ↓

An air stewardess

An air stewardess

... and a 3 page comic to complete...

... and a 3 page comic to complete...

Baa… Not forgetting Synjie’s tag… <x_x> (Collapses)