Things I learned during the Blogathon

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Well, the WordCount Blogathon officially ended yesterday, May 31. The premise was to encourage bloggers to blog each day during the month of May. I wasn’t able to blog all 31 days, but many of the over 100 bloggers did.

Even though I wasn’t able to blog every day, I learned a lot about blogging, and writing in general.  Here are some of the things I learned:

1. It’s ok to pre-write posts.  I don’t use that function of WordPress nearly enough. I don’t use it on my Blogger blogs either. If I used it more, I could probably have done 31 posts for May.

2. Blogs posts do not need to be hundreds of words. Short posts are ok. That’s not saying that long posts are taboo, but many blog visitors are looking for something short and sweet. Don’t feel the need to pad out a blog post with extraneous words.

3. Networking is important. I mainly use Twitter and Facebook, but there are many other social networks, which are great ways to promote your writing. If someone follows you, follow them back. Join writer’s groups, attend conferences, get to know other writers – either online or in person. Sometimes it’s nice to have another writer, or writers, with whom to bounce things off of, share ideas, ask questions.

4. Be accessible. Make it easy for your blog readers to find you and connect with you. Have follow buttons for Twitter, Facebook or other social networks. Have a link for your blog’s RSS feed. Allow comments on your blog. Place the follow, like or feed buttons “above the fold” (on the main screen) of your blog if possible, or within one scroll of the main landing screen. Don’t make your visitors hunt for these features. The more they have to look for a ‘follow’ button, the less likely they are to follow you.

5. Write about something that you like. If your blog is a personal blog, and not one that’s part of a blog network where you are assigned topics, then make sure you like the topic you are writing. Otherwise, your blog posts may sound forced, and you will lose interest in writing.

Even though I didn’t blog for the entire 31 days, I blogged a lot more than I would have normally. I’m planning to continue blogging more and more, and hopefully will soon be blogging daily on all my blogs.

I want to thank Michelle Rafter of WordCount for the opportunity to participate in the Blogathon. And, thank you to the bloggers who participated, those who wrote daily and those who didn’t, for the opportunity to discover some great blogs that I probably would not have known existed otherwise.

I’ll be ready for Blogathon 2011!

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About Beth

I'm a part-time freelance writer, full-time high school administrative assistant, mother, wife and dreamer. In my free time I enjoy reading, crafts, watching movies and spending time with my best friend and love of my life.
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3 Responses to Things I learned during the Blogathon

  1. Beth: You’re very welcome, I’m so glad you joined us, even if it wasn’t for all 31 days.

    You make an excellent point about being accessible. Make it easy for people to comment, follow you, sign up for your RSS feed, etc., and you’ll have better luck growing a community. One blogathoner – who shall remain nameless – has set up their blog so people have to go through a registration process before they’re able to leave a comment – fail. Unless you’re writing about controversial stuff and have been flamed relentlessly in the past, there’s no need to put your blog behind a safety screen.

    Happy blogging,

    Michelle Rafter

  2. Susan Weiner says:

    Beth, your advice resonates with me. I hadn’t thought about putting a witter follow button on my blog. If were staying on Blogger, I’d add that to my “to do” list.

  3. Great points. I need to rearrange my blog, I think, and learn to write shorter posts more often to generate content. And to network more. You’ve given me some good food for thought. Thanks!

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