I love it when a plan comes together.
Last week, I thought I would try my hand at seeking out some Dublin-based blogging events. I was expecting to find something to look forward to a couple of months down the line, so you can imagine how lucky I felt when I found that one of the main events in Ireland’s blogging calendar was happening that very weekend, in a hotel a mere stone’s throw from Beastie Towers! SCORE!
So, Explorer Beastie and I packed our bags and spent last Saturday at the 2016 Irish Bloggers Conference. We heard from loads of different people, and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things we learned with you all. Plus I’m more likely to remember it if I write it all down.
Now, if you’re all sitting comfortably, let’s launch into…
The Monster Guide to Blogging Bliss!
And we’ll kick off with…
Entertaining complainers are as rare as virtuoso musicians and masterpiece-painting artists. Who wants to read a series of rants about the fact that no-one is visiting your blog? If you’re blogging, chances are you want to share something you’re interested in or passionate about with the world. Talk about what you love with enthusiasm and humour, and people will surely come back for more.
…Even if what you’re into isn’t popular. Talking about something you genuinely believe in will win you more loyal readers than slavishly hopping on every bandwagon going.
And while we’re on the subject of readers…
Don’t be shy! If you like what you read, say so. Start conversations. Reply to your comments. Join online groups based on your interests and pitch in on the forums. And if you’re sharing links to your own online places, don’t just drop them in there – ask for feedback, or tag someone who you think will enjoy it.
Ah, something I need to be doing more. But it makes sense – for example, by finding out when most of your readers tune in, you can tailor your posting habits to ensure that your words of wisdom reach more people. You’ll also start to notice patterns in what appeals most to your readers, or what draws new ones in, and you can use this knowledge to plan what to talk about next. And that just makes everything easier!
Being consistent doesn’t mean that all your posts have to be exactly the same. But your regular readers will come to expect certain things from your blog, and being consistent in things like your tone of voice, what you talk about and when you post will set them at ease before they’ve read a word. You’d all be pretty freaked out if the BeastieBlog morphed overnight into a foul-mouthed diatribe on contemporary economic policy, wouldn’t you?
I can’t claim to be an expert photographer, but nothing detracts from your blog more than pictures that are grainy, or that have been squished and stretched until they look like something from the world’s worst hall of mirrors. Always start off with high-resolution photos – you can make big pictures smaller, but you can’t unshrink small ones!
Ah, can there be anything more annoying than reading an entire article, only to find out at the end that it’s basically just an advert? If you’re doing a sponsored post, be a good human and make it clear from the outset… Your readers will trust you more.
One thing that a lot of the bloggers (and other speakers) at the conference had in common was persistence. They all made it clear that any success they’d had didn’t just happen overnight – more often than not, it was the product of long hours, hard work and a few people along the way telling them that their ideas were terrible. So keep going – you never know what’s around the next corner!
Thanks to the Irish Blogger Association for a really interesting and informative day out. And if you have any blogging tips of your own to share, let us know in the comments!
We’ll be back on Tuesday with a new Beastie for you to meet… In the meantime, have a monster weekend!