Wednesday, January 21, 2009

so you want to be a blogger...

I'm a huge believer that inspiration is contagious, and if we only took the time out of our lives to write and be vulnerable to share the inspiration in our lives, every single one of us would inspire others.

So. How to share your inspiration with the world?

A blog.

A blog is accessible to the entire world (113 countries have visited Seed of Devotion so far), it's fun (design your own site with Blogger or Wordpress), and it's free.

But what makes a blog... well, good? What makes people come back week after week, year after year?

A blog is about a) content - the special moments of your life, and b) style - the way you tell your story. 

Here are five points that I have gathered over my history as a blogger. 

5. Keep it short. 
 100 - 350 words (use your Word Count tool), or 2 - 4 minutes of read time. Internet readers want a snapshot, not a Hindi movie. Make every word count, every image and story captivate the reader.

4. Nouns and Verbs
What did you expect? Writing a blog is... well, writing, and one needs to know how to write well to sustain a successful blog. In my opinion (and Hemingway's), Nouns and Verbs is the golden rule. Strengthen your nouns and verbs, take out describers, and your writing will be clean.

And of course, write a first draft, then edit, edit, edit, which translates as delete, delete, delete. This post in itself has gone through about 6 or 7 edits. 

Also, if you have five minutes, check out some more tips for good writing here: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2006/02/12/writing-tips-for-non-writers-who-dont-want-to-work-at-writing/

Also check out the fantastic book, The Writer's Book of Wisdom: 101 Rules for Mastering Your Craft by Steven Taylor Goldsberry, on Amazon.com or your local library. It's fun and extremely practical. 

Ultimately, writing is an art.

"What is written without effort is read without pleasure." - Samuel Johnson

3. Be Personal
Blogs are for readers to peer into your world... we want to hear what's so special for you, what makes life tick for you (not a CNN wrap-up of the day). Don't shy away from sharing your adventures and realizations - that's what blogs are for.

2. Be Laser
Stick to one subject/theme or one story. Pick out one event or realization and weave in your personal experience. Blog posts are simply too short (and readers' attention spans too restless) to absorb all the facts and plot twists of a masterpiece.

The above four rules were made to be broken (case in point: this post is 506 words), but this last rule is the holy grail of blogging:  

Number 1 Rule: KEEP BLOGGING
The key is to find a rhythm. In my experience (and by witnessing others), I say: strive for once a week.

More than that and your blog will be a part-time job.

Less than that, and you'll forget your own URL. Your readers will forget it, too.

So make it a sadhana (regular practice).
So write.
And write. 
And write.
And did I say keep writing?

Have fun.

3 comments:

EZelectronix said...

nice advice!

Aspiring Servant ! said...

Wow! Bhakti Lata, thank you so much for those tips! Am sure they will be of great help! Thank you so very much once again for the encouragement!

Aspiring to serve,
RPDD

kalyani said...

who bhakti that last comment as probably the longest ever. Any way thank you for the tips I really want to start on my blog. Congratulations on your a genius blog i mean what else should i expect from you anyway?!?!?1


To write is to dare the soul. So write.